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.

on Nov. 1 2010 at 6:13 pm
oh, and all the kids at the public school i go to for sports/music think its really cool that i am homeschooled and do NOT think it is unfair that i use the school for selective activities

on Nov. 1 2010 at 6:12 pm
well if we live in the town, and pay taxes, we have EVERY RIGHT to participate in whatever we want with the school. Just because we have a different method by which we learn our core subjects, why should we not have access for the things we love and the things we pay for with town taxes? and its not shunning the public school systems, its just we find that homeschooling is a more conducive learning environment.

katie said...
on Nov. 1 2010 at 2:28 pm
I don't have a stereotype about home schooled kids, but i absolutely think it is wrong these kids participate in public school sports.  If you shun a public school (for whatever reason) you should be consistent and shun the whole system. Not pick and choose. It is unfair to the students who have true school pride and loyalty.

drwhudd said...
on Nov. 1 2010 at 1:22 pm
I find it super annoying when people stare at me like I have two heads when I say that I'm homeschooled. I mean, there are plenty of people out there who are homeschooled. Some people even ask me whether I have friends (that's a really dumb question), and I have to start the whole conversation about how homeschoolers are not people that live on farms, have no social life, Ect. After seven years of the same questions about whether I know what TV is, or how to send an e-mail, I'm getting pretty tired of this sterereotyping. Of course, it's fun to be sarcastic and say that I live in a small farmhouse with no electricity and that I feed all the animals every morning.  

on Oct. 30 2010 at 12:54 pm
i have been homeschooled for 14 and i really hated it when someone would stereotyped and act as if i am stupid! soo i really loved this article it really spoke to me! thank you

claudia8965 said...
on Oct. 29 2010 at 11:09 pm

I know how you feel. I've been homeschooled sence 1'st grade, and I love it. The thing that gets on my nerves is that people think that being homeschooled means sitting at home and watching T.V.  What they don't know is that I'm 4 grades above what I should be for my age.


      It's quite irritating.



btwiamme said...
on Oct. 29 2010 at 10:58 pm
Great Article. I am currently homeschooled and have been for the past 2 years.  I just couldnt handle junior highschool. People can be cruel so I chose to do homeschooling. People act this way to me all the time and it hurts my feeling sometimes but I try to not let it get to me. Thank you for writing this article! It really gives me the confidence to not care what others think and just know that homeschooling was right for me and thats all that really matters.

on Oct. 29 2010 at 7:11 pm

alright, so i am homeschooled. im also normal. i play soccer for the high school in my town, i also run indoor and outdoor track. im in the high school chorus, and select choir. i  go on some of the fieldtrips with the school. like last wednesday i went to NYC with them. i read this article and thought, wow, it actually shocks me that people think badly of homeschoolers. ive been homeschooled since kindergarten. ( with the exception of half a year at a local private school, and another half a year at the local junior high ) and i have only twice gotten a bad remark. people generally think its pretty cool. others say wow, i never wouldve guessed youre homeschooled. and maybe there are some people out there who think im a freak, but you know what, thats okay. cuz i am who i am and i am proud of that. homeschoolers are sooo not freaks. and you know what, there are A TON of homeschoolers in this country. its actually pretty cool. keep spreading that awesome message "homeschoolers are NOOORMALLLLL!" i even designed a "yes im homeschooled so B4 U even ask" shirt. on the back, it has the answers to a bunch of common questions i get. its sick=)

just wanted to share on this convo=D


on Oct. 29 2010 at 6:40 pm

Good article!

I myself am not homeschool, never have been, never wanna be (I just don't think I could handle my mom that much haha!). I have some homeschooled kids on my swim team and like you, they are "normal", normal music, normal clothes, normal hair.

There are homeschoolers who are the stereotypes so that's why I think it still hangs around. And I am speaking for myself here, but I generally ask "do you like being homeschooled" or something along those lines because I am interested! I really wanna know! I don't mean it offensively, but I understand how that would become annoying. It is just that it isn't all that common so people have questions and stuff.

Thanks for the article :).

OwlCityGurl said...
on Oct. 29 2010 at 2:12 pm
Great Article ! I have been  homeschooled since second grade and when I was younger the number one question I was asked by other kids was "Do you do school in your pajama's"? Now that I am in high school the number one question is " Do you like being homeschooled ?" Its kinda annoying sometimes I mean do you think I would still be homeschooled if I hated it ? I mean seriously what parent wants to spend all day with a teenager who really would rather be someplace else if they had the choice?

smj4410 said...
on Oct. 29 2010 at 12:05 pm
smj4410, Plaquemine, Louisiana
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
what dont kill me only makes me strong

I love this article; it states that no matter who I am we are all the same. I was once a home school student myself, so I know how it feels for people to look at me with this dumb look. Going to public school is fun; I get to see my friends and get to learn at the same time.

on Oct. 28 2010 at 11:07 pm
RBrown201 BRONZE, Miami, Florida
3 articles 0 photos 21 comments

Iv'e received this stereotype before...I know how you feel. This is just another one of those things people don't understand unless they, in this case, are home schooled. I honestly don't mind homes schooling, but I really don't like it when people start narrowing me down as "oh, she doesn't know anything because she is home schooled." or "HOW can you HANDLE sitting at home all day doing nothing?" 

The dreaded question "Where do you go to school?" I try to avoid. Hard to do, but possible.

eelrtb BRONZE said...
on Oct. 28 2010 at 10:54 pm
eelrtb BRONZE, Spotsylvania, Virginia
1 article 0 photos 8 comments
i am not homeschooled so i can't really say i understand how you feel but i definitely agree with you.  i have found myself guilty of sterotyping homeschoolers but that was until i met someone who was homeschooled.  they have lives just like public school kids and have just as many friends.  i actually think homeschooling would be pretty nice because the drama isn't as intense!  Great article! i really think someone needed to speak their mind about this so other kids can relate.

kmb404 said...
on Oct. 28 2010 at 11:54 am
kmb404, Plaquemine, Louisiana
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
Being home schooled is not bad. It is just a different learning environment. No body should get picked on for getting home schooled, most of the time it is the parents decision. Some time it is better to get home schooled, because there area ton of drama at schools. People often get home schooled to get away from drama.

DNO414 BRONZE said...
on Oct. 28 2010 at 11:48 am
DNO414 BRONZE, Maringouin, Louisiana
1 article 0 photos 5 comments
I understand how people can be labeled as a stereotype.  A person who's in homeschool shouldn't have to be put down. Homeschool is another way of getting an education. Who's to say, the next president of the United States may hold  a homeschool education. Let's not judge each other on how we achieve our education.

JRA401 BRONZE said...
on Oct. 28 2010 at 11:41 am
JRA401 BRONZE, Plaquemine, Louisiana
2 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:

Home-schooling isn't so bad. It's just another learning environment. Being  away from my friends, having wonderful high school moments would be dreadful because homeschooling sounds extremely boring, having to be at home all hours of the day. I couldn't do it. Also i like to play sports, and I wouldn't be involved in extra curricular activities. People shouldn't be annoyed with the "what school you go to?" comments. Some may do better with homeschooling than public schools. As long as we are getting our education, it shouldn't matter.

308JJT BRONZE said...
on Oct. 28 2010 at 10:48 am
308JJT BRONZE, Plaquemine, Louisiana
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I understand the pain that this may cause. Being stereotyped just because someone doesn't attend public school isn't right. The part when you said,"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" made chills run through my body. The reason why is because on that part, I believe the author took charge. This article is life changing in a way. It make a person realize that some people that a person stereotypes is just like them.

Mtayy2000 said...
on Oct. 28 2010 at 7:39 am
oh trust me, i know exactly how you feel, i've been homeschooled for two years now to tell you the truth I LOVE IT! its WAY better then publicschools, i recently had to deal with the same stereotype and i get the same reaction everytime but now im not ashamed, cause i know im doing better than i was. so as the saying goes : you got it flant it.(Figuretively speaking of course) but yeah thanks alot cause all of us teens that are homeschooled want people to know that we do everything they do but deal with the drama of public schools ;p

LexiB SILVER said...
on Oct. 27 2010 at 6:47 pm
LexiB SILVER, Tallassee, Alabama
7 articles 0 photos 34 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous, do not be terrified, do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you where ever you go."

Joshua 1:9

I completley understand! It's annoying when I'm at the store on a Thursday and the clerk asks, "Is school out today?" Why can't some people mind their own buisness?

lph6605 BRONZE said...
on Oct. 26 2010 at 2:13 pm
lph6605 BRONZE, Plaquemine, Louisiana
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments
Tell the critics to mind their own business. If you are being home schooled exceptionally well, you shouldn't be ashamed about it. As long as you're getting a sufficient education, it doesn't matter where you get it from. People can be arrogant about others, but that's the imperfections of them, not you. 

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