Deciding to homeschool is simple, but carrying out your plan takes a lot more effort. For parents who need to relocate so they can teach children at home, it is a huge, life-changing event, but one which is ultimately in your kids’ best interests. The big question is clearly where to go. In contrast, some countries have outlawed homeschooling completely, such as Germany. Meanwhile, other places are open, inviting, and outstanding countries to teach children from home. Skipping right past countries with no education standards because they are not wise educational choices; overall, there are a few pack-leaders that easily afford families the chance to homeschool. I’ll walk you through the top choices so you can make a simple decision about what works best for your family. Yes, relocating is a large obstacle, but your kids will thank you for the high-quality home learning opportunities down the road.
What is the best country to live in for homeschool? The United States is the best country for homeschooling children. With millions of home learners, plentiful parent resources, groups, and organizations for homeschool socialization and activities in many areas, and relatively relaxed government oversight, it is easy to homeschool. The universal right to homeschool extends to every state in the US, so moving around within the country is also easy. The toughest standards include a few competency tests and more recordkeeping in some areas.
Countries Where it is Easy to Homeschool
There are several countries where it is easy to homeschool your children. Many of the places where it is least difficult are English-speaking. For example, some of the best places are Canada, Australia, the UK, and New Zealand.
Canada has made it legal to homeschool in every province. Although the standards and oversight vary from one region to the next, it is generally not very difficult. Some areas offer funding and resources for working under a teacher or a small stipend for books and materials. About one in every hundred and twenty-seven students or sixty-thousand total kids are homeschooled, including secular (religious) and non-secular students.
Australia has a growing movement of homeschool families, with over thirty thousand home learners (pre-2020). Because some areas of Aus are remote, families have worked hard there to bring high-quality education to students. Unfortunately, for students on the Autism spectrum, this has become a serious consideration simply because local schools don’t have the ability to handle their special needs efficiently and homeschool provides an educational refuge that prevents dropping out early.
Many world schooling families have chosen to travel or stay in this unique country for a while. The opportunities for learning provided by the varied environments and incredible wildlife, culture, and other fantastic opportunities in Australia makes this a desirable destination. However, the different states have varying rules, so it pays to contact your local embassy for updates if you plan to stay more than a few days in one area.
New Zealand isn’t very populous at just over four million residents total, so the more-than six thousand homeschoolers make up a larger percentage of students than you might otherwise expect. To homeschool in this beautiful COVID19-free country, you’ll need pre-approval from the Ministry of Education. Applying well in advance of the school year is a smart move since it takes four to six weeks on average to receive an answer, but getting the approval isn’t difficult.
You will need to provide NZ with data about your philosophy on schooling, show proof of educational materials, and a general syllabus with the subjects you wish to teach, among a few other basic requirements. Once you’re approved, you receive a certificate of exemption showing that your child is enrolled in homeschool legally.
Homeschooling in the UK is similar to most of the other countries on this list. You will need to file some paperwork and provide a reasonable curriculum. One way in which homeschooling in the UK differs significantly is the School Attendance Order. If your local council feels your child isn’t receiving a high-quality, full-time education, they may require your kids to attend a more traditional school of their own wellbeing.
While other countries can certainly deny a homeschool application, only the UK mentions this type of intervention possibility outright on their homeschooling website. Regardless, it shouldn’t be a serious concern for most homeschool families, and any part of the UK is still an excellent option for home learners.
Places You Cannot Homeschool Your Children
Several countries refuse to allow home learning. While some, like Germany, have outlawed the practice and seem to actively persecute families who want to teach their kids at home, others simply make the process impossible to get approved. Additionally, there are other countries where it’s possible, but the oversight is excessive and intrusive.
Russia is one of the more in-between examples. While homeschool is legal there, some areas choose not to enforce the privilege. There are about twenty-eight countries with these difficult or sporadically enforced policies. Many of these are located in Eur-Asia. Out of the hundred and ninety-plus countries on earth, only about sixty are distinctly unfriendly to homeschool families. Luckily, you still have about two-thirds of the world to choose from.
While it may seem like many places are unfriendly to homeschoolers, there are so many other options there’s no need to try and argue the point unless you have no choice in where you relocate. If this is the case for you, correspondence and distance learning could be the best alternative where it’s allowed. For more information on the thirty-four countries where you cannot homeschool and the twenty-eight where you won’t want to, check out my article on the subject by clicking here.
Why The USA is a Great Place to Homeschool
There are over one and a half million homeschooled students in the USA. While it might be a little more paperwork and record-keeping intensive in places like New York versus other regions of the country, overall, homeschooling in the US is not difficult, and it is considered a right of all parents and guardians. In most places, you cannot be refused the option to homeschool, and legal representation is not hard to find if you run into any issues.
While the US public school system is often derided, the quality has gone up in recent years, and there’s no denying that the college and university opportunities here are stellar. Many of the top-ranked universities in the world are US schools, and all of them will accept homeschooled children provided. However, homeschool is another area where the US truly shines.
Resources from individual worksheets to full curriculums are everywhere. Low cost or even free internet access and computers for students and the ability to enroll in after school and extracurriculars like sports are abundant. Parent and family groups, learning pods, and virtual social connections for students and parents are readily available almost everywhere there’s enough population to support them.
Other forms of education and homeschool support are also easy to find. Online or in-person tutors to counselors for behavior issues and instructors for everything from swimming to languages and instruments are hard to find with a basic google search. Moreover, the practice of homeschooling is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds.
With such a large country, there are plenty of ways to add travel to the curriculum. Local theaters, parks, zoos, aquariums, and attractions exist in most places. With every climate and environment from Death Valley to the Alaskan tundra, you don’t even need a passport to give your home learners a wonderful collection of experiences. Furthermore, unschoolers will find just as much acceptance here as more traditional homeschool students.
On the flip side of that coin, families who are private and wish nothing more than to be left in peace to educate their kids without outside interference are also common. Whether the education is based on religious faith or the parents simply prefer a technology-free, family-centric life, there’s no problem with that teaching style. For homeschooling, America truly is the land of the free and a place of vast and varied opportunities.
Taking control and responsibility for teaching your children is a vital decision, and moving to a new country so you can homeschool is smart. When you come from a place where schools aren’t great, or homeschool laws are either nonexistent or extremely punishing, it can seem like an impossible task. However, once you get where you’re going and see how your kids thrive learning from home, you’ll never question the decision again.
Most English-speaking countries have relatively simple homeschooling opportunities, but the community is probably the largest in the USA. With more homeschoolers and their parents come more blogs, websites, resources, and easily available information. Moreover, getting registered is easy in most US states, and there are many online correspondence and homeschooling programs as well.
Being a homeschool parent should be a universal right, but until it is, you can always move for better opportunities. Plus, if you choose the USA, many truly outstanding Universities are top-ranked in the world for furthering that education after your home learners graduate.