A POSITIVE article about homeschooling in Germany
I've been going through updates on the situation regarding homeschooling in Germany and most of them are rather depressing. Another family before the courts. A threatening letter from the state officials. A state which previously viewed homeschooling as illegal, but not threatening to the safety of the children, altering course to become one of the states to pursue homeschooling most aggressively. And in between it all, the press reports which continually describe homeschoolers as "truants," generally siding with the state, and perpetrating the myth that they are all a bunch of isolationist, fundamentalist, nut cases.

This article (link in German) out of Wiesbaden, the capitol of Hessen, is a nice breath of fresh air. It remains factual, and seems to view homeschooling in a generally positive light. At the very end, we have a bit of positive information that might not surprise most homeschoolers around here, but I think probably defies the logic of most of Germany. After all, what do a bunch of uncertified parents know about educating their children?

Enough that one student from Hessen who was educated at home for the entire 12 years just passed the Abitur. And not only that. This student certainly isn't the first, and from what I've read, the homeschooled students who choose to take Germany's exit exam do pretty well on it. But this particular student earned a "1." You might translate that as an "A" but in reality it is something a bit higher. The German grade scale, if you work upwards from the failing grade:

6 = F
5 = D
4 = C
3 = B
2 = A
1 = ?

While I was in Germany, I managed one "1." And that just barely. In English, no less. As a native speaker, I almost got a "2." I think that gives some indication as to how tough it is to reach the top of the grading scale in a German school.

And officially, this particular student was truant for twelve years.

Interesting fact about Hessen: This is also where the Konrad family is from. Their case came before the constitutional court in Karlsruhe, where the ruling stated that religious conviction could not be used to defy the compulsory attendance laws. This is also the same case that came before the European Court of Human Rights. So it is particularly nice to have a generally positive story come out of Hessen's capitol city.

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