I shared this story in the comments on Sarah’s lovely blog…it’s so funny I can’t resist telling it here too. Several years ago, when we lived in Virginia and my oldest child was about 8 or 9, I took the kids to a living history museum (the ten-awesome Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, VA, which you do NOT want to miss if you’re in the area). That was the first of many happy visits, and a glorious spring day it was: new lambs for the holding, amiable cottage cat jumping into our stroller, Jemima Puddleduck and friends pit-pat-paddle-patting their way along the dirt paths. My three oldest girls were in heaven. The costumed interpreters were extremely nice, allowing the girls to try a spinning wheel (I was writing Charlotte and Martha in those days, and all we had at home was a drop spindle, so the wheel was a grand treat for my little home-based critique group) and answering their zillions of questions.
As we left one of the houses—I think it was the Irish cottage, which thrilled us all with its thatched roof and smoky fire, just like the huts in the Martha books—the interpreter murmured an aside to me as the girls skipped down the path.
“Are they homeschooled?” she asked with a friendly smile.
“Yes!” I replied, delighted, basking in the thought that their eager, intelligent conversation had given them away.
“I thought so,” replied the interpreter. “I could tell from the bonnets.”
This was the year my girls wore their Little House bonnets everywhere—their own doing, I swear! By then I was so used to seeing them that I hardly even noticed them anymore.
Yeah, I guess that would be kind of a giveaway.