Homeschool Divorce Trial

Posted by Annie on Oct 15, 2009 in Legal |

Have you been following the most recent homeschooling case to hit the news? Jeff and Lisa are fighting out the private matter of the education of their children in a St. Charles County court house. I wonder if they realize that this is how thousands of CPS cases are started each year? But that’s an issue for another day.

Here are two people, who have raised their children to the ages of 14 and 16 respectively – both of which, have expressed their desire to continue homeschooling. I simply can’t understand why two grown-up adults, can’t settle their differences in a mature fashion. No judge in any court could possibly have a clue as to what is best for your family, let alone the children from that marriage.

What is wrong with these people? Why can’t the father hire a tutor, agree to enroll them in a charter school or any other options they both find agreeable. Why does it have to be private school or homeschool? Why can’t they both compromise and work this out?

If these parents are able to work together on other issues, as evidenced by this comment, “She recommended consultation between the parents on other issues such as medical care and religious teaching.” then they certainly should be able to work out this homeschooling issue.

This is such a common issue between parents and I believe there is a very simple reason for that. Mothers generally spend all day with their children, working with them, playing with them, and training them. At the same time, the father, traditionally the bread winner, the guy who comes home in the evening, spends 20-minutes with the kid and goes to bed. Weekends are for tossing around the ball, going to movies, or worse still, watching television.

He doesn’t really make a connection with the child, doesn’t have that strong bond, and as such doesn’t have all the facts. Basically, he doesn’t trust his children as much as his wife and he certainly has lost faith in the mother’s ability and sound judgement.

What bothers me the most about this typical situation is that these individuals who loved each other enough to get married, raised children together and worked together to build a life, would go before a complete stranger to settle such an important issue.

Don’t even get me started on the whole, “but had reached the limits of what she could teach them at home,” comment. These are not infants, they are perfectly capable of directing their own education. If not, they are going to be in major trouble when they turn 18. Home is where our children are supposed to learn self-discipline. Home is where we allow them to stumble and fall because once they are out on their own, they are doing it for real.

And believe it or not, watching you both work together to solve your differences is one of the greatest events you child will likely ever witness. Whether we like it or not, we are the most influentual people in their young lives. Our children observe our actions and mimic us – even as young adults – though most would be loath to admit it.

I’ve tried to teach my son to fight fair. I’m the type of person who has always fought to win. A favorite line I’d often quote was, “I don’t fight to win, I fight to get ahead,” and sadly I meant it. This normally translated into, my going for the jugular so-to-speak, instead of saying what was on my mind, I had to be very hurtful and harsh. My love was all but forgot and all I spewed was venom. I would cut my opponent, usually my husband, to shreds.

My husband is a gentle soul, who I encouraged to express his feelings, instead of keeping it bottled deep inside. Today there are times he expresses his feelings a little too well for my taste but I prefer this to the alternative. My husband has taught me to fight fair, fighting is a natural part of any relationship. It helps to clear the air between a couple. However, two people who love each other, should never intentionally harm the other. When involved in a conflict, one needs to remember, they will be sleeping with that person tonight.

We all experience stress from time to time. That stress can be caused by a job loss, extensive debt, a death in the family, or any number of life-changing situations. It’s how we deal with that stress that determines the kind of people we are. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask and if you don’t get the help you are seeking, keep looking. The worst thing you can do is — nothing.

I do hope and pray the Naeger family can work things out — together.

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