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Homeschooling in Mexico as American Expats with Four Kids

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. That means I receive a small payment if you enroll in some of the homeschooling programs listed below using my link :-) Thank you for supporting Los Gringos Locos!

UPDATED 6/16/19 – In this article, let’s answer some frequently asked questions, “How are you homeschooling in Mexico?” and “Can you homeschool in Mexico?” Below you will find the answers to both questions along with some very helpful links for homeschooling families living abroad in Mexico or various other countries, as well as homeschoolers living in their home countries. Let’s get started!

Homeschooling in Mexico as American Expats with Four Kids

Is Homeschooling in Mexico Legal?

In short, yes. In long, read this article, ¿Qué tan legal es la educación en casa (homeschooling)? If you can’t read Spanish, don’t worry. Use Google to translate the text into English. Although the translation may not be completely accurate it will be good enough for you to find your answer about the legality of homeschooling in Mexico.

As far as our own experience, we have not had any problems with homeschooling our children in our community of Uruapan, Michoacan, Mexico. We have lived in Uruapan for four years and most people know “la familia de los gringos con cuatro hijos”. We are commonly asked if our children attend school in Mexico and when we reply, “Tenemos escuela en la casa”, no one ever gives us the stink eye.

Accredited Homeschooling or Homeschooling On Your Own?

We DO NOT use accredited schools for elementary or middle school education. Personally, we find that paying for an expensive accredited elementary or middle school programs is unnecessary for our family. That doesn’t mean it won’t be important to you, so do your research and make the best choice for your tribe.

I keep track of our kid’s progress and record it every year. It’s easy. If you Google “homeschool progress report templates” you will pull up a ton of pdf forms that you can purchase or use free of charge to keep accurate records of your kid’s education. I keep a paper trail because if we are ever asked for proof of education by the government or for entry to college, etc… we will have it.

From The Shop

Homeschooling in Mexico On Your Own – How?

Our kid’s educational needs change as they grow. As our kids change we change our homeschooling methods. I wrote an article several years ago, (Read it HERE), and after reading it you can see how much difference a few years can make in one’s homeschooling methods.

Brad and I highly prefer online programs but at times we have to supplement them with one-on-one teaching. Especially with the boys who are still learning all the basics. This is what our kids use today:

Alexis, age 15, is a fast learner, self-disciplined, and loves to read. She is enrolled in Penn Foster, (Click Here for info), an accredited high school program. We had no problems enrolling her despite her NOT attending an accredited elementary or middle school. She will graduate with a certified US diploma. We pay $69 a month but there are other payment plans available as well. She is on track to graduate early and at that point, we will possibly consider Penn Foster Career School or College which she can also do online and at home.

Taylor, age 14, has ADHD and dyslexia, is very creative, easy-going, and loves videos. Penn Foster requires reading but I think it is good for Taylor because let’s face it, like it or not, reading is part of life. She would have preferred video classes but for us, that wasn’t an option. We opted to continue with Penn Foster for high school due to the manageable cost. Taylor signed up for Penn Foster with her sister’s referral link and Alexis received a $50 credit. That was a nice perk of having two kids close in age ;-)

Sawyer, age 8, also has ADHD and dyslexia. We have had the hardest time teaching him to read, although he excels in math. After trying so many programs and failing to find something suitable for him… we finally stumbled upon Reading Kingdom, (Click Here for Info). It is fantastic and I highly recommend it! The program is designed to help kids with learning disabilities. Sawyer also uses Adapted Mind which teaches him math skills in a fun and unique way. We are using Adapted Mind without cost at this time but we pay $20 a month for Reading Kingdom.

Tristan, age 6, likes learning but tends to get bored easily. He completed preschool and now we are playing learning games and I am getting ready to purchase a workbook from Amazon for Kindergarten. I don’t know if he will need Reading Kingdom like Sawyer. We will have to wait and see how he does when he finishes Kindergarten. I love Reading Kingdom so much, chances are I will enroll him as well.

Homeschooling in Mexico, or anywhere for that matter, requires keeping a close eye on your child’s progress. Even if you use online programs like we do you still have to make sure they are doing their work and passing their classes. Basically, make sure your kid is learning. They are all different so we try not to compare but they should be learning one way or another.

 

What Type of Homeschoolers are You?

I like to say we are eclectic homeschoolers. We value reading, writing, and arithmetic with a heavy emphasis on lifelong learning and worldschooling. We are very easy-going homeschoolers and our most important pursuit as parents of four is to raise happy, kind, responsible, and spiritually-satisfied adults.

Our kids ALL help with household chores; we are immersed in the Spanish language and culture; we travel as often as possible; we study the Bible together as a family and endeavor to apply it in our lives; we love and care for a dog, three cats, and a turtle; we have close friends from Canada, the US, Mexico, and Japan; we are electronic nuts and the kids enjoy playing Minecraft online; and we make A LOT of mistakes but we keep trying and we love each other. For us, all of this is part of our homeschooling method.

In Conclusion, Here are a Few More Helpful Links…

  • ABCMouse – Both our boys used this program as toddlers. They both enjoyed the educational games and videos.
  • Book Adventure – Assign your kids a book and then have them take a quiz to make sure they actually read it ;-)
  • Duolingo – Great for learning a variety of languages including Spanish.
  • HSLDA – Got legal homeschooling questions? Go here first.
  • Miss Humblebee’s – Super cute and fun preschooling program. Tristan completed this before starting Kindergarten.
  • MobyMax – Worked for a while until the common-core curriculum became overbearing.

Some online programs are free and others have a fee. After much experience, we find when you pay for a program you tend to get better records of your child’s progress within the program. For three children, (Tristan isn’t included because we teach him right now), taking online classes and tutoring it totals $160 a month. The prices I quoted in this article are in US Dollars.

If you have any more questions about homeschooling in Mexico please leave them in the comment section below. I will answer them as best as I can and if necessary I will incorporate them into this article. My goal is to keep this article updated with our latest homeschooling in Mexico adventures so that I can help all you families out there that are considering a move or a plunge into homeschooling :-) Signing off, Tina

Originally published February 4, 2019

21 thoughts on “Homeschooling in Mexico as American Expats with Four Kids

  1. Shar-ann Simpson says:

    Great article! Mexico is lax in the education of their children. When I was interpreting most of my patients from Mexico had only completed third grade. Most would tell me their parents took them out of school to work. On a rare occasion I would meet someone who had finished 8 years in school and they told me highschool had to be paid for so because of poverty most did not go. It is a sad situation. Thank you so much for sharing what you are doing there is always a new tidbit I get from you that can help our family.

  2. Mortiz says:

    How long have you lived in Mexico? Do you feel your children have adjusted well and made friendships there? How well do you think they will adjust to American colleges after high school?

    I ask because my husband would love to move to Mexico but I am somewhat against the idea. We have a 15 year old and 4 year old.

    • Tina Marie Ernspiker says:

      We have been in Mexico for 5.5 years. I think the kids are doing great. Our oldest seems to have had a harder time than the others, but this year she is really expanding her horizon and doing much better. She will be 16 in October. The kids made friends that speak both English and Spanish. The Spanish friendships force them to use their Spanish so that’s a plus, I think.

      As far as college, we don’t plan on sending our kids to college unless it is something online. I know this is not “normal” but we don’t feel it is necessary for a successful life personally, spiritually, or financially. Our continual goal to raise our children to be happy, kind, spiritual, and responsible adults :-)

  3. Robin says:

    Hi Tina,
    I lived in Cabo San Lucas for a few years and then came back to the states because my 11 year old was struggling at the international school there (he had major issues learning the language). We have been back in the states less than a year and my husband and I are going crazy… Cabo is our home! My biggest fear is that if we homeschool my son he will have no interaction with other kids (he is an only child). I have searched all over for a homeschool group in Cabo but have had no luck. My question is, do you know of a site where homeschoolers can meetup for play dates (and yes, I already looked into “Meetup.com”, lol. If there is none, what are your suggestions? Thanks in advance for your help. -Robin

    • Tina Marie Ernspiker says:

      Hey Robin! The first group that comes to my mind is Families in Mexico on Facebook.
      As for our family, these things help our kids with interaction:
      1 There are four of them so they play and fight among themselves ;-)
      2 Traveling whenever possible
      3 Their grandparents and aunt and uncle live here as well
      4 Keeping up with friends from the States via Internet
      5 Spending lots of time in our Bible ministry
      6 Letting them play with the neighbor kids on occasion and forcing them to use their Spanish
      7 Encouraging them to make friends with the Spanish kids in the Spanish Bible congregations (ours is English) and again forcing them to speak Spanish ;-)
      I hope this gives you some ideas… if not I think that Facebook group will help. Have a great week!

  4. Keri Turner says:

    We are thinking of travelling to Oaxaca or Merida around Christmas. We would love to meet up with some other homeschoolers! Any idea how/where to find others interested? Thanks for your help! Enjoyed your blog. ;)

  5. Eserna says:

    i have tried emailing you regarding some homeschooling questions that I have but I recevived am email saying it was invalid. Please email me I have some questions that i would love to be answered. Thanks !

  6. Sarah Magana says:

    Hi we just moved to Mexico from the u.s and I’m totally lost on how to start homeschooling my kids theyre 9 and 11 ..please write me back !

  7. Melanie says:

    Hi, thanks for this article it was really helpful, I’m a sophomore and am currently in a school in the United States a public school not home school, but my family is moving to Mexico. And i know there are schools in Mexico but I want to finish high school with a U.S Diploma. So I’m looking into online homeschools in English I can do in Mexico. My question is when it comes for state testing and end of the year test to see if you pass do you have to fly back to the states or Is there a designated place you go test IN Mexico?!

    • Tina Marie Ernspiker says:

      Hi Melanie! I got your message on Instagram and I sent you a response :-) As far as testing, I will answer that here too for anyone else who asks… If you live in Mexico and you get your diploma through a high school like Penn Foster, you won’t have to do any state testing to my knowledge. We used our Texas address when we signed up for Penn Foster and it has been a breeze. My girls have not had to do any state testing and the oldest is almost ready to graduate :-)

  8. Chas says:

    Hola Hermana, I too am an American living in Mexico. My husband is from here, so homeschooling is new to him. Thank you for this awesome article. Any more suggestions on homeschooling?

  9. Chastity says:

    I am a sister. I live in Merida, Yucatan. My daughter will be 3, that is when school starts here. I wanted to get a jumpstart on homeschooling her.

  10. Angie says:

    Hello, I am a single mom of 3 my oldest daughter is 9, I have an adhd 8 year with a learning disability as well and a 3 year old in Early Head start right now in the US. I am working very hard to be able to move to mexico once I am able to purchase a home I am hoping soon. I def want my kids to be able to receive their education while we live in mexico through the US. I am very close to finishing my bachelors as well and will like to re-validate it in mexico. I have lots of questions I would like to home school my children in mexico and also be able to make a living without having to work 12 hour days for 10-15 dollars a day. I will have 25 thousand pesos coming in from a rental in the us but would like to make additional income to live comfortably. I really just want to move because I have gone through a lot I would like to be able to teach my children a different lifestyle and would like to relax and not have to live on the go go everyday. Also I would like to have more time to get involved in a ministry. Can you please email me.

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