Estimated reading time: 10 minute(s)
Homeschooled students are said to be unsocial, “sheltered”, and unsuccessful in life. As someone who has been homeschooled all my life, I’m often asked questions from adults and teens like:
“So how do you make friends??”
“Do you learn the same things as ‘normal’ students? Do you even learn??”
“Are you ever going to go to a public school?”
It can be annoying at times, especially when people perpetuate that “anti-social homeschooled child” myth. A public school is not the only avenue to make life long friends.
Now, because I don’t go to a public/private school, I don’t see my friends in one location five days a week. Many of my friends are other homeschooled teens spread out across the country. Some of them do go to public schools, but we’re still good pals. Also, being in different programs in my city allows social interaction as well. Homeschooled students aren’t locked in our rooms silently learning algebra, while jealously looking out our windows to see carefree people getting on their school buses. We’re not stuck here in our houses with no interaction from the world, with alternatives to school activities being prom in our living rooms and field trips to the grocery store with Mom. That’s not how it works.
If you’re an adult and still haven’t kept in touch with one soul from your prestigious high school, then please do not tell me that making life long friends is impossible unless you go to a public school 🙂 Let’s not ignore the fact that students can be introverted asocials inside a public or private school as well. Avoiding social interaction is not some sort of homeschool trait.
Let’s not forget how much technology has advanced! With social media alone, I can communicate with people all across the world. I can (and have) made friends from as far as Iran, Somalia, and even Greece. Homeschooled students can be social. And many of us are.
And yes: We do learn. My mom is the main teacher, and with my online courses, I have other teachers as well. Being homeschooled allows a tailored education for the student specifically. Not everyone learns the same way. Certain methods may or may not work for certain people, and when you’re in control of what’s best for you, you can’t go wrong with that. Also, with the educational system failing in America, I believe homeschooling dodges a lot of bullets in how they teach our children in established institutions, one of them for example, being how black history is taught. My cousin who is a senior this year, told me that they do not teach Black history in her school, and even Black History Month is an afterthought. I never had to experience that. How is it that a black senior in a public school knows less about their history than a homeschooled junior? At a certain point, you realize that there is only so much the American educational system can teach, that you have to teach your own.
Another myth is that homeschooled students don’t make it far in life and that definitely is not true. Homeschooled students can be, and are, just as successful as anyone else and you might already know some of them:
Simone Biles, Gabrielle Douglas, Venus and Serena Williams, Jordin Sparks, Elijah Wood, and even former presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, just to name a few. Even with my family personally, I can boast a little. My brother is a freshman at Tuskegee University. My sister is an aspiring ballerina and is excelling in her class. My other sister is advancing in her gymnasium, and has won many competitions.
I don’t know exactly where these myths came from, but I know that they’re not true. Would it be nice to go to a public school? Have multiple teachers and eat cafeteria food with the other several hundred people? It probably is a wonderful experience. That’s just not my experience.
Do I wish I could go to a “regular” public/private high school?
(Follow Nzinga Muhammad on Twitter @QueenNzinga13)