Hi, all. It's me, Fem, with another guest post for thetimman, who is too busy playing "Mario & Sonic: Olympic Games" to bother posting.
Anyway, big news! I’m a graduate! I received my high school diploma and official transcript in the mail last weekend. But I already miss it. My high school was great. Our football team was undefeated. There was no dress code. I was at the top -- and bottom -- of my class.
That’s right. I was homsechooled.
Now before you say anything, let me warn you that I’ve heard pretty much every joke about homeschooling there is. You’d be surprised at the number of weird comments I get. You know how some mothers complain about people commenting on the size of their “carbon footprint”? Well, homeschooled kids get weird remarks about the things they can’t experience because they don’t study in a room with thirty other kids for eight hours a day.
When they discover I’m homeschooled, most people muster up a parting remark before backing away in horror. “You mean... you don’t go to school?”
One memorable man asked, “So, do you live on a farm and, like, plow the fields every morning?”
Some people, right? I obviously have no time to plow the fields in the morning -- I’m busy making soap. Duh.
So before you ask that burning question about my education, here are a few I’ve heard many, many, MANY times before:
Q: Do you have any friends?
A: Amazingly enough, yes. Homeschoolers do go out in the “real world” and participate in activities. There are co-ops, clubs, sports, and volunteer groups homeschoolers can join. And there are other people you can talk to when this happens. Homeschoolers do have friends.
Take me, for example. My best friend’s name is Invisible Reagan.
Q: Do you freak out when you have to talk to people?
A: There is one such occasion that causes homeschoolers panic: when someone knocks at the front door. There must be some urban homeschool legend about a monster who lurks outside front doors, trying to lure little homeschoolers to their doom.
This is just my speculation.
All I know is that whenever the doorbell rings, my siblings and I automatically dive for cover. You’d think the Gestapo was after us. “Do you think he’s gone? I have to go to the bathroom!” “Are you crazy?! He might still be there!” “Pipe down! He’ll hear you!” “Guys, SHHH!!!! You’re gonna get us killed!”
When someone finally musters up the courage to peek oh-so-casually through the blinds ten minutes later, they announce, “All clear! It was just the UPS guy!” Then we emerge from underneath the couch and brush the dust bunnies off our clothes before finishing school.
Girl Scout cookie season is an especially stressful time for us.
Q: So, do you have homework?
A: Technically all the work I do is home-work. Very clever, Mr. Smarty-Pants.
Q: Do you have a prom?
A: I’ve seen prom pictures before. I’ve seen enough photos with big hair, goofy clothes, and acne-covered faces to realize that prom is overrated. Sure, it’s fun to spend all night with your friends, but who wants to blow hundreds of dollars on a high school dance? Your kids will just make fun of your prom pictures anyway.
Q: Do you actually learn anything?
A: I’ll admit, it is difficult to pry Mom away from “Days of Our Lives”, but on the days she’s lucid, we do manage to learn a thing or two.
(Just kidding, Mom!)
Homeschooling, especially through high school, gives students the opportunity to learn independently. I think it’s prepared me really well for college. At the beginning of the year, you flip through the syllabus, plan your own school week, and get to work. If you finish your week early, you can work ahead or spend that time learning about something you’re interested in. You can read Plutarch’s Lives or The Story of a Soul. You can make up your own chemistry lab or learn why the Federalists were always arguing with the Anti-Federalists.
There is no teacher reminding you to turn in your papers, or to study for the big test next week. It’s all up to the student to take a real interest in his education.
Q: Are you going to rebel once you go to college and do drugs and stuff?
A: I’m not making this up. I really do hear this one All. The. Time. Let me just say that I have no plans to do drugs at the moment. I’ll let you know if I change my mind.
Well, that was fun! If you have any other questions you’d like me to answer, or if you’re a homeschooler and want to share a funny remark you’ve received, leave a comment.
Meanwhile, you’ll find me hiding in the closet. I think I just heard the doorbell.