Home Schooling

“My daughter is not going to go to high school, it doesn’t matter what the regulation says”

To fight “separatism”, Emmanuel Macron wants to “strictly limit” home schooling for students. A confusing decision for parents of homeschooled children.

He presented it as “necessity”a solution that is “probably one of the most radical since the laws of 1882 and those providing mixed education in 1969.”. During his speech against “separatism” on Friday, October 2, Emmanuel Macron announced that he wanted “restrict” home schooling of children.

From the beginning of the 2021 school year, there will no longer be home schooling, except for students with “health imperatives”. The president then justified this choice, in turn reminding parents who refuse to let their children go to music lessons or the pool, “deschooling” and lessons in undeclared structures with “almost no window, women in niqab welcoming them, prayers”.

Amazed, parents of anxious students reacted quickly. “We don’t understand the amalgam between homeschooling and separatism“, raged Armel Borrell, co-founder of the association UNIE, which promotes family education (IEF), we are easy scapegoats“. She recalls that the IEF is already “hyper controlled“precisely to avoid any problem.

Inspections are carried out annually by school academies and every two years by town halls to check the learning environment and content taught to 50,000 home-schooled children. If this figure increases (they were 41,000 in 2019 and 35,000 in 2017), the UNIE co-founder explains it by the integration of 3-year-old children in the calculation or even by the health crisis. The proportion of these students is still very low, representing 0.5% of the total number of students enrolled in France (i.e. 12.4 million).

For most parents, the IEF is the choice “not religious at all” confirms Audrey Gaillard, but it is more recent “life choice”. It allows this mother of a 3-year-old girl from “Protection”.

Take care of your child first

Armel Borrell practices IEF while educating his three children, now in their twenties. She started when she realized her youngest child wasn’t coming “no immune response”. For her it was a matter of life or death: “If IEF didn’t exist, I would have had to place my other two children in foster care or risk the death of my other child”.

“My daughter is allergic to animal proteins.” Audrey Gayard recalls the death of a milk-allergic child in 2018 while eating a pancake, adding: “I don’t trust the school”. Senillé’s secretary, near Châtellerault, continues: “I lost my little boy in 2015. So I also wanted to live and fully share my daughter’s education”.

Sometimes it’s not physical health that’s at stake, but mental health. Then homeschooling can save children who are bullied at school. Armel Borrell recalls a conversation with a parent practicing IEF about his abused child. He would tell him: “If you send me back to school I will kill myself”. A problem that concerns Audrey Gaillard even more because she herself was a victim of bullying during her studies. “Restaurants don’t listen” she complains “and I don’t want my daughter to go through that”.

Cultivate diversity

As for the argument that the IEF will cut children off from society, Armel Borrell is quick to dismiss it. “Currently, my three children are integrated into society and working. They may have had fewer social connections, but they are quality and will last a lifetime.”. Audrey Gaillard has already signed her daughter up for riding lessons next year and plans to teach her to swim and introduce her to other children at IEF. “The goal is not to prevent him from having any social connections”, she claims. definitely “We make educational choices that are different from the ordinary, but we are like otherssays the co-founder of UNIE, with the IEF, France gains diversity: we don’t have to put everyone in the same mold”.

The “separatism” bill will be submitted to the Council of Ministers on December 9. If accepted, Armel Borrell is certain: “risks driving people into hiding. They will want to move, hide, but they won’t send their children to school.”. Same story from Audrey Gaillard. She insists categorically: “My daughter will not go to school, no matter what the law says.

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