Thursday, March 31, 2011

Homeschooling in The Netherlands

Homeschooling was in the news again.

In The Netherlands it has never been a real option for everybody, just for a very special group who can't find a school fitting their worldview or religion within a certain distance.
If they have made the mistake to send their child to school, they can't unschool.

Homeschooling is seen as a kind of privilege for people who have either a very strict religion or are holistic in their views.

Apart from these people homeschooling is allowed for people who travel a certain amount of time of the year and for kids with an IQ which is too low to be able to get a diploma ever.

When my autistic boy was unable to attend school we got the full force of the controling system on our backs. because he had gone to school they assumed he would be able to finish it. That he had severe problems to deal with the social aspects of going to school was not taken serious. And they overlooked the enormous effort everybody had taken to make him stay there as long as possible.
What to think of 2 to 3 hours each morning to motivate him to go. Every day. Over and over again. For years!
But no matter what, homeschooling wasn't an option.
They came with the most ridiculous solutions, including trying to make him go to the deaf school. They threatened me with court and all, and forgot the fact that the deafschool didn't want him anyway. I was so happy when that schoolleader suddenly stepped forward and took the whole load from my shoulders.

Then they came with homeschooling. I was allowed to homeschool, and had to report each friday to a school.
No way!
I told them they'd better get a private teacher to teach him, but that I wasn't going to educate my son supervised by someone else. I wasn't a sort of class assistant. Either it would be homeschooling as done in other countries or paid and controlled.

The last try was putting him in a lonely room at a school where he should stay all day alone with tasks.
I said that even a dog would get some attention and was allowed to go out for a pee.

In the meantime my son was trying to find his way to daycare.
At last they gave in... freed him from the burden of school and education, and that was it.

Homeschooling was in the news again because parents of a closing islamic school said they would apply for homeschooling in court.
The minister tried to be fast and tried to shut down the possibility of homeschooling for them by making homeschooling illegal for everybody.

The parliament said that the option for homeschooling should stay open for the small number of people the law allows to homeschool.

Well, that's something.
But they want more control.

I wish this society would become more trusting, like it used to be.
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