While the UK is possibly the easiest country in the world for home education, it is also allowed in many other places, particularly for ex-patriates. If you are living away from your home culture, you may want to teach your children at home while you settle in and visit the local schools, or you might decide that it’s a good opportunity to try out home education long-term. If you are posted abroad temporarily, home education can be a good way of bridging the gap for your children, so that they are not disrupted by a totally new school system.
Details about international home education in some countries outside the UK are given in the following web sites.
Although little-known, home education does take place in Belgium. You can read some anecdotes and legal information in the Brussels Journal. You can also read the Ex-pat Focus guide to education in Belgium, with information about homeschooling at the bottom.
While home education is not directly recognised in the law, it is considered legal (in that school is not compulsory). You can find information (in Spanish) on the EnFamilia page. There is also an English-speaking community of home educators in Columbia.
Home education is not legal in Cyprus, although permission can theoretically be obtained from the Minister for Education. Some ex-pats educate their children at home without permission, although fewer than previously. Unfortunately different officials interpret the law in different ways, so you have to be prepared to stand your ground and be clear about your reasons for home educating. There is a Facebook page about Cyprus home education.
Home education is officially recognised in Denmark although parents choosing to teach their children at home must have permission to do so. There do not seem to be many relevant sites, but there is one – in Danish only – about homeschooling in Denmark.
Home education is legal in Finland, although rare. There is an up-to-date summary of the law about home educating in Finland, and also a thread about homeschooling on a Finnish ex-pat forum, with some detailed information given in one of the replies.
Home education is legal, although subject to some quite rigid restrictions and inspections. In recent months, the Education National has launched a campaign against homeschoolers who do not use the approved distance learning scheme, the CNED. While a few may be eligible for free courses, the majority have to pay.
For a network of home educators in France, see the website for Les Enfants d’Abord
Homeschooling is officially illegal in Germany, with everyone including foreigners supposed to send their children to school. However there are some German home educators: see Homeschoolng in Germany for a brief summary.
Home education is not officially legal in Hong Kong, although as with other countries it seems to be acceptable for ex-pats to educate their children at home. See this site for a group of homeschoolers in Hong Kong who meet regularly.
Home education is legal in Israel. Although permission should officially be asked, many families educate at home without, and have no problems. See the Israel Home Education Association site for more details, and information about group meetings.
Home education is legal but not widely known in Italy. It is officially known as ‘scuola paterna’. The legal reference allowing this is: Testo unico D.L. 16/4/94 n. 297 n. 297, titolo II art. 11 secondo comma G.U. serie generale, n. 79 del 19.5.94. A reference from the public istitution for education in Italy: Ministero P.I., Sig.ra Pazienti, 06 58495845.
There is a mailing list for Italian home educators (in Italian). If you prefer something in English, there’s also a blog about home education in Italy with some useful links. Look for earlier posts about legal information.
The law in Japan is uncertain – there are many school refusers who receive no education at all, and there are certainly foreigners home educating. Some Japanese citizens are campaigning for changes to the law. The Education in Japan site has a useful post about homeschooling in Japan.
It is more difficult to educate at home in Holland, although sometimes possible. You can find out more at the website for home education in the Netherlands.
Home education is legal in New Zealand, although you need permission to do so. For information see the New Zealand government page about home education, the site for the National Council of Home Educators (NCHENZ) or the more informal Kiwi families pages.
Home education is legal in Norway, though relatively unknown. There does not seem to be much information online, but there are contact details at this page about home educating in Norway.
Although subject to some restrictions and government requirements, home education is beginning to increase in South Africa. See: Homeschool resources for South Africa and the South African Homeschoolers site.
Home education has been legal in Sweden until recently; unfortunatey it has now become much more difficult. You can find out more from an organisation who are trying to promote this option, at The Swedish Association for Home Education.
Home education is not well-known in Switzerland, however there is a support group for homeschooling in Switzerland (site available in several languages)
United States of America
Home Education is legal in each of the 50 States, but there are regulations and requirements in several of them. A web search for ‘homeschool’ will find hundreds of sites about home education in the USA. You can find current information and articles, including details of the requirements in each State at: a2z homeschooling
The following are sites which have general information about home education in other countries:
Homeschool central country resources – specific resources geared to a range of countries around the world.
Schulfrei Community – a site that connects home educators around the world, with useful lists of camps and other gatherings in the UK and elsewhere.
There is also a useful Homeschool world forum about home education in various countries of the world.