MembersHomeschooling Boom in Israel: A Product of the Pandemic

Until now, homeschooling has never been a viable option for Israelis.

By Arthur Schwartzman |
Photo: Yossi Aloni/Flash90

When it comes down to education, for many American parents, taking charge of their kids’ learning at home is a legitimate option; however, the thought of keeping the little ones at home doesn’t even cross the mind of the Israeli. The few who do are looked down upon and singled out as doing a great disservice to their children and undermining their social capabilities.

Just in 2003, the number of homeschooled children was only 60, but numbers kept steadily climbing and by 2019 reached 1,150 students learning independently of the education system. The numbers are estimated to be much higher as some families fail to report to the ministry of education for the appropriate documentation. To clarify, until 1994, the State of Israel did not recognize homeschooling whatsoever. A special committee authorized the practice under restrictive conditions for parents with a “cohesive worldview.” After a minister swap, the Ministry of Education restated its position that compulsory school-age children should attend school. A different committee reiterated the same sentiments as the latter but permitted parents to...

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