At my high school graduation party.
So I figured, instead of dispelling it, why not embrace it? Homeschoolers really ARE weird because:
1. Unlike many kids/teenagers/moms given the opportunity to stay home all day with no outside responsibilities, homeschoolers might just wake up at ungodly hours of the morning, get dressed, and immediately open up math textbooks. Very often I'd come to the breakfast table at 7 a.m., claiming, "I've already read my chapter in my history textbook and I've done math for today and tomorrow." Sometimes there would be a little competition at breakfast over who had already completed the most amount of schoolwork. This competition happened because we had no set school hours--we were finished with school for the day whenever we were finished. Depending on how diligently we worked, that could be 11 a.m. or it could be 8 p.m. Weird.
2. Homeschoolers don't really understand the concept of "spring break", and sometimes, they don't even know what a "summer break" is. Some homeschoolers do school all year round, and they often take breaks for random vacations in mid-October or early February, when everyone else is stuck in school. Crazy.
3. Homeschoolers don't learn at the publically accepted pace. Some study Latin in elementary school, some graduate high school at 16, and some take two years to finish third grade because they need the extra time to really get a firm grasp on the basic concepts of language and arithmetic. How strange.
4. Standardized tests are unfamiliar to homeschoolers. Sure, sometimes they go into an ACT or SAT exam after having paged through an exam prep book and score in the top 1%....but standardized tests tend to be fairly foreign to homeschooled kids (except in those states that require yearly standardized tests). That whole page of circles that you have to fill in completely with a #2 pencil? We think it's bizarre.
5. Homeschoolers don't have classmates who aren't related to them. They might have classmates 5 years older and 3 years younger--someone available to read them a practice spelling test, and someone to go through a round of multiplication flash cards with, but they don't go to school with anyone their own age. Of course, they may have Sunday school classes, children's church, youth group meetings, and after-school drama club or gymnastics lessons or mission trips or a community soccer team....but they never truly experience the socialization that comes from spending 5 days a week in a room with 20 other children, so homeschoolers are most definitely not typical.
6. Homeschoolers dress weird and come from large families and get married off before they're even grown up. Well, I do. Actually, from what I've seen, this does not apply to most homeschoolers. Lots of them dress normally, some are only only children, and plenty don't get married until they reach a respectable age. So maybe homeschoolers are more normal than I might lead you to believe, but let's ignore that for the moment.
Homeschooling isn't for everyone, and that's probably a good thing, because you wouldn't want too many weirdos running around the world. By the way, if anyone is concerned about academic preparation, the homeschool experience has led my younger brother (a sophomore) to say, "Either homeschool was really hard, or college is just really easy."