05 May 2010

Please Pray

Disclaimer: This is blogged with full permission of my friend, who has my web address and knows me in real life.

I have a friend at church who saw my homeschooling sweatshirt last year around Thanksgiving (yes, I am a slob and wear sweatshirts to church). She wanted to know how to go about homeschooling in Missouri and I gave her my website and my phone number and told her about the HSLDA website and its guidelines by state. I have chatted with her several times in church about the places she's been in life and what things are going on right now during "prayer request" time. She has some things going on that would make homeschooling difficult, but not impossible.

I don't really know her that well, but I do sincerely believe that she's doing the best she can for her children. She has moved to the area within the last six months and is trying to start her life over. She's in a neighbourhood where there aren't the best examples of childrearing going on. I haven't even seen her in about a month, and that was just a passing by "hi" by the bathrooms in the rush after church.

She is trying very hard to be a godly example, she told me when she called this morning... but she had an issue with a neighbour, however, and now has received a "visit" from Social Services.

Isn't that almost always how it happens?

And not knowing too many people, she felt compelled to give my name and number as a reference. Problem is, I don't know her too well and have never met her children. I've never been to her home. I can only tell the social worker (when or IF she ever calls) that yes, I have spoken to this person about homeschooling and advised her to write down the hours she does each subject and look at the HSLDA website for guidelines... and gave her my number if she wanted to chat sometime.

Well, "sometime" just came today. She tells me that she is going to put her children in school for next year, but I guess with all the moves/transitions in their lives right now she was hoping to keep her children home and catch them up.

She doesn't have a plan book. I prayed with her and told her doggone it, when she gets off the phone with me, first thing she needs to do is get her calendar and a notebook. First thing! Go do that.

And start looking for the kids' worksheets, at least label a few by the month they were done and throw 'em in a box! Have something to show when these folks come back, ok?

Look at the calendar and remember what you did each day when you fill out your teacher book. I know for me, it would be a lot of work but doable as I keep all my appointments on a calendar. I usually do 2 hours of math or thereabouts and two of English-y stuff (as I noted before, reading is considered a different subject here) and an hour or so of another subject (social studies or science). Then we read for half an hour to an hour each night at bedtime. Sometimes longer, and sometimes we skip nights. If I had to just make my sheets up now, I would log half an hour a night even though I know that would be an underestimate in the overall. I could probably patch together a semi-believeable calendar in a day, but I don't know that I could find old work samples in that much time and categorize them generally by month.

I had to tell her what the five core subjects in the state of Missouri were and how many hours she was expected to fulfill in the course of a school year. And I told her I wouldn't be able to lie to the social worker. I am nervous... I don't know if this worker will ever call or decide it's not worth her time.

I hope the social worker decides it's not worth it as the public school will be involved next year. I don't know what to think about the whole situation... I can't "vouch" for someone I don't know that well. I'm praying for this family, though, and I hope that you will also. Thanks!

8 comments:

  1. Phew! I thought her children were at risk of being taken away when I read that someone called Social Services. Praying for your friend!

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  2. I will definitely pray for this family!

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  3. as far as education, the government has no natural right to tell us how or what to educate our kids. i understand there are extreme cases, but there are probably more kids turning into convicts from the public school vs. those homeschooled, since their parents are actually involved in their lives. (end vent)

    praying!

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  4. You are so right about how important it is to be honest with the social worker. I think that works to her advantage even, because you're letting the social worker know that the mom was looking for more information about how to do homeschooling in the best possible way and most efficient ways for her children. Definitely let the social worker know what resources you gave to the mom. It sounds like she was having a hard time and needed some guidance or a sympathetic ear, and maybe public school will be okay for now while she gets everything else in order so she can better homeschool the kids later.

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  5. Slob? I think you're a warrior mom and it's amazing every time you make it to church, sweatshirt or otherwise!

    I'm praying for your friend! There is nothing more scary in the heart of a homeschooler than to get a visit from Social Services. That never happened to us, but I remember keeping Pamela home for two weeks because she fell and scraped her face. I didn't want people making the wrong assumptions and having a friendly social worker asking my low verbal and highly echolaliac eight-year old how she got that scrape on her face . . . Did somebody push you? Somebody push you . . .

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  6. Lord, I ask that You would work through this situation. Continue to give Mrs. C wisdom as she figures out what to say and do. Give this woman direction and provide for her and her family. Amen.

    ~Luke

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  7. My worst fear. I live in a neighborhood full of teachers, cops, and other assorted bueurocrats. I know the day will come when they all notice my kids aren't waiting for the yellow bus on the corner...

    I know homeschooling is legal nationwide, but we are all still at the mercy of local authorities, some of whom are powermongers wanting to control everyone within their little fifedoms.

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)