I realize I don’t know much about you. I don’t know how old you are, where you live, or any other detail about your life. I don’t know your favorite school subject or what grade you’re in or if you’re even homeschooled. But if you are, I might know how you feel.
You probably feel strange sometimes. It’s not strange to feel strange.
Because you don’t know what it feels like to attend school beyond your home. It is likely that you have never ridden a school bus, eaten in a cafeteria, or had a locker. Maybe you have never been to prom, joined a school club, or seen a school sports game. You have probably never had gym class, heard the bell ring, or gotten detention.
But you do know what it feels like to attend school in your home. It is likely you have ridden a minivan, eaten in your own kitchen, and kept your schoolbooks on your bed. Maybe you have been to a homeschool prom, joined a homeschool club, and watched sports games on tv. You probably have played recreational sports, heard the phone ring, and gotten in trouble with your parents.
Honestly, I enjoyed being homeschooled. I liked hanging out with my family, working at my own pace, and being taught by my mom. I enjoyed going to homeschool groups, meeting other homeschoolers, and staying in touch with them.
But maybe you don’t enjoy being homeschooled like I did. Perhaps you even beg your parents to let you go to public or private school. Maybe you just have FOMO—fear of missing out. Or maybe you feel lonely and neglected.
I’m sure you feel excluded when your friends from church talk about their favorite math teacher. I know you feel ignored when your friends at youth group discuss their latest English test. I bet you feel alone when your friends at work laugh about their recent biology dissection.
It’s completely normal to feel excluded, ignored, and alone. But just because you feel excluded, ignored, and alone doesn’t mean you’re less-than.
It’s not a sin to be homeschooled, private-schooled, or public-schooled. There’s not a one-size-fits-all in regard to schooling. Maybe your parents have simply decided that it’s best for you to be homeschooled. While that may seem like a prison sentence to you, it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few suggestions to help change your perspective about homeschooling:
- Accept who you are and where God has placed you.
Sometimes non-homeschoolers think that being homeschooled automatically makes someone strange, but don’t let others define who you are. You can be as wacky or as classy as you choose to be. God placed you in your schooling situation for a reason, so try to embrace it.
- Find your tribe but don’t exclude others from it.
If possible, connect with other homeschoolers in a co-op, group, or tutorial. That’s probably the best way to make friends as a homeschooler. If your area doesn’t have a homeschool group that meets regularly, find friends through church, youth group, AWANA, Bible study, or another way. Just make sure you don’t exclude students who go to public or private school.
- Get involved and stay busy.
I know you may not be able to join a school sports team, club, or group. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get involved in other activities. Do some research on recreational sports and local clubs that welcome homeschoolers. Join a youth activity or ministry at your church. Consider finding a job or other ways to earn money in your free time.
- Learn the things that matter.
You may learn at a different pace than non-homeschoolers. They may be taking algebra while you’re taking geometry; or they may be in marching band and you take private music lessons. In reality, it doesn’t matter how much you know about math, history, or any other subject—as long as you keep learning about Christ. In his second letter, Peter wrote, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18 NKJV).
Homeschooler, if you ever think you’re weird or even abnormal for being homeschooled, stop. You’re not. You’re just different.
And that’s okay.