(This picture was taken my a wonderful friend of mine at school)
I have never felt ashamed of the fact that I was homeschooled(I get to use the past tense now!) and if I ever am it is only because I am ashamed of other homeschooler stupidity and rudeness. The fact that I was homeschooled is a huge part of my identity how I see myself. It doesn’t mean I see myself as hugely different form society rather only that I have a more different style of education.That doesn’t mean that I have not had negative experiences from being homeschool, there are several. I remember when I was little maybe 6 years old I told it to some neighbor boys and they seemed to think that maybe I was stupid because I didn’t go to school like them. At the time I found it hurtful and from then on avoided the other kids in the neighborhood. Later however I could not avoid when they came and talked to me one girl it seemed delighted in making fun of us in front of my sisters and I and she seemed to think we were too stupid to understand that was what she was doing. It got to the point where I would make some excuse to stop riding my bike and go in the house when ever she came down to our part of the neighborhood. I was not sure how to deal with it as I was only 9 or 10. Because of all these negative experiences as a child I came up with a stereo type that public schooled kids were rude, mean, and stupid.
Later when my family left our old church(where 99 % of the population was homeschoolers) and started going to our current church I met public schooled kids(and private school) who seemed to be much nicer. I was still wary of them but as I got to know them and be friends with them I found my stereo type to be wrong. Which I was secretly relieved about because I didn’t want to go through my life having to deal with people being mean to me all the time.
That does not mean unpleasant experiences have stopped. At a birthday party for a friend I was asked the inevitable question that I loathed “where do you go to school?” and I replied with the answer that gets mixed reception “Oh, I don’t go to school I am homeschooled.” After that these two girls didn’t want to talk to me and avoided me for the rest of the party.
In college I have found that less people really seem to be bothered by where I got my education. They seem to be more open to homeschooling and even find it cool. One friend told me I was lucky because I had not had to deal with the bullying and other crap she had had to deal with in her school. There was one guy who I don’t think realized how rude he was being when he told me that I must have hated being homeschooled and how horrible it must have been for me. It really ruffled my feathers that he assumed I must have had a negative experience when really I had a positive one. However most of my friends have found it to be cool and don’t think I am a weirdo, or at least I am no weirder than they are. They really don’t actually care about where I got my education but rather whether my education was a good one.
Homeschooling gave me a chance to really focus and work on my weaknesses and explore my strengths. I worked hard at school in high school because I enjoyed it. I love learning and school. Lots of people sometimes assume that because I was homeschooled I had loads of free time. I really didn’t I worked on school for 6 to 7 hours a day. Maybe I did have more free time than my peers who went to school because homework does not work the same way when you are homeschooled, but that does not mean I didn’t work as hard.
Granted there are homeschoolers who’s necks I want to wring sometimes because they really are not doing the work and don’t seem to care about their education. I really get mad about homeschoolers who don’t really do school. It makes me so mad! They could have the best education they could possibly want but they are not doing the work! Words cannot express how frustrated and angry it makes me.
Back to homeschooler vs. publicschooler.
I think a lot of my negative experiences have to do with negative stereo types about homeschooled kids. I think most of them just don’t know what it really is and so they don’t know how to relate to us. I think kids are more prone to snub others who are not like them than adults are. At least that is the what I think based on my experience in college. I wish that homeschoolers would stop stereo typing publicschoolers, and publicschoolers would stop stereo typing homeschoolers then we could all sit down and find we are not so different after all.
I know I have a few homeschool followers and public school. How has your experience as a homeschooler been? Or for my public school friends what has your experience with homeschoolers been?
Lots of love!