Whether you are an expat in Mexico, or you are exploring options for educating your children, this guide contains all the information about homeschooling in Mexico.
I am a mother to two wonderful daughters and I know how much stressful it can be to raise kids. Right from their health to their education, I have researched intensively to be able to give them a life that they truly deserve. We have been living in Mexico for almost 4 years now and life is quite easy. However, this wasn’t the case when we had initially moved here though. We had moved in from New Jersey in the summer of 2015. My younger daughter had just completed her elementary school back in New Jersey and was excited to go to school here in Mexico after the summer vacations. My elder daughter had just finished off her middle school and was eligible to enter grade 9 as per the New Jersey standards for education.
Before I jump onto sharing the tips for starting a homeschooling journey in Mexico, it is very important to first understand why should you opt for homeschooling in the first place.
I had dedicated entire two weeks to searching for a suitable school for my elder one. Since she was in a critical age where quality of education would decide her future, I did not want to take any chances of randomly selecting any school for her. This could affect her studies big time. Therefore, I began by studying the education system in Mexico to understand the requirement and eligibility of my daughters. The basic education in Mexico is usually divided into three levels:
Primary school- grades 1 to 6
Junior high school- grades 7 to 9
And High school- grades 10 to 12
Where Primary schooling and Junior high schooling is compulsory
After studying the education system thoroughly, I came across a couple of facts;
Public schools in Mexico are not up to the mark as most of the schools are underfunded and therefore lack basic infrastructure, qualified teachers and textbooks.
Private schools have a good standard of education with all facilities. Just like any other part of the world, private schools here too are expensive. (That wasn’t a problem for us though)
So, we started exploring options within the Private school category. This wasn’t just limited to reading online stuff. I reached out to people to understand how the Private schools function. Many schools in Mexico have Spanish as the language of instruction. I found that the bilingual schools were the most suitable for expats.
Further, I wanted to dig deeper into the academics. My kids were accustomed to the U.S system of education. I wanted the transition to happen very smoothly for my children. There were some good International Schools like the American School Foundation and International American School. Here are the lists for International Schools in Mexico. https://www.internationalschoolsearch.com/international-schools-in-m-xico
However, International Schools can be extremely pricey.
I knew about homeschooling since we were living in the U.S where this concept was legal and was widely being used. I had never thought about considering this option for my kids. But I thought of exploring this option now. More than being a cost-effective option, I was drawn towards it because of the following reasons:
- I could customise the studies as per my children’s interest and need, keeping in mind what they want to pursue.
- They could get one-on-one attention and personalised learning
- They can have their own pace of studying without worrying about the pace of the class
- They have options to advance more rapidly in a particular course and field of their interest rather than being confined to the study materials for that grade
- They can make their own schedule and have a greater flexibility in their routine
- I can ensure a holistic and safe environment for my children without bothering about certain issues of protection such as violence, bullying, sexual harassment
All these reasons were enough for me to consider this option especially for my elder daughter who has to start thinking about her career. As parents, we wanted to create a distraction-free environment for our daughter and at the same time allow her to explore her field of interest by providing her all the necessary equipments and resources to facilitate learning.
How can one start with Homeschooling in Mexico:
Homeschooling in Mexico is legal and it is a great option for not only the expats but for localites too. There is compulsory education from grades 1 to 6. You can get details about the legal status of homeschooling here https://hslda.org/content/hs/international/Mexico/default.asp
Once that you have decided to go for homeschooling (after weighing it’s pros and cons for your child), you can analyse which homeschooling option is good for you.
Homeschooling by self-created curriculum-
This option is generally suitable for parents who have sufficient time and resources to create self-directional learning for their children. You can add any subject and material that you find suitable for including within the curriculum and skip any subject or part that doesn’t interest the child.
For example, to make science lessons more engaging, parents can get materials and perform activities at home. There are many virtual labs which can help in the simulation of an experiment https://praxilabs.com/en/virtual-labs
It is also important for the parents to maintain records of the performance in a timely manner.
The major challenge in this method is to get the studies validated and certified. Unless and until you have a formal high school certificate, it’s difficult to pursue higher studies. Therefore, it is advisable to take the adult learning exams from INEA (Instituto Nacional para la Educación de los Adultos) and get certified. You can get further details about registration on their website here http://www.inea.gob.mx/index.php
Homeschooling by an accredited online school-
For parents who do not wish to spend time on creating a curriculum and hunting for learning resources themselves, this option is the most convenient. An accredited online school ensures that the student is able to achieve a high school diploma which is valid after the completion of the program. Innovation within education has opened doors to technological advancements Before you choose an online school, it is important that you go through the courses and understand how the school functions.
Few considerations while choosing an online school are:
- Support and timely intervention by the faculty and administration
- Flexibility to choose courses and study at own pace
- Learner centric experience
- Course content and instruction
- Cost and flexibility in fee schedule
- Constant feedback and reports
Ischool, a subsidiary of International Schooling, is an accredited online school in Mexico and uses the latest technology giving learners an engaging study experience. The Mexican Educational Administration provides equivalency to the American High School Diploma which is a simple process.
We know that there is no one size which fits all and therefore, I suggest analysing your requirements and mapping it with the homeschooling method that best suits you.