The Bitter Home-Schoolers Wish List

A few years ago I came across the following “wish list” and found it hilarious.  I had saved a copy, which I came across a few months ago when I was organizing ideas for blog posts.  I enjoyed reading it again and thought I would like to share it with my readers.  The writer of the post, Deborah Markus, of has allowed me to share this with you.  I hope you will enjoy this article, and visit her site for more information about her online magazine.  (Oh, and by the way, I did get stood up for my senior prom and I am still bitter about it!)

1. Please stop asking us if it’s legal. If it is — and it is — it’s insulting to imply that we’re criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?

2. Learn what the words “socialize” and “socialization” mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you’re talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we’ve got a decent grasp of both concepts.

3. Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4-H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a home-schooler she ever gets to socialize.

4. Don’t assume that every home-schooler you meet is home-schooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one home-schooler you know.

5. If that home-schooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a “reality” show, the above goes double.

6. Please stop telling us horror stories about the home-schoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by home-schooling. You’re probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you’ve ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.

7. We don’t look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they’re in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we’re doing what you consider an adequate job of home-schooling.

8. Stop assuming all home-schoolers are religious.

9. Stop assuming that if we’re religious, we must be home-schooling for religious reasons.

10. We didn’t go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into home-schooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.

11. Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn’t have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don’t need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can’t teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there’s a reason I’m so reluctant to send my child to school.

12. If my kid’s only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he’d learn in school, please understand that you’re calling me an idiot. Don’t act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

13. Stop assuming that because the word “home” is right there in “home-school,” we never leave the house. We’re the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it’s crowded and icky.

14. Stop assuming that because the word “school” is right there in home-school, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we’re into the “school” side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don’t have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.

15. Stop asking, “But what about the Prom?” Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don’t get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I’m one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.

16. Don’t ask my kid if she wouldn’t rather go to school unless you don’t mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn’t rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.

17. Stop saying, “Oh, I could never home-school!” Even if you think it’s some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you’re horrified. One of these days, I won’t bother disagreeing with you anymore.

18. If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you’re allowed to ask how we’ll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can’t, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn’t possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.

19. Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child’s teacher as well as her parent. I don’t see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.

20. Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he’s home-schooled. It’s not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.

21. Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she’s home-schooled.

22. Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I home-school my kids.

23. Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I home-school my kids.

24. Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won’t get because they don’t go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.

25. Here’s a thought: If you can’t say something nice about home-schooling, shut up!

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  • Sue

    Oh my goodness…this is hilarious!!! – LOL

  • Amy

    Ha, I was homeschooled K-12. I recently graduated from an intensive college sign language interpreting program that has about a 15% graduation rate and I still got asked some of these just last week! haha

  • annegalivan

    I'm glad you enjoyed it, Sue! And thanks for the RT!

  • annegalivan

    I think, no matter how much success we have as home-schoolers, we are always going to be asked these questions. Which is why I love this list. It is so accurate…and it gives us a chance to actually laugh about it (instead of cry? – thinking of getting stood up for my prom again…*sigh*) 😉

  • annegalivan

    It's still not too late Nance! 🙂

    Hope things are good with you guys! And thanks for reading!

  • Ann

    Wellllll…….I really don't mind if you want to consider me Saint Prodigy for home schooling! haha This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

  • Kerry

    I didn't get stood up for Prom, but I did for Homecoming! Boy was I ticked when he came home after midnight! I walked next door and gave him a piece of my mind! It helped that I still was all dolled up and his jaw dropped a bit 🙂
    and yes, I dated and married the boy next door. 😉

  • annegalivan

    I'll see what I can do about that Ann! 😉

  • annegalivan

    I didn't even mention the worst part…my sister's boyfriend (now husband) was in my class so my SISTER went to MY prom…and I didn't. Yes, still have that bitter taste! 🙂

  • Erin

    This truly made me laugh out loud.

  • annegalivan

    Glad you enjoyed it! I love it too…so many nuggets of truth…and humor!

  • megs3782

    THanks for linking up with Hip Homeschool Hop! What a great post 🙂

    Can't wait to get to know you better.


  • annegalivan

    The Hip Homeschool moms are an amazing group! I am so enjoying the connections. The Twitter chat was awesome. Thanks for visiting, Meghan!

  • annegalivan

    Ooohhh, a home-schooler that was home-schooled! I love to hear that!

    I have already graduated two children from college (still home-schooling two also) – and my daughter definitely plans to home-school when she has kids.

    I appreciate you making it over here from the “Hop” – what a great place to connect! Glad you enjoyed this too! I know it's something I can read again and again and it still makes me laugh!

  • Michelle

    Love it! Thanks for sharing!

  • Anonymous

    Glad you liked it! Hope to see you back!

  • Jenny

    These are simply GREAT!!! Thanks for sharing. Mind if I link this post on one of my blog posts? It makes me smile!

  • Anonymous

    I’m glad you liked it! I’d love for you to link it…might brighten someone else’s day too!

  • Educ8ingmom

    Love it .. hope you don’t mind if I share it with some of my homeschooling moms .. they will love this

    • Anonymous

      I hope you do share it!  I still love this post and plan, if I can remember, to republish it this summer for my readers who may not have seen it the first time around.  It always gives me a laugh!

  • Jo

    I sometimes wished I could print out a flier – bit like this amazing list that I could just hand out to every enquirer!  My kids are married and now at college and loving life – all BECAUSE they were home schooled.  Well done for doing the right thing for your kids, whatever it was…….

    • Anonymous

      I hear you!

      Glad you stopped by and found this.  I keep wanting to re-post it for my new readers.  It really is priceless.

  • Tiffany Manley

    Greatest. Thing. Ever.  🙂  As a homeschooling mom, I laughed all the way through this!

    • Anonymous

      It really is awesomeness.  Glad you liked it!

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