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Dutch homeschoolers stage flash mob to raise awareness of proposed ban

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Dutch homeschoolers have released the video of an amazing flash mob performance they staged last month to raise awareness about home education in the Netherlands and proposed legislation which threatens to make it illegal.

About a hundred members of homeschool families took part in the flash mob, including about thirty who danced a colorful, choreographed routine to songs about freedom. Other kids demonstrated typical homeschooling activities such as doing science experiments and some even rode unicycles.

The flash mob was caught on video, which starts with a title that translates to "Dutch home educators in the spotlight."

Homeschool families handed out flyers that read:

Flashmob The Hague November 22
Home education must remain possible!

Posters also gave the web address:www.ditisthuisonderwijs.nl, which translates as "this is home education."

The flash mob was performed twice that day, first outside the national parliament building and then at The Hague central train station soon after.

Crowds clearly enjoyed the performances and showed their enthusiastic support.

You can read about the flash mob and how it was put together here.

Over four hundred children are currently homeschooled in the Netherlands, but proposed legislation is threatening their right to continue. The country's State Secretary for Education, Sander Dekker, is planning to change the current law and make it impossible to home educate.

Homeschooling mom Marie Hobbs-Vijendran has been home educating her two children in the Netherlands for nearly five years, since moving there from the UK. She tells examiner.com:

The latest news is that our national organisation of home educators in The Netherands (NVvTO) was represented at a round table discussion in parliament on Novemebr 14th. We submitted our two petitions (one national 3501 signatures over ten weeks and one international 5904 signatures in 6 weeks), We also had the support of social scientists who spoke in favour of home education.

Discussions and decisions regarding the proposed legislation have been postponed until the new year.

Volunteers have been hard at work translating the Dutch homeschooling sites into English. Supporters can now learn about the issue at the English-language sites here:

http://www.rechtopthuisonderwijs.nl/english/

and

http://www.ditisthuisonderwijs.nl/english/

Marie says:

We would welcome support in the following ways:

  1. Do you know of any relatively high profile people e.g. politicians, social scientists or long time supports of home education who might be willing to state their support for home education/home schooling? If so we think that might make a big difference. People should send their letters via the NVvTO i.e. emailed to: actie@thuisonderwijs.nl
  2. Via visits and comments on our website: www.home-education.nl (we are really busy so we can't always reply though- but know that we really appreciate it).
  3. We are also interested to hear about any latest research/articles in support of home education.

She notes that they are seeking support from homeschoolers and respected public figures, but they are not looking to affiliate themselves with any homeschool organizations. She also requests that any letters to the minister or comments to their websites be politely written and serve as good examples of homeschoolers.

Stay tuned to this column for further updates about this story.

Want to stay in the loop? Subscribe to my column to be notified when new articles are published. You can also follow my homeschool boards for all subjects and ages on Pinterest and on Facebook at A Magical Homeschool.

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