The Random Writings of Rachel: Homeschoolers are Weird

Homeschoolers are Weird

Long, long ago, in a land far, far away--I was a homeschooled kid. I've thought for a long time about writing a post against unjust homeschooler stereotypes, but Angel tells me that I'm not the best person to dispel the "Homeschoolers are Weird" myth, because, well, I'm Rachel.

 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."

Odd.

34 comments:

  1. This post made me laugh... Malcolm was homeschooled and from what I've witnessed and heard, ALL these points apply to him too.

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  2. This made me laugh too - though I'm not homeschooled, and for that I can say "thank you Jesus". Because, really, I love my mom but she's... um..... well, she's excellent at percentages. So I guess we could have math lessons at the mall.

    At any rate, I did teach a lot of homeschooled children music lessons and that was pretty intense. In Connecticut, most homeschooled kids take the IOWA tests - I think that's what they are called... standardized testing at any rate.

    I once taught private music lessons to a family of 10. And when I walked into the house, all of their shoes were lined up in the hallway and all I could think was "that's a lot of feet". =) It was chaotic.

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  3. haha - my husband was taught at home - we have competitions of who is smarter; secretly, I can tell you....he wins most of the time. ha.

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  4. I really want to home-school my kids! I think its an awesome choice!

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  5. i always thought i would homeschool gage, but his personality is one that thrives with being around his peers. who knows with owsley though?

    this post made me giggle because one of my closest friends growing up was home schooled. she would agree with everything on this list.

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  6. You are funny! I wasn't homeschooled and I KNOW that I'm weird :-) We know lots of folks who homeschool and certainly believe there is a place for traditional school (especially since Kev teaches in the public school) as well - I say do what is best for each child and don't look back! Far too many people pass judgement on others because of their preferences and convictions. :-)

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  7. Yep. We homeschoolers are an odd bunch- and I wouldn't have it any other way :)

    #2 is definitely true for us! We have a main break during December instead of during the summer, because in the summer it's always too hot to do anything, and no one wants to do any school around Christmas time, anyway. Who wants to do math when you can sing Christmas carols and bake cookies?

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  8. Haha this was so funny to read. I was never home schooled, I had to go to public school and at one point my parents wanted to send me off to private school (yea, um no). There was a time when I wanted to be homeschooled because of all the tormenting (I was bullied as a kid) but I thought it would be even worse because kids would call me "weird."

    Looking back on it I would try home schooling, I mean who doesn't like making their own routine?!

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  9. I'll have to share this post with some of my friends who homeschool their kids. It's interesting getting the perspective from a "grown up" who had been homeschooled in their youth. :)

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  10. I was homeschooled for most of my childhood as well! It's funny how many people just assume we're maladjusted, anti-social, weird kids...but my mom was super careful to make sure we were involved in PLENTY of extracurricular activities, from sports to music lessons to homeschool groups where we actually got to take classes once a week with other homeschoolers...it made the transition a lot easier when I went to public school for high school, that's for sure. Most people didn't even believe I'd been homeschooled up until then!

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  11. I was homeschooled too! But only in first and second grade. I was too outgoing and social, and I got lonely just being with my sister and my mom all day, so I asked to be put in public school. But my mom eventually did go back to college and get her degree to teach kindergarten, so we all got what we wanted. :)

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  12. HAHAHA this literally made me laugh out loud. Because I was homeschooled, come from a large family, graduated highschool at 16, and experienced most of the above. Even with all that "weirdness" I would most likely homeschool my child, if I should ever have one! This is probably my favorite blog post ever. :)

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  13. haha yes! THIS is my husband exactly :) He was homeschooled.

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  14. This made me laugh. Many thanks for explaining, now I know why you are weird. But then, me, I am weird too, but I wasn't homeschooled, tho. Why, that's weird.

    Have a lovely day Rachel.
    Lenya

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  15. I worked with a girl who was homeschooled and she used to tell me all these stories about homeschooled life! It was kind of fun getting to learn a new perspective.

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  16. As a public school teacher, you'd think I might have negative opinions on home schooling, but the complete opposite is true! While it is true that I've seen a lot of cases where students were supposedly being homeschooled and never actually were, there are so many wonderful parents out there doing it right. I think there really are a lot of advantages, especially when it comes to pacing and studying your interests.

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  17. As a public school teacher, you'd think I might have negative opinions on home schooling, but the complete opposite is true! While it is true that I've seen a lot of cases where students were supposedly being homeschooled and never actually were, there are so many wonderful parents out there doing it right. I think there really are a lot of advantages, especially when it comes to pacing and studying your interests.

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  18. I loved being homeschooled! I remember always being jealous of my friends who had breaks. I always wished for a spring break. Never happened until I went to regular school.

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  19. I've heard lots of positive things about home schooling, although we choose to send our girls to public school. I think it would be extremely difficult to properly home school if both parents are working, but I do know someone who is trying to make that work. I love the idea of being able to take vacations during non-traditional vacation months! Have a great day. :)

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  20. I admire people who can homeschool. I've taught a lot of writing classes to homeschool groups and found the children to be lovely and intelligent. I personally couldn't do it-- I think I'd kill my children.

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  21. i feel like being able to take "breaks" whenever you want would be a huge advantage for vacations, instead of doing something the same week everyone else is!

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  22. My husband was homeschooled and he loved it. All of his siblings are weird, but incredibly smart and independent. I'm really hoping that we get to homeschool our kids because it's pretty awesome. Plus, public schools are a terrible and scary place.

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  23. I was homeschooled, and most of your points apply to me!! Love it!! hehehe
    I used to get tired of people asking questions about homeschool (do you get to sleep in? wear your pajamas to school? eat whenever you want to? etc etc), but now I totally talk homeschool up!!!! I'm glad I was homeschooled!

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  24. I didn't homeschool (although it was close, from k-4 grade I went to a school that had less than 12 people) and I've always thought it was pretty awesome and I would have excelled in an home schooling environment. Because seriously, I'm terrible at standardised tests. Like really bad.

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  25. this post made me smile because all of it IS TRUE!! :D i was homeschooled and am sooo thankful my parents chose to take that route. most of the time, if someone asked us what grade we were in, we would always look at mom: "What grade ARE we in?" haha!

    my sister is getting married next month--she is 19 years old--she has gotten so many: "You are so young!" but, really, she can mange a household thanks to the training that she was able to receive while being at home.

    great post, rachel.

    xo
    purposelyathome.blogspot.com

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  26. That first paragraph got me. I thought it was hilarious! And then the rest was of course....equally grand. Thanks for sharing and thanks for being you :)

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  27. Hahaha... love this post! My husband and I are thinking of homeschooling our kids when/if we have any. Now I have an idea of how they may turn out. ;)

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  28. Some of the most well equipped and ill-equipped students I have ever known were homeschooled. The difference between the two seems to be their parents' involvement in their schooling/lives. Funnily enough, that is a major factor in the success of public or private schooled students. I don't find homeschooled children any weirder than most, as a parent of an only child (another group that it stigmatized) I can say with boldness that ALL kids are weird (can also be read all kids are normal.) ;) Whether the child is an only child or from a family of multiple siblings, homeschooled, unschooled, private schooled, charter schooled, or public schooled, a child from a traditional or unconventional home, they are all wonderfully weird in their own way. Glad I found you through SITS. :)

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  29. Funny! I could never homeschool my kids because honestly, I don't have the patience. And I don't think I'm smart enough.

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  30. Ah, the homeschooling oddities . . . I know them well . . . It's funny how we do or don't fit all the stereotypes, isn't it?

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  31. Knowing nothing about homeschooling, this post was quite amusing for me. I've known a few people -- and taught one or two when I was an adjunct at a local college -- and never thought they were too off base. ;)

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  32. Homeschooling can be amazing depending on the parent/teacher and the child. They are usually way ahead of the public school system. Did you think going from a homeschool environment to a college environment was hard at all?

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  33. I find it such a shame that homeschooling is so often considered to be strange. If it is strange to some then great as the norm is so often mediocre. The individuality of learning, socialising and self-expression that can come of being taught at home can offer so much.

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  34. When I got to college I met several dancers who had been homeschooled and my first thought was ,"wow, they aren't weird at all." And then I felt bad because that's a terrible assumption. Honestly more often than not I feel like the weird one. Most people went to public school and I graduated from a small private school with only 30 students in my class, majority of whom I had been in class with since kindergarten. Oh, and our mascot was the confederate soldier and flag, the THA Rebels. Gotta love private school in the south.

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