Is Homeschooling legal in BG?

Including 'special needs'.

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suey
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Is Homeschooling legal in BG?

Postby suey » Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:30 pm

We are considering moving to Bulgaria with our 8 and 13 year old girls. Although we have begun to explore the aphabet and basic language skills we think this will be slow going until we are resident.

Due to the "new" language and information from other posts on this forum, we considered that our best option would be to home school the children initially, with private Bulgarian language tuition for the whole family. Then, depending on how well they pick it up, possibly moving them into BG state schools sometime down the line. I particularly feel for my 13-y-o that trying to cope with a new language and schooling at secondary school level would be too much to deal with straight away.

I have been trying to gather together home school resources from the internet and today I came across this link: - http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/B ... 307080.asp
which states that
"Homeschooling for most families is prohibited by educational authorities in Bulgaria"
and that it is only approved in exceptional circumstances for children with special educational needs.

Does anyone have any experience of this and/or know whether this would apply equally to the UK ex-pat community? I would love to hear from anyone else who is, or is considering, home educating in BG.

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scot47
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Postby scot47 » Tue Mar 15, 2005 10:38 am

In my 15 years in BG I have never heard of anyone - BG or foreign - who homeschooled their kids. Does not mean it is not posible. My advice would be to go and speak to someone in the Min of Ed - maybe at regional level and/or get a BG lawyer to check out the legal position.

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Postby suey » Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:07 pm

Thanks for your reply scot47. The Min of Ed website is hard work for me with my minimal Bulgarian, as very little of it is currently in English, but I am wading through gradually.

I must admit I am surprised that no new (UK or other ) residents with children are exploring this option. Or maybe they have and it really isn't an option in BG? Is everyone else choosing the private/international school path or using the state school system?

The BG school system seems really good, it's just that I'm a bit wary of dropping my kids in at the deep end.

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Postby shotlandets » Tue Mar 15, 2005 6:10 pm

i am pretty sure that home schooling is allowed in bg, only under exceptional circumstances. i dont think that the authorities would look too favourably on you doing this. i think that you are correct in the way you are trying to go about it, but are you absolutely certain that a 13 year old is up to the enormous stress that this will cause. younger kids adapt more easily than older ones,if she can learn the language, it will be so much easier. why not go in april may and try to get them up to speed on the lingo first and see how it goes. incidentally, dont mix with other english speakers while you are there. this is wot happened to me and i picked up enough lingo to converse after 3 months.

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Postby suey » Tue Mar 15, 2005 9:11 pm

thanks for your reply. The stress of learning a new language and coping with education at secondary school level and, it seems, in quite a different educational style from the UK was my main reason for wanting to home school in the first place - even if it was just until the kids got the hang of the language enought to feel confident. My 13 year old is really keen on the idea of moving. It looks like I will have to consider one of the International schools in that case - which rather limits our choice of location unfortunately. Unless I can get one of them to organise something like Tara was tallking about in this thread http://www.mybulgaria.info/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=1832

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Postby scot47 » Wed Mar 16, 2005 6:32 am

Congratulations on attempting the Min of Ed website. My idea was for you to TALK to someone at the Min of Ed.

Kids are more adaptable than we sometimes imagine. And learning a new language is not ALL stress. Can be fun too !

If you want an international school you are restricting your options - and much may depend on whether you are working in a specific location of BG.

Good luck anyway.

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Postby Tara » Wed Mar 16, 2005 2:15 pm

Suey
Where abouts in Bulgaria are you going to be based as that may influence your choices? Also where are you in West Sussex as we used to live near Chichester !!!
My kids have private Bulgarian lessons after school and spend all their free time in the village with other kids who don't speak any English and are picking it up fast - even if they are at a English speaking school (www.geobiz.com/aea ) As far as i know Bulgarian education is compulsory until Grade 4, and some of the bulgarian kids in our school go to both !!! But i could be mistake here - i'm sure Scot47 will put us right on that one !!!

If you would like to talk pm me for my number and/or any mor info you may need

Cheers

Tara

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school attendance

Postby scot47 » Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:28 am

I think it is compulsory to Grade 8 but enforcement of the attendance rule is patchy. If the children are Roma, no one will force them to go to school.

Really you should go and ask someone in the Min of Ed. You could also get legal advice. Get your lawyer to check out the legal position. Do not expect it to be like the UK or the US (where this homeschooling fashion seems to have begun.)
Last edited by scot47 on Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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suey
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Postby suey » Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:23 pm

We haven't settled on an area in BG yet, Tara. I wanted to get all these kinds of things well researched beforehand in case they did have a bearing - and I am really glad I did. It would have been awful to get our hearts set on a property and then find it was a non-starter due to schools. We were leaning towards the general area around Troyan though. We want somewhere rural and near the mountains, ideally. The American College in VT could be worth investigating, though.

Am I right in thinking that grade 8 is up to age 14-ish? If so that means the grades are the same as in the UK, my 13 year old is currently in year 8 at school here. If grade 8 is the extent of the compulsory element then that might solve my problem anyway, as she would already be past the compulsory level. The younger one would be, in my opinion, far easier to slot straight in to a Bulgarian school as she is very outgoing and gregarious.

I haven't had much response to the emails I have been firing off to the British Council, embassies etc., etc. so all your help is very much appreciated everyone.

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Postby charlieg » Fri Oct 28, 2005 3:43 pm

hi suey
we too are looking at home schooling, for our daughters who will be aged 12&13yrs.
we have tried to get help from the minister of education, we went through the bg embassy but we still have not had any replies to our emails.
have you come across any problems with the bg education system regarding home schooling.
or has anyone else looked into home schooling and had any problems

good luck


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