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 Apr. 3 2010 at 5:03 pm
GzusFreak10 GOLD, Staten Island, New York
17 articles 0 photos 102 comments
I'm also horrible at spelling. Wow. Sterio-typical. hehehe. : )

on Apr. 3 2010 at 5:02 pm
GzusFreak10 GOLD, Staten Island, New York
17 articles 0 photos 102 comments
Right on, sister! I'm a homeschooler, too, and although i'm a little more sheltered than some other people, i can still be cool! Ask anyone who knows me, and u'll get a wide variety of answers, but no one will say that i'm ur sterio-typical homeschooler! Keep writing!

patrickj said...
on Apr. 2 2010 at 8:30 am
Yes, I defiantly agree with you! I have been homeschooled all my life, and I'm sick of being stereotyped as well. I mean, come on! I don't wear a suit and crap... I don't only listen to christian music... I like rap, metal, rock... and am tired of this crap I get from public schoolers.

Reason said...
on Mar. 31 2010 at 4:12 pm
Hmm this interested me and it made me think well maybe it shouldn't even be called Homeschooled maybe you can just say I'm doing an Alternate education path, (or something a little less wordy.) It's ridcuolous this stigmatism about being homeschooled who cares! Your getting educated I'm getting educated good for us. (there's much bigger issues than whether someone is home or not.)

on Mar. 30 2010 at 6:10 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

the only thing is, I don't know any teenage girls like you, lol. I live in Canada, and my friends and I never eat mcDonalds, drink strabucks coffee all the time, and think MySpace is stupid. We only like dreadlocks on hot GUYS, we don't like rock music all that much- Lady Gaga is better- and haven't painted our nails lime green since we were 12.

I don't mean to be rude or anything- i just want to point out that you can't assume you're an average teenage girl, because "average" changes from place to place and you only end up making people feel awkward.

paperflowers said...
on Mar. 29 2010 at 9:06 am
paperflowers, Imaginary, Indiana
0 articles 0 photos 176 comments
I am homeschooled :) I mostly just get, "do you like it?" and "does your mom teach you?" (only for biology because science is not my best subject) and I think only once or twice has someone said "oh, you can just get days off whenever you want." and I'm like, "Um, no." and make them realize how stupid that statement was.

Cindy v said...
on Mar. 23 2010 at 1:43 pm
There *is* no such thing as a typical homeschooled child. Sometimes I think "home"school is a misnomer. It makes people think that people stay home all day, when that's really not the case for many people. Homeschool families can take advantage of the richness of opportunities the world affords.

on Mar. 22 2010 at 6:44 pm
Frog-Prince PLATINUM, Lakeside, California
33 articles 0 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it"

i suport your oppinion 100% i think people are really getting anoying with the same question.I am homeschooled and i have more of a life then anyone who has ever asked me that.homeschoolers rule! =)

Liana BRONZE said...
on Mar. 20 2010 at 9:54 am
Liana BRONZE, Hickory, North Carolina
3 articles 0 photos 4 comments
I'm a homeschooler too. Thank you for writing this article.

on Mar. 12 2010 at 12:59 am
Homeschoolerevangeline BRONZE, BUKIT BERUANG. MELAKA, Other
1 article 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
When the dreams that you dream seems to disappear from view, that's the time to fight on and soon they'll all come through.

As a homeschooler, I understand what you mean. It's difficult... people have a certain perception of what homeschoolers are like. The typical question that I get is,"And what about your exams? You don't take exams???(this would be said in a I-wonder-how-she-would-be-able-to-go-to-college tone)." People think that we hardly do any schoolwork. All this has made me all the more proud to be a homeschooler.

on Mar. 9 2010 at 10:05 pm
naturelover123 BRONZE, San Francisco, California
2 articles 0 photos 50 comments
Homeschooling is cool! People probably just don't hear about it that maybe they don't know what to think.

Wandinee said...
on Mar. 3 2010 at 2:57 pm
Many American presidents were homeschooled. We appreciate learning and teaching from home but moved to a small community where the school nearby was filled with christian teachers and that made it easier to decide for our children to go there. They all comleted school. Good job on this writing.

Essie SILVER said...
on Feb. 28 2010 at 7:26 pm
Essie SILVER, Richmond, Illinois
5 articles 1 photo 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
When in doubt...make your character climb up a tree :)

I know exactly how you feel! A girl who I work with was talking about homeschoolers (badmouthing, I should say) and I just said "I'm homeschooled." And walked away.

A. C. said...
on Feb. 28 2010 at 12:57 am
A. C., La Mesa, California
0 articles 0 photos 6 comments
I know exactly what you mean! I'm doing an independent study program for high school and when people at my work find out they say homeschoolers are freaks and generally weird people. This stereotype is so rediculous! We are like anyone else, just with different opportunities. Great piece here!

on Feb. 27 2010 at 10:49 pm
a.warren BRONZE, Billings, Montana
1 article 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Fear only fear it`s self"

I was homeschooled for kindergraden and first grade. but i got really bored and didn`t want to do it any more

annebeme said...
on Feb. 6 2010 at 1:43 pm
I know I wouldn't react to your homeschooling like that. I don't judge as far as I know. I would be really interested in your choice, maybe ask you if you've ever been to a public school and what the difference is and etc. I'm glad you're out to change the stereotyping!

on Feb. 6 2010 at 8:09 am
sharksrockstar BRONZE, Knoxville, Tennessee
3 articles 0 photos 6 comments
Stereotyping is awful. I'm a cheerleader and I get stereotyped daily. Just because I'm a cheerleader means I have to be blonde and stupid. Yeah, I'm blond, but I'm not stupid. I'm in all AP classes. Plus, half the people that make fun of me, are in lower classes than me. Talk about insecurites.

on Feb. 6 2010 at 12:37 am
monkeygirl14 SILVER, Auburn, Washington
7 articles 1 photo 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
Love can't be searched for,
Love can't be paid for,
Love is hard to find,
but once you find love,
you will want to leave everything else behind,
Come find me, the love of my life!

I was homeschooled and skipped two grades because of it. Everybody stereotyped me too and it really sucked. I got over it eventually and now I am just trying to enjoy my Junior Year of High School. BTW that would be public school I switched during Freshman Year.

StPenguin said...
on Jan. 29 2010 at 8:45 am
Yay for homeschooling! You seemed to get the exact idea you wanted to convey across- great job!

partylover#1 said...
on Jan. 26 2010 at 10:12 am
I am home schooled too and i totally agree with your essay. i got to dances and I'm not antisocial. people at my school think being home schooled is cool. i liked how you said people think home schooled kids have 16 siblings because i have 9. i grew up in a family of 12 counting parents. people need to know that we aren't hillbilly's. my brothers a D.O and he was named best of his class. I enjoy being home-schooled. thats how i got my first job. because i could work when other kids couldn't. I really liked your essay. thanks for writing it :D

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