Last week the girls once again took part in the Missoula Children’s Theater program at The Paramount Theater in Charlottesville.
This year’s production was “Treasure Island”, and they spent all week rehearsing their little hearts out.
As for me, I got to spend the week downtown among civilization! It was nice to have an excuse to eat out for lunch every day and to meet with friends. We don’t get into town very often, so afternoon gelato for no good reason is quite a treat!
One of the things I really enjoy about the pedestrian mall downtown is that they allow dogs. Oona was overwhelmed with excitement at seeing so many different kinds of dogs and puppies all week.
Oona made a very sweet little Seagull. And she was easy to spot with her bright hair!
Emily played a “Pirate Clown”. My normally very introverted eldest child had a blast dancing and singing with a cast of 57 other kids, only 2 of whom she knew besides her sisters).
Neve cracked me up with her funny faces. She played one of Jim Hawkins’ “Ruffian” friends.
There’s not a single introverted bone in THAT kid’s body!
Our friends Jessie and Keith had their two kids in the play as well (that’s Brett on the left next to Emily) so we were fortunate to have company all week and at the performances.
These theater weeks have been an incredible experience for my kids. It’s helped them become more confident in their singing and has helped them with taking direction and being responsible to a team.
All the same, this has made me feel even more strongly about homeschooling them and given me less patience for the one bullshit question I get all the time.
What about socialization?
My kids don’t go to school with other kids their age, it’s true. They are not forced into artificial social situations that are strictly monitored and controlled by adults who want quiet (yes, the local schools have “quiet lunches” much of the time). They are also not confined to spending time only with people their own age. Being homeschooled has meant they get dragged along with me wherever I go, and being part of whatever project I have going on, and interacting with many different people. This has meant that they know how to speak to all kinds of people and are comfortable in just about any social situation. When we arrive for theater camp on the first day and they get on the stage to audition with the other kids, they are fine. Even Oona is not daunted by it. My kids might be weird, but they are not socially awkward.
They are not subject to peer-pressure. They do not suffer from low self-esteem. They are curious about the world around them and have many interests they like to pursue. They speak their minds.
And let me tell you, when they get on that stage and throw themselves into their roles with their fellow actors, we couldn’t be more proud to be the parents of these weird kids.