You Might Be a Homeschooler If . . .

This video is hilarious.

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I got to the following point before burst out laughing:

“You might be a homeschooler if you judge the length of car rides by how many episodes of Adventures in Odyssey it’s going to take to get there.”

Until this moment, I thought was just my family. I am duly corrected! Here are some more that I could definitely relate to:

“If you ever did two days of school in one so your family could leave on vacation.”

“If the first an only R rated movie you ever saw was Passion of the Christ.”

“If your parents skipped over the parts in classic Disney movies where there was a classic witch.”

“If the first adult fiction book you ever read was Left Behind.”

“If you’re filled with fear and dread when you hear the word Saxon.”

“If your parents sat you down after watching the Wizard of Oz to explain to you that there is no such thing as good witches.”

“If you read more books in a month than kids with assigned reading lists read in a year.”

“If you weren’t allowed to watch Power Rangers.”

“If you weren’t allowed to watch movies that talked about evolution.”

Yup. Pretty much.

Oh! I just found out that there are two sequels! And they are just as good!

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Here are the ones that stuck out to me from this one:

“You might be a homeschooler if you have pro-life bumper stickers on your fifteen passenger van.”

“If you have very strong opinions on which Narnia vieo was supposed to be read first.”

If you’re not allowed to date, but if that boy intends to marry you, you can court him all day.”

“If you wish Connie and Eugene had gotten married.”

“You might be a homeschooler if you ever received the Timothy Award.”

“If you ever built an entire town out of legos.”

And now the third video:

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My favorites from this one were:

“If you’ve ever made a movie with your siblings.”

“If seeing your mom without a baby bump is unusual.”

“If you loved the first two Anne of Green Gables movies, but seriously, what was with that third one.”

“If you only go to the doctor if it’s a life or death situation.”

“If you’re still mad about Connie and Mitch.”

“If your favorite super hero is Bible Man.”

“If you ever kissed dating goodbye.”

“If doing the dishes is considered home economics.”

Now to be clear, I didn’t identify with every one of the things mentioned in these videos. For instance, some of the “you might be a homeschooler if . . . ” statements appear to assume that you had public school friends, and I didn’t. We also didn’t play Nintendo an we weren’t allowed to watch Magic School Bus because the kids in it were disrespectful. But the vast majority of these things? Spot on.

And now I need to go watch these three more times.

Addendum: After reading a number of the comments, I think it’s worth saying that about a third of the things mentioned in these videos are things that that pertain specifically to evangelicalism, about a third are things that pertain specifically to nerd and geek culture, and about a third are things that are homeschooling specific. The thing is, in the homeschooling world I grew up in, all of these different strands came together, and perhaps that’s why I found these videos so humorous. I grew up in a world that combined Bible Man, a constantly pregnant mother, and the Silmarillian. 

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Jayn

    That was…weird for me. Because some of those really weren’t home-school related, or even related to the Christian homeschool culture. I could relate to several of them myself. (Especially the one about reading lists. I’ve always been a voracious reader, and backed off a lot as an adult because it’s difficult to keep myself in books all that reliably given how fast I read).

    I was amused about having the talk that there are no good witches. Not that there are no witches, but specifically that there are no good ones.

    • Libby Anne

      To be honest, I think that people who either grew up evangelical or were nerds could relate to a lot of these even if they were never homeschooled.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Yeah, I was thinking that a lot of these are more appropriate for “you might be a geek.” Reading more books in a month than the kids who only read what on the assigned reading list did in a year? Check! (And I resented the hell out of those reading lists and their attacks on my personal reading autonomy! lol) Silmarillion and “The Princess Bride” knowledge? Uh-uh, homeschoolers do not get to claim those things!

        But some of these things you really, truly must be a homeschooler to understand! Can someone explain the “Saxon” thing to me? Is this a King Arthur thing? (If so then I think we can cross-file that under “geek” too.)

      • Tess

        Lol, it’s a *very* popular math curriculum among homeschoolers–one that I (successfully) begged my parents not to make me use!

      • Libby Anne

        Petticoat Philosopher—I just added a postscript to clarify this. I think what was unique, for me at least, about homeschooling culture was that it combined standard evangelical culture with nerd and geek culture and specifically homeschool things, creating a rather unique amalgam. So yes, lots of evangelicals who weren’t homeschooled also listened to Odyssey, and lots of nerds or geeks who went to public school read the Silmarillian, but it was in the homeschool community, for me at least, that these things were combined in a way that sort of created something new, and different.

      • Libby Anne

        Oh, and what Tess said regarding Saxon! Basically everyone I knew used it, and I credit my strong dislike of math today to using that textbook. It was dry as dust and confusing and made math incredibly unpleasant, especially when I was doing it without an instructor to start with! Good for you, Tess, on insisting on another program—I’m glad that worked out for you!

      • Anat

        Good to know about Saxon Math. Back in the day I was reading about the California Math Wars (I was trying to assess if the quality of the math program in my daughter’s school), parents who were critical of the newer curricula swore by either Saxon or Singapore math.

      • Ryn

        Wait, people didn’t like Saxon math? My dad was a math teacher for years and swore by Saxon as one of the best textbooks for giving a solid mathematics foundation. There is no such thing as an exciting math textbook, but as far as that goes Saxon is better than most. I personally prefer the really theoretical mathematics that you get into once you move way beyond calculus, but as far as teaching the basic concepts that you need for everything else, Saxon is excellent.

      • Tess

        Well, I disagree that there’s no such thing as an exciting math textbook, but to be fair they to be few and far between, and Saxon, like most, isn’t one of the exciting ones. It’s comprehensive, which is great, and generally gets the job done, but tends to emphasize learning through repetition rather than learning through concepts (which can be tedious, frustrating, and confusing too).

        Now, Saxon plus a good math teacher I’m sure would be better and more interesting than Saxon self-directed study, but most homeschoolers are learning this stuff on their own, so there are far better self-directed textbooks (that read more like a teacher giving a lecture and actually emphasize conceptual understanding and make interesting connections) out there.

      • ArachneS

        Omg the Saxon math. So much hate directed towards those books. Did NOT help that we were expected to teach ourselves math based on the “instructions” at the beginning of each lesson.

  • Ahab

    Can I try? I wasn’t homeschooled, so I don’t know if these will be funny, but it’s worth a shot.

    - If your Bible doubles as your science textbook, you might be homeschooled.
    - If you think the Cambrian Explosion is some boy band from the UK, you might be homeschooled.

    :: ducks tomatoes flying through the air ::

    • Libby Anne

      Your first one is perfect; your second one assumes knowledge of what a “boy band” is. That’s definitely knowledge I didn’t have. :-P

  • Anonymous

    “If you ever built an entire town out of legos.”

    Ignoring the grammatical mistake (the plural of LEGO is also LEGO… I wish more people would get this right), I’m not sure how this relates to homeschooling. This is simply known as being an AFOL.

    • Libby Anne

      I think you’re kind of missing the point. Homeschoolers are notorious for having tons of legos—at least, the homeschoolers in my circles were. The video isn’t saying that only homeschoolers play with legos anymore than it’s saying that only homeschool parents fast forward through the witch scenes in Disney movies.

      • Anonymous

        Well, that comment was partially meant to be a bit of a tongue-in-cheek jab at the LEGO fandom (which also involves a bit of self-deprecation on my part, considering I’m part of said fandom), but I guess that just didn’t come across properly in the text.

        Still, I honestly didn’t know that homeschoolers -or at least a noticeable segment of them- have a reputation for getting lots of LEGO for their kids. That’s why I was a bit confused by that part.

      • Petticoat Philosopher

        Huh, really? Interesting. Why is that? I always just thought of legos (You might be a huge LEGO aficionado–Iam not–if you insist on “LEGO” being the plural of “LEGO.” That lack of “s” always lets me know whose been to the conventions…) as being a cool toy that all kids had. Why is their a special zeal for them among homeschoolers?

      • Libby Anne

        I really don’t know. All I know is that all of the homeschoolers I knew spent scads of time playing with legos, verging on obsession. We had all the time at home, and while our moms would read history aloud to us, or whatever, we would build and build. I’m assuming this is why it was included in the video. But I really have nothing to compare that to, because we only knew other homeschoolers.

      • M

        Interesting. We had a ton of LEGO, but that’s because they’re fun to play with, and we’re definitely not homeschooled. My sisters and I are also the youngest of my cousins, so I think my parents got some hand-me-down LEGO from my aunts and uncles.

  • LeftSidePositive

    Lifelong atheist, child of 2 ACLU members, & K-12 public schooler here:

    OF COURSE I can quote the entire Princess Bride! That movie is awesome!

    Oh, and of course I know what gene jumpers are: they’re transposons first discovered in the corn genome by Barbara McClintock…oh…wait…

    • Liriel

      I thought *everyone* could quote The Princess Bride. Well, everyone that spends too much time on entertainment message boards anyway….maybe I ought to revisit the nerd thing Libby Anne mentioned, even though I always thought of myself as more of a geek. Comic books and scifi – nerd or geek?

      • Libby Anne

        Nerd, geek, the homeschoolers I grew up amongst generally had a mixture of both. :-P

  • Rilian

    Maybe it should be called “you might have been raised crazy Christian if”.

  • Jason

    Yes to Adventures in Odyssey! Not only did my family own every movie, but also every radio show that they ever created. haha!

  • JetGirl

    The baby bump one is interesting.

  • Rilian

    Legos … I was not allowed them as a child :((

  • Daughter

    Who are Connie and Eugene, and Connie and Mitch?

    • Brightie

      Connie, Eugene, and Mitch are characters from Adventures in Odyssey, a radio drama designed by Focus on the Family. In retrospect parts of it were rather painful even by many conservative Christians’ standards (the d&d-bashing episode, for example), but it was still a long-running storyline with not-completely-flat characters and various shout-outs to historical fiction and scifi. Anyway, Connie and Eugene were both employees at a local childrens’ play-place and ice cream shop run by the Wise Guide figure, Whit. They have a running banter/argument thing going, but in-canon they are just friends. Mitch was the love interest they introduced for Connie later on, and then they broke them up after they were engaged and preparing for their wedding because the two had conflicting ideas about what they wanted from their futures, Connie wasn’t giving hers up, and he wasn’t even considering giving up his.

      • Anat

        So how come Quiverful/CP families endorsed this series? Connie works and then refuses to give up her ideas in favor of those of her fiance? Isn’t she headed towards that dumpy duplex?

      • Brightie

        It may have been less about the not giving up work, than about the not joining her life to someone whose area of work was dangerous and going to take her far away from everybody she knew for an extended period of time while he was in training. If I remember correctly.

        Also, I’d guess that for many people, breaking up pre-marriage rather than being in a difficult marriage for the rest of your natural life (since divorce is unnacceptable) is not an unreasonable idea.

    • Brightie

      …Also, the breakup was quite sudden, and they’d been building the romance for a long time.

  • Gordon

    I’m suprised the Simarillion is allowed!

    • Brightie

      How come?
      Many Christian homeschooling families are good with LOTR, and the Silm is a step closer to Christian acceptability… it has some form of creation story, and a villain loosely analogous to the rebellious angel Satan.

      • Brightie

        *sorry, specifically Christian conservative evangelical. Didn’t mean to other the less-strict theological groups.

  • gmb7

    I have to say as a woman who is completing a degree in physics in May things like “you had to wait for Dad to get home to help you with science” and “your mom taught you language and your dad taught you math” have a very high cringe factor.

    • Alice

      Yes, it’s a stereotype, but it was true in my house and many other home-schooling stories I have heard. NOT because of gender, but because my mom had lousy math teachers when she was in public school in the 70′s. She never even learned how to do pre-algebra. My dad worked in a math-related field, so he knew it well but wasn’t so great at teaching it.

      On another note, I saw these videos a while back and laughed so hard because 75% of them described my childhood and teenage years.

  • The Other Weirdo

    I was not homeschooled, but I recognize all of the ones you mention as a possible side effect of it. One thing baffles me. Saxon. What is that?

    • Sheena

      It was The Master’s campaign slogan when he was running for Prime Minister so he could take over the universe and fill it with Master clones. :p

      Or, it’s a math curriculum popular in homeschooling circles.

  • Alice

    I HATED Saxon with all my might! It MIGHT have been helpful in the upper grades when I struggled with math, but in the lower grades the two years we used it, I was bored to tears doing the same type of problems 2000 times when 40 times was all I needed to remember the concept. My mom let me skip the speed drills at the beginning of every lesson at least. I bet the math genius kids hated Saxon even more than I did.

  • Rosa

    the people who were self-teaching from the Saxon books…how old did you start doing that?

    Just because my second grader is doing a mix of Montessori (hands-on manipulation, bead frames, arrays) and plain public school (drills, reciting out loud to memorize, coins, “number sentences”) math, and when I help in the classroom I find a lot of the stuff perplexing – not because I can’t do math, but because I never learned to use a number frame or the specific language the directions use. My kid LOVES math and I still can’t imagine just handing him a book and saying “now learn this!” Early grade math is full of complex concepts.

    • Anat

      I attended grades 1-2 at an international school in Europe. By 2nd grade students like me, who were doing well, were working almost entirely on our own, while the teacher worked with the rest of the class. And if one of us needed an explanation we were often likely to get it from one of the other advanced students.

      • Rosa

        that’s different than being actually on your own, though. Montessori kids work mostly on their own – until they need help, then they have people to ask. And they have a whole group, with a teacher or other resource person, to discuss concepts they haven’t grasped with.

        Plus, almost by definition not every homeschooled kid is advanced in math.

  • Omorka

    “You might be a homeschooler if the word ‘Saxon’ fills you with fear and dread.” Or you might just be *any math teacher on the planet*. I know of exactly two students I have ever met who got any benefit out of that program at all – for the vast majority, it’s bad pedagogy all around and emphasizes mechanical competence at the expense of developing actual mathematical concepts.

  • Lisa

    We had SO MANY legos when I was small! I can still recall the BLINDING, TORTUROUS PAIN when you stepped on them! Seriously. There are very few things around the house that hurt as much as stepping on legos. I once cut myself with a real sharp knife when I was young, right down the thumb. Still got a scar there. Didn’t hurt nearly as much as the legos, though.
    I remember getting into trouble all the time because I drew stuff on the legos. Those special packs were too expensive and we had hardly any special legos, so whenever I needed a fridge to build a house, I would just draw one on the normal legos. At first I was scolded for “ruining the toys” but at some point I convinced my mother that I was being frugal and smart, and that we should make a seperate box of home-made girl legos.
    Did I mention just how much I loved legos?

    Oh and by the way, I like blimey cow for a very unchristian reason. I think the guy in the video is amazingly handsome despite being much too young for me. Teehee.

  • Heart

    Dunno about Bibleman being my favorite hero, but does regarding Shadow of Doubt as the best super villain ever count?

  • Alexandra McKay

    Libby, I’d like to talk to you directly. You say that your upbringing contained both Narnia and Tolkien, but that Harry Potter was not just considered Satanic, the books themselves were even believed to harbour demons. Why is it that fundamentalists hate Harry Potter so much, but not Tolkien? Both present magic as morally neutral, usable for good or evil, and only by certain people. Is it because the wizards in Harry Potter are mortal humans, while magic in Tolkien is used only by immortal Elves and Maiar? Is it because Tolkien himself was a devout Christian, and his books were partially Christian allegory? Or is it just because Harry Potter is more popular? My Dad, a liberal Anglican (mainline Protestant) gave the last reason, saying that some fundies even believe that Narnia, a direct Christian allegory where magic is usually bad, is Satanic.

    • M

      It might be because Tolkien is older. The classics get kind of a free pass in a lot of ways, if I’m reading the attitudes that go into this right.

  • Joshua

    Actually, there is no “magic” in Lord of the Rings; Galadriel makes that point to Samwise in the books (not the movies), which begs the question, I suppose. But Tolkien’s world is full of things that are different from ours, whereas Harry Potter’s world IS our world. Thus, magic in Harry Potter’s world would be magic in ours, and of course Christianity condemns that. That, I presume, is the basic reason. Or at least the most well thought out one. I’m sure some parents out there really would just end it at “But Tolkien was Christian!” without thinking farther.

  • fiddlrts

    Oh my goodness! I recognize about 3/4 of those. Probably the best part about homeschooling was Disneyland in February. On Tuesday. Yes indeed!

  • childsVOICE

    Loved all three. Hilarious!
    (How bad is it I just Googled ‘hilarious’ to make sure I spelled it correctly?! I went to public school but homeschool my daughter.) LOL