Journal logo

Sorta Homeschooled

Too strange to fit in...

By David BrandyPublished 3 years ago 5 min read

My schooling experience was... strange.

I didn't exactly go to public school, and I wasn't exactly homeschooled. It was a sort of hybrid between the two. From Elementary through Middle School I was completely homeschooled. I am not sure what this sounds like to you, but it meant that I didn't have summers, for some reason my mother didn't give us them, and I had school on vacation. Also, my family was mainly who I spent all of my time with up until High school aside from martial arts, but we will get to that.

I can't speak into the public school system, or what it is like to be schooled in it. So, I don't know if I am making this sound like a good thing or a bad thing to someone who went to public school. What I will say is that my previous schooling did not prepare me for the hybrid nature of my High School experience. At all.

My mother tried her best but I was a bit of an overweight weirdo, with a mixed nationality, who would rather create characters and play video games than communicate with real people. The deck was stacked against her. She became part of a homeschooling group and enrolled me and my brothers into a type of once-a-week school.

This, in itself, was not a bad thing. I learned a lot from the classes she brought me to and paid for herself. My mom did a lot for me, and I am thankful, but that is a different story. This is the story of a little writer David in a big brained-school.

Homeschoolers are typically very smart. I am not. I was a "C" student and I was the only one I knew in the school. The only one close was someone who I will refer to as "Jay" and that is not his real name. He was the misfit who would pick fights with the bullies, which then meant that I was in fights with the bullies. Luckily nothing was ever physical, but I still had no idea what to do.

One day, this "friend" decided that he was actually a popular kid and he never hung out with me again. Have you ever felt sad about someone and happy for them at the same time? I remember seeing him in the center of the group and him making eye contact with me for the last time. I wasn't able to make this shift into a functioning teenager, unfortunately for me, he was.

Remember I mentioned that this was a "hybrid" schooling situation? Well, the "hybrid" part comes in the way of virtual school. I still don't know why I had been enrolled in both this once-a-week school and in an online school, but I was. Basically, I was managing two full High School workloads at the same time. It. Was. Intense.

Sleep-deprived was an understatement, I couldn't keep things straight, let alone make friends. I could hardly keep memories. On top of both of my High School classes, I had a part-time job, and I did martial arts. Martial arts is where I met my best friend(whom I have not mentioned yet and is not Jay)and because of my terrible memory, he dubbed me "Stoner Memory." Honestly, I am not sure what I would have done without him.

I would sit in the exact same seat in every class and did my very best not to talk to a single soul. I knew all of my exits and would work so hard not to make eye contact with people that I would get headaches. Lunch was the hardest part, everyone was talking to someone, except me and my family.

For some reason, my pseudo-friend Jay wouldn't ever eat his lunch with me. In retrospect, I can see why. I was so weird. I was constantly worried that I smelled. My breath, my body odor, everything. My social anxiety was on overdrive, so what did I do while I ate? I would work on my stories.

I would draw my characters and write outlines. I remember writing my first novella's chapter during one of my classes when the teacher wasn't looking. It was quite the escape, and I loved it. Nothing could bring me down.

"Who is that? Frankenstein?" Laughed one of the girls in passing.

It was amazing how quickly they could bring me down. In her defense, the character did look a bit like Frankenstein, and it wasn't supposed to, my drawing was never good. But why? Why make the one who already knew he didn't fit in feel like even more of an outcast?

Listen, I know that my schooling experience wasn't the worst in the world, and honestly, I shouldn't complain. I had a lot of work all at once, but I was able to graduate early and my resume shows that I have a longer work history than some. The friend, from martial arts, who did stick around, will be with me for life and I will be forever thankful for him.

But why?

Why do we outcast people? And parents of homeschooled kids, this is still a problem for your kids too. I'm not the only outcast homeschooler I know, my stunning wife was one of them too. Neither of us have huge stories of getting beaten up or incessant name-calling. We have a thousand tiny slights.

Homeschool kids have this mindset that they are supposed to be better than public school kids. I never felt this way, but I could tell that the other kids did. They avoided us like the plague. Our childhoods are marked by social isolation.

Both of us had friends that only stuck with us for a short time before hanging out with the "in crowd" and leaving us for the wolves. Too bad my wife and I didn't go to the same classes. We lived in different cities and much like most of our schools, we didn't know that the other existed. We would have been the best of friends(if I ever got up the courage to actually talk to her).

Parents.

Yes, even homeschool parents. Keep an eye on your kids. Don't assume that they are making friends and don't make them feel like they are better than others. You may have a social outcast living in your house or you may have someone in your house who could have an amazing outcast friend. Cause we outcasts, we are strange, but we will stick around.

One other point I would like to make to parents, and I am a parent now. Don't think you are better than other parents either. This can cause a child to be an outcast too. My mother was not accepted by the other homeschool moms and that did a lot to keep the kids away from me and the rest of my family.

To The Outcast

I wanted nothing other than to be accepted, but honestly? Looking back now, I'm honestly not sure that would have been the best thing for me. I felt different, and now... Well, now that feels like a good thing.

Now go talk to your local outcast, I am sure you know one, you might be surprised by what you find.

advice

About the Creator

David Brandy

My very first story crafting was an imaginary game that me and my two younger brothers would play when I was 12. My love of storytelling manifested itself quickly. Today I am a husband, father, and business owner.

Enjoyed the story?
Support the Creator.

Subscribe for free to receive all their stories in your feed. You could also pledge your support or give them a one-off tip, letting them know you appreciate their work.

Subscribe For FreePledge Your Support

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments

There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

    David BrandyWritten by David Brandy

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.