8 Things Every Homeschooler Hears at Least Once

Let's look at some questions brought on by common homeschool myths.

Ah, homeschool myths. Are there any home educating families who are immune to their consequences? I’m going to say no.

As we start our 11th year of homeschooling tomorrow (yikes!), I thought I would commemorate this occasion by dedicating a post to some questions I think every single homeschooled child has heard at some point in their lives.

While the topics of these questions run the gamut from academics to extracurricular activities, they all have one thing in common: they’ve been perpetuated by some insanely false notions about what education and real life actually look like.

Here is my attempt to  briefly explain why these inquiries are completely off the mark, and why people need to stop asking them.

8 Questions Every Homeschooler Hears at Least Once

Stop asking these questions of homeschoolers!

1. What’s 8 x 7?

(Or 12 x 2, or what year did Columbus sail the ocean blue, or who was the first President, or…)

I honestly don’t understand why people feel the need to quiz homeschoolers. Our public education system is failing miserably, yet most people would never even think to grill a public school student.

Stop interrogating homeschoolers. Not only is it not helpful, but it is embarrassing to them and extremely rude.

Next.

 

2. Can you read?

You might assume people are asking this question of 5- and 6-year-olds. That assumption would be partially correct. Believe it or not, there are people who feel perfectly comfortable directing this question at 12-year-old homeschoolers. (I know. It’s happened to us.)

I find it quite a bit ironic that people have the notion that children who are homeschooled can’t read when public high school students are graduating while being functionally illiterate.

Here’s a fun fact: the literacy rate in the U.S. was higher before compulsory schooling was instituted, and that still holds true today.

 

3. Is your mom (or dad) a teacher?

I can understand where people who don’t know anything about home education might be coming from with this question.

The quick answer to that is that, while some homeschool parents might certainly be certified teachers, most are not. A teaching degree has no bearing on a dedicated parent’s ability to educate their children.

Honestly, I feel sad that so many people have forgotten that parents were the primary teachers of their children for almost all of history. Teaching has only been an actual career for a small amount of time.

 

4. Don’t you feel like you’re missing out on the real world?

Here’s the truth – sitting in a building all day long at a desk is not the real world.

On the other hand, homeschoolers are more likely to interact in their community because living and learning are intertwined. The best learning happens through life itself.

 

5. Do you ever get to see kids your own age?

Before I answer that, I’d like to point out one thing: this whole idea of “socialization” never came about until compulsory schooling was in place.

The idea that kids absolutely must spend the day with a group of kids their own age is actually contrary to what happens in the real world. Think about it. The only place this will ever happen is school. It never happens in the adult world. Ever.

And let’s not forget that school children are continuously told by their teachers that they’re not there to socialize. Am I wrong?

With that being said, yes, children do enjoy being around other children. School is hardly the only place for that. Homeschoolers have opportunities to make friends in their neighborhoods, in sports programs, in extracurricular activities, at co-ops, at church, etc.

Might I add that with the lack of supervision in schools, I’m glad my kids aren’t getting their “socialization” there.

 

6. Don’t you want to go to college?

This is another question that has no foundation in reality.

Several years ago, the mother of one of my daughter’s friends was trying to tell my daughter that she could never go to college because she’s homeschooled.

False.

Colleges like Harvard are actually recruiting homeschoolers. To put it bluntly, homeschoolers know how to learn while much of public education is merely memorization (and indoctrination).

To be quite honest, I find it a bit tiresome that people are so obsessed with college in the first place, but I covered that a few months ago, so moving on…

 

7. What about prom??

This one really gets me. Why would anyone sacrifice their child’s education (and well-being) for one night that is quickly forgotten and will have no impact on their child’s adult life? I wouldn’t consider it a positive thing to have an adult whose entire existence revolved around the fact that they were prom king or queen.

Are we really this shallow?

Now that I got that out of the way, there are homeschool proms that teens can attend if they choose to. So far, none of my kids have been interested, but in the event one of my kids ever does want to go, at least I know that I won’t have to protect my kids’ eyes at a homeschool prom.

 

8. What about sports?

Like the prom question, this just isn’t something that is worth sacrificing a child’s education over. I understand that some kids are athletically gifted, but there are alternatives, such as youth leagues and organizations like Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Here in PA, by law, homeschoolers are allowed to try out for school sports teams. (I have found in my own district, however, that the coaches will give preference to public school students.)

Again, though, homeschooling is about priorities. To me, education and a Christian upbringing will win out every single time.

 

So now it’s your turn. Did I miss anything? What questions have your kids been asked?

 

 

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Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

26 thoughts on “8 Things Every Homeschooler Hears at Least Once”

  1. Do your parents force you to homeschool? As if no child/teen in their right mind would choose to be homeschooled. But mine had no desire to return to the crap they put up with in public school.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was raised in such of a small community that all high schoolers were allowed to attend Prom all 4 years. I attended all 4……and don’t remember much of any of them!! Ha! (And It wasn’t because of drinking. I didn’t drink one sip all thru high school. Completely sober and still don’t remember much of them! Ha! ). I DO remember one of the prom’s theme was, though, because my class was in charge of it. Ready for it’s theme? Here it comes…….”The Wizard of Oz”……I thought I’d point that out Mrs. “There’s No Place Like Home” 🙂 Wink wink wink. (Or shall I say, “Click your heels together three times and say ‘There’s no place like home’ and you’ll be there.”). HaHa!

    From Leslie, the Kansan

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My kids have answered that we don’t do grades. That might give the asker something to think about. Thankfully, we don’t have to be like the government (public) schools!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I tell my kids to answer with their age. I never understood why in this country, when you ask someone “how old were you when ….you broke your leg, or anything else,” the answer is ALWAYS ” I was in 3rd grade” or any other grade number. Since I did not grow up here, the grade level was no indication of the age, (it is now, 15 years layer,) so i had to reiterate my question…” SO, how old were you?”😀 It s been a pet peeve of mine for a long time, and even more now that we homeschool. Kids are not a grade level, but yet that is how they are growing to think of themself even when they become adult…they think of their childhood as grades…even for things outside of school….sad.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are so right! I notice this, too. But, I also think it’s weird that everyone is obsessed with asking children how old they are. I have thrown people off and asked, “And how old are YOU?” when they ask my kids. People usually laugh and I think they get the point. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Bravo! I’m so old now I can’t remember all the questions people asked my children. I know my son was upset when one of his older friends who was in high school asked him to solve a math problem we hadn’t covered yet. He told my husband, and my husband, who was teaching the math, asked the friend a couple of questions my son could answer and the friend couldn’t. After that the friend gained some respect for what we were doing at home. When my son died in an accident at a church outing, we didn’t even know all of the 400 people who were at his memorial service. Many were adults he’d met while riding his bike around the neighborhood, or people whose dogs he’d seen running loose that he kept at home until their owners got home from work and he could return them.

    As far as socialization goes, it improved when he started homeschooling. He formed friendships with people of all ages. One of his best friends was a fireman who lived on the corner. He gave Jason his first lawn mowing job and also let Jason help him work on his boat and do other mechanical things. Mothers of Jason’s friends at church reported that Jason was the only one who would come up and talk to them at their car windows when they came to pick up their children from youth group meetings. We lived three blocks from church, so he rode his skateboard.

    The seniors group also called him to come help on the days they folded church bulletins. One day while riding his bike to check on a local construction project, he met a geologist and talked to him while he was working. He was delighted to answer Jason’s questions and even sent him home with some “clay” from the site. Jason reported that they were actually building those houses over an earthquake fault. Jason was curious and loved to learn from anyone who had something interesting to teach. He checked that construction site daily, usually before the workers started work. He’d arrive on his bike during the time they were drinking coffee.

    Mothers from church called him to “babysit” their young sons because they loved to play with him. Sometimes he would go play with them when their parents were home if his older friends weren’t available. He was a Boy Scout. He had friends his own age he’d share common interests with. He liked to ride bikes with his best friend who was his age. He liked to build things with another friend — a foster child who was very difficult to get along with and had no other friends. Jason understood that experience since he was also a foster child before we adopted him at age five. I should add that although I met Jason because he started a conversation with me in my front yard, his social worker told me he was non-verbal. Later experience showed that social workers were the only people he avoided whenever possible. They had a way of disrupting his life. When he was four and five, he must not have said much to them. When he was older he hid recording devices under the furniture during their visits so he could document their conversations for his own protection.

    Most of the incidents described below occurred when Jason was twelve or older. He was gifted at making friends on his own and he knew how to carry on a conversation with people of any age. He was accepting of children who didn’t fit in and were often ignored by their peers. The seniors at church enjoyed being with him. He didn’t ignore adults the way many of his peers did. His big social disadvantage with people his own age was our lack of a TV. He couldn’t discuss the shows people his own age were watching — unless he watched them at their houses. But he didn’t spend too much time inside their houses. He preferred to be doing something with them outside. Most people his own age used TV shows they watched as the main thing they could talk about with friends. Sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I can’t think of any dumb questions we’ve received. Most people clam up and don’t know what to say. I’ve had more people praise it and say they wish they could homeschool, or ask me “how do you do it?” like I’m a magician of some sort. I have had negative comments from my in-laws though. My BIL (6th grade social studies teacher) said “you’ll regret it.” And my FIL said “you can’t keep them from the real world forever.” I ignored them both. My kids are taking music lessons and PE, in 4-H, rifle club, archery, and were also going to enrichment classes once a week and learning sign language. Like how sheltered do you think my children are? It’s laughable. People are so ignorant. I always chalk up the dumb comments to ignorance. It’s the only way I can keep myself sane.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. My kid is too young for anyone to ask her anything but plenty of questions had been thrown at me. What takes the cake is this question “Are you so poor that you can’t afford to send your kid to school hence the homeschooling?”

    Liked by 1 person

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