Germany’s anti-homeschooling posture is not news to veteran American homeschooling families. So, it is not very surprising to hear that on Thursday, 1-10-19, a European court ruled in favor of the German government and against the Wunderlich family and their 5 children.
Police officers stormed the Wunderlich’s home and took their children away from them. The children were finally returned to their parents, but at what cost, trauma? If Germany had a lily-white record of protecting children in general from abuse, one might think that the government paranoia was due to an over-zealous desire to ensure children’s safety, but a quick search on the Internet shows that Germany is rife with child abuse of all sorts, so the persecution of the Wunderlichs and other homeschooling families is not morally grounded.
The Wunderlichs had used a Christian distance-learning program to teach with and had invited the relevant German authorities to check on them any time they wished.
One of the “charges” against the Wunderlichs was familiar to American homeschoolers, too: Lack of socialization, which the parents refuted by pointing out their participation in various clubs and organizations, with Mr. Wunderlich adding that he believed the family circle to be the best environment for children; an opinion also held by most American families and supported by decades of successful socialization throughout the U.S.
Finally, father, Dirk Wunderlich, himself a graduate of a regular high school, feels that today’s schools are not on the same level as he experienced. He feels that teachers do not do as much as work as in his time and they have students doing the work in the form of homework.
Another German homeschooling family has been granted asylum in the United States, because the German government violated their basic human rights (to homeschool) in the judge’s ruling, so possibly the Wunderlichs will be following the same track in the near future.
Ironically, Germany has seen an influx of students enrolling in public schools at the same time, experiencing a shortage of teachers and facilities . . . homeschooling is one of the cheapest and most flexible remedies to such shortages, but the German authorities have yet to realize this simple solution.