Honest Advice with Sugar and Spice

By Olyvea and Ethan

Olyvea Pancerella and Ethan Faulkes answer questions on homeschooling, friends, dating, and life in general. Olyvea says, “One of the most unique things we can contribute is male and female perspectives on questions and ideas.” Send them your questions at polyvea@gmail.com.


Question 1


I’ve been homeschooled for a long time. I really enjoy it, and I believe I’m getting the best education I can, but my extended family always questions me about it. They don’t question any of my cousins who go to public school, so I know they aren’t just being friendly. The holidays are coming up so I’ll be seeing them a lot. I don’t really feel like dealing with them questioning the legitimacy of my schooling yet again. What should I do? How can I be polite, but not just sit there and feel judged?

-confused homeschooler


All you can do is keep your head held high and answer them. People are going to think what they want no matter what you do. It’ll be a little better if you’re confident in yourself and in your answers. I understand how annoying it can be, but there’s not much you can do to stop people from judging.


People will always judge, but you can politely change the subject. Try to decide when their questioning is innocent and curious, and when they’re demeaning your schooling. If you feel like you really don’t want to continue with their line of questioning you can politely excuse yourself, or if you can’t do that, you can nicely say something like “I do a lot of school all day. I don’t feel like talking about it more. Let’s switch to another topic. I’m tired of thinking about school.” Laugh and be light-hearted, even if you don’t feel it. If you turn it into a joke you can change the subject without being rude.

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” -Arthur Ashe


Question 2


I’m in 9th grade, and I’ve been homeschooled forever. I never really thought I was missing out on anything until this year when all my friends who go to public school went to homecoming. I felt really left out. I wanted to buy a dress, get a date, and go have fun too. I know in a couple years they’re going to go to prom and I’ll feel the same way. I don’t really want to change my schooling because I’m comfortable with what I’m doing, but how do I deal with feeling like I’m missing out on certain things?


Left out.


It is hard, but it’s only one night. There are dances for homeschoolers if you look into it. If you know people who go to public school you may get invited to their school’s prom or homecoming. All-in-all don’t worry about it. It is something that homeschoolers miss out on, but put it in perspective. It’s just a dance, it costs a lot of money, and it’s just one night.


A friend of mine invited me to go with her to prom last year. I was excited right up until I got there. It wasn’t bad, but it was boring. It was a lot of money and effort for a few hours. It sounds like a lot more fun than it actually is. I wouldn’t say homeschoolers are missing out on anything except the chance to waste a lot of money and a few hours of your life.

“That fear of missing out on things makes you miss out on everything.” -Etty Hillesum


Question 3


So, I’ve been best friends with this guy since we were little kids. He’s my best guy friend and we’re really close. I’m getting both him and my best girl friend something for Christmas. I secretly have a huge crush on my guy friend, and I don’t want to get him anything that will let him know I do. On the other hand I don’t want to give him something totally uncaring because he is my friend. I actually talk to him more than I talk to my female friend, so I feel like I have to get him something. I’ve gotten him things in the past, but I didn’t feel weird about it because I didn’t like him then. I just don’t know how to balance I care about you, but this isn’t anything I’d get a boyfriend. What should I get him?


Christmas shopper


As long as you don’t get him something obviously made for a boyfriend (like love poetry or a heart picture frame) it won’t be weird. Get him the same kind of thoughtful gift you’d give your girl best friend like a leather bound copy of his favorite book or a signed picture of his favorite celebrity. Get him something that’s thoughtful and shows you know him. If it’s something you wouldn’t feel weird giving to your female friend you shouldn’t feel weird giving it to him.


Most guys aren’t going to assume you like them based off of a gift, and if he does is it really that big of a deal? Maybe he likes you too. What have you gotten him in the past? If you stick to those same kind of gives he won’t think anything. If you really want to be safe give it to him the same time you give your girl friend her gift. If he sees you got your female friend something thoughtful and nice too he won’t think anything about it.

“If you love someone, tell them…Because hearts are often broken by words left unspoken.” -Pamela Daranjo

We wish everyone happy holidays.

Until next time,

Olyvea and Ethan.


Olyvea Pancerella and Ethan Faulkes are both 16 and both going into 11th grade. Olyvea has been homeschooled since first grade and Ethan has been homeschooled since third grade. Email any questions to: polyvea@gmail.com

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