Homeschoolers in books – Why do they all have the same personality?
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.
I think you need to write a book about a homeschooler Iris 😉
I’m not really a writer… so that might be a bit difficult 😃.
Hi Iris! I really really like reading! I’m Gillian’s niece! I really enjoy your blog😃
I’ve read tonnes of books too and I haven’t come across ONE with a homeschooler. (Technically they were homeschooled in my sister rosa but not really and it was mentioned like,,,2 times?) My brother recently started homeschooling a year ago and it would be really interesting to find a good book that has homeschoolers in it but based on your post, i guess you’d need a lot of luck to find one
Ugh yes, it is SOOOOO hard to find a good book with a homeschooled character 😡
I actually haven’t read many books with homeschoolers but I can say that I have seen quite a few movies that do portray them this way! I’m not homeschooled but I was for a while and I know lots of people who were homeschooled so it does bother me, even though I do know some homeschooled people who fit the stereotypes.
I know some homeschooled people who fit some of these stereotypes, but in books they fit ALL of them… Also, I’ve met non homeschooled people who fit them as well…
Iris what books would you recommend for a 10 year old
I’m not great at recommending books for a specific age (especially since everybody is different), so some of these might be a little bit younger or older than you’re reading right now, but I can tell you a couple of my favourites when I was a bit younger.
– Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
– Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
– Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
– Circle of Magic by Tamora Pierce
– Because of Mr Terrupt by Rob Buyea
– The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler
– The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Hahaha, that was slightly more than I meant to list… I got a bit carried away. What are your favourite books? I could probably give you better suggestions if I knew what you liked to read 😊.
I homeschooled all through elementary school, most of middle school, and some of highschool, and I can honestly say that none of these stereotypes apply to me at all! (Except for the straight a one, but so are a lot of non-homeschoolers, so that one I don’t mind as much.) I actually kind of hate books about homeschoolers, because they are all so innacurate. I mean, sure, yeah, some homeschoolers are socially awkward or weird, but so are lots of public schoolers! And definitely not *all* homeschoolers are like that. That’s the thing that gets me the most, because people treat homeschoolers like they’re all like that in the real life too, which is kind of rude and not necessarily true. Also, you’re right about homeschoolers being stereotyped as naiive and innocent. It’s not like they’re two years old or somethiing!! xD.
I know, I sort of hate books about homeschoolers too, but I would love to read about a homeschooler who’s well done.
Thanks for the suggestions!My favourite books have been:
– The Hunger Games series
-The City of Ember series
-The Secret Garden
-The Velveteen Rabbit
I was homeschooled too! I’ve never read a book with homeschoolers, but the stereotypes are so true… What are the ones you’ve read?
Cool! It’s always neat when I find out someone else was homeschooled 😀
The ones I read were Schooled by Gordan Korman, something that I think was maybe called The List… and I don’t even remember what the other one was…
Interesting post! I can’t think of a lot of books I’ve read about homeschoolers offhand (but then I read a lot of genre fiction instead of contemporary), but these do sound like some of the stereotypes I’ve encountered. I think there is a general perception that kids who are homeschooled are introverted and good students, like they do nothing except sit around by themselves all day, so that’s how they turn out or something. And obviously that’s not true. And of course there’s also the religious homeschooled kid stereotype, which is a whole other thing.
Yeah, I can’t think of a lot either, but those I have read have all just been SO frustrating.