Introduction:

Parents of a child with special needs are entitled to homeschool their children.
Without approval to homeschool, parents are obligated to send their children to a recognized educational institution

Homeschooling is when a child is educated at home, usually by his/her family, as opposed to in a formal educational institution.

Who is Eligible?

  • Parents who believe that their educational approach requires their child to be educated by means of homeschooling.
  • The parents must meet a number of conditions in order for their child to be granted an exemption from the Compulsory Education Law in order to be homeschooled.
  • Parents of children meeting the definition of a child with special needs in accordance with The Special Education Law:
    • Children between the ages of 3 and 21 with a significant disability that limits their capacity for the behavioral adjustments required to be in special education.
    • According to the law, the disability may be physical, mental, psychological, emotional-behavioral, sensory, cognitive or complex developmental disabilities.

How to Claim It?

  • The approval process is the same as the homeschooling approval process for children who do not have special needs.
  • Parents of a child who is of compulsory education edge who would like to homeschool must submit a Request for Exemption from the Compulsory Education Law in Order to Homeschool to the district director and send a copy to the educational of the student's local municipality.
  • A copy of the request must also be submitted to the education department manager in the local authority in which the child lives.
  • Parents submitting a Request for Exemption from the Compulsory Education Law in Order to Homeschool
  • The following documentation should be attached to the request:
    • Photocopy of the parents' identification cards (תעודת הזהות) with the attachment (ספח) on which the child's details appear.
    • An explanation of why the parents' educational approach requires the child to be homeschooled.
    • A detailed curriculum that meets the following criteria (Click here Guidelines for Presenting a Curriculum for Approval of Homeschooling):
      1. The child will be exposed to various disciplines to an extent which is at least 55% of the core content taught in the education system.
      2. The child will learn native language skills in Hebrew or Arabic.
      3. The child will learn mathematics.
      4. The child will learn social skills.
      5. Besides these topics, the parents and child may choose any subject in which the child shows an interest.
      6. The curriculum will give the child appropriate opportunities to interact with children of the same age and cooperate with them.
      7. The curriculum will enable the child to develop values related to life and society.
      8. The curriculum will enable the child to develop skills related to problem solving, analytical thinking and synthesis, communication, collection of information, research, reflection, as well as usage of technology including computer-based applications.
      9. The curriculum must detail methods of evaluation and/or anticipated results that will confirm that the learning process was successful within a given period of time.

Evaluating the Request

  • The district director will make his decision only after receiving the recommendations of the homeschooling committee.
  • The homeschooling committee will be assigned based on the district where the homeschooling request was submitted. The committee should be made up of a general supervisor appointed by the district director as the homeschooling coordinator (the committee chairman), a general supervisor of schools or kindergartens, a school principal, an educational psychologist or educational counselor, someone who supervises the regular visits, the director of the district educational branch, or its representative, and other members in accordance with the decision of the district director.
  • The committee's role is to evaluate the request and determine whether it can guarantee that the child will receive an education that will enable him to have normative personal and social functioning even as an adult:
    • The committee will hold a preparatory meeting to review the application and the program submitted by the parents.
    • The homeschooling coordinator (or representative on his or her behalf) will visit the place where the studies take place. The purpose of the visit is to ensure that the conditions of the location enable the proposed plan to be implemented. The date of the visit will be coordinated with the parents.
    • After the visit, the committee will hold a meeting to formulate recommendations and submit an opinion, which will be forwarded to the district director.
    • A special education supervisor will participate in the Committee's discussions and visit to the location where the studies take place, in order to ensure that the child's needs are met.

Request Decision

  • The district director will notify the applicant regarding approval or rejection of the request within 3 months of the date it was submitted. The district director can condition his approval on certain requirements.
  • If the request is rejected, the district director is required to specify the reasons why it was rejected.
  • Approval for exemption from the Compulsory Education Law in order to homeschool is valid for a maximum of 2 years. One can request an extension of the approval.

Supervision of the Implementation of the Homeschooling Program

  • The district homeschooling coordinator is responsible for following up to see that the homeschooling program is being implemented based on the way it was approved.
  • The parents of are required to submit periodic reports on pre-determined dates to the coordinator detailing the program and the student's progress.

Extension of an Approval for Homeschooling

  • Parents wishing to extend an approval for homeschooling must go through all of the steps required to receive the approval initially.
  • The extension request must be submitted 2 months before the original approval is set to expire.
  • Extending the approval is conditional on receiving the required follow-up reports and test results.

Appealing a District Manager Decision

  • If a district manager refused to approve a Request for Exemption from the Compulsory Education Law in Order to Homeschool, the applicant may file a request for review within 14 days.
  • All relevant documentation required with the initial request must be submitted with the request for review.
  • The request must be in writing and submitted to the general manager through the person responsible for homeschooling at the Ministry of Education:

Please Note

  • Approval for homeschooling is only valid for a maximum of 2 years and parents must demonstrate compliance with the curriculum in order to renew the approval.
  • If the district manager refuses a request to homeschool, the parents may request a reconsideration of the approval.
  • As long as their is no exemption from the Compulsory Education Law:
    • Parents are obligated to comply with all aspects of the Compulsory Education Law.
    • Parents are required to send their child to a recognized educational institution.
  • Parents homeschooling a child are responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating their child's education.
  • Parents homeschooling a child are obligated to demonstrate the ability to plan and provide for their child's educational needs.
  • Parents homeschooling a child must prove that the educational environment in the home is conducive to learning, and that various sources for education such as a library, museums and use of technology (primarily computer-based) are accessible.
  • Parents homeschooling a child are responsible for all relevant insurance coverage.
  • The district director can cancel the approval given for homeschooling if the conditions under which the approval was given aren't being met. The district director has to hold a hearing for the approval holder before canceling the approval. An appeal can be made on the district director's decision to cancel the approval.
  • For more information, see the Ministry of Education's Public Inquiries Division website.

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