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omd21

Need Advice - Graduation and GED Question

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Hello!

I need advice. I'm writing this in a rush, so please forgive any grammatical errors or lack of coherence. :)

DD's friend is in a difficult home situation. She just turned 18, has been homeschooled through high school and the last year has done DE at a small local University, is a straight A student, has a great job, she shows up at work, has some money saved from work, does not drink or do drugs and is generally a good kid, and has been a good friend to DD.

She started dating a boy who seems very nice and they spend a good amount of time together. She has known his family for years and his family adores her. She introduced him to her parents, but her parents have responded by restricting her every move and being very controlling. I've also recently found out there was an incident of physical abuse from her Dad.

Most recently, she wanted to go out with her boyfriend at night and parents said no, and her mom told her that if she goes out against their wishes, she, as the homeschool parent, won't graduate her from high school. She has enough credits and there's no reason why she shouldn't graduate. Her mom, in the past, was controlling her collegeboard account by not giving DD's friend the username and password, so DD's friend could not go in and see her test scores, the mom has all her records, etc.,  they have also threatened her with not helping her with college and kicking her out. DD's friend is panicking and thinks she might have to get a GED if her mom follows through with this threat.

I'm trying not to interfere or overstep boundries but I do want to help. At the very least want to give her accurate information about whether she does in fact need to get a GED or not. I want to advise her on how to get to college if she loses her parent's support. In the state of GA you do not need a GED to apply to college but she does need a transcript. She will have access to the college transcript where she's currently doing DE, but she has none of her other records. I think she was able to access her collegeboard account once and her SAT score was around 1050.

If her parents withdraw all financial support and , what are her options? The car she drives to get to work is her parents, they constantly threaten her to take that away. I know she can get emancipated but that is a serious step and I don't know if that's the way to go. How do I help this child?!?

 

 

 

 

 

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https://responsiblehomeschooling.org/how-to-obtain-a-homeschool-transcript/
Can a Homeschooled Student Create their Own Transcript?

If a homeschooling parent fails to create a transcript for a student who has completed the required material and is ready to graduate, the homeschooled student may find it necessary to put together the transcript themselves. This is legal and acceptable. However, the student should not forge the parent’s signature on the transcript. If the parent is unwilling to sign it, another individual with knowledge of the student’s academic accomplishments—a portfolio evaluator or tutor—may be able to sign instead, or the signature may be omitted entirely.

 

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Emancipation is no longer an option if the student is 18yo -- emancipation is for minors (under the age of 18).

It might be a good idea for a young adult in this type of situation to very quietly start gathering up all of their legal documents and records, in case a sudden move is needed, or if parents decide to be very uncooperative about releasing documents. Things like:

- official birth certificate
- driver's license and passport 
- insurance card and information about the family's medical/dental providers
- social security card
- tax records and any other legal documents
- portfolio of homeschool documents, or photocopies, in case forced to re-create a transcript

It would also be wise if parents are on the student's bank account, to quietly withdraw funds, close those accounts, and set up new accounts (with new account numbers and new PIN #)) with no parent access.

If parents refuse to provide financial info on the FAFSA, check out paragraphs 2, 3, and 4 of this Fast Web article. The article notes that in cases of abuse or hostile home environment, in order to override the usual requirement of needing parent financial info, the student needs to be provide "third party documentation of the situation" -- such as a copy of a court protection order, letter from a social work teacher, clergy, or guidance counselor. That type of documentation (and outside help!) might be a good idea anyways, if the situation involves any kind of abuse.

So sorry for all involved, and hope it all soon resolves well. Warmest regards, Lori D.

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Parents who threaten to withhold your homeschool records are 1) evil and 2) not to be trusted ever. Documentation should belong to the student. Period.

She should follow the above advice. I especially would say she should not ask her parents for these things, but rather should take them when the parents are not home and put them in a secure location, possibly not at home. It's HER birth certificate, HER SS card, etc. If she's not in possession of them now, these are the sorts of basic documents they may withhold to try to control her. If she has to leave, she will need copies and getting them without parental cooperation costs time and cash. She especially should do as Lori suggested and cut them off any access to her banking and change her PIN and passwords. She should also possibly just change those across the board for all her devices.

She should make a plan in case things get worse. Parents who threaten this sort of thing, again, cannot be trusted. She's legally an adult. They have no more legal obligations to her (ethical, yes, but they've proven they're not ethical by saying they'll withhold her graduation to control her). She needs to make an emergency plan for what happens if and when (likely when) things get so bad that she needs to leave or they kick her out. She needs a place to go, first off. She needs to have her documentation safe where she can get it. She needs to go ahead and do as Elizabeth suggested and make her own transcript in case she needs it. She also needs to start taking steps toward as much financial security as she can muster - get control of her phone plan, her insurance, etc.

The best thing you can do is help her with all of these steps and offer her a place to stay if she has to leave.

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1 hour ago, MamaSprout said:

If she's still dating the boy, she should probably let the relationship go for now. She needs to be independent, first.

I would agree about putting the relationship on hold for now, if possible. Would her parents be graduating her next June? if so, she doesn't have long to go and I it sounds like she has worked hard and deserves to be graduated so I would make that a priority as well as getting her ducks in a row over these next months. I personally wouldn't advocate for going the GED route unless absolutely necessary. It still carries a negative stigma with it.

Also, I think it's ridiculous that the girl doesn't have access to her own CollegeBoard account. I'm surprised the parents are allowing her to take classes outside of the home at a local university, considering how controlling they seem. I understand that parents aren't obligated to pay for their child's college and it's reasonable to have expectations, but this situation sounds so extreme. The girl is 18 years old now and does have rights. Technically the parents aren't even allowed to have access to her school records (unless the girl signed a FERPA form.)

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I don't disagree that she should strongly consider not seeing the boy. But I also think if her parents are this controlling then she needs to be sure she gets out sooner rather than later. That might mean not going to college right away, which makes me furious on her behalf.

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See I disagree. What I would do is as the child talk to the parents about what a great job they did and how she wants to go away to college early to get situated better. She needs to work with the parents because if she's sneaky and gets caught it'll be 1000x worse for her. If she's currently a senior she should be applying for schools now, and have her fafsa done for next year.  She should start taking out cash for "lunch" and putting it into a pre-paid debit card. She doesn't want a bank because they occasionally mail stuff to your house. Take $50 a week to eat spend as little of that as she can and put the rest on the card. She does not want to make them aware there are issues. Memorize her Social. and keep copies of the work she did. Ask her mom to make a journal of all the things she did so she can have a keepsake of her schooling when she graduates. Convince her mom to let her clep out of classes she took in high school. Have her make it "easier" on her parents by making a transcript. Do not argue with them. Realize it's only a couple of months. Instead have her pick up extra shifts at work " to help pay for school". Basically any acceptable reason not to be home.

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Thank you so much for your thoughts, lots of great advice. I was especially concerned about whether they’d accept her transcript if she chooses to create one herself. I also need to look into the FAFSA some more and info about possibly filling it out without parental information about income, etc. 

I don’t believe she has filed an income tax return yet, since she was working much less last year, this is the first year she has enough income to file. 

I agree about putting the relationship on hold, but I feel like it’s not my place to tell her this and I don’t feel right about it. This guy and his family have known her for years, they are supportive of her going to college, getting her degree, and becoming independent. I don’t see the relationship as a negative right now, they are both being responsible, if she distanced herself from him she might be losing another source of  support. 

Her parents are conservative and they want her to have a traditional “courtship”, wait until marriage, etc. Nothing wrong with being conservative and instilling your beliefs but this is just wrong. They track her every move, her mom created the college board acct and wouldn’t give her the username and password.

I’ve also found out last night after discussing her situation in detail that there’s been more instances of physical abuse.

Edited by omd21

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I think it would be a good idea to put the relationship on hold until a lot of the contingencies are put into place--specifically explaining why she can't see him for a couple of months. He should be supportive of this because he will understand why she needs to appear to have broken off with him.

I'm usually not in favor of being untruthful & deceitful to parents but she needs to get a lot of this put in place ASAP. 

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[trying to stay vague, so OP can delete if needed]. This is all very distressing, and sounding like it is a worse situation with the further posts. 

Is the student applying to colleges right now? Or is the plan to continue with the local college where DE is happening? In other words, does the student absolutely *have* to have access to the College Board account at this point? There may be less possibility of that causing trouble at home if the student can wait until after graduating. There is the possibility of getting the College Board user name and password changed online, but that ends up getting sent to the original email address (in this case, the mom), so it would likely require the phone call to Customer Service (866-315-6068) -- see the FAQ questions on "I forgot my user name" and "I forgot my password".

Is there an older sibling out of the house who would be a safe person for this student to go to for back-up, or for living with if moving out right after graduation is needed? And really, whether it happens before or after graduation, this young person is going to need a safe and supportive place and people to help with all the things that the controlling parents may cut off -- housing, food, transportation, health  insurance, living expenses, (possibly work if there are issues), and college. Each of those is a huge, complicated, expensive thing to have to navigate. And while the boyfriend and family sound wonderful, the student will want to walk a delicate balance there -- you don't want to get in to a position of feeling obligated to continue dating (or marrying!) just to keep getting help, or to escape a controlling/abusive home life.

While I agree that the ideas from Miguel'smom upthread might be the way to go if this is an only child or the last child at home... But what if there are younger siblings? Because how the 18yo handles this could have backlash on young siblings, and this situation becomes extremely complicated. Yes, get yourself graduated and safe, but how to help younger siblings (while staying safe yourself), and in a way that also keeps young siblings safe? Because frankly, our nation's legal and social systems are so f*-ed up, that it's a crap shoot as to how things could go down if abuse is reported -- or if it is not reported, and parents then feel "threatened" by the way older child "escaped" their control -- the parents may feel they have to restrict/control younger children even more, because they "failed" to keep older child "in line"... 🤮

Especially in cases where there is abuse, a mother can fall into the false thinking that the more she "controls" the situation, that it will perhaps prevent (or lessen) the chance of more abuse. In those cases, the mother needs help as much as the children -- but sometimes, if abuse patterns have gone on for so long, it's like the mother's brain patterns have been permanently altered and it is virtually impossible for the mother to see things differently/change. (Speaking from the experience of my dear friend who has has a sister in this situation -- long-time abuse of sister led to horribly skewing the sister's perception of what's right/wrong and relationships, etc., so the sister ended up jointly screwing up the kids, who are now late teens/early 20s, and are now messed up and struggling themselves. 😪 )

Ug. ug. ug. Such a horrible situation. Don't have answers -- just see a lot more potential difficulties and pitfalls. @omd21 --at this point, as long as your DD (and your family) can remain stable and supportive, that alone may be the huge help this young person needs to get through this difficult time. Hope you will quickly find the right path for helping and supporting this young person, and that it all resolves in a GOOD way for everyone. Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.

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If she has an email account that only she has access to, I'd consider setting up a college board account separate from the mom's version for her. Then, I'd have her pay for & take the SAT again through the new account. But only if this won't get her into more trouble. (I don't know the rules on "duplicate SAT accounts.")

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23 hours ago, omd21 said:

... In the state of GA you do not need a GED to apply to college but she does need a transcript. She will have access to the college transcript where she's currently doing DE, but she has none of her other records. I think she was able to access her collegeboard account once and her SAT score was around 1050.

If her parents withdraw all financial support and , what are her options? The car she drives to get to work is her parents, they constantly threaten her to take that away. I know she can get emancipated but that is a serious step and I don't know if that's the way to go. How do I help this child?!?


Specifically in response to these questions: A score of 1050 is right about "average", and is just a bit above the minimum required for entrance to college to most typical (non competitive/top tier colleges). For a student with that score, and who may not have financial support (or even a stable home) from parents after graduation, I'd suggest looking at the community colleges in the area, and see what 2-year Associate Degree programs they offer that would lead to solid a solid job. Things like: dental hygienist, radiology technician, occupational therapy assistant, etc.

She could look into moving into an apartment near the community college, so she could either walk, take the bus, or bike to school, and look for a job that is nearby, so again, transportation is not an issue. Cars are nice, but they are expensive to upkeep -- insurance, gas, repairs/maintenance -- and you CAN live without one, provided you find housing that is located where you can use alternative methods of transportation. She would also want to look in to social service organizations and community outreach helps that would help her stretch her budget -- food pantry, food stamps, clothing pantry, help with housing utility bills, help with medical/dental insurance, etc. That may be something that you might be able to research for her and put together a list to wait and give her in case it becomes needed.

Another possibility is the "earn while you learn" option of an apprenticeship. You actually work at an entry level at that job, get paid, take evening classes, and each time you complete classes and another so-many hours of work, you get a pay raise. At the end of 3-5 years (depends on what career field you're working toward), you complete your license and are a full-fledged electrician (or whatever apprenticeship area you did). Here are Georgia Technical College Apprenticeship Programs


I totally understand that those might not be the student's "dream job" ideas -- but in a situation like this, JMO, but it may be MUCH more important to get graduated and get training in something that will solidly provide for your living needs (in the way that entry-level and food-service jobs do NOT), and which allow you to save up and later on attend college to get the degree in what you really do want to do.

Just my 2 cents worth. Again, wanting the BEST outcome possible for all involved! Warmest regards, Lori D.


ETA - PS
Looking at this list of schools in GA, community college would be much more affordable than a university -- looks like many are running about $3500-$4000/year vs. $16,000-$28,000/year for a university. And, the community colleges may offer scholarships -- esp. if the student is earning As via dual enrollment.

Also just saw that the Georgia HOPE Career Grant program offers $$$ towards community college certificate programs in serval fields (Aviation, Automotive, Cabinetry, Computer Engineering, Engineering Tech, Environmental Tech, Nanotech). It is a separate program from the HOPE college scholarship.

Edited by Lori D.

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29 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

If she has an email account that only she has access to, I'd consider setting up a college board account separate from the mom's version for her. Then, I'd have her pay for & take the SAT again through the new account. But only if this won't get her into more trouble. (I don't know the rules on "duplicate SAT accounts.")


Definitely agree about setting up a completely separate email account that only the student has access to. 
Sadly, duplicate accounts are not allowed on College Board.
One other possibility: if the mom has not set up an account with ACT, the student could completely solo set-up an account with ACT, and register/take an ACT exam, and then use that score to submit to colleges. (It would be possible to do late registration by Nov. 22 and take the Dec. 14 test. There are also ACT tests this spring/summer on Feb. 8, April 4, June 13, and July 18.)

Edited by Lori D.
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Thanks again, ladies, for the all the helpful suggestions and links.

I just had her here and we talked for a long time. She's the oldest child and is afraid of losing access to her younger siblings, so has been cautious about speaking up or taking action.

I advised her to quietly gather her documents and create her own transcript. She already separated her cell phone account from her parents'.

She is going to talk to a college counselor at the local school where she is doing DE, in hopes that she'll have a letter for FAFSA if needed, or some kind of outside validation from school personnel. Can the college counselor report/ alert her parents, though, if she tells her about being physically abused? That is a concern.

I told her to make this her #1 priority and lay low with her relationship while she gets her ducks in a row.

In the past, her parents have taken money out of her account / taken her debit card. She actually has about 2k saved, and I told her to keep working, saving, and consider getting a prepaid debit card/ new bank account. 

She is filling out two applications for local schools hopefully this week and we are going to meet again next week to discuss her progress. She's thinking about pursuing a dental hygienist associate's degree. Her current school does not offer this so she wants to apply elsewhere. She did take the ACT, mom set it up, has no idea how to get in, does not know the password. I advised her to call the customer service number and talk to them about getting her scores.

She knows she can stay here if the situation becomes unsafe and she needs to flee.

She's currently doing Math at home, and we were discussing how to ethically grade her work. How can she assign a grade to this subject if her mom refuses to? She does have copies of all the work she's been doing, including biweekly tests. I believe her other classes this semester are DE, the only other requirement she's missing is Economics and she's planning to DE that class next semester.

Thanks again! 

 

Edited by omd21
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[not quoting all of the recent actions in case you need to delete...]

Sounds like wise and cautious advice, and how wonderful that you and your family are providing a "safety net" that this student can rely on if needed! Sounds like the student has a good plan for post high school as well.

16 hours ago, omd21 said:

...getting a prepaid debit card/ new bank account...


To avoid getting mail from a new bank sent to the house, perhaps arrange for bank statements -- get a PO box, which would also help with receiving mail from the colleges being applied to.

16 hours ago, omd21 said:

... college counselor report/ alert ... parents, though, if [the student] tells about being physically abused? That is a concern.


Yes, that is a possibility. Adults in many different jobs may be mandatory abuse reporters. After age 18yo, legally a student's information belongs to the student. However, because this student came in as dual enrollment with a parent as the homeschool administrator, info may still go on to the parent... Just don't know how this would go.

Also, so very distressed to hear there are additional younger siblings at home who will still be dealing with this, unless someone comes forward. And that is no guarantee that the state would handle this in a way that would be good for *anyone* concerned... 😪

16 hours ago, omd21 said:

...currently doing Math at home... how to ethically grade work... does have copies of all the work she's been doing, including biweekly tests..


That should be all that is needed for record keeping to verify grades. However, if for some reason more "validation" is needed, then perhaps the student could pay an outside tutor to administer/grade the tests? Or, closer to the end of the school year, pay for 1-2 months of ALEKS, and run through the whole year of the level of math and have the online grading and reports from ALEKS as validation.

Edited by Lori D.

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This makes me so mad and sad. No advice, but praying for your daughter’s friend, and I’m glad you can help. Concerned for the younger kids too.

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I find this all so distressing for the girl. At the same time I wish we knew the parent’s side of this...do they disapprove of the girl's boyfriend bc he's not of the same faith? Are the parents concerned about sexual activity outside of marriage? It would be understandable that they want their daughter to have the beliefs they passed down to her (although you cannot force it if course). You mentioned they want her to have a proper courtship...depends what that looks like...obviously something very stringent and cult-like isn't healthy. (I'm thinking back to the whole "I kissed dating goodbye" mentality 😞and how that all blew up...formulas don't work) There's never any excuse for physical abuse either. If she reports that to any authority the whole family could fall apart...make sure things are truly dire before giving her that recommendation.

I understand it sounds like she's in an unhealthy, controlling environment and you want to help her. But make sure you truly have all the correct facts. The ramifications for her leaving her family are huge and potentially very long-lasting....she could end up separated from all of them for years and in a worse situation. You don't want that on your conscience.

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