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Bullying and Homeschooling

Bullying and HomeschoolingI’ve seen and heard the argument that a child needs to be around peers and experience bullying to be able to cope with difficult people later in life. I started to wonder how that hypothesis came about. I haven’t done any research, but I did do some thinking.

Why would a parent need to place their child in a school system (public or private) to be able to handle difficult people later in life? Does the bullying whether it is minor or major really help the child deal with future problems? I recall shows like Leave it to Beaver where this type of hypothesis was played out. Beaver had to learn to deal with his peers at school or he would have problems with them in the future. The generation that grew up on Beaver has parented another generation of kids. This idea is prevalent throughout Western society and was likely around long before Beaver existed. Why? Does it really matter?

Think about it. What is the result of bullying in schools? Do kids really learn how to deal with it? Much of the bullying in schools is done behind the backs of teachers and parents may not know about it either. So how are kids learning to deal with it? I know we hear about the extreme cases where someone is so distraught they commit suicide or shoot up their school. But what of the regular Joe who is a victim of bullying? He may not ever commit suicide and not even think about shooting anyone, but he may grow to dislike school. He may grow to have a poor self-concept. Years of not liking school or a poor self-concept can dramatically impact a child’s life and future goals.

Will homeschooling a child eliminate bullying from his or her life? Of course not. But it will drastically reduce it.

As for the premise of a child needing to learn to deal with bullying now to help them later on…I say it is hogwash!

I would rather have a confident mature individual confront a bully than an immature child who is still learning who he is. Who will have more success with a bully? The child who had to deal with bullies his whole life and faced much failure or an adult who has confidence? I suggest that the homeschooled child who has not had the bullying experience that the peer-schooled child has will be more successful as an adult when facing bullies. I don’t have facts or studies to back this up, but it seems like good old common sense to me.

5 Comments:

  1. As an adult who was bullied extensively as a child, I can say pretty confidently that it did *not* help me cope with bullying as an adult! I’ve mostly avoided bullying as an adult by avoiding situations where people are likely to bully me, but when that fails, I just freeze up and feel like that socially rejected 11 year old all over again. Or I fly off the handle and argue with them, and they just laugh even more at my response.
    The most competent reaction to bullying I can remember showing was when I was 5 years old and being bullied for the very first time. It was all downhill from there.
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  2. That is so heartbreaking that your little guy had to experience such a thing! 🙁

  3. I like this post. I think it goes along with the idea of people questioning home schooled children’s socialization skills. People are ridiculous in their thinking that small children should be exposed to mean behavior so they can learn from it. Thank you for reminding me of another reason our family home schools. Many blessings.

  4. I would like to add something to this….it’s and experience with bullying.

    When my son was in 1st grade we put him in a local Christian school. The 1st-5th grade were all in one room together. The school bully (who was in 5th grade) was with my 1st grader in the same room. One day he trips my son who was walking by him and my son fell downward onto the edge of a desk. When he hit it peeled his top gum upward away from his teeth like a fruit rollup. His two front teeth (baby) were dangling from what was left of the gum and it shattered the roots of his eyeteeth. The (pediatric) dentist told us it was the worst accident he had EVER seen, including car accidents. They had to remove Brevin’s 4 front teeth and sew down his gumline.

    So…….no……..no child should EVER be exposed to that. Yes, he does homeschool and he started homeschooling that year.

    However, he did attend a public school for 3rd grade (he wanted to, some cousins had talked him into it)…..and we let him. That year, in the bathroom another child urinated on his clothes (he aimed at him).

    He has decided that he prefers homeschooling, and that’s the way I like it. He came to this decision himself, and all it took was his experiences with other children.

  5. Yes. It seems like absolute nonsense. Somehow adults expect their children to follow the Golden Rule but often fail to follow it themselves.

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