Homeschooling families in Hungary were left fearing the worst after two major changes in education law.

The government all but canceled the use of the “private student status”—which was the category under which it was possible to get permission for homeschooling. With the same amendment, the government took the decision-making power from local school principals and gave it to an impersonal governmental office.

Along with this, the regulation of homeschooling co-ops changed for the worse as well.

The 2019–2020 school year revealed that these regulations brought the worst change: practically a total ban on homeschooling. This applied even to families homeschooling for religious reasons, as well as those with long-term successful homeschool programs whose children had displayed outstanding academic achievement.

Our homeschool group tried to reach out to government leaders on different levels, but it was clear that their main goal was to totally eliminate individual educational solutions and re-enter all students into the centralized educational system of the state.

One by one, our friends had their requests to homeschool refused. It became clear that there is no real possibility of homeschooling in Hungary, except for the few and proven exceptions for students in professional sports, with special health issues, or in families who travel frequently (about the same as the recently introduced legislation in France).

New Challenges

The year went by under the shock and feeling of inertness caused by this situation.

As very few families remained able to homeschool, the small co-ops and other homeschooling communities were dissolved.

It seemed impossible to change the situation, and to me personally, it was a year of painful loss.

But in recent weeks, and especially after the November GHEC conference, some of us have seen a spark of new hope.

Someone called me to say that a group of home educators have founded a new association. Some families were able to remain home educators. These and others are showing renewed interest in trying to achieve changes and to revitalize the homeschooling movement from its sleeping beauty state.

Now we are trying to call those who do not want to give up to a brainstorming session. There is a small core of former or present homeschooling parents who are ready to learn good practices from leaders in “older” homeschooling countries, and implant them into our specific culture and environment.

This is our present, and for a bright future we ask for your prayers for Hungary.