Homeschooling is becoming an increasingly popular practice around the world. More and more parents are opting to homeschool their children in place of sending them to the nearest public or private school. This is particularly true for those parents who lead busy lives, perhaps travelling on a regular basis for work purposes, where employing a full time tutor to educate their child or children is the most sensible option.
However, the practice of homeschooling and the rules and regulations around it can vary significantly around the world. In this piece, we’ll go into more detail about where homeschooling is legal, where it is forbidden and why, as well as providing more information about the process of finding a private educator and how we can help.
Am I allowed to homeschool?
This is one of the first questions we’re often asked by parents who are considering the homeschooling route. Generally, the answer to this question is ‘yes’, specifically if you’re primarily based in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand.
In the United Kingdom, you are allowed to educate your child at home. However, you must ensure they are taught full-time from the age of five, and your local council can make an ‘informal enquiry’ to check your child is getting a suitable education at home. If they feel that the child would be better off in a school environment, then they can serve a school attendance order if necessary.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, it’s a similar scenario in Canada and the United States. In Canada, homeschooling is completely legal, with different provinces having its own regulations around the practice. Likewise, in the United States, homeschooling is legal, but certain states have much stricter regulations than others. For example, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Massachusetts all have high levels of regulation such as state-mandated subjects. Meanwhile, states such as Alaska, Texas, Idaho and Michigan (among others) all have a slightly more relaxed approach to homeschooling. If you are in any doubt about the state laws, then we would suggest starting with the Home School Legal Defense Association.
In Australia and New Zealand, like the previous countries mentioned, homeschooling is legal, and is increasing in popularity.
Where is homeschooling illegal?
Unfortunately, homeschooling is not an option in some countries around the world, some of which are places you would not necessarily expect!
In Europe, there are several countries where homeschooling is illegal or is highly restrictive. One of these countries is Sweden, with the HSLDA saying “Homeschooling has no tradition in Sweden, and is almost non-existent. The new school law explicitly states that it is not allowed except in extraordinary circumstances.” However, Sweden’s Education Act does recognise that sometimes exceptional circumstances may occur whereby a child may not be able to fulfil the duty of participating in compulsory education through full-time school attendance. Other European countries where it is illegal or majorly restricted include Germany, the Netherlands, Greece and Croatia.
Homeschooling in Switzerland is another complicated matter, with the individual cantons having jurisdiction on what is possible when it comes to homeschooling. It is currently permitted in 16 of the 26 cantons, with Vaud and Neuchâtel simply requiring the authorities to be notified, but in Bern and Geneva, permission must be applied for. Valais and Fribourg require a parent to be a qualified teacher and Zurich requires a teaching qualification after the second year of homeschooling!
Outside of Europe, there are a number of other countries where homeschooling is illegal, such as Cuba, Turkey, and Kazakhstan, where it is illegal for citizens, but internationals may homeschool their children.
What are the benefits of homeschooling?
Of course there are a number of benefits to homeschooling, which we have previously written about, including tailored learning, one-to-one engagement and a more flexible curriculum! This often suits those with a busy schedule, who travel a lot, or those who simply want a more bespoke education for their child than is offered in a traditional school environment. Here at Beacon, we specialise in sourcing quality private tutors to deliver a home education programme which is tailored to your specific needs, anywhere in the world. Whether you’re based in the United States, Australia, the UK or even a frequent traveller with several locations worldwide, we will help you find a private tutor for your child to ensure they get the education they both need and deserve.
How much does homeschooling cost?
Ultimately, when it comes to homeschooling by private tutor, costs can vary greatly. Of course, there are a number of various factors in play, such as your primary location, whether you require your tutor to travel, whether accommodation will be provided, how many children are being educated and the level of tutor you ultimately require. Every quote we provide is bespoke to your needs once we’ve found out more about your circumstances.
Hopefully this article has provided you with more of an insight into homeschooling around the world, and how Beacon can help you find a private tutor to provide an expert education to your child or children. If you would like to request more information, please get in touch with us.