mercredi 23 octobre 2013

Homeschooling in France, for my english-speaking followers

When I started to homeschool, I tried to find as much information as possible about this way of life.
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 schools

Almost 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 teachers

Almost 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 homeschooling

For 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 community

We 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 experience

It'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!

76 commentaires:

  1. You may find this resource invaluable. I have used this through most of our homeschooling. Donna Young is a pioneer with homeschooling. Her materials are awesome.

    http://donnayoung.org/index.htm

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    Réponses
    1. Thanks for the information on homeschooling!

      We're a homeschooling family in France with two teenagers and have just today put a map of other homeschooling families in France live at http://parentconcept.com/homeschooling-france-map.

      One of the challenges of homeschooling is to find other families who are interested in meeting up, organising activities, etc. and we're hoping that this will provide a useful resource as families gradually join and add their details.

      Thanks!

      Martin

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  2. Thank you - I found this blog post very interesting. I admire your courage in homeschooling your children in France and wish you nothing but the best. From a homeschooling Mama in New Zealand. :)

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  3. Thank you so much!

    Ginger: I found your link very interesting. I discover Donna Young thanks to you. You're right, it looks awesome.
    I will work on it, thank you!

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  4. Thank you very much for this useful information and shares.
    By the way, I would like to discuss and ask you some questions as following:
    1. Our daughter is now 3 years and 2 months... she is delayed speech (Understand 3 languages:french, english and thai but talk very few words mostly in English. But she is not autism, so I would like to know if there 're some school (maternelle) in Paris for this kind of children?

    2. If I want to use Homeschool system, what should i do first.

    Best regards.
    Yo
    desireemaman@gmail.com

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  5. Hello, I have just stumbled across your blog because I am trying to find info on homeschooling in France. We have moved to france from New Zealand and have put our children in the local school but we have decided we will homeschool. Thanks for your blog.

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    1. Hi, we have a four year old and a two year old and want to home school and meet similar minded people. Where about in France are you ? We are in Brittany.

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  6. WELCOME to France Little Sparrow! Thank you for your comment.
    I wish you a good homeschool year. It's a great choice.

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  7. Hello
    we homeschool in the USA but are going to france for a month... would like to join some home schooling family there so that my children (4-6 year old boys) can improve their french... we are going to Bonneville... is there any place where you can look up homeschoolers in the neighborhood?

    Thanks

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  8. Ce commentaire a été supprimé par l'auteur.

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  9. Hello!

    My son and I will be joining my husband in france within the next few months as he is in the military, and I would like to homeschool my son but did not know if i have to follow French school guidelines or if i'm able to home school via correspondance with USA/Canadian homeschool materials? We wouldn't be living in France for more than a few years and I would definitiely hire a french language tutor,but i woud really love to teach him at home myself rather than tossing him in a school where he wouldn't know that langauage at all. He's only 6 years old, Thanks!

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    Réponses
    1. Hi!
      Welcome!
      You can follow your own curriculum, it´s not a problem. In france every child has to be instructed, but the american guideline is absolutely okay, dont´t worry.
      Where will you live in France?

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  10. I found your blog today and I love it. I am a mom of three living in Alaska. We just finished our first year homeschooling. I think my kids will really enjoy some of the books and activities on your blog to go along with our 'official' french curriculum of Tatou le Matou. I am glad to see parents around the world fighting for the rights to educate our children. I take for granted how easy we have it here and I admire your courage. All the best!

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  11. Merci pour VOTRE blog!! We are homeschoolers who are educating using French and English - and it's hard work to find quality blogs with lists of resource materials in French!! Thank you for keeping that available so that people like us who don't have as much access to French materials can find them and use them too =)

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    1. Sarah I am in the same boat! Would love to connect on the challenges of multilingual homeschooling!

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  12. Thanks a lot for share your blogs.

    For more details please visit us our Website@http://englishspeakingclassesfaridabad.in/

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  13. Hello homeschooling families!
    I don't know if this is the place to post this but I am a French teacher (since 2006) and I am looking for a homeschooling/ private teacher job for a family. I have taught from 1st gade to 5th grade in schools. I also taught at Le Lycee Francais de Los Angeles for 3 years in 1st grade.
    I live in Essonne near Paris and available if anone needs me.
    You can contact me: carojennifer@hotmail.com
    Bonne rentrée!

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  14. Hello,
    I am the (French) mother of 2 children, and I could read that your elder son was deaf ! My son (7 years old), was born profoundly deaf, and I was wondering what was your communication at home ... According to your blog I presumed that you use oral communication ?
    I'd really like to get in touch with you ! If you are willing to, please email me at
    inauditoveritas@me.com
    you can read my story on the website www.inauditoveritas.com
    I'm looking forward to hearing from you,
    Regards,
    C.P

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  15. Hi!
    I just started a Yahoo group called, Homeschool Swap Boxes.

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/HomeschoolSwapBoxes/info

    The idea is for homeschoolers to collect items from their hometown/city/state/country and send them to other homeschoolers. It’s a fun and great way to learn History, Geography, Social Studies and more.

    Most of us have been using the **free** priority boxes from the US Post Office. They cost $5.80 to send anywhere in the U.S. and Internationally. (There is a weight limit for international mailing, I think.) You can also send your items via Media Mail, which is even less expensive in the US but not available Internationally.

    Some of the items that are sent are:

    ~postcards
    ~pencils
    ~menus
    ~tour brochures
    ~maps
    ~transit schedules
    ~programs
    ~newspapers
    ~paper placemats
    ~magnets
    ~drawings/paintings
    ~pictures
    ~small crafts
    Let your imagination be your guide.


    ******PLEASE* note: We were created from families from the Secular Homeschooler list. We are inclusive but would appreciate it if there were NO overtly religious or faith based items in the swap boxes. Thank you!*****


    Would you kindly forward this information to your membership? It would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Twinkle Burke-Hubbard
    Homeschool Swap Box
    Homeschool New York

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  16. hello - congrats on your home schooling success so far! What a brave and worthwhile choice. We are considering moving from Germany to France as we would like to home school. How long can you live in France before you have to register with the education authorities and how can the French authorities measure educational standards according to a British or New Zealand curriculum? Thanks so much for your thoughts and much encouragement plus strength to all you homeschoolers!

    Merci!
    Danielle

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    1. Ok Danielle, I know this comes a bit late and I don't know if you have already moved or not. Anyway, you have to 'descolariser' your child at the age of 6; from what I know you have to teach from an officially accepted source such as KerLann or Cours PI; the government officials who will regularily visit you at home will test your child in French and according to what is expected from them here. Hope this helps...

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  17. Hi there! We are new to the area and have homeschooled for a few years, we are daunted by the whole registration. Can we contact you and meet up sometime?

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  18. At Green Gables, we believe education is a natural ‘give and take’ where we learn as much from children as they from us; that our children transform us as we transform them.
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  19. Hi. I homeschool half of the day and we attend a French Immersion school here in Virginia (some homeschoolers and some full time kids). I would love to set up a pen pal letter writing program. My daughter is 7 and just learning to read and write in French. She understands and speaks French fairly well. Her dream is to go to France one day! Also the woman who started the wonderful school has home schooled on and off for some of her children. It is called Heartwood Grove school. I am a mom I would give you my email but I’m not sure if that is good to do here.

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    1. What a great idea! Please contact me at petitshomeschoolers@gmail.com.

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  20. What a great blog, I'm so encouraged.

    I will send you an email as I have a few questions for you about HS in France. :-)

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  21. Have seen your blog. I found it really more practical and i liked it. Thanks a lot. Hope to have more good articles.

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  22. I love your blog, we have just moved to France from the UK and your blog helps inspire me to homeschool my 4 year old daughter here. I just wondered if anyone is homeschooling in pays de loire and basse de Normandie region x x thank you again x

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  23. Does anyone know about homeschooling lycée level? I totally agree with what you say in the blog, the expected failure rate of collegians and at university is shocking, and there is no consideration about the impact on the students of being set up to fail by a truly weird education system. Personally I think much of it is inhumane and based upon the idea of crushing curiosity and creativity. It makes me sad to my core to think of a whole nation believing this is a way to live.

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    1. We live in Montpellier and are homeschooling two boys who are 13 and 15 and have found it a delight. While the authorities aren't exactly enthusiastic about the idea of home education in France, it is recognized and other than a yearly control, we don't really notice the authorities at all.

      When our oldest was 14 he started a Degree with the Open University in the UK and if your children are fluent English speaking this is definitely a route to explore, as the OU system matches a homeschooling system far more closely than traditional universities. Khan Academy is a great website that's available in both English and French for free and covers the whole maths curriculum, so that's worth a visit too!

      We've also got our own homeschooling site - http://www.parentconcept.com/ which includes letters to register with the French authorities and other tips which you're welcome to visit.

      Hope that helps!

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    2. Hello Martin,

      I am writing in search of some guidance and support for homeschooling in Montpellier. My daughter and I lived in Montpellier a few year ago, Unfortunately my daughter struggled for these years in a French Catholic school and found it extremely difficult to comprehend the lesson requirement. Even after many appointments with teachers at the school they were not sympathetic to the foreign students difficulties.
      For the past two years we've been living in Florida, my daughter gained confidence and improved her grades rapidly, showing that it was not her disability to learn but, the language barrier and methods used in the french schooling system that she struggled to comprehend.
      We have now just returned back to Montpellier, leaving me in an awful situation of what to do for the best regrading my daughters education and future grades. My daughter is 15 years old, 16 in December, she's at an important stage to produce her final grades soon.
      Can you please help and guide me on home schooling in Montpellier please, I understand from articles I've read, that this is not a easy path to follow in France, but if it gives my daughter confidence and ability to produce a better grade it will be worth it.

      I noticed that you have a website on this subject also, I will look through your link and follow up any leads it recommends.

      One further point.. Do you hold, or is their any activity group that holds meetings with other parents that home-school in Montpellier?
      Thanks
      Amanda

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    3. Hello Martin and Amanda!
      We are also living in Montpellier, near Saint Cleophas, with 3 children (two girls age 13 and one boy 11) and are doing partial homeschooling to supplement the inadequate education they are receiving in the alleged "bilingual" school we were lead to believe would have teachers that could speak English.

      I homeschooled them when were in NYC for one year and it was one of the best parenting experiences I've ever had and they might begrudgingly agree (they're teenagers now so you know how enthusiastic they can be!)

      Anyway, unless this school improves asap we cannot afford wasting another second of their precious 5:eme (7th grade) and 6:eme (6th grade) time there and will pull them from the school by the end of this term.

      Therefore I would be so thrilled to meet other homeschooling parents in the area. Sounds like you two might have children within similar age to ours?

      It would be a pleasure to meet you to discuss further over coffee. If you're interested please reach me at "ProductionDesigner@me.com" 0467641239

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  24. We are living in the Vendee, Pays de la Loire and have recently decided to bring our 2 children (11 and 13 yrs old) out of school so that we can continue with their education in an environment we feel will benefit them and prepare them for real life when they are ready to fly! Thank you so much for creating this area where like minded parents can hear from others and share idea's. I'll be sure to add this blog to my favourites as reading how others are feeling makes me feel so much more confident in our decision to home school.

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    1. Hello we are in the Mayenne, thinking about homeschooling our six year old. The local school don't want to make any allowances for the language barrier and hes really unhappy. Glad to have found this blog will definitely look into this some more thank you

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  25. Hi, Where are you currently living in France, which region?!
    Is your curriculum in English or French?! We have thought about this a lot but since we currently do not have children, we don't know where we might move in order to have the freedom to homeschool.

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  26. very useful really good information thanks for posting such a good information it will hepls the people a lot keep it up , Regards, obiee training in hyderabad informatica training in hyderabad,

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  27. Very informative, my daughter just finished Martanelle and CP, we are English from Australia and living in another country before heading off to France so thought to homeschooling her. 7 and 2 year old. This blog spells many of my fears about the French system of education and my daughter has lagged behind. At home she makes tremendous improvement but at school, she seems stuck

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  28. I think homeschooling in France is too strict unlike homeschooling in the Philippines. Though we are also required to have assessment on our kid's progress, still rules here are not that stiff. May God bless you always Petithomescooler!

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  29. We are an American homeschooling family moving to Paris. Are there any groups or resources available?

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    1. We are a homeschooling family in Paris. Our boys are 9 and 12. How old are your kids?

      I can be reached at dave@elegantfemme.com if you want to connect.

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  30. bonjour, grâce à vous mes aînées travaillent leur anglais sur duolingo, auriez vous un logiciel à me conseiller pour le collège si vous vous êtes déjà renseignée?
    Merci beaucoup pour votre partage, je me régale avec votre blog!

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  31. Hello, I might be able to help the American homeschool family moving to Paris. I"m an English teacher, and I do DIY For Kids in English with a homeschool group in Paris

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    1. Hi, how can I get in touch with you regarding the homeschooling group in Paris. My son is 3 y.o. and I'm homeschooling him part time right now. We live in Saclay and I would love to connect with other homeschooling parents in Paris region.

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    2. I too am interested in learning about the homeschool group. We have 9 and 12 year old boys.

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    3. Hi. I am interested to know more about the home school group in Paris. I am thinking of homeschooling my 10 year old who is currently attending a bilingual school but will have to join the Middle school system in 2017 school year. And she doesn't know French. How can I get in touch?

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  32. Hello.
    I am writing in search of some guidance and support for homeschooling in Montpellier. My daughter and I lived in Montpellier a few year ago, Unfortunately my daughter struggled for these years in a French Catholic school and found it extremely difficult to comprehend the lesson requirement. Even after many appointments with teachers at the school they were not sympathetic to the foreign students difficulties.
    For the past two years we've been living in Florida, my daughter gained confidence and improved her grades rapidly, showing that it was not her disability to learn but, the language barrier and methods used in the french schooling system that she struggled to comprehend.
    We have now just returned back to Montpellier, leaving me in an awful situation of what to do for the best regrading my daughters education and future grades. My daughter is 15 years old, 16 in December, she's at an important stage to produce her final grades soon.
    Can you please help and guide me on home schooling in Montpellier please, I understand from articles I've read, that this is not a easy path to follow in France, but if it gives my daughter confidence and ability to produce a better grade it will be worth it.

    One further point.. Is their any activity group that holds meetings with other parents that home-school in Montpellier?
    Thanks.

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  33. Hi, I live in Melun and am also homeschooling my 4 year old daughter. I am so desperate about the national school system and would love to create an HE group in the region so that we can meet up regularily and support each other in this common endeavour. Don't hesitate to contact me at barbara_persang@hotmail.co.uk

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  34. Thank you so much for your Blog. We are living in the Limousin since July this year. We are from Belgium (Dutch-speaking). We have 3 kids (6, 4 and 2 years old), and the oldest is really unhappy at school, and I'm orientating at home schooling. If you have any tips, they are welcome :-)

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  35. Hi, I am from India, I am visiting France for 2 weeks, I would like to come and meet with you. My email Id is alphy.gibu@gmail.com

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  36. Hi, I am from India, I am visiting France for 2 weeks, I would like to come and meet with you. My email Id is alphy.gibu@gmail.com

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  37. That's nice thank you .... You can also visite my website to get coloring pages for kids
    you will love it http://coloringdraw.blogspot.com/

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  38. Hi Evryone,I was reading through the blog and all the comment and I really understand your concerns with french education(je suis française!) the french schools were not so bad 50 years ago, unfortunately the system/level has tumble down since then!
    By the way I was just wondering whether someone can give me some information about homeschooling in England (following the english curriculum and exam), my 12 years old son is dyslexic and struggling with the school system. I saw few adverts about schools specialized in homeschooling but I am not sure. All information in this matter will be welcome.Thanks.Rita

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    Réponses
    1. Hi Rita, we have lots of friends who home educate their children because they are dyslexic. The children often follow online programmes aimed to help, such as nessy.com. In my experience the children seem to improve at their own pace and without the pressure of school. There appears to be less stigma within the home education community around dyslexia but that would depend on which school you are at. Some schools have special departments for dyslexic children.

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  39. Hello, my name is Sally and I home educate my son, aged 10 years in the UK and we have just bought our first house in the Limousin. We would love to connect with any home schooling families in the area.
    The blog is a good read,
    Thanks

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  40. Hello, my name is Sally and I home educate my son, aged 10 years in the UK and we have just bought our first house in the Limousin. We would love to connect with any home schooling families in the area.
    The blog is a good read,
    Thanks

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    Réponses
    1. Hi Sally, we are in Dordogne near Ste Foy la Grande, so a couple of hours away. I'd love to hear how you home educate, as I'm seriously considering pulling my 11 year old son out of French school, as he's lagging behind and there don't seem to be enough hours in the day to give him the help he needs (at school 8-5!!!). I'd love to hear from you, Lauren taitandmorley@wanadoo.fr

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    2. Hi Sally and Lauren. I'm a home edder in the UK. We've been home edding for almost 6 years now. We are planningto move to France in the next two years. Could you please tell me how you are getting on out there?

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  41. Hi my name is Biljana, we have two children 2 years and 9 months, i would like to meet and speak with somebody from our area where we live , about Homeschooling. We live in 64000 Pau
    you can contact us by email at : jeangabrielbiljana.gantet@yahoo.fr
    thank you so much!

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  42. I would love to connect with families in Paris who currently home school their children ( 7-9 yrs) or who consider doing so - as well as get in touch with an enthusiastic fluent English spoken Primary School Teacher who has interest in home schooling my 8 yr old daughter as I am not able to do it myself. Free feel to contact me on pernilla.ambjornsson@yahoo.com.au - Thank you for this fantastic blog! -

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  43. hello-

    My name is katherine and I am an American living in Auvergne. I homeschool my son who is 15. After years of battling with the French system because he doesnt fit the mold- I decided to homeschool. I am looking for suggestions as to what kind of materials people use- he is not the same level as kids his age- but I see that after 2 years of homeschool, he is very capable. I would love to meet up with other homeschool families- If you have any suggestions and/or live around here...please dont hesitate!
    Thanks so much pepperinfrance@gmail.com

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  44. hello-

    My name is katherine and I am an American living in Auvergne. I homeschool my son who is 15. After years of battling with the French system because he doesnt fit the mold- I decided to homeschool. I am looking for suggestions as to what kind of materials people use- he is not the same level as kids his age- but I see that after 2 years of homeschool, he is very capable. I would love to meet up with other homeschool families- If you have any suggestions and/or live around here...please dont hesitate!
    Thanks so much pepperinfrance@gmail.com

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    Réponses
    1. Are you still home schooling? We have 3 childrenched with us at an embassy posting in Paris. They are 17, 15 and 13. We had them in an international school after 10 years of home school, but it is not working out very well.I would love to know more about what you decided to do.

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  45. Hi!! Would you like to exchange a culture package? Please email me melissacoronel2006@yahoo.com
    We are in the USA. Homeschooling family with kids, 6,7, and 2 :)

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  47. Hello. Thank you for this story. I am living in Aubenas, a small town in Ardeche. I am growing up 6 years old girl. She began her experience with French schools last year in "Grande Section" of a kindergarten depending on a private catholic organization. Troubles began already there as, true, "there is no place for different children in French schools". This year my girl is in "CP". From the very beginning it's a disaster. I would like to know more about French homeschooling system as it seems only possibility in this country to grow a child normal way and to tech him right values. I would appreciate all possible help and will be happy to share anything from my experience in order to help others facing the same difficulties. My e-mail is: burdon.kudon@gmail.com . Thank you in advance.

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  48. Quelle méthode utilises-tu pour enseigner l'anglais à tes enfants ? Pour l'instant nous utilisons Pilipop, mais j'aimerais connaître d'autres pistes sympas et déjà éprouvées par des familles comme la tienne. Merci !

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    OR whatsapp or call him on +2348104102662

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  50. Hello there! I'm developing an online platform for chemistry studies (14+y.o). If anyone would like to test it, please feel free to text me.

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  51. My email address is: o.soloveva04@gmail.com

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  52. bonjour, est ce que votre blog est toujours actif? je recherche des infos sur les homeschoolers d'adolescents en France (Sud ou Normandie) et ne sais pas où les trouver. Merci.

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  53. Hello!
    We are a bilingual (French-English) family of 4 (kids 8 & 6), living on the outskirts of Paris, Val d'Oise. Would love to meet other homeschoolers in the area!

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    Réponses
    1. We have kids in school this year in Paris (after 10 years of home school). They are begging to go back to home schooling next year. We are in the 16th. They are 17, 15, and 13. The youngest is our only boy. :)

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  54. Hi there!
    We are an American family who've been living in France since Aug 2014. We have 4 children and live in La Ferte Sous Jouarre about 45 minutes East of Paris. We homeschool our oldest son, 12, who has aspergers. We thought the transition would be to much for him. Our younger three all go to regular French school. For him I would love to find an English speaking co-op of homeschoolers in Paris to interact with. He learns French but doesn't speak it at all. Language is difficult for him because of the autism so we don't push it with him. If he never speaks French I could care less. Are there ANY online resources for homeschool groups in Paris? Again, preferably English speaking?

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  55. J'aimeras ton blog, ont très bon article. Je viens de mettre un lien sur mon blog. Blogueur www.blogueur.blogspot.com

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