February 06, 2006

Streetwise and Sheltered

Our children, five and seven, are streetwise and sheltered, sophisticated and naive, in very strange ways. I wonder if these paradoxes are typical of homeschooled children.

  • They know about the war in Iraq and the controversy surrounding it, but they don't know Sponge Bob from South Park.

  • They are aware that they have biological parents and foster parents overseas, but they aren't aware that Mom and Dad have ever disagreed about matters of child-rearing.

  • They have some understanding of the major religions' creeds, but they don't recognize curse words.

  • We read them stories like The Island of the Blue Dolphins, in which wild dogs kill the heroine's brother, but we won't let them watch Jurassic Park because of the violence.

  • They are comfortable discussing President Jackson's displacement of the Cherokees on the Trail of Tears but they don't know the lyrics to any Billboard songs.
I guess Mom and Dad are sheltered too. Last week we watched Citizen Kane and Song of the Thin Man, but we haven't seen any of the films that have been nominated for this year's academy awards.


DavidofOz said...

Our family is similar. Their music tastes range from Gregorian Chant, Hawaiian, Bing Crosby, Bee Gees, Classical, Flanders and Swann and so on - but hardly any current stuff.
Their choice of books and movies is diverse, but only carefully selected contemporary material.
It is the basis of discernment, a much neglected virtue.

Father of Eleven said...

With kids adopted from foreign countries as teenagers we have a rather eclectic mix of just about everything. History is REALLY interesting. We are still working with our Russian kids to understand that Stalin is not really considered a hero here. Also, our Chinese daughter didn't believe that the US was in WWII the first time I told her.

JoVE said...

on violence in movies, my 8 year old makes a distinction between animal violence involved in catching and eating its food or other normal activities for that animal and other kinds of violence. As in 'but lions have to kill animals, they can't be vegetarian'. An altogether more sophisticated understanding than that used by the film classification folks. I see you use such a sophisticated understanding, too.