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January 22, 2003

Hungarian Homeschoolers Need our Help

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Hungarians have enjoyed more freedom. Presently the homeschool movement is small, but growing and well organized.

The Reverend Imre Szoke has worked together with a number of other homeschool families to establish the Hungarian Home Schooling Association (HHSA). They have 25 homeschooling families on their mailing list and send out a quarterly newsletter. On October 8, 2002, HHSA held their first homeschool seminar and plan to have at least two a year. The next conference will be in February of 2003, and their scheduled speaker is Steve Demme of Math-U-See.

Reverend Szoke has created a special K-4 curriculum which includes some of the unobjectionable state textbooks and Christian textbooks from American homeschool correspondence courses. Chris Klicka, senior counsel of the Home School Legal Defense Association, has helped organize some discounted curriculum to be made available for Hungarian homeschoolers. He continues to work with Imre in the establishment and future strategies for the continued growth of the homeschool movement in Hungary.

The Hungarian laws allow parents to teach their children at home as private school students. They are required to generally follow the state curriculum and have their children examined twice a year. At this stage, homeschoolers must first enroll into a state school and then ask for the special private student status. This status is always granted at the request of the parents. Parents are free to teach at home whatever they want outside of the state curriculum. HHSA is working to create it's own curriculum for all grade levels.

The homeschool movement is growing quickly in the Christian population. HHSA is working in conjunction with the Westminster Biblical World Missions who operate out of Carbondale, Pennsylvania. This mission organization has established a seminary in Hungary which is training pastors. Dozens of these pastors have established churches throughout Hungary and they are urging their congregations and communities to homeschool.

Presently the major needs of the Hungarian Home Schooling Association is in the area of curriculum and finances. The Hungarians are willing to use American homeschool curriculum and will distribute it to their various families as needed. They also need funds for translation expenses as they would like to be able to use various American homeschool textbooks. Donations can be sent to the Hungarian Home Schooling Association via the Westminster Biblical World Missions, P.O. Box 200, Carbondale, Pennsylvania, 18407. (By donating in this way, American homeschoolers can get a tax deduction rather than sending it straight to the Hungarian Home Schooling Association.) The checks should have a designation to the Hungarian Home Schooling Association. All funds will be transferred directly to HHSA.