Published on October 24th, 2014 | by Christie0
Strange perceptions about homeschooling
The reactions that I get when I inform various humans that I am homeschooled never cease to astonish me. It is usually (non homeschooling) parents that make the most bizarre of remarks; common responses include: “Wow, how do your parents do it?”, “Is that legal? I can remember reading a magazine article umpteen years ago that said blah blah blah…”, “Homeschooling? You must be pretty smart, huh?”, and my favorite, “Do you have any friends?”. I hasten to assure the latter folks that I do, indeed, have friends (they are apperantly under the impression that homeschoolers ALWAYS stay at home). Occasionally, after I finish extolling the benefits of homeschooling to the above adults, they become quite defensive; e.g. “Well, I would homeschool my kids, but I blah blah blah…”. Sometimes, more frequently these days, adults respond with: “Homeschooling? That’s great!”. These people obviously know something about homeschooling; I have also encountered adults who have no idea what homeschooling is. In one instance, I got into a conversation with a bus driver who was under the impression that homeschooling was a type of special school for the mentally disabled. Needless to say, I quickly disabused him of that notion.
Teenagers generally have much better reactions when they learn that I am a homeschooler—they usually either say: “Gee, I wish I was homeschooled.”, or “I would homeschool, but I am too lazy to make myself study.”. It is rare that I have to get into an argument about the superiority of homeschooling, but it does occur; generally, the pro high school people cite “social life” as the main reason for staying in high school. I am rather tempted to respond with: “Social life, schmoshial life, get a computer.”, but I fear that this would not help me win the argument. So, instead, I argue that you can get a superior education by schooling yourself, and still have a rich and varied social life. “Just think…instead of merely having friends that are your exact age and grade, you can interact with humans that are different ages, come from different areas and backgrounds, and thereby gain more varied wisdom then you would by unnaturally restricting yourself to friendships with teenagers that are just like you!”, I declare. At that point, whomever I am argueing with slumps over and begins snoring. Do you think that I ought to change my strategy here?
As I take a few college classes at a local community college, I now respond to the dreaded question: “Where do you go to high school?” with: “Oh, I’m a college student.”. This response has two advantages; A. It makes me seem older than I actually am, and B. It sidesteps the homeschooling issue entirely so that I don’t have to deal with silly questions.