Homeschooling due to bullying, now looking for new friends!

Having problems figuring out where to start? Let other homeschoolers offer you some advice!

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Homeschooling due to bullying, now looking for new friends!

Postby Becky13 » Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:34 pm

Here's the rundown on our particular situation - we are a Christian family, but not consistent "church goers". We are looking to homeschool because of harrassment & bullying issues, not religious issues. We live in a small rural town in the South. Public schools are quite bad in our region, and the "no kid left behind" seems to be teaching directly to just "passing the benchmark". We have opted to send our girls to private school since they started Kindergarten (they are going into 3rd and 8th grade this fall), but to be honest, I don't feel their curriculum is any better than the public schools, they just have a better "social factor", and by no means a smaller classroom ratio - our private school shoves them up to 28 or 29 per class, because there's usually only one class per grade, and they don't want to spend the money to hire more teachers. The cost for private down here in our city is quite reasonable, about $2500 a year per kid.

Here's our problem: My 8th grade daughter has been so beaten down with harrassment, bullying, gossip, etc. by the girls in her school (and many not in her school), that she is experiencing serious anxiety and depression, almost failed 7th grade last year, and is begging to homeschool again. Living in the "bible belt", we have quite extensive homeschool groups down here, but she doesn't want to be part of a group, she really wants to be away from other kids, because she just feels everyone hates her or judges her, or that the kids from the more strict religious families that are in these groups will not "understand her". The gossip and harrassment have gotten seriously out of hand, and the school doesn't/can't do anything about it. She doesn't want to try public school either, because being a small town, you really can't get away from the harrassment no matter where you go. And she is by no means a meek child, she stands up for herself and will fight anytime she feels threatened, which got her suspended for one day last year (and the girl who started it got nothing, of course). So, the other night she had a total breakdown, crying, begging not to have to go back to school, etc., etc., etc. I didn't truly understand how damaging bullying can be until I saw the show on Dr. Phil last year, and it really opened my eyes to the fact that this is probably why my daughter was failing miserably in school. I tried all year to bring this to the attention of her school, to work with her teachers, but to no avail. The public schools here are required by law to have a "bullying policy", but because our school is private, they can pretty much do whatever they want, and they don't feel it's a problem. Girls will be girls.... boys will be boys.... sound familiar???

We are looking at the Alpha Omega Academy, SOS option, with the Enhanced Support, so she has a teacher available to talk to. I am now working full time, was part-time when I homeschooled her last time, but her grandmother is available to take her during the day, and is willing to work with her. I can work with her in the evenings as well, so it's not like I'm planning to be "out of the loop" on this, my hours are just limited. My husband owns his own business, so she could also go to work with him, and have her own "office" to work in while completing her schoolwork, but she's not crazy about that idea.

I homeschooled her two years ago to get her away from a bad teacher, and give her some "time off", then she went back to school for her 7th grade year. Homeschooling last time really stressed me out, but she is in such a panic, that I am willing to try again, if I can find the right system, and if she is willing to give her all this time, and not just do what she has to to "get by". I feel if I can get her away from the bad kids she has been hanging out with, things might turn around. We've had a hard time finding the "right" church, though, one where my daughters can make friends, and one that has a good Youth Director. So many churches down here are very political, we find ourselves frustrated after a short time. We can't decide if "bigger is better" - the bigger churches have more kids, and thus more activities, but the smaller churches seem to take more personal interest, which can be good or bad, depending on "their interest"...

I would like some feedback on other girls in this situation, and how homeschooling has helped. She is very resistant to talking to a "shrink", she says her business is not their business..... so maybe some other homeschool contacts would be helpful, I don't know... I think it may be very helpful for her to find some "online friends" to talk to who also homeschool, so she can get some input from other kids as to how they organize their time, projects, work, etc.

I can talk to her 'til the cows come home, but you know sometimes they listen more to their peers than their parents or teachers, so anybody out there who has had success with homeschooling, and feel they could be a good "online buddy" for her, I would appreciate some input. Are there online chat rooms for homeschool kids? Anybody who remembers how they felt initially starting homeschooling, and how they kept from getting bored and lonely?

Also, she will be 14 in January, old enough to get a work permit where we live, so I'd like to look into a part-time job at that point, which would be good for her.

She loves riding her horse, and has started to rodeo, so that is a great extracurricular activity for her as well. I'm thinking there are a lot of possibilities to work some assignments or learning into the love she has for her horse???

Sorry for the long post, but if there is any help out there, or links to places that would be helpful to me, or my daughter, we would sincerely appreciate it!

Thank you!

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Postby Linda » Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:49 pm

My DD was gong into the second grade when I decided to home school. She is painfully shy and I just couldn't put her through another year of school. My first instinct was to get her involed with church activities or what ever I could find. Turns out that instinct was wrong. She needed time to be away from it all. I backed off and gave her that time and then on her own she slowly "came out" and participated in different things. She joined in activites at the church, took an art class, horse back riding lessons and dance classes. When I "pushed" these things on her it was a dismal failure, but when she decided what and when it was successful. I would suggest to give her the time and space she needs to get away from all of the negative influences and when she's ready she will re-involve herself.

My daughter will be starting the 8th grade and she is also a horse lover. We could arrange for them to exchange e-mails if you would like.

Yes, definately incorporate her love of horses into her studies. Do a google search on unit studies with horses and see what you find. I have a horse unit study called "History of the Horse" by Hilary Berg. It is literature based. It was loaned to me by a friend so I'm not sure where to find it.

Best of luck to you and your daughter!!

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Postby Lkat83 » Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:35 pm

Please, please, if your dd is being so badly bullied, do NOT send her to back to face them every day.

Some teen suicides are because of bullying and no one doing anything about it. If your dd is begging to be homeschooled, please listen to her.

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Postby Kadriennel » Sat Aug 19, 2006 10:01 am

I took my son out of 7th grade 3/4 through the school year mainly because of bullying. He had gone to the administrators and I had talked to them, but the bullying and escalted to death threats. When my son came to me one evening and said, "I'm taking a knife to school with me tomorrow as protection," and then began to cry when I said no he wasn't, I decided I didn't want MY kid to be the one so harrassed that he shot up the school. I pulled him out, and he has said he never wants to return to the public school even though a friend told him that high school is so much better. He's happy homeschooling, and I'm happy he safe.

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Homeschooling due to bullying

Postby mommainky » Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:22 am

Boy can I relate to this. I just pulled my 7th grader out after 5 wks of school due to the bullying at school and on the school bus, in which he was physically assulted twice. Nothing was done after the first assult, and the neighbor of the boy who did the first assult followed in his footsteps 2 wks later by literally stomping my son in the face, chest, groin, and stomach. The bus was stopped and the bus driver did nothing to break it up, nor did the highschool kids that were still on the bus. The school let it happen the first time with no disicpline measures taken, so THEY let it happen again. The form of abuse to my son was sexual discrimination in the form of name calling. This was reported and not stopped either. So I am trying my hand at homeschooling, working my way through each day, LOL, put you have to do what you have to do to protect your childs well being both physically and mentally. My son also is in a state of very low self esteem, depression, and anger, as he feels the school and the system have failed him drastically.
Good Luck,

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Postby Pepper » Fri Dec 08, 2006 6:27 pm

I too am thinking about home schooling. I have 6 kids 4 are in public school. My oldest son gets bullied everyday he is called gay because he does not want a girlfriend. He is only 11 years old he has not yet had those feelings yet. My daughter is 10 she had a boy on the bus was sexually harassing her. It got so bad that he threatened to physically hurt her. I took all four of my kids off the bus because the school did nothing about it nor did the bus company. It drives me nuts because if a kid laughs a little too load the bus driver will do something about that! So now I drive my kids to school everyday. My son is begging to be home schooled. In the school we were in last year he was in the advanced class and now his grades are slipping from A's and B's to C's and D's. I know he can do the work he just hates school so much. My daughter tells me she wants to be home schooled too. They go to a school with 6th, 7th and 8th graders! They both tell me that allot of kids there do drugs and have sex!! My kids are only in the 4th grade and 5th grade, I can't believe they are hearing these kinds of things! My twin boys go to the elementary school across the street, they are in 1st grade. No problems seem to be happing with my 1st graders yet.

What I want is for my kids to still get the socializing that they need with other kids. Is there groups they can join? How do I find them?? I still want them to have structure and I question if I'm capable of home schooling them.

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Reply to Pepper

Postby Ramona » Fri Dec 08, 2006 11:04 pm

To be quite honest, it doesn't sound to me like getting all that socializing with other kids is really what your children "need." Socializing means all that bullying and harassment and hearing about sex and drugs, doesn't it? It seems to me that what they need is less of that.

Yes, there are groups of homeschoolers. Ask your public librarians. Do an Internet search on a term like the name of your area or town followed by the word homeschooling or home education. Ask at a local bookstore or teacher supply store.

You have a nice big family that can provide plenty of socialization for each other. Once your children are not in school, you and they will have all the time in the world to get out into your community and meet people of all ages from all walks of life. (Those hours in the community count as school time, by the way.)

Homeschooling mom of 6 for 12+ years

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My son too was teased

Postby charlesandginny » Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:48 pm

One of the main reasons we took my son out of ps was cause he was being teased non stop from the morning till he got out of school since the boy was in his class and on his bus. See since he was in a special needs class and so was his teaser there was very little the teacher could do. She told me "his parents just aren't as willing as you all to make things better" My husband and i just got tired of it all. Our son has had a hard life and was finally getting ontop when all this happend. He started having reall bad accidents (day time) in his pants and the teasing made it even worse. But worst of all, was my lil man thinking he was nothing. This is our first yr homeschooling and he is loving it. Though we have faced troubles(my mom does not support homeschooling)He is in the second grd and we love learning together and making our bond stronger. I truly never imagined seeing myself as a homeschooler, i was taught wrong about it. But i am proud to say i am a homeschooler and my son is too. He blurts its out with pride "My mommy teaches me, and she is the best" It just melts my heart

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Postby OA » Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:55 am

Have you checked to see if there are any home school support groups in your area? Many home schooling families around North America have found support and friendship through these groups. Phoning around or contacting HSLDA or doing an internet check might help in locating one. Our kids joined a home school group years ago, and participated in home school bands, ski trips and other outings. It was very enjoyable and a lot of fun for all of us! :D

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