Sarah Morgan

Healthcare Geek.
Professional Communicator.


On Homeschooling with Jeanne Dee – Part 4

Go here to see the first, second and third parts of my interview with Jeanne.

This is the fourth and final installment. As I noted, the conversation has opened my mind a great deal, and I hope that it’s done the same for you, too.

Looking back, would you change or adjust anything? What are your concerns moving forward?

Not much, because we are really pleased at how it is working out, but like I mentioned earlier, sometimes I wish that we had never done any school. I worry about how schools create a group mentality, and even though we have learned from schools and they have been spectacular for language and cultural immersion in a foreign land (which are more attachment friendly due to culture norms) and a source for friends, a part of me would prefer to not had any of the negative influences of school. I think school culture also promotes consumerism, especially in the U.S., and that is something we wanted her away from.

I think my biggest fear moving forward is the negative influence of schools. I’m not sure if it is possible to retain the self fully in a school system. She has a lot of freedom inside her and I want her to retain this same almost-10-years-old invincible and free-spirit energy to adulthood. I think that is much harder to do in schools, especially for females that are more susceptible to social conditioning.

I’m torn because schools in a foreign land are a fantastic way to immerse deeply into a language, but Chinese schools also tend to be very rigid with lots of pressure and homework. We will have to see how it works. We are also open to working with a tutor. I also had fears before going to Spain, though, so I know it will all work out one way or another.

I also plan to skip the insane university debt and SAT madness like my friend Maya Frost did with her four daughters, who all graduated from college very early and debt-free. I think it is shameful to burden young people or parents with such debt and pressures and think it can easily be avoided today. Being very fluent in 3 dominant languages should give my child more options than most.

Where are you as you write this?

I am writing this from Barcelona. We have been here a month. This is our ninth or tenth time since we began in 2006, at this beautiful resort near the beach. Later this week, we will head into France, slowly making our way through Provence to Paris, which we haven’t seen in a few years.

Right now, she is playing with her best friend here in Spain. She lives ten minutes away, but they are camped next door to us with their caravan. We’ve spent much of this month with them and when they were home we did webcam calls together. We had dinner with them last night and today the kids are having lunch here. They have a dog that she loves to play with and take for walks. The kids can do much by themselves, like go to the pools, store, restaurant, kids disco, zoo, kids club, etc. – and we do lots together too like the special bodega that we visited with them yesterday.

There are many European families from many countries here on their typical summer holiday, so there is a happy, family-friendly atmosphere. She does her homeschool when she wakes up, plays most of the day and we usually read and cuddle together at night and sometimes watch a movie together. Ordinary things in an extraordinary place.



Jeanne seems like she and her husband have done the necessary legwork/research on brain-based learning that one would need in order to effectively homeschool a child. They’ve also committed to maintaining a certain type of lifestyle that lends itself to homeschooling. Their child is literally seeing the world and has it at her fingertips, which is great. What worries me is that I’m not sure every person who attempts homeschooling would take the same, thorough approach (and not everyone has the resources, financial or otherwise, to be able to do so).

Also, I’m curious — is her child involved in any sports or other team activities? It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and I’m wondering if her child is exposed to/prepared for that type of competitive atmosphere.

As a teacher, it makes me sad that I’m hampered so much by strict state mandates and district curricula. I certainly don’t have the flexibility or luxuries that a parent who homeschools does…but with that said, I still think we should give credit to the hundreds of thousands of teachers everywhere who work their rear ends off on a daily basis, trying the best they can to help reach as many kids as possible. 😉

Sarah Morgan

Thank *you*, Jeanne! One of my friends is actually considering home-schooling right now, so I hope this might be useful for her. And for me, definitely, it’s food for thought. As we discussed, it’s been fascinating to see what a different experience of the same thing looks like – it’s really helped me to differentiate between what’s inherent to home-schooling and what isn’t. You’re the best.

If you want to follow Jeanne’s family’s journey, check out


Thanks for the interview Sarah, it was fun. I suppose, like you, many of your readers are young so not really thinking in terms of homeschool. Even though homeschoolers are a growing minority in the US, it is still an unusual route to go, so many folks know little about it.

We all have our own school experiences, but starting to deal with schools as a new parent, is a whole new ball game. It is great that you are already thinking about these things before having children. There are soooo many decisions once you have a child. that the more informed you are , the better.

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