WHY WE ARE HOMESCHOOLERS...AGAIN
About a month ago I wrote a post about an Identity Crisis that I was having. That post arose due to the many changes that were happening in our family. I haven't blogged much since then because things promptly took a huge 180 swing and I've been busy riding the pendulum.
To make a long story short; We are homeschooling all of our children again.
The Charter School that our kiddos were attending turned out to be a bad place for our 10 year old son, Vinze. Unbeknown to us, he had been bullied ferociously by some of his classmates since the first week. .
We thought everything was going very well because he had been voted Class President and had straight A's but the truth of the matter was that the girls loved him and the boys had it in for him.
The straw that broke the camels back was an incident where one boy shoved Vinze's head into the wall as he was using the urinal. As he zipped his pants and turned around to tell the boy to stop, another boy came up, told him he was going to "beat his a** until he turned black" as he shoved Vinze into a large trash can. The contents went everywhere and Vinze lay amid the mess.
It turns out that the boys had never accepted him. It may be because Vinze was the only Caucasian child in his class or it may be because... No, I believe that was the reason. The language used toward our son was horrific and the phrases he repeated to us while trying to explain what he had been going through were nothing but filth. There is no other way to describe what he went through but complete and utter terror and putrid ignorance.
The boys talked like doped up sailors. Fifth grade boys were saying things like, "I'm gonna f*** your mama and throw my sugar in your face when I'm done."
Now, dear reader, I did not know what that meant. Our 10 year old son had to listen to this for 9 weeks. He sheepishly repeated it to my husband and I as he tried to explain the ridiculousness that he went through at that school. His tears said it all.
How could we not have known that our 10 year old son was being so tormented at school? Why didn't the teachers do something about that? I'm 40 years old and have been around the block a few times in my day. I had to ask my husband what some of those phrases meant! How could these kids get away with such meanness for such a long time?
It was later discovered that an adult, lunch aid had witnessed Vinze being shoved to the ground during lunch that very same day. She came over to ask him if he was okay. She told the other boy to go sit down. It turns out that Vinze had told the kid that there was mustard on his belt but the boy didn't want the white kid talking to him.
All I know is that we made a horrific decision when we picked the school to allow our children to have their year "away" to learn and discover. That was cemented in my mind when our 6 year old son, Kole, came to me a week or so after pulling them from school. He told us of two boys who dragged him into the bathroom by his backpack. They kept pushing him back into the bathroom when he tried to leave. Only after a teacher walked in was he able to open the door and run out. He tried to tell the teacher what was happening, but she just told him to stop horsing around!
I don't know why some people think these events are "part of growing up." Torment should not be a part of growing up! I know adults who have emotional scars that still haunt them from bullying and abuse at the hands of school peers. How is that normal? How is that a healthy part of growing up?
Shall we all plop our children in the path of a bully so they can become well rounded? Is there a course in how to find a bully so that my child can have the full childhood experience, complete with wedgies, slurs and toilet bowl swirlies? I think not.
At no other time in life do we HAVE to live with people who harm us. If we are bullied at work, there is legal recourse. If we are bullied in college, there is legal recourse. If we are surrounded by people who demean us in our jobs, we can quit! If we find ourselves in a college class full of snots, we can drop it and find another class.
Why do we MAKE our children live day after day, week after week, year after year with people who make them miserable? How is that OKAY?!
As for my husband and I, we don't follow that "rule." We wont. Our children are people too. They don't have to "put up with" ridiculous snots. They don't have live in chaos or fear.
I'm glad we're back to the real world. There's something comforting about running to co-ops and sitting with family to do worksheets. Watching educational movies, running to bible studies and inviting kids over for play dates just seem to do the trick for our family. The kids are happy and educated. To me that's normal. To our family, that's relaxation and comfort.
I only hope that by bringing our children out of that madness they will be able to reflect on it and glean valuable information for their lives. They didn't have to live in it, day after day for a year or two or thirteen. I can only hope that by leaving it behind quickly, they will not be scarred but be stronger because of it.
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