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I just wondered - is it permissible to home educate / de-school children in Portugal?
Or is a formal school education mandatory?
I am asking on behalf of a friend.
Getting back onto the subject:
We tried our son in 4 different schools and he took to none of them. Nothing against the school nor the language problem, although the school teachers are 'matrons' and extremely strict even with 4 year olds or younger.
If left on his own, our son would cause disruption. If we were there the teacher wasn't happy, so there was no solution but to home school.
Our son is loved everywhere he goes. He is extremely sociable, gets on increadibly well with other children and is up to the standard he should be according to the information I read on the internet. In fact, some of the PC based teaching he is ahead of for his age.
I simply wrote to the local education to say that we will not continue registration at the school and that he will be educated under the English system.
Having only just turned 6, the Portuguese school age, we have yet to find out any consequences of this decision.
Home schooling should be down to the needs of the child. Most children enjoy schools but our child receives no benefit and it is infact detrimental to his well being and that of the other children in the school for him to attend and therefore that is no education whatsoever.
It may change in the future and if so our son may attend school.
In it's place, he goes swimming and the intention is to go to football training, join the bombeiros as a volunteer (me included) and other activities through the library.
Whilst he does suffer a little from the lack of other children around during the day (he's a single child), he does not suffer from the inability to integrate socially and in fact, is just simply adored by adults and children who meet him so he's not suffering from inapt social skills.
Home schooling or sending to a local school is down to each individual child's needs - it's as simple as that.
I have inquired a little and this is what I have learned about homeschooling in Portugal:
You will have to register the child in the public system, as it is not allowed to homeschool in private schools.
When you do the enrollment, choose the Homeschooling option (Ensino Doméstico), by signaling with an "x" in the proper place. That is all you have to do.
Then, you'll have the exams, four equivalencies, at the end of each cycle, not each school year. So the child will have to apply, as an external student, when he is in 4th, 6th, 9th, and 12th grade.
Probably, as this is now going through revision, you'll have to present to the school some portfolio. It is not expected to be something very structured or with school-like language, but just as an assurance that the child in not in "educational abandonment". It is not compulsive, by now, but it will be soon.
But if I understand correctly, these tests are all in Portuguese only?
From a British friend I found out that although it is legal to homeschool in Portugal, the education at home is not recognized at all by the school. Her son was homeschooled for 2 years and had to do those 2 years over again when he went back to Portuguese school...