Page 1

u.s. $6

GG WITFIOI.]T

Apr./May 1995

S fssue 104

From Child's Work to Adult Work

Tl-rough ts fi-om Psycl-rol ouists

Mothers Reflect on TheirWork


-

,

I

â‚Źorr*nta News & Reports p. 3-b

How Many Horneschoolers in FL, Are Schools' Test Scores Accurate?, Local Access TV From Child's Work to Adult Work p.

6_g

Grown homeschoolers trace the connections between what they did as young chilclren at.rd what

they are doing today.

Before itwas Called Homeschoolingp.

l0-ll

Being out of school in the 1960s ancl 'Z0s Mothers Think about TlrcirWorkp. 12-14 Challenges & Concerns p. l5-17 Reading at 13, Socializatior-r, l,earnins to Relax Watching Children Learn p. 18-23

Earning Money, Learning in

tl"re

Community,

Detective Club, Typical Day, playing with Math, Science by Mail

FOCUS: How One Thing Leads to Another p.24-20 Teacher-Pleasing, Grading

-

and Learning? p. 3l_33

Psychologists Reflect on Homeschooling p. l4_IE

Opportunities & Activities p. 36 Additions to Directory pen-pals p. 3i-3g Book Reviews p. 39

Issun #104 Ann.,/M,ry 1991'r

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FouNocu lN lg77 Ilv.forrrv Hor_r

Eorron - SusaNN,rrr Stu:rrr:.n . ptrllr.rsnltn - paL.nrcr FAncN(;,r . C.Ntrusur.lNlt; Enrrrx - Dottru,r Rrr;tt.trx o B<l<txrEtpr:n & Errrronr,rt. Asslsrmr - Mrrnr- IVl,tHr:n r Orrrr:r: M,rru,rr;nn - D,rr.F,tnr:Nr;..1 . Suns<;nrr,tLon M,tN.,tr;en - RrN'l KEt.l,t'o St'rptNt; M,tNer;l:n _ p'lt, Cn,lNstteu, . SttrpptNc; Assls'r,rNrs - ANNrr: TuivrlrrNO

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"Little children love the r'r'orlcl. That is why they are s<> goorl at learning about it," wroto .fohn l{olt in the revised l1ozu

( )lti kl nn Learn. Thirteen-year<rlcl Rebecca Beirne writes in this issue of (l'WS about how srlrdying orre srrbject lcads her into an ever-wider array of other sul>jects, arrrl slte conclucles,

"Basically, I love people and the wo.ld ancl rva.t to Iir-rrr '.t rnore about both." When I read rhar, I thought to rnyself; there it is, the heart of tl.ris issue's Foctrs and of the entire GWS philoso_ phy. Learnitrg is about embracing the world, not abotrt being shoved into it: deciding whar to Iearn rrexr is like contenrplating a banquet table, not like contemplating a trip to the dentist's office. Trre stories in this issue's Foctrs make it seem as if the world is ftrll of doors. you can enter anpvhere and eventtrally get anywhere. IJut one cautionary worcl: Sometirnes when people hear that, say, cooking led a child to lezrrn about frzrcti<_ms, they will attempt to set up a sirnilar situati.' in ar eflbrt to rnake this happen for their child as well. They think in terrns of curricultrm rather than le:rrning, and they say, ,,1 see; rve'll clo a orr cooki'g and teach frzrcti.ns th;.trsh that." Yet to luv'nit ear, the chilcl who tells us about learnirrg fiactions tltrotreh cookins is saying, ,,I cooked because I w:rntecl t' c.'k, and because the worlcl is so rnarvel.*sly,

interconnected, because so rtrany things involve other things, I fbturcl rnyself learning fr-actions as part of that other activity." That's the tone the kicls irr this isstre's Foc.s take. They say that a partictrlar activity or book or movie inspired thent to go olt to do or reacl or think about sorne_ thing else, not that they or someone else clevised this course of study as a clever nleans of making sure that a par_ ticular goal got met. To put it another tvay, these kids didn't separate work from play or pleasure from challenge ; they didn't cclat the "medicine" of literattrre or history oi plrysics with the "c:rncly" of a vide<l garne or a rnovie <rr a song. Rather, they took each interest seriously, followed it, and foturcl thirt one thing led to another. In many ways this issue of GWS is about connections, brrt it's not about the connections that we can mahehap_ pen. Instead it's about the connections that come about when kicls are taken seriously, when work is defined broacl_ ly, and when paths are allowed to unfold in unexpected rvays. Thtrs, we have a section in which grown homeschool_ ers describe how tl.reir chirdhood activities connect to their adult work, but tltese are connections they see in hincl_ sight, not connectiorrs that they or their parents tried to mandate at tlte tilne. As an experirnent, try reading throtrgh these stories or tlre ones in the Focrrs section Iooking specifically for incli_ catiolts of how other people were involvecl in what the kids dicl. So often other.s rvere tllere, strpporting, suggesting, inviting, responding, and senerally sharing in the aclven_ ture. I can understanrl this. Traveling along the pathways o{'knorulerlge nrrcl experience with young people who have strclr zest lirr tlre jotrntev is cer-tainly my chief reason for spendirrg tirnc tvitlr h<tnreschoolers! - Susannah Sheffer ()nonr^-r; Wrlrrcrlr S<:rroor.rNr; #104

.

Apnrr_/M,rv 1995


llruot E.ftlqortt

the real business of helping kids learn. Frorn the article:

In the late 1980s, test scores rose drarnatically in the Oklahoma City ptrblic schools lvhen then-superintenclent Arthtrr W. Steller encouraged

How Many Homeschoolers in Florida?

'l'\rc stute's

suruq asks honteschoolers tlrcir ptintnry reasons for hotneschooling,

ue try to print

these

Jigures uhen o slale

otganizatiott rnakes llrcm utailable. 'l-lte .lanuaty-I;ebruuty issue o.f the l;lorida Prtrent liducnlms Association neusletter

ISS:] \4henever figures about hrlmeschoolers' standardized test scores are available, these scores are

take tests.

generally in the high percentiles. Not all states require homeschoolers to take stanclardized tests, horvever-: irr several states, lirmilies can choose testing liom iunong several options. Solne

Although tl'rere is r.ro comprehensive strrdy of exclrrsionary practices in the nation's school systems, anecdotal ancl statistical evidence suggest some prrblic school systems ... exclude large

clitics

numbers of sttrdents.

Since the l99l-92 academic year,

'religiotrs reasons' have been a secondiuy rn()tivator for registered homeschoolers. This indicates a clenrographic broadening of the f)ight of firnrilies fl'onr rvhat the state's sur-\,e), sa)/s tlley deem an unsatisfactory

public system.

rcporls:

Floricla Statrrte 229.80i1 directs the Florida Departrnent of' Education t<r c<>ndrrct an anntral educational slln/ey of' Florida's schools. Horneschooling families who register rvith their superintendent receive tl-ris suney by rurail, rrsually in October. ... Sunrmarized below are sollle fhcts fronr these

Are Schools' Test Scores

srrrveys.

l. Ntrrnber of families

ancl chil-

dren registerecl rvith their supelintencle rtts (by olficial FI)OE count) : 1986-87: I,901 fanrilies, having 2,579 children 1987-8U: 2,716 fanrilies, having 4.137 children

1988-89: 4,153 fanrilies, having ti,035 chilcL'err I9fl9-90: 5,344 families, having 7.703 cltilclren l1)90-9 l: (i,356 f:unilies, han,ing 1),992 chil<h'en t99l-92: 7,203 families, having I 1.048 children

1992-93: 9,378 fanrilies, havir-rg 14,208 children

1993-94: I I,228 families, having 16,740 children

Keep ir-r rnir-rd that the Floricla Palent Edrrcators Associution slllleys inclicate that only about 507o o1' Floridir's horneschoolers register rvitlI tlreir srrpelintendent; alrnost all of the l'('st ur(: Ir'cgistclc<l as lrlivatt' scltoolsl, :rrtrl :tlc not inclrtrlc<l in thc c()unts ab<lve.

grades.

Thorrsands of students rvere placed in special education or bilingual classes rvhere they were often exempt fi'om tests. The number of strrdents tested during Steller's tenLlre dropped frorn 34,000 in 198485 to 19,000 eight years later. ... Steller, norv the Boston public schools' deptrty superintendent, acknowleclged that fltrnking students or putting thern in transition grades would inflate a system's test scores, but he cleniecl that Oklahorna City school offlcials sought to improve scores by excluding students. He also noted that teaclrers ancl parents, not supcrintendents. decide rvhich students do not

tttttl llte I'-l)liA c0til,ilenls:

Many people are intaesled to knou hout manl lnmesclnolers llu:re are in the U.5.. l4lhile figtu'es for the entire rcuntty ure onl^9 broad estimales, figures Jbr intlfuid'ual slales catr be nore precise, and

teachers to either flunk or place thousands of sttrdents in transitional

Accurate?

say that this mearns the resulting

test sc()res rvill necessarily be higher than averzrge, since the kids taking the test are a self-selected grotrp. In a seDse, that's true - when parents do have a choice in the matter, they nnrttrrally pref'er to have only those kicls who are cornfortable witl-r tests be the clnes rvho have to take them. It ttrrns out that many school . systenrs ck> the sarre thing, however'. An article irr the l/30/95 Boston Globe looks at the way school systems inflate

their average scores by exemptiug sorre students frorn taking the test the verl students who are less likely to do well (studer.rts in special education classes, for exarnple, and students wltose lirst langtrage is not English). Wrile it's irritating to learn that rve :rre being rnisled by skewed figures, it seenrs tlrat tlre more irnportant point here is that it's not fair to judge enyone

-

sclrool

on tlle

s)'ste rns

l>asis

ol lrorncsclroolers -

ol'these sct>res. In both

settings, rvolrying about the test scores directs people's zrttention irrvay fr-orn

()n<ll'rxr; WI'l rrotrL' S<:rtoot-rxr; #I04 o Apnrr.,/M.rr' I91)5

Many systems, for example, postpone the testing of students by flunking them, although current educational research opposes that practice. And systerns exclude other students by placing them in classes for special education students, despite research that they may be better served in regular classrooms, specialists say.

Improving test scores matters mightily in the nation's school systems. The scores can make or break the career of srrperintendents and principals. ... The proportion of students included in reported test scores ranges from a low of 66 percent in Boston to a high of 93 percent in Memphis, according to a study last year of l4 large school systems conducted for the Eclucation Writcrs Association. ... Aborrt three years ago, Forest Reece, then :r member of the Oklahonrir Boar<l ol' lldrrcation, surueyecl schools that hacl worked their way off

the state's probationary list throtrgh

higher test scores. He found that in 20


* schools two oI'every tlrree students had been exempted li()m state rests because of a special need r>r dif ficulty speaking English. ... "I've had aclrninistrators tell rne they ask the kids whetlrer he or she wants to take the test," said.lalnes

of [The National center on Educational Outcomes at the University of Minnesotal . "If tlre kid says he wants to take the test, we give the test. Then we look at the test. If they did a real lousy.job, we simply shred the results." ... Children across the United States spend the equivalent of 20 million school days a year taking rests. The annual cost to adrninister stale and local tests and related services: Yseldyke, director

$900 rnillion. "You don't have to be rnucl-r of a statistician to know if you can knock

out lthe bottom] l0 to 20 percent of your class, your scores are going to go up,"

Thomas Haladyna, an Arizona State University researcher . ... says

Homeschooling in Guam Chris Sims (Guarn) tutitc.s:

Guam is a lovely place to

homeschool. The Departlnent of Education requires registration and recommends three hours of "study and recitation" for 175 days per year. There is no reqtrirement for reporting on progress or testing. AJter the August 8, 1993 earrhquake damaged so many classrooms, class sizes nearly doubled and many, many more families joined the ranks of homeschoolers, rnuclt, I'm sure, to the relief of DOE officials. \{hen I pulled my daughter out ofschool (tong before the earthquake), I got trothing bur support from her teacher, the principal, the office staff, and the school counselor. They even olfered rne three years' worth of skills checklists and

other resources!

Publicizing Homeschooling on Local Access TV Ned Vare (C7:) told us tltat he has been lalking about homesclwolittg on local, access W. We ashzd him to tell other readets about his exlteriences: 4

Nuws & I{uponls

* it zrnd no one else is inconvenienced. write scripts fbr myself in which l talk :rbout rvhat is wrong with sch<lolirrg

Do y<tu know how easy it is t<> get a show on TV? I can set up ()rlr calner:l r>n tlte livir.rg room floor, point it at a chair, sit down, r'eaclr out :rn<l ttrr-n it

on, hold up cards with titles, r.ea<l a script or.just say what I want to say, cnd with a srnile :rnd nravbe with rnv phone number or other irrfornratiorr, and I can give that tape to the tr.affic manager of the local access TV channel. Bingo! I'm on the air. The show plays in rotation with others every few hours around the clock for several days. I can say or do anything

that's decent and non-commercial. In this town, hardly a local issue comes up that somebody docsn't get a few people together to make a show that pushes one side of the issue (usually there are shows made by both sicles). If I can do it, anybody can. I'll back up: about two years ago, our sonJonathan, norv 15, and I were invitecl to help videotape one of otrr town's regrrlar prrlllic nlectings, a selectlnan's or board of edtrcation (I can't remenrber). A fcw days later we went to a meeting of the TV group and were warmly welcomecl, shown

arounrl the f:rcilitics, iurd were told that, with only a f'ew sessions of (free) instnlction, we cotrld rrse any ol- the equiprnent including several calneras, lights, editing console, character generator (for making titles), and we could make shows on any subject we wanted. Of course, the technology is somewhat daunting if it is all trnfarniliar, brrt it is designed to be incredibly easy to trse, and farniliarity collles quickly. Otrr town, Guilforcl, has abotrt 20,000 people. Local access TV is a locally rlln, nonprofi t, tax-supportecl (pltrs mernberships) organization rvith the procltrction facilities clescrilted above and a transmitting station at the cornmunity center. Jonathan and I have helped tape several tolvn meetings but have not yet trsed the facilities at the studio. I have taken a few training sessions in the editing area and feel that I could, with

help, nrake a decent show by that method. So far, though, I feel comfortable doing it simply wirh my orvn equipment, a single camera. I have made three shows, using myself as a talking head. This way, I feel if I rnake a mistake it's easy to stop and remake Clnovvr^-c;

ancl clescribe the option horrrcsclroolir-rg.

I

o[

I think people who want to rnake their views :rl)out school <lr horneschooling known will firrrl it easy (() fl(:t the rnessage on local 'IV and also in their local newspapet.s. I also write lettels to the Iocal pal)er, tryirrg to

inforrn people that the school experience is not relevant or necessary or even legally required and to tell people who are having a hard time is an alternative. It is l'rard to gauge rhe effect of this, blrt my irnpression is that there are lots of people who are I'ed up with the

with it that there

schools, especially those whose kids are having problenrs.

Office News [SS:] We are excired to tell yotr that our FIolt. Associates-sponsore<l talk by Orace Llewellyn is set frrr.Jtrne l5tlr. Glace is the atrthor of 'l'hc'l'mn.age Libnation Handbooh, the influential book that is orrr bestselling title, ancl tlre cclitor of lleal, Liut:s.We will rnail inforrnation to New Enqland folks on our mailing list, btrt if you're llot olr the list, or if you Iive elsewhere brrt expect to be in the area at that tirne, call or write us f<>r the information. Spring is homeschooling conferellce season for many groups, ancl as you can see irr our Calendar sccti()n (next page), we'll be at several arouncl the country. 'fhen, this falt will be book publishing season as we welcorne several of.fohn Holt's books back into

print: How Childnn Failand Hou Clrildren Leantwlll be published by Addison-Wesley, and tfihat Do I Do Monday and Freedom and Bqondwrllbe

publishecl, with new forewords and updated appendices, by HeinemannBoynton/Cook. Heinemann will also publish rny book A Scnse of Self: Listenin,g to Homeschooletl Adole.scen,t Gir\s.

We'll be doing nr:rilings about all thesc books, and iI'you know ofany bookstores, libraries, groups, or individtrals who ought to know about them, please tell us. InJanuary,Jerry Mintz of the Alternative Education Resource Organization brought us visitors fron.r

Wrruour

Sc:rroor.nrc #104 r Apnrr.,/Mev

lgglr


* Moscorv's School of Self-Determina-

tion, one of the few alternative schools in Russia. We learnecl about the history and philosophy of'the school and in ttrrn described the hisrory and philosophy of homeschooling. Alexander Ttrbe lsky, the headnraster of the scho()I, also nrentioned in passing something that was quite intriguir.rg to us: the Creativity Horrses that are apl)arently c()n)nton in Russia. As Alexander described them, these are horrses in which people of all ages can come cltrring their free tirne to play chess, play nrrrsic, ancl clo var-iorrs otlrer

arts. From the clescription, they sotrnded much like tl.re wonderfirl

Pioneer Health Centre described in John Hof t's Insterul of l)lucation- jtst the sort of gathering place orrr counrly needs rnore of.

In Febnrary Elsa Haas carlre to visit. Elsa is the lbrrner HoltAssociate who now lives in Spain and who has prrblishecl a Spanish-langrrage GWS. Elsa tells us that there are norv regular meetiltgs of'Spanish horneschoolers, which is excitir.rg; in the past, homeschoolers in non-English-speaking countries have tencletl to be Ameri-

Nr:rr's

& Rn'<xrs

*

May l3: NewJersey Unschoolers Network conference at Brookdale College. Workshops by Pat Farer-rga. For irrfo: Nancy Plent, 908-938-2473. May l9-21: Nat'l Homeschool Assoc. southeastern regional confer-

Keynote speakers Raymond and Dorotl.ry Moore. For info: Molly Jacobson, 907 -7 47 -7483. Arrgust 25-27: California Home Edr.rcation Conference at the Radisson Hotel, Sacramento. Pat Farenga, the Colfaxes, Donna Nichols-Whire, many others. For info: Barbara David, 916-

ence at Cedars ofLebanon State Park.

Lebanon, TN. For info: SASE toJacki Willard, 3135 Lakeland Dr, Nashville

39r-4942. Atrgust 26: Minnesota Homeschoolers Alliance conference in St. Paul, MN. Susannah Sheffer, keynote speaker. For inftr: Sarah Kirnmes, 612-

TN 3721433 I 2; 615-889-4938. Jrrne 2-4: Clorrlala Horne Based Educzrtion Program conference at the Medical College of Ohio in Toleclo,

OH. For info: 313-769-4515.

755-5394. We are hoppy to print annourlcements of major homeschooling events, but rve need plenty of notice. Deadline for GWS #105 (events inJuly or later) is 5/10. Deadline for GWS #106 (events in Sept. or later) is 7 / 10.

lrUfe_lQ: Urah Horrre Edrrcarion Association conference. Pat Farer.rga, keynote speaker. For info: Sharrna Peatross, 80 l-964801 3. Jrrne l5: Talk by Grace Llervellyn, sponsored by Holt Associates, in Cambridge, MA area. For infb: 61786+3100. JU-ly-Z: Nat' I Association of' Oatho-

Clarification

lic Home Educzrtors conference in Manassas, VA. For info: Bill and

In my revierv of Sheldon Richman's Separating School and State (GWS #103), it may nor be clear that Rich-

l.isanne Bales, 703-349-4314. Ask abotrt regional conferences in other parts of the country too. July 7-8: Sitka (Alaska) Home Education Association coltference.

man cl<-les not in any way refer to Murray and Hernstein's current book, The Bell Crutte, nor to any other work that relates race to IQ. - Pat Farenga I

cans living abroad rather than families

native to tlrat corrntry. f'o those who are still interestecl ir.r helping with <>rrl birck issrre l)roject: We can now use typists rvho have IBM con)puters if thcy use 3.5" clisks. Contact Srre Miller at orrr office if ),orr lvotrld like to hclp rvith rhis projecr.

Calendar April 22. 1995: N{aryland Honre Eclrrcation Associirtion's I5th anniversary conference. Workshops by Pat Farenga, David Colfax, Narrcy Wallace, others. For inlb: Manfred Smith, 410730-0073. May 2: Home Ecltrc:rtors'Serninar at Chesapeake Central Library, Chesapeake, VA. Talk by Srrsannah sheff'er.

For info: 80.f43&8571. May 5-6: Beach Edr.rcators Assoc.

fbr Creative H<lmeschooling's CrrrrictrIum Fair at the Virgini:r Beach Pavilion Converrtion Center. For ir.rfo: 80+47+ 0389. May 5-7: (l(l-PAl,S Sorrrhe r.n

4150.

rrxrl

Sr:r

r<lol.lNr; #I 04

Calvert School offers supplementary courses for children ages 5-13. A leader in home instruction curriculum for nearly 90 years, Calvert School invites your family to join our creative adventures. Choose one of our specially designed enrichment courses including Melody Lane, a music appreciation course on video for ages 5-8;The LITTLE HOUSEa Books Reading Guiiles,based on the beloved series written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, for ages 8-11; and Discoaeing Arf, an art appreciation course on video with additional hands-on activities for ages 913. Each course comes with an easy-to-follow guidebook and all the materials you'll need to make learning fun. For more information on all of our home study courses, please call, fax,

or write for a free catalog.

l.t uALV.b,r(t ^aYrrcDT I

(41 0) 243-6030

Calilirrnia regiorral c:rrnpout at.foslrua Tree Nat'l P:rrk. For infir: 1ll0-8illGnou'rx<; Wrrr

Beyond the basics...

.

Apnrr./IM,rr. Mg5

scHool-

. tax (41 0) 366-0674

Depl. GWS5 105 Tuscany Road

.

Baltimore, MD 21210


I

Fvom Child's Work to Adult Work These homeschoolers, now ranging in agefrom lg to 23, trace the connections between what thq did as )oung child.ren and what thq are doing today.

kitclren cotrnter, opene_'d the dr:rwers, and used thern as stairs to clirrrb. My rnom entered the room to find nre happilv nrtrnclring on n bananir on t()p of the refrigerator. I competed strongly with nry olcler brother and sister, trying to do the things I saw rhem doing. At the alternative school we attendecl before beginning homeschooling, my brother learned how to ride a trnicycle when he was in the "Upper Group" (the older age group). My sister also

Growing an Artist Frorn Taktha Acheson:

I've always loved art. Ever since I was

little I've been able to spend hours

creating things. My parents were both

into math and science and didn't realIy know what to do with me, but they always supported my artistic efforts. I remember when I started drawing on the walls, instead of yelling at me my Mom lined the wall with paper and let me draw to my heart's colttent. I never knew anyone who nrade a

living

an artisr, so I just thought it was something to do as a hobby, just as

for the fun of it. As I got older I took a few painting classes, but none of the other students were serious about art. That confirmed my view that art was merely a hobby. When I was 17 I found out thar a friend of mine was going to art school. He invited me to come to Florida to take the class that had helped him get into art school. I didn't even have to think about it. I knew right then that I wanted to take that class - that I wanted to Dean artist! Talitha with her arttuorh - on her tummy at age 4, and on a canuas af age 2J

That was six years ago. Since then I have gone through three years ofart school and three more of painting on my own. I've had several pieces shown in juried art shows. For fotrr years I've worked as an artist's assistant, painting detail on functional art cabinets. My experience has taught rne that if you give children rl-re freedom r<r decide what interests tllem. it is imposible for them not to clo it.

Making a Career out of What She Loves From lileadari Acheson (WA):

As a child I seemed to l-rave a

gift

for getting myself into sittratiorrs unusual for my age. I was athleticrninded from the starr and easily got myself into and out of trouble. At 8 months old, just a few days before I learned how to walk, I crawled to the

learned and taught it to the .,younger Group." Not to be outclone, I prac-ticed hard and managed to master unicycling while still in the kindergarten class. I began taking gymnastics classes at age 5 and within two years was on a competitive teatn. I cornpeted for one year, winning ninth- and tenth- place ribbons - perhaps lr()t tlte best, but one of the young potentials. At the end of the year, l'ny farnily rnovecl. It tot-rk tirtre to lnove and even more tirne to find a g'yln near my new hornetown. When I started gymnastics again I was out of shape, had gainecl weight ancl had grown several inches. I quickly worked rny way back to pre-tearn, but

nnforttrnately a combination of poorquality tumbling mars and my growth mined my knees and I was forced to quit. I wasn't upset for long. I fotrncl a new hobby.to pursue. Our new hotrse was located a quarter mile from a wildlif'e refuge with public access. As part of my homeschooling I started a wilcllife journal and Bird Book (to keep a recorcl of all the birds I identified). In two years I identifiecl over sixty clifferent species. I began sttrdying the entire reftrge, researching plants, insects, Ilsh, mirrerals, ancl manrmals as well as birds. In the fall my dacl and I would go mushroom hunting. It was fun finding all the edible ones but I found it more exciting when we found the deadly but beautiful Fly Amanita or the hallucinogenic Liberty Cap. Tlrese experiences were mere games to me then - something to have fun at but hardly something to consider as a career. Neither of my parents were able to make a career out of what they loved to do so I grew up thinking that you had to do miserable

Gnowrrc Wrruour Sc;uo<tLrNc; #104

. Alnrl,/Mnv lg95


boring rvork to nrake lnoney. At 15, nry newly ir<:qrriled

job provecl rle

wr()ng. My interest in h()h, to control and

corlrdinate rny body gave rne a passion for myjob as a

gymnastics coach.

\{4ren one of my students perfects a skill it is a tritrnrph for both of trs.

I have lreen r'<laching for Iive-anrl-a-l'rall' years, the last hvo as assistant rnan-

Iikulari (al

rugcr in chalgc of two ()tl)er conchcs. I teach

as e

)oltng gymnast and totlay

frrr left, aboue), coaching othns.

children 415 years olcl irnd have ot,er ninety sttrdents rveekly. My stucly <lf'nature has also l>lossorned. I've clrrg up a large porti()n ol'nry yarcl anrl ltlan to plant over a hrrrrrlrecl species of florvers, her-lts, vcge tal>les, trces, an(l fi'uit plants. I now pliurt lny ()wn rnrrslrlo<lrns irs well as lincl wilcl ones. I'm cloing everything irrrlepcn<lently, flrrnr laising nly own transplants in a nrakeshilt ltot fi-an-re t<r tilling the beds by hancl wirh a pitchlork (although the hancl tilling is more Iirrnr lack of firncls lirr :r rot<>(iller- than any love of digging) . I have plans r<> atterl(l a conrn.rrrnity college in search ol' :rn Associate of' Technical Arts deglee in landscape clesigr.r and installation. As a chilcl, lteoltle rvorrkl itsk nte rvlrat I rv:rntecl to be when I grerv trp. That qrrcstion confirsecl nte. 'Iherc \{/ere so lnany tltirlgs I wantecl to be; how corrld I prrrsrre.iust orre? I likecl to porrnd tlte piirno back then. Norv I'r,e turrglrt rrr;,sell pic<'cs cveu tny piirtrisr monr has trr>uble with. I'd love to plav rvr'll t'rrorrglr to llerlil'rrr s,rrrrc <lay. I like t<.r dance ancl once choreographed a prodrrction with some fi'iends as a going-away gilt to my best fi'iend. I've perlirrnrcd in many atnateur theatr-ical

I"trttn Arnarula Bergson-Shilcock (PA) :

and tlo the lights fbr others. I have a reputation as olle of the best babysit,ters and horrsesitters in the area ancl plan t() brrild ury orvn horrse ancl fanri11,. I lrave ltegtrn t() explore tlvo ()rthree of my interests and the otl'rer lrtrndrecl ol- so :lre rnerely on holcl -

Or.re of the rtrost wonderfirl things nly l)arcnts clicl fbr rne when I rvas grorving uJ) w:rs to take ruy work lvhatever-it happenecl to be - seriously. I can still ler-nenrber the sheets of onecent stalnps my sister Emily ancl I used to get at the post office. Fifty cents bought eltough statnps to last fbr a rveek or more of'otrr private mail garne. It was a perf'ect solution: inexpensive enough that my parents rvotrldn't go broke or feel gtrilty abotrt trsing the stanlps "only" for children's games ancl yet real enor,rgh to satis$r our rvish t() ltotjust irnitate the aclult rvorlrl brrt acttrally be a part of'it. I srrppose sollleone else corrlcl have looked ar nvo young chilclren playing rvith real starnps and trsing real envelopes irnd pirper and seen waste, llrt lirr llrn ancl me it was real lvork. As lve rrse<l orrr mail system to cleliver lette r-s an<l bills to our alter egc_rs ancl other farnily members, we practiced and learnecl what others might call penmansl-rip, spelling, grammar, pultctuatiol'r and etiquette. Much of rrty "real lvork" these clays involves writing in one lbrm or another, though oftentirnes it hides under labels such :rs le tter, essay, e-mail, story, or even (now that I'nt in college) homervork. But a lot of what makes my life joyful and rneaningful to lle now began as a plivatc rnail garne with my sister.

So insteacl of'asking nre wlrat I \vant t() be, I lvorrlcl rirtl)er lteople ask rurc all that I aur.

rvriting \vas Iny iurrnersion in or.rr doll corunrunity, known as Dolltown. The clolls sent mail to each other too.

pro<lrrctions ancl lrelpecl cr.eAte the set

not lbfgotten.

(

Taking All Work Seriously

)xotvtNr ; Wn

r

r<

lt

.

Another early influence on my

rl

S< :t

r<

lor.rr.r< ;

# 1 04 o Apri.l r.,/ M,,ry l {)-()l-r

althotrgh the challenge rvhere they were concernecl rvas often not the words thernselves btrt fitting otrr important messages onto the tiny scraps of paper we used. Dolltorvn also had several nervspapers, one of which, The Dolltown Daily News, lastecl for some tirne. Though the DDN clicln't always manage the claily

part, the publisher/eclitor,/ chief: reporter/ aclvertiser/ clelivery-person (or, as the clolls said, Human Arnancla) dirl Irer best. What I loved about wriring the DDN was tl-re freedom I had within the constraints I set for myself. If one edition contained too much about the Lotr family and not enorrgh about tl"re Peas, I knew I was in trouble, not rlnly with my readers but with my ()wn unspoken promise to be as fair and even-handed as possible in rny coverage. I also set space requirements fbr myself (mostly because as head printer and paster, I clicln't really want to have ro

do too much cutting and pasting my interests lay much more in the rvriting end of things). Using the real rrewspaper tllat carne into orrr horrse every Srrndiry as a model

of

sorts, I gave the DDN several sec-


.l

Orrrr.rr's

Wonx rrr Aotrr.r.Wonx

*

Aman,da in Dolltoun, and at tlw librart.

tions. Also true to tradition, the best and most interesting news went on the

real libr:rry's books, so blue wclulcl be the carcls in orrr library books.) Once the bltre paper rv:rs located, rve'rl stzrrt on the slrclvcs. One at a tiure, cix.lr

front page. It might have beer.r diffictrlt to see at the tirne, but writing abotrt who was painting the dolls' h.,trses or the latest decisions of the Dolltown Town Council not onlv honed rtrv

'"":'*lI:-:]

nuts-and-bolts writirrg skills lrrrt aiso gave me insight into the aclult worlcl of newspaper writing. No one was giving me deadlines, but ltevertheless I knew what I'cl be in for if the issue I'cl promised failed to materialize on the steps of the plyrvood houses rrrost of Dolltown inhabitecl.

Another gzunc rny sisters and

carcrs

A lot of uhat mahes my life joyful and meaningful to me nou) began as a priaate gdme uith my sisten

I

played over and over was Library. Given the large nurnber of books in otrr house and orrr frequent trips to the public library down rhe srree r, ir was probably ir.revitable that we rvould <twn library. This garne was never as constant arrd on-

want to create orlr

going as others we played, but it rvas sornething we would do intensely for several weeks or so. By far thc best part was setting up. We'd haul otrt the card table and hunt up stacks ofunused index cards. Then one of rrs (trsrrally me) would sezrrclt frantically for blue paper, while another (trsually my younger sisterJulia) argued for speed over authenticity and urged rne to give up and settle f<rr another color. (To my recollection, we never dicl. It was alrvays blue. Blue were the cards in the 8

li"

(i'rrex

and Scotr:h tzrpe workc<l quite lvcll) {iom Entily and a bltre book car.rl arrcl wl.rite carcl-catalog c:rrrl frorn rrrc. II'a book ltarl alreacly l;een throrrglt tlrc library process in ir prel'ions version of

the garnc, everything stoppecl whilc rve htrntecl in a fienzy firr the lost car.rl (s). (Don't ask lne lvhy they werc nevcr in

the bookl)

While Ernily arrcl I wcre occrrpiecl rvith this,Julia got rhe exciting.job of' shelving ar.rd reshelving the books. She also got to run upstairs ancl rvake trp Mom at regtrlar inte rr,,als to ask if it rvirs OK fbr us to plrt a pocket in this or

that book that otrr parents hacl h:rd fbr million years. (I don't know why rve always started this game ir-r the rnorning, btrt we did, ancl Mom was invariably asleep - thouglr nor for long.) a

Once lve harl the library set up, with rlesignatr:<l scctions frrr variorrs books and a card catalos :rnd check-otrt desk r'ornJtlete witlr <late stallll) for the <latccluc cards, we \,vere t-eady for business. For the rrext week or three, a steady

strc:un of'clr:rr':rcters, all pl:ryerl by, v:rrious nrerrrltcrs of' otrr fanrily, wcrulcl r:lrcck out books and then returlt the rn vi:r otrr clrop basket. Sornetirnes the1, rc:rrl tlrern, sonretirtres thcy dicln't. Every onct: in a whilc we had a finc t<r collect. I c:rrr't swcar that this ganre tlircctly resrrltcrl in nry prcscnt-<lay.iob, llrrt sive rr tlrat I norv spencl abotrt 2ll ltorrrs a rvcek :rt orrr Ioc:rl library - anrl ge t paicl to rlo it! - it see rns :r pretty s()o(l

bet. In lllany rcspects, what I do rrow

isrr't zrll thitt clill'erent fi-onr what I did te n years zrgo in otrr horrse with my sistcrs. I still :trlrl new ltooks to the library's collection, still Itrrnt all over.f<rr nrissins iterns, still shclve books. Of corlrse, thcser days we hzw'e a complltcr to <lo the clrcck-irr ancl check-out an(l se t-ve as a card catalog. Ancl the fines I collect are fi'eqtrently rnuch higher than the dirnes we used to collect. frorn our long-sufl'ering parents. But the basics haven't changecl - even if the child I was never imaginecl I'd spencl .large chunks of time searching for the origin of the phrase "Kaiser roll" or frrr a book to give to a chil<l afraid of' clowns! I

Grou'r r.r; Wrlr roul'

Sr;r r<t<tr.rN< ; # 10

4

.

Apnr r.,/ M,qv 1 995


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S<:r

rorlr.rNr; #10-l

. Alnrr,/l\,l,ri

l{X)l'r


Before it was called Homeschookng Being out of school

Guiomar Goransson-Martin of Ohio ttrites:

read with interest many

IJ've stories of college-age

homeschoolers and I particularly enjoyed hearing from grown homeschoolers in your issue #101. I have yet, however, to hear frorn any tniy oldnhomeschoolers like my

husband and myself. I'm 38 and I was homeschooled before it was called homeschooling. My mother had emigrated from Sicily and my father from Sweden. From (he time he left eighth grade, my father had worked on ships in every capacity in many countries. By the tinte I was born, he was pursuing a career on the lakes during the spring-to-fall seasons and would ship out on the ocean during the winter when the lakes would freeze. My mother had originally begun a career in the U.S. singing opera. She married, had my brother, and then moved into the big band era as well as shows and musicals. She divorced and conrinued singing and modeling to support my brother and herself. My brother was an extremely talented pianist and was labeled a child prodigy at an early age. My parents met in 1955, and by the time I was born two years later, they had settled in Detroit. My brother was twenty years older than me. Because our families were so spread around the world, we traveled a great deal. We went back to Italy or Sweden to see our relatives, we went with my father on his voyages just to be with him, we went to the islands in the

winter to escape the Detroit cold. I thoroughly enjoyed this. I had learned both my parents' native languages well enough to communicate with my relatives and to me this seemed like a pretty normal lifestyle. Of course, it was hard to attend school when we were on the go so much. I had always asked to be given

l0

in

the

That was how I always talkc<l. My parents appreciatecl accrlracy ancl proper gr:ulltnar, brrt they hacl a hard tirne developine it thernselves as English was their second langtrage.

l9d0s and ,70s

my assignments before leaving, and sometimes they'd comply and other times not. At that time, there was no such thing as homeschooling. The school officials were always calling, dropping by, and otherwise hassling my parents whenever we were back in Detroit. My parents went to cotrntless meetings with the principals and agreed to have me tested to the school's satisfaction. I always tested above my grade level. I think I can attribute mrrch of my learning to my remarkable farnily. When I was 3, my brother woulcl play musical games with me, playing a segment of a piece on the piano and asking rne to name the cornposer. My parents and my brother never talked down to me and otrr honre was always filled with lively disctrssions ab<xrt art,

literature, and the entertairrrnent world. But we weren't just bookworms and serious folk - not at all. My brotl.rer was a practicaljoker and a great deal of laughter filled our home zrs well. I was never pressured into reading. It was just something I evolved into, I suppose from being surrounded by books and seeing everyone in my family reading them. Also, I was read to constantly. I attended school sporadically. I clidn't mind, except that the other children were curious as to where I'd been and were somervhatjealous that I seemed so privileged to corne and go as I pleased. I also dressed dift'erently, owing to my family's cultural backgrounds. I spoke diffbrently, too more adult and rvith a larger vocabulary. I'll never forget one day when I stood beside my desk to reply to a teacher's question about something. Before I had a chance to sit down, a little boy shot out from behind rne, "Wry are you alrvays using such big words? Who do you think you are?" I was mortified. I really wasn't trying to impress anyone. I was just trying to answer the question as best I could. GnourNc

When I was abotrt 12, both nly pareltts asked me to help with their English correspondence. They bought rne a typewriter. I taught myself to type an<l would retype letters f<rr rny nrorn, putting in the proper spellings and grammatical corrections. My father wotrld write orrt lris business corr.espondence in longhand, and I wotrlcl make all the corrections and retype it on company letterhead. This was important; this was reaM was being given true responsillility. I rook tlris very seriously, read every book on secretarial practices I could get nry hands on and learned how to trse a dictionary well. TItis experience w:rs tlle most important in my life in learning to be literate ar.rcl responsiltle. Around that tirne, we moved to a honre in southern Michigan. All rvzrs well until I registered at school and began to take tirne off. Tlris was a very small school systenr and they had a big problern rvith rny farnily's schedtrle. They relirsed t() prornote llte to seventh grade even though I'd been tutored all year by rny brotlrer (who now held clegrees in anthropology and sociology), passecl the final exarns ancl state testing. Their argument was that I simply did not have enough physical presence in the classroom. My inventive tnother looked up a lawyer who happened to have the same last narne as us. He was not a relative, and we never said he was, btrt

I think the school simply assunred it. After a phone call from him and a prornise from my rnother to have me tutored over the sulnmer by a certifiecl teacher, they promoted nre and all was well.

In the meantirne, my brother ha<l openecl a hair weaving salon, a new process then. I helped him by answeF ing his phone, stuffing envelopes, and booking appointments. He was soon to be married and the future lookecl bright. Then, tragically, he was killed in a car accident and a very important person in my life was gone. We still traveled a lot after his death, but I felt it was time to stop having to feel under the gun of the

Wrluour ScsoolrNc #104. Arnrl/Mnv 1995


local school officials. The only way I could do this was to finish high school (l'cl just begrrn eighth grade). I fbuncl out about the American School in ( )lricago, errrolled, anrl finished a year later with two more credits than necessary in a college prep program and also a separate certificate in executive secretarial practice. So here I was, l5 and a high school gradtrate. I applied to I(,ntherine Gibbs, a rather exclusive secretarialjunior college in Nelv .fersey. I traveled there to take the entrance exnm and to be interviewed. They told nre I was the yotrngest person ever to be accepted. After thinking it over, I decicled to attend somewhere closer to home. With my brother gone and my father alrvays at sea, I worried about my mother. I coulcl see that my brother's cleath had taken its toll on her. I was accepted at a local one-year college for secretarial stuclies. After that year I appliecl irnd was accepted irrto tlrree dill'erent nrrrsing programs (l'cl always been interested in medicine and thought ntrrsing might holcl ir career for rne). Afier finishing this, I worked for a few years in various ntrrsing positions and had a job interview set up at a hospital in New Orleans. However, I considered again that my mother would be alone, and decided not to go. I finally decided, too, that nursing was not rny cup of tea. It was f<rrtunate that I had not left irs my mother died within the year, I think ofa broken heart. She never did qrrite recover fronr rly brother's death I went back to secretarial work altlrorrgh s()nletimes I triecl to cornbine it with nursing and worked in a laboratory for a chemical cornpany

performing secretarial duties.

I met my husbancl at this point, at the age of 22. He was 22 hirnself and was just closing his booking agency that he hacl begun at 19. He had always been seriotrsly interestecl in rnusic, ancl by the time he was l5 he clecicled to leave school to devote his life to music. This did not set rvell rvith the authorities and they refused to release him. He tried to convince them he was a jtrvenile clelinquent, but they knerv what he was up to and ignored hirn. The school principal linally ran olrt of patience when my (lnrxyrNr; WlrrrorrL S<:rr<'lor.rN<; #l 04

htrsband squirted a tube of paint in the face of another student who rvas

taurlting him in art class for not participating. That got their attention and they let him go. To ctrt to scene, Tom and I, two old homeschoolers. have a brrsiness which rve'r,e spent the last sixteen years building. We specialize in entertainment-related proclucts such as actual vintage movie posters, items that actrrally belonged to famotrs people (costumes, photographs, autographs, r,arious mernorabilia). We sell these things mostly mail-order

intelligent, ancl literate. I can hold my own witl.r people on any level of edtrcation ancl get along well with all kinds of people (you simply mtrst if you rvant to be in btrsiness!). I rvould be interested in hearing fi'om any other homeschooled "oldsters" like myself. Perhaps there were others lvho clicln't even realize they were homeschooled until it becarne a tn()re colrilnon practice.o

now. We also have a manufacturing facility which supplies rnany major theme parks with their sotrvenirs. We did not learn anything about starting a business from school. I don't see how anyone could be prepared,just by reaclir.rg about it, for all the strange

l4

and unexpected things that come trp

in

National Awards

br.rsiness.

We have an S-year-old son,

Tomnry, who is horneschooled. From the day after he was born, he's been surrounded by the sights and sotrnds of our btrsiness ancl, like his father, he has a vast irnagination ancl creative abilities. He's a remarkable sculptor and has his orvn "creature shop," a roonr I set trp for him as his creative rvolkshop. He has a tutor twice a week, a certified teacher who concentrates mainly on reading and writing. I'm very happy with how he's progressing. Most people remark upon what a polite, sensitive, intelligent young man he is, and that's what's really important, isn't it - that our children grow into good human beings. I've learned that learning is something you do all your life. My life wotrld seem absolutely boring if I could not explore new subjects, learn new skills, or enlighten my mind. I'rn pror.rd to have been a rebel before my time. People ask me whether I don't think my son will be socially or academically I-randicapped. Most people aren't aware of the particulars of my education. When someone asks me

*

It

Sherlock Holmes for Children

Arabian Nights

(cvca)

1cs.)

hy

(cs)

'l* Teles From Cultures Far and Iftar

(cs,l

JF Good

Night:

Acdilmed oll-to-qtccp

Jt She snd He: Adventures in Mythology (cs/ Jt Three Musketeers / Robin Hood (cr:l * Greek Myths (cs/cd) Ji Tales from the Old Testament (csl * King Arthur snd His Knights (cs/cd)

* tf

Fairytale Favorites in Story&Song (csl RipVanWinkle/Gulliverfs Thlvels (cs,)

*

Mystery! Mystery! for Children Jungte nool f"v"a/

j* Animal Tales

/cs) 1cs,)

;ffin"

in its 6est incarnotion. Enthrallng odopwtiorc-rewrkoble wice ALA Not bl. Cdmltt.i "Weiss is o gifted suryteller..." "

"A greot woy

a

hod youty listerrcrs w

"Wciss'voice js liquid sord."

cxx

w

how I think homeschooling rvill affect my son, I ask them if they think I seem like an unsocial, uneducated lout. W-ren they say no, I reveal that I'm a homeschooler rnyself. Obviorrsly I carne through it fine, don't have two heirds btrt appear n<lrmal, reasonably

. Alnrr./May

1995

ll


Mothers Think about TheirWork

tlrc tlrotrght of leaving rrrv clril<lr-en lor. larqc slabs of't.irne, :rltorrt tlrc: c()st, an(l altorrt tlrc rvlrole iclr::r of'strr<lyirrg ilc('( )u ll ti I I g, r rar-kct i rr_T, irr r rl rrrar rirta(-

'l'uo ktnglime ltornescltooling mothers relkct on uhat tlrc years ltaac giuen them and describe their transition, to a rlifferent hind of uorking tife.

rnerrl. Irr a wav, I I'ccl I'r,e lrarl arr MIIA in this alrr:aclv for qrrite a long tinte! But on tlre otlrer hancl, rvhy shorrlcl I get this opportuuity and nor take it? Ry horneschooling, anr I living tlrrough

r

r

rny children,

not completed a university clegree

Deciding to Get a

ancl

rnany of m1' classmates had, <tr rvere in

Business Degree

tlre pro<ess ol-doing ir. So, what to do? I couldn't possibly (Austra,lia) lleirne uritc.s : JuAnne return to medicine, where I'cl started ollt, because I was never strited to it in Susannah's piece in CIWS #101, the first place. I clirln't fisrrr-c I corrl<l about college and work clecisior-rs, clo an education degree (irnagine how ends, 'Adults who want to be l-relofirl I'd argue with the lecturers and the to the children otrght not to thinl only other training teachers, siven how I of the children. We need to look feel about schools?). I'm interested in closely at ourselves as well." That really science btrt what worrld I clo with a hit the spot for me, Iinding nre as ir degree irr it - work in a lab? Wotrld did on the horns of a dilemma about tlrey have rne doing anything btrt lne as a person and a homeschool operating a rnachine? mother. I corrlcln't ignclre the problertr. For a number of reasons, inclrrcling (perhaps) because I arn corning up When I rnentiolte(l rny prcclicarnel)t t() zrnother horneschooler, Ire encour.to age 40 and (perhaps) because rny ased me to apply for :t busincss oldest, Gregory, has undertaken s()nre <lcgree. I arn qrrite intcrestcrl iu rrrartrniversity-level strrcly trnits this year, keting, because I I'rave a little cxperiand even maybe because I helped ence doing it both for honreschooling organize a hventy-year reunion for rny and for our cornpany. As I prepare high school class, I have done a lot of docurnen ts zrbout horneschooling rethinking aborrt nty own eclucation, somewhat regularly, I thought, lvhy and about education in general, this year. not give it a go? I srrltrnittecl these documents, some references, the AusWhile organizing this reunion, I tralian I'Iorneschool.forrrnals I had firund that nearly all rny fernale prrl>lishecl, :rrrcl the clctailed prosrallr classmates and the male classmates' of.study that I had cornpiled aborrt thc wives worked lull tirne, and rnany lrircl work the chilclren corrrplete<l in l9!)2-3 rrniversity <legrees. Ftrrtherntor-e, rnost (abotrt 200 spreacl out paecs of of them hacl trncler-4 year olds (rnv olclest is l4). Neeclles, t,, .ny, o.,, .,f QrrarkXpress docrrrncnt rvith plrotos, eraphics, :rnd plenty ofjar.eon). As a 200 I felt the oclrl rv()rnan out. Still, I restrlt, I rvzrs accepted for a ol"le-year shotrld be usecl to that. So rnanv of mv '

classlnates rrodcle<l sauely,, "Wc

kntw

you'd trrrn out diffcrent!" I know that this is the real world, and I rlo live irr

it, but really, GWS, homeschooling support groups, ancl well-tr-ained farnily ancl friends ltad eff'ectively shielded rne l-or s()t))e tinle uow withorrt nry realizing it. So, clespite being a confident person, competent at homeschooling and taking a snrall role nrrrnirrg a compally with my husband, in rnany ways I startecl to fecl 38 and kind of inadequate, especially giverr tl.rat I l.racl

t2

gradrrate clipl<>rna in rnanageurcnt,

which, if conrpleted srrccessfully, worrltl nrcan dir-ect entry into arr IVIIA program. I was surprisecl ancl clclightecl ar"rcl would e ncorlrage anyone to consicler rrsing their homeschooling

clocurlentation

as a basis

for

srrr.lr an

application. Things are nor as sirnple irs I hacl hoped, however. Certainly the acceptance wasjust the boost I needed to restore my confidence in rnyself ancl my potentional, btrt norv I arn leeline qtrite wastelrrl and arnbivalent about (]n<rryrn-c

zrs it werc? In many ways I aclrnir-e others anrl myself {br being diff'ercltr. I hon)e-

schot>I, am irrto alternative rneclicine, organic f<rocl, and hornebirths, atrd I :rlways loved the way.fohn IIolt saicl his schooling rvasn't relevarrt. NonctlreIess, being difl'erent c:rn be painlirl. Ocr'(ainly wlrr.rr you'r.c krrr:e-<lcr'1t in brcastfeedirrg ancl dizrper-s you c:rn ign<tre the stanrlarcls (rlegrees, titles) that rnost pco;tle nleilsrlre thernseh'es by, llrrt r.vhen lots of pcople yotr really aclrnire and enjoy conve rsins with qtrestion yotrr choices, it's tirne for

soul-search irrg.

I arn quite arvare tlrut rny chilclrerr have a perfcctly manrclrxrs life contpzu'crl to tht: one I hacl as a clril<1. 'I'lrcv enjoy a sreat deal o[ fi'cerlorn, thcy experience lnr.rtual respect, they are lovctl ancl clrr:rislrecl, tlrcy arc c()rnl)ctent, self-rnotivated, and happy, tlrev can crrrl up zrncl read a book pretty well ar.rytime they like, tlrel' 21-s involved in a hrrge ntrtnber of activities that they love, they are prrrstring :rcademic studies at a hish level. I also realize that I have becorrre very wcll-erlrrc:rtccl as part of this hornesclroolirru process - no( in tornts o{'a ltiece of paper brrt in ternts of'f lrc reality of dealing rvith Iirrrr inrlivi<luals who lr:ant very <li{Icre rrtlr,, have skills :rnd spercialties in incrediltly clifl'erent nreas :rncl ncccl to flrrrl r.csorrrccs lcr f'ced those skills. I call n()rv use il rnicr<lsr:ope anrl iclen ti f v rnyriacl sl irles frorn a histology text. I Irave lracl to learl nrolc arrrl rnore colnplex litr:r.a-

ture (thanks to Rebecca,

13. and to

sonre inspiration [i'<,rrn Ke ndall I Iailc1,,

arrtlrrrr of 7-he l)ay I Becante a,n Aulodidact). I have learned spreadslrcers and IllM cornrnands and rnanagernent tlreory. I have lrarl to learn to rearl rnusic, and fast, too - when my s()n Stepher-r is playing a five-page l}arrok piece irt one rninute and 40 seconrls and 1'ou're the official pap;e-trlrlter, you'cl ltetter knorv where you are up to

Wrlrtou'r Sr;rro<l.rNr; #104 . Alnrr.,/M,rt l99Ir


and if there are any mistakes! Nor have all orrr horneschooling achievements been acaclemic. As they get olclel and involved iu more outside activities, I have been known to aclmire rny children's interpersonal skills (as clo rnany other people) and I know that they are so good precisely because they rvere never socialized at school. So I shotrlcl be happy, and I am, btrt what about me? Am I challenging zrr? Someone askerl me the ()ther day, "You've been involved in their lives for so long; rvhat are yorr going to d<r

when they're gone?" Go<lcl questionl In other words, is this my life 's work? D<> I want to be 50 and wonclering rvhat on e?u'th I'tn going to do for-the next thirty years? I strongly support the idea that good mechanics, drivers, teachers, managers, doctors, etc. keep

Nladalene

Axftnl Murphy (PA) uites:

In GWS #101 Srrsannah Sheffer wrote abotrt the inrportatrce of parents' examining their own attitu(les torvard careers and life in general becatrse our example, how we are living orrr orvn lives, is a major l-esorlrce otrr chilclren use as they clecicle rvhat :rdulthood will be like. This is particularly trtre for honreschooling families rvhose childr-en tend to be rnore arvare of wh:rt the aclrrlts around thern :rre cloing.

getting edrrcated throtrghout rheir lives, and I do ptrrsrre my education tlrrotrgh journals, etc., but is this enough? What is the balance, in terms of'tirne, betwecn what I do f<rr me and lt<>w rnuch that takes away fronr my kids ar.rcl tlreir life with nre and their ecltrcation. Especially when I still see

When my husband Tom was working iu the labor relations department of a cornpany whose philosophy rvas changing, he sper.rt most of his day away fi'om the family and involvecl in isstres he was not interested in. We talked ofter-r of his qtritting his job, our selling our house in a subtrrb of Philaclelphia, and moving to the country brrt after the children were out olr their own, when they were no longer clependent on us for food, clothing, medical care, al)d tlte rest of the long

It<lmeschoolir-rg as rny nrrmber one

I

priority and there are fbrlr of them going who knows where (often with nre dliving)? Also, I still have another te n or filol'e years of homeschooling to pursue, given that Mary-Beth is only 5. Of' course. all these deliberations aflect rny childrcn's lives as well. Why rlo I rvirnt rny kirls to go to trniversity when I dicln't? To meaur'e them lty stanclarcls of peer pressrlre I'r,e never livecl by myselP For the tnrly pleasur-

able experience of pursrring lealning sake? So they har,'e berter job prospects? I remcrnl)el nry father ptrshing me to go to university and being very rrnhappy wher.r I droppecl out. Will I l'eel the sarne way if they clo tlre sanre thing?

firr learr-ring's

I'rl

starting to realize that whe n

irdtrlts sigh and say,'Teenagers!",

tlrey're probably only so emphatic l>ecarrse the parents are feeling mixed rr1>

aborrt where they are going thern-

I did feel slightly consoled toclay when I heard selves, sometimes. Brrt

50-ye:rr-olcl frier"rcl renutr-k to nry rr)()the r, "l still have no iclea lvhat I'rn

uoing lo clo wht:n I grow rr1t."

(lrror,r'rN<;

Wllr ror''r'S<:rroor.rNt; #104

.

a

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At that time, we had been homeschooling fbr about ten years. We were cleclicated to helping our children open up the worlds of mathernatics, literature, science, and l"ristory and the skills of writing and thinking well, and to encolrraging thern to follow their interests. Brrt rve finally realized that we were also showing the rn tl-rrough orrr example horv to be stuck becatrse of inertia, a misplacecl sense of "dtrry to the family," orjust plain fear, spending the majority of the day in a job that clid not allow for growth and was not integrated with what we felt was important. We decided to nrove to rural northern Pennsylvania where the cost of living was low. But abject poverty was not otrr goal, so we spent three years of preparation fillecl with harcl work - sometinres intense research, sonretirnes emotional agonizing, sornetinres lrard, physical labor as we prepared one house for sale and made the olcl farrnhotrse we hacl bought livable. Fivc ycars ago Torn qtrit hisjol-l anrl rve nroved, taking a great leap of

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* faith, since we hacl no new.job waitins for us. We have not starved. Torn is now teaching at a srnall university nearby and writing too, ancl he feels that his life is much better integrated than it was before. We have also managed financially to help otrr oldest, Emily, through college and otrr second, Christian, through his first year. But our move was certainly not our final transition. About two years ago I began to realize that while we had been aware of the need to prepare Emily for college and were in the process of helping Christian prepare, we were not as aware that as parents we might also need sonle preparation for the transition we were going through. I had always been involved in

some nonfamily activities, rnostly volunteer work, but I began to think about the possibility of getting a parttime job to help out with college expenses and the cost ofhouse repairs when Clare, orlr youngest, was the only one left at home. Soon after, I was presentecl with a difficult decision. Tom was offered a job as director ofan art and culttrral center in a nearby town. It was a parttime job but tl.rere was no way he could accept it since he had already agreed to teach full time the nexr year (and was enjoying the teaching). We began to discuss the possibility of suggesting

to the board that we hold the position jointly, with it essentially becoming my job during the year thar Toln was teaching. If the offer had come two years later, I would not have hesitated. The job was ideal in many respects, lvitl-r variety and flexibility. But Christian

MoTgEns'Wcxx

..'.

a

and Clare were both still I.romeschooling and we were growing a good percentage of the vegetables we ate.

There seemed little extrzr tirne fbr nte to have ajob. I - and the rest of the farnily began weighing the advanrages and disadvantages, and the advantages began to win out. In a srnall rural community like ours the number of interesting jobs is limited and in rwo years when I would be ready this particularjob would very likely not be available. Moreover, it would be an interesting addition to our lives since Clare, and Christian for a year, would have the opportunity to meet a number of interesting, creative people and be intimately involved in the cultural events in the community. And so, with some fear and trepidation, I agreed to submit my name to the board. Their response was not unexpected: a request for my resume. I found that although I had been

technically unemployed for years, homeschooling had allowed rne to develop skills that were very rnarketable, at least in this instance. Thejob I was applying for involved scheduling, publicizing, and setting up art exllibits each month and workshops, concerts, lectures, and other events tl-rroughout the year. As a homeschooling parent I had, among other things, written articles, organized science fairs and other events, kept records ofwhat the children were involved in, developed daily schedrrles for myself ancl heiped the children organize their tirne, discovered and developed resources t<r support their interests. After receiving the resume, the board offered us both the

job.

I ktrew the llrst vezrl woukl bt: grueling since not <xrly woulcl the.job be new but Christian would be nrirking his fir.ral clecision irbout college, with all the long discussions that would entail and then the paper-work involved in applications and financial aid forms. But sornehow expecting it to be grueling helped. This year has a bit more breathing space in it, brrt the job is one of those that can invade more and more horrrs in the week if I let it. Finally I had to sit down and clari$ my priorities. Homeschoolins is still the most irnportant, which meanr I had to make sure I reserved tirne when Clare would have my full

attention.

I'rn not advocating t.hat irll homeschooling mothers who have not worked otrtside the horne cltrring the child's growing up (or fathers, if that has been the situation) need to get a

job wlrerr tlreir yorrrrgest is a tcenag('r. But this transition is sornething we homeschooling parcnts rreed t<-r think about. When parerrts have been involved in their chilclren's lives have been, it is sornetimes

as

as we

dilflcult to

let go, to give thenr the freedom they need to firrislr tlreir rnatrrring process. Myjob now seems to occupy the same place that my quilting occupied when the children were youn[;. It kept me busy so that I was not hovering, but I was still available to help out with a tough math problenr or to tell thern how to spell a word or to delight in a discovery they ltad made. Myjob rneans that I an] not trying to live their lives for thern now but, even for (lhristian and Ernily, rny time is srill flexible enough that I can be available when they need advice or a ride to or

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We all I'eel reassured when we see that homeschooling has not lirniterl our children's ftrtures. There shoulcl also be a measrlre of reasstrrance in discovering that years of homescho<tling do not seriously limit the ernployment prospects of the parent, either. II' we use horneschooling experiences to get rvork we enjoy, this can be another good example for our children as they began to sample the joys and challenges of adulthood. <)

Wrlrrour

S<;noor.rNc #104

.

Apnlr.,/May 1995


@A&nceuu Learning to Read at 13 Roni Laliberte (NY) uites:

One of my biggest concerns over the years has been that my son cotrldn't read. I tried rnany difl'erent rnethods to teach hitn, but no matter what I did, it endecl trp with him crying in what I assrrrned to be frustration. When he was 8, my children had to go to prrblic school for a year (because of nry work situation). While I wasn't huppy aborrr the sittration, I was culiorrs to see if the school cotrld teach him ro read. It clidn't happen. They tested him. He was fine ancl bright. They put him in remedial cl;rsses. I believe he was htrmiliated and ashamed of himself. For the next forlr or five years, when we wele lronreschooling again, I read all his books to hirn. Every f'ew rnonths I askecl hirn to read to rne for a paragraph or so to see how he was progressing. His reading really wasn,r corrring along. I qrrestioned otrr rrnschooling method; I wondered if I was

doing trim

a disserrrice by

not

seeking prof'essional intervention. Bnt I :rlso remembered rvhat I had heard and read aborrt late readers and I tried t() stay calm and peacefirl and patient.

I had heard that when childrer-r get their big teeth, they learn ro read. I lrear-cl that when children are ltetween l0 and 12, they learn t<.1 read. I heard that wherr childr-en clevelop an interest tl.rat makes reading trecessary, rhey learn to read. None of this rvas happening. Last winter I was rereading'fhe Colclrct in lhe Rye and reacl a ftrnny paragraph to hirn. He rnrrst have liked F{olden becarrse he picked rrp tlle book :rnd read it everT night in bed. It took him monrhs to finish it ancl he olicrr spellecl rvolds for rne ro interprer

firl hirn. Afier that, he seerned to be

on lris way. I think he f'elt proucl that he had reacl an adrrlt book ancl I think he learr.red that books can be thorrght(in<rrvtru<;

WrrLrorrr

S<:rro<tr.rNr;

provoking and poignant. Next I gave

him Lar,rra Ingalls Wilder books to read because the print is bigger and the vocabulary smaller. I wanted him to have the success of reading more quickly and ro ger lors of reading practice. He read three or fotrr of these books and has moved on to

anyone who reminds them of this degrading experience, so it seems that all adults who enrer their lives are hated.

Over my two years of homeschooling, I have grown to know, respect, and care about many people who are considerably older than I am. I vohrnteer at a wildlife rehabilitation James Herriot. These books are a challenge because of the dialects in center where the people I spend time them. I believe if he can read those. he with are berween 20 and 50 years old. is a reader. Finally, at age 13, he is a The high school srudenrs work in the reader, and I feel a great sense of evenings or weekends so I barely see relief. them since I have a weekday morning I atn grateful that I adapted to his shift. When I became friends with the individtrality as much as I did. I am people at rhe cenrer, I realized that also grateful for the support I've had age was irrelevant. We all loved wildlife from other unschoolers in the and that's where we connected. I feel homeschooling group I belong to. deeper friendships with these people Unschooling has taught me many than I dicl with people at school things over the years. I need to focus because all these volunteers come to on inclividual strengths more and fret the center out of choice and love. abotrt individual weaknesses less. My They are in a place that feels right for son rvalked at seven months but didn't them, where they are doing something read unril he was 13. And that's OK. that feels good and wholesome and \4rhat a great lesson for me. participaring in a greater good. A community forms from this, a tightknit grotrp of passionate, friendly people. Older Homeschoolers I believe this feeling of community Speak Out on Socialization can be stifled in school because Iuy l-ofterg of Wisconsin uites: chilclren are forced to be with people of whom perhaps one or two will have Oftentimes when I talk about similar inte rests. These interests are homeschooling, others begin obsessrarely supported in a healthy, loving ing over the subject of socialization. way. At the wildlife center, we underThey talk as if school is the only place stand that we are all in it together and for friendship. I believe this is becatrse the only way ro keep the center going many of rhem see friends in their age is throtrgh teamrvork. No one is forced group as their exclusive family. I think into this teamwork and we know if the school perpetuates this by crearing alt volunteer work is no longer right for atmosphere where adults are the us, we can stop and move on. We see dominant ones and control where the one another as people who love wildstudents go and for how long. Natulife, and it's recognized that combinrally, ttre students forrn a quiet pack ing thar love from all ages is what against tl.ris authority. No one was makes the cenrer strong. Working with born wishing for otrtside forces to a wide age group has given me confisteer them in all directions. I do not dence and helpd me feel comfortable think it is natrrral f<lr people of the with adtrlts I previously feared. sallle ase to be locked in a schoolA good friend at the center said to hotrse for hours, under the submission me, "Well, you're obviously well of aclults. The children grow ro hare socialized. How many l6 year olds can

#104 . Apnrr.,/M,ry lggb

t5


{. sit arouncl with 30 ycar olcls anrl <:arn'

on a straiehtlbrrvarrl, rn2ltrrre c()nvcrsittion? I think there r-c:rllv is a rlifler.cncc rvi tlr hornes<: hoolcr-s.'['here's illl (]asv conliclence that I havcn't sccn in school kids." I cannot inrasinc all that I would be tnissintt ou{ on i{'l r.xclrrclt:rl

(

lr r.rr.r.r.Nr;r..s

&

(l

rxr.r,

ltrs

.1.

Flonrcst:lrooling lr;rs givcrr rrrt' tlre oPportrrrritY to rlis<:oveI tlris :rrrcl it

is

sonle tlrills I rvill clrerislr tlrrouslrorr{ rrry lifi'.

( )rrnt tt -tt lt

h.o m

rsrlnol rr l,,lut

rl

a

ri

,ltlttsott (.vt'lt. tt) tutilr't

sorrtebocll' l>ccarrse ol aqe. I lc< crrtll

t()ok a weckcn(l tril; to Ne:n'\trrk, lvitlrorrt lny pill'ents, orr a Best ol' -flreate Brrradrvay l Torrr. I u'as tlrcr v()Llllgest oll tlre totrI ltrrt tlris ncver rv<lr'ricd rnc. I I'elt vcl) Ii)rtullatc tllat I harl gzrinerl thc ability to sec rlrc a<lrrlts

in the erorrP as hurnarr beirrgs Iikcr rnyself becausc the trip rvorrlcl lrave lrcc'n very lorrcly anrl rlilllcrrlt Iirr. rnc othenvise. My nerv atti(rrcle h:rs oltcnecl doors to rtrc; I no longe:r \t'()rlf., ll)at there ma1' not be peoltlc nrv :rgc at trr) activity. Tr> me, be ing genrrincly so<:ializccl is having conncctions to all peoJrle regarclless of'race or age. It is acccpting :rll ancl cxcltrdins none. IJ('ins trtrll, socializcd is beirrg cornlirrtable enough lvitlr yotrrst:ll tlrat yotr ar.c corn{brtable rvith all people.

I n':rs crr.jovirrg a clt[) ()l liltt('at lt)\'

Iirvolitc csl)rcsso ltirr-a lvlrilc lrack. ()rrc of'the crnJrlr)\'ccs rvas a qoo<l liien<l of' rrrinc unrl rvhen lrc r'otrlrl t:rke tlre tirrrc rvorrlrl talk. IJc rvas helpirru :r crrstonl(.r'rvhen a tnal) I'(l ntct a ft'tv tirnes lrclirr-c ellte rc(l tlte slrolt an(l \v(' began ir (()llversittion. Wc got ()n lll(' srrlrjt:ct of lrorrrcst'lrooling anrl lrcr irrttnerliatt:11' statc(1, "T|e ltiggest rvr:

problcrr) I hirve rvitlr lrorneschooling is that vorr r':rn't sor:ializc." Now, I't'c hear'<l that stulcrllent s() lnan)' tinlcs it's not cvcn Iirrrlrl'. \trhat I do firr<l irntusir-rg is tlrc fact tl)at Dl()st of-the pcople rnakirrg thc stat.cnreltt Irave alrsolrrtely no icle:r rvlnt tlrcl' ar-t: tlrlking irlrorrt. Pleasc per-rrrit rrrc a Iittlt' srtt'c:rsrrt lrcrt'e:

I lrirrl a tor'(rrrcrl clriltllto<lt[. I lrurl nlI drtt'. \\'hc'rr I lisitccl rrrv lrorrrt'sclroolt'rl fi icrrrls. rvc u'orrlrl of tr.rr pl11, [iorrr rlolrrirrg unlil lx'(llinl('. \{'lrt'rr tlrclr' \\,('r'c n() li icntls avlrilirlrlt. I nirs Iirlce<[ to sot'iitlizt' rlitlr (gasp!) a<lrrIIs or-, ('\:('r) \v()l-s(', s;lt'rrrl Iirlrc u'itlr orrly rrn'scl[. l{ n,:rsrr't rrrrlil I rrr:rrlc sorrrt' lrrrltlit' sclroolcrI li it'rrrls tlltl I got :t rlccerrt sociul lifi'. \\'t' n,orrlrl go watcll alicl'n()()ll (:lu'l()()rrs antl Orrly tirlk rlrrrinq tltt' r'orrrrrrt'r-r'itrls. NIv rlal's \\,(.l c ll()t :rt t lrc rnt'r.r'\' of' u tirrrcrl lrr'll lltill ( uls,,f{ r orrr<.r's;rti,rrrs irr rrrirl-serrtcrrcc: like trn intfLlsivr. ntccllrrrical trorl. \Vlrat kirr<l of sor.ial lrclrin'irlr nas I lt::rrrrirrg rvlren I r.otrl<l talk to \r,llorrrcr'('r' I rvarrIt.<1, rvlrt'tr<'r't'r I rvurrlt'rl? ()ltviorrsll' I rr'ls sot.iullv t<r 1rl:n'

ll I lr:rrl lx't,n lirrt crl tt, lrttt,rrrl prrlrlic sclrool I cotrlrl lrirr.'r' Iracl tlrt' ch:rnt't' to sit irr tlrc lot'irl co{lcc slrop, likc tlris nrarr, spt:rving ()ut \\rhilllsi(.irl, stlurt('(1.

tttrorg:rrrizerl ollirrions r':rllrt'r' tllrrr tl.joviIrg a 1tt'it1t:f ttl, I6r.'irrg c()p\,('r's;ltiorr rvitlr nr1' li'i<'nrl. Itlcase Iirlgivc nl rlc[i.nsivcrrcss. I'r,t' llrrl s() ll):lrl)/ pt:oplt' rnakt' rrrre

Clonlara serves all age ranges early education through secondary.

Clonlana...llome Education In A Glass By ltsell CTl|NLIRA

$GH00r Hl|MT BI$EO

EOUCAIIl|N

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Program is one of a kind. It provides home educating families with a comprehensive, innovative program, offering

parents and their children choices galore.

Clonlara School gives families: . peace of mind . fully-functioning private school . help in designing and operating your program . counseling and guidance . a subscription to The Learning Edge Newsletter Pat Montgomery, PILD

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l28g Jrlvon strBot lnn AFbon, Ml/t8104 (3r3) 7894515

(lttottt.it; \\'l tttot t

Sr:rroor.lNr; #10.1

. Alr<rr./NLrl

lt)1)5


* {ounded negativc assuntpti()ns about nry hornesclrooling that ir Iras !{otten

&

*

C<;r-<:l:nrs

rvere doing.

Mother Learns to Relax

p;rrullcl the schools at hol)re llacklir-ed,

|'tra tt

yorrr lrorlesch<lolecl child rvill har,e a goocl social lif'e, think on this. It is

q

Pe i dels

ti

ert (WI ) uri

I

es

:

N{y best advice to allyone begin-

nil)g to hontesch<lol is: Relzrx. I am a rllaster rvorrie r, so of coulse I appliect nrt'skills throrr5;h the years to fretting aborrt acadeutic progress. Alice is l3

throtrgh observation that children lcaln. Obserle yourselves. Y<lr no Ionger attend scllool. Do yrtr s<>cialize? N{ost people have u far'or-ite place they

ancl April is alrrrost U. Alice attencled sonre school clrrling her ezrrly years; April has ncver lleen to sch<lol. They

like to go t() nleet lteople or to ltring li'ien<ls t(): tll(: lilrlary, chrrlclr, u l-estaufant, a s<>cial <:lrrb, :r l)lu', etc. are trsrrally ltlaces rvhelc the llcople yorr likc girtlle t'. (lhiltlrcrr ollserve tlris rrn<l tlren thlorrglt tlial aucl en'or thcy,finrl thcir orvn firvolite places. Sonretirnes a little enc()llrage-

are bothfJna.

-I-hese

N,lost

nrent is OK. Ivly tlloln ellcolll'lrged rne to g() to a (llrristiirn l,orrth grorrp I'd beer-r invite<l to. I lvits not a Ohlistian run<l was lvary aborrt going. When I finally clirl go, I kx,erl it. I rnarlc rnan;,

lbr

tw() year-s.

of tlle pl'essrrre I f'clt to

l)lll ti( lllarl) rvlrcrr it ('anle t(, rv|itirru.

sinrply believe in us and what orlr

Alice, at 12, learnecl easily lvhat I hacl Itopecl for her to learn at age 5 or 6. Writing ("printing") u'as tortrrre for lrer at a youlig age. A year or hvo ago, I linally let the "teacher foctrs" I ltircl

farnily is doing - our friends through thick and thin. Many of thern clo not have children of their orvn and I ar.n so appreciative of'their confidence in us.

cleveloped tlrroughotrt the years give wiry t() the "Mont" I trsecl to be.'lhe lcsrrlt lras becrr :r lrallpier, nrorc

teaclrel tolrl rrre that her impression \vas that to do horneschooling rvell, you had to either be very organized or lead a very interesting lif'e. I think there is a certain anrount of truth to this. I prefer the "interesting life" lne tho(I. a

irrspir-ed household.

Vltr nccrl not itttcncl sclrool to

Wlren horneschooling rvas less ly knorvn, I sontetintes felt rve h:rd t() be a nroclel f:rrnily to jrrstily rvhat rve

sor:ialize. II'yotr rlcsir-e flierrrls,.jrrst ()pe11 y()rlr e1,cs. Tlrr:y'll be light in

It qrrickly became :rppar-

ent that rve would not be evetlthing that other-s rvirntecl us to be. Some of rny \vofsl pa|el)tiDg - most of nly wol'st parenting - has lteen when I f'elt we hacl to rneasrtre up and lvas embarrassed rvhen lve dicln't. My best parenting has been rvith patience, guidance, patience, guiclance, hard work, patience, guidance, ancl patience. Another thing I'r'e discovered al;otrt houreschooling is that while I love dearl)'ancl arlrnire the people in ()rlr sul)port gr1)llp, rnol'e c()tnplcte sul)l)ol't has coDre fi-om those lvho

rrrc a bit angl'),. If yorr are rvor-r'ied altorrt rvlrether'

Iiien<ls arrd rverrt back every rvcek

CH.l.r.r.:xr;r:s

rvicle

About six years ago,

a school

fiont of yorr.

I I

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V\rt

tttot,t

St:t

totll,tNt; #10.1

r Arrur.,/Nl.rl l09i'r

t7


%g.oo.

Ieanirre back in t.o work on the callv:ls. 'I'his is fascinalirrs. 'I'he kids, tlrrecr ol'tlrerrr,.jtrrnp rr;t arrd crow<l near tlrc ulass cloor to watch. 1'ltev clirnlt trp orr a neitlby ltench t() g(:t a ltetter. look. Now they're lookirrg over his shorrlcler, Sotrp gets cold.

Alier a wlrile tlrc rnan packs trp his paints ancl bnrshes, folcls trp his little easel. He leavcs, we think, brrt tlrcn Ire: enters the restaurant and comes ()ver. He starts talking to the kids, to us,

Kids Earning Money Julie Scandora (WA) urites: Barbara Benson's article in GWS #103 about her children earning money ties in with rny ideas. I anr glad to hear of another parent who sltares in the spoils as well as the labor. For several years, my children sold juice and cookies on hot days. It was not unusual for them to take in more than $25 in two hours. Ye t I arn the only parent on the block to reqtrire reirn_ bursernent for rnattrrials ancl foo<l tlrcr

chilclren trsecl or solcl. Yet the requirenrent to repay nle never hindered thern. In fact, they set up their stand morc ofren tlran all tlte neighbor children combined. They clid rnost of the work, including baking cookies and cleaning up. Maybe because they investecl more of thcir own time (rather than, Ibr example, selling what Moln had bakerl, as dicl the other children), they fourrcl rnore satisfaction in their work. Tl.rcy lcarned ltorv ro rleal with rhe ptrlrlic, too: rvhen olte man gave thent an I I (

tip and susgested they have a crrp marked "tips" so they could set extra money, they politely srniled. They knew thar rhey got rnrrch bigger rips lly nol ltaving such a sugeestion orr display. They leanred about marketing: even though they liked peanut blrtter cookies for a clrarrge. tlre prrblic ovenvhelmingly pref'ers chocolzrte chip. They learned basic aritl-rrnetic: how to handle motrey, hor.v to figtrre change. They alsd learned finance: while the profit rnarein is fantastic orr cookies, tl-rey also neecled to sell the less profitable juice to ger cust.()lr)e rs.

I tvas glad to see that they hacl a balancecl vicw of' their rnoney-rnakirrg ventrlre. When they could get a friend

to.join them to help pass the time when sales were slow, they were glad for the company. Even tltough it meant less money for each, it was more important to have fun than to make a lot of money.

person, someone fighting the ele_ ments, doing sontething as real as

Learning in the Community George

Tlmlnult (VI') uite.s:

It's a rainy IVIonrlay, i31-r clegrccs, in carly l)eccrnber. Morn's back at wrlrk alier a nice weekend rvith the kirls, Drew (8) andJarnie (5). Adjustnrent time. Snuggle up and read the last clrapters of Straubnry Girtby Lois Lenski. What next? A couple of chores, but tlren the vacutrnr cleaner breaks-

This is :l l]tessase.

C.e

t the ltathins

suits. wc're eoirrg to tlre y. Btrs clowntown in late mornins, tnrdge thr.orrsh

the colrl rain. Aha, friends join rrs for the onehotrr swirn in the progr:rrn pool (lvar.nr lvater) . Kids boisterous, leaping zrnd jumping, practicing the "strearnlinins" tlrcy lcarncd tlris past summer fr.orrr thcir corrsins. We adjourn later, two fanrilies, to City Market down the street, 2r lvarm ancl informal little restzlrlrtutt. Rain still pourine dolvn. I get two rolls to go rvith the sorrp we brrrught in. Kids starrt rnunchirrg btrt tlrc'rr stare at a Iigrrr-e hrrdriled orrt of the rairr on the fiont steps of the rest:ruriult's second errtrance. It's a nran painting, leanine out into tltc

rain to ltecr down tlte strcet ancl tltcn

l8 GR.rrn'rru<;

shows ns the painting. f'alks witlr Bonnie, my friend, about what he's trying to do, the type of paint he's using. He takes orrt Itis business carrl, which is a postcar.<l-sizccl prinr of'a pairrtirrg lre rrr:rrle in Frarice ir fcw yeat's ago. The kids ask a question or two. 'Iltey're totalll, in awe of this

making a painting, right in tlteir towrr near the YN4CA. He rells the kids it's OK to go home anrl draw or paint on the b:rck of his carcls. He packs up asairr and heads o{I. Ilack to tlre colcl sorrp arrcl thr: lolls, anrl to thinking abotrt the spccial pace irnrl serer-rdipity of' lrornesclrool_ irrg lili', rvlti<:lr is rt':rlly r'onrrrrrrrritv lili,.

Organizing a Detective Club Drry l;arerrga

Latrlen (8)

uiles: secrrrs to have :rlrvays

enjoyccl prrzzles, nl;tz.es, an<l little trezrsrrrc hunts. As rcarlirrg ancl writilrg have becorne purt ol lrer lil'e, slre lras er-r.joyed doing worcl se:lrches arrcl learning about other languages, especially sien lanerrage, hieroglyphir:s, arrcl Spanish. When we reacl scvcral bcrcrks irr 'l-he Boxcar Ohildrenseries, abotrt a group of childre n who solv<: rnysteries, l,auren's inte rest in n)yster_ ies

slcw. Throush

li-ie ncls and orrr

librarizrn we found a c<>trple of clozcr.r other grcat m)'stely ltooks. The rnost irrvolving arrd excitine series fbr rrs by far were tlre Meg Maclrrtoslt books. Meg Maclnstosh is a yotrng girl detective. That's notlrins new, btrt the author, Lucinda L:rnclon, writes these page-trlrners rvith <lrrcstiorrs ltosed :rt the cntl of':r page t<l scc if'you can ligrrn' orrt r.r'lr:rt slre is ligrrr.ine orrr.

Wrrrrorrl

S<:rro<tr.rlc;

#|04 . Apn.,/M,*.

I9t)l-r


The ar.rthor draws pictrrres jan-rmed

with cltres to help you see yorlr way throtrgh the story ancl solve the mysteries with her. Lauren and her goocl friend and homeschooling buddy, Aidin Carey, devoured rhese books rvith us evely Tr,resday (Aidin's regnlar clay to visit) for two months. But then the series ended. Wl'rat now? Sure there were other books, but not like these. Not where puzzlesolving girls corrld really play detective. So I created fancy treasrrre hrrnts trntil I was exhausted in nrincl ar-rd spirit. What next? By now, it appearecl that this was a strong interest fbr Larrren that was not going to dissipate soon. Also, in talking with honreschooling friends at

for the early one and mtrst help the last to finish, or package the project to take home. Now I remember why schools are not always the best place in rvhich to learn, and I understand that

their task is primarily group management. Nonetheless, the group was only eight, not twenty-five, and we had a great tirne. I cliscovered that Usborne books has a "Horv to be a Detective" book and a series of Spy Guides on Secret codes, tracking, disguises and more. These books gave rne lots of short projects and got me started on thinking about breaking down detective work into a series of skills to learn through garnes and projects. We started off by making badges our of c()nstruction paper - it's a good ice breaker and rvay to learn each others' llilnles and feel part of a clrrb. We nrade orrr little black notebooks. took

various get-togethers, we discovered that this is quite a poptrlar pastime witlr girls agerl 7 to 10. (Probably boys too, brrt we were irlso lot'rking f<lr rnore girls jtrst to play with.) We also founcl that sorne of the things Lauren and Aidin and I were doing coulcl be done even better with rnore players. I found

our fingerprints, and discussed everlthing else to go into our detective kits. We shared our prints so people could see the three or four different

was rvritten by the wolnan who had

types (at the beginner level) yet also see how no two are the same. Not even

illustratecl the Meg Maclntosh ltooks. It gave me many ideas, and I decided to fr>nn a homeschoolers' detective

the twins'l Then we tried to "take fingerprints" off of glass, paper and wood, and determine "Who touched

clrrb.

it?".

At first we.jrrst hacl Lauren, Aictin, irnd lwo nrole gills. Tlrat was a nice size because the new girls were shy but

senses

'l'he You'ng Detectiue's Handbooh, whicb

we rnothers wele keetr to have the girls rneet, knowing that they had shared interests. Then word spread, and after three sessions wc srrddenly lracl eigl-rt <:lriltlren inclrrcling one boy. It w:rs a w()rthwhi le Itorneschooling experier-rce Iirr me to oltserve rvlrat lrappens rvhen tlte size ol'the group changes and what that does to the dynamics of the group, tlre teaching style, the project style, ancl rny energy. With the group of fotrr, the ro<trn energy was qr.riet and thoughtful, everlone had a chernce to answer, everyone hacl a clrar-rce to look in the rnicroscope, and it was easy to wait for everyone to finish a project. With the group of eight, ir seenred we had more than twice the enelgy and everyorle clid not get a chance t() llnswer - in fact they viecl fclr rny irttenti()n - oI I Irad to devise a "taketrrrrrs" sr:lrerrre. With cielrt, it is hirrcl to wait for everyone to finish a proiect; I l)irv(: l() lr:rvt. :rn<lllrt,l' :l('tivity wiritirrg

(ltorlrrur; Wrr-rrorrl

S<:rrrxtr.rNr;

At other meerings they tested their with blinclfolded sniffing tests

and tasting resrs and by identi$ing noises on sound effects records fiom the library and examining things throrrgh a nticroscope and rnagnifying glass. We rvorkecl on memory skills throrrgh rnany variations of'the "What's Missing" game, such as having ()ne persolt leave the room and asking the rest, "Describe the person who just leli the roorr," rvhich leads to discerning diflerences in features (many cletails we just don't think of). Working on all these different skills that detectives need to have is a great way to corle up with lots of games, often invented by the kids. In the Spring we learned that The Boston Museum Of Science had a travelling exhibit corning called "Who Dr,rn It?" I went alone first to determine the srritability of the crimes and the way the exhibit was displa1,e6l. I also l<>oke<l Ibr the approaches usecl to solve the crime to be sure my little clctr:ctives wotrld be firnriliar with

#I04 r Apn./M.l,

|1)95

everything. We had one more meeting where we sharpened our skills and added a few more, then set the date for orrr fielcl trip. This field trip was very different frorn school-run field trips, of course. First of all, we had all the parents' participation. This was grear for all the usual reasons: there was always someone available ro answer a child's

question; I felt free to go through the whole exhibit solving the crime with those who were interested in going step by step with me, while anyone who was faster or bored had someone with them; there were mothers who agreed to be with the little ones in rhe nearby Discovery Room so the older siblings could concentrate. We spent one and a half hours in the exhibit, listening to police inteniews, reading newspirper clippings, fi nding clues, examining fingerprints, working with facial descriptions, ballastics and blood types. The detective team came up with scenarios, discarded some and followed others as evidence warranted it. The young detectives even went back to displays to recheck information. Each person, parents included, got to come to his or her own conclusion and test the answer. It was obvious to me that these children were very interested in the process and did not wish to nlsh to answer and then rush on to some other exhibit. We had a picnic lunch outside rhe museum and everyone seemed excited as we ate. Tl-ren some wanted to go back in to see a half-hour movie following a real crime through the point of view of a forensic scientist. I can't help but feel good about these homeschooled children who spent so much time in this one exhibit, going over its details, working with it interactively, learning so much and solving the mystery. In the same amount of time I saw almost 70 people come through, pushing burtons not waiting for the reaction, reading the answer and leaving. How sad, I thought. The parents enthusiastically sign authorization forms thinking their children are going to the museum to learn something. But for rnost of the students, that wasn't the plan. Thor.rgh l thought the "Who Dun It?" exhibit would be our grand finale, the children dicl not want to stop the

t9


.t Wlr'cltrN(; Club and more meetings were planned. We worked on codes and handwriting analysis. The last nreering

of the season was a lear-jerker- firr rne. I had talked withJerry Mintz (of the Alternative Education Resource Organization, 417 Roslyn Rcl, Roslyn Hts NY 11577) at a recenr conf'crence and he mentioned he had made a videotape of an easy way to learn Morse code. He sent it on to me and we used it in our last meeting. It uses good visual and some auditory cues with which to remember dits ancl dahs. We were all amazed and intpressed with ourselves that we srrddenly krrew the whole Morse code in an l.rotrr. The learning experience was uniqucly homeschooling-ish as I learned it alongside them, and we t-edid sonre of the clues to suit ourselves when we didn'r like the clues rhe rape gave us.

The tape also

uses two horneschoolers

about the same age

as

our youltg

detectives and we observed thenr

learning, forgetting, trying again- it made it very accessible to everyone.

The tears? Two chilclren, brother and sister, gave nte a present at the beginning of the nieht of this last nreeting. It w:rs a pvtz.le they hacl made, and we started assenrbling it as parents arrived to pick their children up. After I put my children to bed (including Lauren who was high as a kite and wanted to write a Morse code

banner all around her room) I sat down to finish my puzzle. I was s<t touched as I put pieces together and saw that it had faces made fiorn thtrmbprints and a message in Morse code. I decoded it pretry quickly with my new knowledge: "Thank you, Day. Love Rachel and Danrry." A tear rarr clown my check. I love being a honreschooling family.

A Typical Day Jay Heartlrcnuood (Albetta) copy

ofthefirst grade program

for hn lorul school board.

7'lte

sent us a

she

urote up

progam

giaes a good picture of Logan's home.schooling W, so ue are excerptingfrorn it lrcre. Jay notes: "Wen the school board ret:enlly

forms similar lo the ones Lirula Wyait descibed in GWS #98 (ashingfor prcgrant sent

inforntation uith subjects taughl hours of instruction, texls used, etc.), I simltly sent another ropy of this progrant uith 20

a

note

()rrr.nnr..N l,t:,qnu

*

tltat I coukl update it uith ninor clmnges if th,q harl a legitimatc need. I sr:rappcd. tluir f;nns. That ua.s i!. I senn lo be dcaling tttil.lt rcasonaltle people herc, artrl I apltreciale lhat o, ktt. We lnne open. (((:ess lo !h( local uillage school and its Jacilities; rtlier uisiting tlwre for open house (in hon.or of

edttcation ueeh), Logtn i.s con.sidc.nng altending n plrysiral educnlion rla.ss ottt.c n zueeh).

"

From.l ay's uri tten de s c,rilt li on o f Lctga,n\ prograrn (follouing i section, on, Phiktsophy and Metlnds) :

Logan does so nrany things in a week that it would be burdensome to list thenr all, or to read tltern all. [,ach day is different from all others. ancl each week is something beyond thc week before, so it is hard to say rvhat is typical. I made notes one day of Logan's activities; it was, I slrppose, as typical a day as any. I will recorcl it here.

Afier brezrkfast Logalt r.vatched sonre of Barnbi, and plaved rvith his baby ltrothe r-, Caspian, with blankcts over the furniture to lnake r.oonls ()r

"burrows." The he rode Iris bike to the store , aloue, witlr lhr-ce rk>llirr.s. I lc brotrght bzrck bananirs irnd rnilk, irrr<l

32 cents change. We cotrnted the moltey and discussed the process ol' rnaking change. Then he spent soule time examining a captive grasstropper. After that he clid several mazes ancl "dot-to-dots" in a workbook, ancl wrote a story to go with a pictrrre in a book. Then lre constructc(l a srnall lrook witlr paper ancl staples and clrew a lvonderfrrl picture r>f :r tree with rn:trry tin1, anirnals, sun, rnoolr, lake ancl trircls on

the cover. I{e nracle tornat() sr.ruo {ol. Irrnch, witlr rny lrelp. He rrserl a nretal "poker" to rnake a hole in a plastic lirl, stuck n stick in, and hvirlecl it to rnake it "fly." He ptrr a srnall red plastic calr on lris nose to be a clown, tlren on Iris I-read to be a police czrr light, as he r.arr around making siren noises. Later he went insect hunting otrtside. At sonre

point we looked thrcltrgl-r the classifiecl

in the newspaper ancl discussecl prices and merits of various vans zrrrcl RVs. At grandnta's he discoverecl, observed, ancl discussed a rnini plague of baby grasshoppers. He rveltt swilnads

nring. [{e watched a National G,eographic video abotrt the Arnazon. He

rescue<l a cllaeonlly {iorn a spi<ler r.velr ancl macle a honte firr-lrinr. AIter

sunlnler ht: obserlcrl thc rlr.auonlly in ltis nt'rv lrornt'.'l lrcrr rv<.\v(,nt l() lt neiglrbor's place arr<l lrir.ecl sorneorre: to nlorv our lawn. Tlrerr rve r,vcnt f<tr.it rvalk arrrl lookr:cl at thc srrrnrner gardens, y:rrcls, ancl trecs. Latcr, alie l. sonte w:lter play with ltottles ancl bo:rts in the trrb, rve rrsed arr inrlex irr ir book

of insects ancl researched clr.aeonflies. Therr we reacl lWtntis a lJird?irnd rlicl verbal rnath. (We often get carrie<l arvay with this, arrcl corrnt into the

night.) Altltotrglr I irrrr keclrirrp orrr. prograln relatir.'ely trnstnrctrIr<:d f<lr the rcasons gir.'t:n Icar.licr.] , I tlo Iravc sorne idca of wlrat Logar.r is likely,

t<r

aclrievc tlris ycar. ill tel.lils ol r.ca<liiltr. writing, rrra(ltt'rnatics, tlte sr.it,nces, tlrc social sttrdies, and the arts. Reacling

-

We will continue wirh

an organic nrixture of rne rc:rding to Irinr anrl, prohallly. Logarr <loirrg iots of'soun<ling orrt and wor.d r.ec<tgnitiorr atrcl, eradtrally, as he bcconres reacly, lrc rvill rkr rrror'<'oI lris r.r':rrlirrl{ l() llr(,. Log:rrr is rrol orre ol tlrosc clriklr.err to tcach Irirnsclf'to rcitrl at an ear.ly auc. Altlrorrglr lre <.arr qtritc c:rsily sotrrr<l out snrall easy worcls, arrrl recogrrizr: sorne lirrniliar ()ltes, hc finrls it vcry tilirrg to rearl rltore tlnn :r li,w wor.cls :rt a tinre. It rerrrinds rne of'rvlren lre was learning to walk. At nine rnonths he walked fiom the living roorn, throtrglr the dining roorn ancl the kitchen, all

tlre way to th<-. ltathroortr, btrt it took a phenorrrenal arnotrnt of concclrtratiol.r ancl effirrt. It rvas.just too ltarrl. He Jrrove<l to lrirnsclf that Ire cotrld clo it, arrd therr he <liclrr't try it agairr firr irnother six rnontlrs. At fifteerr llrontlls he r.valke<l easily and steadily. I don't knorv tlrat Logarr will read easilv arrrl steadily while he is six years old, t>r even seven, but I do krrow that. lre will sooner or later. We rrray be altle tcr ln:rke goocl use of sonre e:rsy reading books, iurd Logan rnay enjoy the Sul livan Research Progrzrnrmecl Reacling Workbooks that I plan t<r orcler.

Writing - I-ogan has enjoyed rvriting "l;ooks," stories, p()enrs, songs, a journal, and letters, zrrrcl I expect he will cont-irrtre lo tlo so. I want to ordcr a book cziled'l'lrc Kid's Gttide h Social Actiort, because Logan is very aware of'

Gnou'lNt; Wlruour St:rroor.rN<; #104 o Apn./Mat, l99Ir


t all(l concerlted al)out environnrental and social issrres. Hc has rvritte n letters, with rny hclp of'corlrse, t() plemiers, prime rnir.risters, ancl presidents. In firct, Logan even has a letter written to hirn by <lur prirne in response ro c,ne of'his

*

interestecl in seeing how they are rvritten :rnd rvill w:urt to learn hrlrv to rvrite his own lnatlr sentellces. I expect also that he will soon be interestecl to learn about place t,alue ancl our base ten system. I look forward to seeing the math rnaterials that rve will probably order fl'orn A Beka Book.

:]lll]:r,.r, l,ogan kr.rows how to fbrrn all the snrall ancl capital letters, but he finds it dillicult, slow, an<l tediotrs. A type-

writer

\V.rt'<:rrr^-r; Cttrr.oneN LuqnN

r is nice lor occasional use becatrse it allows him tcr rvrite with sornervhat less tecliunt and nl()l'e colnpetetrce. I expect tllat as l.ogan gets olcler', he will find printing easier and he will enjoy the physical at.t o{'rvriting nl()re than he does at <lr c()ltrprrte

l)fesen t.

In the past, I have told Logan horv to spell tlte words that he rvanterl to rvlite, :rnrl he sotrn<le<l ()lrt s()r)rc (){'tllc cusicr orrcs. lleccrrtly, hc lras ltcgrrn to rrsr: "invente<l spelling," which allorvs lirr rntrch lifcater :luton()lny an(l li:clings ol' rnastcry. My lavorite ex:rrnple is a sign he wr<lte to go in his bcrlroorn <loor-way. It says, "No MoM Ul-aoD." (Sorrnrl it otrt.) l-ogan is arvale that his iuvente<l spelling is, at this tirne, qtrite clifl'erent fr-om standar'<l spelling, ancl rhar the dif'lbrences rvill becorne less significal)t as tirne uocs by. Mathernatics - [,op;irn and I have firrrn<l al) astonishing (tt> me) arrrount <>l e njoyntent in orrr verbal explorations of'nrrmbers. Logan has developerl an extensive understanding of tlre n:rtrrre of'ntrnrbe rs irncl can count by [vos, fives, tens, hrrnclreds, thorrsan<ls, and tens of'tltotrsands. He has pcll'ect <:orrrprehcrrsion ol' the concepts of arlclition and strbtraction, and

Lorh

We have, as o[yet, cl<lne very little

no need to rvrite the erprations he ('()n)es rrlt rvitlr, lrrrr Ire is lirnriliar rvitlr thc ternrs "plus," "rrrinlrs," "tirnes," ancl "erlrals." I can inurgine lrc rvill bc (lnortrNr; Wrlrrorrt

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It's only recently that I've realized h<lrv fascinating rnath can be. As a math dropout (I quit after failing four identical qtrizzes on logarithms olr ftnl consectrtive clays), I've always cortsideled rnl,self plathelllatically inadequate. Hor.neschooling is helping rrre to trn<lcr-stan(l nr:lth trncl see it in ir rv:ry I ncver thorrglrt I worrlcl ltelore. I can'I believe this, ltrrt it's exciting! Over the last few months nry chilclren aurl I have delvecl int() s()me galr)es together that have really turnecl orrt to be firn, ancl I can see the kids' skills sharpening up quite rapidly. My chilclren ale Kenny (8), Ricky (7), and Melocly (5). The frrst game we call Number Hop. I to<>k 5l pieces of typewriter paper ancl rvrote the nuntbers 0 thr<xrgh 50 on thern. We lay them out on tlle flo<lr, Cartdy Lancl style, in all sorts of loolts ancl trtrns arouncl the firrniture. (Melocly got a lot of practice c()ur)ting throtrgh rl<ling this.) Then we to()k ttrrns hopping along the trail, stepping only on ntrmbels that were ocl<I, or- evcn,

100.

Another- ganre that evolvecl li.orn

Nurnbcr Ilop

rvas

it uurnbcr linc

garr-re.

I worrlcl prrt sheets nrrmberecl 0 thrrlrrgh ?0 in a stlaight line. Each kid

#l04 o Apn.,/M,rv |995

ACo.*.bbnq. Atqdha HC!fu

ed l6pltlnE,

thls

slmplc, stralsht fw{d appndt to currtulun, pbtrnhrs It b,sd on sauddrt lnbse, lamlng stargths and lcgal

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or clivisible by 3, 4, 5, etc.

throrrgh

statelneltt srrch :rs, "Mom, yorr kntxv what 90 tens are? 900!" I expecr rve rvill continue with this kincl ot'expl()ration.

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Stein oJ Massachusetts urites:

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Playing with Math

rvritten rnath. Logan kn<lws what the snraller nuurbers look like. ancl is becorning proficient at reading tlvo-

tion qrrite well. l)ivision is sonrething he is just lleginning ro unclersrand. Many tinres he has strrprised rne with

Kid

. toys . videos . books and morel .

tllio Vou Oun qddfun

(l nrade calcls later that saicl, for instance, "rlivisible by 3" on one side and a list of'all those numbers on the other.) This rnacle lor silly ftrn, especially when tl.re jumps got too long. Then they each got a small stufl'ed toy and tried to toss the toys ont() the right nuntbers, with lots of misses :rnd shrieking, of corlrse. We fotrnd that stocking f'eet were best, as bare feet stick to the paper and lnove the stepping stoltes around too mtrch. Pre tty soon we aclded the numbers 51

understztncls the cor-rcept of rnrrltiplica-

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* would stand on a nlllnber (or put it toy there). Then they worrld all rnove "plus 3" or "rnintrs 2" or wlratever I yelled out, and they worrkl s:ry whe re they ended up. Or we'd put thern all on different nurnbers and I'd ask them how many hops they'd have ro make to get on the 5 from whcre they were . Or start at 3, hop to 10, and tell whethe r they added or subtracted, anrl how much. We talked abotrt positive and negative numbers as well. This gante got pretfy silly, too, with the stuffed animals all squeaking at each other things like, "She said plus, nor minus, silly! Yotr're going the wrong way!" We also had a goocl tirne playir-re a c<-rmpetitive adrlition eame that uses cards numberecl 1 tl"rrough 13. At flrst, we'd each have a stack ofcards, ancl at tlre same time we'd each flip the top cards up. The {irst one who could say the total of our cards won tlrat hand. I started by giving thenr a five-seconcl lead tirne (meaning thar I kept my eyes closed for that time). Also, we kept it to numbers under l0 the first time we played it. We found ir worked

I played with each boy separately. They likecl trying to beat me btrr were miserable compcting witlr each best if

other.

Around this time, I went to a nlatll manipulatives workshop where a representative from Didax, Inc. showed us solne of their math products. When I got home I started fooling around with my Ctrisenaire Rocls ancl a tenrplate of red plastic squares (l'cl gotten three of these fcrr liee at the workshop). It was the tenrplate that got me excited. A few days earlier.

Wer<:rrrNr; (}rrr_unpn l,trrnn

*

we had rnadc :r big rnultiplicarion tablc for the wall that was l2 x 12. I h:r<l orrtlinerl the sqllal-e nunrbers with rn:rr.kcr. to hiuhlight tltenr. Wc harl talkecl aborrt "squares," but I cotrlcl tell the iclea h:rcln't clicked. Suddenly it hir rne. I thought about. the squares tcrn_

plate I'cl gotten. Did my Cuisenairc Rocls fit in? Yes! We cotrld see rhar 2 x 2, two recl rocls (which are 2 crn long), actually rnade a square because they fit neatly illto the square hole in the ternplate. And three green rods (3 cm long) made a 9 sqtrarel The templ:rte Irad r'<.rorn l-rrr sqtrares of l, 4. S, iO, 2I.,, 36, ancl 100. When I showed this to I(enny, he got so turned or.r that he: rrrade a 49, a 64, and an 8l out o[ cardboard,.just so he could have the whole set in a row. We then began playing a ,'fill in the square" eame, using cards nurnbered I throrrgh 13, Cuiser-raire Rocls, and the l0 x l0 hole in the tcrnplate. Each player clraws

tlo

cards froin rhe

pile. They then use tu)y matlt fiutction - they carr add those two nurnbers, subtract one frorn the othe r, rtrultiplv thenr - and tlrerr take rlrat,rt,,rrbe,j,;i rods ancl adcl it to their template (ftrr cxamplc, if thcy clraw a 2 an<l ir 3, tlrcy could acld those two nurnbers ancl take a 5-rod, or rnultiply them and take a 6rod, etc.). The object is to be the first to fill your ternplate with rods. It wasn't long before they discoverecl that it ustrally was best to rnrrltiply ftrr tlre first lcrv trrrns (ro gt'r tlte biggcst ntrrnber), then switch to arldition :rs tl're open space climinislres, then switch to srrbtrirction and sornetimes even to clivision to eet the last ferv at

Is there a place children can grow up naturally? Kingdom of Childhood tens of such a ptace, Sudbury Valley School, in the words of thirty-one students who experienced it over the past twenfy-six years. , i sudburyValley's Press provides a rich literature documenting the

development of children free to lead their lives, to learn, and to

grj*

in

a natural village-like setting. Among the titles are Free at Last, worlds in Creation, A New Look at sciools and The sudbury valley school'Experience. j.gT. u cogplete list of offerings, write: Sudbury Valley School Press, 2 winch street, Framingham, MA 0t201; or FAX1 (50g) 7sg-0674. Mention that you saw this notice f.or a 10o/o discount on your first order!

Or, to order Kingdom of Childhood, send $15 to the above address. We will waive the $2 postage and handling cost.

tlre cnrl. F'or lirn we s()rnctilncs ln:rk(: Drcttv clesigrrs in orrr s(lllurcs by tr.atlingirr orrr r'ocls Iol trn cclrr:rl rrrrrrrbcr.oI

:rnotlrer color. Tlris excharrging is also vely valualtle rnathenratically. Otrr latcst projcct h:rs been rnaking a Itrrge l0 x l0 rrrrrltiplication table on the floor usins l2l sheets of typing paper, eaclr with a nrrmber on it. I rnade the sheets and thert rve tried to lay them ()ut. This waslt't all that

much lun; in fact it was a little fitrstrating. Ihrt it dicl sive rrs a feeling frrr the table that yorr.jtrst (l()n't set when you look :rt it or write it. 'I'here you st:rnd with six l0s, 5 36s, O 24s, oc., anrl yorr Irave to lirrrl sonrewlr(.1.(' lo J)trl llt(,nt. After the nuntlters rvere all lairl out, we put c<tlored stickers on eaclr square, showine rvhat ntrlnlte rs e:tclr

one is clivisible by. It was nezlt to look :rt the patterr-rs tlrat evolvecl frorrr this. We were strrprised to fincl tltat out of I00 sqrrares, 75r o[ tlrern Ira<l red ckrts (clivisible by 2). Ily this we rliscover.erl that ockl rntrltiltliecl by ocl<l equals otlcl; evcn rrrtrltiplicrl by even equitls even, aucl odd rnultiplied by ever.r eqrrals even.

I lrope to lincl s()nle wily of'settirrs this rrp s() we can play sorne kind of' hopping game on the htrge rntrltiplication tal>le. Ma14te you start eve,raone on their age - oh no, yctu can't, because of the prime numbers that aren't oll a l0 x l0 table. Well, you start evcryborly standing sortrcwherc

on it, and thcn

... got arry icleas?

Flower Arranging Apprenticeship Caitlin lit,hey (NM) ruritas:

I've lcarne<l llorvcr. arranging {irrrn a lady in otrr clrrrrch nirrned Iiiona. Slre lras allowed nre to hcltr lrer with lrcr

l've lcar.ncri by wal<.lrirre. Slre clocs all o{'the flowe r arrangervor k, arrrl

rnents frrr our clrtrrch, incluclins wcd<lings anrl rnernor.ial servicei. SIre's tarrsht hcrself how t() rnake cvelytl)ing Ii'orn corsages zrncl rvreaths t() llugc <lisplays l>y sturlyirrg lrooks arr<l rakine irp:rrt otller peclple's work. Every year we have :r big rneeting irr Carrnel. Calilornia. Our farrrily r.enrs a lrorrse rr'itlr a lirrge lratio in lrack r,vhere rve all work. Fiona brings all the

(inortrrur; Wrrrrorrl S<;rroor.rr.l<;

#|04 t Apn.,/Iv|rv It)l)5


* Ilowers rrp fi-onr L.A. where slre

therr :rt a florver market

il

ge ts

htrge , fiesh

lxrnches. We get to help her with thenr. We've done this lor a long tinre. 'I'here are alrvays rose arrangerttents and then large fan arrangernents in assorted llowers like Hawaiian ginger, rnarigolcls, srrnllcxver-s, lilies, zinnias, and chrysanthernums. I.lirch stern is kept long so tlrey can be cut t() their desireci length. 'Ihis year n)y nvo younger sistels clipped leaves and stems off zinnias ancl marigolds. ()ne of the jolts I di<l w:rs stripping the 11)ses: y()u ltut ir little clipper irrOund tlre t()p of the stellt ancl pr-rll clorvn,

tuking off'all the leaves ancl thorns except ftrr tl.rose arotrnrl the top. This rrrirkes ther.n e:rsier to handle. Then you wire thenr lty sticking a piece of green florist's wire into tl-re bottonr of tlrc brr<l parall<:l lvith tlre stenr anrl tlrcrr twist it irxlrnrl thc stenr so it <loesrr't stick ()ut. That way they

don't

<lroop wlrerr tlrcy are lrt,ing transIX)r-tc(I. | 1tr'ob:rltly lvile<l an<l strippc<l

one hrrnrlled or rnr>re r-oses! I also g<lt t() put fet'lls irr llre torrtuirrc|s, as Iillers, after Fiona had finished arlar-rging the r<tses. Sonretirnes tlris.job is dillicrrlt, brrt even so, it's lots ol'firn rvorking rvith Ilowers.

Science by Mail Karcrt Ra.shin-Young (CA) urites:

.|crcnry ( I0) is enrollecl in a l)rograrn other readers rnay already lte litrniliar wittr llrt tlutt we have jrrst begun. It's callecl Science-lty-Mail, <'<lsts aborrt $5(i llcr yeirr lirr' one chilrl (the sanre rate zrpplies to a whole firmily of'kids), ar-rd is fcrr grades 49.

Three times

a year, a single-theure kit arrives ofl'ering inlitrntation and pr().jects (some reqtrir-ecl, some optional, l>rrt a chilcl isn't firrcecl to complere any of thenr). It's expe cred that the kit

will lle completed within a nronth. I{esrrlts ancl flnal projects are rnailed

W..r'rr:rrrNr; Curlonn'N Larnr.r

rvind speed and velocity, etc. Most of tl.renr really rvorked, and it rvas firn for .ferer-ny to create thern and then see the fi-uits of his labors operaring. He strrclied newspaper weather n'raps, and learned to read their symbols and trnrlerstand the changes they forecast. He rnacle his orvn maps and, as a final pr<lject, created an atrrliotape of a weatl)er forecast based on his lindings. TIrc kit :rrrived chrrirrg an cxtrernely lttrsy time; we were even out of tolvn for a rvee k. Still,.|eremy was able to cornplete it ancl forrnd that its infirr-rnation clovetailecl witlr reports we hear-d arrd inlbnnation we gathel'ecl clrrring our trip. The very best part of'all has been his scientist pen-pal..fererny doesn'r love the physical act of'writing and had lteen netvous about rvriting to his scicntist. I'lcr very {lrst lettcr t() hill), even befbre the kit ar-rivecl, curecl him of his fear. To clate, she has written hir-n several wonderftrl, warrr], chatty, infilrr-r.rative letters, and he has loved

their correspondence. He wrote her that she changed his idea of scientists being stuffr and unapproachable. She, in trrrn, asked ar.rother scientist friencl to corl'esponcl with Jeremy as well since she felt his scientific interests more closely parallelecl Jererny's. .fereury doesn't think he wants to be a scie ntist wlten he grows trp (his dreirm at present is cornposing) and he rvas afi'airl this worrld discourage his scientists; however, it's been no prr>l> lenr at all. When his pen-pal wrore him a thrce-page le tter,Jeremy felt he had to equal tllat, so he's really thrown

\Vllrrorll

S<:r

r<lor.rN<:#10.1

pe

n-pal. "I'he kit activiries catr take up a lot

of time, btrt that time is negotiable since the ctrilcl can select how much or how little to do. I don't know whether all the scientist pen-pals are as responsive as.feremy's. Still, this has so far been a good experience for us and has plese nted sciellce and scientists to Jerenry in a nerv, fun, and interesting way.

Science-by-Mail is affiliated with the Boston Museurn of Science and can be reached at Science Park. Boston MA 021l4; fl00-729-3300 or 617-589-0437.

a

hang on to the really important things in life... ...our children ...our families Home Education Magazine For eleven years we've been helping homeschoolers do just that.

We jrrst ccu.rple ted a tveather kit. er-erny rn:rde a ntrmber' of' rveather .f

(inou'rr.r<;

himself into his letter writing. His scientist is willing to answer any scientific question, notjust those having to do rvith a particular kit, soJeremy has asked questions about saccharin, grasshoppers, and the atmosphere, for instance. When some of his questions set his scientist to cloing some formidable research just to answer them, he was really impressed with her efforts and immecliately saw another application for the ongoing development of his own research skills. Her explanations of scientific phenomena are clear ar-rcl interesting. He especially likes that she doesn't talk down to him, but she does explain at a level :rt which he (and I) can rrnderstand. She has also written him about her interest in science, her activities dtrring the holidays, and practical.j()kes playerl on her in her office (so much f<rr science being stuffy). She has raken a real interest in him and.fererny feels he's found a fine

We need to help each other

off to a scientist pen-pal locatecl soulewhere in yorrr area of the U.S.. instnrrrrents, sornc of'thcnr sirrrple ancl s()nle rnore conrplex. Each of'these r:or-rlcl be rrsed to garrge clranges in lrrrnritlity, tetnl)('t'atur e, uir' 1tr essrrle,

*

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9otnt i

One Thing Leads to Another For this issue's Foctts, zae ashed young GWS readers to tell us hotu being interested in one thing led them to become interested in, or learn about, something eke.

From a Music Group to T.S. Eliot From Crist.ie Boonc (CA):

'Ihe

Crash Test Dtrrnrnies is the only rntrsical grotrp I have ever heard that cirn sins al>out phalar-rges, br or.rchi, or Superman and nrake it sotrncl goocl. 'I'heir lead singer., Bracl Roberts, is also tlte only vocalist lvltose lyrics have

inspired me to do sonrethirrg otlrer. th:rrr btrying or listening to the CD or uoing to the slrows. In one of'their songs, Roberts sirrgs aborrt horv sortre_ tirne in his future, "Aliernoons rvill be rneasrrrecl otrt with coff'ee spoons," and rhen :'rdcls, "Ancl T.S. EIiot.,, I dicl not pay much atte ntion to this trntil onc clay whcrr rny dacl ancl I were on a long car rlrive togslhsr. We lttrt in the Crash Test Dumrnies albtrm, ancl after:r cotrple r>f s<tngs:tncl ir couple of discrrssions, I pullecl ()ut the lyr.ic slreet so we coulcl see exactly wltat t.he wor-cls r,verc. As we listcnecl to the rrrrrsic anrl <lebaterl rvlrat thc s()llgs rrrc:ult, wc c:llnc

acr.ss th. li'r'irborrt l-.s. Eliot. I)a<l askcrl rrr. if-l harl r.carl an1'thinu by lriln arrd I saicl no, l;rrt sr:r:irrg holv rnrrclr I like<l the r'trsic errrrrp, I rv.trlrl t.r), s()'e .l'1,_li.t's lr'.ks. Slrortlv alicr we got horrre I r:he<:kerl out Old l)o.s.ntnt'.s f .rr' tlrc of lt.errrs:tlr.trt r.ats arrcl it is rvlrat tlre plal,Oal.rrvas base<l',. I likt,p()ctr.v irr gt:rrcr.al, s<r it rvas a fir' b..k t. reacl, euch P'errr 1ircrrsirg .. a rlifl'ercnt cat. Mttrd.cr in t.hc Cath.erlln / is :rbotrt the nrrrrcler. of'St. Th<>rnas Bcckct, arr archltisltop of'Oantcr.l>trry who was killed fbr standins up firr. tlrc chrrr.ch an<l opposins th(, king's authority. B<lth thcsc books wcre irrter.cstilrg, arrcl c-vcry tirnc I lister to thc (].aslr Test Dtr'rr'ies r-l()w, I thi'k.f 'I-.s. Irli.t. My next prrrsuit is to do sonrc rcaclirrg altorrt tlre l)rrrnrrrics' lirre, "Tinrr:s:rrr. rllrcn lif'e is like a play b1, Sartr.e."

I)ooh

f

o.f

Prarti.cal Cnt.s trtt<l ilItrd.er in tln C.t,hal.rrrl

ibrarl'.

Old. Po.s.ntn

is:r

b,.k

Disney Film Led to Learning about Africa [iront

tlnlrr

llo.se

\l'elk'r

(lll):

I'rrt really vcry sur-prised irt lrolv ntanv <lifli:r-ent tlrirrss I c:ttr lcarn fi'orl lravirrs:ur irrtcr.r'st irr .rrc sltt:cial c'cll[ ()t. activity. I l<x'e Disncy arrinr:rtt'rl f ilrrrs. cspet ially 'l-lv Liott Kirig rvhich I sarv lirtrr tirrrcs last suntn-lcl.. Ilccarrse I was so cr:rzv abotrt thc lllrn, I star.te<l to (lra\v tlre <.lrar-actcrs. At {irst, I took a lt('wsl)al)cl.r'li1t1>inu ol'tlrt, clr:rractcrs lirrnr tlrc rnor.'ic ancl.jrrst lookc<l at tlre picttrr.c artrl startt:rl to

dlarv it. When I rvas linishcd, I sur.pris<:cl rnysell'rvitlr wlrat zr rcall,v eoocl artist I n,:rsl So I rlecicled to t:rkc:rrr illrrstr.:rti'rr cl^ss frrr tec':lsers at thc Rh.rle Islzr'rl Sch..l Mrrseunr. For elcvcrr classes, rrrl'tt::rcltcr took rrs'l'Dcsierr throtrglr_ rrrt tlrc nlus(-'urll a.<l w'c <lrcrv fi-orrr thc real ar.tif:rcts. I hatl a clrance t() scc lnilllv clilli:rent artifac(s Iiorn <lill'er.cnt cultrrres. -I'hc ctrltur-e I rcrnernber rnost vivirlly rvas tlre Egyptiarr. I chosc to cllitrv a rlt:sign {rrln :r tnlllnrn),'s t:oflirr.

I irlso lcarncd s<lrrrc irrtct.esting far:ts altout tlrc rrrrrrnrny frorn nrv teacher. It h:rd been taken to tlre Irospital to gct X-r'aye<l to see rvhat was inside the rvrappinus. Insicle tlre rlrununy's skull, tlrcy louncl a piece of rollerl up parclr_ rnent. I thotrght tltat rvas very interestirrg, brrt also verl strzrnge. I wonclcled wl'r1' the Egyptians clid that, so I plan to investisare Ep;1,;ttian btrrial rites. One cl:ry. I rvas looking f<rr a l>o<tk to reacl ancl rrr1,

nr()nr sullgesle<l llont ltrveby -loy Arlarrrson, sincc shc kr-rcw I love<l tlte Liorr I(ine st()n, alt(l this rv:rs zrlxlrt :r r.t:al liorrness. I e rrjovcrl r-circlirrg tlris ltook itlxrtrt Elsu tlrc: .)^

(]notlrxt; \A'rltIour Sr:rto()l.rNr; #|04

. Aln.r/M,u, I9{)ir


lionness and how she befriended her htrman "foster parents." Then I read the second book,Liuing.f,'rz.e, about El:s:r ancl her three brancl new baby cubs. When I folrnd out there was a third book, I'oreuer Free, I called all the bookstores but none of them had it becausâ&#x201A;Ź it was olrt of print. t}rt I clidn't give up. I called ancl locatecl it ar an otrt-of;>rint book shop. Wrile reading these books, I startecl to becorne very interested in the Serengeti and Kenya, the country of Elsa and her cubs. I also found an article in the travel section of'the newspaper all abotrt the Serengeti and I actually knew what they were talking abotrt. Now my interest grew fi-om lious to learning to appreciate other anirnals that live on tl)e plains of Africa. Right now, I'm decorating my roonr and I'nr giving it an Afi-ican theme. I'm going t<l be really busy decorating lbr a while. My mother is going to teaclt rne horv to sew curtains and we plan to build a headboard otrt of cedar posts, so lny rooln is going to be very authenric. I also have been inspired by the mr.rsic fiorn ^fhe Lion King, so I have started to learn to play the nrrrsic on rhe piano. I'm very glacl that I cotrld learn so much and I'rn srrrprisecl that it was all startecl by one rnovie. I'm strre there's more learning to come from my interest in Disney aninration.

Exploring History, Biology, Literature I')'orn llebecru

lltirne

An article in National Geographic lzd Rebecca to roant lo study bactnia.

(Au.stralia) :

We have always had a lot of'books irlorrnd. We were rea<l to every night wlrcn we wcre y()ru)ger, and ltr>oks are the things that have led rne into a lot of self-directed learning. For exarnple, when we were 2 or 3, Dad started reacling us Laclybircl books, which are short biographies abotrt famous Er-rglish people. They probably interestecl me originally because they hacl brightly colored picrrrres, so we read them over and over and over again. Since then I have read and done many things (I enjoyed playing knights and castles with nry brotl.rers) that have enablecl me to adcl rrrore pie ces to my jigsaw-ptrzzle knowleclge of English history. By the tinre we weltt to England in 1992, I had:r

good feeling fbr the places olt the Thames, the Tower of London, the street narnes, Traitor's gate, the castles, and the people and history involved in each place. I remember one particular favorite in the Ladybird series was a biography of Florence Nightingale. This led rne, As I got olcler, to study more abotrt the Crimea and Euglish and Rtrssian history in general. You see, ttrings sort ol- connect into other things. When we were younger we also liste ned to lots of story tapes, incltrcling the stories of .f anres Helriott, which then led nre to his rnany books and ru great interest in vcterinary treatn)ents and science. Perl.raps Mrrm suggested it initially, brrt when I was rrlrorrt 9 I rcarl, I<lr plcasrrre, the ltooks History /lrgras atrcl 'l'ltreuls oJ'linte. They were extreltrely interesting and hirve given rne a good anlorult oI'basic inlbrnration that enaltles rrre to talk to people on a variety of <lifferent t<>pics. Oue ()n<ru'rNt; WrrH<>u'r' S<:rro<lr.rnr; #704

. A'n.,/Mev

1995

thing reacling about all these culttrres did was make me consider lteing a diplomat s<t I could use the languages I already speak and also learn more languages. This would allow me to travel and nteet interesting people. One of nty great loves for ages, even when I only looked at the pictures, has been the National Ceographic magazine, which has led me off into many different areas. Once, after happer"ring to glance at a luminous picture of bacteria, I lead an article about the wonders ofbacteria. This lecl me to investigate bacteria and other organisms in many differe nt N ationa I Geo grap hi cs, scien tifi c magazines, television programs, etc. It also made me cletermined to see for myself, so I really hassled Mum and Dad for a proper scientific microscope for my birthday so as to be able to study bacteria, etc. in more detail. I also got slides of a frog's body and a human body. I looked up Mum's histology book and compared the slides to rhe picrrlres there. This made me consider for the first time a career in science and especially in biology. Perhaps I might even like to become a doctor. I now collect scientific articles as well as study this out of a Year l2 textbook (I arn technically in Year 8, but the biology at this level is really basic). Two strch articles in the paper last week were about a promising cancer treatment based on an understanding of how turnors work ancl about a newly discovered species of frog. Then, a Notional Geographic article I read about Tolstoy inspired me to read some of his books. I read Anna Karenina and then War antl Peace. I did enjoy the books btrt 25


* I have lots of argumenrs with Tolstoy about his view of life and history, and he certainly seems to have been very twofaced. War and Peace interested me in the Napoleonic Wars and French and Russian history, for which I used the Encyclopedia Brittanica to find out more. I am now reading the book by Shirer called, Loue and Hatretl, about the Tolstoys. There are some bits I have had to skip as thev are definitely not suitable. Last year I rvas lucky to te able to record and watch the series Anna Karenina. Mum and I had some interesting discussions about how hard it is to take such a big book and put it on screen. I was annoyed at some of the bits they left out and became really aware of how hard it is to give the character depth when you cannot know his or her thoughts, as you can in a book. When I was about 8, reading a series of books, each about twenty famous people in various areas, led me to read many more detailed biographies of heaps of famous people. For example, I read about Emmeline pankhtrrst, which in turn led to my becoming engrossed in the EngJish Suffragette Movement. I started reading lots of books on suffragettes all arotrnd the world and ilso many more books on independent women reformers, bacteriolo_ gists, photographers, and women working in all fields, including, for example, the Australian oulback.Jill Ker Conway is a famous Australian who had to go to Harvard to study because of the lack of opportunities in Australia. Reading her book and orhers made me realize just how many ways there are of doing things ancl also how much prejudice exists against women even toclay. I hope that one day I too will get to Harvard. One of the hundrecls of interesting books I read a blck was The Day I Brcame an Aut"odid,ac[ by Kendall :v_hile Hailey. This led me to read the ltiad, rnore Creek rnytlrol_ og'y, some Socrates (though l didn't agree with hirn totally). It also furthered my interest in the theater and it made me consider writing a book. Another book about Aboriginal culture and their oppression furthered my strong concerns about these issues, and also led me into an exploration of Aboriginal herbal medicine and to a book

Fo<;us

* on the Yanornarni (natives of the Venezuelan Rainfbrest). I have also learned Cantonese since I was very young and so anr vely interested in Chinese history, Cornintrniit China, and also crlrrellt aflairs in l-Iong Kong. I pursue these interests through the ntedia, reacling, and discus_ sions with my Cantonese teaclrer. Basically, I love people ancl the worlcl and want to find otrt more abotrt bt>th.

Baseball Leads to Statistics; Computer Games Lead to physics From Paul Boone (CA):

When I was 10, I was really interested in baseball. I collected baseball cards, watched baseball on TV, and was bnmmed out whenever the Gia'ts rost. I also liked to draw. One day I decided to try to nrake nry own lt:rseltall cards. I got out my pen set, cut a piece of card stock down to the size of a carcl, and drew myself wearing a Giants trnilbrrl. On the back I put a few crudely writteir stats that were all wrong. One day my moln was looking at some of my homemade c:lrds and she tolcl me that the stats were wrong. She took orrt a calculator ancl showed me how to do

it riglrt.

I contintred to make cards that were nlore and rnore realistic and I put more and more stats on the back. After spencling hotrrs trying to fisure otrr zr pitchcr.'s ERA, I decided to read a few books ol1 statistics. I learned all about means and rnedians and averages so now I really unde rstoocl what I was cloing wlten I c:rlcrrl;rtr:d ,ny plriyer.,

stats.

I evenrually _ basketball.

tirecl of baseball and startecl ptaying We sot a hoop ancl I rvould spend'hours"ptaying "Arotrnd the Worltl" witl-r rnyse lf. I recorrlecl lrow rnanu' times I missed at eaclr position. Tlrerr I wotrld calculate mv averzrge for each position so I woulcl know wlrich positiorrs were my best and which needecl work. I made a Fiyperca.d program on my computer that I cotrld enter all the stats into so there wouldn't be lots of paper lying around. That led to rny entering an essay contest about ,,Aow a Corn_

ptrter Changed Your \,!brld.', As I erltercd rny teen years, my interests progressed to computer games ancl role_playing garnes, or RpGs (RpGs really complicatecl board garnes). I got a really cool 1T.-lik: flight simulator fcrr my birthclay calle<l Redjaron. It,s based or-r World War I and you can fly for the Germans or tlre British. I flerv alongside British Aces and fought against even tlre famorrs Red Baron himself. Red Baron.came with a really exte'sive manual that described some of the war a'd hacl interesting stories about some of the more eccentric aces. I had a ferv favorite aces so I got or.rt a book fronr the library that was about Worlcl War iand World War II aces. My first role-playing garne was a fantasy called ,4rl_ aanced Dungeons and, Dragons. After reading the manual a few dozen times I cleciclecl I wanted to make a campaign (:r czrmpaign is a setting'for the game. It's tlre history of the world that you play in). Of course, iIyorr want to ,rloke ,, fake history, a goorl idea is to base it on real history. So I trudged to the library and took our a bunch of books 26

GnonrN<;

Wrrsoul

Sc;lroor_rNc;

#104. Apn./Mev lg95


.1.

Focus

*

about medieval Europe. I read biographies of Richard the Lionhearted and Thomas Becket, ancl also A Man for Att Seasons and, The Once and

I'uture King.

Then I starred making my own RPGs. I rvas making a science fiction game so I designed some spaceships. I was designing a space station when I started wondering about artificial gravity. I knew that in all the Sci-Fi books I had read, the space stations rotated to create artificial gravity, but I didn't understand why it worked. So I rhrew a brrnch of questions to my parents. They couldn't answer all of them so they suggested I study sorne physics. Now I'nr sttrdying physics and the history of orrr exploration of space.

I play computer games and RPGs becatrse they are fun, but they can also leacl to more studiolrs endeavors.

From Video Games to Sewing Costumes From William Young (GA):

I play vicleo games a lot. Some people complain about the violence or claim the games lack any value rvhatsoever, btrt I appreciate the time, effort, and creativity pl-lr into rnaking them, as well as the entertainment rhey provide. I f'eel that playing a goocl video garne has jrrst as mrrch value as putting together a ptrzzle, playing a board garne, or reading a goocl book As an artist, I've always enjoyed working in different media, frorn cl:ry to watercolors t() papier-nriche, so it's not unexpected that rny interest in video games worrld leacl to an interest in computer art atld animation. But at1 ar?rrcpecled thing I leanred fi'orr playing video games was ntaking clothes. Mortal l(ombat II is one of my favorite video games. It's a tournament lighting game that consists of'twelve interesting and ir-rrtovative character.s. I botrght the galne back ir.r September. After playing it for a few weeks, I thotrght, with Halloween cornit-rg trp, maybe I cor.rld make !r costume like one of the characters in the game. Rayclen is one of nry favorite characters, and wears ihe rnost dramatic costumes, so he was rhe one I picked. After I told rny brother what I wanred to do, he also decided ro make a costltme from one of the characters in the game; he picked Scorpion. We had to make our own paper patterns for the costumes, using photographs ancl the video game as our models. During the process of nraking the costumes, we learned a lot abotrt laying out patterlls, how to sew (we don't own a selving machine), and about purchasing cloth, while keeping it all within our very small budget. We planned carefully, paid attention to small details, and the costumes turned out great. Wren we walked outside firlly clad in our cornpleted costumes to show a friencl across the street, a small crowd gathered arotrnd us. Kicls who zoomed by on their bikes would double back, saying, ..H"y, tlrcre's Rayden!" or "Look at Scorpion!" Kicls walking by rvorrlcl stolt and say, "Where dicl yotr get tlrose?" At a skating rink Halloween party I almost won first prize, $50, in the costtrrne party, but was beat out by a todcller dressed (ln<>wrNr;

\41'r'rrotll S<:rr<xlr.rNr; #104 t Apr./Mev I995

William

in

his self-saun coslume.

by his mother as a skunk (I dicln't have a chance!). At least

I walked away with second prize, a free skating pass. Another thing my brothers and I do with our dad is make videos (otrr dad produces vicleos at hisjob). Our costumes were so goocl that we incorporated them into our latest video, innercutting between the video game and action shots of rrs. If'we hacl n<lt paid such attention to the details of'the costurnes, and taken the tirne to get them right, the costumes tnight have worked for Halloween but not for the cantera. Norv that we've done these, we might incorporate n)ore costumes intO orrr future videos. It's ftrnny how an interest ir-r such a high-tech art form led us to learn more about a low-tech art form: making costumes.

27


.l

Newsletter Begins

a

Journey

Scott Welbr (llJ) sent u.s a colty of an e.ssa1 lte trnott,jir lti.s collnge apltlications, uthich ad,d"resscs essenrialil tlte .vtme tol)tc a.s our ]iocus. From that essal:

It all began with my fiustration towards vicleo sarne prices and quality control. Since nrost vicleo garnes were very expensive, I wotrld be quite angry whenilre qrraliry of

these garnes was less than average. I became fitrstratccl in my attempts to seek out reviews of the games before I invested my meager savings in thenr. Tiris was becarrse tlre video garne nragazines and consumer reports, at that time, seemed biased towarcls the cornpanies that gave thern the most support in terms of advertisemer.rts. This anger and frustration drove me to want to inform and warn other

In a sense, it uasn't I uho deueloped, the neu.tslet_ ter but the neutsletter uhich deueloped me. Because of the decisions the neuslettqforced me to mahe, I feel as though I am a more matttre, decisiue, and self_ motiuated person than I utould be otherutise.

l'cx;trs

*

lnrsinr:ss an<l cornrrrrrnications skills. ... I cornnrtrrricatetl rvitlt rrrag:rzirre eclitors anrl prcss rcl:rtiorrs olli< ials, cverrttraily se nrlirrs rlrerrr t.ornPlirncnta,r, crrpics of rrry prrblicaliorr. I was arrrazt:(l lvlrt:rr orrc rn()r.llnlrr tlre phone rarrg arrcl on the <>tlrer end wils ()lle of.thc rrrost prc:stiqi()us vicieo ganre press re lation ollices in the coun_ try.'Ilreyrvanted to know if I worrl<l like to tre on tlreir prcss list..Jtrst by l>cine ()tr this list, rny nal.nc was circrrlatccl to ntost o{'the vicleo garlre c()lltp:rnies in the U.S.. .fhis

lr)eilnt that I was able

t. acq.ire the prerelcase

vcrsions of'

garnes and hardwar-e altsolrrtely Iiee. ... By starting the newsletter, I se t out on a it.rur.nev towarcls greater things. In a sense, it wasn't I rvho tlevel_

oped the newslettcr brrt the rrcwsletter wlticlr clevclopetl me. ... Becatrse of the clecisiorrs the ncwsletter fbr.cei rrrc to nrake, I f'eel as tl'rorrgh I irrn zr mol.e rnatrlre, rlecisive, anrl self-motivated pers.n tha. I wotrrrr be.trrer-rvisc. It.rs'lerl nrc t, tlre c't:trti.rr .l'rrry ltrrllctirr l>.ar rl scr-vic. rvlrcr-<: I rliscove red a ncl interest, nlet ner.v friertrls, :rrrd oltencrl pathways to.job oPporttrnities. My newslette r rvas a catalyst for rny firture work with cornputers. Rigltt now, I still prlrslle rrry interest in garne dcsign :rnd ltro{r.amrning, llrt

woulcl like to explor-e cornpllter er.aphics irn<l aninratiorr

Iirl Iilrn, irrrltrstrl', urrd

st.icrrr.c.

Studying Pesticides, Ffistory, Latin I,'rorn Cktre Mtnphy (pA):

vicle. gamers zrlr.rrt

thcst_' "l>acl

a;tplcs." Tlrc resrrlt w.rrlrl

be a two-page newsletter.

The first isstre was a srcat challenge f<rr me. My cornpulsive young minrl wanted the newsletter to jtrst appear before my eyes withorrt any nced for corr.ection

of

crrors or rewriting. I wzrs fbrced to realize that if I r.vantecl to procluce this newsletter, I worrlcl have to work ltarcl tci overcome my lack of writir.rg skills. With grear per.sistence. I wr'()tc, editerl, a'd rewr.otc rrlrtil rrry Ilr.st issrre w:rs re.rty ftrr prrblication. Even th'rrsh it cloes,'t seer' like r'rrch rvhe' I look b.ck n()w, at that tirne itwas:r nl()llLln)cllt:ll e'e't. I took copies of tht: newsletter ilntl distributcd thern in libraries, shoppine nralls, arcadcs, ancl toy stores. After a few weeks, I started ge rtir)g I'eeclltack ancl fxrm tlrat fced_ back I eained more contribtrtions. I set out to nrake the secclnd issue bettr:r than the {irst. ... With molltl)s of harcl work, I addecl rlrore articles, reviews, editorials, better art work, rnore cr.eative design and layout, arrd word games. With a satisfactory rcsporrse a'cl a growing reacler base, I wellt on t.. cr.eate tlr.ee l'()re issues. In the span of tirne frorn tlre secon<l issue t<> thc fburth, I became a l-nore sophisticated writcr. Being nrore critical of my work, I bcgan to ev:rluzrte tny nelvsletter with more rigorous staltdar(ls. I startecl to notice that rn1, reviews were greatly lacking in objectivity. This was cluc to the fact that I was reviewing only the games that I hacl purchased. As a result, nry reviews tenclecl to be nrostly favorable. To nraintain objectivity and credibility I was challenged to lincl a way to obtain games rvithotrt actually having to pay for thenr. Thus began a porverfirl lesson in 28

It is rrnappetizing to think tlrat wherr yorr're catirrg irn applc yotr rnay be irlso eatins a lot o[ othcr tlrines tlrai arer)'t s() sc.llrpti()'s: pestici(les. 'l'lris was s()r'e tlling I (li(l not.fte' colttemplate ..til I watchecl a telcvisirru 1r,:.rg,.n,r, .' Ilachcl (lar-s'.. She rvirs a sciertist arrrl tlre author ()l rrrarry borrks, incltrcling Silrnt Slning, lvhiclr insis(e<l that DD'I', a cle:rdly pesticide, lte orrrlawcd. This progranr spiu'kerl rrry interest and I re:rrl .\ilrnt .Sfninewirli grtat zt,al. I bec:rrre intc.cstr:rl i. l.:r.lrirrg rr,re alr,rrt l)cstici(les alr(l I begatr irl rearl aborrt tlrc chenricirls th:tt we r:at cvcry clay with otrr firo<I. After.seeins irrrot.hcr pr()graln orr pllS, I besirr to think irbotrt how the people wrr. pick litrits a'rr vesetables are :rffectc'd by the t'xins. Tlris led *e t. wr.itc a story abotrt a sirl wh() clevelops cancer lirrrn tlre f<rorl she picks. Even to<lay, a year later-, I anr still irrtercsted in this tapic. Whc. tlre re's a' ar.l.iclc ,r.a te le'ision l)r()gral' o. pesticides, I always re:rd or watch it with great inter.est. A book incitecl another interest. in rne. I was rvandering arorrncl otrl local lilrr-ary ancl I canre to tlre ..rrt:w lrooks" sccti()n. I picke<l up 'l'he La.st'l'.sar, it book I ha<l seen reviervecl i' the Meru Yorh.'l'irnes Rooh lleaiezl.I rleciclecl t. give it a try. It rvas an incl-edible story, alrnost too gnlesorne to believe that it was fact. It was the biography o{'thc last tsar ()f Rtrssia, Niclr'las II, that c.clecl i' r'.rclcr, whcn tlre royal farnily of Russia was secretly killed bv the Bolsheviks. The llclok f:rsci'atecl r'e a'd I began to stucly the Rrrssiarr arist<lcracy throtrqh the ases: Catherine tlre Great, peter tlre C)re;rt, the Ronranovs. I learnecl rntrch about a J)art (){. the worlcl that hacl never intercstecl rne until I read that one rvell-rvrirren book. As I clo with pesticides, I still pick trp GnourNr; \Atr-rrr>rrr Sr;lror>r.lNr: #104 o Ann./Mav l99l-r


* little ticlbits of information about this strbject. Histor/, however, has always interested me. I can't rernember when I became avidly interested in ancient Roman history, but I r.row stucly it in clepth and want to prlrsue a career in it. I soon realizecl that if I rvanted to read what the Romans had written about their own ctrlture lvithotrt looking throrrgl-r the eyes of a translator, I woulcl have to know Latin. So abotrt four ye:rrs ago I began to study Latin, and I arn still at it toclay. Many cliflerent things can divert or clirect my interests. I think of rny brain ahnost like a great endless highway. I travel along, exiting onto side roads or major highways, some times looping back and finding rnyself at a place I've visited before. I see road signs and sometitnes ignore them, sotnetilnes brirnch off at them and then find that the roacl connects to one I have explored before or that it leacls to an expanse of rrndiscoverecl knorvleclge.

From One Author to Another I':ron Nlelis.;a Weiner of

(hlifontia:

One interest leading to others is the basis for my entire r.rnschooling. The freedom from stnrctrlres and pressrrres strch as deadlines, grades, ancl assignecl suhjects allows my curiosity to run rampant like a mighty river carrying rne happily along in the current. Nolv that I am orrt of school, I have the ability to explore in literary territories as wiclely :rnd as deeply as I choose. I'he ptrblic library was a phenomenal sotrrce in rhe beginning. All the autltors I've always wondered about but never had tir.ne to read became rny fbctrs. If I fall in love with a story, poern, or play I want to read everything I can find by that writer, ancl rvorks lty their l>est-loved :lurhors. This is what broadens rny edrrcirtion, becarrse rny favorite atrthors' f:rvorite auth()rs have their own inspirations in all sorts ()f categories and fields. One connection begau witlt:r wliter nanred SARI! rvlro wrote a b<lok callc<l'l-he Inspiraliott Sutuhuirlt that nry sister lent me. SARI( spoke highly of Henry Miller, whose Ilook of f;riends I then read. From thele, Miller lerl rne to Oxrulh oJ the Soilby l(nrrt Hanson. On the back of'that book was an a<loration by H.G. Wells, so I read his l'he'lime Machine and 'fhe Imtisible lvlan. Since leaving school I've developecl a great interest in the science fiction section of the library. Science fiction led to ruy enjoying non-fiction science books. Reading Carson McCullers on a whinr, I let loose a clam for strange southern writers. Fairy tales and fantasy llction books have been links to religious books by the way of C.S. Lewis and George N{acDonalcl. Studying Celtic literature throrrgh myths and legends has led me to learn

Focus

* about their culture and history in a way that stimulates my imagination. Observing nature while hiking has started me out in ornithology and identi$ing trees, plants, and their uses. Volunteering with The Global Exchange, a Fair Trade organization, and at my Sierra Club chapter bookstore has turned me on to many different sr.rbjects and philosophies. The list goes on and on. When yotr are an active and aware individual, it is remarkable what you learn.

Learning about Language From Erin Simonitch (CA):

When I was abotrt 9, my father reaclJ.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and l'he Lord of the Rings ortt loud to us. The whole fan-rily soon became Tolkien fanatics. In another book lty Tolkien, 7'he Silmaillion, I found a list of worcls in the elven langtrages of Middle Earth, which Tolkien, a linguist, invented himself. I got really interesred and, after a lot of searching, I forrnd an entire etymology. My studies of the elven languages soon led me to find out more about linguistics and gramrnar in general. Now I am fascinated by language and, with my family, I am studying Latin. I am also inventing a langr.rage myself , which is not at all an easy task!

From Car Repair to Physics I'rom

Str,mantha Noblzs

(CA):

There have been several instances where being interestecl in one thing has led lne to learn about something that is not necessarily related. My recent inrerest in physics began with a conversation rvith my father about car repair. I wantecl to learn more abotrt electriciry, so he recornmended a chapter in a physics textbook. After I read it, I lbuncl the lest of the book interesting and decided to study it. Playing the piano has lecl me to learn more about famotrs cornposers and their periods in history. For instance, I learned that Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, was a great fan ofJ.S. Bach. Bach composed a fugue, based on a theme the king gave him, and dedicated

it to him. Another thing I unexpectedly became interested in was Worlcl War II. I had learned the basics in my history textbook, but after I went to see the movie Schindln's List, I really wanted to learn more about both the military aspects of the war and about the Holocaust. I have read several books and watched two documentaries about the subiect.

"f ffaael along, exiting onto side roads or major highways,

sometimes

looping back and finding myself at a place I'ae aisited before. " ()nowrNr; WrL'rrorrr

S<:rr<>or.rN<;

#104

o

Apn./Mev l9-t)5


* acting class I :rnt cl<ling a piecc concerning a -_.Itr -y cellist, so I have learned how to holcl a cello ancl to mimic playing it. And in writing this article, I learnecl how ro use the spell-check on rny conlputer and h<>w to rrse the flax machine!

Studying Astronomy and Astrophysics From llachel l-ash

(Nyl:

In my experience there have been rnany instances of unexpectedly becorning ir-rterested in a topic connected with a discipline in which l was ltreviously interestecl. For the last few years I have been involvecl ir.r the stucly ol' astronomy. I mtrst have sorne instrinsic attraction to astronomy, for when I was approximately g years olcl I knew that I wishecl to prlrsue its study. Fiorvever, lbr several years afterwards rny irrterest was clornrant. Then, lvhen I was about 13, I belonged to a club whose nrenrbers were to write papers or draw sketches on an appointecl topic. One topic was "outer space ." I studiecl fbr a long time and eventually wrote a long pape r on stellar evolution. My interest in astrophysics was thereby rejuvenated and rny paper became the starting poir.rt for a series of astrophysi_ cal essays which (after rwo years) is still in progress, along with other papers on physics ancl astronomy. This interest in astror-rornv lecl lne to want t() st.u(ly physics in the broader sellse. Btrt. whe n I began reacling more and more cornplicated physics books, I re:rlizecl tlrat rny background in nratlr was ltot strlTlcient to support a solid understanclir.rg of physics. I deciclecl to stucly algebra f<-rr a year on my own, and now a{ier takin.q a course in astronomy at a local college (and usine algebra in various astronomical calculations), I am taking a course in algebra at the college as well. In my earlier years I satv very little point in ntath. However, in physics, nrath is a tool of insurrnountable

F<tt:us

*

lrnportance; in fact, Dlatll is the langu:rge of physics. One corrld ask what was the poirrt in learning French, ancl the zlnswer wotrld be sinrilar to that concerning rnatlt: it is a window, a means of broaclerrir.rg horizons. ior Frerrch, the wirrdow cotrld open onto the landscape of.Voltaire,s eloquencies; for rnath, the lvindow reveals in precision and dctail tlre laws of physics. It is also becatrse of rny irrvolvelnenr in physics that I lrave been readir.rg Imnranuel Krnt's Critiqtic of.pure Reason. Most people think of Iknt as a philosopher, which he rvas. However, I have learned that philosophy and physics also bear a significant relation to each otlier. - A majority of rny interests have conre about throtrgh otller interests. This, I feel, is a very natural way of.becorn_ ing eclucated.

Discovering Cooking and Nutrition FromJes Seaun (Ny):

About a year ago, I met some people wlro owned a small whole fbods bakery. I startecl babysirting their childrerr on days tlrar rhey bakecl, arrd since tiie bakery was attached to the horrse, I was soon interestecl in the goings-

on ()ut there. The principles surrotrnding a small home business seemed ideal to nre. I srarted bai<.ine.rvith thenr arrd.err<lcd rrp <loing ir alrnost firll tirrre. LonI nights ol rvork rvcre also long nights of conversations ibout anythinu and everJthins, which oftentimes led me to ftrrther rny

i' a.ezrs rvhere r.y i'tcrest hacl been spaikccr. Since the owners were very knowleclgable abotrt diet and nutrition, ancl since almost all the ingredients tlrey used were organic, we often cliscussecl hoiistic diets, strch as vegan, vegetarian, and macrobiotic. I became more ancl more interestecl in that subject ancl read several raclical books that we re rarher mind-expanding. I had already been a vegetarian for about six months so aclapting to a vegan diet wasn't too much of a sacriiice fbr nte. Then later I adopted a wheat_free diet as rvell. Experimenting with rny cliet made rne realize the sensitivity and adaptability I have :rnd the control I actually clo have over rny expl'rzrti.'s

consciorrsness. To further this interesting nerv concept I started rleditating rnore frequently ancl started the practice of yoga, whicl.r was one of the best things I could have done for

myself. Since I was lirniting what food I cotrld take in, it became increasingly nrore clillicult

to raid the fridge and find sustenance. Sornewhat out of necessity, this lecl to an interest in cooking, which in turn led to a number of interests that seem to be budding just at the moment, such as foreign foocls. I'rn also looking forward to this year's growing season so I can experiment in the dirt and try to grow sorne of rny own food Rachel uith her telescope.

30

organically.

GnourN<;

Wrrnour

I

Scsoor.rN<; #104

r Apn./Mnv l9g5


Tbachu-Pleasing, fr"@*r"l Grggng and Learning?

-

[sS:] Elizabeth Aarcnsohn came to my attentiott uhm she placed an orderfm 22 copies of GWS #101, the issue that contairu our interwieu uith Atfie Kohn. Kohn's book, Punished by Reutards, explmes issues of intriruic uersus extriruic motiaation. Elirubeth explained that she uas a hofessm of reacher Edttcation at central Connecticut State (Jniuersity and that she planned to use the interuieut in her classroom. Intrigued, I asked mme about her uork and leanted that Elizabeth has been

shtdying hou traditional grading negatiuely affects shtdents, learning schools all the uay up through graduate schoor. she and others

- in elanentary

haue bem uorhing utith student teachers, helpittg them to examine their oum experimces uith grades and utith "teacherfleasing" behauior so that they, in furn, can reJlect on these issttes uhen thq utorh uith children. Elizabeth smt us a drafi of a paper zuhich she and a coileague .presented in Aprir of 1993. In the abstract, she says, "This study continues an interciue multi-leuel ffort to inaestigate the efects of traditionar forms of teacher judgnent on student leaming. Each of the researchers has contributed datafrom action research in classes they are presently teaching or haue uery recenilyfinished teaching at the elemmtary school,

middle and high school, and uniuersig leaek.,, Response to the interuieu zuith Alfe Kohn told us that this issue is of great interest to many of you, as it is to us here at GWS. I myserf hauing sotnething to found say in respowe to euery paragraph of Elizabeth\ paper, but ITe refrainedfrom saying it becatue

I'll just

utant to be able to include as mttch of the paper here as posible. say that the issues Elimbeth explores uith student teachers who are uteaning

themselaes

from the

parallel) to the selaes

I

usual forms of eualuation sean almost iclentical (or ceftainly issues horneschooling parents and chilclrenface as thq utean thern-

from school' I*t's haae continued discussion of the

issttes

facilitator, such that the foclrs is completely on rhe learner, his/her peers, and the ruaterials of study. Ezrch of us is teaching in srrch a way that stuclents self-evaluate as the primary method of assessment, rvith teacherjudgment beir-rg absent as much as possible. We are looking at student, parent, and administrative reactions to these innovative methods. In particular, we are lvatching for the development of an intern:rl locrrs of control in each of our stuclents, once the external con_ trol of ongoirrg grades, representing teacherjudgmenr, has been eliminated. In addition, we have been inter_ viewing students and teachers in order to undersrand what limits people feel they are bound by, and why, as well as to locate, observe, and support those other teachers who are trying to use alternative teaching methods in spite oI' perceived limitations. A greater range of issues rhan we had originally anticipated strrrouncls orrr in-clepth examination of' the socialization of sttrdents to what we have called "teacher-pleasing" behaviors.

that these excerpts

raise.

John Holt identifies the damage our data exposes: Orlr coustant checking up on children's learning so often

At the 1992 Northeast Educational Reseach Organizati<ln conference, one high school English reacher, rhree Teacher Education students, ancl one Teacher Edtrcation factrlty rnernber presented a qualitative research paper outlining our intentiorl to invesrigare aspects of the traclitional grading systcm. A lively discussion followed otrr personal testirnonies from the elemen_ tary, high school, and university levels of schooling. The rnost sobering piece of <lata irr that presentatiotr was the trnivcrsily slrr<lerrts' trrr:rrrinrorrs agrcerncnt that their. pr.eoccrrpying locrrs (atrd that <tf their sirnilarly (.lnowrN<;

Wrlnorrr

Sr;rrctolrN<; #104

slrccessful peers through almost sixteen years of schooling) had been on the gante of figuring out what righr anslvers and what correct behaviors each teacher required of them, in order to get top grades. Rarely, if ever, had their personal goal been even rhe

permanent acquisition of content knowledge, to say norhing of the constrtrction of meaning.

prevents and destroys learning, and even in tirne most of the capacity ro learn ....Their fear of failure, punishment, and disgrace severely reduces their ability both to perceive and to remember, and clrives them away from the material being srudied and into strategies for fooling teachers into thinking they know what they really don't know. (from the revised How Children Leam)

In the year since the lgg2 NEERO conference, the researchers have been engagecl in systeu'ratically trying otrt anrl exarnining methods of teaching ancl assessing learning in which the tenclrer's role is prirnarily that of

r Apn./Mev lgg5

This expectation of themselves that they rnust know, and the anxiety that acconrpanies it, has been the theme of the majority of the university students' descriptions of themselves as

3t


* students, front the earliest elernerrtary grades lo llle preselrt. ancl is confirmed by rhe clata gathcrecl by the other researchers as well. Ivrl:nvt uws wlrl

I

l.tt\(

;t I

ItRS, s.rl,l)!tN.f.s,

and parents at random seenr to lritve produced six main qltesli()lts ()r. c()ncerns. Teachers ask: If there are n<r gracles, how will I know who in rny class is rnrderstanding tllc milterial and who isn't? They are also askine, h<lw will I nrotivate nry sttrclents to clo the w<;rk if they know they arell't being gradecl? Parents ask: How will I know where my chilcl stancls if'they aren't l)eing gradecl? Thcy also ask,

'fr:lr;r rrn-Irr,ri^srNr; .!.

chilrlren's concerns were

closely,

related, strggestine a possibility rhat tlre lears of tlre chilrlrerr c.,r,lrl lrc a,, cxtension o1'the Iears cxprcsse<l lt1,

their parents. Parents :rre alrval,s saying, "Oh, really, the wlrole class failed? Ilrat's OK, then, ir rntrsr be the teaclrer's fault." Tlre clrilch.en, parents, and even the teachers interviewccl

conlinnecl the r.esearchers' <xvn expelience of havine "dont: we ll" in classes in which thcy had "psychecl orrt" whirt the teaclter rvzrnte<l to hear on tests, btrt lracl not learne<l rnrrch, if' anythins, rvhile on the other hancl they got less tltan top urades in cl:rssr:s in rvhich they had learned a gr.eat deal. "So rvlt:rt clo eracles really rn e:rstr re ? "

becarne one

... So uhat about accountability and dardsu? Sndm* of alt ages demorctrate and report that once the intense pressure of someone standing oaer them tn criticize is remoued thq uill put time, energ, will, intelligence, and thoughfuhtess into ,,stan_

tnsks.

of

questions. For Iive weeks

<ltrrins thc fall sernester of'M92,

onc of tlrc strrrlenl rcscarc ltcls rvorkecl with,

arn()l)g other-s, rtriclrlle s<:hool students who rvere

i,:lli::",lfi['"",, how will I know what they are learning? The students ask: If I don't set erades, ltow do I knorv iI I'rrr learning? They also ask, how do I know lrorv I,rn cloing?

In-clepth conversations rvitlr these interviewees in nrost cases allorved tlte questioner to find his/her own ailswers, or at least new queslions l() consider. Teachers realize that they use grades as thre:rts, relying orr students' fear of failins to "motivate" thern. Parents quickly rrnderstancl tl-rat grades can show a colnparis()n t() others btrt don't prove what is beine leanred. wlrat effort was inrrrlvecl, oihow rnuch personal srowth occtrrr.ecl. The students who asked the {rfth anrl sixth questions realized and agreecl that ultimately, no matter what the teacher puts down as a grade, the;, know what tlrey learned antl clicln't learn at tl.re encl of a unit. Interviews and infbrrnzrl obse rvations revealed tl-rat parer-rts' :rnd 32

failing "grade-wise," but rvere so ttrrned off'fion'r school that tlrcy rvere rrot irrtclestt.d irr accorrrplisltirrg lrrrl task thc teacller askcrl tlr<:lrr to clo. Tcacht:rs lr:rd sortreone rvalk tlrertr {l-orrr class to class, not tnlstillg tll(,rn to get tllel-e on the ir orvn, :rnrl {brrnrl the only thing tlrat "lvorkcrl" on thern were tllfeats. Teache rs saicl that tlrcy lrarl only briefly altenlptecl cooper.irtir.e

learning with these strrclents. The Teacher Edrrcation strrclent was given a

rootn separate fiorn

regtrlar classroorns Ior his learning cellter, wltere he created five activities isolating each of the live senses, clesigned to allow for inclivichral fi-et:rlortr and learning incleperrrlent of the teacher. 'Ihe activities h:rd zrnsrver sheets, wl'rich were then correcled, without eracles, to diasnose proltleur areas for the students. I)ata on stuclcr-rt nrotivation and achievernent suggestcd that the "worst bchavecl" stllcle rrts Ii()lt) thc lowest track strrprisecl tlreir r.egrrlar ()notr,rN<;

UNtrnns r',tNutN(; 1 rrA r Nlr\\, .l.r.ll(:r tt.tRs tend to teach as tlrey wer-e tatrglrt arrcl as the crrlttrre of schools cle terrnines, rt'sartlless ol tlre Pr.ogressir.<, corrtcrrt oI'theil teaclrer e<ltrcltion cour.ses, tl)e prof'essor has ltecn erxploring witvs t() make tlre expericrrcc of hcr c()rrrscs one thrrrtrgh wlri<:h slrrclt:nts n)igllt trrttlt'rgo ir nl()r.(' lttrrrlitrrtcrrtitl r.lr:utgt,, by lrcinu r e<lrrir.erl to i<lcnrilv irrrrl exalnine their owrr prr:viorrsly ullc()ll_

sciorrs :rssurnlttions aborrt lcacltinq urrrl

their deepcr

little fear oI'

teaclrers ltv taking <irr rnrrch gl.e:rtcr rcsporrsibility than was trsrrally ex_ pcctetl of thcrn, ancl by orrt_Jrcrlirr.nr_ irrg tlrt' stu(l('nts liorrr tlrr. lrirSlrcst track, tlroueh st.trclcnts tlrcrrrsclves nevcr askecl how they rverc doirrg irr tel'rtrs of'gradcs, ancl n<l cornp:rrisons were rnnclc l;eyoncl the clat:r gather-irru.

learnir-rg. ... Even lty rrrid-se nrcster, cverr rvitlt no rlradcs, sorne strrdcnts will not lrirr,t: brokcrr tlrrotrglr the ltorrnclarics t.hat keep thcln frorn acceptins the rvr.itirrs, It'ssorr plarrrrirrg. srnall gr()llJ) rlcr.isiorrrnakirrg ancl prcsr:rrt:rtions, uncl :rll other leitrnin{r, as a pl.()cess, valrrablt, firr its orvrr s:rke. Sorle still o;terate b1, tlyine t() givc tlrc tcat lrt'r'rvlr:rt slrc wants rathcl' than r.iskins allowing therrrse lvcs to {irllorv tlrcir owrr Irrrrrches (as Holt clescribecl in IIotu Cltikl,ren Lernn) .'IlIese strrrlcn ts rt:rnairr lrnc()lnfortable rvi t lr llll certain t),, :rn(l

frequently rcscnt not havinr qtrick <:lostrrc or rlcllrritc

ri{rlll altswcrs.

()thers irclricve rcllcctivcrrcss altorrt I lreir s<'lrool-irnltosr:rl <lisabili tics: LJnlorttrnatcly, I still firrrl rtry'self' th in ki ng :rltotr t rrr.irclcs ;urrf

I)apers an<l projccts arrrl how nlcasrlre up to cvery()nc e lse.

tlrink it

I

I

vcrr lrarrl l() ()vc:rc()lr)c twelve years of ltr.odrrct orientzr_ is

tion.

Secing these habits irr tlrcrnsclves, they begin to nOticr: the teaclrerpleasing ltchaviors irr the elernentary :rncl seconrl:try classroorrrs tlrey visit. Thosc who havc :rrrivecl at that level of' consciorrsness report seeing in wil<lly rvavins hancls s<lrnetlring beyrlncl "cn thrrsiirstic stuclen t.s eilger t() learn, " instearl nrxv rccognizing those belraviors as "sttrrlcnts tryirru tlre ir Irarclcst to itnpress the teircher with the ir anWrrrr<ttrl S<:rroor.rN<; #I0,4

. Apn.,/M,t


{. swers.... Qtrizzes and tests seern to be an

especially serious and universal sorrrce of anxiety and even anger for studenis. Even those few gradtrate as well as rrnclergradrrate students who reportecl not being in panic over a quiz (on the names of everyone in the class,

announced in the first class session for tlre the sec<tnd), inclic:rtecl that tlrey were angry and thought it wasn't ftrir, or that tl-rey had controlled their ustral anxiety. Some, goocl at memorizing, had sturliecl and were confident;

others were doing deep breathing exercises to calm themselves down. In freewrite before the "performance, " many reporred feeling physically sick: Anxiety level is high/ it's in stomach/spreacling throrrgh my irrnrs/not srrre of all the nantes/ block - mental block/nerves nervous,/names are all rnelding together, a srnear; I should know thenr/with this freewrite I have

forgotten mosr of them/think/ concentrate/otrch!!

'Ihe very word "qrriz" triggerecl that level of stress in a class in which tlrere wele to be no sradesl Althorrgh sornc stu(lents rep()rted still f'eelitrg anxiety through the semester about not knowing "where they stood, rhe release from the pressure of having to think aborrt being judged was rhe overwhelming feeling reported by rnost university students.

Trying ro get rhe university sturlents t<t practice interdependence in cooperative prcrjects was perhaps the rnost difficult task of each semester. Since most mernbers of university classes came frorn at least partial success

in tr-aditionally structurecl

schooling, very few had had much if any experience of cloing work that was not indivi(hlal or competitive. Habits

oI'rivalry for scarce "goocl gracles"

ke

pt

theur fi'om wanting to share icleas with each other, or to spend tiure helping sorneone else acqtrire concepts they alreacly "had." Most have no frame of rcf'e rence ll'orn their olvrr sclrooling lor seeking eirch other's assistance in strrdy gr-oups. Data suggesr that colnpetitive structllres within a class-

Tr.acrr en-Pleesrru<;

*

roour, and tracking as early as first grade reading groups, let children know early rvho the teacher thinks is smart and who the teacher thinks is not, and hierarchies develop as early as that. Therefore, instead of seeing each other as resources, many urliversity undergraduates still see each other as irnpediments to tlleir.own success,

or they rneasure themselves against each other. Most of the yotrng women stuclents seenl to blame thernselves lvhen they don't "measure trp."... The whole process of interclepe ndence with peers seems to be new and threatening for most university students. Being "good" had made talking to each other, and especially "arguing" absolutely taboo in traditional classrooms. "I'm right, you're wrong" or, more usually, stony silence

even the mechanical quality of the writing irnproves! Teachers report believing that, without grades, students will not work. Most students at first report believing

that as well. However, the data show that most students have worked more rigorously, more diligently, and, most rmportant, more thoughtfully when they know that their papers will be read with great attention, and when they begin to realize that coming to class without a paper to share makes them feel they have let their group down. This has not been the case for every student; but it is safe to say that just after mid-semester at the university, just about everyone has kept up with the bottomline expectation, and just about everyone has produced quality work.

and capitrrlation, was the norm. So uuar ABour AccouNTABn_rry ANn "stanclards"? Students of all ages

demonstrate and report that once the intense pressure of someone standing over them to criticize is removed they will pr,rt tirne, energy, rvill, intelligence, and thotrghtfirlness into tasks. Perhaps the complered data will point to the work teachers and parents need to do: hellt students get past fear of gracles ancl l>lante of'the teacher, in orcler to focrrs on pleasure of engagernent in tasks. Interviervs, student writing, and obseryations indicate that it is irnportant not to reinforce those negative f'eelings by insisting on the importance of grades. Otl'rerwise, fretting replaces thinking; making a piece of work look right or sound right so it will get a goocl grade replaces the desire to express, explore, communicate, keep a conversation going. Ultimately, if the presstrre is too great, the student gives up.

On the other hand, the researchers' experience of replacing grades with nonjrrclgmental constnrctive f'eedback has dernonstrated a positive and even astonishingly successful way to have stuclents produce frequent, honest, passionate, thougl'rtftrl pieces of rvork, not rnerely as products rvhich we reqtrire bllt as vehicles for their orvn expkrration of self and the worlcl. ln fact, when a reader or listener focuses entirely on the content of the writing rather than on mechanics,

(lncln,nrr; Wrrnclu'r Sr:rrc-lor.rNc #104 o Aln./M,qv l99b

Teacher education classes can be the place to ask students to unlearn habits of fiercely protective individualism and competitiveness against each other, orientation to rervard and punishment, misdirected focus on getting through rarher than on deep

thinking about theoretical content and its pracrical application, and total dependency on teacher direction. They can be the places where people about to be teachers can consrucl their own ways of seeing and thinking from wider perspecrives as they practice, recognize and internalize caring, creative, decentered and responsible behaviors: that is, the behaviors that should characterize teachers.

If teacher education classes are not such places, it is hard to imagine another situation in their lives in which teachers will have the support they need to confront and locate the sources of their own complicated assumptions and feelings about schooling. Therefore it may be useless to hope that substantive changes will occur in elementary and secondary education until teachers examine the lirnitations of their own early schooling within the supportive structure of living as well as considering the freedom and responsibility of authentic rvays of learning. I


Psychologists Reflect on Homeschool;ing Tzuo

from our list of HeQl[ul psyclnlogists (see CWS desnibe tlrcir experiences and uieus.

#

Whcn I lrear abt_rtrt aclrrlt patients' ltistolies, I lrar.c :r rlilli'r.ent vllrtirg<, poirrt. I{'scltool rv;rs :r problern lor thcrtr, I r:an talk alxrrrt it fi.onr a <lillt,r. ent. persl)ective :rrrrl susgest tlt:rt the problcrn nrislrt not have bcen solely thcnr, rvltich I think validates what thcir l'eclings harl ltecn cvcn if'tlre

lTj)

systcnr t

Should the Child Adapt to School? Iiorn Mary Ann Hutchisott.: lVhen I get a chilcl ro evaluate, my feeling is that yotr have to evalrrirte thc total picture: the child's history, the family, the school situation, etc. Traditionally, when psychologists get a child who is havir-rg a problem with school, if they evaluate the other issues and see that those are not the problem, they will generally conclucle that they need ro try to get rhe chilcl to adapt to the school situation.

I won't assurne that as readily. I will talk to the chilcl anrl rhe parenrs, and I will go in ro obsen'e tlre child in school. I clo th:rt conficlcntially, s() rllc child and the teacher knorv wlro I'rn there to observe but tlte otlrcr kicls don't. In that way, I'm :rble t<t see the chilcl's school environrnent fbr rnysel{. If the child is not aclapting to school because her leaming rate is clifferent, or the way he learns is not thc wny that kids are taugltl in school, or rhc clril<l is not getting support fiom the other kids, I talk to the child and the rJareltts and explain tltat tlrere arc otlrei optiorrs. This is irrrportant becarrse tlre is vielved as the norrn, and the usual view is that the child should adapt ro rhe norrn. But I ask if the family is able to con-

traditional school systern

sider horneschooling or, depending on how flexible the school or the teacher is willing to be, whether the school is willing to adapt. In rny experience, sontetimes tlre school will adapt if it's a rninor isstre, btrt ger)erally the school sysreln doesn't thir-rk in terms of adapting to the individtral chilcl.

I'm seeing a cotrple right now who have two very bright cl.rildren who are sornewhat ahead of what tlte school systenr is expecting for kids their.aee. 34

Sad to sav, because it's a poor s<:lrool clistrict, the teaclters are ll()t trsecl to expectinu that abilitv fiorn the kids. I'rrr talking to thc parents and hclping thern to trnderstand how their chilclren leirrn ancl horv to acknowle<lsc tlrese strengths in their- kicls. The parents don't f'eel able to ltomcscho<ll right now, btrt they are tr-ving to create other learning experiences for their kids on their own tinre. I lrad another situation in which the isstre rvas a child's not reaclirrg lty a certain age. The pareltts had the ex_ pectation th:rt the child slroulcl learn to reacl earlier, brrt he clicln,t learn trntil lre wasT \/2. They sarv rhis as a very serious c()nce r.n, arrcl tlre clrild rvas startine to feel inarlequate becirrrse lris parents were vierving hirn as late, as ltchincl. Tltcy lrarl begrrn to sec lrinr as a patient, wltich was all'ecting his sel[: esteem and also, I think, kceping hirn from pcrflorrning as well as he was capable of'perforrning. I talked abotrt his way of learning and helpecl t<r alleviate their fears, helped thenr to see tllat tlris was a <lilTcr-cnce, not a clisability. I thirrk alter rhe pareltrs begarr to see it rhis wa).. lhe chil<l <li<l too, anrl stoppcd f'eeling rrrrcler so

rntrch presstrre.

Having clealt with lloth chilrl :rnd acltrlt pat.ients for a lons tirne, I'r,e oltseryed that mar.ry people lt:rve experienced tratrma because of the school sittratior-r

-

teacher.s be ing alttrsive,

either ernoti<lnally or physically, tcachers not acknolvledgine a cltilcl's indiv-

idual needs, peer pressur.e atrcl peer abusiveness. In acldition to that, I've worked in manl' differe nt school settings and I've seen that it rloesn't rtratter if'vorr're clealing with rvealthl, schools or poor schools; thc proltlerns exist lvithir-r tlre school s),steln, rcsarclless. I carne t() choose horneschooling for rny clrikl becarrse of rny rr,ork irr thcr sclrool systellr zrncl my experienccs rvitlr seeing what that s)'stent rvas all altout.

rlidn't virli<late tlrosc f'eelings irt

ltt' tinrc.

I also see severirl rncn ancl w()tncll twe nties who are tltinkins abotrt having chil<lren, ztntl rvitlrout puslrirre rny ()\.vll ltcrspcctive on tlrcrrr I rniulrt strgeest otlter ways of'looking at raising children ltcsicles the vierv that you need [o work outsicle the horne all day and put X)ul-chilrlr cn irr <111,1.11.1, or preschool. I strggest to rvorncn tlrat we don't need to brry into tr.aditionallv

in their

rnale valtres, to beconre wor.kaholics. My patients know tl.rat I arn honr<:-

schoolirrg nry clrilcl becarrse tlrey knorv that I anr only available to see patients in tlre eve nirrgs, wlren rrry Irrrslt:rn<l takes over. They see that I valtre l>eintr horle rvith rn,v chilrl dtrring the diry lrrrt tlr:rt | :rlso lr:rvt' otltt,r.rvor.k. I rnal llrirrg tltis rrp 1ls a lticce of irrfirr.rrratiorr

firr t.lrerrr, or irr rnarry (.ases, they ll:rv(l ()n tllcir own lrccn irrt.r'r.cstr:rl irr it irrr<l askt'rl qrrcstiorrs alrorrt it.

Testifying on Behalf of Austistic Child Iirom

Susrm.

Olt:

Frorn being on GWS's list ol'hcll> firl psvclrologists. I set s()ute calls fioirr Jreol-tlr: wlro Irave ltrrrblt:rns rvitlr tlre ir. cltil<lren. Oltentirrrcs tlrose Droblcrrrs :u'c l)urt of'thc oricinal issrrri rhat tlre chilcl hacl rvitlr school; they lvcre par.t ol'wlrirt rrrarle sclrool a l>a<l lit firrjtlrat chilrl. It rnight be a bchavior problcrn,

br exarrrple - a r lrild rvlro tlirin'r fir into the traclitional classroonr stnrcf

trrre bccitrrse lre cli<ln't like lriu,ing ro sit dorvn all tlre tirne ancl wasn't able to use the lirll scope of his inte lligence t() explol'e. Sorrretirrres, wlrt'rr I eet a plrolrc call, tlr<'farnily is rt.alizing tlrirt althorrgh takirrg the chilcl ()ut ()l' school solves a piece of the problern, .tlrere arc ofien still thirrss tlrat nee<l to be dealt rvith. I also gct <:alls fi-onr horrrcschoolers rvho :tle ltaving cor)cerns or ltrol> lerns ancl don't warrt to ask a psycholr>

Gnou'rN<; Wr lrroL'r. Sc;rt<tctr.rur;

#I04 . Aln.,/Mav | 995


gist rvlro is trnf'amiliar rvith hornesclrooling ancl rvho ntight be inclinecl to see holleschooling as the r()ot of

the problern. For exarnple, a tnother rlnce callecl rne ab<>rrt a child who was extremely clernanding ancl worrldn't Ieave her al<tne at all. I pro-posed sonre ideas that rvorked rvell: I suggested that the rnothel'set aside tirne <ltrring the day when the chilcl worrlcl absolrrtely, rrneqrrir,ocally have her rnorn's trttel)ti()r). Agtart fi-or-n tlrat tirne, I srrggestecl tlrat the urother rnake it cleal that there rvere <lther' things for Irer chilrl to clo and t() ser up those things so that she w:rsn't at a total loss. I also suggested that she cnroll tlre child in a srvirnming class or a gyrnnastics cl:rss at the Y. Tl-ris was .jrrst baserl on an intrritive fi:elir.rg on nl)/ l)art, ltecarrsc it sorrtrrlecl as if the t lril<l really rreecled to rlevelolt rnore r'orrlirlcrr<:c in lrer- own :rltilities.'fhcse trvo irleas really wolkecl. In ucneral, nry experience has tarrght rne that kirls ancl faurilies are all very clill'erent, but school is pretty rrnrch the sanle, so to say that school is tlre best environrnent fcir every child is clc:rlly r)()t tnre. I lorne is not tlrc ltcst r:uvinrnntent frrl every chilrl either; caclr c:rse needs to lle looked at irrcliviclrrally. Yorr can'r t11,to fbrce cverythillg iDto a rigicl rrtrirlel itl rvhat t'<lrrcati<tn is srrpposccl to be likt: or rvhat a lanrily is srrpposed to be like bcc:rtrsc reality is messy ancl dive rse. My basic I'eeling aborrt kicls'

en)()tionitl gr()wtlt artd <lcveloprnent. is tlrat kicls neecl to move fl'otn olte step t() anothel- at their own pace anrl ir-r l'csl)()nse to tlleir orvn signals. I also l'cel very strongly that farnily is tl.re lirnclarnental place where we all learn otrr self-concept, orlr en)otioltal health, ancl if'a chilcl has a problem, clrirnces are a caring, healthy fanrily is the best place to cleal rvith that. Of course, sotnetitrles the far-nily is not so healthy. Sometimes, if the fiunily is really chaotic enr()ti()nally, the school can seeln rnole stable ancl rrr<tre scnsil>le to the cl-rilcl, in rvhich case s<'ltool woulcl l>e a good erlr,ironrnent lilr that child to l>e in. Brrt what rnost pt'ople d<>n't rcalize is llrat sr:hool is vtr-y olien rrol a nicc, sal'e place forkirls to lrt:. ()ltcrr, s<'lrool is a scary, tlrreatenins, and.jrr<lente ntal plitce to ki<ls, urrrl il'tlrcy'r'r: lraving trrrrrlrlc at (lrrorvrN<; Wrlt

lotlt

Sr:r l<xll.lN<;

#l0.1

o

it nray be even harrler for them to rleal rvith school. S<t in those cases, rvhen neither school nor honre is a goocl option fbr the child, yorr have ro krok at otl)er oprions. Maybe it would be ltossible fcrr the child to live with an<lther family menrber and work thror.rgh a correspondence school. Sornetirtres okler kicls.just quit school and begin living their lives; tltey get a .job and so on. I think ir's very irnportant for kids to know that there's an alternative to going to school. Teenagers have been harnper-ecl by the lack of inforrnation abotrt alternatives, becar.rse of corrrse scht>ols (lon't l'eally tvaDt thern to know what's available. Wren nt;'son was in high school, many of his fi-iends worrld talk to nre. Many of thern had diflicuIt farlily sirtrarions and cliflicrrlt school sitrrittions, so it f'elt like a nr> rvin sittratior-r and they dicln't have anyone who would help them to think aborrt alternatives. The other kind of call I get, as a honre ,

school, I learned that they had had to use more aversive techniques which hadn't worked an)4vay. We won the case easily, and sitrce then farnilies in Massachusetts seem to have had an easier timc getting perrrrission to horneschool kids with special needs. It's interesting, by the way, rhar now the Department of Edtrcation is telling schools that they neecl to work on individrralizing instnrcrion. This is of course what should have been happening all along ancl rvhat homeschoolers have been cloing all along. r)

NATIONAL HOMESCHOOL ASSOCIATION .

restrlt of'being

or-r GWS's list, is from 1>eople rvhose cl.rilclren have special

neecls. It's inte resting that the calls are <lill'elent {i'orn years ago. Years ag<t, tl're qrrestion rvas, "Can I homeschool srrch ir c'hilrl?" Norv I hear Ii'onr people

of homeschooling as an individualized approach to

e

rvho rvarrt help in clesigning a horne-

school progrant fbl their chilcl or who want nly support in going to tlre schor>l to ask fbr Inore resotu-ces f<rr their horneschoolecl chilct. I can see that things have changed since the cuse I wus invt-rh,cd in ten years irgo. (le ne Btrr-kart, on GWS's helpftrl lawyer list, asked me to tesrify on behalf of a wonlall who had been horneschooling her autistic son. The school's special-ed aclministrator hacl decided not to allow the homeschooling, and the rnother was required to place her child in a 2.f'hotrr school for a period <lf evaluation. When the mother got hir.n out of there, the school petitioned the state to remove him fiorn Irer ctrstocly. 'II're first thing I did was sornetlting nclne of'the people from the s<:hool h;td clone: I rvent to tlle I)ome t() rvlrtch this rn<tther- work with her son. I discove red th:rt rvhat she rvas cloing nrade ir lot of sense and that she rvas Iruvirrg goo<l resrrlts.

!\/ltcn I learl

tlre recclrds of wltat hacl hapJrened <lrrlinu tlre pr;r-iorl irr rvhich he wus in

Alt. ,zM.rv M)i"r

NHA is committed to emphasizing the diversity of homeschoolers while encouraging the acceptance

.

. r

education.

The National Homeschool Association exists to advocate individual choice and freedom in education, to serve those families who choose to homeschool, and to inform the general public about home education. NHA does not compete with state homeschool organizations and support groups, but rather makes referrals to the state and local groups. NHA membership is open to all. Members are united through their commitment

to

homeschooling. Family membership, which includes a quarterly newsletter, is $15 for one year and $25 for two years. P. O. Box 157290 Cincinnati, Ohio 45215-7290 (513) 772-9s80 35


l

Opp

ortunities â&#x201A;Źl Actiuities

r\

visits to the lilrrary, rrraking ptrzzles, doing arts alt(l crafts, gettillf{ toss1l11y1. with li'icncls, 1:la1,ing or. listcrring t<r rnrrsir:, cvcll [)r.cl)arir rg

(l i r I nr:r t ()g(]tlt ct. f:rrnily." (Sourrd Iike an orrlinzrry week f<rr a horneschooling larnily?) -I-o Iind out ll()w to organize a lr>cal trrnroff, call Elizabeth llarrerr at TV_ Free America in Washingttin, DC, 202_

:ts a

Loans for Young Entrepreneurs Manoj Padhi and Manisha Kher umte:

We value the spirit of enterprise very highly. It encourages sonre ofthe best values in people, like thinking for yourself, planning ahead, ancl respon_ sibility. We were thinking one clay about how we coulcl prom()te entre_ preneurship among kids and an idea came to our ntinds. It's based very Ioosely on the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, which promotes small businesses by giving out loans to people whose only collateral is sonre

experience, a supporting network of friends and relatives, atrd good characrer. Their rypical loin is aborrt $250. The amazing thing is that the Grameen Bank's default rate is lower

than a commercial bank's! We thought zuecould try to pro_ mote small businesses in much the same way. My (Manoj's) associatiorr

with Holt Associates has rnade me aware that homeschooling kids are an amazing bunch of entrepreneurs and so they have become an obvious target audience.

Here's the offer: We would like to offer up to $500 in interest-free loans, to be repaicl in two years or less, to

horneschooling kids (under age lB) who need the money to start ancl/or expand their business. For example, you might be running a small balery and need $200 to buy more pans because tl.re whole neighborho<tcl is ordering breads from you, or you may be looking after yorrr neighbors' pers and would like to hire another kicl because the business is getting too big f<rr one person to handle, or yorr might want to brry uniforms fbr your errand-running business to make it look like a proper btrsiness. All we ask is rhat it should be a legitimate business and that you have had some experience running a business. After the money is paicl back, we plan to reuse it to support other 36

btrsinesses like yotrrs, so setting the money back is inrportant to rrs. If yotr think your business cotrlcl use a little capital, send trs a proposal with specific details about how yt-rrr plan to use the mone),. We woulcl als<r like to see your business history and il

letter frorn your parents (or other knowledseable aclults) rcgardine the propo,sed use of the rtroncy. Write to Manoi an,d. Mani.slm in of

tlolt

car.e

Associates; ute,ll.fbnuard, tln k,tlcrs.

887-0436 or firx 202-887-0438.

Driver's Ed at Home In

GWS # 102, An.n,a Woofcn,tl,nt. altout independent d,riuer'.s ed coursc.s lhat homcsclnolos t:an d.o at lnme. I)aton a.shed

S ltuma,n, ( I)A)

I'd like

On-Line High School Clonlara Home Basecl Ecltrcation Program has started ,,ConrpuHigh," an on-line program which allows high sclrool-aged homesclroolcrs t() t;ke courses using a computer netrvork (cotrrses listecl inclrrde Alsebra, American Governnren t, C<_rllab<lrative Writing, Computer Networkin g, tiarth Science, Indepcnrlent strrrly. Small Btrsiness, World Geoeraphy, ancl peer

Tutoring). The brochrrre

says that stu_

dents can get advice frorn adult men_ tors ancl also write to other students by using electronic nrail. For cnrollmerrt

information, write Clonlara School CompuHigh, l289Jewett, Ann Arbor MI48l04 or call 31.3-769-41-115.

TV-Turnoff Week We received infornr:rtion ztborrt

National TV-Ttrrnoff Week, April 2430, 1995. TIre press release sa.1,s, ,,U,,.ing the lasr week in April 1995, thous_ anrls of schools, librarics, and cornrnu_ nity organizations will.join togerher in a coordinated effort to encourage rnillions of, families and irr<livi<hials to ttrrn off their TV sets for seven clays. In exchange, participants rvill ensase in a broad range of substitrrte activities that foster greater social, physical, acaclernic, and creative developlnent." An article in the 2/2/9b lJoston Globe describes some of the sup;gested alter_ natives to TV: "game nights ancl farnily sing-alongs, visits to parks and rnuseums, bike riding,.journal-keeping,

uritl.s :

t() reconlrnend a corre_

spondence c()urse oll'ered by penn_ sylania Stare Universiry. I lear.ncrl about their course from the pennsylva_ nia Homesclroolers rtewslelter, llrb_

lislrerl by IIoward arrrI Srrsan Riihrrrarr.

I'll qrrote: "Call 800-252-3,1192 fbr

catalog ancl inforrnation on all of their high school-level cotrrses. Cost is altorrt $l l0 which inclrrdes textbooks. y<rrr

cotrld :rrrange tlle on-the-road cornpo_ nerrt with rlrivers rvlro teach driver in the schools. ()trr insrrr. ance agellt's secretar] girve rrs tlt<: nante <tf several rlriver edtrcation teachers in tlre area who had signecl e<ltrcati<.rn

cer(ilicale carcls firr strrclcnt clriver s. Orre who lives clown the road fiorn trs agreed to teach our sonJesse the on_ the-road c()nlponent fbr $90." Penn St:rtc is experiencerl irr de:rling witlr lr<lmeschoolers, ancl as Iar as I know they rlo oflfer driver's ed tct anyone, not-just PA resi<lents. Tl.re only tricky thing altorrt the corrrse was that the final exarn had to tre aclrninis_ terecl by a facrrlty rnerrrbe r at :rn oflicial trniversity or college. A high scho<>l

prirrcipal nrislrt also lrave been an ()p_ tion. I askcd sollle()ne in rny chur<:lr rvho teaches at Villanova to clo it, and he sot a kick orrt of sencling in his cre_ dcntials arrrl scttirrg a tirrrci frrr nre irr l'ris dirrir.re roorn. I still haven't clolre my on-the-road bccause I got too lttrsy arrrl tlrcrr le[t ftrr college, brrt I <]o lrirvc

the textbook certificate. I lbund rnany drivirrg schools in my yellow pages, which rnay not help you if your location is fairly rentr)te but woulcl be good to keep in mind for anyone who lives irr a nle tr'()p()litan area.

(lnourNr; Wrrrrou r Sr:s<>or.rNr: #104

I

. Ann./M,,rv I9gi-r


Additions to Directorv

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Here are the addttions and cnanges lhat have come in since our last issue went to oress. Our complete 1995 Directory was published in issue #102. Our Directory is nol a lisl of all subscribers, but only of those wf,o ask to be listed, so that other GWS readers, or other interested people, may get In touch with them. lf you would like to be included, please send the entry form or a 3x5 card (one family per card). Please take care to include all the intormation last name, full address, and so on. Tell us if you would rather have your phone number and lown listed instead ot your mailing address (we don't have space ro lisl borh). lf a Directory listing is foilowed by a (H), the family is willing to host GWS travelers who make advance arrangemenls in writing. lf a name in a GWS story is followed by a state abbreviation in parentheses (e.g. ,,Jane Goldstein (MA) writes...") that person is in the Directory. lf the name is followed by the entire state name (e.g. ,,Jane Goldstein ol Massachusetts wriles...',) then that oerson is not in the Directory. We are happy to foMard mail to those whose addresses are notin the Directory. lf you want us to forward the letter wilhout reading it, mark the outside ol the envelope with writer,s name/ description and the issue number. ll you want us to read the letter and then forward it, please enclose another slamped envelope. When you send us an address change for a subscription, please remind us it you are in the Directory, so we can change it here, too. Please remember that we can,t control how the Directory is used; if you receive unwanled mail as a result of being listed, just toss it out or recycle it.

AK Nona & Conrad MULLER (Annal8,3.Zoel 86, lrene/g2) 5875 Gtacier Hwy #10, Juneau 99801 CA, North (zips 94000 & up) Joe & Aiteen AIDNIK (Shana/88) 988 Coilier Dr, San Leandro 94577-3820 (H) -. Bry & Mike CONLEY (Sean/87, Devin/90, Alden/94) Tri-City Homeschoolers, 39 j95 Levi St, Newark 94560 (H) -. Sheila JOHNSON & Keith STEMPFLEY (Amanda/87, Sophie/89) 502 Font Blvd, San Francisco 94132 Mary NEWKIRK & Marvin TROTTER (Amber/84, Eva /87, Etizalg1,) 24OO Meadow Dr, Redwood Valley 95470 (H) -. Laura SCOTT (Lila/8o, NicU82) PO Box 53, pt Reyes Station 94956 CA, South (zips to 94000) Rataet HERRERA & Maria RANGEL (Camitte/82) 4301 Abbington Cr, Westlake Village 91361 ... Becky & Kevin JONESTRASK (Lori/87, Cassie/93) 2633 Wyandotte Av, San Diego 921 17 (H) CO Kim & Jim ADAMS (Katin/8g, Lauren/g4) PO Box 8009, Durango 81301 .- Holly KEIFER (Emily/l3) 2888 Btull St #492, Boutder 80301 (H) Kiyo & Peggy NISHtKAWA (Karen/84, Stacey/B8, Rachel/93) 2420 N 1 St, crand Junction 81501 (change) (H) Bridger WALSH & Crisweil DAVTS (Cole/85, Teagar/90) 2517 Sunrise Ct, Louisville 80027 (change) CT Monika & David STETN (Noah/86, Sonia,/ 89) 53 Pond Meadow Rd, tvoryton 06442 (H) GA Calherine & Bill MCKEE (Jessica,/87, Michael/g2, Anna/g4) 605 Carrack Ct, St. Marys 31 5s8 lL Tim & Sue RERTCHA (Loryn/93) RR I Box 89, New Berlin 62670 lN Jim & Phyllis TUBESTNG (Keily & Robin/ 80) 932 Beechwood Ln, Indtanapotis 46227 MO Michael & Carhy KUHN (Bedn3, Ericn/ 84) 5916 clenoak Av. Battimore 21214 MA Michael & Lisa BRESCTA (Ashtey/88, Aleclgzl 25 Orchard Hill Dr, Rutland 01543 Ml Jim & Jill BALL (Brennan/8o, Andrea./81, Nathaniel/85, Stetfer/87) 1083 Jewelt, Milan 48160 (H) Kari & Paul MARCOTTE (Zacharylgl) 41s E A St, lron Mountain 49801 (H)

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NJ Allison HEARN & Hume FELDMAN (Timmia/8g, Zoeylg3) 9'1 Hariley Av, princeton 08540 NY Darlene & Doug ABAJTAN-HUL|CK (Malcolm/86) PO Box 48, Gitbertsviile 13776 (H) Daniel BRIONES & Sonia TDELSOHN (Atan/g2) 3807 Ravine St, Shrub Oak 10588 Veronique Laliberte (Lara/7g, Lainey/81) 6 Hoags Corners Rd, E Nassau 12062 (H) Bruce & Pat WHIPPLE (Bilan/'2, Kimberly/g3) 91 Harden Rd, Lagrangeville 125406323 NC Ann CONLON-SMtTH & Sheoherd SMITH (Nichotas/81, Peter/84, Otiver8S) 5517 Mapleridge Rd, Raleigh 27609 -. Mary Ann & Stephen PAGANO (Benjamin/87, Noah/8g, Liliana/93) 5330 Three Waters Ln, G,aham 27253.- Jane Brown & Matt WILLIG (Perryl$4, Jesse/gl)2521 White Oak Creek Rd, Burnsville 28714 (H) OH Michael & Marsha BRODY (Joseph/g.l, Lucas,/92, Kaillin/g4) 213 N 2 St, Waterville 43566.Barbara DEWEY (Chris/86, Robin/9o) 89900 Miil Hitl Rd, Bowerslon 44695 (H) OR Cathy & Sam PENNTNGTON (Jackie/87. Tatunv88, Sloane/9o, Sam/92) 11115 Williams Hy, Grants Pass 97527 (change) (H) PA Steve & party BULACK (Jonathan/85. Alene/86, Chelsea,/88, Brianna/90) 920 S 48 St. Philadelphia 19143 (change) .- Rosatia FIcUEROA (Gabriel/8g, Rubil92) 915 Summit Chase Dr, Reading 1 961 1 Scot PATERSON & Jiil BUCHANAN (Jeremiah/80, Shona/82, Wiila/85) SR Box .14, Woodward 16882 (H) TX Diane & Jim McKtNNtS (Dytan/81) 1Ot 1 Naked Indian Trail, Canyon Lake 78132.- Therese PALMER & John DUCA (Evan/90) 1616 N Hiils Dr. Rockwall 75087 (H) W Chuck & June ALECK (Lisa/8l, Micheile/ 85) RR 1 Box 846, Putney 05346 (H) VA Amy GERHARDT & Chris HOWLETT (Giles/86, Walker/go, Noah/g3, Evan/g4) Rt 1 Box 17, Lovettsville 22080 (H).- Donna NIMEY & Wade CORNELIUS (creg/89, Katherine/90, Severin/94) 5803 Mt Vernon Dr, Alexandria 22303 WA Emilie FOGLE & Don OVERMTLLER (lsaac/88, Carler/g3) 1413 Easthills Terr, E Wenatchee 98802 (H).- Laura PRITCHARD (Daniet/ 771 25607 98 Pl SE, apt K102, Kenr 98031 (change) (H) -. Jay & Bedelia SAMSON (Damas/85, Liilian/88) 2600 Central Rd, Everson 98247 Wl Jeanne WELSCH & Robert RATNEK (Tegan/89) 8300 Menomonee River pkwy, Wauwatosa 53213 (H)

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BC Marnie ANDREWS & Mike BULLOCK (Martin/87, Max/89) Box 505, Queen Charlotte City VOT 7S0 (H) Lynne THUNDERSTORM (Leaf/71, Raven/8o, Fox/87) Box 58, Tetegraph Creek VOJ 2WO (change) (H) Ont Robert & Monica RE|D (Elizabeth/82, Patrick/84, lan/87) Villa Villekuta Homeschool Resource Grp, 1250 Gladslone Av, Windsor N8X 3H3

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Kathy & Graeme BOLES (Steven/85, Jessica,/87, David/92) Druces Rd, MS '142, Yeppoon 4703, Queensland, Australia (H) Sue & David DOWEY (Roberv82) Denwood pk, Kennedy Grove, Appin 2560 Australia Marie & Michel HEITZMANN (Sasha/91, Ariane/93) Au Viilage #12,1277 Borex, France (H) Reed & Chris S|MS (Emily/87, PauU89) 23 Gotden Shower Ln. Dededo Guam 96912 (change) (H)

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Add to the Directory of Organizations: AK - Sitka Home Education Assoc. pO Box

1826, Sitka 99835: 907-747-1483 CA California Homeschool Network, pO Box 21 1 1, Morgan Hill 95037-21 I 1 Tri-City Homeschoolers, 39195 Levi St, Newark 94560 OH Association of Ohio Homeschoolers, 748 Sheridan Av, Columbus 43209 British Columbia Salt Spring Unschoolers Network, 132 Bullock Creek Rd, Salt Spring lsland V8K 2L3 Ontario Villa Villekula Homeschool Resource Grp, 1250 Gladstone Av, Windsor N8X 3H3; 5 j 9-2543593 Helptul School Puget Sound Community, 1715 112 Av NE, Beltevue WA 9e004: 206-455-7617

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Address Changes: CO Home Educators for Excellence of Durango, c/o Gring, 315 Timberline Dr, Durango

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NC Families Learning Together, Rt I Box 219, Chocowinity 27817 Helpful School - Abbinglon Academy, Box 3303, Gibbs Av, Wareham MA 02571; SOB-291-1229

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Canada:

Alla

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Ken & Grace MARCTNKOSKT (Gordon/ 1 0S7, Camrose T4V 4E7

81 , Paige/83, Cathy/86) Box

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Pen-Pals Children wanting pen-pals should write to those listed. Please try to write to someone on the list before listing yoursell, and remember to put your address on your letter. To be listed, send name, age, address, and 1 -3 words on interests .- Maia KELLYJOHNSON (15) 6505 Woverine Ln, Keystone Heights FL 32656; dance, drama, travel Suzanne BERG (9) 216 Hawksbrow Mews NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T36 386; horses, skating, computer games Jacob

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ENTRY FORM FOR DIRECTORY Use this form to send us a new entry or a substantial address change to be run in the next available issue of GWS. Adults (first and last names):

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Organization (only if address is same as family): Children (names/birthyears)

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Full address (Street, City, State, Zip):

Are you willing to host traveling GWS readers who make advance arrangements in writing? Yes _ No _ Are you in the 1995 Directory (GWS #102) yes _ No Or in the additions in a subseqent issue? yes _ No

#I04 . Apn.,/Mev I995

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I

KNOLL

(1

1

) 3527 Ftandteard, Toddviil tA 52341; rock

'n roll, sports, reading ... HARRISON, RD 11 Box 544,

'

Greensburg PA 15601 : Anna (1 1) stamp-collecting, trading; Sophia (1 1) animals, chess, ice skating... Shona PATERSON (12) SR Box 14, Woodward pA 16882; reading, basketball, music... TFOTTER, 2400 Meadow Dr, Redwood Vatley CA ... Oona JORDAN (13) 8803 S Shoemaker, Whittier CA 90602; trish dancing, sports, art.o WHITNEY, 8504 Meadow Ridge Lane, Chapel Hill NC 2751 6: Lexi (1 1 ) arts, sports, nature; Rosy (9) ice skating, gymnastics, UNC; Josiah (8) games, sports, Legos; Leita (5) horses, Barbie, gymnastics

Subscriptions & Renewals Subscriptions start with the nexl issue published. Rates are $25 for 6 issues, $45 lor 12 issues, g60 for 18 issues. GWS is published every olher month. A single issue costs $6. Rates for Canadian subscribers: $28lvr. Outside of North America: g40/yr airmait, 628/yr surface mail (allow 2-3 months). Subscribers in U.S. lerritories pay U.S. rates. Foreign paymenis must be either money orders in US funds or checks drawn on US banks. We can't afford lo accept personal checks from Canadian accounts, even if they have "US tunds" written on them. We suggest that toreign subscribers use Mastercard or Visa if possible. Address Changes: lf you're moving, let us know your new address as soon as possible. please enclose a recent label (or copy of one). lssues missed because of a change of address (that we weren'l nolilied about) may be replaced for $2 each. The post office destroys your missed issues and charges us a notification fee, so we can't afford lo reolace them without charge. Renewals: At the bottom of the nexl page is a form you can use to renew your subscription. please help us by renâ&#x201A;Źwing early. How can you tell when your subscription expires? Look at this samDle label:

I

412345 123456 06/01/95 JIM AND MARY SMITH 16 MAIN ST

PLAINVILLE

NY

01 111

The number that is underlined in the example tells the dale of the final issue for the subscription. The Smiths'sub expires with our 6/1/95 issue (#10S. the next issue). But if we were lo receive their renewal belore the end of the previous month (5/3.1), they would qualify for the lree bonus issue.

Reward tor bringing in new subscribers: lf you convince someone to become a new subscriber to lake out a subscription at $25 a year - you will receive a $5 credit which you can apply to any John Holt's Book and Music Store order or to your own subscription renewal. Check lhe box under your mailing label to indicate thal you are the one who brought in this new subscriber, and then clip or copy the form and have your friend fill it out and enclose lhe $25 payment. We will process your friend's subscription and send you the $5 credit. This ofter does not

apply to gift subscriptions or renewals.

Writing to GWS Please put separate items of business (book orders, directory entries, letters to GWS, etc.) on separate pieces of paper and put your name and address at the top of bach letter. How to write letters for publication in GWS: 1. Handwrite, type, or dictate your thoughts and send them in on paper, on a cassette tape, or on a 3.5" disc (send the hard copy too).

38

2. There is no #2! We have no formal submission procedures, so rule #1 is all you need. Do tell us whether it's OK to use your name with the story (it.s fine lo be anonymous instead) and do bear in mind lhat we edit letters for space and clarity and that we often have much more great stuff than room to print it, so it can lake a while before something gets in. The best way to get a sense of what kind ol wr,ting gets published in GWS is to look through a few issues. ln general, we prefer writing that is in the firs! or lhird-person ("1 did this" or "She did that") rather than in the inslructional or prescriptive second-person ("You should do this..."). We like to hear about what people did or tried, what did or didn't work, what they've observed or concluded or wondered as a result. GWS slories focus on how people learn, particularly how they learn outside of school settings. We are always interested in stories about how homeschoolers meet and deal with common issues _ negotialing with a school district, pursuing a particular interest, learning to trust oneself - to name just a few. We're always interested in responses to writing that has been published in the past, and GWS is often an ongoing conversation among its readers. Because there isn't much time between the day you get an issue of GWS and the day the next issue goes to press, responses can't always be run right away, but we do try. Most of the time, readers don't need a soecial invitation to wrile to GWS: just follow rule #1, above. When we are planning to have a seclion of an issue focus on a specific topic or question, we write or call people inviting them to write on that topic. The more we hear from you, the more likely we are to know what you might be able to write about and lhus lhe more likely we are to think ol you when a particular topic comes up. For our regular Focus section, we ask kids who have written in the past, kids who have said they would like to write, and - mosily! - kids chosen at random lrom the Directory and pen-pal listings. lf you want to be asked to write for an upcoming Focus, drop us a card, or, better yet, write a GWS story about something else (your thoughts or experiences, your response to something in a previous issue...). We love hearing from readers whether or not we are able to publish the story, as all letters give us valuable information and tood for thouoht.

Declassified Ads Rates: 700lword, $ l/word boldface. please tell these folks you saw lhe ad in GWS. FREE Science Magazine loaded with experiments. TOPS ldeas, 10970 S Mutino Rd, Canbv OR 97013. ll your children like LEGOS thev wilt tove MORTENSEN MATH. Srudent; are drawn lo the blocks and while they have fun, they learn Arithmetic, Algebra, Problem Solving, Measurement, even Chemistry. Special prices for GWS readers for limited time. FREE CATALOGT Cail TODAy 1-800-338-9939.

Home Education Magazlne, now has a forum on America Online! Keyword HEM. published since .19g4, HEM offers feature arlicles, len regular columnists, news and information, and much more in everv 6g page issue! Current issue $4.50, One year $26 1O issues). Free 24 page books and publications cataloo. Home Education Press. PO Box 1083, Tonasket, WA 98855- 1 083. 509-486- 35'1 . E-mail HomeEdMag @aol.com.. 1

Good Stuff: Learning Tools tor AIt Ages is a 1994 Parents Choice Award Winner! This 386 page educational resources book, completely updated August 1994, is an outstanding value for homeschoolers. By HEM Resources Editor Rebecca Rupp. $16.75 postpaid from Home Education press, PO Box 1083, Tonasket, WA 9BB5S-1083. 509-4861351. E-mail HomeEdMag@aol.com. Free 24 page

(inou'rN<;

r\

books catalog.

High Ouality Books up to 4|o/o ott. Give your children the "educational advantage,, with award winning books from Dorling Kindersley (publisher of EYEWITNESS BOOKS). Exceprionat business opportunity earning $200-$5,000 a month while building a superb library lor your children. FREE CATALOG: 61 9-739-1 990. OFTEN OVERLOOKED AMERICANS/EVENTS. VRO recounts their tales. Four issues $25. Write for free "Varieties" for details. Vintage Reading euarterly, Box 126, Gilbertsville, NY i3776. INCISIVE THINKING THROUGH PRECISE

WFITING. Individualized writing instruction by experienced teacher with M.A. in English. Attordable. Free inlormation: Taproot Writing, pO Box 15045.1, Lakewood, CO 80215-0451, 303-999-3412. UBSORNE BOOKS: CONSULTANTS NEEDED! HOME SHOWS, BOOK FAIRS, DIRECT SALES. FREE BROCHURE 7 04-922-5402. Wonderful HOME BUSINESS opportunity wirn USBORNE BOOKS. promote hands-on, setfmotrvated learning. Earn money, get free books your kids will love, and involve your family in a real learning project. Mary Schlieder, 21925 S 96th St. Holtand. NE 68372. 402-792-2471 . WALDORF HOMESCHOOLERS please tet me know your story! JDodge, 5856 Eldergardens St, San Dieqo cA 92120. College Financial Aid available for homeschoolersl Request FREE information today! CTS, Box 55, Youngwood, PA 1 5697 ot ca'J 4j2-925-3222 ext j tz tor recorded message. GROCEBIES ON $40 PER WEEK. New savinos guidebook written by homeschooling Mom inclJdes food, babies, medical, more. Moneyback guaranlee. $5.50 Miserly Moms, PO Box 32j74, San Jose. CA 95152-2174.

"l think lherefore I homeschool" durable Dlasticcoated 2" refrigerator magnet, subile design or,,My school is homeschool" 2" wearable pin, fun primary color design only $3.75 each ppd or one of each for $6.50 ppd from Juniper Place,622 Aldershot Rd, Bltirnor:lMD 2122s In business for yoursetf urr noi iy yo*r"rt. irp"rt training at our 300 offices nalionwide. Call me when you re ready to start. 513 B63 5913 In-Home Business Opporlunity, positive, commer cialJree, educational/self development television. satellite dish technology, exciting ground-floor opportunity, big potential. For intormation write to 134 Greenacre Rd, Westwood, MA 02090. Young family offers room and board lo mother,s helper. Current residence NH Lakes Region, frequent Nlaine visits. Stay weeks/months. Ross & Marqe Adams, PO Box 451, Alton NH 03809-0451; O6S-AzS8872. WRITING RELAY - Fun and creative, encourages learnang parts of speech, punctuation, simple and comptex sentences. Can be adapted for FIRST_H.S. Especially useful MIDDLE GRADES, LD and ESL. S22 + $3 shipping. CA res. 7 1/4% tax. SIERRA S9I-UTIO[\S}, PO Box 65. Auburn CA 95604. Unschooling family with 3 children (t0 & Z y""r, u newborn) offering an older teenager/young adult "nd a fulllime/part{ime job of childcare and household helo in exchange for room, board, and spending money. Required: nonsmoker, nondrinker, excellent driver and loads of fun. We live in a very pretty neighborhood, with lots of trees, 35 minutes by train from New york City. Contact Beryl Polin, 190 Hollywood Ave, Crestwood NY 10707, 914-337-5825.

Wrlrrottr

S<:rroor_lNt;

#104

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Apn.,/M,rv l9!)l-r


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Making and Playing Homemade fnstruments by Flomespun Video #3196 $19.95 + 94.50 s/h

There used to be a band called the provincetownJtrg

Iland tlrat featrrred hornentacle instruments. pronrinent in

the band's arrangements were washtub bass, washboarcl percrrssion, and ernptyjugs that the rnusicians blew int<r fbr a valiety of'rvincl souncls. I saw them a few tinres when they played arotrnrl Massachrrsetts ancl I was always strtrck by horv lnalty s()ngs they corrlcl play with srrclt cnrcle i'str-rrrnents as rvell :rs by h.rv urrrch f'' I hacl listening to thenr.

[-ea.ri.e

t() crcirte

p.rp()se .1'the vicleo

a.rl t.

play srrclr irrst^rr.e'ts is the

Ir4ah|ng arul. playing Hotnenutrle Insrru-

nrcnls, and ir srrcceeds admir-allly. Thotrglr I clon't witnt to enc()urallc lrorrreschoolers t() w:ltch ntore T\/ rh:rn tltey rrray alr-ea<ly watcll, I fi'<l tlrut vi(le()tltl)e is ir g,<l<l ,,,.,.1i,,,r., for tlris s<lrt of instnrction. For inst.ance, it rvorrlcl be far rnore conrltlicated to clescrilte in rvorcls ancl illtrstratior.rs Irorv to nrirke, ;tosition, and trrnc the li.ets Iclr-a llleach liottle Banjo than it is for tlte instnrcror and her-child

asslslilnt to sltow us Irorv r>n this vicleo. Wc sce ancl hear tlrenr

g?.o;-4,.

Washtrrb Bass, anrl the Washl>oirrcl. As you can tell frorn the titles, rnaterials for these instrtrments are commonly fbrr'cl :rrorrrcl the ho.se or can be purcrrasecr in a secoi-rcrhan(l store or hardware st()re. The performers always tell yorr of alternative materials yorr calt use if yotr can't find the ones thcy rrse.

The instnrctions for creatiltg the instnrmenrs are very clear and easy to follow. The tools are nol too difficult for children to use with adult supervision: a hand_drill, a saw, a file, a knife, a harnmer. This tape is a good model of adults and children using real tools to make something together. The mtrsic fbr which these instrrrnlents are well suited is poptrlar Arnerican fblk s<lngs, making rhese insrrumenrs goocl for people who clon't have a technical music back_ ground. Yotr don't need to be able to reacl mtrsic, and, otrtside of'the banjos and the bass, for which you need both rhythrl ancl a sense ol'pitch to play well, yotr don't really neecl llr()re than willir.rgr-ress to try and keep time in orclcr t. .sc (l)csa i.st.rrr'crrts. witlri' a' h.rrr or so yo* can create congns and a morrthltow and be playing ,,I've Been W<;rking on the Railroad" togerher; within a week or so, rvho knowsT V>rr rnight create yorlr own farnilyjug bandl Pat Farenga

-

rrratching tlte position

ol'the frets to the tones of the scale they are

Subscribe now and get our FREE 1994 DrnncroRy oF HovrscuoolrNc Felrrlrrs. Growing Without Schooling (617) 864 - gl00

singing, nraking rnistakes and correcting them as rhey go along. This tape is a good exanrple of the way it.r which, in some cases, videotapes can be used to nurtllre

Iearning and encourage acriviry rarher than .jrrst passivity. The tape shows lr()w t() nrake an<l pla1,

rtine instrtrrnents: a rnouthbow, an Oatnreal llox Banjo, a Bleach Bottle BanjO, Oatrncal I)ox ( )orrgtrs, Sltoons,

I)ottle Oap (lasraners,

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(llrr M:rllrcls,

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fnSI Send me

a one year subscription (6

issues) to GnowNc WrrHour Scnoor.rlc and my FREE

Directory of homeschooling families for *$25.00.

! Pl"u.. bill me. I ty paymenr is enclosed. place this card in envelope rvith:

Check or money order to GWS. Visa or MasterCard #: Expiration date: Nrn)e

- .qil* Ciry

)lnlc

aPlease add g3.00Jbr Canuriun undforeien sutfrtce nutir onrers, $t5 (U.5..fitnds uil.t, druvn on IJ.S. btnk).

Jitrf.reign

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#104. Apn.,/M,rv Iggb

Growing Without Schooling 104  

The First Magazine About Homeschooling, Unschooling, and Learning Outside of School.

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