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Homeschooling musings

A Facebook meme I recently filled out was the "Are you a homeschooler?" type. (All you readers who are my FB friends have seen it, most likely.) It made me think about all the stereotypical trademarks of homeschoolers... the denim jumpers, the school days in pajamas, and all that. And all the assumptions that people have about homeschoolers.... for example,
You have been asked more than 10 times in your life:
[ ] If you wear pajamas to school (close to ten though)
[ ] If you get perfect grades because your mom grades you (a couple times though)
[x] If your mom teaches you or if somebody else's mom does
[ ] How do you meet people (I did get this sometimes)
[x] Why you aren't in school (people asked my mom anyway; made for some good convos)
[x] If you get days off whenever you want
[ ] If you're going to be home schooled through college
[ ] If you have a big family
[ ] What your parents are protecting you from
[ ] To quote something famous
[x] For the answer, because supposedly homeschoolers always have all the answers (haha, maybe not that reason, but definitely this one.)

The big family, especially, seems prevalent. Although I do know a few homeschooling families that only have one or two kids, most that I've met had lots of kids, usually five or so.

The funny thing is--parts of this stereotype are so true. Yes, I did used to wear a denim jumper, for the record; I even sewed one for a 4-H project (there's another stereotypical homeschool activity!) when I was thirteen. Sometimes the stereotypes help other people understand a little of where a homeschooler is coming from, I guess.

Then again, depending how a stereotype is used, it makes people assume things categorically about homeschoolers that are often erroneous. So you can assume things, I guess, but don't hold onto your assumptions too tightly. (This is in general now.) For example, not all homeschoolers were in 4-H or Boy Scouts or whatever... many of the ones I know weren't, though I was. (And not all 4-H'ers had animals. But that's another stereotype for another day.)

The other funny thing--a lot of non-homeschooled people share some of these "homeschool" characteristics. A few of my friends commented that several of the meme's criteria for being homeschooled also applied to them, even though neither one was ever homeschooled. But I suppose it works that way for every stereotype... the characteristics aren't limited to the stereotyped people.

[Speaking of homeschooling: Boundless article on homeschooling as a lifestyle. Interesting take from a homeschool graduate's perspective.]

Enough of random thoughts on homeschooling. Next installment: Miscellany on spring break. :-)


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