Faced with the outbreak of the coronavirus in schools, home schooling seems to represent an attractive alternative. However, many obstacles stand in the way of reunifying parents who want to turn to family schooling.
Homeschooling, a real alternative for parents? In the current epidemic context on the island, it is a reflex that many of them can adopt. Some schools on the island are already reporting large numbers of students absent due to the risk of contamination. From there to say that a trend may emerge in the island, that of attending lessons at home through Cned or with private tutors in addition to educating parents, the step has not yet been taken.
However, even if the school year has just started, the rectorate already has eloquent figures. While throughout 2019 there were only 236 requests for family education, an equivalent number has already been reached just a few days after the start of the school year. Made since June, many parental requests have been rejected by the rectorate for lack of legitimate reasons.
A refusal that echoes the vigilance of academy services for these requests. ” A meeting on this topic will be held on Thursday 27 August, warns Jean-François Salles, Deputy Academic Director.We will do very regular checks with new families who have integrated this system. Home schooling is allowed, but it fulfills certain obligations for the student. And, it is a commitment on the part of families. We should not confuse everything: for students who do not come to class for 15 days due to Covid, it is not school at home. It’s a lack. »
The dangers of inequality
The framework, strict, is set. However, the reality remains unchanged with the ever-present temptation for parents to withdraw their children from school due to the actual risk of infection. For Daniel Amouny, parent representative and president of FCPE, this solution seems like a false good idea. ” It is a decision that should be carefully considered. It has a financial cost and requires a deep professional reorganization, supports the latter. For the child there is even less socialization due to isolation and psychological consequences which can be negative. For me, it is not up to parents to find solutions, but for national education to propose alternatives to protect children by ensuring educational continuity. »
These reservations for home education as a preventive measure against Covid are also shared by teachers. The latter highlight the deep inequalities that can result from this system if it is generalized. “Access to education must be on an equal basis, asks Jérôme Ethève, Force Ouvrière union representative.Not all parents have the ability to teach. This will lead to injustice. On the other hand, a coherent system should be put in place for everyone in the face of Covid with hybrid education as a whole. »
However, homeschooling is a stand-alone model that works and is just waiting to gain a new audience. Anne-Marie Bossems, parenting consultant within the Creative Parents Network, experienced this for seven years with her children before sending them back to school.
A not very open system
She believes that this alternative can only work if it is not modeled after the traditional way the school operates. “Homeschooling didn’t work during the lockdown because parents didn’t have enough leeway, she says. Successful family education requires flexibility, autonomy. It is different from school, because everything can be used as an excuse to learn. Then, there is no ideal situation for teaching both at school and at home. »
Asked about the prospects of developing this type of pedagogy at home on the island, the parent specialist is reserved. “I don’t think we will see a disproportionate development of homeschooling on the island. There are still many obstacles because homeschooling is still something very little known and scary. And since the French system is not very open to this, there is little chance that the lines will change. »
Therefore, family schooling seems to be limited to a marginal role at the moment. Only a profound revolution in the national and professional educational framework can really democratize this kind of approach. However, if the health crisis continues, the implementation of tailored education provided to students remotely in their homes represents a solution to curb the number of contaminations.