May be going to court in lieu of making a joint decision - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 02-10-2014, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 5 year old with a man I was never married to. He dumped me halfway through my pregnancy, but has been a very involved father (even though he and I never reconnected as "a couple") since she was born. We do not have a parenting plan, but we do have an agreed custody order and I am the primary residential parent, but we have joint custody and are supposed to make decisions together.

 

I want to keep our daughter at home instead of sending her "off to school" which would DRAMATICALLY reduce my time with my child, while his time with her would remain the same. I brought up the issue 2 years ago, but he put it off. I brought it up again last month and he refuses to discuss it.  He wants her to go to a traditional school---he even offered to pay for private tuition---but I am adamantly opposed. He said if I don't agree to put her in "regular" school, he will take me to court and the judge will decide.

 

First of all, this cannot be a "joint" decision when he refuses to even sit down with me and discuss pros and cons.  He is Turkish and homeschooling is illegal in Turkey.  He knows of nobody who is or was homeschooled except for his brother-in-law's sister, who was homeschooled and he said she can't function like a normal person or even hold down a job.  I asked him for details, and he had none (he has never met the woman, not her parents from what I can tell). I brought up the possibiilty that she was homeschooled as an alternative because she was not doing well in the traditional classroom, which is sometimes the case.  I have friends my age who were homeschooled (and I have been friends with the since they were young children), and they have homeschooled their own children.  I know MANY homeschooled or homeschooling families and I have invited him to meet the and talk to them about their experience. He refused.

 

He has, I suppose, a cultural bias that he is not willing to challenge.  I, on the other hand, and biased against traditional schooling for MY children. I thank God that there is free public schooling for those parents who can't or don't want to homeschool. The fact of the matter is that I simply want to continue what I have been doing with my daughter. I also have 2 teenagers, one in private school and one in an academic magnet public school. I tried to homeschool my older children, but it was short-lived, since I was divorced and also trying to work from home and one of my children was not very co-operative. In this case, I am not trying to work because the amount of child support my child's father pays is more than what I was earning while working part-time. I am on disability, but I believe the K12 online school would be a very workable situation.His only concern he has clearly verbalized is, "She won't have any friends if she doesn't go to school." Her friends next door and in the neighborhood and at church apparently don't count. She is very well "socialized" and I have no concerns. He must think that "homeschooling" means she will be locked up in the house every day and not allowed to mingle with other children.

 

So, I guess if he takes me to court, I have a pretty good case. That is, unless the judge is rabidly anti-homeschooling.  All I want is to take it year by year. She is already at least a grade level ahead in every level (she will be starting kindergarten this year) and I don't see how I could possibly set her back in one year.  In fact, I believe she will be more challenged and have a more appropriate educational experience that I can tailor to better meet her needs. She is, like her older siblings, academically gifted.

 

I just feel so stressed out with this threat hanging over my head. I wish he would just say, "Okay, let's see how it goes this year." and leave it up to me to decide whether she is thriving and if this is the route we should continue. I am the one who decided that homeschooling wasn't working out well with my older kids (when they were in kindergarten and second grade) an I want to be trusted to do what I believe is in my child's  best interest. 

 

I am going to enroll her in the Tennessee Virtual Academy as soon as enrollment opens next month. School starts in August. I haven't gotten any court papers and I haven't tried to engage him in any discussions in the past few weeks. I wish I knew someone who had been in a disagreement with the other parent over something like this who could reassure me.

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#2 of 28 Old 02-10-2014, 02:52 PM
 
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technically, the virtual academies are public schools - at least here in CA. I'd get very clear about the laws for HSing in your state so you know generally what's considered ok with them. And you could look into what sort of rulings the local courts have made IRT HSing in general, maybe through your local HSing organization. If you think you have a strong case, then let him take the initiative of filing in court and, if he actually does file, make sure to counter-sue to have him pay all your court fees.

 

It sucks to have to educate a co-parent about the truths of homeschooling, but that's probably what you're going to have to do if you want him to have some peace with it.


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#3 of 28 Old 02-10-2014, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, it is totally considered to be legitimate "PUBLIC SCHOOL" in my district. I am a member of the local homeschooling organization, but I am not finding any similar court cases. I hope that if and when he gets an attorney, the attorney will inform him that he has no legitimate objection. I am kind of hesitant to even bring it up again. I don't know when will be "too late" for him to bring this up into court. Honestly, I feel like we should have dealt with this a long time ago. I told him that I am very firm in my conviction that this is the right choice for us at this time.  He pays for her to go to 2 days a week to private preschool, which is really against my will, but he is entitled to a couple of days a week of parenting time and even though I feel like I should be able to exercise "right of first refusal," I take her and he picks her up those evenings for her overnight visit. He NEVER goes to any of her parent-teacher conferences or shows any interest in what she does at school. He just wants her to go and is glad to pay for it.  He really wanted her to go five days a week, but I was not willing to give up my parenting time.

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#4 of 28 Old 02-10-2014, 07:16 PM
 
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well, then he can pay for some homeschool classes =) 

 

In most states, school isn't compulsory until the child is over age 6 at the cut-off date (Sept 1st here) so you might be able to get away with another year of pseudo-HSing, which would give you time to build your case for how it's better for your DD and show how much she thrives in the HSing environment

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#5 of 28 Old 02-11-2014, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She missed the birthday cut-off by a couple of weeks, so she will be almost 6 when she starts kindergarten "officially" this fall. Can't delay enrollment any farther.

  I guess things will work out.  I already have a good case and I guess I'm ready to go to court if he insists. As ready as I'll ever be.  I am really hoping he won't take it that far. I think he would have a much harder timing proving why I SHOULDN'T do online public school for her than I would have in showing a judge why it is an excellent choice for my daughter's situation. PLUS it won't interfere with out current parenting schedule. I have even pointed out to him how it will be easier for him. She would likely need to be at school at 8 a.m and he can't get her in bed early enough or get her out the door that early. I pick her up from his house on Wed. and Friday mornings. For several months I was getting her at 10:30 a.m.because he couldn't get her out the door sooner than that. I am supposed to be picking her up at 9 now, but I usually have to wait 10 or 15 minutes before she comes out. I don't think it will be good for her to give up her weekly overnights with her Dad. She doesn't like going to preschool on Tuesday and Thursday, but she looks forward to seeing her Dad on those days.

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#6 of 28 Old 02-11-2014, 06:39 PM
 
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I had my son in virtual school and his father got a court order to put him back in brick and mortar school. My son went from mediocre grades to straight A's but the judge was biased and I was found guilty of educational neglect.
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#7 of 28 Old 02-11-2014, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Blessedwithboys That is what I am afraid of.  I know it is a possibility. I wish I could get my hands on a judge's ruling...when they make decisions, they have to give their reasons. What evidence was presented to prove that you were "guilty of educational neglect?"  Did your husband have an attorney? Did you?  I need information to feel better prepared, but you NEVER know how a court case will turn out.  Judges always have bias, but they also hear evidence. What was your son's father's objections to homeschooling? Is there anything, in hindsight, that you feel like you could have done differently to improve the outcome of your case?

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#8 of 28 Old 02-13-2014, 11:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tnmom66 View Post
 

What evidence was presented to prove that you were "guilty of educational neglect?" 

 

Ex said I didn't have the qualifications to be a teacher, that I hadn't gone to college and hadn't even graduated high school.  In fact, I did graduate from an accredited high school but the judge was not interested in that fact or in seeing my diploma.  My lawyer asked ex if he had ever read the district's HS handbook and he admitted he had not.  If he had read it, he would have known that our district/state/whatever does not require the legal parent to have any minimum education.  That only applies to teach the child of another.

 

He also said that I had wasted valuable time because I gave ds a semester of "deschooling" (of course I never used that term with him!).  Ds had spent K-4 in a very rigid charter school.  They would take away recess/PE when it was time to cram for the standardized test each year.  It was so hard on my hyperactive kiddo.  As he is gifted and was in an accelerated class, I let him direct his own studies for the 1st half of 5th grade.  We had a nice set of encyclopedias and ds decided for himself what he would learn each day.  He underlined in the books and wrote reports.  Then he would tell me what he had learned that day.  I didn't ask him to do any of that.  I actually reminded him daily that he didn't have to do any schoolwork at all.  I also had some HS textbooks lying around and ds studied HS math and science.  In 5th grade.  Because I didn't have stacks and stacks of papers to show his dad, he accused me of "wasting educational time".  For 2nd semester we did virtual school.  Ds did amazing!  Straight A's, he wrote long essays without complaining, even his artwork improved.  He wrote poems without me nagging and all of his hands-on projects were of high quality.  But we only spent 2-3 hours a day on school.  The rest of the day he played or did chores and a few times a week we had other activities outside of the house.

 

I subpoenaed the virtual school teacher and he made a very poor impression.  It was clear that he himself had issues with ADHD (but was also a great advertisement for why virtual/homeschooling is such a great option for a person with poor attention and a constant need to get up and move around!).  He was twitchy on the stand and had some weird tics and such and the judge thought he was a buffoon.  I had not met him in person before that day and the second I met him I knew it was all over for ds.  :(

 

Did your husband have an attorney? Did you?  

 

Yes, we both did but mine was through legal aid and sucked.

 

What was your son's father's objections to homeschooling?

 

See above wrt me being "uneducated".

 

Is there anything, in hindsight, that you feel like you could have done differently to improve the outcome of your case?

 

Well...I had always intended to keep the option open of putting ds back into school after a year or two.  It didn't seem to make sense to send him back for 6th as he would have had to adjust to a new school for only one year, so probably for 7th grade I would have let him go to the junior high school.  I wasn't devastated that I had to send him back but I was royally pissed at the ignorance and obvious bias of the judge.  OTOH, his dad didn't just sue to put him back in school.  He was so opposed to my HSing that he asked for full custody.  He did not get it, nor did he get 50/50.  All he got was an extra two week period each summer, not to be consecutive with his original 2wks.  I was really happy that my son didn't get taken away from me and I wondered if the judge felt like he had to give something to my ex, so he gave him regular schooling.  Overall, I was happy with the outcome while still being angry that the lawyers and judge were so biased against HSing.


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#9 of 28 Old 02-13-2014, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the details! I do know that judges are supposed to act in the best interest of the child and my desire to not lose parenting time is irrelevant. I guess my first course of action, should i get called to court is to ask for the judge to order us to go to mediation to work it out.
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#10 of 28 Old 02-13-2014, 01:46 PM
 
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Normally I suggest that openly discussing major decisions--not necessarily agreeing--is sufficient to satisfy joint decision making requirements. Some decision has to be made on major issues (as in, there can't be a lack of decision) and the court certainly doesn't want to have parents coming in for invervention on everything they can't agree on. However, given some recent dramatic decisions near you regarding contempt for not following the parenting plan regarding making major decisions (for example, this Knoxville case) I'm very hesitant to give my usual advice.

 

Obviously it would be best to be able to convince ex to agree to home schooling or at least to a trial of the home schooling plan for an agreed upon period of time and reserve final decisions for when everyone has more information on which to base their opinion. You might have to start now to show him how well it can work for your particular child instead of waiting until the fall when school becomes compulsory and you're forced to either stand out on a limb and homeschool without his support or cave and send her to public school to avoid contempt proceedings. Perhaps starting now isn't an option for virtual school, though. If you think there's no way you can come to a workable agreement or compromise (like a trial year) perhaps you could ask him if he would be willing to go to a parenting coordinator, or even mediation. Also check whether your parenting plan requires that mediation or arbitration is required before going to court.

 

If you decide to push forward and home school until he motions the court otherwise, it looks like important steps to take will be to register with the Board of Education <http://www.state.tn.us/youth/dcsguide/policies/chap14/WA1.pdf> and to verify that the online (a.k.a. "virtual") school is accredited <http://www.state.tn.us/education/homeschool/>. Failure to register with the BoE would absolutely put you in a position to be accused/convicted of educational neglect.

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#11 of 28 Old 02-13-2014, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have no parenting plan. After reading that crazy story, I am glad I didn't sign a contract with him regarding those details.  We both wanted to keep things flexible. I guess it has turned out to be a good thing that he is "commitment phobic!" His sister even tried to pressure him into making a parenting plan and writing down all details rather than just winging it.  All we have is an agreed order, or rather a "Consent Order on Petition to Establish Parentage" and it says we have joint legal custody,  he gets 180 days of parenting and I get 185 and I "enjoy the status of primary residential parent." He provides health insurance and pays child support. I just assumed that "joint legal custody" means we are expected to make decisions together. I actually have a LOT more time with her than he does and he never even takes her on special days, like Father's Day or any holiday. I just agreed to this almost 50/50 split  because I didn't want to make him mad and he wanted to pay the least amount of child support as possible. He is very happy with the current parenting schedule, and I am, too. I certainly have invited him repeatedly to discuss his concerns and pros and cons with me on the homeschooling issue.

 

I was encouraged to find this today in the Tennessee law books in the reference area of the library in the volume labeled "Domestic Relations": 36-6-101, "15. Homeschooling is not inherently inimical to a child's heath or welfare and does not necessarily impose a substantial social burden on a child. Accordingly, noncustodial parent challenging the custodial parent's decision to educate a child through home schooling cannot prevail solely on such ground. Rust vs. Rust, 864 S.W.2d 52, 1993 Tenn. App. LEXIS 447 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1993)."

 

My daughter told me yesterday that her father said he didn't want her to be homeschooled because it isn't good for kids. I have been telling her every time I take her to preschool that she won't have to "go" to school for much longer, even for just 2 days a week.  Her father and I have not discussed this lately, but I wonder how he will respond if I point out that the law contradicts his opinion on homeschooling being harmful to children and how they suffer socially from not going to a traditional "brick and mortar" school.. I need to look to see if there is any updated info.  The case above is 20 years old and I think homeschooling has only become more widely accepted since then. In the past 20 years, though, they have gotten away from custodial/non-custodial parenting arrangements. I don't know if  "Primary Residential Parent" carries as much weight as "custodial parent."

 

I know "purists" don't consider online public schooling to be "homeschooling"----the HSLDA wrote a lengthy article about the difference and has it on their website. BUT, it is the safest route for me to go, I think. Tennessee Virtual Academy is as "official" as it gets. I think there is one other online public school, but there should be no question about me complying with the law if we do what I am planning.

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#12 of 28 Old 02-14-2014, 03:43 PM
 
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Even though virtual schooling wasn't enough for me to sway an obviously biased judge, I do agree that it is probably your best option in your particular situation.

 

Best wishes!

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#13 of 28 Old 02-16-2014, 01:15 PM
 
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I'm a homeschooling single mom as well.  Dd homeschooled for K when we were still living with ex, but I put her into a virtual school for first grade since we had just moved out and were in the midst of deciding custody (didn't want him to use homeschooling against me).  I just got up the nerve to ask ex if he would be okay with returning to "regular homeschooling," and he surprisingly agreed.  But, I am still concerned that he will at some point try to force the kids into a brick and mortar school if he doesn't like the way things are going.

 

A virtual school is a public school.  I will preface this by saying that neither dd nor I particularly liked the virtual school-the curriculum itself was fine, but it wasn't a good fit for us or her learning style in general.  However, what it does offer, and what might be useful to point out to your ex, is that she will regularly be assessed on her progress, just like in public school, you will likely have to turn in assignments to the teacher, you will likely have regular contact with an accredited teacher, and that your ex will be able to sign into the school to check on her work/progress at his leisure.  It may make him more willing to go for it than if he thinks that he will be totally out of the loop or that you can do whatever you want with your dd's education.  Also, if he is worried about socialization, perhaps find a great co-op or several extracurricular activities for your dd and ask that he contribute the money he would have otherwise spent on private school? 
 

Good luck mama.  I hope you can talk your ex into giving it a shot. 

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#14 of 28 Old 02-16-2014, 01:23 PM
 
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I think you will need to prepare a very strong case. The K-12 online school has absolutely terrible test scores so if that is a big part of your plan you will need to offer a rebuttal to the scores. 

 

My brother and his former wife had this dispute in California courts for years. She wanted to homeschool and had a state teaching credential. Mostly she didn't want to work. The judge required annual evaluations which she usually failed and the kids would get kicked back to school until she would yank them out and they'd start all over. The kids were terribly harmed in this process. (She was totally incapable of discipline in the home and home schooling-- not saying that would be an issue for you.) 

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#15 of 28 Old 02-17-2014, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow...there are such a wide range of experiences. I absolutely want to do what is best for my child. I have read about some of the criticism of k12, but I think it might be a good thing in my case.  If she ever seems to not be thriving, I am open to making changes. I suspect that a lot of parents put their kids in online school because the kids are struggling in traditional classrooms. I'm not scared away by the statistics....I don't think you can get the whole story from looking at a chart. I have mixed feelings about politics involved. We are just talking about kindergarten this coming year....I really don't think I can mess things up, but if I do, I'd be more than willing to look into something else for first grade.

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#16 of 28 Old 04-22-2014, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I got a call from a lawyer today. She says my daughter's dad "wants to avoid going to court because it might hurt our co-parenting relationship." We have not had a co-parenting relationship for 3 years. We have minimal contact and he has put a 10 minute time limit on our conversations related to our child, and he starts giving me a countdown about 4 minutes in (you have 6 minutes left, get to the point. You only have 2 minutes left. etc.) The lawyer said she had put a letter in the mail and was just giving me a 'heads up.'  She was nice. I told her I was ready to go to court but that I would ask the judge to require us to attend a mediation session before he rules on the matter. If we go to court, I will also ask for sole decision making authority regarding her education, because this will be a point of contention for the next 12 years. I did tell the lawyer that based on the facts I have at hand, I will fight to the death to keep my child out of "traditional" school, but mediation will be useful because if he can present some facts that i have not considered, I may soften my stance.  All I have heard from him as far as his "reasons" why I should not give my child a home-centered education are

 

1.Statistics show that Homeschooling is bad for kids. (I have asked him to show me those statistics he is referring to and he hasn't responded."

2.She won't have any friends if she is homeschooled. (So, all the friends she already has in the community, church, next door are going to stop being her friends if she is homeschooled?)

3.My brother-in-law's sister was homeschooled and she can't function in society." (Can you give me details of her situation? "No."  Can you establish a cause-and-effect relationship between homeschooling causing developmental and social harm?  Why was she homeschooled in the first place?  Was she homeschooled because she has developmental or social skill issues that kept her from thriving in a "traditional" school environment? "I don't know.")

 

I asked him how he could convince a judge to keep me from homeschooling if he has no better reasons to be against me homeschooling than these 3 assumptions of his. I told the lawyer that he is trying to threaten and intimidate me into caving in. She said she's not trying to intimidate me, and I said, "No, but he is using you to to try to intimidate me."

 

I called the Juvenile Court Clerk and he told me to call him back when I actually get a letter in hand. When I told him my child's father wanted the judge to decide without him having to sit down and discuss the issue with me, the clerk said, "He HAS to discuss the issue. It doesn't work that way." Which, of course, is what I had already suspected.

 

I just think this is going to get very ugly. This man has a very dark side and he seems as passionate about keeping me from homeschooling as I am about keeping my daughter at home.

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#17 of 28 Old 04-22-2014, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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GREAT NEWS! His lawyer talked him into participating in a mediation session!!!

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#18 of 28 Old 04-24-2014, 10:13 PM
 
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Just because he told his attorney he will do it doesn't mean he actually will. My ex missed about three mediation appointments I think.   Good luck!

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#19 of 28 Old 04-29-2014, 10:59 AM
 
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Just an idea, and I don't know if it's valid in your area, but our local school districts have alternate schooling centers where children who are homeschooled can take classes, and they do permit (maybe they are required to permit?) partial homeschooling at neighborhood schools, where children do some subjects at home but also go to school for some things. If this is available in your area you might want to find out the details because a compromise of this nature would be better than all-or-nothing, wouldn't it?

 

To be honest, I think you need to consider as well what else you stand to lose in this situation. In this state, I'd expect to get slapped silly (legally speaking) if a judge found out that I was voluntarily unemployed and living off child support income, unless you can show that your disability is so great you can't possibly work (in which case I think it would be hard to adequately homeschool). Are your older children also living off this child support?  If so then I'd suspect he's paying way more than the court would require him to.  The amount my ex pays wouldn't rent a 2-bedroom apartment, let alone feed and clothe 4 people, and he's paying more than the top of the "standard" chart. Anyway, in this situation, I don't think I'd expect a judge to look fondly upon my desire to entirely homeschool, regardless of what s/he thinks of homeschooling personally.


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#20 of 28 Old 05-09-2014, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Aufilia View Post
 

Just an idea, and I don't know if it's valid in your area, but our local school districts have alternate schooling centers where children who are homeschooled can take classes, and they do permit (maybe they are required to permit?) partial homeschooling at neighborhood schools, where children do some subjects at home but also go to school for some things. If this is available in your area you might want to find out the details because a compromise of this nature would be better than all-or-nothing, wouldn't it?

 

To be honest, I think you need to consider as well what else you stand to lose in this situation. In this state, I'd expect to get slapped silly (legally speaking) if a judge found out that I was voluntarily unemployed and living off child support income, unless you can show that your disability is so great you can't possibly work (in which case I think it would be hard to adequately homeschool). Are your older children also living off this child support?  If so then I'd suspect he's paying way more than the court would require him to.  The amount my ex pays wouldn't rent a 2-bedroom apartment, let alone feed and clothe 4 people, and he's paying more than the top of the "standard" chart. Anyway, in this situation, I don't think I'd expect a judge to look fondly upon my desire to entirely homeschool, regardless of what s/he thinks of homeschooling personally.

There are tutorials available for homeschoolers, but we would not need to be using any. I am planning on using the Classical Conversations cooperative, along with Saxon math, and some phonics. I also plan on doing more Charlotte Mason style nature study. I have been receiving Social Securiity Disabilty Insurance for about 13 years. I get medical reviews on a regular basis, so I don't think a judge would give me a hard time about that. I don't think there is any way you could really say that we aren't all "living off this child support" when it goes towards shared expenses, such as house, car, utilities, insurance, etc. His lawyer is the one who drew up the child support papers, and he wrote them up to be LESS than what he would have been required to pay, because he listed many more parenting days. In fact, he never had one single parenting day until she was almost 2 years old, but he was paying child support as if he had 180 days. I'm not ripping anyone off.  I think most of us mothers who have chronic illnesses or disabilities find ways to adapt in order to care for the children. I have never been too sick to homeschool because I have such a long list of learning activities my child can engage in independently on my worst days. I know another homeschooling mother, who is not on disability, but has some of my same issues, and she homeschools 2 children. One reason I only want to take one year at a time is because I don't know if it will eventually become too much for me. I did not homeschool my other chidlren very long, but all I am asking for at this point is just this kindergarten year. My homeschooling for the preschool years has gone exceptionally well. I can manage the 4 hours of instuctional time because I can do it mostly from bed, if I have to. Kindergarten will be hard for me to mess up.

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#21 of 28 Old 05-09-2014, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mediation was a waste of time and money. He paid for my part. He hasn't filed anything yet, and I am going to consult with an attorney on Tuesday. I really wish he wouldn't be unreasonable. I addressed every one of his concerns. At this point, I am trying to decide whether to file myself and get my right to homeschool confirmed by a judge, and I will actually request sole custody. I should never have had joint custody in the first place. Joint PHYSICAL custody is fine, but joint legal custody requires joint decisions.

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#22 of 28 Old 06-18-2014, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He is paying for a Guardian ad Litem. Hearing is June 30.

I'm in Tennessee. Anyone know what I can expect?

The guardian ad litem is just comparing educational options, I think. I get to show the court how a $2,000 or less homeschooling experience in 4 hours a day compares favorably to a $20,000 private school education in 6 1/2 hours a day.
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#23 of 28 Old 06-18-2014, 02:22 PM
 
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I'm not particularly for or against homeschooling (or any other kind of schooling for that matter) so please don't take any of my comments to mean I'm against you/HSing. That's not my intent in the slightest.

I don't personally buy "more expensive = better education" for a minute, but maybe the judge/GAL would. As for the dollars, the homeschooling option you present is only $2k (vs $20k) but if it's an alternative public schooling option, doesn't it receive tax dollars from the district? Do taxes pay for a portion of the online K12? If so, how much does the district contribute per child? That might make the dollar comparison not so skewed.

Talking to the quality of the education, a common desire is to have the lowest student-to-teacher ratio possible. If your child attends online K12 she would benefit not only from online instructors, but also your one-on-one attention. That sounds like a major plus to me.

What "time wastes" does the private school 6.5 hours include that the homeschool 4 hours doesn't? Obviously since she can work at her own pace, she will get farther in less time in the self-paced, online program since she won't be twiddling her thumbs waiting for her classmates (in private school) to finish their work. What does the private school do with the extra hour and a half? Is there anything that you could do on your own to supplement the online program to "make up the difference" on paper? They probably have 30 minutes of recess--you can get her outside to play. Heck, you can get her outside to play for more than 30 minutes and follow health guidelines that kids should have active play for 60 minutes a day! My city's recreational programs include lots of free and low-cost activities that sound a lot like gym class. Is there anything you can enroll her in along those lines?

As to the socialization aspect (which as a shy person I can relate to, because if I weren't forced into situations where I have to meet people--like in the classroom--I wouldn't meet people) I would be proactive in showing the schedule she will have to participate in activities with other kids. A lot of time in the classroom is spent quietly listening or working, so it's not like going to school in person grants her the opportunity to play with other kids for 6.5 hours a day, so the schedule doesn't have to be jam-packed, of course.


A judge probably isn't going to want to hear this case again in a year's time. They want a solution that takes this case off their todo list for good (if possible) so although I agree completely with your approach of "try it for a year and then re-evaluate," it might be worth giving a more concrete proposal for what will happen at the end of the year, based on objective measures--for example, if her grades are "so high," or "xyz standardized test marks are at least Nth percentile" she'll stay in the online program. In contrast with "if it's working for us," which EX could disagree with your assessment at the end of the year and end up back in court for another decision, objective measures are appealing. That doesn't mean you can't decide that between you and her that it's not working even though her grades/scores are high, you might just omit discussion of this subjective scenario with the court.

Do you have evidence of her being almost a year ahead? Of course, he might try to attribute her success to the private preschool, but I would still argue that it shows the current school approach is working for her. Either way, it depends heavily on having evidence to demonstrate that she's thriving rather than anecdotal stories or subjective explanation of why she can do XYZ.

Is the proposed private school a religious school? If it is, you might have an ace in your pocket because ordering a child to attend religious school might tie the courts hands as far as ordering your child's attendance at that school. It might be complicated enough to require an attorney, however. See a brief summary of Asch v. Asch (about halfway down) and several other religious school cases.


I'm sorry to hear this update from you. On the up side, he's at least done it early enough that you can hope to get the all-clear to enroll in the online program and get her ready for school in a timely fashion, rather than being in limbo up until the first day of school.

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O
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Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post
. OTOH, his dad didn't just sue to put him back in school. He was so opposed to my HSing that he asked for full custody. He did not get it, nor did he get 50/50. All he got was an extra two week period each summer, not to be consecutive with his original 2wks. I was really happy that my son didn't get taken away from me and I wondered if the judge felt like he had to give something to my ex, so he gave him regular schooling. Overall, I was happy with the outcome while still being angry that the lawyers and judge were so biased against HSing.
Since I started this thread, I have ruled out the 'virtual school' because I think Classical Conversations, Saxon Math, and some Charlotte Mason and maybe Robinson Curriculum thrown in.

My child's father is asking for primary residential custody, but I think it is mostly a scare tactic....he doesn't want her that much of the time, plus he knows it wouldn't be good for her. Of course, if I just agree to not homeschool, he won't pursue primary custody.

How long ago was your case?
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#25 of 28 Old 06-18-2014, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just talked to my child's dad when I picked her up. I asked him how he will feel if the Court as well as the guardian ad litem both agree with me that homeschooling (with CC as the "backbone") is the best educational option for Dilara's needs. He said that he wouldn't agree with them. He said he had a meeting with my daughter's preschool teacher yesterday (she goes 2 days a week) and the teacher thinks Dilara's social skills are behind her age level, although academically, she is advanced. The teacher strongly feels that 5 days a week of school would fix that. I asked him if he asked her what she tells parents whose children are behind with their fine motor skills or struggle academically and who are already in school 5 days a week what they should do. At my last conference, I got the distinct impression that the preschool teachers don't think Dilara is ever around any other children outside of her hours in class. They have never complained about her behavior, it is ME who asks pointed questions because of the problems I see in her and I wondered if they saw the same things. They do. She doesn't share and isn't as considerate as she should be. I see these as "developing skills" and I think she gets MORE support for these schools in a homeschool environment than she does in a classroom. I taught preschool and I know that even kids who are in day care 11 hours a day sometimes have social-emotional skills that aren't what we think they should be. I told my child's dad that he should schedule a meeting with ME and listen to what I have so say because I spend a LOT more time watching my child interact with other children than the preschool teacher does AND I have known her her whole life, not one or two years AND I see how she engages with different friends and family members and people in different situations and with people of different ages. I know MUCH better what I am talking about that the preschool teacher who sees her 16 hours a week or so. If he would just LISTEN and look at the facts, it would be easier on all of us.
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#26 of 28 Old 06-18-2014, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by autumngrey View Post
I don't personally buy "more expensive = better education" for a minute, but maybe the judge/GAL would. As for the dollars, the homeschooling option you present is only $2k (vs $20k) but if it's an alternative public schooling option, doesn't it receive tax dollars from the district? Do taxes pay for a portion of the online K12? If so, how much does the district contribute per child? That might make the dollar comparison not so skewed.

Talking to the quality of the education, a common desire is to have the lowest student-to-teacher ratio possible. If your child attends online K12 she would benefit not only from online instructors, but also your one-on-one attention. That sounds like a major plus to me.

My city's recreational programs include lots of free and low-cost activities that sound a lot like gym class. Is there anything you can enroll her in along those lines?

As to the socialization aspect (which as a shy person I can relate to, because if I weren't forced into situations where I have to meet people--like in the classroom--I wouldn't meet people) I would be proactive in showing the schedule she will have to participate in activities with other kids. A lot of time in the classroom is spent quietly listening or working, so it's not like going to school in person grants her the opportunity to play with other kids for 6.5 hours a day, so the schedule doesn't have to be jam-packed, of course.


A judge probably isn't going to want to hear this case again in a year's time. They want a solution that takes this case off their todo list for good (if possible) so although I agree completely with your approach of "try it for a year and then re-evaluate," it might be worth giving a more concrete proposal for what will happen at the end of the year, based on objective measures--for example, if her grades are "so high," or "xyz standardized test marks are at least Nth percentile" she'll stay in the online program. In contrast with "if it's working for us," which EX could disagree with your assessment at the end of the year and end up back in court for another decision, objective measures are appealing. That doesn't mean you can't decide that between you and her that it's not working even though her grades/scores are high, you might just omit discussion of this subjective scenario with the court.

Do you have evidence of her being almost a year ahead? Of course, he might try to attribute her success to the private preschool, but I would still argue that it shows the current school approach is working for her. Either way, it depends heavily on having evidence to demonstrate that she's thriving rather than anecdotal stories or subjective explanation of why she can do XYZ.

Is the proposed private school a religious school? If it is, you might have an ace in your pocket because ordering a child to attend religious school might tie the courts hands as far as ordering your child's attendance at that school. It might be complicated enough to require an attorney, however. See a brief summary of Asch v. Asch (about halfway down) and several other religious school cases.


I'm sorry to hear this update from you. On the up side, he's at least done it early enough that you can hope to get the all-clear to enroll in the online program and get her ready for school in a timely fashion, rather than being in limbo up until the first day of school.
I'm not using the online public school option after all. I think if I have more control, my daughter will benefit $2,000 will cover all the Classical Conversations program and material expenses, plus it will cover a lot of supplemental materials and enrichment opportunities.

I am just asking for sole decision making authority, or else sole legal custody....I don't know the difference. I want to keep the joint residential custody and the parenting schedule that we have been using the past 2 1/2 years.

He totally gives me the credit for my daughter being ahead. He said in mediation that "nobody else in her class can do what she does," but he thinks I've done my part, he appreciates it, but it is time to hand her over to the "professionals."

She is academically gifted and should be evaluated this month or next by the school. My 2 older kids were both gifted and were in the "pull-out" program the public school had once a week for the gifted and talented students. I tried to explain that in my home school, she gets a lot more specialized "gifted and talented" special educational experience than 1/2 day once a week.

She is reading on at least a 3rd grade level and is doing 1st grade work or higher in other areas. I don't want to rush her through anything, especially math.

I would not have any special objection, and would probably prefer a Christian school if we HAD to do private school. The most expensive school in town, the one he really wants her in, is independent.
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#27 of 28 Old 07-03-2014, 02:18 PM
 
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It's been a couple weeks since you last posted. How did the hearing go?

I came across this article today. I didn't read it carefully, but it appears to cover some of the issues your child's father has raised. Maybe it's not relevant now that the hearing date has passed.
http://m.crosswalk.com/family/homesc...-disagree.html

That case went to the NH Supreme Court. I haven't read through the opinion or any of the briefs, but skipping to the end, it looks like it wasn't decided in favor of homeschooling. Hopefully it can provide ideas for what to bring up in your case right away (since new facts/issues can't be raised on appeal).
Opinion - http://www.courts.state.nh.us/suprem...26kurowski.pdf
Mom's brief - http://www.nhfamilylawblog.com/uploa...;s%20brief.pdf
Dad's brief - http://www.nhfamilylawblog.com/uploa...ci%20brief.pdf

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#28 of 28 Old 07-19-2014, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by autumngrey View Post
It's been a couple weeks since you last posted. How did the hearing go?

I came across this article today. I didn't read it carefully, but it appears to cover some of the issues your child's father has raised. Maybe it's not relevant now that the hearing date has passed.
http://m.crosswalk.com/family/homesc...-disagree.html

That case went to the NH Supreme Court. I haven't read through the opinion or any of the briefs, but skipping to the end, it looks like it wasn't decided in favor of homeschooling. Hopefully it can provide ideas for what to bring up in your case right away (since new facts/issues can't be raised on appeal).
Opinion - http://www.courts.state.nh.us/suprem...26kurowski.pdf
Mom's brief - http://www.nhfamilylawblog.com/uploa...;s%20brief.pdf
Dad's brief - http://www.nhfamilylawblog.com/uploa...ci%20brief.pdf
this is helpful, thanks. I may end up having to write a brief of my own.

I was enjoined from homeschooling because with my health issues and my household organization issues, the magistrate thought I must have a structured, organized, and very detailed curriculum and accompanying lesson plans.

I get to have my case reheard by the judge, who is above the magistrates in juvenile court.

I am going to ask that I be allowed to continue to homeschool, pending the more lengthy rehearing, because as of this moment, I am ordered to enroll my child in the public school in my neighborhood. I preferred that to the private school for various reasons, and the magistrate agreed with me, even though my child's father and I did agree on a private school if the magistrate thought private was better than public.

Every case is different and judges look at things differently. They have "broad discretion" in these custody matters, so who knows what will happen. All I know is to ask for what I think I can show is best for my child, and hope the judge agrees with me.

If I had a lawyer of my own, I seriously doubt that this ever would have made it into the courtroom.
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