Hello, everyone! It’s Meghan from Reading, Writing and Homeschooling here. I’m back with another Ask A Homeschool response. Today, we’re going to be answering Jessica’s question. Here’s what she writes:
I am a 16-year-old high school sophomore who has been home schooled my entire life. I wanted to ask about homeschooling and friends. I have a fair number of friends, but none that I would call “best friends” who I can tell anything to. I don’t even hang out with friends that much and rarely ever have anyone over at my house or go to theirs. I often feel that I am “missing out” in this regard because I am home schooled. I also fear that I lack social skills and sometimes don’t even know what to do when I am spending time with friends. However, sometimes I wonder if this is merely an insecurity in myself brought on by the constant questions from others like “don’t you miss out on a social life being home schooled?” or “do you still have friends?” I also feel like a lot of this self-doubt started when my mother told me about an email from my grandmother (a very “by the book” anti-homeschooling, traditionalist woman) stating that my sister and I are being robbed of our social lives being home schooled, and that we are sheltered and need to be in public school. Ever since then I can’t help wondering if she is right. Any advice? This whole situation really hurts my self confidence and I haven’t been able to feel “normal” ever since. I really want to have some close friends who I can talk to, but I don’t think public, or private, school is for me. PLEASE HELP!
Thank you and I apologize for the super long question!
It was a super long question, but I think those tend to help with giving out the advice, so all is good, Jessica!
I know for me, personally, I went through a time in my life when I had the same feelings as you. I only had one real friend, and I only really went over to her house every couple weeks or so. Then I moved. I think I took moving to another state and opportunity to branch out more and make new friends, but you certainly don’t need to move to a new place to do that. You can simply join a book club if you like books, or even a Backstreet Boys club if you really wanted to.
One of my grandmothers is the same way as yours. She doesn’t think homeschooling is the right thing to do with us, but my mother keeps proving her wrong. As long as you are happy, then even if you’re grandma doesn’t think homeschooling is right for you, you’ll know it is. And just because people in general tell you that you’re un-socialized doesn’t mean you have to be. I know what it feels like to be “un-social” and I can tell you it isn’t fun, but there’s no reason why you can’t change it.
As for friends, just be yourself. Yes, it’s an over-used phrase that many people don’t take to heart nowadays, but it’s completely true. If you’re going to find yourself a best friend, or even a regular friend, you’ll need to be yourself so they can see what they’re getting into. If you like that main-stream band and think you might get judged, try to work past that and if you’re into books, writing, drama, dance, singing, learning about the Civil War or anything, just don’t hide it, because then you’re hiding who you are.
I really hope this helps, and if you’re still looking for some answers, you can check out the entire category for “Socialization” on Let’s Homeschool High School here.
-Meghan, Reading, Writing and Homeschooling