Homeschooling, the specificity of Vaud questioned

Andrea (11) sitting at a large table dictates to her older sister Alice (14), who obediently follows her. Nine-year-old Nathan is lying on the couch looking at his cell phone. He doesn’t play, but he revises German. Ten years ago, Deborah Mosteau-Lutolf took her children from school to teach them at home on the heights in Lausanne. The youngest, 3-year-old Thalia, who is leafing through a children’s magazine, should set out on the journey of her brothers and sisters. “At first we thought we would send the children back to school one day, but over the years we’ve seen them so full, this idea seems increasingly unlikely,” explains the mother-teacher.

However, the possibility that the canton of Vaud could impose on him, because he plans to tighten the screw: although he is one of the most tolerant in this matter today, Vaud could in future claim the title of teacher teaching parents, the case in Friborg and Valais. Vaudois’ current tolerance attracts families far and wide. “Some form of tourism has taken root,” confirms Debora Mosteau-Lutolf. Of the approximately 1,400 children educated at home in Switzerland, almost 600 are small Vaudois.

Read the interview Cesla Amarelle: “Children outside the public school radar”

Boredom and anxiety

For the family that receives us, home education was not immediately taken for granted. While the eldest daughter was looking forward to entering the nursery, she was quickly disappointed. “She was bored in class, nervous and missed classes,” says Debora Mosteau-Lutolf, who has just had her second baby. The girl is diagnosed with high potential (HP). In the face of this difficult situation, his parents first enroll him in a private school and then discover homework through friends. During demonstrations of this alternative pedagogy, the mother and children engage in the play Assessment ten years later: Alicia, a former schoolgirl, does theatrical improvisation, archery and joins the young Conseil of Lausanne. He is considering making federal maturity, self-taught.

Andrea wanted a home school at the end of the 2nd kindergarten, like her sister. The once-shy boy is now not afraid to raise his voice, his mother explains. He is the goalkeeper of the Moskitos team from the Lausanne hockey club. Nathan, the youngest son, followed the path of his elders. Normal schooling seemed difficult for him due to severe dyspraxia (pathological clumsiness) and behavioral deficits.

Also read: School at home, heirs of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

According to their mother, who has worked in the field of polyhedic for a long time and who formed the group “Ecole à la maison Suisse romande” on Facebook, 60% of the families who follow home education have children with school phobias or cognitive impairment. The rest is based on conviction: more flexibility, freedom and a better quality of life. According to the training department, these families have very diverse profiles. They often live in the countryside to respond to the ideal of comfort, but also out of economic hardship, for example when one of the parents is not working. Like our mother-teacher, who helps her husband develop ski rental from home, but has no income.

No hierarchy

This Vaudoise, who grew up in Vers-chez-les-Blanc, on the heights of Lausanne, admits that it is not always easy to maintain a framework. The morning “usually from 9 a.m.” is generally devoted to “formal” education. In the afternoon it is time for activities or games outside in the large family garden.

However, there is no teacher-student hierarchy, parents usually follow the interests of their offspring. “Because of her hypersensitivity, Alicia didn’t want to know anything about the world wars for a long time, so we approached other periods,” illustrates Debora Mosteau-Lutolf. Give in on a whim? “If necessary, I give letters and introduce exercises,” he replies.

The mother-teacher believes that her children take better care of themselves than other young people and create a routine. As every day, Nathan practices typing before joining verbs under his mother’s supervision. As for the oldest, she is “very independent” and often revises herself. Alicia responds strongly to the over-socializing picture of home education. “That’s what we listen to all the time, but it’s not true.” On the contrary, he has “real friends” and some follow public education.

Sufficient level?

Is the level of the school the same as that of “normal” schoolchildren? The canton notes that it is “slightly lower overall”. Debora Mosteau-Lutolf replies that some delays can be replaced and that “cooking, budgeting, sorting good news from bad, planning a trip by studying the geography of the country are equally important skills, and that children are developing more. at home like in a public school.

In the canton of Vaud, the only requirement is to adhere to the Romand study plan and to pass the cantonal reference exams every two years. The inspector visits families every year to assess their level of education. They help each other according to the possibilities of each parent and organize joint courses.

No more Vaud’s laxity

Families practice home education they are worried about the state’s intentions, they are afraid that it will “rule the reality it ignores” on the basis of “several non-functional cases”. “We are not against the government or extremists, we do not live in the forests,” says Debora Mosteau-Lutolf. Homeschooling is not a threat to public education, it is a lifeline for some children.

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