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September 12, 2017

Homeschoolers gather for a ground-breaking conference in St. Petersburg.

Russians Welcome Homeschool Growth, Global Conference

Mike Donnelly MIKE DONNELLY HSLDA Director of Global Outreach

In recent months, nearly a thousand parents from former Soviet Union countries gathered to herald the growth of homeschooling.

It’s incredible to watch what was once the world’s second superpower—the Soviet Union—transform into a set of diverse countries with burgeoning homeschooling movements. Home School Legal Defense Association has taken part in this growth by providing support and encouragement to leaders of the Russian homeschool movement. 

These leaders, in turn, have shared some exciting news with us.

Alexey Komov and his wife, Irina, are homeschooling parents who made it their vocation to build the movement in Russia and other former countries that made up the Soviet Union. Alexey and Irina spearheaded the development of, a website and homeschool support organization that aims to provide practical and legal help to the fast-growing movement. 

Alexey and Irina have also been working with Classical Conversations to create a classical and Christian-based Russian homeschooling curriculum. The vast majority of their target population are members of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Coming Together

Alexey told me about an event that he and Irina organized that drew the largest gathering of homeschoolers so far in Russia.  

“Over 700 parents and children attended the three-day Parent Practicum in Moscow in mid July,” he said.  “And over 150 people joined our one-day event in historic St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg.”

Alexey continued: “Families from all over Russia, Ukraine and Belarus came to those ground-breaking events to be trained and inspired to start their homeschooling communities in over 30 cities from Vladivostok to Kiev and Minsk. Everyone felt God’s blessing, and left fired up and full of enthusiasm.”

He told me that the homeschooling community of Russia and the former USSR is now estimated to include over 100,000 families.

I traveled to Russia in February as part of a scouting trip to plan for the third Global Home Education Conference scheduled for next May in St. Petersburg and Moscow.*

I found people to be very friendly and open. And within the homeschooling community, I found people who are motivated by the same reasons we are—a love for their children and a desire to provide them with an individualized educational program.

These shared values and aspirations are some of the reasons that HSLDA is supporting the 2018 Russian conference. There is no doubt that homeschooling is spreading around the world, and we are excited to see what the future holds for the Russian and former Soviet Union countries as they explore the fastest going form of education in the world. 

Alexey echoed this sentiment.

“We are excited to be the local organizers and so grateful for the support of HSLDA and the American homeschooling community,” he said. “We welcome everyone to Russia, don’t miss this historic event!”