Any homeschoolers here?

We will be moving to Budapest this summer. Have 3 kids, boys born 2010 and 2013 and daughter born 2017. The boys speak fluent English and near-fluent Polish, but only just started to learn Hungarian.

We are thinking about home schooling. We are also visiting the city this week (March 5-8).

Are there any homeschoolers here who could meet with us so we could get a sense of how that works? Any tips or leads are welcome.

Welcome to the forum.

Why home school?

Children at a young age pick up a new language very quickly. I would not worry about them attending a state school.

Thanks.

We'll be learning Hungarian, that's not a concern. Our kids are already bilingual and will participate in various clubs (chess, soccer) where Hungarian will be spoken. They have always previously gone to school, and we are visiting a bunch of schools this week and may end up going that route again.

We've just been thinking about homeschooling for a while, to give the kids more time to explore their interests and, hopefully, learn more. Currently we live in a country (Malta) where home schooling is impossible, but in Budapest it is legal and we are considering it for academic reasons.

rajva :

We will be moving to Budapest this summer. Have 3 kids, boys born 2010 and 2013 and daughter born 2017. The boys speak fluent English and near-fluent Polish, but only just started to learn Hungarian.

We are thinking about home schooling. We are also visiting the city this week (March 5-8).

Are there any homeschoolers here who could meet with us so we could get a sense of how that works? Any tips or leads are welcome.

So your kids are 9, 6 and 2.   In Hungary, it's indeed possible to home school.  However, if I remember correctly, the government will want to assess them sometimes.  You can always send them to school for short periods for that, just a matter of a few days or a week.  Some kids at my kids' school do that. My kids are bilingual in English and Hungarian and go to a state school.

Other matters:

Compulsory vaccinations are needed to go to any school, kids over 6 must go to school (even if home school) and have a minimum weight to attend (it's a proxy for being able to carry books in a school bag).  For the development and medical issues, you need a doctors examination certificate to give to the school director.  Oh, and btw, Kids under 6 with an adult travel for free on the Budapest transport system.

Hi!

We have just moved back to the UK after three years in a small village in North Western Hungary. We have five children and they have been homeschooled from birth, bilingually as my hubby is British and I am Hungarian. After trying an alternative school (Waldorf), which we found was not our cup of tea due to its underlying spirituality (actual school and teacers were great!), we returned to homeschooling. Our youngest did go to kindergarten though for nearly three years and there were no problems. Neither did we have any issues with the others, although we have been registered with three different schools for the three school years we had in Hungary, and one of our children did try out the local school for half a year (horrible head of class, exhausting experience, took her out at the end of year).

As for NON-HUNGARIAN CITIZENS, I know that vaccinations are compulsory, but have not found evidence for legislation on their education. That does not mean it does not exist, but as it did not apply to us, I did not look into it.

I am sorry to say, but asking government officials on the subject will not necessarily yield a definite answer. Most of them have no idea about home education, and most of those who do are biased (against, as the government is happy to control what is fed to young minds). So, I would suggest to get reading the actual laws if you can understand Hungarian enough, or get someone you trust to do so for you. Alternatively, you can write to the Educational Department for a written statement. Otherwise, the important thing is what the stance of your local educational officer is, what he says goes for you, as he has the power of authority on his side. Fighting is not futile, but a) sometimes unnecessary for good reasons (like in our case they were extremely friendly, no need to fight, they were just enquiring), b) can be very draining (emotionally, mentally, financially) and does not necessarily have a happy outcome. There are Hungarian families that were homeschooling via American "schools" and were given compulsory school attendance orders. I have no knowledge of such foreign families.

In Hungarian law a HUNGARIAN CHILD LIVING IN HUNGARY has to be registered with a state approved (given a school registration number) educational facility. This does not mean the children have to attend school on a daily basis, as they can be "magántanuló" or "egyéni tanrendű tanuló", but they do have to take two half-yearly exams in their registered school and turn up for the yearly/biannual medical check-ups and compulsory vaccinations.

There are alternative schools, like Waldorf, Rogers, Zöld Kakas Líceum, Báró Wesselényi Miklós Alapítványi Iskola, Budapest International School, just to name a few. These are state acknowledged alternative schools with registration numbers. Parents pay for the priviledge.

There are also parent-sponsored groups that call themselves schools or alternative schools, academies, etc but have no such legal standing, as they are but a parent-paid teacher-led group of kids, who are also registered with proper Hungarian schools and taking their compulsory exams. However, they can be a really good place to get prepared for the exams, learn more freely and happily and also gives a social life on a daily basis.

Then there are homeschool organizations, like Clonlara, HomeLife Academy, West River Academy, that are American and are not acknowledged by the Hungarian Educational Authorities, and in reality are but an umbrella for homeschoolers, which have been enabling families to avoid the half-yearly exams, but still providing registration and certification. They promote themselves for being a legally acceptable solution - which is true in the US, but after a sudden uptake of their services by Hungarian families trying to flee the Hungarian educational system and some other issues, the Hungarian government has tweaked the law in November 2017, and thus it is no longer lawful to home educate Hungarian children living in Hungary through these schools. Some people will disagree with me on this, but I have dug deep into the law and came to this sad conclusion - by all means look into it if it affects you.


For homeschooled kids there are plenty of opportunities to meet other hs families in and around Budapest (eg monthly in Fonó in Buda), just join the "otthontanuló" or "otthonoktató" or "homeschool" facebook groups to find out more about them. Elsewhere in the country there are plenty of homeschoolers, but only few hubs/groups that meet up regularly, as families are scattered and most find it challenging to travel further than 30 mins due to family situation (eg little ones with nap times, no car, no money, animals to tend that cannot be left for the day, etc).

There are websites, facebook groups you can research on, albeit most of them in Hungarian, otthontanulok.hu could be worth registering with.

It is nice to home educate children if you can, and instill in them your own language and culture as well as others. You do not have live a life of a hermit, there are plenty of after-school activities your children can participate in, let it be sports, music or arts. And most of the time being homeschooled is not an issue amongst the children.

On the other hand, if you do decide to find a school, do not worry, children pick up languages very quickly, just find the right "osztályfőnök" and "igazgató" (head of class and headmaster). As long as they are supportive, there should be no problem ahead. You can also find "magántanár" who will privately tutor you or your child in whatever subject you need/want, even in English (especially in Budapest and Pest county).
There are some excellent and some awful schools in Hungary, and there is everything in between too. Most of the time, it boils down to who teaches the kids. If the teacher is a great person, your child will have an enjoyable time in school, although lots of rules, learning and homework are involved.

Either way can be beneficial, depends on your family's preference and circumstances.

To end with, I will put some links here for you regarding home education:
https://hslda.org/content/hs/internatio … efault.asp
https://www.nheri.org/neither-banned-no … n-hungary/
https://www.facebook.com/magantanulok/
Www.otthontanulok.hu

Mrspb :

Hi!

We have just moved back to the UK after three years in a small village in North Western Hungary. We have five children and they have been homeschooled from birth, bilingually as my hubby is British and I am Hungarian. ....

As for NON-HUNGARIAN CITIZENS, I know that vaccinations are compulsory, .....

For homeschooled kids there are plenty of opportunities to meet other hs families in and around Budapest (eg monthly in Fonó in Buda), just join the "otthontanuló" or "otthonoktató" or "homeschool" facebook groups to find out more about them. Elsewhere in the country there are plenty of homeschoolers, but only few hubs/groups that meet up regularly, as families are scattered and most find it challenging to travel further than 30 mins due to family situation (eg little ones with nap times, no car, no money, animals to tend that cannot be left for the day, etc).
.....
There are some excellent and some awful schools in Hungary, and there is everything in between too. Most of the time, it boils down to who teaches the kids. If the teacher is a great person, your child will have an enjoyable time in school, although lots of rules, learning and homework are involved.

Just to chip in here....re: the vaccinations and teachers.  There's a lot of fake news around on that subject and particularly these anti-vaccination sites are saying it's not a good thing to vaccinate your kids and some people want to home school in other countries because of all sorts of reasons including not vaccinating. 

I don't know what the situation is for home schoolers here but if it's the case that if non-vaccinated kids meet up together - for home school clubs for example,  there's a pretty good chance of catching one of the childhood diseases like measles or mumps.  That's definitely a bad thing as the former can be fatal and the latter lead to male sterility.  and then there's rubella and blindness.  Moreover, some of the diseases like meningitis are real killers. One of the kids in my own kids' school died as a result meningitis. Vaccination for the different varieties of meningitis is optional here.  Best to get the whole lot and keep it all up to date.  You never know who you'll meet who has not had their jabs.   

And as for teachers, the quality is highly variable in the state system.  Some teachers are close to useless and even abusive.   We're liberal people and we encourage free thinking. When our teenage daughter decided to have blue hair and earrings one teacher suggested she needed counselling and psychiatric help!

Mrs Fluffy put an end to that kind of discussion straight away.  Our daughter is just exploring and blue hair makes no difference to her academic results.  There are other things to worry about.

Hi Fluffy!


As I wrote earlier, compulsory vaccinations are compulsory for both Hungarians and foreign citizens.

Home educated children are not exempt from this law.

If a child is registered with a Hungarian school, whether they attend daily or only for exams as a private student (magántanuló), they have to turn up for the annual/biannual medical check-ups (overall health, height, weight) and any vaccinations that are due according to the immunization tables set out by the national medical board.

My personal opinion is that there are a lot of adverts on all Hungarian television and radio stations by pharmaceutical companies and a lot of scaremongering going with it too. (Your gum is bleeding? You are gonna die!)
With the amount of chemicals in our bodies, let it be from the great number of cars on the road polluting the air, the weed killers from our food, hormones from our drinking water, cleaning products in the household, over-prescribed antibiotics each generation's health is more fragile than the previous ones.
I and my family therefore are using natural preventatives and herbal medicine as much as possible and only resort to using pharmaceutical products if necessary.
I do think that as much as possible it is good to reduce the unnatural influences on our bodies, however, I am grateful that when needed we have medication even if it is man-made.

I do also see the point in the argument of both pro- and anti-vaxxers, but it is not in my power to say if one or the other is right, as the Hungarian law is absolutely clear on the matter: your child lives in Hungary - your child gets the compulsory vaccinations.

The only reason I brought it up is because it is not something even many Hungarian homeschoolers know, that they have to attend the medical check-ups and vaccination events in their registered schools.

If foreign citizens do not have to be registered with a Hungarian or any school when living in Hungary, childhood vaccinations are still compulsory. Those can be administered by the GP, if the child does not receive them in their school for some reason.

--

The reason behind writing that the person of the "osztályfőnök" (head of class) and "igazgató" (headmaster) is the important issue is because the osztályfőnök, especially in the first four years of "általános" (elementary school) moulds the kids in the class either into a brilliant, bubbly, lovely, accepting team, or he/she does not and then the kids might be nasty, unwelcoming or clique-y. The headmaster picks the teachers that work in the school.

I had excellent teachers in my schools as a kid, my son had great kindergarten teachers in Hungary. My daughter had a terrible teacher, who disliked US from the first moment of the first day we took her to school. Unfortunately, the teacher took all of her frustration and anger out on our daughter. Maybe she was envious of us coming from Britain?

Mrspb :

Hi Fluffy!


As I wrote earlier, compulsory vaccinations are compulsory for both Hungarians and foreign citizens.

Home educated children are not exempt from this law.

If a child is registered with a Hungarian school, whether they attend daily or only for exams as a private student (magántanuló), they have to turn up for the annual/biannual medical check-ups (overall health, height, weight) and any vaccinations that are due according to the immunization tables set out by the national medical board.

Well I hope they vaccinate them on the spot.  They do vaccinations in my kids' school.  I was surprised about that.  The latest one is HPV.

But there could be kids here who are not even registered as there are plenty of adults unregistered here.

Mrspb :

My personal opinion is that there are a lot of adverts on all Hungarian television and radio stations by pharmaceutical companies and a lot of scaremongering going with it too. (Your gum is bleeding? You are gonna die!)  With the amount of chemicals in our bodies, let it be from the great number of cars on the road polluting the air, the weed killers from our food, hormones from our drinking water, cleaning products in the household, over-prescribed antibiotics each generation's health is more fragile than the previous ones.I and my family therefore are using natural preventatives and herbal medicine as much as possible and only resort to using pharmaceutical products if necessary. I do think that as much as possible it is good to reduce the unnatural influences on our bodies, however, I am grateful that when needed we have medication even if it is man-made.

I do also see the point in the argument of both pro- and anti-vaxxers, but it is not in my power to say if one or the other is right, as the Hungarian law is absolutely clear on the matter: your child lives in Hungary - your child gets the compulsory vaccinations.

I don't see the point at all in the anti-vaccination people and Hungarian law on that subject is right! 

There are centuries of proof that it works - first smallpox vaccine in about 1800.  The weird thing is that the fact their unvaccinated kids are not sick with measles is proof that it works. Nearly everyone is immunised against say, measles, and therefore it's herd immunity.

And to be somewhat controversial, as for homoeopathy, that's pure quackology.  You've been influenced by those silly adverts on the TV in Hungary!  I have a constant battle with Mrs Fluffy not to be fooled into buy quack medicines pushed by both the local GP and the pharmacy.  Those people should know better.  I also fight against the use of branded medicines when same medicine as generics are just as good and a 1/3 the price. Shocking waste of money.

Mrspb :

I had excellent teachers in my schools as a kid, my son had great kindergarten teachers in Hungary. My daughter had a terrible teacher, who disliked US from the first moment of the first day we took her to school. Unfortunately, the teacher took all of her frustration and anger out on our daughter. Maybe she was envious of us coming from Britain?

We get this sort of thing all the time - from all sorts of people. Some people don't understand why we live here when we could be living in the UK.  I probably won't ever go back to the UK - can't afford it and like for like, the quality of life here is much higher despite the awful politics.  I expect our bilingual kids will go somewhere else in the end in the EU or further as they are highly internationalised and it's too "small" here for them.

As we are digressing immensely from the topic of the original conversation, I will be short. I would just like to point out that natural and herbal remedies are not the same as homeopathy. Eg. garlic is scientifically proven to relieve symptoms of cold or tea tree oil is a natural topical antiseptic, again plenty of research backing it (I read quite a few). On the other hand, homeopathic medicine is not supported thus by the medical and scientific circles.

When the weather turns cold, I make garlic toast often. For fever, we monitor, let the body fight off the bug, if fever really high, we try cooling baths before medicines. If we have any doubts, we go to the doctors/hospital as needed. If we have a cut, instead of using iodine, which the children are allergic to, we put a drop or two of tea tree oil on it. For sore gums we swish our mouths bicarb in water, for sore throat gargle with salty water, both antibacterial. Again due to allergies bicarb for deodorant, shampoo, vinegar for conditioner for hair and clothing in the wash. It is all tried and tested, working great. No quackery there, me Dear! 😊

Btw, the kids learn all these tricks and ancient remedies, beauty of home education is that we can research together if and why they work!

Mrspb :

As we are digressing immensely from the topic of the original conversation, I will be short. I would just like to point out that natural and herbal remedies are not the same as homeopathy. Eg. garlic is scientifically proven to relieve symptoms of cold or tea tree oil is a natural topical antiseptic, again plenty of research backing it (I read quite a few). On the other hand, homeopathic medicine is not supported thus by the medical and scientific circles.

When the weather turns cold, I make garlic toast often. For fever, we monitor, let the body fight off the bug, if fever really high, we try cooling baths before medicines. If we have any doubts, we go to the doctors/hospital as needed. If we have a cut, instead of using iodine, which the children are allergic to, we put a drop or two of tea tree oil on it. For sore gums we swish our mouths bicarb in water, for sore throat gargle with salty water, both antibacterial. Again due to allergies bicarb for deodorant, shampoo, vinegar for conditioner for hair and clothing in the wash. It is all tried and tested, working great. No quackery there, me Dear! 😊

Btw, the kids learn all these tricks and ancient remedies, beauty of home education is that we can research together if and why they work!

Surely off topic....I'm all that kind of natural uses just so long as it's not promoting homoeopathy.

There's persistent undercurrent of quackology hereabouts. I noticed this going on in Germany, Austria and here.  All sorts of concoctions and creams which have no scientific basis.   

Sodium bicarbonate (US: baking soda) is used (by me) for soda blasting car parts.  It's supposed to be natural and it works quite well when it works but the downside is that it kills my grass.

Everything in moderation! 😉

fluffy2560 :

I'm all that kind of natural uses just so long as it's not promoting homoeopathy.

There is a huge difference between phytotherapy and homeopathy.

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :

I'm all that kind of natural uses just so long as it's not promoting homoeopathy.

There is a huge difference between phytotherapy and homeopathy.

Reminds me of chewing on willow bark for pain relief.   Never tried it myself but I remember being told it in school.

I was educating my kids on rubbing dock leaves on sites where they'd been stung by stinging nettles. I am not sure it really works. I think it's just because dock leaves "cool down" the sting. 

Stinging nettles have a bad press as they are quite nice in soup. Hmm....might make some now I think of it....

fluffy2560 :

Stinging nettles have a bad press as they are quite nice in soup. Hmm....might make some now I think of it....

I had stinging nettles, and Amaranth leaves, with some of last year's squash, for dinner tonight. Threw in some of my winter onions. It was delightful.

Not planned but I went shopping today, but everything was closed... an Easter thing I guess. So I just came home empty handed, but not empty sourced as I simply foraged on my land and made up dinner with what was growing in the ground. :)

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :

Stinging nettles have a bad press as they are quite nice in soup. Hmm....might make some now I think of it....

I had stinging nettles, and Amaranth leaves, with some of last year's squash, for dinner tonight. Threw in some of my winter onions. It was delightful.

Not planned but I went shopping today, but everything was closed... an Easter thing I guess. So I just came home empty handed, but not empty sourced as I simply foraged on my land and made up dinner with what was growing in the ground. :)

Oh, crushed earthworms, beetles and moles for dinner?  Lovely but not veggie.

Yes, everything was closed Friday afternoon or optionally all day.  This is Good Friday and a public holiday in quite a few places in Europe.   It didn't used to be a holiday here but Mrs Fluffy told me they changed it. 

Everything is also closed (Easter) Sunday and (Easter) Monday.

We only knew for certain because of the kids' school holidays.  Home schoolers probably wouldn't know that.

fluffy2560 :

This is Good Friday and a public holiday in quite a few places in Europe.   It didn't used to be a holiday here but Mrs Fluffy told me they changed it.  .

The current government is trying to prove what good Christians they are.

By making Friday and Monday holidays, but letting stores open on Saturday is simply silly.

So no worker can have a real solid three day extended Easter weekend to travel to and visit with their families (so much for the claim the current government is pro-family). But break it up with one day off (Friday), then one day on (Saturday), then two days off (Sunday and Monday) which is kind of useless and annoying. Yeah... That makes sense.... not.

I also did an online banking inter-currency transfer on Friday. It was processed today (Tuesday) because both Friday and Monday were off days. Very annoying to loose four days of business. I may need to call the recipient and "explain" this all why their payment will be late -- and I doubt they will understand it all.

Translation -- of course that is the sort of stupidity one expects from politicians.

fluffy2560 :
klsallee :

I simply foraged on my land and made up dinner with what was growing in the ground. :)

Oh, crushed earthworms, beetles and moles for dinner?  Lovely but not veggie.

Semantics. Linguistics. Grammar. English is an interesting language. Actually inexact in form. So is based on content, and context. and should be read and interpreted as such. And there is a balance act to be done. Thus, Earthworms, beetles and moles are not in my original content, so have no bearing to my comment as they are out of my context....

Thus, while it is fun to play with English, and I do it myself and often, your comment is a possible non sequitur. :)

But.... to further classify and solve the inexact nature of English, I might say earthworms, beetles and moles rather mature in soil which surrounds them during development. But they do not grow in or develop in situ in soil.

:D

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :

This is Good Friday and a public holiday in quite a few places in Europe.   It didn't used to be a holiday here but Mrs Fluffy told me they changed it.  .

The current government is trying to prove what good Christians they are.

By making Friday and Monday holidays, but letting stores open on Saturday is simply silly.
....

I also did an online banking inter-currency transfer on Friday. It was processed today (Tuesday) because both Friday and Monday were off days. Very annoying to loose four days of business. I may need to call the recipient and "explain" this all why their payment will be late -- and I doubt they will understand it all. ....

It's worse than that.   They actually hang on to the money to use themselves, then they credit or debit you and they charge you for the privilege.   It could be an instant transfer if the payments cost structure was different.  One could ask for "fast" processing and get punished for it.  It's both a political and commercial issue. 

Good Friday has always been a holiday in the UK but working any holiday is voluntary.  I don't know if it's the same in Hungary but I can imagine huge pressure to work on those days anyway.       

When I'm away working I usually work public holidays in the country I am in.  Sometimes it's not allowed contractually but we can often work in the hotel or have team meetings off site.  Some holidays like Islamic ones like Eid are just too long to hang around doing nothing so we continue regardless or we leave the country and come back.

klsallee :

.......
But.... to further classify and solve the inexact nature of English, I might say earthworms, beetles and moles rather mature in soil which surrounds them during development. But they do not grow in or develop in situ in soil.

:D

Apart from all that grammar and logic which is noted, I move on to muse over if consuming insects vegetarian?

Grubs Up!

I suppose they are a bit like fish. Pescatarian and all that. Insectarian? People in Africa like fried insects.  Don't fancy it myself.

New topic