The Things You Miss Out On When You’re Home-schooled…

Banana-man Ray Comfort says that homeschooled kids miss out on so many of the things public schools students experience…

By not being educated by the public system, their kids will miss out on learning how to communicate using filthy language. They will also miss out on the use of illegal drugs. According to a survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, “Millions of U.S. teens attend ‘drug-infested schools’ where students routinely see drugs used, sold or kept on schools grounds… Thirty-one percent of high school students — more than 4 million — see drug dealing, illegal drug use or students high or drunk at least once a week on their school grounds.”

Home schooled kids will also miss out on sexual promiscuity, contracting sexually transmitted diseases (statistics show that one in four U.S. females has a sexually transmitted disease), being bullied, and maybe being shot to death (to date, there have been shootings resulting in the deaths of students in 76 different U.S. public schools). According to the National Conference of State Legislatures an incredible one in five kids in public schools “has seriously considered suicide.”

Had home schoolers attended public school they would have also been brainwashed by an unproven theory about human origins, and ended up believing that they are nothing but an animal with no ultimate moral accountability.

Got that public school children? When you’re not high, swearing, swimming in gonorrhea, or getting beaten up, you’re probably gonna get shot. So you should just stay home and learn about Creationism.

It’s so obvious.

I should just quit my job and stop working with students who study for hours, volunteer in their community, and participate in all sorts of extra-curricular activities because surely they’re just biding their time before they whip out their syphilis-soaked weapons on each other.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • RobMcCune

    By not being educated by the public system, their kids will miss out on learning how to communicate using filthy language. They will also miss out on the use of illegal drugs. 

    I must have missed out, which class is that? Kids today are so spoiled.

  • Adam Patrick

    I missed out on that stuff and I went to a public school. Where do idiots like Comfort get these ideas? 

  • Amy Mcgraw-pate

    that banana slinging imbicile does NOT speak for all homeschoolers. My homeschooled kids are learning from Dawkins, Darwin, and Sagan. 

    Atheist and secular families are a growing segment of homeschoolers. 

  • MargueriteF

    The only way to keep your kids from learning “filthy language” in today’s society is to unplug the TV and computer, keep them from reading any modern books, and isolate them entirely from their peers, and for that matter adults as well. The cure sounds worse than the disease to me… but I rather like filthy language:-).

  • The Other Weirdo

    Yeah, shame on you, Hermant. How dare you burst his cliche storm with facts and learnings. Don’t you know that facts kill faith? Martin Luther himself said that.

  • 0xabad1dea

    Amen sister.

    I came to say “please everyone remember there are reasons to homeschool other than religious fundamentalism.” I have seen it work great and it really gets on my nerves when people conflate homeschoolers with being uneducated and socially ignorant.

    Of course, where Ray Comfort is concerned… well the stereotype started somewhere.

  • Melissa Williams

    I homeschool my kids (not including Creationism, thank you very much. Secular homeschooling – it’s a thing.) & the youngest has developed a wonderfully large vocabulary of “filthy language.” 

  • Melissa Williams


  • Gail

    I remember in elementary and middle school anti-drug programs, they always told us that there was a 100% chance we’d be offered drugs before finishing high school. In 12th grade, my friend Nick and I shared our disappointment that nobody had ever offered us drugs (My mother was a teacher at the school, so anyone offering drugs to me would have to have been pretty stupid). Apparently I missed out on all this illegal-drug activity in public school as well. The Christian public school across the street from my high school was known to have a serious drug problem, actually.

  • Gail

    *Christian private school

  • Artor

    I remember attending Catholic School in the 5th grade. There were kids getting suspended for bringing guns to school, smoking & chewing tobacco. I overheard a kid on the bus bragging about getting a blowjob from his babysitter. The gym teacher had a thing for Catholic schoolgirls, and there was no shortage at all of foul language. It was SO much better than public school! /snark/

  • Artor

    Straight out of his ass.

  • Santiago


  • gingerjet

    Good for you!  Students should be offered a diversity of possible learning experiences.  Homeschooling among them.  A one size fits all approach doesn’t work.  

  • Jh123

    Yes, ^^^^^ this.  Our family was “in transition” from a non-formal pagan/wiccan belief to atheism, and our son was attending a private school that ended up having some safety problems in their outdoor program.  We withdrew him from the school before the start of the fall term and ended up homeschooling him through his high school years.

    And living in Salt Lake City, he still ended up being exposed to all these “nasty” things (including the drug dealing – he still is occasionally mistaken by users as someone who might just have some weed on him – which of course he doesn’t).

    Homeschooling is one way to ensure that the religion is taken out of the classroom, that’s for certain.

  • Justin Miyundees

    I have homeschooled my kids to inoculate them against idiots like Ray Comfort. My son’s second grade teacher required he pray or he couldn’t have his lunch. I had a high school coach who guffawed at (and many kids took note) at evolution. Our schools here in the south are replete with creationist wingnuts. And the Prayer of Allegiance – let’s not forget the Prayer.

  • Santiago

    Well, I cannot speak for other homeschoolers but for us  syphilis in the school system is what really did it ;)

  • Travis Mamone

    Wait, I went to public school, and I didn’t get laid once! I must have went to the wrong public school.

  • Jim Valentine

    The few people that I know that were home-schooled certainly made up for their lack of drugs and sex afterward.

  • Tamara

    This sort of stuff makes me nuts. I’m with Amy. Homeschoolers are not a homogeneous group, in the same way that all public schools and all public school teachers aren’t the same.

    It’s true that we’re the sole secular homeschooling in this small Southern town, but the nearby city has a large and active group of secular homeschoolers who are strong on academics, as well as on forging strong, positive relationships with other kids and adults. My kids’ favorite activity is their weekly Science Club, in which kids learn about topics from evolution to global warming to genetics from a retired high school science teacher. We read humanist children’s books on ethics, skepticism and world religions. We talk about the issues of the day: gay marriage, the separation of church and state, income inequality, racism, etc. There are as many reasons for homeschooling as their are homeschooled children. The irony is that I took my kids out of the public school because it was too religious, everything from Gideon Bibles in the fifth grade to bullying from the Christian kids. They’d probably still be there today if it weren’t for that.

  • monyNH

    I must’ve missed out too, because I never saw or was offered a drug until my freshman year of college (those hippie, pot-smoking freaks! LOL). I also somehow missed the promiscuity and STD-passing phase of public school…damn.   ;)

  • onamission5

    Gee, I don’t know what kind of public school handbananaman attended, but when I was a teen we had to wait until after class was out to get our sex, diseases and drugs because the teachers wouldn’t let us have them during lessons.

    *huge eyeroll*

  • Anna

    I know! I went to one, too, and I didn’t have sex, smoke, drink, or take drugs. Clearly I missed out on all the fun.

  • Anna

    Yes, my boyfriend and his sister were pulled out of Catholic elementary school because of violent bullying. And I mean punching, kicking, spitting, pulling hair, and throwing dirt in other students’ faces. This was a nice, upper-middle class suburb, too. It doesn’t look like all those prayers ever helped the students behave themselves.

  • Lheywood2

    My suicidal depression in hs was due to my religious issues. Wait…

  • Artor

    Yup. That sounds about typical. I was usually the recipient of all that loving, Christ-like behavior myself. Funny, I was a solid atheist by the time I left Catholic school.

  • wmdkitty

    You, too?

    I wish someone had introduced to Mary Jane in my high school years — she would have made them a lot less stressful.

  • Karen L

     Thank you for your comment!  My homeschooled kids (one now a college graduate, the other in his sophmore year) both learned WAY more about evolution than any of their public schooled counterparts. They read Darwin, Dawkins and Sagan.  They are very scientifically literate, and critical thinkers.

    I’m very tired of the ‘creationist homeschooler’ stereotype.  Not saying there aren’t plenty who meet the stereotype, but there are many, many who do not.  Where I live, I would expect the majority of *public* school kids to be creationists.

    Ray Comfort is an idiot.  About homeschooling as much as about anything else.

  • Cdrvalleyfarm

    Homeschooling is not monolithic….although many fundamentalists adopt it to shelter their children from the world.

    As secular homeschoolers, we see homeschool as a way to expose our kids to the world. Also, having schedule flexibility makes this much more doable; it works well for us.

    At the same time, we respect, admire, and support all the hard working public school teachers out there. Thank for all you do, Hemant.

  • Guest

    I was homeschooled, and my father loved to tell people that we homeschooled for religious reasons – because there was too much religion in schools! (Really, it was primarily for better educational opportunities and a more challenging curriculum, which our local schools didn’t provide.)

  • Alexander Ryan

    I’m enjoying doing High School online. Much quieter, I can work at my own pace, and the lunches don’t suck.

  • beatlefreak9

    I guess Ray has reverted to his broken-record blog rants instead of his vaguely anti-Semitic story thing. Just when I let my guard down….

  • Gmillar

    I was homeschooled, and I did cocaine in 11th grade.

  • Keulan

    I was wondering if Ray Comfort cited any sources for his statistics, but apparently not. Until he does provide some links to where he got those statistics I’m assuming he pulled them out of his ass.

  • advancedatheist

    Home schooled kids will also miss out on sexual promiscuity

    Perhaps kids should miss out on that: 

    Scientific methods can test patriarchal beliefs about whether women’s promiscuity spoils them as wives,  and we shouldn’t dismiss these beliefs out of hand just because their religious accretions offend Atheism-Plussers.

  • Katios

    That guy does not speak for all homeschooled kids. Speaking as an ex-homeschooler, I have to stand up for the secular homeschoolers of America and say that many homeschooled teens have healthy sex lives and swear just as much as public school kids — perhaps even more creatively. We also learn about evolution. And go to college and graduate school. And are atheists.

    Downside is, we don’t learn math from Hemant :)

  • rlrose63

    We’re starting homeschooling this year, but it’s with an online charter school, Connections.  We have hardcover books, supplies for science experiments, etc.  This because of the wonderful bullying that he endured from a teacher in 5th grade and 2 other students in 6th and 7th.  When I complained about the 6th grade one, I was told we had to be patient because this kid is from a broken home with a “rolling stone” mom (yes, the principal told me that).  This kid was pulling others behind a building to beat them up!

    Luckily, Connections is very big here in Oregon and there is no mention of anything religious (the science book even discusses evolution in a positive light!).  He’ll go every day to the YMCA Teen Center for 3 hours to socialize with other kids he’s gotten to know there and his best friend left the brick and mortar school for Connections as well, so he’s very excited!

    This is the only form of “homeschooling” we’d consider.

  • Namansingh210287

    filthy language FTW

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    What public high school did Comfort go to? I do find it a bit funny that he brings up school shootings, but does not mention the underlying cause for school shootings or suicide rates among students.

  • Glasofruix

    Home schooled kids will also miss out on sexual promiscuity

    Was he trying to get more kids in public school with this one?

  • Estraven2008

    My grandkids are homeschooled by their very progressive atheist mom. They are learning more science than they’d be likely to learn in a public school and they take advantage of all that Ann Arbor, MI has to offer: museums, the botanical gardens, etc. As others here have said, not all homeschoolers are religious wingnuts. I myself homeschooled my son through his last year of school when school simply became unendurable for him.

  • Flo

    I’m an atheist homeschooling parent living in the Baltimore area, and there is a thriving community of us here. Part of the reason I decided to homeschool my kids was so their learning would be limitless. I get so tired of being lumped in with with those crazies like Ray Comfort.

  • Stev84

    Yeah, I was never offered drugs either, despite some warnings :(

    I knew a few people who said they’d taken shrooms and weed, so I guess I could have gotten some, but it’s not like it was thrust in my face.

  • Glasofruix

    I don’t think homeschooling is a good thing, aside from a physical incapacity to get to the school. I mean kids miss out all the interaction with people other than their parents and family/close friends. That’s like sending a soldier to battle just after explaining him to “stick’em with the pointy end”…

  • Sarah

    OR they miss out of the years of bullying which cause them to become withdrawn and socially anxious. There are other ways to socialize children without sending them into that free-for-all.

  • Glasofruix

    Bullying is not systematic, for example i did not see any in my school, but then i was schooled in Europe, not in the third world of education you call USA…

  • Aaronlane

    Either that, or public schools can stop… what’s the term… “sucking out loud.” Once you examine the real data and look at it objectively there are only two conclusions an informed person can make: 1. Public schools are actively failing most students 2. Public schools have already failed years ago, and the only real solution is to start over.

    Until that happens, I don’t blame anyone… fundamentalist, atheist, concerned parent, etc… for abandoning a failed system.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Government sponsored propaganda – another thing you miss out on by exercising your right to opt out of public school.

    Cf. Tennessee’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

  • Concerned Citizen

    D’oh my comment no longer applies D:

  • Concerned Citizen

    I think that’s a misconception. Home school kids can interact with other adults besides just parents and parents’ friends – there’s other home school kids, for one thing, and of course even public school kids after they get out.

  • NewAtheist

     I not invited to all the “good” parties in high school, they thought I was too goody-goody; drank nyquil to dull the pain since I couldn’t get any alcohol (back when it was 10%). Senior year, at a VERY christianh public school, we had the highest teen pregnancy rate in the country, and our mascot was the Trojans.

  • nakedanthropologist

    I can concur with this.  I went to a public highschool and wasn’t offered drugs or saw drugs on campus.  In fact, everyone in my graduating class were offered scholarships with the exception of two people (out of a graduating class of 99).  However, the Catholic high school in my town was often joked about because of the serious drug problem there.  Want to score some weed?  Then just go to the Catholic high school.  Just my own .02. 

  • Chris Algoo

     [citation needed]

  • nakedanthropologist

    I went to a Catholic elementary school as well, as was also severely bullied.  In all honesty, the dissonance between what I expected out of a christian school at the time versus what I actually experienced is what killed my belief in religion.  My parents took me out after sixth grade, and I am still grateful to this day.

  • gtpooh

    I home schooled my kids.  And they did miss out on a lot.  Being abused for being different.  Not getting an education because we lived in a hyper conservative area where teachers could make kids do close order drills instead of study science.   Struggling to get through the day with military kids always acting out.  

    Alas they did NOT miss being expelled for saying “one nation under goddess” during the pledge or having their pentagram ripped off by a blonde Nazi looking man who kept a Bible on his desk and claimed that Pompeii was a volcano.  Or any of dozens of other things that really, really made them HATE school.  So I home schooled.  

    And I am not the only intelligent, skeptical parent who home schooled.  It’s just that we get dumped on by folks who don’t understand.

  • beijingrrl

     Obviously, you didn’t read what the above secular homeschoolers had to say. 

    I’d venture to say that my kids have interactions with a larger number of people than most public school kids.  Public school kids usually only hang out with the kids in their class or perhaps the kids in their grade and kids in their extracurricular activities.  My kids have a broad base of friends of all ages.  In a given week, I think they interact with at least 50 other kids, lots of adults of all ages they have close relationships with and even more people in the community as we take care of errands. 

    Our pediatrician always comments on how my kids eagerly answer his questions and have no trouble engaging in conversation with an adult.  Most of his other patients can barely look up from their video games or need their parents to speak for them.

    All of the secular homeschoolers I’ve met (and I’ve homeschooled in LA, Beijing and Montreal) are choosing this option partly to broaden their children’s experiences.  I think that secluding your child probably is a religious thing.

  • Anna

    I wouldn’t homeschool either, for that exact reason. I understand homeschoolers are touchy about the social aspect, but it’s not just about socialization. For me, going to school is also about developing an independent life away from parents and siblings, with adults and peers that the family does not know. It’s about learning to interact with people you may or may not like, on your own, in a long-term group setting, which is not the kind of thing you can replicate at home.

    Plus, going to school is a massive social and cultural experience. There are so many traditions associated with it. First day of school. Back to school night. Picture day. Field day. Class parties. School dances. Sports teams. Spirit week. Rallies. Clubs. Prom. Graduation. I wouldn’t want my kids to miss out on that. And there’s also the atheist factor. As someone who was raised without religion, school was my community as a small child. It’s the only secular way I can think of to provide children with a structured, consistent community.

  • Anna

    I experienced bullying in middle school, but I don’t think it’s a reason to homeschool. It was an unpleasant experience, yes, but overall my school memories are overwhelmingly positive. And even on the worst days, I would never have wanted my parents to pull me out and keep me at home. Actually, as a 12 and 13 year old, that sounded like more of a nightmare than the bullies!

    Plus, bullying can happen anywhere children gather. Homeschool groups can be full of bullies, so can church groups, scout troops, summer camps, etc. It’s an unfortunate reality, but children can be victimized in any type of setting. Parents can’t be there 24/7.

  • guest

    Absolutely! We home school our kids by making them part of the world, not keeping them away from it!

  • Coyotenose

     Man, people rage over Jen when she isn’t even implied. That’s pretty impressive, actually. Does she have an actual superpower or something?

  • Mike De Fleuriot

     Sorry, but I have to laugh.
    “(the science book even discusses evolution in a positive light!).”

    As if a Science book could describe evolution as anything else but in a positive light. You do know what that means, you think there is some doubt about evolution, that it could be described in science as something negative. You might want to get that checked.

  • kaileyverse

    Because I believe I am “only an animal with no  ultimate moral accountability” – I am automatically a better person than you,  Ray Comfort.

  • Earl G.

    I somehow made it through public school, college, and grad school without ever being offered drugs.  Go figure.

  • Suzanne Lamb is about my family’s experiences as unschoolers and atheists in the bible belt.  Several posts are about our school district’s ongoing involvement with the Gideons.  As others have said, sometimes the liberal education has to happen at home.

  • Suzanne Lamb is about my family’s experiences as unschoolers and atheists in the bible belt.  Several posts are about our school district’s ongoing involvement with the Gideons.  As others have said, sometimes the liberal education has to happen at home.

  • Suzanne Lamb is about my family’s experiences as unschoolers and atheists in the bible belt.  Several posts are about our school district’s ongoing involvement with the Gideons.  As others have said, sometimes the liberal education has to happen at home.