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Facts about the Swedish school system and being an educational refuge soon

homeschooling sweden school

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14 replies to this topic


  • 13 posts

Im new to the forum, I live in Sweden and I would like to have some input on this if possible.


First I will explain the Swedish school system briefly:


It is so statist like everything else here in this country I dont think people in other countries have any idea of how bad it is, The school is so in detailed steered by the government it dictates everything you learn in the Swedish school plan from 2011 with the exact amounts of lessons in the decided subjects and what exactly you should learn within them and how to run the school. (but of course you are "free" to choose your school)


It is designed for everyone to be the same (not clever nor too stupid, and for everyone to be conformed), which of course isnt working. 


If you see the most recent PISA-result you will see that Sweden is at the bottom. The government thinks they are solving the problem with making it even stricter now, so now they will most likely make it mandatory to go to school at age 6 instead of age 7 (which all parties are for and its election this year) and if the socialdemocrats win they might make it mandatory to go to kindergarden from age 2! And they want to make it mandatory also to go to school until age 18/19!


Sweden has got a lot of "free schools" which are often praised, but actually its all bull shit as there is almost nothing free about them. They have to follow the government curriculum whether its montessori, steiner, or whatever. The school form "Sudbury" is also banned here. And homeschooling is banned. (you can only homeschool if you child is dying or is severely handicapped and similar and then you have to follow the curriculum also!)


This result is that there are a lot of children that dont get their needs met either because they have problems learning or they are too smart, so if you dont fit it you will still be forced to go, and even if the government promises in the school law that they care for every students need and to give them challenges appropriate for their own levels and be suited for each individual student these are very nice ideas but seldom happens.  


Children that has different psychological disorders of course have trouble in school and are suppose to get extra help which they usually dont because the schools dont have financing for that (The parents are never blamed of course..for the kids having these disorders which im quite sure comes from being stuck full time in kindergarden and then ignored by the parents for the hour they have with them before bedtime which is the case for the majority of 1 year olds which is because 99% of parents - everyone that isnt a slacker works and women and men are "equal" according to Sweden)) 


And the children that are clever gets forced to do the same as their peers although they already know that stuff which might make them naughty and of course bored and sap their enthusiasm.. because they dont get challenges. The dream of the Swedish school is "a school for all" which means everyone to conform to the same, so really this country doesnt want people to be better than other. You see that in the whole Swedish culture. If somebody is better off people get jealous.


So Im really stuck in a bit of a situation. We found out you can teach your baby to read and maths when our eldest son was 8 months old, so we did that and by the time he was 20 months he could read anything in english and swedish, and he reads books himself now, knows how to use a computer, and is very good at numbers. He is soon 4 years old and we kind of dont really see the point of going to a school where he will do the same as other kids when he is 7 as he already did when he was 1 and where knows the stuff i had to learn when i was 8/9 years old..


We have also been receiving a lot of negative feed back.. a lot of people think we have destroyed our children with the reading thing, and that the children should only play until they are 7, but they dont understand that learning comes from play and that we have never forced our kids to learn stuff, we are just encouraging them to do things they like and the result of that is they get good at it.


The government is insisting that they will give my sons challenges and that school is necessary but I hear from other parents about the horrible stuff  that is going on, especially in the local school where I even has seen kids being beaten and the parents had to interfere because there was no staff around. I remember myself how the enthusiasm got sapped out, and how I had so easy to learn but nobody wanted to encourage that, and that because my parents where shit and my clothes were shit and most other kids didnt have those shit clothes and parents excluded me and my parents did nothing and I just had to suffer through it until I got older, i really dont want this for my kids.


Me and my husband have been looking into homeschooling or finding a real montessorischool or sudburyschool or cooperative. None of this is allowed here,

If you dont go to school (and the school has to be following the government curriculum otherwise it gets shut) then the government gives you hefty fines which is enough so you wont be able to pay, and if you ignore that they take your kids. Yes this has happened - just google Domenic Johansson. 


So the few people that really believe in homeschooling have fled Sweden. And homeschooling is such a radical idea anyway that almost noone knows about it so its not really a great chance of a law change since almost nobody is supporting this.


I just cant get my head over that these stupid parents that have kids that get mistreated in school just keep sending them as they are forced to by the government. Bullys cant get suspended as they have the duty to go to school, not even if they seriously hurt somebody.


Im just so annoyed about this having to be a problem.. I dont really want to have to leave the country as it has many good sides and that if we move we might not be able to have such a good standard of living in other ways that we have here.  or we might not be able to move everywhere, like we have been looking at australia, nz, usa, and canada is the closest we can think to a good living standard  and having a homeschooling culture. Does anyone know if we can seek asylum for being educational refugees?


  • 81 posts



"[color=rgb(0,0,0);font-family:'Trebuchet MS', 'Lucida Grande', Verdana, Lucida, Geneva, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;font-size:13px]On March 4th, the Romeike family was granted an indefinite stay of deportation by the United States Department of Homeland Security, ending a long and drawn out legal battle over whether the family would be sent back to Germany to suffer harsh treatment meted out to homeschooling parents there.[/color]

The Romeikes fled Germany in 2008 after being subject to intimidation, threats and worse by local authorities over their decision to homeschool their children. In 2010, a federal immigration judge granted them asylum in the US. Judge Burman found that the Romeike family would likely be persecuted if they returned to Germany. He found that German authorities levy crushing fines, criminally prosecute, and remove children from parental custody. He found that this was persecution. However, the US Government appealed the ruling. In 2012 the Board of Immigration Appeals reversed Judge Burman’s grant of asylum and ordered the Romeike’s to leave the United States. The United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Board’s findings, and the United States Supreme Court declined to review the case.

But a central issue in the case remains unsettled. Is Germany’s treatment of homeschoolers persecution? Although our judiciary says no, the executive branch issued an indefinite stay of deportation—suggesting maybe yes. Unless the stay issued by the Department of Homeland Security—which is both discretionary and revocable—was given solely to silence the vocal homeschooling community, it indicates the government is unwilling at least in part to deport the Romeikes because of what they might face in Germany. (See the Sixth Circuit court’s defense of Germany’s harsh treatment as prosecution, not persecution here.)

Today, German authorities go even further.

For example, the Wunderlich children are forced to attend a public school. Their parents, bereft of legal custody, can't leave the country to pursue homeschooling in a neighboring country, such as France, where homeschooling is permitted. The German family court judge in the case, Judge Malkmus, is simply following orders or at least German precedent. Higher German courts have said homeschooling may be banned to suppress the development of “parallel societies” or because homeschooling “endangers children’s welfare.”

So—is it persecution to treat homeschoolers like this or not? ......

You can follow the link to read the rest of it  - 


  • 2044 posts

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  • 13 posts

that family is really religious and they are in some sort of christan sect or something there, the difference is we are not and we dont have any ties to USA,. we are just not wanting schools for the reasons i wrote first, but maybe its worth checking with hdsla anyway..


  • 1098 posts

I'm really sorry that this is the challenge you're facing. What a horrible and insane way to treat kids in Sweden (though ofc that's nto that much differetn in other countries either).


I just want to say that I think you might be completly missing the point when you're worrying about lower living standards. I mean you'd have to subject you child to severe mistreatment both by the school system itself which will try to make your child more or less blindly obey the teachers, without having any care or empathy for your child as a person, but also also by the school bullies from which there is no escape, for 5 days of the week. To me this sounds a bit like living in a town where 99% of the people KKK members and having adopted a black kid and then say "Yeah, I know it's bad, BUT it might lower my living standards if we omved somewhere else."


Alos what specific standard are you worried about? In most of the countries in the world (or at least in the northern hemisphere) you still have access to housing, heating, clean water, food, medicine and even internet. So what exactly is it you fear of not having?


What also might help: Just imagine having to explain to your kid why you didn't move after you put him in public schooling for a few years and imagine how that might make him feel.


  • 13 posts

Hi TheRobin, 


Sorry maybe I wasnt clear about living standards: I mostly mean living in a place that is safe and that you can move in freely, where you can drink the tap water without being sick, where there is reliable electricity and internet so we can make a living and dont have to freeze etc.. and were you dont have to worry about violence. Sweden is pretty safe. The kids can be on the street without having to worry about cars hitting them or anyone taking them. 


We have thought about latin america but i really dont like the idea of living in a house with barbed wire around and scary dogs, ( i lived in guatemala for 1,5 years)  We had thought of england too, my husband is from there. But there you have the problem that housing is like 10 times more expensive than Sweden..so we would have to live in a shed or something.. and there is a lot of drugs and crime... people in general dont let their kids play out side on their own and go where they want on their own as its not safe, and you can t just go anywhere you want. everything is owned and you can forget about going swimming in lakes and hiking without driving for miles. I lived in england 3 years and my husband lived there until he was 29 so the living in england doesnt appeal.


But you are right.. i guess i have to sacrifice these things in order to be able to homeschool, i just hate to do that just because the Swedish idiot government might take my kids otherwise.


Me and another family are looking at various options but it cant be at the expense of putting the children in risk in other ways (such as decreased safety) and we are also looking at places where we can make a living. We are self employed so we have some options of starting up again somewhere else. 


I just wanted to besides getting some ideas of where to live to tell the world about the government forces everyone to school here, as this is something I never see in the media and definitely need to be spread. So if anyone knows about a nice homeschooling community and montessori and sudbury schools in any country where its quite safe for the kids that would be appreciated to have tips about.


  • 1098 posts

Okay, that makes it a lot more clear. 


Though now it sounds a bit overly generalizing (not that I know any better, so if you've thoroughly researched that ignore my comments). Like, is England really that way everywhere or just some major cities? Similar with latin america, aren't some countries quite safe and nice while others are really horrible? Another idea that came to mind: Have you looked into regions like Thailand? (Definitely very safe though you'd want to buy bottled water for sure. Then again, is that that big of a deal?)  

Or on the other hand, there are already a lot of homeschoolers in the world, have you tried finding out where some of them live and aren't bothered (too much) by the government (as a method to figure out what possible places might be an option)?

Tyler Durden

Tyler Durden
  • 112 posts

I am no expert on laws and regulations. But can't you just find a country in the EU that has relatively little restrictions on homeschooling, move to that country without much hassle because you're already in the EU, tell the local government that you're homeschooling, and be worry-free from that point on?


  • 93 posts



  • 249 posts

Here in the U.K home-schooling laws (for the moment at least) seem relatively un-intrusive and compare favourably even with most U.S states.



The real sting in the tail however is that social services over here have a rather bad reputation of child snatching.


Though to be fair it'd be all too easy for terrible parents to put up a pretence of a 'stable loving family' to he media

and because of the nature of 'family court' it's impossible (and illegal) for anyone bar the government to see records.  

Dylan Lawrence Moore

Dylan Lawrence Moore
  • 501 posts

Austria allows homeschooling. To what extent, I don't know, but I did meet some parents who kept their kids at home there.


  • 4 posts



I went through the swedish schoolsystem recently, I´ve been out about two years and I really sympathise with your situation.


Here are some recources that might help you :)


-General info about alot of countries in the world-



-A Danish site about homeschooling-



-A blog about homeschooling in europe-



-Hungarian link collection about homeschooling- (might need some trnsaltion plug-in



-A forum post about the same issue on mothering.com-



-Another swedish family doing the same thing-



  • 7 posts

I Studied at Stockholm University to become a teacher for a few months. It basically starts with indoctrination where you learn the "right way" to discuss and view education. If that fails the teacher has so little power they are basically forced to teach the same stuff in the entire country because of the "Teaching Plan". It's not as bad in the past as in the 80's east block teachers thought our system was more controlled then theirs! (every child read the same thing in the same books every week across sweden)


  • 84 posts

Wow I didn't know it was so bad I Sweden :( . I don't know where you live but homeschooling is allowed in Denmark, so there's the possibility of commuting, Steiner schools and living in a culture not too far form your own.


  • 13 posts

Soren: We have been looking into Denmark actually, there is a Sudbury school in Roskilde that I would like to visit. But that means we would have to leave from where we are anyway. Its just wrong. We are thinking about moving to the UK as my husband is from there even if that would mean a much lower standard of living.

AdurianJ: I agree. It must be so soul draining to become a teacher when you are forced to followed that plan. I grew up in the 80s so I remember the boredom of doing the same as everyone even when we were a few kids that were ahead.