Home Schooling

Homeschooling is turning into more and more common

Child homeschooled in Zurich in front of the computer. © Keystone / Gaetan Bali

In Switzerland, over 2,000 children are homeschooled by their parents. The use of this solution is increasingly common, but legislation in this area varies from canton to canton. Parents who choose this option do so for a variety of reasons.

This content was published on November 21, 2019 – 6:00 pm

Homeschooling is not a right provided by the Swiss constitution. Last September, the Federal Court (TF) rejected the appeal of a mother who wanted her talented son to be home-schooled in the canton of Basel-City. The decision exposed this practice and caused reactions among our users. Many have wondered why some parents choose to provide their children with private lessons at home, given that the Swiss education system is of good quality in Switzerland.

increasingly popular

In Switzerland, homeschooling affects more than 2,000 children, according to a recent studyExternal link of the daily Tages-Anzeiger. 16 out of 26 cantons allow this practice.

Furthermore, the legal provisions governing it vary considerably from one canton to another. If in certain cantons such as Jura, Neuchatel and Vaux a simple notification is sufficient, in Bern and Geneva a permit is required. Vallee and Friborg even require a teaching diploma. The canton of Vaud, which registers nearly 600 home-schooled children, plans to strengthen its legal provisions, as does Neuchatel.

Live in an ideal family

Willy Villiger, president of the Swiss Homeschooling Association, explained in various interviews that homeschooling was originally practiced in Switzerland by a small number of evangelical Christian families. Today, it is more popular among families who want to live up to their ideals by integrating education into their daily lives. Willie Williger, a teacher and father of 10 homeschooled children, notes that parents often fear that in school children will lose their “natural joy of learning.”

It also distinguishes two other groups: parents who are not satisfied with the quality of the local school or parents forced to choose home education because of psychological or health problems of their child.

Bilingualism, gifted children, mobbing

This is according to an academic paper published in 2012 by law professor Johannes Reich. This is one of the few studies on homeschooling in Switzerland. After looking at court decisions or press reports about homeschooling, she comes to more or less the same conclusion. The research also mentions other factors, such as the desire to offer bilingual education to their children, the pleasure or the fact of meeting the child’s specific needs.

A negative experience in regular schools can also be a reason to take your child out of school to educate him at home. Some cantons may also allow this practice for young musicians going on tour.

>> The report from Radio Télévision Suisse in a homeschooling family:

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