The education of your children in your hands
Homeschooling is a viable education option for expats and their kids. Parents who either cannot afford the costs of private schools, don’t have access to international schools, or merely support this ambiguous teaching and learning method.
Moving to a new country with children adds on your to do list an extra task — to arrange schooling for them. Depending on the destination country, this can be easier or harder to accomplish. In this article we present homeschooling, but it’s up to each family to decide what’s the best way to the children’s education.
Homeschooling for the expat family
Each expat child will have a different reaction to the move and settlement in the new country. However, there’s some discomfort that can be transcended by implementing a simple routine — eating habits, sleeping hours, play time, and studying. Homeschooling may ease the process of adjustment, because the child doesn’t have to go to school, mingle and keep up with peers. But before you decide on homeschooling, here are a few things to consider.
Homeschooling requires dedication
Being a teacher, like being a parent, to your child takes time, and requires good organization and attention to detail. Are you enthusiastic to spend more time with your kids and give up a full time position? Are you willing to brush up on your math’s knowledge, and to motivate your children?
Decrease in household income
It’s not exceptional for an expat family to depend only on one income. But if that’s not the case, keep in mind that homeschooling requires at least one stay-at-home parent, who will commit to the progress of the children’s education.
Make a long term plan
Expatriation in one country is not supposed to be a permanent situation, but in case you consider homeschooling try to schedule as far ahead as possible. Plan at what level of education you want your child to be in two years, and the exam board you will register your child with.
Deal with self-doubt
Trust your good parenting skills, and your ability to teach your child. You are doing this already on a daily basis anyway.
Work with your partner
Homeschooling is a very important decision you will have to make for your child’s future success in society. So don’t make it alone. Talk about the pros and cons of homeschooling with your partner, and make sure to be on the same page.
Meet with like-minded people
Undertaking such a big project while being away from home can be very difficult. Reach out for advice and help from other families in the expat community, who have some experience on homeschooling, and share the same concerns with you.
Pros and cons of homeschooling
Discussions around homeschooling have been ongoing for decades, and you should not take the arguments coming from both sides lightly. There are personal, economical, social and legal factors that will help you make the decision what’s the best for your family.
Outline of the pros and cons
Kids educated at home by a parent or an expert, have more time to spend on other activities. Such as hobbies, meeting with friends, time with the family, and outside in nature. Homeschooling allows a flexible schedule, which means expat parents can make travel arrangements outside the school holiday periods. Homeschooling can take the pace that the child sets depending on its strengths and weaknesses, while it releases the learner from competition pressure.
On the other hand, education at home may be one sided, with the parents domineeringly instilling their values. Kids who are homeschooled can feel isolated, and may become too dependent on the parents. In a classroom is healthy competition, and recognition of hard work. This will motivate students to do better. Teaching children at home is a big responsibility for a parent. He or she has to learn how to switch from the role of a parent to the role of a teacher, without losing the initial excitement from spending so much time with the kids.
To teach your child at home isn’t legal in all countries around the world. Even though education experts recognize homeschooling as an effective way to nurture happy and intelligent citizens. Some countries completely ban it while others allow homeschooling only in exceptional cases. Therefore, the first step you need to take is to know the laws regarding homeschooling in the country you are planning to move. Find out where you can homeschool your children and where you cannot.
Where homeschooling is legal
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Israel, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, Thailand, UAE (legal only for expats), and the United Kingdom
Where homeschooling is illegal
China, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden
Homeschooling is not defined or assessed on a case by case basis:
Argentina, Brazil, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malta, Mauritius, Singapore, South Africa, and South Korea