Ang4him - A Moment in My Life

Share in the struggles, triumphs and laughter of raising three children,
and homeschooling while working full-time.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Homeschooling Illegal in Germany

While stumbling today I came across this post at Principled Discovery

Postcard Action for German Homeschoolers

I found this very interesting because I had never heard of this before. I know quite a few people who homeschool their children, including some of my own family. My daughter is currently attending a private Christian school because my husband and I don't agree with what the public schools are teaching our kids. I would love to homeschool all three of my children but my husband and I don't necessarily see eye to eye on this. However, I don't know that we'll be able to afford private school for all three once the boys get old enough to start attending.

If you had asked me a couple years ago, I would have been against homeschooling our children, but the more I see what our public schools systems are doing and the more I see what is happening in those families that I know are homeschooled, the more the idea appeals to me. And now there are many of these families coming together to support one another and teach their children together in this environment.

I can't imagine homeschooling becoming illegal in the US, but legislation being passed recently makes me sometimes wonder if it may not be that far off. So I decided to look into this a bit more. Is homeschooling truely illegal in Germany?

It appears for the most part it is. There are ways around it, however for some these exceptions may be very difficult to meet. I understand the government is wanting to ensure children are getting an education, however I also believe parents should have more say in what children are taught. I get very nervous when our government starts to tell us what our children should be taught regarding morales and beliefs. It seems many of these children have been proven to be at the same level academically as their peers in "normal" schools, but that does not seem to matter.

Here are some other things I found that I believe are interesting about homeschooling in Germany. One thing I discovered is the laws making homeschooling illegal are ones originally set up by Adolf Hitler in order to control the education of Germany youth.

German "Ghost School" uncovered after 30 years

Homeschool family told to give up 5 other kids

Trying to Homeschool in Germany (blog)

What is your opinion? Do you homeschool?

1 comment:

Dana said...

Hey, thanks for the link! And I homeschool. : ) Sheila Lange has a great blog...so does Rina From Green Fields and Open Horizons who homeschools for secular reasons in Germany.

I agree with you 100% on this one:

I get very nervous when our government starts to tell us what our children should be taught regarding morales and beliefs.

I do not really have a problem with public education and am a strong advocate of the idea of public education. But we can hardly be considered a free nation if we only accept what is mandated by the state as acceptable education.

The anti-homeschooling laws are sort of founded in Hitler's law from 1938. It isn't really the same law, and it didn't really start with Hitler. The law was really more a culmination of a long history of centralization in German education which stretches back to Martin Luther. All Hitler did that was different to previously existing law was outlaw private education and bring about the power of enforcement on a national level.

From my understanding, the newly formed Germany based its education law more on what existed prior to Hitler.

There are technically ways around the law...sort of. Sheila is an exception because she is American and has the ability to unregister her children for trips home which allows her 6 months when they return (if I remember correctly). Only foreign nationals really have this option. There is/was even a case in the courts involving a severely disabled child whose doctor recommended home education but the state would not allow it.

This all varies widely by state, however. Some pursue homeschoolers very aggressively, others turn a blind eye to it. Of course, the stories which get the most attention are generally in the stricter states!

Anyway, thank you very much for joining the discussion on this. The hardest part about homeschooling is getting started. For our family, it was the other way around. My husband wanted to and I thought he was nuts. And here we are. The Lord can carry you in all sorts of directions!