How to begin homeschooling


First, you should understand a bit about homeschooling:
  • What does the law say?
  • Which of the child(ren)'s caregivers has the time and desire to homeschool? This person need not have any higher education.
  • Does the child wish to be homeschooled?
  • Don't forget the child's need for friends, activities and play!
Your notification letter to the kommune:
To begin homeschooling, the custodial caregiver (e.g., parent) must sent a letter to the kommune to notify them of your intent to homeschool.
You can write something like the following:
«We [full names of both parents] hereby give notice of our intent to homeschool our child [child(ren)'s full name and 11-digit Norwegian ID number] as of [date].»
Both parents should sign the letter with their street address, telephone number and email address.
Note that this is a notification, not an application.

It is possible,
in the letter, to request a certain person as your semi-annual
evaluator. However, it is up to the kommune to approve or deny this
request.

Evaluation:

  • §14-2:
    «The kommune's evaluation of homeschooling: The kommune evaluates
    the obligatory education of children and youth who do not attend
    school, and can call them in for special tests. The kommune will
    demand that the child or youth attend school if the requirements set
    forth in the law are not fulfilled.»
  • In some kommunes it will be
    the Head of your local public school who is responsible for the
    semi-annual evaluations.
  • Whoever the evaluator is, s/he will
    contact you.
  • The family and the evaluator will come to an
    agreement as to how, when and where the evaluation will take place.
  • Evaluation usually takes place at the neighborhood public school
    or in some other public place once or twice per school year.

The
school:

  • Some families choose to take advantage of SFO (the
    after-school program for years 1-4) to expand their children's social
    arena.
  • Some schools welcome homeschoolers participating in
    various events, visits or part-time attendance.
  • All this can be
    discussed with the individual school.
  • Some families have had
    serious conflicts with their local school.
  • In such a case, you
    need to unambiguously notify the kommune that you need an evaluator
    who is not connected to your local school.
  • If you have a
    suggestion for an alternate, include this in your communication.
  • It
    is unadvisable to get into a discussion about why you choose to
    homeschool.

School
supplies:

Skole
Fritids Ordningen, SFO:

  • It is a tremendous resource for foreign
    families with children under 10.
  • Usually 3-4 hours in the early
    afternoon, games, snack and socializing.
  • It is a great way to
    learn Norwegian and get to know the neighborhood kids in an informal
    setting. Apply directly to the SFO, they use the school grounds, but
    are administratively separate from the school.

Knowledge Goals /
«Kunnskapsmålene»:

Finances:

  • §2-15:
    «The right to free public lower school education: Pupils have a
    right to free public lower school education. The kommune can not
    demand that the pupils or their parents cover costs incurred in the
    pursuit of lower school education, such as costs for teaching
    supplies, transport during school hours, days in wilderness camp,
    excursions or other trips which constitute part of their lower
    school education.»
  • It is up to the local school whether they
    will lend you school books. Contact them and ask. Sometimes your
    evaluator will offer you all the relevant books.
  • Most kommune
    will not pay you for homeschooling, although some families have been
    reimbursed for certain expenses upon presentation of receipts.

Lower School Diploma and High
School:

  • A homeschooled child does
    not have an automatic right to grades or a diploma.
  • Some
    families choose to send their child to school in the 10
    th
    year so that s/he will have the lower school school diploma.
  • Some
    schools let the child sit for all the 10
    th
    year exams and will issue a diploma.
  • When the child turns 15,
    s/he can begin taking the high school exams in his/her county of
    residence. See your county's website for more information.
  • §3-1
    «The right to high school education for youth: Youth who have
    completed years 1-10 or the equivalent, have a right to full time
    high school education, which they must apply for. (...) Youth over
    the age of 15 apply by themselves for admission to high school.»
  • When
    a child turns 15, s/he is can do all exams privately through the
    kommune, and is no longer considered a homeschooler.