Self-Sufficiency Series

Friday, April 13, 2012

Defusing a potential nightmare

I received a startling and somber email from a mother with a question about homeschooling. Not about the nuts and bolts of the subject, but rather how to handle her husband, who opposes homeschooling. I was at such a loss as to how to advise this dear lady that I thought I would open up the topic for discussion and ask folks to send in their recommendations. There is no doubt she's in a thorny situation and needs some advice. Many heads are better than one, so let's pitch in and give her some help.

She writes (edited slightly for clarity):

I want to thank you for all the wonderful information on homeschooling resources. I myself have just recently started homeschooling my four year old in preparation for kindergarten. In the process of me doing that this year my oldest daughter (7 yrs old) has been bullied relentlessly at the school I was to enroll our younger daughter into. Needless to say I have since found a online virtual school to help us with the materials that are needed to homeschool both my daughters next year.

I am up against my husband on this one for the homeschooling. He is pro-public school and doesn't want the girls to be "isolated," which there is no way since they are both involved in Girl Scouts. I am doing this all behind his back in order to protect my girls from injury at that horrible school again. He is one of those that has the mentality that its part of growing up to be picked on. Not when she comes home with a busted lip from a rock that was thrown at her and bruises from a child grabbing her.

Any suggestions on how to handle him and defuse a potential nightmare when he finds out???


I admit I gave a low whistle upon reading this. I've met people who are strong advocates of public schooling, but not at the risk of their own children.

So, dear readers, please help her out.

49 comments:

  1. This is a nightmare situation. Dad appears to be controlling and not concerned about his children's welfare. If his wife is afraid of him, has to hide protecting her daughters from bullies, and has no voice in making decisions, this marriage has more problems than just homeschooling. Sounds like, maybe, Dad has a problem with bullying.

    There is no way to give counsel in this situation, concerning Home Schooling, because the problems are much deeper. I wish her the best and hope everyone will pray for this family.

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  2. This is a tough one. While I'm not in favor of going behind the husband's back, I understand her need to keep her children safe. This is a headship issue, in that part of a father's headship is protecting his children (especially young daughters!!). The wife has a godly duty to encourage her husband in this area. Is he aware of the cuts and bruises? And he does nothing? Are there church elders that can help?

    I wonder if the husband really understands the dangers of bullying these days. The adults at the schools are NOT interested in providing a safe place, and will not tolerate children standing up for themselves.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/apr/11/in-chilling-bully-child-who-fares-best-leaves-publ/?page=1

    Praying for this family!
    PGS

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  3. There is something wrong on a different level here. This father thinks that being picked on is part of growing up and didn't have a problem with his daughter coming home with a busted lip. Not even a son, "who should fight like a man", but his little girl. Wow.

    There's only one person who never has a problem with being picked on or being bullied and that would be the bully.

    Call him out on that and tell him what will be transpiring for the next school year. Spell out the curriculum and the opportunities for "social-ness". Like it or lump it. Thinking bruises on his little girl is childhood fun kind of takes away a vote and man card. (If you can't tell, I was bullied as a child.)

    Time to be a mama bear, bring out the claws.

    That said, I too never saw homeschooling. But after reading the numerous blogs and understanding the reasoning, I now advocate it and have been strongly suggesting it to a relative who is in a less than desirable school district.

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  4. I feel a wife should never homeschool behind her husband's back. That is only asking for trouble and sends the wrong message to the children. If he will not support the idea then she should follow his wishes. It does not mean that he will not change his mind in the future. I would start with letting him meet a homeschool family and maybe asking him if he would be willing to read some articles or books on the issue. Address his concerns openly. In this way they will have mutual trust not mistrust between husband and wife when he finds out what is going on....and he will find out.

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    1. I agree with this. Turn it over to the Holy Spirit to change his mind.

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    2. So.. why should "she" follow "his" wishes? Is it because he's a man and women are to submit themselves to men? I think that's sending the wrong message to your kids, that women are supposed to be submissive and men are supposed to be dominant. I'm even a man and that seems backwards. Marriage is supposed to be about companionship, intimacy and collaboration, not domination and subservience.

      I would ask him to verbalize his concerns against homeschooling, and then either do research or apply logic to minimize his irrational belief in the public school system, and probably have a long chat about schooling including the kids and their opinions/worries. Then, if I had made my point that I felt homeschooling was the best thing to do, even just as a temporary measure, I would go through with it and pull my kids out of school.

      Fortunately, my wife supports my decision to homeschool from the beginning, and when our kids get older they can choose if they want to try public schooling.

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    3. I tend to agree BUT I would march into the public school and ask what is being done about the bullying. It is illegal. It is dealt with severely in most states. Protect your daughter by calling out the bully.
      You have the summer to get your girls started in homeschooling. Ease him and them into it. Involve him in science lessons. Make sure everyone is involved outside of the home.
      It is tough. There are many, many people who advocate what he says.

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    4. I also agree. While I love homeschooling, it will never work without the blessing of her husband. Part of what we are teaching our children is about family life. Doing this behind her husbands back will teach a lesson in disrespect that will backfire when her kids are older.

      Try to talk to her husband. Address his concerns. Pray!

      In the meantime she needs to do her best to see if she can work things out at school. Sometimes you have to be the squeaky wheel.

      Southern Gal

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    5. There is a difference between a wife submitting to a loving compassionate man versus submitting to a rough impractical man. The wife should whole-heartedly submit to her husband's decision when he is acting in a non-selfish manner and HE is submitted to the will of the Lord. If these are Christian people they need to pursue counsel from someone they trust as homeschooling is one of the most important decisions we make as parents. If they are not Christians, then they are truely in a marriage-threatening position.

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  5. Prayer, prayer and more prayer. A complete change of heart is needed. What a sad situation.

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  6. He needs to understand that home schooled kids are some of the most well-rounded kids in the world. It does not "socialize" them to be surrounded by kids their own age all day long during the school year. Proper and healthy socialization happens when children interact with people of all ages. She needs to make sure this will be happening. Going to the grocery store, post office, and other errands with mom is great. So is girl scouts and other activities because the kids do need friends about their same age. Visiting a rest home every now and again is so wonderful for the kids and the elderly.

    Bullying has the potential of doing tremendous damage to any child - physical, emotional, etc. She needs to pray that his eyes will be opened to this reality.

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  7. i trully wish that i could be helpful but all i can do is possibly give you some insight to the attitude of the husband... i was bullied something fierce during my 7th grade year, but not by students. i was intimidated and bullied by a handful of teachers of various classes to the point of sobbing in one class and literally wetting myself in another. and there is nothing worse than being taken home by the teacher for a talk with the parents when the student has no say in the matter. this all led to being moved to different classrooms in the subject i was having the most difficulty with and spending a hour or so every week with the school psyciatrist. a major part of the bulllying was the fact that i was also bullied by my father. he never went beyond the sixth grade and he was jealous of his children. he did not allow his children to do homework after 5pm. and if we got into trouble at school for anything including unfinished homework we were punished twice... teacher and dad. mother had no power to do anything about this but did try to keep us encouraged to do what we needed to do to keep the peace. the husband in this story sounds as if he was possibly an abused or bullied child himself. another thought i have also is this. for years my father insisted we attend public schools and take public school buses because his tax money was paying for them. if a child hears this enough, they actually will believe it. i would suggest that this mother make an appointment with her childrens pediatrician and discuss this with him or her. then when her children have to see pediatrician for vaccinations etc.. take hubby with her to hear for himself what the dr. has to say about school bullying etc..maybe he will change his mind...but i truly think the husband has some very deep issues regarding this from his own childhood.

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  8. I am going to assume that this lady and her husband are christians. I would suggest that yes she should pray, but she needs to get her minister involved here. Going behind the mans back is not the right path. I assuming again that her clergyman will support her.

    Old fart

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  9. I'm sorry to say that this does seem to run deeper than the Homeschooling issue. I know it's not the answer she's looking for, but their marriage issues need to be handled first as it seems that is the root of the problem. Otherwise, I think she should introduce her husband to other homeschooling families, that is, if he's willing to even listen.

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  10. Homeschooling is clearly not the real issue here. Communication, respect and trust are visibly at the core of this mess. Going behind her husband's back is certain to end badly and failure to fix the root problem will only lead to future strife.

    I question of whether or not the father understands the seriousness of the situation. Being picked on is entirely different than being physically abused at school; from the way the letter was worded I was not convinced that he really grasped the current situation.

    I would appeal to her to calm her words and her tone (as challenging as that is here) and humbly seek her husband's help. Explain her fears and the evidence of harm to their daughters. Ask for his advice and assistance. Being appealed to as a protector instead of lied to (going behind his back) or manipulated (her "handling him") may allow him to feel like he doesn't need to be on the defensive and give him the opportunity to step up to the plate and take care of his family.

    Even if he remains against homeschooling, he may be willing to take on the public school administration or discuss private schooling. Either would get the two of them fighting together for their children instead of with each other.

    Either way, serious family counseling needs to be pursued. This is clearly not a healthy situation.

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  11. My answer to the "socialization" argument is: Children with no social skills cannot learn social skills from other children who have no social skills.

    The result is the aforementioned busted lip.

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  12. I have been a teacher in the public school system in California for 27 years. Last year we pulled our 8 years old daughter from public school to homeschool. Public school has become a dangerous place for children. Worst yet, it isn't about teaching children to succeed in their academics, but to indocinate them into a liberal agenda. School is not the place for children to get their socialization skills. Bullying is a part of public school. Most public school children will experience it. If that is what this father wants for his daughter than leave her in the public school system. If he wants his daughter to focus on her education and not fear getting up in the morning, than homeschool her. We have found that our daughter has better social and speaking skills being with adults during the day.

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    1. I've been bullied as a child, and I remembered waking up in fear every morning. Sad thing was, It wasn't just the students, but the teacher I had to worry about as well. I wish everyday now that I had been homeschooled. Mom always told me she regretted not staying home with my sister and I when we were little.

      ~Lily~

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  13. I recommend the eBook Convince Your Husband to Homeschool from www.peareducationalresources.com.

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  14. This is hard. I also have to assume we are talking about a Christian family. In that case, my husband is the head of my household and I would never go behind his back. The only thing good that can come from that is more problems. I think you and your husband need to have a meeting with the school and discuss this abuse, because it is abuse. I would let them know that if your child came from your home with these injuries, and reported you or the father did it, they would be required to report it to child services. Just because abuse lcomes from another child makes it no less abuse. From things I have seen with schools, they will likely tell you there isn't much they can do, in that case perhaps your husband will see where you are coming from. Also hopefully you can make him understand that this is not a child getting picked on a little bit (that happens to everyone) but this is true bullying, it doesn't stop, and it is abuse. I also agree that schools are not where children learn to socialize. IF the day is being spent doing what is supposed to be done.... Learning.... Then where is the time for socializing? There are plenty of activities for that outside of school See if there is a homeschooling group in your area. They are all over. Many of them do field trips together and once a week or so some have group classes learning skills from each parent. Maybe one mom is a wonderful seamstress, and she may teach sewing, one may be a great writer and teaches creative writing etc.

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    1. Finally, someone has said it. Bruises etc are evidence of ASSAULT. If the school has been notified of this and has done nothing, then law enforcement should be involved against the perpetrator AND the school. Being teased, picked on, bullied - whatever, is one thing. But to allow your child to continue with this type of damage is unthinkable. C'mon mama! You are aware of it. It is your duty now to stop it, or you are just as culpable.

      BTW: Get a new "man".

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  15. I agree with most of what has been already said.

    This past Tuesday, I spotted a group of government schooled children walking through our church parking lot on the way home. A bigger girl was grabbing the backpack and ponytail of the younger girl. When I told her to let go and stop bullying - well - they suddenly became angels and continued their walk home. I told them that I had recently been bullied (by my brother-in-law and wife), it was not nice and to never do it.
    I'm thinking they have been taught about bullying or reported for bullying before, as they certainly stopped.

    Having been homeschooling for 15 years and graduated 1 so far, in my experience it is easy to selectively choose relational opportunities for your child. The greater challenge of homeschooling is to stay home and do school! This can be managed properly when you are attuned to the balance required. Meeting some homeschooled families, and possibly experiencing the familial atmosphere of a homeschoolers skate day, where the older siblings kindly assist and teach the younger would certainly be a huge contrast to the bullying this child and family is currently experiencing. Join HSDLA but first get the situation with the husband straightened out. Homeschooling magnifies problems in your marriage and in the discipline of your children. These must be attended to first.

    Dwlee3 in Bend, Oregon

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  16. I don't have any suggestions, seeing as I'm not married, but I do have an interesting story. When I began third grade, my parents moved me from a private school to a public school much closer to home. It was the worst year of my life. The teacher had a hard time controlling her students and decided to use me as a scapegoat (I was quiet and obedient). She used every chance she could to point me out in a moment of inattention and claim that I was either deliberately doing it for attention or because I didn't understand the lessons (I understood them, in fact, I was bored because I've already learned it in second grade). She would also try to catch me talking to other students, who were purposely trying to talk to me to get me in trouble since they knew she was watching me. I eventually had my desk brought up to the front facing the black board for all to see and to make sure I was listening, turning me into a pacifier for her class. I have one particular memory that constantly played in my head for years afterward where I was sitting quietly in my desk in front of that blackboard, and she came up to me after I happened to look somewhere else for just a second to lecture me, then screamed at me when I didn't bother answering. I was too terrified. I was often sent to the office to sit by myself and do work. I was threatened repeatedly with a paddle (the principal himself yelled at me because I wouldn’t speak when he asked me why I was causing trouble), had other students constantly pick on me during recess (had balls purposely thrown and kicked at my head), and getting me into trouble at lunch where I would be sent to a special table for students in trouble (one girl managed to get me by saying she didn't like the way I was drinking my water by pouring it into the little cup that comes with the thermos. Crazy, I know, but the teacher punished me anyway). I remember when one of the boys in my class lost his dad in a car crash one morning and we were told to write condolences for him. He was one of the boys who picked on me the most. You know what he and his friends said? That I wasn't sorry his dad died. The one kindness I remember from any of these kids was Valentine's Day when one of the boys came over and said he liked the sucker Valentine I gave out. I couldn't look at him and immediately thought he was going to do something. I walked away, but he didn't do anything. After all that wishing for them to accept me, one finally decided to compliment me, and I snubbed them. The one kindness my teacher did for me was point out my drawing skills. Everyone appeared impressed. However, it didn’t make me feel very good at all.

    All of this followed me to the daycare I was to stay in after school. Kids often went through great lengths to torture me and the few friends I managed to make (its embarrassing but all of the ones picking on me were two to three years younger than me). I rarely fought back, and when I did, it was me who got in trouble. Most of the daycare monitors didn't like me either. I've had friends turn on me because of these kids’ influence.

    (I will continue this in another post, since its very long)…)

    ~Lily~

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  17. (Continued…)

    Where were my parents? I told them, but they didn't believe me (they still trusted the public school system back then). When I persisted, they gave me insufficient advice (ignore them and they'll stop/just pay more attention/don't hit back). Eventually I stopped telling the truth and began lying that everything was okay. I stayed home one day claiming an upset stomach, but it was from fear not a virus. When mom figured out I was faking she got very upset (she had to take off work). No one at school believed it either, though mom said nothing to them. It took my teacher calling them for a conference before they realized what was going on. By then, the damage was already done. The teacher claimed that I had ADD, incapable of doing the work (which is funny because she asked me a couple of times why I was able to do my work alone in the principal’s office or in another classroom but not in her classroom) and wanted me evaluated. Mom said they had me take some sort of test, and not only did I do well, it showed I was extremely artistic (I don’t remember this test at all).

    Even after all this, the bullying still continued to a lesser degree by students until I was out of elementary school. I don’t think I ever bothered to tell them what happened at the daycare because I didn’t want to trouble them.

    I had developed selective mutism, a deep mistrusted of people, and learned how to lie from this experience. It has taken me nearly two decades to begin recovering. It has greatly affected my ability to keep promises and to function normally from day to day. Whenever things got difficult, I would lie about it until it became too big to ignore. I had a short period of time where it looked like I was going to get over it in middle school and my first year in high school, then I ran into new bullies and I backtracked. For a while, I was too scared of the idea of getting a job because it could put me in the same environment again (I eventually did, but that time, I had co-workers back me up).

    This woman needs to seriously stand up to her husband if she doesn't want her daughter to become (ironically) unable to socialize with the world like I was for the longest time. It was very isolating even though I was around people all the time. I had a shaky relationship with my parents too, though I was smart enough not to get into REAL trouble.

    ~Lily~

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  18. I don't think bullying is the real issue here, though it is certainly not to be blown off either. It seems like that is a convenient excuse/ justification to do what she wanted to do anyway. If it wasn't bullying it would be dangerous buses or unhealthy snacks or the school being structurally unstable or something.

    The good thing is that it doesn't look like she has actually pulled the kid(s) out of school and is just doing some "active research" on the topic. If she has taken some sort of tangible steps I strongly recommend that she tells her husband immediately. Today! Bad news doesn't get better with time.

    Doing something major that the two of you haven't talked about is bad but since they have already talked about it that is like, really bad. Imagine if he purchased a new expensive rifle and a big 4 wheel drive truck that they could not afford, that they had talked about and she had not agreed to? It isn't that the rifle and truck are bad but that they talked about it then he ignored her wishes.

    There is definitely no way she could get away with home schooling the kids behind his back. Even if he was gone for an entire year and calls home a kid would let it slip. With him living and working in the area no way it would work at all. It would work till the kid said something or he came home to pick up his forgotten toolbox/ brief at 9: 30 and sees the kids doing homework in their PJ's. Then the manure is going to hit the spinning metal blades....

    As to getting him onto her side. Do some research and figure out ways to address his concerns. Girl scouts, church youth group, etc. Also most school districts will let homeschool kids play sports. This stuff will help address his concerns that your kids are getting the kind of quality and varied socialization that they do actually need to develop properly.

    Also talk about a whole range of options including charter or private school.

    As to bullying you will have to teach your kids to deal with it otherwise they will become a wimpy victim. Teach them to make friends with the right kids and learn to ignore or verbally spar with the wrong ones. That failing teach them to defend theirselves. Bullies are cowards. Even if a bully is a bit older/ bigger they don't want to fight. Fight back once and they will pick on somebody weaker. Teach that girl that if somebody grabs them she should pop them in the nose. Otherwise the kid may turn into some sort of wimp who is getting bullied at 30 by coworkers or relatives.

    Bottom line, do some research and have a serious talk with the hubby to figure out a solution to deal with this problem that addresses both of your concerns. Also teach your kid to deal with bullies.

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  19. Some things I wonder about:

    Is this a pattern in their home? Does the mother go behind the father's back for other things? If he is truly a bully, then she may be a victim. What is her role in being a victim?
    You can't have one without the other. And when the victim sees the truth and motivation behind her actions she becomes aware of how to change her responses and the situation becomes diffused. This is hard for people to see - many have knee-jerk reaction to the suggestion that both the bully and the victim have responsiblity (and I'm not talking about the little girl here - she is only suffering on the outside what her parents are on the inside and it's not her fault. For that matter, it isn't their fault either, just a continuation of the conditioning they received as children. But if either one of the parents is willing to see the root of the problem, it will change and their children will be blessed.)

    Nancy

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  20. Men use that "women submit" line all the time, but forget to read the rest of the passage. Men should love their wives as Jesus loves the church. That means, to give everything he has to her, even up to and including his life.

    A true husband would listen to her concerns and help find a solution. If he is that insistent the child remains in public school, then he needs to be responsible for making the school a safe place for his child. That means going to meetings with the school officials to voice his concerns, attending PTA if there is one, starting one if there is not, and being willing to take the school administration and the parents of the bully to court to win redress, if necessary.

    Or, he could just let her homeschool. Given those choices, which do you think he will go for?

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    1. Great answer from the Bible....Most Christian men do not submit to the Lord which makes it equally hard for their wives to submit to them....Loved your answer, Anonymous.....
      We homeschooled three of our four children and they socialized with other like minded children.
      No peer pressure an they knew how to carry on a conversation with adults....Hubby and I were both onboard with homeschooling as the government public schools were already gearing up for what is in the schools today.....and we didn't want our children to learn that sort of stuff.
      PRAYER is greatly needed in this lady's situation....
      Love from NC

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  21. The home school legal defense article posted just below on the site states most home-schooled kids are involved in an average of 5 activities (if I'm reading this correctly). You mentioned girl scouts, so that's one. Do they have other interactive activities? If not, start getting them involved. It sounded like that was your husband's main objection, so head it off at the pass by starting NOW. When they are well entrenched in their other activities, he can no longer use that as an objection.

    Also, I would ask him what he would do if the daughter came home abused again? Will the school be sued? Will he go to the principal and complain? Will his daughter be signed up for self-defense and martial arts lesssons? What is his plan? How much abuse will she have to go through? I apologize if this sounds uncaring, but you need to understand what his plan is, and if he doesn't have one, he needs to come up with one. Maybe he will see that homeschooling is an option.

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  22. Seems to me the situation is indicative of serious marital problems.
    The schooling issue is just one of the symptoms. Too bad she had to drag the 7 year-year old into her web of deceit. Imagine what it must be like to be 7 years old and keep a lie like that from your father?

    This couple & family probably would benefit from objective 3rd party help.
    My advice : The wife needs to come clean IMMEDIATELY!If the husband is angry - so be it - she has it coming.
    She should agree to send the children to a government school contingent upon a prompt enrollment in a family and couples therapy. Doesn't matter whether or not the therapist or counselor is a Christian or not - their problems are pathological and will improve with basic marriage counseling if they are honest with each other and are committed to their marriage and children.

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    1. Imagine what it would be like to have to fear being assaulted at school and your own father refused to protect you.

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    2. I don't have to imagine - I lived it :-(

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  23. I will echo what most of the people here have said. However I will assume for this situation that we should focus on a recommendation of this particular problem.

    One, there is nothing wholesome that happens behind your spouse’s back. And that is coming from someone who has experience. And her willingness to act behind his back, especially when it comes to his children, shows that there is more going on in their relationship that is bad.

    Next homeschooling is not the solution to every problem, as it might not be in this case. The wife should talk to the husband, she should explain the concerns and as many people have said, pray hard. Now if she is a good mother she cannot allow her children to be hurt, however if she is a good wife, she has to work within the family unit. Thus try for a third options.

    First as many people have said, I would figure out what is happening at school.

    Second, I would look up Charter schools in the area. Perhaps there are low cost alternatives to public school, but still have more of a “public” feel. Many charter schools have more “control” over their attendees.

    Third, I would look up religious schools in the area starting with the Catholic programs. Most Catholic schools have more control one what happens there. There are many Catholic schools in most areas as we Catholics feel this is a part of our mission on earth. The issue with most of them is costs, and for that, she can apply for financial aid. And no, you do not have to be Catholic to attend a Catholic school. If the local Catholic schools don’t appear to her or are financially out of range, look at other Christian schools.

    Fourth, I would continue to work with husband From the dawn of time successful women have successfully moved men to their thinking, using numerous methods. I would ask him to write down his list of concerns. When you have a list, then go to work on it line by line. For example, home school or private school your property (taxes) will still be seized by the State to pay for public schools thus you are not “harming” the public school system. If his issue really is isolation, and it is for some, accept that may be a valid concern the Holy Spirit is raising. Let him know you will put them into even more programs. Heck, in some communities you can even participate in school sports even though you home school. Expand, expand and expand their access to activities and show your husband how this will happen.

    The last point is on this new focus on bullying. I understand that there are bullies in the world, and that it can become very vicious. However I respectfully and humbly encourage my Christian, Conservative brothers and sisters to remember the long term goal of the State is to neuter American boys and turn American girls into victims. Are there bullies, yes, should you always flee from bullies or teach your children how to deal with bullies? For me, I will teach my son and daughters how to deal with bullies. I don’t care if my son has to “get into it” daily. If he is getting bullied, I want him to learn that, if you keep punching the bully in the nose eventually he will go and find easier prey. I believe that the future for my children is cloudy, and that they most likely will encounter real violent bullies in lethal situations. Depending on how fast our society unravels, and amazing level of effort _will_ be expected of our children. Do your children have the courage and confidence to defend themselves, their families, their faith and their communities? How can you expect your children to potentially use lethal means to deal with vicious intruders and protect their siblings if they can’t deal with a cowardly bully in school? If I am here in the future, or not, I want my children to have the confidence and courage to deal with those potentially deadly encounters. I believe there is something to be said for teaching that lesson earlier at the school (if it comes up) where most bully encounters are (hopefully) not lethal.

    See you out there.

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  24. I have homeschooled my children for a long time and have done it many ways. One way that might be acceptable to your husband is to do "public school" at home. k12 (k12.com) has a public school at home option. Check out the website for the states that participate. The curriculum is excellent, free if doing as public school, provides teacher support, and has activities with other students and the teachers like zoo trips, etc. They will even provide a computer. A little more regimented than homeschool but in your husband's view that might be a good thing. I don't work for k12 in case you were wondering!

    I would NOT try to hide homeschooling from your husband. I don't think it would be possible for more than a day or two without asking your children to lie. If you are afraid of your husband then you must take the girls and leave NOW!

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  25. I have been homeschooling for about 14 years and I would have to say the number one thing to NOT do is start homeschooling behind her husbands' back....leaves no trust. She has got to work on showing him the why's and use scripture and prayer to back it up. They (the parent's) have to be in complete agreement for the schooling to work. I believe God will open the door when it is the right time for them.

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  26. I am reading this letter and getting a sick feeling in my stomach—not because of the husband, but because of the wife. I think there is something very wrong with her. She’s trying too hard to come across as an innocent in this whole situation, when she’s willing to lie to her husband about something as serious as her children’s education? She comes across to me as someone who just wants a bunch of people to agree with her so that she can show her husband how wrong he is. I’ve been trying to answer this letter for the past hour with what I know I should say and I keep getting irritated and will post this instead.

    She is not actually saying that her husband knows about her kid getting abused by the kids at her school—she said that he believes getting picked on is a part of growing up—I believe that too! It teaches you to stand up for yourself and how to deal with people who have rotten attitudes…but being picked on and getting a bloody lip are two different things. I find it hard to believe that she’s actually telling him everything that her kid is going through—he obviously loves his kids or he wouldn’t care about their being “isolated” and if she’s going to keep home schooling her kids from him, why wouldn’t she keep other stuff from him? Something just doesn’t ring true here and I have to wonder if he knows or if she’s just trying to look like a hero to everyone. I keep thinking about Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy—seriously, that is the effect her letter is having on me. I am totally freaked out because I’ve never had such a reaction before.

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  27. 11:24 pretty much hit the nail on the head with "Do your children have the courage and confidence to defend themselves, their families, their faith and their communities? How can you expect your children to potentially use lethal means to deal with vicious intruders and protect their siblings if they can’t deal with a cowardly bully in school?...Are there bullies, yes, should you always flee from bullies or teach your children how to deal with bullies? For me, I will teach my son and daughters how to deal with bullies."

    A kid who can't stand up for his or her self will almost surely become an adult who still can't. If a kid doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to a mean kid or a person who can't stand up to a pushy relative/ coworker how do you think they would do in a real violent encounter with a scumbag criminal? What about the TETWAWKI/ SHTF scenario everybody always talks about? The answer is badly and very badly.

    Sometimes protecting your kid means equiping them with the skills and confidence to deal with life; then letting them deal with it. This certainly doesn't mean I would be cold hearted. My kids safety and his little feelings/ ego are very important.

    I am not saying home schooling isn't the way to go but the kid has to learn to deal with bullies either way.

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    Replies
    1. There is an age when a person should be able to defend himself and an age when a child should be protected.

      In this society, a person must also protect his record. My nephew was suspended for fighting, even though the teacher saw that the other child hit him and he did not hit back.

      Kindergarten is a little early to have to defend one's self.

      Delete
  28. She comes home with a busted lip and he doesn't notice?

    As far as teaching her to stand up to bullies, this is a 7 year old female, give me a break.

    She definitely shouldn't be hiding this from her husband, but if he's willing to let his little girl be abused, he's just as responsible for what happens to her as if he had done it himself.

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  29. From a law enforcement officers perspective I would say that the husband is a serious threat to her daughters. Any parent that won't protect his child should not be trusted by the wife with authority over her daughters.

    That said, don't divorce him. If you do, he will just find another GF later on and when he has court ordered "visitation" you will have no say in how they are treated.

    Is private school an option?

    If Mom is a truly bullied woman then her girls will need an outside resource/connection for when they are old enough to stand on their own feet and get away from that toxic situation.

    A. Jones

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  30. My husband felt the same way. Turns out he was more afraid of the kids feeling like outcasts, or 'different'. I talked and talked and prayed and prayed and finally asked if we could just try it for a while. And if it didn't work out or he hated it we would stop. That worked. After a while he liked it so much you would have thought he invented it. Perhaps the problem isn't homeschooling but the feeling of change, and being different. Stepping out from the mainstream can be very difficult for some people. He needs to understand that a lot of the upper class people are really catching on to homeschooling and it has become the 'thing to do' in some places. Also, there is the option of co-ops which would give you both what you want. Don't give up but with love and gentleness keep the bug in his ear and point out all the good things about homeschooling and the bad things about public school. But one of the best things you can do is call the local homeschool group and find out if any of the parents are teachers that have pulled their own children out of public school. See if they would share a little insight with your husband. I don't think going behind his back will help.

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  31. As someone who was relentlessly bullied all the way through school, I can only tell you to please stick to your guns on this. I am also sorry to have to tell you this, but it will only get worse.

    As an aside, I recently brought up the subject with my mother (I'm currently 33) and she informed me that she never knew, although I'm certain that I expressed this to her when I was going to school. So I feel that your daughter is to be commended for having the courage to speak up. So many of our children don't.

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  32. I am dismayed she hasn't filed a police report about the split lip from rock throwing. In Canada that is assault, if the rock thrower happens to be under the age before your state law takes effect, file a criminal negligence report against the school. I'm not sure if schools have duty of care in the US or not.
    That should get hubby's and the school's attention. The main thing is to get the children safe immediately. Only the wrong lessons are learned under terror, those poor kids.

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  33. I would ask this mother first to pray about her situation. If socialization is truly her husband's fear, she can contact her local homeschooling group. They usually have many activities, such as picnics, field trips, skating and sports activities, science, geography and history fairs, plays, parties for various holidays, etc .Also the group will have access to community activities they can participate with, usually with the same discounts the public schools are given. We live in a rural area and there are so many activities that we have to pick and choose which is best for our family. In addition the children can still participate in many of the public school activities, as another poster noted. We have been a part of plays, field trips and parties at the local public school. To us, homeschool has been such a blessing, so much fun and the kids learn so much more in so much less time. LIFE is their school and they love learning. She needs to discuss these things with her husband and try to help him see the benefit for their family.

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  34. As a private school teacher, I suggest making an appointment to visit the closest private school, even if it is quite a distance. Be sure to discuss your issues with that school and even ask them about online school. The experience may cause your husband to think virtual homeschool is his idea.

    In fact, ask lots of people their opinion of how to protect your children in your husband's presence. Let them convince him.

    Have you talked with the parents of the bullies?

    If there is ANY future injury, I would take my child to the emergency room and have medical and police documentation.

    Planning and preparation are fine, but implementing this plan without your husband's knowledge is not in anyone's best interest.

    God bless.

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  35. If you need clarification this is it. I have told my husband every situation that has happened to her at the school:clothes being pulled and ripped by boys, hands being put over her mouth by boys, brusies left on her by boys, the busted lip was by a group of boys throwing rocks and no teacher was in that area of the playground, name calling just to list what has happened and he is aware of all of this and every time I have said something to him and each incident got progressively worse I asked him to go to the school and make his presence know to that school but each time he has refused and I am the only parent they see at the school. He has told her to punch the kid in the nose like his dad told him to when he was her age. He thinks that Physical violence will solve this and I am against it unless it is a life or death situation. I know my child has the ability to do what is right in a situation like this as she has had to help her sister and I out before and we have done drill in our home about protecting yourself and her little sister since we live in a rough neighborhood and area.

    I am just heart broken everytime she comes home crying because some little boy is being nasty to her and she is doing everything I have taught her and her father on defense and the staff at the school is still not doing anything to protect her. The lastr incident on the playground landed her being isolated and having to stay by the teacher instead of the child that inflicted the injury on her which make her more of a target.

    For most of the school year I have been without a vehicle and could only go up during the very early hours to speak to them to get back home to get the vehicle back to my husband so he can get to work. So I have been very limited on my abilities to be at the school and I do have a 4 yr old daughter in tow so I can't very well take her and volunteer in the class to help with my oldest.

    Yes I realize going behind his back is not a good idea. We have talked about it constantly and it always ends in an argument and stalemate. He sees the progress our 4 yr old is making by homeschooling her. She is 4 and already at a Kindergarten level with reading and at a first grade level with math.

    I am trying to be patient with him and let him see my way of it but he is like a pit bull once he has gotten a hold of an idea there is no changing it. I just fear that the next incident at the school will leave her in a more severe state that she is already in.

    He loves his girls and would do anything for them. The only thing that he wont do is see what I am saying about this school and what they are not doing for her to protect her. I mean she is in 1st grade and is coming home with torn clothing and a busted lip. Enough is enough.

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  36. I've written under anonymous because it seems like the only choice given that might actually get this posted. However, my name is Will R. from California and I'd like to have a piece of "Dad" for a while. I'm a dad to two wonderful girls, now college age, and they are great human beings. They both are doing really well. In fact, their public school counterparts are, largely, doing much worse (pregnancies, inability to cope after getting out of high school, etc.) Thankfully, my wonderful wife has been a Titan where their homeschooling is concerned. God bless a protective mother. And, when I have been needed, I've been there to the things that a man and a father is supposed to do.

    Both girls can stand up for themselves just fine now -but they couldn't at the age of 7! Public schooling is fairly recent in human history, and, as far as I'm concerned, is a failed government experiment that does more to benefit the government (by producing droids) than helping young people to grow up naturally. There is nothing natural about being forced into a same-age group for the majority of a day, and nothing natural about being stripped of a parents protection at that age either. I would posit that it is highly un-natural in all of human history for either of these things to happen. Let them cope with assault (because that is just what this is - and should be treated as a crime, accountable to the parents of the bullies) when they are old enough to have the mental and emotional resources to handle it in an effective way, not flailing away violently, nor retreating into an emotional hole.

    If this "Dad" doesnt' understand just how bad it is to be scared everyday, I'll be glad to volunteer to bring it home to him. A little forceful homeschooling for "Dad" might educate him into understanding. A man who won't protect his little kids from harm isn't much of a man. This really gets my hackles up. Hey, guy - put on your big boy panties and do what you are supposed to do. Get the name of the bully that bloodied your little girl, go to his house and tell them what is going to happen to their kid if they don't reign him in. Take a policeman with you if you want. Go to the police department, explain the situation and tell them that you are going to confront the parents. Don't ask them if you are allowed to. It's your job to do it, so just do it. They'll come along.

    Protective in Ridgecrest.

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  37. Christina,

    Please take steps necessary to protect your child. Go to the police and file a report, if necessary. I really don't get how the school can let this continue without any responsibility on their part. Next time she comes home injured, take her to the doctor and have it documented.

    I am really sorry for your husband's attitude. He is not loving his girls if he refuses to protect them. If this kind of abuse were happening at home, you can bet that the school would have social services on your doorstep in no time.

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  38. I'm so sorry, Christina, but I truly think your husband is gutless. To ALLOW his little girl to be beat up by boys is emotional abuse. She is a scared little girl.

    The message he is sending to you and to your daughters is that he will not protect any of you. Your daughter has to feel very insecure with a Dad that refuses to protect her physically when she is in danger.

    I agree with Will R.; it's time Dad either stood up and went to the school and the police, or someone needs to teach Dad a good lesson.

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