Should I Call CPS on my neighbors?

Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 10:44 am
My neighbors say they homeschool their 11 year old daughter and 8 year old son. I am beginning wonder how much schooling is actually going on, I am a stay at home mother they live right next to me and the kids seem to always be outside playing that was just the first sign something was wrong. The second sign I saw was when the girl stayed over at are house a few months ago her and my daughter were playing a board game and the little girl who will call "Hannah" could hardly read the game cards and then could not add up the score. The game is for children in ages 6 to 12 it was simple addition and she was in tears over not understanding the basic rules, when I asked her the next morning if she could please grab the captain crunch from the cabinet she couldn't read the box she literally grabbed all three cereal boxes and asked me which one was the captain crunch! She can't read and she can't add and I'm starting to notice it's the same with their boy! The kids I love them to death but they arn't learning anything I don't want to rip a family apart but those kids need a real education! I'm not against homeschooling don't get me wrong but I think I should call Children services.
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 10:55 am
The requirements for home schooling differ state-by-state. It sounds like you're in a state with very little oversight.
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Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 11:01 am
Why would you ask people you do not know this question? Why don't you talk to their Mom first and tell her what happened? You should be able to tell be her reaction what is going on...I would try to do it in a kindly manner, she is after all your neighbor and if you care about her children then, you should care about what happens to them in connection with their Mom. But certainly I would give the Mom a heads up before you blind side her with CPS.
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Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 11:24 am
I'm sorry but call CPS because the daughter isn't as smart as you think she should be?

Have you considered that perhaps she has a learning disability or neurological problem that prevents her from reading? Could that maybe be the reason that the mother is home schooling?

Most people I know who home school only need to spend a few hours a day on instruction since they only have a couple of kids to deal with instead of an entire classroom of kids working at different levels.

Do the kids appear to be neglected in some other way? If so, consider calling CPS.
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 12:35 pm
Perhaps Missprincess can tell that they are not not-smart, that they are uneducated. I see her quandary.

I don't know what I'd do, will be interested in seeing the comments. Calling in "authorities" is problematic for sure.
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Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 12:52 pm
I would absolutely start by talking to the mother first.

It may very well be that the children have learning disabilities and thats the whole reason why they are home schooled. Hell.. the MOTHER might have a learning disability her self , maybe something like dyslexia.. and is incapable of explaining things well herself.

There are a number of reasons a child can not read or do basic math at different times of their lives.. but to assume before asking could really hurt that family.
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 01:26 pm
Yep. Talk to mom first.
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High Seas
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 01:32 pm
Talk to the mother first - and don't mention authorities! In NY half our 12-year olds can't read or do elementary arithmetic and that's after 6 years of being sent to public schools at great expense to the taxpayers, so things with your neighbor's kids aren't as dire - comparatively speaking - as you appear to think.
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Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 02:34 pm
homeland security.
Reply Tue 1 Sep, 2009 01:13 pm
Have you considered that she may have a learning disability? If she does, I don't really feel that it's your business to know and so the family may have not told you, for this reason.

You don't seem like you have much to go on, honestly. CPS cases are for abused children or children who are not taken care of (ie. baths, bedtime, meals). It should not be abused. The agency is too overwhelmed by cases and people like you, so they can't focus enough attention on serious abuse cases. That's why you learn about so many children being abused to the point of death on the news. Often, CPS workers have determined that the home was safe right before a tragedy happens. We all ask ourselves, "Why?" when this happens. You no longer need to ask yourself this. You know it's because of people like you taking up CPS's valuable time with silly complaints. I'm all for contacting CPS and keeping children safe when people see abuse or serious neglect. You saw neither of these, from what you told us.

Perhaps you should consider this situation a little bit more before jumping to unconnected, unfounded and extreme conclusions. Maybe she homeschools her children very early in the morning or they take play breaks. Maybe a child has ADD, so they need to take many breaks to play outside. If she has a husband, maybe he does the homeschooling in the evening when he gets home from school, or they wait to do it together. It's really not your business.
Don't call CPS unless you see something more serious. Maybe she might have just been flustered because of how you were treating her and that is why she had difficulty with the word and cried. We weren't provided with the whole dialogue and from your personality that you represented here, I think it's possible that you were pretty judgmental and tough on her. I don't blame her for being flustered to the point of having difficulty with the word and crying.

Additionally, your post has a lot of grammar and spelling mistakes and as a result, I don't know that you're the best judge. When you judge, you get judged. One example from your writing is "are house" instead of "our house". I think that word is easier than the word the 11 year-old could not spell and you're an adult. Just chill and focus more attention on being a good mom to your own child instead of spending so much energy on someone else's children. This is not productive for your child/children.

It sounds like you're bored and have WAY too much time on your hands or you wouldn't spend so much time focusing on other people. Maybe it's time to get a job and have a daycare provider spend time with your child, as she or he might focus more energy towards your child than you obviously do.

You honestly sound pretty paranoid too. Maybe you need a psych evaluation. I don't mean to be mean. I'm just being honest. I'm a social worker myself and I think the problem seems to be with you and not your neighbors. You need to learn proper boundaries. Consider setting a good example to your own child/children about being neighborly. If you're that concerned, then speak to the mother. Don't be so passive-aggressive.
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