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Homeschooling

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The desire of parents for homeschooling these days has many different reasons:
  • You have just arrived in Switzerland and you want your kids to be able to adapt to the German language and learn at their own pace
  • You want them to be close to you
  • You disagree with the way public schools teach knowledge
  • Bullying is becoming a chronic problem or
  • you understandably do worry about your child’s safety due to the pandemic.

Kids

Homeschooling is an established and ever faster growing teaching method in Switzerland. Our institute is very experienced and perfectly informed about the rules that apply to homeschoolers here. Let’s illustrate them using the example of the canton of Zurich.

Legal basis

Private instruction is supervised by the Department of Education (Bildungsdirektion). If it lasts less than one year, supervisory visits hardly ever happen.

Obligation to register

Homeschooling is not subject to approval, only it is subject to notification. Parents must report their will to homeschool their children to the school administration of their municipality of residence and to the Directorate of Education "Supervision of Private Schools/Aufsicht ueber Privatschulen". The following is necessary for the report:
  • Fully completed registration form and timetable
  • Group size (1-5 students)
  • Number of lessons, which must comply with the corresponding legal requirements. According to the Department of Education, the number of lessons per week must be adhered to: "... lessons per week. These must be complied with per school week.". "
  • Information about the teacher
The notification has to be made before starting private lessons and later annually with the forms of the Supervision of Private Schools.

Group size

A maximum of five school-age children are taught at the same time.

Number of lessons

At the maximum of 3 children, at least half of the lessons provided for in the cantonal curriculum must be taught For 4 to 5 children at least two thirds of the lessons provided for in the cantonal curriculum must be taught

Teachers training

If private tuition lasts longer than one year, it must be given by a person who has a "completed teacher training". This means that during compulsory schooling, a student may be taught for a total of no more than one year by professors who have a different teacher training. "Completed teacher training" is considered to be (for the Canton of Zurich):
  • Teaching diploma from the Zurich University of Teacher Education (PH Zurich)
  • Certificate of proficiency from a predecessor institution of the PH Zurich
  • Teaching diploma for Matura schools or predecessor diploma
  • Education in other Swiss cantons
  • recognized teaching diploma of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK)
It is important to emphasize that all our teachers – also the ones who have not the above mentioned “completed teacher training” – are highly qualified. They have an alternative, completely equivalent training. Not rarely they possess a Masters degree or even a PhD title in the field of languages or natural sciences.

Curriculum and learning objectives

The learning objectives according to the curriculum of the Canton of Zurich must be achieved.

Review of the quality of teaching

  • If private lessons last longer than one year, their quality will be checked annually. The review is carried out by means of annual supervisory visits. In addition, school performance tests may be ordered.
  • In case of serious deficiencies, the department of education may prohibit private tuition.
  • School career / certificates

    Promotions (level within a grade) and transfers are decided by the teacher. The legal basis for assessment and promotion at the elementary school can be found in § 32 VSG and §§ 33-40 VSV. The Directorate recommends that these be applied. Teachers in private lessons may use the official report forms of the elementary school, issue their own reports or dispense with a written form of evaluation altogether. The official certificates of the Directorate of Education are public documents that must be kept truthfully and in accordance with the documents.

    School vacations

    School vacations can, but do not have to, be based on local school vacations. However, it is recommended by the Directorate of Education.

    Teaching materials

    Children of compulsory school age, who are taught privately, can obtain teaching aids by their municipality of residence for free. The list of compulsory and alternative compulsory teaching materials can be found under this link.

    Music school and school sports

    Privately taught students may attend music school at their place of residence and take advantage of voluntary school sports services. For the use of these services, private pupils are subject to the same conditions as public ones.

    Clarifications and therapies

    Privately taught students are entitled to clarifications, therapies and documentation at their place of residence. This includes:
    • speech therapy
    • psychomotor therapy
    • psychotherapy
    • school books
    The school administration decides on the type and scope of services. The above information is based on the text “Privatunterricht (Homeschooling) der Bildungsdirektion Zürich. “(Private Instruction (Homeschooling) of the Zurich Department of Education”.

    Our offer to you

    With you and your child we will go through different requirements such as:
    • a formally correct report
    • required subjects and topics
    • a weekly schedule plan
    • collection of school books
    • administrative work
    • the search for a suitable teacher for your child
    We gladly take the time to discuss the current situation and the next steps with you in a status review. By telephone, e-mail or face to face. Since we often make preliminary clarifications, we charge CHF 90 per 45 minutes for a meeting and for further clarifications and investigations.

    Networking with other homeschool families and finding suitable teachers

    For more information about other homeschooling families and finding teachers see www.homeschooling-netzwerk.ch

    Homeschooling is prohibited in the following cantons
    • Ticino
    • Uri
    • Nidwalden
    • Obwalden

Questions?

We will be very happy to help you. Call us at 044 500 26 64 or contact us at Laurent.Kerbage@tutorat.ch.