Ten Silly Questions People Ask Me About Homeschooling

This article appeared in slightly different form in the online magazine Mindful Homeschooler:

Being homeschooled is awesome. Being asked silly questions that you’ve heard way too many times, however, is not awesome. I’m not ashamed of being homeschooled, but sometimes when I’m around people I don’t know, the only thought going through my head is, “Please don’t ask me where I go to school please don’t ask me just shut up.” See, I’m not very good at off-the-cuff responses to these questions, and it’s complicated by the fact that some people don’t seem to believe my answers. I don’t mind when people ask silly questions as long as they’re just curious, but some people either try to trip me up or seem to think they know everything about homeschooling even though they only heard of it five minutes ago.

So here they are, the ten silliest questions I’ve been asked.

-~-

Their question: “How do you meet people?”

My immediate response: “Uh…”

The intelligent response I think of hours later: “Hello, I’m right here talking to you. Are you a people? You look like a people. Do you really want to know how I meet people? There’s 4-H, Junior Leaders, softball, Academic Superbowl, college classes, and I used to do spelling bees and participate in a STEM group called Discoveries Unlimited.”

-~-

Their question: “So are your parents really smart?”

My immediate response: “Uh…”

The intelligent response I think of hours later: “I guess. [No offense, Mom and Dad! Read on.] They’re smart and well-educated. More importantly, if they don’t know a subject then I learn it some other way. Homeschooling doesn’t mean your parents teach you everything at home. For example, my mom took Spanish in school but wanted someone else to teach me because they’d be able to explain it better, so I’m in a college Spanish class. Also, to those people who asked me this question when I was in like fifth grade – nice going, you just insulted my parents. If adults don’t know fifth-grade subjects, then they’ve really got a problem. Especially since most of them went to public school and they should have learned that stuff there.”

-~-

Their question: “So are you really smart?”

My immediate response: “Uh…”

The intelligent response I think of hours later: “I’m advanced in my schoolwork, if that’s what you mean. As a sophomore, I’ve just started precalculus and apparently I write better than some seniors in honors English classes. I think it’s probably due to all the one-on-one attention I get. I think everyone has the potential to be be really, really good at schoolwork, which is what you seem to be asking, but it’s hard if you’re in a classroom with thirty other kids since the teacher doesn’t have enough time to help everyone.

-~-

Their question: “Why do your parents make you homeschool?”

My immediate response: “Uh…”

The intelligent response I think of hours later: “Haven’t you heard of nagging? If I really really really really really had my heart set on going to school, I’d be there by now. And my parents aren’t evil. They’d probably want me to keep homeschooling, but if I really wanted to attend school I think they’d let me.”

-~-

Their question: “So are you really religious?”

My immediate response: “Uh…”

The intelligent response I think of hours later: “No, I’m actually an atheist. Plenty of homeschoolers are religious, but there are secular homeschoolers, too. Also, not all religious homeschoolers are Christians, which is what most people seem to think. Why is this even a question? You would never assume that all people are religious, so why do you assume that about homeschoolers?”

-~-

Their question: “So are you a hippie?”

My immediate response: “Uh…”

The intelligent response I think of hours later: “Duuuuuude, peace out! No, I’m not. This is just like the religion question: why would you assume all homeschoolers fit a stereotype when you wouldn’t assume that about other groups?”

-~-

Their question: “Is homeschooling even legal?”

My immediate response: “Uh…”

The intelligent response I think of hours later: “If I were breaking the law, why would I be telling everyone about it? Of course it’s legal.”

-~-

Their question: “But don’t you want to go to college?”

My immediate response: “Uh…”

The intelligent response I think of hours later: “Actually, I’m already in college. This is my second semester studying Spanish at [name of local community college removed]. I got an A my first semester. College is pretty cool. You should try it. Oh wait, you can’t. You’re in school.”

-~-

Their question: “But don’t you want a boyfriend?”

My immediate response: “Uh…”

The intelligent response I think of hours later: “Are you insinuating that homeschooled girls are too lame to get boyfriends?! What does this even have to do with being homeschooled? There may not be any other boys in my school besides my brother, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find any. I’m pretty sure I know what boys look like. And  when did school become a boyfriend-finding factory? I thought you went there to learn.”

-~-

Their question: “Aren’t you worried about missing out on the high school experience?”

My immediate response: “Uh…”

The intelligent response I think of hours later: “No, what worries me more is that I haven’t gotten my Hogwarts acceptance letter. I mean, it’s been five years! Hurry up, McGonagall! …what was I saying? Oh yes, the high school experience. I’m not missing out – I am in high school. Oh, you mean public high school? But isn’t that the place you were just complaining about? The cafeteria food is icky and unhealthy; the teachers don’t necessarily know the subject they’re teaching or even how to teach; you have to get up ridiculously early even though studies have shown that teens need loads of sleep; you sometimes get bullied… I’m not missing out on sports because I play in community leagues. I don’t really have any interest in attending the prom other than ‘research purposes’ because I write and it could give me interesting story ideas. I’m not interested in having a big graduation ceremony, either. So no, I’m not concerned about missing out.”

-~-

Unfortunately, I’m not asked very many normal questions. I very rarely am asked what subjects I study or even why I’m homeschooled, which seems glaringly obvious. No, people are more concerned about my boyfriend-less-ness and whether I might be a hippie.

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth, University of Iowa class of 2019. Double majoring in English & Creative Writing and Journalism. Twenty-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, and aspiring writer. Passionate about feminism and lesbian positivity.
This entry was posted in Homeschooling, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Ten Silly Questions People Ask Me About Homeschooling

  1. Wren Ayola says:

    I have never heard or thought of a single one of these questions when it comes to homeschoolers. Some people ask (substitute word of your choice for weird, since I don’t believe in using it negatively) questions.

  2. cait says:

    Ha! Love it. 😉 I think your answers (your second answers, that is…the first ones made sense, but I liked your “intelligent response you think of hours later”). I used to get “What Year are you in?” which is really complicated, because I could be doing advanced English, but year-level math, or actually just accumulating credits for my Year 12 certificate. This question became more embarrassing and annoying when I graduated at 16 and had to say, “Um. I’m finished school. Yeah, including year 12.” ;P

    • nevillegirl says:

      I get that too, but that question actually makes sense compared to these, which are just plain silly. The silly thing about this question is how hard it is to answer! I’m all over the place in subjects too.

  3. A few more that you missed:
    “Do you go to school in your pajamas?”
    “Do you wake up at noon?”
    “Do you even know what grade you’re in?”
    “Do you even talk to people? Ever?”

  4. Erin says:

    Ah yes. One of the only downsides of being homeschooled is getting asked strange questions…

    I hate it when people tell me I’m “missing out on the experience of going to public school.” I’m a part time student at the local high school, and that’s enough experience for me, thank you very much.

    I also hate the quesetion about being super religious. I mean, yeah, I’m Catholic, so I can see why people would ask me that question, but it really gets annoying after being asked a thousand times. One, homeschoolers are not the only religious people out there – religious people go to public and private schools too. And two, even though I am religious, that doesn’t mean I have a halo floating around my head at all times and I chant everything I say and I’m always, always nice to my siblings… 😉

  5. Charley R says:

    Thank you so much for the enlightenment! I’m at the polar opposite of homeschool, and have never had anything to do with it, so it’s a fascinating wee enigma to me. Thanks for some clarification! 😀

  6. wolfluv745 says:

    Haha! Nice! I used to be home schooled, and I got a lot of these questions. It really bugged me, especially the religion one, because I’m not sure what I believe, to be honest, and that’s none of their business.

  7. Tee hee! I loved the post on “The Mindful Homeschooler.” XD You may have seen my comment over there about the girl I met at Tae Kwon Do who asked if I had friends and if my parents had a job. Yeah. ;P

    • nevillegirl says:

      …what do you mean, if your parents have jobs?! O_o

      • Well, I told her that yes, I did have friends and my mom and dad ran a homeschool group where I had met most of my friends. Then she asked if they made money off of it. I said no and then she looked at me sort of like she felt badly for me and asked very quietly and very seriously, “Do your parents have jobs?” I had to try very hard not to laugh.

        • nevillegirl says:

          Maybe she thought that they would be so busy teaching you that they wouldn’t have time to work? But that’s ridiculous.

          • themagicviolinist says:

            Agreed. I think it’s funny how everyone expects you to know everything about public school, but hardly anyone who isn’t homeschooled tries to learn about homeschooling.

            • nevillegirl says:

              Sometimes they ask me silly questions about public school, like “So do you know how grades [A, B, C kind – not 9th, etc] work?” They act like I’m stupid but then they ask nonsensical things about homeschooling!

              • themagicviolinist says:

                *Nods head* Uh huh. I spent like fifteen minutes in the Tae Kwon Do girls’ changing room explaining how homeschooling worked. They asked if I could go to school in my pajamas. I said yes and they all said, “Lucky!!!!” 😉 We’re just awesome like that.

  8. tomte says:

    First, your initial responses cracked me us, as did the questions. Second, I nominated you for a blog award! http://weirdalocity.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/the-reader-appreciation-award/

  9. Mal says:

    Hi there! Love your writing style…great blog, great going. 🙂 And yes, just where were those darn ‘intelligent responses’ when we needed them??!! Aargh..

  10. Do you know why McGonagall hasn’t sent us our letters yet?

    It’s because when the Final Battle destroyed Hogwarts, the book with all the names of magical children was destroyed. It was later found in pieces when rescuers sorted through rubble. The Founders had personally enchanted that book, and the Hogwarts staff are still trying to find an alternative to the book of names. Currently, they are tracking down incidents of accidental magic and tell that person about their magic as soon as they get a lock on their location, which is a change from the process before, when you received your letter in the summer.

    However, muggleborns born between 1997 and 2003 who do not know of their magic are still unaware of the existence of Hogwarts. One attempt to rectify this and discretely get the knowledge of magic out to the possibly-magical public was the publishing of the Harry Potter series, written by the so-called Jo Rowling. Her real name is Fleur Isabelle Weasley neé Delacour. She wrote the Harry Potter series with the help of many who had attended school in the ‘Potter Era’, as it is so often called these days.

    Nobody had ever thought that she would become so famous, and her books so widely read. This has actually helped people assimilate the knowledge of the Wizarding World, and subconsciously accept that magic is real. Minister for Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt has decided to release the knowledge that magic is real in the year 2050, if most of the prejudice against wizards and witches disappears.

    For those who were born between 1986 and 1997, Voldemort rose to power in 1997, and destroyed all records of muggleborns. All muggleborns that were younger than 11 at the time never got their letters.

    • nevillegirl says:

      OH MY GOLLUM, YOU’RE SO HELPFUL. But ewww, Fleur wrote HP?! xD

      Ah, I was born in 1996, so my records would’ve been destroyed.

      • ‘Oh my Gollum’? I’m using that, if you don’t mind.

        Well, I needed a pretty blonde female. I suppose I could’ve done Luna or Hannah Abbott, but they wouldn’t have looked ‘old’ enough. Also, Luna would probably blame it on the nargles or something. xD

        Narcissa is another choice, but how would she have written the books? ‘My dear ickle Draco had to face that evil little brat, Potter, again. This time, he was actually ASSAULTED by a professor! The ruffian actually had the nerve to Transfigure a Malfoy into a ferret! This is an outrage! The Board of Governors will hear about this!’

        Or, you know, Rita Skeeter. (EW)

  11. Pingback: Ten More Silly Questions About Homeschooling | Musings From Neville's Navel

  12. Meredith Waugh says:

    Yep, I’m home schooled, too, but surprisingly, I think I kinda fit into the vicious home schooler stereotype. This doesn’t mean anything about our curriculum, just that I am quite literate and awkward socially. I think my personality would be the same, even if I weren’t home schooled.
    Oh, and has anyone expressed to you their suspicions of home schoolers taking over the world? this has happened to me on multiple occasions, and I think, “Wow, as if home schoolers aren’t even human.”
    Another annoying one is, “Oh, yeah, she’s home schooled and shielded from” -rephrases mid sentence so as not to offend me- “stupid people.”

  13. Madi says:

    Haha I love this much!

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