Is Home schooling legal in Ecuador?

Not to sure how long we will actually be there, so perhaps it won't matter. But if we do stay, I will home school.

Anyone know?

My kids are grown, but I can't imagine home schooling being illegal. Even if it were enforcement would be impossible.

Hi,  We are a family of 3 with a 10 yr old son.   Last year we were here in Ecuador for 3 months, and traveled up and down the coast the whole time.   We brought our years worth of homeschool books with us and worked on it as we traveled.   Some folks looked at us kind of strange, but no one said we could not do it here.   This year we are now legal residents, and are settling in a town that has a quality school, so we plan to have our son attend the school so he can get socialization with the local kids and learn Spanish.   We continued to homeschool this year and are doing so at this point while we are here.  I plan to have him work on additional work this year at home to be sure he is keeping up on everything, and have a well rounded diet so to speak.   If we end up moving to a more rural out of the way area, or where the school is not at the same level, then we plan to homeschool as well.   I have also heard of a few developments where, depending on the homeowners age demographics, they are talking about going in together with a paid teacher/tutor for the kids living in those developments.   Also, I do believe that I have run across at least a few other North American families and have heard that they are homeschooling. 

Hope this helps,

You might want to check with an attorney about the legality of homeschooling here in Ecuador.

In a throughly unscientific poll among my neighbors, many with children, they talked about a law that states that children should be in an environment that promotes learning...socialization etc.

The govt is cracking down on schools that do not meet established standards.  A neighbor was telling me that here in Cuenca the govt just closed two schools and the children are now going to public schools.

No one seemed to give much thought to home schooling. While they are aware of it in other countries, no one expressed any interest in it.  I would get legal advice before making a decision.

With grown children it is not an issue for us.


We are very seriously looking into the possibility of moving to Ecuador with our 6 kids (2-13 years old) and we would want to homeschool our children, as we do now.  From what I understand it is possible to, as a parent, take an aptitude test.  But I am not sure about all the ins and outs and I am trying to find out more.
I do understand government officials are not very interested in expat children and homeschooling does not lead to any problems, although it is not exactly legal.
I would love to find out more about homeschooling in Ecuador!

Hello,   We are currently living in Bahia, and this is our 2nd time in Ecuador.  We are now legal residents and plan to live here permanently.   Last year while we were here for 3 months we home schooled our son and continued to do so through the summer when we returned to the US.   We chose this option as we were traveling up and down the coast of Ecuador, and then across the US, and would not have been able to do so with traditional schooling.   Our son is currently finishing up the 4th Grade, ahead of schedule, and this year we will be enrolling him here in Ecuador in a private school.  We are choosing this option for him to facilitate local socialization and Spanish language mastery.   We plan to continue supplementing the school education with homeschooling to cover the subjects from the US that he would miss out on otherwise.   Here in Bahia there are several options for physical socialization from basketball, martial arts, swimming, surfing, volleyball, soccer and other classes and lessons.  I have not seen baseball or American football. 

In order to enroll him here, the schools require all the transfer paperwork from the previous years.  Specifically report cards showing a pass to the next grade.   The Department of Education from the county seat, has told us that we need to take the report cards to the Exterior relations office and have them legalized, and then they will issue us a certificate for our son, which states he is approved to enter the next grade here.  Home schooling families, will need to write up annual Report Cards with your schools name, name of child, grade, showing the subjects in each quarter or semester, and the "pass" to the next year.  There are several printable samples or forms online from various home schooling resources to use.  In using and presenting these Report Cards, you do not need to tell the school or Education division that you have been homeschooling, as this makes more difficulty.   There is also a test which can be administered to the child for placement, but I believe that it is in Spanish only.  We have been told that home schooling is illegal here, but I do not believe that they enforce this much.   I know of families in many distinct parts of Ecuador who are home schooling.  Basically by doing so we are maintaining our children in the US system and not the Ecuadorian system.

In reviewing with several families and children the subject matter and learning from the schools here, we feel that the level of homeschooling we have been giving for 4th grade is equivalent to 6th-7th year basic, or 5th-6th grade material here locally, with some variations.   If we end up moving to a different area along the coast with a more rural setting, and rural schools, we will most likely begin full-time home schooling again.   

So, to that end, there are some options or details which can be utilized.   
1) Many school districts in the US have alternative options including online schooling via K-12, which if you maintain a US address (a family members address) it would be possible to enroll in the virtual school for free.

2) Home school programs such as Abeka, the one we chose, wherein we purchased a whole year curriculum of books covering all the subjects with tests and activities.  We did not purchase the Teacher books, or test keys, or any additional material, due to the weight of packing and bringing the books with us.   As it was we were loaded to the hilt, and had at least 2 full suitcases of school books and reading books, and other learning type toys with us.   

3) Another option is a virtual school or online option from one of the home school sources such as Abeka...

In addition, If you do continue to home school here, there are some options to purchase additional learning materials here in Spanish.  In Juan Marcet and Hiper Market, Mr Books, and others, there are school books and reading books available in Spanish.   I have not found any in English.  Also, there are no public libraries that lend books out.  And while the education here concentrates on math and science, the overall public does not read much (chapter books) for enjoyment.  Many children do not have any books at home.

Also I recommend bringing as many games and toys as possible, because the games in the toy stores here are very expensive!   Although, depending on how much luggage you have, if you have to pay additional for that, it probably evens out. 

Good Luck to you, and we would love to hear what you decide and how you set it up when you are here in Ecuador.


Maybe the wrong place for this but would anyone know what months the kids are out for their summer in Ecuador. Ours here in Canada is from June 30 to September 15.   Bryan

Hello Stick1947,

There's two different school calendar, one for the coast and the other for the Sierra.

Sierra school vacation starts around end of June until first week of September.

In the Coast vacation time is December, January. They do different because these months are the hottest ones in the coast.


Vinny , We live in Bahia , on the Coast . The kids went back to school last Thursday here . May 2nd . They were off for Feb. through April . Just for your information . I am sure you ar someone else can inform on the dates for the Sierra schedule . Thanks , Charlie

That's interesting about the variations within the country on 'summer' vacation. Very different from the US, where it's standardized across the country.

Tough on families who move from city to city -- is that less common than up North?

If I were a kid and my family moved at the end of the school year to a city where I got thrown right back in to the mid-year -- boy would I be #$%@&!!


As far as I know homeschooling is technically illegal here, though I can't imagine any gov't officials enforcing it.  I believe the reason it is illegal is because there is a high rate of truancy here.  I see a lot of kids helping their parent's work on any given school day and I know that many families cannot afford to send their children to school.  For that reason I'm fairly certain there is no agency enforcing school attendance.

That being said, in a worst case scenario you could enroll your child(ren) in an online school at least temporarily to satisfy the dept. of education.

Hi Theresa,
Are you still in Bahia? Are you still homeschooling your son? If not, how is the school in Bahia? I'm considering relocating to Ecuador to join a family of friends who recently moved there. I am going to visit with my 12 year old son in December, and we plan on traveling to the coast and Cuenca to figure out where we would all like to live. Since we would be two families, we were planning on sharing the costs of hiring a teacher back home in Canada, so if you know more about those groups of expats homeschooling together, I'd love to hear it.

I would also like to know how your son likes it in Bahia, since he is roughly the same age as my son and my friend's kids (range from 11 to 13). My son is very active here (competitive hiphop dancing and basketball), so leisure activities will be a major factor in choosing a town/city, as well as proximity of good shopping (groceries, office supplies) and a movie theater) as I don't plan on driving there...


I found this interesting article in case anyone still wants to know or in the future...

Hi there,

My family and I are looking into moving to Ecuador in the fall.  Our kids will be in grade K, 3 and 5th.  Are you still home schooling a bit and sending to a private school?  How are you liking it?  Did you find any trouble getting extended visa or residency?  We are from Canada so I'm just in the looking and planning faze.
Any info would be great...thanks

I have a homeschool in Cuenca, Ecuador for Gr. 2-5. We use an American online curriculum, where children can learn Spanish as a second language. We offer one-on-one classes and give personal attention to each student. Send me a message if interested.

Hello, I will keep it short, Home schooling is 100% legal in Ecuador!
One of the few countries in Latin America..
Saludos Darren.

Hi Ivonda , I am Maria. Interested in having my girl  homeschooled. How can I contact you for more details. New to this site. Thank you

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