An allegation often thrown at German opponents of homeschooling is that they are unwilling to look beyond their own noses. Sad to say, this applies to the German homeschooling scene as well.
As long as our homeschoolers don’t realise that theirs is a common cut-set, there doesn’t seem to be all too much they can confront education bullies and school dictators with. Roughly speaking, the heterogenous group of German homeschoolers consists of avowed Christians on the one hand and esoteric atheists on the other.
Similar motives lead them to opt out of the German school monopoly. Preferring individual instruction over state-run indoctrination, they see too high a worth in their own children as to let strangers decide over them. Alas, neither side seems to have accomplished much on its own.
History and tradition allowing homeschooling in the US may be different from ours. But the lesson from across the Pond as to how educational freedom accomplished its breakthrough, could just as well be learnt here: overcoming world-view apartheid, shelving detachment for the sake of the cause itself, cooperating pragmatically. This at least has been the recipe by which some thirty years ago the homeschool movement succeeded in fixing the right to homeschool in the legislation of American states – after educational freedom had been strongly opposed at first.
However, in Germany the two wings of homeschooling still afford to maintain a laager-mentality, suspiciously – antagonistically even – eyeing each other, the one having little to do with the other. Fortunately there are those outside the box who see the urgency of coming to the aid of German homeschoolers. Truth it is, the cliché, at least in this: Americans (mind you, not only them) roll up their sleeves – and creatively get rolling. This time for educational freedom in Germany.
The latest illustration of this is a short film promoting a conference in Berlin, the Global Home Education Conference from November 1 – 4. The video (2.5 min.) is recommended viewing for all advocates of the strategy of blinders, preferring to ignore the common cause of educational freedom: There are those who really care.