Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Homeschooler Goes to College

Kate Fridkis, blogger at Eat The Damn Cake and Skipping School, has written for Jezebel, The Forward, the Huffington Post, and more. She lives in Brooklyn, and is writing a book about her experiences as a homeschooler.

In "A Homeschooler Goes to College" (excerpted below), Kate shares some of her experiences as a homeschooled student in the sometimes hostile, always boring college world. It's well worth reading!

I went to college when I was 18, like everyone else. But unlike other people, I had never been to school before. The first standardized test I ever took was the SAT. The day I took it was the first time I’d ever been in a high school classroom. It didn’t seem like a fun place.

I started college as a Music Ed major, because while I didn’t know what I wanted to study, I knew I liked music. The Intro to Music Education teacher, a woman I’ll call Mrs. Grimini, had taught kindergarten at a local school before joining the university faculty. She led us in songs like “The wheels on the bus go round and round!” She wanted us to share a memory of our own music teachers from kindergarten and first grade.

Everyone had one: The triangle. Holding hands in a circle. Those rainbow xylophones.

“Actually,” I said, “I didn’t go to school. But my dad is a jazz pianist?”

He played every day when I was a little kid. I used to sit under the piano and he’d ask if I could remember the melody, or he’d teach me how to play a few notes. Sometimes I sat with him on the couch in the darkened living room and we listened to Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” together, talking about how scary Mars was, and how big Jupiter was. We were almost never not listening to music.

But before I could say any of that, Mrs. Grimini interrupted me. “Home-schooled?” she said tightly.

“Yes,” I said, offering my politest smile.

“OK, you don’t need to participate.” And she moved on....(read more)


  1. I read Kate at Eat the Damn Cake and Unschooled and enjoy her writing very much. I cannot BELIEVE the vitriol in the comments - by one person in particular, who apparently not only had a bad homeschooling experience, she had time to write mean replies to every other commentor over the course of the last three days.

    Doing ANYthing differently than most people is often viewed as an attack, what mystifies me is how people are simultaneously so narcisstic and so incredibly non-introspective. People do not choose to homeschool or limit television or go to church or WHATEVER to VEX others, and if other people feel threatened by those choices, perhaps they should look within themselves to figure out why.

    I'd comment over there in support of her, but I'm not in the mood to dodge rocks.

  2. The venom expressed in the comments section on that post was simply amazing. Sad, but amazing.

  3. Gaaahhhh! The way she describes her teacher reminds me so much of my boss at the daycare lol. She used to teach Pre-K, and her training seminars consisted of hand-clapping exercises with a partner, and sharing things we liked about our job and coworkers. Ugh. Still makes me want to puke. I wrote on my staff survey that I didn't learn anything from her about child care that I hadn't known since I was twelve. Someone told me later that she was seen reading some of the surveys, which were supposed to be confidential. I rather perversely hoped she read mine. Mwahaha.
    This was a great article. Kudos to Kate.