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Levittown, Pennsylvania

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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 12:09 pm    Post subject: Levittown, Pennsylvania Reply with quote

Hi all Very Happy ,
My name is Steve, age 41, married with two sons, and I am about to start homeschooling my oldest son, Matthew, age 8. I am currently working as a catalog copywriter in Trevose, PA (where I am posting from now). My wife is a cardiac RN and as such makes about double what I do, but currently works about 24 hours a week. We basically will flip-flop, with my wife working full time and me working some kind of part-time evening job and homeschooling Matt during the day.
Matthew previously went to a private Christian school from K to 1st, and is finishing 2nd grade at a local public elementary school. He has some special needs; some ADD (inattentive type), Auditory Processing Disorder and is possibly very high functioning autistic or Aspergers (developmental pediatrician not sure, tentatively says PPD-NOS, the catch-all phrase). Overall Matt is very charming, pleasant, very intelligent and is in fact in the gifted range for perceptual reasoning and spatial-pattern recognition. He struggles with oral communication (starts in the middle of stories, jumps around, rambles, etc.) and is about 1 grade level behind in reading and language skills. He is also falling behind in math. Whereas he used to love school and especially math, he now says "I hate school".
After much serious, fervent prayer, we are homeschooling Matthew and I hope my youngest, Andrew (who seems neuro-typical and very smart). Andrew will be going to Matt's old Christian school next year for Kindergarden. I don't want to start them both because they are very hard to handle together (typical brother stuff). As I gain some experience and Andrew (and Matthew) matures, I hope to bring Andrew home.

Just attended the CHAP homeschool convention in Harrisburg, PA and am currently getting my ready to jump through the hoops, oops, I mean get my affadavit ready to submit to my school district to start homeschooling (PA has probably the most ridiculous and restrictive homeschooling laws in the country, unfortunately. And I have more to do because Matt is identified as special ed.)

So far looks like the closest dad to me is up in Princeton, NJ. Levittown is located between Trenton, NJ and Philadelphia, PA.
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Joined: 25 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum Steve. I hope you find this website helpful as you start out in homeschooling. I have just ended my 2nd year as a homeschool dad, also with two boys. We started out pretty much the same way as you having our kids first in a Christian private school.

I think you'll find homeschooling very rewarding.

Father of 2 formerly homeschooled boys: Adam-15, Lucas-13
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Joined: 31 Mar 2005
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Location: Boise, ID

PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


did you know about this Smile Pretty sad when the government tries to overstep it's constitutional bounds.


Pennsylvania: Social Worker Search Violated Constitution

A three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court unanimously ruled on May 20, 2005, that a court-ordered "home visit" by Susquehanna County investigative social workers violated the constitutional rights of Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) members, Rob and Susan Gauthier of Thompson, Pennsylvania.

After the birth of the Gauthier's daughter at home in February of 2004, Susquehanna County Services for Children and Youth received a ChildLine referral for "possible medical neglect."

During the investigation the social worker spoke with the parents and several doctors at the hospital where the child had been treated shortly after birth for a respiratory problem. No medical neglect was discovered.

After the hospital discharged the baby to return home, the social worker asked to visit the Gauthier's home "to complete the investigation." The social worker told the Gauthiers that they must complete a home visit in all investigations before they can close the file.

The Gauthiers declined the social worker's request to enter their home citing their state and federal constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Not only did the social worker have enough information from the doctors to close the investigation and determine that the accusations were unfounded, but a search of their home would not cast any light on possible medical neglect allegations.

"This is an all-too-common scenario," said James R. Mason, III, Litigation Counsel for Home School Legal Defense Association, who represented the Gauthiers. "Social workers around the country believe that they must search a home before they can close an investigation, even when the caseworker knows that no abuse or neglect occurred."

After the Gauthiers declined the social worker's request to search their home, Susquehanna County filed a petition in juvenile court to compel them to cooperate. The Gauthiers received no notice of the petition and only learned of it when they received a court order in the mail directing them to "cooperate with the completion of a home visit within ten days."

The Gauthiers immediately called HSLDA. Review of the court file revealed that the petition recited no facts other than a ChildLine referral for possible medical neglect had been received, that the Gauthiers refused to allow the social worker into their home and that the social worker needed to complete at least one home visit before she could close the file.

"The juvenile court simply rubber-stamped the social worker's petition even though it contained no facts at all," said Mason.

HSLDA immediately appealed and sought an emergency stay of the search order in the juvenile court, the Pennsylvania Superior Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, all of which were denied in less than a week.

The social worker completed the home visit, closed the file and determined that the accusations were unfounded. However, the appeal on the Fourth Amendment issue proceeded on the merits.

Susquehanna County argued on appeal that the Fourth Amendment simply does not apply to social worker investigations. The three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court disagreed. In addition, many courts have ruled, in cases where HSLDA attorneys have represented a party, (Calabretta v. Floyd, and In re Jonie Stumbo), that in non-emergency situations social workers need to have a court order supported by probable cause before they may enter a home over the objections of the resident.

The Court further explained that before juvenile courts may issue search orders the social worker "must file a verified petition alleging facts amounting to probable cause to believe that an act of child abuse or neglect has occurred and evidence relating to such abuse will be found in the home."

"This is a tremendous victory for Pennsylvania families," said J. Michael Smith, President of HSLDA. "Real child abuse should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," continued Smith. "But the social workers in this case spent a lot of time trying to fulfill a technical requirement that wasn't needed when they could have been focusing on more serious matters."
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I got an email about that. I joined the HSLDA a few weeks ago. I feel much better about having someone with experience deal with these types of intrusions. I understand that you don't even have to let a social worker in your home. Should one attempt to barge in, you would merely dial HSLDA on the phone and hand the phone to the social worker. I heard that in most cases they back off at that point. I believe that this particular family wasn't an HSLDA member when this happened (at first) and they didn't know the best thing to do. So glad it worked out. So far, I haven't heard of anything bad happening yet in my local district (Neshaminy). Someone gave me about 3 years of back issues of the magazine HSLDA puts out. Of course, I searched them for all PA-related problems. Plenty of those, but thankfully (for us at least), none in Neshaminy.
"And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4
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