Home Schooling

Homeschooling is becoming more and more popular

Home child in Zurich in front of the computer. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

In Switzerland, their parents educate more than 2,000 children at home. The use of this solution is becoming more frequent, but the legislation in this area varies by canton. Parents who choose this option do so for a variety of reasons.

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

Home education is not a right established by the Swiss constitution. Last September, the Federal Court (TF) rejected the appeal of a mother who wanted her gifted son to be educated at home in the canton of Basel-City. This decision brought this practice to light and caused reactions among our users. Many have wondered why some parents decide to give their children private lessons at home, since the Swiss education system is of high quality in Switzerland.

increasingly popular

In Switzerland, home education concerns more than 2,000 children, according to a recent surveyExternal link from the Tages-Anzeiger. 16 out of 26 cantons allow this practice.

In addition, the legal provisions governing it vary considerably from one canton to another. While a simple notification is sufficient in certain cantons such as Jura, Neuchâtel and Vaud, a permit is required in Bern and Geneva. Valais and Friborg even require a teaching diploma. The canton of Vaud, which registers almost 600 home-schooled children, plans to tighten its legal provisions, as does Neuchâtel.

Live an ideal family

Willi Villiger, president of the Swiss Home Education Association, has explained in various interviews that home education was originally practiced in Switzerland by a small number of evangelical Christian families. Today, it is more popular with families who want to live up to their ideals and integrate education into their daily lives. Willi Villiger, a teacher and home-schooled father of 10, notes that parents often worry that children will lose their “natural joy of learning” in school.

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

Bilingualism, gifted children, mobbing

That’s according to an academic paper published in 2012 by law professor Johannes Reich. This is one of the few studies on home education in Switzerland. After looking at court decisions or press reports about homeschooling, one 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 that the child’s specific needs are met.

Negative experiences in regular schools can also be a reason to take your child out of school and homeschool. Some cantons may allow this practice even for young musicians who go on tour.

>> Radio Télévision Suisse report on the homeschooling family:

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