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unschooling in europe?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
i'm curious to know if we have any unschooling moms on here living europe, and if so, what experiences have you made? i live in switzerland, where even homeschooling is very uncommon (and illegal in some places) and i've never heard of anyone unschooling here.
post #2 of 18
My sister is about to start homeschooling in France, but she's not an unschooler (not yet, anyway!). Any kind of homeschooling is uncommon, and unless you're in Paris or another big city there are no homeschool groups (she's in a smallish town). And yet, when she called to request information about registering her kids they told her it's been getting to be more and more popular.

She's anticipating that she'll become the subject of a certain amount of gossip in her town yet when she told one neighbor, she was surprisingly supportive of the idea.

On the other hand, we may be moving to Germany soon, and we won't be able to unschool or even homeschool there. It's not allowed, and I'm not about to do something against the law. I've heard that Germans who want to homeschool pretty much end up moving to neighboring countries that allow it.

Are you thinking of unschooling?
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
hi laura, thanks for the insight! i didn't know that homeschooling is completely illegal in germany. our ds is still very young, but i am fascinated by the unschooling concept and therefore giving it some thought. as far as i know, they have fairly strict guidelines for home schooling here though, so i just don't see how unschooling would even be possible. which is why i'm curious to know if anyone in europe is even doing. i think homeschooling IS becoming just a tad more popular than it used to be, but right now i know of exactly one family in our area doing it, and they're half american. i don't know any swiss people homeschooling but we don't live in a big city either.

i guess i'm just sort of playing with the idea of home or un-schooling, because i know that i would really enjoy that kind of life-style. on the other hand, public schools are really good here, so i can't use that argument.. i'm sure there'd be tons of gossip anyhow!
post #4 of 18
We unschool in Norway, and we spend about 3 months of the year unschooling in Spain - without any problems
post #5 of 18
Us

We're in th UK, I know us'ers in Netherland too. we're considered weird here lol!
post #6 of 18
Hi,

We're also in Switzerland...."officially" starting our homeschool adventure this Fall. I know several homeschoolers here, a few families are unschooling!

Our numbers are growing! :
post #7 of 18
Unschooling in Barcelona here :.... not very common, but does exist in a sort of legal loophole
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by defum View Post
our ds is still very young, but i am fascinated by the unschooling concept and therefore giving it some thought. as far as i know, they have fairly strict guidelines for home schooling here though, so i just don't see how unschooling would even be possible.
I think a lot of people start out with this kind of thinking. I know I did. We were living in France at the time DS turned 3 and up to that point I had thought of homeschooling as something I was interested in but wouldn't work where we lived. Then I finally started really researching it. I'm so glad I didn't make such an important decision just based on what I'd heard or assumed (it doesn't seem like you are either since you are here looking for more info).
Of course, you may live in a canton where it would be very difficult but maybe you could move to a different canton with better laws at some point. I am curious as to what convinces you that the Swiss schools are so great. I have a different opinion!
post #9 of 18
we're unschooling in london, england, and there's a ton of us here.

*
post #10 of 18
We are among many unschoolers (autonomous) here in Oxfordshire. Every now and then I meet a structured home educator and I have to lie down for a while to recover from the shock when I get home!

We may be entering a new phase of regulation of home education here but until we do we are not being inspected and not submitting any reports of educational philosophies to anyone. I have rebuffed the advances of the Local Authority twice as they currently have no power in law to inspect or monitor as a matter of course.
post #11 of 18
Also unschooling here in Barcelona Spain! :
post #12 of 18

I cannot tell you how excited I am to find your post!  All I did was google unschooling in Barcelona!

 

I have unschooled my  daughter here in North Carolina along with her three brothers.  She just arrived in Barcelona almost two weeks ago and is staying with friends of friends!  She will be there for four months and is taking a Spanish class every day for two hours and is trying to adjust but having some difficulty. 

 

The family she is staying with are wonderful  people, she really likes the Mom and Dad and is very greatful for them opening their home but she needs to meet others, hopefully some in her age bracket.  The mom is an attorney, the kids are gone during the day and they go to a flat every weekend where they hang out out with life long friends who are are all in their forties and have little kids. She also does not speak much Spanish and she speaks no Catalone!

 

Is there any chance you or someone you know could meet her and show her around a little bit?  It would also be perfect if she could meet some kids her age, college age!  I am just taking a long shot and hoping that if you are an unschooler that you have more in common with her than the people she has met so far. 

 

My email address is rmehalek@yahoo.com and her email is individual402@yahoo.com

 

Rachel Mehalek

 

 

 

 

post #13 of 18

Have you sent pm's to the people who said they unschool in Barcelona? This thread has been around awhile and they may not visit here regularly.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unschooler of 4 View Post

I cannot tell you how excited I am to find your post!  All I did was google unschooling in Barcelona!

 

I have unschooled my  daughter here in North Carolina along with her three brothers.  She just arrived in Barcelona almost two weeks ago and is staying with friends of friends!  She will be there for four months and is taking a Spanish class every day for two hours and is trying to adjust but having some difficulty. 

 

The family she is staying with are wonderful  people, she really likes the Mom and Dad and is very greatful for them opening their home but she needs to meet others, hopefully some in her age bracket.  The mom is an attorney, the kids are gone during the day and they go to a flat every weekend where they hang out out with life long friends who are are all in their forties and have little kids. She also does not speak much Spanish and she speaks no Catalone!

 

Is there any chance you or someone you know could meet her and show her around a little bit?  It would also be perfect if she could meet some kids her age, college age!  I am just taking a long shot and hoping that if you are an unschooler that you have more in common with her than the people she has met so far. 

 

My email address is rmehalek@yahoo.com and her email is individual402@yahoo.com

 

Rachel Mehalek

 

 

 

 



 

post #14 of 18

I'm going to reply on the thread in case anyone else is following along...

 

Re: unschooling in BCN, this group is coming through in the summer which could be fun to hook up with http://www.unschooladventures.com/.  You didn't really clarify your daughter's age which would be helpful.  I'm right in the classic 40 yo bracket with young kids, but I have an American cousin in her late 20s who's been living here for over a year and is very warm, social and friendly.  In addition, the homeschooling community, while small, is pretty active here.  I'm only really in on the young kid activities, but I know there are teens too.  For example, one of the sets of parents in our group have a daughter, 14, and a son, 17.  While a lot of people wouldn't define themselves perhaps as RUers, things seem pretty relaxed and open here: boxed curricula are few and far between and strict, religion based homeschooling is rare.  Everybody I know could at least be considered eclectic. 

 

She could also try sending an email looking for contact with older homeschoolers to the following: http://www.educarenfamilia.org/  and http://www.educaciolliure.org/ the following yahoo group http://es.groups.yahoo.com/group/aprenderyvivir/.  Emails requesting contact from people out of group get passed along to all members, a ton of people could at least understand an email written in English.

 

The other thing is that the city's community centers are pretty amazing and have a ton of cool, inexpensive activities ranging from yoga and cooking, to laugh therapy, African dancing and clowning.  If I were her, I would check it out.  http://www.bcn.es/centrescivics/es/.  Also memberships at city sponsored gyms and health clubs runs about 35-40 euros a month and allows access to a ton of activities as well as facilities.  If her Spanish class runs through one of the universities, she would also have access to university facilities and activities.

 

If you send me a pm with more ideas about particulars (interests, age, location in the city), I can probably give you more ideas.  I spent the last 4 years trying to help university exchange students integrate, so have a pretty complete bag of tricks.

 

post #15 of 18

My daughter will be 19 on April 2nd.  I checked my email really quick before I had to run out the door so I will have to write more later!

 

I sent her you comment and you had some great ideas.  I will follow through more when I get home! Thank you so much for everything!

 

Rachel

post #16 of 18

Hmm. I live in Switzerland and at least in this canton (state), it is extremely difficult to homeschool. I think if I suggested unschooling, they'd laugh at me and then fine me just for asking. The laws here changed last year (and a year after the OP) to make school mandatory at 4.5. Not that it matters much as my DD begs to go to school, take classes, etc. so I signed her up for school and ice skating. OP, I'd love to hear your experience and hear which canton you live in. 

post #17 of 18

Well, for what it's worth, even in the US, unschooling is not a different category than homeschooling, so you wouldn't register your child as an "unschooler." Many many states in the US have strict requirements for homeschooling, and unschoolers find ways of meeting those requirements while going about their unschooling days. So if homeschooling is legal, but strictly monitored or whatever, you can still mostly unschool.

post #18 of 18

It isn't that it is strictly monitored, although knowing the Swiss, it is probably that too. ;) When I was looking into it, before moving here, the law was that you had to convince the local school district that you were fit to teach. This meant you had to have a teaching certificate, be fluent in Swiss German, and get good luck with the district you moved to. They are also very big on independence for kids and socialization so those are also hurdles you need to get over. There is no way, as an outsider, that I would have been allowed to homeschool where I live.

 

Right after I registered with the local authorities (as all people in Switzerland must do) I received a letter in the mail telling me that I needed to contact the local school district to arrange schooling. I called and they asked if I was going to send her to an international school and when I said no, they assigned her to a public school. She was given 2 days to settle into her new home first though. LOL

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