For the homeschooled student, life was an everyday adventure. You never truly knew what your schedule looked like, what you were eating for lunch, or what NatGeo video you were going to watch for science. It's always a thrill to meet another young adult that was homeschooled and compare grade school experiences.
Here are a few things that homeschooled young adults remember with both fondness and loathing.
1. Homeschool formals were LIT
Your public school friends always thought you were missing out on formals, but they had never experienced the excitement of a homeschool social function. The venues of these formals changed with the seasons. You might go to the orchestra, which meant you were wearing your favorite knee-length dress and a knitted shrug.
Homeschool prom, however, required your finest full-length ballgown and your great-grandmother's clutch. Dressing up was great, but the best part of any homeschool formal was talking up the events from your "wild night" with your co-op besties the next day.
2. Homeschool group/co-op was the highlight of every week
Co-op was not a club, a class or a cult. It was a lifestyle. Once a week, you got the golden opportunity to see all your besties at co-op, where you probably had some pretty off-the-wall classes like sewing and agriculture. If you attended a more academically based homeschool group, you and friends totally nerded out together over historical facts or Bible trivia. You only got to see this friend group once a week, so you rallied together to beg your moms for a milkshake after a lecture.
3. You either sang, danced, or played an instrument
Or maybe all three, if you were an overachiever. The arts were an integral part of your studies. Getting to use your artistic talent in the church made you feel like a celebrity getting a name-brand sponsorship. But beware, if it wasn't classical, there was no way Mom was letting it count towards your academics for that day.
4. You did school in your pajamas, but not as often as your friends thought you did
Coming downstairs in the same pajamas as your sibling was like showing up to the prom in the same dress as your archnemesis. One of you was going to have to change, and it wasn't gonna be you. Pajama day didn't happen as often as people thought it did, though. Contrary to popular belief, you did own real clothes.
5. You spent so much time outside, you might as well be Steve Irwin
Whether it was in your own backyard or on a wilderness retreat with your friends, outdoor exploration was where you learned life's most important lessons. You knew to respect wildlife, always stand uphill when peeing, and avoid mud puddles when you had Crocs on.
6. There comes a day when you realize you deserved some of the stereotypes you got
In your defense, that pink checkered newsboy hat was straight off the cover of your mom's "Homeschool Today" magazine.
7. EVERYTHING was a costume contest
Homeschoolers are some of the most creative people on Earth, and what better outlet for all that genius than costuming?! Duct tape suits of armor! Garbage bag dresses! Anything was possible, and you rocked your homemade ensemble.
8. Siblings were the best classmates
Your siblings were teachers, study buddies, playmates and best friends all wrapped up in one. Sure, they got on your nerves, but you loved being able to spend time adventuring with them. And by adventuring, I mean playing "fairies and mermaids" in the forest behind your house.
9. "Nerd" was a title you earned
If you had a ridiculously high SAT score, received summa cum laude on the National Latin Exam, or won a Lego sculpture competition, being called nerdy was the highest form of praise. Besides, you knew your extensive knowledge on the most random of subjects would serve you well at some point.
10. Housework was a valuable part of your Home Ec grade
Washing baseboards, picking up limbs and scrubbing toilets were all part of the homeschool curriculum. You learned to get over your fear of elbow grease real quick! Complaining wasn't going to help you, either. You didn't want those 30 extra math problems...
11. Snow days were never a thing
You wake up and open your blinds to find a beautiful layer of snow covering the ground. You smile from ear to ear as you run downstairs to grab your coat and walk out the door in freedom. And then, you remember. You're homeschooled.
12. All outings, even vacations were educational
It was through outings and vacations that you realized that you can learn anywhere! Walt Disney World. Sri Lanka. Hawaii. Washington D.C. It didn't matter where you went on the globe, your parents were bound and determined to teach you something. Sometimes, Mom would read a travel guide to everyone in the mini-van. If she was feeling really enthusiastic, she might make you write a research paper on the destination before you left, so you would be caught up on their cultural trademarks.
Homeschooling came with it's challenges, but if you had to do it again, you wouldn't change a thing. It taught you valuable life lessons and skills that you carry with you to this day. And, you can still rattle off random facts about historical battles or Australian wildlife, so it was totally worth it.