Homeschooling in Germany

A glimpse of Germany – Factors involved

My intention here is to basically allow you to understand what is happening in Germany in the area of freedom of education and parental rights, guaranteed in the German constitution. Though it is a bit more complicated than what I will present to you here, the general scope will give you a little peak into the problems facing concerned Christian parents in Germany who do not want to send their children to school.

Though Hitler’s regime and its aftermath certainly play’s a role, I will not get into it here. It was under his regime that children became the property of the state and this view continues to prevail even today – children being viewed as the property of the society.

Russian Germans Seek Freedom

In the early 1980s, about the same time homeschooling became a movement in America, a small group of homeschoolers began to form in Germany, led by Helmut Stuecher. This was a very small and exclusive group whose intention was not to convince others to also homeschool. Therefore, it was not broadcast out into the public but was kept private or underground.

However, by the late 1990s, a segment of society known as the Russian-Germans – a German people who had been invited to Russia several hundred years ago and given land to farm found themselves locked in Russia behind the Iron Curtain and, since the Wall fell in 1989, had returned to Germany and their roots – began to be concerned about what was happening to their children in the German schools.

Not all Russian-Germans returned to Germany when the wall fell. But a large number of those who did were Christians who had been severely persecuted for their faith in Russia and sought freedom in the west, where they could openly practice their Christianity.

Most of these families trusted the German government because it was a democracy that allowed for freedom of religion and protected minorities of which these Russian-Germans were now that they were in Germany. They were neither Russian nor German in the sense of carried on and changing traditions. They had left Russia for Germany essentially empty handed. They sought to begin a new life in a free land. This was exciting for them and the opportunities were endless.

German Village

Most of these families when living in Russia were tied together through family or other associations like religion. When they relocated to Germany, they naturally congregated in small Russian-German communities usually in groups that had been tied together through their families and associations in Russia.

They helped each other to build homes and to plant gardens. When a family had a need, the other families pitched in to meet the need. They were hard working and industrious, building their new homes for a fraction of the cost because labor was generally free, being shared among them.

Indoctrinated Children

The problem arose when some began to discover that their children were coming home from school with a different set of beliefs and morals. Being too busy trying to establish themselves in their new communities and jobs and trusting the public schools to be Christian based, they never considered nor had time to consider the philosophies driving the public education system, a philosophy introduced into the government and education systems beginning with the 1968 socialist revolution. Under this new system, a new moral arose that was neo-humanistic in nature and not Christian-based.

By the end of the 1990s, children were being trained more heavily in social issues instead of academics. In other words, academics were taking a back seat. This trend was most evident in the universities, where students entering could no longer produce after the academic rigors of previously normal standards.

Universities were forced to lower their standards of academics in order to allow students to enter through their doors and to succeed in their studies. Another factor here that I will not address further is that the youth is not being taught a free market system of economics. Capitalism is more or less presented as an evil system that allows for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. Entrepreneurs are looked upon as greedy and selfish.

Lower academic standards were raising red flags in German academic circles. Studies were conducted to try to understand the phenomenon why students were no longer able to perform at high levels of academics. Studies like PISA revealed that the German education system was falling behind the rest of the western world – The real reason is clear. Social engineering had replaced academics as the focus of education.

There is another factor to this story. Germany used to rely on laborers from the former east-block countries like Hungry, Romania and Poland to boost its shortage of manual laborers within her own border. When the Berlin Wall went up in 1960, Germany was forced to find another source of laborers to make up for the loss of these east-block laborers who were no longer free to leave their countries. These laborers were found in the poor Muslim countries, especially Turkey.

A City in Turkey

Islam Floods Europe

Turkish people began to flood into Germany. This has caused some very large problems for the German society. Not only did these Turkish people bring their families along with them as is understandable, but in addition they brought their Islam religion, which has complicated matters in Germany.

Most European countries today are experiencing this same problem. Many of the middle class in Holland, for example, are leaving their country because of the fear of Islamic terrorists who have invaded their country. In Germany, large cities like Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Berlin are largely populated by the Turks. There are sections of these cities that not even the police will enter for fear of losing their own lives.

Of course, as a tourist you would never realize that these problems exist. Germany is a still a beautiful country and kept very orderly. The villages, surrounding countryside with grape vineyards and picturesque mountains in Bavaria and the Black Forest areas are breathtakingly beautiful. The old villages are fairytale like.

But what lies beneath this outward appearance is not so fairytale like at all. In fact, it is becoming more and more threatening for many families to live there who are aware of the problems. In the Black Forest capital of Freiburg where we lived, there was a 40% crime rate among the Turks living there (in December of 2005).

A mountain community in Germany

Another factor involved is that it had been traditional for families to live and work in the communities where they were born and raised. Today, more and more families are relocating to other areas due to their professions. It is not uncommon for families to leave Germany for jobs in other countries because of the global economy.

Yet another factor is that Christian schools in Germany are very few and far between. And since there is no Christian-based academic curriculum in the German language, the Christian schools that do exist use the same materials as do the public schools. (This creates a problem because the children return to their homes with a different belief system and moral standard than their Christian believing parents).

At home and in church these children hear a different message than they do in school, causing them to become confused. As things have developed, it is very difficult to establish a Christian school in Germany. The government usually does not allow it if one in the greater vicinity already exists. Today, there are less than 100 so-called Christian schools in all of Germany.

Still another factor is the low birth rate among the native citizenry. As a result, the government is looking for ways to lock into its borders the few children who are born in Germany by proposing such preposterous policies as for example that when the parents leave Germany to work in another country, they must leave their children behind to enable them to receive a German education – guaranteed to children according to the rights of the child.

One last factor is parental rights. Parental rights are embedded in the constitution. These rights empower the parents in many ways, basically allowing them to raise their children in their belief system and guiding them in their education. A complicating factor is that the state has the duty to take part in the children’s education by having to provide schools and to grant private schools. Today, since the German government signed on to the UN convention of the rights of a child, children’s rights that are not found in the constitution are trumping the constitutionally guaranteed rights of parents.

Taking all of these different factors into consideration, let us continue with our story of what is happening in Germany and especially in the area of German education.

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