Home education is an alternative form of education and legally equal to the conventional education in many countries throughout the world. Thus parents have the possibility to chose either to send their children to institutionalized schools or educate them at home on their own or with help of a tutor.
However, in some countries such as Germany, Norway and Sweden home education is illegal and parents are obliged to send their children to institutionalized schools otherwise they are breaking the countries’ laws. The sanctions against parents who refuse to send their children to institutionalized schools in those countries feature fines, loss of custody of their children and jail time.
The number of countries which legally permit home education as an alternative form of education is growing but there are great differences between the countries in which home education is legal. Although many countries allow the parents to educate their children on their own at home, however, the level of freedom in parents’ choice of home education type, method and approach greatly varies from country to country. While parents in some countries like the United States and United Kingdom are relatively free in home educating, parents in other countries are facing certain restrictions and difficulties. Parents in the majority of countries in which home education is legal usually have to get formal permission of the authorities for home education, while the children are often required to take test of their knowledge in nearby school institution. Besides the formal restrictions parents in many countries are also faced with criticism of local societies. Home education may be legal in many countries but is often socially unacceptable and practically nonexistent.