Homeschooling in Germany, Request for Assistance
The situation of homeschoolers in Germany interests me greatly, because I am a homeschooler and because I spent such a long time living over in Germany. The reason I keep bringing it up (beyond personal interest) is that the goals of the German state in compulsory attendance laws parallel the goals of many of our own groups who are working against homeschooling, namely that "more is learned in school than the ABCs." Placing too high of a value on "socialization" (which has nothing to do with social skills) will inevitably lead to the same results here, not because we will bend to international court decisions, but because the same arguments are gaining foothold in our own nation and I believe that we need to be congnizant of that fact and its natural consequences. It is too easy to say that Germany is acting in accordance with its Nazi past, and makes it seem like more of an impossibility that it would ever happen here.

I have always been a bit hesitant recommending any specific course of action to help German homeschoolers, because I don't know what the best course is. Germany is a sovereign nation, and I don't believe that direct meddling is generally the best course of action, as if I had any power to do that anyway. I know what the German perception of America is, and I don't care to promote any activity which may likely serve only to strengthen that perception. HSLDA frequently recommends letter campaigns to the German embassy, which have had some limited success in the past, but the embassy is not responsible for the educational affairs of Germany. Nor is the federal government. It is a state issue, just like it is here.

However, a specific request for assistance has come in the form of an email, and a publicly posted comment. Netzwerk BildungsFreiheit is a homeschool advocacy group in Germany which works with politicians across the nation in an effort to bring a greater understanding of homeschooling to Germany's leaders. This is a German group working from within Germany to change the laws and perceptions of homeschooling for the benefits of all parents who wish to take a greater role in the education of their children.

The request comes in response to a letter from the Ministry of Education, written in response to Netzwerk BildungsFreiheit's complaint to the ministry regarding the Romeike case and forced police escort of the children to school. I translated the letter and posted it over at Homeschoolblogger, because I thought it would receive broader attention than here on my little blog. In response, Joerg, who works with Netzwerk BildungsFreiheit (and sent me the letter in the first place, asking for assistance in publicizing it), has asked for help in the form of letters directly to the ministry involved.
The responsible minister of education in that case is
Mr. Helmut Rau
Ministerium für Kultus, Jugend und Sport
Schlossplatz 470173
Tel: + 49711/279-2531
Fax: +49711/279-2839

Many letters and emails from all over the world would possibly help
us. Let the German minister know what homeschooling is all about and that
people from a free country condemn such acts which violate parental
rights. Let him know that a free world looks on Germany.

Let me know if you choose to write a letter or send an email.

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