Homeschooling is becoming increasingly popular, with countries from worldwide implementing the form of education. It is a unique form of learning, where parents take the role of teachers instead of traditional schools. This article covers the countries that have the highest numbers of homeschoolers, looking at their national laws and regulations, as well as the population of homeschooled students.
1: Definitions of Homeschooling
Homeschooling is a particular form of education, where children receive their instruction from their parents, rather than a traditional educational setting. This way, children are taught ‘at’ home, rather than ‘in’ a school. Homeschoolers can often follow a structured curriculum, or may opt for a more relaxed educational style.
It is mainly seen in the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe but is gaining much more popularity throughout the world.
2: The United States
The United States is one of the countries leading when it comes to the population of homeschoolers. Homeschooling has been practiced in the United States since the mid-1970s and has since become an established form of education. Research suggests that upwards of three million American children are home-educated, and this number is growing yearly.
In the United States, homeschooling laws are varied at a state level, and each state has different regulations for home-schoolers. Parents who wish to homeschool their child in the United States need to understand their state’s laws, as well as the regulations set by their local school district.
3: The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom has also seen a surge in the number of homeschooled students over the last few years, with families choosing to homeschool due to a variety of reasons, such as a dissatisfaction with their child’s school or the wish to provide them with a broader or more alternative education. The law in the UK relating to homeschooling is relatively open, allowing parents to design and provide a suitable education for their children.
The curriculum, number of hours schooled, and accountability system are mainly left to the parents to decide. The Department for Education does, however, require parents to ensure their child is taught a full curriculum, and provide adequate evidence for their child’s learning in the form of samples of work, assessments, and examinations.
4: South Korea
South Korea is one of the countries leading when it comes to homeschooling, with an estimated population of 45,000 homeschoolers. Homeschooling is not illegal in South Korea, though there are regulations in place. Parents must apply to the local Education Superintendant, who will decide if the child can be removed from a traditional school and allowed to be homeschooled.
The parent must also have a valid reason for wanting to homeschool and must provide evidence to back up their application. South Korea has a growing number of adults homeschooling, and there has been a noticeable increase in adults taking part in homeschool programs.
Many adults do this to gain extra qualifications, such as a second language, whilst others are looking to learn new skills.
A lesser-known leader in homeschool numbers is China. The country has an estimated population of 400,000 homeschoolers, who, like in South Korea, must have a valid reason for homeschooling and websites, books, and resources are strictly controlled by the Chinese government.
Homeschooling regulations in China have become tighter since the arrival of the Communist Party, as the government wishes to control the kind of education students receive. Homeschooling is also seen as an escape from the highly competitive school system. Homeschooling in China is also very much a family affair, as grandparents and aunts often contribute to the curriculum and educational resources used.
Spain is another leading country for homeschoolers, with an estimated population of around 12,000. Homeschooling laws in Spain, however, vary from region to region, and parents must contact their local officials for more information. It is important to note that as homeschooling is still fairly new in Spain, with the first dedicated homeschooling center opening in 2017, there is limited data on the matter.
But what is known is that more and more families are turning to homeschooling as an alternative education option, with most families selecting the country’s ‘independent’ or ‘home’ learning option.
Germany is another country that has seen an increase in the number of its homeschoolers, with an estimated population of 8,000. Homeschooling has been legally accepted in Germany since 2013 and parents have the right to educate their child at home, without needing to register with the German Education System. Most homeschoolers in Germany are educated through self-developed curriculums and independent tests, leaving the parents in charge of the education of their children.
Homeschoolers in Germany can also choose to register with the German Education Association, which provides them with an accredited curriculum and further opportunities.
India is quickly becoming a leader in homeschooling numbers, with an estimated population of around 100,000 homeschoolers. Homeschooling has grown in popularity due to the rising cost of traditional schooling, as well as the need for a more flexible approach to help maintain high academic standards. In India, homeschoolers must register with the local school board if they wish to be eligible for the National Eligibility Test, which is a requirement to get into many Indian universities.
Homeschoolers in India are also well supported, with a growing number of homeschooling networks and school programs allowing parents to better understand their rights and responsibilities.
Australia is home to an estimated population of around 100,000 homeschoolers, making it a leader in homeschooling numbers. Homeschooling is seen as an alternative form of education, and parents are allowed to withdraw their children from school and teach them at home.
The main body that governs homeschooling in Australia is the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (ACARA), which sets out guidelines that parents must follow when homeschooling. Parents of homeschoolers are also required to keep records of the education their children receive, in the form of attendance logs and work samples.
France has also seen an increase in the number of homeschoolers, with an estimated population of around 20,000. Homeschooling in France is a growing trend due, in part, to the government’s lack of control over the education system, which is why many parents have opted to take matters into their own hands. Homeschooling is legal in France, and parents are required to apply for a ‘dérogation de scolarité’, or permission to be homeschooled.
However, the regulations are different in each French region, and parents must contact the local school board for more information.
Canada is also a leader in homeschooling numbers, with an estimated population of around 100,000 homeschooled students. Homeschooling has been practiced in the country since the 1960s and has grown steadily in popularity since then. Canadian homeschooling laws vary from province to province, however, and there are a few provinces in which homeschooling is illegal.
In provinces in which it is legal, parents must submit a statement of intent to their school board, and must provide evidence that the child is receiving a suitable full-time education.
Ireland is one of the few countries in Europe to have an increasing population of homeschoolers, with an estimated population of around 10,000 homeschoolers. Homeschooling is legal in Ireland, however, there are restrictions in place, such as the need for parents to register with the National Education Board, who can impose certain regulations on the homeschooling curriculum.
Homeschooling remains a fairly new phenomenon in Ireland, but it is becoming more popular as parents seek alternatives to traditional schooling. The ability to tailor a curriculum to a child’s individual needs, as well as adhere to different religious beliefs, is proving to be one of the main draws to homeschooling in Ireland.
Malaysia is one of the few countries in Asia to have an increasing population of homeschoolers, with an estimated population of around 2,000. Homeschooling is allowed in Malaysia, but the laws and regulations remain unclear, as there are no specific laws or regulations governing homeschoolers. Despite this, there are some guiding principles that have been set out by the Ministry of Education, and parents of homeschoolers are recommended to adhere to them.
This includes registering their child with the Ministry and keeping records of their child’s education.
In conclusion, there are many countries across the globe where homeschooling is becoming increasingly popular. The United States and the United Kingdom lead when it comes to the number of homeschoolers, followed by countries such as South Korea, China, and Ireland.
Across the world, however, parents are increasingly turning to homeschooling as an alternative form of education for their children. In order for homeschooling to be legal, parents must adhere to their local and national laws and regulations, as well as ensure that their child is receiving an adequate education.