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5 Best Countries For Expats Who Homeschool

7 min read

5 Best Countries For Expats Who Homeschool

In recent years, concerns about the state of educational systems worldwide have been growing, with governments and even private schools focused on instilling ideas that may not align with your values and hinder your children's prospects. Sadly, that’s just a bit of what’s going on. It's no wonder many parents have turned to homeschooling to protect their children from indoctrination, mediocrity, and bullying.

Aside from the reasons mentioned above, just think of how some kids were forced to take certain ‘medical procedures’ without the consent of their parents. Other reasons include having a flexible schedule and religious or philosophical beliefs. In short, homeschooling is a good choice for those who want to provide their children with a customized education that will equip them with the tools needed to thrive in this ever-changing world.

Even though there are other options for homeschooling countries, today we will talk about the best options, especially for expats and digital nomads. If you want your kids to get a customized education and keep them safe, here is a list of homeschooling-friendly countries you should consider. 

Note: As a parent, you should consider your circumstances and pick the country and educational program that suits you best.

 

The homeschooling movement grew rapidly in Latvia due to a general dissatisfaction with the quality of education in the public school system

The homeschooling movement grew rapidly in Latvia due to a general dissatisfaction with the quality of education in the public school system

#5 LATVIA

With a low cost of living and rich cultural heritage, Latvia offers a high standard of living. Moreover, the country has a convenient, well-developed infrastructure, including modern amenities and a robust healthcare system. The capital city of Riga is a cosmopolitan city, offering a range of entertainment options, international cuisine, and a vibrant expat community. 

Homeschooling has rapidly grown in Latvia due to societal challenges concerning core values and a growing discontent with the public school system's quality of education. Therefore, many parents, especially those with strong religious beliefs, want to take control of their kids’ education. 

Parents must submit a written application to the school or preschool principal to homeschool in Latvia. The application should state that the child's health or psychological needs cannot be adequately met in a traditional school environment and that appropriate learning conditions have been arranged at home. Supporting documents from a health physician or psychologist may also be required.

After approval, the school sets the guidelines for the educational program and assessment methods for homeschooled children. State examinations are mandatory for all students, including those homeschooled, in grades 3 and 6. As of the time of writing, kids can be homeschooled from 5 up until 14 years old. 

 

Related article: Latvia Golden Visa Program

 

Parents are free to homeschool their children in Estonia, in case of parental preference or medical needs

Parents are free to homeschool their children in Estonia, in case of parental preference or medical needs

#4 ESTONIA

This EU-belonging Baltic country has garnered attention in recent years due to its affordable cost of living, rapidly growing economy, and, most importantly, ease of doing business. Estonia is particularly appealing to digital nomads due to its advanced technological infrastructure. In fact, internet access in Estonia is considered a fundamental human right.

While homeschooling is legally allowed in Estonia, it is not a widely practiced form of education. The government encourages parents to consider mainstream schooling as the primary option for their children's education. Still, thanks to the country’s proficiency in digital learning, you could provide your kids with solid homeschool resources. 

The country’s infrastructure is so developed that, even before lockdown season, Estonian children already had their own digital study materials regardless of their socioeconomic situation. Estonia's education system, which has outperformed Finland in international assessments, highlights the positive results of this approach. This country is committed to digital education, which provides a powerful and flexible learning experience for students.

In Estonia, parents are free to homeschool their kids in case of parental preference or medical necessity. In the first case, you’d need to state the reasons for homeschooling and designate the person responsible for teaching. In this situation, parents are required to fund and manage their studies. The school provides the materials to cover the curriculum. In the second case, the school is responsible for funding and managing homeschooling; and it would ensure collaboration with parents to create a tailored work plan for the student. 

Note that if the kid fails to meet the national curriculum requirements, they may be obligated to return to traditional schooling. Even though less than 100 kids are currently homeschooled in Estonia, the country’s digital infrastructure is convenient for families who want to take control of their children’s education. 

 

Related article: How To Enjoy Your Retirement Years In Estonia

 

Luxembourg protects the right to educational choice by letting parents freely decide their childrens curriculum

Luxembourg protects the right to educational choice by letting parents freely decide their children's curriculum

#3 LUXEMBOURG

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg offers way more than a stable political and economic environment. The country’s labour force, comprising almost 50% of cross-border workers from neighbouring countries, demonstrates its wealth and robust business opportunities. 

Luxembourg’s commitment to educational excellence makes it a good country for those wanting to shift away from traditional schooling. The country protects the right to educational choice, allowing parents to freely choose their children’s curriculum. 

Homeschooling is subject to inspection to ensure the kid is getting a suitable education. Therefore, parents should prove that the kids are achieving the minimum goals set by the national curriculum. Some basic requirements include progress in one of the official country’s languages (German, French and Luxembourgish) and physical, moral and intellectual development. However, inspections are conducted only at the primary level (4 to 12) and not at the secondary level (12 to 18).

To homeschool kids aged 4 to 12 in Luxembourg, you must seek approval from your regional education director. Then, send a letter in French with a positive tone and a detailed homeschooling plan. The ‘Association Luxembourgeoise pour la Liberté d'Instruction’ (‘Luxembourg Association for the Freedom of Instruction’ in English) offers a sample letter in French and assistance to ensure it complies with the country’s education laws. Once the request is approved, you must communicate your intention to homeschool to the local commune, and, finally, you can begin homeschooling. 

 

Related article: What Are The Various Ways Of Acquiring Luxembourgish Citizenship?

 

Thailand is a great homeschooling destination, where you can take control of your childrens education and help them learn at their own pace, away from the pressure of traditional teaching

Thailand is a great homeschooling destination, where you can take control of your children's education and help them learn at their own pace, away from the pressure of traditional teaching

#2 THAILAND

This Southeast Asian country is known for its good weather, amazing food and friendly locals. However, as an expat, not only will you benefit from a low cost of living and a favourable tax regime, but also the freedom of educating your kids at home. Thailand provides an enriching environment that can complement a homeschooling lifestyle.

If you have a lifestyle different from the 9-to-5 and want to make your kids see the real world outside the classroom, homeschooling in Thailand is a great option. Apart from providing your kids with real-life knowledge to ensure their success, you’ll be able to grant them a richer family experience in a land of breathtaking nature.

Homeschooling is a legitimate pathway for education in Thailand. While other countries, especially in the West, are trying to educate parents on right and wrong, Thailand’s education law and constitution consider the family an educational institution. In other words, parents are recognized as the primary educators of their children. 

Some excellent homeschooling programs in Thailand are:

Thailand is a great homeschooling destination to take control over your kids’ education and help them learn at their own pace without the pressure of traditional schools. Thai citizens opting for homeschooling must undergo an application process and ensure annual assessments for their homeschooled children. However, expats and tourists typically have fewer concerns regarding local regulations when it comes to homeschooling.

Homeschooling is gaining popularity in Thailand, and the government has implemented measures to support and regulate this form of education. With a growing number of families choosing homeschooling and the availability of support services, parents in Thailand now have the necessary resources to offer their children a high-quality education at home.

 

Related article: How To Get Residency In The Beautiful Thailand

 

Parents or guardians must meet certain requirements in order for students to be able to continue their home schooling in Panama

Parents or guardians must meet certain requirements in order for students to be able to continue their home schooling in Panama

#1 PANAMA

Panama, often referred to as “The Switzerland of the Americas,” is more than a stable, prosperous financial hub in the region. Panama also offers a low cost of living, attractive tax incentives, and a strategic location serving as a bridge between North and South America. It provides a high quality of life, diverse cultural experiences, and a thriving expat community. With welcoming visa policies and excellent education options, including homeschooling, Panama is an appealing destination for professionals, entrepreneurs, and families.

Expat parents in Panama have the freedom to homeschool their children without facing interference or strict regulations from the country's education system. Before August 2021, homeschooling was not formally recognized, but the lack of explicit guidelines regarding homeschooling allowed families to shape their children's education based on their unique needs and values.

Since pre-university education is completely free, homeschooling is not that popular in Panama, but the law passed in August 2021 has helped homeschooling gain traction. Students who receive homeschooling education must be enrolled in educational centers designated for this purpose by the Ministry of Education. The project includes managing educational information through a portfolio containing study materials and a compilation of the student's work collected over time. It serves as evidence of their knowledge and skills, whether in physical or digital format.

Parents or guardians must meet certain requirements for students to pursue their studies from home in Panama. These include having a computer and internet connection, signing an agreement of responsibility, obtaining certification of adequate management of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), providing a certificate of mental health, obtaining a psychological report from Psychological Cabinets for the student, and attending a seminar on teaching methodologies and personalized education. These requisites aim to ensure parents or guardians have the necessary resources and knowledge to facilitate homeschooling for their children in Panama.

 

Related article: Discover Why Panama Is An Open Door Of Opportunities For Expats

 

Homeschooling is a great idea if you want your kids to learn your values and keep them away from ideas you dont believe in

Homeschooling is a great idea if you want your kids to learn your values and keep them away from ideas you don't believe in

BONUS: GENERAL TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE HOMESCHOOLING

Now that you know some expat-friendly countries for homeschooling, you might have noticed some that pique your interest, so I encourage you to choose one that aligns with your vision and your children’s prospects. 

But this does not end with choosing the right country or the best homeschooling program. If you want to help your child have a fantastic homeschooling experience, I recommend checking out these tips that I use with my children, making  homeschooling more effective and enjoyable:

  • Dedicate a specific area in your home as a designated learning space, ensuring it is well-organized and free from distractions;

  • Establish a daily routine and set clear expectations for learning time. Encourage self-discipline and time management skills. This involves avoiding distractions and separating time for studying and leisure;

  • Take advantage of local libraries, museums, educational websites, and online learning platforms to supplement your curriculum;

  • Regularly assess your child's progress through assignments, tests, and portfolios. Keep track of achievements and areas that require improvement, as education inspectors may check on your child’s knowledge;

  • And don’t neglect encouraging social interactions and engagement through online homeschooling communities, co-ops, field trips, and extracurricular activities.

That’s why education expert Michael Strong and I founded the Expat International School of Freedom and Entrepreneurship. Driven by the goal of creating the education we wish we had, we’ve created an educational plan to offer expat parents the flexibility and community that traditional schooling cannot provide. 

If that sounds good to you, schedule a call with us to see if you’re a good fit. 

 

Related article: The Basics Of How To Get A Second Passport Or A Second Residency

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Homeschooling is a fantastic idea if you want your children to learn your values and keep them away from ideas you do not believe in. Despite how globalized the world has gotten, each country has its own regulations education-wise. Each country’s laws are different, so it is a good idea to ask for help to make the process as easy as possible.

 

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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money®, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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