Tarry for the Nonce

August 5, 2005

Schulunterricht zu Hause

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 4:02 pm

And now we reach a subject that’s near and dear to my heart: home-schooling.

As a (former) home-schooler, it really irks me to learn Germany’s rationale for prosecuting home-schoolers:

Children are not allowed to opt out of classes or school activities and homeschooling is illegal in Germany since Adolf Hitler outlawed it in 1938.

Last week, a court in Paderborn in the German state of Westphalia ruled that two Baptist couples lose their parental authority over their own children in educational matters. The court said it was interfering “in order to protect the children from further harm.” It stated that the parents had shown “a stubborn contempt both for the state’s educational duty as well as the right of their children to develop their personalities by attending school.”

Um . . . the right to develop a personality? I didn’t realize that we home-schoolers were such blank slates.

Could anyone kindly suggest the characteristics of this appropriate, state-sanctioned personality to be developed?



  1. Well, that’s not surprising since Home-schoolers have always been prosecuted. I was not a Home-schooler, but most of my best friends were. And they were constantly bugged about it. One person we ran into while out just playing around actually stepped back when she found out my friends were Home-schooled. You see, Home-schoolers are well known for having the plague. How’s that for tolerance of all denominations?

    Comment by Alistair A. — August 7, 2005 @ 9:52 am

  2. That reminds me of the Saturday my daughter & I were out hitting the yard sales. Most people running a yard sale just let you pick through their stuff & leave you to it. This one guy, though, was feeling chatty and, while telling us his life story, mentioned his faith (in the South, what else could it be but Baptist?) and how active he & his wife are in their church — all a very nice thing. But then, we said something like, ‘oh yeah, we are pretty active in our church too.’

    —the most I could offer, not being one to strike up intimate conversations with random strangers, even if I am picking through their stuff.

    So, he asked us, chattily, what church we belonged to and we responded — Our Lady of the Blue Ridge, the Catholic Church in Madison.

    He paled, stepped back away from us and immediately stopped chatting and then moved to the other side of the table, putting it between him and [ominous music] us.

    I guess in the Baptist south, RC’s are anathema.

    Very cute. I don’t think that I had or have since ever gotten quite the same reaction.

    Comment by auntlori — August 7, 2005 @ 2:17 pm

  3. Children are not allowed to opt out of classes or school activities and homeschooling is illegal in Germany since Adolf Hitler outlawed it in 1938.

    And the problem with home schooling is… ? If Adolf was against it, maybe they should reconsider their laws.

    On a side note, Catholics/Catholic Churches in the south are rare indeed.

    The sad thing is, its almost illegal here too. It wouldn’t surprise me if homeschooling was the next thing attacked in this country. I mean, how is the government to brain-wash kids if they are home-schooled?!

    Comment by Andrew P. — August 7, 2005 @ 2:45 pm

  4. And the problem with home schooling is… ?

    It does not fit with the welfare-statist model that Western Europe is locked into.

    Comment by Toly — August 7, 2005 @ 11:49 pm

  5. As if to prove my point further:

    THE EU has declared a crackpot war on busty barmaids — by trying to ban them from wearing low-cut tops.

    Here’s a less tabloid-ish article from the Telegraph, which quotes the EU directive referring to sunlight as a natural source of radiation.

    Usually, right about here, I would insert by way of sarcasm some utterly ridiculous policy the EU will take up next. But I’m afraid I can’t think of anything more moronic than this. Which, I suppose, is one reason I’d never quality to run for EU “parliament.”

    Comment by Toly — August 9, 2005 @ 7:14 am

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