Homeschooling is pretty rare in the US, but in Germany, it's against the law. I read an interesting article from the New York Times, Judge Grants Asylum to German Home Schoolers, about a German refugee family living in Tennessee. The Romeikes family chose to home school their children because they felt that other students' bad behavior was unhelpful to their children's learning and because they believed that the stories in German readers - where "devils, witches and disobedient children are often portrayed as heros" were not good examples for children to be reading. The Romeikes worked with a curriculum from a private Christian correspondence school. However, it was not recognized by the German government, which enforces that all students must attend school, whether that be public or private. The law maintains that going to school allows for "social integration" and is necessary to "ensure exposure to people from different backgrounds and prevent what some call 'parallel societies.'" The Romeikes eventually faced fines up to $11,000 and almost lost custody of their children, so their lawyers petitioned for asylum (
Should parents be allowed to home school their children? Ultimately, I believe that parents should be able to choose whether or not they do, regardless of the circumstances - as long as they follow a set curriculum. Parents have the right to raise their children the way they think is best, and in a way that does not compromise their beliefs. However, I do see truth in the reasons for which Germany prohibits this schooling method - I believe social integration is important for children to develop into aware and tolerant individuals. In the case mentioned above, Mr. Romeikes said, "I want my children to learn the truth and to learn about what’s going on in the world so that they can deal with it.” What do you think?