Yes, Virginia, there are dumb homeschool questions!

This is the 7th and final article in my homeschool series, "A Question of Homeschooling."  Over the last several weeks, I've covered some important issues and questions about homeschooling.  You've heard it said that no question is a dumb question, but I don't subscribe to that theory.  Some questions, though you may stretch their meaning to include something that really isn't being asked, are indeed DUMB questions. As I said in my first article, I have been homeschooling for over 10 years.  In that time I have had people ask me some valid, pertinent, and important questions about homeschooling. I have had folks express their reservations about homeschooling.  Hey, I had them too!  And I have had people ask the dumbest questions about homeschooling as well.  Here are a few: 1. Do you KNOW anything? I covered this one here, but thought I'd bring it back as it really is a dumb question to ask of anyone.  Would anyone, ANYONE, think to ask a public schooled student this question--even if he attends a rather poorly rated public school?  Anyone?  Beuller?  Beuller? I know some will say that they are simply asking if a homeschooled student really learns as much with mom at the helm than with an unbiased third party.  However, since studies show that most homeschoolers are rated academically higher than most public schooled students (and even higher than most private schooled students), this question really isn't a valid one.  And in the cases where it might be a valid issue, it is a really DUMB way to ask, especially when speaking directly to a child. 2. Aren't homeschoolers all weird? And before you say nobody would ever ask something this rude, let me just say I've heard this one first hand!!  No, Mildred.  Not all homeschoolers wear 1800's bonnets and lock their kids in a closet until they memorize their Latin roots.  And we don't all wear denim jumpers and forbid smiling.  While many homeschoolers tend to hold conservative values, we also tend to be independent thinkers and come in many shapes and sizes. 3. What about all the homeschoolers who don't teach their kids anything? I've run into hundreds of homeschoolers in the last ten years from all over the world and I've never met a homeschooling parent who doesn't take her children's education seriously.  I'm not saying every homeschool parent is like this, but it certainly isn't a widespread problem!  It's so much easier to leave a child's education in the hands of others than to take on the challenging task of doing it yourself. And the folks who ask this question of homeschoolers don't seem to wonder if the kids in public schools are really learning anything despite the statistics that show a percentage of public school children who are consistently passed to the next grade level without grasping the concepts of the past year. 4. Where do you go to homeschool? Ok this one just floored me.  I mean, it's called HOMEschool.  But, yes, I was asked where my daughter went to homeschool.  And I had a difficult time convincing the person who asked that she was, in fact, schooled at HOME! 5. Aren't you afraid your kids won't learn how to deal with bullies? Yes, indeed, this question has come up and, yes, he was serious! 6. But how will your kids learn how to wait in line? While I was never asked this question, I do know people who have been asked.  I wasn't aware that this was a skill or that it was the function of public school to teach.  And...I guess the grocery store, department stores, Disneyland, Motor Vehicle Department, doctor's office, and pizzeria's don't count. 7.  When will they talk to people? I suppose that if you think homeschoolers are locked in their room all day studying for Spelling Bees, you aren't considering all the family time, sibling conversations, homeschool co ops, extra curricular activities, church events, community involvement, and Spelling Bees where the contestants are required to actually speak their answers, sometimes ask questions for clarification and perhaps speak with other contestants along the way. 8. How will they ever find a husband? Do most girls find their husbands in public school? 9. How will they learn that there are different people in the world? Um...perhaps from talking with neighbors, relatives, reading about other countries and cultures, watching TV, listening to the news... 10. What happens when they get into the real world? Is public school the real world?  Is college?  Is your home the real world?  Is your neighbor's home the real world?  What is the real world, really?  As children grow up, their lives change.  That's part of life in the real world.  And so it is for adults when they get married, change jobs, get a promotion, move to another home, become disabled, overcome a disability, have a child...  It's all real, it just may be different than the real world you have experienced. So yes, Virginia, there are dumb homeschooling questions.  And there are probably more where these came from.  If you've been asked a silly question about homeschooling, please share it and tell us how you answered it. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication, but it is her humorous approach to communication skills which has made her a highly sought-after Christian speaker and writer.  Her articles appear in homeschool publications, such as Homeschool Enrichment Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, which also endorses her Say What You Mean curricula, including Say What You Mean Defending the Faith.  You can also find JoJo on web sites such as and  For more information on communication FUNdamentals and Christian-based communication skills for the whole family, please visit


  • Shauna

    “While many homeschoolers tend to hold conservative values, we also tend to be independent thinkers and come in many shapes and sizes.”

    I agree that homeschoolers come in many shapes and sizes. In my experience and to my surprise, though, there is still a great deal of “group think” even among homeschoolers. That’s admittedly been my personal experience in real-life and online homeschooling groups and doesn’t necessarily apply universally.

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  • jojosblog

    Glad you enjoyed the article Vicky! And thanks for taking the time to let me know.

  • jojosblog

    Bobbi, those are some great silly questions too. Thanks for sharing. I do see the need to find guidelines and I covered that in a previous article. The folks who say we can’t teach through high school will sometimes also ask if I intend to homeschool college! I used to just say I’m sure I could get my dd ready for college, but now I can honestly state that since she graduated from our homeschool and was found worthy of Vanderbilt University, one of the most elite in the country, I guess I did ok. lol

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