Self-Sufficiency Series

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Huh? Socialization for three-year-olds?

Here's a wacky development from our neighbors to the north. Apparently a Quebec judge has ordered a homeschooling family to send their three-year-old son into daycare so he could be socialized. His five, seven, and nine year old siblings have been ordered into public schools for the same reason. Huh?

"Four children ages 9, 7, 5 and 3 from a homeschooling family in Notre-Dame-des-Bois in Qu├ębec, Canada have been ordered into public school for socialization," states this report from HSLDA. "The Roman Catholic family, who have been homeschooling their children for four years, were reported to the youth protection services (YPS) for neglect and had a four-day trial in November 2010. The judge in the case, Judge Nicole Bernier, ordered that the children remain in school or in day care until YPS officials approved a plan for socialization. However, because of apparent bias against homeschooling and these parents, this is unlikely to ever happen."

“This is a shocking decision,” said Paul Faris, president of HSLDA of Canada. “Even more concerning is the judge’s decision to order the younger children who were not of compulsory school age into day care for socialization.”

HSLDA President J. Michael Smith agreed. “It’s incredible that a judge in Canada would order three-and-half and five-year-old children into public-funded day care for socialization reasons. From what we know of this Catholic family, they have worked very hard to provide an adequate education for their children which included opportunities for social interaction with others. We are gravely concerned with this decision,” he said.

I wasn't aware that Canada was so intolerant toward homeschooling. Or am I wrong? Is it just this wacky judge or is it Canada as a whole which leans toward being hostile to homeschooling families?

I'd love to hear from any Canadian readers on this topic.

23 comments:

  1. This is some scary stuff.

    A. McSp

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  2. Unfortunately, this is far from the first or most egregious example. These power-mad activist judges, playing God with people's lives and freedoms, need to be removed from the bench. My specific feelings on methodology is best left unstated.

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  3. If it is the same case I looked at, it was a divorce-custody battle between father who did want the "scoializing" and mother who did not: the court was stuck in the middle. The court specifically said that parents had a right to homeschool.

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  4. Look up United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. I am on the ParentalRights.org email list. There is a writeup on it at their web site. It is not a good thing and there is a push prevent the US from signing it.

    Terry
    Florida

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  5. Scary and unfortunately unsurprising.

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  6. This gives me chills. Is this a portent of what is to come here? What on earth is our world coming to when judges and child "protection" agencies control what we can and cannot do with our children. I guess my question is: Do all liberals have a God complex?

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  7. I am Canadian and my first thought when I read this was "that's Quebec for you". Quebec tends to have very different social ideals from the rest of Canada, for that matter, there are folks there that believe that Quebec is not really a part of Canada and they have laws and regulations that reflect this. Aside from provincial bias aside, I think this is a scary reflection of our society in general when it is considered "abusive" to raise your own children with your own ideals and influence. Very sad.

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  8. I agree with Donna. As a Canadian who has lived all over from the east coast to the west coast, I have found that Quebec tends to be somewhat intolerant. Home-schooling is fairly common elsewhere, and I have mentored home-schooled kids as part of socialization in New Brunswick (right next door to Quebec). Just as in the US where different individual states have different laws, in Canada each province has different laws and often a different prevailing culture.

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  9. I'm not surprised. "The Machine" is inherently hostile to homeschooling because it lessens control. My wife and I are both certified teachers in our state. We home schooled both of our kids. Bought their curriculum from Texas Tech outreach, which is an excellent outfit. My kids got a much better education than the ones my wife and I were teaching in our classrooms. This was because we could give them individual attention, as opposed to a kid in a class of 36 to 40. We could concentrate on their learning experience, not fund raising, assemblies, and the installation of the values promulgated by the High and Mighty folks in the Dept. of Education. The local district was highly antagonistic towards us because they did not receive funding for our two kids since they weren't taking up space in a classroom. No political machine, regardless of national origin, wants to see their hold on the individual lessened, no matter what the age. They are particularly incensed when they can't control the formative years.

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  10. Ryan from CanadaMay 11, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    Quebec is the California of Canada.

    We have been home-based educators in Saskatchewan for several years without a problem. (Saskatchewan is Canada's equivalent of North Dakota.)

    Our local school division is very supportive and actually holds an annual dinner and discussion to see how they can better support us as parents in our homeschooling efforts.

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  11. I have a friend who lives just outside Sydney, Australia who has been dealing with the same thing for years. When her two boys were 4 & 5 years old, she was turned in to Children's Services by a "concerned" relative for having sons with long hair that she was intending to homeschool. A family court ordered that she cut her children's hair so they would not "stand out" from other boys their age (because conformity is the only Australian government definition of "normal" or "healthy", I suppose), and the boys were required to go to a daycare-type preschool for several hours a week. Also she was required to enroll them in "public" (government-run) school before age 7.

    The worst part? The boys are American citizens! They were born in the US to an American father and Australian mother (when she was here on a legally-obtained visa), but she can't pack up the boys and move to the US because the boys' father refuses -- strictly as a measure of control over her! -- to grant permission for them to get passports (and both legal parents, if living, are required to sign consent forms in person for a minor to obtain a passport in Australia). But all the Australian government cares about is forcing this mother to raise her children as THEY see fit.

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  12. Prepared teacherMay 11, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    As I see it our country have people who want to be in control of everyone. They want us to be like north Korea (control everything, brain wash etc) Our country is starting with the little things, the things that have a small population doing it (like homeschooling, raw food eaters etc) that many Americans wouldn't care about based on the population We in America need to fight for our rights. If I were that mother I would so move to the bordering city and tell the judge to stick it where the sun don't shine of course after I moved away! :)

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  13. Oh, Patrice, as we position our family to make the big move, even Idaho doesn't seem to be rural enough for us. We want freeeeeedommmmmmmmm! Looks like no matter where we park ourselves, there's gonna come a time when we have to stand up and yell, "Back off!" Maybe we'll even have to do more than that. To the dictocrats: Hands off my kids!

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  14. As a Canadian I was horrified reading this. The other comments on Quebec are correct - Quebec has a whole different set of rules/laws/values than much of Canada, but the rest of the country has issues to be worked on too. Like the Human Rights Tribunals which are solely about peoples feelings being hurt. THe person who feels discriminatied against does NOT pay, the person who has to defend themselves DOES pay for a lawyer (and ofcourse lost wages, time, stress, etc) Look these courts & their actions up. It's downright crazy. Hopefully our new Conservative government can effect change.
    ~Clare

    P.S- Has anyone heard from A.P lately? If anyone is intouch, or if you're reading this A.P - We miss you!!! You're a much needed voice/friend in this community

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  15. zero tolerance...indoctrination...cancel recess, rename the holidays, rewriting history, no more home economics or shop classes, ...this world is done gone to hell.

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  16. Thank God for Home School Legal Defense Association where members pay a nominal fee which is used for the protection of other members threatened by outside agencies. My son worked there for 3 years. Great company. Home schooling is thankfully now protected in every state in the USA.
    Now we need: Raw Milk Legal Defense Association, Growing Children without Government Weigh-Ins Legal Defense Association, Travel Without Pat Downs(or Hands Off My Junk) Legal Defense Association, and I'm just getting started! Our government is getting too fat and we need THEM to get on a diet and out of our lives!
    --K in OK<><

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  17. I sent this post to a close friend, a homeschooling mother of 7 (two in college now) who is from Quebec. She replied:
    ***********
    Wow. I knew Quebec was worse than the rest of Canada when it comes to homeschooling, but I didn't know it extended to daycare. I would like to see how the appeal goes. It sounds like they got out-experted at the trial--maybe they need to bring in some "objective" outside evaluations of the kids at the appeal.

    I googled for articles about the case in French. Apart from multiple rehashes of the HSLDA release, I found one actual bylined article in a Montreal newspaper. According to that article, the parents had not filed the required forms to homeschool the older kids, and some of the children had learning disabilities that the parents refused to address. The daycare mandate was as much for linguistic as socialization reasons.
    (clip)
    Of course, it's still ridiculous to order a three-year-old into daycare.
    ********
    I wonder if there's a lot more to the story than just what was in the HSLDA press release?

    Even so, I agree with my friend - and all of you! - forced daycare is totally ridiculous!

    KatieJ
    Germany

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  18. If this is a divorce case, it makes even more sense. The father needs to push the kids into daycare and school so he can get the mother out of his hair. If she claims she can't work because she's homeschooling, he might have to pay even more support, which isn't in his interest. Homeschooling requires a mom and pop for support and a divorce destroys that possibility.

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  19. It's not Quebec or Canada. It's just one judge.
    The HSLDA isn't exactly known for reporting the facts either, so I would tread carefully before going into headless chicken mode and making wild leaps in logic about Canada and its attitudes toward homeschooling. This very easily could be a case of extremists who ARE doing something against the law who are using homeschooling to cover it up, and the HSLDA exaggerating in order to fearmonger and push their agenda.

    I've lived in Ontario and BC my entire life. I was homeschooled and have homeschooled my children and have never encountered, nor known anyone who encountered, anything more than a raised eyebrow or two about homeschooling. At worst I've heard stories about school officials getting nosy, but they go away once they're confronted with the law: the law is on the side of homeschoolers. I admit I am not sure of Quebec's specific laws toward it, but homeschooling is protected in every province in Canada.

    One judge making a bad call =/= a pattern, "the machine," or any kind of blanket statement about the rest of the country or even the province.

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  20. I sent this post to a very close friend of mine. She's from Montreal; she's homeschooling 5 (2 other homeschooled kids are freshman in college this year).

    She writes:
    **********
    Wow. I knew Quebec was worse than the rest of Canada when it comes to homeschooling, but I didn't know it extended to daycare. I would like to see how the appeal goes. It sounds like they got out-experted at the trial--maybe they need to bring in some "objective" outside evaluations of the kids at the appeal.

    I googled for articles about the case in French. Apart from multiple rehashes of the HSLDA release, I found one actual bylined article in a Montreal newspaper. According to that article, the parents had not filed the required forms to homeschool the older kids, and some of the children had learning disabilities that the parents refused to address. The daycare mandate was as much for linguistic as socialization reasons. I wonder what that means--are the kids merely not following the cookie-cutter development plan, or are the parents really ignoring problems? I'm not a big fan of HSLDA; I think they are too quick to defend any homescholer against any accusation of anything, and they are really irresponsible in the way they jump to calling everything "Nazi."

    Of course, it's still ridiculous to order a three-year-old into daycare.
    **********
    There might be much more involved in this case than we're being led to believe. However, I agree with my friend AND you all - forced daycare is ridiculous!
    KatieJ
    Germany

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  21. I was second to last poster, and need to add, to further my statement and confirm my prior concerns/supicions about the validity of these claims:

    Reports are now indicating that homeschooling and "socialization" were indeed secondary issues and not what the order and investigation were about. The main issues of medical neglect/failure to seek appropriate medical care, as well as the living conditions (no clue what that means, but from what I've experienced as a foster parent in Ontario, it has to be pretty appalling, unsanitary and proven directly and immediately dangerous to warrant action at all, let alone an order for the parents to do anything).

    Purely speculative, but I am thinking the order to put the children in daycare and school may be less about the educational/socialization aspects, and more about being able to keep track of the children to make sure they were receiving proper care, as the parents have already proved once that they will not provide unprompted.

    Looks like another case of the H$LDA taking a grain of truth and blowing it out of proportion so that they can create a demon to fight.

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  22. Hello, Patrice.
    I read your blog a couple times a week, and would like to thank you for your time and opinions in putting this together. I don't usually comment on things I read online, but this one caught my attention.
    I agree with the comments that one must understand the whole situation before passing judgment. I do not know anything about this case. I can only say that I was fortunate enough to homeschool my children successfully with the support of a great community and my adviser at the local school (who was very open-minded). We live in northern British Columbia.

    I personally know of only one case (in a different province) where home schooling was not managed well by the parents, to the point where the children were neglected on every level. The community there stepped in before the government did, and I believe things are much better for those children now.
    Of course, there are always stories about bad homeschool parents and/or kids,and bad government too, but I think you can find good people and bad people anywhere, just depends what you are looking for.
    But the government, when it intervenes in so much of our lives, is just too much.
    Anyway, we need to learn what we can from each situation, and pray for our kids as they are the next generation.

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  23. Hum...
    It's normal. If a judge, helped by several professionnal statute that some parents don't have the requirements to homeschool, then the kids should go to school!

    I have three cousins, they are all three being homeschooled. They are 13, 10 and 7. They are way under the level they should be right now. The main reason? Their mother don't want them to go to school as they'll be ''brainwashed''.

    The true reason is that she made the choice to raise them in English, although they are French-Canadian by their maternal Grand-Father and their paternal family. If they go to school, they'll need to attend it in French, which they barely speak, leave alone reading it. So they'll be even more under the level.

    You should be able to do whatever you chose to do, but when the safety of others is compromised, they are law s for this!

    You want to abort, your choice, but you'll go trough the healthcare system.
    You want to homeschool your kids, your choice but you will need to be educated enough to do so.
    You want have a gun, then why not give your name for a national list to protect the others around you?

    Their are rules to protect the weaks and the kids. Not you, until you become the weaker.

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