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German Punishment of Homeshoolers Continues

German Punishment of Homeshoolers Continues

The Wunderlich family, together again, poses for the camera
The Wunderlich family, together again, smiles for the camera

Dirk and Petra Wunderlich have finally been granted custody of their children again by the German courts.  Now that the family is back together they plan to continue homeschooling.  Based on recent court rulings, Dirk Wunderlich told HSLDA he does not fear the state will seize their children again, but “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

He is absolutely correct.  In a civilized country, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

In a civilized country, the government would not be stealing children from an otherwise perfectly normal, loving family, simply because they chose to educate their own children.  In a civilized country, the government would not impose any fines on a homeschooling family, let alone fines as burdensome as those Mr. Wunderlich anticipates, not to mention the very real possibility of jail time.

The fact is, it was a moral imperative that the German state return custody of the Wunderlichs’ children to Mr. and Mrs. Wunderlich.  But lot of work remains to ensure that Germans who claim to live in a free, modern society actually get to enjoy freedom.  As of now, the German state should still be hanging its head in shame for its persecution of homeschooling families.

Having said that, I must admit that, personally, were I in the Wunderlichs’ shoes, the second my family was back together, I would pack everyone up and flee.  I wouldn’t stay in Germany for another minute, though I treasure the time I’ve spent there and am proud of my German heritage.  They’ve tried this before, though, only to have German authorities convince French authorities to take their children away back in 2009.

The Wunderlichs certainly are brave.  And if they are going to stay and fight Germany’s government, the rest of us need to support them in every way we can.  They’re fighting a very uphill battle against a codified ideology which says “parallel societies” created by other forms of schooling cause “intolerance” in the country as a whole.  This type of intolerant thinking is what led Germany to its horrific past and must be excised from its modern law.  Germany cannot honestly call itself a free country until it allows parents the basic human right to direct their children’s education.

For more background on their case click here and here.

Rhiannon Kutzer

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Nice to meet you!

I’m Rhiannon.

You can call me Rhi for short (as in “rejoice”). I’m a fiercely independent homeschooling mom of five, a Navy wife of 13 years, and a creator of various things: articles, a semi-regular newsletter, quilts, furniture, and the occasional knitted scarf. This is the site where I write about our homeschool journey and news and happenings in the homeschool world. more about me.

Rhiannon

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Need a shot in the arm for your homeschool? Get Thrive Together, a monthly email that brings you:

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The hard part is figuring out where I want to aim, with the 5-year gap between E. and S., and then L. being a newbie to full-on school. Having moved twice in 2019, I nixed MT and just focused on individual work. That came with costs. Shakespeare, Plutarch, art study, and composer study suffered. Memory work barely happened at all. I was BUSY. We missed out on discussing things together. Now that we’re settled, it’s time to restart MT.
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This term I’ve decided to aim Shakespeare and Plutarch at the oldest, while the girls listen in and do handwriting/drawing/fine motor. I won’t ask them for much narration. Our reading schedule for these is AMBITIOUS. Maybe crazy. Then we’ll do all the memory & read aloud stuff that suits everyone. These lessons are SHORT. Then E. will go do his individual work while I read aloud w/ just the girls.
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Also, “Morning Time” is a misnomer, considering we break it up throughout the day. It should really be called Morning/Lunch/Nap Time. I need a new name. Circle Time? Except we don’t sit in a circle. Together school? Except we’re together doing school all day. I don’t think English has the word I’m looking for. Maybe Tertulia or Salon?
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Our actual coursework is: the Scottish Play, Plutarch is Alexander the Great’s life, our artist is Gustave Courbet, composer is Paganini, Bible memory is Psalm 46, Hymn is Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me, read alouds will rotate from Burgess Bird Book, Trial and Triumph, Blue Fairy Book, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Vanderbeekers, & picture books. Timeline is from Classical Conversations. Poems are Charge of the Light Brigade, Winter Night by Teasdale, and The Land of Nod.
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