Меня очень интересует феномен homeschooling (который из западных стран существует в серьезном масштабе только в США, насколько я понимаю; любопытно, что в русской википедии даже нет про это статьи), и я стараюсь о нем читать и думать. Часто родителям, которые хотят оставить детей дома, говорят, что дети их не приобретут нужных навыков общения со сверстниками, умение вести себя в сложных социальных ситуациях, итд. Но обычно эти обвинения предъявляют люди, которые сами не пробовали, и тогда родителям-энтузиастам легко ответить, что школа - это ужасная среда для воспитания социальных навыков, что ребенок, учащийся дома, все равно может встречаться со сверстниками и приобретет нужный опыт, итд. итп.
Тем интереснее свидетельство в этом духе от человека, который ел устрицы. Это не значит, что с ним обязательно надо согласиться, но стоит того, чтобы подумать. Из дискуссии на Hacker News, пишет человек, который сам прошел через хоумскулинг, но своих детей предпочитает отдать в школу:
I was homeschooled and it was terrible. I didn't learn the 101 little tricks to make interacting with frustrating people that little bit easier, I didn't learn to empathize with people less smart than me and I didn't develop the social intelligence that I believe is vital for long-term success. Any time I had to interact with anyone I felt terrible and awkward and out of place. When I went to college I was as alienated and lonely as everyone else had been in high school and I still didn't have casual friends because I didn't know how to be friends with anyone who didn't already share my interests. I didn't understand letting other people talk in class, or that school was for learning, not achieving things, or that I could make people happy by listening to things I didn't care about (and in the process learn about interesting things I never knew I'd be interested in.)
When I got a job I didn't understand that jobs are for collaboration, not just achieving things myself. Most team jobs work best if members are able and willing to sublimate their egos for the good of the group: I was busy being smart and weird. I assumed that because I was right everyone else would, of course, agree with me, and so none of my ideas ever got adopted because I didn't know how to enlist people as allies. I was still super lonely and still hadn't learn how to have casual friends (close friends I always had, one or two, mostly other homeschooled kids, but they were people who could put up with me just the way I was, which was kind of an arrogant asshole.)
I eventually sat down and compared myself to people who were less lonely than me and figured out what I could do differently. I realized that I'd rather not be an asshole than be right. I developed an understanding of when and how to ask questions, how to work and, yes, fit in with a group while still keeping myself whole. I learned how to be passionate without being overwhelming.
My kids are going to school. I will fight tooth and nail for a safe environment for them with adults who are on their side and not on the side of the bullies, but I want them to grow up knowing that if you tell your friend to fuck off they will stop being your friend because you are an asshole, not because you are weird. If you are not enjoyable to interact with people won't be your friend because friendship isn't an entitlement: it's a collaborative project. It may be that if you find a huge city you can find someone who doesn't mind being told to fuck off, or maybe even who thinks it is cool, but that doesn't mean that prioritizing your weirdness over the comfort of people around you will lead to a fulfilling social life (especially because those people are likely to tell you to fuck off too). Developing friends will probably have as much to do with how we change and grow as it does with leaving suburbia.
Besides, we have the Internet now. There is no reason kids can't both learn to be part of suburbia and experience the wide world outside of it at the same time.