The preparation for our adventure…

Let me start from the beginning…coast-normandie

A year ago, when Bill and I realized that our children’s time at L’Ecole Francaise du Maine (a French Immersion Program), was coming to an end, we knew we had to start planning for next steps.  Our son, Kale, had completed the elementary school program and the cost of local private schools in Maine seemed so cost prohibitive.  Our family started looking for a new option for schooling.  Bill feverishly Googled Catholic private schools and French public schools in France for Kale (age 12) and Madison (age 8).  He stumbled upon a lot of information but was drawn to the region of Normandy.

Normandy has gorgeous beaches and a beautiful coastal region.  We are living in Portland, Maine (a beautiful coastal region in the Northeast USA) and decided that we wanted to be someplace coastal again.  Normandy also has a very fertile agricultural area, with some of the most amazing wines and cheeses (especially Camembert), fresh non-GMO produce, grass feed beef and free range chickens. The idea of having a naturally clean food supply, instead of always shopping at Whole Foods for safer food, appealed to us.  Finally, the history of the region, the D-Day Beaches of Normandy, where during WWII, western allies launched the largest amphibious invasion in history against Germany, seemed like a great way to expose our children to history first hand.

Why France? Why the French education system?  We love the culture!  Also, the French Public School System is renowned for its strong Math and Science programs.  We heard great endorsements of the French Private Catholic School System too (and it’s a fraction of the cost of private schools in the United States).  We found out that Kale, in 7th grade, would be taking Physics, Chemistry, Geometry, Technology, History, French, English and he decided on a 3rd language (German), Gym, Music, Art and homemade lunches (with 3 courses); all very impressive in our estimation.

As luck should have it, we found the Powell Family online.  They had moved from Wales to Percy-en-Normandie.  The Powell’s had started a Gite business and had made the transition the year before.  Their children spoke zero French (ages 5 and 10 when they arrived in Normandy) and now are conversing in French and attending the local school system.  Children are amazing and also resilient! We decided to rent a Gite from them, for a few years, and then look into buying something of our own.  This set-up also gives me, the uncertain one, the ability to “back out”, and say, “let’s move home”. So now we are going to be living in the Amelia Gite at, “The Gites de Jonquille” meaning the Guest Houses of the Daffodils. Percy-en-Normandie, will be our home. Stay tuned…


By Tara Magaw

2 thoughts on “The preparation for our adventure…”

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