Homeschool Blues | Teen Ink

Homeschool Blues MAG

July 9, 2008
By Catie Frankland BRONZE, Jessup, Maryland
Catie Frankland BRONZE, Jessup, Maryland
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I get stereotyped a lot. When I meet someone for the first time, we’ll be talking about movies, music, or summer jobs – then, the dreaded question: “So, where do you go to school?” I shift slightly. I know how they’re going to ­react. I know that they’ll give me a weird look and then find an excuse to move on, muttering a derogatory remark as they smirk at me. You see, I’m homeschooled.

This stereotype has affected me numerous times. One day, my friend and I were taking the PSAT at the local high school. The attendant found our educational choice amusing.

“Do you ever wish you could go to ­real school?” she asked.

“I do go to a real school, thank you very much.” I tried not to sound annoyed.

“You don’t get out much, do you?”

“I get out plenty.”

“Do you know what prom is?”

“Yes, I’m going to mine this spring.” I sighed thankfully as a voice boomed over the loudspeaker, signaling the start of the test.

Last summer one of my coworkers, who was in college, asked what grade I was in and what school I went to.

I ­answered. “Don’t you get tired of sitting at home all day?” she asked, blankly.

I sighed. It was too late; her view of me was already tainted. I could tell she thought I was naive and ­immature.

“So do you have any friends?” she asked.

“Of course!” My sarcastic self wanted to say something about a hermit, but I decided to stick to the facts and not let my big mouth get me in trouble.

People’s reactions are beginning to ­annoy me. I used to dread being asked where I go to school. I would do almost anything to avoid the question. I was afraid I would get stuck in the homeschooler stereotype: long hair, dresses, 16 kids in the family, never heard of Britney Spears, never been to a mall, just sit at home and knit all day. I’m not super smart, and I don’t have a learning ­disability. However, as I near the end of high school, and ­reflect on almost 10 years of being homeschooled, I realize that I shouldn’t be afraid of the stereotype; I should redefine it.

You see, I have two sisters: one is ­attending a public high school, the other goes to the local community college. I play lacrosse and basketball, and my best friend and I will be starting driver’s ed soon. One of my other close friends attends a local high school. I go the mall almost as often as I brush my teeth. I love rock music. I was shocked at Jamie Lynn’s pregnancy. I love McDonald’s double cheeseburgers and hate Starbucks coffee. I write poetry. I hate algebra. I have a MySpace. My toenails are lime-green, my hair is shoulder-length, and I want dreadlocks. I help run a coffee house for high school bands. Oh, and my best friend, who is also homeschooled, received a full Division I college scholarship for soccer.

I’m not handing out this information to prove that I am just like you; I want you to see that you are just like me. I don’t live in a different world than ­other high schoolers. I only choose to be homeschooled.

Recently a coworker asked the ­question and seemed surprised with my answer. “You’re homeschooled?” he asked, shocked. I smiled. That’s the message I want to send. I want to show them what a homeschooler is really like: any other teenage girl.

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This article has 169 comments.

deanna98 said...
on Aug. 23 2012 at 2:05 pm
I am homeschooled; I love this article. While I did have, as of a month ago, hip-length hair, I am completely unlike what a homeschooler stigma indicates. Well written, informative, beautiful. I do have friends that only listen to Prairie Home Companion and buy ducks to eat eggs, but I do not consider myself in their class. Great job! 

on Apr. 30 2012 at 9:31 am
BrightlyLit BRONZE, Boonsboro, Maryland
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Music is a total constant. That's why we have such a strong visceral connection to it, you know? Because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in your or the world, that one song says the same, just like that moment."
— Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)

Great article!! I'm homeschooled too and this is the message that I have been trying to get across for the past 7 years. I really work hard to "redefine", as so adiquitly said, the homeschooler sterio type. I have tons of people who are shocked when I tell them I'm homeschooled. Nicely put fellow homeschooler!!

on Jan. 2 2012 at 4:41 pm
butnowamfound BRONZE, Richardson, Texas
4 articles 1 photo 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
Psalm 73:24-26
Your wisdom will be my guide, and later you will put me in a place of honour. Whom have I in heaven but you? and having you I have no desire for anything on earth. My flesh and my heart are wasting away: but God is the Rock of my heart and my eternal heritage.

Romans 10:14-15
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? ....That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

when i was homeschooled, my hair was long, i wore a floral print dress everyday, i have a big family, i only istened to classical music, i never went to the mall, and i knitted all the time. Now i go to private school, and its just the oppisite. But you know what? i miss my old life. I got so such more out of it. I just wanted to put that out there. And yes, people stereoytyped me. But although it hurt, its worth it to do what you love.

eliana924 GOLD said...
on Dec. 22 2011 at 11:20 pm
eliana924 GOLD, New York, New York
11 articles 0 photos 116 comments
Very empowering. Out of curiosity, why are you homeschooled?

BadGirl GOLD said...
on Dec. 21 2011 at 5:54 pm
BadGirl GOLD, Dacula, Georgia
13 articles 10 photos 56 comments

Favorite Quote:
I'd rather be HATED for who I am
then be LOVED for who I'm not.
All I need is for someone to say "I believe in you."

I get the same reation ALL THE TIME!!!

Really annoying. But there are homeschool clubs and activaties you could join. That's what I do & I love it.

But we are different from everyone else. Maybe smarter, or not, but we are different from the kids that DO go to school.

This article really spoke to me. :)

on Nov. 30 2011 at 5:00 pm
ManekiNeko SILVER, Cincinnati, Ohio
8 articles 1 photo 39 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and prove it to be true."

One of my best friends was homeschooled. I don't get the big deal. 

on Nov. 17 2011 at 1:37 pm
Brokenness_is_Beautiful SILVER, Independece, Louisiana
6 articles 3 photos 77 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life is so ironic to understand fully, it takes sadness to know what is happiness. noise to distinguish silent and a broken heart to find true love.

I know. It is so annoying. They rant and rave about how they couldn't handle it and they would absolutley HAVE to go somewhere and do something. HELLO people I am somewhere and I do do stuff...thats why we having this conversation! Sorry got a little carried a way there. Great article!

on Nov. 6 2011 at 4:10 pm
onedirectionlover GOLD, Hampton, Virginia, Virginia
16 articles 3 photos 37 comments
They probably think of it this way, "If I was homeschooled, I'd be soooo lonely and misrible" so they think every other homeschooled kid is too. I go to public school, so I don't know how you feel.

Violist BRONZE said...
on Nov. 6 2011 at 9:30 am
Violist BRONZE, Flower Mound, Texas
3 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Thank you for this article! I hate it when homeschoolers are stereotyped like that. I homeschooled three years ago, and people still stereotype me now. It's so annoying!

Lisakh said...
on Nov. 6 2011 at 12:53 am
Plenty of kids in a brick and mortar school get arrested too. Regardless, your boyfriend sounds more like a drop out who was hiding under the excuse of homeschooling. But your post did an excellent job of illustrating the prejudices that the writer was talking about.

Jade M. said...
on Nov. 3 2011 at 6:31 pm
Hey girl! I'm a homeschoolong 10th grade girl and I have been in so many positions like yours! I took a class at a college last semester, and I got so many rmarks: "huh? ur homeschooled? You don't act wierd." So, yeah, I understand. But being homeschooled is awesome!(for me anyway)

on Oct. 15 2011 at 10:20 am
Miki-chan BRONZE, Waynesboro, Mississippi
3 articles 0 photos 37 comments

Favorite Quote:
Don't screw with Crazy.

I've been homeschooled for a while now, but nobody has ever teased me about it. You should come to Mississippi.

on Aug. 2 2011 at 2:49 pm
ShontelleSymone GOLD, New Castle, Pennsylvania
15 articles 0 photos 52 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Are you chasing your dreams? Or are your dreams chasing you?" - Michelle Phan

Yeah, but not all homeschooled kids are like that. Thats just his personality, and though there could be others like him, not everyone is like that. And I am pretty sure that there are people like him in public school. I went to a whole school full of them before transferring to cyber school.

queens159 said...
on Jun. 27 2011 at 11:37 pm
My ex boyfriend was homeschooled, and he was crazy! He used to go to a regular highschool, but decided to homeschool. I remember when he texted me about almost getting arrested.

Bones96 BRONZE said...
on Jun. 22 2011 at 12:14 pm
Bones96 BRONZE, Charlotte, North Carolina
2 articles 0 photos 108 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life isn't about finding yourself it's about creating yourself-

I am a homeschooled to. this is a great artical! well writen and i can definitely relate to it to. :)

on Apr. 22 2011 at 4:12 pm
angelsteals SILVER, Irving, Texas
5 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
let walk in each others shoes and march down the steet and see how many follow

yeah my boy friend is home schooled. i wish i was


on Apr. 7 2011 at 11:13 am
Right on Sista! Who wants to deal with all that junk out there?

on Mar. 17 2011 at 9:04 pm
MadiBird PLATINUM, Warrenton, Virginia
21 articles 1 photo 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Hate isn't the opposite of love. Indifference is the opposite of love. Because if you hate, you still care."

Well-written and totally relateable. I've been homeschooled my whole life as well, and I too get tired of people assuming I'm a retard just because I don't spend six hours a day in a classroom...

on Mar. 11 2011 at 7:27 pm
JustAnotherOwl SILVER, Unknown, New York
6 articles 0 photos 379 comments

Favorite Quote:
"See, we don't really care who you are;
Everyone is capable of looking up and wishing on a star.
So catch it, so contagious, this day-dreamer's disease,
And hope can be your sword, slaying darkness with belief."

"Sanctuary"- Paradise Fears

Oh my god, I know! I'm the top of my class and people are STILL making jokes that I'm a "dumb blonde".

on Mar. 11 2011 at 7:25 pm
JustAnotherOwl SILVER, Unknown, New York
6 articles 0 photos 379 comments

Favorite Quote:
"See, we don't really care who you are;
Everyone is capable of looking up and wishing on a star.
So catch it, so contagious, this day-dreamer's disease,
And hope can be your sword, slaying darkness with belief."

"Sanctuary"- Paradise Fears

Great article! (: I've never looked down on people how are homeschooled before, though. I go to a public school. I've never thought that a person who was homeschooled would be any different than a person who goes to public school...But I guess that just goes to show that some people are so biased toward certain groups and just believe the stereotype.

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