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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 🙂


74 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.

  6. Desperately seeking small homeschooling group who could help me as a single mom homeschool my 12 year old son. His year in a portuguese school has been brutal and left him extremely insecure. Head teacher refused to help and he felt lost and drowning in their system. Any advice welcome.

  7. Hi, would it be possible to also get some info on home ed? We’re originally from the UK but have lived internationally for the last 17 years, our 12 year old has always been home educated and we’d like to continue to do so when we arrive in Portugal but I keep reading conflicting information. Thanks, Hope.

  8. Hi there.. i would really love some more info on home schooling in Portugal and any alternative type schools there are.. we live in the U.K but really want to move to Portugal.. we’d like to have some land to be self sufficient but want to be near a a community for our children to make friends/possibly attend school… if you have any ideas of areas where to start looking for property that would be so helpful… many thanks

  9. Currently we are moving from Spain to Portugal. Our free range 10year daughter, born in Venezuela Dutch parents, collapsed in the Spanish system. Any information about homeschooling or unschooling in Portugal is very welcome ?

    1. Hi Nanette,
      Thank you for your comment!
      I suggest you to check the following links:
      Homeschool Portugal FB Group:
      School system in PT:
      Folha Verde – Natural Education and Community Project –
      And you can ask on our Facebook group:

      Thanks, Raquel
      Pure Portugal Team

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  11. Hello Friends

    What about those of us who are not on Face3book or any other social media, how do we access all thge above mentioned info?

    Looking forward

  12. Hi, i’m would really like to have more information about homeschooling for my three children (6,4,2).we are Dutch but we live in the area pombal/ leiria.

    Thank you,

  13. Hi Raquel, I wondered if you would mind sending me the info you have on homeschooling in Portugal aswell please? Many thanks, Helena

  14. Hi Raquel,
    I am interested in receiving the information regarding homeschooling as well. Also any information about the best public schools in Lisbon area would also be helpful.


  15. Hi,
    I would really like to receive the home school info too. I have 3 children of school age. Would also love to hear about interesting places to live with a young family. Currently in Spain but can’t home school here so looking to move. ?

  16. Hi Raquel,
    I read your posted information with great interest, and my husband and I are increasingly convinced that homeschooling may be the only way we’ll finally see our 9 year old daughter thrive! Could you kindly e-m me the info you have on homeschooling in Portugal and the homeschooling FB group?
    Many thanks for your help! Alex

  17. Hi Raquel Ribeiro

    My name is Quintin clemente
    I am Portuguese. But I grew up in South Africa.
    Me and my wife and child are so badly wanting to move to Portugal. We live in England at the moment.
    Life in England is very stressful and we would life to move to Portugal and homeschool our dauge. My wife works from home. The only peis how would I find work in Portugal.
    Can you send us more information on home schooling in Portugal and any advice to me on how to get work in Portugal.
    Kind regards quintin

  18. Hello Raquel!
    We are currently living in the UK and have been home educating our son for 4 years. Please could I also have the information about home educating in Portugal? I know you have sent it out lots of times already so I really do appreciate your time!
    Many thanks

  19. Hi Raquel
    We are looking at moving to Portugal with our two boys, please could you send me the information regarding home schooling in Portugal.
    Many Thanks

    1. Hello Heather,
      Where are you located? We are moving to the Alentejo and we homeschool our high school age daughter thru an international virtual school . We are very happy with the system! If you would like more info let me know I am happy to help.

  20. Hi my son is 16 and we are looking at home school options for international A level. Struggling to find anything suitable. We are in the Algarve. Would love some help. Many thanks.

  21. Olá Em Coimbra num Colegio de S. José talvez tenha a solução para para o ensino em casa ou outro tipo de ensino diferente do tradicional portugues.

  22. hello…
    my partner and me are looking for informations on homeschooling communities or projects.. we are thinking about moving to portugal with her 12 years old daughter and find a place to give birth to our baby in nature…
    any info could be helpful


  23. Hi there! I am Mary, a mon of three daughters. Together with my husband we homeschool them. At the moment we live in Belgium and we really want to move to Portugal. We would like to get in contact with other homeschoolers in Portugal. Preferably with people who speak English, German, French or Dutch. Our children are between 9 and 13 years. The following questions we would like to ask them are:

    -How frequently are the mandatory exams for homeschoolers? Are there every year?
    – Is it true that the parents that give homeschool must have a university degree? Will a bachelor degree be sufficient?
    – When there are exams: how long does that take? Is that one, two, three days or a week?
    -What subjects will be tested?
    -Is there an adapted exam program for foreigners who do not speak Portuguese yet? Our mothertongue language is Dutch. They learn also English, French and German.
    -And what about the results of the exam? What if my child does not succeed, will it be forced to stop homeschool and go to school instead?

    A lot of questions as you can see, I am sorry about that!

    Kind regards and happy holidays!


  24. Hi there,

    I am moving from the UK to central Portugal with my three primary school ages children and would really appreciate an email with any info you could provide.

    Thank you.

  25. hello everyone:) I am interested in receiving the information regarding homeschooling as well. we have a 10 years old son. Thank you!

  26. Hi Raquel,

    Also interested in home schooling in Portugal, please can you send me some info too ?

    Also do you know whether there are any democratic style schools there? Or alternative ones?



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