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March 7, 2011

First Homeschool Graduates in Poland

By Marek Budajczak

Although homeschooling in Poland is a relatively new phenomenon (starting in the mid-1990s), we have reached the point where our first children have finished their secondary education and are now entering college.

They, from the youngest to the oldest one, introduce themselves to you:

My name is Basia Bielenda. I’m 19 years old. I have two younger brothers. I was homeschooled for 4 years, since I was 14. It was then that I realized languages were my passion. This October I was accepted to university to study Spanish Philology & English Language. One of my greatest hobbies is playing the piano, horse riding, and traveling.
Contact Basia.

Przemek Galant (age 20): Last year I completed my secondary school education as one of the first students in homeschooling in Poland. I’m fond of hitchhiking, walking in the mountains, and sleeping in a tent on the beach. My passion is dancing both Standard and Latino-American dances. For a short time I was studying philosophy at the University in Torun, but I didn’t like the routines and bureaucracy there. Now I’m coming back to Lodz, in central Poland, to study tourism in absentia. I like unusual art performances—I have played a role of werewolf for children’s plays in the streets of Lodz lately.
Visit a Polish homeschool website for more info on Przemek.

Emilia (age 25) and Pawel Budajczak (age 24): Since 1995, for a period of about 12 years, my brother and I were taught at home by our parents. Along with the traditional ones, we studied subjects we couldn't find at that time in an ordinary school, like the arts, philosophy, special foreign languages (including Latin, Ancient Greek and Polish Sign). In 2007, we passed the SAT tests, but because of difficulties from the public school officials in Poland, our university studying was impeded. Despite that, we try to live our lives and are doing the best we can in the paths we chose.

My brother, Pawel, is a pedagogy student, deeply involved in volunteer work. As a street worker, he works for the Group of Social Animation “Rezerwat” in Poznan, in northwest Poland. He teaches music to both delinquent boys and children at orphanages. He also plays the guitar (and other instruments as well) in his own bands.
Contact Pawel.

I, Emilia, have been teaching foreign languages (English, French) to children and teens for a couple of years, along with learning languages myself (Spanish, Italian). This fall my translations of several English texts will be published. As a personal project, I work with a group of school kids and introduce them to the foundations of our national and universal culture, teaching them “cultural literacy.”
Contact Emilia.

To learn more about current homeschoolers in Poland, here are links to several blogs for Polish homeschooling moms:

Educating thru travel: Edukowanie przez podrózowanie
Pioneers of home education: Pionierzy edukacji domowej
Homeschooling in Warsaw: Homeschooling w Warszawie
Science and Passion: Nauka i Pasja
ravel in time and space: Podróze w czasie i przestrzeni

Marek Budajczak, PhD, leads Stowarzyszenie Edukacji Domowej, the Polish Association for Home Education, and is the author of “Edukacja domowa.”

Learn more by visiting HSLDA’s Poland page.