Having left Sweden 14 months ago to travel the world. We have found that a lot of our travels has been a search for a place to live and work that is homeschooling friendly and where there are great alternative schools. We have now found Prague.
In this ex-communist country, there are quite a few homeschooling families and many expat families who have moved here for a bunch of good reasons. It is so good that we are thinking that it is a good idea to settle here.
I think that Prague is a great option for Swedish families who wish to homeschool and are therefore forced to flee the Swedish state. Many educational refugees from Sweden choose neighbouring Finland or Norway, but I have never been interested in moving to these countries partly due to the climate, partly due to the high taxes and partly because there are not enough activities and meetups for homeschooling families.
If you have to leave Sweden, all of Europe is within a few hours flight, so it doesn’t make so much difference in terms of travel cost or distance if you are in a neighbouring country or a short flight away, so you may as well look for the place that fits the most criteria.
We went to the Czech Republic first and foremost because we heard that there are many libertarians here , and therefore people who are likely to practice peaceful or respectful parenting and people who disagree with government schooling.
There are about 500 Czech homeschooling families. There are also many foreigners who live here, of which about 8000 are from the United States. I have heard there are some Swedish families here but I don’t know and haven’t met them yet. There are several groups of homeschoolers here and according to those we have met, there is a never-ending variety of activities and courses available that you can attend.
What are the rules in Czech Republic
The Czech Republic allows homeschooling, but residents need to be enrolled in a school that is homeschooling-friendly. Once you are in the syatem, the government will want to make twice yearly inspections in Czech so it may not be interesting for those who don’t want to learn the language. Moreover, for residents, one must write a letter and tell me why you want to home school and some other formalities. For a foreigner, the same rules do not apply. Many who live here can fulfil the state requirements by signing up to a distance learning school such as Clonlara . Alternatively they can be resident somewhere else. But if you are coming from Sweden you need to establish residency outside of Sweden to be clear of the Swedish states grasp. Some options are: The UK, another Nordic country or in Estonia where you can get E-residency whichmight also be useful if you are self-employed . Rules change all the time, and the information I have provided is what people have said to me so I recommend double checking everything and coming here for a visit to find out more.
Prague Homeschooling Facebook Groups
There are many different Homeschooling Groups in Prague. There are probably groups outside of facebook. Here are some examples of groups that I have joined:
The Czech group you can find HERE .
The group of expats can find HERE
Group libertarian hemskolare you can find HERE
Activities and Courses in Prague
There are, as I mentioned, a huge variety of courses and activities in Prague for children. Here are links to some of these.
At Clas Acts , one can find various courses for children from toddlers to big kids in English and Czech.
Kids in Prague – Here you will find activities and courses also
International Scouts in Prague Soccer for children in English
Creative workshops children in English – Muddum
Kiddum – Lego School, robot construction and Lego play area
Malostranska Beseda – Art, music, children’s corner.
Prague activities for cool kids – facebook group for children’s activities.
Galerie gud – An art gallery where kids get to be creative.
Makerslab – keeps the house in Parelni Police. This is a 3D lab courses.
Wonderful Parks with Playparks and Beer Gardens
In Prague, it is common with pubs next to the playgrounds. Of course, you do not drink beer every time you make a play but it is very tempting to do so. The beer is good and cheap here and costs about 10 kronor ($1.30) at the cheaper places. There is usually coffee and food there if you do not want beer. We take a picnic and fill bottles with water when we go out. Tap water is fine to drink. There are many places with picnic tables, and if you forget to bring food, you can buy pies and pizzas for about 10kronor ($1.30).
Ladronkaparken – It is quite close to the old town and has playgrounds, cozy beer garden with restaurant and ideal for cycling and roller skating in.
Matejska Pout – Has a large amusement park in a huge park where there are many play areas and beer gardens.
Gutovka – has a huge playground with climbing walls, a skateboard park and a restaurant. You often meet home schoolers there.
Some Private Schools in Prague
Just because you don’t like being forced to attend a school with a government curriculum, it doesn’t mean that one does not like all schools. It might be good to know that there are many private schools here and that if the school turns out not to be suitable, it is not dangerous to remove your child from that school. Shouldn’t it be like that in Sweden?
A detailed article about international schools can be found here .
Školy Hlásek – A school with 30 teachers to 100 students run by anarcho-capitalists who practices near parenting.
School Muj Project – a small school that focuses more on children’s individual needs.
The International Montessori school of Prague International school of Prague
Montessori school You & Me .
It is easy to find accommodation in Prague. One must be quick, new properties are listed all the time and an appartment found on the morning can be rented the same afternoon. If you want to find housing, I recommend getting here first and stay at an Airbnb.
These are some good property websites. You have to commit to a year and many agents take a months rent as a fee.
Here are some useful links that I’ve found:
Slevomat – Prague “groupon”. Here you can find a variety of discounted activities.
Tesco in Prague – shop online and get delivered for just 2 euros. You can enter the product name in English.
The nanny-state index to see how free you are in the Czech Republic
Plusses And Minuses Of Living And Home School in Prague
There are, of course, good and bad sides to all countries so here is a list of plusses and minuses in Prague.
+ Activities, culture, internet, proximity to family and friends
Of the countries we have visited during the year, Indonesia (Bali) has been one of our top choices for home school in which there are many who do it, and many entrepreneurs who move there because they want to live in paradise. Bali lacks fast internet, and it’s too far to visit friends and relatives in Europe. It also lacks cultural and intellectual activities. There are museums and art galleries and courses but nowhere near to the same extent as in Europe. For a small city of 1.2 million inhabitants, Prague has a lot offer. The distance – short flights to Sweden and the UK – are also OK.
– Costs to flyThe cheapest price from Sweden to Prague in May is £26 at the time of writing, and from the UK it is £22.
+ A modern country with high living standardsThe Czech Republic is a country that has a fairly free market which has developed at a furious pace just like the other ex-Communist countries in its vicinity. I dare say that there is a higher standard of living in the Czech Republic and Poland than in Sweden. Internet is around 20mb.
+ Nice for the self-employedThere are several co-working spaces for entrepreneurs and although the Czech tax system is a bit complicated, it is still a better deal than the Swedish firm the best course would be to run a business from eg Estonia where you can get E-residency. There are multiple coworking spaces-such as the Paralelni Police which can be nice if you want some companionship and a pleasant working environment. It is quite cheap to rent premises here also.
+ Beauty and nature People move to Prague to move to a city with incredible beautiful architecture (in the old parts), and where the more modern parts are pleasant too. The city has an incredible number of parks, and some of them are very big so it feels like you are in the middle of nature. Another + is that the air does not feel contaminated. Unfortunately, it is a problem we have known there are many other places where we’ve wanted to home school such as in London or Bucharest and many cities in Asia.
+ The climate
We have tried to live in countries with a tropical climate and the same climate all year round. It’s a little sad actually that it’s the same. I think the tropical heat is OK but the husband does not like to sweat all the time. Prague is a little hotter than the Sweden and it rains less here than where we lived in Sweden. However, it can be very hot in summer. There are real winters. You can go skiing in the mountains located 1.5 hours from here.
+ Proximity to the alpine slopes
Take the car 1.5 hours you’ll reach in St Anton in Austria. Or you can ski in the south of Poland which is not far either.
– The distance to the sea
I like the sea. I do not know how I would cope with being away from the sea. Though there are lakes and rivers here with beaches and you can drive to the Croatian Riviera in about 7 hours.
– The language
It can be difficult to learn Czech (as an adult), but you can if you want, of course. Many Czechs speaks good English and many activities and courses for children are for expat population and the Czechs who want their children to learn English. I think it is required that homeschooling Swedes teach their children English early because basically all materials to home school which are available on the internet and youtube is in English and many Homeschool groups are English speaking.
If you want to get good value for money, you should choose a country in Eastern Europe, Southern Europe or Southeast Asia where the cost of living is lower. In that way, you can afford to have only one parent working, which allows the other parent to focus on the homeschooling a bit more.