Taking the next step with our homeschooling plans

Today I did something major.  Something that I’ve been planning for months, from almost the beginning of this school year.

Today I submitted the request for a permit to homeschool to the Ministry of Education for this year for ds10, along with a notification about homeschooling dd12, ds10, ds7 and ds5 for the coming year.  (I didn’t include ds3 – almost 4 – on this since the legal age of compulsory education is 5.)

This took a bit longer than  I planned since a friend’s husband was translating what I wrote for me, which in and of itself was very nice since he’s so extremely busy.  But then some important things came up for them, the kind of things that you put everything else on hold for – and in spite of having every reason to tell me they’re sorry but they just can’t do this, they didn’t.  This stayed on their list of important things to do because they knew it was really important to me.  When her husband handed the two typed pages in Hebrew to me, he said it was very convincing, so much so that he was almost convinced (about homeschooling).  :)   He did a fabulous job translating and I’m really, really very grateful.

I’ve been really antsy – well, stressed is more accurate – about getting this in.  The stress isn’t regarding the application for next year but for this year, since ds10 has been withdrawn from school and this paperwork is supposed to be submitted simultaneous to his withdrawal.  The local authorities aren’t familiar with how to deal with homeschoolers, which I already knew since I discussed it with them at the beginning of this year – it seems I’m the first person they’ve ever dealt with about it – and I wanted to have the paperwork submitted to the main office in northern Israel before they contacted me again, so I could tell them everything was being processed.

Now we have to wait to receive our permit, a process I’ve been told will take several months.  Hopefully it will get here before the coming school year.  Along the way I’ve also been told the local truant officer will want to have a home visit.  I’ll let you know about this when it takes place – that’s something I’ve never had to do before.

My decisions regarding this current school year have all been part of my plans to homeschool for the coming year.  We initially didn’t plan to homeschool the older two kids but that decision came with time over the last few months, observing what they were getting in school and evaluating if we could better at home.  It’s been a big thing on my mind for so long and I’ve hardly mentioned it to anyone, so it’s nice to finally be able to share it with you!

If you have questions about any aspect of this decision, please feel free to ask in the comments section below!  What, why, when, how, whatever!


17 thoughts on “Taking the next step with our homeschooling plans

  1. I would also love to see your letter. I hope you have a great time next year. My year of homeschooling last year in the north was a wonderful adventure. Of course we are still homeschooling…just not in the north.

    1. That’s just my bias slipping through – legally you need a permit for all of them but I dislike the idea of getting ‘permission’ to educate my own children. Officially the paperwork was supposed to be a request for a permit, but I called it a notification when I wrote it up.

  2. I was thinking about you this weekend while I was having dinner with friends. There were three of us, all in our 30s and all with “good” results by all social measures. We were talking about it and 3 of the 4 of us just plain felt warehoused until we got to University (and occasionally even then). The farther away from school I get the more I see the logic of homeschooling if it’s an option.

    Also, as you gear up for homeschooling next fall please remember you’re welcome to have things shipped to my US address if the sellers won’t ship internationally.

  3. What about Hebrew and speaking the language fluently? Wont homeschool isolate the kids more from their peers and not help them integrate into life in Israel? I think homeschooling is great but not sure how to do with kids who made alyiah.

    1. Hi, Nechama, welcome! Great questions! I asked myself this many times and wasn’t able to make this decision until I came to a solid conclusion. I’ll respond in a separate post to these important points.

  4. Are there any rigid requirements in Israeli homeschooling? How did your older schoolers accept it? Will it be harder to homeschool from an apartment?
    This should be great! I wish you all great Hatzlachah! I think I’d be considering this with some/all of my kids in your shoes.

  5. I rarely post on your blog, but not because I don’t appreciate it! :) Just wanted to let you know what a service you’re giving to so many people.
    I wondered too what changed for your youngest daughter; I remember you writing some time back that she wasn’t interested in homeschooling.

    1. Hi, Chaya Dina! Regarding my dd, I think the combination of being in school and me repeatedly talking around the topic of homeschooling wore her down. :)

  6. Avivah, I believe the MOE usually requires a visit to the homeschooling family at their home to interview them before they approve of anything. Please be prepared if that happens, a lot of support is available on the yahoo list.

  7. What list is this, please, Moriah? We are making aliya in a few months, Be”H and plan to keep homeschooling. Why do they need to interview? What are they looking for? What needs to be prepared? Thanks

    1. israelhomeschool@yahoogroups.com; there is also a website of the same name with helpful information.

      Hila, relax! This sounds stressful and honestly I’ve found it to be so because I have so many other things going on at the same time. But you’re in a different situation and if you’re homeschooling your kids from the beginning, it doesn’t have to be with way for you. I can clarify more in a private email.

  8. Just saw this answer. Thanks Avivah. I will relax. :) A home visit just sounds…uptight to me. I’d be sooo nervous for reasons I may have shared with you before. I’ll be happy for your email whenever things calm down some for you. Many brochos for good news for your family.

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