Apr 19, 2015

Change can’t be made illegal

Sometimes, when there is no alternative, we have to break the law to change the law. We might be temporarily illegal but “change can’t be made illegal” as a friend said!

Whether we want to homeschool, unschool or create alternative, natural and community based schools, we do not have this choice in Greece.

Education in Greece – Wikipedia

"All levels are overseen by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. The Ministry exercises centralised control over state schools, by prescribing the curriculum, appointing staff and controlling funding. Private schools also fall under the mandate of the Ministry, which exercises supervisory control over them. At a regional level, the supervisory role of the Ministry is exercised through Regional Directorates of Primary and Secondary Education, and Directorates of Primary and Secondary Education operate in every Prefecture. Tertiary institutions are nominally autonomous, but the Ministry is responsible for their funding, and the distribution of students to undergraduate courses. Currently the Greek government only recognises the degree programmes offered by the state-run universities although there are several private universities and colleges offering degree programmes that are validated and overseen by American, British and other European universities. The Greek government is pressured to recognise these overseas programmes.

The Greek education system has been criticised over the years by Greek people for various issues, like difficulty levels of the exams during Panhellenic Examinations, number of teaching hours in schools etc. It has ranked last among the EU countries."


Through living and experiencing the current educational system in Greece, many of us feel the urgency of change knocking at our door, as our children suffer, teachers are underpaid and uninspired and parents are left with no rights and no alternatives. Sometimes, “taking the law in our own hands” is the only way.

I have been illegally homeschooling my youngest daughter for three years now, observing a happy, lively, creative and mature human being grow, learn and enjoy life. There is no separation in our minds between learning and play, there are no set roles, as we learn from each other, there is no authority, pressure or isolation from our community, society, other children and/or activities.

As I write this article, the social services have called to investigate our home and situation, due to an accusation made against us, that my daughter is not attending public (or private) compulsory schooling. I have decided to fight for my parental rights to choose how to educate my children but also to help others do the same, as well as change the current Greek educational system, which is not serving anyone.

A “silent” but authentic movement has been accelerating all over Greece over the past few years, which is now getting ready to explode. The case against me is not just my case but our opportunity to DO something about what we all want, all that we have been discussing about and sharing with one another; all equally disappointed with the current situation, which is not getting any better. We need to come together and we are! We need to create one body, one voice, one case. We will go as far as we need to!

There are others homeschooling in Greece too. It’s time to speak up! There are those who wouldn’t choose homeschooling but want the freedom of choice to decide how to educate their children. And there are those who want to see a full change in education, whether they have children or not; are teachers, experts, grandparents, young adults just completed school… we want you all with us.

Please send us your name, email and your experience, reason for supporting or your point of view, so that we can connect, stand by each other and create the education and the society that we want.

Xristiana Sophia


  1. My children attend Greek public schools. My son is 10 yrs old and my daughter is 12yrs. I myself grew up in England and in a British school system. My parents both worked in schools and a lot of my attention has been drawn to different methods of teaching and teaching styles that allow for children of all kinds to learn, understanding that all children are different and learn best in different ways.
    My son struggles with the system here, he is intelligent and yet the method of teaching here leaves him feeling 'dumb' to use his own expression. I constantly have to reassure him that he is not 'stupid' and it breaks my heart that he could possibly believe that he is. He is not 'stupid' or 'dumb' the system is. I tell him this in the hope that somehow I can prevent his self esteem from being ripped apart any more than it is. He is not alone, many children will come out of such a system believing that they are dumb and therefore worthless. The school system has let them down. Rather then supporting them, encouraging them and making learning fun it becomes a chore, a burden, something that somehow destroys their childhood rather than enhancing it. My son has described his school as being like a prison, which rather says a lot I think.
    It is not difficult to educate children and I am not altogether anti-school, schools can provide an opportunity for many beneficial lessons and experiences to be had. However when the system only caters towards a few that are wired to learn in that one particular manner and does not put any importance on subjects such as art, physical education, music or more importantly on originality then many are left feeling unappreciated, unseen, ignored and therefore unworthy of the society that they live in.
    I believe that teachers should be given the opportunity to come up with their own ideas regarding how to present lessons thus giving them the freedom to be passionate and enthused about the work that they are doing rather then bored and robotic.
    I see the system here slowly chips away at both the teachers and the taught leaving both uninspired and unappreciated to damaging levels.
    Given a choice I would send my children to a different type of school but there are no different types and that option is not available (yet), so I would, infact, rather that they didn't go to school at all as the detriment far exceeds the gain from the experience. It is our human right to be allowed to choose that which we as parents believe is best for our children, just as we are free to choose what they eat, what they do and other aspects that effect their well being and health. Schooling has a massive influence on our children's well being and their psychological health which they will carry forth into adulthood. We should be able to choose. As the school system is now and because the freedom to choose has been taken away from us, with regards to the effect it has on our children and their state of mind, it is the same as the law saying that we have to raise our children on a diet of hamburgers and chips, it is that damaging to their health on many levels and we are not given a choice to do any different.

    1. Your experience is unfortunately the same as nearly all schoolers in the Greek educational system, as you know, I'm sure. I still haven't found a happy, inspired, enthusiastic child who goes to primary school... later on, they just adapt, submit and finally accept! Like we have done!

      It is an insult that I am incapable as a parent to know the best for my child. It is an insult to consider the parent a criminal because she/he will not conform to injustice, lack of freedom and outdated limiting laws. We need to come together and stop allowing, stop fearing and demand our rights. We need to take action to change all that we want to see in our world.

      Please remember to add your name to one of our growing lists of supporters to win our case... my case is our case, our children, our future.

      Thank you Esme... your comment saddens me but also inspires me to move on!


    1. If you support homeschooling in cases of bullying, then I'm afraid there wouldn't be very many children and teens left behind to attend forced schooling. Bullying is not only physical...

      If you want to support our legal case for children's rights in receiving an education, not "compulsory schooling" and the right for parents to choose, given real, alternative educational options, kindly send us your name and mail via the contact form.

      Thank you for educating the public on autism and helping change discriminations.

    2. I agree with you Xristiana, bullying comes in many forms and not all of them are recognisable.
      Our children are forced to fit into a 'one size fits all' box and when they are unable to or they fight it then they are 'labeled' as being incapable, unfit and dysfunctional in some way, leaving them with a very low self esteem.
      The point is that we should be given the freedom to choose whether we want our children to be exposed to this kind of experience or not.