Homeschooling? and 3 year olds at school


(Meghann Robbe) #1

My kids are already having a hard time in school because the schools here dont seem to understand that they dont speak any french. Is there a homeschool program here in france? I dont want my kids being held back because of this language difference…


(stella wood) #2

You should go and speak with the Head of the School/Teacher… and explain your concerns…

Many schools have children who do not speak French… it is by no means unusual.

I have personnally experienced the transformation of tongue-tied youngsters to chatty bi-linguals.


(David Martin) #3

How long have they been in their French school? The language difference (sic) won’t be cured by home schooling but will be overcome very quickly through immersion in a local school and mixing with their peers outside school. There will be frustrating times and tears but your children should get up to speed very quickly. I have personal experience of non English speakers joining the British system and most of them were almost fluent in 4-6 months. I was reminded of one of them a couple of weeks ago by a link to his FB page; a few days after he arrived his mother came into the school in tears because her son who had been at the top of the class in his Italian school was now struggling. Four months later he amazed her by translating a story she had read to the class in Italian into English (she exclaimed, I knew that he could say hello and goodbye!) and now after graduating from an American university travels the World as a musician.
Give it time, it’s worth it.


(Véronique Langlands) #4

We view homeschooling with intense suspicion, especially when it is a choice made by people who don’t speak French, because how are the children supposed to integrate into French society and have jobs and successful lives later on?

You don’t say how old your children are, but if they are of primary-school age, at worst they will hate it for a few months and then be very competent.

You must support them but insist they learn French. And since it is not their choice to be on France but yours, you now have to ensure it goes as well as possible for them.

If they are ‘primo-arrivants’ who arrived in France this academic year they are entitled to FLE provision and you must insist they get it.

We have young people arriving in lycée all the time who don’t speak French and whose parents can’t read or write French and they manage, with help from us.


(Paul Flinders) #5

I agree with David - immersion in the language is best and few better places than the school playground - though I would also ask the question how old are they and is the school doing anything to support them learning French?

If not them some extra help with French might be useful - especially if they are teenagers who might need to hit the ground running a bit more than 5 or 6 year-olds.


(Elisabeth Morgan) #6

I understand it’s heart breaking, but it’s a great opportunity for them, for their futur. School has just started on monday, they need a bit more time to get used to it. I’m sure some other kids will soon be delighted to have new friends from abroad, and share their language. Give them time


(Meghann Robbe) #7

Thank u so much for ur words…my kids r in tears when they come home-especially my 13yr old. She takes great pride in her hard work and this seems to have totally broken her. Its not just the language difference…its the whole experience (from changing clothes in the same room to food in the cafeteria).
If lessons all day are in french…how will they learn? The Lycee is more understanding and a teacher spends time with my 15 yr old to work on french…but then what happens to all the lessons taught only in french??
As a mom…i knew it would be a huge change for all of us…but at times their tears make me second guess my decision.


(Meghann Robbe) #8

They are 12, 13 and 15…in the lycee they have a teacher help my 15yr old but in the college (no help has been given) This week i write each teacher in English expressing my concerns…cause my husband has the car for work and i have no way to go to the school.
Im really hoping they start to help quickly cause in america they were top of their classes.


(Meghann Robbe) #9

What is the FLE??? Please explain cause my husband doesnt even know. 15,13,12 yrs old…one in the lycee(she has a teacher work with her) but the 2 in college do not have any help.


(Meghann Robbe) #10

Thank u Elizabeth… i said the same to my children. Its just very hard to see them so down about school when they enjoyed it before and excelled.


(Paul Flinders) #11

Is the 15 year old helping the two younger ones. I agree this is a difficult time of life for the kids to be learning a new culture and language plus trying to make new friends.

Français Langue Etrangère - i.e French as a second language


(Paul Flinders) #12

They will do this again. A bright kid is a bright kid whatever the environment


(Meghann Robbe) #13

Thank u… but i think french should be the only language they learn this year! Not spanish, latin, or even English!
When i write my letter to the teachers i will tell them that is what i want. Thank u for ur guidance -i truly appreciate ur input!


(Meghann Robbe) #14

She was just assigned the help on friday!


(Paul Flinders) #15

OK but in the short term any trickle down should be useful and solidarity among the siblings can’t help (assuming that they get on in the first place).

Mid term I think Elisabeth is right - you must find out what you/they are entitled to and make sure that they get it.

Longer term I am sure they will be fine.


(Meghann Robbe) #16

Agreed… i dont speak french or i would help. Hubby works and does best to translate, but we definitely need help from teachers at school!


(Paul Flinders) #17

Learn together?


(Elisabeth Morgan) #18

It will be a year of transition, they will have to accept they might not excel in every subject because of the language, but frustration is part of growing up and could become a real motivation.


(Meghann Robbe) #19

Thats what we r doin


(Véronique Langlands) #20

Tell the school now that you expect the emphasis this year to be on learning French and fitting in with the culture and that they will repeat the year. Be very clear about that with their college and lycée, your husband will have to do it if you can’t. Put it in writing to the heads of the schools explaining the decision and the reasons for it with a copy to the Rectorat.

The danger if they don’t have this year to learn French is that they will be judged exactly like everybody else and shunted off into academically very undemanding courses on the basis of their results.

You are absolutely right to be worried, they are changing systems at a key point in their education, and absolutely must get their French up to speed asap if you don’t want them shunted off into eg a CAP, you will need to be very proactive.

You can suggest they have FLE instead of English, in AP and in EMC, (AP is aide personnalisée, EMC is éducation morale et civique) that will add up to about 4.5 hours/week. Other subjects, they will have to get on with.

I would not recommend ditching Latin or Spanish since they may succeed in these subjects and they need to feel they are doing ok.