Homeschooling in Europe--easy countries? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 41 Old 02-24-2010, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I want a list of countries in Europe where homeschooling is both legal and easily done (for example, Sweden wouldn't count as one since even though it's legal, many families are being brought to court).
So far, I think all Nordic countries (except Sweden) are easy countries. UK. Spain.

Also, include whether it's somewhat common and whether there are lots of extra curricular activities available. And, if you know, what sort of tests or inspections are required.

Thanks!
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#2 of 41 Old 02-28-2010, 12:34 PM
 
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My favourite list of easy hs countries (at present)

Belgium. Many homeschooling coops, activities, activities mainly in Flemish, German or French. Easy administration. Normally no testing or inspection required, depends on the district. Compulsory vaxing (polio).

Netherlands: Not so many hs activities yet and then mainly in Dutch, but it's a small country and you can travel easily. No testing required. You need to apply for an exemption which is easy in these days except if your dc ever (just one day) attended a school, then it's more complicated.

Austria. Ease admin, just sending in a letter of intent. Many activities, but mainly in German. There is, however, yearly compulsory testing at a school of your choice (but it's very easy, first test at about age 7 based on performance and portfolio) or being formally enrolled in a formal accredited distance education program, some US programms are accepted too!

Danmark. Easy admin. Not so common, because parents can easily found their own schools and get $$$ for it. You are required to provide Danish language instruction (you decide how and how much), but that's normally pretty easy.

France. Easy admin if you are enrolled at one of the state accredited distance schools. Not sure about unschooling etc. French is required, but if you are only temporarily in France, you could apply for an exemption for your expat motherlanguage distance school. Many and strong homeschooling groups, most of them in French.

Italy, uncommon, but admin can be very easy in certain districts, just a letter of intent, depends how you present your case. There is little information about hs in Italy.

Poland is often mentioned for easy homeschooling, but I could not find an English information site about that so far.

There are several websites about homeschooling (or home education) in Europe, but some of them are getting a bit outdated, generally it seems to get easier in Belgium, Netherlands and Austria. Ireland and UK very easy (although UK might change). Remains easy in the Nordic countries except Sweden.

Vegmum:Hedding::: treehugger::
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#3 of 41 Old 03-08-2010, 09:47 AM
 
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We homeschool in Norway, and it is legal. No need to apply, just send a letter of intent. It is growing, but still very uncommon.

www.barnifrihet.com is a forum for homeschoolers and children under the age of 6 still at home - has an english section too

I prefer Spain to Norway, even though the laws are a little weird there (is it or is it not legal??? lol) the culture, climate and the overall feel of the place makes it a much more pleasant place to homeschool than Norway. Just my two cents
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#4 of 41 Old 03-12-2010, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great info--thanks!!

Now, what country to pick?! The Spain thing remaims a mystery. I think on HSLDA website or somewhere online, it says HS in Spain is only allowed under special circumstances, such as illness. But then I hear from people there even unschooling, and that it's somewhat common. Hmmm.

Bente--where in Spain would you recommend? Today I was actually considering Norway--is it terrible there? It seems a bit more alternative minded than Sweden. And nature-wise, it seems as pretty as Sweden if not even more.
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#5 of 41 Old 03-16-2010, 03:01 PM
 
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I looked into Spain some time ago. From what I understand, you can do it as long as you can "be lost", like in a big enough city that you won't be noticed. If you are caught it might not be so pretty.

Mama to a little lady and always praying for more.
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#6 of 41 Old 03-16-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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We homeschool in Switzerland. It can be fairly easy in certain cantons, particulary Vaud (Lausanne area). There are some scattered activities for homeschoolers and some email forums as well.

Blissed out mama to 3 beautiful boys love.gif LIFE IS GOOD! thumb.gif

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#7 of 41 Old 03-16-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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We go to Mallorca! There is a small group of homeschoolers and if you include the likeminded who do school then the group is bigger
The people I know on the island homeschool without problems. Americans, german, english, brazilian, spanish - it is a mix. I have a friend in Barcelona who homeschools without any problems. In Catalunia you will find the greatest concentration of Hs'ers. Probably the most open and progressive area when it comes to this. Mallorca is such a mix of different nationalites, that no one really pays much attention to "weird" choices ...lol. The mallorquins are extremely easy on you if you are not FROM Mallorca. There are lots and lots of small villages all over Mallorca that tourist never venture to, and those places tend to be more conservative. All in all we feel welcome and accepted. The only person who ever gave me grief about homeschooling was another norwegian i met at a park
Mallorca is lovely, the weather is great, the beaches,mountains, city, castles, parks, music, family friendly, good access to fresh food, etc. Even though there is not a big organized community for homeschoolers, the island just lends itself well for homeschooling. There is so much to do.



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Originally Posted by kmamma View Post
Great info--thanks!!

Now, what country to pick?! The Spain thing remaims a mystery. I think on HSLDA website or somewhere online, it says HS in Spain is only allowed under special circumstances, such as illness. But then I hear from people there even unschooling, and that it's somewhat common. Hmmm.

Bente--where in Spain would you recommend? Today I was actually considering Norway--is it terrible there? It seems a bit more alternative minded than Sweden. And nature-wise, it seems as pretty as Sweden if not even more.
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#8 of 41 Old 05-05-2010, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello Bente! I was googling Mallorca homeschooling today and found a post of yours on radical unschooling. I had forgotten you were the same person who posted here. When are you going to Mallorca next? I would love to go down there to visit sometime soon. We just landed in Sweden and already I'm ithching to go somewhere with like-minded people around. Plus my son is going to school and even though it's been pleasant enough, I rather homeschool for sure.

Where in Mallorca are the homeschoolers? Where do you stay when you go there?
I know on the other list you wrote that you would like to find a way to remain there most of the year. Do you have any thoughts on how to make that a possibility?
I'm planning on going up north, to Harjedalen (close to Norway!) for this coming school year to study traditional fabric arts, and while that sounds fantastic, going to Mallorca does too!...
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#9 of 41 Old 01-07-2011, 10:50 AM
 
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Hello! We ended up moving to Mallorca, and are now happily homeschooling here:joy
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#10 of 41 Old 05-09-2011, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bente--please tell me more!!! How is your homeschooling life unfolding on th elovely island of Mallorca?

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#11 of 41 Old 09-13-2011, 01:37 AM
 
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Hi Bente,

I just moved to Mallorca with my 2 kids and am homeschooling. I would love to get in touch and meet other families in the area.

Do you have an organized group I could get in touch with?

Thanks in advance for your time,

Jo

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#12 of 41 Old 09-13-2011, 02:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello Jo.

 

Where do you live on Mallorca? We are considering visiting Barcelona and Mallorca, would love to get in touch with homeschooling groups in the area.

 

Josefina.

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#13 of 41 Old 09-13-2011, 03:26 AM
 
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Sent you a pm! And yes, we are here and thriving:) the more the merrier!
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#14 of 41 Old 10-14-2011, 03:11 PM
 
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I'm homeschooling in Barcelona... there are actually a variety of different groups doing different things.  I find it hard to choose!  If you pm'd me with your kids ages and interests, I could make some recommendations.  Another possibility is to make direct contact with http://educarenfamilia.org/, the Catalan homeschooling association.  The message board, while closed to non-members, is super active and the moderators would put through a request for contact from you.  If you need to write in English, you would still be understood by many of the families involved.

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#15 of 41 Old 11-09-2011, 03:36 AM
 
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Hi! Planning to move to Mallorca and thinking about the possibility to homeschool. Are you living in Mallorca? I am curious to hear more about your experience and get in touch with some of the parents. Warm regards!

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#16 of 41 Old 11-09-2011, 03:45 AM
 
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Planning to move to Mallorca and do home schooling with my three kids. I would love to get in touch and create a comunity (if it doesn´t exist).

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#17 of 41 Old 11-09-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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Hi Kmama,

So sorry for the delay, I've been slow to return to the site. I moved to Palma, although my original plan was to be in a more rural area. Things are going very well and we have a great group of families who we meet up with on a fairly regular basis. I have had very positive reactions from those families who don't homeschool too. Some families are a little perplexed by it but most are understanding and interested.

 

Let us know if you make the move!

 

Jo

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#18 of 41 Old 11-09-2011, 12:28 PM
 
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Hi Jessica,

I think you have already been in touch with Bente but if you haven't, get in touch with one of us. We'd love to introduce you to a lovely, growing homeschool community here on the island! We are loving the experience!

All the best,

 

Jo

 

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#19 of 41 Old 11-10-2011, 01:56 AM
 
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Hi guys!  Maybe Jessica and Josefina should plan a Mallorca excursion together:)  I am sending you a pm Jessica!

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#20 of 41 Old 05-03-2012, 12:20 AM
 
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Before I go digging around through all the threads to find more / updated info on this topic...this is what came up during a search, so I hope it can be revived.

 

The last that I knew Spain changed to illegal I just discovered it one day through HSLDA and was dumbfounded.  I am wondering what happened to all the families that were doing it in Mallorca, Barcelona or other areas in Spain. This is my biggest fear, that my DH will accept a position where we feel it is homeschooling legal...relocate our family only to discover ...woops, not anymore.

 

We were considering Spain or UK due to their homeschooling ease. When Spain suddenly became illegal and then suddenly UK became nearly impossible to get a visa to.

 

Are the Spain families still continuing to homeschool (but perhaps under the wire?) Have you relocated elsewhere that is homeschooling legal and easy or perhaps stayed put and decided homeschooling where you are is not worth the (legal) trouble?

 

Please respond.

 

Also perhaps Calynde, Summermay or anyone who has been homeschooling in Europe can update or add to the list. I do know Germany is now a problem. Are Austria, Poland, Switzerland etc still friendly...can anyone elaborate that some districts/cantons in Switzerland and Italy are legal, and how do you know where those districts are before you go and try those districts?

 

I would love to hear from anyone about their experiences there. Thank you! :-)

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#21 of 41 Old 05-03-2012, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You are very wise to research this before moving. I homeschooled in the US, then moved to Europe and ended up in Sweden just as the new ridiculous law was passed, and it was truly like a nightmare to no longer be able to homeschool without breaking the law. We've been here for two years and luckily my son is well adjusted and there is no 'major' issue with school,  but he's bored and I can tell his talents are being wasted. We're slowly working our way out of here, probably back to the US for financial reasons. We'd love to go to the UK so we can eventually work our way further south in Europe, but having a non EEA spouse makes it a little insecure. 

 

As far as Spain and HS being illegal--I thought Catalonia made it legal recently. As for HS in the past in Spain, it's always been difficult. I think most people are doing and have been doing it under the radar. But there are definitely tales of court cases etc. 

 

I don't know about Austria, Switzerland, Poland and Italy much. I know it's difficult in Italy, but people do do it there. It's supposedly easier if you're a foreigner. Look up national HS networks, there are blogs out there too, ask around. 

 

Good luck.

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#22 of 41 Old 05-04-2012, 03:05 PM
 
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Thank you for your response kmama! OMG! I had no idea what happened in Sweden..it was never an option for us, so I had no idea. I am so sorry. Is your son in a local Swedish school or an International school of mostly English speaking Expats? Is the boredom and education issue?

 

I never heard that about Catalonia...I always thought Spain was very friendly until a couple of years ago. As far as HSLDA reports:

 

"Legal Status: In December 2010, the Spanish Constitutional Court handed down a sentence that leaves homeschoolers in an insecure legal position. In a case before the Constitutional Tribunal, the court denied parents the right to educate their children at home. It is still uncertain what effect this ruling will have upon homeschoolers in Spain."

 

That doesn't really look good for them and it seemed there were so many there (in this forum) a couple of years ago..or thinking of going there.

That is really frightening, and what happened to you as well. Yes moving abroad is exciting, but it has to be frightening enough with kids, disrupting themas it is, but if you are homeschooler's it really openens up a whole 'nother can of stuff.
 

Where about South in Europe would you like to go..just curious! :-)

 

Well I am trying to find out anything I can. Someone here did say UK might be reversing their homeschooling. I have never heard that. I really was hoping we'd end up there, but their new Visa laws are impossible.

 

Best wishes kmama...and Happy mother's Day! :-)

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#23 of 41 Old 06-04-2012, 04:22 PM
 
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hola I live on the island and would love to get in touch with the hs reality here! let's get in touch!! thanx

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#24 of 41 Old 06-19-2012, 01:04 AM
 
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Hello,

We are moving to Calvia with our young children aged 6 and 4 this year and although I don't home school here in England, it is something I would consider in Mallorca if we could find the right group to get support and advice from! Loved reading your posts about home schooling in Mallorca, please can anyone let me know any info on it xx
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#25 of 41 Old 06-28-2012, 04:26 AM
 
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Hi! We live in Palma and would love to grow our homeschool tribe:).
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#26 of 41 Old 06-28-2012, 04:27 AM
 
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Hi there, we would love to meet up! The more, the merrier:)
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#27 of 41 Old 07-12-2012, 02:35 AM
 
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Hello!

 

I am Dutch and living in amsterdam, although we travel a lot and stay almost half the year in other countries.

We are looking for a more natural place as our home-base now and thinking of mallorca.

For so many years, we have heard great stories about it but we never checked it out.

 

We will come this fall for a short visit first.

 

Situation in the NL is getting more and more stressful for homeschoolers although the group is growing and thriving. So if anyone needs info of homeschooling / unschooling in the NL, please PM me and I'll be happy to give you some info.

 

I just need a more natural place and we need a tourist place to live because DH is a singer and makes his money by singing in bars / clubs.

 

I found a spanish forum group but it's all in spanish which i understand but it is difficult for me.

Does anyone know of a forum in english?

 

Bente I wanted to PM you but i didn't get permission, probably because i just signed up

 for this forum?

 

I would love to introduce myself to you and hope to hear more about mallorca from you!

I have a nearly 6 year old son, believe in attactment parenting and natural living.

I heard there is also a group with organic gardens in mallorca, working together with kids there?

Would love that!

 

Thanks,

love,

A

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#28 of 41 Old 07-17-2012, 01:55 AM
 
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Hi wannabefree:). Letme know when you are coming and I will introduce you to the rest of our little group. My email is benteaaro@yahoo.com if you want we can communicate this way.
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#29 of 41 Old 07-30-2012, 11:02 AM
 
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hi bente it is memina I can't answer you from my mothering account, I would love to meet family that are homeschooling in mallorca

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#30 of 41 Old 08-01-2012, 03:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memina View Post

hi bente it is memina I can't answer you from my mothering account, I would love to meet family that are homeschooling in mallorca

Hi:)  email me at benteaaro@yahoo.com

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