I've posted about our situation before. We live in Eastern Europe, where the education laws state that school enrollment is compulsory. There are no charter schools, and I know only one person who actually homeschooled for three years (with fear of the law in her head all the time).
Our solution is to enroll the children in a US-based umbrella school. Technically, this means we are law-abiding citizens. The children ARE enrolled in school, and will have lots of paperwork to prove it. I hope this is enough. But, since we are the first family to do this in the whole country, I worry. I know of some other families who lived off grid and had no schools anywhere near them (like, within 40km). They were taken to court. We live in a big city.
There is a year to go until school becomes compulsory for my oldest, and she has started first grade with the umbrella school. My question is about what to tell the neighbors. I have two options:
1. Homeschool, and hope nobody will notice. When they ask, I will say that the kids are enrolled at the "American School". There is an international school, so they could assume DD goes there. They may, however, notice that we are at home during "school hours". I think it would be a matter of time before someone would report us to social services. When they do come knocking, I will provide the paperwork the umbrella school sends, and hope that is enough. I am willing to defend myself in court.
2. Telling everyone who asks exactly what we are doing, right now, while we still have a year before school is compulsory. I could talk about our choice with a lot of joy and confidence and if asked, could say that this choice is legal, since the children are enrolled in school. This will get the neighborly gossip machine up and running right away. But nobody can do anything now, since DD is not officially "school age" here yet. Perhaps, by the time she reaches that age next year, the neighbors will be bored with the whole thing and will have accepted it. Since their human tendency to gossip is already out the way, perhaps they won't report us. I'd love to not have the stress of that.
What would you do? Do you have any better ideas? I know homeschooling is the right choice. I am willing to fight for it. But I am also scared, since we live in a post-communist country with a lot of "social controls" and neighbors love to interfere in peoples' lives. Although I believe that the umbrella school covers us legally, authorities may offer a different interpretation of the law, or just order me to enroll the kids in a state school. The "price" for not enrolling children is a fine, and then jail if parents don't comply. My DD is advanced and certainly not neglected educationally; quite the opposite. But this is a big worry.