Alexandra Frean, visits the Romeike family in Morristown, TN and writes about it in The Times – Exiled: the parents who dared to teach at home
It was just after 7am in a chilly October day in 2006 when the police came knocking. Uwe and Hannalore Romeike and their three children remained quiet, scarcely daring to breath and hoping the cops would leave if they got no answer.
The Romeikes’ crime? Educating their children at home in a country where such activity is not only illegal, but regarded as highly suspect and even antisocial. A German court recently suggested that home schooling fosters the creation of “parallel societies”. And the police were called in to take the Romeike children to school.
My concern with this situation has been two fold – the bigger concern is HSLDA’s conforntational tactics and the lesser is the Romeike family itself. Frean takes us to Morristown and gives us a look at homeschooling at the Roeike’s US residence.
Settled on their sofa in a tiny duplex, near Knoxville, Tennessee, the couple appear bemused by their notoriety, which they say they never actively sought. The children have perfect manners and study quietly at a dining table in the same room, occasionally getting up to fetch a book. Even Damaris, 4, occupies herself and never once bothers her parents. Lydia, 11, asks about my shorthand and how it works. Joshua, 10, the most lively of the five, is intrigued too. “I shall always sign my name like that,” he says after I spell it out in a few shorthand squiggles.
The family is aware that they have become the object of intense scrutiny in Germany, but are taking it in their stride. “If I have to fight this battle, then I will,” Hannalore, 37, says. “I really hope that one day this will lead to a change in the law in Germany.” (more…)