Ex Wife(JW) Wants to pull my 8 year old out of school and homeschool

by LowTech 25 Replies latest jw friends

  • LowTech

    So I got a call from my Ex tonight and she wants to pull my daughter out of school and home-school her. She thinks that the schools are getting so bad(In a small town of 15,000...?). My daughter loves school she doing great in school. She talks about her teacher and friends at school.

    I have joint custody, but she is the primary. Do anyone know...Do I have a legal right to say "no" to home-schooling?

    I think this more of a trying to control my daughter even more than anything else. As it is, last year I let my daughter deceide if she wanted to have a birthday party. She did want to, had one, had a blast, but then a couple days later calls me crying that she didn't want one and she feels guilty about it. I mean seriously, who would badger their child enough to do this? My ex didn't even get a job for 2 years after the divorce and now is a part time waitress. She's not the sharpest tool in the shed and I can't see how she is going to be able to teach my daughter for very long before my daughter is needing more.

    I don't trust my ex. As it is I had a major argument a couple of weeks ago when I found out from my daughter that she was leaving her at home when she went to work out. Apparently she also, after my daughter fell asleep, would leave her alone in the apartment and walk down a few doors to her sister's apartment.

    Any help or ideas(and legal advice) would be very helpful.

    Thanks in advance,


  • jonathan dough
    jonathan dough

    Spend a hundred dollars and ask a good family lawyer. Don't take chances on this.

  • jamiebowers

    You may want to check any papers you have involving your joint custody agreement. I think each one is different and based on issues that were negotiated at the time. If you can't find the necessary information or don't have a say in your daughter's education, you should take it back to court. You should also make sure you have say so in medical matters due to the blood issue. I would also seriously look into counseling for that poor kid, because it sounds like her idiot dub mother is screwing her up.

  • Gregor

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the custodial parent/home schooler has to jump through some hoops to do this. She can't just pull her out of school to watch cartoons all day.

  • yknot

    Gregor .....

    Homeschooling laws vary from state to state...... (yknot a half-homeschooling mom this year but previous a fulltime homeschooling mom!).... and yes in many states you simply can withdrawl you child from school. MY state requires me to teach reading, spelling, grammar, math and good citizenship.......of course that is just the bare basics of what I actually teach to my kiddos!


    I agree with Jonathan Dough on this one!

    Before you go all defensive on your Ex try a less argumentative stance and ask what programs she is planning on using, what your state's laws require of homeschoolers, if she plans to regularly meet up with other area homeschoolers for support (read book swaps which save a ton of money!), socialization and other activities, what she plans to do for phys ed (is she planning on enrolling her in gymnastics, swimming, or dance?).

    Being a JW she will probably use either http://www.pearblossomschool.com/ or http://www.newsystemschool.org/

    Personally I found both boring..... and opted for a more 'freestyle' method in which I use secular material (obtained freely from college library) and Xian material that I have either bought or traded with other homeschooling moms.

    If she is hell-bent and you are legally unable to prevent her from doing so.......you need to make it a point to be very very very very very involved.

    Here is another resource for material http://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/, actually if you are unable to prevent this PM me and I will see what I can PDF for her age range from my material.

    On another note...... here is a site that is excellent in helping your child read more .... www.librivox.org . Librivox has a hugh collection of non-copyright audio books and help tremendously when your child is having a moment where she/he wants to be 'read to' or someone to 'read along'. For instance when my daughter had to read Tom Swift, the audios made it easier for her to get through it while say she was reading 'Rebecca of Sunnybrook' she would only use the audios every other chapter.......all in all the more they read the more they will read on their own for pleasure! My daughter recently finished Louisa May Alcott's Under the Lilacs in two days......out of sheer delight instead of forced assignment. On average she reads about 12-15 per month......

    Know and defend your parental rights!

  • palmtree67

    Homeschooling is a daunting task and requires a serious commitment from the parents.

    I've seen it done well, and I've seen JW's do it who really had no commitment to it (other than wanting to sheild their children from "worldly" influences) and the children suffered greatly.

    It should only be done if you want and CAN provide your child with a more rounded out education and NOT just to keep them away from "worldly" people.

    What are your ex's motivations for this?

  • lisavegas420

    No, no, no...do what every you can to keep your child in a regular school programs with children her age, and adults that know how to teach.


  • jonathan dough
    jonathan dough






    Off topic but interesting.

    In a Vermont case, a mother sought to modify a joint parenting agreement to sole custody and to obtain an order that the father not bring the children to Jehovah’s Witness gatherings. The mother, the children’s pediatrician, and the children’s counselor presented “extensive evidence” that the parties’ daughters were experiencing “extreme confusion and anxiety,” including nightmares, stomach aches, and thumb-sucking. Conflicts engendered by the exposure to the religion included whether the children should participate in birthday and holiday celebrations at school. The Vermont Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling that gave sole custody to the mother and ordered that the father not bring the children to Jehovah’s Witness gatherings. The state supreme court noted the harm to the children from the parents’ conflicting religious views and from the father’s attempt to alienate the children from their mother. The supreme court said the trial court “was not in the position of picking a religion for the children, but was only giving effect to the mother’s decision on that issue [regarding the religious upbringing of the children].”
    Source: Meyer v. Meyer (Vermont Supreme Court, 2001).


  • Aussie Oz
    Aussie Oz

    My EX. a JW did this too. I was cut out of all decisions regarding their schooling. (a loooooong story about control, scare tactic warfare she waged on me even till now)

    anyway, she was very comitted to it, had education dept approval and monitoring. The kids liked it...more time to play. When my son was doing the last year of what we call primary school he told his mum that he wanted to go back to regular school (up the road 200 metres!) to get ready for high school, when he did that, his younger sister wanted the same.

    they both go to regular schools and interact very well with other kids. I am so proud of my son for wanting this. remember, i had no say. The home schooling lasted about 2 years.

    when your ex's life gets busier one day, trust me, she will send them back off to school! She'll have too many other things to do! JW mums often use such control techniques and will discard them when it is no longer convenient!


    good luck!

  • GLTirebiter
    I have joint custody, but she is the primary. Do anyone know...Do I have a legal right to say "no" to home-schooling?

    That depends on your local laws and the separation agreement. Get that advice from an attorney, this is serious business.

    Personally, I have no issue with home schooling as such. It worked well for our kids, but it took much hard work. We set high standards, used good curriculum, and had assistance from certified teachers through accredited "virtual academies". It wasn't a case of just throwing some workbooks at the kids and saying "Here, work on these".

    The problem comes with parents who use home schooling to avoid a real education, to stay away from topics such as evolution, sex education, civics, etc. that conflict with their beliefs or that they consider "too hard" (literature, math and science). Another problem is parents who don't take the time and effort committment for home schooling seriously. We knew several families like that, including some of my ex-in-laws. I suspect my Ex would have done likewise, if I hadn't been around (I agreed to home schooling because I think the public schools in our town are too easy!).

    Is your ex really capable of dedicating the time that home-schooling requires? If she is working and a single parent, I don't think it's possible. We could barely keep up with two parents involved, with my Ex being a stay-at-home and me having the evening shift.

    Another concern is will she use the days with your daughter for things "more important" than education: going out in "service"? After all, why bother with worldly education when "so little time remains"?

    So my advice is to get a professional opinion on how much say you have in the home-schooling decision, and no matter which way that turns out to be as much involved with your daughter's education as you possiibly can be. If your Ex is serious about home schooling, she should appreciate the help and support. If she isn't, your involvement will be unpleasant for her (and in that case she deserves it, so too bad for her!).

    Good luck, and keep us informed on how it works out.


  • WTWizard

    Worst of all, the witlesses lie, cheat, and steal to wrangle children out of school (along with other custody issues). The goal is that the children can count toward the witlesses' 7+ million (inflating the total even more), while making sure they cannot function outside the cancer once they grow up. The reasons for home schooling in these cases usually involve schooling around field circus, being able to use the Washtowel and Asleep! rags in lieu of real text books, and so they will not have class trips and extracurricular activity that interferes with boasting sessions or field circus.

    While there are advantages of home schooling if the parents are committed and capable, I don't think this is one of them. Home schooling requires a parent that has plenty of time, is fully integrated in thinking and able to pass it to children, and lots of money for equipment that schools share. To properly home school a child, you have to spend all that money to have access to labs, proper field trips, and all the equipment that schools might have (movie projectors are a prime example). They need all the proper videos--which can cost plenty of money. They need to know what is expected in all subjects at all grade levels, and be able to teach it. And, I am afraid that this is rare even among worldly people.

    And you need a proper motive. Just to protect children from the world is not enough. They cannot be taught with the Asleep! rags, or taught the lies that the Washtowel teaches them. They cannot be limited to other witlesses in social contact, or they will never be able to function outside the cancer. If parents are doing this to prevent them from being able to function outside the cancer, they should not be permitted to do that. And, with most Jehovah's Witlesses trying to home school children, this is the motive.

  • blondie

    If the schools are so bad, they why don't all jws with children in that school system pull them out? My experience is that most jw parents fail in the homeschooling process being unwilling to "buy out" the time to teach and supervise and even dumping their kids off at the "meetings for field service" for other jw adults to babysit.

  • carla

    If she is leaving an 8yr old unattended she could be charged with neglegt. You have the right and legal right to say no to home schooling. Just leaving her alone like she does you could have a shot at full custody. Do what you must to protect your childs well being and that includes her mental and sprititual well being.

  • moshe

    I have seen JW sisters out in service and they left their kids in the backseat doing their homeschool work, one with locked car doors and the engine A/C running.! Probably pioneer sisters. in one case I did a U-turn and confronted those sisters and gave them a piece of my mind. I told them that what they were doing borderd on child abuse/endangerment and if I saw them doing that again I would report them to child welfare officials. They seemed rather surprised to be called on the carpet. We have a JW family down the street who homeschools 2 kids- you never see those kids even playing outside, let alone on the sidewalk. It's sad really, how they are isolated

  • Quandry

    There are many concerns here.

    First and foremost, is that your wife is leaving an eight year old unnattended. What if a fire started in the house while she was gone? This has happened before, as many news articles will show. How did you find out your daughter was alone? Did she tell you? Then obviously it was a frightening experience. What about the little girl Madeline that was taken from her hotel room when her parents left her alone for "only a few minutes?" This is BAD parenting....you should document this each time it happens and let the court know.

    As to the home schooling...how can she work and still get this done? I work in a school....let me tell you that the teachers are now expected more and more to have Master's degrees in education. They introduce multiplication and division in third grade to eight year olds....but they have ingenious ways of demonstrating it....does your wife know all the ways to teach this? No, I don't think so. In science, they have films about simple machines, and kids become able to identify many used today. They have demonstrations and school districts provide models. They learn about chemical vs. physical changes and do classroom experiments. They learn about the earth's plates, different types of minerals and their properties, etc. The schools can provide rock samples. Do I need to go on to the fifth grade stuff?

    I am sorry that your daughter is in the middle of all of this at such a young age. Try to sit down with her mother and reach comprimise, even if at this point there are no birthday parties. This is just too stressful for your child.

  • musky

    There are also on line public charter schools that use state funding and have state certified teachers who are available to answer questions from students.It varies from state to state.It also allows you to log in as a parent on your child's account to see what their progress is, providing an opportunity for some good discussion when you see her.Home schooling works well for some but not others.There are a lot of people who say home school is bad because they don't get the association of other kids.I think the same argument could also be used to justify home schooling.

  • DJK

    Spend a hundred dollars and ask a good family lawyer. Don't take chances on this.

    The only way to say it better is this, some lawyers don't charge for an initial counseltation. There may be requirements your ex can't meet to legally take her out of school.

  • tenyearsafter

    My personal experience with home-schooling was a mixed bag, but after looking at the big picture I would advise against it. Both my kids got home-schooled from ages 12-14. The thought was that they would have a better environment to learn in and get away from the horrible bullying and bad associations they were getting in middle school from the kids. The bottom line is that they both ended up returning to public school and had a tough time readjusting. The 2 year lag in school attendance was questioned by the school system and though the homeschool program we used was "accredited", the school system would not accept some of the classes and subjects the kids were taught. This created major problems for them and required they take almost a year's worth of classes through continuation and summer school to be able to get "caught up" on the prerequisite coursework to be able to graduate. The kids ended up being quite resentful about the lost time and additional workload. It also affected their socialization skills and made returning to public school a tough one for them. Both kids had behavioral issues for the year following their return to public school. Thank goodness we were able to work through it and the kids graduated (finally!), went on to university and both ended up getting degrees, much to my JW ex-wife's displeasure!

    The interesting side note to all of this is that the exact opposite of the desired effect of home-schooling my wife had hoped for actually ended up happening. Rather than bring the kids into a closer relationship with JW's, both kids rejected the "Truth" shortly after graduating high school. My Ex still thinks it was a result of my bad influence on them, but I believe the kids ultimately blamed the isolation of JW influenced homeschool for "ruining" their later youth.

    My warning is "buyer beware" when considering homeschool...or if you want your kids to reject the WTS sooner, homeschool them!

  • LowTech

    I very much appreciate all the comments and advice so far. Knowing my Ex, just saying "no" is not going to cut it. I've gathering a list of questions and points for her to answer even before I will give my opinion on this. This is what I have come up with so far:

    1. What are your motivations for home-schooling her?

    a. While they may have certain days dedicated to the “holidays” in the lower grades at school, She will soon be moving into Middle School and the number of these days will decrease as she gets higher in her education.

    2. Do you think isolating a child from problems is really the best way for them to learn how to handle them?

    a. Did you keep her away from everyone when she was a baby in order for her to not get sick, or did we take her out so she was exposed and developed a better immune system?

    b. Do you think keeping her isolated from things will in the long run will help her, or could it possibly backfire?

    3. What are her thoughts and feelings on the issue?

    a. She currently loves school. She is always talking about her teachers and her fellow students.

    b. Pulling her out of school could stunt her love of learning, have you thought about that and discussed what this would mean for her. And I’m talking about listening to her and her feelings and not just coercing your views into her.

    4. What program are you going to be using for home-schooling?

    5. Are you capable of dedicating the time that home-schooling requires?

    a. Do you think you are capable of properly teaching her, working enough to be able to provide for her, and do all this without becoming so stressed that it affects her home life?

    6. Do you know what is expected in all subjects at all grade levels, and do you think you can properly teach her these?

    7. What are your plans and schedule?

    a. Children need structure.

    8. How will you be able to teach her when she gets into areas that you have hard time understanding?

    9. Do you know what the state law requires for home-schooling?

    10. How are you going to teach her in the required areas? :

    a. Language Arts

    b. Social Studies

    c. Math

    i. Are you seriously going to be able to help her with questions in Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry?

    d. Fine Arts

    i. Schools take field trips to Museums, Art Galleries, etc. Are you going to be doing that?

    e. Physical Science

    i. How are you going to be able to teach science properly without hands on equipment that it takes to properly explain many of the areas of science?

    ii. Are you going to be able to provide her with demonstrations, models, and experiments?

    f. Physical Education

    i. Are you planning on enrolling her in gymnastics, swimming or dance?

    g. Health

    11. Do you realize that she may be required to take and pass the standardized tests and score appropriately for her age group or she may have to repeat grades, if she wants/needs to go back to public school ?

    12. Have you considered how hard a re-adjustment it would be for her to go back in to the public school system once she has been out for a period of time?

    Do you have any other thoughts or things to add to this.



  • AudeSapere
    LowTech wrote: She thinks that the schools are getting so bad

    Then maybe a good compromise - or just plain good plan! - would be for her to be a class mom and volunteer 1 or 2 days a week. Also, get the daughter involved in sports and be a team mom.

    That way she gets to be part of the solution to make it better without making your daughter suffer socially and academically.


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