We know that people decide to homeschool for various reasons. However, a study in New South Wales Australia showed that 4% of their homeschooling parents homeschool because of bullying. That isn’t far-fetched in the U.S. and I believe the number may be much higher. It’s the reason why I chose to homeschool my daughter.
My family moved to another country where being light-skinned is coveted. Suddenly, my daughter’s beautiful olive skin wasn’t such a commodity anymore. She was picked on, bullied, and would come home from school in tears. It got so bad we decided to take her out of school and homeschool her. We were drained from her daily tears and sad countenance. So, we made a decision.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 21% of children in the United States reported being bullied at school once or twice a month. Here is the breakdown:
13% were teased
12% were subjects of gossip
5% were physically bullied
5% were deliberately excluded from activities by their classmates
What I read next really resonated with me. It said that 57% of kids don’t tell their parents they’re being bullied and that the most common form of bullying was peer pressure bullying. Peer pressure bullying is when the majority of children pressure the minority of children into acting a certain way or doing something a certain way.
I realized that bullying wasn’t confined only to public or private school. It actually could happen anywhere we take our kids to socialize or to do extracurricular activities. It can happen when they play a sport, play an instrument in a band, at the park, dance class, or even a field trip when all the parents are around.
The odds are that our kids may be bullied or pressured into doing something they don’t want to do, and there is over 50% chance that they won’t tell us. That’s pretty hard to handle as a parent.
We homeschool our children and feel that we can protect them from everything…but we can’t.
With the recent increase in bullying, especially in the public school systems, we as parents still have the right to give our children a safe educational environment by homeschooling them. We can monitor their activities and be more present throughout their lives day in and day out.
Monitoring social media and phone usage can be a big help in preventing bullying in our children. Nowadays virtual bullying can be just as bad, if not worse, as real-life, in-person bullying. Social media has provided bullies many more opportunities to harass and bully their peers. The results have been devastating; we need to be vigilant.
Don’t be naive – just because you homeschool your children, confine them to friends within your local homeschool group, or sign them up to participate in church activities does not mean that they will not be mis-treated in these environments.
As homeschoolers, we can deal with bullying behavior as soon as it comes up; parents can discuss problems together more easily without relying on the school system to “handle” it.
Homeschooling lessens the chance that your child will be bullied, however, it will not necessarily prevent them from being bullied completely. We cannot protect our children every second of the day. Almost every child is affected by this at some point – it can even happen at church!
Homeschooling allows us the freedom to be more available for our kids. We can watch out for signs of bullying like depression, withdrawal, sleeping difficulties, and others. However, trouble may come. Homeschoolers can still become victims of bullying.
When and if they do, we can be aware. We can trust that the Lord will help guide us to a resolution and peace to know we have done all we could to keep our children safe. Equip them with God’s Word and your support.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
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