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!