Pilot Program Extends Home Education
More than 130 people attended the first-ever Prague Homeschool Conference in November 2012. It was a significant event that grew well beyond the expectations of the organizers. Families from a variety of worldviews came together to gather information, consider resources, receive encouragement, and get to know each other.
It is considered legal in the Czech Republic for parents to educate their children at home up to grade five. The government is in the midst of a pilot project to extend that limit through the secondary levels. A rigorous schedule of regular and intense examinations is being maintained.
A hospitable ‘private’ school allowed the conference to meet in their building. The two-day event filled the space to overflowing. Larger open areas included several exhibitors displaying books and other educational materials. There were also tables filled with homemade baked goods and drinks. A nurturing childcare program was available, of which a number of participants took advantage.
The conference boasted a wide assortment of speakers and subjects. A well-known Prague psychologist and a Czech university professor of education offered supportive plenary sessions. A variety of veteran homeschool parents presented a number of workshops on topics from pre-school instruction to interviews with homeschool graduates.
|Curt speaks during a jam-packed plenary session|
We were pleased to be invited as keynote speakers at this historic event in our adopted home-city. In our first session, we answered the question of how to address opposition from relatives and friends on the issue of homeschooling. Later we shared our personal experience as well as the insights we’ve gained through our decades of international service to homeschool families. Parents responded with obvious enthusiasm and meaningful discussion.
The truth is that we received as much enrichment as we offered. Being with this collection of homeschool families was like spending the day with a group of long-lost cousins. It was a delight to meet ongoing friends and begin making new ones. Fellow speakers and attendees taught and inspired us in every interaction. The pioneer spirit is definitely active, strong, and thriving among homeschoolers in the Czech Republic.
Curt and Sandra Lovelace serve international homeschool families through Lifework Forum.