Three Unavoidable Questions You’ll Be Asked (and Some Answers)
by Andrew Jones
Homeschooled? Isn’t that the thing from the morning news segment? Wow, I had no idea! I’m… I’m so sorry. Really.
Hand, meet face. Not to be condescending, but as a homeschooler, you’re going to get asked a lot of questions. It’s practically unavoidable outside of groups with other homeschool kids in them. Luckily, I’ve made it through several years of homeschool and from this experience have formulated some excellent answers with some of the most common questions. Let me share them with you. After all, I’m the Homeschool Survivor.
“So… what’s it like, anyway?”
You will be asked this with approximately the same mixture of curiosity and raw fear as a sheltered teeny-bopper examining your nineteen jagged eyebrow piercings. There’s no good “solid” answer I could give you as everyone’s curriculums and materials are different. The most obvious answer would be one to thirty minutes spend detailing your school life and boring the asker out of their mind. Here are some alternate proposals:
Bad: “Oh, did I say homeschool? I meant homework. I mean homeworked. I work from home! Look, an eyebrow piercing!”
Good: “Whatever I want, whenever I want it. But don’t mind me, I know you’ve got three tests to study for. Have fun with that.”
Smarty-pants: “Somewhere in between my neighbor’s garage band and Neutral Milk Hotel. It’s totally awesome but really underground, you wouldn’t get it.”
“What do you do to socialize, then?”
Beats me, I stay inside all day on the computer, only emerging from my catatonic state when I hunger for the most primal of energy drinks, coffee. Wait, I’m supposed to not be confirming biases here. In that case, I’d refer to my older articles about socialization, but there’s just so many good answers for this one.
Bad: “I can’t do that. The voices tell me ‘talking’ only serves to weaken Lord Azazoth.”
Good: “There’s a front door. During my years of training in the art of ‘friends’, I have learned it serves as a gateway to another world. My investigations on this ‘real’ ‘world’ are currently in progress.”
Smarty-pants: “You mean you can’t hear my brainwaves?”
“Oh?” / “Oh. That’s… nice?”
Meet Frail, Disappointed Great-aunt. You haven’t seen her in years, so she thinks you are still three months old. Even though she loves you, from the moment you walk in, you are met with a flurry of loving, gentle condescension. I was debating whether or not to include this one as a question, but whenever I hear it, the sound at the end has a distinct question mark ring to it. Choosing a response to this is difficult because you only have a few moments before she looks away, unable to bear the great shame this progressive lifestyle and failed upbringing have brought to your ancestors.
Bad: “So anyway, let me tell you about when me n’ Billy trashed the place last night. You’re into that stuff, right, Auntie uh… what was it again?”
Good: “Yes. I have given up these sinful school restraints to return to a simpler time when family was closer, hard work meant more and things you didn’t understand could be burnt and pitchforked.”
Smarty-pants: “You’re free to join the Congregation of the School Home, Auntie. Join us. Join us. Join us.”
“Lord Azazoth awaits.”