Homeschooling, also known as HU (hjemmeundervisning), allows parents or guardians to take charge of a child's education at the primary school level (grades 0-9) in Denmark.
Homeschoolers (HUere) in Denmark are diverse, with various reasons for choosing HU. Some opt for homeschooling because their children don't thrive in traditional educational settings, while others prefer specific teaching methods or combine education with travel (world schooling).
The number of homeschooled children in Denmark has been growing through several years. There are no official numbers, but DR (the Danish Broadcasting Corporation) writes, that there were at least 1,238 homeschooled children in the academic year 2020-2021, accounting for approximately 0.1% of all primary school pupils.
Homeschooling in Denmark is a constitutional right under section 76 of the basic law:
§ 76 All children of compulsory education age have the right to free education in primary school. Parents or guardians who themselves ensure that the children receive an education that can measure up to what is generally required in the primary school, are not obliged to let the children be taught in the primary school.
'Measure up to' does not mean, that the teaching has to be like that of the public primary school (Folkeskolen). Homeschoolers have freedom of method (metodefrihed) and do not come under the public school act (Folkeskoleloven), but the independent school act (Friskoleloven).
Chapter 8, sections 34, 35 and 36 of the Free School Act (Friskoleloven) is used in connection with HU. Homeschooling is also mentioned in Section 33 of the Public Schools Act (Folkeskoleloven).
Supervision and the 'Measure Up Demand'
There are no specific qualifications required for parents or guardians to homeschool their children in Denmark. When parents or guardians choose to homeschool, they notify their municipality in writing. After this, the municipality is responsible for supervising the teaching (tilsyn). The purpose of supervision is to ensure, that the teaching can meet the 'measure up demand' (stå-mål-med-kravet). This is done through inspections.
There are no rules for the frequency of inspections. The practice is often to have inspection visits 1-2 times a year, but some municipalities want more frequent inspections. In the vast majority of cases, homeschoolers have the opportunity to influence how the supervision can take place.
The law does not mention, that the supervision must take place in a specific place, and it can be agreed individually between homeschooler and supervisor. Some home educators prefer that the supervision comes to visit their home, while others prefer the supervision to be carried out during a visit to the superviser's office.
Different Ways of Teaching
Homeschoolers in Denmark do not have to adhere to the national curriculum (Fælles Mål) used in public primary schools (folkeskolen). Some homeschoolers (HUere) choose to use Fælles Mål in some form or capacity. There are however requirements when it comes to subjects to teach.
It is mandatory to teach Danish, arithmetic/mathematics, English, history/social studies and science subjects (depending on grade) to ensure that the teaching can meet the 'measure up demand'.
Teaching must take place in Danish for the subject of Danish. However, for other subjects, parents/educators can teach in whatever language they choose.
There is no requirement for a parent or guardian to be the one who actually does the homeschooling. The teaching can be carried out by e.g. other family members, a paid tutor, a free school under home education legislation or an online school. It is important to know, that the parents/guardians always are legally responsible for the education (and supervision visits), when they have chosen homeschooling.
With very different pupils, home educators also teach differently. Some prefer a schedule and fixed syllabus, others teach interest-based. Some use online schools for all or some subjects. Some buy access to digital learning platforms, others do not. The freedom of method makes room for children's different learning styles and interests.
It is important to note that home educators bear all expenses themselves. Homeschoolers however often have cheaper - sometimes free - access to e.g. museums - just like other educators with students. See how and where here (in Danish).
If you are considering homeschooling in Denmark, we recommend that you read our full FAQ on homeschooling (it's in Danish).