The Citrus County School Board has released two options for school in the fall. One option is virtual and one is in a brick and mortar school. Parents actually have two other options: private schools or home school. While most students will stay with some version of public school, I hope to dispel misconceptions about home-schooling options. My husband and I successfully home educated all four of our children and now help home-school our grandchildren. My husband Michael taught in the Citrus County public schools and was even Teacher of the Year three times. I have helped home school moms on the local, state and national level for 28 years.

A few misconceptions to clear up right away: You can get a diploma and go to college if you home-school. You do not need to get a GED unless that is an option you wish to choose. Home school is not school at home. You have unlimited freedom to educate your child any way you wish. There are virtual options, prepackaged curriculum or any method you opt to use that best fits your own family. Personally, I always liked to cobble together my own program with the opportunities and resources I had available at any given time. You do not have to follow a school calendar or school hours. You have freedom to school when and where you want. I used to take off most of December and then do schooling throughout the summer on a modified schedule. It worked great for our family.

While I have seen over the course of 28 years that any one can educate their own children, I do recognize that not everyone should or desires to avail themselves of this option. If you do feel it is something that will work for you, I love to help families with questions and suggestions. It is what I do. Feel free to contact me at

Patti Ballard