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.

DayDreamer23 said...
on Jan. 12 2010 at 12:52 am
DayDreamer23, Massillon, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I am home schooled too, and I feel everything that you do. I hate how some people think that home schoolers live under rocks and have no friends. All the shows on tv give home schoolers a bad name.

on Jan. 6 2010 at 3:47 pm
AquariusSunandMoon SILVER, Sublette, Illinois
8 articles 17 photos 69 comments
I'm homeschooled and have never once come across someone who thought I was weird because of it. In fact they usually think it's really cool. As for the "do you have friends?" question the answer is "yes". Although I don't have as many as I'm sure I would if I went to a public school I really don't care! I even think that being homeschooled has given me the ability to fit in with all kinds of age groups and not just people my age. In fact I often find it much easier to talk to an adult then a fellow teenager since I am in lots of ways different from them. ;)

on Jan. 3 2010 at 2:39 pm
Nicolioliolsterz_1 GOLD, Manassas, Virginia
14 articles 0 photos 21 comments

Favorite Quote:
All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, losing, cheating, and mediocrity is easy. Stay away from easy.
Scott Alexander

A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day.
Emily Dickinson

Not knowing when the dawn will come I open every door.
Emily Dickinson

I have a lot of friends around my neighborhood that are homeschooled so I'm really glad to see that someone else, who's actually home schooled, feels the same way I do. I personally have always wanted to be homeschooled because I feel that when you are you're more priviledged because your not exposed to peer pressure and that kinda stuff.But great article!!

on Dec. 31 2009 at 12:17 am
Writer24 SILVER, Acton, Massachusetts
5 articles 0 photos 41 comments
I agree a lot! I'm homeschooled and I hate being asked where I go to school. But unlike what you mentioned I don't think people really act that weird about it, I just always think they will.

on Dec. 23 2009 at 11:38 am
montana PLATINUM, Parker, Colorado
41 articles 2 photos 93 comments

Favorite Quote:
cliche quotes I have are.....
I know, right? and..... Are you kidding me?

Really good article. Do u think u can comment on my work thx

on Dec. 23 2009 at 11:37 am
montana PLATINUM, Parker, Colorado
41 articles 2 photos 93 comments

Favorite Quote:
cliche quotes I have are.....
I know, right? and..... Are you kidding me?

I've kinda always wanted to be homeshcooled...

jenny said...
on Nov. 5 2009 at 12:34 am
I Know how you feel i am homeschooled becuse my local highschools are packed with students and no one really learns when i tell people im homeschooled they think it is because im an outcast thats not smart enough to be in regular school so thanks for putting this out there.

on May. 21 2009 at 1:40 am
Wow, your lucky that had a somewhat good time being a homeschooler. Unlike me. :(

JessB. BRONZE said...
on Feb. 24 2009 at 3:58 pm
JessB. BRONZE, Dallas, Texas
4 articles 31 photos 50 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still!"
- Corrie ten Boom

I, too, am homeschooled. And I'm so sick of the stereotyping! Thanks for getting this out there - obviously, from all the comments from homeschoolers, it is much appreciated.

I like the voice behind your work. Look forward to reading more!

~ Jess

P.S. Feel free to check out my work on's an interesting piece. ;)

AlexxxX GOLD said...
on Feb. 19 2009 at 11:40 pm
AlexxxX GOLD, Wichita, Kansas
18 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
\"A wise man makes more oppatunities then he finds\"

I know what that was like, I was home schooled for a year and a half and I just recently started back at public school and I am just like my friends I am a normal teenager and I dont care what people think of homeschoolers, cause anyone on the inside knows what they are like.

Cathryn said...
on Feb. 13 2009 at 1:46 pm
I knew two people who were homeschooled. They went to public for a while but then went back to home school and they were just like everyone else, though, my friends have always been the odd balls. Personally homeschooling seems like such a better choice then public school and i wish i could have done it but alas, i write this from my school's computer. Oh well. Good Article and i hope people learn from this.

tweedle dee said...
on Jan. 12 2009 at 1:52 am
yeah! my family started homeschooling this year (i'm a freshman) and lots of people think my parents are sheltering me or something. it's always "oh, well have you heard of the internet" or "wow, so do you forget how to talk" but actually my social life is better cause i'm hanging out with better people and less blonde idiots. plus i can do fencing and lots more art and i write poetry too! and i've made tons of friends that i would never have met otherwise!!! and my three best friends from public school i still talk to and hang out with alot but we're closer almost cause we dont see eachother everyday so it's nice to spend time. i just love it so much better and i've started just ignoring everyone who thinks i'm some sort of hermit. i LOVE the article, thanks soooooo much for writing it and showing people that homeschoolers arent antisocials who are scared of the world and are either super smart or dumb. i'm sending this to all my homeschool freinds!!!

Scarlett D. said...
on Jan. 6 2009 at 6:12 pm
I'm home schooled too! or I was, I graduated and received my diploma. I went through everything you described. Great piece!

shadowpoet said...
on Dec. 30 2008 at 8:24 am
heyy i'm homeschooled too and i've been asked if i was allowed to graduate.. like really?? no i'll be stuck in 12th grade forever... lol

Katie F. said...
on Dec. 13 2008 at 1:25 am
This was amazzzing i was homeschooled too and i thought the same things as u :) its nice to know someone feels the same way as i do :):):)

Thanks again

on Oct. 29 2008 at 8:26 pm
Catie, I never read this - good job, again!!!!!

Christy<3 said...
on Oct. 27 2008 at 4:03 pm
Hey Catie, this is your good ol' friend from Africa :) this is a great article. i love it! i've read it twice now :) i've written a bunch of poems on this site. do you think you could comment them and vote for them? i write under the pen name Christy Cee. i've published about 9 poems on here. miss you so much!

dancergrl said...
on Oct. 24 2008 at 1:35 am
I agree with everybody else! At first I pictured you as a kind of mousy little person who looked like a 40 year old woman in a teenagers body. But you definately changed my perspective! Thank you so much. You see, I know this girl, and she definately fits the defintion, so I'm sorry to say I jumped to conclusions.

good_evening said...
on Oct. 24 2008 at 12:22 am
Man! I totally relate to this! I've been homeschooled all my life, and I'm a senior this year. I HATE the lame sterotypes about homeschoolers, too, with the jean dresses and greasy hair, and I get the shocked response as well when I tell people I'm homeschooled. It's a relief for me too :)

beandog said...
on Oct. 23 2008 at 10:46 pm
Excellent piece of work! I was home schooled all my life until 9th grade :D This helped me not be ashamed of my old life! Thanks a bundle!

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