I watched a small piece on the local TV station about a friend of mine and her two sons, who refuse to go to school. (She is trying to get permission to homeschool her sons.)
Of course the programme had the requisite statement by a representative of the education authority. According to him, homeschooling is not allowed in Germany, because children being exposed only to their parents' influence can have fatal results. My first question to him would be: Is there some kind of list from which these guys can choose their favourite asinine statement? My second question is, following this line of reasoning, when are the German authorities going to ban schools?
Someone commented on an email list that this statement illuminates the main issue that the German state has with homeschooling. We can argue till we are blue in the face about the benefits of homeschooling and about educational choices, but as long as the state feels it is not in the interests of the children to have their parents as the only, or even main, influence, it is going to oppose homeschoolers with all its might. Sad.
You can see the programme here. It's halfway down the page. Click on Die Schulpflichtverweigerer. The quality is not good and it's all in German but I love the part where the older son talks about how he made the choice not to go to school, after his parents persuaded him to try it longer. The man with the grey beard is the one making the statement above.