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August 27, 2009

Students Sought for German-American ePal Program

Home School Legal Defense Association continues to work with other organizations to try to help German parents who wish to educate their children at home. Families who attempt to homeschool in Germany face severe persecution including crushing fines, imprisonment, and loss of custody of their children.

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For more information or to register for an ePal >>

HSLDA appreciates the prayers and concerns of its members for persecuted homeschoolers in Germany. We continue to be engaged in legal cases, but a change in German law regarding homeschooling will require a change in the way many Germans view home education. In addition to media interest, cross cultural exchanges can be helpful. We thought that some of you might like to hear about an interesting program called ePal. We think this program could be helpful in connecting homeschooling families in America with all kinds of German families, mutually benefiting each and possibly helping German society gain a new understanding of home education through one-on-one interaction with American homeschoolers.

The German-American ePal Program seeks to educate German students and their families on the advantages of homeschooling while improving their English. It enriches homeschoolers with a unique learning experience and new friendships. Knowledge of German is not required, but homeschoolers studying German are likely to rapidly improve their language skills.

Participants must be 12–16 years old. They will be paired with same-gender ePals according to similarities. As a family learning adventure, parents oversee their child’s ePal experience. Christian German ePals may also be requested. Homeschoolers may also request more than one German ePal. The German-American ePal Program was developed by 14-year-old homeschooler Claire Gleason and her mother, Susan, during an annual trip to Germany in 2008. They are both fluent in German and are connected with many public and private schools in Germany, where they have seen a growing interest in homeschooling.

The German-American ePal Program is partnering with Homeschool America Inc., which oversees applications from homeschoolers. The director for American students is Sondra Muench, and Susan Gleason is the director for German students. All students are screened.

Join other homeschoolers across the nation who are participating in the ePal program!

There is a one-time enrollment fee:

  • German Students: 5 euros
  • U.S. Homeschoolers: $5
  • Family Fee: $9 (if you have 2 or more homeschoolers in your household)