I was wondering if anybody had any experience of flexible schooling, that is, a situation where a child attends school part-time only and the rest of education is supplemented from home? Has anyone actually applied for a flexi system on the grounds of supporting their child's bilingualism?
I know that in Great Britain you normally have a choice of sending your child to school full time or educating them full time at home. However, it is possible in some circumstances to come to an arrangement with the Head teacher so that a child can attend school part-time only.
My 3.5 year old daughter is due to start at Reception next September, and whilst during this first year schools tend to allow part-time attendance or a postponed start, I'm wondering if supporting her bilingualism and introducing a third language would be viewed by a school as a legitimate enough reason for flexible education.
Let me add that I'm the sole minority language model for my daughter and she's already attending a preschool in the majority language (English) three days a week, which means that English is already her dominant language.
I am interested in your question since I homeschool my children. I have 6 children and I homeschool them in the majority and minority languages.
I live in Canada, so I don't think I can answer your question since the rules are different in each country and even vary between provinces/states. Where I live, we don't have to give a reason why we are homeschooling. Also, here you can do flexible schooling, but I don't know anyone personally who has done this. In the homeschool groups I have been a part of, they tend to flex-school more in the high school years if the child has a big interest in sports or specialized courses like shop or auto mechanics, etc. I think you would have to contact homeschoolers in Great Britain and learn more about the laws for your country.
Best of luck and I would love to hear more about how you balance schooling and homeschooling and what strategies you use to teach in the minority language.
Thank you for getting in touch. It was interesting to learn about your situation with regard to homeschooling your children and what the rules are in the part of Canada where you live. I think in Britain it is more straightforward to do homeschooling alone rather than the flexi system as it means more work and less certainty for schools in terms of tracking a pupil's progress. You're right, I need to contact homeschoolers in Britain to get more insight.
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