Stereotypes Are So Much Fun

Hello Blogosphere -- it's that time again! Have another Miss G Guest Post!


Now that she's about to move on to college, Miss G has been thinking a lot about her time spent homeschooling. Miss G looks back on these time with real fondness, and feels that she owes much of her success in Running Start (a college-in-highschool program she's been doing for the last two years at a local community college) to the skills she learned at home. In fact, there's only one substantial downside to homeschooling that she can think of... The dumbass questions that you have to field when people find out you don't go to a public school.

You see, there's a certain... image that seems to go along with the title "homeschooler", and it can be very difficult to overcome that image when talking to people. Oftentimes the socially inept, mollycoddled, incredbily sheltered stereotype is so deeply ingrained that it's difficult to avoid being pre-judged or dismissed as a crazy. Not that there aren't crazies -- Miss G has met a few and cringed along with the rest of the population -- but the vast majority of homeschoolers that she has met, both in Running Start and in life, generally, are normal, intelligent individuals. Normal intelligent individuals who all seem to get the same questions and comments, Miss G included, so she has compiled a list of her favorites here for your viewing pleasure. Put down your inhalers, people, this is gonna' be big.

"Wow... You don't seem like a homeschooler!

This is the biggie. Miss G (and her fellow normal homeschooled friends) get this more than any other question or comment. What, pray tell, does a normal homeschooler seem like? Does my reasonably groomed and freshly trimmed hair throw you off? Does my lack of glazed expression confuse you? Does the fact that I know of and have watched American Idol send you into a tizzy?
When Miss G gets this remark her standard response is a whithering look and a short, "oh, yeah, I left my gingham dress at home today -- sorry."

"How do you make friends/are you super sheltered/aren't you lonely?"

How do you make friends, people? During her time homeschooling, Miss G and her family would do this great thing. It was called, "go outside and do things". A novel concept, truly. Somewhere along the line people seem to have decided that homeschooling involves driving a stake through your child's ankle and tying them up in the backyard. Not so! Besides that, what kind of a question is "are you sheltered"? If I were sheltered, how would I know? That's the whole point!

"Are your parents really religious/hippies/controlling?"

It's certainly fair for people to wonder why exactly my parents chose to homeschool, but if you want a serious response I suggest you phrase your question differently. 'Wow, what's wrong with your parents?' isn't exactly the best way to get on my good side. Neither is, 'wow, what's wrong with you?' -- just for the record.

"Are you homeschooled because you're too poor for public school?"

A friend of Miss G's was actually asked this in complete seriousness. Hearing that story was just about the closest I've ever come to wetting my pants from laughter.

"So, Miss G, can you tell me what blue and yellow together make?"

Frequently people (usually older, motherly types) will take it upon themselves to "quiz" Miss G -- just to make sure she's not completely functionally challenged. She's had people prompt her to tell the time, test her on colors, and bombard her with historical trivia. Not that public schoolers seem to know those things. Why, just a few weeks back while at the Natural History Museum in New York, Miss G overheard this conversation take place.

Mother to Young Son: See, honey, this is where Christopher Columbus was TRYING to get to.
Son: Ohhh.

Mind you, this took place in the Pacific Islander Exhibit.

"Oh, yeah... I know some homeschoolers."

This is another standard. Someone who has been having a lovely conversation with you will find out you're homeschooled and you'll actually be able to see their mind flicking to some crazy individual they know who slaughters all their own meat and frequently circles the backyard chanting.

Okay, readers, now it's your turn. Don't lie, Miss G knows you all have opinions -- or perhaps have even talked some smack -- about homeschoolers in general or the ones in your life. So here's your chance to let it out. What are some of your preconcieved notions about homeschoolers?


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