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Germany Says 'Nein' to Homeschooling

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One homeschooling mom says thank goodness for the U.S.A.

boy studying

Homeschool Mom Pam: It appears that we homeschoolers in the U.S. should thank our lucky stars that we are in the "Good Ol' U.S. of A" and not in a third world totalitarian country run by nationalistic zealots ...oh yeah, and also not in Germany.

Germany does not cotton to parents taking responsibility for their children's education. The German government is a firm believer in the state knowing what is best to teach their children, and don't tell it any different or officers will break down your door and drag your crying children to school. At least that is the story that Uwe Romieke tells. He is now living in Tennessee and hoping to gain political asylum for himself and his family here in the U.S. so he will be able to homeschool his children.

Michael Donnelly, an attorney with the Homeschool Legal Defense Association who represents the family here in the U.S. says, "Germany sticks out in the midst of Western Europe for having this harsh repression against parents. They have this notion that homeschool creates this parallel society and they deem that as dangerous." The German Consul General for the Southeast U.S. explained Germany's stance on education: "For reasons deeply rooted in history and our belief that only schools properly can ensure the desired level of excellent education, we (Germany) go a little beyond that path which other countries have chosen."

Ya think? If Romieke's story is true, then I'd say Germany is going quite a bit beyond the path. And haven't we been down this path before with Germany? Uhhh, does Hitler Youth ring a bell?

The bottom line is this: home educating has its pros and cons and so does public education whether in Germany or the U.S. I know that choosing homeschooling means my kids miss out on some of the really great things that schools have to offer, and that it is a path less traveled. But I also can say that I am giving them many things that a conventional public school could never give them. Is it a wash or does one side outweigh the other? I don't know.

Some days I'd like to pack the whole lot off to school and get a job, but then there are other days when I know that homeschooling is an irreplaceable gift I share with my children. I just really appreciate the fact that I live in a country that lets me decide what is best for my child. There are forces here in America that would like to take away my right to homeschool. Recently a California judge ruled homeschooling unconstitutional -- luckily wiser voices prevailed.

It is frightening to think that any government could take away parental rights and claim that they know what is best for a child. In Germany barely 500 children are homeschooled. In America we have over a million. I say thank you God for America. I think I'll start a new unit with my kids tomorrow, on liberty and how to preserve it.

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10 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kristen April 3, 2009, 9:01 AM

We homeschool too and we have lived in germany with the military. Thankfully because we were military our right to homeschool was preserved.
I feel very thankful to live here in the US and I love that the homeschooling movement is getting larger by the day.

barry morse April 3, 2009, 10:35 AM

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Anonymous April 3, 2009, 12:27 PM

Right on Germany!

Gretchen April 3, 2009, 12:34 PM

Something doesn’t seem right with this. How come that there are indeed 500 children home schooled in Germany if, as you implied, it is such a totalitarian State where the Gestapo drags your kids to school? Maybe this is Mr. Romieke’s last idea to try to obtain political asylum, which is quite hilarious for somebody from Western Europe.

Kristen April 3, 2009, 1:02 PM

The 500 people who are homeschooling in germany are doing it illegally and they are hiding from the law.
Also, anonymous, you apparently are not very educated about homeschoolers and how GREAT they are. Homeschoolers on average are about 2yrs ahead of public schooled kids. Plus they are living as a family and the parents are actually parenting them because they are with their children.

Jennifer April 3, 2009, 2:08 PM

There are many reasons to homeschool. People who homeschool in the US do it for a variety of reasons, including academic, social, and emotional benefits. One thing that the many different kinds of homeschoolers have in common is the desire to build family and community ties. Our family spends enough time with each other to develop real relationships. Our children have more interaction with the real world and all its various people than do school children. Best of all, we get to experience some of that interaction with the world as a family, which of course, is the basic unit of any society. Those of you in Europe may have a different viewpoint. Your governments are more socialist than ours, and you probably feel that the government has a larger role to play in the lives of children than we do. That kind of interference in our lives is not part of the American culture. Families are very important to Americans, whether they homeschool or not. So, some of the comments from Europeans should be viewed in light of our cultural differences. I know, because I lived in Germany when my children were babies. I thank God every day that I don’t have to raise my children under totalitarian oppression. By the way, our homeschooling is going very well. One of our sons is now a college student, and scored in the 90th percentile on his ACT (college entrance exam). Homeschooling works for us!

K&C's mom April 3, 2009, 11:37 PM

My daughter used to go to public school, and is now homeschooled, she has done better in a few months of homeschool then she did in 2 years of public!!! What we like most about it is the flexibilty, we can go visit my in-laws, 3 hrs away, and the kids don’t miss anything, or we can go to the park, or skip a day because of errands or something.

tmoma April 4, 2009, 2:55 AM

Wow! The guy is applying for political asylum because his own country doesn’t allow him to homeschool?

Liz April 5, 2009, 6:27 PM

I am a teacher, but I believe that people who homeschool in the US have good intentions and reasons to back it up. However, to compare the fact that Germany is not allowing homeschooling to Naziism is outrageous. unlike the US and their “no-child left behind” bullshit, Germanys education is ,on the most part, stellar. Children learn multiple languages fluently on average score higher than American children. just because America allows homeschooling, doesnt mean Germany is becoming a gestapo driven country again because it doesnt. Maybe it just means they NEVER EVER want to do anything similar to us in regards to education….since it is a disgusting failure here.

Im sure people are going to respond that they are great successes because of our wonderful public education system. thats highly doubtful. Youre a success because you were smart and driven and maybe you had a few good teachers. I doubt our flawed system helped you.

UN-happily Homeschooled May 24, 2010, 4:46 AM

There is absolutely no good reason to homeschool your kids. How do I know? I’m an adult who grew up being homeschooled (10+ years homeschooling). And I can tell you it has had innumerable effects on my social life and general functioning skills in this society. Oh sure! I’m smart. Big freaking whoop, when I stutter and stumble and get awkward in everyday conversation - or when I know absolutely nothing of all the basic skills public-school children learn in their school experiences with peers.

I don’t know how to handle bullies of any kind; I don’t know what to do when a guy has a crush on me; and I don’t even know what real friendship is because my friends were basically hand-picked by my parents. That’s basically how it turns out MOST of the time for homeschooled kids - and don’t you even try to tell me you don’t have a hand in weeding out some or perhaps even most of your kids’ friends, if nothing else because they’re not “out of sight, out of mind” - and you know 100% what’s going on, and you do your little protective parent thing. Left to themselves in school, your kids would find their own way by making mistakes and learning from them - and I can tell you with 100% certainty because I’ve BEEN THERE…the fact that I was never allowed to stumble and fall on my own in life, means that I am only going to stumble and fall now in my adult years, and much harder. And I have, multiple times - and I know I have lots and lots more left, because just this last month some guy basically stole 300+ bucks from me, and what do I do? Nothing. Because bullies stump me. Losers stump me. Everything in life stumps me. I never learned life skills, because I spent most of my time where? At home.

I am (rightfully) still angry at my mother, now that I am an adult, for keeping me in homeschool. I would live an altogether different life in public schooling in a heartbeat, if given the chance. And as for this article… Germany? You have my approval - you are ensuring a healthier country by taking this step. I guarantee it.

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