Homeschooling in France is in Danger

homeschool in france is in danger

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There is a general panic going around the homeschool community in France. This after President Macron announced on live television on October 2, 2020, his plan for fighting radical Islam. This plan includes making school mandatory for everyone starting at age 3. Does this mean that homeschooling in France is in danger?

In a word, yes. He is also quoted as saying that instruction at home will be “strictly limited, notably for health reasons.”

When will this happen? As early as September 2021, all children will be required to attend public school (or a private school recognized by the government). They are not messing around.

Now, of course, this is not yet legal. A new law still needs to be submitted to the Assemblée Nationale. And it needs to pass by a majority vote before moving on to the Senat. Which also needs to pass by majority vote.

However, if we’ve learned anything about Macron’s government, what he wants, he gets.

A Republic in Name Only

The last time the homeschool community was put through this panic was in 2018. Once again, President Macron announced on live television that he would be requiring instruction for all children starting at age 3. This meant that children as young as 2 1/2 could be submitted to homeschool inspections if the parents decided to educate their children at home.

No one in the community thought this would pass. After all, this was not the first time this proposition was made in government.

There was an immediate movement to block the passing of the bill. There were demonstrations from both sides of the table: the homeschool community and the education system itself.

But the Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer clearly had his marching orders. He dismissed any and all debate and the vote passed. In under a year.

And in September 2019, a mere 17 months after his announcement, all children from 2 1/2 on up were registered in the school system. Whether as public school or homeschool students, it didn’t matter. You can read more about the current requirements for homeschooling in my post How to Homeschool in France.

homeschool in danger

So Where Does This Leave Us?

Homeschooling in France is clearly in danger.

Just like in 2018, homeschool associations all over France are mobilizing. UNIE (Union Nationale pour l’Instruction et l’Epanouissement), LEDA (Les Enfants D’Abord), and others are meeting already to discuss their next steps.

This is going to be a tough fight. Macron has precedent on his side now. He has managed to obtain almost every single order since his election. Regardless of its legality or constitutionality.

And homeschool families are still such a small number in France. So even if every family were to stand up and fight, we would still be far from a majority.

This proposal is clearly illegal. The law of 28 mars 1882 gave parents the right to choose their child’s education. But legality never stops tyranny.

We need to stand up and fight for the homeschool families of France. More than anything we need to pray.

And, maybe, if you can, you need to find a way to leave France.

I’ll keep you updated as we begin to learn more about what we are up against.

Update:

If you’d like to show your support for the homeschooling families of France, please sign the petition created and supported by UNIE and multiple other homeschool associations and course-by-correspondence companies that will all be negatively impacted by these draconian measures. You can find the official petition here: https://www.mesopinions.com/petition/enfants/maintien-droits-instruction-famille/107871

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10 thoughts on “Homeschooling in France is in Danger

  1. Oh my goodness, Bekah! I’m so sorry to read about what you and other French homeschooling families are up against! Will share this and pray for you.

  2. I found your blog looking for information about Macron’s announcement and homeschooling. I dont have school-age kids in France yet but I want to honeschool them when the time comes. (I homeschooled my now 18-year old in the Philippines and Canada)

    I will stand with you to fight against this.

    1. It’s as much for their future as my own that I’m fighting this. The French Constitution and the Universal Rights of Man both state that it is the parent’s right to choose the type of education they want to give their children. This announcement clearly goes against both.

  3. Hi Bekah, which French organization is worthy and accepting donations to support the fight for homeschooling families?
    Googling, we found UNIE ( http://association-unie.fr ), is that the best one, or do you recommend another one?

    1. UNIE is a really good association that has been at the forefront of our mobilization here in France against this injustice. A donation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  4. In America, we found that even small numbers can be quite loud. Frequently, it is the ones who call the polititions, repeatedly (yes, the same person many times), and make a lot of noise, that get heard, even if they are a minority.
    In Colorado, when they tried to pass a school bill that impacted the homeschoolers, the homeschoolers over three days just kept calling their offices – no one else could get calls through. The bill did not pass.
    I had a friend who would go to their public meetings, and listen in on, and warn the homeschoolers of what they were doing. After that, it would frequently come up when discussing school bills, “this doesn’t effect the homeschoolers, does it?”
    And yes, pray.

    1. That’s great! I wish we had such freedom here. We found out the hard way the last time France reformed the school system in 2019 that we would not be heard. Thousands of homeschool families contacted their assemblymen frequently up until the vote and were given the impression that they agreed. Only to find out they voted against our interests. And when hundreds tried to give statistical proof their assumptions were incorrect, the Minister of Education simply said, ‘I don’t agree. Let’s move on.’ and they did. So of course, the assembly listened to him. This French administration has proven itself to be a democracy in name only. The last 3 law proposals passed by force, without the necessary numbers, and with outspoken opposition taking to the streets. This is basically the reason for the yellow vest movement. Our president is a dictator. But that doesn’t mean we’ve given up. We are all contacting our assemblymen again. We are contacting the media again. And we are praying again. And the movement is as big if not bigger than last time. So now we just hope they give in to the pressure this time. Thanks for the prayers!

  5. Hi Bekah ،I am a Christian and I have a 6-year-old son who wants to use the home schooling system. Thank you for being able to talk to you because the things I want to talk about are not something I can write here.

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