Paterswolde and Eelde are like snuggling, so close haha. And Zuidlaren is spelled right! I used to camp there when i was small. Nice to hear you love our country that much
And i think the same way, we do have a progressive country, that's something i love about it. But at the same time there's a thing called 'betutteling', may be best explained as the government thinking we are stupid and can't make our own decisions so they make up stupid little rules for everything.
And i thought myself education was so important that it was really a good thing that's it's mandatory. Now i think LEARNING is important and that parents should have a REAL choice. It's a bit doublesided though, because once you get your dispensation you are free as a bird. You don't have to turn in portfolios, no one is checking up on your kids and you aren't obligated to educate them; it's not a school-dispensation but a education-dispensation so to speak.
I have mixed feelings about that. On one hand you could say that's like heaven when you want to unschool instead of homeschool. On the other, because it's so unusual to do it this only gives more misunderstanding and worries with people who don't know it. Not just relatives and friends but for example; the pre-school my daughter went for a couple of months (5 hours in the week, in total) wrote a concerned letter to our family doctor because i told them we chose to homeschool. We had to do that because of the dispensation rules later on. I was so mad, like we are abusing her?!
And there are friends of mine who really respect our choice and say that if they had known about it they maybe would have considerd it. Or they just really like the idea but don't want to experiment with their own kids
But there are a lot of people who just can't hide the fact that -even when they try- they are convinced our girls will just be dumb and stupid forever (they are 3.5 and 0.5 and they are small but never have been dumb and stupid so how on earth can they STAY that way..)
Homeschooling isn't something a parent can do, another cliche. Teachers do a 4 year study and A Mom thinks she's able too teach, just like that??? And how on earth will they ever understand the basics (jep, we as parents apparently are stupid as well
I hear that one a lot! I sometimes don't know where to began to answer that one
And that's when we say we homeschool....unschooling isn't even mentioned yet at that point
Now, too answer the move-to-Holland-question (finally
) Yes you CAN live overhere and homeschool your children. It IS legal to keep your children out of school if you have reasons for it (which i mentioned in the first post), there are example letters to use. You don't ask, you 'just let them know'. In the short letter you state what your religion or philosophy is and that's there no school near you who can provide education based on that. 'Near you' is about 20 kilometres and in our country there are regions where a LOT happens on 20km, it's tiny. But if you do some soulsearching you mostly can find such a reason, for instance, ours is humanism and attachment parenting. Humanism isn't a term we usually use to explain who we are in life but IF you have to name it, that would be it. There is a short list of life philosophies that has been used in the past with a positive result, usefull because it's a bit more a grey area then religion. You just NEVER say you homeschool because you don't like schools or their teaching methods, that's not a legal reason to keep your kid at home. But well, i think that never is the main reason, if you feel that way there is a deeper reason for it and that reason counts. I don't think most people homeschool because they are bored otherwise, it's because of your beliefs one way or the other.
Btw, the local registrars in charge of taking care every child goes to school often don't even know it's legal, so sometimes it's confusing and they want you to come over and explain. Never do that, never TALK to them. If he think's you 'just don't like schools' your changes are gone. Thankfully there's a website with people who looked in to this and who keep track, they can explain step by step what not to do or do. And last but not least, i know there's a new american mom on a mailinglist i'm a member of, she moved here and her kids are homeschooled as well.
We ourselves want to move to Sweden in 4, 5 years from now. But a couple of months ago homeschooling became illegal there.. I hope it changes back, there is a lot of protest so hopefully that helps. Sometimes i think we'd better move to the UK, homeschooling is way more common there. There are co-ops, regular and regional meetings and you get discounts at amusement parks and museums and stuff like that. You can forget about most of that in Holland, we don't exist