Home schooling for expats

Carole Hallett MobbsEducation, Home education, School options, Special Educational Needs (SEN)11 Comments

Happy family home schooling expat children

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Consider home education for your expat kid

Increasing numbers of parents consider home education as an option for their children. This is especially true for expatriates who may take this route for a variety of reasons.

Reasons for home schooling

Some of the reasons parents might choose home schooling over a more traditional school-based education are a lack of suitable schools in your new home overseas, the high cost of International School fees or personal preference. Perhaps the learning needs of your child can’t be met through a traditional school, or maybe your child has special needs which cannot be catered for by the schools near you. Many valid justifications exist for home schooling your child.

Is home schooling legal?

Beware! Not all countries are as open to home education as you may expect. In fact, in many places, such as Germany, home schooling is actually illegal. Do your research and consider your options carefully before committing to anything.

Wikipedia explains:

Home schooling is legal in many countries. Countries with the most prevalent home education movements include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Some countries have highly regulated home education programs as an extension of the compulsory school system; others, such as Sweden and Germany, have outlawed it entirely. Brazil has a law project in process. In other countries, while not restricted by law, home schooling is not socially acceptable or considered undesirable and is virtually non-existent.

Here is a fairly complete list of countries that do not permit alternative education, but it would be wise to check the finer details yourself as the education systems change rapidly.

Have you home schooled your expat child? Did you teach them yourself or did you use an online or other resource? Do share your experiences to help others come to a decision by commenting below.


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11 Comments on “Home schooling for expats”

  1. Hello Carol,
    We are leaving the UK to move back to the U.S. this spring, so my 3 children, 6, 8, and 10 will not attend the final summer term of their school year (private school) here. I’m thinking of homeschooling them to finish out the school year, not sure if I should follow US or UK curricula or resources for finding out how to do so- any guidance.?
    Thanks! Rachael

    1. Hi Rachael, I think the main thing would be to consider their future schooling – ie will you move again, or will you be staying in the States? At the age your kids are now, I would bring them up to speed on the US curriculum and teaching methods as it differs a lot from the UK. Am actually now experiencing the full difference and the two don’t merge well!
      Unfortunately I am unable to recommend resources.
      Good luck with your move!

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  3. Hi Carole, I’m trying to find data about the number of homeschooling expats or bibliography about this. Do you have any hints? I’m also wondering about where homeschooling is legal and where it is (still) illigal.

    1. Hi Ute,
      Afraid I haven’t been able to find statistics about homeschooling. Wiki was, to my limited knowledge, fairly up to date regarding the legality and otherwise in various countries.

      1. Thank you, Carole. I’ll check there and maybe in some fb groups. Will let you know.

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  5. i have a question. My son finishes his mandatory education this summer and we are moving to France. He will be 16 but french children go on till 18, is he legally obliged to do 2 more years there?

    1. Hi Niki,
      I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that, so I’ve posted your comment onto my Facebook page to gather in more people who may be able to answer you. http://www.facebook.com/ExpatChild
      But a quick google indicates that schooling in France seems to mandatory only until 16 years old. Happy to be corrected though!

      1. Hi Carole
        Thanks for that, please let me know if you find anything different .

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