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Homeschool Experiences

Home schooling has been a popular discussion on the Pure Portugal – Living the Good Life facebook group recently.  So here, my children write about their experiences of growing up being home schooled in Portugal.

Sid’s Story: My Experience of Growing Up in Portugal

Growing up on a small-holding in rural Portugal was brilliant. I spent most of my days exploring the countryside, skateboarding and helping out on the farm. Being a free-range child really allowed me to discover who I am without the constant pressures of modernized society. Properly experiencing another culture was a great benefit and we also had a lot of wwoofers visit the farm which as a child/teenager it is really beneficial meeting people from so many different cultures with so much knowledge. When I came back to England to get an academic education I found that other people my age did not have the same life skills I had and most did not have any idea what they wanted to do in life. I have found that whilst carrying out my chores on the land I actually unintentionally learnt a lot about land management. This experience found me gardening work in England, now I have been happily working as a gardener for 6 years whilst studying in academia and carrying out much of my own self-directed study. I’m now a few months away from finishing my degree in ethnobotany. My next plans are to do a permaculture diploma, advanced diploma in landscaping and set up an edible landscaping business. I intend on eventually buying land and home-educating my children in the same way I was brought up.

2015 Prince of Wales Trophy for Sustainable Horticulture

Aliss’s Story: Home School and School in Portugal

When we moved to Portugal I was just coming up to my teens. After traveling around Europe for a few years and seeing lots of different places and culters. I was very keen to learn Portuguese and about their culture, so after about a year of living there I decided to take myself off to a Portuguese school, I had never been to school so was different and strange but I was determined to learn Portuguese. I did about a year at school just enough to learn Portuguese and how to write and read Portuguese and add more to my experience. Living on a farm was amazing, having that opportunity to learn how to be self-sufficient, growing food, caring for hens, horses and ducks. Also learning different ways to preserve foods.
I felt so lucky to have such an amazing start to my teens and adult years, coming away with so many life skills and a second language. I then moved back to the UK just as I was becoming an adult with my Portuguese son, as it was hard to get on my own two feet as a single mum. I still like to go back and visit, and if I could do it all again I would 🙂


Aliss and her son Jorge, they are now part of a bigger family with Aliss’s partner James and his son Tyler, and live in the Devon countryside.

Max’s Story

Growing up in Portugal the way we did was an amazing experience and at the time I probably took it for granted. However, in hindsight these were the best years of my life! Home-schooling gave me a freedom of expression, the choice of being able to learn what I wanted and definitely helped shape me into the person I am today. My brother and I spent most of our time skateboarding, exploring the surrounding land, villages and towns, meeting and making new friends, learning the language, getting involved in different projects on our property and getting into bits of various mischief I’m sure most teenagers our age do.

Since leaving and returning to the UK to study I have earned distinctions in Art & Design at college and received a degree in Professional Photography at university. After my degree show I was picked up by the interior design company ‘Mineheart‘ as an intern, I have since been employed and work for them on a freelance basis. I spent three months travelling around the world a couple of years ago with a close friend I grew up with in Portugal, which was one of the greatest things I have ever done and I intend to do again someday, I believe my love for travel stems from the upbringing I had. I also spent a year building professional skateparks across the country and abroad last year which is something I would love to do full time but the jobs are not frequent enough. I am now trying to further pursue my career as a photographer having just applied for food photography job.

One day I intend to return to Portugal and live the same way I grew up, growing my own food, living with my friends, building my own skatepark, having a little family and living happily ever after 🙂


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10 thoughts on “Homeschool Experiences

  1. Loved reading this! We are homeschooling our children in Abu Dhabi but are keen to move to Portugal. (I am Portuguese and my husband New Zealander). Is there a network of homeschoolers in Portugal? Which parts of Portugal are more popular with homeschooling families, do you know?
    Thanks for sharing your experiences

  2. I would love to get more information on homeschooling in Portugal. My children are currently in the public system and also have been in the private system but none of us are happy with the current system and would like to start homeschooling asap.

    1. Hi Julie, we’re in the same boat! How are you getting on? Our kids are 13,12 and 10 and really struggling with Portuguese schooling.

  3. Really need help regarding homeschooling. ..can anyone help please
    Phone numbers to call would be a miracle
    Warm regards

  4. Hi
    Loved this article. I currently homeschool my children in South Africa and am wanting to spend more time in Portugal, I am Portuguese but born and raised in Africa. We have a network of homeschoolers here and hope to connect with other homeschoolers in the Algarve.

  5. Hi,
    We would love to connect with other families in Portugal. We are a Brazilian and moving to Portugal from Uk this year with our 4.5 yro son probably in the Center/South Portugal area. Would love to join the local support groups.

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