Sitting at a large table, Andrea (11) dictates to her older sister Alice (14), who obediently follows her. Nine-year-old Nathan is lying on the sofa and looking at his mobile phone. He is not playing, but revising his German. Ten years ago, Debora Mosteau-Lutolf took her children out of school to teach them at home in the heights of Lausanne. The youngest, 3-year-old Thalia, who is leafing through a children’s magazine, should follow the path of her brothers and sisters. “At first we thought that one day we would send the children back to school, but over the years, seeing them so fulfilled, the idea always seems more unlikely,” explains the mother-teacher.
However, the option that the canton of Vaud could impose on him, as it plans to tighten the screw: although today it is one of the most tolerant in this matter, Vaud could in the future require the title of teacher who teaches parents, the case in Friborg and Valais. Today’s Vaudois tolerance attracts families far and wide. “A certain form of tourism has become established,” confirms Debora Mosteau-Lutolf. Of the approximately 1,400 children educated at home in Switzerland, almost 600 are little Vaudois.
Read Cesla Amarella’s interview:
Boredom and anxiety
For the family that accepts us, home education was not immediately obvious. While the eldest daughter was looking forward to starting kindergarten, she was quickly disappointed. “She was bored in class, nervous and skipping class,” says Debora Mosteau-Lutolf, who just had her second baby. The girl is diagnosed with high potential (HP). Faced with this difficult situation, his parents first enroll him in a private school and then discover home education through friends. In the course of demonstrations of this alternative pedagogy, mother and children engage in the game Evaluation ten years later: Alicia, a former schoolgirl, does theatrical improvisation, archery and joins the young Conseil of Lausanne. He is thinking of doing the Federal Maturity, self-taught.
At the end of the 2nd kindergarten, Andrea, like her sister, wanted home school. 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 hockey club Lausanne. Nathan, the youngest son, followed the path of his elders. He found normal school attendance difficult due to severe dyspraxia (pathological clumsiness) and behavioral deficits.
According to their mother, who has worked in the field of multiple disabilities for a long time and who created the Facebook group “Ecole à la maison Suisse romande”, 60% of the families who follow home education have children with school phobia or cognitive impairment. The rest is based on conviction: greater flexibility, freedom and a better quality of life. According to the training department, these families are far from pain, but they have very diverse profiles. They often live in the countryside to respond to the ideal of comfort, but also due to economic necessity, for example when one of the parents does not work. Like our mom-teacher, who helps her husband develop his ski rental business from home, but has no income.
This Vaudoise, who grew up in Vers-chez-les-Blanc, on the heights of Lausanne, admits that it is not always easy to maintain the frame. The morning “usually from 9 o’clock” is usually devoted to “formal” teaching. In the afternoon it is time for activities or games outside in the large family garden.
However, there is no teacher-pupil hierarchy here, parents mostly follow the interests of their children. “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. Surrender to whims? “If necessary, I give letters and introduce exercises,” he answers.
The mother-teacher believes that her children take care of themselves better than other young people and create a routine for themselves. Like every day, Nathan practices typing before conjugating verbs under his mother’s supervision. As for the eldest, she is “very independent” and often revises on her own. Alicia reacts strongly to the too little socialization image of home education. “That’s what we hear all the time, but it’s not true.” On the contrary, he has “real friends” and some follow public education.
Is the level of the school the same as that of “normal” schoolchildren? Canton notes that it is “a bit lower overall.” Debora Mosteau-Lutolf responded that some delays can be compensated for 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 develop more. at home as in public school.
In the canton of Vaud, the only requirement is to follow the Romand study plan and pass the cantonal reference exams every two years. An inspector visits families every year to assess the level of education. They help each other according to the possibilities of each parent and organize joint classes.
No more Vaud laxity
Families exercise home education they are worried about the state’s intentions, fearing that it will “rule a reality it ignores” based on “a few dysfunctional cases”. “We are not against the government or extremists, we do not live in the woods,” assures Debora Mosteau-Lutolf. Home education is not a threat to public education, it is a salvation for some children.