Home schooling on the rise


Not found the school you were looking for for next year? You could try home schooling - although it is not an option to embrace lightly.
Nevertheless, home schooling – or distance learning – is enjoying a huge rise in France with five times more lycéens studying for their bac online.
Traditionally, home learning has always been more popular with younger students, at primary school and collège, but there are now some 30,000 lycéens studying with the state licensed CNED, the Centre national d'enseignement par correspondance, as well as others studying with private institutions.
The option remains particularly attractive to skilled musicians and students who participate in high-level competitive sport who want to fit their studies around their training.  It is also chosen by students suffering form long-term illness or disability, who live in remote rural areas, whose parents travel or live abroad as well as students who are repeating a year.
It is now also becoming an increasingly popular choice for gifted children who want to sit their exams earlier. Or for those who have failed parts of their bac and choose to leave school and re-sit just the parts they have failed rather than repeat a year and redo the whole thing. 
Finally, home schooling is an option for students who want to study subjects not offered by their local lycees, a rare foreign language, for example, but who don’t want to go to lycées farther afield and board.
However, you shouldn’t quit traditional schooling on a whim! You will need lots of self-discipline to study successfully from home and success rates at the bac are not high (around 30% among home learners). Those who succeed are the ones who are serious about their studies, not those who simply like the idea of not going to school or who want to combine their study with a part time job.
Success rates are high, however, among musicians and competitive sportspeople, largely because they have already learnt the discipline necessary for hard work and success.
They key to success, according to the CNED, is being organised. Get in the habit of regular work hours and send your work in regularly and on time for correction. Most importantly, ask for help – ring your online teachers any time you need help, or need motivating or have a question.
Above all, don’t get lonely - keep in touch with your old school friends if you can and make sure you have a social life.
Grants for distance learning
If you choose to study at home (and are under 16, the age up until which education is compulsory in France) you need to inform your mairie and your local inspection academique. So long as the inspector approves your decision, you are entitled to reduced rates with the CNED – 253€ as opposed to the full price of 725€. However, to get the inspector’s approval, you must have a valid reason for wanting to study from home.
Those over 16, who have been in full time education, are also entitled to these reduced rates.
Rates for private distance learning, for example with EPC (l’école par correspondance) Education, one of the most popular organisations, are quite a bit higher than the CNED rates. On the other hand, private institutions, while following the bac curriculum, are free to offer their own teaching/learning methods which can be an advantage for those who have chosen to leave school because they don’t get on with current teaching methods. 
For further information on

CNED - click here  http://www.cned.fr/
EPC Education click here http://www.epceducation.com/

Do you have experience of home learning in France? Tell us about it here

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