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About Ananda

  • Birthday 06/25/1985

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    Lincoln NE
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  1. We had a nephew and my children's first cousin born. We get tons of photos & videos, and we regularly Facetime them. They are having a virtual baby dedication at the beginning of October. I know that isn't what you meant. You want to hold the little baby, I sympathize. Really I do. We are having to make so many sacrifices during this pandemic. I am noticing people vary greatly in what they are comfortable with. Many people are sending their kids to school, and visiting relatives & friends. My kids (10, 7 & 4) haven't seen anyone in person since February. We felt very confident in that decision. But as a few weeks stretches into 6 months, and our children have to sacrifice Easter, and birthdays our resolve is beginning to weaken. The social-emotional effects on my children (and us parents) are becoming significant. Every parent must struggle to make an endless stream of difficult decisions. While their choices may be different then mine, I have to believe that (most of them) made the choice the believe is best. If I could say one thing it would be to take the pandemic seriously, to respect the parents' decision and then just be patient. I know that is difficult.
  2. Usually we buy the DVD, but then immediately rip it and store the digital files. We watch the digital copies. We don't buy digital copies directly, because they never give you the actual files. We don't use the DVDs because we have little kids and they would scratch or lose them. The DVDs are stored in a zipper binder in a safe place. BTW we do the same with video/computer games. I can't imagine keeping up with all the optical disks and always helping the children to start their videos & games. I don't think the disk drive on our Wii even works anymore . . .
  3. I agree. I also think if they cleared up the misunderstandings as quickly as possible, they would have more resources to devote to the children who are in crisis.
  4. I think I agree. But I will say that just as we have a right to refuse CPS access. We also have a right to invite them in. And at least for me, either way my decision would have been based a large part on fear. I let them in, because of fear of unnecessarily dragging out the process. If I didn't let them in it would have been out of fear of them misinterpreting something they saw or heard. It is a scary situation, of course fear plays into it. I don't know what CPS could do to alleviate the fear. Their very presence at your door is an accusation. They have the power to take your children and sweep them up into a very broken system. The only thing that could have helped my specific situation is if CPS could have followed up on my homeschool paperwork, preferably by mail and then left us alone. Why is situation is a binary, ignore possible truancy or full investigation decision? That is a waste of everyone's time & energy. I can imagine allegations of medical neglect being cleared up by a doctor's letter, for example.
  5. I agree. Although that isn't exactly what happened. They allowed me to become a member in an hour for a $40 emergency fee in addition to the normal fee. Only after I had joined did they give me the legal advice. But I was impressed with the legal advice. I am also grateful they allowed me to join to get advice on a situation in progress. I assumed it worked like insurance where you have to join before you have a problem.
  6. HSLDA sent our acceptance email for membership. Dear Mrs. & Mr. Husband's first and last name . . . Seriously HSLDA right off the bat. My husband & I don't even have the same last name.
  7. I believe it. In that moment, I didn't care one whit about my rights. I totally understand and agree with the argument that if I let her in and cooperate openly and so do most everyone else, then her experience will be that only very bad people exercise their rights. It has a definite societal cost. I played my part in eroding all our rights. If it is any consolation . . . she was young and eager. I explained the position of hslda & many homeschooler would be to cooperate only as compelled by law. I explained why. I briefly outlined the history. I explained why I chose differently. We were the first homeschoolers she had met. She wanted to know why people homeschool. Not why WE homeschool, but why people in general homeschool. I listed off reasons rapid fire. She actually read the FAQ from the department of ed's website. She was really interested. So it is my belief that she learned from our case. I know she at least learned state homeschool law. I think she heard me. . . . maybe I am thinking too much of myself. Sorry, I am still euphoric from the relief of it all. As to why I chose as I did. MY CHILDREN. I think the calculus is entirely different when it involves your children. I genuinely thought my children were at risk. I didn't know the specific allegations against us. One poster speculated sexual abuse! I would and did compromise my scruples to protect my children. I also joined HSLDA to which I was strongly opposed. That is a separate discussion. I called them planning to ask them for a names of local lawyers that I could call. They told me that I could, in fact, join with my case in progress. I didn't even stop to think, I joined immediately. I was impressed that their legal council moderated his response when I told him that I didn't care about my privacy or my rights. I just wanted this closed as soon as possible. He advised me to act as I did. He also incidentally told me to stop taking legal advice from the hive mind. We secretly recorded the conversation, our state is a one party consent state. We had decided to tell her she needed a warrant if she tried to leave the open area of our living room, dinning room & play room. She never left the couch. We had decided to allow her to "set eyes on" each of the children and exchange pleasantries but not to interview the children. She barely talked to them, and didn't even set eyes on my napping 3yo. We didn't plan on cooperating with anything and everything. She never asked of us something we weren't willing to give.
  8. So the update: It went way better then could be expected. My 3 yo napped through the whole thing. The big boys were great---vibrant, happy, obedient, and obviously smart. They nicely played mouse trap with my mother. We invited her right in she sat on our couch and talked to us for 1/2 an hour. Mostly she was satisfying her curiosity about homeschooling, and commiserating about how stupid the complaint was. She asked us a rapid fire list about risk factors: drugs, alcohol, spousal abuse etc. We talked briefly about rules & discipline. She never had any interest in leaving the living room. She only talked with the children when they initiated conversation. She was fascinated by homeschooling. This is the text of the complaint in red, to give you an idea of how truly stupid it was: Caller reports that dh (34) & Ananda (33) are parents of ds9, ds6 & ds3. According to the caller the children are homeschooled. The caller reported that ds9 wears a pull up (like this is a habitual thing). The caller stated that they believe ds3 also wears a pull up, but it is unknown if ds6 wears pull ups. The caller did not speak with the parents as to why ds9 wears a pull up. Why is this person so obsessed with pull ups? When the caller was asked if they had any other concerns, the caller stated that the children have difficulty listening to directions, which is typical for children who are homeschooled; (You guys are going to love that.) however, the children exhibit behaviors of not following directions beyond the norm. The caller stated that they didn't have any other concerns at this time. Then they provided mangled DOB's for the children. Based on the complaint, I am certain this is someone from the YMCA, probably an employee, but maybe another parent. So . . . that is a thing. I am just so flabbergasted at the stupidity. You can see why she wasn't at all concerned. Apparently, nothing about the call concerned CPS. She said they would have told off the caller. But they emailed the state department of education just to close out their file. The department of education replied, in blue: I do not have a filing under the last name (dh & dc's last name). Basics such as potty training would be considered child care and parenting responsibilities, not a curriculum choice. That is the best part. The department of education being like wtf! She said that she had to follow up & do the whole she-bang because the department of ed didn't have a record of us. This is because the YMCA mangled the DOB's and our homeschool is registered under my (different) last name. Apparently, though, most people cooperate with her. She seemed really taken aback when I told her that many people would have refused to talk to her, to allow her access to the children and to enter the home. She said that she couldn't get a court order, but it would raise her suspicions. Apparently the only people who have reacted that way have been horrifically abusive or drug addicts. She would have kept coming back until our case expired. Anyways, 5 days of torture because someone at the YMCA is weird about pull-ups. Thanks. Ananda
  9. I agree it is far fetched, but we literally didn't talk about it. So . . . also how would the neighbors know they don't follow directions. The neighbors have kids, so they know how kids are in that regard. . . their kids aren't angels or anything. I am dealing with today, today. Tomorrow I will worry about who reported us and why. How do we prevent this from reoccurring etc. Ananda
  10. Update: I joined HSLDA out of fear. Apparently, you can join after the fact. So I got real legal advice. Go me! He suggested a middle road because that was what made us most comfortable. We will keep the meeting, invite the cps worker into our living room and have brief conversation with her. My mother will play with the children in the adjoining play room or dinning room. So they will be able to see the kids. She will not tour our house. If we become uncomfortable, I will excuse myself to talk to legal council (ie HSLDA).
  11. About the following instructions thing: ds9 is generally good, he can be spacey or distractable, when overwhelmed (which becoming increasingly rare) he does melt down. I have given him coping skills and worked with his teachers to allow him to leave is overwhelmed. ds6 is generally good. We have been having trouble with attitude. He cries and whines and makes a martyr out of himself. This is a problem that we are actively parenting (with no effect). ds3 is on the stubborn end of normal for a 3yo in following directions.
  12. I joined HSLDA in fear. Apparently you can join after the fact. They game me two names of local-ish lawyers to call.
  13. This was the CPS workers reply to our inquiry regarding complaint: I am not able to give you the physical copy of the report. However, I am able to summarize the report for you. The report just stated that the children are currently homeschooled. The report stated that ds9 has been wearing a pull-up and that the children will have difficulty following directions. When the report was received, the children were checked to see if they were registered as homeschooled. The report stated that there was not filing for exempt school under the name D--- (children & husband's last name) for the children to be homeschooled. There is no other information in the report. I was able to confirm with the Dept. of Ed. that ds9 is exempt due to a filing under your wife’s name, Ananda (my last name which is different). And your wife explained to me that a letter was sent to ds6’s district school stating that she was homeschooled. I believe that when checking on the exempt school filing, ds9’s birth date was entered incorrectly in our system which was why they were unable to find this information. Let me know if this makes sense. Thanks! Thoughts?
  14. I will consult an HSLDA & an attorney. I agree that it isn't worth the risk. I can take the financial hit. (Probably, I actually don't know how much an attorney costs.) But wow . . . a neighbor tattles on us for legally homeschooling and I have to pay a but ton of money to defend myself. We have decided to go through with tomorrow's visit. My mother is here for support, 3rd set of ears, and child control (so that we can focus on the workers). We will answer the specific allegations, but be circumspect about anything else. We are insisting on receiving the specific allegations in writing before the visit. If they are more serious then we have been led to believe, we will cancel the visit. We won't allow her to talk to the children without us present. We will record the interview. Hopefully we can pay a small amount (hundreds not thousands) for legal advice, and go into this with our eyes wide open. I will update, as appropriate. I have been convinced both to consult a lawyer and to cooperate with a brief home visit. Hopefully this is the right choice. No choice was presented itself as safe or clearly correct. We take a leap of faith.
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