Is there anything wrong with deciding to homeschool a child – even temporarily – because she’s being bullied at school?
We thought this was a fascinating discussion on whether homeschooling as a response to bullying is a good idea.
Our key takeaways from the discussion:
1. The first step should be giving the child tools to deal with the bullies and stop the bullying. There are several ways to do that, and what’s common to all of them is that you want the child to stop acting as a victim and to radiate confidence and a “I’m not a good target” attitude.
2. However, sometimes absolutely nothing works and the bullying persists. If this is the case, moving the child to a different school is a valid option and often ends the bullying, proving that it’s not the child who was the culprit but the school or class dynamics.
3. In cases of persistent bullying, since most experts agree that sometimes the only solution is to move the child to a different school, homeschooling should be a valid option, because it’s just like moving the child into another school – it just happens that the school is at home.
We agree with this approach. We think that it’s a mistake to view the act of moving the child into a homeschooling program as “surrendering” to the bullies or as trying to hide from the problem. Just like moving into a different school, the choice to remove the child from a situation where he is bullied and to homeschool him is simply a choice to remove him from a damaging social situation that cannot be fixed and to change his environment. This is a completely legitimate choice.