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Chatting with a French mother

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 


I am a French mother of 2 boys, aged 13 and 7, living in the South of France but on the verge to move to England next summer.

I have no questions in particular but I thought maybe someone would be interested in talking with a French mother...

Or if I can be of any help for children who have difficulties with their French homework...

post #2 of 16

Hi Gabrielle,

How do you like home schooling in the south of France? We lived in les Bouches-du-Rhône for 8 years but moved away to another part of France when DS was 3 so we didn't have much experience homeschooling there.

Have you ever used EAD? Are you on the abcd13 list?

Enjoy the sunny south while you still can!


post #3 of 16

Bonjour et bienvenue.  Your french will sound much different than mine, which is Acadian-influenced "scholarly" Canadian french.  ;)


I'm not a francophone, just bilingual... so I haven't just naturally spoken french at home around my kids like I'd hoped I would.  Having to teach them par exprès instead.  But at least they're learning.  


12yo DS was slow to be interested, and even though we 'started' french when he was quite young, nothing and I mean NOTHING stuck until the past couple of years, where he's finally applying himself.  He can now read basic french readers -- like simple K-level kids' books -- independently, and his pronounciation is really quite good.  It's now mostly a matter of building vocabulary, syntax, and fluency. 


DD4 is much more keen.  So far she loves to ask "Comment t'appelles-tu?" and answer "Je m'appelle..." when she's asked.  She knows bonjour, bonne nuit, au revoir, je t'aime and je t'aime aussi... We're using Nallenart's "L'art de dire" as a guide for now, I'm trying to be a little more consistent with her since she is interested.  :)

post #4 of 16



I have a French Canadian husband and am "functionally bilingual" meaning you and I could have this conversation in French, but I would make a few grammatical mistakes.


I somewhat regret not speaking French to my children - I tried, but I never got in the habit.  


DD is in school this year and we put her in late immersion.  She is doing OK - but honestly, I am not overly concerned with her marks. She now knows some French and that is what counts.  Ds will be taking a cyber French class in a few weeks.  Maybe this will be the push I need to speak a bit more French.  Both of my older kids have chosen these routes.  I am glad (and proud!) my children are picking up the ball where I dropped it and taking responsability for learning French themselves.


FWIW, my Dh is fluently bilingual - and he grew up in a house where his mom spoke to him in French and his father in English.  It seemed to work well at producing a bilingual person.



post #5 of 16


I am American, my husband is French and we live in England with our 4 children.

We speak French and English at home (I am fluent in French), and the children follow the CNED curriculum, so have learned/are learning  to read and write in French. The older two have taught themsleves to read in English. I am not particularly thrilled with CNED, but DH is not really a homeschooler at heart and it is important to him that the children follow this curriculum. Oh well.

Where in England will you be living?

post #6 of 16

We have so much trouble with French homework! Maybe my daughter could email you on occassion with her questions.

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

Bonjour Needle in the Hay,


Thank you for your answer.


Actually we do not have much "home schooling" in France or I did  not hear about it...

And I must admit: I don't know what is EAD or abcd13.

My sons go to a private catholic school and I am very pleased with this school. They learn a lot of things, have reasonable

homework and are taught how to behave properly, to respect others and be tolerant.

Lots of my friends (some of them are teachers in the state sector) prefer to put their children in the private sector, this was not the case

in the past.


A bientôt!



post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Bonjour Heather,


Merci de me répondre ! Yes, the Canadian and the French accent are quite different but we love your Canadian accent, it is so cute.

But you know, I am from Paris and have been living in Marseille for 13 years now and when I first arrived: I had problems understanding the Southern accent.

They pronounce words differently and have their own words specific to the South.

I can easily imagine how difficult it is to teach French to children when they are not particularly interested. Moreover, I think that French is a difficult language to learn:

my 7 year old son sometimes asks me questions about the grammar in French and sometimes it is hard to explain!


It is a good thing to teach them when they are very young as you say with your DD4: they are like litlle sponges at this age, they learn so fast!

Continue !


I am doing the same thing with my DS7 but in English. And he likes it very much.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Dear Lisa1970,


I would be happy to help your daughter if I can.

In which year is she?

post #10 of 16
Oops. Reading your post again I see you did not say you homeschool. I guess I just assumed you did as this is the homeschooling forum and I do know French homeschoolers so it wouldn't strike me as odd at all.

I also know French public school teachers who have chosen private schools. Interesting...
Before I had my son I taught English in French schools which pretty well convinced me I would not be sending any kids of mine there (I was already similarly convinced about US schools!)

EAD is "Ecole A Distance" and abcd13 is an email list for homeschoolers in le 13 (as well as in the Var et Vaucluse) so it's only logical you wouldn't know those if you don't homeschool. According to one homeschool organization in France (NB: IEF= Instruction En Famille et CPC= Cours Par Correspondance):
"Actuellement sont généralement retenus les chiffres de 3000 enfants IEF, 20000 enfants au CNED et 10000 en CPC reconnus."

Bonne soirée.

ETA: I had problems with the Marseillais accent too! We are in Switzerland and one time I couldn't understand a waiter, which surprised me as I usually don't have difficulties here. My husband (who's French, also from Paris) asked him if he was by any chance from Marseille--he was. No wonder I didn't understand.
post #11 of 16

Where in England are you moving to?  I lived in England for a couple years, I loved it there!   


post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Dear Needle in the Hay,


I am so sorry for the misunderstanding ! I didn't notice I was on the homeschooling forum.

Sorry again and thank you for your information.


For the little story: I was in a Scottish restaurant with friends last year when the Scottish waiter who once worked in Marseille, told me : I recognize your accent! You are from Marseille!!!

I was so upset... because I must admit I don't like the accent that much. I like the "Provençal" accent which has nothing to do with the Marseille one, if you have lived in the Bouches du Rhône

I guess you know the difference... :-)


Bonne journée

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi Plain Leopard,


We will be living in Warfield, Bracknell. My husband has been living in England for 3 years now and comes back every week end. But in March he will be starting another job and won't be able to come every week end anymore so we will move to the UK in June, when school is over in France.

I have already chosen the primary school and college and I have an appointment to visit both of them in April but I don't know yet if my children will be accepted. It seems to depend on the Borough.

As my children will be going into the English system, I think that I will have to continue teaching French at home especially for my younger son who is 7 and who is just starting to learn all the subtilities of the French grammar at school...

Why do you say that you are not thrilled with the CNED? Did you have a bad experience with it?


Where are you living in the UK?


A bientôt

post #14 of 16

Salut Gabrielle!


I'm American and dh is French.  We live in America.  I'm preparing to start hs'ing my ds, who will be 7 and in 2nd grade next year. 


Do you have any good recommendations for interesting books in French for a child his age, but who reads at a slightly lower age?  I would estimate that he reads around a 5 or 6 year old level. 


Where are you in the South?  Dh is from La Ciotat. :)


post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi Rose-Roget,


I am from Marignane. Been living here for 13 years and moving to the UK (Windfield, Bracknell) in July: big change! :-)

My seven year old son is fond of books like "La Cabane Magique". The story is about 2 children going around the world and lots of things happen to them. There are about 15 littles stories in this series. I bought them on Amazon. I usually start reading the story and when I see that my son is very interested, I ask him to continue on this own.


Bonne journée

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

I made a mistake: I wrote on the forum for homeschooling. So I moved to the forum: UK.


See you there!

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