So, I did a post of 5 Questions People Ask Homeschoolers, And Why You Should Never Ask Them, and I wanted to add a few more to the list that I had thought of..
6. Is it Legal to Homeschool?
This is normally asked with genuine fear as people wonder if we are breaking the law by not going to ‘normal’ school, and instead, being homeschooled. Now, I’m not saying that this is a stupid question! This is a valid question!
However, let me set the record straight right now so that you don’t embarrassed yourself by asking a homeschooler this and make yourself look silly..
Homeschooling is VERY legal! In fact, it used to be the ‘norm’ a few centuries ago! This misconception is usually the reason the cops are called on many homeschoolers, and why the cops were actually called on MY family once or twice! We still have to follow state laws for schooling of course, and we learn on the same agenda as everyone else in our state/county, but the rest is up to us on what we want to do.
Because people actually believe this one and ask it often (normally this is asked by older parents whom are concerned that their children are hanging out with ‘law-breakers’) it has caused a lot of concern within the homeschooling community. Although yes, homeschooling is very legal, there are a lot of cases where the cops, and even child services are called because people actually believe that it is illegal to homeschool your children!
So please, save yourself (and homeschoolers) a lot of time and trouble by not asking this question, and instead, just google it! (Or, you know, read this post and trust that I know what I’m talking about..)
7. Can your Mom Homeschool you without a College Degree?
Yes.. Just, yes..
Parents can homeschool their children without a college education, the same way a babysitter can babysit without a babysitting licences. There are some states that do make parents take classes before they can homeschool their kids, but it’s not like you’re taking ‘months’ worth of classes (and most states don’t even do that).
Parent’s are actually some of the BEST teachers for their kids because they know what their kids need. They know their learning level, they know how their kids learn effectively and efficiently, and who better to teach their children than the ones who knows them best?! (Their parents!)
8. Did you take your brother to Prom?
No, did you?
Let me set the record straight about something.. Homeschoolers go to multiple proms in their life! I’m not even kidding! My brother and I have attended two proms while in high school, and we would have attended at least two more before graduating, if we would have been able to stay with that homeschool group. And no, I didn’t take my brother as a date.. I went with a good friend of mine for my first prom when I was 15, and my first boyfriend at the time took me to my second prom the next year when I was 16.
Many homeschoolers not only get to go to a prom within their own homeschool group, but they also get invited as dates to other homeschool proms, as well as public school proms! I know a few friends who actually went to multiple proms a year! (And no, none of them took their siblings as dates!)
((Honestly, asking this question is usually just plane rude.. I mean, would you ask a public schooler if they were going to take their sibling as their prom date? No? Cool, then don’t ask homeschoolers whether or not they had to take their brother/sister as their prom date!))
(Prom #1 Left – Prom #2 Right)
If you haven’t read the first five questions on my list of ‘Questions People Ask Homeschoolers, And Why You Should Never Ask Them‘, check that out here!
Are there any more questions that you can think of that people need to stop asking homeschoolers? Or just any questions in general that I forgot to add to these lists? (I know that there were a few I didn’t mention mainly because they were ones that I couldn’t justify to people why they ‘shouldn’t’ ask them.) Comment below on the questions that you were asked as a homeschooler! Did you get asked any of these?
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Eww, the brother thing! My favorite response to those types of questions are “no, did YOU take your brother to prom?” The older I get the less awkward it gets to just turn it back around on them so they see how crazy they sound. Kind of like adoption (“why don’t you JUST adopt?” which is asked of every infertile person…so now the proper response is “why don’t YOU “just” adopt?” as it seems like a lot of people think it’s the job of the infertile to adopt…and that it’s ‘just’ so doggone easy).
I’ve never heard of prom amongst homeschooling groups but it makes total sense if one wants to establish that tradition. I personally hated prom but that could be because I went to a rich snooty high school that charged an arm & a leg for tickets and then made the theme Led Zeppelin “stairway to heaven” (even though I graduated in ’91), so it was not even current…who does that?!
I actually think the college degree question is super valid, as that’s mere ignorance rather than laced in creepiness like the brother/prom question. Homeschooling requirements have definitely evolved over the years and laws are different from state to state. Right now the major thing in Oregon is that you can pretty much do whatever you want, BUT the kids have to still go in for standardized testing…something that didn’t exist when I went to public school (being a kid who skipped a grade and was still in advanced classes, the public school system did me no favors).
As far as the biggest stereotype I can think of, it’s the assumption that all homeschooling is super religious and/or cult-like. When I started looking into it years ago, the only cases I’d ever heard of were the missionary folks doing it and my CEO who’d grown up on a commune. Not exactly a diverse representation! But then I ended up making a job offer to a 15 year old software developer (I’m a recruiter in tech) and she was a bit more of what I’d call the “Oregon homeschooler” who simply had parents who found this to work much better with their kids, and that’s when I started learning more, and particularly about Unschooling on the Zen Habits blog (https://zenhabits.net/unschool/) and Worldschooling.
I love that there are so many more resources these days for alternative forms of education outside of the public school system 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experiences!
Lol, I’ll admit, I wasn’t excited about prom until I went to one. Homeschool proms are a bit ‘different’ than any other proms. For example, my first prom was Alice in Wonderland themed, and my second prom was Labyrinth themed (as in the movie with David Bowie). All of the decorations were made by hand by our homeschool groups, and the only thing we spiked the punch with was 5-hour-energy. 🙂 Although every homeschool group was different, the one I was part of in Georgia was a rather large one, and besides proms, they held so many dances that it would make your head spin. I swear they loved any excuse there was to throw a party!
You’re right, one of the biggest stereotypes I still hear a lot is the fact that people homeschooler for super religious reasons. Unfortunately, I’ve actually met quite a few of those stereotypes down in Alabama/Georgia, and they are the exact reason we have that stereotype. 😛 When my mother started homeschooling my brother and I, it was actually really hard to find non-religion based school books for homeschooling.. Homeschooling has thankfully come a long way since then!
Thank you so much for commenting! And for the great input! 🙂