The book on home schooling in Cayman

| 14/09/2016

Home schooling is legal in many countries. In the US, parents can home school children and it is regulated by states to varying degrees. The cash allotments are the big draw for home-schooling families: US$1,600 per student for kindergarten through third grade, US$1,800 for grades 4-8, and US$2,000 for grades 9-12. While parents are free to use and teach any curricula they want, they’re not permitted to use the allotment for any religious programme or activity. They do not get cash; they simply get reimbursement for buying the approved materials (just one state as an example).

Is home schooling legal in the Cayman Islands? If so, how is it regulated and funded?

Auntie’s answer: Yes, it is legal to home school your children in Cayman. Having said that, you can’t just set up a desk and chalkboard, buy some books and stationery and start teaching your child in your living room.

The Department of Education Services (DES) regulates home schooling. On its website you will find information on requirements for home schooling along with an application form for a licence to teach your children at home.

Once you get approval to establish a home school, the department does not simply let you get on with it. According to a DES official, the department will conduct home visits throughout the year to check on the programme that has been set up. In addition, parents are required to apply every year for the licence to home school.

As for the funding part of your question, the parents of a child (or children) being home schooled are responsible for any costs of the programme.

The concept is popular enough to have engendered a dedicated organisation, the Cayman Homeschoolers, on home-based education and here is a link to its Facebook page.


Category: Ask Auntie, Education Questions

Comments (11)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The question is – why would you want to? I want my kids to be as smart and as prepared as possible.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My experience as an employer is that home schooled students in Cayman have little knowledge of the “real Cayman”. They seem to have been brought up in a “christian” home school environment which ill prepares them for any real jobs where you have to face the rough and tumble of life that you would have experienced in a school setting.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My understanding is that they have changed the rules and now you have to be a licensed teacher.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Cash back you speak of is news to me I home school 3 kids in The US and sometimes in cayman But there is no cash handouts for doing it

    • Morne Botes says:

      As stated, it varies from state to state and I would think also between counties.

    • Anonymous says:

      Public schools (the USA) are funded by federal and state aid. Expense-driven aid is calculated on a flat rate per student basis. Textbooks, computer software and library materials etc. are examples of expense-driven categories. In some states, school districts reimburse homeschooling parents for buying the approved materials. The money are coming from the state aid. No politics here. The goal is to provide basic education to each child. Each family’s right to factor their specific situation into their decision to homeschool and make the choice that is right for them

      • Anonymous says:

        Good answer, but in my state the Federal and State aid you refer to is called my tax money…whether my child is in public, private, parochial, home school, or out of school, I’m still paying a school tax bill in my state.

  5. Annie says:

    Very helpful answer, but what about exams if you are going the GCSE route. How do you arrange those. Or, are homeschoolers only able to avail themselves of a US system?

    • Morne Botes says:

      Feel free to put your question to the homeschoolers Facebook page for an answer or go speak to the Department of Education who is very helpful.

    • Curious says:

      Also if the dept regulates homeschooling do ALL students have to pass to get a diploma? And what if there are kids that are just kept at home without being home schooled therefore not able to receive their high school diplomas ? Can these parents be reported? What are the repricussions?