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 Jun. 12 2010 at 5:01 pm
AnneOnnimous BRONZE, Peterborough Ontario, Other
3 articles 0 photos 147 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."
— John Green

I realy like this- it was well-written - but I think it would be more powerful if homechooled people were dscriminated against often. I'm not homeschooled, but when I hear that someone is, I make no assumptions.

on Jun. 10 2010 at 4:32 pm
daffodilsNblueskies SILVER, Clayton, North Carolina
9 articles 45 photos 15 comments
haha this article is great on sooo many levels :) I'm homeschooled and I think the most popular question people ask is "what about football games? you can't go to high school football games, can you?"

on May. 27 2010 at 1:04 pm
TygerShore SILVER, Coquitlam, BC, Other
5 articles 10 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It's not what you say, it's what you do."

"The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." ~Anaïs Nin

If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~To"

Great article, I just finished my schooling years (as a home-schooler) and have been stereotyped quite a bit.  I think it is hard for many "normal" school students to wrap their minds around how one would be able to spend all their day at home, but the truth is, we get out a lot.  Homeschooling offered flexibility, as long the work was getting done, we could take a day off here or there, go to the beach, do school in the park.

Keep up the good work :)

on May. 8 2010 at 5:13 pm
awesomeaugust GOLD, Boston, Massachusetts
10 articles 0 photos 176 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground"
~Theordore Roosevelt

Well, I'm not homeschooled, but for half of my second grade year I was, and it was one of the best choices I made! I didn't join any kind of homeschooling group, so I had plenty of time to bond with my mom and I'm gratful for the great relationship we have today as a result of those 90 days. Of course, younger kids are more accepting, so I never got any weird looks or questions, but I can sympathize- I used to live in California and got questions like "Have you ever seen snow?" or when I answered no "Did you have Christmas, then?" Anyway, I'm glad that I switched to public school but wouldn't give up that homeschooling for anything- I was the most carefree I have ever been- Thanks so much for wriitng this!


Kate_P SILVER said...
on May. 5 2010 at 8:02 am
Kate_P SILVER, Ijamsville, Maryland
5 articles 2 photos 2 comments
YES! Thank you, this is exactly what I go through all the time. 

on Apr. 26 2010 at 8:36 pm
Ashley_Tucker, Granger, Indiana
0 articles 0 photos 66 comments

Favorite Quote:
Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real? ~ Albus Dumbledore

FINALLY! I can't tell you how much this annoys me! I get out more than highschoolers do. I'm completely normal. I don't see what's so akward to people. I get to sleep in and finish before lunch. Which leaves me half a day left to excercise, read and write(by choice), mess around, hang at the mall...AND my weekend isn't filled with huge projects. I have have tons of friends and because of my open schedual I get to bond with them. Whereas most highschoolers think bonding is passing notes in class, gossiping, mumbling while working on a project, and sitting around on friday night because there to tired to do anything else. In my opinion public school is weird, boring, stressful, dramatic, and a waste of time.

pmkenzie said...
on Apr. 21 2010 at 8:22 pm
pmkenzie, ,, Other
0 articles 11 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love." - Professor A. Dumbledore

I absolutely love this article.  This happens to me all the time.  And hahaha, you're description of the typical homeschooler made me laugh.  When people find out I'm homeschooled, they always ask how many siblings I have and how many dresses I own.  They're always quite shocked when I answer one to each of their questions.

pmkenzie said...
on Apr. 21 2010 at 8:19 pm
pmkenzie, ,, Other
0 articles 11 photos 20 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love." - Professor A. Dumbledore

That stuff depends on where you live.  Where I live, she'd be described as a normal teenager.

Maggster said...
on Apr. 21 2010 at 5:45 pm

ok yeh, i no exactly how all this feels and all that stuff... yep all thhhat skinny jeans + uggs yeppers!


dead teen said...
on Apr. 21 2010 at 5:11 pm
lets c were do i begin? im olso homeschooled & it really sucks tho. i wouldnt be in the 9th grade. i would be in the 11 this fall. (due to a set back on the type of school) i use a comp.. for school & trust me for those who home school. like use teens we really hate this i would give any  thing to go to a public shcool. NO JOKE

paperflowers said...
on Apr. 21 2010 at 4:59 pm
paperflowers, Imaginary, Indiana
0 articles 0 photos 176 comments
lucky you. I used to do that when I was eschooled. I think it depends on what you're doing in school. For example, I will have to go all summer to finish 9th grade, because what I am doing in school is advanced compared to most homeschoolers I've found, and it takes me a lot longer to understand it, so I can't take a lot of days off.

hp1234 said...
on Apr. 21 2010 at 4:49 pm
i am also homeschooled and the question "can you take days off whenever you want" is not a stupid question. my mom wouldnt let just have the day off if i want to but if we both agree it wont hurt i mean its not like i am going to miss anything. we take the entire month of december off and still get out before the people in public school.

on Apr. 21 2010 at 2:32 pm

Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm homeschooled too. I hate it when even ADULTS look down on me & are like, "I'm so sorry. Are you going to high school?" "Um, no. I don't want to." "Really?! But you'll miss everything!"

I mean, really?! We have dances & proms & graduations & field trips, I';m in a homeschool group, & I have 230 friends on Facebook. I'm busier with friends than public/private school kids, & more socalized than a lot of people; so are my homeschool friends.

Grr sterotypes. xD

on Apr. 21 2010 at 12:44 pm
TheStoryWeaver GOLD, Sofia, Other
12 articles 4 photos 40 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The Aenied is an Odyssey of epic proportions." - Caleb
"Eve was deceived and ate the fruit, Adam ate it out of stupidity." - Mr. M
"Begone ye map of woe!"
"I'm the map..." - Lydia and Caleb.

hahaha, i go to a "school" that's so small it's really a homeschool co-ed. parents are teachers, we get random days off etc., and i can totally relate. the hardest question for me is what grade are you in?. :p

on Apr. 21 2010 at 12:27 pm
patrickj96 BRONZE, Westminster, Maryland
3 articles 0 photos 21 comments
i no right! (btw skinny jeans and uggs rock!) lol

Mzsexy said...
on Apr. 21 2010 at 12:17 pm

What a great article. I'm glad you wrote this. I'm so tired of people looking at me weird when I say I'm homeschooled. The only person who never did that was a guy from a coffee shop who just said 'cool', we're dating now ;)

 Now that i'm graduating I look back and remember all the times i would complain and wish I were in high school like the 'normal kids'. I'm so glad I stayed homeschooled. I have a wonderful relationship with my parents, plenty of volunteer opportunities, a ton of college scholarships, and incredible friends. I love my life and wouldn't do things any different!

lexlex5 said...
on Apr. 21 2010 at 10:54 am
Oh my gosh, this hit it right on!  I'm homeschooled too (I go to a program once a week with a teacher, then do all the work at home)... but the majority of my friends are public-schooled, and I'm just like everyone else! I have a cellphone, a facebook, and get together to go shopping with my friends all the time! Except you forgot to mention that homeschooled kids are typically more well-rounded, and score better on college entrance exams than the average Joe. :)

jojo said...
on Apr. 21 2010 at 10:51 am

I totally agree with you people ask me and then feelsorry for me, like i don't have a life. I'm not long dresses, and junk like that Im skinny jeans and uggs!


on Apr. 13 2010 at 1:54 pm
lesliej94 BRONZE, Harrisonville, Missouri
3 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to's about learning to dance in the rain"...
"Your 20's are for you to have fun, your 30's are for you to learn the lesson's and your 40's is for you to pay for the drinks"~Sex and the City

I am not homeschooled, but I had a friend who was home schooled and it actually seems fun, you still get the same oppurtunities you do in public school, you just do it at a different place. I think that no one should stereo-type just because you go to a different place to learn. Good FOR YOU! :)

brandisky said...
on Apr. 13 2010 at 10:17 am
i'm with you homie! im homeschooled too, and im just as weird as any other 14 year old chicka(: i have friends in public school, and my brother is in public high school. idon't really care if people ask what school i go to. let them think what they want. i march to the beat of my own drum.  xD

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