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Unschooling and Custody Issues

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
We are considering unschooling but I am concerned about my 11 year old, he is from my first marriage. I currently have full legal custody but my ex is trying to get joint custody. I am praying this doesn't happen and hopeful that it won't as he is an alchoholic with a history of being abusive (he's claiming he's been sober for two years).

Anyways, I am concerned though if we decide to unschool that my ex could use this to try to get joint custody. Does anyone know about this issue? Have there been cases where unschooling or home schooling has been an issue for custody?
post #2 of 8
Unfortunately, yes.... the courst tends to be in favor of the "default", which is school, and it's harder to get them to allow homeschooling if the other parent isn't in favor.

Is there any way you can get him on board a bit? Your child would be more available for visitation if she were homeschooled, right? Did he have a bad school experience? Maybe you could use that? Definitely, as much as you can, I'd keep the focus on your child and how he wants to be homeschooled, and how it would meet his needs. Oh, and don't say "unschooled" to courts and exes. Stick with "homeschooled", it seems more "normal" and less out-there, which is what you want. If anyone related to ex or courts asks about curriculum, you can waffle a bit, talk about "incorporating various learning modalities" and "individualizing curriculum"...

Good luck!

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I was afraid that might be the answer

Unfortunetly we don't have the greatest relationship so talking to him about anything is very difficult. Generally if I am for it, he's against it. I will give it a shot after this next round of court though. *sigh*

I love the idea of unschooling or homeschooling but obviously custody is more important.
post #4 of 8
We use a charter school for this very reason. My ex is ok with the homeschooling part, but really wants a third party telling him the kids are "learning". Luckily our "Education Specialist" thinks we are amazing and is really happy with what we learn in our daily explorations of the world.

Things got ugly between he and I this year, and I was really glad to have the back up of the charter school in case we had to go to court. If it wasn't for this issue, I wouldn't use on, btw.
post #5 of 8
Buy or borrow a curriculum that looks very "schooly." Lots of math, science, accredited, certified, all that school crap. You don't actually have to use it, but try and look like one of those homeschoolers who care very much about academic excellence.
post #6 of 8
If the ex is trying for joint custody, it's not very safe to just pretend to do something... IME, of course.

OP, can you ask your lawyer? It would be good to know the laws in your state and whether or not judges in your area look kindly on homeschooling. From what my lawyer said, status quo is what they lean toward, so it would be harder for the ex to have a problem with homeschooling if you've been doing it for a while all ready... Ifhe is doing well in school but you pull him out to homeschool and the ex has a problem with it, might be more of an issue.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
OK. We have never homeschooled, and he does extremely well in school - always has. However I sense him becoming bored with what he is learning because it's not advanced enough for him. He is in advanced classes but that doesn't seem to be enough. He also reads independently ALL the time and even does math independently "just for fun". For these reasons I think he would really excel when not tied down to a school mandated curriculum.

I will ask my lawyer. From what I've read online, there is no official state position on the issue, they defer to past court rulings. Also looks like in this state in order to homeschool you need to work with your town's superintendent to get an "approved education plan".
post #8 of 8
Can you document activities? If you have the required plan from the superintendent (sp?) and you write down everything your dc does during the day, you can then put together a report in which all the basics are learned.

I am documenting everything my 3-year-old does. Every little thing that could possibly be educational - reading a book, looking at a website, playing with blocks - gets written down and at the end of the year I will put it all together into a report.
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