Question:

Hello!

Thank you all for your help through the questions and answers. Last year, I was homeschooled and I made the mistake of not completing the minimum number of days required for the class. They should have reported it, but the lady who was given the days (which I lied about on the sheet) didn’t check the proof online that would have shown that I lied. Instead, I got away with it and got credit for the classes. I repented of all that to God already, but I realize I broke the law. Do I need to tell the authorities? It would also affect my mom and dad and the lady who didn’t check it, which makes me feel like maybe I shouldn’t, but I want to do what God wants. And when it comes to that, I feel like He may want me to tell them.

Please help. I want to do the right thing, but I just don’t know what it is.

Answer:

The first rule you need to keep in mind is that you can't get good from evil. "And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), "Let us do evil that good may come"? Their condemnation is just" (Romans 3:8). Therefore, when facing a decision, you must always choose the one that is the right thing to do.

While you are feeling sorry for the people, I would like you to notice a few things. One woman did not do her job. Whose fault is that? Your parents are the ones responsible for your paperwork and making sure that you did your lessons. They pushed that off on you. Thus, while I respect that you don't want to cause people problems, the problems occurred because everyone involved didn't do what they should have done.

Since your parents are responsible, you need to tell them that you lied on the paperwork. Tell them that you want to fix it, but you need their help figuring out how to get the matter corrected. Probably the easiest way to fix the problem is to go ahead and put in the missing hours so that what you've done now matches what you had claimed. The extra hours will also serve as part of the punishment for lying.

Question:

Thank you, but I’m sorry to say none of them have seen it that way. My parents have been informed and they don’t see that I didn’t do the job. I did complete the work, as I said, but I didn’t put in the proper time. I even feel bad saying this because they would be upset I’m talking to anyone about it. They brought in a preacher at one point but he came to the conclusion that it is fine.

I feel so terrible too because today the lady previously mentioned said I needed to apply for a scholarship online and one of the requirements is attendance. I think my parents are going to force me to fill it out and, while my transcript may say I’m applicable, I’m not actually because of the missing attendance. I feel like it would be lying to do this and I don’t want to do it.

I feel so stuck and distraught because no one around me wants to help me make it right. I don’t know if they really see anything wrong with it because I don’t know if they understand that I actually did lie, even though I have told them. I think I have really messed up anything and I’m scared to move because I don’t want to mess it all up or disappoint God. I’m really trying.

Please do help. Thank you also for your previous message

Answer:

That your parents properly believe the focus is on completing the assigned work and not how many physical hours it took to do the work is correct. The requirements for reporting your time learning vary by state, so I can give you a specific answer for your particular state. However, what people fail to consider is that the time used to home school is more flexible than public schools. Public schools have a lot of wasted time built into their schedules.

For example, if you worked extra hours on Monday through Wednesday to get your week's work done so you could take Thursday and Friday off, do you count that as three days of work or five days of work (just done in fewer days)? Other activities, where you are learning, also count as schooling. So those days you cooked you were learning home economics, math, and some science. Days that you went shopping you were learning math and life-skills. That camping trip becomes a field trip to learn natural science. See "Surprising Homeschool Hour Requirements: How Many Hours Should Homeschooling Take?" Because of this, I suspect you are being more restrictive in counting your days that your parents were. See also "You’re Probably Homeschooling Way More Than You Need To."

As I said in the first note, it is your parents' responsibility to report your school efforts. If they believe you put in an adequate number of days to complete the tasks, then I would accept their word.

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