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Are homeschooled kids really bullied any less than kids that go to school? - Page 3

post #41 of 95

 

Quote:
This may sound like a silly question, but why not?  For instance, if my son had to go to a school that was known for gang violence, and I chose to homeschool rather than risk him being shot, why would that be a bad thing?

 

Well... if there are only two alternatives, then naturally you have to take the one that saves your life.

 

However, I think there are a lot of things you can do about bullying, and moreover, there are many alternatives to homeschooling.  Start a charter school.  Commute to a private school, if you can get a scholarship.  Apply for a waiver to go to another public school.  Etc.  IMO homeschooling should not be about withdrawing.  It should be chosen out of the many options because it fits your child and your family best.

 

But I also think that parents who have time to homeschool could also consider the option of getting involved in the school ahead of time, being proactive, starting anti-bullying programs, pushing zero-tolerance policies, being advocates for bullied kids and making sure that all the kids get the help they need.  That is really a lot of work, but after all, so is homeschooling.

 

Now, homeschooling is truly a better option for some kids.  I believe that.  BUT it's not the best option for all and it's not an option for some.  And we do have some responsibility to all children--that's my opinion.

post #42 of 95

In our homeschool co-op, we haven't personally had any problems with bullies, nor have I heard of any.  Not that it never happens, but in most homeschool organizations, the parents are very present and generally aware of what is going on with their children.  There is simply less opportunity.

Also, homeschooled kids are more used to interacting with different ages of children.  They tend to group up based on interests instead of strictly age/gender.  So I think that older homeschoolers are less likely to pick on the younger tag-alongs.  In all of our large group activities (such as going to a waterpark) the older kids are very careful of and helpful with the younger children. 

Lastly, I think there is less bullying because homeschooled kids are just better behaved, in general. Not that there aren't many well-behaved public-schooled children, but there seems to be less "mob mentality" when large groups of homeschoolers get together.

post #43 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post

But I also think that parents who have time to homeschool could also consider the option of getting involved in the school ahead of time, being proactive, starting anti-bullying programs, pushing zero-tolerance policies, being advocates for bullied kids and making sure that all the kids get the help they need.  That is really a lot of work, but after all, so is homeschooling.

 

Now, homeschooling is truly a better option for some kids.  I believe that.  BUT it's not the best option for all and it's not an option for some.  And we do have some responsibility to all children--that's my opinion.

Maybe things have changed, but when I was in public school and my son was in public school, parental involvement on that level was seen as "meddling." Most of the school faculty I've met around here treat parents with disdain. It was similar where I grew up; and my dad was a teacher, so I've known lots of school folks. 

 

I agree that we have responsibility to all children. That's why we originally started homeschooling; because my son's academic needs were not being met at school. Another school was not an option. 

 

The school department, by law, makes us keep attendance records and send them an end-of-year assessment. However, we get nothing from them. Homeschooled children (in our city) are not allowed to take part in anything the school offers, and we do not get a diploma at the end. I really wish they, too, would feel that society has responsibility to all children.
 

post #44 of 95

Yes, sometimes it happens in the homeschooling groups. It's really important to find  a good fit.  Also, when my dd was 4, she didn't fit with the homeschool group we have now.  I came back a couple years later and it is a good fit. The kids who were there before are older and that helps.  There a new kids and somehow it just works better now.

If your son is being excluded, I would actually try for one on one  connections right now. Or maybe another group with lots of kids his age and arrange some playdates with those kids.

Also, I may be in the minority here, but I don't think it's fair for the 6-8 year olds to always have to include the younger kids. I don't think they should be mean but I think it's okay for them to keep playing an older kid game and say, "We are playing X right now, I'll play Y with you after we are done."

Some of my dd's games with her group really are too complicated storywise for the little guys to play. My dd will actually let the smaller kids play because she's just a softy.  Her friends object and I get it. Usually they compromise and play their game for awhile and then include the younger ones at some point in a different game.

post #45 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by liliaceae View Post
Also, I think the type of bullying we are talking about is unique to public (and private probably) school.


no, I strongly disagree with this statement. 

 

The nastiest bullying my special needs child has ever received was from one of her COUSINS at an extended family get together.  (the cousin is homeschooled, BTW). The second worse incident involved a neighbor, who wasn't in the same grade as my kids and didn't have any contact with my kids at school.

 

My kids attend public school briefly and now attend a private school, and we haven't had any problems with bullying either place. Nor girl scouts, not in any situation where there is an adult who is an authority figure. Our problems have ALL happened when parents where supposed to be monitoring their own children.

 

Some kids glide through childhood without every being bullied, some don't The same kid who is most likely to be a target in one situation, is likely to be a target in another.

 


 

I think the kind of sustained bullying that one would find in schools is likely minimal to non-existant in homeschool groups simply by virtue of the fact that parents and kids have the option of avoiding the child/situation more easily and that there isn't a reliance on some third party to handle the situation within the confines of policies which may or may not be effective. The power dynamic within a homeschool group is different than that in schools IME as the "authority" is decentrailized. I don't know of any bullying issues in our homeschool group - but we keep to a pretty tight circle of friends and co-ops so there may be some but I am not aware of it.  I completely agree with Dar that the most successful homeschool groups/co-ops etc have dealt with issues around children's behaviour ahead of time and have some plan or policy (stated or not) to deal with issues as they come up.

 

Any experiences we've had with bullying have come from neighbourhood schooled kids and it was dealt with by telling the kids what was and wasn't acceptable, by going directly to the parents, and then eventually limiting contact with these kids.

 

Unfortunately I think that bullying has become a catchword for a lot of kid behavior that may be agressive or unkind but isn't always what I would considerl bullying.  Kids have scuffles and need help working them out in ways that meet the needs of all the kids. I'm not sure most 4 year olds are developmentally mature enough to form the intent to deliberately create an imbalance of power.

 

I think there a a huge number of positive reasons to choose homeschooling. Providing a safe nuturing learning environment is one of them.

 

good luck with your decision.  

post #46 of 95

I really hope I did not come across as attacking the decision to home-school.  I had hoped to home-school my kids as well.  Still might home-school DD2.  We'll see how that goes.  I simply think home-schooling out of fear alone, or if that's the main motivation, is not a good idea, because again, there are OTHER options.  If they don't want you to get involved (which is a very, very bad sign about the schools from the start, I think we can all agree) then for the child that longed to go to school, private school might be an option.

 

There are kids who like school.  That's why I'm posting... not to say, home-schooling is a bad idea.  Just that there is enough positive about it, that choosing it out of fear makes me wonder why the positive reasons haven't been looked at.  Was schooling going great except for that one thing?  Then what will be lost when schooling stops, yk?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post



Maybe things have changed, but when I was in public school and my son was in public school, parental involvement on that level was seen as "meddling." Most of the school faculty I've met around here treat parents with disdain. It was similar where I grew up; and my dad was a teacher, so I've known lots of school folks. 

 

I agree that we have responsibility to all children. That's why we originally started homeschooling; because my son's academic needs were not being met at school. Another school was not an option. 

 

The school department, by law, makes us keep attendance records and send them an end-of-year assessment. However, we get nothing from them. Homeschooled children (in our city) are not allowed to take part in anything the school offers, and we do not get a diploma at the end. I really wish they, too, would feel that society has responsibility to all children.
 

post #47 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post

I really hope I did not come across as attacking the decision to home-school.  I had hoped to home-school my kids as well.  Still might home-school DD2.  We'll see how that goes.  I simply think home-schooling out of fear alone, or if that's the main motivation, is not a good idea, because again, there are OTHER options.  If they don't want you to get involved (which is a very, very bad sign about the schools from the start, I think we can all agree) then for the child that longed to go to school, private school might be an option.

 

There are kids who like school.  That's why I'm posting... not to say, home-schooling is a bad idea.  Just that there is enough positive about it, that choosing it out of fear makes me wonder why the positive reasons haven't been looked at.  Was schooling going great except for that one thing?  Then what will be lost when schooling stops, yk?
 


 


You have not come across as anti HSing.

 

I think the HSing out of fear thing needs to be addressed.

 

Most people I know do not HS out of fear.  For those who HS partly because they wish to avoid bullying it is often because they have researched bullying in their local schools and know it exists and that the school does not seem able to effectively deal with it.  It is often (not always) an informed decision.  

 

 

post #48 of 95

 

Quote:
Most people I know do not HS out of fear.

 

Oh, no, I didn't think so!  Most people I know home-school because there is something they want to teach that they feel they cannot do with their kids in public school, or that they want the education they themselves did not get.  It's a more pragmatic decision, I guess?  I dunno.  It's like they see something in home-schooling that really works and clicks for a certain kind of kid or group of kids.

 

To be fair, I have my doubts about people pulling kids out because their kids will be exposed to ideas they disagree with, as well.  I think that's an awful reason to pull out of public education.  It's so negative.  I was really speaking directly to the OP about her specific question... not about people who HS in general...

post #49 of 95

my kids have always been homeschooled and have never really dealt with bullying.  my little boy was recently locked in a closet in the bathroom by another child.  this took place at awana.  my husband drove back to the church after we found out & addressed it it immediately, as it was scary for my son.  other than that, i can't think of anything.

post #50 of 95

i was bullied/ teased badly from the start of middle school on because we were very poor, my clothes were old, ect... i dropped out during 11th grade and i was much happier at home. went on to get a GED a couple years later and i am in college now. i still dealt with some teasing after leaving school, but it was just what i would think most un- bullied kids go through (im not sure if that makes sense, lol). this experience is the reason why i'm trying to homeschool my girls- especially my spectrumy girlie. if i had been homeschooled and not gone through what i did i think i would be a much stronger, more self confident person today. i feel like the families (including the children) in our local homeschooling community are more open- minded, and that is the social experience i want my kids to grow up with.

post #51 of 95

I don't understand using "suffering builds character" as a reason to manufacture a situation in which it is likely. However sheltered your child is, he is going to have a lifetime's worth of LIFE. Trust me, he'll suffer! There are thousands and thousands of ways in which a person can suffer - bad skin as a teen, being less attractive than her sister, less good at sports than his brother, mental and physical handicaps, depression, divorce, infertility, miscarriage, cancer, a best friend moving away, a grandparent dying, backstabbing by friends, a broken engagement, broken promises, not being accepted into the college or job of her dreams, being hit by a bus, developing alopecia, losing friends to suicide, drugs or alcohol... need I go on?

 

I highly doubt that the child who grows up and finds her fiance in bed with another woman, or who gets a HIV positive test, is going to think "Oh well, I can deal with this, I was bullied in high school". Suffering tends to turn up all by itself: I see no need to engineer or encourage it. As someone with mental health issues/Asperger's, I was quite capable of manufacturing my own personal hell during my teenage years without being put into school so I could be bullied. Adding more sucky stuff to my life wouldn't have done my character any good at all.

post #52 of 95

well said smokering!

post #53 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by liliaceae View Post One of the boys he likes the most is always mean to him, excluding him, hitting him, telling him he can't play unless he follows this boy's rules.

Is the boy in question 6-8 years old? Cause if so, it's a phase. Even so, one of the parts of a homeschooling group should be the ability to talk to the other parents about getting help getting everyone a chance to play.

post #54 of 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by objet_trouve View Post

 

I looked like that, and grew up intelligent and confident and full of hope and passion. I wouldn't change my life for anything in the world.


ROTFLMAO.gifUm....do you think you looked angsty or something? Cause, gotta tell you, you looked intelligent, confident, full of hope, and passion.

 

Plus, since you had those little round chipmunk cheekers, you would've had to try a lot harder to look sullen or what have you.

post #55 of 95

I admit I haven't read this whole thread, but I always defined bullying as violence or the threat of violence used to manipulate anothers behavior or determine social standing within a social group.  I can't even imagine bullying among parents as one poster referenced.  I certainly  have seen social manipulation, usually exclusion, within homeschool groups, but I can't even imagine violence or its threat being a possibility.  My homeschooled dd has been bullied by one girl from our town, but not in a homeschooling situation.

post #56 of 95

I don't equate bullying with violence. I equate it with intimidation. One doesn't need to be violent in order to intimidate or abuse others.

post #57 of 95

We have never run into home school group bullies (except one mom, LOL)

 

Our group's kids ages 6 mos thru 19 yrs ALL play, talk and interact very well together, and newcomers are always welcome, and when anyone moves away, they are sorely missed These are the people who helped me sew dresses for my entire wedding party right before I moved away from them! and while we worked, the children all had a ball and took care of each other.

 

For many homeschooling families, a LARGE part of the benefit is that interactions are not artificially self-segregated by AGE... so, while well-meaning, the advice to limit the OP's DS to playing with children his own age may not fit her original goals as a homeschooler. I mean, real life is not segregated by age-- it's a valuable skill to learn to deal with people of all ages.

 

It sounds like there is a parent you may want to address at the homeschooling group. The behavior is inappropriate no matter where it happens, and if she can't keep her son from bullying and violence, does your group have formal or informal rules or understandings about how to resolve conflict? Or are you on your own? If there are group leaders, and the parent will not keep her child from bullying, it may be time to involve them. Maybe there is a group that has a "warmer climate" for your family? Come on over and join ours, LOL.

 

post #58 of 95


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by objet_trouve View Post

 

I looked like that, and grew up intelligent and confident and full of hope and passion. I wouldn't change my life for anything in the world.


ROTFLMAO.gifUm....do you think you looked angsty or something? Cause, gotta tell you, you looked intelligent, confident, full of hope, and passion.

 

Plus, since you had those little round chipmunk cheekers, you would've had to try a lot harder to look sullen or what have you.

nod.gif I thought the same thing. I would have loved to have known you as a teen :D
 

post #59 of 95

We haven't run into bullying.  There has been occasional exclusionary play and meanness but nothing constant.  We did leave one group where the play was excluding my ds but there was a lack of boys his age (it was mostly girls) so there wasn't much promise there, anyway.  I love how my ds will come and ask me how to negotiate an issue without hurting someone else's feelings.  He gets so much practice with conflict resolution because he is in an ever changing mixed aged group.  He gets experience dealing with people with special needs in an inclusive way.  I suspect if he were in a group situation, he'd go with the flow and pick on the kids that got picked on.  Because he's homeschooled, he doesn't have that modeled for him by other kids. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by liliaceae View Post One of the boys he likes the most is always mean to him, excluding him, hitting him, telling him he can't play unless he follows this boy's rules.

Is the boy in question 6-8 years old? Cause if so, it's a phase. Even so, one of the parts of a homeschooling group should be the ability to talk to the other parents about getting help getting everyone a chance to play.

I know my ds has a hard time with the 4-6 yos.  At 6, they are just starting to get up to speed and reliable/mature enough for playmates.  Of course, ds (9yo) is expected to be kind but he gets frustrated when a younger kid stays focused on him and hampers his ability to play how he likes with older kids.  We try to strike a balance.  Sometimes, the parent of the younger kid tries to get her child involved in something else.  Generally, everything is a communication issue.  It helps when an adult clarifies the rules the kids have decided on.  My ds used to agree to play games he didn't like because he'd rather play with someone than no one.  I'd have to negotiate a little on his behalf (so he wouldn't be on a "team" by himself or somehow alone) but the kids were great about taking suggestions for ways everyone could play together more happily.  Sometimes they just couldn't think of a solution on their own.  
 

post #60 of 95

Fear of bullying isn't #1 on my list of reasons to homeschool.  But, I think homeschooling allows for a healthier way to deal with bullying.  We have had one incident with bullying in our homeschool group.  That was one boy who would pick a target, and instigate the "followers" to exclude him, and had some physical bullying too.  When my son became the target, we were in the homeschool gym class.  All the moms were there, including the bully's mom.  Everybody saw what was going on, and when she missed an incident, I told her, so that she could deal with her son.  He had some overall behavioral problems, so we were sympathetic to her, and for her part she would simply pull him out and take him home every single time he behaved that way.  My kids have neighbors/friends who can sometimes be unpleasant, but this year actually has been great in teaching them how to deal with that in a safe, healthy way.

 

I went to private and public schools.  The bullying was horrendous, and for kids who were specific targets, it was non-stop.  There just was no way for the schools to police it all the time, and frankly the teachers didn't have the energy or motivation to deal with each and every incident.  :(

 

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