"What About Prom?"

I have homeschooled my kids for over ten years now. I am still constantly surprised that one of the greatest concerns (right after the ignorant "socialization" question) is "What about prom?"

I sigh a little bit and carefully explain how we do high school: He actually attends a high school that offers Independent Study. His classes are mostly on-line, except for Spanish and Drama. On the days he has those classes, he is physically at a campus and interacts with his many friends. He also leads their Improv team. (See this post.)

Back to the original question: "What about prom?"

The high school independent study program sponsors a prom every spring. It's a lovely and intimate affair with maybe 100 students attending. Some of the kids take dates. Many just go with a group. It's usually held at the always fabulous and iconic Disneyland Hotel and unlike "real" high school, there is very little peer pressure to look or act a certain way - unless you count the good kind of peer pressure, but that's not important right now.

This was Jonathan's first prom. (Yes, he's wearing tails. He looks very "Downton Abbey," doesn't he?)

Jon and disneyland

He did not take a date, but instead chose to go with friends. Aren't they just lovely?

Jon and friends

He enjoyed dancing with almost all the beauties represented here. (Because, seriously, if you were a sixteen year old girl, could you resist this?)

Jon with Miranda & Savannah

I love that the girls were all wearing modest and flattering gowns.

Prom friends

I especially love that they were smart enough to know that a night of dancing would require they wear comfortable footwear. (I may or may not have been on the ground when I took this, but that's not important right now.)

Girls with shoes

Most of these kids have also been homeschooled for years. We've known them and have watched them grow up into the amazing people you see represented here. (These three were members of the cast of Willy Wonka Jr. which they performed a few years ago. What a looker Violet Beauregard grew up to be!)

Jon veronica nathan

I think the implication inherent in the "What about prom?" question is that surely because these kids are homeschooled they can't possible know how to act in public. They couldn't be expected to know how to dress or behave or even which fork to use for their salad.

I don't think the question is meant maliciously in any way. I just think that people sometimes make assumptions over what happens with homeschool education. Or should I say, "independent study." In this case, the emphasis should be on the independent. Most of these kids are not driven by worry of what their peers will think. They've grown up to be...well, independent.

As Jonathan was dressing for the dance, I asked, "Do you need some help?"

"No, mom. I've got this."

Tuxedo closeup

Yes, son. You most certainly do.