Tuesday, May 27, 2014

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They keep chipping away at our illusion of safety

Whenever something happens to kids, we, us homeschoolers want to find a way to say "this wouldn't happen to my kids, because they are home with us."  But those days eventually end.  My kids are in college now.  They are home for the summer, but in about 8 weeks, they will pack their belongings and go back to college campuses where there will be at the mercy of others with mental illnesses and an axe to grind.

Yes, I am talking about Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger, who shot numerous students and got himself killed last Friday night, all because he felt rejected by hot college girls.  I am pretty angry with the media for plastering his face on the TV screen.  We all knew where to find his YouTube ramblings and manifesto if we so desired, but nope, there it was, right on the TV screen... a rather attractive young college student who spoke in an eerie, measured tone.  He was someone who, if I was not aware of who he was and what he had done, I would find him likable... odd, but likable.

But his words just made me mad! He was angry that girls were attracted to other guys, and not to him. But what did HE do to make himself desirable?  I feel like he thought he was so special that the girls he liked should automatically fall at his feet, but that is not how the world should work.  Was he so caught up in what the world owed him, that he never considered what he owed to the world? You have to be loving and give attention to attract love and attention.  But it feels like people aren't raised to give of themselves anymore. They are raised to take, even when things, love, affection, lives, are
not given freely... they feel entitled, and so they take.

And so, our kids, those that belong to us homeschoolers, are not safe. We can't keep them home forever. Even if they do college-at-home, they still have to go to the market, to the post office, they should be able to go to the movies, and to the mall, without having to look over their shoulders.

As a parent, I feel like I am up against the wall.  I have a son who is 6'3 and 270 pounds, and dark skinned.  I don't feel like he is safe walking down the street... never mind his upper-middle-class upbringing.  I fear he will never have time to open his mouth and show his intelligence if he comes up against the wrong person.. because they are "afraid".  Then there's my daughter.  She's a girl.... at a women's college. Could some guy feel disenfranchised by girls, and just go shoot up her entire school? Could some terrorist that hates educated girls target my darling girl and her friends?  These are the things that keep me awake at night.

And so, chip, chip, chip... any illusion of safety I built up during our homeschooling years is falling away.

But that does not mean homeschooling is a waste.  Not in the least. We are doing something special by taking a lot of the pressure of the world off of them.  Sure we all know of those cases of "homeschooling gone wrong", but 95% of homeschooling families are educating their kids without the undue pressure that schools can cause.  We will be able to see relationships that are going wrong in the early ages, and to help our kids manage those feelings, and not force them back into uncomfortable school yard situations before they are ready. We won't have kids on the verge of exploding. The result will be smart, equipped, and emotionally stable adults who will be able to cope with the difficulties of college and the working world without exploding all of their built-up mess onto others.

And so, while we cannot keep up our illusion of safety, those of us who are diligent in educating and loving our kids can be comfortable that we are releasing safe people into the world.


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