One of the complaints about homeschooling is that we "shelter" our children from the real world by not giving them a chance to learn about competition or about schoolyard bullies. Week before last we were at the playground with a lot of public-schooled children. There was a game of "Pirates" going on. Six year-old Brighteyes and a much bigger girl both wanted to be the Pirate Captain. The bigger girl looked at Brighteyes in her pink flowered sundress and flip-flops, and proposed a race to the top of the ship's "prow" for the title. By the time she got both feet off the ground Brighteyes was sitting on the prow.
Then a boy half a head taller than Brighteyes tried to steal her flip-flop. She told him no, go away. He tried again. She kicked him in the chest. He swung at her. She kicked him in the jaw. He ran away crying. I told Brighteyes that head shots were out of bounds and made her apologize for the last blow. His parents told him he asked for it.
Yep, it really looks as if our homeschooled kids don't know anything about competition or playground bullies all right.