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September 12, 2006

Homeschooling Progresses in Poland

Homeschoolers in Poland have been moving forward. Over 10 years ago, Marek Budajczak started the homeschooling movement in Poland. He has battled for the right to homeschool legally and has written a book in Polish for homeschoolers.

Homeschool Seminar in Poland

Wiesiek and Nancy Stbnicki have also been involved in the homeschool movement for a long time, and are working hard to help it continue to advance. Their seminar on April 30 was attended by nearly 20 families who are currently homeschooling or who are interested in starting.

Polish homeschoolers enjoy family time together. Another homeschooling retreat is scheduled for the last weekend in September.

The Stbnickis encouraged parents with a number of excellent talks. Jesek Preda also spoke on “Education or Teaching: What is Homeschooling?” The seminar included a forum where families were able to talk about homeschooling and have many of their questions answered.

There was plenty of time to socialize and get to know one another. In addition, the Stbnickis talked about moving forward with legislation to help homeschoolers operate legally with greater ease. Currently, the government in Poland is very involved in regulating and approving homeschools.

The Stbnickis’ next homeschooling retreat is scheduled for the last weekend of September. An American homeschooling mom, who is the coauthor of an online curriculum, and who is living in Poland, will teach about Ruth Beecheck’s method, the Charlotte Mason method, and share on how to homeschool from the youngest to the oldest.

Meeting with Minister of Education

In July, the Stbnickis had a tremendous opportunity to meet with the Minister of Education for Poland. They were able to arrange the meeting by talking with the minister’s brother.

The minister is a man with Godly principles and believes that in everything the parents have rights over their children. He was very open to homeschooling and agreed with the Stbnickis’ main request to allow them to register their children with a private school, and homeschool under that covering, instead of having to register with the public schools.

The Christian school that the Stbnickis helped open up three years ago is now an umbrella school for at least 10 new homeschool families. Chris Klicka, Senior Counsel of Home School Legal Defense Association, provided a letter at that meeting for the Minister of Education that explained the many benefits of homeschooling, and how it legally works in America.

Potential New Law

A prospective homeschooler smiles for the camera during a homeschooling conference earlier this year in Poland.

At present, Klicka is working with the Stbnickis to provide language for a new law or policy that would help homeschoolers more easily operate under umbrella schools. In the United States, there are many private schools that have been set up by homeschool families in compliance with private school laws. The homeschoolers then enroll in these private schools but do all the teaching in their home. Since private schools are not regulated in many states, homeschool families are able to avoid contact with the public schools and many onerous requirements.

This is a model that HSLDA has helped establish in other countries like Hungary and Romania so that homeschoolers can legally operate even though the law does not specifically allow for homeschooling.

Anyone interested in supporting homeschooling in Poland can send donations to the Home School Foundation. Be sure to designate your donation for the International Fund so that we can ensure the money is used for homeschoolers in other countries.

You can write or send a donation to the Home School Foundation at P.O. Box 1152, Purcellville, VA, 20134, phone: (540) 338-5600 or fax: (540) 338-2733. Or you can make a donation online.