Homeschooling is legal in many countries around the world. It is interesting to see that some of the most prevalent homeschooling countries include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, India and USA.
Some countries have highly regulated homeschooling systems that are an extension of the school system. Yet in other countries like Germany, Brazil and Turkey, homeschooling is illegal and children have to be registered at a school for certain ages at least.
The top 2 homeschooling countries are India and the USA – in part due to their population size. According to Wikipedia, India has between 500 000 and 2,7 million kids homeschooling and there are about 2,5 million homeschooled kids in the USA . There was a 74% increase in homeschooling in the USA between 1999 to 2007 and it continues to grow in popularity in this country and Canada.
Homeschooling in South Africa
During apartheid in South Africa, homeschooling was illegal. In the year that Mandela was elected president, parents Andre and Bokkie Meintjies were jailed and their children were placed in separate orphanages and prevented from having family contact because they were educated at home. A few years later, the Mandela government legalised home education with the publication of the South African School Act in 1996. In this same year, Clonard was established and has been providing quality homeschooling curriculum materials in line with the CAPS curriculum ever since.
It is reported that homeschooling is the fastest growing education model in our country. The SA Schools Act requires that parents register their children for homeschooling but most provincial departments of education do not have the administrative capability and a limited understanding of the process to be effective. So as a result, it is believed that more than 90% of homeschooling parents do not register with their local department and therefore the homeschooling statistics are a bit of a thumb suck. It is estimated that we have between 30 000 and 100 000 homeschooled students in South Africa.