Bullies: Homeschooling a Possible Solution?
© Beverley Paine
Have you ever met anyone who wasn't a victim of bullying at school, or on the way to or from school? My mother's answer was to learn to ignore bullies, which I did, and this behaviour was largely successful. As a young mum I even gave this advice to my children when they encountered bullies. But it's not an answer; it's actually an appalling solution that simply perpetuates the problem.
We weren't perfect parents: sometimes we were guilty of using bully tactics in our relations. Not all homeschool parents are perfect parents either. However, over time I noticed a trend in homeschooling parents to genuinely like children, and especially like being in their company, which is generally missing in society. Wanting to be with children, rather than seeing them as an inconvenience that must be tolerated, eventually changes the social dynamic and behaviour in groups. Homeschooling parents seem keen on discovering and sharing with each other a new set of social skills, based on cooperation and collective as well as personal responsibility instead of competition and individualism.
I tell my children, now young adults, that if we want world peace it has to start with us, at home, in our family. If we can't resolve conflicts within the family then world peace will never eventuate. Think globally, act locally. We don't have all the answers, which is why we hang out with other people, to garner new ideas, to observe other ways of being, to learn. Exposure to bullies is part of that process, but we know we're not alone. We live in a community of caring people that want to help.
I've spent twenty years fostering the development of this voluntary community: the homeschooling community. If you're interested in any aspect of homeschooling, try Googling the word "homeschool" or visit Homeschool Australia http://homeschoolaustralia.com
first posted as a reply on Online Opinion 31st Dec 06
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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