Jan 26, 2012

Is Homeschooling for Your Child, Part I: Bullying

(Photo by Marzie)
First off, let me begin by saying this: Not every family, and not every child, is a good candidate for homeschooling.

You should not homeschool if
  1. you spouse vehemently opposes it, or
  2. your child vehemently opposes it, or
  3. you just felt pressured to do it because you've been told "it's what good mothers do."
Well let me tell you now: I had a good mother, and she did not homeschool us.

On the other hand, homeschooling was not a very realistic option during her time. She probably didn't even know the option existed.

But now, lots of us know this option exists. And yes, there are times when it is wise to take this option.

So when should your family consider homeschooling your child?

Reason 1: Your child is being bullied in school.

Bullying is something that no child should ever have to live through. It's inhuman. If your child was bullied by her playmates in daycare, you would probably switch to a different daycare. If your child was bullied in painting/soccer/dance class, you would probably let her stop attending the class or find a different class for her to attend.

But when our children are bullied in school, we let them stay in that school with pacifying words such as "Don't pay them any attention."

Parents, you have to understand: it's impossible not to pay attention to a bully. Even if they don't attack you directly, they will attack you emotionally. 

The physiology of a child allows her to heal from physical attacks relatively quickly, but the psychology of a child will suffer from the effects of an emotional attack for a long, long time.

I should know; I was bullied in school. By the grace of God, I survived it. But I still believe I will go to heaven when I die because I had already been to hell when I was in school.

Do not make the mistake of ignoring this, parents. Children who have heard "Don't let them get to you" from their parents often enough will eventually learn to just keep quiet about the bullying they receive. Then their parents think everything is now all right.

The next thing you know, the child tries to kill herself. Sometimes, tragically, the child succeeds.

One thing I've often been told before is, "These experiences will help your child grow into a better person. It will teach her to handle difficult people."

My answer is this: Maltreatment does not turn us to better people. Situational adversities, such as poverty or failure or physical handicaps, provide occasions for us to become stronger when we overcome them. But the cruelty of another human being does not turn us to better people.

If we sincerely believed that human cruelty is, in the long run, good for our children, then why are we so quick to cry "Foul" when a teacher spanks our child, even if we know in our hearts that the teacher had the best of intentions?

If my child needs to learn to handle difficult people, he does not need an encounter with a bully for that. He has his parents to practice on.

Again, parents, if your child is being bullied in school, please strongly consider letting her get her education at home.

Why not? Inventors Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, US President Abraham Lincoln, finance wizard Andrew Carnegie, the Jonas Brothers, and my favorite author, Louisa May Alcott, were all homeschooled, and they all turned out okay. (For a more complete listing of famous people who were homeschooled, click here.)

In the next parts of this series, I will give other situations where homeschooling may be a good option for your family, and how you can homeschool your child if you are a working mother.

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