Should I Homeschool

Updated on December 25, 2010
J.M. asks from Jackson, GA
13 answers

Here's a little background. My son didn't turned 5 at the end of August. In 4K he was always a little behind. Instead of sending him to public kindergarten I sent him to kindergarten at the preschool where he has been going, thinking that next year he will go to kindergarten at the public school. It seemed like a perfect fit. There are only 4 kids in his class and he goes just 3 1/2 hours a day. Everything seemed to be going well until I got a call from Department of Family and Children Services. The investigator said someone had reported that my son had told them that a family friend had slept in his bed. Well yes a family friend slept in his bed but my son slept with his brother in his brother's bed. He was just very excited that this person was sleeping in his room and wanted to share this with everyone. Of course the investigator won't tell who called but when I said it had to be his teacher she said something like well I can't say but I'm also not going to act like you are stupid. I am just so mad. If the teacher had just asked where my son had slept this wouldn't have been an issue. As it turned out the investigator interviewed my kids without my knowledge, had to do a home visit and interview both my husband and myself and we had to provide her with the name and number who can be a referenced. I am so upset. I just don't want my son in this teacher's class anymore. Am I overacting? I don't think my son is ready for public school so I was thinking of homeschooling. I would appreciate any comments ont this. Has anyone out there had a teacher call dfacs on you. I am completely horrified that this has happened. I don't see how I could send my son back there.

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So What Happened?

I want to thank everyone who responded. I would like to clarify a few things. For starters, I have a bachelor's and master's degree in Education and taught for 11 years before becoming stay at home mom so I am not concerned about my ability to home school. Also I am very aware of what a mandated reporter is. Where I taught we had to attend annual meetings regarding this and our principal would always suggest that we go to her to discuss the situation in order to decide if it warranted going to officials. As far as keeping my child in this class I have decided that is not an option. There is no doubt in my mind that she was the one who reported. The investigator basically told me she was the one. I know she wasn't supposed to but she knew we weren't stupid. We actually spent about an hour or so talking about how teachers have become so trained that they are Mandated reporters that often times they don't use common sense. Also she said something to they effect that 'maybe with more experience she won't be as likely to report'.

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answers from Chicago on

i could see how you are upset but realize she HAS to report anything out of ordinary or she is liable if something happens. At least you know she takes that seriously! Realize she could have talked to you and you could have explained but you could also be a liar! think of all the kids that have been abused and maybe if that one person had said something it would all have been stopped. If you want to homeschool for other reasons go for it but if its just because you are mad at teacher you are overacting

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answers from Dallas on

I don't believe you are over reacting because I wouldn't take my child back there for another day if I were the parent. I don't understand why people are so quick to report people now days instead of just confronting them over things that are usually misunderstandings or assumptions.

As far as homeschooling goes, that is something you and your husband have to discuss. My three brothers and I were homeschooled, I graduated Magna Cum Laude from college, and am now homeschooling our children. Whether or not you should homeschool depends on if you can live on one income, if you have a supportive spouse, whether you have the confidence to teach and discipline your child to learn and find the resources for them, whether you can be sure to keep them active in the community so they don't get shut-out from the world, etc. Only you and your husband can know if this is right for you and your family. I won't lie. Homeschooling is a lot of work but well with it if you are committed.

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answers from Dallas on

Oh my gosh, that is awful and scary too.
I was a preschool teacher for several years and came across a situation with a child and wasn't sure what to believe. I talked to my director first and then spoke with the mother of the child. Calling CPS is serious and taking such a step needs to be heavily considered. And to think that someone can interview your children like that without your consent is down right scary.
I live in Texas, a very friendly home school state. Not sure about GA laws regarding home school but I'm sure it would be easy to find out on the web.
I would search for a local homeschooling support group in your area. Also you might see if there are any home school conventions in your area. This might help:
I home school both of my boys age 4 and 6. 2nd grade and the youngest is in Kindergarten. I was overwhelmed and nervous about it in the beginning but I'm amazed both with my self and my boys. I can't express how well my boys are doing. They both are very well adjusted and compared to most, ahead academically. I'm not bragging but I think having a child in a controlled safe environment pays off. Without all the peer pressure at school they are able to find themselves and set a more solid foundation at an early age to help them when they are older. Most people still like to bring up the " make sure they are properly socialized" speech but in reality home schooled children are MORE social. If you notice, most children that stay at home are quite comfortable speaking to any age, race or creed. That is because they are not place into a social sitting with only children and peers. They are not "grouped" up into categories and put behind closed doors for 7 to 8 hours out of the day. They are out and about everywhere you are in all kinds of situations, with your leadership at hand.
I thought we would be spending countless hours at a desk, just like in a public school setting but nothing could be farther from the truth. We complete alot in a short time since I only have two students instead of group of children.
There is nothing but positives with you teaching your child. Who would make a better teacher than you?
I'm sorry that this has happened to you but maybe something positive can come out of it for you and your son.
Best Regards,

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answers from Norfolk on

WOW! The teacher should of known to contact you first. She should know kids don't explain it all completely.

When my daughter was in daycare, she talks in her sleep, they said she was saying No Bob, Stop Bob one day and they asked me who Bob was. Bob is the dog. So we all had a good laugh as I am sure all those thoughts were racing in their head.

My first lesson on why not to name a pet after a real name. lol

I certainly would pull the child from that school or talk the one in charge and see about getting him a different teacher because now she might start looking for things and reading more into stuff.

We did preschool here at home and it can be a lot fun. It isn't hard or expensive and so many ideas out there. I think in the long run your child (for this age) will have more education experiences at home with you and all that you two can do than attending a preschool/daycare/pre-K.

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answers from Portland on

The teacher is required by law to report this information. I don't understand why she didn't ask your son more questions or talk with you before she called. This is upsetting, I know. I suggest that it may not have been the teacher. Another parent may have called based on what her child told her. Or any adult at the school; probably one who doesn't know you and who is a bit naive. It's very possible that the investigator didn't know who his teacher is specifically but knew the complaint came by way of the school, an adult employee or a parent who got the information from what your son said at the school.

I suggest that you talk with the teacher and find out what happened from her viewpoint. Don't accuse her of calling. She may very well have not called. I suggest that if you're calm and have an open mind she may be able to answer your questions in a manner helpful to you. If you can express your embarrassment/being upset in a non-threatening way this can enable you to have better communication with her and thus prevent other misunderstandings.

I'm a retired police officer who investigated this sort of complaint and never let anyone know, even thru innuendo, who had called. To do so is unprofessional. You may have misinterpreted what the investigator said. You would be correct in assuming the information came as a result of what your son said at school and this may be what the investigator was agreeing with.

I've had personal experience of this sort too. A CPS investigator and police officer went to my granddaughter's day care during Christmas break to ask about her mother knocking her against the wall leaving bruises on her back. I was a playground volunteer and heard my granddaughter tell a couple of friends about this incident. The friends were very upset and came to me. I had witnessed the incident which wasn't as bad as it sounded (there were no bruises) and tried to reassure the girls. But, one of the mothers did call CPS. My daughter could've assumed that the day care called but I think it was a mother. It's been a year and there have been no further incidents. The day care is a good one and it is good that my granddaughter continues to go there.

Please accept that this was a false alarm based on your young son's story. You don't know who called and even if it was the teacher or someone related to the school, it was done out of concern for your son. It is always better to investigate in error than to ignore such a situation. I suggest that the person who called is inexperienced and probably called with good intentions tho that may not be the case. Do not be quick to blame the school. Anyone hearing the story could easily of jumped to conclusions.

I urge you to talk with the teacher and let her know how you feel while working to keep an open mind and with the goal of mending the relationship. Your son was doing well and has made friends. Isolating him from his peers is not helpful, especially after having this experience. Removing him may cause him to unconsciously feel that he mustn't talk about what is happening in his life. Resolve this issue with the school.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I wouldn't put too much thought into it. The teacher did what she thought was right at the time, and you would be glad she did if something happened to your child!
Sometimes we act on things not knowing the whole story, but in the long run, this is how alot of horrible things get noticed and attended to. Try not to be too mad and instead focus on the fact that your son's teacher must care about him if she is worried enough to cal CPS. If there is truly nothing wrong with what happened, just chalk it up to a horrible misunderstanding, and go back to living your life as usual.

I had thought about home schooling my daughter when the social aspects of school became too much for her and started affecting her grades, but in the long run I knew that I could never give her the education she deserved, not being a teacher myself, and decided to keep her in the public school.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Sure you can "homeschool" him for this year-I wouldn't send my kid back there either. But I would think long and hard about doing it after this year. IMO (and I know that all homeschoolers on here will strongly disagree) you miss one of the most important aspects of school-learning how to navigate in the world. And I am sorry-you just don't get this at home or in any context of the homeschool world-I don't care how many groups have been 'arranged' for these kids to socialize. These groups are made and carefully monitered by parents who obviously are very engaged in their kids lives. The child is not reaping any independence from this model.

And if I were you I would talk to this teacher. No, I would probably tell her off in spades. I understand that she would be concerned about what your child said but unless there was any other reason why she should call them (and I am trusting that there is not) then she should have talked to you first. She opened up a huge can of worms for you and put you on a short list for a group that could possibly take your child away from you at some point. You cannot let this go. I would also tell every other parent in that school about this so that you can possibly protect them from this happening.

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answers from Columbus on

I am a teacher and a mom. I totally understand your anger, hurt, and frustration. It is embarrassing. However, the teacher did her job, which was in the best interest of your child. In the end, after the dust settles, don't you want a teacher who would stand up for your child? Thank goodness it was nothing, but if it had been something, wouldn't you want someone in your son's corner? He obviously feels very safe and comfortable at his school. Consistency is so important. Just something to think about.

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answers from Seattle on

I'm a homeschooler... so I'm biased... because it's the most fun / one of the best decisions I've ever made as a parent and is a rockin' great adventure. That said... I have no idea whether anyone else "should" homeschool. Most can extremely well, but it really has to fit your personality type. There is no "one" type that homeschools... but like being a SAHP or a WP personality plays the biggest part (imho) on whether a certain decision is best for your particular family. COULD you HS? Probably. Would you enjoy it? Maybe. Is it "best" for YOUR family? No idea. Not a Q I can even attempt to answer.

As far as CPS goes... not yet. May well happen sometime in the future. HOWEVER CPS was called many times on my parents when I was growing up. I had an idyllic childhood by and large. I just also happened to be an athlete and a bit of a klutz. Both of which made me prone to being covered in bruises. ((Did you know your face really DOES look like someone has beaten you if you "walk into a door"? Come to find, walking into a door makes a mess of your nose and cheekbones. I'd never really thought it was a "real" thing... until I ran around the corner and straight into a door. THAT was an embarssing thing to explain... when you know *no one* is going to believe you. Even without the sports I was usually gimping around for some random loss of vertical stability. Add in sports and, yeah, CPS got called a lot.)). We moved every two years, so it was almost guaranteed that by 1 year in CPS would be paying a visit. Because we didn't have "ties" to a community, it usually took people awhile to get that my parents were just trying to keep me alive. Birthdays really were a celebration of "making it". My mum used to threaten on a regular basis to "wrap me in cotton and send me to bed" for the duration.

In EVERY case, the workers were relieved to find me a glowingly healthy/ happy kid who just fell down a lot (I'm adhd, when my mind gets wrapped up in something my feet object by going on strike and tripping over dust). It was often quite "serious" in the beginning of the investigations, and some were annoyed to have been called at all, and some had VERY lousy interview skills (asking leading questions to a child is SO not acceptable. It's called "tainting the witness/interview" but many many people do it.). That said not a single case ever had merit, and every single case was dropped. Eventually. I remember my mum being VERY hurt in the first few cases, but after that she got quite gallic / self assured about them. She made sure we were surrounded by GOOD people, and good people report things they find questionable. By then end, she joked that she began to "choose" an area to live based off of what percentage of people would be calling the cops if they saw me with my "battle scars".

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answers from Macon on

We had a "friend" report us for abusing our son. Needless to say, not only were the charges false, we were taunted by the group of friends that we worked with. She didn't like me and apparently I threatened her authority in something totally NOT related to the children. Being a military group-there were 30 families that were close.... we left that group behind. Everyone believed her and not us. Yes, CPS came and talked with us and it was handled very quickly. Our son went everywhere with us and shortly after, with permission FROM the couple, to a wedding where alot of these work families would be (but all without their children) and we were talked about and accused to our faces, of lying to the investigators. Stories were brought up that were so ridiculous followed by 'how would you handle that' to the other person speaking... We were appalled! We broke out relationships with ALL of them and haven't spoken to them since.
We knew by the incidents reported who the person was. She even told them they occurred while we were on the phone....she heard me slap my son?!?? um, ok... Not quite sure that if I did slap him, he would have NOT screamed out in pain from it. he never did that, tho he was a colicky baby and cried alot! He was 13 mo when the report was filed.
If I was that teacher, I would have asked a couple of pertinent questions of the child... like where did he sleep? Who was the person? BEFORE I reported it. It's not investigating, it's asking for a little verification. I would be horrified if I had reported a sleepover incident like this one and then found out the chidl wasn't even invovled in any way!
Yes, I would be pulling my child, asking for any and all unused tuition, etc back. I would find another preschool or finish out at home. Taking the child out for 5 months will not make him a loner. Homeschooling is a good alternative, but I would vote to keep him in public school.
I do understand the teachers responsibility in this as well. I work within the schools, but I think 2 more questions would've solved this one before a phone call was made.
Good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

Teachers are trained to do this at the first sign of an issue ... My son is not yet in school but my sister has had 3 interactions so far with Child Services, both of her older boys, 3yrs apart, when they were in 2nd grade told their teachers that there was no food in the house ... really she just did not have the JUNK FOOD they wanted in the house. The third time was when her middle son had severe asthma driven ilnesses back to back to back and missed school for nearly all of Nov, Dec, and half of Jan. It was all washed away after they did their thing. I would honestly be annoyed (short term) but happy (long term) that she is doing her job. Personally I do not think that this is a factor for choosing home school.

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answers from San Francisco on

Does your son like school? I think homeschooling him because of this is an extreme response. You can request a new teacher or put him in another school.

Remember, teachers are required to report these things. But this teacher definitely went overboard. Try to put it behind you -- she's probably inexperienced and a little overzealous.



answers from Minneapolis on

A woman in our neighborhood called CPS on us when our daughter was a toddler. The main reason was that our neighbor did not like my husband. The accusation was neglect because she claimed that he gave her beer to drink, the evidence was that she fell when walking up the stairs (she was a TODDLER), that he was teaching her letters by using swear words (because he told a funny story where it SOUNDED like she was saying a swear word for a letter).

We got interviewed by a very incompetent woman who didn't tell me that I was being recorded, who hadn't even wanted me there only my husband, and was very judgmental. The worst part, I thought, was that they aren't supposed to tell you who called, or the details of the situation that they are even talking about. So you play this ridiculous guessing game about what day/time/incident they are even talking about!

The report stayed in our "file" for four years. Nothing else ever happened. It pissed me off royaly, but there was nothing I could do about it.

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