Homeschooling is turning into more and more common

A child in Zurich in front of a computer. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

In Switzerland, their parents educate more than 2,000 children at home. The use of this solution is increasingly common, but legislation in this area varies from canton to new. Parents who opt for this option do so for a variety of reasons.

This content was published on November 21, 2019 – 18:00

Homeschooling 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 study at home in the canton of Basel-City. This decision has brought this practice to light and has provoked reactions among our users. Many wondered why some parents choose to provide their children with private lessons at home, as the Swiss education system is good in Switzerland.

increasingly popular

According to a recent survey, more than 2,000 children in Switzerland are involved in home educationExternal link from the daily Tages-Anzeiger. 16 of the 26 cantons allow this practice.

In addition, the legal provisions governing them vary considerably from one canton to another. If a simple notification is sufficient in certain cantons such as the 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 has almost 600 children at home, plans to tighten its legal provisions, as does Neuchâtel.

Living the perfect family

Willi Villiger, president of the Swiss Association for Home Education, 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 according to their ideals and integrate education into their daily lives. Willi Villiger, a teacher and father of 10 children at home, notes that parents often fear that children will lose their “natural learning pleasure” at school.

It also distinguishes between two other groups: parents who are not satisfied with the quality of the local school, or parents who are forced to do so because of their child’s mental or health problems.

Bilingualism, gifted children, mobbing

This is in line with an academic paper published in 2012 by Professor Johannes Reich. This is one of the few studies on homeschooling in Switzerland. After looking at court decisions or press releases about home education, it comes to more or less the same conclusion. The research also mentions other factors, such as the desire to offer their children bilingual education, pleasure or meeting the specific needs of the child.

Negative experiences in mainstream schools can also be a reason to take your child from school to home school. Some cantons may allow this practice for young musicians on tour.

>> Radio Télévision Suisse report in a home-based family:

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