He said, "But Mom, how do you know that she knows I'm a person? Maybe she thinks I am another dog. I don't want her to think I'm like the other dogs around here. I'm really human. Do you think she knows?"

"Yes, Son, she knows."

"But how do you know that she knows? She can't see herself, so she may not know what she is, or what I am."

"Trust me. She knows that she's a dog and you are a boy. A human boy."

"But how do you know that?"

"I just do. She is quite aware that you are NOT a dog like her."

"How can you be sure?"

"Go clean your room."

Years later . . .

"Can my hen climb down a tree?"

"No, that would be impossible."

"I put her up there and she's cackling."

"What on earth . . . how high?"

"Really high."

"Which tree?"

"You know . . . that pine tree out front. And the rooster is at the bottom all nervous."

"Well, I'd be, too, if my spouse were trapped in a tree! Go get her down!"

Now that he is older, the questions aren't so unbaked. Instead, they're really intense. Lately I hear myself saying, "Go ask Dad. That's a 'dad' question." I don't remember being this inquisitive in school. Nor do I recall my friends with imaginations like his. And it's not just my family. This "ever-curiousness" seems to be somewhat the norm in homeschool families. The kids are hanging out with their parents, so they ask grown-up questions earlier. They are afforded individual attention, so their time is better spent learning. They get enough sleep, avoid threats from bullies (usually, anyway), and can relax. They have the freedom to learn without worry of peers, worry of teachers, and worry of what's to come.

A homeschool house does not have a "sheep mentality." It's a living, breathing "think tank" that will challenge you in more ways than you can imagine. And across the board, homeschooled students carry on very well; you know this. And while I was not trained to be a homeschool mama, my kids are being trained to be homeschool mamas and papas. They'll do it even better than we are!

Keep up the good work, and when you are at times tempted to rip out your hair, or if you are afraid of the upcoming "school years," remember that your little talker will someday be a brainy adult . . . an independent thinker who will make a positive societal impact. To be sure, you are giving him an opportunity that is unmatched.

Gena Suarez and her husband, Paul, have six kids and reside in beautiful eastern Tennessee. Two of their children are now in college, two are active in homeschooling and two are cute little babies who the whole family adores! The Suarezes have been publishing The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine for almost ten years. Gena loves strong coffee. Really strong. Contact Gena at publisher@thehomeschoolmagazine.com.

Copyright 2010. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. Used with permission. Visit them at http://www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com.

For all your homeschool curriculum needs visit the Schoolhouse Store, where shipping is always free! (U.S. only)