Reactions on the law proposal
Our review is at the Department of Education. Read it on the govenment website HERE. Many reactions are sent directly to us. Below are some samples.
"Individual freedom and freedom of choice are deeply entwined in educational issues. A mandatory selection of prepackaged commodities provided by the government is hardly a free choice. It is about educational freedom for every Swede, not just 100 families who home school."
The largest work on a review of the law-proposal is made by C.C.M. Warren, M.A.(Oxon), Retired Professional Educator. You can read his review HERE.
From Netzwerk Bildungsfreiheit
(Network Freedom in Education)
They write a very long document on both the law proposal and the Dominic case. Read the whole document - no efforts spared. Click HERE.
From NCACSTo: Ministry of Education Officials
From: The National Coalition of Alternative Community Schools Board of Trustees
Re: Home schooling Regulations in Sweden
Date: July 20, 2009
The National Coalition of Alternative Community Schools is an educational organization of schools and homeschooling families with members in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. We strongly oppose the proposed bill in Sweden that would severely limit Swedish parents and children as far as their access to homeschooling goes.
One need only to read the compelling reports on the success of homeschooling on every continent to appreciate its value as a tool to quality education. Accounts are readily available through the Internet, newspapers, magazines, and journals. University scholars have issued numerous reports about its success.
Most people who homeschool do so for religious or philosophical reasons. Yet, these are precisely the reasons that the Swedish bill would eliminate, thus curtailing its practice by Swedish parents and children.
This bill would strike a blow to the rights of children and add yet a second ugly blemish to Sweden’s record on children’s rights. The requirement of “school duty”, a law dating back to the early 1800s, holds a juvenile legally responsible to go to school. This is the first unsightly and unacceptable law. There is no other place in all of Swedish law that does this. For no other reason can a Swedish child be taken to court. The proposed bill would become another such abhorrent regulation, a most unseemly one given Sweden’s otherwise excellent record on human rights.Please do all that is in your power to oppose the passage of this bill. The number of Swedish families that use homeschooling is quite small.
Please do not allow these few to be the victims of a bill that is designed solely to limit their access to a method of education that has been tried, tested, and proven to be a sound one.
From Clonlara School
To: Jan Bjorklund, Minister of Education
From: Chandra M. Nicol, Executive Director, Clonlara School
Re: Home schooling Regulations in Sweden
Date: July 15, 2009
I write to add my voice to the chorus of international educators who are shocked and concerned about the proposed bill to change Swedish law on home schooling. Clonlara School through its Home Based Education Program has served numerous Swedish families over the past thirty (30) years. We and the families have worked diligently to assure a quality education for the children, and to maintain cooperative relations with kommun officials.
The children we have served have grown to be responsible, well-educated Swedish citizens. They and their families are justifiably proud of their accomplishments, as are we. Still others are in the process of home schooling there, and are showing every sign of continuing this success.
The results of home schooling from every part of the world have been recorded in scholarly journals, on education websites, in national and local newspapers, and in countless books in print. The positive outcomes are voluminous; not a single one has been refuted by any institutional school or government researcher. This being the case, the current situation in Sweden, then, is a cause of grave concern.
The old saying, "If it isn't broke, don't fix it" is fitting here. There is nothing broken about current home school regulations in Sweden that needs fixed, other than the fact that the requirement of "school duty", a law dating back to the early 1800s, holds a juvenile legally responsible to go to school. However, the proposed bill would render home schooling, a practice that is allowed in every country in the world except Germany, illegal and out of the reach of Swedish children and parents.
I gladly offer the resources of Clonlara School to you in this venture. We have evidence in our records to support our claims of success for numerous homeschooled children.Please heed the voices of reason and reject this bill.
Please allow home schooling to continue to be a legitimate choice for those very few Swedish families who opt to do it.
From Association for Homeschooling, South Africa
They have sent their own review that you can read HERE on the government's page! A small sample of their sharp critique:
During the period of apartheid, home education was illegal in South Africa. The parents Andre and Bokkie Meintjies were jailed in 1994, and their children were placed in an orphanage, because they educated their children at home. However a few years later the Nelson Mandela government legalized home education in South Africa with the publication of the South African School Act in 1996. Since it was legalized, homeschooling has grown exponentially in South Africa.
A Swedish family thinking about moving to Sweden is in despair...
Vi är en svensk familj som sedan två år tillbaka bor i Australien. Efter två års diskuterande och informationsletande om olika skolor och system så har vi beslutat att hemskola vår son.Eftersom vi är egna företagare och kan styra vår egen tid har han aldrig behövt gå på dagis. Vi tror att det är just därför som han sedan länge med stort allvar sagt att han inte vill gå i skolan. Och när vi berättade vårt beslut om att ansöka om hemskolning så blev han så lugn och lättad. Känns som ett bra beslut för hela familjen.
Däremot har vi börjat fundera på att flytta tillbaka till Sverige snart och blev därför helt förfärade över att läsa detta. Ska vi behöva stanna här bara för att kunna hemskola vår son? Detta gör att jag känner mig oerhört ovälkomnad tillbaka till mitt älskade hemland.
Kan även berätta att i den lilla vackra kuststad som vi bor i är de som hemskolar från ALLA samhällssklasser och hemskolar av en mängd olika anledningar. Många gånger är det en livsstilsfråga.
Hemskolning är inte för alla men det är inte vanliga skolan heller.
Vill också bara tillägga att vår son alltid får höra hur öppen, mogen, glad och social han är. Pga av våra jobb har han sedan han bara var någon månad gammal fått träffa människor i alla samhällsklasser, i alla åldrar, i flera länder. Han pratar dessutom både engelska och svenska.
Min dröm om att återvända till Sverige tog slut nu. Vi som var så glada över vårt beslut och över att se vår son så lättad. Vi kan ju inte ändra på det här nu när han är inställd på detta.
Att läsa om det nya lagförslaget gjorde oss mycket ledsna och oerhört besvikna.
Med vänliga hälsningar,
In Norway, as well as in Denmark och Finland, home education is protected by law and regulated in an uncomplicated manner. No wonder that the Norwegians get in touch, worried that this excellent educational alternative might vanish from their land...
Jeg håper ikke den svenske modellen sprer seg til nabolandene om 5 til 10 år!Har det alltid vært vanskelig å hjemmeundervise i Sverige? I norsk lov er det lange røtter til hjemmeundervisningen og foreldrenes rett til å velge utdanning for egne barn - selv om det er først etter 1990 at det har blitt mer vanlig å hjemmeundervise.
Jeg håper ikke Sverige er et foregangsland på dette området. Håper også at dere får en ny skolelov som anerkjenner hjemmeundervisningen. Lykke til med remissvaret!
One concerned parent from Great Britain wrote this to the Swedish Ministry of Education:
Dear Sir/MadamI am writing in response to the news that Sweden intends to make home education illegal. I was home educated myself and I currently home educate my two children. The idea that school could encompass ALL the religious or philosophical reasons that makes a family decide to home educate is patently untrue. In our case, we wished to be able to follow our children's own individual interests so that education would remain the fun and uplifting experience that life is meant to be. We follow no curriculum and have no doubt that within a school environment such freedom would not be tolerated, especially since it means that learning follows no clear, logical, upward path. True learning is never quite how it appears in the textbooks! By making home education illegal you pre-suppose that school is ALWAYS the best choice for every child; your own research into young people and their experience of life tells you that for some children this simply is not the case. There is always an attempt to impose the straight jacket of uniformity upon young people and society; home education is a way to celebrate the real differences between all of us and allow us to be individuals. Together, with all our differences, we can come together to make up a strong, vibrant, exciting community - a diversity which would be suppressed by making home education illegal.
In Germany, the situation has gone way too far. Read more here
! One concerned family sent a letter to our Minster of Education. Read on...
Dear Minister Jan Björklund
I am really concerned about the changes which will take place for home educators with the proposed new school laws next year.
I am from Germany and have been home educating three of my children for nearly 8 years now in a country where it is strictly forbidden. We didn't have any religious reasons for choosing home education. Our sons just didn't fit in the system and they had told us that they didn't want to go school any more a long time before we took them out. One of our sons has been bullied for years and all three of them did want to learn in their own way. They were bored in school most of the time. My husband and myself both are teachers and know the system from the inside as well and noticed years ago that school is not for everybody even when there are the best conditions which adults can think of.
For our sons it was the best thing we could do. One of them was very depressive when we took him out of school. Now two of them are grown up and confidently managing their own life. I wish that young people in your country have the possibility of home education without getting into trouble with the laws. For us dealing with the German school authorities did cost us a lot of energy which we could have used much much better. Eventually we moved to Great Britain where it is still allowed to home educate. A lot of families are doing it over there and there are networks all over the country. It was a relief to be there. The British school system is in a way not as rigid as the German school system but I noticed the same as in Germany. Not all the students did fit in the system. I met a lot of young people who didn't fit in one way or the other but the main reasons for taking children out of school over there is bullying. Most of those whom I met were very shy in the beginning but the development I saw with all of them was very impressive.I am asking you to think about those changes again. Please, don't follow the path Germany is leading at the present. It is just not for the good of all the young students. I am personally concerned as well. One of my daughters lives in Sweden. She doesn't have children yet. But she is thinking about home education. It would be a great relief for her if those laws would be more open.
This is the letter I sent to the link you provided for the education minister. I trust all goes well for you in your pursuit of freedom.
As a Canadian citizen and homeschooling mother, I am watching with interest the discussion of homeschooling rights in Sweden.
Our family consists of mom and dad, and six wonderful children, ages 24 to 12. The eldest holds a BA in Theology and is studying Cardiovascular Technology. Our next eldest daughter is in university studying political science, economics and sociology. Our son is an accomplished carpenter, and the next boy is taking prep studies for mechatronic engineering. The two youngest are still being homeschooled. I might add that home education is "home based". Home is a springboard to get involved in many community experiences with a diverse spectrum of friendships.
We are so pleased to see each of their progress, and to have the privilege of having them home for these short years. All of the children of voting age participate in every election and are very involved in community service, largely in leadership roles.
Because of Canada's freedoms, we have been able to raise our children to be productive citizens and to have the wonderful experience of seeing them blossom in their respective careers.
I urge you to consider the benefit of home education in your beautiful country.
Hello from Canada.I am concerned about Sweden outlawing homeschooling for several reasons but as a school teacher, I can imagine there are also a few intentions there.
I suspect the government may be trying to ensure that parents can't just keep kids from school, or that parents who claim to home school might not be actually offering education, meeting standards or offering competent academic instruction. After all teaching is a licensed profession and it is odd to let parents do it without a license. As a writer who has prepared learning material for school children, I find that a few of my customers are homeschoolers and though some are very competent, obviously, others do make a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes even in their inquiry letter to me. So yes, it does concern me that kids get good education.But having children obliged to follow government determined curriculum and write state wide tests certainly controls for the problems of academic competence. In my experience with parents, homeschooling is very very demanding to take on and only the most devoted are anxious to embark on it. They are generally anxious to offer a diverse experience, with trips to museums and heritage centres, swim lessons and other supplementary exposures to skills not just handling all things alone at home. The kids are socialized not only with the parent and siblings but also with others at libraries and in these classes so I have never felt homeschoolers suffered for lack of socialization skills.
In fact from the ones I have taught after they left home schooling to enter public school for later grades, there is a maturity among home schooled kids which we do not always see in kids who have been in big institutional settings from early childhood. The home schooled child is quieter, less demanding of attention and listens well. The home-schooled child has a sense of self, knows what he or she can do well and is pretty good at figuring out what areas need more instruction since the child has received that huge academic bonus of one on one attention. The home schooled child is sensitive to adults, talks well with them, and is not looking on adults as an us versus them thing as some children do. This is likely because the child's parent is a very full person to them and they get to know the parent well and see how adult life has its ups and downs. I very much like teaching home-schooled kids and they tend to be very popular around the school too because they are kind to others.
What I am concerned about with this legislation though is its violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the right of parents to determine the care style of the child and the right of the child to be raised in the presence of the parents wherever possible. There are also rights mentioned about learning the culture and social values, traditions, language and tradition of your parents because that helps you understand your own history. To deprive children of exposure to these things is actually a human rights violation.Thank you for sending me along the notice of this issue in Sweden. It is troubling but we do have the hope that the world, on hearing this, will also raise its concerns.
I have been a member of this group since 2004, when we were living in Sweden and I wanted to investigate the possibility of educating one of our daughters at home, because I felt she was not thriving at school.
This group was helpful in getting information on the legal aspects of home education in Sweden.
BTW, I did end up calling my local kommun (Haninge) to discuss withdrawing our daughter from school. "Oh no, you can't do that!" I was told. "Not unless she's sick." This was back in 2005 or 2006. Thanks to what I had learned from this group, I was able to inform the kommun of the law, and quote the section which stated the right to educate at home.
We now live in the U.S.A. (my homeland), and have been happily providing an education for our own children, in our own home, for 3 wonderful years.
Just today I heard from a homeschooling contact in the United Kingdom that Sweden is proposing to remove the option of homeschooling from the law! I am shocked by this attack on your parental rights to oversee the education of your own children. I have signed the petition at rohus.nu, and will ask my husband to do the same.
Sadly, I have also learned that homeschoolers in England are facing a possible change in their law too. These new laws would impose harsh restrictions, and introduce the possibility of education authorities entering the homes of homeschoolers to inspect without consent (not even the police can do that!!) and interview even the youngest children alone, without a parent, guardian, or advocate present to protect and assist them.
Like you, they are fighting to make their voices heard in government to protest these unjust, unreasonable, and discriminatory measures.
To you, I send my support and best wishes for a successful outcome. May Sweden remain a free land for her own citizens! May goodness and reason prevail.
I am a homeschooling mother from America. I am currently in Norway and have just read of the plight of troubles for home schooling families in Sweden. I am concerned for you all and would like to help if possible.
I have homeschooled my children for twenty-four years. I have seven children, all of whom have been home schooled for their entire first twelve years of education. I have three children who have graduated from home school, only to enter university and become honors students. My oldest child, graduated from University in USA with the highest honors, was awarded an honorable Fulbright scholarship to do research and study abroad in Norway. She would be a wonderful testimony to the benefits of home schooling and is a very successful home school outcome.
I am currently visiting my child here in Norway, and we just read about the family whose young child has been taken from the home schooling family. My heart is terribly grieved for this family and would like to do whatever I can to help. We would be priviledge to come to Sweden to encourage the home school community in whatever way we can. We would also like to speak to the authorities in Sweden to plea to let this family have their child back. If anything would be of help and profitable, we would be happy to do whatever is possible. Please let me know how we can help.