I was at a family picnic last weekend, in which on one side of the family, some of the younger generation, who were first time parents, were having a heated discussion on the advantages and detriments of homeschooling. In the detriment camp, the number one argument against, as I am sure you can guess, was the big socialization fallacy. The belief that the only way an eight- year- old can be properly socialized is by spending six to eight hours a day with thirty other eight- year- olds. I remarked to my husband that all eight- year- olds, are, by definition, fools, and the last thing a fool needs if the object is to someday bring him out of foolishness into maturity, is to spend all his time with thirty others who are as foolish as he is.
If you need proof that not only eight- year- olds are inherently foolish, but ten- and twelve- and fourteen- year olds as well, consider the problem of school bullying. Boys can often withstand a spate of bullying; it helps that God has wired them with testosterone and muscles and a protect and defend instinct. But what do girls do when they become the object of a bully’s hatred?
When I was in elementary school, there was a boy in my class who took great delight in bullying me. He threatened me constantly when out of earshot of teachers, followed me everywhere, shadowed me home from school, and generally made my life a living nightmare. I was pleading with God to help me, and one day when my parents found out why I had developed a sudden reluctance to attend school, all bullying incidents immediately ceased. Mystified, I chalked it up to answered prayer; only when I was an adult did I discover that my Dad had asked my older brother if he knew who said bully was, and my brother subsequently made it his mission in life to locate and deter said bully. The bullying stopped after a single encounter on the playground with my brother, in which said bully limped home bruised and bloodied. Thank you, God, for older brothers.
But what if the girl has no support at home as I was blessed to have? What if two girls make it their mission in life to abuse you non- stop, so that one day after a year of abuse you decide to come home and end your life? What if everyone in your school wore “I hate Olivia” bracelets, and you were Olivia?
Schools say they have a zero tolerance policy for bullying and violence, but I have never — NEVER — seen a school protect a victim of determined bullies. Others say that to remove the victim from the bully is to overprotect him. I say, some fools are malicious evildoers, and it is the parents’ normal responsibility to protect their children from them. And children can take karate and self- defense classes after homeschool, to build their confidence in a safe environment; they do not need to be terrorized in order to be socialized.