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December 12, 2008

Homeschoolers Face Renewed Trials, Fresh Encouragement

Criminal Charges Dismissed, But Custody Still at Issue

The Brause family of Zittau, Germany, appeared in court recently to defend against criminal charges aimed at punishing them because they homeschool. The family had lost partial custody of their children about a year ago after the German Youth Welfare Office, also known as the Jugendamt, had filed a petition of neglect in family court because the children were homeschooled. According to a report by the International Human Rights Group (IHRG), the criminal charges have now been dropped. German Attorney Johannes Hildebrandt represented the family in the criminal matter and told HSLDA that the family court matter remains. HSLDA requests that you continue to keep this family in your prayers as they seek to regain full custody of their children.

Read the complete story on the Brause family >>

If you would like to send a note of encouragement to this family, you can write to them at:

Familie Brause
Untere Dorfstr. 28
02763 Zittau-Hartau

Swiss Canton of Zurich Cracks Down on Homeschoolers

In Switzerland, several cantons are following Germany’s example of severely restricting homeschooling. In a move that is at odds with past practice, although similar to the practice in two other Swiss cantons, the Canton of Zurich has voted to only allow homeschooling by parents who are certified teachers.

Read the full story >>

Family Bikes Through Germany to Support Homeschooling

The Millers, a New Hampshire homeschooling family, have been biking across Europe recently as part of their homeschool “edventure.” Before beginning their European trip, they contacted HSLDA because they wanted to visit with and encourage German homeschoolers. HSLDA put the Millers in contact with a number of families in Germany.

While biking through Germany, the Millers reported that they were able to visit with and encourage a number of families. The German families told the Millers they look forward to the day when they are able to enjoy the same freedom as American homeschoolers. You can read more about the Millers’ exciting “edventure” by visiting their website.

Homeschool Dance Troupe Plans German Tour

The Highländlers, a homeschool dance troupe, is preparing for a mission tour to Germany in the summer of 2009. The group performs Bavarian and Scottish folk dances, and has won awards in international competition. All of these performers have been home-educated and hope to sway public opinion in favor of freedom in education in Europe and to encourage German families who are homeschooling.

Some German homeschooling families have invited the Highländlers to participate in various activities with them.

Tina Liedle, homeschool mom, HSLDA member and troupe leader, said “I hope our tour will help influence the tide of public opinion towards freedom in education by supporting this effort on behalf of German homeschoolers. We believe, with them, that this work will sow good seeds and, therefore, reap good results.”

The 2009 mission tour is being finalized right now, with additional meetings and venues being worked into the schedule.

Read more about the troupe and its upcoming tour >>

Please keep these families and all homeschoolers in Germany in your prayers as we work together for freedom.