We have a number of friends who home school their children and one of the traits that AD and I have observed in these kiddos that we admire is their comfort and poise in speaking with adults. We are impressed with how they look us in the eye when speaking to us, how they speak in complete sentences, how they thoughtfully and appropriately engage us in conversation, both contributing and inquiring.
Of course it would be a gross over-generalization to attribute this solely to homeschooling but that seems to be the common denominator in our limited experience. It could just be that our friends have terrific kids.
Most kids – and I’m sure yours is an exception – will answer in choppy one or two-word sentences when engaged by an adult and then look around nervously for an escape hatch.
All that to say, we have been working with Sean to help him to become a comfortable conversationalist. We think it is a valuable life skill, one that we want him to develop. For some kids this may come easily, for others, like mine, it will require some practice.
So the other day, we were driving up to Tuna to see some of our relatives, whom we don’t see often enough, and we were preparing him to greet his great aunts and uncles and so we were role playing as a way to practice.
Me: Ok Sean, let’s pretend I am Aunt Doris. And I say something like, ‘Why hello Sean. You sure are getting big!’ – What would you say to Aunt Doris?
Sean: You are too!
On second thought, maybe it would be better if he just said “Yup” and then hid behind my skirt.
Disclaimer: Doris is NOT big, we don’t think Doris is big, no one at our house has ever said Doris and Big in the same sentence, ever, not once.