Homeschooling a Bullied Child

I’m an accidental homeschooler. How did I accidentally start homeschooling, you ask? My oldest daughter was constantly being bullied in middle school. She had had enough. I had had enough. Bullying in schools seems to be out of control and we were done. There was no way I was going to continue to send her to school when she would beg me not to go.

The kids who bullied her would not let up and it was affecting her grades, her behavior, and her self-esteem. My child was once a happy student, always excited about going to school. She looked forward to learning and spending time with her friends, and doing the things that 12-year-olds do. But now, it was as if she was a completely different person. I was heartbroken. And the school was not being very cooperative, which also made me feel angry and helpless. But I wasn’t hopeless. I knew I had options. And homeschooling was one of them.

If you’re in the same predicament, I know how you feel. But believe me, things will get better. As a parent, you have your child’s best interests at heart and although doing what is right for them won’t come without its share of sacrifices, in the end, everyone will be a whole lot happier. This is my story and I hope it helps you help your child.

Getting Down to (Homeschool) Business

I can’t tell you how excited my oldest was when brought up the idea of homeschooling. Even though it was something we had never really talked about, she knew what it was and she was completely onboard. Like me, she had tons of questions. Some, I was able to answer, others, we looked up online and learned together.

In doing my research, I noticed that bullying and homeschooling are both on the rise. There were more and more families homeschooling because of bullying, among other reasons. And let me just say, I never thought I’d be homeschooling, much less homeschooling a bullied child. I always figured my children would go to a traditional school like I did. So as you can imagine, I was feeling the pressure and I was stressed, but more than anything, I wanted my daughter to be happy again.

I never knew there were so many things to consider when homeschooling:

State laws – Are there required subjects I need to teach? Does my child need to take annual assessments? Do I need to keep records?

Homeschool method – Should we throw all we’ve come to know out the window and unschool? Maybe eclectic homeschooling is more her style? Roadschooling? That’s a thing?

Curriculum type – Should we use an online program? Perhaps she can attend a virtual school? Are textbooks the way to go?

I had more questions than answers, but I also discovered that we were about to gain tons of freedom. As a homeschooler, I would have the flexibility to:

  • Homeschool year round or on a traditional schedule
  • Incorporate field trips into our lesson plans
  • Learn about anything and everything my child wants to
  • Homeschool on days and times that are most convenient for us
  • Work from home, the library, the park…anywhere

Making the decision to homeschool meant we would have to make other unexpected changes in our household. For starters, I would have to quit my full-time job. This meant we would be down to one income, so more than likely we’d need to cut our expenses in a few areas. That would take getting used to, but we sat down as a family, ran some numbers, and did what we had to do.

My husband and I also had to ask ourselves: what about our other daughter who is in elementary school? Should we homeschool her too? There really wasn’t any reason to since she was perfectly happy in school. So after discussing it as a family, we decided that, for the time being, she’d remain in school.

How Homeschooling Has Helped my Child

I have seen so many positive changes in my daughter since we started homeschooling. I think her demeanor dramatically improved the moment she knew she didn’t have to go back to school.
She loves being able to take her education into her own hands. Yes, we learn about the basics like math, language arts, science, and history, but she also has so much freedom to learn about anything at all that interests her. She truly enjoys learning and I feel like she’s matured so much since we started homeschooling.

My daughter gets to see her friends from school all the time, and she’s even made new ones from the homeschool group we’re now a part of. She doesn’t feel like she missing out by not going to school. She’s happy and back to her old self again. And as a parent, that makes it all worthwhile.

Pulling my oldest daughter out of middle school was one of the best things we did. That’s not to say it didn’t come with doubts, challenges, and frustration, but I knew that I was doing what was best for her. It’s been a few months now, and we still have some of those emotions from time to time, but I know that it’s normal. We are all learning as we go, making the most of the time we get to spend together, and having fun in the process.

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