Homeschooling family near Perpignan

(Dan Fox) #1

We are seven years in France. Permanent residents. Loving life in the south. Self-employed / work online with an S.A.R.L. Six year old boy. Home educators. Successfully applied for two French mortgages. Renovating an old mansion. Taking our time. Love cooking and taking it easy. It took us a while to “crack” France but once you’re in, you’re in. I enjoy reading Terence McKenna and that sort of stuff. I find most human beings (but particularly those believing themselves to be British and middle class) utterly obnoxious and intolerable so I doubt I’ll last on here for long. :slight_smile:


(stella wood) #2

Now than Dan… we’re not all that bad… sounds to me that you have done a wonderful job integrating into French life.

I would imagine that your experiences as Home Educators might well be of interest to others. I seem to remember someone asking about just that sort of thing last year.

Don’t give up on us just yet… :relaxed:


(Dan Fox) #3

I think you’re a good’n Stella. Appreciate the quick response. Glad this forum is alive and well. May it live long and prosper! :slight_smile: Certainly no expert on all the home education stuff as we’re still working our way through it but—like this forum—so far, so good. :wink:


(Teresa Shipley) #4

My nephew is home schooled in Sheffield. I imagine it’s a bit different in France. Do you belong to a home school club?
Anyway I’m only 5 minutes in France in comparison so I’m sure you’ll have plenty of useful advice to give.
If it helps although I’m British I was born in a council house and am one of 6 children :laughing:


(stella wood) #5

It’s your experiences that count Dan… that’s what we are all sharing and/or learning from…


(Bob Sivell) #6

A man after my own heart

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(Dan Fox) #7

Hello Teresa—thanks for your kind-hearted response to my slightly belligerant intro. :slight_smile: We have tried meeting up with other families who homeschool but they almost invariably seem to be a part of the “unschooling” movement which, in my limited and secondhand experience, broadly equates to leaving your unwashed, feral animal-darlings to fend for themselves in the absence of any parental direction or discipline.

I’m not sure that our particular pedagogic approach has a name yet. What I do know is that we have a super happy, bilingual six year old boy who we generally just leave alone to draw or play. We focus a lot on creative arts as this really seems to be his gait and who knows, perhaps one of the few fields not destined to be dominated by artificially intelligent robots in the very near future.

How are you finding France so far?


(Dan Fox) #8

Eyup Bob, thanks for the smoke signal!


(Teresa Shipley) #9

Your intro was great. I have a citizen of Europe profile pic on my fb page so I get where you’re coming from. We’re really enjoying France so far although I find the paper work a bit scary. In April we will apply for our carte vitale and although we have a years health insurance I still panic that it won’t be sorted by December!
I think just being bilingual is a great advantage for your son and I totally understand parents wanting to homeschool. My nephew will be 13 next week and has never been to nursery or school. His mum is a peripatetic music teacher and he does piano and violin, she also lived in France for 5 years so teaches him French. He has started studying for some gcse’s now and they have had private tuition for science.
My brother teaches him history and he loves football so goes to a club.
Your son is still young and allowing him to explore his creative side seems very sensible. Also homeschooled children need fewer hours of education as I’m sure you know. Probably his interests will naturally lead to a group where there are other children but if he’s happy that’s the main thing.
My own 6 year old grandson is bilingual because he lives in north wales and goes to a welsh school.
People sometimes remark that surely he’d be better learning a more useful second language, I tell them he is - English!


(Simon Armstrong) #10

Hi Dan - first up I know tot all about homeschooling but…I just want to comment on your ‘opener’. It’s amazing how we’re all so different! My view of human beings and life is just the complete opposite - I find most of them interesting and kind and just a few obnoxious and intolerable - unfortunately they’re the ones that drain you. Hey ho ! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


(Ann Coe) #11

Hello Dan

Your " I find most human beings (but particularly those believing themselves to be British and middle class) to be utterly obnoxious and intolerable. So I doubt I’ll be on here for long" made me laugh.

I have been in France a long time, the area I live in is very rural and is a farming community, I don’t come across too many other British.

I do however have many French friends and not one of them is obnoxious… honest :wink:

I wonder if where you live is one of those where some of the British residents only mix amongst themselves ? I know the type, have coffee mornings, everyone is ‘darling’, have pool parties etc;…

There are good and bad amongst all nationalities, luckily the people who I mix with, some Belgians, Dutch and the occasional British all seem fine to me.

Not sure I could ever live in a ‘tourist area’, fine to visit but to live, no way.

Anyway, I hope that we won’t be too intolerable for you and that you can at least rest with us a while :grinning:


(Dan Fox) #12

Hello Teresa,

Thanks for your message. I feel your pain re: paperwork. When we first arrived neither my wife or I spoke much French so we reached out to a wonderful lady named Louise at FranceSOS - aka our “French Fixer” - Louise helped us to get assimilated very efficiently sorting out all the paperwork! I highly recommend finding a fixer.

Educating our boy is a responsibility we take very seriously and, as such, it’s certainly not something we’d outsource, at least not in its entirety :slight_smile: . We did try state and then a private school. The latter was fine up until CP (first year of primary school) when suddenly everything became a bit military for our son’s liking. It really depends on the individual.

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(Dan Fox) #13

I commend your apparently generous and tolerant spirit with regard to our fellow sapiens but, I must concede, I’m with Sartre on this one. My opening gambit has, at least, brought you guys out of the cyberwoodwork so it’s not all bad. :slight_smile:

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(Simon Armstrong) #14


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(Dan Fox) #15

Hello Ann, firstly thank you for taking the time to respond and gladden my cold heart. I live in a small village of 1,000 people or so and there are mercifully very few Brits here who identify as middle class. The one couple from the U.K. who do live down the road are super lovely brilliant :slight_smile: I think I can trace all this back to visiting brocants and antique dealers in the Gers and hearing one too many put-on plummy English accents. A little bit like a teenager called James trying to reinvent himself as a cool “Jay” when he starts afresh at a new secondary school, some Brits try to notch themselves up the illusory social class ladder when they move to France … says the guy renovating a mansion. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


(Helen Wright) #16

I’ve not been here long and my 3 kids and 4 grandkids (with another little one on the way) are all still back in England…

I often think that if I had my time again I would love to homeschool…even back then I had several clashes with “the authorities” and felt they were stepping way out of line…

Regardless I’m really proud of my 3 and think they are pretty clued up…x :slight_smile:


(Dan Fox) #17

Hi Helen,

We recently received a letter by recorded delivery from the local academy of education, informing us of the date and time of a meeting to discuss our approach to our six year old son’s education and to evaluate his abilities through a series of tests pursuant to this and that statute, blah, blah, blah.

I have responded (mirroring their recorded delivery and formality) informing them that we are out of the country on their proposed date and inviting the officer, instead, to visit us at our home on an alternative date. Home turf is far more preferable for this kind of interaction. I also let them know that our educational approach precludes unnecessary testing at this stage but he is welcome to leave his test materials with us for our evaluation. :slight_smile:


(lorna napthine) #18

Have you thought of using the CNED for your home schooling? My son now 26 was educated, from the age of 12, at home with the support of the CNED which allows you to follow the national curriculum at your own speed and using your own methods. It changed my son’s life. I did have the help of a certified teacher to help with some stuff as I’ve always been rubbish with any thing to do with maths etc.The lessons took place four mornings a week and in the afternoons we did whatever we felt like doing; being on his own a lesson was covered far more quickly and in more depth than in a class of 30 kids. This system changed his and our lives, My son was schooled in a normal primary school which he loved and he still has friends that he made there, but it’s the secondary system that wasn’t acceptable for us.Hope this is of some help-I’ve been in France for 30 years and have never lived near other British people .

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(Teresa Shipley) #19

I totally agree. I think I was the only parent who hated my children going back to school after the holidays!

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(Vanessa Caton) #20

I can empathise with the accents . We went to a Christmas “market” in a Chateau in the next Dept to ours and were hard put to hear any French ones and all bar one of the exhibitors was British! We haven’t been here long - arrived last year so we are still wading through paperwork and because of the B word finding there’s twice as much as most of it bounces back or sends us around from pillar to post. We live in a tiny village of 260 souls at the last count with a surprising number of British (and some Belgians) . All are lovely and most definitely not the “pool set “. We help each other where we can, with labour mainly, but we also socialise and let off steam about the shenanigans going on in the U.K. We’ve just about managed to decorate one small bedroom & although our house is tiny it seem like it will take the rest of my life to decorate the remainder. We live simply and the quiet , the countryside and the way of life here suit us just fine.
I do long for the paperwork to be finished and to feel less anxious about our future here though . We still have a way to go before we will get any closer to knowing quite what it will all mean for us.