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What About Schooling (and Home Schooling) in Ecuador?

Posted in: Everything Expat, Living in Ecuador, Our Perspective, Traveling Kids

Home Schooling SuppliesIf you have children and are planning a move abroad you’re probably concerned about their schooling.

For us this was not a very big concern, because we homeschool our daughter.

We’ve always had the desire to move to a foreign country, and homeschooling makes for good mobility. We prefer homeschooling for many other reasons as well.

We Were “Homeschoolers” Before Moving to Ecuador

We are from Nova Scotia, Canada and their rules are very simple. We choose the curriculum and have it approved by the School Board, then at the end of every school year we send in a progress report via email.

When we moved we brought two years worth of curriculum with us. And now we ask our family and friends to bring the next years curriculum for us when they visit. We can also order online and have it shipped directly here to Cuenca.

What About Learning Spanish?

You may be wondering how our daughters Spanish is progressing because she’s not in the school system here. Well, I’m jealous!

Her fluency blows mine out of the water; children learn language so much faster than we do. She is 9 and does a lesson in Pimsleur Spanish everyday. (Get a free Pimsleur lesson from Audible) I include Spanish lessons in our curriculum, and we have Spanish books that we read and discuss together.

She also picks up an incredible amount just from being out and about and with her Spanish friends.

This is a concern for most expat families as they plan their relocation.

If you’re into homeschooling you don’t have to worry about your child picking up the language, they’ll pick it up faster than you will.

There are many private schools here as well. But if you do homeschooling make sure to look up the laws regarding homeschooling for your province or state before moving.

More reading: Schooling Your Expat Kids in Ecuador

Your Turn

What are your schooling plans?

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Meet the Author

Dena Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. She is a travel blogger and content marketer. She is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with GringosAbroad.

14 comments… add one
  • Vanessa Sep 21, 2019, 4:22 pm

    I know exactly the feeling. I have two children 7 and 4, thats why my husband and i opened Roots and Wings Alternative School in Ayampe. We are in our second year. If anyone has any questions about the school, the curriculm please feel free to contact me

  • Gigi Sep 5, 2019, 3:00 pm

    I’m still not completely clear.
    Is homeschooling legal and encouraged for foreign residents? It’s really hard to make decisions with conflicting answers.

    Secondly, anyone know of a school that had the shortest school day near Loja?

    We’d teach our kids daily regardless

    • Bryan Haines Sep 6, 2019, 8:33 am

      It was when we lived there – no trouble at all. We knew locals who also homeschooled their kids with the approval of the local education authority.

      But as with many bureaucratic matters, things tend to change over time. It would probably be a good idea to check with your immigration lawyer and have them look into the current specifics.

  • Michelle Mar 19, 2012, 11:39 pm

    Hi Bryan and Dena,
    Thanks for your enthusiastic and informative blogging. Very enjoyable!
    We’ve homeschooled our kids and they are ready for a social, school experience in Cuenca. Have you made any connections at the public or private high schools there? We’re looking for an English speaking contact if possible, for this complex discussion.
    Thank you, Michelle

    • Bryan Haines Mar 21, 2012, 10:53 am

      Hello Michelle – we haven’t had experience with public/private schools. Some expats do send their kids, but we are pretty out of touch. We still homeschool our daughter and aren’t planning on stopping.

      Sorry I can’t help on this question.


  • Wayne Dec 27, 2011, 7:04 pm

    It sounds like homeschooling is popular….since we have never homeschooled our 5 and 10 year olds which schools there are other expats happy with?
    Also, please advise regarding a home stay for when we get there?

  • Victoria miller Dec 3, 2011, 11:14 pm

    I am a chilean living in Ecuador (guayaquil), and I am also considering homeschooling. My child (four) does not really “blend in” with the mostly catholic and traditional education here. I would be thrilled to talk with you, since you also seem to be looking at the bright side of things much more than me! 😀
    Anyhow, big hug, take care and lots of love from Guayas!

  • JimC Apr 13, 2011, 11:16 am

    We just found out that Alberta has a great distance learning program. Not sure about other provinces. We'll have them registered before the end of the school year. One of the many hoops we need to jump through to get to Ecuador.

    • Marcelle Redmond Feb 2, 2015, 5:46 pm

      Dear JimC, we are from Alberta and are looking at moving to Ecuador some time this year. We homeschool our son who is currently in kindergarten. I have been looking at a few school boards to find which is more appropriate for long distant learning. What program are you referring to above? I will be thankful for any advise you have on this matter. Thank you

  • Tiffany Feb 3, 2011, 10:28 pm

    My husband and father recently visited Ecuador and fell in love with Cuenca. We are considering a multi-generation family relocation (that was a mouthful). The biggest concern is my two children, 7 & 8. Both love school and are excellent students but have very different strengths/weaknesses. Our state homeschooling system is a mess and many people end up quickly putting their kids back in either public or private school. Although we have never tried it, I have several friends who have and were not happy. All that being said, my work is also an issue as I will still be employed while in Ecuador and working by computer, etc. My husband will also likely seek some form of employment which won't leave much time for schooling at home. I am not having much luck at all finding information on the schooling options available. Do you have any insights, contacts or links to useful information? We are coming for a month this summer but I would like to learn as much as I can before we get our hearts set on something that just isn't an option due to this issue.


    • Barb Hemphill Aug 4, 2011, 10:17 am

      I am in the same situation as you. We just visited and we are planning our move in a year or so. We will have a first grader and are looking into school options. Have you found any private schools? Also, you mentioned a multi-generational move. What type of visa are you using for the different family member? Hope you enjoyed Cuenca as much as we did!

  • Leigh Jan 3, 2011, 4:00 pm

    Hi Dena – we homeschool our 13 year old son and are hoping to relocate to Ecuador from Houston. Do you know if the attitude all over the country is lax towards us gringos and homeschooling? Any input would be appreciated. Also, what type of things do you recommend we bring as we won't be able to get them there? I'm still in the research phase right now. Hope to meet you one day.

    • Bryan Haines Jan 4, 2011, 10:08 am

      Hi Leigh, Denas computer is on the fry – so I’m filling in for now . . .

      From what we understand, the government doesn’t care. Some friends who moved here over 3 years ago were told that they had to enroll their kids in school -which they did for 6 months, and then took them out. At least at that school, they weren’t happy with the quality of the education. When we arrived, nothing was said, and we just continued schooling our daughter.

      You won’t find any English books. There are a few bookstores that sell English, but we only supplement with these. We order from Amazon and they ship both mail and DHL. When visitors come, we have them bring a new shipment of books. Aside from English materials and electronics you can get everything here. Of course there are exceptions, and somethings are quite expensive but it’s almost all here.

      Thanks for your comment.


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