For the second year in a row, children from Zaporizhzhia have not been able to study in-person in their schools: constant enemy shelling and proximity to the front-line create dangerous conditions for classical forms of education.

At the beginning of 2023, parents from Zaporizhzhia, tired of inadequate online education, endless air alarms that interrupt lessons, the educational process that fell on the shoulders of families, started the movement “Save Zaporizhzhia education”. Thanks to their efforts, some schools decided not to interrupt classes during the alarm, but not all of them.

However, Zaporizhzhia online education aka “forced homeschooling” is currently not a convenient or high-quality tool. That is why it is valuable to consider the experience of a Zaporizhzhia family that long before the full-scale war gave preference to family education for their younger children.

In these conditions, it is an alternative to classical schooling.

“Currently, in our front-line city, school education is available only virtually. Neither the program nor the teachers have adapted to this format. Therefore, schoolchildren and their parents are left almost alone with the official program. At the same time, they are constantly under pressure and external control from schools. It seems nonsense to me: minimum help, maximum control,” says Olga Fanahei-Baranova, a mother of four children.

We talked to Olga, an activist of the alternative education movement in Ukraine, about her own background in the issue of homeschooling.

“Within the school curriculum, I would advise you to set priorities and follow them. You should take easier the things, which you consider not very important in your family. Reduce the pressure. Put effort into the significant, not everything. No person can be interested in all subjects, and no one will need them in full. If you overcome the groundless fear of irrevocably missing something significant, it will become much easier to live,” – Olga emphasizes.

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Від Eva Mironova