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Thought bubble with text "Ask Jeanne TheHomeSchoolMom" and separate square shape with text "Do I need teacher training to homeschool? If it isn't necessary, would it be beneficial anyway?"

Ask Jeanne: Do I Need Teacher Training to Homeschool?

I am not a parent yet but intend on having children and homeschooling them in the future. I’ve done a lot of research but never really found an answer to my question. I know that in my state it is not necessary for the parent to have a teaching degree, but I’d like to know whether getting a teaching degree (there are some online as well) or even attending a few college courses surrounding how to teach children would benefit the parent homeschooling the children. I’m getting my pharmacy doctorate so a teaching degree would be extra time and money so I’d like your opinion on whether you think it would be worth it. Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: I don't know what to do to get my seven year old to do her school work without a meltdown every few minutes.

Ask Jeanne: Tips for Homeschooling a Difficult or Defiant Child

My 7-yr old spends most of her homeschool time in tantrums wanting to short-cut her work. We have tried everything from punishment to taking away free-time activities. I am at my wit’s end and I don’t know what to do to get her to do her school work without a meltdown every few minutes. Do you have any advice that may help? Continue reading »

Can a 20 year old earn a homeschool diploma?

Ask Jeanne: Can a 20-Year-Old Earn a Homeschool Diploma?

As a parent of a high school homeschooler, I was approached by a neighbor who asked if I knew what the age limit was to begin homeschool. Her 20-year-old son never finished school, sadly. It seemed almost impossible for him to get his GED, having been enrolled on and off since he was 16. Knowing the need for a diploma, she’s considering homeschool, believing with one-on-one teaching, he will obtain his diploma, and his future will much brighter. Unable to find information on the North Carolina Homeschool help website about age restrictions, I’m hoping you can help us. Continue reading »

Woman thinking "I can't homeschool - I have to work!"

“I Can’t Homeschool – I Have to Work!”

Recently, a visitor commented on a post on TheHomeSchoolMom about educating at home. This visitor expressed sentiments that homeschoolers often hear, including the idea that homeschooling is only for privileged families that can afford for at least one parent to stay home. This Ask Jeanne column is a response to the general notion that homeschooling is out of reach for many families because of finances. Continue reading »

Homeschooling and immunizations

Ask Jeanne: Homeschooling and Immunization Law

I have a 4-year-old little girl. We have always wanted to homeschool her. The main reason for this decision is we don’t agree with vaccinations. My fiancé is older than I am. He grew up in the ’70s, so in his mind, this was going to be easy. Well, times have changed. I have been doing research, and it seems so much harder than I was thinking. I’m so overwhelmed with information that I don’t know where to start. My little girl is so smart, and she’s easy to teach, so we’ve got that down, but as far as the law goes we, of course, want to make sure we follow the guidelines so it doesn’t backfire on us. If there is any way of simplifying all of this, I would greatly appreciate any advice. Continue reading »

Homeschooling to Prevent Dropping Out of High School

Ask Jeanne: Homeschool a Prospective Dropout?

I am seriously looking into whether homeschooling would be an appropriate option for my high school student who is failing in the public school system. She’s extremely bright, and excels in honors and higher courses, but is failing everything else. I believe homeschooling might be helpful, but I also know it could backfire too. We desperately need some expert advice! ~ Concerned in Colorado Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: Should I homeschool for social anxiety?

Ask Jeanne: Homeschooling and Social Anxiety

Our reader Sue asked a question about homeschooling and social anxiety in response to our piece, “What About Socialization?” We thought it was such an important question, we decided to feature it as part of our Ask Jeanne column. Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: Online Homeschool Programs

Ask Jeanne: Online Homeschool Program?

The first few weeks of school this year haven’t gone well for Cheryl, and she wrote to me for help deciding whether to homeschool her 7th and 11th graders who are in negative school situations. I wanted to answer a specific part of her question in greater detail: I have never homeschooled and I need advice. I thought of doing the online homeschool called [name of virtual public school withheld]. Please help! Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: Help! Should I Homeschool?

Ask Jeanne: Help! Should I Homeschool?

My son has just started a small private Christian school but I am not at all happy with it. I want to withdraw him but I need to make sure it is the right decision. He is in 7th grade. My husband is worried he will be isolated. He is also not disciplined enough to sit continuously without being distracted. My 11th-grade daughter is in an honors charter high school. The work is rigorous and she often comes home crying. I have never homeschooled and I need advice. I thought of doing an online homeschool. Please help! ~ Cheryl Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: Who decides what grade a child is in?

Ask Jeanne: “Does school decide what grade?”

We have moved and I would like him to attend our new home public school at the beginning of the second semester. If I began the school year doing 3rd grade work, would they accept him as a 3rd grade student at the second semester? Who decides what grade a child enters when they return back to public schools? Continue reading »

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… Continue reading »

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?

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

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 in school because he already knew how to do everything they were working on in the classroom. I’m frustrated that people don’t seem to accept that he is gifted and should be in higher level classes. People talk about homeschoolers being able to work at a customized level, but then they apply restrictions that are similar or identical to school. What gives? ~ Frustrated Mom Continue reading »

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?

Ask Jeanne: Homeschooling the Child Behind in School

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 would be best for him. I want to go back and teach him the basics of reading and math. My question is how do I legally do this? I mean I want to start over with him at 1st grade, so how do I do that and still have him enrolled in some homeschool program? He doesn’t have the ability to go to school and then me teach him the basics at home. It’s just too much for him. So how do I start over with him? Please help. Continue reading »

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?

Ask Jeanne: Homeschooling with a Doubting Dad

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. Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: When Grandparents Don't Like Homeschooling

When Grandparents Don’t Like Homeschooling

Dear Jeanne,

Hi all, so I have made the decision to homeschool my son again for his 4th grade year. He also has a two-year-old baby sister whom I also intend to homeschool. I homeschooled my son up until 3rd grade, when I made the choice to allow him to go to public school because of personal health issues. Also contributing was the fact that my mother and younger sister would not stop arguing with me about how he needs this that or the other that he can get “more” of in public school, which I knew was wrong, but here I am having this argument again, and I don’t know how to deal with them. They have a tendency to be very opinionated — mostly behind my back but in front of my children. I don’t want to tell them they can’t take the kids anymore, but I’m tired of this! Do you have any suggestions that might help dealing with family that disagrees with you??? PLEASE HELP! Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: Is it possible to work full-time and homeschool?

Ask Jeanne: Work Full Time and Homeschool Five?

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 any resources available for summer curriculum and assistance
for full time working parents? ~ A Working Mom Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: Do Homeschoolers Get a Diploma?

Ask Jeanne: Do Homeschoolers Get a Diploma?

“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?” 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. Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: Homeschooling is hard because of my background teaching elementary school -- how can I let go of the desire for structure?

Ask Jeanne: When a Teacher Turns Homeschool Mom

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 had to get through a set curriculum… Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: Would a speech delay directly affect the child's ability to comprehend and read simultaneously?

Ask Jeanne: Speech Delay and Reading Comprehension

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. Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: How can I talk my son and daughter-in-law out of homeschooling?

Ask Jeanne: Don’t Homeschool My Grandchildren

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; I think he has his head in the sand and is so busy supporting the family (this is a high cost area) that he just goes along. I know homeschooling should be legal for the children who need alternatives if they can’t function in school, but this is not the case. How can I get them to open their eyes? Continue reading »