1. Are home-schoolers socialized? / Do home-schoolers have any friends?
A. This is a really common question. Unless you’re home schooled yourself you might think it’s just an innocent question, but honestly it’s rude. I try to put up with it, because I know it’s a basic fear people have for their kids. And the answer is yes, of course we’re socialized. I can’t speak for all home-schoolers, because honestly I have met some with terrible social skills. But I’ve met just as many un-social kids that go to school. Public school does not have a monopoly on socialization. Unless you’re a hermit you really can’t escape being socialized. Learning any sort of skill, like ice skating, knitting, wood shop, whatever, will end up being a type of socialization. Part time jobs, (which are easy to get with such a flexible school schedule) internships, just about anything worthwhile has a social element. Meeting friends is the same way. Seek out things that interest you and you will find people that share your interests. It’s a universal thing.
2. Are home-schoolers all overly religious nuts with 20 siblings and homemade clothes?
A. No. It only seems that way because each family like that has so many kids. Seriously though, that is a common misconception and I’m not really sure how it started, although I would like to blame the Duggars for the bad publicity. The truth is that there are so many different types of home-schoolers, just like there are all different types of public-schoolers. You have your over-achievers, your under-achievers, and yes, even jocks, nerds, geeks, etc.
3. Why do you home-school?
A. It depends on the person. Some ballerinas, models, and motorcycle racers, among others, just want to finish school as quickly as possible so they can do what they love before they’re too old. Some kids were pulled out of school because they were bullied, some kids (like me) never went to school and were home schooled from the start of their education or simply chose it after trying both methods. It’s not a universal thing. Are you seeing a pattern here?
4. Do you like being home-schooled?
A. Of course I do. It may not be for everyone, but the flexible schedule gives me time to do things that matter to me, and pursue my interests. And I really do think most home-schoolers feel the same way. It’s not a punishment, it’s just a different way of reaching the same goal.