Homeschool Organization Joins Fight After Court Orders Children to Attend School for ‘Socialization’

Homeschool 3 pdPURCELLVILLE, Va. — A nationally-recognized homeschool organization has filed a friend of the court brief in support of a mother who had been homeschooling her children until she was recently ordered to send them to school to socialize.

Therese Cano of Florida has been in an ongoing child visitation battle with her husband, and during the process of arbitration, the court had appointed a psychologist and a guardian ad litem to oversee the matter.

During a recent hearing, the psychologist testified that the children, who were being homeschooled by their mother, were doing well academically. However, the guardian ad litem told the court that her “gut reaction” was that the children should be sent to public school where they could socialize with others.

As a result, the judge ordered that the children attend public school and lectured Cano about keeping them at home.

“When are they going to socialize?” he asked the mother, according to reports. “Is homeschool going to continue through college and/or professional schooling? At which point are these children going to interact with other children, and isn’t that in their best interest?”

Cano’s husband, Alejandro, had raised no objection to the way the children were being schooled.

Therefore, following the ruling, Cano contacted the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and explained her story. The organization then decided to file an amicus brief in support of the right to homeschool and to prove that homeschooled children receive adequate socialization.

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“It is truly unfortunate that after decades of homeschooling parents are still fighting a battle against ignorance and ‘What about socialization?’ ” Jim Mason, HSLDA’s litigation counsel wrote in a report about the matter. “We see this as an excellent opportunity to educate judges in Florida about homeschooling success.”

“Numerous studies and surveys have shown that children who are homeschooled thrive educationally and socially both during and after their compulsory-education years,” the organization wrote in its brief. “As one researcher concluded, “Despite the widespread belief that home schooling is socially isolating, the research documents quite clearly that home-schooled children are very much engaged in the social routines of their communities.”

“Every mother who homeschools her children is familiar with the unfortunate myths that arose about socialization and academic preparation,” it continued. “On all counts homeschooling meets the standard set by public schools, and virtually all of the research demonstrates that homeschoolers far exceed that bar.”

HSLDA worries that Cano’s case could set a precedent for—or at least be an influence on—other cases across the country. Therefore, the organization seeks to have the ruling overturned.

“The Guardian ad Litem’s ‘gut reaction’ was simply wrong and the trial court erred by relying on it,” HSLDA concluded in its brief. “The unfair, unsupported bias against homeschoolers should not be allowed to persist in the lower courts of this state. The trial court’s order placing Appellant’s children in public school should be reversed.”

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  • Thom Dunbar III

    Yes, public school socialization is a great thing. I was socialized to bullying, pornography, and swearing. And today’s children also get the added socialization of being introduced to the idea of homosexuality and sexual promiscuity. I must not forget to mention evolution being taught as ‘science’ in a dogmatic fashion instead of the washed out and defunct theory it actually is. I spent 20 some years picking the public school socialization out of my thinking – and I was raised in a Biblically based family and church, and also attended a Christian college, and majored in religious studies – and I still had to spend years rethinking thru the public school socialization – also known as ‘brainwashing’.

  • JBP

    Thom, I agree with you….except:
    Get over the evolution thing. Evolution happens. God created the entire universe, and one aspect of it is evolution. It is a process that is explained by observation.
    A small for instance: the original horses found in the fossil record were, as one might expect, small creatures. Over the period of thousands of years, the fossil record shows that the size of horses increased and their foot changed to the present-day hoof. Just little incremental changes over millenia, as climates went through long cycles, predators went extinct, other flora and fauna either came into existence or went extinct also.
    Land masses underwent slow changes, rivers and oceans dissappeared for thousands of years and swelled back in centuries. Mutated viruses nearly wiped out some species, literally ‘God knows how many times’, leaving in their wake a hole in the ecosystem for something else to reap a benefit.
    I do not get the anger people have about evolution. It is a process, not a diety. It makes sense in scientific terms, as it is not a challenge to anything supernatural.
    Go to a beach with a good pile of fist-sized stones mixed with the sand. Sit down in the stones and start looking through them. There are fossils. Of shells predominantly. Those shells were alive 10’s of millions of years ago. Those shell (some at least) do not exist anymore. The ones that died off either did so completely, or one of their descendants developed a new trait that allowed it to survive. What’s the big deal?


      Horse example has been disproven since the early 70’s. The smallest horses were later proven to be a type of rodent, not a horse at all. The 3 toed, 2 toed and single hoofed have been shown to have coexisted. In some areas, single hoofs actually preceded the toed varieties.

      By the way, how do you know those fossils are 10 million years old? What test can be run that can accurately calculate an age of even a million years? Research the various aging technologies. None are even hypothetically accurate beyond several thousand years and even those longer dating methods rely on multiple assumptions. The millions and billions of years are assumed because the longer time length would be necessary for the theory to work. The cart was put before the horse.

      The big deal is that public education is shutting down any opposing view points and not even allowing students or teachers to question evolution. If evolution is absolutely true and scientifically proven, then debate should be encouraged to allow the detractors to be disproven. However, since evolution is a theory based on theories based on assumptions based on theories concerning interpretations of observations, the theory has trouble standing under serious and open minded scrutiny. I know this because I walked away from evolution 15 years ago after an intense study of all sides that took place over several years.

      • Eric

        Lafferbr, you must remember that when you are talking about “theories” in scientific terms, which is where the debate about evolution falls, in science a “theory” means that it has been tested, observed, re-tested, re-observed, published for others to test and observe it, and if it has withstood the scrutiny of the peer scientific community, it would stand as a theory- something that is pretty much fact. If you discount this understanding of what a theory in science is, then you might as well through gravity, the earth revolving around the sun, spacetime, and any other scientific thing down the drain, because these are also all “theories”.

    • gil4

      RE: “A small for instance: the original horses found in the fossil record…”
      That starts and ends with horses, and a horse is a horse is a horse (of course)(sorry, couldn’t resist). Still, citing an example that starts and ends with horses shows variation within the kind (or within a couple of kinds – see links), not molecules-to-man evolution.

      RE: “Land masses underwent slow changes, rivers and oceans dissappeared for thousands of years and swelled back in centuries.”
      The only reason to assume the changes were slow is because they were massive. Another explanation is a massive flood, followed by massive runoffs, possibly followed by an ice age.

      RE: “Mutated viruses…”
      Again, not evolution. if your virus becomes a mosquito (or even a bacteria), let me know. – “All such mutations appear to be losses of information, degenerative changes. For example, loss of a control gene may enhance resistance to penicillin”

    • gil4

      RE: “I do not get the anger people have about evolution. It is a process, not a diety. It makes sense in scientific terms, as it is not a challenge to anything supernatural.”

      It doesn’t make sense in scientific terms. It the philosophy of naturalism used to sort and classify scientific data. The foundational principle of the philosophy is the a priori rejection of the supernatural. Anything that contradicts the philosophy is either explained away or ignored.

      Theologically, the biggest problem is the rejection of original sin. if there is no first Adam, there is no need for the second Adam.

      The anger is not with evolution, it is with the fact that debate is not even permitted. Naturalism has become the established religion. Anyone who won’t bow to St. Darwin will be punished.

    • JBP

      Wow. Inflationary denial. For starters, my example of horses was my example, not ‘the horse example’. Take practically any Phylum/ Class/ Order/ Family and the same can be demonstrated in the fossile record.
      The determination of the age of rock formations is very well established. There is no assumption that radioactive isotopes have a demonstrable half life, it is a certified, observed, measured and re-certified fact. Additionally, there is no sane being that would have the layers of the Earth’s crust be older at the top than at the bottom. Now explain how a fossil located hundreds or even thousands of feet below the surface got there last Thursday, much less 6,000 years ago. That is ludicrous. Lastly, go out at night, and look into the heavens. There is light that has traveled over 10 billion years from galaxies that possibly no longer exist. That light travelled for 5 billion years before our own sun even formed. That is not made up. This universe has been around a lot longer than us. I hope one day God explains this all to me. Or gives me Cliff’s notes.
      Just as our Lord said ‘give unto ceasar what is ceasar’s’, why can’t you ‘give unto Leaky what is Leaky’s’? Evolution bothers some people of faith way too much. Somehow I can’t see Jesus getting his panties in a wad over this.
      As far as being able to challenge the theory of evolution, then fine, as long as the challenge is, just like the theory of evolution, scientifically based. Evolution is a theory based upon data and the scientific method, and like many other theorie that are taught early in one’s education a serious challenge to it’s veracity is for true experts and scholars to ascertain, not for inexpert folks to dismiss completely out-of-hand because it conflicts with their religious convictions. Discuss, yes.
      Creationism is not a science; it is a supernatural explanation of how we got ‘here’. It cannot replace evolution, and vice-versa.

  • Frankie

    How can we be the salt of the earth if we stay in the salt shaker? I wasn’t home schooled, but my parents taught me how to stand up for what I beleive. The home school click is raising a generation of kids who don’t know what to do when faced with anyone who is different or disagrees with them.

    • Jody

      A five year old is not ready to be salt and light of the world. Jesus himself was 12 years old when we first heard of Him after his birth when he stayed behind in the Temple. He also wasn’t baptized till he was in his 30’s.

      Also just because it has the word “home” in it doesn’t mean homeschooled kids are home all the time. My two boys (13 and 11) have been homeschooled from the start. They volunteer at a local food pantry, most of their friends are actually public schooled children and some of their friends aren’t from Christian families. So I am thinking my kids are good now on being salt and light and being faced with those that disagree with them, without having to be in public school….Even among Christians there are different beliefs so even if they didn’t have friends of different faiths they will still have people believing differently than we do.

    • Eric

      I know plenty of friends how were home schooled, and they had no problem interacting with others, either in their home towns, on vacations, or with the kids around their neighborhoods. It really depends on the program that they have, and every state/ city does things differently. We need to stop acting like “home school” is the same across the U.S.

  • Jim

    tl:dr. The children must be put into public indoctrination camps.

  • trent

    And therefore, since you believe atheistic evolution happens – because that is the whole point of the evolutionist theory – (never mind that there is still a major part of the population that disagrees with that theory) it’s okay to teach it in schools as FACT, WITHOUT also teaching Creationism.

    “ike many other theorie that are taught early in one’s education a serious challenge to it’s veracity is for true experts and scholars to ascertain, not for inexpert folks to dismiss completely out-of-hand because it conflicts with their religious convictions. Discuss, yes.” It’s obvious what kind of power you would grant the state in the public education system, and I see why parents choose to home school their kids if people like you who defend a public school system with an anti-God agenda, are running the schools. You stand on the shoulders of Almighty Science, never mind how idiotic and flawed their processes are, and then act like everyone else should go along with it. Keep drinkin’ the kool aid.

    “Somehow I can’t see Jesus getting his panties in a wad over this.” Yeah, because He would be good with all the Darwinians denying His Divinity. You’re pretending there’s a whole slew of “Christian evolutionists” out there, when actually there’s an inherent incompatibility between Christianity and evolutionist theory – hence the ongoing debate. DUH.

  • a child of God

    Frankie, did Jesus send out little children, or even teens, into the world to evangelize? No, He did not. He sent out grown men. It seems you are unfamiliar with homeschooling. There is no home school clique. Each parent, child, family, and home is unique, with their own characteristics. As for “knowing what to do when faced when anyone is different or disagrees with” us, my homeschooled children grew up in a very large church which was fully integrated, and we were also members of a very large, fully-integrated homeschool support group. What this meant was that my children had friends of all ethnicities and enjoyed learning from them. They were fully engaged in all sorts of church and other activities from an early age. Please familiarize yourself with how homeschooling is actually done before you judge and condemn out of ignorance.

  • Luke

    Whenever I hear a criticism of homeschooling, I ask, “Compared to what?” Are the hordes of Americans on Ritalin, Prozac, Xanax, etc., mostly homeschoolers? No. Neither are the countless clients of countless psychologists, or the staggering number of criminals in U.S. prisons, the unwed teen mothers, the drug addicts, the corrupt public officials, the school and workplace bullies, or the rude fast-food clerks. Or (if you’re conservative) those smug, communist liberals who are ruining America. Or (if you’re liberal) those fascist, philistine conservatives who are ruining America. Almost everyone in the USA goes to public schools, and almost everyone is unhappy, unfriendly, and believes and does stupid things.

    Socialization is a perennial concern regarding homeschooling. I must ask: Compared to what? The public schools? Is there not a large percentage of public school kids who are socially inept? The words geek, nerd, dork, outcast, loner, and dropout were not invented as labels for homeschoolers. The ranks of teen suicides do not include a significant number of homeschoolers.

    P.S. There is no link between one’s beliefs about evolution and his happiness, helpfulness, or competence.

  • Cindy

    Out of 4 children, I homeschooled 2 of them for a short period of time. For financial reasons. 2 attended private school and 2 attended PUBLIC school. The difference, the 2 that attended PUBLIC school learned ALL the SEXUAL words WAY before the 2 in private school. They witnessed violent fighting, abusive language towards teachers from other students etc. I had to FIGHT like crazy for my children in PUBLIC school (to be put in the right academic classes, special testing etc) and when in private school the child’s best interest was always put first. The PUBLIC school system is NOT MY FIRST CHOICE!

  • Shari

    Based on the article, this looks like it is pure and simple a custody/visitation issue between divorced parents. This has NOTHING to do with anything than that. The father is trying to make the mother look bad because she is homeschooling. Her reasons for homeschooling are not mentioned in the article at all.

    Since when is a “gut reaction” admissible in court?

    The issue of “socialization” is outdated and an excuse used by people who do not understand alternative education to the brick and mortar model.