Detour: Homeschooling in Luxembourg


We are moving to Europe!

Luxembourg to be exact.  No it is not in Germany, although by the sound of its name it would seem that it is a city in Germany.  Luxembourg is in fact a country of it’s own and the World’s only Grand Duchy (a constitutional monarchy).  “But why can’t we see it on the map?” you might ask.  Well the obvious reason is because it is REALLY small (55 miles long x 35 miles wide), smaller than the size of the state of Rhode Island!  But if you look directly at the heart of where Germany, France, and Belgium meet, you will find Luxembourg.

And to answer your next question, Yes.  Homeschooling is legal in Luxembourg.  In fact homeschooling is legal in most European countries but definitely not as popular or common as it is becoming in the United States.  So yes, we will be continuing to homeschool while living there.

Foreign Language x 3

Luxembourg is a trilingual country.  Their national languages are Luxembourgish, French, and German.  Yes Luxembourgish is a language.  And although it is influenced by both the French and German languages it is a unique language.  For example here is how you say hello in all three languages…

Luxembourgish = “moien” (pronounced MOY-en)

French = “bonjour”

German = “hallo”

We will be learning as much as we can of all three languages.  Especially since we will have native speakers to talk to and practice with.

I was told recently, from a well intending acquaintance, that the kids would not learn these languages if they did not attend school.  She was adamant that school is the only place they would be able to learn a foreign language.  As much as I value and respect her opinion I have to disagree.  I believe you can learn anything through homeschooling.

One of the tools that makes homeschooling successful when used appropriately, and utilized to it’s fullest, is the internet.  There is so much media out there for language learning via youtube alone!  Not to mention books, newspapers, magazines, movies, etc.. And best of all, new friends!

I am also excited to test out the principles in “The Pocketbook Guide to Learning Languages”, written by my husband Kenneth Trent.

Pit Stop in Europe

Luxembourg is a relatively central location in Europe.  Most of it’s major cities are simply a train ride, car ride, or short plane ride away.  We are excited to be able to study European art, history, cultures, music, geography, and governments first hand.  Field trip vacations here we come!

Luxembourg to Paris, France = 234 miles

Luxembourg to Frankfurt, Germany = 143 miles

Luxembourg to Salzburg, Austria = 421 miles

Luxembourg to Brussels, Belgium = 136 miles

Luxembourg to Zurich, Switzerland = 267 miles

Luxembourg to Venice, Italy = 596 miles

Luxembourg to Barcelona, Spain = 719 miles

Luxembourg to London, England = 365 miles

A Top Location in the Corporate World

Luxembourg has one of the highest standards of living in the World.  It is a prosperous country due to industry, exports, low unemployment, its central European location and liberal taxation laws.  The country also enjoys a low unemployment rate, only 5.7% in April 2015.

We owe this opportunity to Amazon.  My husband Ken has worked for Amazon’s US headquarters, in Seattle, since 2012.  He recently accepted a role at their European headquarters which is located in Luxembourg.  In fact it is also the European location for other well known companies such as Skype, Paypal, and Microsoft.

Wow, what a unique country to live in.  Thank you Amazon!

Addi, Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehen!

As Mark Twain wrote,

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”  -Innocents Abroad

Goodbye little corner.  You will be missed.


4 Comments

  1. Stephanie Standage said:

    I am so excited for you to have this experience! I’ve wanted to do something like this for SO long! Maybe it’s in our future. Who knows? In the meantime, I’ll be excited to hear what adventures you have!

    July 26, 2015
    Reply
    • Liza Trent said:

      Thank you Stephanie! Maybe it is in your future. You never know, life is so unexpected. Before this opportunity I had never even been outside of the North Western United States! I never thought it would be something I would do.

      July 28, 2015
      Reply
  2. Janet C said:

    Hi Liza!

    I am not sure if you still have this blog, but I was excited to come upon it. We may be relocating to Luxembourg as well (also with the same employer as yours). We have a 13 year old daughter in the 8th grade. We have been ‘homeschooling’ her since 4th grade, and we would love to be able to continue upon that path (especially since we will only be abroad for a few years). She takes classes at our local homeschool resource center as well. We are not well versed in Foreign Languages. She has been studying French at home, but is still a beginner.
    I would love to talk with you and find out how your move went (not sure if you are still there or not) and how you navigated the “homeschool’ path in a foreign country. I would love for her to become immersed in the culture and meet new freinds there. Are there homeschool co-ops there, or groups to join for socializing?

    Thank you very much for your time! I welcome any advice that you can give!

    February 20, 2018
    Reply
    • Liza Trent said:

      Sorry for the late response, I do still have this blog although it is on the back burner right now. But I do have big plans for it still.

      As far as homeschooling in Luxembourg, we lived there from 2015-2017 and homeschooled both years. It is to your advantage that you won’t be moving there permanently. Each commune (village) has their own inspector of education and it is up to them to decide if they will allow you to homeschool or not.
      My advice is to either use a US based online program while you are there for your daughters education or have a certified teacher from the US mentor your daughter while you are there. If you can show the inspector that your daughters education is under someone else’s jurisdiction then they will be a lot more lenient on what is required of you as far as educational subjects, languages, tests, etc..

      If you are opposed to using either a program or a mentor, than make sure you get a language tutor while you are there. They will require your daughter to learn German and French. She will be tested in writing and speaking in both. They may let you focus on one language per year though. Also be prepared for all of the small differences in mathematical symbols and measurement, and other nuances in Europe as opposed to the US systems. If you decide to go this route make sure you get a very clear statement from the inspector as to what they require of you and what she will be tested on. We struggled a bit because the communication and information wasn’t very clear on their end as to what they expected of us.

      There are other homeschooling families in Luxembourg. There is a group on Facebook that meets together to do field trips and play dates. The people who run this group are well versed in the laws in Luxembourg and how to get help for what you need. https://www.facebook.com/groups/248275408672476/?ref=search

      HSLDA also has a summary of the homeschool law in Luxembourg. https://hslda.org/hs/international/luxembourg/20110613.asp

      I wish you the best of luck! I hope you do get a chance to go. We loved our time in Europe, especially Lux. I am so glad that we homeschooled there because it allowed my kids the freedom to learn and tour while everyone else was in school. Nothing beats hands on learning and experience.

      If you have any more questions or concerns feel free to email me at liza@lizashomeschooljourney.com!

      March 5, 2018
      Reply

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