Homeschoolers are just different. We aren’t educated in the same way as everyone else and we don’t make friends in the same ways that other people do, but homeschoolers can be pretty cool. Granted, we are kind of the Hufflepuffs of society--and that means we don’t get a lot of things and we may be behind on stuff--but we do mean well. As a former homeschooler, I hope you remember: HOMESCHOOLERS ARE PEOPLE TOO!
Keep in mind: everyone is different, and this might not apply to someone, but if you’re completely in the dark then here are five things you need to understand about your formerly homeschooled classmates.
1. Translation When Necessary
Everyone is unique, but more often than not we homeschoolers haven’t caught up on some things. We might have not heard the latest song or not understand that piece of slang. Don’t be shocked if your homeschooler friend misses some pop-culture reference. We may need you to fill us in, because we can’t know what we don’t, right?
2. So Many People
You may have come from a big high school or maybe a small one. No matter what the size of your school, I guarantee that it was way bigger than our school. Our daily routine was to get up and move to the next room. We are all social beings, but we may hit a point of social overload. Unfortunately, this will most likely happen during the first couple weeks of college. Never fear, though, because with a little bit of patience and sensitivity we will return from our mental (or physical) cocoon.
3. Grades and Parents
One crucial function of homeschooling is that our parents educated us. Because they care about us, they know us well and had expectations for us. For better or worse, these expectations will more than likely stick with us. We are going to want to do well, because we care about academics. So yes, we will be slave drivers about our homework. Yes, we are still human, just dedicated. Yes, you should encourage your homeschooler to get out. And if we are going home to see our parents, it’s because they are our closest friends and our old teachers, and we love them a lot.
One of the blessings and curses about being homeschooled is that each subject goes at your pace. So you could be in 5th grade, doing 5th grade math, 8th grade English, and 6th grade spelling. When you ask your homeschooler, “What grade were you in?” and they have a hard time giving you a straight answer, that’s why. It’s just one of the weird things about being homeschooled.
One stereotype that we homeschoolers get a lot of grief over is that “homeschoolers have no friends.” Although that’s not true, it is based in truth: homeschoolers have trouble making friends. Our friends are not our classmates, our siblings are. If your homeschooler seems very excited about spending time with you, and maybe comes across as a little clingy, consider that we are used to having to work harder for our friendships, and we really like our people.
As I said before, there is no one rule or way for interacting with anyone, homeschooled or not. Each different person is unique. This is just a way to tell y'all what it is like from the inside, looking out.
Lead Image Credit: Hoang Bin