This is a follow-up to a previous post on why I home school.
When my sixth child Bethany turned 5, she really wanted to try Kindergarten like her friends, even though we were already well established into home schooling some of her older siblings. I knew it meant a lot to her, so I consented.
That year, our family spent a lot of time out and about, exploring, conducting seminars, and doing lots of activities together.
Once, when I went to pick up my 5-year old from school, I stopped and the office and informed them that she was going to be gone again – we were heading out of town and I wanted to make sure they knew it should be excused.
The office assistant pulled up her record and said, “Uh, you know she’s already missed 9 days?” I nodded, “Yeah. So that’s why I wanted to make sure you knew this ahead of time, so we could get whatever work we’d need her to do while she’s gone.”
The woman said, “Well, you know she can’t miss more than 18 days during the year, or she won’t advance?”
“Right, which is why I wanted to let you know, so we could make sure it’s okay.”
“Have you received a visit from a police officer yet?”
“Well, if your child misses 8 (?) classes during any one semester, you’re going to get a visit from an officer…”
“But they’re excused…”
“That doesn’t matter.”
“Well, then who do I need to talk to, to get this approved, so we don’t have to have an officer visit??”
“You’ll have to talk to the head truancy officer at the district.”
(Remember, this girl is in Kindergarten.)
So I looked him up, told him the situation, and explained that we were going to be going on another family outing, so I could do whatever I needed to do to get this excused.
He said, “Have you had a visit from a police officer yet?”
“No, I haven’t, and I was hoping to get this worked out so we could avoid that.”
I went on to explain that I homeschool my other children, and what we were doing, and why we kept pulling her out for different activities.
Finally he said, “You know what? If you get a visit, just explain what you’ve told me. It’ll be fine. I wish EVERY child in the district had a family like yours.”