Sorry -posted this under another topic by mistake, reposting under a new topic:
At the risk of opening a can of worms, I have a question re home education and socialisation and am really hoping that someone can help. It's perhaps not your usual question on socialisation but it is about socialisation and I do apologise in advance. I just want to make the right decision for my children.
One of the benefits we see of home education is that we get to choose who our children spend their time with. I do *not* have a concern about how we will find others for our children to play with because from everything I have heard, there is a vast support network out there and there are many opportunities for mixing with others, without the restrictions imposed on by the school system. We will have the freedom to choose who our children are with, and, to avoid the anti-tall-poppy bullies (we've had enough of those thanks!).
My question is - **how** do you teach your children how to cope with difficult relationships? My concern is that after the hell we've endured in the school system, I will make sure that my children are only around people who are NICE to them. Will they miss out if I do that? They will inevitably face conflict in these relationships and will learn in them of course but I'm talking about teaching them to be strong around people who really do have it in for them. I also have the impression (perhaps mistakenly) that home educated people are all so nice and when they all meet everything is rosy without the children ever clashing or competing.
I hope this isn't offensive. I guess I'm scared that once out of school I will shield them *too much* from others.
They won't miss out...bullying does *not* build character, lol.
My eldest is 10.5, and went to school (his choice) for 3 days recently. Otherwise he has been unschooled. Generally speaking, home-educated children treat each other very respectfully.
Last week, we were at a gathering, where a mum had recently taken 4 children out of school- and she commented how nice it was to not have to keep looking around to see if her children were being treated nicely- there just wasn't any need.
As for difficult relationships- well they come up in life from time to time- the difference when one is home educated is that a parent is generally not too far away- able to console, and guide or assist if necessary. There is no 'law of the jungle". I can't see how a child would miss out under those circumstances.
I love having my children near, watching them grow in to who they are meant to be (as opposed to trying to fit in). All the best with your decisions :0)
Thanks Shell.... you've clearly understood my concerns when you wrote 'bullying does not build character'. I'm feeling that what they are going through simply *has* to be making them stronger. I love the idea of being there to help. I also like what you wrote about watching your kids grow into who they are meant to be, rather than trying to fit in. For us that is key.
We had a meeting with many school staff yesterday. I said that I want my child kept apart from a bully; it's been too difficult. They wanted to know what we intended to do in the long-term because this is going to keep happening. I'm unsure exactly why WE were being asked about this. Our child is the victim - seems they think she needs to change so this doesn't keep happening.
Yes we can avoid bullying by assisting our child to change and fit in. We can also avoid it by removing them from the situation.
This whole 'learning to deal with the difficult' was thrown at us when we decided upon homeschooling as well. One thing I want to point out, just because a child is bullied does not mean that the child will learn to overcome it. In fact, just as easily, the child may end up being the 'victim' for the rest of his/her life. Children do not have to be put into those sorts of situations - there is no need for it. If a child grows with his/her self-esteem and self-confidence intact, there will be less chance of bullying in the future as they will not put up with it. They will have learnt that they are better than that and will either ignore it, or deal with it in another way. Often, once a victim always the victim.
My children were bullied - my daughter had a girl in her class each year that she was there (2 1/2 yrs) who would bring Christmas cards for everyone EXCEPT my daughter. Luckily my daughter has always been an extremely mature young lady, and I think this affected me more than it did her! My son was at school for 6mths, had his pants pulled down in the playground, was called a cry baby and his so called 'friends' ran away from him almost every playtime. I worked there 2 days a week and most lunchtimes I was there, he'd be in the staffroom trying hard to control tears.
We've been homeschooling for over 1 1/2 years now. Both children have more friends now than they ever had. Homeschooled children (like gifted children) are far more accepting of differences. We have one child in our group who does bully (his mother refuses to see it) but as all the mothers know this we keep a close eye on what happens and little by little, this boy is growing out of it.
Pulling my children out of school was primarily driven by the need to keep their confidence and self-esteem intact. The academics were very much secondary to our decision. Was the best decision we've ever made and we have a fabulous family life. I couldn't imagine them being at school now - although be aware, it does take time and it can be difficult to begin with!
Hi there...sorry I haven't read on this forum for years, and only just checked in to see if anyone had questions.
How did my son enjoy school? Well, he went for three days- that says a little. But actually, he enjoyed it well enough, and it was a *very* small school (22 children) so bullying was unlikely to be an issue (and we had discussed the possibility before he went).
He found it enormously frustrating when he finally got to read his book (sustained silent reading), and kids kept interrupting to find out if he could actually read the book (he thought it was a joke, since he was already up to page 200). He didn't like having to ask to go to the toilet, nor did he like all the explaining about simple tasks, or the length of time it took to do anything.
He decided that while he liked school well enough, home was better- and he would have to sacrifice so much of his day if he were to be there for 6 hours Mon-Fri.
His reading age was at least 11.5 when he turned 5, so I had no concerns about him fitting in there. He was worried about maths, but found that they were doing "5 yr old math". We don't (and have not) done any schoolwork with him. I'm glad he's home :0)
Thanks Rebecca for such a fabulous piece on this forum!
I have a wee delightful son of (just turned) 3, and he has been going to a Montessori for approx 4 weeks.
My husband and I have been weighing the pro's and con's of pulling him out, and beginning to homeschool him now, as we are planning to homeschool him anyway, and he's just not enjoying it.
He is gifted (extremely talented in literacy, and has high emotional intelligence), and was really feeling stink about how the kids don't play with him, but taking it much deeper than any 3 year old I've seen before! So he would just sit inside and read books during their hour long outside free play session.
I like to think that by keeping him at home we get to build up our family as a team unit, and promote caring,helping, tolerance, etc, towards each other. These qualities I am sure will also set him up to be a fabulous husband, co-worker, etc.
I also believe that we will be able to give him learning opportunities that match his interests and ability, and create moments in which he can be challenged and succeed, and in doing so, build his self esteem.
I agree that children can remain in 'victim' mode, all too easily, and really want to eliminate that.
I don't think children need to be around bullies to 'grow'. Too many episodes can damage our children, and (see Diane Levy's book, 'Of course I love you, now go to your room!) send them on a downward spiral of low esteem, later leading to drugs, alcohol, etc.
We love our kids and want to do the best for them! I love the idea of watching them grow into who God wants them to be, instead of watching their backs for them or 'being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff'.
I have long been interested in this whole notion of kids learning to deal with difficulty. It is interesting that it so often comes up in situations involving bullying, because bullying is recognised as being such a damaging formative influence - it goes way beyond mere difficulty.
I believe strongly that we all need to learn to deal with difficult situations in our lives. However, as long as we as parents keep things real (ie are not endlessly trying to sugar coat our child's experiences) normal, everyday stuff such as learning how to live co-operativly with other people provide plenty of challenges and opportunitys to practise 'difficult' situations.
The idea that being bullied will make a child stronger seems to me about as extreme as the notion that a teacher of ours used to favour - that we all needed a spell in a concentration camp to give us a true appreciation of our cushy lot in life - interesting concept, not meant to be taken seriously : )
My observations tell me that people who grow up with a generally positive image of themselves, and who have generally experienced friendly interactions with others are unlikely to be overly phased by unpleasant people they encounter as adults.
The same cannot be said for those who have been bullied, especially if this becomes the norm of their school experience.
School does not provide normative socialisation, in so far as it does not follow many of the normal rules of social interaction found in the 'real' world. In the real world, we do not spend all our time with those of the exact same age as ourselves, nor is life a single sex experience. Children who are homeschooled can have much more normal social interactions, as they are not constantly being treated as a heard animal, and are free to make connections with all people in their world, regardless of age, gender or playground gang.
Lisa, as regards your pre-school experience, have you considered Playcentre at all? If there is a friendly centre near you, it might be worth a look, as Playcentre is a full-family enterprise, so the whole family can get involved and benefit from the support and friendships it generates.
The ratio of adults to children tend to be high, and there is lots of emphasis on helping kids to learn good ways of dealing with conflict. There is also lots of support for children who are new to help them settle, mixed age groups, so kids get the benefit of time spent with both older and younger children and open slather on activities, so your child does not have to put away what they are doing just because it doesn't fit the timetable! Just a thought....worked well for us!
We are a homeschooling family. Just reading this thread and thought I'd add to it that there aren't that many families with gifted kids that home- ed, we are from chch. Our experience is that most people that do it are christian so our focus has and still is how to get around people who don't want to socialise with non christian people. We did not realise the heavy dominance of christians in home-ed before we started. It can be very lonely home eding gifted kids where there is little acknowledgement that this concept exists from people who send their kids to school let alone ones that home school and dismiss your reasons when you say we only home school because our chn are gifted, you lose 10 pts for saying that I'm sure.
I do get concerned when I see parents who home educate allowing their chn to dictate who they will or won't mix with and what they will and won't do as far as schooling and every day life goes, as I believe there is such a thing called delayed gratification that should be allowed to develop. As adults we often need to save, wait, be assertive, change jobs or re-train as life has placed obstacles in our way. A lot of home-ed parents I have seen don't allow for this and have fallen into pandering to the childs every need (especially seen with boys and mothers) they are the men that our future women are surposed to marry.
It is my opinion that it doesn't hurt sometimes to wait or be disappointed, or even feel something other than always comfortable, in real life things don't always go an adults way in life, love, & work.
To be mindful of this whether children are at school or home schooled is being part of a good parent.