Homeschooling is often a topic that starts a large debate and on this list you can take a look at the countries that allow homeschooling in the world and which give parents more freedom when it comes to education of their children. Prior to 19th century, most children were educated at home and some of them turned out to be geniuses. Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and Albert Einstein are just some of the names of genius personalities who were homeschooled. After various laws compelled children to attend public (or private) schools, education outside the home became a norm. Modern homeschooling started in the 1970s inspired by John Holt, a supporter of school reform and educational theorist. Since then homeschooling kept growing around the world thus offering an alternative to parents who do not want their children to attend public schools.
A decade ago, families who were homeschooled were considered irresponsible and conservative but nowadays the tide has turned. Compared to traditional schooling, homeschooling is still small but the numbers of homeschoolers in the world, and the USA as well, is growing. Some statistics indicate that 1.5 million of children in the USA were homeschooled in 2007 which is significantly larger than 1.1 million children in 2003 and only 850.000 in 1991. If you want to know in which states homeschooling is mostly popular, take a look at our list of States That Have The Most Homeschoolers.
Reasons why parents choose homeschooling can be health (children with special needs), social, or purely academic. Some parents believe that their child will benefit more from the one-on-one instruction which is often the case. The attention they receive through homeschooling can help them reach their maximum. Also, parents have authority over the schedule and curriculum which allows more flexibility and better outcomes as well. Classes usually finish till noon and the child has more free time for sports, spending time outdoors and any other extracurricular activities while those attending traditional schools usually spend much more time in school and doing their homework after the school finishes. It also allows parents to be actively engaged in their children’s education and spend more time with them.
In order to compile this list of countries that allow homeschooling in the world, I’ve consulted several sources. I took a look at Mothering forum and their discussion on homeschooling in Europe, NationMaster, Social Justice News article about the legal status of homeschooling and Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) website. Home School Legal Defense Association was founded with the intention to aid families who wish to homeschool their children in the USA and internationally as well. This makes it a very valuable source for this topic. After going through legal statuses of homeschooling around the world, I singled out countries where homeschooling is legal as well as those where homeschooling is legal with certain restrictions. Those countries that have restrictions are at the bottom of this list while those that don’t have restrictions (or have fewer restrictions) are higher on the list. This is the only criteria used while ranking these countries, meaning that countries that do not have restrictions are ranked randomly as well as those which have similar restrictions. Let’s take a look in which countries it is legal to homeschool your children.