Reactions I Get When I Say I Was Homeschooled

Reactions I Get When I Say I Was Homeschooled

You Shouldn't Always Believe The Stereotypes

“So where did you go to school?” Once such a simple question, but one that now just annoys me. Why is that? Because I was homeschooled from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Now don’t get me wrong- I was so happy with my homeschool experience, but what I’ve learned over the years is that not everybody gets homeschooling. When people find out that I’m homeschooled, I’m immediately slapped in the face with a giant STEREOTYPE. The labels- weird, shy, introverted, socially awkward, no friends- the list goes on of what people are so quick to assume must be true. I’m here today, because after dealing with this for fifteen years, I’m tired of it. So I’m sitting down and writing it all out. All the questions I get asked, all the labels I’m given- these are my truths from a homeschooler.


That’s the immediate question. In today’s society I guess I’m still surprised how many people know nothing about homeschooling. Everyone’s story of why they homeschooled is a little different. My story goes like this: My parents started homeschooling with my older sister, because it worked for their current situation, and my Mom enjoyed it so much that they continued. When it came time for me to start kindergarten, my Mom homeschooled me, and I loved it, so we stuck with it. That's the short and simple answer for how my family got into homeschooling.

Is your family extremely religious?

This is the only question that actually bothers me. Its funny- you’d think I’d get mad when people insinuate that I didn’t go to “real school” or that I must be academically behind because I was homeschooled. None of those questions really hurt me like this one does though. I think it’s because it's more of a personal question, and as someone who is a strong Christian, it's hurtful when people make critical assumptions of what they think your faith is like. No, my family is not part of a cult or some weird religious sect. Yes, we are Christians and our faith is a big part of our life, but that was not why my parents chose to homeschool.

Did you do school in your pajamas?

Okay this question really deserves an eye roll because it’s just that stupid. Um, yeah I sometimes did schoolwork in my pajamas, but who cares?

Did you do "real school"?

Again, stupid question. I get that there are some “homeschoolers” out there who totally deserve the stereotype, because they make the rest of us look bad. I can tell you straight up though that I worked just as hard, if not harder than anyone going to public, private, or virtual school. Because that’s the thing- homeschooling is still school, it’s just a different way of doing it. That doesn’t mean it’s weird or wrong or not as good. It’s school, with tests, hard classes, and every other thing that school brings with it.

Are you dumb?

People will never say this straight up, but they will totally insinuate it. Really? You want to compare test grades? With the flexibility of homeschooling I actually had enough classes done that I started going to community college part time my sophomore year of high school. I graduated with about seven classes already under my belt, and I finished high school (college classes included) with a 3.8 GPA. I’ve been on the honors roll at college for a few semesters and I’m in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor’s Society. So ask me that question again. Am I dumb? Well, I’ll just let my grades answer that.

How did you make friends?

Well I don’t know, how did you make friends? This was actually one of the most asked questions I received from my peers growing up. I had just as many friends as anyone else did, and I met them from lots of different places. I met two of my best friends in ballet, a few from church, and another two through a mutual friend. Just because I didn’t have all the socialization that a public school experience brings, I was never lacking in friendship. If anything, I think being homeschooled made me a friendlier person, because I learned at a young age that it was up to me to get out there and make friends.

Were you happy?

I think a lot of times people just assume that I was forced into homeschooling, and never had a say in it. Funny thing is though that I always had options. Over the years my parents and I looked at public, private, and virtual schools. My parents always asked me if I wanted to keep homeschooling or if I wanted to do something else. I really considered other options a few times, but at the end of the day I was happy with homeschooling. My elementary school years were filled with so much happiness, because I got to spend every day with my Mom and my sister. I can recall the fondest memories of my Mom teaching me to read, or teaching me how to write in cursive. I remember all of the wonderful field trips she took my sister and me on, and how she taught me multiplication. I continued to love homeschooling in my junior high and high school years, because that was the time that I learned independence and discipline. I learned study skills, and how to set a schedule for myself and follow it. I loved the flexibility that it brought, because if I had something pop up one day, I could just adjust my study time. I loved that when I was a senior in high school and we got a puppy, I was able to have her by my side every day, because I was homeschooled. I recognize now that I had a significantly better relationship with my parents in middle school and high school than any of my friends did, and I credit a lot of that to homeschooling. My point is- there are pros and cons to every type of schooling, and there is a different perfect fit for every single kid. For me homeschooling made me happy, and that’s the simple answer.

Are you anti-public school?

This one just makes me laugh. I see where people could get this idea, but I’ll tell you honestly- I don’t think any one method of schooling is better than another. I’m happy with my experience, but I by no means think that homeschooling is the only option. I think it depends on what works best for each person. If I could do it all over again, I would have actually liked to try a few years at a public school, just because I’d like to have that first hand understanding of what it’s like.

At the end of the day, it’s not about where we did our learning, it’s about how it impacted us, how it defined us as people, and what we learned along the way.

So take a few notes, and next time- don’t be so quick to judge what you don’t know.

Cover Image Credit: Emalee Fox

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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5 Tips For Incoming College Freshman

Remember when everyone told you that high school was going to be the best four years of your life.. and then it wasn't? Well now for some of you, comes the BEST and WORST four years of your life. Here's a little bit you need to know in order to be prepared for the eventful year to come.


Yes, believe it or not your parents, friends, and teachers were right. College is SO much different than high school in so many different ways. Luckily, I just survived my freshman year so I was in your place literally a year ago today. Everyone tells you how different college is from high school but they don't tell you how and that's what I'm here for! Lets just start with the 1st difference....

1. A whole new world

You will feel like your in a new world because in a way you are. You will suddenly be surrounded by so many groups of people, new cultures, different lifestyles, different languages, everything is so NEW. Not only are you not going to class with the same people everyday that you have seen in the hall for years but you are going to classes with complete strangers from all over the states and sometimes even the world. You are suddenly going to have to share a room with a stranger or even a best friend which can also lead to some issues. But what is most important to know is that even though you feel alone the first few weeks or even months... trust me so does everyone else, its okay to feel overwhelmed its normal. We all have absolutely no idea what we are doing we are all just pretending like we have somewhat of a plan. I met most of my friends my freshman year through being completely LOST on campus.

2. Making new friends

One thing that you aren't taught how to do in high school or honestly by anyone is how to make friends. I knew most people in my classes throughout high school so when I started college I hardly knew anyone besides my roommate. It definitely took me a while to branch out and start making friends but I had to remind myself to put myself out there and eventually I met some wonderful humans. Remember to always be yourself and you will attract people that WANT to be your friend. It takes time but once again, you are not alone. It will look like people already have their group and stuff but everyone is struggling just as much as you most likely.

3. Responsibilities 

The new responsibilities you will have... get prepared, they will hit you like a truck or at least they did me. You will suddenly be responsible for cleaning your room, doing your laundry, feeding yourself, doing your homework, remembering specific dates, paying bills, honestly the list becomes never ending because you are slowly becoming an adult :(((( I remember a time when I wanted to be an adult, now all i want to do is be in kindergarten taking a nap LOL, Luckily I already was familiar with most of these things as were others im sure but there are also people that haven't had to do some of the things by them selves before which can be overwhelming at times. You will eventually fall into your own personal routine and get your own system going and things will become second nature. Don't be afraid of this, just be prepared in order to have the most stress free incoming year.

4. Academics...

The real reason we are in college in the first place. Yeah, here is where your parents and teachers were right... high school courses and college courses can be either very similar or very different. It honestly depends on what the course is and who your professor is but, for the most part, college courses and professors are much different. Professors do not like to repeat themselves and expect you to remember any important dates they mention. They expect you to write it down, no excuses. In high school you teachers would give you a break but that's not really how college works. Some professors may cut you some slack but most wont. Do NOT waste a professors time and remember that even though you are paying to go to school there, you can get kicked out in a heart beat so don't risk it. Refrain from talking in class, and show up!!! you can miss one thing and the next thing you know you have a 5 page paper due in a few days. Save yourself the stress and just pay attention for the whole 50 minute or hour and a half class you have.

5. Packing 

PACK LIGHTLY!!! I packed so much unnecessary clothes, decorations, etc, that I ended up not needing or never even using. Safe as much space as you can because your dorm room will definitely get cluttered fast and you will accumulate more things throughout the year. So, pack the clothes and decor you NEED. Try your best to not over pack (as hard as it is (; )

6. Homesickness

No one:

Every college student ever: "Ugh I can't wait to go to college I hate living here!"

You know we've all said it but you will most likely get homesick at some point. My house is not far from the College at all and even I still was homesick sometimes. Its one of those things that everyone goes through so remember you are not alone. Luckily, we live in the 21st century too so you can always video chat your fam and send them some love. Its okay to be homesick just try to get more involved and do things you would do if you were at your own house. I always try to bring a few things from home too just to look at and remind myself that I will see my family soon.

Freshman year was difficult for me to adjust to as im sure it was to others, so hopefully you keep these tips in mind this summer as you prepare for your first year of college! I am excited for you all to start this next chapter, welcome to the beginning of adulthood class of 2023!


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