Homeschooling in Sweden

by | Homeschooling | 21 comments


I am American and my husband is Swedish. We are homeschooling our 3 kids.

We live in Sweden, near Stockholm, and would like to know if you know of any competitions that they can enter if we don’t reside in the US. (Our permanent US address is in Illinois, although we have not actually lived there for over 7 years.) The children are very interested in history and science, so anything along those lines would be great.

Just a few brief facts on homeschooling in Sweden: There are only 100 homeschoolers (of 9 million people) in Sweden, as it is Socialist/Communist politically here. Sweden has about 10% born-again Christians, and the rest are active atheists, agnostics and Muslim (15%). The closest other homeschoolers are about a 1.5 hour drive. The political system opposes homeschooling and is continually trying to close all private schools. Private schools have a “voucher” system, where 75% of the cost of a public school student’s budget is given to the private school if a parent chooses to send their child there. And since it is Socialist, no one could be “better” than anyone else in their gifted areas, so there are no competitions like we have in the US, like the science fairs, etc.

Thanks for any ideas you may have!

A., Sweden


  1. L, Sweden

    We also homeschool in Sweden near Stockholm. Any chance we can get together? L, Stockholm

  2. L, Sweden

    just checking in again….I am looking to make contact with A, Sweden. I am also and American and we also homeschool near Stockholm. Please let us know so maybe we could meet!
    L, Sweden, near Stockholm

  3. heather

    I am moving to Sweden near Stockholm. How do I homeschool? Do you go through a US school?

  4. Sasha Parkn

    Hi! We are moving to Stockholm, Sweden in September, from Calif, USA. We have been homeschooling so far but I am now wondering how realistic it is to homeschool in Sweden? Is it very difficult or lonely? Are there classes available for kids? Have you met many homeschoolers? Thanks so much! Sasha

  5. Laurie Bluedorn

    I’m sorry, but I don’t have any contact information for “L, Sweden, near Stockholm” — the original poster. Laurie Bluedorn

  6. Karen

    We are moving to Stockholm in January 08, planning to finish homeschooling for this school year and then 2 more years. I am not sure how it works, any info out there?

  7. sasha parkin

    Hi Karen – it’s a long shot, but when you do move here I would be very happy to have some contact with you. We were homeschooling in California until moving here a couple of months ago, and now are unsure about our future as homeschoolers! Would be great to have someone else to chat to while facing these dilemmas! Send me a mail if you want to!

  8. Fred

    The original poster is clearly ignorant. Sweden is NOT communist politically. It’s socialist which is patently different.

    I am an international student from Sweden currently studying in college in the U.S. I have gone through the public school system in Sweden and it was an overall negative experience. I have full understanding for American parents who wish to homeschool their children. My advice is to homeschool, don’t send them to public schools. I was beaten, degraded (I had to lick someone’s shoes while other bullies twisted my arm), assaulted, verbally abused, among other things.

  9. Malu

    I am a newcomer and finding the Swedish school system still has not realized that the rest of the world changed curriculum directions some time ago. One of my daughters was at a local Uni. this morning to apply for some extension of her Eng.Lit.BA degree completed at one of the worlds top 15 English Language Universities. She grad. with 1st class honors and has a greeen light to do a Doctorate at Oxford next year. In the interim period she thought it useful to obtain a Swedish teachers lic. as well, but no one she was interviewed by had any idea what a B.A. or 1st Class Honors meant. Partly due to the fact that there has not been a grading system in Sweden for a long while and partly because no one has applied from Australia before. We left Sweden in 1996 so that both our daughters could complete high school in Australia, giving them the opportunity to enter University. It was evident then and even more so now that the public system has deteriorated a lot further. We also have a 13 year old son who is currently facing the same situation. In an attempt to influence some change instead of another international upheaval, I am working towards a combination of homeschooling and conventional participation. So far it has been a slow process and have this week taken the step of signing up for a combination of various virtual learning schools. One is based in England, the other in India. Why is due to the complimentary curriculums. An Indian style mathematics system known as Vedic Maths has tremendous advantages by the enthusiasm for the subject that it inspires. It also has a program suited to the EU standard. The English system is chosen as it follows the same EU requirements as the Swedish. Swedish and cultural subjects will hopefully be organized through the conventional system on certain days only. Skolverket do not have a problem with the idea and as the law states is within its framework. The problem is the particular Kommun region in which we live that is the difficult part. I shall keep this page updated on our progress, if there is an interest.

  10. Donna


    I am an Englishwoman living in Sweden. My partner is Swedish and our son is 2.

    We are very worried about the state of Swedish education and thus far have only found 2 schools (both Montessori thankfully)that MAY be suitable for him.

    He is very bright and already doing his ABC’s, counting and spelling his name. His vocab is huge and he is interested in everything.

    Our main worry is the “no-one should aspire to be better” mentality that pervades here in schools and the bullying which is increasing dramatically.

    Add to that the grouping together of children by age instead of ability and its a real worryer.

    I would be really grateful for any help or info you have.

    Many thanks.


  11. Deirdre


    Yes, I am interested in what any of you have to say about your experiences with homeschooling in Sweden! I had basically heard that it was impossible… but with rumors that someone was doing it. Tonight I was at the HSLDA site and saw a report on homeschooling in Germany. I didn’t know that HSLDA works in other countries than the U.S. That made me google ‘homeschooling Sweden’ and here I am. I homeschooled my daughter in the States but when we moved to Sweden, she went to the public school until old enough to attend an ‘international’ school. She is now in college in the States. My son is 3 1/2 and I really cringe at the idea of him attending school here.

    I see that there are posts here every few months. I hope you haven’t given up hope about responses and stopped checking. Let’s talk!

  12. margaret

    I am amazed that such a wonderful country has such a slack schooling system. In Australia anyone can homeschool. That probably explains a lot actually. Our government has the opinion that when you get behind in your taxes they will come and see what you are up to. We have no support from the government with homeschooling, being it financial or moral. They make it very clear that if you try and fail, they will be there to rub your nose in it. It is interesting that the reasons parents choose to homeschool are consistant the world over.

  13. Swenglish

    HELP! You’re scaring us with this information!
    Here’s our dilemna: In August, we are moving back to Stockholm – after 2½ years in the USA. Our 2 children have been attending a great public school outside of Washington, DC. Our son has been in the Talented and Gifted program for the last 2 years. He is entering 6th grade but is due to take Honors level Lang Arts, Soc Studies and Science and 8th grade Math.
    We would be grateful for any advice or assistance in providing this level of education in Stockholm.

  14. Kristi

    Hello friends. I just sent my daughter to our local Swedish school in the 7th grade here. I am thinking of homeschooling her until we can get her into an international school in Stockholm. I would love to connect with all of you. I really ned advice how to do this. We just moved to Sweden from Los Angeles.

  15. s, near malmo

    Hi! I was very relieved to find all of the things on here with regard to homeschooling. I would like to email privately. I am an american married to a swedish man and we have two daughters…I really dislike the school system here and find that it is hindering their growth potential…I would really like some information or ideas about how to go about homeschooling. Thanks for your help!!!

  16. s, near malmo

    I presently have our children in an international school here in sweden, and I must say I was very alarmed with the way things are done, and if in any way you are able to continue to homeschool, you would be better off, possibly. I have found that the school here has no control over the children.they can leave the school as they wish during their breaks, which sometimes can be up to an hour. Many children go to the store or to the malls during their breaks by taking the bus which comes and goes every 5 or 10 min. The kids can bring cd players and listen to them during class. They push for children’s rights, above the rights of the parents. They push for the rights of children to not be spanked, as it is against the law here. If they find out that the child was spanked, the counsellor WILL advise police and social services, and begin the dramas of assault charges against the offender. If they go on field trips, the school office has no way of contacting teachers, and they have always been late coming back from their trips, sometimes over an hour late. The school office has no idea what is going on, what the teacher’s schedule is and so on. I was amazed at how ineffectively they opporated and how they almost mock at the parent’s concerns. If a child is injured in any way, the parent isn’t notified. I can think of many reasons to not have my children in school here. I have found that the American system is actually superior to here. I am hoping for a way out…

  17. Morgan

    Hello…I am a senior in high school in the USA. My boyfriend is from Sweden …He is a Exchange student here. He plans on going to college here. But has to return to Sweden to finish his senior year. We were wondering if he could take an online homeschooling program and stay here? I’m trying to get all the information I can about this..So if you have any at all it would really help! Thanks!=)

  18. Elin

    School in Sweden isn’t really that bad. At least they treat us like humans, and doesn’t try to make the teachers look better than us. We don’t have to call the by last name or anything.
    Sure there are stupid rules – like you can’t wear jackets inside – but we get to decide for ourselves a lot.
    Okay, it isn’t like oh-so-structured, like it can be much talk on the lessons. Bu the stundets DO respect the teachers, we just don’t think they are any better than us.
    I go to a small school, and it’s not serious so I don’t lear anything. But most schools (especially in Stockholm) you can learn a lot.

  19. lorrgh

    If only I had looked into the school system before moving to Sweden, I would not be here now! For those who are comming across this site now and have not yet moved to Sweden think twice. Maybe after reading these blogs you might think, hey, it can’t be that bad. Well, I am here to tell you YES it it. This is hell for me, i have three kids attending a private school here in Sweden and I am told that it is one of the best schools in the city. My kids are learning nothing. My oldest is having a hard time to fit in and has been asked if he is scared of his mom. He confronted me with confusion of to why they would ask him that. Not only that but his teacher tells me that he misses many of the lessons because he goes out of the class and often sits alone. Well, well well, I asked her how that was possible that he could get away with it and her answer to me was that she did not always see him and could not leave the class to go get him all the time and was not willing to loose her job over one student. Let me add that he only sits right out side the door and is about 2 footsteps to where he is. I then asked why doesn’t he have to raise his hand and notify you when he leaves. Her reply was that he does and it is not allowed but yet what is being done to prevet it and why is it that schools in the USA have the same amout of students and teachers have full controll of all there students. Not to metion many of them are alone while here at this school there is one main teacher with an assistaint who is fritid personel who is always there as well. Oh, I could just go on and on but I want to make a comment about the last post which after reading from someone who has been attending school here in Sweden shoud be enough to stop anyone from bring there children into this school system. The person above says that they enjoy their school and are considered equal to their instructer but yet admits to not learning anything. Need I say more. I think that comment is justification in itself. The Swedish school system is absolute catastrophe!

  20. Wiola

    The Swedish school system is not a catastrophe. How ignorant of you to say! I have been a student for 16 years by now. The first six years of the compulsory school I learnt what a child should know at that stage. Back then I thought I had some problems with English, and therefore I had some extra telephone contact with my teacher. Teachers in the Swedish schools are not authoritarian. They win respect by showing us respect and patience. They are friendly and not scary.

    When it comes to the senior level, I had some problems with maths. I got extra help with that, and eventually I managed to get a good grade in maths. At high school I took the c-level.

    High school was probably my best experience. The teachers were specialized in certain subjects and were experts at their field. It was a joy when it was question-time and we could ask anything we wanted to know in that certain subject.

    I had some sewing classes in high school. The school annually arranged fashion shows for us fashion students, and I loved that possibility. I felt there were so many interesting subjects to choose from back in high school. It was overall a good experience. The students were more grown-up and I could talk with anyone in my class, eventhough I was not very social. There was mutual respect.

    My last 4 years at college/university has also been a good experience for me. It’s so wonderful to go to class, where the teachers are qualified and have done research on their subject field. They can apply their knowledge to the real world. Can you? What can you teach your children that a professional teacher can’t?

  21. Caroline Åberg


    I am a swedish mum and musician, my husband is german. We have a son who is now 12 years old. We let him change schools quite a few times in the hope of getting some im-
    provement in the quality of tutoring and atmosphere in one of the schools. We didn’t. At this point, we are so shocked about the poor quality of swedish schools (also the so called top ones)- and – have so much information piled up (negative experiences of swedish grundskola) that we almost feel like we ought to start working with journalism or get into politics. I would really like to get in touch with one of you people who are smart and brave enough to homeschool in Sweden.

    I would also like to say to Iorrgh that we recognise exactly what you describe above. We actually “fled” to Germany recently, but are back in Stockholm now. I’m very much hoping for an answer from one of you asap -and – we do have some interesting tips and “inside information” to give about swedish schools and the system behind it.

    Our son is a happy and high spirited boy with an intellectual leaning. He plays the piano and flute and is interested in everything! Science and languages (and literature !)and learning in general. His teachers did nothing to encourage him though he is a top student. Indeed they were rarely present in the classroom! And this is, for its high standards, the most famous school in Sweden we are talking about! (not the German School, by the way)

    There were constant complaints about our son’s forgetting books and notebooks in the lunchroom etc and this harmless -and amongst the boys in his year – very common offense was described as a huge problem and visits to the school psychologist were recommended.

    We had to attend meetings where literally ‘absoloutely nothing’ was discussed for more than 70 min and the teachers and staff present seemed to lack both the apropriate education for their occupation as well as a normal all-round education.The mild criticism we presented along with humble questions about their philosophy and study materials were thrown back at us with almost hateful resentment and illogical reasonings and soon we were told they needed to do an utredning(investigation) into the matter of our boy’s forgetting notebooks in the school library sometimes. Well, there is a lot to talk about when it comes to swedish schools. I’m glad I found this site. Best regards, Caroline


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