HSLDA: German Family to Apply for Political Asylum in New Zealand

German Family to Apply for Political Asylum in New Zealand

New Zealand

In 2008, Gerno and Andrea Schöneich, along with their four children, fled their native country of Germany to New Zealand where they hoped they would be free to live and educate their children in peace. As German homeschool parents, they faced threats from authorities, hefty fines, and even jail time. German authorities continue to show such extreme prejudice toward homeschoolers that families continue to leave their homeland rather than give up homeschooling.

Unable to obtain work permits in New Zealand, and unable to return to Germany because of the very real fear that their younger children could be removed from their custody, the Schöneichs decided to apply for political asylum in New Zealand. In mid-November the family received invitations to present their claim for refugee status before New Zealand officials. The family is representing themselves in the arduous asylum process.

“Free, Liberal, Democratic Country”

Over three long days, immigration officers interviewed or, as the Schöneichs felt, “interrogated” them. These refugee officials were skeptical and did not seem to view homeschooling favorably. They even expressed doubt about documented instances of persecution of homeschoolers.

According to Mr. Schöneich, “One officer stated that Germany is a free, liberal, democratic county and [persecution of homeschoolers] would obviously not happen. Further, he did not believe that it actually happens in Germany.” The officers cited previous cases on homeschooling from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), including the infamous Konrad decision where the court dismissed the case of homeschoolers who were fined for not sending their children to school. Schöneich told HSLDA that that the New Zealand immigration officers showed “no understanding or sympathy” for his family’s plight. It was only the extensive evidence from the German Romeike family’s political asylum victory in the United States that seemed to keep the officials interested.

“Whatever the Consequences”

In three weeks the immigration officer will compile his reports and send them to the family. Due to the Christmas holidays and New Zealand’s summer recess, the Schöneichs expect to wait until mid-January until their asylum application is processed in full. If the government declines to grant the family refugee status, they will have to appeal the decision…

Read more here at the HSLDA website:


International Homeschoolers in Trouble!

International Homeschoolers in Trouble!

We have created a powerful video testimonial to help you experience the lives of persecuted homeschoolers. Watch now >>

Dear Friend of Homeschooling,

Persecuted homeschoolers from countries all over the world need our help to achieve a freedom that many of us take for granted—the right to teach our children at home!

Will you help?

In countries like Germany, Sweden, Botswana and Brazil, parents are being threatened with huge fines, jail time, and the loss of their children. Many have fled to other countries to keep their families intact and continue homeschooling.

We have created a powerful video testimonial to help you experience their lives. Will you share a few minutes with our fellow homeschoolers from around the world to learn more about their plight?

Please pray for them. And please forward this testimony to your family and friends and link to the video on your Facebook wall or other social network—we need to get this important message to as many people as possible.

Will you also consider making a gift? We know that times are tough with the current economy. But if you are able, would you consider a tax deductible gift of any amount to the Home School Foundation’s International Fund? A donation of $25, $35, $50, even $500 or $1,000 would allow us to continue our work in advancing the cause of homeschooling worldwide.

When we help homeschoolers abroad, we are also helping defend our own freedom from the dangerous threat of international law and treaties like the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Thank you for taking the time to watch these families’ stories in the midst of this busy holiday season. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas and joyous New Year!

With my humble and heartfelt appreciation,

J. Michael Smith

Swedish government’s 18-month-long seizure of 9-year-old boy pushing parents to emotional brink

Swedish government’s 18-month-long seizure of 9-year-old boy pushing parents to emotional brink http://adf.am/fbTRke

From the HSLDA e-lert service…

This Week

  1. Siblings and Best Friends

Best of the Archives

  1. God’s Calling
  2. Right Brained Child
  3. Dads Helping Moms

Thursday, November 4—“Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends”

Tired of the constant bickering but not exactly sure how to put a stop to it? Wondering if there’s hope that one day your children will actually enjoy one other? On Thursday, November 4 @ 9:00 p.m. ET, join Sarah, Stephen, and Grace Mally as they discuss how brothers and sisters can live together in unity. In “Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends,” this brother-sisters trio will share tools that have helped them overcome discord and tension, as well as their conviction that siblings should not just tolerate each other, but should find some of their closest friendships right at home! Register now >>

@home e-vent Archive Library

This week, why not tap into some of the many resources in our archived e-vents? Here are just a few suggestions for speakers you might want to hear:

In “A Passionate Pursuit of Excellence: Preparing for God’s Calling,” Mark Hamby, renowned speaker, family counselor, and president of Lamplighter Publishing, presents a biblical strategy that can help guide you and your children as you seek to live purposefully for God.

HSLDA Special Needs Coordinator Dianne Craft shares advice on how to instruct a child who learns visually in “Teaching the Right Brained Child, Part I” and “Teaching the Right Brained Child, Part II.” Learn how to tap into your child’s strengths in this two-part series.

“APPLES for the Teacher” is a special message from Davis Carman—husband, father, and owner of Apologia Educational Ministries—to homeschool dads. Encouraging fathers to remember the heavy burden their wives carry as moms and teachers, he offers ideas for how to say “thank you” and show support in practical ways.

Find these e-vents and more in our archive library! After locating and purchasing the event that you are interested in, you will be able to access the e-vent through your account and view the recording as many times as you wish for a period of 30 days following your registration.

Don’t miss these exciting e-vents—sign up now to reserve your “seat”! To register >>

If you have any questions, please contact the @home e-vent team at Athome@hslda.org .

Coming up this week on HSLDA’s @home e-vents…

Coming up this week on

HSLDA’s @home e-vents…

Tuesday, August 17—Getting Kids to Help at Home

Does the workload of the approaching school year seem overwhelming? Do you have a houseful of kids to cook, clean, and care for … all while teaching? Learn to delegate to and motivate the little helpers in your household with advice from a foster mom to almost 50 children. In “Getting Kids to Help at Home,” HSLDA’s Early Years Coordinator Vicki Bentley offers special insight and practical tips that will give you fresh motivation and ideas for training your children to lend a hand around the house. Help your kids learn life lessons and save your sanity on Tuesday, August 17, @ 9:00 p.m. (ET) (Southern Hemisphere, Auckland time: Wednesday 18th at 1pm). Register now >>

Wednesday, August 18—How Can I Afford to Keep Homeschooling with a Reduced Family Income?

Is the economy affecting your family? Are you asking yourself the question, “How Can I Afford to Keep Homeschooling with a Reduced Family Income?” If both you and your spouse are working, do you know the legal implications of a double-income household for your homeschool? Are you looking for practical ideas that will help your family continue homeschooling during hard times? If so, be sure to join HSLDA President Mike Smith on Wednesday, August 18, 2010, @ 9:00 p.m. (ET) (Southern Hemisphere, Auckland time: Thursday 19th at 1pm) as he shares real-life strategies to help you meet your income needs and provide your children with the best education possible! Register now >>