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Does BM have to educate her child?

Posted by on Oct. 12, 2013 at 1:10 PM
  • 44 Replies
SS visits BM (NCP) for about 11 weeks throughout the year, broken up in three 3-4 week visits. Since SS is homeschooled (dad's decision when he had sole legal custody) the CO says that BM has to help with his schoolwork. To make it easy on BM she was only asked to do 1 hour of schoolwork (worksheets) with SS per day plus 20 minutes of independent reading daily. All the worksheets were a review and no new concepts had to be taught. Well, the problem is that SS only did schoolwork for 2 weeks (out of 4 weeks), and only read one book during the whole time.

Now I'm wondering if DH can do anything to make sure that the schoolwork is done at BM's house, since otherwise the catching-up has to be done when SS comes back from his visit, and does not allow us to take any time off from school. We even had to do schoolwork 6 days a week (or double work on some days) just to get done what had not been done by BM.
by on Oct. 12, 2013 at 1:10 PM
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Replies (1-10):
annabl1970
by Gold Member on Oct. 12, 2013 at 1:15 PM
I have no idea how to forse BM todo HW with SS.
It should come naturally isn't it?
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jules2boys
by Gold Member on Oct. 12, 2013 at 1:27 PM
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How old is SS?  Can DH tell SS HE is responsible for making sure his worksheets and reading are done during his time at BMs?  Was BM involved in the decision to homeschool?  Did she agree to it, and then agree to spend some of her limited time with her child doing the school work?  To you/DH it may seem like an hour of worksheets (review) and 20 minutes reading isn't that much, but for someone who hasn't made that part of their 'schedule', it can be daunting, even if it is for her child.  She may also not agree that this is the best course of action and it's difficult to 'support' something you don't feel comfortable doing. 

DH can't control BM and how she spends her time with her child anymore than BM can control DH and how he chooses to spend his time with his child.  This custody sounds more like BM has 'summer breaks' or 'school breaks' for a year-round schedule.  (even if that's not the 'schedule' you and DH feel their child is on. 

SassyMom25
by Gold Member on Oct. 12, 2013 at 1:27 PM

So...when does BM get time off from school with SS then? Do you all work through the summer or take it off?

I agree that in looking at it, an hour and a half a day doesn't seem like much...but maybe it is to BM. I kinda look at it the same as if this was an NCP who saw their kid EOWE and never helped with homework. You just make sure it isn't something that has to be done during their time. I'm sure you could take it back to court, but I'm not sure that anything would really happen. How old is SS? Just wondering if he is old enough to be responsible for these things himself. How often do you speak with SS while he is with BM? Those would be good times to remind him. My only other thought would be to break her time up into 2 wks/visit so SS doesn't get so far behind.

momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Oct. 12, 2013 at 1:32 PM
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I've been through this battle and the judge has told me to make sure homework is getting done before visiting dad or after... You can't make someone be the kind of parent you want them to be.
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CSM07
by Member on Oct. 12, 2013 at 1:55 PM
SS is 9. I agree that you cannot make someone to be a good parent, but most parents never sign that they will do homework with their children. But BM did sign that she will help to homeschool her son while he is with her. On the other hand, parents who don't educate their children (send them to school or educate them another way) can be forced to do so. During the last visit BM was working full-time during the day and her SO was in charge of watching SS and doing schoolwork with him, but I believe that BM is still responsible that it gets done - not her SO.
Polkadotted
by Gold Member on Oct. 12, 2013 at 3:11 PM

If she isn't doing your worksheets, is she doing something different? Maybe some unschooling

her 11 weeks is less than public students get off per year. Do you guys take breaks also?

CSM07
by Member on Oct. 12, 2013 at 3:31 PM
Is playing video games and watching tv (non-educational shows) considered "unschooling"? I'm not a fan of unschooling, but would not have a problem with educational activities. However, those don't happen at Bm's house. All we hear about is tv, video games, and computer games (all not age appropriate). I also thought public school students get about 3 months off per years. Of course we would like to take a break from time to time (even if it's only a day or two). But it seems like BM gets all the breaks (by not doing her part) and then we have to catch up and do all the work.
PumpkinSpice8
by Silver Member on Oct. 12, 2013 at 3:36 PM
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While I believe it would be wonderful for BM to take part in SS's schoolwork....

I don't believe it's ever a good idea to dictate the other parent's time. Telling BM she has to do one hour of worksheets a day plus 20 minutes of reading a day may come off controlling on DH's part and she may simply rebel, as is human nature to do so.

I would simply introduce her to what has been going on with school and what needs to be done to keep SS on track and let her decide how and when she does it with SS. Give her the tools and access but let her choose what to do with them.

I do think having a NCP do work with their child everyday is a bit much. NCPs don't have a lot of time with their children as is and they aren't going to want to spend it doing work everyday. Also if BM works full-time that's even less time she has with her child.

The best thing you can do is stress to SS how important school work is and hope he takes initiative.
Derdriu
by Gold Member on Oct. 12, 2013 at 3:52 PM
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So why not break your year up into trimesters and let BM have the breaks? You have a lot of flexibility home schooling. Lack of participation by BM may not be ideal, but you can work around it.
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CSM07
by Member on Oct. 12, 2013 at 3:56 PM
Well, I think what is overlooked by a lot of people here is that BM agreed "to help with her son's homeschooling". It's been ordered by a judge since it's written in the CO which BM signed. It's not DH or me telling her to help with his schoolwork, but it is a condition she has to fulfill because she gets him for 11 weeks. Without this condition she likely would have gotten less visitation. We also sent a workbook reviewing the previous grade and pretty much left it up to her (or her SO) which pages to complete. We did not tell her, "You have to do xyz with SS". So, in a way, we provided her with the tools, but barely anything was done. Also, BM's SO who is home all day did the schoolwork with SS, and not BM. So BM could spend all her time with her son. Shortly after the visitation she lost her job and has not been working since.

Teaching SS that schoolwork is important is one thing. But if you are competing with video games all day and BM telling her son to lie to us and not to tell us that he does not do as much schoolwork, then you are at a loss. When we call SS, BM puts him on speaker phone or is right next to him, so she can hear whatever we say. It happens that she is commenting on our questions to SS in the background. For example, I asked SS if he has made any friends who he can play with outside, and BM shouts in the background, "It's too hot to play outside." If we asked SS if he is doing his schoolwork, BM would probably view it as us checking on her.
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