An increasing number of parents in many countries (including France, the USand the UK) are opting to educate their children themselves. This is perfectly legal, subject to a few basic safeguards, though not local education authorities welcome the trend - especially as, typically, the success of home-educated children tends to show up the poor quality of state education.
Home education in France requires the child to be registered with two authorities, the 'Inspection Académique' and the local Mairie. Inspections are are obligatory from the age of eight, but are generally carried out twice yearly once a child reaches the age of six. The inspections are normally conducted in French, but may be in English if the parents request it and the local Inspection Academique is amenable (don't expect brownie points if your child is not learning competent French.)
The inspection involves written tests in French and Maths, used as a benchmark to assess what level the child is at. Tests are carried out with the reasonable expectation that the child will progress in ability as it ages. They are designed to measure development with age, as well as providing a comparison to school children of a similar age.
For some useful information on home education in the Languedoc-Roussiollon (specifically, the Aude), including information on reading and writing, maths and science, home school books, games, useful web links etc go to Homeschooling in France: www.indigoextra.com
Two home education organisations exist in France:
- Choisir D' Instruire Son Enfant (CISE) (literally "Choosing to Educate your Children")
- Les Enfants d'Abord, (literally "Children First" ) which organises week long camps and other events. It has regional contacts available and publishes a quarterly newsletter.
Other useful resources: