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Ask Jeanne: Answers to Your Homeschool Questions

by Mary Ann Kelley

TheHomeSchoolMom - Ask Jeanne: Homeschool Q&A

Jeanne Potts Faulconer answers your homeschool questions in this ongoing series from TheHomeSchoolMom. A popular speaker at homeschooling conferences, business groups, and parents’ groups, Jeanne has homeschooled her three sons in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Virginia. She is a former college faculty member, former editor and book reviewer for Home Education Magazine, a long-time editor for VaHomeschoolers Voice, and a recent news correspondent for WCVE, an NPR-member station.

Jeanne teaches writing and literature for her youngest son’s homeschool co-op, and she is a student of how learning works – at home, in the music room, in small groups, in the college classroom, on the soccer field, and in the car to and from practice. Holding her Master of Arts degree in Communication, Jeanne conducts portfolio evaluations for Virginia homeschoolers for evidence of progress. To read more of Jeanne’s writing, inquire about a homeschool evaluation, or ask her to speak to your group, visit her blog, At Each Turn. To read more of Jeanne’s posts, visit her contributor page.

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Recent homeschool questions and answers

Ask Jeanne: Is My Wife Really Homeschooling?

Ask Jeanne: Is My Wife Really Homeschooling? Question: My wife has been homeschooling my 6 and 8 year old daughters for almost 2 years now. At first I was against it but after it caused friction in my home, I decided to support her. Lately, I have been in a dilemma. I’ve noticed that my wife hasn’t done any school work with my kids for months now (about 2 months to be exact). Anytime I mention if they she have done school with the kids, she gets highly upset… Read More »

Ask Jeanne: Age Restrictions in Homeschool Co-ops and Classes

Ask Jeanne: The people who run the homeschool co-ops and classes we're interested in won't let me sign up my academically advanced child above his age group What gives? I’m a new homeschool mom with an eight year old who is really advanced in his academic skills. My problem is that the people who run the classes and co-ops we’re interested in won’t let me sign him up above his age group. This includes our county recreation department, the local history museum, and activities sponsored by our local homeschool group. How can I get them to place him correctly so he won’t be bored? This is one of the reasons we took him out of school. He started reading and writing at an early age, and he got in trouble ... Read More »

Ask Jeanne: Homeschooling the Child Behind in School

Ask Jeanne: My son is 12 and in 6th grade but is reading at a 1.5 grade level. How do I go back and teach him the basics of reading and math? My son is 12 and in 6th grade. He is failing this year. Truthfully, I don’t know how he has passed in past years, and this year he seems to be regressing. He is currently reading at a 1.5 grade level. It is making it impossible for him to learn anything in school when he can’t read. He is in special ed, but they can not work with him one-on-one – not enough resources. We have spoken with the special ed dept and the staff and they agree that pulling him out of school and working with him at home ... Read More »

Ask Jeanne: Homeschooling with a Doubting Dad

Ask Jeanne: My husband still has a lot of doubts that this will work for our family. How can I educate him about and involve him in homeschooling? We will be homeschooling all three of our daughters this fall (ages 9, 12 and 17). I am excited and nervous about this new adventure, but my husband still has a lot of doubts that this will work for our family. He recently said “I’ll never see you” and thinks homeschooling will take over our life. Are there any resources out there to educate him on the benefits, and to somehow involve him more in this change? Thank you. Read More »

Ask Jeanne: Work Full Time and Homeschool Five?

Ask Jeanne: Is it possible to work full-time and homeschool? I work full time, and so does my husband. There is no way I could stay home and be a full time mom. We have 4 high schoolers and the youngest is in intermediate. The youngest we have the most trouble with, and I am at wit’s end trying to get her at grade level of her peers without medication. I have read about families who work full time and still homeschool their children. If I could make this work in our lifestyle, I would be interested in learning more about it. In addition, I would like to start a “trial” period during the summer months. Are their ... Read More »

Ask Jeanne: Do Homeschoolers Get a Diploma?

Ask Jeanne: Do Homeschoolers Get a Diploma? Dear Jeanne, Do homeschoolers get a diploma? Half of my family is pro-homeschooling and half is anti-homeschooling. How do I convince my family that homeschooling would be a better and more positive solution than public school?S.H. in Colorado You have a couple of overt questions and a couple of implied ones. Let’s see what we can tease apart here, because these are common concerns for prospective homeschoolers. Homeschool Diplomas What you are talking about when you mention the diploma, I think, is whether homeschooling will open or close doors for your children. It sounds like your family – and maybe you – have concerns ... Read More »

Ask Jeanne: When a Teacher Turns Homeschool Mom

Ask Jeanne: Homeschooling is hard because of my background teaching elementary school -- how can I let go of the desire for structure? Dear Jeanne, It’s so freeing to hear your thoughts about the effectiveness of a more informal education! I have realized that homeschooling is hard because of my background in teaching elementary school. It’s hard to shake away from formal lessons and expected structure, but, when I do, my active 6yo boy thrives! Sincerely, Teacher Mom Jeanne’s response: Ah yes. All my elementary teacher friends say that this is the hardest thing for them. You are in good company here. Try to think about how much you did in a classroom was because you were in a classroom — with 25 kids who ... Read More »

Ask Jeanne: Speech Delay and Reading Comprehension

Ask Jeanne: Would a speech delay directly affect the child's ability to comprehend and read simultaneously? My question is this: in your opinion would speech delay in a child directly affect the child’s ability to comprehend and read simultaneously – meaning, the ability to read words is good, however the understanding while reading seems to be disconnected. My little girl is turning 6 at the end of the month and although had a speech delay which was identified at 3, she is now within the “normal” spectrum … translated as: her speech and language therapist says she has caught up with her peers but still has some pronunciation issues. Read More »

Ask Jeanne: Don’t Homeschool My Grandchildren

Ask Jeanne: How can I talk my son and daughter-in-law out of homeschooling? I know you know about this homeschooling thing. I understand it probably can help some kids, but my grandchildren are absolutely fine, and they don’t need it. My daughter-in-law quit her very good job when they were born (twin girls) and now when we bring up preschool, she says she’s homeschooling. I thought this would pass, but she recently mentioned not registering for kindergarten next year. We have really good schools here, probably some of the best in the country, and I am devastated thinking about these dear little girls missing out. My son won’t talk to me about it; ... Read More »

Ask Jeanne: What Curriculum for Homeschooling Active & Outdoorsy Boys?

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: What is the best curriculum for homeschooling boys that are active and outdoorsy? We just started homeschooling about a month ago. Our son is in first grade. We purchased the curriculum (here she named a specific well-known Christian curriculum), but it’s not going as well as I had hoped. My son really doesn’t like the structure of the program. He’s a six-year-old boy who loves to be outside. Any encouragement, advice, resources, wisdom, or thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks so much! Read More »

Ask Jeanne: Concerns about Spelling

Ask Jeanne: Concerns about spelling After we’d met for a homeschool evaluation, a mom of a ten year old wrote to me with concerns about her son’s spelling. We have are having an issue (problem?) with spelling. Up until last fall we had been using All About Spelling with good success (I thought) and had made it through five levels. Since then, it’s kind of fallen to the wayside, and every few weeks I have my son write a story, mark the words he has misspelled (which he always identifies), and then work on spelling them correctly. When he tries to write things out, he ... Read More »

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