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
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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