The most interesting things were on American websites and blogs. You are so lucky to have this huge and great community (No, I am not jealous, much!)
In France, homeschooling is extremely rare.
It´s a legal choice, but French homeschoolers are just 30 000 because it's unrecognized.
But such as in the USA, we are more and more each year.
French schoolsAlmost all little French kids go to school from 2 or 3 years old.
Between 2 and 6 years old, they are schooled in some sort of kindergarten, which is free and funded by the state. Before six years old you are free to provide your kids with formal education or not: these "écoles maternelles" are not complusory but almost 100% of 3 to 6 years old are full-time schooled there.
The teacher does her best, alone with about 30 young children in the same classroom.
Between 6 and 16 years old, instruction is required by the law.
You have the choice to put your child at school, or to homeschool him. This second possibility is known by very few parents: only 0.3% of school-age kids are homeschooled. All the others go to primary school.
The level of these schools is very disparate.
Schedules are crazy: kids have to sit and listen six hours per day. A school week has four and a half working days.
The school day begins at 8.30 AM and ends at 4.30 PM. But many schoolchildren have both parents working, so they have the possibility to arrive earlier (at 7.30 AM) and to go home later (at 6 PM). Therefore, they stay at school almost 11 hours per day.
At the present time, French schools make the promotion of contraception and abortion from an early age, and they promote the gender theory from kindergarten.
French teachersAlmost all of French teachers are women (more than 80 per cent).
Some are proficient, some are not. But both have the same earning and the same career.
A good teacher won't be rewarded, and a bad one can't be fired. Accordingly, a lot of good ones suffer from a lack of recognition... a normal feeling isn't it?
National education curriculum is rigid: their options to manoeuvre are few.
The result is not glorious: French schools have poor results.
At 17 years old, every teenagers are tested by the army: twenty percent of them are illiterate.
France has very low PISA results , and it's going from bad to worse.
The choice of homeschoolingFor French homeschoolers, it's a bumpy ride. First of all we have to register with the department of education. Then, every year, an inspector from the department of education tests the children to check their level. Those inspectors have often been accused of bad-faith in the past on this point; evenso, they are powerful, and they can require us to school kids if they want.
Schooled kids have no obligation of results while homeschoolers have.
The country's political regime is very hostile to our minority. Homeschool is prohibited in Germany, wich is our neighbour country, and politicians regularly propose to ban it in France too.
The French homeschool communityWe are a very small team but oh so punchy!
We start to mobilize but we feel like pioneers and it's quite a lot of fun!
In my city and around, we are the only homeschool family. We know other ones, but they live far away and we can't see them very often. In daily life, my children's friends go to school, so they play together in the evening or during the week-end.
Some great groups are emerging on facebook. Thanks to that you feel less alone and it's easier to get that extra boost of energy when fatigue starts to set in.
We have no HSLDA to defend our rights, but work is being done on that.
My own experienceIt's our third homeschool year.
My husband and I decided to homeschool because our first son was unhappy at school. At 4 years old, the little smiling boy at the time became gloomy and sad. He could not speak, he was very delayed in speech, and had no friends. He was smart but deaf, and there was no satisfactory solution: there is no place for different people in French schools.
We observed that he was doing huge progress during holidays, with us, but that he had no rising during school periods.
So we decided to drop him out of school, and to teach him by ourselves.
To be fair to the youngests, I started to homeschool the full family of four kids, and we discovered an incredible way of life.
We buy a christian curriculum, but I add many funny things thanks to pinterest and other great websites.
My little homeschoolers play many sports and participate in outside activities. I really enjoy this way of life, and I'm trying to do the job: to make my children happy and feel good about themselves.
And I would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU, the american homeschool moms: for all the things you provide us! Pinterest is a gold-mine thanks to you. I'm a great Penelope Trunk blog fan, and I can't help following the homeschool classroom, homeschool creations, and 1+1+1=1.
And thank you for reading this blog in such great numbers!