To contact the international team
Les Enfants d’abord is a French n ational organisation for home educating families and people interested in home-based education.
It was started in 1988 by a few families who wanted to get together to exchange ideas about homeschooling or unschooling, and to organise activities and meetings for people interested in or already learning without school. It is a non-confessional organisation and does not advocate any particular educational method.
• To help and inform individuals and families interested in or already home educating
• To help members meet and exchange ideas and experiences
• To defend freedom of choice in education
Week-long camps or gatherings are organised several times a year so that families can meet each other.
Local or regional contacts are available for information. They also sometimes organise meetings or activities for families.
A list of members is available upon joining the organisation
A quarterly newsletter is published to exchange ideas and experiences about homeschooling.
• Legal information
The organisation publishes a Guide concerning legislation and inspections. Legal help is available from a volunteer team of home educators.
Home education is perfectly legal in France, but you must register annually with your local mairie and the school inspectorate of your region (Education Nationale, Direction d’Académie).
Every other two years,the social welfare office, mandated by the mayor, comes to check on the reasons why the family home educates and to control that the training provided is consistent with the health of the child.
You will also be subject to annual inspections if you are teaching children between the ages of 6 and 16.
Two consecutive unsatisfactory outcomes of these inspections could mean you will have to send your children to a mainstream school.
While you are free to teach your children in any way you like, they must master the seven key competences of the common foundation of competence at the end of the legal obligation (age 16) :
The subjects that must be covered are :
• Written and spoken French
• Maths/basic sciences and technology
Maths, basic sciences, and technology
• At least one foreign language
• French, European and World History and Geography & Art
• Computer science
• Social and civic competences
• Initiative and autonomy
Your children must demonstrate that they can :
• Ask questions
• Make deductions from their own observations and documents
• Be able to reason
• Generate ideas, be creative and produce finished work
• Use computers
• Use resources sensibly
• Evaluate risks
• Communication with the public
The organisation welcomes contact with the media (newspaper, radio, television) to be able to inform the general public about homeschooling. It participates in educational or alternative fairs and organises conferences in universities and teacher training centres.
• International links
Les Enfants d’Abord communicates with other similar organisations in Europe and internationally.
We are happy to benefit from the experience of other countries where home education is more widely spread and accepted. We like to facilitate communication and exchange between French home educators and children abroad when possible.
Learning Unlimited is a Eeuropean network of home educators and support organisations across Europe.