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Homeschooling in Puerto Rico

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If you are like we are, you are either homeschooling at the moment or looking into homeschooling in Puerto Rico.

After much research and consideration we decided to homeschool our kids. The reasons ranged from dislike of the federal and state school systems to the simple fact that no school here is equipped to accommodate our children’s medical dietary restrictions. Whatever your reasons are, the good news is that homeschooling in Puerto Rico is as liberal as they come.

According to the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), Puerto Rico is a “green” state when it comes to homeschooling. This means that you can choose the method of homeschooling  that best suits you and your family without having to contact the local government. Whether it’s organized and structured homeschooling with a curriculum or unschooling, you can do it here! There was an attempt to regulate homeschooling a few months back, but that went nowhere. We are particularly grateful for how liberal it is here because we have the flexibility to adjust our teachings according to our children’s and our needs and wants. The HSLDA also has lots of information regarding the legal aspect of homeschooling in Puerto Rico, so do give that site a look.

If you are concerned about any type of socialization and are looking to find ways to get your kids socialized, rest assured that there are ways to do that. There are always youth sports clubs such as soccer clubs, gymnastics, music, etc. When I was a kid I was in a basketball club and depending on where you live, the city may actually have programs sponsored by the city, for kids to be in such clubs. In addition, there are other homeschool groups, which usually go out as a group once a week or so to do some sort of field trip or activity. Click here for a list of registered homeschool groups in Puerto Rico (there may be others that are not registered on this webpage). Some of those are bilingual in English and Spanish, but please do keep in mind that the vast majority of peoplehere  speak Spanish as a first language, so don’t expect everyone to only speak Spanish. This is also a good thing, meeting with these groups may be the only time your children get immersed in the Spanish language, even if it is just a few hours a day, it is better than nothing.

Even though Puerto Rico is a “green” state and you do not need to involve the government in your homeschool decisions, it may be a good idea to “register” your homeschool. There’s an organization called T’CHERs (The Caribbean Center of Home Education Resources) which would give you access to many resources and a membership card that may be considered as an official homeschool registration. Just something to have in hand just in case the state starts to ask why your kids are not in any school. However there are lots of resources and lots on iformation on how to get involved with different activities. So you can check them out at http://www.tchers.net.

Ah, one more thing, if you would like to test you child’s progress at the end of a year or a semester, there are places for testing. I know a friend of mine uses a company called Learn Aid Puerto Rico, they test for every grade level and compare the results with the national average. She said the tests normally run between $125 to $150 but discounts may be available if there is a large group of kids taking the test at the same time.

So as you can see, homeschooling in Puerto Rico is not only easy, but it is a very good fit for anyone wanting to homeschool, simply because they can homeschool however you see fit as parents.

I really hope this helps, please see the links I posted and get in touch with the homeschooling group of your choice.

Who knows! Maybe I’ll see you in one of the field trips!

Happy Homeschooling! =)

 

Jay-Webmaster

Author: Jay-Webmaster

Jay is an Atmospheric Physicist and Massage Therapist who was born and raised in Puerto Rico but went to college in the US before moving back to Puerto Rico. Creator of NewToPuertoRico.com and the new forum NewToPuertoRico.com/forum

12 Comments

  1. Thank you for this information. We are homeschoolers from Chicago and just moved to San Juan 2 weeks ago. I found a San Juan Meetup group so hopefully we can meet others through that group. Any other groups you would recommend in the area?

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Laura!

      Have you seen the list of registered homeschool groups in Puerto Rico? If you are in San Juan I suggest you stay with groups in the metro. I believe there are groups in San Juan, Carolina, and Bayamón. Some or all could have a religious affiliation so keep that in mind since it may or may not be what you desire. I have a friend who is part of a homeschool group in Dorado but it is not on the list. I personally don’t know them but my friend is happy with that group.

  2. My 13 year old grandson is not in main stream,but special groups at his school do not challenge him and he was a gold star graduate ,top three , at AMA.My daughter would not home school him herself,but he is a very well behaved , respectful and outgoing. I guess my question is are there home school coops which would accept him in their group ? Do they even exist here? My daughter lives in Guaynabo.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Every group will accept him in the homeschool group. The only thing homeschool groups don’t tolerate is the lack of tolerance and acceptance for others. So as long as he is accepting of everyone else’s beliefs and lifestyles without criticizing then he will be accepted.

  3. Thank you!! We are Homeschoolers in New Jersey about to move to PR in September and this has been super helpful. Looking forward to getting immersed in our new surroundings!

  4. I just found this..began with the idea of homeschooling my daughter (10yrs) and started poking around about information to help me and wow!! Thanks..your blog has been so great. Making me think that my idea wasn’t that crazy after all. We just moved here(PR) on January/17 we got her enrolled in a private school but she’s not doing that well. Our move is not permanent, only about a 1.5yrs. So I’m thinking of going the homeschooling route at least until we leave ro the US again. What are your thoughts on that? Will the transition affect her gojng back?

    Thank you, respectfully
    Mrs. Merced
    Gurabo,PR

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Mrs Merced!

      I’m glad you found out post helpful and informative! Homeschooling has been great for us and Puerto Rico has some of the best laws for homeschoolers!

      Well, you know your daughter better than anyone, so you know if she’ll do well while homeschooling, but, how come she’s not doing well in the school? Is it the Spanish?
      I have seen many parents pull their children for the local schools due to the Spanish language and it hurts me to see that because I cannot stress enough the importance of learning Spanish, not only for living in PR but also in the US and other countries. I have seen first hand how one bilingual candidate for a job gets selected over other highly qualified individuals simply because this other person speaks both English and Spanish. It happens all the time, so if and only if the struggle is with the Spanish language, I highly recommend helping her with Spanish or asking for Title 1 assistance to get her up to speed, but do not take her out of a Spanish immersion environment if you can help it. But, your reasons for homeschooling are your own and like I said, PR has the best laws, giving you full autonomy and freedom to teach whatever in whichever way you want.

      Will the transition affect her going back? Well that depends on what you teach, how you teach it and how much she learns. Also, it depends on what she is required to know at the new school she will be enrolling at once she’s back in the US. As a homeschooling parent you can take her as slow or fast as you want as long as she’s learning. If you plan on sending her back to school then I suggest you do a more traditional form of homeschool, which is basically a classroom at home. In our case, because I don’t plan on sending my kids back to school any time soon, we are teaching things like Mindfulness, computer coding, non-verbal and verbal critical thinking, Singapore math, world religions and world history, we also part of a homeschool group up here in the metro.

      In your case, I would look for the book list of the school you plan to eventually like to take your daughter once you are back in the US and then go through those books this next school year so she’s ready the following year like her peers will be. But, again, if you can help it, don’t take her away from the Spanish immersion environment.

      Hope this helps.

  5. Useful information 🙂 we are new in Puerto Rico and thinking of keeping homeschooling… but we really need help to find sports and arts classes, also kids groups, because we don’t know any soul here… my daughter really needs friends

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Homeschooling in Puerto Rico is great! Click on the link of registered home-schools in Puerto Rico to find a group near you. They normally would do activities so the kids can socialize. There are also sports groups such as track and field or soccer or basketball which you can enroll your daughter and socialize that way. Email me or send me a message via the Facebook app if you need specific information. Good Luck!

  6. We are considering moving to Puerto Rico. I have heard a lot of not so good things about public school. Is it any worse than public schools in the mainland US? Some schools are good and some are worse. If we do decide to home school is it fairly easy to find tutors to assist and does the government offer any stipends? We have home schooled in the past and our state offers a stipend to offset curriculum and activity prices. Thanks for your informative blog and website!

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Andy:

      Thank you for the nice words! I’m very happy to be of service!

      Well, this is the thing about public school when compared to the US. First of all they do not have nearly as good of a budget and resources. The public schools generally do not look as nice as the public schools you see in the US. Also, the success of the student will be greatly dependent on the student’s self motivation and desire to succeed. I know many people who went to public schools and just about all of them have told me that the biggest challenge they faced was staying away from bad influences. A friend of mine told me that in his school he either went with the crowd of not caring about schoolwork and being mischievous or be subject to being targeted, bullied, etc. However this was HIS experience, I’ve heard others say that they didn’t like the public school because the schoolwork was too easy so they felt they didn’t learn anything, others have told me that public school was just fine. Having said this, most of the people I know that went to the public schools are now professionals with college degrees and very decent jobs such as engineers, oceanographers and other science related jobs.

      But truthfully since I went to a private military school while growing up, my perception of the public schools was “from the outside”, and all I saw was kids who were in school very few times and very often just outside talking even while school was in session. Many teachers would be absent very often so the students were sent home at random times like at 11 AM or noon. Basic things like a clean bathroom with toilet paper is a luxury (not kidding). In fact I went to meet someone at a public school last week and I saw a girl that had to use the bathroom and she had to go into the secretary’s office to see if she had toilet paper! She then gave the girl a small piece of toilet paper. I asked the secretary why there was no paper in the bathroom and she said that if they leave the toilet paper in the bathrooms the students would remove it from the container and get it all wet or take all the paper and throw it all over the bathroom, so they have no toilet paper in the bathrooms, you have to ask for it each time, some people get embarrassed and don’t ask for the toilet paper. Same is true for towels to dry your hands after you wash them and in most cases there isn’t even any soap available, oh and bring your own water because the water fountains could be broken and very few of them (if any) have water filters.

      So please be clear, I don’t like to generalize, but this is based on my personal experiences from what I have been told by former students and what I see personally.

      Not all is too bad though. Some schools are called “Smart Schools”. There are a few of those only but they are usually air conditioned (another luxury) and have available Wi-Fi and maybe even a music room. Also, there are Vocational schools or specialized schools. These are nice in the sense that it revolves around one specific set of interests, such as a Baseball high school where the sport of baseball is the main focus but you also get education that meets the state standards, the same is said for the music and arts schools as well engineering vocational schools among others. These type of schools are really good and I would encourage you to consider these vocational schools. Some of the science and technology vocational schools participate in international competitions such as the NASA rover challenge, in which every year Puerto Rico either wins the competition or ends in the top 5! Every year, same story, a school from Puerto Rico is one of the best in this NASA international competition. (Link to the NASA Rover Challenge 2015 results) Also, some of our best baseball players come out of a Baseball vocational schools.

      As far as homeschool. No, the government offers nothing, other than the ability to home-school however you wish, no. In fact, there was a proposal several months ago which suggested that home-school parents actually have to pay taxes for home-schooling! The argument was that they were going to add a tax to the private school tuition, so since home-school is not in the public school system, then we should pay a tax comparable to what the private tuition tax would be! Of course that went nowhere, but just to let you know that there is no stipend and if anything changes it would likely be for homeschoolers to pay, not to get paid.

      it is relatively easy to find tutors, check classified ads or ask around at schools or other parents. I never had a tutor but I know many teachers make so little money that they tutor on the side.

      Sorry for the long response!

      Take Care!

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