Before you had children did you know you wanted to homeschool? When did you feel called to homeschool your children? Recalling some conversations with our Crew members, it seems like more than a few started out as teachers who eventually made the switch to homeschooling for a variety of reasons. When I interviewed our Schoolhouse Ambassador from Mexico, she shared with me that they had a plan for homeschooling before she and her husband even married. I have heard several staff members of The Old Schoolhouse® share a similar decision regarding homeschooling. Just like Adriana Camino, some of them knew they wanted to homeschool from the beginning of their marriage.
As we continue our Homeschooling Around the World series, we would like to share with you an interview with Adriana who homeschools in Mexico. Her family has enjoyed the flexibility that homeschooling affords so many families by allowing them to choose their children’s curriculum and educate them according to their beliefs.
Q. Why did you decide to homeschool? Share a little bit about yourself and your family.
A. Before we were even married, my husband and I had the opportunity to meet a group of homeschool families and learned the many benefits of it, so we thought this would be a great option for our family once we had one. Now we have been married for 17 years and we have 4 children ages 15, 13, 11, and 9 and certainly, homeschooling has been a wonderful adventure so far. We can’t say it’s been easy, but we have enjoyed the freedom it has given us in many areas, like choosing what they want to learn and the way to do it, to travel, to go at our own pace. We all have learned and grown so much in the process, all of us, and really are grateful to God for allowing us to invest in the lives of our children.
Q. How do you start homeschooling in Mexico? Do you need to notify anyone (school district, government agency)? Where can you find more of the legal requirements?
A. Before the pandemic, people had rarely heard the word homeschool in our country. You do not need to notify anyone that you intend to homeschool, because there is no legislation about it. No law prohibits it or suggests it as an option over public or private education. It is not an option that is recognized by the education department, therefore we must look for other accreditation options because they will not directly give us the certificates, whatever the curriculum or style we use. It is necessary to go to the INEA (Instituto Nacional para la Educación de los Adultos) which has special programs so you can get an elementary or middle school certificate. They don’t give you a curriculum so it is more of a way to be able to enter the workforce if for any reason you didn’t have a chance to complete school. There is a lot of information on blogs and social media that can be helpful to understand how this works in Mexico.
Q. Do you need a set curriculum or can you pick and choose based upon your homeschool philosophy?
A. Since there is no legislation about it, you can choose whatever curriculum you like. When we started homeschooling there weren’t many options for a Spanish curriculum. Nowadays, and especially in the last year, many options have emerged, and each family can choose what is best suited to their needs. Also, many bilingual families can choose options in English and they can even opt for a foreign accreditation through umbrella schools that can be revalidated in Mexico.
Q. What support networks are available? Where do you suggest looking to meet up with other homeschoolers in your country?
A. With the rapid growth of homeschooling in our country, many local support groups have emerged, most of them organize field trips and other activities so the children can share learning and recreation experiences. Many of these groups can be found on social media, there are many groups on Facebook where you can find information, but also people in your area so you can meet other families and share with them.
Q. Why do people choose to homeschool in your country? Are there religious reasons? Reasons due to the quality of schools?
A. Although the first families that were homeschool pioneers in our country were Christian families who were educated at home for religious reasons, today there are very diverse groups of homeschooling families. There are still a good number of families whose priority is to keep their children home to raise them to know and serve God. There are also many families who have realized that the educational system has many shortcomings in both public and private schools therefore they can do a better job at home. And I think being able to have an education tailored to your needs and go at your own pace is one of the strongest reasons for everyone.
Q. How can you incorporate your country into your homeschool studies? Is their curriculum specific to your country? What is easy to teach in your country (nature studies, art, math)?
A. Homeschooling families include in one way or another the subjects of history and geography and even civics as part of their curriculum. Our country is very diverse, we have many ecosystems, but not I think that most homeschooling families live in cities, not out in the country, so they can have access to museums, historic sites, and buildings, etc.
Q. What else should people know about homeschooling in your country or province?
A. Homeschooling in Mexico is possible, there are success stories of many kids who have reached the goals they set when they started with this lifestyle. Although now many people already know the term, it is important that they know that homeschooling goes beyond doing academic work at home. It is so much more. It is the parents taking full responsibility for the wholesome education of their children. Together the parents and children can set goals and objectives to reach and get to know each other deeply. We as parents help our children to find a purpose and reach their full potential in life to serve others.
Wherever you homeschool, there are so many wonderful opportunities! From unique cultural and historical experiences to the ability to incorporate different languages into your homeschool journey. If you would like to learn more about how to start homeschooling, please visit TryHomeschooling.com to download your own Info-Pak with a variety of eBooks, sample lessons, and more!