I am seriously annoyed by homeschoolers in books.
I’m a homeschooler. Normally I like it when I come across some random thing I have in common with a book character. It makes me smile when I read about someone named Iris, or someone from Canada, or someone who shares my birthday,* but when I hear that there’s a character who’s homeschooled, I cringe.
Because I have never read a book with a homeschooler who doesn’t share couple of key personality traits. None of which seem to be very accurate to any homeschooler I’ve ever met.
*These actually all make me unreasonably happy.
Annoying Personality Traits of Fictional Homeschoolers.
- They’re completely naive about the real world. This is the thing that annoys me the most. It’s sort of stupid. Homeschoolers live in the real world too… Just because we don’t go to school, doesn’t mean we don’t know how the world works, or have no experience whatsoever when it comes to real life. Unfortunately this is what most books seem to think, and it makes me really mad. Not only is it wrong, it’s also quite insulting.
- They’re all ridiculously awkward when it comes to interacting with people. And not like, they’re shy or anything.* They’re all basically the opposite of shy, and they don’t know when to stop. They’re all extremely friendly, and can’t even understand why they’re getting odd looks for doing something like bursting out into song (very loudly) in the middle of a crowded restaurant, or meditating in the middle of the school courtyard…
- They’re all very passionate about the environment (or something similar). This one seems less ridiculous than some of them, because a large majority of the homeschoolers I’ve met are quite mindful of the environment. However, a large majority of the non-homeschoolers I’ve met are too.
- They’re always straight A students.** This isn’t necessarily a terrible thing for people to think, (I wouldn’t mind if people though I was that good academically…) but it’s still inaccurate. I’m not saying it’s inaccurate for all homeschoolers, I’m just saying it isn’t exactly accurate either… Just like in the school system, some people are good at school-y stuff, and some people aren’t. I’m awful at math, one of my friends is a terrible speller… and I also have friends who are great at that stuff.
*I’m incredibly shy, and I’ve met plenty of other shy homeschoolers… although I’m not saying all homeschoolers are shy either.
**Yes, you can definitely be a straight A student even if you don’t actually get grades. Don’t question this.
Basically what I’m trying to say is homeschoolers are just normal humans.
And… books… don’t seem to be able to grasp this fact. It makes me mad, because if you’re going to put in a character who was homeschooled, (another thing, was seems to be the key word there. Almost every time they end up going to school… WHY?!) can you please not make it insulting?
I once read a book, and the main character had been homeschooled… and he was such an idiot! And then he ended up going to school, because since he’d been homeschooled, obviously he couldn’t understand society at all… NO! Thats not true at all, and I think that book was really insulting. If I’d read it not being a homeschooler, it probably wouldn’t have bothered me at all, but as a homeschooler, that book really touched some nerves.
I’m also sort of annoyed by the amount of books that have a character whose homeschooled… Homeschoolers aren’t really that uncommon, but yet I’ve read a lot of books, I’m not really sure how many, but I would guess over a thousand. And some of those books have a lot of characters. And do you know how many I’ve read with a homeschooler in them? Three or four.
And they all have very similar personalities.