Homeschooling in France: Part One

Guest Blogger:  Elizabeth des Roches
Blog: Handwork Homeschool 

My good friend Sally, here at Fairy Dust Teaching, asked me if I’d like to share a bit about my homeschool & life in France. “Sure”, I said, “why not?” 

Today, I’ll be giving you a glimpse into our time at home – learning, creating & making. 

Who are we?

 

Handwork Homeschool
The Parents.
 

 

Handwork Homeschool
The kids.

 

Handwork Homeschool Kittens
 The Kittens.


We’re Canadians, who decided 3 years ago, to sell our city house and most of our belongings, buy a glorious old house in the French countryside, pack up the kids and live on the wild-side! We have 5 children, 3 grown adults & the younger set, who are 5 & 9 years old. Andrew & Arabella have been homeschooled their entire lives. 

House - Handwork Homeschool

 

Our Wild Waldorf Ways

I say wild, not because the kids swing from the trees during their lessons (well, not usually!), or spend their days in their PJs (they’re usually dressed at some point) but because I pick from the many Waldorf theories & techniques that make sense to me, mix them in with a bit of Reggio & add a dash of my own style. I call it “Worldschooling”. 

LESSONS

I do make plans for the year, design lesson blocks, gather books & resources, gather the children for a circle-time & teach Andrew a main lesson 4 days a week. I have been known to “forget” about wet-on-wet painting for weeks on end, build entire lessons around handwork & use cranes, diggers, princesses & fairies as teaching tools. 

Handwork Homeschool Andrew’s Office.
 
 
Handwork Homeschool Arabella’s Play Space.
 
Handwork Homeschool 
Our all round lesson/baking table.
 
Handwork Homeschool Our giant PURPLEboard!
 
Handwork Homeschool Construction word writing.
 
Handwork Homeschool Cute sight words.
 
Our homeschool is inspected once a year by a state inspector and the interview is conducted entirely in French (I can speak fairly well but I still worry that I’ve said something totally nuts by mistake!) 
 
The kids are picking up the language through daily interactions with friends (old & young) and by being totally surrounded by it! Our tri-lingual babysitter comes once a week to hang out with them and ensure that they end up with great accents! 

CREATING

My kids are lively, engaged & learning in leaps & bounds. My son (9) has 5 minutes a day to spend wandering around virtual construction sites online & other than that, they never look at a screen. They don’t miss electronic media one bit. They are too busy telling their own stories, drawing their own pictures & making their own things. 


Handwork Homeschool 
Fireside Reading.
 
 Handwork Homeschool Handmade INDOOR Sandbox.
 
Handwork Homeschool Andrew’s First Knit Horse.
 
.Handwork Homeschool The Princesses.
 
Handwork Homeschool 
Safety first!
 
Handwork Homeschool Props for a French song Une Poule.
Handwork Homeschool - House

WORKING

We are restoring our house, bit-by-bit. My husband does most of the construction work, I tell him what to do (ha ha!) and the kids help when they’re needed (or they want to)! We are with each other almost all the time as my husband works from home. Our days are always busy.

Handwork Homeschool Building an Ikea Kitchen.
 
Andrew's bedroom (one day) Andrew’s new bedroom (one day).


Next week, come & explore Our Secret Garden (see the pond, river, bridge, ancient stone ruin, old orchard & new veggie garden). Until then – have a happy week! 

Elizabeth 

P.S. When I collected photos for this post, I came up with so many… come over to my blog, Handwork Homeschool to see the rest if you’d like! 

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Comments

  1. Sue says:

    So interesting….loved the pictures. FYI – the link isn’t working.

  2. Angela says:

    LOVE the house; I’ve always loved that style. I told my husband it would be alright if we moved back to France, tomorrow! Such sweet homeschooling days with two little ones!

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