Homeschooling News from Argentina, China, and India

In conjunction with this week’s free, online homeschooling conference that I co-chair with Steve Hargadon, last night the Alternative Education Film Festival started. We launched the film festival with La Educacion Prohibida, a documentary about alternative education in Spanish-speaking countries (with English subtitles), directed by German Doin. Steve and I interviewed German last night and you can view it here:

I asked German about the growth of homeschooling in Argentina, in particular, and in South America overall. He noted that homeschooling is happening more in Argentina now than before, but it is still not widely practiced or known there. Public alternative schools exist but are not common in Argentina, and other alternative school choices are not widely known. German said homeschooling is much more popular in Colombia and Chile than in Argentina.

I have also learned of a new study from China: Learning with Mothers: A Study of Home Schooling in China by Xiaoming Sheng. The free pdf file contains the first 37 pages of the book, which unfortunately provides the reader with little information about Chinese homeschooling. These pages are just the standard research book overview of all the past studies about homeschooling, parental involvement, academic achievement, and so on; really nothing new there. I will write more about this once I receive the complete book, but I thought some readers would want to know about this study before I got around to reading it completely.

This good blog post about homeschooling in India, Can a Child Learn without Going to School?, contains some hard information, including examples of adults who were homeschooled and are now employed and doing well, as well as information about how homeschoolers get into Indian and foreign universities, and options for taking various school exams as private candidates.

Homeschooling, as German Doin noted about its growth in Argentina, grows more by example and personal experiences than by being convinced by research studies, government mandate, or clever marketing by the education industry. I hope as more movies, studies, and articles about homeschooling are made, both nonfiction and fiction, that more concerned adults will be inspired to develop the courage and figure out ways to let children learn in their unique ways and to nurture their grow into secure, self-sufficient adults.