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Parents barred from homeschooling son

The Local · 21 Jul 2010, 16:36

Published: 21 Jul 2010 16:36 GMT+02:00

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In its ruling, the court pointed out that the parents refused to cooperate in an investigation. They have homeschooled their son until the fifth grade, during which time he has passed national examinations.

The municipality and county administrative court have previously ruled that parents are unable to provide special skills, training in group work or allow the undertaking of scientific experiments that require specialised equipment. The court added it will not give leave to appeal the decision.

According to a February county court filing, since 2004, the couple has homeschooled their son, born in 1997. They asked for permission to continue homeschooling in the 2009 to 2010 academic year for the sixth grade.

The children and youth committee of Partille northeast of Gothenburg rejected their application. The committee believed that the education their son was receiving at home could be seen as a viable alternative to the education he could get at school.

The couple appealed the decision, pointing out that their son had passed national examinations and pleaded to continue his education at home despite the lack of special circumstances justifying the need to continue homeschooling.

"The committee has not challenged [the child's] knowledge and his ability to benefit from instruction," the ruling said. "[He] also has very good social development. Through the family's large circle of friends, he has many opportunities to meet both adults and his peers in different situations."

It added that in his spare time, the boy was active in sports and had contact with other adults and children, emphasising that he had social training comparable to that found in school and that it had no objection to his development.

However, the court refused to overturn its decision and the court maintained its position, deferring to the law, which requires school-aged children fulfill compulsory school attendance. One concern is the ability of parents to provide instruction in certain specialised courses.

The parents continued to instruct the child at home in the autumn of 2009 without authorisation. In response to concerns that they were not trained to teach the child at home, the parents pointed out that the mother has post-secondary training as a social educator.

Story continues below…

In the end, the court believes that given that the child will soon begin high school, the higher demands on the parents' knowledge, particularly with equipment required to teach certain subjects, is better provided by subject teachers with special training.

"Although [the mother] has some teaching training, there is reason to question she and [the father] continue to have the ability to provide adequate teaching to [their son]," the court wrote.

The court also ruled that the child's social development was also important at this stage and that he be given the opportunity for social interaction in a school setting, concluding that homeschooling cannot be considered a good alterative to regular education at an elementary school.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:16 July 21, 2010 by Puffin
Sadly this is all academic anyway given that the new Education Act which has almost completed its passage through parliament makes homescolloing illegal anyway - although many are a little surpised that a Conservative-led government have decided to do it
19:00 July 21, 2010 by StockholmSam
Wow, so a parent can not decide what is in the best interest of the child. Amazing.

I'd like to see the proof that a "certified" teacher in an official "school" can do a better job than a parent. Most teachers are overworked and under-resourced to the point that they don't really give a damn about many of their students. Not to mention the fact that many teachers that teach course content out of a textbook have no real idea about how that content is applied in the real world. Put a teacher in front of 32 kids for a semester and then give them a mountain of administrative paperwork to do on top of that and you will see the teacher start cutting corners fast, usually at the expense of the student. I think a child getting one-on-one instruction from someone guaranteed to care about the child's learning (the parent) has a far greater chance of success than putting that kid into a classroom with 30+ other screaming students and asking a stressed-out stranger to take responsibility for the kid's education. If there is one thing that this world needs now, it is more contribution from the parents toward the child's education, not less.

I should know. I am a teacher.
19:38 July 21, 2010 by dwb5555
Where is the freedom in Sweden?
19:50 July 21, 2010 by kenadams
This comment is for parents who would like to homeschool their children.

Greetings from Virginia.

America welcomes homeschool families. We are a people who believe in freedom. The Statue of Liberty beckons all those who are "yearning to breathe free."

If you come to the United States, we will embrace you with open arms, and support you with friendship, love and acceptance. Our great land was built and sustained by freedom-loving people like you from all over the world.

Consider the option of breathing free. Contact the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (hslda.org). They will help you get started.

Our Declaration of Indepedence reads, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Those rights include the right of parents to educate their children as they wish.

Kindest regards, Ken Adams
20:11 July 21, 2010 by the pigeon hunter
i have never read as much bs in one go as ken's little "contribution". the usa make it extra hard for citizens of the european union to settle in the US. you check, double-check and triple-check us, invade our privacy to make sure that our relationships with an american are "genuine", you make spouses of american citizens wait years for the green card and boot them again if they visit "too often".

the usa doesnt embrace europeans anymore. i guess they control what they CAN...
21:52 July 21, 2010 by Cage
LOL @ Ken Adams. Unless you are the kind of person he prefers AND you have a significant amount of money to get you through the red tape it takes to move from the EU to the USA don't pay his posting a second thought. I am almost certain that post was meant to be satirical.
22:10 July 21, 2010 by Swedesmith
Hey Ken, were you homeschooled...perhaps with textbooks from the 50s?
23:05 July 21, 2010 by wxman
I'm glad we've finally heard from those who enjoy and actually revel in their state bondage. Hey, I think this syndrome was actually invented in Sweden! Stockholm, wasn't it?
23:34 July 21, 2010 by MyPerspective
@ StockholmSam

Well written. I appreciate you sharing your experience and opinions and I certainly side with your concerns about this situation.
04:18 July 22, 2010 by Pittbull77
here in the US home schooling is far too often used to isolate children on compounds, ect... Parenbts have the right to choose what type of formal education is best. Whether it be a public school, private school, or private tutor...professional education NOT parental indoctrination! Having earned my MA in American History and a teaching certificate, I can say that I am in no way qualified to teach any type of math or science on any level. Are parents doing what uis best for the child or fulfilling some need of their own at the expense of the child? If you want to teach your kid whatever you want, there are dozens of countries that could care less what you do with your kids. . . move there. At least the Swedish government takes enough interest and cares enough about each and every child to make sure they are properly and well educated, that a lot more than most kids in most countries can say about their governments!!!
06:01 July 22, 2010 by MorbidMiss
Isolate children on compounds huh? I thought I was saving my child from being bullied and over stimulated because of his Autism. I guess you are the authority though.
06:32 July 22, 2010 by diablogun

Are you serious? I admire many teachers, but a great many others are rather stupid--and completely inept at teaching.

I am pretty sure home-schooled children perform better than public students on average. Anyone have statistics on that?
08:22 July 22, 2010 by Luckystrike
Home schooling is out-of-date and extremely irresponsible in this day and age.

Unless your child is ill, there is no benefit other than stumping your child social and mental development and limits their options for colleges and ultimately universities, possibly even work later in life.

If I had a guy come to a job interview, and tell me mommy schooled him, I'd say "Great, don't call us, we'll call you"...

Realistically, the only benefit of home schooling is control and flexibility for the parent..
09:16 July 22, 2010 by SarahRF
@ Luckystrike,

Your comments are totally untrue. I was homeschooled from grades 6-9, never missed out on social gatherings, in fact I saw my friends more often than I did while in public school (we went to different schools).

I have many fond memories from homeschooling, both academic and social. As to the college and university thing, I know and studied with people who finished high school at age 15 and 16 and went straight onto college by age 17. I know of a homeschooled guy who at the age of 16 started his own shipping company, and sold it off for millions by age 22.

Homeschooling doesn't work for everyone, there are cases where the child is socially stumped and what not, but those cases are the exception, not the rule. In all the homeschooling families I met (and I've met quite a few) I have never met a child who is socially inept or ignorant in any way. And judging by all the friends I have, I'd like to think I'm not socially inept either ;)
10:35 July 22, 2010 by Luckystrike
Or, people like you and this boy who started his business are the exception, not the rule :)
10:43 July 22, 2010 by SarahRF
How many homeschoolers have you met? Did you ever look into it objectively as a means of education? There are a lot of perks to homeschooling, if it's done right.
11:00 July 22, 2010 by Luckystrike
I knew a brother and sister who home schooled, I admit to not knowing many home schoolers.

They both did well, academically. The sister ended up marring a family friend, they only guy she ever had a crush on, she was 15, she was in his thirties. I don't blame her, neither does anyone, we feel sorry for her, she didn't know any better and had no comparison to realize that what she was doing was crazy.

The brother, OK looking smart guy, now near 30, has no friends, has never had a girlfriend, doesn't socialize at all other than Sunday morning church, but what was he supposed to do, he didn't know any better and had no comparison to make.

My big point is (My opinion) avoid home schooling if you can, it's pointless for the child, unless you live out in the farm lands, or out at sea...I think parents that home school their kids for no good reason are selfish and have an abnormal need to control their children. No offense to your family, i assume you lived on the farm in SA?

The brother, OK looking smart guy, now near 30, has no friends, has never had a girlfriend, doesnt socialise at all other than sunday morning church, but what was he supposed to do, he didnt know any better and had no comparasine to make.
11:15 July 22, 2010 by SarahRF
We actually lived in a decent sized town, and had weekly meetups with other homeschooling families.

You can't say that just because someone is a loner and has no girlfriend that it's because he was homeschooled. You have people like that coming out of public schools, only they have the bullying that comes with being a loner. Kids can be very mean, especially to kids who aren't "normal".

You have to think about the individual child. For some kids public schooling is best. For others, like my brother, homeschooling was best. He was 7 yrs old and getting ulcers from all the stress that public school put him through. He would study and study and study for the weekly spelling tests, and my mom would help him for hours every day, but when the test arrived he'd get maybe 1 out of 10 words right. So mom homeschooled him, and he got sooo much better.

My heart goes out to the brother and sister you knew, really, but you can't judge an entire education system on the results of two students. If that was the case then the public school system shouldn't be used at all, in any country!

The main reason my parents started homeschooling me (the stress was reason enough for my brother) was because school fees had gone up too high. After that though, my parents moved around a lot, spending only a few months in various places (work related), we even spent 3 months in Romania. Had we been in the public school system our education would have fallen victim to all the moves, not to mention being uprooted just after making new friends. I was also given the choice over whether to homeschool or not. I opted for the no-homework, stress-free, hands-on option.

I intend to put my kids in public school up until the end of grade 4. That way they have time to build up a solid friend network, as well as establish hobbies/interests in sports or the like. But after that I intend to give them the choice. I'll outline the pros and cons of both systems, and leave the choice to them, like my parents did with me. That way they have a say in their own happiness while learning.
11:25 July 22, 2010 by Luckystrike
Very glad it worked out for you, very enlightening and you sound like you'll make a good parent one day :)
11:28 July 22, 2010 by ClearingByTheSea
Please consider the study entitled "Academic Achievement and Demographic Traits of Homeschool Students, A Nationwide Study". A quick internet search will immediately find it. Surprisingly, the results of this up-to-date study clearly indicate that those who are home schooled tend to be far better prepared than either those who are either public schooled or private schooled. Contrary to my expectations, home schooled individuals exhibit more advanced social development than those who have only been through public or private institutions. As a side benefit, the amount of money spent in education tends to be a small fraction of that spent in either public or private schools.
11:49 July 22, 2010 by iddqd
well apart from all the educational aspects here one thing is for sure: the kid is a little master baitor.

funny little detail in the photo imo;-)

(just see next to the mouse)
11:53 July 22, 2010 by SarahRF
Lol that's so wrong
12:29 July 22, 2010 by Audrian
What is kenadams talking about?

The discussion is home schooling vs normal schooling. Home schooling can be good if you are after producing nurds, whose objective can be similar to polutry farms whose sole objective is efficiency (i.e., produce as many eggs as possible). If the parents are highly educated mathematicians the child can be a mathematicial nurd.

This same parents have another option; they can send the child to school and help him do better after school. The child will not only be be an outstanding student but also a social being.

In some parts of the US , parents (religious right) remove their children from school because they are worried that the teachers might teach their children athesism Other families remove their children because of the quality of education in schools is dropping down or drug use is wide spread, which I think is the only justification for home teaching that I find sound.
13:55 July 22, 2010 by generalpublic
we are homeschooling here in australia we had to because the state schools even though supposedly secular had to much religion creeping into the lessons.i do not expect the jesus freaks to have access to my children in a public school so we removed our son. it varies from state to state the rules and regulations and trust me australia is the land of rules and regulation but you can generaly avoid the idiots in burocracy by travelling around so they can not pin you down with their daft rules
14:27 July 22, 2010 by diablogun

I suppose it is good that parents do not need your justification or explanation to home school their children :-)
15:02 July 22, 2010 by Luckystrike

I hope you're not the parent teaching English.... :)
16:58 July 22, 2010 by seagull
Personally I think it should be illegal. It is cruel and removing a very important aspect in growing up to be a balanced individual. It isn't about freedom, as the child gets no say in the decision. Well done the authorities.
18:12 July 22, 2010 by whattodo?
A child is concieved in love, is nurtured with love, and grows with love.
00:02 July 23, 2010 by MorbidMiss
It is just daft to say that being home schooled is tantamount to torture and neglect. I would have killed to not have to go to public school. Every day for me was torture. I had a couple of good teachers, but most were pathetic, unintelligent, and clearly in the wrong profession. Even that did not compare to the horror of dealing with other children on a daily basis. By my eleventh year I was begging to get my GED instead.
02:29 July 23, 2010 by whattodo?
The goal of "home schooling" is to provide a situation in which the child can develop his or her full potential, by allowing them to follow their interests and to enjoy the learning process. By doing this, they find that many other disciplines are naturally incorporated into this process. A child who loves to learn, does not need someone to teach them. They will naturally absorb as much knowledge as possible. The parent can help by providing ideas, support, encouragement, and a full range of social and intellectual stimulus and experiences. This takes devotion and energy, and the rewards last a lifetime!

Many people have a neurotic fear concerning this. The term "home schooled is an oxymoron. The term "unschooled" would be more appropriate, since parents are looking to give their children an alternative experience to public school.

I "home educated" my son in the US, and he is now in his 20's, well adjusted and successful! He is chief Operating Officer and a successful small company, is attending a top Engineering college, where he is majoring in Electrical Engineering and maintaining a 4.0 GPA. People who meet him are very impressed by his strong character and intelligence.
04:12 July 23, 2010 by Jannik
Its no surprise that Sweden is a semi totalitarian leftist nanny state.

The state wants to make sure that all the nations kids are brainwashed with leftist ideas and propaganda. Apparently its important that the child learns crap like "group work" and an unhelathy dose of "tolerance" and "global responsibility".

The truth is that scandinavian public schools are of very mediocre quality. And are filled up with disruptive students, which the teaching staff have no means of disciplining. Lots of time is wasted just trying to create a tolerable and productive teaching environment.

On top of this, most of the teachers are leftwing, and are more concerned with political correctness, than teaching usefull skills.
10:29 July 23, 2010 by samwise
where is the love for alternatives? where is the love for diversity?

you know what, communist cuba and north korea have the best public school coverage of the kids.

I don't quite understand so many people put so much trust on the government, but they have little faith on their neighbors. if your neighbors are all morons, how could you trust the government they elect? Hitler banned homeschooling in germany, didn't he? he's such a post modern sensitive caring politician, I guess
18:00 July 23, 2010 by countrysidedrive
If the public schools are bad I would absolutely want my children home schooled. But if the school is not then there is no reason to not allow them in public schools. By allowing the child to make free opinions on politics, religion, race and other hot topics and not be influenced by their parents is the best way to break the cycle of intolerance towards others not like him.
18:53 July 23, 2010 by Raiha
@ Pittbull,

You say "I am in no way qualified to teach any type of math or science on any level." So 1 + 1 = 2, colouring a few squares on a grid to indicate one half, and measuring the difference between a carrot and a mushroom is beyond you? Neither are you capable of reading the periodic table or simple experiments with vinegar and baking soda? I find that IMPOSSIBLE to believe unless you got your Masters from a Weetbix packet. And all the people who say that homeschooling reduces social opportunities and interaction skills? Bullsh*t! Homeschooling doesn't exclude one from taking part in dance lessons or sports teams.
20:07 July 23, 2010 by uwabami
It's just unfair that children have no alternative to compulsory education. If Swedish officials care so much about children rights, why they don't care what that child is thinking about his education at all?!
21:27 July 23, 2010 by MorbidMiss
Not all people who chose to "Unschool" are narrow minded automatons! People are making grave generalizations about parents who chose to keep their children home! My husband and I are not religious (AT ALL), we are not dim-witted for sure, nor narrow minded or racist!

It is a personal choice, one I am glad that we have the freedom to make.
00:01 July 24, 2010 by Michael Whitfield
I would never of thought that 'home schooling' would be preferred over public education in Sweden where I am sure an adequate curriculum is offered. In America the practice of home schooling or utilization of charter schools is more popular. At least the kids get a good education and learn about science, geography, and math. I can still remember when I was stationed in Germany in the 70's in the military, many people figured Sweden and Switzerland were one

and the same. That is really sad. I was always impressed that most native

Europeans were not only bilingual but quite knowledgeable in geography as well.
00:29 July 24, 2010 by Rebel
Home-schooling is the ultimate act of a family's independence from the state. Swedes are the most conformist bunch of elitists in all of Europe. Their blend of self-rightious arrogance and Fabian socialism makes for a bad environment to try to teach kids at home.
04:10 August 9, 2010 by llongoria0
Parents should know whats best for their child, not government officials.
18:56 June 5, 2012 by shaken not stirred
Do you not realize that your government is saying that you are "too stupid" to teach your own children? Well, I guess if you believe that, then you are!

PS. Did you not pass grade 12 yourselves and even go on to higher education, but you are still too stupid to teach your own children?
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