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Thread: Stereotypical Homeschoolers

  1. #1
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    Stereotypical Homeschoolers

    People are always (and I mean ALWAYS) poking fun at homeschoolers. There's this image out there that homeschoolers are completely unsocialized, have no idea about fashion, live in stone-age environments, and have absolutely zero-friends. Oh, and don't forget that homeschoolers aren't supposed to get a job or be able to cope with the real world in any way shape or form. Thus, public school is the only acceptable form of education.

    Really?? I can't even describe how ridiculous this image is. However, it's everywhere! Twitter is FILLED with public-schoolers making fun of the homeschoolers, and saying things like, "You might as well homeschool me - I already don't have any friends."

    As homeschoolers, I'm sure you can relate with me on how incredibly lame the stereotypical image of a homeschooler is. Everything about it is so untrue! How?

    -I can actually carry on a good, in-depth, mature conversation with any adult, WHILE maintaining eye contact, and still know how to hang out with my friends. Imagine that.
    -I happen to be the fashion-guru in my house. Not only do I know how to dress nicely, but I know where to buy the close at an affordable price. (I don't need to purchase tiny, shredded shorts @ Kohls for $40. Thanks, but no thanks. Savers, here I come.) Despite the common idea, there are some awesome deals at thrift stores. AKA a new pair of Heelys for $1. And...my gorgeous deep purple satin, brand new graduation dress for $10. (Normally $50, at least.)
    -I have a cell phone, iTouch, Nook, two laptops, plus a desktop PC, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, blog, website, and more. Stone age? Please.
    -No friends? Really? I'm not even going to get into this one. Someone else want to tackle that ridiculous assumption for me? I'll just say this - I have so many friends, when I had surgery, my dresser was covered with "get-well" cards, chocolate, paintings, and I had *lots* of visitors (aka friends) Just because we are homeschooled doesn't mean we don't have friends. And no, not all my friends are homeschoolers!
    -Jobs and coping with the real world?? I had a book signing at our university book store, where I had to carry on mature conversations, answer questions, and entice customers. Afterwards, I was told I did it with class. Which is probably because I AM HOMESCHOOLED, and we are taught respect and maturity. As opposed to public schoolers who spend all day with their peers.

    Your thoughts on this subject? Let's oppose this common image of homeschoolers!
    Last edited by tiallarising; 04-25-2013 at 12:19 AM.
    kaitlyn likes this.

  2. #2
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    Very nice rant.

    I know exactly the kind of people you're talking about, sometimes I want to walk around with a bunch of copies of "Weapons of Mass Instruction" or some similar book and then if anyone asked me why I wasn't in school I could be like, "Read the book, then come judge me for not going to school."

    I think part of it is that if someone sees a homeschooler acting, how should I say this, let's just say 'unsocial' they automatically think it's because they're homeschooled. But if someone who goes to school is acting unsocial, they're just an unsocial person.

    I don't get the whole "you have no friends if you don't go to school" thing. I think the people we should be worried about are the ones that ONLY see other people at school.
    Smetimes I can understand how some homeschoolers don't have as many friends, all my frineds from school left me sfter I started homeschooling, and sometimes I feel like (not to sound brag-y) I'm more mature than the people who go to public school. My best friend had the same experience of being more mature and havign trouble finding friends.

    I hate the "not real world experience" stereotype. Really, how is being in a classroom, all day, with an adult in charge of you real world experience? What part of school is like the real world? Is it the bus that takes you everywhere so you don't need to learn the way to the school? Is it the 5 minutes of sitting in a desk after school get out if you did something against the almost prison-like rules? I just don't get it.

    Have you seen the documentary, I think it's called "the war on kids," it's about the zero tolerance policies in schools. It's scary how messed up the public school system is.

    I remember the funniest question I've ever been asked regaurding homeschooling, I was talking to someone at a party about homeschooling (they didn't know much about it) and she looked at me for a minute, then she lowered her voice and asked, "You're homeschooled; so you've never been to a sex education class?"
    It was so, so funny. The problem was I had just taken a sip of soda, and I started laughing so hard I accidentaly spat soda all over her shoes. She deserved it.

    I typed this on an ipad, so there are probably a lot of typos, sorry!
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  3. #3
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    Haha, thanks! And I totally agree with you...on everything. I just get so annoyed when I hear people discriminating homeschoolers. Granted, some homeschoolers have created that stereotype, but compared to all the other billions of homeschoolers out there, that group is a minority. >.< Anyways, thanks for taking the time to read and reply to my rant!

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    @OrchidCeleste98 [I was talking to someone at a party about homeschooling (they didn't know much about it) and she looked at me for a minute, then she lowered her voice and asked, "You're homeschooled; so you've never been to a sex education class?"] HAHAHAHAHA! HA. ... Hahaha! *Wipes tear from eye* I've had similar conversations! @Tia: I truly believe the reason homeschoolers have a stereotype is BECAUSE of the minority of homeschoolers that created it! Like, they stick out so so so badly that they draw attention away from normal homeschoolers because we BLEND IN WITH NORMAL PEOPLE! Just thought I'd mention that:P
    OrchidCeleste98 likes this.

  5. #5
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    @kaitlyn - yeah, that totally makes sense!! We need to...let people know about normal homeschoolers...or something. haha Stop the stereotype.

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    I've always tried to defy the stereotype but, on the other hand, I've lived around people who fit it to a T. Why don't we break the cliche down into its component parts?

    Goodie-two-shoes behavior: I used to hear about this a lot. In reality, it was just a jab at homeschool families who pull their kids out of school because they're afraid the kids will lose their religion in that awful, liberal environment. The "stereotypical image" of a homeschooler - plaid shirt, long dress or church pants, bad hair - stemmed from this. I've known very few kids who fit this part of the stereotype, but I haven't been seen a 4H meeting in a long, long time.
    Socialization/real world experience: this is the main one people make fun of. I'm fairly social and enjoy being around people, especially in college where I have long, engaging philosophical discussions with random strangers HOWEVER! This is one part of the stereotype that is absolutely true. Many of the homeschoolers I've met in groups and around town definitely displayed a-social behavior. There were a few main causes for this, but the biggest one was social disorders. Most don't consider that social disorders can be an incentive for pulling kids out of school in the first place. Then again, "most" likely don't have a problem with "autistic" as a slur.
    Obsession with schoolwork: I'm not sure where this one comes from. I'm a huge procrastinator and my brother hates being told what to do. I do strive to get everything "done" by the time it's due, but that's a trait I picked up in college, not homeschool. Perhaps it's just an extension of the socialization cliche. If they aren't out partying, where ARE these homeschoolers? Catching up on their English diagramming, of course!

    I caught one tweet with "wow, using words like that you must be a homeschooler." Obviously it's a primal sin to use words longer than 6 letters these days. Again, I don't know where this comes from other than a large percentage of homeschoolers being writerly (is this even true?)
    Laziness/dumbness: this seems to be a seperate stereotype entirely. Look at this video:

    Extreme Parenting Radical Unschooling - ABC News Nightline - YouTube

    Do I even need to explain where this comes from? This attitude toward homeschool (both by the unschooling parents and the reporters in the video) is incredibly widespread. Of course, people who raise their children like this aren't helping the image. I'm sorry to say I know kids who really do detest book learning and would spend their entire homeschool period browsing funny pictures on the Internet if possible.

    I enjoy "school" with all it entails. I enjoy college, I've enjoyed homeschool, and there were even bright moments during middle school at a now-defunct private academy. I can totally understand the mindset of someone who prefers shallow, basic entertainment over math and science. That's fine. However, not all homeschoolers abuse the opportunity they've been handed.

    There's some truth to the stereotype. I don't like it, but pretending that people who fit it are uncommon is almost as disingenuous as pretending you're better than any homeschooler, social or not.

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    @ajones20 - Wow...that video is insane. I just can't believe that mom actually thinks she is doing her kids good by letting them live them way! :O I'm kind of in shock...

    Thanks for your reply! It definitely makes a lot of sense. I just can't get over that video.... >.<

  8. #8
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    I don't think radical unschooling is bad. I think people perceive it as such because we have such a set idea of what kids are "supposed" to learn and when they're supposed to learn it.

    I couldn't stand the reporter, though. Like all her questions, "Oh, how will they learn Shakespeare?" Well, you get the book and put it in front of them and if they're interested they'll learn it! She just couldn't understand that people enjoy learning things they're actually interested in instead of the busywork that the school spends so much time with.

    Like with algebra- Why is it so unlikely that someone would learn algebra because they're interested in it? It's really not, but nobody likes sitting in a classroom filling out worksheets. And somehow people equate that to learning math yourself because you find it interesting.

    Where did the stereotype of kids never being interested in anything taught in schools come from? It's the school setting that makes it boring, even if the subject if fascinating.

    Like when she was asking the kid what time he woke up in the morning- why did it matter so much when he got up? She's making it seem like the kids never learn anything and they just run around all the time playing. Maybe it's a government plot to stop unschooling...lol

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