Yesterday we met a new unschooling family, potential new residents in our area. They have three older, now-grown kids, and one almost exactly Fiona's age. Conversation strayed into the lack of age-prejudice amongst homeschooled kids, and the strength of sibling relationships. Obviously there are a lot of kids who buck the trend. My kids have some pretty cool non-agemate public-schooled friends who get along great with their siblings. And although it's rare, I've seen homeschooled kids occasionally engage in subtle ageism. But overall, it seems fair to me to say that homeschooled kids on average display much less age prejudice than schooled kids.
Sibling relationships are also strong in our family. I know this isn't a hard and fast rule in homeschooling families, but it does seem to be pretty common. Our friends recalled people commenting "When I first met your kids, I thought there was something weird about them. Now I've figured out what it is -- they like each other!" As we discussed this, my three older kids were clustered at the other end of the same table laughing hysterically with each other over the Hypnomonkey Brand catalogues they were creating. Case in point. Three siblings, ages 8 through 13, having a hysterically good time engaged in a silly common pursuit together for no good reason.
I'd never heard of Hypnomonkey Brand. It turns out it's their most recent anti-consumeristic social satire foray. They had taken the latest Sears sale catalogues out of the recycling bin and gone at them with pens. They'd created a brand logo of a goofy monkey head with swirly hypnotized eyes, dubbed it the Hypnomonkey Brand, and had merrily plastered all the clothing with their new designer logo. They speculated that they could double the prices on the clothing now that it was "a cool new brand" and discussion later turned to marketing strategies designed to get people talking about the brand, hankering for it to fill needs they didn't know they had. Looks like my country bumpkin kids have a pretty sophisticated, and jaded, understanding of branding and consumer manipulation.