Kindergarten is not mandatory here in Virginia. Children are required by law to start their education in the first grade, when they are six. Kindergarten is optional.
When the future Baron turned six, I didn’t want to send him to school. I had taught him to read when he was four, and he was reading Hardy Boys books when he was five. First grade would have been excruciatingly boring for him, even if there were nothing else negative about the public schools.
So I home-schooled him. To do that, you had to use an approved curriculum, or have a bachelors degree (that was the rule back then; I don’t know if it still is). Fortunately, I had a degree from the College of William and Mary, so I satisfied the second criterion. Once a year we had to submit something for the state to look at — I don’t remember exactly what it was — but that procedure went through our local school board, and involved people we knew. So it was smooth sailing.
I doubt the French have the same opportunities to keep their kids out of the public crèche. I assume that France, like most of Western Europe, makes home-schooling very difficult, if not impossible.
And now President Emmanuel “Toy Boy” Macron has just issued a decree (or edict, or ukase, or bull, or whatever they call them in France; here in the USA it would be an executive order) requiring that all children begin school at the age of three. This is full-bore Soviet-style socialism, where the state takes control of the child as early as possible.
Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:
Video transcript (timed from two originally separate clips):
|00:00||Emmanuel Macron made it official: compulsory schooling|
|00:04||from the age of 3, starting in the fall of 2019.|
|00:08||I decided to make kindergarten compulsory in France,|
|00:12||and therefore lower the mandatory school age from 6 to 3 years,|
|00:16||starting in the fall of 2019. By this school obligation and this new ambition|
|00:20||for kindergarten, France will be able|
|00:24||to engage in the third educational way: the one that would be able to reunite|
|00:28||the cognitive demands that we observe for example in Asian countries,|
|00:32||and the affective demands that we can see being manifested in|
|00:36||Northern European countries. It’s self-evident that this dialog between|
|00:40||the sensitive and the intellect introduces in kindergarten|
|00:44||arts, music. Precisely all those forms of awakening|
|00:48||that accelerate learning — and of which you just reminded me — are essential,|
|00:53||and they will play an increasing role; I care about it in particular.|
|00:00||Q: School at three. What for?|
|00:04||In France, kindergarten will be mandatory for 3-year-old children, starting in the fall of 2019.|
|00:08||This was announced by Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday [April 3] during the debates about kindergarten.|
|00:16||This is a symbolic measure since 97% of 3-years-olds already go to school|
|00:20||Q: But what for, exactly?|
|00:24||The answer from Anne Pommier de Santi, a teacher and researcher in education.|
|00:28||Q: Kindergarten: what is it for?|
|00:33||A: First of all it’s there to socialize the child. It’s his first contact with school,|
|00:37||first contact, in general, with a collectivity and with other children.|
|00:41||It’s fundamental: live with the others, coexist, learn new rules,|
|00:45||learn to rub shoulders with new grown-ups other than those who were in his family.|
|00:49||Q: What do you learn at 3 years old? A: Lots and lots|
|00:53||of development and learning are targeted, such as the exploration of the world,|
|00:57||the acquisition of the spoken and written language,|
|01:01||the first contacts with the world of mathematics,|
|01:06||with the foundations of enumeration,|
|01:10||and also everything involved with the exploration of matter, of objects, of the visual arts,|
|01:14||of expression, of physical and athletic activities,|
|01:18||It’s very vast, in fact, the kindergarten world.|
|01:22||Q: A French specificity? A: Well, French specificity really resides in the fact that|
|01:26||97% of children go to school [already],|
|01:30||even though it’s not compulsory; when there are other countries in Europe|
|01:35||or elsewhere, where children don’t go to school before turning six, or even later,|
|01:39||starting at seven years old. I think that you cannot deny that in France it’s also|
|01:43||a form of babysitting, so it’s very practical|
|01:47||for families, but I think that there is a true confidence of families in kindergarten|
|01:51||that results in the fact that parents in general entrust us with their children, to the teachers,|
|01:55||to be able to take care of their lives.