Homeschooling in Europe

Homeschooling in Europe

by Ruth Ploeger, Army Region School Liaison Officer/Transition Support Specialist
Family and MWR CYS Services

Some parents elect to homeschool their children while OCONUS. This is a legal option open to all SOFA sponsored active duty military, DOD civilians, and contractors. No state or federal government permission is required. 

Be aware that for German citizens homeschooling is illegal, and it is not common or recognized in other countries. You should be mindful of potential looks if you are out and about off-post with your children during normal school hours. In addition, to prevent unwarranted interest by local authorities, you should use discernment when conducting non-academic activities or allowing children to be unsupervised outside the home during normal school hours.

The Netherlands does not have a SOFA agreement. Instead they have a "Friendship Agreement", which does not address homeschooling. Homeschooling is not recognized by the Dutch government. The Compulsory Education Act (Article 2, Paragraph 1) states school attendance is mandatory, so there may be challenges for homeschoolers going to Schinnen. Homeschool families moving to Europe should check with the school liaison officer for more information about homeschooling in their country or region.

School liaison officers may also connect homeschool families to local groups that sometimes share in field trips, PE, parties, curriculum fairs, science fairs, workshops and other educational and social activities. Child, Youth & School Services also offer special events and programs for homeschoolers in some locations.

Homeschool families may request special education evaluation and services in the DODEA schools. These families also have the option of benefitting from some of the activities or classes within the DODEA schools. For example, a homeschool student may wish to participate in an extracurricular activity, take just an art or math course at the school, complete standardized tests, have access to online learning program memberships the school has, take select virtual school classes or use school textbooks. All of these options are open to eligible dependent homeschoolers through the on-post schools on a space available basis. Students must have completed registration paperwork with the school and commit to regular participation in any chosen activity to allow for proper planning on the part of the teachers or activity sponsors.

For more information or to access local homeschool groups, contact your School Liaison Officer.

For more to help your student PCS, visit Europe Family and MWR's website for an Inbound Student Handbook.

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