In most Latin American countries homeschooling is not only illegal, but also socially unacceptable. Kids not only go to school to learn science, history, etc., they also go to school to learn social skills, most commonly, through interacting with other students and making friends. Either way, if you’re moving to a Latin American country and you want your kid to learn at home, make sure to research the local homeschooling laws in your new country of residence. A good place to start is the Home School Legal Defense Association.
From a legal perspective in many Latin American countries, families have the preferential right to educate their children. This empowers parents to educate their children at home through “free exams” becoming the core and central element of homeschooling. This practice of taking the exams without going to a traditional school is carried out annually not only by people over 18 years old and who dropped out of school, but by students that have been expelled, students in special education, and young athletes who have daily training sessions that don’t allow them to attend school.
Homeschooling can provide a useful alternative to inadequate schools in Latin America.
Some families decide to homeschool based on the experience and testimonies of others that have their children enrolled in Latin American schools. Unfortunately, some issues that many families have noticed and the reason why they decide to homeschool instead of choosing a traditional school are:
- An unusual amount of energy is placed in Latin American schools on rote memorization.
- Textbooks are rarely used and a lot of emphasis is placed on copying down endless lessons in notebooks.
- Teachers placed more importance on neat and clean student notebook pages rather than the quality of the information placed on those pages.
- Parents are required to attend endless meetings.
- Children are assigned endless amounts of homework.
- Teachers look over 25-45 students per class, so they can’t focus on your child’s needs.
The obsolete educational model in a major part of Latin America
Education has not changed in centuries. Since the 19th century, the Victorian model has become a standard for school education in LATAM: desks grouped in front of a blackboard, students listening to theoretical lectures for hours, and memorizing without stopping.
According to the study done by Dr. Eric Mazur of Harvard University, the brain reduces its neuronal activity while students are in class and watching television!
The brain shuts down because learning is passive. We become receivers of information (listening and watching) instead of having the opportunity to think, pause, and reflect when the brain is working. That’s where homeschooling rises up as an engaging and customized alternative form of education including new educational methods using technology like educational video games as a partner in teaching in an interactive way.
Of course, homeschooling isn’t the right answer for every family. If you’d like to learn about the reasons parents choose to homeschool over public and private school click here.