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custody and homeschooling

486 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  singin'intherain
My ex-husband and I have shared parenting of our daughter, who turned 5 in June. She lives with me and sees him every other weekend and Wednesday evenings. The shared parenting plan is standard, except for the paragraph about schooling, which states:

Mother shall make the initial decision regarding the schooling of the child with consultation from Father. If the parents are unable to agree as to the schooling of the child, the parents will attempt to resolve this matter through mediation prior to any filing with the court. The child will attend school according to Mother's choice while the mediation process is proceeding or until there is a further order of the Court.

We finalized this plan in February, and at this time she was attending a Catholic Montessori school for preschool, which was a compromise for both of us. When time came for re-enrollment, I didn't want her to attend kindergarten at that school for a few reasons: they only offer full-day, it is Catholic (and we're not), it is academically rigorous, and she really didn't like going to school. So for this school year, I enrolled her in a Waldorf school, and she started mornings there and loved it. A week and a half after she started, the administration called me in and explained that my ex had been harassing them with multiple emails and phone calls each day, and he had threatened to sue the school for enrolling her without his consent. He claims that the Waldorf school is a cult, that they promote racism, and that they will make his daughter into a "weirdo". He had also refused to take her to school on the Monday following the weekend she spent at his house. Considering these circumstances, they thought it would be best if I withdrew her from the school and found a school we both agreed on. They argued that even if the courts order that the Waldorf school is in her best interest, all of this conflict is not.

My options are to send her back to that Montessori school, fight for Waldorf, homeschool, or find a new school. I listed my issues with the Montessori school above. Waldorf seems like their door is closed, although I could decide to fight for it. Homeschooling is my favorite option, but I am in school too and I worry that I'd be asking too much of my parents to watch her while I'm at class-but I only have one 10-week quarter left… and then I have to get a job. Would I have the time to homeschool? A new school seems like a lot for her adjust to, especially now that the school-year has already begun.

I am meeting with the Montessori school's principal tomorrow to talk about this, and hopefully he'll have some insight-he has 7 children of his own, and they are all homeschooled.

Does anyone else have any insight? Is homeschooling feasible while I'm going to school? Am I risking my custody situation by taking this on? If I again agree to the Montessori school am I reinforcing his behavior?
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Ugh. He's not complying with the terms of your agreement. The damage may already be done at the Waldorf school, but you can't have him harassing people like that. You are obligated under your agreement to take this to mediation, but in the mean time, he's obligated to leave the school alone. It seems to me that one call to the police would take care of the phone calls. Maybe if you can tell them the school won't be affected by him anymore, they will let your dd return? It's too bad she has to leave a school she loves because of her dad's childish behavior.

As far as homeschooing, I have four kids and am a full time student. I've homeschooled them all of their lives, but next week they are starting at a Sudbury school. I found homeschooling/my own schooling to be very compatible. It's just a matter of getting good child care. I decided to put them in Sudbury because they can be there just while I'm in class, and I was having a hard time finding reliable child care. You can do it, but if your ex decides he doesn't want you to, he could make it impossible.
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