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June 29, 2011

Legal Guide Published by Homeschool Advocate

This newly published legal guide to homeschooling in Russia is meant to help home educators navigate regulations on their own.

Another positive development for home education in Russia is the appearance of a new book for homeschoolers. The 350-page Without the School: The Legal Guide for Family Education and Externship was written by Pavel Parfentiev, chairman of the board of the IPO “For Family Rights” and released in April. The book is published in Russian, of course.

The book is the comprehensive guide for resolving the legal problems of Russian families who are planning to homeschool their children or who are already involved in the homeschool journey. The book includes three sections, as well as a disk with additional resources.

The first section covers popular myths about homeschooling and presents the real facts: academic achievement, socialization, reasons for homeschooling, etc.

The second part is an in-depth study of the Russian legislation and regulatory acts, relating to the homeschooling process from the start to the final government attestation of the student. The comprehensive but clear exposition is quite understandable. Many of the questions covered in this section have never been seriously discussed before. An important feature is that the book analyzes not only the federal law but also Russia’s regional laws about homeschooling.

The third part includes step-by-step instructions for resolving many of the typical legal situations that homeschooling parents may encounter.

The appearance of the book is very important for Russian homeschoolers, because in many regions it is still extremely difficult for parents to exercise their right to homeschool their children. Mr. Parfentiev is a known family rights activist and homeschooling consultant, and he has helped Russian homeschooling families resolve their legal problems in practice for several years.

The book has attracted the attention of parents and school administrators. In many cases, the violation of parental rights by Russian school officials is not caused by bad intentions, but by their lack of legal and practical knowledge in the area of homeschool law. It is worth mentioning that the IPO “For Family Rights” is sometimes contacted by school administrators, and even local educational officials, asking for consultations.

Now Russian homeschoolers have a reliable guide that can help them to resolve—without any additional assistance—typical legal problems.

“For Family Rights” Helps Homeschooler with Serious Legal Difficulties

When the problem is difficult to resolve independently, the IPO “For Family Rights” helps homeschool families through consultations and practical support. One specific case, included in Without the School, is an illustration. The principal of a school in Novosibirsk was very persistent in refusing to let a family homeschool their 8th-grader. His position remained unchanged, even when he was informed that his actions were contrary to the law. He tried to misinform the local Commission for Juvenile Affairs that the mother was preventing her child from receiving a proper education. Such a charge can lead to serious consequences for families in Russia.

Fortunately for the family, the mother was a member of the IPO “For Family Rights,” and she informed the organization about the potential problems. The organization intervened in the case. “For Family Rights” provided the family with all of the necessary information, helped to prepare official petitions, and contacted the regional Ministry of Education and other officials on their behalf. As a result, the boy was successfully recognized as a student officially receiving his education through homeschooling. We were informed that the principal was charged with an administrative offence and was fined by the local court. As he has persisted in causing trouble for the family, “For Family Rights” has contacted the authorities for the second time. As a result, the family was successfully attached to a school that is friendly to homeschoolers, where the rights of the boy and his parents will not be violated.

Prepared by the International Relations Group of the IPO “For Family Rights”

 Other Resources

Learn more by visiting HSLDA’s Russia webpage.