Let me warn you. I’m a hot mess right now writing this post about the end of homeschooling in France.
The Proposed End of Homeschooling France
Today, French President Macron announced his “Islamic Separatism” plan, which includes his agenda to end homeschooling in France.
I admit, President Macron’s COVID Confinement speeches brought me to tears. I felt so inspired by his leadership. This is what well-thought out leadership looks like, I thought at the time.
But this news…. I’m utterly shattered.
And I’m not just shattered because I believe ending homeschooling is incompatible with the President’s initiatives to welcome and encourage entrepreneurs, start-ups, and creative talent to build a more competitive France.
Or because I’ve invested days, months, and years of my life into making France a more meaningful part of my homeschooled children’s lives.
The Right to Educate – Ecole a la Maison (Instruction en Famille – ief)
I’m shattered to think that there is a proposed agenda out there that could throw a blanket policy over homeschooling and completely extinguish it.
I’m heartbroken for French families who have chosen to homeschool their children because it’s their right to do so.
As well, I’m devastated for those families who are following the rules, doing the right things, jumping through all of the right hoops, staying above board, and working hard to give their children a healthy, positive homeschooling experience that prepares them for life.
I’m heartbroken for those who are dreaming about homeschooling their child because they believe it’s in their child’s best interest.
Oh, and by the way, the only thing that’s radical about their dream is that they’ve taken time to read, research, and understand the research that shows that homeschoolers tend to be happy, healthier, more creative thinkers, and more prepared for tests, jobs, and life than children schooled in a classroom. What’s more, as Business Insider notes, Homeschooling could be the smartest way to teach kids in the 21st Century. Even one of the world’s most creative innovators, Elon Musk, takes issue with traditional schooling.
I’m also deeply sad and afraid for parents who may be forced to send their children to school to face bullying, self-esteem or learning struggles, educational failure, or worse.
I’m disturbed, like many families, to see the erosion of educational freedom in the beautiful place I’ve chosen as my home away from home. This includes the recent shift to mandatory education for children as young as three. Three? Children are still babies at three–they just want to play and be with their parents or important adults at that age!
It’s hard for me to believe that we’re living in a time where taking away educational rights or the freedom to choose what’s in the best interest of our children are even on the table.
But this isn’t just a French attack on homeschooling. The assault on homeschooling is growing. Recently, Harvard Law School Professor, Elizabeth Bartholet, wrote a disturbing law review article advocating for the end of homeschooling in the United States.
But France has acted. There is now a proposed plan to end homeschooling.
I’m devastated for my own children. They now worry that their homeschooling education, way of life, and life choices could come to a crashing halt. And, I worry that I could have to pull the plug on a French dream.
As many of my regular readers know, I recently took a huge leap to pursue a lifelong dream of spending more time in France with my four homeschoolers. Part of my dream was to connect my homeschoolers to their long-lost French roots. It was also to gain French language skills and a multicultural experience, while soaking up everything French.
Oh, and all while building out an exciting start-up business project that supports President Macron’s Welcome to France Business initiative, and continuing our flexible, travel lifestyle, and homeschooling experience.
I’ve Shaped My Entire Career, Life & New Business Around Homeschooling and Raising Educated, Well Traveled, Kind, Creative, Happy & Confident Children
I have shaped my career and life (and new business) around homeschooling my children.
I never planned to homeschool my children. After all, why homeschool where there are schools?
But then it happened. And one day, I was homeschooling my children. Shortly thereafter, I was asking myself why wouldn’t I homeschool my children?
Along the way, I discovered the joy, magic, and possibility that comes with homeschooling and raising homeschooled children. Sure, in the beginning, I struggled a bit trying to figure out my groove, but once my family and I found it, there was no turning back!
I also read Dumbing Us Down, which definitely helped seal the deal.
I fell in love with homeschooling, the process of homeschooling, and the return on the investment–namely, incredibly talented, naturally curious, driven, ambitious, and eager-to-learn children.
And I’ve met some of the most amazing and inspiring homeschooling families and children along the way.
Homeschooling Opened Up My Eyes
Homeschooling opened up my eyes to the flaws, problems, and unintended consequences of classroom education. Those consequences that include bullying, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, lack of enthusiasm for learning, and job prospects or a future determined by someone else.
I want my children to love learning. Also, I want them to develop genuine confidence in their abilities and strengths.
Importantly, I want them to define their potential and interests for themselves. I don’t want them pigeonholed by school, tests or teachers.
I’m a mom. And I’m a homeschooling mom to three teenagers and one tween. I am well qualified to know that there are always alternatives and creative solutions to problems that will achieve most, if not all, goals.
Out of the box, creative thinking is a natural by-product of homeschooling and interest-led learning. I’ve learned this from my homeschoolers.
And it’s exactly this type of creative problem solving that the world needs more of today.
Sign the Petition
There is now a “No to Compulsory Education 2021“ in France Petition circulating social media and the Internet. You can find the petition here.
update 10/6/20: There is also now the Pétition Pour le maintien des droits à l’éducation familiale following petition opposing the plan to end homeschooling in France. The authors of this petition include: UNIE, Collectif FELICIA, Collectif l’Ecole Est La Maison, PIEE, LAIA, Cours Pi and Hattemer Academy.
Show Support and Be Heard
Homeschooling families, friends, advocates, and cheerleaders around the globe, speak up. Speak out. Support French homeschooling and homeschooling families everywhere.
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The slope is slippery.
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12 thoughts on “The End of Homeschooling in France”
I did not know this was happening right now. As a homeschooling mom (in the U.S.), I share your outrage and sorrow over this. Thank you so much for sharing this post, and bringing this issue to our attention. I will investigate further and do what I can to stand up for the right to homeschool children.
There is no way to sign from the States?
bonsoir. Merci beaucoup d’avoir relayé l’information. Nous, familles françaises, sommes abasourdies depuis l’annonce de Macron, c’est si soudain, si violent pour nous.
Il veut nous enlever une liberté fondamentale, celle de choisir le type d’instruction de nos enfants. Pourtant, elle est inscrite dans la constitution française, et dans les droits de l’homme …mais il s’en fiche.
Si cette loi passe et que vous venez en France, ne restez pas plus de 2 mois + 29 jours, sinon vous devrez vous plier à cette loi vous aussi 🙁
Merci encore de votre soutien, si vous pouviez faire circuler la deuxième pétition sur votre groupe de homeschooling, ça nous aiderait certainement.
Merci d’avoir écrit. S’il vous plaît laissez-moi savoir s’il y a des événements prévus ou des moyens pour les familles d’agir et je les partagerai. Julie
I would like to know how far away from a public school do you need be living, to continue to home educate? live up a mountain far away, or leave france i dont know!
Home education has bern around since the dawn of the human race, heck even before that, some would say it is a god given right, others human rights, well that is very much true. Why fear home schooling now? When it as been around for literally millions of years. Why take away that human right because you simply want to control things, faking away parents right to control and raise their child, which is actually the law here. By law we have to ensure we raise our children, we guide them, teach them, feed them, take care of them, everything for them but this traitor to human rights wants to take that human right away? Quite frankly it is pitiful really. Just because you want everything documented you want to destroy lives, and if you cannot see how it destroys lives then you are in the wrong job and do not deserve to be around children.
Laura, Thank you so much for sharing your perspective.
It is the parent who should be the guiding light of their child not the State. In this way our children remain free to develop individual personality and direction.
I watched a zoom set of conferences in which one of the speakers was Bartholet who said ” because single parents can not homeschool their kids it is not right that any kid should be home schooled. It is all about equity! She also was very rude to another panelist and he called her on it. She had an air that she knew better than anyone else.
Single parents do homeschool! And there are also many single parents who travel the world with their kids, work, and homeschool them at the same time…talk about giving their children the most unbelievable life and educational experiences. The world is indeed the ultimate classroom. While I didn’t see these zoom conferences, I am familiar with Bartholet’s homeschooling views — to which I take issue. Thanks for leaving your comment and visiting the blog, Heather.
I am confused. You were supportive of Macron’s leadership when it came to Covid related mandates? Maybe I misunderstood. If that is the case, it seems entirely inconsistent with your rightful outrage at government overreach regarding children’s education. I am a veteran homeschooler, 26 years, seven children in America. From the get go, we realized how important it was to exercise our freedom, whether concerning health or education decisions. If we are going to give up our rights in either, therein is the slippery slope.
Hi Becky, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I think I can understand why you may be confused about my initial view. Maybe this helps give more background: I had just arrived before COVID from the States, where it felt like the country was in chaos and falling apart between major political events, media confusion, fear mixed with uncertainty, and conflicting messages from leadership, organizations, and news, and dismissal of COVID. I initially understood far from enough about French politics or the local climate at the time. However, I felt relieved that France seemed to have someone stepping up and talking directly to people in France about the pandemic and wasn’t just brushing it under the rug. It was only after arriving that I learned about the attack on homeschooling and the earlier change (and erosion of freedom) of mandatory age 3 schooling, and came to understand that the recent attack was a further (and huge) slip on the slippery slope. I’ve learned a lot since about the political climate from daily living in France. Again, thank you for writing. Julie