My wife and several of her fellow homeschool moms took the little ones to OMSI (The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) a couple of days back. Apparently, while there, my wife noticed that the place had a very high concentration of homeschooled kids and that OMSI, like quite a few other similar places (for instance, the Oregon Coast Aquarium at Newport has homeschool-only events, even sleepovers) has a fairly significant cultural penetration by homeschoolers.
In retrospect, this shouldn't be terribly surprising. Homeschoolers have terrific amounts of flexibility in their schedules and seem positively drawn to cultural institutions that don't suck. Apparently those institutions like them a lot also, probably because as I've pointed out before, homeschooled kids are much less annoying on average than public schooled kids. A lot of them even have intellectual curiosity, which makes the job of museum curator/attendant/babysitter a lot more entertaining.
As to why this should be important and encouraging, ask yourself this:
Who is it that tends to volunteer at such places? Lots of retirees and wives of rich guys is who. Oh, and teenagers of wealthy families that are burnishing their college applications with volunteer hours. Having those groups develop a first hand appreciation and affection for homeschooled kids is decidedly to our advantage. These are groups that punch above their weight politically. Having them at least unwilling to participate in any crusade against homeschooling may help buy sufficient time to become politically unassailable. Memberships at such places are often very good deals as well, and frequently you can get one like my wife's friend has (2 parents, plus 3 adult visitors and up to 10 kids with kids under 3 not counted against that limit). Between several families, you can have similar memberships at multiple institutions at very reasonable prices (my wife's friend got hers via a groupon).
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