People have the weirdest, dumbest, most illiberal ideas about home-educated students
Sep 10, 2013
|There are other ways of socialization than high schools|
This commentary by home schooled New York City high school student Veronica Andreades appeared in the Wall Street Journal Sep. 9, 2013
“You’re home-schooled? That’s bad, right?”
Another teenager started off a conversation with me that way recently. We’re both actresses, and we were waiting for a theater rehearsal to begin.“Bad? Where did you get that idea?” I replied.“Well, you don’t have any friends, right?”
“I have lots of friends,” I said, laughing to hide my annoyance.
Welcome to the life of a Manhattan home-schooler surrounded by supposedly open-minded liberals. This was hardly the first time I’ve confronted unsolicited comments about going to school at home. Not long ago, after a ballet class (yes, home-schoolers sometimes sign up to study elsewhere), I mentioned in the locker room that I was being educated by my mother. One of the other dancers said: “No offense, but don’t your parents care about you being socialized?”When I asked my mom why she chose to teach me, she said: “I did not want to be at the mercy of my ZIP Code.”
When you’re from a middle-class family supported by a father who is a minister, chances are you aren’t going to live in a wealthy area and therefore in a good school district. I’ve gotten used to seeing pained or perplexed reactions when I talk about going to school in my apartment, as if I’m this nerdy, introverted alien. The truth is that my parents wanted to give me the freedom to pursue my passions so I’d be better prepared for college and career.
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