Homeschooling has experienced an increase in popularity in France, as parents have been drawn to it as a viable educational alternative to teaching their children in traditional schools. This has led to some debate among the French government, opinion leaders, and the general population about the implications of homeschooling, ultimately culminating in the passing of a law in 2019 that sought to limit the practice. This article will explore the context surrounding this decision, specifically addressing the question of whether or not France has officially banned homeschooling.
What Is Homeschooling?
Homeschooling is a method of teaching children in the home. This type of learning often takes place with one or two adults teaching the child, rather than a classroom setting. Homeschoolers get a variety of experiences that can involve field trips and hands-on activities, as well as some traditional classroom instruction.
It also allows families to craft their own unique curriculum, tailored to their child’s individual needs. The global homeschooling movement has drastically increased in the past few decades, with the United States leading the way, where approximately 2 million children are home schooled.
What Were the Views of the French Government on Homeschooling Before 2019?
Prior to the passing of the law in 2019, the French government had a more open attitude towards homeschooling. While it was illegal for families to homeschool for certain periods of time, such as in the 20th century, the view of the government towards homeschooling softened in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. This happened in part due to the rise of the homeschooling movement, but also because the government was in need of more resources to help fund traditional public schooling, which had become overcrowded and of lower quality.
The attitude of the French government towards homeschooling could be described as tolerant.
What Was the Purpose of the French Law Banning Homeschooling in 2019?
The law passed in 2019 was officially called the Law Against “School Relativism”, which sought to limit homeschooling. The goal of the law was to ensure that children learn the same core values in school, and to promote adherence to the French national curriculum. The bill also sought to reduce the potential for radicalization of students, which was a growing concern within France and the European Union in general.
Finally, the law was meant to protect the French socialization model and ensure that students grow up learning the same core values that are necessary for integration into French society.
What Are the Specifics of the Law?
The specifics of the law are that homeschooling is limited to a maximum of four hours per day in one school subject, which has to be chosen by a parent or guardian. Furthermore, the student has to be monitored and supervised by a qualified teacher. Parents of homeschooled children must also register with the local school board and submit a curriculum outlining what their child will be learning.
In addition to this, parents must also get approval from the school board in order to receive authorization to homeschool their children.
What Are the Arguments for the Ban?
The primary argument for the ban on homeschooling lies in the French commitment to national unity. The French educational system is designed to promote and instill core values, especially the French language and culture, which is seen by the government as essential for national identity. The French also believe that if students are taught outside of a state-approved curriculum, they will lack essential skills needed for success in French society.
Furthermore, the government has expressed concerns about potential radicalization and views homeschooling as a potential pathway to this, as the state has no direct oversight of the values and beliefs being taught in the home.
What Are the Arguments Against the Ban?
Those who oppose the ban on homeschooling often cite the fact that it limits the freedom of parents to choose how they want to educate their children. Furthermore, those who oppose the ban have labelled it as an attack on the homeschooling movement.
They have also argued that, rather than leading to radicalization, homeschooling helps children become more independent and free-thinking, with some even claiming that it can help to foster a more tolerant and accepting society.
Did France Ban Homeschooling? What Is the Verdict?
At the end of the day, the answer to the question “Did France ban homeschooling?” is: yes and no. The French did pass a law in 2019 that sought to limit the practice of homeschooling, but this law came with a large number of loopholes and restrictions.
Therefore, while the practice of homeschooling is regulated and monitored to a greater extent than it was before, it is still not officially banned in France.
In conclusion, it is clear that France passed a law in 2019 that seeks to limit the practice of homeschooling. The law, however, does not officially ban the practice and instead seeks to regulate it in order to promote national unity, and ensure that students are receiving an appropriate education aligned with the national curriculum.
It is clear that there is still some debate about this issue, but for now, homeschooling remains an option for French families who feel that it is an effective way to educate their children.