A few days ago, I volunteered at our church’s vacation bible school. Thinking I would make a new friend, I sat down next to a girl sitting alone and struck up a conversation. After mentioning I was homeschooled, I asked her which school she attended. Then I questioned if she liked the school. She responded with “Yes, the school was a lot of fun”. Then turning to me, partly curious, partly sympathetic, she asked, “Is it lonely having no friends?”
My first reaction was to slightly laugh. Friends? I thought, Of course I have friends. Do I seem like some socially awkward weirdo? I was the one who started this conversation! I began to explain about our homeschool group and the teen gatherings that I attended. She was surprised to find I had a social life.
Truth is, other kids can’t even imagine how you can have friends without attending a school. After all, most “school kids” create friends with either people in their class or those at the same lunch table. The thought of being homeschooled sends thoughts of staying home all day and never ever going to a party or get-together unless my local church is having some sort of family carnival. And, if I do happen to venture out into “the unknown”, I’ll stick close by my family, be too shy and afraid to say hello to anyone new, and then rush back to the safety of my cozy home where I can go back to work on my calculus problems and be a nerd. Yah! Sadly, this is the view that I encounter when talking to non-homeschoolers I meet.
Stay tuned for part 2, the reality…