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Working school year calendar around visitation with other parent

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The background info: We have had custody of DH's 11 year old daughter since she was 3, and visitation with her mom used to be every other weekend, sometimes more often, there's no set schedule. Back in October, her mom moved off and now lives almost 5 hours away. I already had the school calendar made out, so when she was able to go to her mom's, we let her go, and if she missed "school days," we simply changed her calendar, leaving our son's the same. That worked fine, until May arrived, and he finished his year on the 13th, and she still had 3 weeks to go. (If she had finished her curriculum, I would've let her be done, too, but she was even further behind than the 3 extra weeks she was gone.)

Fast forward to now, I'm trying to figure out our schedule for next school year, working around when bio mom is able to have DSD come visit. (Both she and DS have asked they not have different breaks; neither of them liked her working when he was done.) Because her step-dad's work schedule has him in our area every three weeks, that's the only time they'll get her for a visit. This is making planning my calendar very difficult. We don't usually do "fall break" or "spring break," because we like a long break for Christmas and getting out early in the summer, but since I don't want to keep DSD from seeing her mom from start of school to Christmas, I'm going to have to plan a 3 week fall break. I like to start them back the last Monday of July, but they're going to have her from July 17-Aug 6, pushing our start date back quite a bit. 

My question is, is there anyone else here who has to plan their school calendar around parental visitations, and if so, how do you do it? Even if you don't have to deal with it, do you have any advice? I think I just need some fresh perspective on it, but the way I'm feeling now, they're either going to have to have different breaks, or we're going to have to change to *official* year-round school. :(

by on Jun. 27, 2014 at 12:51 AM
Replies (11-20):
redhead-bedhead
by Bronze Member on Jun. 27, 2014 at 9:07 PM
Wow, sorry you have to deal with someone like that.
My evaluator is an unschooling mom and we had a group evaluation. It was ridiculously easy. I wish it was that easy for everyone.


Quoting bluerooffarm:

She really seems to take issue with anything done that doesn't mesh with what they do in the public school.  We took off all of December last year and she was nearly apoplectic when she saw all those blank pages in my planner.  LOL  My school only likes to accept certain evaluators, so I keep going to her.  Even though she wants me to use an all in one curriculum, take my breaks when the school takes theirs, and only take 2 field trips per year.  Mostly I ignore it.  I like to let people know that their evaluators do not run their homeschool.  I wish someone had told me about their battles years ago.  :-)

Quoting redhead-bedhead: Why does your Evaluator have an issue with you working on the weekends?

Quoting bluerooffarm:

We don't really plan out our breaks way ahead of time to be more flexible.  Other than knowing that we are taking off the last week of September for a beach vacation, I have no idea what my school year will look like.  I keep track of our days in a planner as we do them and try to have 90 days before Christmas break.

My hubby now works 10 days away and 5 days home, so we are scheduling school around that.  Our evaluator isn't too pleased with the change because we are working on weekends.  But other than that, homeschooling lets us have the flexibility to schedule around things!

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Jun. 27, 2014 at 9:15 PM

I would tell them they will need to plan around your schedule a bit more.  Why do you need to start around the public school start date?  Is that a state law?  Our school year is 180 days, but they can be anywhere between July 1st and June 30th.  You wouldn't need to send her to public school, instead you could just use the public school schedule.  Any judge would back up that play since you still could send her back to PS if you needed to.  

Quoting dougiesmom:

I always plan the whole year, but then we change a lot as we go. Doctor appointments, beautiful days, etc, get them out of school usually for the whole day. I thought just letting them work when they were here would be ok, and our son would enjoy being out early, but then he didn't like not having her to play with because she wasn't finished. ;) The main reason for planning out the breaks this year is simply to make sure she's on break when her step-dad's coming though, but at the same time if we do three week long breaks in the fall and spring, Christmas break is going to be tiny and it eats into our summer, which is generally jam-packed with things to do. BUT I also don't want to be a schedule Nazi and make them drive extra trips to fit with my calendar. (I have thought about threatening to send her back to public school and let them get her around their calendar, which I would never actually do. LOL!!) We have to get in 170 instructional days a year (and we have to start our year within 2 weeks of our local school's start date), so I'm really just trying to make sure we get that in.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

We don't really plan out our breaks way ahead of time to be more flexible.  Other than knowing that we are taking off the last week of September for a beach vacation, I have no idea what my school year will look like.  I keep track of our days in a planner as we do them and try to have 90 days before Christmas break.

My hubby now works 10 days away and 5 days home, so we are scheduling school around that.  Our evaluator isn't too pleased with the change because we are working on weekends.  But other than that, homeschooling lets us have the flexibility to schedule around things!


bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Jun. 27, 2014 at 9:20 PM

It's one of the reasons I'm such a pain about never giving more than what is required.  In our area, they just keep asking for "one more thing."  It is very frustrating.  Our Eval. puts an "unschooling" sticker onto my portfolio.  I would have never called myself an unschooler.  We use curriculum for Math, Spelling, Geography, and History.  I would call us child-led for the rest, but not unschooler.  Anyway, evaluators around here are over-booked and picky.

ETA:Nothing wrong with unschooling and as we go along more and more is child-led, but I would call us eclectic.

Quoting redhead-bedhead: Wow, sorry you have to deal with someone like that. My evaluator is an unschooling mom and we had a group evaluation. It was ridiculously easy. I wish it was that easy for everyone.
Quoting bluerooffarm:

She really seems to take issue with anything done that doesn't mesh with what they do in the public school.  We took off all of December last year and she was nearly apoplectic when she saw all those blank pages in my planner.  LOL  My school only likes to accept certain evaluators, so I keep going to her.  Even though she wants me to use an all in one curriculum, take my breaks when the school takes theirs, and only take 2 field trips per year.  Mostly I ignore it.  I like to let people know that their evaluators do not run their homeschool.  I wish someone had told me about their battles years ago.  :-)

Quoting redhead-bedhead: Why does your Evaluator have an issue with you working on the weekends?
Quoting bluerooffarm:

We don't really plan out our breaks way ahead of time to be more flexible.  Other than knowing that we are taking off the last week of September for a beach vacation, I have no idea what my school year will look like.  I keep track of our days in a planner as we do them and try to have 90 days before Christmas break.

My hubby now works 10 days away and 5 days home, so we are scheduling school around that.  Our evaluator isn't too pleased with the change because we are working on weekends.  But other than that, homeschooling lets us have the flexibility to schedule around things!


dougiesmom
by Member on Jun. 27, 2014 at 10:19 PM
1 mom liked this

Yes, it's state law. Kentucky doesn't regulate much, so I don't rock the boat on what they do. They regulate start date, but not end date, so once the year starts, the schedule is completely up to us. The public school here takes too many Mondays off, so I don't like to use their schedule, plus even without snow days they go to almost the end of May. DH and I discussed it tonight (I usually take care of it all myself, but I wanted his input on this), and he said we'll work with them on the start date so she can finish up summer vacation with them, but then they will just have to deal with the schedule I make for the rest of the year. It helps my stress levels having him communicate it to them, too. :D

Quoting bluerooffarm:

I would tell them they will need to plan around your schedule a bit more.  Why do you need to start around the public school start date?  Is that a state law?  Our school year is 180 days, but they can be anywhere between July 1st and June 30th.  You wouldn't need to send her to public school, instead you could just use the public school schedule.  Any judge would back up that play since you still could send her back to PS if you needed to.  

Quoting dougiesmom:

I always plan the whole year, but then we change a lot as we go. Doctor appointments, beautiful days, etc, get them out of school usually for the whole day. I thought just letting them work when they were here would be ok, and our son would enjoy being out early, but then he didn't like not having her to play with because she wasn't finished. ;) The main reason for planning out the breaks this year is simply to make sure she's on break when her step-dad's coming though, but at the same time if we do three week long breaks in the fall and spring, Christmas break is going to be tiny and it eats into our summer, which is generally jam-packed with things to do. BUT I also don't want to be a schedule Nazi and make them drive extra trips to fit with my calendar. (I have thought about threatening to send her back to public school and let them get her around their calendar, which I would never actually do. LOL!!) We have to get in 170 instructional days a year (and we have to start our year within 2 weeks of our local school's start date), so I'm really just trying to make sure we get that in.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

We don't really plan out our breaks way ahead of time to be more flexible.  Other than knowing that we are taking off the last week of September for a beach vacation, I have no idea what my school year will look like.  I keep track of our days in a planner as we do them and try to have 90 days before Christmas break.

My hubby now works 10 days away and 5 days home, so we are scheduling school around that.  Our evaluator isn't too pleased with the change because we are working on weekends.  But other than that, homeschooling lets us have the flexibility to schedule around things!


bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Jun. 28, 2014 at 7:35 AM
1 mom liked this

I'm glad you came to a consensus!  It's so much easier when my hubby handles his family, so I hear ya!  LOL  Pennsylvania regulates the world, but the start and end dates are up to me.  Our local PS takes too many days off, period!  Then add on snow days and we finished over a month before them, AND we took off all of December.  But I know there is a woman in our co-op who gave up and started using the PS schedule so that their family court judge would side with her over the scheduling.  He had wanted her to schedule all around her ex-hubby's schedule.  Then he gave the X 3 day weekends!  She tried arguing that the ruling forced her to school year round, but eventually her lawyer told her to use the PS schedule and the judge would be forced to change it.  It worked.  She complains, but it did work.  :-)

Quoting dougiesmom:

Yes, it's state law. Kentucky doesn't regulate much, so I don't rock the boat on what they do. They regulate start date, but not end date, so once the year starts, the schedule is completely up to us. The public school here takes too many Mondays off, so I don't like to use their schedule, plus even without snow days they go to almost the end of May. DH and I discussed it tonight (I usually take care of it all myself, but I wanted his input on this), and he said we'll work with them on the start date so she can finish up summer vacation with them, but then they will just have to deal with the schedule I make for the rest of the year. It helps my stress levels having him communicate it to them, too. :D

Quoting bluerooffarm:

I would tell them they will need to plan around your schedule a bit more.  Why do you need to start around the public school start date?  Is that a state law?  Our school year is 180 days, but they can be anywhere between July 1st and June 30th.  You wouldn't need to send her to public school, instead you could just use the public school schedule.  Any judge would back up that play since you still could send her back to PS if you needed to.  

Quoting dougiesmom:

I always plan the whole year, but then we change a lot as we go. Doctor appointments, beautiful days, etc, get them out of school usually for the whole day. I thought just letting them work when they were here would be ok, and our son would enjoy being out early, but then he didn't like not having her to play with because she wasn't finished. ;) The main reason for planning out the breaks this year is simply to make sure she's on break when her step-dad's coming though, but at the same time if we do three week long breaks in the fall and spring, Christmas break is going to be tiny and it eats into our summer, which is generally jam-packed with things to do. BUT I also don't want to be a schedule Nazi and make them drive extra trips to fit with my calendar. (I have thought about threatening to send her back to public school and let them get her around their calendar, which I would never actually do. LOL!!) We have to get in 170 instructional days a year (and we have to start our year within 2 weeks of our local school's start date), so I'm really just trying to make sure we get that in.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

We don't really plan out our breaks way ahead of time to be more flexible.  Other than knowing that we are taking off the last week of September for a beach vacation, I have no idea what my school year will look like.  I keep track of our days in a planner as we do them and try to have 90 days before Christmas break.

My hubby now works 10 days away and 5 days home, so we are scheduling school around that.  Our evaluator isn't too pleased with the change because we are working on weekends.  But other than that, homeschooling lets us have the flexibility to schedule around things!


kmath
by Silver Member on Jun. 28, 2014 at 9:39 AM
1 mom liked this

I am glad hubby is on board and took some of the stress off.  I think that is a great compromise and will keep you from going insane and be better for both the kids!

Quoting dougiesmom:

Yes, it's state law. Kentucky doesn't regulate much, so I don't rock the boat on what they do. They regulate start date, but not end date, so once the year starts, the schedule is completely up to us. The public school here takes too many Mondays off, so I don't like to use their schedule, plus even without snow days they go to almost the end of May. DH and I discussed it tonight (I usually take care of it all myself, but I wanted his input on this), and he said we'll work with them on the start date so she can finish up summer vacation with them, but then they will just have to deal with the schedule I make for the rest of the year. It helps my stress levels having him communicate it to them, too. :D

Quoting bluerooffarm:

I would tell them they will need to plan around your schedule a bit more.  Why do you need to start around the public school start date?  Is that a state law?  Our school year is 180 days, but they can be anywhere between July 1st and June 30th.  You wouldn't need to send her to public school, instead you could just use the public school schedule.  Any judge would back up that play since you still could send her back to PS if you needed to.  

Quoting dougiesmom:

I always plan the whole year, but then we change a lot as we go. Doctor appointments, beautiful days, etc, get them out of school usually for the whole day. I thought just letting them work when they were here would be ok, and our son would enjoy being out early, but then he didn't like not having her to play with because she wasn't finished. ;) The main reason for planning out the breaks this year is simply to make sure she's on break when her step-dad's coming though, but at the same time if we do three week long breaks in the fall and spring, Christmas break is going to be tiny and it eats into our summer, which is generally jam-packed with things to do. BUT I also don't want to be a schedule Nazi and make them drive extra trips to fit with my calendar. (I have thought about threatening to send her back to public school and let them get her around their calendar, which I would never actually do. LOL!!) We have to get in 170 instructional days a year (and we have to start our year within 2 weeks of our local school's start date), so I'm really just trying to make sure we get that in.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

We don't really plan out our breaks way ahead of time to be more flexible.  Other than knowing that we are taking off the last week of September for a beach vacation, I have no idea what my school year will look like.  I keep track of our days in a planner as we do them and try to have 90 days before Christmas break.

My hubby now works 10 days away and 5 days home, so we are scheduling school around that.  Our evaluator isn't too pleased with the change because we are working on weekends.  But other than that, homeschooling lets us have the flexibility to schedule around things!


TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on Jun. 29, 2014 at 7:39 AM
I didn't read all the replies, but I have a couple ideas....

-do work on some weekends
-do workbook pages or reviews in the car on the ride to her moms
-on beautiful days/dr appts etc, do something that can be considered instruction (nature walk, give them each $10 and let them buy some snacks at the store..doing math, dealing with the cashier, etc)
-count everything possible..so if one weekend you do some kind of family field trip count that as a school day, when you take vacation, try to have a day or two or something educational and count it as a school day (Christmas baking and shopping can count as 'school')



How long does she stay with her mom? And it happens every three weeks?
coala
by Silver Member on Jun. 30, 2014 at 8:24 AM

I'm so glad to hear that your hubby is on board with what you have decided is best.  They are going to have to figure out how to get around her "school" schedule...plain and simple.

Just want to say that I took in a family member's child and was given "permission" by the judge to enroll her school.  Which I did as a homeschool student.  When we went before the judge on another date....said family members says that I "won't let her speak to the child from jail".  I honestly wouldn't!!  She was calling several times a week collect and she would call at the most annoying points during the day.  The judge also chastised me in the courtroom and told me "I gave you permission to enroll her in school not homeschool her".  I was beyond pissed, but my lawyer came to my defense and pointed out that it was legal in this state.  The judge put her foot down and made me take a call EVERY FRIDAY in the middle of the school day because that is what was convienient for the mom, not listening to the fact that it completely disrupted our day and we wouldn't be able to finish because the child was so distraught.  I was also "forced" to have this child color her pictures and mail them to her.  The child wanted NOTHING to do with any of this.  She just wanted to be normal.....and normal kids didn't have a parent or 2 in jail at the same time.  I felt so bad for her.  It really is sad that a judge can make a decision on what is best for the parent and not even consider what might be in the best interest of the child.

dougiesmom
by Member on Jul. 2, 2014 at 1:18 PM

She doesn't go every three weeks, but her step-dad works on a riverboat and works three weeks on, three weeks off. His port is close to us, so he picks her up on his way home and brings her home when he heads back to work. In order to work with their schedule, I have to count weeks to try to coincide our breaks with him going back and forth. DH and I finally decided we'd schedule our start date to convenience them, but the rest of the breaks we're doing as usual and they will have to just make the extra trips. Surely they'll come this way to see their families here at some point, anyway.

We already count everything as school; even playing outside is PE! ;) We also did a lot of Saturday school this past year, but then they tend to burn out. I like them to have at least one day off to just play each week. Even kids needs stress relief. The worry with DSD is that she's so far behind academically, she needs more instructional time to grasp basic concepts. (She's 11, but has the mentality of someone much younger *by choice.* Every evaluation she's had, they've found nothing wrong with her except her attitude toward learning.) The curriculum she has should be able to be completed in 150 days; we scheduled 170 and she ended the year two months behind in everything except math. I can't send work with her because they will do it for her, either by telling her what to put or just outright doing it. I just sent her with a list of things we were working on last time that included hours in a day, number of days in a week/month, how many months in a year, and measurements. She came home knowing the months. Not how many, what they are (which she then could count how many by naming them off, but I want her to just know *12*). That's all they did with her in three weeks' time. So I don't count on her doing anything while she's with them other than just playing the day away, and when she's here, we do school. 

Quoting TJandKarasMom: I didn't read all the replies, but I have a couple ideas.... -do work on some weekends -do workbook pages or reviews in the car on the ride to her moms -on beautiful days/dr appts etc, do something that can be considered instruction (nature walk, give them each $10 and let them buy some snacks at the store..doing math, dealing with the cashier, etc) -count everything possible..so if one weekend you do some kind of family field trip count that as a school day, when you take vacation, try to have a day or two or something educational and count it as a school day (Christmas baking and shopping can count as 'school') How long does she stay with her mom? And it happens every three weeks?


KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Jul. 3, 2014 at 2:58 AM
Homeschool year round and take breaks as needed.
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