Homeschooling in a Foreign Country

An “english mummy in the French Alps” wonders if she should homeschool her daughter.

I imagined myself in her position, but in Japan, since we are a Japanese family. Would I homeschool if we moved to Japan? I’m not sure. Probably, but I definitely would have the same questions and concerns that the mommy at à quatre pattes has.

It also brings up the concern of parents in the US, who do not speak English fluently, homeschooling their own kids. There are quite a few here in Los Angeles, and there have been several conversations at our park day about this issue. It’s not clear cut. It seems a lot depends on the family and what their comfort level is with how their children are learning the local language.

Do you have any experience in this? What are your thoughts on homeschooling in a country where we, as parents, are not fluent in the local language?


4 Responses to “Homeschooling in a Foreign Country”

  1. Tana Says:

    Are you there permanently or just temporarily? I have cousins who were missionaries to places like Africa and Burma and they were homeschooled. But they were just living there for six years. The US was their home, where their citizenship was, and they received an American-style education. I will add, though, that when they were at home in America, they were homeschooled as well.

    Really, it’s the socialization question, though. And if you wanted your kids to be assimilated into the culture, is a school really where you would want that to happen, with how kids treat each other and all? I am not sure. We as homeschoolers argue that our children are being socialized, just in a different way. Would that work for someone trying to assimilate into a new culture as well? Would you just select social activities that allowed you to learn about the culture and interact while not sending your children into the sometimes brutal social environment we call school?

    It also depends on how friendly people are in your neighborhood. Do you know your neighbors? Interact with them regularly? In today’s society, we tend to be so isolated even though we live so close to each other. If you were an active participant in a community rather than leading a secluded life, I think homeschooling and assimilating into a new culture would work just fine.

    Interesting question…

  2. Tammy Takahashi Says:

    Tana – you bring up some really good points. Thank you for the food for thought.

    Valerie – That was an excellent response. Did you reply to English Mummy on her blog?

  3. Lune Says:

    thanks for the post and the comments!! (I have some more over at my blog). Well, this is such an emotive question and a problem that has been going round and round our heads for the last few weeks.

    There will always be pros and cons to schooling/homeschooling, whichever one you choose to do. We have thought of the idea of employing a french au pair during the Winter season when we will be really busy with work, but of course, not everyone can afford, or wants to do this.

    I swing from the view that if we were in the UK we wouldn’t think twice about our girls speaking french, so it doesn’t matter and the view that it is hugely important for them to speak/read/write french well. We are planning on travelling for many of the summer months each year, so I do not know if we will eventually ‘end up’ living in France, I think keeping up a moderate level of French whilst homeschooling is the answer for us.

    The annual assessment by the French authorities will make sure we are on target with a good level of written and spoken french every year, which we will achieve through an au pair or twice-weekly french tutor (one of our french friends).

    Culturally, I am not too worried about my children missing out, I know of many families here who struggle to keep up with the culture of their OWN country at home because their kids are at french school and read and write solely in french.

    I believe, in this respect, our girls will be getting the best of France whilst keeping up a very healthy relationship with their country of birth – England.

    from – English Mummy

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