It’s Time To Stop Complaining About Your First World Problems: An Open Letter To Homeschoolers Everywhere

Lauren Mancke

Dear Homeschoolers,

I wish I didn’t have to write this to be perfectly honest. I would prefer to let the world ignore us, or see us as perfectly normal. Unfortunately, you guys have forced my hand, and in order to make my point I’m going to have to make it publicly. I know open letters are outdated, but so are we, just roll with it.

I know homeschooling hasn’t been popular for long; honestly the first large generation of homeschoolers is basically just starting college. However, I feel like this needs to be said, to be put out in the open and shared so that you guys can see there’s a problem. I know I’ve been beating around the bush, so I’m just going to come out and say it:

A lot of you guys are acting really ungrateful.

Oh yeah, I said it and I mean it. I know a lot of you, I am one of you; I was homeschooled K-12. The only time I’ve ever been inside a school was to take the SAT. So please don’t write off what I’m telling you as the angry words of someone who doesn’t know what I’m talking about. I’m saying this out of the sense of love that I have for our community, that we and our families helped build.

Now I know that you guys are wondering what I mean when I say that you’re ungrateful, so here it is.

It seems to be becoming a trend for you guys to bash homeschooling, to talk about how you had to live like Alaskan hermits, locked in a dungeon. First off, you lie. Every single homeschooler who has told me this was on sports teams, was active in a church youth group, and spent time every week with theatre troupes or 4-H or some other club. They also almost all, after a certain age, worked at least part-time at a job with their peers. So please, cry me a river, you were socialized.

I’m sorry you didn’t get to wake up at 5 AM to shuffle off to a school to be forced to socialize, something I’m told people who actually go to school totally love and some definitely don’t hate to the point of physical discomfort. Please don’t tell me you think junior high and high school would have been like college; if you actually think this, go tell this to a schooler with a straight face and tell me what happens. I’ll bet at best they look at you like you said you still believe Santa’s real.

The other major thing you guys love to harp on is how the education you got was so lacking compared to the public education system. This one is really terrible, because first, most of you guys say this after receiving high scores on the SAT and ACT, getting accepted to top universities, and winning scholarships based off of academic success. Yeah, schoolers would love to learn everything you did the way you did. I know you want to say woe is me, but statistics don’t lie. We do significantly better on standardized tests than our schooler peers (including on the ACT and SAT).

Here’s the dirty little secret we really don’t want the schoolers to know; most homeschoolers spent a couple hours doing work and then roll around watching TV for the rest of the day until it’s time to go do something.

Yeah, we have it nice, which is why it’s important for homeschoolers to stop complaining. We have access to some of the best, easiest education in the world; please don’t act like you are somehow disadvantaged. People will stop listening and start growing angry with us, and I won’t blame them. You guys are missing the forest for the trees, the freedom for a misplaced sense of martyrdom.

It’s first world problems to the extreme and it’s time for it to stop.

So go forth, write your angry rebuttals and then, stop, realize there are people out there who have actual problems outside of perceived disadvantages you want to blame on your parents and hug a schooler. They are the ones who have to deal with an actually broken education system, not you.


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