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Mar 1, 2009, 01:41 PM
Hi, I'm a stepmother. My husbands 2 children have been homeschooled throughout their entire school career. My step daughter "graduated" from home school June 2008. My step son is 16yrs old and a junior in homeschool. My husbands exwife has full custody and he can only see his kids when she lets him. We all get along well. Except, if my husband asks his exwife how the kids are doing in homeschool, any kind of feedback, she would get angry and the kids would not come over. So he is conditioned to not say anything to her. His exwife never graduated from high school herself . He is only taught what he learns from his course material at home.
I've asked so many time about the education, what they're learning and the kids respond with general answers history, math, etc.
I believe my husband and his exwife originally wanted to homeschool the kids because they had very bad high school experiences in poor schools. Now, I know she's homeschooling because of a control issue, overprotection. I can understand wanting the best education for your children, but I'm beginning to see what I don't want to see. My step daughter has no drive to continue any kind of schooling. Does not want to work (mom hasn't worked since the kids were born). She's just hanging out. She absolutely doesn't have any desire to really do anything. This may be a usual teenage thing, but I don't think so. We have offered to help her with anything she wants. She just shrugs her shoulders, and ambles off. I'm not sure if my stepson can read or write. He is smart, there is no drive to excel more than basic skills. My husband doensn't want to rock the boat, he wants to see the kids.
I know there isn't any real advice. I just had to get this off my chest. I'm so scared for them in the future. I think their mother doesn't want them to leave, she wants them to be homebodies, not have a future beyond the front yard Thanks for listening. I know homeschool is what you make of it, it can be an excellent learning experience, if your doing it for your child.
Mar 1, 2009, 01:43 PM
Sorry for the spelling errors, I went to public school
Mar 1, 2009, 01:49 PM
Aren't there rules set by the state if a family wants to homeschool -- curricula to follow, tests to take? Or can she homeschool any way she wants to without supervision?
(I went to public school mostly and for four years to a parochial school.)
Mar 1, 2009, 01:57 PM
We live in Michigan and it's the most lax state, no real rules. They have to be enrolled in some kind of church program (which she's pulled him out of). No testing, just record keeping, which she says she's doing. No one checks up on the children. I've been asking my husband about asking her, he wants to see his son, so he won't ask. His ex will get mad, he won't get an answer and she will revoke any visitation. It's just awful. I talk to my stepson, ask him what he wants to do after school, he wants to be a navy seal. I expect him to do it. But his mom has no expectations at all. This is so hard.
Mar 1, 2009, 02:50 PM
Actully no, MN has very good and somewhat restrictive laws on home schooling
They're in Michigan (MI), not Minnesota (MN).
Mar 1, 2009, 03:01 PM
Sorry, deleted my previous answer, clicked on the wrong page.
A child being lazy or not wanting to go to work is about normal for even public school and has little to do with the schooling but the home life and values given.
The father has all the rights he gets from the child custody order, what is his legal visititation, why is he not inforceing them, making him stand up for his legal rights is the first thing.
If the 16 year old is not getting proper education, go back to court, see if they can make her prove the child's level of education by standard state testing.
Mar 1, 2009, 04:13 PM
He does have those rights. What he explained to me......every time I ask (often) that the custody rights in Michigan are so weighted toward the custodial parent, in conjunction with the family services in Michigan so overwhelmed with issues for the past 10 years, it's impossible for a complaints to go anywhere. This is low priority according to them. My husband is in law enforcement, deals with child protection issues and the family agencies.
His exwife is so...I don't know how to say it.....whatever my husband says, she does the opposite, just out of spite. She is VERY over protective. When the 16yo said he was out of the Church Home program, we were alarmed and immediately called her. She was very defensive about us asking. She said he would be in the program in the fall again. We didn't see my stepson for a month after that. I really try to understand where she is coming from, weighing her explanations with what I see, it's just not right.
Mar 1, 2009, 04:20 PM
That is the issue " did not see step son for a month" does he not have scheduled visits, if you don't have them take her back to court and get scheduled visits.
If you have scheduled visits and she is not allowing it, take her back to court for contempt,
Use family court
Mar 1, 2009, 04:42 PM
When they went through their divorce, my husbands mother was dying of cancer. He was so distraught, his exwife used that (she even told me this), to get full custody and full physical custody. She has found religion again and has apologized to him, he said she's nicer but still has the same mental issues...some compulsive thing. They have a verbal agreement, he is able to see the kids every weekend, unless she has other plans. We've been at her mercy for the past 10 years. We met 4 years after his divorce. I've been learning about parental rights over the past 10 years. It's very hard in Michigan to change anything unless, she agrees to it, and she won't, mostly because of the home-school time. I know homeschool is flexible..............
Mar 1, 2009, 04:49 PM
Ok even so with her having full legal and phsycical custody he is still suppose to have set days,
So he takes her back to court and gets it modified so she can't say no. He has to stand up to her and stay NO, NO NO, hire an attorney get court orders
Mar 1, 2009, 05:19 PM
I've suggested it to my husband many times. We get into a huge arguements because of it. He gets so frustrated. So do I. I want so much for his kids. Even if they don't see us......I want them to do their best...I want them to have a good education, scholarship opportunities, college....
Court would be the normal recourse.
We had the last discussion about court 3 months ago. We would now lose our home if we had lawyers fees.The economy is worse now. That's why I'm frustrated. His kids are great kids. Very polite, we don't have issues like a lot of families. They just are shortchanged. I'm also worried about what his exwife will do when child support ends in a year. She hasn't worked in 18 years, no insurance. I don't want her to lose her house. (thats a side issue) She's a little kooky
Mar 2, 2009, 05:12 AM
The kids are old enough to see him if they choose to. When he sees them, do they come to your home? Does he have phone contact, e-mail contact? If he is truly concerned about their education, and he is concerned about their mother prohibiting access, he simply has to either go to court....with his job, I would think he would be able to find out some info in regard to custody type issues and have some contacts he can ask about it, or ask the kids directly when he sees them. Find out what they have been learning about.
Mar 2, 2009, 05:19 AM
sorry for the spelling errors, I went to public school
I'll ignore this comment.....;)
Mar 2, 2009, 05:31 AM
There are always ways, and so much depends on how hard and how willing he is to fight. For example in the US most places have legal aid socieities that will either represent you or at least fill out the paper work for you to file if you are low income.
I know when I had a issue when my child's mother would not let me see them, I went to their house, Ok I got hauled off by the police twice, but was it worth it, of course my kids remember how hard I tried to see them, so when they got to be early teens, they even ran away from their mom to come to me, of course I had to go to court and get custody but it was easy with the kids asking to be with me. And guess what the police report of me being removed from her property was my evidence of how hard I tried to see them and she refusing. Not that it is always a good thing of course, always peaceful.
I am sorry but I am really really going to sound mean, it sounds like he is so used to letting the ex have her way, he has no backbone to fight. If he merely gives in and gives in he will never win. At some point one can make every excuse in the world but money ? A second job or free legal services, how about going down to the court and reviewing old cases and find similar cases and coping those papers. Have you contacted one of the several "fathers rights" groups and joined them for moral support.
At some point it is a choice you make as to what is more important.
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