South Korea: Homeschooling Prospers by Families Helping Families

Posted on Dec 8 2008 in International Homeschooling by

In September of 2008, ten homeschool leaders from around the world attended HSLDA’s annual National Homeschool Leadership Conference. The following is an update from Bernie and Linda Beall, who work through Family Mission International (FMI) to assist South Korean homeschoolers. This update highlights two South Korean homeschooling families, describes FMI and the Bealls’ goals, and summarizes the legal climate of homeschooling there.

Bernie and Linda Beall, veteran homeschoolers, serve with Family Mission International (FMI). For the past five years, their mission team has been working to assist the development of the South Korean homeschool movement. The following two stories demonstrate the impact that the Bealls’ ministry is having and how the homeschooling movement is affecting Christian families in this country.

Ministry Encourages Families to HomeschoolSouth Korea

Five years ago, Pastor Kim Won Tae and his family attended one of FMI’s first homeschool conferences. At the conference, the mission team challenged parents to take responsibility for the discipleship of their children. Pastor Kim and his wife became convinced that God wanted them to withdraw their children from a high-quality school where they were already academically excelling and bring them home to focus on spiritual and character development. The family has been delighted with the results. Though very few curriculum and supporting resources were available when they began, the family has watched God bless their act of faith. Because of the excellent results Pastor Kim and his wife saw in their children, they began encouraging other families to homeschool. Pastor Kim’s church now has a thriving homeschool academy, which currently supports approximately 50 homeschooling families.

The Excellence of Homeschool Worldview Curriculum

The second story is about Pastor Lee Je Hun. Pastor Lee began homeschooling three years ago and quickly saw this as not only a new education program for his children, but also as a ministry calling for himself. As he began to examine Christian worldview-based curriculum from America that the Bealls had provided, he was astounded by the depth of these teachings. He remarked, “What middle school and high school students are studying in these homeschool curriculum surpasses what theological education I received in seminary.” With his wife and two children, Pastor Lee has dedicated himself to assisting their church of 10,000 people with becoming a “model church” with the goal of supporting and developing thousands of homeschool families across the nation.

FMI’s Homeschooling Ministry – American Homeschool Families Helping Korean Families

One of FMI’s goals is to support the development of homeschooling in South Korea by connecting American homeschoolers to Korean homeschoolers. The Bealls have helped several American families move to South Korea, and they spend an extended period of time discipling South Korean families through weekly co-op and training meetings. They also help South Korean families travel to America for home-stay experiences and are encouraging families and homeschool graduates to help with tutoring Korean students through an online program called Homeschool Friend.

Legal Climate

Currently, homeschooling is not technically permitted by law in South Korea—but neither is it prohibited!

Homeschoolers have been able to peacefully remove their children from public school without any government intervention. The South Korean government’s new 2008 administration has announced plans to legalize homeschooling by 2010. Despite this good news, it is not yet clear what restrictions and requirements might be attached to this legalization. Chris Klicka of HSLDA plans to provide model legislation and to assist the process.

The current Christian homeschool population is estimated to exceed 1,000 families; the total homeschool population is about double that number.

For more information about homeschooling in South Korea, see www.hslda.org/hs/international/SouthKorea.

You can provide financial support to the homeschooling movement in South Korea by donating to the Home School Foundation’s International Homeschooling Fund. For more information, go to http://www.homeschoolfoundation.org/funds/international.asp.

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