The Necessity of Interaction

Joshua - Columbia, Illinois
Entered on October 7, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that being homeschooled can deprive a child of the social interactions necessary for good communication. The social environment that public education provides gives children the chance to interact with people their age, and opens the door to young friendships. Children learn by following what they see. So, it only makes sense that a child needs to be around others his or her age to learn the social dos and don’ts. A child that never interacts with peers in a sense looses a certain degree of conversational understanding.

Children need to learn that there are certain things that one should not say in the presence of differing audiences. This may seem like common knowledge to most people; but without any actual social experiences, children have no means of determining appropriate conversational skills. I was homeschooled for nine years, and I can vouch from personal experiences that social capabilities do not come naturally to everyone. As a freshman in high school, I had to learn that not everyone is raised with the same upbringing. One personal example is the day I learned that the word “fart” is not necessarily a bad word. I was taught from a very young age that “fart” was a vulgar inappropriate word. In my household we were punished if we used that word. Instead my mother only allowed us to use the phrase “I laid a biscuit”. I was sitting in my freshman algebra class quietly solving my mathematical equations when I accidentally laid a biscuit. It was a silent biscuit, so I knew to just continue my equations without drawing attention to the incident. Unfortunately it was not long before my classmates smelt my biscuit. Everyone started holding there noses and asking who farted. Not only was I shocked that they were using the word fart, but I had to make things worse for my situation. I raised my hand and when the teacher called on me. I took responsibility for my actions and apologized to the class for “laying a biscuit”. My teacher seemed blown away by my comment, so she tried to humor the situation by lighting a candle and acting as though it would cover the awful scent. Fortunately for me, my classmate thought I was trying to be comical with my apology.

From this experience alone I can easily say that being home schooled secludes a child from social interactions that may affect him or her later in life. Sure, it is ok for a first grader to ask silly questions and make awkward comments, because they aren’t expected to know what is ok to say; but it is not ok for a freshman in high school to make these comments. I felt way behind socially, and it was very difficult to learn all of the dos and don’ts so late in life. I believe that homeschooling can be a great form of education, but simply cannot meet all the needs of a child.