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.


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