Thursday, February 14, 2008

There's A First Time for Everything....

In 20 years of homeschooling, we've never had any issues with the authorities. So when the local sheriff pulled up in front of our house this morning, my very first thought was, "I'm pretty sure I have HSLDA's number near the phone."

It's an eerie feeling to think that after all these years, we could get in trouble for homeschooling. We are new to this state, but we've tried to follow all their rules. Back in Illinois, they didn't care what we did as long as we paid the enormous annual property tax bill that funded the schools. But here in Wisconsin, we had to send the state a letter saying we're homeschooling, and identifying ourselves and our kids by name. As far as I knew, that was all I had to do. Now I was wondering if I missed a deadline or something.

The sheriff rang the bell, then immediately began banging on the door. The kids and I were at the kitchen table working on schoolwork, and we stayed put. My husband answered the door while I held my breath.
"Is X here?"

Big sigh of relief. I recognized the name as that of the person who rented this house before us. My husband explained who we were, and that we occasionally got mail for that person, but had no forwarding address for them. The sheriff thanked him, then left.

I guess that's one way to break up the "school day."


Amy said...


I live part-time in Wisconsin - not far from Milwaukee!

Susan said...

Names? I'm wondering what you filled out. There's not even a place on the PI-1206 form for names. You have to provide YOUR name and address, and the number of kids you're homeschooling and what their grade levels are. That's it.

Renae said...

Oh, my. I experienced the same scare when my son ran in to tell me the sheriff was outside. It turned out to be the animal control officer looking for a dog's owner. After she left I scooted my children inside just to feel safe again.

Peace to you,
Life Nurturing Education

Barbara Frank said...

Amy, I didn't know you lived near Milwaukee. Our son graduated from college in Mequon, and we moved from IL to Door County, WI last summer.

Susan, you got me wondering, so I went and checked the copy of the form in my files. You're right. I guess losing my total anonymity after so many years has affected my memory :)

Renae, thanks for letting me know I'm not alone!

Amy said...

I've heard how beautiful it is in Door County! My dh is in graduate school (again) out in rural WI - gorgeous area. I'm headed south tomorrow before the next big snow to take care of some business at home. It sure snows a LOT around here!