Sunday, May 28, 2006

Coming out of the closet

We received a letter from the local school yesterday. I had semi been expecting something like this, because our third child has to be registered at the school for the school year 2007-2008. (It's so far in advance so they can check their level of German and give them a whole year's worth of tuition so no-one supposedly starts school with a language disadvantage).

I had phoned and spoken to the Director of the school, telling her that we wouldn't be registering him because we didn't intend to be here any more by the time he was due to start school and she asked me to write a letter stating that, for her records, which I did. I was sort of hoping that that would be the end of the story but obviously not. Two years ago we had the same story with my daughter, with the school insisting she attend even if we were only staying for a short time. When we received notification of a fine we officially left Germany for the UK. When my husband's working contract was renewed for another year, we registered officially as resident here, but didn't hear anything more from the school. Till now.

The biggest surprise about the letter is how positive it is. In contrast to two years ago, when all they had to say was, "Send your child to school or else!" this time it stated that our children are Schulpflichtig (have a duty to attend school) and if I want to avoid prosecution I should apply to the State department of education for exemption from compulsory school attendance.

In one of my very first posts on this blog, I bitched about how nothing has changed in Germany on the homeschooling front. Maybe I'm wrong.

At least this means that I don't have to sneak around with my kids during school times. We can be out and about and open about it now. And I can start doing some serious advocacy work, contacting politicians and suchlike. Maybe even the odd TV appearance ;-). Lol, I think my preteen son would die of embarrassment if a TV crew were to come along to film him at his Yugioh league day, as they did with my friend's sons during their cathedral boys' choir practice.


Meg L. said...

Well good luck with them and keep us posted.

BTW, it looks like we may have a German exchanged student next year. We're still getting the details, but I may be asking for some advice on things to help her settle in come the fall.

First question. Will she be freaked by living in a homeschooling family?

scatty said...

Maybe she won't be freaked, but her relatives sure will be. Hopefully by the time she leaves you, that will be one more homeschooling supporter in Germany. (I assume she is going to school, though - exchange students have to, as far as I know).

Meg L. said...

Yeah, they have to go to the public school. OTH, the ps was very open to me pulling the last exchange student for any and all 'field trips' that we went on.

Hopefully then she won't be anymore freaked than the last one. A catholic girl from Columbia (98% catholic) who couldn't believe that not only weren't we christian, we just weren't anything. It was interesting watching her wrap her mind around that one.

scatty said...

I'm sure that this one will have a lot to wrap her mind around, like the fact that the stores are open 24/7.

Lady Liberty said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lady Liberty said...

Are you sure they have to go to school?
I was reading on a UK board that they kept the kids home. They had two. One took to it like a duck to water. The other never got comfortable.