Bringing intergenerational experiences to the schools
Ian Lewis, UK minister for older people, has an interesting proposition for the public schools in Britain, something I think would be worthy to pursue here in the states.
'I would like to see older people having their lunch at a local school, acting as role models and mentors for the kids, and then perhaps local families "adopting" older people to tackle the scourge of loneliness and isolation,' he said. 'At lunchtime in every school in the country, why couldn't older people be sitting down with pupils and sharing lunch instead of doing it at an older person's lunch club or at home?' The Guardian
Rather than sitting in the institutionalized setting of the nursing home, separated from family, friends and community, they could eat lunch with the kids at school. After all, they a lot in common with children in the institutionalized setting of the public school, separated from family, friends and community. The potential benefits to both are obvious.

The elderly have the opportunity to share their values and experience with a younger generation, helping them to find purpose in their relationships. A sort of social continuity is shared, in which the elderly catch a glimpse of a future that will exist beyond them and children catch a glimpse of a past that existed before them. School children will have the opportunity to interact with people from diverse backgrounds and gain respect for the elderly. They also will have an opportunity at more individual attention, with older adults tutoring them in subjects they need assistance in.

Surrogate grandparents for children, surrogate grandchildren for the elderly. It is the next best thing to home.
The ending of the tradition of several generations of a family living near each other, and the scattering of families across the country, meant that 'older people are living in communities without any real family networks or support', said Lewis. 'This would be a way of making sure that people without families could feel part of a family as well as part of a community. That can make a real difference to our sense of wellbeing, and it doesn't happen a lot any more.' Ibid.
Tell me again why socialization is a problem for the homeschool? Mr. Lewis is absolutely correct about the break down of the family and the need for all of us to feel a part of a family and of a community. He offers a creative solution, and I commend him for that.

But in this solution, he highlights an inherent benefit of homeschooling, which for many of us goes well beyond the curriculum we choose. It is a lifestyle, one that tends to be family-focused. It allows and even encourages parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends to each share their unique perspectives, knowledge and experiences to further the education of the child. In the ideal, the homeschooled child is integrated into his family and community, and both the child and the community benefit from the relationship.

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