After Almost Two Years of Hope, Homeschooling Is Illegal Again in Germany

Nicole Hilbig
9 min readOct 21, 2021

It was just too good to be true

Everything back to the beginning. The time of homeschooling is over again. We enjoyed homeschooling for almost 2 years. A foretaste that distance learning brought us during the pandemic.

Because here in Germany our children have to go to school at the age of 6. Due to the compulsory school attendance requirement, parents must send their children to school without exception for at least 8 school years. Homeschooling is strictly forbidden. This has been the case since 1919.

The Transition to Homeschooling

The start of the pandemic in 2020 was the starting shot for the legalization of homeschooling in Germany. The 3-month lockdown began in March 2020, during which we all had to protect ourselves from the spread of the aggressive coronavirus. Everything was closed, which was not one of the basic needs of society or systemically relevant.

Although education is fundamental, schools had to close because of the acute danger to life. For the first time, a rethink in education was required, and not only in Germany. Everywhere you could hear about digitalization, about the dawn of the digital age, which finally found its way into the dusty and long overdue school system of this country.

The Ministry of Education was suddenly forced to create a virtual learning system that was accessible to all students, parents and teachers outside the school. Virtual classrooms were set up immediately, which enabled simultaneous conferences via Zoom or Jitsi. Padlets were newly established to make worksheets, learning videos or corrections virtually accessible to everyone. Learning apps and online exercises became part of the homework, and numerous phone calls and e-mails wandered back and forth between the teachers, students and parents.

All of this was suddenly possible and ensured regular online lessons, which were combined with regular learning at home, accompanied and assisted by us parents.

Learning at home, strictly speaking homeschooling, was legalized overnight. And that in a country like Germany, where education has been in the hands of the state for a century and was never allowed to be

Nicole Hilbig

I love learning and writing about the changes in our digital era. My topics are future, work, productivity, writing, education & personal stories.