My freshman daughter has three F's on her recent progress report. She is a smart girl but wants to be popular and may think that good grades would result in others seeing her as a nerd. I'm considering homeschooling her. Would this be the best solution? -- Want to Help


Don't jump into homeschooling your child unless she is all for it. The better approach is to find out why she is having problems at school. Many freshmen experience difficulty until they get the hang of handling more difficult work and their social life.

More may be in play here than the desire to be popular. Have a discussion with your daughter about why she is receiving poor grades. Ask about test scores, classwork, homework and her attitude toward better grades. Then the two of you should have a conference with all of the teachers who gave her failing grades. She must play a prominent role at this conference in devising a plan to turn things around. Does she need special help from the school, the teachers or a tutor? Does she simply need to do her homework? Does she need study or time-management skills? Should her social life be greatly curtailed until she gets better grades?