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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like some of your thoughts on the impact of different life paths.

The reason I ask is because my nesting instincts have kicked in and I am obsessively making plans for my soon to be baby’s upbringing and education. I plan to homeschool and have already decided she will be a Rhodes scholar, lol. A major portion of her education will include ethics and character building.

I had a very challenging life full of painful lessons and experiences. I was also blessed enough to have very unique experiences. IE: My father took me with him to work, he was involved in counseling/special education. My fathers best friend also happened to be paraplegic. Due to those two early experiences I have had a life long ability to interact with people of all sorts of disability on a personal level. (wasn’t afraid to befriend kids from the “special class” in elementary school in spite of being teased for it)

I have the great honor of a blessed life right now. My baby will come into a home that is peaceful and well adjusted, something I never knew. While I am glad to be able to provide this I wonder how an uncomplicated life will shape her. I am a firm believer that many of the worst things that happened in my life opened my eyes and taught me the ability to empathize and truly feel for others plight. I feel I am a better person for having suffered, often the greater the suffering the better it impacted me in a positive way later.

We are not exactly a family of privilege but my baby will grow up in a home well insulated from the troubles of the world. I am afraid that she will not be able to understand true pain and struggles of others. It is very important for me that her eyes be wide open to often difficult realities.

Have any of you or your children, family members, friends etc. lead a sheltered life? Have you or anyone you know somehow missed out on trials and tribulations? How do you feel that impacted your life? (It is a foreign concept to me and I truly do not understand.) Do you think volunteering at soup kitchens or with disabled people will get the message I want across? Suggestions?

Thank you.
 

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can you define "sheltered life" a little bit better? I think everybody is sheltered in their life from something. My moms family has never left maryland or thesmall town they are from so in a way they have been sheltered from different learning experiences. They feel I have been sheltered from hard work cause we moved around alot. To them moving around alot somehow automatically makes you a millionare (yeah right). Do you plan on locking the little one in the basement so she never has contact with anyone?? I'm sure you'll have freinds over, go to the store, go to pay bills and so on. If your talking sheltering her from drunks, drug addicts and so on. She'll miss out on the bad stuff of having to grow up with it but she'll still learn about it somewhere down the line.
As for her not knowing the pain and struggles of others. She'll probably pick up on that. I did. My dads family on the res. is so poor at times they have to hunt for a little food. The part of the family that adopted his dad was quite well off and never wanted for anything. My moms family was middle ground. Not rich but not dirt poor neither. I got to see all sides of things which I think helped me quite a bit.
As for the trials and tribulations, You can't stop what the creator wants to throw at you. Maybe you'll have a neighbor house burns down, someone close in the family gets sick, your truck gets stolen, so on and so on. Things in life happen to bring us the lessons we need. You can't guide every step of her life but you can helptry to soften some of the blows. Now relax will ya!:icecream:
 

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i think the home life should always be a "shelter" for kids. The outside can be hard, but a stable home life can be the deciding factor of how they deal with it. I am not for "sheltering" kids so much from the outside because they do have to grow up and face lifes challenges..They need to learn how to get along with other people from differant cultures, religons and backgrounds.
 

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I think there is a difference between a sheltered life and being sheltered.

What a mean is, a sheltered life knows there is violence, sadness, poverty and so on but by the Grace of God, may never have to experience it. But they KNOW it is there. They know there are different religions, and can respect other people's beliefs. And so on.

But being sheltered means they are super protected from even KNOWING what is going on in the world, all they know is the idealistic little haven they live in.

I can explain better by an example. My young neighbor is one of a bunch of homeschooled kids. She is a sweet girl, the family is very God oriented. But the only theology she knows is what has been taught to her. She believes ALL muslims are evil and out to get us, and when I try to explain that in the Muslim religion, the Holy Book teaches peace, she shuts down, and that the extremists trying to kill us are NOT following the Muslim faith as it has been taught, well, she just refuses to get it. Another example, we went over the Christmas Holidays to a mall in COlumbia, which is known for violence after the sun goes down, and I made a joke about being sure we were on our way home before it gets dark. She had no idea that people had been murdered, assualted, robbed etc at that mall, even though she goes to a dance class around the corner from there. She has not been taught that she MIGHT need to watch her back in dangerous areas, she has not been taught that dangerous areas exist. Do you follow my thought process? She is the one destined for heartbreak once she realises that in spite of what she has been taught, bad things WILL happen, because she really doesn't know about bad things at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't want to jinx myself.....:lookout: as it is, barring disaster our lifestyles are not likely to change.

I just remember things like my parents were struggling but made too much for food stamps. We could barely make ends meet.

I remember a friend who's parents had to let the electric shut off. That friend had to take cold showers in winter. (an Arizona winter but still....)

I remember a day when anytime I wanted something "nice" I had to use layaway.

It's easy to introduce a child to human diversity and explain that "so and so" has fallen on hard times or that animal abuse is wrong when they see a hurt animal etc. All the firends I had that didn't see struggling in their own families just didn't "get it". Not saying all people are like that so don't take that the wrong way.

Like I said we aren't rich but by comparrison many people may regard us as so just because we escaped apartment living, public bus riding and some other things that some people are faced with due to circumstance, not choice. There is nothing wrong with having struggles and low income.....I survived it. I guess I just feel spoiled now because life isn't so hard anymore. I'm afraid of raising a spoiled child.


edited to add: then there are senseless gifts for holidays and birthdays. My family likes to give things I may not agree with and it makes problems. Case in pint My Mom gave DS some exceedingly pricey shoes. Now he feels better about himself for the shoes, not character just because kids like his shoes and now him better?!?!?!?! He acts like a troll anytime he gets something "nice" and it makes me crazy..... how do you tell people what gifts you will accept?!?!
 

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Unless you plan to raise her/him in a vacuum, they will see all that life has to offer, the good, the bad and the ugly. I sheltered my girls personally from all that I could, but they saw the world around them. They are very empathetic and are able to learn from others mistakes. That keeps them from having to make those mistakes on their own. Leaves them free to find new ones. LOL
 

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Any of the things Rose and you suggest for experiences are great, but they don't include so much the aspect of working with and getting along with people who don't share your values, discipline or morals--kind of exactly the influence you want to avoid by keeping them at home.

My sister has raised her kids very sheltered(though they go to a public school) in an effort to give them a "clean" Christian upbringing. Now I dont' doubt their faith at all, or her and her husband's ability to "get along" with sinners (heh), though they dont' have any close non-Christian friends, they are more in the mode of preaching to the choir kind of ministry. ANyways, their kids are teenagers now(girl and boy), and they have trouble making peer friends because they have this attitude of "I am pure don't sully me"(which comes through in how they see my kids, who are Christian as well, but I have raised them um, "rougher"). They get along greart with adults, though many times I feel they are too trusting and naive and have no street smarts. I don't know if the boy really has any real friends--he is sensitive, easy to offend, embarass, hurt his feelings, which is compounded by his sense of "I'm so special", that he is flummoxed when the "real world" doesn't think he so special, and it makes him withdraw from it, because "nobody likes me". Should he change who he is so people would like him? no, just quit being so quick to be hurt and take offense. Suck it up!

The girl has some more friends, but there was a time when we were all at their house and her best friend was playing with my boys(I know it's the teenage thing going on as well there...) but she made a comment that the girl was always so perfect and so white bready.

I have tried to teach my kids to have a strong sense of self and how to get along with the world. CUz in reality there are all sorts of people, some good and some who appear to be good and will take advantage of you and harm you, some who just don't care either way. I think if a bully bugs them, they should know basic pysch on how to deal with it(when to punch them in the nose and when to run). That the world in general doesn't think you're such hot stuff and could probably care less that you are in it(until tax time). BUT your family will always be the ones who will love you full throttle, and your mother most ferociously of all.

I will add that for my nephew I do have a big worry for when he gets to be college age and is there alone. (I know I'll get stomped on for this, but so what). He is a kids who is not very "boyish", he does play with legos and enjoys building things, but his head is in his own little fantasy world, in order to be safe. He plays much better with girls, hardly ever with boys(the only ones he plays with are my sons because he has to, who I confess do thump on him occasionally). He "seems" like a 9 year old, not a 13 year old. He prefers the company of adults or older people because they are "nicer" to him, not a bad thing, BUT combine it with the whole package, AND that he LOVES drama(again not a bad thing in itself, I'm talking the whole package as I see it, and that his interests will put him in certain circles with a higher percentage of certain kinds of people), I can see he is set up to be the PERFECT person to be taken advantage of by an older gay man.

Just putting that out there. I know there's folks who would think so what about that--so what.
 

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I think there is a difference between a sheltered life and being sheltered.

What a mean is, a sheltered life knows there is violence, sadness, poverty and so on but by the Grace of God, may never have to experience it. But they KNOW it is there. They know there are different religions, and can respect other people's beliefs. And so on.

But being sheltered means they are super protected from even KNOWING what is going on in the world, all they know is the idealistic little haven they live in.

I can explain better by an example. My young neighbor is one of a bunch of homeschooled kids. She is a sweet girl, the family is very God oriented. But the only theology she knows is what has been taught to her. She believes ALL muslims are evil and out to get us, and when I try to explain that in the Muslim religion, the Holy Book teaches peace, she shuts down, and that the extremists trying to kill us are NOT following the Muslim faith as it has been taught, well, she just refuses to get it. Another example, we went over the Christmas Holidays to a mall in COlumbia, which is known for violence after the sun goes down, and I made a joke about being sure we were on our way home before it gets dark. She had no idea that people had been murdered, assualted, robbed etc at that mall, even though she goes to a dance class around the corner from there. She has not been taught that she MIGHT need to watch her back in dangerous areas, she has not been taught that dangerous areas exist. Do you follow my thought process? She is the one destined for heartbreak once she realises that in spite of what she has been taught, bad things WILL happen, because she really doesn't know about bad things at all.

columbia maryland? Hmm..used to be a nice area. i know crofton back in the late 80's was bad. i had 3 of my ties STOLEN off my car in the parking lot of my apartment building..and somebody was murdered .
going south..towards the other end of prince georges county...forestville, clinton, oxen hill, fort washington...lock all doors. roll up the windows and dont stop for anything
 

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i'm with sancraft, unless you live in a bubble, life will happen to and around this child. Different people will float in and out of their life..
even homeschooled kids have things good and bad happen in their familys and environment..
also you are planning on a sheltered life not an isolated life, big difference ... our kids are sheltered to an extent... we are careful of movies and tv.. our kids are not allowed to say "stupid or dumb" or any other cuss words. but in reality i would rather hear the 's' word for poop the 'stupid'
we aren't out to teach them all of lifes hard lessons, the world will do that whether we like it or not, but we don't hide from them the bad stuff...really you can't
we had 2 divorces in the family this year, one is going awful, and my kids are just sad for their cosins, but don't know alll the gory details ( heck i don't want to know them)
but the other marrige is being patched back up, what a huge, great, awsome lesson in that!!!
life isn't all bad... but how do you appriciate the good with out the bad?

this kid is gonna be great with a mom like you!
 

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Amen, Rose!

This is a misconception that I have a REAL problem with. Why do some people equate "home educating" with "not being allowed to experience the real world"? Our kids are out in the "real" world every day while those who choose a public education are holed up in a classroom.

Home educating does not equal sheltering. Home educating and refusing to allow your children to interact with anyone who is not on a previously compiled list based on their similarity to your family might, but just because a kid doesn't get on the school bus in the morning doesn't mean they're not experiencing life.

My children interact well with people of all beliefs (because that's the world we live in), abilities, (because that is the world we live in), ages (because that is the world we live in), and political persuasions. THAT is my role as a parent -- to teach them to function in this world, regardless of how I personally FEEL about this world. The reality cannot be replaced by the ideal in my teachings, because I would then be guilty of ill-preparing them for life -- and THAT is my job.

"Sheltering" a child is difficult to resist. We love our children with a love that cannot be described. You cannot equate it with anything else. There is no comparison. Because of this, we WANT them to live in a perfect world, and it's hard to resist pretending that that perfect world exists. The reality is, though, that they will suffer more pain in the long run if we release them into that world unprepared for what it truly is.

I feel for the little girl a previous poster mentioned, who believes that all Muslims are evil, yet has no concept of the violence in her own back yard which she SHOULD be taught about in order to protect herself. She's far more likely to be a victim through that ignorance, than ever to be a victim of a terrorist attack. As a matter of fact, she may miss out on some wonderful experiences and friendships because of that prejudice.

I have prejudices that I struggle with every day, based on my own experience. I have been the victim of violence, and because of that, my knee-jerk often shows my inner feelings towards an entire PEOPLE rather than the PERSON who hurt me -- but I TRY to overcome it, just as I TRY to teach my children that violence and abuse and violation come in many forms, and by being afraid or wary around ONE type of person, the true danger may be able to slip by unnoticed. It's HARD, but it's my job as a parent to give my children the tools to live happy, productive lives, and I can't do that if I'm warning them off an entire ethnicity just because I had an experience that taught me not to trust.

Once again, I feel like I'm repeating myself, but home educating has nothing to do with how we parent. Parenting is a skill that can be done well, or not so well, or really horribly, and it has NOTHING to do with where our children receive their academic education. I've seen TERRIBLE parents whose children attend public school, and I've seen equally unskilled parents whose children are home educated. I've also seen the reverse.

The key is to love them and do what is best for them, but accept that you cannot keep them from ever feeling pain. My take on it has always been that the little, educational pains are MUCH better to be experienced now, while I can help them through it, then as adults without the tools to deal with the fallout.

Just my $1.12.

T.
 

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One way we do shelter our children is that we don't have tv and we approve any dvd's they have.

Rose
we went without tv for 2 years only thing we watched was movies from the library.... it was soooooo nice
then i caved.... now its 'mom, we need Koolaid squriters" or someother usless junk:mad:i just use it to tell them its just junk to take money out of your purse and into someone elses purse....

it was soooo nice (sigh)
 

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I think you are wise to think about these things and want to prepare your child for all situations she will face in life. My neighbors who homeschool get together with other homeschoolers and organize social events, have combined classes in some things (like gymnastics, etc.) and are very well organized.

You might begin by trying to get in contact with other homeschoolers nearest you.
 

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A home education neither begins nor ends with academics. As homeschool parents, we teach our kids about life, all of it. Because we homeschool, our kids are exposed to more of the world around them, not less. Believe it or not, real life does not resemble the inside of a public school classroom.
 

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Its a catch 22
disappointments and trials build character .
It depends on what you consider sheltered .
Children need to fall on their face to learn how to stand up on their own.
They need to know that people have very different views and ideas and that not all people are nice. At the same time they have to learn that just because something is different doesnt make it bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Gosh you guys,,,,,, I would have hoped you would know how strongly I feel about homeschool being a GOOD thing.


I just know the distinct difference between what I had growing up in a city public school vs. what my lil' one will see in a very rural homeschool. Of course I am here to lead the way and explain things as they are presented to us. That is a plus in my book.

One thing she may miss out on is how to handle the playground bully because she will socialize but in controlled places like 4H and girlscouts. It could be that the first bully she encounters would be at her first job at the local farm store in the form of an abusive boss........

The variety of experiences faced to a child in a small community and rural life are not exactly going to give her street smarts for surviving an urban jungle.......like the time I had my wallet stolen at 16 or the first time some slick operator conned me into something that was a bad idea. (not a sex thing BTW, just talking about sleazy people out to do wrong). There are bad people in the country but they are not so concentrated due to population size and fact that everyone knows your business so folks tend to behave a tad more.

I'm sorry if you misunderstood me................there are just too many life experiences to list and only a teeny tiny portion are effected by where you go to school.
 

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Sheltered? No. I don't think so.
a) My son has hiked in the himalayas in Nepal, been to Thailand, and India...
b) My children have visited at least 16 of the continental united states
c) Kids come over to play *every week* that are not of the same religion as us.
d) people *within* our own family are of a different ethnic persuasion.
e) some of our kids teachers for music lessons (who they work with every week) are not of the same religious persuasion or ethnic persuasion as we.
f) My kids have gone through real hardship and now, because of their experience, are deeply compassionate about the homeless and the poor, and are invoved in a monthly family project to provide for some of the homeless in the city near us in a face-to-face way.
g) They are learning to speak chinese.
h) Their classes online (which have real time teachers and class interaction) includes kids quite literally from all over the world, including places like China, Bangledesh, Paraguay, and etc... That is far *more* diverse than the average American school.
i) the classes they take are far more in depth and of a far greater academic quality and intensity than the local schools here.
AND... nobody points a gun at them, nobody pressures them to do drugs or to have sex... they get to be kids, without all of that ridiculous stress that isn't good for *any* kid.
g) I made a committment that I would homeschool my kids as long as what I could provide at home was *better*, *more excellent* than what I could get from any other avenue. Their education is highly important, and I didn't want to monkey around with their futures. I wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't the absolute *best* option in my case for my kids.

Cindyc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
there are bullies everywhere......the shopper that will push you out of the way rather than say excuse me.
OMG, I thought I was the only one that this happened to or that noticed it. :flame: I will be polite and say excuse me even if the other person didn't have the polite "right of way" only to have them stop and block me in the aisle as they lookie lou or just brush past me as if I am invisible.

Makes me crazy:banana02:

How on earth do you more civilized folks not get mad and keep patient when faced with that? Even though I keep my mouth shut I still get cheesed off. I have always been a stand up for myself type so "chewing back" frustration isn't easy even if I know it is best.
 

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edited to add: then there are senseless gifts for holidays and birthdays. My family likes to give things I may not agree with and it makes problems. Case in pint My Mom gave DS some exceedingly pricey shoes. Now he feels better about himself for the shoes, not character just because kids like his shoes and now him better?!?!?!?! He acts like a troll anytime he gets something "nice" and it makes me crazy..... how do you tell people what gifts you will accept?!?!
I have no idea what you mean by troll :D, but you may be able to handle the problem better by redefining your idea of "gift" and not judging the gift. Sure kids need to work through the whole who has cool shoes thing, and learn that certain things are cool just because of advertising and popularity, not because of actual performance or quality. But the tension added on top by your resentment of the extravagant gift does nobody any good. Buy stuff that you feel you can provide according to your resources, and accept all gifts with grace and no strings(and in the process we learn to GIVE). Having a cow over an expensive "senseless" gift only seems to add more attraction to the item or it's desirability factor for the kid(it seems to me). God Himself gave us the most senselessly extravagant gift of all, and I'm pretty sure the only gift given to Christ that is recorded in the Bible is a senselessly extravagant bottle of perfum poured on his head. SO that tells me there is a great lesson to be learned in the giving of senselessly extravagant gifts.

I have a kid who enjoys expensive cool things too, but when I tell him you want it you buy it, that puts a damper on stuff real quick. He has learned how to get some cool stuff for dirt cheap though.

Of course if your mom gives him a bottle of Jack Daniels you have a different issue.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I understand what you mean about gifts....

Seems like $125 Nike sneakers is just a bit ridiculous though. My mom's ex BF gave him a nintendo wii.......Now he comes to expect those things and scorns at the things we can provide. He can get a job to pay for fancy stuff but the way he belittles what we can manage is just something I never wanted to instill in him.

He used to get excited about bargains at thrift stores...now nothing is good enough. Not just problem with gifts of course, there is a legion of clothing zombies at his school to help......

I try to avoid being materialistic and am a bit saddened by what choices he is making.
 
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