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GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING 40 Just came back from a trip to Phoenix, where I taped a short inter­ view wi th the Rita Davenport show and l ater spoke to a meeting of home schoolers; to San Diego, where I spoke to a number of meetings of home­ sc hoolers in wha t is o bviously a very active area; and then on to Washing­ ton sta t e , where (w ith many ot he rs) I spoke at th e Cleve land Conference at Washington State University i n Pull­ man, and then later at some very we ll attended and enthusiastic. public meet­ ings in Wenatchee, in the heart of the frui t country. The Cleveland Con­ ference, held annua ll y, ordina rily brings together sc hool adminis trators and archi t ec t s t o discuss school cur­ riculums and buildings . This year the spon so rs of th e conference decided to discuss instead the question of the law as it relates to i nd epe nd ent schools, mostly religious, a nd home schooling. Whether for thi s reason or some ot her, only abou t half th e usual number attended, but th ese seemed to find the conference lively and stimu­ lating. Returned home t o hear the very welcome ne ws that our dear frie nd and colleague Donna is going to be mar­ ried this November, probably in the Boston suburb of Concord, to Franklin Ross, who, among ot her things, works at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard. Another old friend and staff mem­ ber, Jim Hayes, has l eft to work full time at the Westin Hote l. Hi s place is being t aken by Ross Ca mpbell, who arrived here recent l y from the West Coas t to work as a volunteer, and now becomes one of the regular crew . Mary Gray, meanwhile, is recovering some­ what from mononucleosis, so it may not be too long before s he is wi th us again. The response t o our recent story about possibly starting a tax-exempt corpo r a ti on called Fri ends of Home Schooling has been so encouraging (about $6000 in donation estimates) that we have decided to go ahead . Bar­ ring unforeseen and extremely unlike­ ly legal difficulties (there are thou­ sands of t ax - exempt co rp orations of a similar nature), we should have the new corporation formed by the end of the year, though it will of course take some time after th at to get our tax-deductible status from the Inter­ nal Revenue Service . More good news about home school­ ers and college admission. Theo Giesy, one of our pioneer h ome school­ ers in Virginia, wrote me that her son Darrin, who has not been to school in the many years I have known him, has been admitted to Antioch Co l­ lege, one of our most selective col­ leges, for this coming fall . Brief note on late star t s i n reading . Heard from one homesc hoo l friend that her youngest child, age

11 last winter, has only in the last year or less taken an interest in reading and is now reading we ll, and in fact wrote me a very interesting and well-spelled letter. And on my travels I met a 10~-year- o ld boy who only began reading four months or so ago and is now reading far beyond his grade leve l. Will try to get a l i ttl e more complete story ab out th ese by no means atypical children . Children l earn very quickly when they hav e chosen to do so for th ei r own r ea ­ sons. How much trouble and pain would be saved if more schools could on l y l ea rn this . --- John Holt JOHN HOLT'S COMING SCHEDULE Sept . 8, 1984: Connecticut Home-Schoolers Association. Contact Laura Pritchard, 203-634-0714 . Sept . 13: Holt Associates Open House (seco nd Thursday of each month, 6-8 PM ) . Sept . 28: Sunrise Session, D'You­ ville College, Buffalo NY 14201 . 8 AM. Contact Robert DiSib io , 716-881­ 3200, ext. 6112. Oct. 13: Missouri homescho o lers. U. of Mo., Ro lla. Co ntact Albert Hobar t, 314-674-3296. Anyone who wants to coo rdinat e ot her meetings o r lectures around these times, contact Patrick Farenga. GWS T-SHIRT CONTEST Ever want to create an award­ winning design ? Now you can indulge in your most creative talents - enter your design for our first-ever GWS T-SHIRT CONTEST . Mary and Richard Zimman, the owners of the company HORSESHIRTS', have offered to sponsor the contest. The rules are:

1) The winner will be awarded $25 . 2) Entries must be no larger than 8" wide and 10" high, drawn in black ink on white paper, and be ca mera-ready original artwork. 3) All entries must have name and address of the entrant on the back . 4 ) Multiple entries are accep­ table. 5) Judging will be by GWS in con­ junction with Horseshirts' Inc . 6) The winning design will be imprinted on T-shirts as a fund­ raisi ng and publicity activit y for GWS. 7) Entries should be postmarked no later than Oct. 31, 1984. Once a winner is chosen, the win­ ning design will be printed on Hanes 50/50 T-shirts in 8 sizes (4 you th and 4 adult). The postpaid pri ce s will be $4 . 75 for youth and $5 . 25 for adult sizes. GWS will receive one dollar for every T-shirt sold, so c reate a design that'll sell a mil­ lion' We look forward t o your crea­ tions and encourage all ages to enter. Good luck' --- Pat Farenga REPORT ON GWS SUPPLEMENT Delighted to see that YOUNG CHILDREN: NATURAL LEARNERS is moving briskl y - over 100 sold so far, with n ew orde rs steadily coming in. I'm especially pleased that many peo ple a r e buying extra copies for their frie nds and relatives. For those of you who did not see the announcement in GWS #39, YOUNG CHILDREN: NATURAL LEARNERS is the

first-ever "GWS Supplement, " made of letters and articles we have n o t had r oom for in the regular magazine , and a ll pertaining to chi ldr en from birth to age 6. It turned out to be 12 pages, not 8, in the GWS for mar-with a few i ll ustrations. In the introduction, I wrote, after a few words on our history: "Thr ough GWS, a sizable network has formed of people concerned abou t the tr ue nature of learning . To ou r delight, many of our readers ha ve wri tt e n us about the way they and their children actually do lea rn, and it was has been our great pleasure to print these perceptive, warm, and often witty letters in GWS . Through these shared experiences, like the ones you will find in these pages, a new picture is emerging of what the role of the parents may be in produ­ cing children who are happy, crea­ tive, and independent - parents who trust their children's innate abi lity to learn, who provide only as much help as the child asks for, and who allow th e child to become involved in their li ves and work instead o f nar­ rowing their world down to the tradi­ tional limits of childhood . We hope you will find these letters and arti­ cles stimulating and encouraging ." Several of the stories relate to family businesses - an employer in New Hampshire who requires workers to bring pre-school-age c hildren; start­ ing family-style health food store; a 3-year - old who answers the phone for her parents' construction firm . Some of the other titles: "When a Toddler I nt e rfer es," "Twos Aren't Terrible," "Having Faith in Special Kids ," "L earning to Ice Skate, " and "Thought s on Pre-School." As I expected, because the print­ ing and postage costs are higher than we estimated, we have had to r ais e the price already to $2, including postage ( make checks payable to Holt Associates) . But to encourage the mul­ tiple orders to continue, the price will be $1 . 50 each for 2 or more shipped at one time to one addr es s. We'd love to hear feedback on th is booklet . The first response we got was from Joyce Spurgin in Okla­ homa: "I received YOUNG CHILDREN: NATURAL LEARNERS today ... It is just what I needed. When will you have a not her issue? . . If it was a regular periodical, I would subscribe' " --- Donna Richoux NOTES FROM DONNA Looks like the next four months are going to be very, very busy, what with the wedding, moving house, and the projects at work - the fa ll book­ list mailing, updating the Directory, the Mass . kindergarten law (see "Legislative News") - not to mention

WHAT'S INSIDE Trading Post: 2 --- NC, MO News: 2 --- Other legal news: 2-4 -- Test results: 5 - -- Frank Lloyd Wright: 5 --- Early grad: 5 --- Zambia: 6 --- On their own: 6 --- Neb raska fami ly: 7 --- Part-time school: 7 --- Success : 8 --­ From 14-yr-old : 9 --- Teacher test: 10 --- Cer ­ tificates /Private schools 10 --- Advantages of home-schooling: 11 --- JH Testimony: 11 -- ­ Earning Money / Teacher: 11 --- Montessori: 12 --- Kids & Work: 12 --- Calvert: 13 --- JH/ Violence: 13 --- Schadel/map le syrup: 14 --­ Science/nature: 15 --- Computers: 16 --- TV: 16 --- Kids & Money: 16 --- Typewriters: 17 --- Writing : 18-19 --- Co ntests : 19 --- Read­ ing: 20 --- Scu lpture supplies: 20 --- Text­ book catalog s: 20 --- Suzuki: 21 --- Music tape le ssons: 22 --- Book reviews: 22-26


2

GWS itself every two months. I'm get­ OLINIANS FOR HOME EDUCATION (PO Box ting rather nervous about how it will 752, Concord NC 28025; 704-782-3930): all get done. But I suppose, with lots of help, I'll make it through! ... TRADING POST - Many of you Franklin Ross and I met several have curriculum materials which your years ago contra-dancing (we plan to children are no longer using, yet are have a caller and musicians at our still useable, while others can't or wedding'). He's very different from don't wish to pay retail price for me in some ways - I was good in materials they will use for only a school and am a habitual reader, year. This can apply to teaching whereas Frank learned almost every­ aids, student or teacher texts, audio thing in his field from direct experi­ materials, reference books, or even ence; he spent about 10 years travel­ h obby , craft, or science equipment ling around North America, collecting which is no longer used. If you have, and studying reptiles and amphibians or are looking for any of these for museums. I find him to be strong things, send us a full description of and capable and thoughtful, and I'm the item: title, publisher, grade sure we'll be happy. level, subject, condition, etc. - any Ross needs a home: When Ross information that would help identify Campbell came from California to help what you 're offering or seeking . in our office, he was planning to Please be sure to include your name, live with a friend. But that fell address or phone number - some way through, and right now he's staying for interested persons to reach you. for a month with the Matilsky family We ask that you enclose $1 to help (GWS readers), and is looking for cover the printing/mailing costs for other such places, fairly close to the Trading Post ... our 'office, where he could trade some household and childcare work for room and board. Ross is also a fine violin­ [DR:] Kim says they'd be happy ist (trained by Suzuki methods) and to run listings from outside of North would be happy to share his music Carolina, since most actual sales with families. Please call the office will be done by mail anyway. We will (437-1550) if interested - we'd like print the address of the Trading Post to keep him in the area as long as in GWS from time to time, the way we possible' do for the Network for Educational Travel, (which is at 1853 East Shore Cheat handout: Tired of loaning Dr, Ithaca NY 14850) . out yourack issues of GWS and never getting them back? We have about 30 By the way, when the question of copies of GWS #37 that were goofed up selling used Calvert materials arose in printing - each consists of two in an early issue of GWS, someone sets of pages 9-24 instead of 1-32. said the school makes customers sign You could take them apart and have an agreement not to sell or give away its books . However, a reader recently two partial samples for people to get an idea of what GWS is about. All we sent us a copy of Calvert's Enroll­ ment Agreement, and it turns out that ask is that you pay the postage - 50¢ each (specify "Pr inter ' s Goof.") If only the Lesson Manual is restricted we run out, we'll return your check in this way. if it was made out separately; other­ WIse, we'll issue a credit slip. Safety concern: Michael Kern of NEWS FROM NORTH CAROLlNA. .. Washington wrote in response to Sharon Hillestad's idea (GWS #39) More from the newsletter of NORTH CAROLINIANS FOR HOME EDUCATION: about modifying the TV plug to con­ trol her family's TV watching: "This ... We strongly recommend that would create two serious electrical you enroll your children in one of hazards. Male plugs should always re­ ceive current, rather than deliver the several regional schools current­ ly being formed for parents who wish it, because the conductors are ex­ to teach their own children ... The posed, and would present full house schools have an opening day when all current if touched. Very possibly a lethal shock. I'm sure the idea was the students meet at a central loca­ tion, and meet about once a month to always plug into the TV cord, then thereafter. Otherwise, the students the wall - but if your concentration are taught in the finest of class­ slips, or a guest doesn't know the rooms, by the best of t eac hers: in system - ZAP. The other hazard in­ their own homes, by their own parents. volves polarized plugs. Most TV's are For more information, call: John designed so the +1- polarity is McKinley, 704-683-4471, Asheville always the same. This is to reduce area; Terry Manahan, 704-233-4568, th e shock and fire hazard from the TV Charlotte area; Claudia Eldridge, itself. One would have to carefully 919-885-0743, HP/Greensboro; Debbie maintain that polarity in any modifi­ Leverette, 919-544-2809, Raleigh cation to the cord ... " area; Susan Oates, 919-291-4137, Good news from California: From Wilson/Rocky Mt ... the Summer '84 CoEvolution Quarterl¥, Or you can form your own non­ reprint ed in Georgians for Freedom ~n public school, as long as you have Education: "Last year at San Juan one student from outside your family Ridge Un~on Elementary School in (his/her parent can teach that stu­ northern California, a whopping 15% dent in own home) . . . of the students were enrolled in COURT NEWS: ... Two important Independent Study." The San Juan dis­ points to remember about the Duro trict is on our "Friendly School Dis­ decision [GWS #38,39]: (1) The trict" list (GWS #36). - DR state's "compelling interest" in the educa tion of its citizens was upheld: we ARE accountable to the state for SELLING USED MATERIALS the education of our children. (2) It was not the validity of home educa­ [DR:] Several of you have asked tion which was in question in this if we could print your offers to buy case: Duro did not even try to prove or sell - or even give away - books, that his children were being properly magazines, and so on. We have simp ly educated, claiming, rather, that the been too short on room to do this and have suggested you try the local news­ state had no right to compel their education, in view of his First Amend­ letters. Now comes this good idea from Jeff and Kim Golden of NORTH CAR- ment religious liberties. This ruling

was in no way a comment on the accep­ tability or legality of home educa­ tion, but a ruling on the right of the State to ensure that its citizens are being prepared to take their places as responsible members of a democratic society . The Delcontes [GWS #25, 37] were charged with violating compulsory attendance laws in educating their children at home . . . The issue here, however, is not that the state claims that the children are not being educa­ ted, or even that their education is inadequate, but that, based on a December 1983 opinion by the Attorney General, Rufus Edmisten, a home school does not qualify as a school. ... In deciding this case, the judges must decide if the Attorney General's opinion is legally valid or not. The case is currently before the North Carolina Supreme Court ... Decision is expected to be issued in September. ... The Catos [GWS #26] .. . received a favorable ruling from Dis­ trict Judge Warren, and have contin­ ued teaching Lori at home. The Gottfrieds of Randolph County ... had charges dropped the week of their court appearance be­ cause they received private school status by forming a private school with another family . The McKinleys and Millers, both of Buncombe County ... both had their cases dismissed at pre-trial hear­ ings ... Both have since either gotten private school status, or enrolled their children in a private school ...

...AND FROM MISSOURI New law: Carol Myers-Brown (MO) tells us th a t the legislature passed a bill which would stop the Family Services division from investigating reports of home-schooling, and instead, transfer that responsibility to the local district attorney and the school district. The law will be in effect for only one year, so Carol says home-schoolers are organizing, establishing phone trees and raising money in order to get favorable legis­ lation passed in 1985. She says she now knows of about 1,000 interested families in the state, and is sure there are many more. Preliminary injunction: Earlier this year, the suit initiated by FAMI ­ LIES FOR HOME EDUCATION and families in Warren and St . Charles county suc­ ceeded in getting a preliminary injunction to stop the harassment by Family Services. Ozarks peaceful: Albert Hobart (MO) writes, " Fortunately, harassment by social workers hasn't been a state-wide phenomenon, and homeschool­ ers in our part of Missouri have had relatively few legal difficulties. In fact, homeschooling in the Ozarks seems to be doing better than ever.' Recently, for example, the Rolla Daily News included two favoraore art~cles featuring several local home­ schooling families ... Since then we've had a couple of home schooling get-togethers to give interested par­ ents a chance to meet experienced homeschooling families ... We plan to get together about every two months, and everyone is welcome to contribute to our newsletter. For more informa­ tion, phone Carol Ratliff (314-341­ 3216) or me {314-674-3296) ... " State convention: Albert also told us he enjoyed the Missouri home­ schoolers convention sponsored by FAM­ ILIES FOR HOME EDUCATION in June. A state legislator and two lawyers were on one panel discussion. GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40


3 Hel~ful school: Carol Brown also wrote, " e ' re a school for homeschool­ ers . We live in an old stage coach stop ... We meet once a week (more or less) so our children can have a day together . Last year a child came whose father was the principal of a public school .. . Our latest interest is creative play and dramatics . . . Our community has a nearby theater which has been out of commission since piano-playing silent movies . It's open now' " For more information, con­ tact the LITTLE PINEY SCHOOL, Rt 1 Box 20, Newburg MO 65550; 314-762­ 2036. - DR

OTHER LEGISLATIVE/ STATE NEWS

ILLINOIS: Mary Friedl (IL) wrote, " That last draft I sent you called a Statement of Assurance was passed (not approved) by the Illinois State Board of Education. Some region­ al superintendents plan on using it for the '84-85 school year . They say it'll be voluntary and will only be used for statistical purposes (but that's not what some regional super­ intendents have said) . The State Board made it clear that this was a first step toward regulation." Sally B. Pancrazio, Manager of Research and Statistics for the State Board of Education, put together a summary of comments made by four home-schoolers (Karen Demmin, Mary Friedl, J. Lynn Currie, and Deborah Saalfeld) on the new form . Their con­ cerns included the fact that the Statement of Assurance asked for information that private schools did not have to submit; that the question about "the highest level of education attained by the instructor" could be used against the parents; and that the form had to be notarized. Becky Currie reported in the Springfield HOUSE newsletter, "Repre­ sentative John Birkinbine in Cook Co . District 57 is in favor of home schooling . His own child(ren?) attend Christian Libery Academy's day school. His address is 1336 Shermer Rd, Northbrook IL 60062; phone 312­ 564-3490. He may be of help to us in initiating some positive home school­ ing legi slation ... " And Dee Cox wrote in the Chicago HOUSE Door #2 : "On March 27, Dorothy Werner and I attended a lecture given by Dr. Donald Gill (head of the Illi­ nois State Board of Education) and Dr . Richard Wagner .. . Dr. Gill stated that one of his goals was to change state mandates from ' You shall take such and such subjects' to ' You shall prove competency in such subjects .' I asked Dr. Gill if these new mandates would affect private schools, he stated, ' Why, no, I can 't mandate pri­ vate schools .' I have written him a letter to elaborate on this issue , and to see if it directly applies to home sc hool s ... " KANSAS: Daniel Glynn sent a copy of Senate Bill 712, which would allow home-schooling if (1) the parents notify the State Board of Education before Sept. 15; and (2) the child "demonstrates the attainment of mini­ mum competency objectives" based on reading and math examinations adminis­ tered by the state each spring. Daniel says, "I honestly haven't heard ho w it currently stands, but I don't see much advantage to the bill as written. Legally speaking, I would rather be considered a private school under the current law than be consid­ ered as homeschooling under the pro­ posed bill ... The only requirements for a Kansas private, nonaccredited

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40

school are (1) a "competent" instruc­ tor (not construed to mean degreed or certified), and (2) in session sub­ stantially the same amoun t of time as the public schools (which is easy to prove). Kansas cases are usually lost on the competency question, which is often a matter of presentation or flaws in representa ti on, as the law­ yer in the Sawyer case admitted at a meeting I attended . (By the way, when that loss was publicized, I made sure to write a letter to the superinten­ dent here explaining the ruling and stating that it had no bearing on our situation whatsoever; he told me he appreciated the letter . ) ... " LOUISIANA: From the newsletter of CITIZENS FOR HOME EDUCATION, NORTH­ WEST LA. CHAPT ER: "During this last legislative session, three bills were introduced concerning home schooling. First - Repeal of Home Study. The sponsor of this bill, Rep. Alphonse Jackson, withdrew this bill before it got to committee. Second - Screening and Testing of Home-study Children upon re-entry into the public school system - this passed wit h little or no objection from homeschoolers . The third and most opposed bill required mandatory testing of home study child­ ren. The bill was amended to th e fol­ lowing that passed both houses and is now the "new" homestudy law . Most homeschoolers view this new law as a victory even though there are now more restrictions; the opposition feels that an adequate compromise has been made and will probably be less likely to severely attack our right to home school for a whi le (we hope!)" The substance of the third bill, now R.S. 17-236 . 1: A parent shall apply to the state Board of Elemen­ tary and Secondary Education for approval within 30 days of starting to home-school. The initial applica­ tion shall be approved if th e parent certifies that the home study program will offer a sustained curriculum of quality at least equal to that offered by the public schools . For a renewal application to be approved, any of these conditions must be met: (1) the parent submits a packet of materials such as a complete outline of subjects taught during the previ­ ous year, lists of books, copies of the student 's work, copies of tests, progress reports by third parties, etc . , for the Board's approval; (2) the child passes a competency-based education exami nati on which will be offered by the local school board and the State; (3) the child scores at or above grade level on an approved stan­ dardized test such as the California Achievement Test; or (4) a certified teacher submits a statement saying the teacher has examined the program and finds it at least equal to that offered by public schools (t he Board may review this evaluation) . MAINE: In the beginning of June, MainelhOffie-schoolers learned of a 24-page draft of home-schooling guide­ lines, written by the State Dept . of Education with no input from home­ schoolers . 150-250 people, including Dr. Raymond Moore, showed up at a hearing June 13, protesting the lack of input as well as some of the pro­ posed restrictions, and got consider­ able TV and newspaper coverage . As a result, four home schoolers were asked to be on an advisory committee, along with four school superinten­ dents and three Department officials, to work on the guidelines . MARYLAND: The State Board passed the home-schooling regulations it had proposed last January. These require a family to submit a written schedule

and "specific instructional objec­ tives" in order to show that the pro­ gram provides "regular, thorough and comparable instruction of those sub­ jects usually taught in public schools to children of the same age ." A correspondence course is acceptable if specifically approved by the local superintendent. A home-schooling par­ ent must have a Maryland teaching cer­ tificate, be a college graduate, or get a waiver from the local superin­ tendent. The superintendent is also responsible for monitoring progress and determining placement upon re­ admission to school . MASSACHUSETTS: Part of a big edu­ cation reform package (House Bill 5704 - Section 20, Paragraph 2B(d), and Section 28) would lower the com­ pulsory school attendance age to 5 and require districts to offer 4­ year-old programs. We at Holt Associ­ ates expect to do a mailing to the 1000-1500 Massachusetts names in our files, asking people to write or phone their legislators. The bill is due to be voted on soon after the sum­ mer recess ends Sept. 27. To find out the bill's current status, call the State House at 617-722-2700. NEVADA: Marian Sorenson writes, "The n ew Nevada regulations are enclosed . They are not the best, but after months of work, it seemed the best compromise we could get . Most of us feel that we can live with them ... Most families know a certified teach­ er who is willing at no cost or a nominal fee to meet the consultation requirement ... There may be some who are concerned enough to fight for a more relaxed set of regulations, and if so, I'll help them. Selfishly, though, because we can accomplish our goals under this set, I'll do just that and not make waves ... " The new regulations allow four alternatives for home-schoolers: (1) a certified teacher as tutor; (2) a parent with an appropriate teaching certificate; (3) "consultation" wi th a certified teacher, for at least 25 hours during the year, on planning, teaching, and learning problems; or (4) an approved correspondence pro­ gram. A child must be tested before being excused from school attendanc e. For th e board to renew the "grant of excuse," it must see evidence of "reas onable educational progress," such as test scores. Students i n grades 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8 must be given the same standardized tests as public school students. The require­ ment for a consultant must be waived after one year when it has been demon­ strated that the child has made rea­ sonable educational progress. The waiver will apply if other children in the family are excused at a later date from school attendance. OHIO: An article from the Yellow Springs-TOH) News, 2/1/84, said:-rrtne State of Ohio, as part of its educa­ tional reform program, has extended its guidelines for approval of educa­ tional options - but gives local school districts the authority to set their own standards ... In essence, the state offers its approval to optional programs as long as the stu-

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40, Vol . 7 No.4.

ISSN #0745-5305. Published bi -monthly by Holt

Associates, 729 Boylston St, Boston MA 02116.

$15/yr. Date of Issue, Aug. 1, 1984. Second­

class postage paid at Boston MA.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to GWS, 729

Boylston St, Boston MA 02116.

ADVERTISERS: Deadlines are the 15th of odd­

numbered months. Discount for ads in 3 issues.

Contact Patrick Farenga for rates.


4

dents participating in them demon­ strate - by their performance on tests - that they are being adequate­ ly educated. These options include home-based instruction, mentor educa­ tion, independent study, tutoring, educational travel, and correspon­ dence courses ... The new state guide­ lines call for students in home-based programs to be supervised and evalu­ ated by certified teachers - but the actual day-to-day instruction may be done by non-certified persons ... These home-schooled students could be enrolled in public schools, and re­ ceive public school credit for the courses the y complete ... " We have not succeeded in getting a copy of these state guidelines . Can anyone help? VIRGINIA: Jim O'Toole and Theo Giesy both sent copies of a memo writ­ ten by th e State Dept. of Education and sen t to all Division Superinten­ dents, summarizing the new home­ schooling law which took effect July 1, a nd including a copy of the one ­ page form to be fil led out by home­ schooling families . One of ways to h ome -school legally is to use a cor­ r espondenc e course approved by the Board of Education; Jim sent lists of courses the Board was considering in June, and said it postponed any deci­ sion until it heard from the Attorney General on what exact ly "approval" would mean. WASHINGTON: A reader whose hus­ band is on a school board sent the April bulletin of the WASHINGTON STATE SCHOOL DIRECTORS' ASSOCIATION, which included this paragraph: "Home Schools - Resolution of this issue will be determined in 1984. All indi­ cators point to solutions which favor the home schoolers .. . unless public school e ducators get pro-active to prevent the zealots from riding rough­ shod . Home School advoca t es want test­ ing programs, materials, equipment, instruction, medical care, accounta­ bility and everybody's blessing ... all provided by the local public schools. Some assertive legislation, introduced by the suppor ters of pub­ lic education, can dampen this issue." - DR COURT NEWS The Arkansas Democrat, 5/22/84:

... The Arkansas Supreme Court on Monday affirmed a Pulaski County Cir­ cuit Co urt decision against Wayne Burrow [GWS #34 & 35], who was charged with refusing to send a minor to school. Burrow was found guilty in Pulas­ ki County Municipal Co urt a nd then convicted in circuit court and fined $1 ,000. . .. Burrow said he was educa ting hi s daughter at home using curriculum supplied by a correspondence school . On appeal, he argued that the law was vague and it violated the free exercise clause in the constitu­ tion. He also argued that the trial court er red in finding that a state statute gives the state the power to approve private schools . The Supreme Court said that com­ pulsory school attendance l aws have been struck down in other states, but refused to consider that question in this case . The court said Burrow did not have the standing to rais e the issue. "We think someon e of average intelligence would readily recognize that appellant's educational methods do not constitute a school within the

common understanding of the word," the court said. The court said Burrow's daughter was the only stu­ dent and that there were no certified teachers. In a dissenting opinion, Justice Darrell Hickman said the court avoid­ ed the issue, passed over decisions from other states, and "has put its power to ill use simply to punish non-conformity." Hickman said there is no law defining a private school in Arkansas. "In my judgement Burrow loses because he refuses to conform, there­ by threatening the power of the poli­ tical establishment, and not because he committed a crime," Hickman said. "The state has the power to punish this man, but it doesn't have the right." ... From Helen Baker (440 Addison Av, Elmhurst IL 60126), who is on our "Friendly Lawyers" list: .. . Last year I did an amicus brief for the ACLU of Ohio for an Ohio couple who wanted to educate their children at home and who had been harassed under the "neglect" statute. On appeal, the court agreed with my various arguments (the stat­ ute can't be used where there is no neglect, the school had a duty to pro­ vide the parents with information on how they could conform to state stan­ dards, the parents' due process rights were violated, etc . ) and told the superintendent to provide the par­ ents with the sought-after informa­ ti on. In the meantime, the two child­ ren had returned to public school. The case was argued in April, 1983, but the court didn't hand down its opinion until Nov. 1 (incredible) and the superintendent dawdled in comply­ ing until March '84 and probably would still be dawdling except that the parents' attorney finally decided to push. I am still working with the parents (what do most attorneys know about the nitty-gritty of home­ schooling?) ... [DR : ] In January, Pamela Lewin of Ohio sent us clippings about Dan and Deborah Johnson of Jamestown, OH, who were being prosecuted for tru­ ancy . Pamela now gives this update: "I called and spoke with Deborah this morning. She said that they had enrolled their child in the DAYTON CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS program and they are home-schooling as a satellite school. She said that all charges were dropped when they did this and they have had no problems since then ... " From the Providence, RI Journal­ Bulletin, 6/25/84: ... Lorraine King had kept her daughter, Danielle, out of the Ce n­ tral Falls school system, because she felt she could do a bett er job educa­ ting her at home. But she did not file an alternate educational program with the School Committee. She was tried by a jury last year, found guil­ ty and was fined $700 ... ... The law invoked against Mrs . King was unclear, according to Depart­ ment of Education lawyer Forrest Avila. Should her penalty hav e been a flat $20? Or should it have been the $700 that Judge John Najarian imposed - $20 for each of the 35 days of tru­ ancy that the school district listed on its complaint ?

At the time Mrs. King's case went to trial, the statute did not say. It does now. A series of chang­ es, adopted at the request of Family Court judges, were signed into law recently by Governor Garrahy. The changes went into effect immediately . The new statute increases the fine to $50 and directs judges to levy it "for each day or part of a day that the child fails to attend school." ... If parents keep a child out of school for more than 30 days in a school year, they can be charged with a misdemeanor, fined $500 and sentenced to six months in jail ... The new law also allows school dis­ tricts to pursue a civil case against parents, instead of a criminal one ... The new law, Najarian said, should not scare parents . State law still allows parents to formally teach their children at home, as long as. the local school committee agrees to the parents' education program . ... Lorraine King's case was up for review one day last week .. . She had enrolled Danielle in a correspon­ dence course, and Najarian had sus­ pended her fine. They reviewed tests Danielle took at the end of the year . She scored at or above grade level in every major subject. Najarian continued the case until December, to make sure that Mrs. King keeps her daughter in the correspondence course next year ... From Diane Elder (TX): ... In August of '83, an agree­ ment was reached by the Bexar County District Attorney, and Jean Witteman and me, both representatives of the San Antonio Home Schoolers Associa­ tion. The D. A., Sam Milsap, agreed that he would no longer prosecute home schoolers. We had been working with him for nine months, and his decision came after his staff had thoroughly researched our claim that home schooling does not violate any Texas statutes . .. Milsap forwarded his research to the state Attorney General for a ruling, which Milsap was sure would be favorable. The Attorney General said he cannot make a ruling while home schooling litiga­ tion in Galveston is pending ... And from Don Miller (TX):

... r talked with our friends in Houston who lost in J.P. court and appealed to County court . Egon Tausch [ "Friendl y Lawyers," GWS #36] of San Antonio was their lawyer. He filed a pre-trial motion, which was granted, tha t eliminated the testimony of the state's only witness, the assistant superintendent of the school district involved . This person, while acting as a truant officer, failed to advise the defendant of he r rights in regard to legal action. Mr. Tausch a lso filed a motion regarding the question of the constitutionality of the com­ pulsory attendance law. The motion was not ruled on, but it would have be e n if they had gone to trial. The prosecution offered a compromise which was accepte d. The defendant pleaded nolo to one charge and the other 24 were dropped. The fine was $25 . The judge said that if they went to trial, he would likely grant the motion regarding consitutionality apd rule in the defendant's favor. Because of the expenses involved, the defendant chose to bargain. The child has continued in home schooling ...


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Other court news in brief: Charges drogped: The Golsons, Howard County, M ; atty. Dale Reid Ap~ealing in U. S. District Court: ark Fresh, Ashtabula oR -----Ap~ealing a loss: Robin and Connie tarne s, Sanford FL ORGANIZATIONAL NEWS If your state or l ocal group has a newsletter, we would appreciate very much being on your mailing list, so that we can share your news, ideas, and concerns wi th others . Addresses of these groups can be found in GWS #36 or our HOME SCHOOL­ ING RESOURCE LIST, $1 . ARI ZONA: Mesa members of FAMI­ LIES FOR ROME EDUCATION arranged to take the annual achievement tests together. Shirley Ga rdner wrote, "A great time was had by all' We had videos and nutritious snacks avail ­ able for the c hildre n dur ing their breaks and for the mothers who stayed and visited with each o ther . . . Every­ one came away feeling we need to get together like this more often ' We feel that the c hildren probably did well on their tests because of the relaxing atmosphere that ~urrounded them ... " CALIFORNIA : OAK MEADOW SCHOOL has expanded lts h ome-schooling pro­ gram through Grade 12. Miriam Mangione (NV) says that CHRISTIAN HOME EDUCATORS recently held an exciting co nv e nt ion in down­ town Los Angeles with over 1100 parti­ cipants . And Beth DeRoos (CA) says that over 500 parents attended t he May 28th all-day se minar at Stanford University - and over 100 had to be turned away at the door' "Wh ile those attending came from every area of Cal­ ifornia, the two areas with the largest number of home-schoolers were Marin County and Santa Cla ra County . " There is a group of home school­ ers in th e San Diego area that meets once a week. Cont ac t Cathy Camp, 9174 Rosedale Dr, Spring Valley CA 92077 . COLORADO: Ra ymond and Dorothy Moore wlll run a semi nar Sep t. 17 in Littleton . For information, call 789-4309. GEORGIA: Interesting items from the July newsl e tt e r of GEORGIANS FOR FREEDOM IN EDUCATION: ( 1 ) "A l et ter has been written from our organization to c hairmen of the departments of e du cation of lead­ ing colleges and universities in the area. We are asking th em if they would join with us i n sharing expen­ ses to bring John Holt to Atlanta in October or November ... (2) "Copi es are available of an ad a print e r put together for our organization . The ad is to identify parents in your area who are teaching their children and who would be inter­ ested in sharing learning experien­ ces, organizing field trips, and may­ be forming a support group ... (3) "Copi es are available of Georgia's curriculum outline for grades K-12. The outlin e is 30 pages long . Send $4 . 50 ( t o GFFIE, 4818 Joy Ln, Lil burn GA 30247) .. . " IDAHO: The FAMILY EDUCATION ASSO­ CIATI~ IDAHO ( PO Box 171, Buhl ID 83316) is publishing a bi-monthly newsletter for $6/yr. MAINE: On July 25, t he MAINE HOME rDUCATION ASSOCIATION had a day-long picnic in combination with the Maine Summer Institut e, whic h was sponsoring a series of talks by Ivan Il l ich and John Ohliger (BASIC CHOICES) . MASSACHUSETTS: Boston area

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40

home-schoolers have been meeting to go bowling, play softball and soccer, and go on field trips. If interested in joining them, ca ll Jeanne Gaouet t e in Newbur yport (465-3768) or Wendy Baruch in Cambridge ( 497-9170 ). MAN ITOBA: From th e MASH news­ letter #3: " About 20 children ( 4-12 ) and 10 parents a tt ended the February tour of the Museum of Man and Na ture, and the April tour of the Legislative Building . .. At the March Get-Together we watched the tape of the recent Don­ a hue program whic h featured the --­ home-sc hooling Wallace family and Raymond"Moore . The program was very good ... MICHIGAN: 90 people atte nd ed the " First Annual Conference " of Clonlara School, which is also sponsoring a "huge get-together" August 24-26 in Mason, MI. Featured speakers will be State Senator Alan Cro psey, State Rep . Tim Walberg, and Dr. Pat Mont­ gomery. MONTANA: Linda McFarlane writes, " We are trying to make the FLATHEAD VALLEY HOM ESC HOOLING ASSOCIATION a non-profit group .. . Our music classes have been so popular and successful, starting at 2 years old . We ha ve a ll experienced our children singing and making up songs every day ... " NEVADA : LAS VEGAS HOME EDUCATION is puDITShTng a monthly newsletter ($3 . 50/6 months; Peggy Hamlen, 6244 Fargo Av, Las Vegas NV 89107; 870 ­ 5688) and hopes to run a state conven­ tion in October. NEW YORK: Karen Schadel wrote , "In Fe bruary, I arranged for a pot luck dinner in the Syracuse area for t hose who are homes c hooling (very few) or wh o are interested . . . The for­ mat was just to come, br i ng a dish, and socialize one with anot her . We did go around the room just prior to eating and quickly iden t ify ourselves and our families (husbands and child­ ren we re highl y encouraged to at­ tend) . I indicated that I did not feel in a position to organize any­ thing further .. . I s uggested people get phone numbers and add r esses on their own .. . About 50-60 people at tend ed, including c h i ldren . We rent­ ed a large room with kitchen facili­ ti es at a neighborhood communit y cen­ ter, aski n g each family to give $1 toward th e cost. As far as I know nothing further has resulted from the evening, but I found it enjoyable . . . " NORT H CAROLINA: Over 40 families attended the second state-wide meet­ ing of NORTH CA ROLINIANS FOR HOME EDU­ CATION, which has published an ele ­ gant brochure on questions about home-schooling. OKLA HOMA: Lynn Zimms sent a copy of the Oklahoma City Home Schooling Newsle tt er . To get on their malllng l lst, con t act Patty Morwood, 14 212 Piedmont Rd, Piedmont OK 73078; 405-373-1098 . TEXAS: Diane Eld er wrote, "App ar ­ e ntl y-rne-n ome sc hooling group in San Antonio is no longer meeting . The group, unfortunately, divided over religious/secular issues . There was a lot of back-stabbing, name calling, and all the rest of that kind of thing . Makes me sad'" UTAH: Laurie Huffma n told us on the phone that the home-schooling sit­ uation in Utah is "bli ssful" with the exception of one district . The UTAH HOME EDUCATION ASSOCIATION has 400­ 500 active "Associated Families," and its annual conve nt io n is in August. WASHINGTON: In th e last issue we said that the TEACHI NG PARENTS ASSOCI­ ATION in Washington State se nt ou t a s urv ey to help in preparing le gis l a­ tion. Wendy Wartes (16109 NE 169 Pl,

Woodinville WA 98072) says "If anyone outside WA would like a copy of the survey for possible use in their sta t e, they could send $1 for a co py. We hav e tried to list major choices so it should be applicable to ot her states ." She will also send a copy of the survey results for $2. - DR RESULTS OF HOME-SCHOOLING

From an article by Dr. Raymond Moore in ~oody magazine, 3/84: . . . When five western New York state couples who taught their child­ ren at home were challenged for tru­ ancy, each couple agreed to let the local school superintendent give their children the Stanford Achieve­ ment Test, one of the nation's more demanding measures. Although the national average on this test is 50 [percentile], all seven youngsters scored between 90 and 99 [percent ile] . In Wallace, Nebraska, high school graduate Vickie Rice [GWS # 13] helped her daughter, who was failing sixth grade, by teaching her at home. Vickie taught Leslie Sue only a n hour or two daily; during the rest of each day, the two worked as a team in their small family hotel. Nine months later, Leslie Sue's academic standing had risen almost three grade levels ... FAMO US UNSCHOOLER

From Home Based News (MI), 5/84: . .. Did you know Frank Lloyd Wright was home-schooled? He owed his success to hi s mother. She was an immigrant from Wales and a school ­ teacher . His father was a traveling preacher and a musician. As the fami­ ly moved allover the country, Frank's mother took charge of his education. He never graduated from high school. When he moved to Chicago, he rose quickly in the architectural pro­ fession. At age 26, he was operating his own business. There are several good child­ ren's biographies about Frank Lloyd Wright. Check at your local library . . . HOMESCHOOLER GRADUATES EARLY A UPI story from Hillsdale, MI:

. .. M. Coleman Miller graduates from Hillsdale College in May with straight A's and degrees in mathemat­ ics and physics. M. Coleman Miller is 15 . ... Julian Stanley, director of [Johns Hopkins University's] mathemat­ ically precocious youth program, calls Miller "one of the most remarka­ ble college graduates I ' ve ever known. He is also very versatile ... He's good at three fields (ma themat­ iCS, physics, and computers). And he's also very athletic ." Stanley has worked with about 300 gifted students in the past three


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years. He said Miller is one of the most sought-after graduate students in the nation. Miller was taught at home until he was 10, enroll e d in college at 11 and also managed to become adept at karate and basketball. Although he does not have a high school diploma, Hillsdale College admitted him at 11 because of remarka­ bly high Scholastic Aptitude Test scores. Miller attributed part of his educational success to schooling at home from his parents Lincoln and JoAnne Miller - both teachers. "My parents educated me. Mostly my father in mathematics and science and my mother in English. I spent half-days at home and half-days at school dur­ ing grade school." Miller said his parents sent him to school half-days for social contact. He entered the fifth grade at 10 and simultaneously took science and mathematics courses in high school ... WORKING & LEARNING IN ZAMBIA From Laura Hills (Box 23, Kafue,

Zambia) who is a missionary:

... David, our youngest child, had one year in a nursery school, one year in first grade, and about five months of 4th grade in U.S. schools. He attended a Zambian school for three years, from the second half of Grade 2 to the first half of Grade 5. In this school he was the only whit e pupil and the only one who heard Eng­ lish spoken in the home. School, how­ ever, was taught in English, with Tonga (the vernacular) taught as one class only. Hence you can see the academic standards which were possi­ ble to maintain were not very high ... I tried to do some supplemental work with him from Calvert School ... This, however, went very slowly as anyone knows who has attempted extra school after their child has completed a full day of public school . We did some things and skipped some things (we did not subscribe to the Advisory Teaching Service). When we returned to Zambia i n 1977 after Dave had spent several months in Grade 4 in Michigan, we went to live on a houseboat - be­ came nomads in a sense - and since that time, Dave has n ot been in any public school. We struggled with Cal­ vert through the beginning of 7th grade. In May 1980, we were called home because of a very serious health problem for one of our older daugh­ ters. At this t ime I first read the Plowboy interview wi th you, John, in Mother Earth News. This intrigued me and I got and read one or two of your books from the library and ordered a subscription to GWS. What I read really supported my observations of the way c hildr en learn, made both with my own children (including trying to teach Dave) and watching the way the Zambian children learn. Not the ones in school only, but those many who were unable to go to school - mostly because there are not enough schools in Zambia for all children. They learn by mimicking adults, they learn by using real tools, by doing real things. Girls by the age or 2 or 3 have their own tiny tin can of water which they carry back from the well or river on their head along with their mothers who have their own six gallon tin full of water on their own he ad. Girls of this age have ·t heir own corn cob or rag, etc., tied on their backs like a

baby - but girls of 5 or 6 have their baby brother or sister strapped on their backs part of the time. This is not forced child labor - this is what children want to do. And the examples could go on-8nd on . Zambian children learn the survival skills they will need as adults in a normal, natural way because they want to and because they see adults doing them. They will not learn how to read by themselves because the printed word is not readi­ ly available nor used by most adults (in the rural areas, anyway) . We were in the states for 17 months in 1980 and '81. GWS gave us the courage to not insist Dave go to school during this time - he did not want to attend. When we returned to Zambia he also did not want to go to boarding school for secondary school. Boarding school was the only possible way, since we moved up and down the river, too far from any day sc hoo l. This surprised me as we had had a lot of friction over the Calvert courses, with "When are we going to get them done?" When Mom was ready, he was not - and he saw that Mom had a lot of excuses (even if good ones) when he might have been more willing . Neither one of us really had it as a top pri­ ority, I guess. So we sent for the American School course which he chose himself out of several possibilities. We had not finished Grade 7, only barely started it. But because he was consid­ erably older than most 7th-graders he felt a bit touchy about being "be­ hind." So we skipped the rest of Grade 7 and all of Grade 8 and deci­ ded to try Grade 9 to see if it would be too difficult. It was not and thanks to GWS I no longer pressured him. It was his course, anyway - he had bought the whole four - year course with money he had earned working on his uncle's blueberry farm the summer of ' 81. So he felt responsible and did it whenever he wanted to (which was oftener than when I had pushed him, incidentally). I do not think that to date he has gotten any less than 90% on any exam they have sent back. He is in the third year now. Meantime he was learning in many other ways. His dad always made it a point of teaching him the various things he was involved in . David learned carpentry while helping to build our first houseboat (a glori ­ fied Huckleberry Finn raft, floated on 49 oil drums). He learned mechan­ ics while repairing our various out­ board engines and pickup trucks. Late­ ly he has been learning diesel mechan­ ics as we now have a diesel houseboat and diesel pickup . He learned to drive a speedboat when he was 11, be­ ing careful, among other things, to watch out for hippos that like to stay submerged until you are upon them. Then he could take his mother up the river to the houseboat while his dad drove the vehicle around by road. I never did learn to drive the speedboat and in the rainy season the road was often impassable, so I did not want to drive then . He learned to survey and helped his father mark farms for the farmers and later plots for the fishermen. After that at a crucial stage of digging a ca nal, when his father had to be away for three days, he was able to use what he had learned to keep a huge excava­ tor working on the level. This meant being there from 6 AM to 4 PM or so when the excavator operator quit for the day. A long day and a big respon­ sibility for a boy only 12 years o ld' But he loved it because he was using a skill he had learned and doing an

adult job. He learned metal work, fiberglassing, and more carpentry when he helped build our present houseboat onto a 24-foot trimaran hull, two and a half years ago. Six months ago he began helping a nearby Seventh Day Adventist mission build a similar superstructure onto the same kind of hull for a medical launch ... He learned a lot of things while helping to build the other boat: how to live and work with a team other than his parents, how to weld, and many ot her things. They we re very hap­ py to have his help and especially the knowledge he had picked up in mak­ ing the first boat for us. So he had the added bonus of being able to feel useful to someone else. He now is teaching the mission driver how to operate the boat and how to navigate the very intricate maze of waterways which make up the Kafue Flats. This he learned by being our driver for the first twelve trips ... Yes, he still is probably a bit "behind" academically, since he is now 17 and is still in Grade 11. But he speaks three Zambian languages flu­ ently so that Zambians who do not see him while speaking are convinced he is a Zambian, and he understands three other Zambian languages. (His parents are not yet fluent in the first one.) He still finds many other things which seem to be more of a pri­ ority than academic studies - like re­ pairing a waffle iron today for anoth­ er family. Or repairing a shoe for his Zambian friend with his "speedy sti tcher" (I forgot to mention his leatherworking abilities), a shoe which if it had been owned by most people in the US would have long ago been thrown out . His friend was ex­ tremely happy to have it made "like new" again. And tomorrow Dave leaves with the health boat for another two week trip giving further training to their driver. In between stops he will translate for them, so he won't have much time for school then eith­ er. But we are no longer concerned about those "academic studies " and neither is he. They will be done ­ later on when there rs-time . . . FOUR ON THEIR OWN From an Oregon reader:

... " On Her Own at 10" in GWS #37 moved me to write ... I am also a single mother (of four teen-agers). My children have been ou t of school for six years now. When I first took them out of school in '78 there was pure chaos in our h ome . They ·did nothing but fight, only taking breaks to eat and use the toilet, for about six months. I didn't try to do anything with them because I knew they had a big adjust­ ment to make . When I first took them out of sc hool, their father and I were still together, so I wasn 't working. I took the gang on plenty of field trips to distract them from their boredom which led to fighting. When separation became imminent between their father and me, I began to take in sewing and other children to care for. The children were help­ ful with both endeavors . We worked together on various money-making schemes which were fun, educational and profitable. The importan t thing, I felt, was that we stayed together. Their father had abandoned them, so I could not. As time went on the children got involved in various projects, all of

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40


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which were beneficial in several ways . The single most beneficial pro­ ject was their stamp collection . That went up and down in importance for them over the years until they sold out at a profit last year . My children also read a lot . They take 10-15 books out of the library at a time, and read most of them cover to cover. I take them to community meetings with me so they can learn how our local government works, and I also take them to patriot meetings. When I had to get a full-time job a little over a year ago, I made sure that it was all right for at least one of the child­ ren to come to work with me some of the time. Sometimes all four of them have come with me. The deal is that they must not be disruptive and must be helpful. Together the children and I have worked out numerous problems that had existed between us for years. We have established a good solid working rela­ tionship. My priority has always been the children first, and as a result things have always worked out one way or another .. . PRESSURE'S OFF IN NEBRASKA From Ronaele Berry (NE), whose five children are ages 13 to 3:

... We are so isolated - at least now the legal pressures have been removed (trial dropped at the last minute so we'd have a chance to com­ ply with the new Nebraska law [GWS #39]) so the isolation isn't quite as threatening. Still - we receive a cer­ tain amount of "hate" comments from neighbors and others who are sorry we are "getting away with it . " They worry about the "poor abused little children" - "How will they ever get an education?" "Whatever will happen to them?" . .. We almost always hear the comments second-hand so can give no rebuttal . This spring in preparing for our trial we decided to have the children tested, as our district attorney had said she would view willingness for testing and appropriate results as reasons for withdrawing charges. So we talked to Pat Montgomery at Clon­ lara where the girls had been enrolled earlier and she sent CAT for the three girls plus a "Teachers Com­ petency" for myself . We had made arrangements with a local teacher to administer/monitor the tests. All the children thought the tests were easy . (Pat had sent some pre-tests for prac­ tice so they were comfortable with the style). They all tested grade level and above on all tests. Inci­ dentally, ~ test was easy, too . It was interesting to feel my brain set­ tle into the old "test-taking gear" and really plow right through it . The math problems brought to mind whole pages of math I could see as though the books were open before me . I missed four on the entire test. I am hoping my score from this test will be accepted by the State Department. Otherwise I wifl have to take the National Teachers Exam. A county superintendent told me no par­ ent would be able to pass this test with 50% or above so he recommended trying all the other options first (i . e. sending letters of recommenda­ tion, high school transcript, etc.) Anyone know if the Nat'l Teachers Exam really is this difficult? .. . 1 enjoy l~vin~ with my kids and do not like t e i ea of having to insert "force-feeding" to prepare for

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40

tests (wh ic h we did before the tests t h is s pring because we could not have withstood the repercussions of low test scores - children removed from us, we could go to jail, etc.) . We know our children are bright and intelligent but our everyday living had not really prepared them for test type learning . . .. 1 have spent hera little time sitting down with a c 1 for "les­ sons . " They all have YEARBOOKS (1505 Wellington Dr, Bedford VA 24523) which they really like but they work at them very sporadically - when they are in the mood . .. . Susan Peterson says in GWS #39, "Now (at 9) he is a master of doing the absolute minimum to get by . .. " This is exactly the attitude displayed by my t hree older kids when asked to do anrthing they do not wish to do . Especia ly true if ever I try to get them to write in a journal or do schoolwork of any kind. It has taken me almost two years to learn that it never pays for me to bright ­ ly, subtly, or any other way push schoolwork or make suggestions or hints about something being education­ al. They are not sullen or nasty about it - they just give it the abso­ lute minimum of attention and effort and drop it. "Not too many super extra­ special wonderful things have hap­ pe ned" - Does my 01' heart good to hear that from another home-schooling mother. I sometimes get depressed reading about all the super things some children do/are doing. It would give me so much pleasure to say my children are excelling in their music, t h eir writing, or that they have grand business ventures, high ambition, high motivation, etc. I do have to fight my own anxiety and need for my children to excel . But the truth is without pressure from school and teachers they have not pursued any of their interests they seemed to have while in school ... I do some­ times feel that I need to pressure them but I am so uncomfortable with doing that that I don't. . . . If I were to say that my children excelled at anything it would be at verbal communication and perception and sensitivity about oth­ er people (no tests to measure this' ) . .. We discuss moral issues, political issues, social mores, ethics . Everything comes up for dis­ cussion. They may be more qualified (informed) to vote in local, state, and national issues that many regis­ tered voters' This is one of the government's concerns about education - that the future citizens would be wise and capable voters - again - no tests show this ability and intelli­ gence' . .. "OK To Be Ordinary" (GWS #39) was just what I needed to read' So I've got ordinary kids, capable of runn ing a house, entertaining them ­ selves all day, communicating with people of all ages, discussing theor­ ies, ideals, realities . [DR: But this is not "ordinary" - very few kids can do arr that.] Why then do I retain this almost physical longing for them to play the piano more, draw more, create more, write more??? ... One thing I have done for a while, without making any big deal of it, tas been to limit library visits. I allow other things to crowd them out. It seemed to me that all other plans and projects went wanting until the library books were read. I would see nothing but bodies draped around, behind, over, under furniture as girls read and read and read. We

would discuss what they read - I ge t lots of verbal book reports! - but their energy seemed to fizzle out through the books. They've bee n wit h­ out new books to read for almost two months. Of course, they re-read books from our own home library but t h ey can be more easily distracted from them so they've all been doing more sewing, cooking, playing, badmin t on , baseball, skating, bike-riding, wo r k ­ ing (for neighbors for money) .. . SCHOOL ONCE A WEEK Deirdre Purdy (WV) wrote in Alternatives in Education (Rt 3 Box 305, Ch loe WV 25235; $3/yr):

. . . Last school year, Jed, now 9, and Hannah, now 6, went to "Talented and Gifted" at the local elementary school one afternoon a week. This is a special education program availab l e at all the public schools in the state . . . My husband and I knew and particularly liked the teacher so felt it would be a good progra m, some excitement for the children, and would allow them to familiarize t he m­ selves with the school . They enjoye d T&G; however, three of the four regu ­ lar participants were homeschoolers, and the class had no contact with t he rest of the school as it was held in a separate trailer. This year we wanted them to con­ tinue with T&G, and they wanted to go, but we thought it would be good for them to go to their assigned school class in the morning and have regular school activities for t he day, except to spend the few hours i n T&G. Our thinking was that school is the main experience of children in this society, and it would be good for them to know what it was about, get to know the ropes, maybe meet children their age, and give us a day off . .. Jed and Hannah's initial reac­ tion was extremely negative . The first Monday morning we woke them at 6:30 they began to fuss, whine, fig ht with us and each other, couldn't eat, didn't have anything to wear, and made us all miserable. The first Mon ­ days they attended were all like th is before school, although t hey always came home saying they had had a good day. Neither of them liked getting to school early . . . . 1 started driving them Monday mornings so they could arrive just as class started rather than having to wait in the cafeteria, and they bo t h appreciated that . Also they kept hav­ ing good days and would come home full of tales of everything their teachers had said, how someone got in trouble and had to stand in the cor­ ner, a question they answered right . . . the usual school stories . However, the whining and complaini ng kept up, beginning Sunday afternoon, about how tomorrow was Monday, t heir day of torture, and we were so mean making them go to school. They are both very adept at argument and brought out all the reasons why home­ school was superior, how they hadn't learned anything, and now they had learned their way around at school as we had wanted, so they didn't need to go any longer . Finally, about Thanksgiving, I OUR TOWN, EXPLORERS, MOU NTAINEERING

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8 said, "Okay, we certainl y won't make you go to sc hool. It's up to you. Go or don't go. Just stop complaining about it al l the time. You know you always say you had a great day when you get home." Since then they've been going every Monday . Occasionally they forget and complain out of habit, but we remind them that it's up to them. ( However, I think that if we hadn't encouraged them to go until the y we r e somewhat familiar, when we left it up to them they would have quit right off . I think . ) On Thanksgiving, though, when we were saying what we were thankful for, they both said th ey were thank­ ful they only had t o go to school one day a week . If they've learned any­ thing of importance at school, that's it: what school's like . They are com­ fortable at the sc hoo l building, know and are known by c hildren their age, feel more a part of the general com­ munity . They are accep ted now, no longer new kids, a nd many of their classmates envy them their freedom. Wally and I really enjoy our day of freedom a ls o, though by 4 PM we are anxious to see them again . As for scholastic matters, it has not seemed to make the sligh test bit of difference . . . Jed did realize that h e was benind his grade level in arithmetic. (He 's always refused to d o any arithmetic problems, have any explained or shown to him, and if we try, has been known to thr ow himself over backward so he lands on his head. Still, through some sort of osmosis, h e ' s learned a l o t o f math, fractions, percentages, plus arithme­ t ic operation s, but never by seeing a problem written down.) Since starting sc hool, h e asked me ( !) to give him some arithmetic problems and applied hims elf for abou t a half-hour once a week for 5 or 6 weeks . At the e nd of that time he took the CT BS test and scored above the 90th percentile in arithmetic . Also he likes h is lang­ uage arts teacher so much he 's learn­ ing cursive for her. These are the only academic plusses I can think of (I'm not even sure sc ript ha ndwriting is a plus. I'd rather see him learn to use a keyboard), but we didn't send them for academics ... The academic minuses are more obvious . Hanna h comes home with sheaves of paper, so much I worry about the waste . They are purple ditto sheets, copied from coloring books, or workbook pages of "reading" and arithmetic. I say "rea ding," in quotes, for it ' s a picture of a can or a boy or a ball or a nail, a nd the student has to pick out th e right word. This, despite the fact th a t Hannah has been reading for more than a year . Arit hmetic is the same, add­ ing 2+3 and 3+2, though she's ahead of h er brother in addi ng 3-figure num­ bers together in her h ea d. So there's the mental waste, t oo. Hanna h can be a dramatic and interesting artist, but her crayon pictures done at school are not even recognizable as her (or anyone's) creations - they're not creations, just scribble on the colors to get done. Then there's the social si lli­ ness. Even in the elemen t ary grades , the talk is all of boy and gir l­ friends, who do you love, and who's in love with you . My kids think this is silly, thank goodness . Bee it's easier for a fourth grade boy and second grade gir l to pass off than it will be later . A frie nd, a girl, who goes to fourth grade on ce a wee k and to Talented and Gif t ed, has a hard e r time because the gir l s wear makeup, talk only about their boyfriends, a nd

look down on anyone who doesn't wear designer jeans . And that means her . . . LEARNING IN GROUPS From Anna Myers of the ONTARIO HOME - SCHOOLERS ASSOCIATION:

... Our home-sc hoolers' trips have been excellent ! We've bee n t hrough a cookie factory, to the t hea­ ter, on n a t ure walks through conserva­ tion areas, and to a Shakespeare play (Macbeth) at which two of the six­ year-olds were enthralled! We have a hand-on program at Pioneer Village, and a cruise around Toronto harbour coming up in the future . At the Macbeth play one of the actors travelled home to Toronto with us on the train . He followed our group in, so he could ask us how we liked the performance, and he had a captive audience for himself the whole trip home . He told us how the ghost Banqu o came up and down through the floor, what the "blood" was made of, h ow t he swords "broke," and how they made the smoke. We found out how they ma d e the weird sisters have ugly eyes .. . They told him about home­ schooling too - so he learned some­ thing that day! .. . From Susan Macauley in England: . .. Several families home ­ educating their children have set up a local support scheme . .. We include children from a small working - class school, and children from the local "public" [private] sc h ools . Adults can and do participate, too. It consists of optional after­ noon and evening activities and learn­ ing groups . Some are free, given/led by parents or fri ends . Some groups pay a specialist teacher (speech and drama, Shakespeare pla ys , music and band , craft, French conversation) . The volunteer groups include an in­ door swimming pool outing weekly (we now have a couple of local handi­ capped children coming, too) , a week­ ly nature walk, woodwork, knitting, and arts and crafts . It is going very well .. . It was inspired by INSTEAD OF EDUCATION ... SUCCESS STORIES

From Kathleen Hatley in Oklahoma: ..• We are a family of home­ schoolers - Mom, Dad , a nd four sons ages 11, 7, 5, and 2. My husband and I have been interes ted in alterna­ tives to formal schooling since the 1970's, when we participated in the development of an accredited Universi ­ ty Without Walls program. Home­ schooling for our children s ee med a natural outgrowth of our own educa­ tional process. We are fortunate t o be living here in Oklahoma, a state which seems, at this pOint, t o be quite sym­ pathetic t o the h ome-sc hoo ler. A spokesman for a large religious uni­ versity here r ecentl y es timated that home-schoolers save the state $1,000,000 a year - a nd th e r e is no pending legislation to regulate home schools, t h a nks in part, I'm sure, to the many non-regulated religious schools . . . We live on ten acres of rural land and run our own business, so the children have numerous opportunities for gardening, carpentry, nature study, and learn ing ba sic survival

skills, as well as experiencing the family business. We pursue an experi­ ential approach to math, utilizing many of th e commercially available materials such as Cuisenaire rods, Geo-boards, pattern blocks, etc., as well as many home-made materials and games. We have also been using THE LEARNING SCIENCE PROGRAM, developed by a Piaget-influenced professor here in Oklahoma, a hands-on approach to science which helps to develop scien­ tific thinking skills. It is geared towards educators who are not science specialists, so much of it is quite useful to the parent-educator . We sup­ plement that with work wi th magnets, compass, electronics boards, micro­ scope, mechanical gadgets of all sorts, etc. I am quite sold on the idea of letting a child's interests direct his/her learning . Last year, our 7-year-old taught himself to read flu­ e ntl y in a couple of months (we tossed out the basal reader in two weeks) and proceeded to spend his days devouring the World Book encyclo­ pedia and full-length novels. He also developed an incredible interest in geography and drew over 200 accurate maps, most from memory, of every spot on the globe. These included details such as cities, rivers, mountain ranges, etc. I could relate many oth­ er instances of self-directed learn­ ing ... I meet a fair number of people who are interested in home­ schooling, but their main concern seems to be the "socializat ion" pro­ cess. I do believe in th e usefulness of academic peer experiences - learn­ ing and doing together - beyond what the normal sports and play time can offer. We are very involved in a pro­ gram in a nearb y university town which he lps to fill th is gap for us ­ an educational enrichment coopera­ tive. Our co-op offers workshops and classes in areas as di ve r se as e ntom­ o logy, creative dramatics, dance, the ph ysi cs of music, gems and minerals, foreign languages, electron micro­ scope, la ser beams and holographs, meteor ol ogy , environmental studies, sign language, computer programming, and much much more' It is run com­ pletely by pare nts (mostl y public schoolers) a nd has generated a lot of community support . .. A lot of work is involved in getting something like this started, but it r ea lly is a good opportunity to share skills and ideas with other families (a nd spread the word about h ome-schooling in the pro­ cess) .. . From Valerie Vaughan (MA ) , who wrote "Single Mother's Arrangements" in GWS #32: ... 1 have received approval from the Superintendent to t eac h Gabriel (6) a t home '84-'85, and the support of the local elementary school princi­ pa l . Boy, did I work hard, but eve r y­ one in aut hor it y was more than cooper­ ative . I was lucky t o have open­ minded school authorities who appreci­ a t ed my c r eative and assertive approach, as well as my commitment to d o the job . In fact, th ey thanked me for being so cooperative' -­ ... About my present work/child care arrangements. I managed to elim­ inate all the driving Gabe and I were doing - it got to be too much - and for about a year we traded with par­ ents of other kids ( mostly younger kids who weren't in school or whose parents, like me , worked odd hours ­ not 9 t o 5) . We have n ow moved a lit-

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40


9

tle more into the country and are liv­ ing on the top floor of a farmhouse, where kids and animals abound in the neighborhood . Gabe still has a wide age range of friends (2 to 9) which I think is fine and really preferable to the narrow range that school and society forces on most kids . .. We are still trading childcare with neigh­ bors and friends and I still work part time, including Saturdays, when childcare is easier . .. Of course in the fall, we will have to rearrange everything . Fortunately, I am leaving single parenthood soon (getting mar­ ried to my employer'), so I can re­ arrange my work and still have finan ­ cial support ... I have permission to teach Gabe pretty much the way I want to, so we start our "25 hours a week program" in September, and it includes more music and arts than is usually found in school . If anybody out there wants a copy of all the written materials I exchanged with the school authori ­ ties, I'd be glad to send it for $2 . · .. One thing I have done is scour the l ocal used book shops for old school books . We don't use them the way they were intended, but they make good resources, es~eCially the ones from the 1920's an ' 30's ... I have been especially inspired by Rudolf Steiner ' s writings and Waldorf school materials . . . This phil­ osophy of education has much to tel l us about the i magination of children, and especially an understanding of how we learn ... The Waldorf/Steiner Education Catalog is available from from ST GEORGE BOOK SERVICE, PO Box 225, Spring Valley NY 10977 . .. Harriet Whinkey wrote in Alterna ­ tives in Education (WV): . , . Our daughter, M'Linda, is a homeschooler, using the Pensacola Christian Correspondence School curri­ culum . .. [In September) Mr . Ronald Blankens h ip, Superintendent of Schools for Calhoun County, informed me that we had two options: put our daughter in public school, or take her out of state to complete the school year . Otherwise, Dane and I were looking at certain and immediate prosecution. He said that there was no nice way to put it: that we were subject to fine and/or imprisonment. · .. 1 got out Mother Earth News, No. 64, and at the end of t h e~r ~nter­ view with John Holt found an address for Holt Associates in Boston and put through a call. Talked with Mr. Holt himself . I explained our situation to him, and he said, " Oh no, you have several ot h er alternatives . " Hallelu­ jah' So he put me in touch with Deir­ dre Purdy, and she put me in touch with others. As a result of their input, I filed a request the same day with Mr. Roy Truby, State Superinten­ dent of Schools, to operate a priva t e school under Exemption K. At the same time I wrote Mr . Blankenship of our decision, sending him a copy of our letter to Mr. Truby. On October 20, we received Mr . Truby's letter of recognition . · . . 1 have realized my need for contact, interaction, with other home schooling families . We had been doi ng our own thing, quietly, not wanting to cause the public school system any problems . But I can see now that we should have been in touch with other home-schoolers all along . I need that support, and I will be most happy to share whatever experiences we have had with others . And lastly, I feel a need to actively work for more wide-

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40

spread recognition of the legality of homeschooling . Why should we be made to feel like criminals? I'm not going to HIDE any longer' . .. And from Daniel Glynn (KS): ... We've just completed our first year of schooling our kids at home. Actually, "unschooling" is more descriptive of what we ' re doing, but under current Kansas law we have to consider ourselves as operating a pri­ vate, non - accredited schooled called "The Everyday School . " Our homeschooling experience has been very good, and we're completely satisfied with what we're doing . The year zipped by and the kids didn't miss school a bit (what's to miss?). They have their friends and are doing very well "socially," which is of course what everyone was concerned about when we told them what we were going to do. Our 6-year-old recently participated in his first public pre­ sentation ever, a piano recital; he had to face an unfamiliar grand piano in the center of the college auditor­ ium stage in front of over a hundred parents and children . He handled it smoothly and confidently . The other concern of people (of course) is how our son will learn to read without ever going to school. We weren ' t concerned, and he has started reading without a lot of effort. The girls, 11 and 9, had attended school through 4th and 2nd grades. They both read a lot and write letters and do all kinds of projects . In other words, all three are flourishing "nor­ mally " and healthily without school . And, as all unschoolers know, our home and family life routine has been greatly simplified by getting out from under the 24 hours-a-day control exerted by the school system . The people and school officials here are very cooperative in that t hey accept what we ' re doing . .. I ' m sure that my background and position in education helps a great deal in getting that acceptance (community college instructor of English ­ former high school teacher), although I know myself that degrees and certi­ ficates have no necessary connection to education . What I did was to write a leng­ thy letter to the district superinten­ dent stating our plans to homeschool, reviewing the law for him, assuring him that our decision was thoroughly researched and thought out, and ask­ ing for his passive cooperation (not for his approval or permission, neith­ er of which is necessary). In addi­ tion, I enclosed copies of laws, attorney general opinions, and let­ ters written by the attorney for the State Dept. of Education which, if read closely, advocate a "hands-off" policy toward sincere private, non­ accredited schools. As part of my research I met with that attorney and discussed what we had in mind, and although he cannot encourage home­ schooling (which by definition is not yet legal) he did suggest that we'd have no problem establishing the pri­ vate , non-accredited school . I sent the material to the super­ intendent in April, while our girls were still in school and well before we wanted to start official home­ schooling the following August. I made it clear that one chief purpose of my letter was to inform him com­ pletely about our plans so he wouldn't be surprised by small-town gossip about the Glynn kids not going to school. In other words, he was the

first to know, not the last, as hap ­ pens to some superintendents . I did not state our specific philosophy or reasons for home schoo l­ ing, which by necessity would c hal­ lenge his own position . . . The key, I think, in avoiding legal trouble is to present yourself as sincere, rea­ sonable, thoughtful, thorough, confi­ dent, caring, and so on. Perception is everything; that is, how the home­ schooling parents are perceived by the school figures and commun~ty peo ­ ple makes a great difference . And to create that perception in their minds takes some work and thought .. . FROM A QUEBEC HOMESCHOOLER Soma Morse, age 14, writes:

. . . I've read a few issues of your newsletter and thought I'd send along a letter with my pen-pal list­ ing. I guess you could say that most of my life I have been a homeschool ­ er. I went to kindergarten, wh ich was a good experience for me, but the n came Grade One. An awfully quick change from a "Let's have fun and learn at the same time" theme to SIT UP STRAIGHT, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT AND DO YOUR WORK theme. I think that's when many children lose their yearn ­ ing to learn. I was then taken out of school because of transportation prob­ lems and my parents got permission t o teach me at home (apparently so the town wouldn't have to fix our road so the bus could come in) . So Grade 2 was homeschooling. We then moved some ­ where else where I went to most of Grade 3 at an excellent school . We then moved back to where we were pre­ viously liv~ and I was taught at home with books from the school, which were returned at the end of the year at the same time I took tests for the school. The school was get­ ting about $2000 a year of which my parents did not get any. I was taught at home like this until Grade 7, when I went to the local high school . It took me most of a year to get used to it and make friends. I passed Grade 7 with an 81% average. What had happened was that the road was fixed a bit and the bus brought in . .. But unfortunately, I had to get up at 6 AM, get ready, walk 8/10 of a mile (which under Que­ bec laws is legal; your walk has to

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10

be more than a mile before they will brin g the bus in), then have an awful backroa d I-hour-and-40-minute bus ri de .. . This early-to-rise, late-to­ b ed wi t h homework and whatnot made me tired but I kept on. Then my mare Penny had a foal (Aravis). All summer holidays we got to know Aravis, then after I went back to school that fall, the foal changed gradually into a mean stub­ born animal because I was not there to give her my attention and train­ ing . Around this time, the late nights and early mornings - not to mention an awful bus ride with a rude bus driver who occasionally smoked and drove too fast - got to me, so I told my vice-principal that unless they brought the bus in my drive I would not go .. . The bussing boss said no, so I ha ven't gone since Febru­ ary ... It seems almost that the peo­ ple who run the school did not take me seriously as they sent me a form for enrolling next year and letters saying "Soma is a responsible stu­ dent, well-liked by her teachers and peers," etc . , also letters saying "We think you are making a mistake ." At the school there is a very high level of children who have lost their desire to learn and many kids who want to quit but their parents would kick them out of the house if they did so. I really enjoyed school while there but I couldn't handle the back and forth thing, I would be tired and grouch y . So at the point where I was t hinking about refusing to go to school, I realized, "Animals or school? You can have one but not both." So now I am HAPPILY training Aravis, and Penny has another on the way. Now Aravis is worth at least $400. I think I am a much happier per­ son now that I'm not going to schoJl . The only thing I miss is my friends a nd th e social part of it ... CALIFORNIA TEACHER TEST

In "Teacher Examinations," GWS #37, John wrote: "It seems very like­ ,ly that most home schooling parents, if they do tak e these tests, will score substantially higher than most teachers in th eir state or area . If so, it will be hard for the schools even to claim, far less to prove, that these parents are less qualified to teach their children than 'pro­ fessional t eachers . ,II He asked read­ ers to let us know anything they find out about such tests in their state . A response from Sue Laurente (CA): . .. 1 don't believe that Califor­ nia has or plans to give tests to t eachers who already have their cre­ dentials. However, every candidate for a credential and anyone who wants to be a substitute teacher must take the CBEST (California Basic Education­ al Skills Test). It has three sec­ tions: reading comprehension, math, and writing . The reading section con­ sists of paragraphs with questions about each one . The math section is pre tty comprehensive and is the part that causes the most people trouble. A thorough review before the test is advisable . Those two sections are typical computer-graded multiple­ choice. In the writing section, there are two topics to write about - usual­ ly one where you describe an impor­ tant event or person in your life and the other where you must express an opinion and support it. It isn't an easy test but it isn't overly hard either. If you fail

one or two sections out of the three, you can take just those over again. It costs $32 and is given several times a year. Information about the CBEST can be obtained from any col­ lege or university offe ring teacher education courses or by writing CBEST Program, Box 1904, Berkeley CA 94701. Hope this information is of use to someone ... TEACHING IS NO MYSTERY

[JH:) The following quotes ~re from a letter I wrote to a magaz1ne in reply to an article saying that teaching should be more "profession­ al . " They may be of use to readers who meet that argument: .. . Teaching is not, ought no t to be, and cannot be made to be a mys­ tery, in [the article writer's) words, " a body of knowledge which its members alone possess." It is a time­ less and universal human activity, something we all do throughout our lives in all our relations wit h o th er humans. This is not to say that some people don't do it better than oth­ ers, or that people ca nnot learn ­ almost entirely from experience - to do it better. In this respect it is perhaps akin to cooki ng. There is indeed a considerable body of know­ ledge about cooking, but it was not created in and cannot be confi ned in schools of cooking . By study and prac­ tice you can learn t o be an expert cook, a nd you don't have to go t o a school to do it - indeed many expert chefs are self -t aug ht. The same is true and will a lways be true of teach­ ing. The most important thing a n y teacher has to learn, not to be learned in any school of education I ever heard of, can be expressed in seven words: Learning is not the pro­ duct of t eac h 1n9 . Learning is the pro­ duct of the act1vity of learners, who, beginning at birth, create know­ ledge from experience in exactly the way scientists do, by observing , won­ dering, theorizing, and testing and refining their theories, whic h is how children learn to crawl, walk, t alk, and so on . Only when we understand that this is true ca n we begin to understand in what ways outsiders, whether parents, paid teachers, or whatever, can best support this learner- initiated and learner­ control l ed activity ... CERTIFICATES & TEACHER QUALITY

In GWS 30, John pOinted out that many prestigious private schools do not n ecessarily hire teachers with state certificates, and that this fact could help those home-schoolers who were challenging a teaching cre­ dential requirement in their state . On this subject, Eleanor Siegl (WA), director of the Little School near Seattle, wrote: .. Washington State does, indeed, have a law requiring that all teach­ ers in both public and private schools be certified by the s t ate. Passed in 1910, the la w as it per­ tains to private schools was rather l enient, since the state was reluc­ tant to take on the Catholic Churc h which for a long time provided the only priva t e schools. In recent times, how ever, the office of the State Superintendent of Public In­ struction has included the certifica ­ tion of teachers in its " compliance "

requirements for state recognition of a private school . .. . Some of the Pacific Northwest Association member schools have taken exception to the certification re­ quirement, feeling that experts in specific subject areas who may be Ph.D's or people with practical exper­ ience could well be better qualified to teach than certified teachers, many of whom are admittedly limited in their scope ... Consequently, PNAIS formed a committee to try to break down the narr owness of interpretation of "What is a qualified teacher?" I'm enclosing a copy of Dan Ayrault's paper . It received polite atte nti on and li ttl e response but efforts are continuing . .. [DR:) Some excerpts from the paper by Dan Ayrault: STATEMENT TO COMMISSION ON SCHOOLS OF THE NORTHWEST ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES On behalf of the Pacific North ­ west Association of Independent Schools (PNAIS) December 5, 1982 Over the years we have frequent­ ly been asked at these meetings why independent schoo l s do not have a ll faculty certified. In addition to the matter of state laws, isn't it obvi­ ously desirable for t eachers to have formal pedagogical training before they begin teaching? ... We must be candid to say that our schools have simply not obse rved over the years a strong correlation between effectiveness of student learning , or eve n the quality of in­ struction on the one hand, and the possession of a teaching certificate on the o th er. This is different from saying that a correlation does not exist, because the numbers we deal with are small . Nor does it suggest that we mean to be contemptuous of state laws regarding certification. We simply find that some of our stron est teachers are cert1f1ed w 1 e some are not, an some 0 our average or unsatisfactory teachers are certif1ed wh1 l e some are not. Gen­ eral l y we cons1der the certif1cate to be a neutral to somewhat positive e l e­ ment wit hin our perception of a candi ­ date's qualifications, but we defin­ itely place it in a subsidiary cate­ gory, well below such factors as integrity, maturity, a genuine inter­ est in young people, enthusiasm, energy , curiosity, intelligence, s trong academic scholarship, commit­ ment to high standards, an alert sen­ sitivity to other people young and old, and that elusive quality of per­ sonality that permits some adults to establish potent and influential rela­ tionships with young people . These elements ... are so compel ­ lingly important . .. that we are reluc­ tant to limit our capacity to secure the strongest possible combination of such qualities. The pool of human be­ ings who possess these qualities in abundance is limited; we believe a pressing responsibility to student s a nd to their parents is to draw into t eac hing those people who in our h on­ es t, professional judgement offer the greatest potential. Indeed, because no one is required to attend our schools, we will not long have stu­ dents unless we perform this function thoroughly a nd well. We are aware of n o data to give us assurance that restricting our teacher searc h to cre­ dentialed candidates only would im­ prove the quality of instruction in

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40


11

our schools. I n fact, when we look around our schools our own experience declares otherwise . . . It would be foo l ish not to acknowledge that the strong people we seek to attract into teaching do arrive wi th some ideas about the prin­ ciples behind effec tive or ineffec ­ tive instruction . They do not start from sc r a tch ... The Stanford Sc hool in Redmond, which specializes in work with stu­ dents who hav e problems which hinder op t ima l learning .. . finds most gradu­ ates of teacher cer tif ica ti on pro ­ grams trained to be good " classroom managers." The Stanford School be ­ lieves th at the concept of c l ass room management, the atti tud es whi c h lie behind this, wi ll ac tuall hinder t he kind of instruction th ey e l~ eve most effec tiv e with their students . The number of t eac hers th ey hir e is small enough so that the only practical approach is to train their own teach­ ers . (It is interes ting t o note that various sc hool dist ri cts curre ntly contract wi th the Stanford Schoo l to provide sc hooli ng for some of their stude nts . This indicates a belief that learning for th ese special stu­ dents is more effec t ively accom ­ plished in th e Stanford School's set­ ting, despite the fact that not a ll Stanford teachers are certified ... ) The exa mple a bove s ugg es t s t hat another possible route to " credential­ ing" would be to determine if the results of a given school are effec­ tive . ( I t is only indirectly to tha t end that th e credenti al of an i ndivid­ ual teacher is relevant.) Suc h an assessmen t may not a l ways be clea r, but wher e th e results do appea r to be demonstrably good, thr ough test data or increme nt al progress measures, for examp le, or through the kind of on-site periodic evaluations conduc t­ ed by the NW Associa ti on or th e PNAIS, then, if requested, certifica­ tion mig ht be waived as moot ...

t

ADVANTAGES OF HOME-SCHOOLING Sharon Griffi th (IN) spoke about home-schooling to a college education class and also a meeting of interest­ ed people, and sent us a copy of her outline, notes, and o th e r writte n material. Two of her lists tha t read­ ers may find useful for their own wri­ ting and discussions:

ADVANTAGES OF HOME SCHOOLING 1. Freedom to pur s u e curiosi ty and interests (preven ts "burnout " ­ turnoff to learning). 2 . Time to treat all questions seriously and find answers (low stu­ dent- t eac her ratio is key). 3. More opportunity for personal verbal interactions . 4. Formal ed ucati on ca n be intro­ duced at the "right" time (rea diness is ext r emely variable) . 5. Prevention of sex discrimina­ tion (especially for boys a t school entra nce age, a nd because of favori­ tism of t eachers for girls) . 6. Freedom to pursue learning a t own rate and abi lity to ca pita lize on individual differences (students are not PUSHED or HELD BACK). 7. Harmony of va lues - securi t y . 8 . Provides incentive and e nc our ­ agemen t to discove r life work (by experience with real world) . 9 . Time for fantasy and private times. 10. Atmosphere of confidence and trust. 11 . Provides access to real

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40

world . Encou r ages doi ng . Learning has real purpose. 12 . Pro t ects from overstimula­ tion. School takes up too mu ch t i me and energy (wh ich is not effectively used there). Free time not spent recovering from th e overstimulation of school. 13 . Produces happier, more inquisitive human beings and happier families ( is "jamig Y saving"). 14. Provi es est atmosphere (conditions) for acquiring a good se ns e o f self-worth, competence, inde­ pendence, sensitivity, sense of humor - to deal wi th the realit ies of lif e . 15 . Provides opportunity for self-evaluation on basis of progress, potential a nd mastery . OUR GOALS a. To promote good health prac­ tices: good nutrit ion, ample rest, exerci s e (i n orde r to encourage phy si ­ cal readiness t o learn with a clear a lert mind). b . To provide a pleasant learn­ ing environment: proper light , fresh ai r, comfortable temperat ure , comfor­ tabl e furnishings, reasonable order, emotional stability. c . To maintain consistent, l ov­ ing discipline. d . To foster motivati on - by pro­ viding a wide variety of opportuni­ ties for study, within and without a basic framework of fundam enta l a r eas a nd encourage learning by doing . e . To eva luate r ea diness for var­ ious tasks according t o knowledge of changing physical, social, ment a l and moral developme nt of the child . f. To learn with them a nd enjoy their disco ve ries-anG ac h ievements. g . To provide a schooling ex per i ­ e nce uniquely compatible with ou r spiritual values and philosophy of e duc a tion . h. To provide the time for our c hildren to d eve l op their "c onsuming" or special interests - without nece s­ sitating a harried lifestyl e . i . To meet the need for ac tive learning from real life situations a nd t o provide a place where l ea rning is not separate from th e r es t of life. j . To provide for "mastery lea r n­ ing " (measuring own progress and achieving a competence leve l), thus e liminating grade competition, and providing a so lid base for future learning. Al l of the above should encour­ age the child to love sincerely (God a nd man ) , adopt a healthful life style, work responsibly, communicate clearly , enjoy bea u ty, reason percep­ tively, conduct personal business pru­ dently, an d relate intelligent l y t o the environmen t . .. THE ROLE OF THE STATE [JH: ] This excerpt from my t es ti­ mony in February before a joint hear­ i ng of the Education Committ ees o f the Virginia legislatures makes some points that I think we would be wise to make, in one form or a n ot her, in all legislative heari ngs:

... 1 would like to th a nk you , first of all for making it possible for me to te stify at these hearing s, but mo re importantly, for a ll the hard wo rk that you have done on this legislation. It is not easy in this matter to rec oncile the legitimate but conflicting Constitutional claims of parents and the state, a nd I con­ gratulate th e delegates for th e skill with which th ey have addressed this

difficult task. The argument is sometimes made that regarding the education of child­ ren the state has no rights, and t ha t parents who wis h t o teach their own children for reasons of religious con ­ viction can do what they like. I respect those who make this argumen t , but I disagree wi th it . In the first place, the United States Supreme Court has ruled many times that the states do in fact have a constitution ­ al int erest in the education of chil d­ ren. In the second place, even if this were not the law, I woul d say that it ought to be . Home schooling seems to me an excellent idea, with an excellent track record; but even the best ideas have possibilities of mis-use and abuse, and c hildren have th e right as citizens to be protected against these. As we reject the c l aim, which some school autho rities have frequently and publicly made, that children are the property of the sta t e, to do with what it likes, so we must reject equally the claim that they a r e the property of their par­ e nts, to do with what th ey like . Ch i ldren, by virtue of being American ci tiz ens, have important rights of t heir own, including the right of access to useful information, and these rights the state is morally bound to protect. Let me say again that the dele­ gates have done a commendab l e job at the difficult task of reconci ling these conflicting rights and duties of parents and state .. . In conclusion I would like to say in guiding home schooling, the Commonwealth will best serve its interests and those of i t s c hildren by guiding with a very light rein . Time has shown that the overwhelming majority of home schoolers, whatever may be their educational bac kground, are conscientious and capable and do an excellent job of teaching their own children . Time has also shown that in doing so they use a ve ry wide variety of curricula , timetables, methods, materials, and means of evaluation, according to the needs and learning styles of their c hild ­ ren. The Commonwealth would be wise , i n whatever ways it can, to protect and encourage this pedagogical diver­ si t y, not least of al l because from it may well come many ideas that can prove very helpful to the sc hoo ls themselves, which for many yea rs to come most children will continue to attend . .. MAIN SOURCE OF IN COM E? A l etter from Cincinnati:

. .. 1 am single and have no child­ ren and desire to use my teaching cer­ tificate to help home schoolers. I wo uld also like to make this my main source of income . Please se nd me any information about the successes and failures of teachers who are trying to do this. Is it economically feasible? ..

CREATIVE HOME STUDt We offer imaginative and artistic

programs of Independent Study for all c hildren, guided by experienced home ­ study teachers who respect the unique needs of each child . Write for free orochure and catalog of publications.

OAK MEADOW SCHOOL , Dept. GWS, P . O. Box G, Ojai, CA 93023


12

Donna wrote in reply: ... Glad to hear you want to help home-schoolers. As of yet, we have never heard of anyone whose main source of income was helping home­ schoolers. But there's always a first time. In the five years I've been here, we've gotten several letters like yours and I have sent the people ideas and asked them to let me know if they have any success. I can't remember hearing from any of those people again. Some of your options. To start (or join) an alternative school, and help home-schoolers on the side . This is what a number of people have done, like Ed Nagel, Pat Montgomery, Liz Prohaska and so on - see our "Helpful Private Schools" list in GWS #36 . Pat Montgomery, who also heads the NATION­ AL COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVE COMMUNI­ TY SCHOOLS (1289 Jewet t St, Ann Arbor MI 48104) would probably be the best person to consult about this. Or, there are home-bound teach­ ers employed by school districts. There are even some private tutoring agencies, though we never hear much from these, ei ther - I've asked them how they work . I believe there are some on our "Certified Teachers " list (GWS #36). Or, if you are willing to live in the country, with a home-steading type family, teaching/take care of children in exchange for room and board, there have been a number of people who have offered suc h situa­ tions . You'd have to be flexible ­ willing to go where the work is . There was even someone who wanted a helper on th eir ocean-going sailboat (GWS #35). You could try asking some of the people listed in our "Certified Teach­ ers" column if they have earned any money by being on there. A few of them may have ... We'd be interested in hearing about this if th ey did. Beyond that, I'm not sure. To make mone y, you have to offer some sort of service that someone is will­ ing to pay for, and the whole idea of home-schooling is that parents can do it themselves, without paying any­ body. Talk with home-schoolers in your area, and see if you can put your finger on some so rt of need that they wou ld be willing t o pay for ­ someone to take the kids off their hands for a day, or someone to pro­ vide educational materials, or some kind of legal security . Good luck. You may have to come to the same wrenching decision that thousands of others of us former teachers have done, namely, that the direction of your life may have to be in something not involving teaching, formally, at all . What John always advises people who want to work with children is, find some kind of real work to do, something that needs-dO­ rng-in the world, and after you get into that, find a way to involve children in it, too ... Do let us know how things go . . . MONTESSORI: PHILOSOPHYVS. PRACTICE From a Virginia reader:

... 1 am deeply interested in Maria Montessori's philosophy, which I don't feel is very much at odds with Mr. Holt's. I am reading all her books right now and visited the most recent Montessori Educa ti on Center here . I expected to be completely cap­ tivated by the school and feel that my children would be very deprived if

they didn't go . .. I was relieved to find my children would not be missing a thing by staying home with me until they were five . . . They allowed me to observe the classes in progress and I got the immediate impression that many of these children were unhappy. I had children come up to me (a t least 10) asking whose mommy I was, etc . I was in another classroom where six child­ ren were clinging to th e t eacher as she wa l ked around the room. I was appalled by the attitude of the teach ­ er and especially the teacher ' s assis ­ tant. The teacher continually singled out one or two children for chastise­ ment for rudeness, etc., in a loud voice . Incidentally, this particular school is one of the most expensive private schools in the area . . . From another Va . parent: ... 1 found a Montessori school which at least seemed a little better than most pre-schools . At least no one talks at the kids all morning' For sure my-son was intimidated the fi rst year - so many neat things in the classroom, but yoUlnave to know jfS~ how or else! He also lost much o is incredible fantasy play capaci ­ ty . He was in from October till April when I could stand it no longer . I took him out ... My older two have had two years of traditional school and one or two of Montessori. They despise it. They still score very highly (for what it 's worth) on achievement tests, but who ~? They hate it ... And from Penny Barker (OH), a former Montessori teacher: .. . 1 think the Montessori philo­ sophy, with its respect for the child, awakening of the senses, cor­ rection of error in t h e material, and the orderly environment, is a very good basis for child rearing . I have my doubts about the timing of the sen­ sitive periods, the need for the spe­ cific Montessori materials, and the pre-school environment . I have found from experience that there is a much greater range to the sensitive peri­ ods in all given areas than 3-6 years . I feel the materials are beau­ tiful, but they take the child's focus of attention from the natural worl d around him and place it on these objects. Most all of the sub­ ject areas can be given to the child without ~ of the materia l s . As tar as pre-school, I feel that what Dr. Montessori did in Italy with the slum children (bringing them away from their immediate families) may have been good in that particular situation of working mothers, unsani­ tary living conditions, great pover­ ty. But somehow in America, bringing all these little ones away from moth­ ers , fathers, sibl ings, and full en­ vironment into a classroom setting where there is only a limited amount the children can do wit h t he avail ­ able materials is unnecessary and stifling . . . Sending them to school at 3 begins the early dependence on the peer group as well as taking them out of a world where life is really going on and putting them in a building where only a very small part of life is going on and it is not real but "set up" for them, thus begrnning their fi r st step in alienation from reality. For many children, once they are in a setting with a great number of peers the y never again feel comfor­

table without it - they long for it when not in it and have a feeling of missing out - they may even feel off-balance or out of sorts when not wi t h a group . I know of a 4-year-old whose mother is a n artist and pianist and whose father is a poet and stone work­ er; s h e has a baby sister and they live in a beautiful rural valley with woods and stream nearby. This little girl cries when t aken away from t he prese n ce of other children and so the mot h er wi l l spend 50 minutes driving away from the beautiful valley, away from the pastures, woods, and streams, into a town where her daugh­ ter can spend her afternoon in a building with other children . At home t he mother will be painting, playing Bach, working in the garden, tending the baby; Father will be writing, pruning trees, and gathering stone . But the little girl will be with a teacher (who would probably rather be somewhere else) coloring in papers the teacher hands out . I really don't think it would be much better for her to be building a tower of graded cubes [ in a Montessori school). Her home environment seems so much richer .. . ON KIDS AND WORK From Karen Sch adel (NY):

... We went strawberry picking at a local farm . I had been told it would be best not to bring the child­ ren, but I knew Joshua (7) and Seth (6) would want to be included - Sad­ rah, too, but the sight of a 2~-year­ old might make them too nervous. Thinking it would be best t o take t hem separately, I first took Joshua with me and on my next picking Seth went along . No one said anything fur­ ther about the presence of children, and I was especially careful to ex­ plain where walking was permitted and how to remove only the ripened ber­ ries from the plants. They both were dedicated and serious pickers who attended to the business of berry­ gathering right alongside me on an equal level . They knew of the owner's request to leave them at home when I came picking and maybe this inspired t hem to do an especially good job to show t hat children can be as responsi ­ ble and careful as most adults are. We found a similar thing to be true when it came time to start gar­ den preparations. They were all ready and at my elbow as I started the indoor plants and began planning where everything would go in the gar­ den. They seemed so interested that I decided they should have their own garden space. They were given seeds and helped with picking stone and oth­ er garden work to ready the soil for planting . I explained that I would answer any questions they might have, show them how something was planted if they wanted, and make suggestions only, but would not nag them t o weed, water, or anything that would take away from the pleasure I wanted them to have in growing their own gardens. They loved the idea and were very careful to follow planting directions and plan what to plant where, and how much space to save for later plant­ ings, etc . They have been exceptional­ ly attentive to t h eir gardens - even Sadrah, who decided she must be in on the act . Just the other day they proudly picked their first bowl of peas and posed for a photograph. They are now anxiously awaiting their squash and cucumber blossoms and plan

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40


13

to grow a cucumber in a bottle and carve their names on small pumpkins and watch them grow. All three of them dug and dug and dug with their father as he pre­ pared a deep trench to start an aspar­ agus bed . Again they worked right beside him, doing the same heavy work and keeping right up with him. They are always at their best in these situations - more agreeable, less argumentative, more open and communi­ cative and seem freer and happier than at other times ... Mimi Wagner, whose family is in the Middle East, wrote in Western PA Homeschoolers #8: ... Since funds are a bit tight this year, Jon, Damon and I started working at the American school store l~ hours a day . It's kind of like a home-business having the kids there. Jon (7) has become very good at mak­ ing change (real life math) in the local currency, Bahraini Dinar. I never taught him how or what the dif­ ferent bills and coins represented . I only answered his questions. After we 'd worked there for about six weeks he just started handling customers, with confidence no less. He knows the entire inventory of the store and is very quick to answer questions of prices, sizes, colors. He's quite proud of himself (and he s hould be) especially when now and again one of his peers comes to buy something and is amazed to find that Jon REALLY WORKS there, and is n ot just doing what I tell him to .. . Damon (3) is in charge of giving out the indicated "granola snack," usually asked for by color, of which we carry 15 different kinds . As in Jon's case, I never taught Damon what the colors were, or the flavors for that matter . One day after we ' d been working there for about three weeks, he just decided that that was his job and no one else had better try and take it from him' He has proven him­ self wort hy of the position. I might add that he did not know the names of colors before we started the job and was a bit shy with strangers . Not so anymore' .. . Damon has also designated himself the official "ice-cream­ spoon-giver-outer. " Both Jon and Damon also have decided that they DO NOT need or want my help with restock­ ing these items. Damon likes sorting the money in the cash box as well (coins: small, medium, and large; bills: red, purple, blue, green, pink). It's been a good experience for us all ... FUN , NOT EXTRAORDINARY Margaret Davis (WA) wrote:

... Several of the stories in GWS made me feel at times that maybe I should expect more from our boys . Our guys do not make computer programs (we don't have a computer), they do not make music (we have a piano, pump organ, guitar, banjo just because I like them) or write plays (I can't get them to write more than a thank­ you to grandparents), no scientific experiments or signs of budding gen­ ius . But they can tell you how our farm is run much better than I can at times. They can list off weeds, crops, what was damaged by what (insect, weather, chemicals), what should be done and when and why. They care for their livestock - small flock of chickens and rabbits . They

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40

are fun to be around. Our curriculum is very relaxed and for us it works best. We do the regular school book work in the morn­ ing - math, English, printing, which ­ ever school book grabs their interest at that time . If none does, I grab them and say "Do it," so we aren 't real lax. Then at no on they escape outside, from then on our day is very free. We all read something. The old Book of Knowledge of Dad's is great tor interesting talks . We branch off from the moon to history to poetry ... I have learned to let them find out on their own. If we stick with one particular subject it seems like it doesn't stay stuck for very long. I guess what I'm trying to say is for others not to feel they have to be outstanding . Like we tell our kids, they are outstanding in their field - it's corny, especially if they are in the wheat field at the time. It has taken two years for our older boy Justin to be fun to be around again . A friend says she thinks he ' s something else . He is funny . Our youngest, Ethan, only went to kindergarten so does not have a lot of hang-ups to get rid of, and it's fun to watch and be part of his learning. What they know, they know because it is important for them and our living. Have we finally become real homeschoolers? I think so . It's a wonderful feeling to be friends with your kids .. . MOM KEEPS BUSY Madalene Murphy (PA) wrote in the Western PA Homeschoolers:

... A discovery it took me almost two years of home schooling to make: whenever the kids are working at some­ thing that requires my presence to answer an occasional question or sim­ ply to provide moral support, I have to have something to keep MY hands busy so I stay out of their work except when they need or want me. Sometimes this can be accomplished while I am doing kitchen work, if the project lends itself to the kitchen floor or table. But I must be doing something th at tolerates frequent interruptions or I will end up get­ ting more frustrated instead of less. I started doing some quilting this year and have found that it fits the requirements of the situation perfect­ ly. So I'm getting a lot of practice at something I enjoy doing and at the same time can sit benignly while Christian ponders the spelling of a word in a letter he's writing or Emily tries to figure out the sales tax on something she wants to buy or Clare tries for the fifteenth time to build a house by standing the orange Cuisenaire rods on end, and I never ­ well, at least a l o t less than I used to - offer any of those "helpful hints" that would usually only inter­ rupt their train of thought ... BEING FLEXIBLE WITH CALVERT From Luella Porter (IN):

... I've read comments in GWS about how Calvert is too regimented and petty, but I disagree. Any pro­ gram has to be adjusted to the child's needs and interests in order t o work well. The Calvert "teacher's manual" says the same thing . From the kindergarten manual: "These subjects are to be

approached experimentally and ten­ tatively. As you will see when you encounter them in the daily les­ sons, they are to be used in accor­ dance with the response of each individual child ." I wonder if people are afraid to change the program around to suit the child . Maybe our own school train­ ing makes us feel we must accept it as is or reject it altoget her. On days when we do Calver t, we do about a week ' s worth, so I plan the group of lessons so we can do them in blocks of each subject. Since nobody wants to stop something that is fun, we plunge way ahead in some lessons. We skip the parts Meredith (3) already knows (most of it) so we move fast through the course. Yet hav­ ing tne-program gives us plenty of new ideas and things to do. And I do mean us. I am having a great time doing this with her, mak­ ing up poems, pasting, painting, coloring, collecting spiders (I always wanted to do that), and much more . From a selfish point of view, home-schooling has given me the excuse to relearn Spanish, play the piano, and never feel guilty for not being out there holding an office job. Life is good and getting better every day. . . . The point is, Calvert is what you make it, and its general accep­ tance by schools makes its use worth­ while to us. Besides, we like it ... VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN

[JH:) Many of you have written us about the cruelty and violence in schools, of children against children and of children and adul ts against each other. Why is there so much of it? A column by Anne Taylor Fleming in the Sept. 5 Boston Herald points to at least one of the answers . She writes: ... Recently roaming the Califor­ nia coast for a week in a car ... my husband and I were struck by some of the behavior and habits of our fellow travelers . First off, there seems to be not a man or woman motorist any­ more without a bumper sticker declar­ ing his or her love for this or that, for a certain religion or radio sta­ tion or baseball team or bar, even. "I Love Jesus," "I Love LA," "I Love Cats" - the freeways are now full of such protestations . .. . .. [But ) wherever we went, on whatever beach we walked, there were beer cans and bottle tops and potato chip bags left willy-nilly, a verita­ ble carpet of trash ... Even harder to imagine, and the most troubling thing we saw on our random journey, is how tough so many parents are on their children . I'm

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SOlO PAY"EHT ,lOItl- RECEIVE I ISSUE


14

not talking about child abuse in the strict sense, rather about something more subtle but no less damaging. We were unhappy witnesses to countless scenes in which an angry parent harsh­ ly rebuked or yanked a young child ­ barely more than a baby - from his or her seat for no more than accidental ­ ly tipping over a glass of milk. So much anger, so much of it directed at the young. The adults did sometimes verbally bristle at each other, but the brunt of their angers fell on the children. We were moving mostly through small seaside towns, rural-suburban places where most of the mothers were plump and young ... Their equally young husbands , prematurely beer bellied, many of them, seemed so obviously wistful. Young couples feel­ ing locked in, looking as if they feel locked in, their children the most o bvious reminder of just how locked in. We were vacationing, as I said, in small towns, in modest motels, among people obviously of limited resources, and the level of just gen­ eral rage on the streets was palpa­ ble. And more often than not the children were the unwitting targets of the rage, as I suppose in a way were the beaches themselves. But it was the children, so many of their faces in a kind of pre-cringe, who provided such an odd juxtaposition to all those bumper stickers proclaiming all that l ove ... [JH: 1 In the 50 ' s and 60's, sup­ posedly for most people a more h ope­ ful and happy time than today, I drove alone many times from the East coast to Colorado and New Mexico, going either to the school in Colo­ rado where I taught for four years, or to New Mexico or Colorado t o visit my sister and her family. It was summertime, and the highway restau­ rants where I stopped for gas and a bite to eat were full of the kinds of young families Anne Fleming wri t es about, on their way to and from national parks or visits with grand­ parents or whatever - anyway, on vaca­ tion, supposedly having a good time . I was appalled to see how harsh, angry, and violent many of them were with their children, shouting at them, threatenin g them, giving them peremptory orders (they would not h ave talked t o their dog in s uch a tone of voice), pulling them this way and that and even striking them, for the most trivial of offenses or in many cases no offense at all that I could see . Even allowing for the fact that long automobile trips with child­ ren can be wearing, and may not s how families at their best, the amount of anger and violence that I saw was sur­ prising and distressing. It put into my mind the thought, which many years of further observation have only strongly ~onfirmed, that large num­ bers of Americans do not like child ­ ren, including, or perhaps especia l­ ly, their own. And it was then, driving in the beautiful mountain country of Colo ­ rado and New Mexico, that I first noticed motorists throwing trash and garbage, often great bags of it, out their car windows as they drove along, and realized that this kind of needless defacing of the landscape was not an act of carelessness but of anger and aggression, someone saying to an Invisibl e but always present Other, "There, ¥ou -----, take that'" If you can t hit your real ene­ mies, next best thing is to hit who­

eve r's handiest, and for that purpose children are ideal . The 9/5/83 issue of Time has a long cover story about vio lence wi thin the family, of hus­ bands against wives (and, occasional­ ly, the reverse), and both of them against children. This tragic and hor­ rifying problem is growing worse, as it always does in bad times, when peo­ ple worry themselves sick about their jobs, their bills, their future. At any rate, this habitual ver­ bal and/or physical violence by adults against children is surely one of the root caus es of violence by children in school, and one for which the schools themselves bear no respon­ sibility at all. Children who have been cruelly treated tend to treat others cruelly, for three reasons; they have learned the habit, they want revenge, and they have so little sense of their own worth that they can only make themselves feel a little better, briefly, by making others feel even worse . To this cause of violence and cruelty we must add t wo others which are the responsibili­ ty of the schools, and which tend to make what could be (as Dennison, Hern­ don, and many others have shown) a manageable problem into an unmanage­ able one. The first is that they set the children against each other in an endless competition for a very (and deliberately) limited supply of adult ap proval and rewards. There are only enough carrots for a few; the rest get the stick, of punishment, humilia­ tion, failure. The result, as ip all adult societies of extreme scarcity, is that many children, even those not normally cruel, in their great need to be one of the few winners, treir fear of being a loser, and the envy, resentment, and anger they feel for the obvious or even potential win­ ners, behave badly . The second is that far too many adults in schools dislike, distrust, and above all fear children, and treat them with what Charles Silberman called "appalling incivility," and even outright vio­ lenc e . What was even before school a vicious cycle of fear and cruelty begins to wind down ever more steeply. What this means for home school­ ers is that the social life of sc hools, already in most places bad or intolerable, is almost certain to get even worse, so that it becomes even more important for us to keep our children out of it and to find or make for them some healthier and more natural alternative.

MAPLESYRUPADVENTURE From Karen Schadel (NY): ... This spring we decided rather suddenly and unpreparedly that we were going to make our own maple syr­ up. The entire process, from the time the idea came to us until we were finished, was one of the neatest times we've had. It was a real family project with a ll of us joining togeth­ er to make it happen. We began by noticing that others had already hung their sap buckets, a nd wondered if we could do it, too. We s topped and gathered some informa­ tion and ideas by just simply chat­ ting with people who were doing it on a small-scale/backyard basis. Next, a trip to the library gave us bulletin information printed by the Coopera­ tive Extension from the vertical files, and several books including THE MAPLE SUGAR BOOK by Helen and Scott Nearing, a book in the juvenile section titled MAPLE SUGAR FOR WINDY

FOOT, and a photo/descriptive one called SUGARING TIME. The blending of the real with the fictitious was per­ fect and we were really getting ready' Through a series of phone calls, one to our local Co-operative Exten­ sion division, we learned of a nearby sugar house and a not-so-nearby sup­ plier of sugaring items. A "field trip" to the sugar house gave us an idea of how it is done on a large scale and some pointers, but basical­ ly left us feeling like it might be too much for us to handle. But we were too far into the idea to turn back. The weather turned cold and the first early sa p run was over. On a blizzard-type day we got into the car and searched through the blowing snow to find the sugaring supplier. We wanted to be ready for the next run ' We purchased what we needed and also looked around at the big evaporators and elaborate supplies used by syrup/ sugar makers who do this as a business. ... It seemed like the more read­ ing we did and knowledge we acquired, the more confusing it became. It had seemed fairly simple at first, but was appearing more and more like a very skilled process that we weren't knowledgeable enough to do on our own. Then I realized the description sounded complicated, such as the directions for tying your shoes would if written down and you'd never done it before yourself or seen it done. So we decided to keep going and not give up, but just do one step at a time ... We borrowed a brace and pur­ chased a standard bit for drilling the holes, but next came the tree identification. Without the character­ istic maple leaf, many of them appeared the same to us, and with time running short (we just didn't want to miss the next run as the sus­ pense was building in all of us as to whether we could really do this) we didn't want to spend time studying books to help us identify the maples by bark and shape, so we sought the help of a neighbor who pointed out our sugar maples to us. ... We decided we 'd carry the sap down to the house and keep the sugar­ ing nearby so it could be watched more carefully. The wood supply became a lot of the scraps and old lumber that had cluttered our proper­ ty when we bought it. Initially we cursed all of it for its untidy appearance, and had said it must all go! But now we look at each piece of wood and item of "junk" in a new light and wonder what we can use it for. With these decisions made we tapped our first tree and applauded ourselves - except no sap came to the e nd of our plastic spile - too cold yet' My husband had come up with our collection system which consisted of plastic spiles connected to about a yard of plastic tubing that was in­ serted to the cap of a plastic cider/ milk jug that had had a hole drilled into it with the brace and bit, thus creating a closed system . We also punctured tiny air vents in the han­ dles with the point of a nail and in this way practically eliminated the concern about bugs, debris, etc. The tapping (25 spouts) was com­ pleted on a warm sunny day, with everyone getting a chance to use the brace and bit, and the sap was run­ ning again. The kids all put their mouths right on the tap and drank the sweetness of the trees as it ran right into their tummies' Sadrah (2~)

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said it tasted better than breast­ milk! We were all in awe of how it works and looked back for history­ type information ... We learned the Indians were essentially responsible for its discovery ... The building of our outdoor evaporator was no simple job either, but my husband's knowledge and experi­ ence in woodstoves proved quite valu­ able. We constructed the firebox with cinder blocks and had a chimney with stove pipe to draw away the smoke that might otherwise flavor the syrup while it was cooking . .. The kids helped carry buckets of sap, or cared for Sadrah while Ed and I marched up and down the hill in either snow or slippery mud (I was interested in los­ ing weight so I welcomed the hikes, but later discovered we were eating too many pancakes and waffles for me to drop any pounds'). Joshua and Seth helped cut wood using either a bow saw or an axe and were content to spend large amounts of time "just chopping ." They each had their own maple tree, now, too, and would proud­ ly go to it at least twice daily to see how it was producing and which taps gave out more sap according to the side of the tree it was on ... We began calculating how much syrup we could hope for, as one source said each tap could give as much as a quart of finished syrup ­ let's see ... 25 taps, 4 quarts in a gallon - roughly 6 gallons' It seemed too good to be true . But it takes 40 gallons of sap to produce just one gallon of syrup . We finally decided that 2 gallons would be a satisfac­ tory and strived-for amount. We finally had enough to start cooking. We'd read so much about what a delicate and exact process this was that we felt insecure again, although we felt ourselves already to be "experienced" in identifying trees and tapping and collecting maple sap - how quickly we learn' So, we did each step awkwardly .. . We had to test our boiling point of water which according to our elevation (or maybe just the thermometer we used) was 5 degrees lower than the 212 degrees usually known as the boiling point. We discussed all this and related it to the fact the sap becomes syrup when it reaches 7 degrees above the boiling point of water. Then we made our first small quart of backyard syr­ up' Althougn-rt didn't taste like com­ mercially produced syrup, it was still sweet, amber-colored, and tasty, and it flavored our whole ­ wheat waffles and pancakes with a wonderful maple taste that we all loved' We had bought a maple candy form so we went right into maple candy pro­ duction . The kids loved it and the special shapes were a real treat. Maple candy, we learned, can be cooked too far past the syrup point, resulting in a scorched, cement-like ending . One batch was ruined and we grieved over it since so much effort had been necessary to reach that point and it seemed wasted . But we continued with the syrup production ­ collecting, cooking, eating, and gain­ ing more confidence and experience with each batch. In the end we be­ lieve our total to be around 5 gal­ lons of syrup, but we ate too much to have an accurate amount. But we do have jars of golden syrup on our pan­ try shelves, awaiting the winter months ... When I look back at all we did, I realize the many areas the children were exposed to - the "field trips," library visits, communications with

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40

experienced individuals (social skills), ratios, weights and measure­ ments, fractions, temperatures, re­ cycling and so much more . And I also remember thinking that had they been in school they might have missed a large amount of this as had I when I grew up. My family made maple syrup every sprin~, but due to my schoo l attendance was a passive observer and knew almost nothing more than that buckets hung on trees collecting sap and you cooked it and ate it ... FAMILY BACKPACKING TRIP

Penny Barker (OH) wrote: ... Our three-week backpacking trip in the Chisos Mountains of Texas was a wonderful experience for us all ... Waking very early in the morn­ ings and with no timepiece, we learned to tell the time by the exact position of the Big Dipper and Orion . We packed in our own food but did eat the pads and fruit from the prickly pear cactus and the pinon nuts from the pine trees . Our five-year-old, Jonah, became especially adept at get­ ting the fruit of the prickly pear with knife and pliers withou t getting the painful cactus hairs in his fing­ ers ... The children became very aware of the absence of water and what makes a desert a desert. They all re­ joiced when we found a mountain spring dripping water . By counting and filling a container they learned how to figure the flow rate of the water as well as a good deal about patience . Everyone was able to carry part of our gear. Jonah (5) and Ben (7) were able to carry 7-10 lb . packs, Dan (9) and Maggie (10) carried 15-18 lb . packs; Britt (15) carried about 25 lbs . and Richard and I were able to carry 35 to 50 lb. packs . Everyone realized how important their part of the load-carrying was to the entire group since items were divided up into groupings of use and the only in­ dividual items each carried was his washrag, toothbrush, and sleeping bag ... GROUP NATURE WALKS

Jean Tibbils (219 Harvard St, Cambridge MA 02139) wrote: ... Mary Maher (MA) said that you wanted to know what the response was to her article in GWS #37 about the home-schooling natural science class . We've had a new class going since April 3; it meets once a week. There are 17 children and adults in the class, and the kids are ages 3~, 6, 7, 8, 9, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14. ... The kids get along well and rtalky appreciate the social aspects o t e group, as do the parents . I thought that such a large group might scare off the wildlife, and it does, but this is compensated for by the extra eyes and ears for finding wild­ life in the first place. Most of the people keep some form of journal. I think the favorite activities so far (other than tree-climbing and picnick­ ing) have been rescuing goldfish trapped in trenches that are slowly drying out and looking at tiny pond animals through a $2 . 50 field micro­ scope . The goldfish are huge - one was 9" long. The group is large and only those individuals who stick right by me "get" everything, but I think this works out fine. I'd like to continue this next

year, but don't know how to publicize it. It costs each person less per hour than group art or music lessons, and eve r yone seems to love it ... FREE NATURE POSTERS From Linda Butler (UT):

... We picked up several great posters from a local office of the Forest Service. They're large and have pictures of fish, insects, flow­ ers, animals. They were all free, and the kids (3, l~) love them. Right now we just point out red bugs, blue bugs, ants, etc., but as they get old­ er they can learn their names if they so desire. If you don't live near an office, perhaps you could write to one in your state . They gave the kids a few Smokey the Bear trinkets and stickers which the kids liked, too ... SCIENCE THAT NEEDS DOING

These paragraphs from an article by Harvard biology professor Edward O. Wilson in Nature Conservancy News, 11/83, suggest the vast amou,t of true scientific research that still needs doing - and that home-schoolers might do: ... Think of scooping up a hand­ ful of soil and leaf litter and plac­ ing it on a white cloth - as a fie~d biologist would do - for closer exam­ ination. This unprepossessing lump contains more order and richness of structure, and particularly of his­ tory, than the entire surface of all the other (lifeless) planets . It is a miniature wilderness that would take almost forever to explore, should we c hoose to make the organisms in it the objects of serious biological study. . . . Most biologists estimate that there are between three and ten mil­ lion species of plants, animals, and microorganisms on Earth. But there are additional sound reasons, based on new data from tropi cal forests, to place the figure at closer to 30 mil­ lion. In fact, the exact number can­ not even be guessed because, incredi­ bly, most species have yet to be dis­ covered . Among those already classi­ fied, no more than a dozen have been studied in as much detail as the fruit fly, the horse, or maize . And experts are quick to point out that the biology of even these paradigms remains poorly explored. ... The accelerating destruction of natural habitats and the extinc­ tion of species is eliminating impor-

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t ant opportunities for future biologi ­ cal research . We are r apidly na r row ­ ing not only potential scientific k n owledge but also the commensura t e benefits these species migh t have f or the human race. To t ake a practica l exampl e, No r­ man Myers has estimated t h at soci ­ eties around the world use about 7,000 kinds of plants for food and have come to depend - to a frighte n­ ing degree - on about 15 hig hly domes ­ ticated forms . Yet at least 75 , 000 species exist that are edible, and even the relatively modest amount of research on plant diversity conducted thus far has revealed many among these that are potentially superior to the crop plants in prevalent use . .. [DR: 1 This last subject, in par­ ticular, is one that GWS readers can explore now. For a year or so I've been using Peterson's FIELD GUIDE TO EDIBLE WILD PLANTS to gather berries, nuts, leaves, roots, and even flowers to eat, and it's been fun and satisfy ­ ing . There are a number of regional field guides available to help you identify and prepare wild foods, which are not only to be found in woods and swamps, but alsv in cities and suburbs - probably even in your own lawn . "COMPUTERS IN ED ." CONFERENCE From Sheryl Schuff (IN):

. . . We attended a conference spon­ sored by the National Institute of Ed­ ucation (the research arm of the U. S . Dept . of Education) concerning the use of computers for education in the home. Stephen was invited by Tom Ascik (who learned of us through GWS) to participate in a panel discussion of parents explaining how they used computers with their children . All four of the panelists were involved in home-schooling to some degree. Mario Pagnoni (MA) was one of the pan­ elists . .. Although many of the attend­ ees were parents, few were there in that capacity . Most were "educators," "administrators," "policy-makers," and computer software publishers and vendors. The vendors publicly confirmed our thoughts that they write and sell software to make money. Their primary concern is not to produce a quality product; rather, one that will sell to the home market. They have packag­ ing and promotion down pat and are thoroughly insulting to parents as they maintain that we don't know what type of software we need and don't have the ability to evaluate what's available. Although they agreed that there was a need for more creative software and for software specifical­ ly designed for certain audiences, e . g. functional illiterates and the physically and/or emotionally handi­ capped, they were unanimous in their decisions not to commit their own money to these developments because they were certain not to show enough profit . The "educators" confirmed our worst fears of the school systems . They informed us that children are naturally inquisitive, creative, eag­ er to learn, UNTIL THEY ENTER SCHOOL . Then they must be "socialized," "edu-tained," grouped, labelled, and measured . There is neither the time nor the facilities to handle individu­ al learners' needs, styles, or abili­ ties. In the computer software area, they must use products that can be

plugged in, turned on , and used by eac h c h i l d i n his (fo r exa mple) 10- minu t e session a t the computer eac h we e k. Sof t ware that is ope n ­ e nd e d, c r ea t ive, lea rne r-d i r ec t ed is not a ppropr i ate for school use, they say . I t c a n , h owever, be used in a home set ting where c h i l dren have more time to pursue their interests with­ out regard t o t he cons t raints that are necessa r y (in their opi n ion) in school . Un i nt en t ionally, I ' m su r e, t hey buil t a very st r ong case for home - sc hooling. They also showed a great desire to control the educational compu t ing that takes place in the home . At least one " progressive" school dis­ trict is using i t s volume purchasing power to offer certain computers at attractive discounts to parents, but, in effect, limiting t heir c hoices of "acceptable" machines . And several parents r eported incidents of schools ' refusal to accept homework that had been prepared using a word processing program. Their excuse ­ the co mpu t er h ad DONE th e work , not t he child . Unbelievable. The pervasive tone of the confer­ ence was t hat "computer literacy" (however the school chooses to define it) is mandated and t hat the use of computers for educational purposes will so l ve all the current problems of t h e sc hool systems. We don't ag r ee with either of these ideas . As Stephen explained in his prepared remarks a t the conference, we view the computer as just another material which we have made available to our childre n. It is available when and IF they choose to use it ... We have trie d t o convey t he attitude tha t its use is no more or less importa n t t han their books, building blocks, paints, etc. Even though we both are computer professionals (we run a consulting business), we do not think that compu­ ter programming abi l ity is a neces­ sary or even important skill for our children t o master .. . TV: FOR AND AGAINST Joyce Kinmont, in her excellent magazine Tender Tutor (2770 S 1000 W, Perry UT 84 302; $9!yr) makes an inter­ esting pOint about television:

. , .Television, some say, robs the imagination . Television to most people means soap operas, MASH, and Home Box Office . There is very little of any real value on TV:-but what is good is really good, and it enhances, complements, or stimulates the imagin­ ation. For instance, when Ritchie watched a program on monorail trains, he came away with his own idea for designing a railroad system. When the childen and I read a book about a Mississippi steamboat pilot, nothing in our imaginations painted so vivid a picture as a television program about Mark Twain that we saw shortly thereafter . How can one possibly "imagine" the damages of a flood, the appearance of the Statue of Liberty, or the beauty of the Rose Parade from the written word . .. From Brenda Jinkins (TN): . . . Although we have homeschooled for four years, the last eight months without a TV have been the best . Our old color set just faded way, and we were all watching very little upon its last gasp. Then it just naturally followed, after recuperating from sur­

prising l y bad withdrawal symptoms, for us to do wi th ou t a TV indefi ni te­ ly . The emphasis on th i ngs rather than people, t he repetitive negative news, and t h e un iversal th emes on near l y all network pr ogramming of bot h emotional and philosophical cow­ ardice come clear t o us now wit h only occasional glimpses of the Great Time - Ea t er and Escape Machine .. . KIDS& MONEY From "What Nobody Else Will Tell Your Child About Money," McCall's magazine, 3/ 84:

... SAVINGS: ... As soon as a child s t arts to save and more t han quarters are at stake, a savings account s h ould be opened. But don ' t open the account for your child; take advantage of yout nFUl enthusiasm and involve your child in the procedure . Just obtain a Social Security number for him or her - application forms are avai l able a t many banks a nd thrifts - and go in together to open the account. Tell your child what ba nkin g is all about . Explain t hat banks pay interest on money for the privilege of using that money, just as people who borrow money pay inter­ est . Be sure to make it clea r tha t banks circulate mo ney, rather t han keeping it locked up . Otherwise your child may be horrified at withdrawing a five-dollar bill instead of the five ones that were deposited . (You should, of course, pe r mit withdraw­ als . If you don't, your child may become turned off to the whole idea of saving . ) Once a child can sign his name, he should be eligible to open a sav­ ings account. But ba nks set their own rules, and some - especially larger commercial ba nks - may turn young chi l dre n away . Ot hers impose sizable service charges on small accounts, charges that negate t h e interest . Look for an i n stitution - very like l y a savings and loan or a credit union - that welcomes children and has mini­ mal fees . At the Hi - Plains Teachers Credit Union in Plainville, Kansas, for instance, children are encouraged to come in and make their own depos­ its; dividends are entered in pass­ books in red so the child can clearly see the interest that has been earned . There ' s an annual raffle, too, with a ticket issued for each five dollars saved by depositors age 16 and under. And sma l l children are helped to count and wrap coins for their own accounts. Wherever your child saves, keep the account active, if only to record periodic interest, so that there's no risk of the money being turned over to the state. Note: Children should make out new Signature cards every few years to reflect their changing handwriting . CHECKING: .. . One father I know opens a checking account for his children as they reach age 12. He deposits money to cover the cost of school lunches, recreation and visits to the orthodontist. The children write the checks and - just as impor ­ tant - balance the checkbooks . Some parents try this approach with make­ believe checks, issued in lieu of spending money. The real thing, if you can arrange it, is even better . Here, too, credit unions are in the lead. At the Educational Employ­ ees Credit Union in Fort Worth, Texas, the Buckaroos is a savings group for 7-to-13-year-olds. Members

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up to age 11 get a t our of the credit union and some basic money-management lessons. 12- and 13- year - olds who deposit at least $25 get a free check­ ing account, together with an h our­ long training course on h ow t o write checks and balance a checkbook . ... Children of juni or -high­ school age can take over some of your bill-paying chores, by writing checks - for your Signature - for telephone or electric bills. The dollars - and­ cents figures, in fact, wi ll make them realiz e more than you coul d by l ec turing that such services cost real money . . I NVESTING: . .. Why not buy one or more shares of common stock fo r your child, in a company he's heard of, such as Toys "R" Us? 12-to-15-year­ olds might be even more interested in computer stocks. Owning just on e share entitles the chi ld to the quarterly and annual r epo rt s , and most children love to get mail i n their own name. You can also show them how to follow the stock's progress in the daily stock­ market tabl es. And dividends can be r ei nve s t e d so that statements wil l reflect regular additions to the account. . . . David Po l en, president of [a n ] investment-advisory firm . . . sug­ gests that a mutual fund is prefer ­ able to individual stocks as a learn­ ing experience . " One stock could turn out to be a supers t ock, " he notes, " or it could col l apse .. . " A mutual fund, on th e o th er hand, represents investment in a variety of stocks and, therefore, a solid foundation of investment experie nce . Wheth e r you choose individual stocks or mutual fu nd s , however, yo u'll find that a minor is not legal­ ly allowed t o buy securities. You can make the purchase for your child under the Uniform Gift to Minors Act in your state . It's an easy pro­ cedure, set up by any stockbroker ... Just remember that, even th ough you are the custodian, your child is th e legal owner of th e account and is entit l ed to the money when he or she r eaches legal age . CREDIT: A credit union in Topeka, Kan sas , has offered bicycle loans, at 8 percent, t o c h i ldren under 17. With a maximum loan of $200 - co-signed by parents, to be repaid in one year - the Ka nsas Credi t Union h o pes t o teach young people about mon­ ey management while building custom­ e rs for the future . .. The younges t r ec ipient so far is 3~ .. . TYPEWRITERS AT HOME...

From Peggy Ca rk eet (CA): ... 1 received GWS #38 r ece ntl y and read "'Writing to Read' is Work­ ing" a nd "Typewriter is Effective " and was inspired to uncover the 1920 (?) Underwood that I inhe r ited thi s year from my 98-year-old grandpa . I s howed it to Brent (4~), briefly explained how to load the paper, thumb space and loosen the paper . I th en got out ONE FISH, TWO FISH by Dr. Seuss and said, "Y ou might en joy practicing with this . " Bre nt normally is asleep by 8 or 9 PM . He sa t for three solid hours last night t yping out page after page from the book, then illustrating each sentence . In the morning he didn't want any breakfast, but we nt right t o work again in his underwear from 7 AM until 11 AM when I interfered a nd sug­ gested he ea t and t a ke a break. AND he is picking up words: a, fish,-red,

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40

dad. I've tried using large flash cards t o teach him t o read and he gets th oroughl y bored after about 10 minutes - quite a diff er ence from 3-4 hours. I've always heard how short a cnrra's a tt en ti on span is .. . From Jennifer Gemmel l in Tulsa: . . . Following John Ho lt's sugges­ tion, we b oug ht Trahern (4) a typ ewri­ ter for his birthday whi c h we casual­ l y left on the table in his r oom . Even tually he began asking the names of letters as he pecked a t th e ke ys and composed sentenc es to se nd to his grandmot her in Australia. Soon after ' that, Trahern began maki ng books whic h he illustrated wit h scenes from Star Wars, having me writ e the cap­ tions which he composed . Then he decided he could write the captions himself . At first h e h ad me write the letters on anot her piece of paper so he could copy them, but now I onl y have to spel l fo r h im as he has learned the en tire a lphabet. All this in the space of a few weeks a nd with­ out any initiative or effor t on my part ... Janet Roelle (MI) wrote: .. . 1 have been pl easan tly sur­ prised abou t using th e typewriter with Jason (6) . He had many ear infec­ tions as an infant and didn ' t talk between 15 months to three yea rs, and was not understandable when he did talk. He h as seen many specialists . If he were in sc hool he would have bee n in the " Lea rning Disabled" class and have more problems ( I have been encouraged by the lett e rs in GWS about L . D. , deafness, a nd Down's Syn­ drome) ... J, K, A were the same to him, as were P, B, C, E, D, G, T, V, Z . After spea king with a doctor in Speech Pathology a t th e Unive rsity of Michigan, who labels his problem as a Phonological Rule Disorder, I felt I co uld do what a n expensive therapist could do. Also, I could do it in com­ fortable surroundings wi th out the " somet hing is wrong wit h you" connota­ tion. Of course, I was told, "He may not coope r ate for yo u as we ll as a therapist since you are his mot her." Many people say thi s is a problem with home-schooling. Anyway, Jason works great a nd is proud that he can ~" the sounds now . He still has to conqu e r the belief he has that somet hing is wrong wit h him and he can't learn to r ea d. Back to the t ypewrit e r . He wants to type letters to mai l for freebies, so I t ell h im le tt e r by l ette r . He has to hear me correctly, th e n distin­ guis h the letter on the keyboard. This is not a speech drill to him and he is of t en surprised that ce rta i n wor d s begin with the lett er they do . Contrary to the s peec h therapi s t, I felt he also needed visual cues . On the typewriter he can write severa l words wi thout me spelli ng them. He is phonetically reading app r oxima tely

100 words . When he reads these words he says the " s " which he usually omits . He also works at "1" and "r" which are still n ot natural to him (deve lopmentall y , th ese two letters may not be correctly pronounced by any child until about 7) . . . . Since I removed Jason from the Pre-Primary Hear ing Impaired pro ­ gram, he has changed from an L.D. self - conscious, low-self-esteem, quiet, non-verbal child t o doing 1st-grade Miquon math, reading simple wo rds, and comfortably playing with any other boys a nd girls ... .. .AND AT SCHOOL

From a North Carolina reader: . .. 1 couldn't resist writing to you about the "Writing to Read " pro­ gram using IBM computers and type­ writers in kindergarten . My son was i nvolved in the pr ogram last year and it turned out to be far from what you d esc ribed in GWS #37 and 38 . First of a ll, hi s teacher did not like the pro­ gram a n d told everyone so . It was very regimented. There was very lit­ tl e freedom to writ e . There were 10 computer books that the children went through and had to memorize how to spell th e words before they were passed to the n ex t l evel . The c h i ld­ ren were very competitive to get through th ese books as quickly as possib l e . My son was very nervous the night before a t est and was one of the last in the class to finish Book 10 . He spe nt several sleep l ess nights afraid he could not learn to spell " unif orm . " Hi s best friend was one of th e top in th e class as far as finis h­ ing th e books went, but his mother also n oticed the competitiveness and worrying. The c h ildren did not like the type wr iters afte r the first month . The teacher mad e a large c h art of words for them to type. They did not know what words the y we re typing . They were copying' They co uld type their own words but few did. While hel ping ou t on e day, I had to keep reminding the chi l dren to type . They would quit and just sit there ... We have a typewriter at home and my son likes t o typ e at h ome . The " Writing to Read" program is famous for th e phonetic stories the c h i ldren write. My son never wrote a story . He did wri t e a few se nt ences the last two weeks of school . Some children did writ e stories, but cer ­ tainly not a ll students . My son felt very dumb in this program . He ha s now finished first grade using a basal reading program and scored in the 75th percentile on achievement tests, so he isn't dumb. Next year, I under­ stand rne-5c hool system will use another reading program called " Suc­ cess." This will be h is third year in sc hool and the third reading program. Usi ng the "Writ ing to Read" pro­ g r am t ook a l ot of time . They worked two hour s a day with the program in a l ab. They did not have time for tra­ ditional kindergarten activities and

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my son missed out on a lot of fun things. I think this is a prime example of a good program that doesn't work in the public schools. It would be good for home schoolers since you would remove the competitiveness and just let them type when they wanted .. . JESSE BECOMES A WRITER

Susan Richman (PA) wrote i n the Western Pa. Homeschoolers #8: . . . Over the past half year, Jesse (6) has become a writer . Those of you who've received our W. PA Children's Magazine have reaa-some of h~s stories and poems - these were all dictated, as at the time they were composed Jesse's knowledge of encoding written language was very sparse, and forming letters was slow, exacting work. For him to have writ­ ten out his own pieces then would hav e been akin to us, as adults, hav­ ing to carve our words in marble, with dull c hisel s at that - a pretty arduous task . Jesse dabbled some with our electric typewriter, enjoying pre­ tending to be typing fast, enjoying typing small parts of letters he'd dictated to his "Mother/Scribe . " He was completely dependent, though, on copying my written out correct spell­ ings of words he needed . Early on he wanted his spellings to be high~ . I ' d read in GWS about children app~ly "sound spelling" when they began to write on their own, and wo ndered if Jesse would ever take off in this way. I thought for a good while that his temperament was just averse to the idea. That has now all cha nged . A bit of chronology may help put his growing in perspective ... In Sep­ t ember '8 3, we began a few small rou­ tines that proved helpful and eventu­ ally led up to sound-spelling. Jesse and I decided that he would write out the whole alphabet each month, upper and lower case, for display in our living room. He understood that we'd be keeping these handwriting samples in our portfolio of work that we show t o our school district periodically . September's alphabet was a tortuous affair . Jesse hadn't written much over the summer, and hi s letters were wobbly, awkward, uncomfortable for him to form. He was also severely critical of his work, would cut out any "wrong" letters a nd tape on a new piece of paper - the whole alphabet was a twisting segmented crumple. He kept at the job, though - th e task had become self-chosen . Then sometime that month Jesse was hanging about the kitchen table while I was cooking supper . I laid down a sheet of blank paper and sug­ gested that he write something, any­ thing at all, just write . He began, and by th e time the stew was ready to serve he'd proudly wr itt en ou t sever­ al lines of wobbly print. He wrote only disconnected words , "safe" words that he was sure he knew how to spell (Mommy, Daddy, etc.) . From that night on, he wrote almost daily, and I felt progress was happening. He was growing physically more comfortable with pencil and paper, he was writing out lots more each day, he seemed pleased witn-wKat he was doing. Oddly, he decided that he would just keep rewriting what he'd written the daY-before, maybe adding a new line, even slowly begin­ ning to put his separate words into little sentences ("cat sat Daddy" became "the cat sat on top of Dad­ dy"). There was some movement going

on, but I could see that Jesse was grinding deeper into his rut of only using correct spellings, and so limit­ ing terribly what he might say . He wou l d occasionally snap, when I urged him to perhaps write something new as it was getting a bit boring forime to just read the same thing over and over every day, "But I'm trying to learn all these words first before go on to any others'" Writ~ng was becoming mechanical for him - he was seeing it as an exercise in penman­ ship and correct spelling. He still did it willingly and with interest, proud of his growing ease, but I was becoming distressed that he was not seeing writing as a communication tool any more. I knew, too, that his plan to learn each word perfectly before going on to others was a doomed one - too limiting, too slow. Think how stunted our oral vocabular­ ies would be if we had tried that tactic at age 2' Our break-through came when my husband and I both read a book by George Riemer, HOW THEY MURDERED THE SECOND "R" (W . W. Norton, 1969). Among other things, the book strongly advo­ cates using some way of simplifying the sound/spelling correspondences in English for beginning writers, feel­ ing our unreliable language is " a hell of a trick to play on a ~ittle kid." The book is full of wonderful examples of genuine writing done by 6-7 year old children who felt unen­ cumbered by the onus of spelling cor­ rectly. These chi ldren wrote whatever they could ~, their wri tten vocabu­ laries were not limited by what select batch of short-vowel words they had just been doled out in read­ ing or spelling class. The book in many ways supports the ideas in Glenda Bissex's wonderful book GNYS AT WRK (Ge nius at Work), available f rom John Holt's Book Store, which describes the author's son's develop­ ment in writing and reading through his invented spellings. Jesse, unlike Bissex's son Paul, didn't come up with the idea of inventive spellings on his own - h e had apparently never thought of it. To Jesse, spellings were "givens," something you copied and eventually just knew. They came from the outside-in, not the inside­ out . Je sse finally understood and took to heart the idea of "sound­ spelling" when Howard had Jesse's favorite puppet, Monkey, begin to "s ou nd-spell" messages a nd questions to Jesse .. . Jesse began writing lit­ tle s tatements and replies t o Monkey, sound-spelling "becau se Monkey would find it easier to read." The playful situation made it possible for Jesse to not worry about correctness. Howa rd also wrote out a vowel chart for Jesse (he knew sounds of most con­ sonants fairly well), using basically the " Unifon" simplified spelling sys­ tem (where all long vowels are writ­ ten ae, ee, ie, oe, ue, each sound getting only one spelling pattern) . I also was reading Jesse parts of HOW THEY MURDERED THE SECOND "R" a loud, and that also seemed to give him con­ fidence in this new approach . He could readily tell which writings from the book were done by the inven­ tive spellers and which were done by the "Dick and Jane" group - the lat­ ter were stilted and chopped, not at all the natural voices of children. Within a month Jesse was writing whole little stories. He was also using written language for real pur­ pos es - little notes to Howard ("Doet feel BADLee DADDY love Jesse I wil not teez yoo Tunite"), signs on block

buildings or drawings ("Dun Bie Jesse") . In the beginning writing was incredibly hard work. Jesse would at times burst into frustrated tears when I couldn't make out what he'd written, or sometimes he'd be unable to remember what word it was he was writing as he was so buried in dis­ secting the smaller sounds within the word . I, too, had a lot of patience to learn . I had to learn not to ques­ tion or correct his spellings, but just try to do the best I could to understand his meanings. A quote from the SECOND "R" helped me out here: Parents are so permissive about a baby's beginning speech that they hear mama and dada when he's merely clearing his throat. They'd never insist that their baby pronounce their first and last names fully and clearly or even mo-ther or fa-ther . But they see no parallel importance in a child's first wri­ tings and they pick and nag at his spellings . .. ... Just as usually a sensitive parent is the best person to under­ stand a toddler's beginning spoken language, so too we're the ones most likely to be able to decipher the first rough written words . We know the context of our children's thoughts so well that we 're more like ­ ly to be able t o predict their mean­ ings. Jesse needed me to be near, phys ­ ically, while he wrote during his ear ­ ly spurt. He would need to ask me for sounds he didn't know (I was sur­ prised how often sh, th, ch, ou ­ " harder" sounds wehaan'tworKe"d on much before - came up). He needed me to reread his wri ting aloud for him, as at that point he couldn't always read back wh at he'd written . . . I was pleased he would ~ any word a t all, long words with several syllables, anything. All words were his. My mother wondered over Christ ­ mas, while delightedly reading Jesse's little note that began "Hie Grammo," when Jesse might ever l earn to spell correctly . .. As Bissex noted with her son, there is clearly no danger of Jesse developing "bad hab­ its," as his spellings are thoug ht out new each time he meets a word; he is not merely repeating marks on paper that he made once before. Also, Jesse is very aware that he is moving towards "REAL" spelling, and knows that certain situations (addresses on envelopes, for instance) are inappro­ priate places for invented spellings . We've read children's books on the history of our language, and this has helped him understand the somewhat snarled, though rich, roots of Eng­ lish, and so why we have so many odd spellings. ... He usually pronounces th as something close to z, and so in-his early writings he ' d- happily write ZN for "then." He's now aware of this difference; ind eed at times he's ove r-compe nsat ed, once correcting his ~("was") to WUTH . He also did what John Holt mentioned in an old GWS ­ spontaneously wrote CHRAEN for "train," a nd indeed this is closer to wha t most of us do say' Jesse is no-ronger terribly touchy about his writing. His hand­ writing has even improved greatly, a nd more lower-case letters are proud ­ ly sprinkled through his capitals. He needs no reminding about spaces between words, h e 's gaining rudimen­ tary knowledge of what sentences are a nd how we punctuate them ( he LOVES exc lamation points'), and can take

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40


19 low-key questions about sounds he may have left out of a word, in mature stride. He writes almost daily, and no longer needs me nearby when he writes, even seems to be savoring now the privacy of the writing act. We discuss writing a lot, everything from "writer's block" to needs for editing and proofreading for adults' writing {he sees ~ rough dra~ to how writers come up with ideas or how writers borrow and change others' ideas, to why most young kids in schools don't write much (Jesse was astounded to discover our 9-year-old neighbor clearly felt copyin~ an en­ cyclopedia article was " writing "). And Jesse has gone from writing "CAT SAT DADDY" to "Win cats ar siting dan thae git a rool 10k" (when cats are sitting down they get a royal look). Why, my wooden-sword-loving son even now loves the old saying, "The pen is mightier than the sword." ...

A WRITING CLUB Daniel Fitzgerald (CO) sent this clipping from a local paper: . .. A group of enterprising young­ sters in south Greeley have spent their summer days producing news­ papers, comics, books, plays, and poems . The group - a semi-secret club that calls itself COMICS - meets regu­ larly in the bedroom of Shawn Oster: "We have TV tra ys set up for every­ body to work. Some of us draw car­ toons and some write . We have panels between us so nobody can take the other guy's ideas or stories ." In addition to 10-year-old Shawn, the members of COMICS include his sister Shana Oster, 13, Justine Fitzgerald, 11, and her sister, Sara, 8 ... Shawn and Justine are the lead­ ers of COMICS, but all members have important tasks: - There are two family news­ papers, published on an irregular basis. Dubbed Family Edition, the newspapers contain stories, poems, sports, illustrations, comic strips, puzzles and want ads . "We sell them for five cents," Sara said . "If no­ body buys them, we'll give them away. If people start buying the papers, we might raise the price to 6 or 7 cents." The front stories involve fam ­ ily happenings, such as the unfortu­ nate death of Harry the cat. Editori­ als hit on topics of cleaning one's room or family responsibilities. The want ads include such notes as "Lost: mom's black thread . Reward - 2 cents" and "Jobs: Cleaning the kitchen and bedroom. Pay is voluntary." - Justine is writing her own adventure novel, which currently is untitled. However, it does have 17 chapters, all typewritten. Justine said she learned to type when she was 8 years old . The story involves "t wo kids who go into a cave and find a strange wor ld." She is illustrating the story herself. "That 's what I'd like to do when I grow up . Write adventure stories and illustrate them myself." - In a small, brown briefcase, Shawn carries a number of cartoons he has drawn. The characters have strange names: Buzler, Big Cheeks, Lard, Ta, Star Sight a nd Psycho Jack­ son ("brother of Michael Jackson"). Completely businesslike, Shawn took his briefcase to Th e Tribune in an effort to sell "or even give away free" his comic strip. Although he was turned down, he's still optimis­ ti c about his future : "I'd like to be

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40

a professional cartoonist someday, and draw a cartoon strip like ' Gar­ field.' . .. " - Shana wrote a 10-page play titled "The Princesses," and is cur­ rently working on other stories. "I like to write about kings and queens and princesses the best," she said . "The play is about a boy in search of three princesses and the adventures he has trying to find them." The members of COMICS still ride their bicycles and run through the lawn sprinklers in the summer, but they also devote much of their time to the writing projects. "We try to work on them every day," Shawn said ... [DR:

1

the letters looked like as long as we could read his work and it was spelled correctly. He is slowly begin ­ ning to realize that we mean it and will not become angry with him or make a federal case out of every lit ­ tle mistake - so what if his letter "t" in the word "cat" is leaning slight l y or his number 10 has the 1 smaller than the zero? . . After a week and half at home, being constantly assured that there is nothing wrong with him and that he is far from stupid, he is beginning to lose the whipped-dog expression on his face and actually smile and laugh again. He is slowly becoming the bright, inquisitive little boy he was back in September ...

Dan also wrote to us:

. . . Justine and Sara have been homeschooling all this past year and the experience has only gotten better instead of worse . Now that it is sum­ mer, kids from all around the neigh­ borhood come calling for the girls. Justine has formed a club that has four members. Then, they were asked to join the COMICS club . And, they were both asked to join still another club run by another group of kids I don't even know yet but wh o are in their summer recreation group at the campus. They have been in 4-H and have played on the volleyball team, plus they are in the middle of their softball season ... They both can now hit, catch, know a nd interpret the rules, throw, etc . Their days are filled with activity and they seem quite happy . In one month I must return to work after being on a two-year educa­ tional leave . We will all be in Osan, Korea, where I'll be teaching elemen­ tary school .. . I don't know what the future of our home schooling endeavor will be . But, I know that this past year has been one of great adventure, much real learning, and a sense of rich fulfillment . . .

OVERCOMING SCHOOL EFFECTS From Vermont: ... We have pulled our 7-year-old son out of school .. . He reached the point where he would sit and blankly stare at a piece of work placed before him, all the while softly re­ peating over and over, almost as if he was in a hypnotic state, "I AM DUMB." The first time I witnessed this, I was stunned, completely speechless . It was not so much that it was a shock (which, of course, it was) but the expression of utter hope­ lessness that was on his face - and what was really the crux of the mat­ ter was, he knew the material. He proved it to-nrmself this Friday whe n he breezed through the same page of work here at home. The only differ­ ence is that he knows we will not find fault with every little thing that might be wrong. .. The teacher had been hammering o n such asinine things like, his let­ ter O's are round, not oval in shape; some of his letters do not a lway s touch the line; etc, etc . The first time I gave him some vocabulary words to write, he took over 22 minutes to write 9 or 10 words . It was write two letters, erase; write one letter, erase; he was a nervous wreck by the time he got it done and had it (what he considered) acceptable. We ex­ plained to him that in our "home school," we didn't want erasing every 10 seconds; that we didn ' t care what

MORE INFO ON WRITING CONTESTS From the brochure of the YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL (GWS #38) : ... Have you ever dreamed of becoming a writer? The Foundation of The Dramatists Guild invites you to participate in the annual playwriting festival open to young people aged 18 and under . The selected plays will receive fully professional produc­ tions in New York City . The authors will be given one year 's membership in The Dramatists Guild, America's organization for professional play­ wrights, and an opportunity to attend and contribute to the rehearsal pro­ cess; they will also receive a royal­ ty. Entries must be submitted no later than July 1 . Receipt of plays will be acknowledged. Participants wil l receive written evaluations of their work , but scripts wi ll not be returned. Some points to remember: - In plays, the story is told through speech and action rather than just description. Avoid using a narra ­ tor, if possible. - Stage directions are useful, but don't overdo them . - Avoid too many characters - we suggest that you try to limit the num ­ ber of actors required to no more than nine or ten. This will facili­ tate casting. - In the theater, unlike film or television, you cannot switch easily from one elaborate setting to anoth ­ er . Keep in mind that whate ver you write has to be acted out on a stage in front of an audience. - Have a look at a printed play ­ script to see the way you put things on the page. Her e ' s what to do: The choice of subject, style, form and length is up to you . Collab­ orations and group written plays are eligible . - Scripts must be entirely wri t­ ten by one or more peop l e wh o are under the age of 19 ...

~~O'~~OB~

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20 - Scripts must be typed and securely bound . - Submit a copy of your play and keep the original at home .. . - Plays submitted to previous Young Playwrights Festivals are not eligible. - Film scripts, screenplays and musicals are not eligible, nor are adaptations of other authors' work . - On the title page of your play, please list your name, date of birth, address and telephone number. You may be asked at some point to sub­ mit proof of age. - Send a copy of your typed manu­ script by July 1 to Young Playwrights Festival, The Foundation of The Drama­ tists Guild, 234 W 44 St, New York NY 10036 .. .. Eleven plays by writers aged 12 to 18 will be pres e nted ... [A quote from Jas on Brown, 12, a 1984 winner): "I decided to wri te about something I knew about, reali­ ty. So I just wrote about my parents' divorce . The hardest part in writing it was editing. My mom helped me a little by telling me to write eac h sentence like I was sending a tele­ gram to London and each word cost a dollar . " ... The Young Playwrights Festi ­ val is made possible in part by a grant from Exxon Corporation . Support has also been provided by a number of corporations, foundations, and indiv­ iduals ... [ DR: Edith Oliver reviewed this year's festival in th e May 21 New Yorker; she particularly liked-one ~"Fixed Up " by 16-year-old Patricia Durkin, and said it was "so funny and ring s so true that it can be considered a finis hed piece of work and sent on its way."l A letter from Avon Publishers: ... Thank you for your inquiry about the 1985 Avon/Flare Young Adult Novel Competition. Here are the sub­ mission requirements and prize infor­ mation: You are eligible to submit a man­ uscript if you will be no younger than 13 and no older than 18 years of age as of December 31 , 1984. Each manuscript s hould be approx­ imately 125 to 200 pages, or about 30,000 to 50,000 words (based on 250 words per page). All manuscripts must be typed, double-spaced, on a s ingle side of the page only . Be sure to keep a copy . . . With your ma nu scrip t, please enclose a letter that includes your name, address, telephone number, age, and a short description of your nove l. Also enclose the following: 1. A se lf-addresse d, stamped postcard so that we can let you know we have received your submission . 2 . A self - add r essed, s tamped envelope for return of manuscript . 3 . A se lf-add r essed , stamped postcard for us to notify you of the winner (optional). .. . If you win this competition, your n ove l will be published by Avon/ Flare for an advance of $5 ,000 against royalties. A parent or guardi­ an's signature ( consent) will be re­ quired on your publishing contract ... We will accept completed manu­ scripts f rom Januarr 1 throu~h August 31, 1985, at the to l owing a dress: Avon/Flare Novel Competition, Avon Books, 1790 Broadway, Room 1204, New York NY 10019 . If you have any fur­ ther questions, please wr ite or call us (212-399-1384) ...

[DR: 1 More writing contests for

young people [GWS #38l, these f70m a

book called HOW TO ENTER AND WIN FIC ­

TION WRITING CONTESTS by Alan Gadney

(Facts on File Publications, NY NY):

YOUTH MAGAZINE CREATIVE ARTS AWARDS, 1 32 W 31st St, New York NY 10001. Open to U.S . youth age 13 - 19 . Categories : Short Story, Poetry, Play. Winners published in Youth Maga­ zine (1505 Race St, Rm 1203, Philadel­ ph ia PA 19102; 215-568-3950). Dead­ line May. SCHOLASTIC WRITING AWARDS, 50 W 44t h St, NY NY 10036. Open to US & Canadian students (public or non­ public school) under 20, Grades 7-12. Categories: Short Story, Poetry, Script - Play . Cash and scholarship awar ds $10-500, also typewriters, Papermate products . Deadline February. SEVENTEEN'S ANNUAL FICTION CON­ TEST, 850 Third Av, NY NY 10022; 212-759-8100 . U. S. Ages 1 3-20. Awards $50-$500. Deadline June . MORE MAGAZINES BY CHILDREN

· .. I ' ve found another "magazine that would be helpful in giving our home sc hoolers a c ha n ce at being pub­ lished [GWS #38, "Magazines Seek Chil­ dren's Work"l. It's called Young Peo­ ~ Tciday. The magazine is written, eaTle and published by young people under 20 years of age, who are also responsible for layout, illustrations and photography. In the copy I got they said, " Other young people, to the age of 20, are encouraged to use this communicable vehicle for free expression, be it through creative writing, creative art, research, an opinion, the sharing of an experi­ ence, humor, or any other form desired." They stated that " contribu­ tors have been remunerated for their works, when published." Their address is PO Box 19438, Los Angeles CA 90010-9990; phone 213-487-4154. JOHN BOSTON (CA). · . . A magazine by and for child­ ren - writing of all kinds and line drawings - McGuffe~ Writer, 400 McGuf­ fey Hall, M~ami Un~versity, Oxford OH 45056. $5/year subscription (3 issues), 12 pages per issue. Through 8th grade . - LYNNE NORRIS (IN) . LEARNING TO LOVE BOOKS Judy Cornell (FL) wrote to John:

· . . Until about age 32, I hated reading books. I can recall loving to go to the library in elementary school and checking out books with pretty pictures on the smooth, cello­ phane covers. I would come home eager­ ly anticipating an exciting experi­ ence and become discouraged after re a ding and not find i ng it interest­ ing. Being a s l ow, word-for-word read­ er, if the book moved slowly with much description, I became bored . What changed my whole outlook (and my lif e) was an article you wrote about a conversation with your sister for Redbook Ma~azine in 1967 ["How Teachers Make C ilctren Hate Reading," reprinted in THE UNDER­ ACHIEVING SCHOOLl . I realized then that I believed there was something wrong with me if I couldn't finish a book and not that the book didn't interest me. Consequently, this guilt feeling k e pt me from trying another until I finished the first which I never did. When I realized this after read­

ing your article, I decided to start a reading program . I would ask my friends about their favorite books and why they liked them. Then, if it seemed like something I'd enjoy, I'd begin it and as you suggested, if I didn't care about the characters after thirty pages or so, I'd forget it and not feel guilty. I ' ll never forget my first attempt: THE EXORCIST. I couldn't put it down and since then I've become an avid reader . I must li mit my reading only because there are not enough hours i n the day ... My life changed so much that I went on to get a degree in English Education ... HISTORY THROUGH FICTION A California reader wrote:

... This month our evening read­ ing is LORNA DOONE - a very enjoyable and humorous old classic - and I'm filling in on the side with the his­ tory of the Stuarts and their descen­ dants ... I became interested in his­ tory (and it turned into a lifelong passion) through reading historical novels as a teenager and am convinced now that a good way of teaching child­ ren is to read a rousing good story of a historical period, and fil l in the dates and other data on the side. while reading A TALE OF TWO CITIES, I also read selections from Carlyle's FRENCH REVOLUTION and a biography of Louis and Marie Antoinette, and the children were ~ascinated ... SCULPTURE CATALOG From Albert Hobart (MO):

... Have you ever told your read­ ers about SCULPTURE HOUSE? It sells by mail the most complete array of sculpture tools and materials I've seen anywhere. (I used to be a sculp­ tor, so I've always had an interest in this sort of thing.) For example, the catalog li sts a wide variety of high quality wood carving chisels and mallets, ston e carving sets, clay mod­ e ling tools, scrapers, knives, hand­ made files, waxes, plasters and cast­ i ng stones, armatures, molding making aids , potters supplies, sculpture stands, and even kilns. Home schoolers, especially, might appreciate the many varieties of modeling clays. One type my son (14) enjoys is "Boneware, " a water­ based clay which hardens into perma­ nent form wit hout firing. There are two colors, gray and terra cotta. The 25 lb . package we ordered three years ago cost $16, and we still have some left. A little goes a long way. There's no charge for the Sculp­ ture House catalog which is easy to read and includes numerous illustra­ tions. Here's the address: 38 E 30th St, NY NY 10016; 212 -679 -7474 ... TE XTBOOK CATALOGS Way back in GWS #15, I said there didn't seem to be any easy way of buying textbooks through the mail - you had to write to individual pub­ lishers, of which there are dozens. Finally we have heard of some compan­ ies that sell a wide selection of texts, new and used, from many pub­ lishers. First is WILCOX & FOLLETT BOOK CO., 1000 W Washington Blvd, Chicago IL 60607; toll-free no. 1-800-621­ 4272 (in Illinois 1-800-621-1474).

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40


21

The 144-page free catalog lists hun­ dreds of books, classified by sub­ ject, most $5 or less, and almost all under $10. Only problem I see is that you only have the titles to judge by. Second is ADAMS BOOK CO., 537 Sackett St, Brooklyn NY 11217; 1-800­ 221-0909 . Be prepared to give name of your school. At press time we are still waiting for the catalog, which Nancy Fletcher of Florida says has "a broad selection of new and used and also has paperbacks and workbooks." By the way, neither Nancy Fletch­ er nor Deborah Schwabach, who in GWS 16 and 17 offered low-cost used texts to GWS readers, is providing that ser­ vice any longer. Deborah said she sold (or in some cases gave away) around 1500-2000 books through that GWS story' The Home Centered Learnin~ news­ letter {CAl lists a third cata og: "TEXTBOOKS FOR CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS - A comprehensive catalog for those inter­ ested in Christian-based curriculum . BOB JONES UNIVERSITY PRESS, Green­ ville SC 29614." - DR ON SUZUKI INSTRUCTION James Salisbury (PO Box 2261, Twin Falls ID 83303) wrote:

... Isn't it funny how so many music teachers who call themselves "Suzuki Teachers" have never read the writings of Shinichi Suzuki? .. I appreciate the frequent references to Suzuki methodology in GWS, but it is unfortunate that self-proclaimed pro­ ponents of Suzuki philosophy so badly misrepresent it. John told me once that the same thing has happened to the teachings of Maria Montessori; practices in "Montessori Schools" sel­ dom comply with her inspired respect for the mind of the child. Dr . Suzuki not only revolution­ ized music instruction but has lab­ ored diligently to reform education to comply with the natural ability of the child to learn all things from math to foreign languages, in the same way that the child learns his mother tongue. These principles are simple and need only to be reawakened in all of us ... not studied like a complicated methodology to be taken as a college course' The best Suzuki teachers are fine self-disciplined, genuinely loving musicians who have mastered their instrument, and lov­ ing, teachable parents who simply pro­ vide a home where beautiful, simple music is as common to the home envir­ onment as is the native language; cas­ ual but constant, always encouraging and never, never, never, NEVER forced' "TO FORCE THE CURRICULUM IS TO PRODUCE THE DROPOUT . " This is the heart of the Shinichi Suzuki philoso­ phy and there is no axiom of educa­ tion, or life, that is more true. Nor did it begin with Dr. Suzuki. Show me a virtuoso musician prodigy and you will see someone from a musical home where the instrument was loved and accessible, but not forced as every­ one believes . Yes, for over 12 years I, too, have tried to live up to the title of Suzuki teacher. Naturally I think it would be nice if my three children would become fine musicians. But I would just as soon they became fine, honest plumbers, sailors, doctors, sCientists, beekeepers . In the mean­ time, my children happen to love to play the violin, the piano, the recor­ der, and can't wait to get their hands on my flute, my clarinet, or my trumpet. I don't give them lessons

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40

until they beg for them. They may not practice unless they have "been good." They like their music precise­ ly because it is not forced. They want to play the piano because they see a couple of dozen other eager children come over for lessons for which their parents have paid dearly, and because they see how much I love to play the piano . They also see how much I love to play the violin and the clarinet. (I'm terri­ ble at the violin and the clarinet but they sense how much I yearn to do it . ) So they beg me daily to let them get out the little 10th sized instru­ ment and "practice" (this is not a dreaded word at our house). We put the instrument away before they lose interest and they lo~ward to the next session. ... When a parent brings their child to begin lessons, the hardest task is to carefully nurture the par­ ent to be loving, to joyfully play the beautiful recorded music in the home, and not to force the curricu­ lum. I do not teach the child in the common sense . I show him, I love him, I encourage him. He listens inadver­ tently, then curiously. His mother (usually) and I show him how to sit (when he is ready), how and where to put his fingers (when he is ready), and without exception, he teaches him­ self . Suzuki teachers, like public school teachers, are deluding them­ selves if they think teaching, in itself, is a "professional" technical undertaking. . . . Glenn Doman says, "The man to whom information comes in dreary tasks along with threats of punish­ ment is unlikely to be a student in after years, while those to whom it comes in natural forms, at the proper times, are likely to continue through life that self-instruction begun in youth." .. . One more misconception about the Suzuki method needs to be correct­ ed. A person does not need to be under five to be a-gQod Suzuki stu­ dent' When Masaru Ibuka, friend of Suzuki and President of Sony Inter­ national, said "Kindergarten Is Too Late" (the title of his excellent book), he only meant, as John Holt almost identically said in THE UNDER­ ACHIEVING SCHOOL, that every child, before his first day of school, "is smarter, more curious, less afraid of what he doesn't know, better at find­ ing and figuring things out, more con­ fident, resourceful, persistent, and independent, than he will ever again be ... for the rest of his life." .. . But Ibuka does not argue with John's insistence that, if you really want to learn something, it's really "Never Too Late . " ... The hunger for knowledge may be clouded over by so many years of formal schooling, but is seldom totally damaged . . . CHANGIN G MU SIC TEACH ERS From a Maine reader:

Dec. 27 - I have been wanting to write to you for help with the Suzuki program that my son (4) and I are now in . We are encouraged to force our kids to practice, stickers are given out for certain numbers of hours of practice per week, and for performing in certain ways during class. I do not force or pressure my son to practice and I've made it clear to him that if he wants to earn stickers it's totally up to him - I don't care one way or another. I con­ tinue to pursue my own violin and

piano study with great pleasure and he loves going to violin, watching the other children play and dreaming of his own future in the group. My fear is that the competition and the "do-it-for-a-gold-star" fever will infect him and rob him of his own ini­ tiative and motivation in studying anything. Do you have any ideas about th~s? I badly need reassurance and support. I feel quite alone in my beliefs and attitude toward practice and discipline ... [DR: 1 We sent a copy of this let­ ter to James Salisbury, who sent the parent many of the same thoughts as appear in his article in this issue. The reader then wrote us: Feb . 8 - Eight million thanks for forwarding my desperate little note to James Salisbury. The support­ ive letter he sent me was tremendous . I was beginning to think that John Holt and I were the only people in the world who believe that children can direct their own learning in music as in other areas. And to be honest, I thought maybe he and I were whong . Music is so important to me t at I don't want to be wrong about it - don't want to ruin it for my son . Now there's a third person' Three of us can't be totally off our rockers . I wrote back to James with some more specific questions about how to handle the stars and general lack of faith in the program we are in . I am considering looking for another teacher . . . June 25 - We have left the Suzu­ ki program we were in. Shortly after the supportive letter from James, I decided this would be our last year ­ even if my son wanted to stay in the program (although he showed signs of being unhappy while there), I was too unhappy to stay. A few weeks - after I made that decision, my son said he'd had it, and we dropped out abruptly but with great relief ... The poor kid really believed, and I think still somewhat believes, and worse yet I somewhat believed, that a person has to put up with that sort of denigra­ tion and disrespect to learn to play an instrument. He declared that al­ though he wanted to ~ the violin, he'd had it with stuoyrng the violin. Fine, I said . I found another teacher and decided to make very clear what my values were before my son got in­ volved. I sa~t I was interested in studying violin for myself, wheth­ er or not my son ever takes an inter­ est again. I said that I did not want to proceed with any lessons for my son until he asked for them {got this

Ability

OcvclopmclltM

through the use of

Records, Cassettes, Books, Music, Accessories, and the Suzuki method.

Standard student repertoire

on records and cassettes

Publisher of Senzay®Editions

Write for free catalog.

Athens. Ohio 45701·4260 U.S.A.


22 tip from James). And I asked her about practicing. She said that she thought rewards were necessary, but that she respected however parents wanted to handle it, that she under ­ stood every family and every child had a different balance to their interests and that she felt it was important to respect that . And final­ ly she said that enjoyment was the most important thing. It sounded to both of us like we would get along, so I am studying with her and loving it. My son so far has not wanted to go with me - he gets out his violin every so often and polishes it and plays around with i t, but I think his other teaching experience makes him leery of accom­ panying me. I am hoping to be able to play with my new teacher ' s group play ­ ing class in the fall. I think I'll be the only adult' This is very excit­ ing to me. That's where we are with music. At first I was quite angry that my son had developed negative feelings about studying an instrument t h rough poor teaching, but now I see it as a valuable learning experience with our own son, about children being in charge of their own education, and will be most hesitant to compromise our philosophy in the future .. . THRILLED WITH VIOLIN . .. We got our violin [from Holt Associates ] and we're thrilled with it . The tone is beautiful . We've only had it five day s but between the four of us we've already produced one of the following: a pretty-close scale, a pretty good phrase from a favorite tune, and an excel lent squeaking door . We think there's even violin on Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album . Onward and upward' - MARY STONE (OR). MUSIC LESSONS ON TAPE From the Black Sheer Review, a magazine on Northeast fo k music:

. . . There is an enormous wealth of traditional music in this country, and short of having a professional t eac her come right into your living room for a private lesson, Happy Traum's HOMESPUN TAPES just might be the best way for the budding musician to learn the real thing . The tapes are clear, informal and fun ... The teaching programs range from the basics on each instrument to some very ornate pieces, and each tape is accompanied by an instruction book written either in tablature or stan­ dard musical notation. Tapes for be­ ginners are explici t in telling the novice player exactly where the fing­ ers go, how to hold the instrument, and what kind of tone production to aim for ... "When selecting teachers, I talk to them first," [Traum] says. "Some musicians may be excellent perfor­ mers, but may not be able to express themselves. I have to choose people who can t a lk and can analyze their playing. It ' s not always easy for musicians to do that because a lot of them play spontaneously . .. I sit with the instructors, ask them questions, and organize their material for them so it comes out being very lucid . " Today, Homespun offers about 275 individual lessons taught by over thirty artists ... The latest brain­ storm at Homespu n Tapes is Homespun Video Tapes .. .

[DR:] We got Homespun Tapes' free catalog, which is available from Box 694, Woodstock NY 12498 . It lists lessons for: guitar (many styles), electric guitar, acoustic bass, elec­ tric bass, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, hammer dulcimer, Appalachian dulci­ mer, harmonica, piano , autoharp, mouth harp, pennywhistle, and ear training . Some of the more famous teachers are Merle Watson, Mike Seeg­ er, John Sebastian, and Jean Ritchie. A single cassette lesson with supple­ mental printed material costs $12 . 95; a series of three, $32.50; of six, $65 (reel-to-reel tapes available) . HOME SCHOOLING BOOK HERE ANYTHING SCHOOL CAN DO, YOU CAN DO BETTER, by Ma~re Mu l larney <$5.95 + post). Here is another delightful book on home schooling, from Ireland, by a GWS reader who taught all of her own children at home until they were eight or nine (and later wished that s he had taught them at home a lot longer). I hope it will not be long till I meet Maire Mullarney; she comes across very strongly out of the pages of her own book, a sensitive, affectionate, sma rt, no-nonsense per­ son . One of the things I like most about her is that she had so much fun with her children and had such a won­ derful sense of the kind of t h ings that children found fun. To give a little of the flavor of Maire, her children, and the book, some quotes - but I wish I had room for many more:

... 1 am puzzled when I hear a mot her say, "Teach them at home? I would never have the patience!" What do they think happens at school? . .. As soon as Barbara could stand with her hands held, I found myself giving her little jumps. Soon we were counting the jumps up to ten. Years went by and new toddlers were clamoring for jumps, as were the others, up to nine or ten. This game must have helped the younger ones to internalize the meaning of number . It certainly helped them to get splendid bounce, going well up over my head to just miss the kitchen ceiling . . . When Barbara was about a year old, I gave her some powder paint in a saucer, mixed with water to make a thick cream, and a long-handled paint brush. An enamel table top turned on its side [JH: what a great idea!] made a good surface to spread colour on, and made it easier to show her how to use the brush . Putting paint on an upright surface does not lend itself to lea n i ng heavily on the brush ... This worked so well that no baby went past a year without meeting a paint brush. It should be evident from the first part of the book that I found staying home with interested children much more fun than either of the "jobs" I had beforehand ... It was the learning together that gave zest to the days ... After some eighteen quiet years of child-watching I had come to real­ ise that school was a time-wasting and ineffici ent attempt to enable one generation to share knowledge with the nex t . When the elders felt the need to subdue the young by beating and humiliating them, that went be­ yond mere ineffiCiency . It had not dawned on me that sharing knowledge was only a minor purpose of the system . .. My share of the activity did not take any extra time. I moved the baby

around with me ... Gardening, sewing, cooking, and reading fit in with pay­ ing some attention to a baby. We would lie on a rug together, indoors or out; baby on tummy, mirror to reach for; on her back, kicking at a sheet of coloured paper held by par­ ent; or parent on back, arms straight up, holding flying baby .. . Time spent in shared activity showed itself to be an investment . Babies who have had a solid chunk of full parental atten­ tion feel confident enough to potter around and explore for the rest of the day, making contact from time to time ... If I were able to return to the beginning I would see that every child had a chance to learn to play an instrument, just as every child had a chance to learn to read ... Looking back I see [Alasdar] out in the garden, rocking quietly on a very small rocking horse, then bring­ ing over a bucket of tasty stones to feed it ... [Thomas] did not bother to read until he was five, when he brought me a model he had made of a bird on a nest . I admired it, then wrote on a card, NEST, BIRD, WING, TWIG . As soon as he realis ed there were books about birds he very quickly learned to read ... [JH:] In a la t er chapter Maire Mullarney tells us what the children, now grown up, the oldest 36, did in and with their lives . They are a very varied and interesting crew . For sev­ eral school was visibly harmful, and might have been much more so had Maire not moved quickly to prevent furt her harm . But even when she was able to find for the younger children smaller schools, which did not beat children (then common in Ireland, now I believe forbidden), and which had some interesting teachers, they learned very little that had anything to do wit h their later lives . Only one of the eleven is interested in what we might think of as a school­ like activity (mathematics) . The book is so full of delights that, other than to mention them, I won ' t say much about my disagreements with it . MM is a strong believer in Montessori materials and methods. I think she gives them far too muc h credit and herself far too little. Given the kind of mother (and also loving father) they had, I think the children would have grown up interest­ ing and smart even if she had never heard of Montessori. MM seems to feel, perhaps less strongly than at one time, that little people aren't going to learn things unless kindly and loving big people somehow teach them . Early in the book she describes how she taught shapes (circle, square, etc.) to her babies when they were less than a year old . Because she was so ingenious, and so gentle and loving, I'm sure it was fun for the baby, and it probably did little harm or none at all. But as I have said before in GWS - no one ever taught me shapes' The idea t hat, unless taught, people might some how grow up in the modern world not know­ ing what a circle or a square is seems to me bizarre. MM is also a strong believer in formal instruction in reading, and by a strict use of what I call single­ letter-phonics . As I have often said, neither seems to me necessary, far less efficient. As she did it, it worked, almost all her children learned to read well and early . In a house like theirs, full of words ,

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40


23 ideas, books, and with parents who l oved reading, I think the children would have learned to read anyway . I must note that from her descriptions of them, it does not seem that the written word plays a very important p art in their lives . However, I would not want to let such disagreements get between anyone and this book, our introduction to a very smart, loving, sensitive woman and her children. The book, by the way, has gained much attention in Ire­ land, and sparked considerable inter­ est in home schooling, so if any home schoolers are tempted, as I surely am, to visit Ireland, meeting Maire Mullarney is another good reason . BOOK ON LEGALITIES HERE

HOME EDUCATION AND CONSTITUTION­ AL LIBERTIES, by John Whitehead and Wendell Bird ($5 . 95 + post). This short, thoroughly res earc hed, well­ organized, and clearly wri tt e n book seems to me, with a few exceptions, to be one of the most valuable l ega l resources, tools, or weapons for home schoolers to hav e appeared in some time. With th e exceptions noted, no book or article I have seen so well sums up and argues the historical and legal case for home schooling. Virtu­ ally all home schoolers would be wise to own it or have a copy within easy reach, above all home schoolers who face or fear they might face hostile action by school authorities and/or the courts. And, at least in states where the right to home schooling is not clearly and strongly established, home schoolers might also be wise to send this book to their state repre­ sentatives, the governor (no ne ed for everyone to send one), and perhaps leading state educational officials . The heart of the book, and of the legal argument for home school­ ing, the constitutional ground on which we stand, is summed up as: . .. In fact, any question of First [JH: or any other] Amendment freedoms . . . is viewed by courts within a thre e -step process . First, there must be a First [JH: or other] Amendment Right that con­ flicts with a governmental program or requir e ment. Second, the state must have burdened [i.e . made diffi­ cult or impossible ] the exercise of that right . And third, there must not be any compelling state inter­ est that justifies the burden; or if there is, the state must have satisfied that inter~st by the least burdensome means possible ... .. . Any statutory prohibition against home education should be presumed unconstitutional, as sever­ al court decisions have held or assumed . If a statute can be con­ strued to prese rve its constitution­ ality, it should be so construed. This means, for example, that a statute that mentions onl y public or private education shou ld be interpreted to includ e home educa ­ tion within the definition of "pri­ vate education." If not, the law would be unconstitutional. [JH: the book notes that the courts have split about 50-50 on this last argument. ] Any burdensome regulation of home education is also unconstitu­ tional (just as burdensome regula­ tion of religious schools is uncon­ stitutional) .. . The book is in effect a con­ densed and simplified legal brief .

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40

But for parents facing prosecution in court Whitehead and Bird are prepared to offer in support something even more powerful than this book . A foot­ note on page 10 of the book says: ... On behalf of the Rutherford Institute, the authors have pre­ pared an exhaustive legal brief, with thorough appendix, that pro­ vides a technical legal defense of home education . The brief was filed in the Georgia Supreme Court, the Minnesota Supreme Court, the North Carolina Supreme Court, the Arkan­ sas Court of Appeals, and other courts. The Rutherford Institute will file this brief in similar cases . For more information, write The Rutherford Institute, Box 510, Manassas VA 22110 ... Note that the home-schoolers won in Georgia; the Minnesota case is as I write still pending; and the North Carolina family lost. The long brief, while powerful, is not infallible . What are my reservations about HOME EDUCATION AND CONSTITUTIONAL LIBERTIES? First, in the chapter "Freedom Of Religion," it overstates what the courts have actually said about the right of parents to home school for religious reasons, and later defends this position by call­ ing "erroneous" some of what the Supreme Court said in Yoder and just about all the Appeals Court said in Duro (an exceedingly important case) . From reading this book one might get the impression that in Yoder the Court gave very broad support to home schooling for religious reasons, whereas in fact the support given, as we have more than once said in GWS, was very narrow . In a late chapter, the book speaks of "erroneous" court cases . It seems an odd and unhelpful use of the word. One might as well speak of "erroneous" legislation . One can always say of a given court ruling that it was unfair or unjust or badly reasoned or self-contradictory, or that wiser and better judges would have ruled differently . None of this makes any difference . A ruling is a ruling, and unless and until over­ turned by a later ruling, it is the law. The authors say that in Duro the U.S. Court of Appeals made nine-Funda­ mental constitutional errors. Perhaps so. But the fact that the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal clearly indicates that they did not consider them to be errors. The fact is, as we have poInted out in GWS, the courts in Yoder and Duro have explicitly refusea-to give religious home schoolers the blank check that Whitehead and Bird think they should have, and that readers of this book might be led to believe they do have. We cannot say to the state, "I am teaching my children for religious reasons, and therefore, what I do is none of your business." In the chapter "The Least Burden­ some Means," Whitehead and Bird say, quite rightly, "Allowance for home education constitutes the least bur­ densome means for assuring any state interest in education . " This is an excellent argument and should be quo­ ted verbatim. But then they go on to say, "Standardized testing, because of grade inflation, is now considered by many as the most meaningful mea­ sure of educational achievement . " This is a most dubious assertion, and for many years considerable numbers of educators, myself among them, have for many different reasons strongly disputed it . To require that all home

education programs be judged and jus­ tified by standardized test scores strikes me as an extremely burdensome requirement, supported by almost no evidence, and one that would be high­ ly objectionable to me and to many home schoolers. In a given situation, it may be tacticall y wise for home schoolers to submit to it, as I have now and then advised them to do, but we ought never to accept it as gener ­ ally necessary or proper. In the last chapter of the book, "Practical Suggestions for Home Educa­ tion," which contains some useful advice, the authors make some propo­ sals with which I strongly disagree and which I urge readers to ignore: . .. for the best legal protec­ tion, a home instruction program should operate as closely as possi­ ble to a "traditional" school with­ in the h ome . This means that those involved in home instruction pro­ grams should, at least ... 1) Annual­ ly have their children take stan­ dardized achievement tests ... admin­ istered by someone othe r than the parents ... (2) Keep detailed r eco rds of actual days and hours of study (3) Prepare a lesson plan which chronicles textbooks and the pages covered for each subject assignment given on each day of instruction ... (4) Administer and maintain regular tests for eac h sub­ ject. These tests should be adminis­ tered as frequently as those in t he public schools and other private schools. (5) Provide a structured environment for instruction; that is, the children should have desks ... If you believe, as on the basis of long experience I empha tically do, that it is the standard assumptions and daily practices of conventional schools that block and prevent child­ ren's learning and soon destroy their love of independent investigation and thought, then the above advice can only seem like saying; "It's OK to give your child r en the same old school poison, as long as they drink it out of a different bottle." What differ e nc e does the bottle make, or the building? I recall, as I often do, the young Canadian home schooler saying to her anxious and over­ te ac hing mother, "Mom, if I'm going to have t o do all this school junk, I'd rather do it in school ." She was right - wherever it happens, school junk is school junk, forced learning is faked learning. The whole point of home schooling, at least for many par­ ents, is to be able to do something radically and who lly different from what is done in schools, to allow children t o continue to be th e kind of independent, self-motivated, vora­ cious explorers and learners we all were when we were very young, before fit'll d,u,,"li~'!' IU~~ , ) '/1lt1iI\A{(/l all 'tI4-r6wogp. , ~I,!, W'gg~ 1-


24

others began trying to coerce, con­ trol, and measure our learning. Some readers will disagree with me about this, or perhaps my other reservations about this book. If so, they are of course free to ignore them. But if you agree with some or all of these reservations, but decide anyway, as I recommend, to send this book to a state representative or other official, I also recommend that along with the book you send these reservations, perhaps in the form of a copy of this review, or even better in your own words. Otherwise, you may give a wrong impression of what you believe and want. In any case, there are many ways to use this thoughtful and timely book, and I hope that many thousands of home schoolers will make use of it. - JH OTHER BOOKS AVAILABLE HERE A HOUSE IS A HOUSE FOR ME, by Mary Ann Hoberman, ~llus . by Betty Fraser ($3 . 95 + post) . This unique and lovely book is a long rhyming poem, first about living creatures and the various places they live in, and then later about inanimate ob­ jects and the ot her kinds of objects that they can be found in. She begins:

A hill is a ant. A hive is a A hole is a mouse . And a house

house for an ant, an house for a bee. h ouse for a mole or a is a house for me'

And here we see a picture of a small boy reading in a tree house built of scrap lumber. The poem goes on, one of the most ingenious and delightful pieces of light verse I have ever read. Each time we come to the title line, the picture shows a child or children in one of the kinds of shelters they like to find or make for thems elves - in a couple of card­ board boxes, under a big umbrella, under a table with a sheet draped over it, a hollowed out pile of snow, a sheet draped over a line to make a tent. The illustrations, in color, are done in minute and realistic detail, but also with much fantasy and wit - I particularly love the pic­ ture of a dutchess sitting up in bed with her knitting and banjo, surround­ ed by plans of castles and thinking hard about what kind she wants to build for herself. The children them­ selves are adorable; we feel their intentness and busyness. Finally in the last verse, the truth we cannot be remind ed of too of ten: A flower's at home in a garden. A donkey's at home i n a stall. Each creature that's known has a house of its own And the earth is a house for us all. MANY MOONS, by James Thurber ($3 . 95 + post). James Thurber, New Yorker colleague and friend of r:-B. ~ and one of the great American humor ous writers of the '30s through '50s, wrote, as fa r as I know, only two books for children, but they are so good that I wis h he had written many more. This one, which Mary Van Doren showed n,e, is charming, perfect for children up to eight or nine, though children quite a bit older might well enjoy it for its quiet Thurberi sh irony and wit. I can ' think' of no limit to the number of times I would be ready to r ea d it aloud. The story is simple. A King's

little daughter (the book says age ten, but she seems more like six or seven) falls ill, and says she will only get well if she can have the moon. The loving worried father tells his wise men to get the moon for her, but they say no, it can't be done, it's too big, too far away. The King is in despair till his Jester gives him wise advice: since it is the child who wants the moon, why not ask her how big she thinks it is? What she says, and what happens, makes this lovely story. The delicate water-color illus­ trations go beautifully with the text. One of the most endearing things about them is that in all pic­ tures of the little Princess, what­ ever she is doing, whether sleeping or playing and jumping rope in the garden, she has a tiny little crown, not much bigger than a grown-up's thumb, perched right on top of her head. Nothing shows or hints what keeps it on; it's supposed to be there and stay there, so it does. A pure delight. AS I WAS CROSSING BOSTON COMMON, by Norma Farber, pictures by Arnold Lobel (3.95 + post). Mary Van Doren, who has put us onto many good books, showed us this lovely little picture book for younger children. The teller of the story is a box-shelled tor­ toise (the kind kids get for pets). We see it at the very lower left hand corner of the first picture. The text for the first four pages reads: As I was crossing Boston Common

Not very fast, not very slow

I met a man with a creature in tow.

Its collar was labeled Angwantibo.

I thought it rather uncommon.

As I was crossing Boston Common -

Not very fast, not very slow -

Angwantibo passed with a Boobok in

tow ... And so, through the book, each new page introduces a new animal or two, each being towed by the one before. The drawings, in pen and ink with a light overwash of muted col­ ors, are detailed and accurate, but have a whimsical quality - the ani­ mals seem almost as surprised by this strange procession as we are. And the poem continues its almost musical chant till the end of the procession and its little surprise. This book is, in short, what our ancestors used to call a Bestiary, a book of animals, usually exotic, some­ times imaginary, sometimes, as in this case, real (though mostly un­ known to me). But it is also some­ thing else, and not until the very end of the animal procession did I realize, with astonishment, what it was. My excuse for this mental lapse i s that I was fascinated by the ani­ mals and lulled by the poem - as you will be. This will be a favorite read-aloud book. CARS AND HOW THEY GO, by Joanna Cole, ~llus. by Gail Gibbons ($9.95 + post). The dust jacket says that this book is for ages 7-11; my guess is that any kids of that age who liked machines enough to want to read the book in the first place would be able to understand all o r nearly all of it. The dust jacket also says that the author "is known for her ability to explain complex ideas in simple terms." I emphatically agree; this is one of the finest pieces of explain­ ing I have ever seen . She has the ,great and rare gift of knowing where

to begin an explanation, of knowing what must be put in and what can be left out, and of not telling you too much, or too much all at once. The light-hearted illustrations (in col­ or) are a perfect match for the text. Any child (or adult) who reads through this book will know a great deal more about cars than I knew when at age twenty I first went into the Navy, where for the first time I saw what the insides of engines and other machines looked like. In fact, this book, slim as it is, will probably tell you more about cars than is known by most people driving them today. So if you feel a little uncer­ tain about what's down there under­ neath all the shiny paint, you can always sneak this book out of your child's room for a quick look. CONCEPTUAL PHYSICS, by Paul Hew­ itt (23.95 + post). I've been looking off and on for some time for a good general introductory physics text, and this one seems excellent. The problem for all people who write such texts is, since there are many differ­ ent branches of physics, in what order should one present them. Hewitt Kas wisely begun with the study of motion; not only is motion a very com­ mon event, something we see, experi­ ence, and think about every day, but since it was one of the first aspects of visible reality that human beings did think about, in discussing it Hew­ itt is able to tell us a little about the history of physics, how certain discoveries led to new questions and so to new discoveries. This is a college text, but don't be put off by that. Years ago, when Jud Jerome and his then 11-year­ old son Topher were looking for a text from which to learn algebra together, they found that college texts were the only ones they could tolerate; the others over-simplified or talked down to the reader. Hewitt writes clearly and explains well; out­ side of scientific terms, which any student of physics must get to know anyway, there are not many words that an interested twelve-year-old would not know or could not soon figure out. The many black-and-white draw­ ings are helpful. A word about the title. Why "Con­ ceptual"? Because most physics texts are full of illustrative problems which require a great deal of calcula­ tion. Since Hewitt was writing this book mostly for college students who wanted or needed to know something about physics but who were not and did not plan to be scientists, he wisely framed his end-of-chapter ques­ tions to get the students to think about the ideas and principles in the text; if and when calculation is involved, it is very simple, do-it­ in-your-head kind of stuff. I was sorry to see him waste a couple of pages on dumb talk about space colonies. But I forgive him, first, because there is very little of the air of gee-whiz science­ worship in the book, and second, because of a nice little photo of sheets hung out to dry on a clothes­ line, with the dead-pan caption, "Solar powered clothes dryer." On the important question of the prudent and responsible use of scientific know­ ledge, his heart is in the right place. All in all, a very good, clear, comprehensive introduction to a fascinating, important, and for many people forbidding subject. A SAMPLER OF LIFESTYLES - Woman­ hood and Youth in Colonial Lyme

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40


25 (Conn.], by Mary Sterling Bakke (6.95 + post). Here is another fine examp le

of a kind of history book I wish we had more of, books about the everyday lives of "ordinar y" people. In the acknowledgements the author writes: "From old diaries, documents, news­ papers, State Archives records, gene­ alogies, and oral traditions the pic­ ture of both daily life and special occasions brings t o life women and young people in the time prior to 1800." I t makes me wonder in passing where future historians will look to find such records of us . . Few people keep diaries ,any more, and the paper and ink with which modern high-speed presses print our newspapers and books guarantee that, barring some miracle-method of preservation, they will crumble to dust within a few gen­ erations. At any rate, we have this record of earlier times, and it tells us many interesting and some surprising things about women in pre-1800 New England. They were a very long way from being th e kind of sheltered, sub­ missive, powerless, fragile creatures we sometimes imagine. Concerning the lives of the young, which were busy and active and full of time for vigorous play, the author writes:

higher and l ower, and by assigning a much greater proportion of these low­ er jobs to wome n. From this most in­ teresting book we get a picture of how different it once was and, per­ haps, a vision of how different it might be agai n.

... Though the statute legalizing a woman's administration of the estate of her deceased husband came in 1784 by Connecticut as a state, actual practice had given her this power in the colonial period at least a hundred years before tha t ... Not only were widows func­ tioning as executors of their hus­ bands' estates in the 17th Century, but were making bequests executed as legal ... Aside from this, in the 17th Century women had more legal prerogatives than in the 19th. Because husbands were often away, women were accustomed to the manage­ ment of a farm, or shop, or trade ... We get a pictur~ of coloni ­ al women quite different from the stereotype of a property-less and legally helpless drudge in a patri­ archal society. Functioning with all the necessary l egal guarantees, one hundred sixty women in New Lon­ don County, alone, are listed as heads of households in the first Census of the United States, 1790 ... Literary and romantic notions of the helpless female, dimly subject to male domination, and a legal non­ entity prove to be just that ­ notions - when the stories of real women who helped make this country become known ...

WORMS EAT MY GARBAGE by Mary Appelhof ($5 .95 + post). This book tells how the author uses the kind of fast-breeding worm usually called red wigglers or manure worms, which she keeps in a moderate-sized (4-6 sq. ft.) box in her kitchen, to eat up her organic garbage (as opposed to trash) and to convert it into the most fertile and productive of all growing mediums. It's the best book I have seen, first, about the worms themselves, what kind of critters they are, how they live, mate, breed, and secondly, about how to raise them on a small scale. There is much to be said for having some of these worms in or near the house. In the first place, they convert a nuisance into a valuable asset . In the second place, they are (perhaps along with ants) the most trouble-free of all pets or domestic livestock. Put them in a container with enough food, make sure their bed­ ding, which can be shredded paper, little bits of cardboard, etc., is moist enough - they like things pret­ ty wet - and you can forget about them for weeks on end. The children I have seen who have seen them, after a few ritual cries of "Gross'" and "Yucky''', find them fascinating. They lend themselves very well to all kinds of sma ll-scale but genuine sci­ ence projects, calling for observa­ tion, measurement, and so on: how fast do they multiply, what sort of things do they like to eat, how long does it take their eggs to hatch, how long does it take newly hatched worms (not much thicker than threads) to mature, and so on. Those of you who have read some of the earl ier issues of GWS will know th a t I have been raising them in a small enclosed patio outside my basement apartment. They are still there, more of them than ever. What they like to eat almost as much as anything is plain old brown corruga­ ted cardboard, as in cardboard boxes. They gobble it up, and, as I have said, turn it into the richest imagin­ able soil. Seems almost too good to be true . People who want to garden, have bad soil, and cannot easily find organic materials to make compost, may find this the easies t way to en­ rich their soil. I would amend Mrs. Appelhof's wise words about worms in a couple of small respects. It is not always true that they can't stand plastic. I am raising some of them, and seeing them breed and thrive, in two plastiC yogurt containers, and also in a plas­ tic shopping bag. I would add that they much prefer cardboard to leaves; leaves have to be well rotted before worms will eat them, whereas they will tear into cardboard just as soon as it gets moist enough for them to eat it . There are in short many ways to keep and feed these almost miracu­ lously useful little creatures. Read­ ing this clear and informative book is a good way to start .

In short, the industrialization of America did not raise but lowered the general position of women in soci­ ety, by turning more and more of their necessary and skilled work into industrial jobs, by organizing these jobs (needlessly) into a hierarchy of

CANCER AND VITAMIN C, by Ewan Cameron and Linus Pauling ($ 5.95 + post). This may well be one of the two or three most important books, perhaps the most important, ever writ­ ten about medicine for the general public. Since I have known for at

... Not all of girls' work was done skillfully and expeditiously, in spite of supervision by eld­ ers ... Diary confessions to scorch­ ing preserves and flirting with father's apprentices seem normal; and a reader perceives that such kindly, gentle, loving instructive oversight gave individuals a sense of being needed and that what they did was important. They had a secure niche in the family's life. On the legal a nd economic rights of women:

least five years about Linus Paul­ ing's work with vitamin C, and for at least a couple of years belonged to his Institute of Science and Medicine and read its quarterly bulletins, I regret that it has taken me so long to read this book and to add it to our list. Since about 400,000 people die of cancer every year (about a fifth of deaths from all causes), and since it is estimated that about a third of all Americans will get can­ cer sometime in their lives, this is clearly a subject that prudent peo­ ple, above all if they already have cancer or know someone who has it, ought to know something about. I don't know a better place to start than this book, from which we can gain much information, understanding, and hope. The preface states the central message of the book: ... Some years ago we developed the idea that regular high intakes of vitamin C (ascorbic acid, or its several biologically active salts known as ascorbates) play some part both in the prevention of cancer and in the treatment of established cancer. Evidence steadily accumu­ lates to support this view . (JH: The book was published in 1979; since then, the evidence has contin­ ued to grow stronger . ] ... During the last twenty years about ten billion dollars has been spent on cancer research, in the effort to get some control of the disease ... Despite this great expen­ diture and the corresponding great effort, not much has been achieved . ... For most kinds of cancer, those involving solid tumors in adults, which lead to 95 percent of the can­ cer deaths, there has been essen­ tially no change in overall inci­ dence and mortality during recent years ... In short, for most kinds of can­ cer, including the most dangerous kinds, the orthodox treatments you would probably be given by most doc­ tors or hospitals are generally very expensive, ' often crippling and ex­ tremely painful, and usually ineffec­ tive. Cameron and Pauling here pre­ sent powerful evidence that supple­ menting or replacing these treatments with large doses of vitamin C has been and would be beneficial for large numbers of patients. In spirit as well as content this is a scientific book, not a fer ­ vent plea or dramatic expose - though certainly, given his experience, Paul­ ing could have been forgiven for wri­ ting one . Perhaps because he still hopes to win over the medical estab­ lishment, he does not say what I have no hesitation in saying, that by almost wholly ignoring vitamin C as a cancer treatment and denying it (by denying funds for the necessary large scale research) a chance to prove itself, the cancer establishment is at least morally responsible for the painful and premature or unnecessary deaths of millions of human beings. I hope this may change, but as of 1984 this research into the use of vitamin C is still being done almost entirely by Pauling's own Institute of Science and Medicine (440 Page Mill Rd., Palo Alto CA 94306), struggling to keep alive on what it can raise from pri­ vate sources. It seems a lmost unthink­ able that this vital work, probably the most important work being done in the entire field of medicine, might end with Dr. Pauling's death, or sim­ ply the drying up of private funds,


26 but it is possible, and only steady support by concerned persons for his i n s t i t ute will prevent it . I'll say in passing that if I were a young person interested in bio­ l ogy and medicine I could hardly th i nk of a more satisfying and impor­ tant place in which to work, since there one would do the kind of scien­ tific research of which one could feel really proud. Though CANCER AND VITAMIN C is a scientific book, it is not at all obscure or difficult to read; indeed it is one of the most interesting, understandable, and even exciting books on a scientific topic that I have read . If it does nothing else for us, it should at least take some of the mystery and terror out of what h as become a kind of Black Plague of our time. - JH OTHER ITEMS AVAILABLE HERE

CELLOS (Price below includes fine tuners, bow, case, rosin, and postage) . In GWS #37 I described the inexpensive violins, made in China, t hat we are making available to our readers . Since our supplier, Kathryn Alexander, also supplies violas and cellos, I asked her to send me a tape of herself playing one of the cellos, wh ich she has done. On it she plays, for comparison's sake the same piece on t he cello she uses professionally. As with the violins, the sound of the cello is surprisingly good; I have h eard quite a few instruments that cost a lot more and sounded worse. So we are adding them to our catalog . They come in six sizes: 1/10 or 1/8, $379 . 50; 1/4 or 1/2, $399.50; 3/4 or 4/4 (full-size) $429.50. If you have near you cello teachers who teach c h ildren, they can advise you what size to order. If not, tell us the child ' s age and height, and perhaps the height of the parents (since this will give a clue as to how fast the child is likely to grow) and we will advise you. By the way, Kathryn Alexander does sell European-made instruments (which cost roughly three times as much as the Chinese), so if any of you want to spend the extra money for what will be a much better-looking and somewhat better-sounding and easier-playing instrument, let us know . But as I said in GWS #39, I think the Chinese instruments are not o n ly adequate but very good for novice players. KOLSTEIN'S VIOLIN AND CELLO ROSIN ($6 . 95 + post). The rosin that rs-supplied with the inexpensive vio­ lins we sell, though it works, is not very good, and one of the best small investments you can make toward mak­ ing your playing easier and better sounding is to get a good rosin, of which Kolstein's is the best I know. I first learned about it at the Cen­ ter for Chamber Music at Apple Hill, N. H. I had been using a very well­ known rosin, the kind recommended by most music stores, but my cello was resisting me and I was having to put a lot of pressure on the strings in order to make them "speak." One of the Apple Hill professionals asked me if I had ever tried Kolstein's rosin, and when I said I hadn't, urged me to try some of his. I was asonished what a difference it made . I needed less of it on the bow hairs, it stayed on longer, and it gripped the string bet­ ter . It didn't turn my ugly duckling cello into a swan, but it made it noticeably easier to play, and I have

been using it ever since . It is in fact a very good buy, since you don't have to use much of it at a time, and you don't have to use it often . I strongly recommend it. SMITH AND HAWKEN'S CATALOG OF GARDEN ($1.00 includin~ post). When Paul Hawken, who starte Ere­ whon, the enormously successful natur­ al foods company, finally sold it for a large sum, he enjoyed his retire­ ment for a while but soon became rest­ less and looked about for something to do, specifically, for an interest­ ing, useful, and he hoped profitable business to run. He decided to sell garden tools, the finest that he could find, and the company which he helped start soon began importing from England a line of what experts seemed to feel were the best designed, best made, and most durable garden tools in the world . This is their catalog, all in color . We carry it for the same reasons we carry the Garrett Wade tool catalog: some peo­ ple may want to buy some of the tools in it, but it any case it is a very handsome book, fun to look at, and from which you may learn some useful things about gardening . You may even find that a tool you needed but couldn't find or didn't know existed, does in fact exist . But even if you don't garden at all, it is a pleasure to look at color photographs of beau­ tiful and useful objects made with thought, care, and love.

toots

MOTHER EARTH NEWS Issue #85 ($3 + post) . This is the 1ssue that con­

tains my article, "So You Want To Home School," plus some good excerpts from Nancy Wallace's BETTER THAN SCHOOL. The article is the best short piece I have seen in print, not about why you should teach your own child­ ren, but about how to do it once you have decided. Early in this issue of GWS we say that home schooling will probably become easier for most par­ ents, provided they go about it the right way. This article shows what "the right way" is. It would be a very useful piece to show to parents who are thinking about home school­ ing, and it might be a very good piece for would-be home schoolers to show to school officials, who will be calmed and reassured by its reason­ able and conciliatory tone, and by the fact that it appears in a maga­ zine of Mother Earth News's size and reputation. And of course, the 192-page maga­ zine is packed full of good ideas on energy, cooking, gardening, building houses, using tools, medical self­ care, and more. Of special interest are Norm and Sherrie Lee's (Homestead­ ers News) "Four-Season Garden1ng PTan~e design for TMEN's success­ ful composting toilet, and a ten-page section on how to knit and crochet . - JH

For a copy of our latest catal og, send us a self-addressed stamped envelope. WANT ADS

Rates for ads: $5 per line (47 spaces) . Pl ease tell these folks you saw their ad in GWS. THE LEARNABLES - Span . Ger . Fr . Eng. & Russian taught by audlo-picture system. From GWS #31 " . . . promotes the fastest learning ... most enjoy­ ab le." Also excel . Eng. reading prog availa ­ ble . From In t ernational Linguistics, 401 W 89th St, Kansas City MO 64114 CHILDCARE: NE San Antonio . Anytime. 651-5597 Catho l ic Home Schoo l ing Endorsed by Fr. Robert Fox, leader of Fatima Youth Retreats, and by Dr. Warren Carroll, President of Christendom College . Complete Curriculum, Grades K- 12 . Seton Home Study School, P.O . Box 1938, Manassas, Virginia 221 10 Bo.oks for Home Schoo l ing K- 12. Exce ll ent work­ text curriculum . Christian oriented. Catalog $1.00. H.S . Glenn Distributors, 725 1-G Bass Hwy, St. Cl oud FL 32769 STEWART PIANO WORKSHOP Sept 7-8 at Bl ue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan (near Muskegon). For information write Phyl lis Jansma 3055 Ramshorn Rd Fremont MI 49412 Exce ll ent thinking and logic skills development booklets, using reading, math, science, and so­ cial studies concepts . Computer software, too. Midwest Publications Co., Box 448, Pacific Grove, CA 93950 Oregon home-schoolers interested in creating a newsletter please wri t e: Mary Stone, B285 Hwy 42, Winston, Ore , 97496 ALPHA OMEGA CURRICULUM available from Summi t Christian Academy, Inc. 13789 Noel Road, #100 Dallas, TX 75240 (214)239-7433 Cal l or write for your order form today! Fossil Sets- 15 different fossils from 6 geolo, gica l time periods- $5. Rock & Mineral Sets - 25 different identified specimens- $5.Mary Shaffer 15398 Beatt y St . San Leandro, CA 94579 BED+BREAKFAST DAIRY FARM ON KENNEBEC RIVER IN CEN1RAL MAINE CLOSE ACCESS TO MANY MAINE ATTRA­ CTIONS.FAMILIES WELCOME. CALL SUSAN(207)872 -2015 Certified teacher searching for a home school ­ ing family with a hear ing impaired chi l d.Wi shes to tutor or aid in home schoo l ing education. Kelly McMahan 8207 Thet ford Houston, Tx. 77070. AT LAST! Something rea ll y new for homeschoo l ­ ers.Comp l ete curricu l um . Learning activities for afterschoolers, too. More information $1. to LEARNING AT HOME, Box 270-G, Honaunau, HI 96726 HOME EDUCATION MAGAZINE - The monthly magazine for families who learn together at home. Sing l e issue $2, one year subscription (12 issues) $20 HOME EDUCATION MAGAZINE,Bx218,Tonasket WA 98855 WHEN YOU WRITE US

ORD ER INFORMATIO N

Postage charge: For 1, 2, or 3 items except records: 7S¢; 4 or more, 25~ per item. Postage for records: 75¢ for 1, add 25¢ for each additio~ Overseas surface mail: 1,2, or 3 items, $1; 4 or more, SO¢ per ltem. Mass . residents, add 5% sales tax. Make check (US bank) or money order for books, reprints, records, tapes, instruments, and art materials payable to HOLT ASSOCIATES, INC. Payment for subscriptions, ads, or back issues of GWS should be made out separately to GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING (see back page).

A reminder of some ways you can he l p us hand l e our mail faster: 1) When you send us more than one thing - book orders, subscription changes, Direct ory listings, questions, speaking engagement info, news, chatty letters - in the same envelope (which is fine), please put each on a separate sheet. We can get each item to the approprlate person more quickly . 2) Pl ease pri nt or type your full name as we ll as address at the top of the firsr-­ page of eac"l11efter. -­ 3) If you ask questions, a self­ addressed stamped envelope is much apprecia­ ted, and it increases your odds for a quick answer . GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40


27 4) Ple ase tell us if it's OK to use any part of your l etter in GWS, and whether or not to include your name with the story . Thanks . PEN PALS Pen Pals Wanted (chi l dren should send name, age, address, and 1- 3 words on interests): Waterfall Farm, Ladysmith, Quebec JOX 2AO: Tristram MCPHERSON (8) history, reading, geography; Soma MORSE (14 ) anima l s, sport s, people --- MARKEL, 2741 Adriatic Way, Sacramento CA 95826: Benjamin (7) reading, drawing, baseball; Adrienne (4) stories, tapes, do ll s --- Liz STORRAR (12) 22985 Yucca Ct, Bend OR 97701; unicorns, Jackson, stickers --- Christina SCHMID (9) 53 Decotah Trail, Medford Lakes NJ 08055; art, ballet, birds --- Robin RALSTON (7) 5361 Elsinore Way, Fair Oaks CA 95628; cats, soccer, stickers --- Mika PERRINE (6) RR 1 Box 73A, Mason WI 54856; swimming, nature, Singing --- Nancy WOOLSEY (10) 6453 Shirley Av, Apt 1, Reseda CA 91335; reading, knitting, writing --- COOK, 34 Beacon Rd, Herne Bay, Ke nt CT6 6DJ, EhglaMd: Julie (14) reading, writing, photograp y; and a (13) writing, pop music; Valerie (12) gardening, co ll ecting; Brian (15 ) football, snooker, fishing; James (9) cycling, cars, stickers --- Rebecca FRENCH (6) Rt 1 Box 2026, Crown Pt NY 12928; babies, dollars, cashboxes --- Kirstie SHALLENBERG (12) 4001 Scott Dr, Oceanside CA 92056; reading, animals, stickers --- Erin DODD (9) 116 Rich ards Dr, Oli ver Spgs TN 37840; ballet, stickers, Drew --- Jody FAUBERT (boy, 6) General Delivery, Lund BC VON 2GO, Canada; math, art, housebuilding --- GREENO, Box 208 RD #3, Luz erne Rd, Glens Falls NY 12801: Cheyenne/ 75 animals, reading, bicycling; Gerad / 76 minifigures, building sets --- Kimberly BLOMQUIST (13) 1390 Vernal Dr, San Jose CA 95130; stickers, gardening, reading --- GLYNN, Box 94, Highland KS 66035: Rebecca (1 1) reading, stickers, piano; Anna (9) animals, art, stickers; Quillan (6) fishing, hiking, Garfield --- BARRANT I , 4915 Broadway 5K, New York NY 10034: Anneke (6) danCing, flowers, sewing; Kjrstn (3) ballet, painting, music --- SAYOTOVICH, 6361 S 27th St, Lot 20 , Franklin WI 53132: Christopher (5) Star Wars, bike; Nick (7) bike, science, art --- FITZGERALD, lOll- 24th St, Greeley CO 80631: Justine (11 ) writing, Lewis, softball; Sara (8) softball, baking, goats --- Cor~BS, 11777 N Dr So, Burl i ngton MI 49029: Heidi (10) Pops, piano, animals; Amanda (6) animals, Domingo, musicals --- SALINAS, 119 Av G #1, Marble Falls TX 78654: Ellie (5) books, cats, writing; Pepe (3) cars, trucks, trains. Also, Joshua Harris (9) 180 SE Kane Av, Gresham OR 97030, is running "Home Taught Pen Pal Service, A Division of Christian Life Workshops." Charge, $1. ADDITIONS TO RESOURCES Our complete Resource Lists appear in #36; a summary of addit i ons is in #39 . These people have experience in the fol­ l owing areas and are interested in correspond ­ ing wi th othe rs: Adoption: Paula King, 156 Bel ­ crest Dr, Los Gatos CA 95030; 408 -356-9554 --­ Single Parent: Kim Delauter, 150 N Avery, Pon ­ tlac MI 48054 --- (Other areas listed: Deaf ­ ness, Down's Syndrome, Home Computers, Travel­ ling Families) Certified Teachers willing to help home­ schoo ler s: Paula KING (see "Adoptlon," above) --- Bonnle VERHULST, 3321 S 4th St, Spring­ field IL 62703; K-9 - -- Kathi KEARNEY, 49 Gamage Av, Auburn ME 042 10; ME & VT K-1 2 --­ John JUDGE, A.I.D., 7 Wi ldwood St, Drac ut MA 01826; 617-452-2205 --- Phil GROVE, 2736 11th Av S, Minneapolis MN 55407; cert . for Hearing Impaired --- Rose YONEKURA, 7741 E Avon Ln, Lincoln NE 68505; 402-464-8551 --- Pat & Ja ne BRUNKER, HOME SCHOOLING CONSULTANTS, Las Vegas NV; phone 878-6670 --- Marian RONALDS, 62 Ridgedale Av, Cedar Knolls NJ 07927; 20 1- 538 ­ 5016 --- Denis WILCHAR, Cascade Junior High School, 13900 NE 18th St, Vancouver WA 98664; 256-6052 GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #40

Professor Helpin8 Home-schoolers: Dr. Nadi ne McHugh, EDOCATI NAL FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS, Oral Roberts U. , 777 S Lewis, Tulsa OK 74171 Hel§ful Lawyers: Clint Bolick, MOUNTAIN STATES LE AL FOONDATION, 1200 Lincoln St, Suite 600, Denver CO 80203 --- Loren (Nick) Heuertz, 19908 E Evans Cr Rd, White City OR 97503; 503-826 -9046 --- Steve Graber, PO Box 155, Williamsburg VA 23187; 804-253-0026

ADDITIONS TO DIRECTORY Here are the additions and changes to our Di rectory that have come in since the last issue. The last comp lete Directory was in #36. #39 had a summary of additions and changes since #36. The ne xt complete Directory will be in #42. Please send addltlons and changes (including names of newborn children) by Oct. 1 if possible (abso lute deadline is Nov.~ Our Directory is not a li st of all subscribers, but on ly of those who ask to be listed, so that other GWS readers, or other interested peop l e, may get in touch with them. If you would l ike to be included, please send us the information. Pl ease tell us if you would rather have your phone number and town listed instead of a mailing address . If a name in a GWS story if followed by an abbreviation in parentheses , that person is in the Directory (check here, in #36 and in #39) . We hare happy to forward mail to-those whose addresses are not in the Directory. When you send an address change for a subscription, please remind us if you are in the Directory so we can change it here, too. AK - Dick & Paulie DUNN (Jocean 6) Red Mtn , HOnier 99603 AZ - Joe & Louanne BROWN, 602 W8th St, Mesa 8SIOI --- Char leen CRAMER, 2113 N Gentry, Mesa 85203 --- Freda & Lorn MAIN (Celeste 6, Simone 4) 1306 E Granada, Phoenix 85006 (change) --- Sheri RICHARDSON, 1030 N Dresden, Mesa 85203 --- John & Kim WARD, 220 N Guthrie, Mesa 85203 AR - Rebecca FULMER, Rt 4 Box 70, Arkadelphia-719 23 South CA (Zips to 94000) - Sue &Steve JACOBY, 942 Menlo, CIOV1S 93612 --- Richard & Donna SCOTT (Emi ly 6, Eri c 4, Virgi ni a H) 73134 Sun Valley Dr, Twentynine Palms 92277 --- Sall y SHALL ENBERG (Kara 15, Kirsten 12) 4001 Scott Dr, Oceanside 92056 --- Dave & Hanni WOOLSEY (Nancy 10 ) BUCKINGHAM SCHOOL, 6453 Sh irl ey Av #1, Reseda 91335 (change) North CA (Zips 94000 & u Patt & Steve BRISTow (Megen!80, Alane 82) Phone 408267-4 161, San Jose --- Jacq uie CHASE (Dylan 13) Box 214, Forest Knolls 94933 (change) --Donna JORDAN & Patrick POULSON (Eva 9) 916-

)7

265-6739, Nevada City (change) --- Jack & Paula KING (Lindy/80, Robyn / 83, Joshua / 83) 156 8elcrest Dr, Los Gatos 95030 (change) --- Bill &Gretchen McPHERSON (Amanda/74, Jesse/75, Har­ mony / 79, Peter/84) PO Box 381, Ke nwood 95452 --- MENDOCINO COUNTY HOMESCHOOLERS, PO Box 626, Boonville 95415 --- Fred &Susan SHUPP (Rebecca 5, Heather 1) 5356 Go l d Dr, Santa Rosa 95405 (change) CO - David LARUE & Suzanne WOLFRAM (Jus­ tin 5)-g275 King St, Westminster 80030 (cha nge) CT - Ned, Luz & Cassidy VARE, 628 Winthrop, New Haven 06511 FL - Mary CHRISTENSEN (Mike 7, Joey 5, Danny ~ Marisa 6 mol 2400 Ivy Av, Ft Myers 33907 --- Cathy & David COOK (Andrew 7, Elaina 4) 503 NW 37th Av, Gainesville 32609 (change) --- Jody COTTRELL, Rt 15 Box 622-J, N Ft Myers 33903 --- Holly COX (Steven 7, John 4, Becky 3) 8635 Exeter St, Ft Myers 33907 --- Ted & Pat HOLLAND (Mark 7, Rebecca 8) 1865 Ardsley Way, Sanibel Is 33957 --- Hanne & Bi ll LEVY (Mark 7) Box 383, Je nsen Beach 33457 GA - Steve & Ann NICHOLS, NATIONAL COUN­ CIL O~ARENT EDUCATORS OF GEORGIA, PO Box 763, Roswell 30077 HI - LEARN ING AT HOME, PO Box 270-G, Honaunau 96726 ID - Larry OLSEN, FAMILY EDUCATION ASSO­ CIATIOW-OF IDAHO, PO Box 171, Buhl 83316 IL - Tom & Katie CATINO, 1201 Ardyce Ln, Mt Prospect 60056 --- Daniel & D'Ann DOHERTY, 227 S Warrington, Des Plaines 60016 --- ILLI­ NOIS CHRISTIAN HOME EDUCATORS, PO Box 25, Grayslake 60030 --- Kathy MOCKLER, 9717 Grosse Pt Rd, Skokie 60076 --- Jean NOSBISCH-SMITH (11,8,6) RR 1 Box 180 , Grafton 62037 (change) --- Susan OLDBERG, 1229 Shermer Rd, Northbrook 60062 (change) IN - Terry & Alice INMAN (Rachel 8, Christopher 6) 812-332 -5046, Bloomington --­ Sheryl & Stephen SCHUFF (Emilie/ 79, Reuben/81) 8156 Lieber Rd, Indianapolis 46260 IA - Roger &Anne EPLEY (Claire / 68, Ste­ ven / 69~Brian / 7 8) RR 1 Box 79, Shel l Rock 50670 KS - Dan & Mary Lou GLYNN (Rebecca 11, Anna 9~Quillan 6) Box 94, Highland 66035 --Dennis & Ja n WOLTER (Jennifer 8, Jeffrey 6, Ian 2) PO Box 117, La Crosse 67548 (change) KY - Mark MORGAN, KENTUCKY HOM E SCHOOL ERS, R~l Box 96-C, Dover 41034 --- Margaret TRIBE & Dan GOLDBERG (Noah / 79, William/83) Rt 1 Box 46, Columbia 42728 (change) MA - Chuck & Cheryl BELLOWS (Jared / 78, JoshuallrO, Sarah/82) East Oxbow Rd, Shelburne Falls 01370 --- Judy BRIGHTMAN, LUNENBURG SUP­ PORT GROUP, 524 Northfield Rd, Lunenburg 01462 --- Mary &Michael ERN ST (Christopher / 77, Eruch /82) c/o Barrett, Box 127, Cotuit 02635 --- Don & Robbie LAPRADE (Bethany 10, Autumn 7, Jacob 4) 931 Westland St, New Bedford 02745 --- Patti & Don MURPHY (Shawn / 76, Jeremiah / 80, Sarah/82, Johanna/83) 81 True Rd, Salisbury 01950 (change) --- Jane & Chris REID (Toby &' Alex / 77, Hannah / 80, Obadiah / 82) 114 Warwick

r - - - RENEWALS On the reverse side of this page is a form you can use t o r e new your subscription. Please help us by renewing early. How can you tell when your subscrip t ion expires? Look a t this sampl e label: 12345 JIM & MARY JONES 27 01 41 16 MAIN ST 01111 PLAINVILLE NY

The number that is underlined in the sample tells the numbe r of the final issue for the subscri pt ion . The Jones ' sub expires with Issue #41 t he next issue . But if we were to receive their renewal before we I sent our final acco unt changes to the mail i ng h ouse (early October), they would qualify for the free bonus issue. . _ I Renewal rates are the same as for ne w subscr1pt10ns: $15 for 6 issues, $27 for 12 issues, $36 for 18 issues. If that number in the third line of your label is 40, 41, 42, e t c , please renew now - rates will never get any c heaper.


28 St, Lowell 01851 --- Dean & Robin SCHNE~DER (Julie /84) Eaglebrook School, Deerfield 01342­ 0701 (change) MI - Caro lyn Co ndell, HOME BASED NEWS, 23 10 Bernard, Lansing 48910 --- Kim DELAUTER, 150 N Avery, Pontiac 48054 --- Mike & Caro l SCHUSTER (Tommy 6, Teresa 3, Andy 1) 429 Army Rd, Leonard 48038 --- Sharon & Blaine STEVEN­ SON (Zack 13, David 9) 318 S Washington, Mt Pleasant 48858 --- Jerry &Terri WALKER (Deb­ bie / 76, Mike/78, Susan/81) 1666 Ball Av NE, Grand Rapids 49505-5618 (change) MN - Phil GROVE, 2736 11th Av S, Minnea­ polis "5"5407 MS - Mary SCHICK (Matthew/ 76) PO Box 508, Hattiesburg 39401 (change) MO - Lewis & Linda CAMPFIELD (Christoph­ er/81,~my & Sarah/84) 3634 Hartford St, St Louis 63116 --- Cy nthia FELS, HOLI STIC EDUCA­ TIONAL ACTIVITIES DIRECTORY, RR 1 Box 45, Defi­ ance 63341 --- Jim & Marsha WILSON (Christoph­ er 6, Corey 3) 402 Meier Dr, Jefferson City 65101 MT - Jim & JoAnn HOPPE (Matthew 6) PO Box 52~ Helena 59624 (change) NV - Peggy HAMLEN, LAS VEGAS HOME EDUCA­ TION, b744 Fargo Av, Las Vegas 89107 NH - William FARKAS, 31 Franklin St, Kee ne UJ431 --- Woody & Jo MILLER (Kyla, Bode, Wren, Chelone) TAMARACK TENNIS CAMP, Franconia 03580 NJ - Karen & Gerald ELDER (Krista 9, Robin ~ Dawn 3) MERCER COUNTY HOME EDUCATION PROJECT, 102 Taylor Terrace, Hopewell 08525 (change ) --- Rebecca ISRAEL, 136 Green Av, RD 2, Bel lemead 08502 --- Marian & Tersh RONAL OS (Reid /75, Roy/83) 62 Ridgedale Av, Cedar Knolls 07927 --- Judy TRENHOLME (Cindy 14) 279 Valley Way, Montclair 07042 (change) NY - Nancy & Patrick CIHON (Christopher/ 71, EmTTy/76, Matthew/78, Elizabeth /82) 11 E Elizabeth St, Skaneateles 131 52 (cha nge) Dale & Jeris FRENCH (Rebecca 6, Shana 2) Rt Box 202 -B , Crown Point 12928 --- PATURA SCHOOL, 60 Gatehouse Rd, New Paltz 12561 OH - Barbara DELANEY & Don BOGOSIAN (Brendan 10, Gavin 6, Aidan 4) 4730 Hardwick Dr, Cincinnati 45238 --- Jud JEROME , 917 Xen ia Av, Yel l ow Spri ng s 45387 (change) OK - Sandi MYERS (Scott 14, Julie 11, She lleY-9 , John Michael 5) Rt 1 Box 42, Drum­ mond 73735 --- Patty MORWOOD, OKLAHOMA CITY HOME SCHOOLERS, 14212 Piedmont Rd, Piedmont 73078 OR - Joh n & Debbie DOUGHTY (Rachel /75, Melea(gT) 4053 Hanna St, Roseburg 97470 --­ Paul & Susan FINLAY, 786 Cu lver Hwy, Madras 97741 --- Marten & Mary STONE (Travis 10, Tyl er 8) 13285 Hwy 42, Winston 97496 PA - Ann CAMERON-SCHICK (LaAnna/73) POCO­ NO HOMr5CHOOLERS ASSOCIATION, 717-421-5022, Stroudsburg --- Pau l & Caro l PETERSON (Roger/ 73, Scott/78) Snyder Rd Box 3020, Mt Joy 17552 (change) --- Liese l otte & James VISS ER, 365 Plum Ind. Ct, Pittsburgh 15239 (change)

SO - Mary DALY (Jon Pat 6, Christopher 5, Rutn-3) Rt 2 Box 45, Garretson 57030 TN - Brenda JINKINS, 6290 Elm, Arlington 38002 TX - Pat ALLISON (Robin 4) Rt 1 Box 215A, Rarquez 77865 --- Joan MARTIN-FLECK (Jes­ sica 7, Todd 4) PO Box 566, Co lleyville 76034 --- William RANDALL, AMERICAN CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS, PO Box 1776, Colleyville 76034 --­ Marilyn & Larry SALINAS (Eleanore 4, Alex 3) 119 Av G, #101, Marb l e Falls 78654 --- Xan SEELY (Tonya 11, Zackariah 10, Melanie 8, Joseph 6) Box 82A Rt 2, Big Spring 79720 VA - Ann DeFRANCIS (Amber 7, Stephen 5, Erin 4~Kirsten 2, Kimberly 6 mol 5004 Regina Ln, Virginia Bch 23455 --- David SLEZAK & Denise ZITO (Mark 5, Suzanne 2, Joel 1) Rt 1 Box 185, Free Union 22940 --- Sherry WILLIS­ ORENIC & Chuck ORENIC (Marshall 6, KaiWillow 2) Freeborn Farm, Luray 22835 WI - Larry & Susan KASEMAN (Diede/72, Peter/7S, Gretchen / 78, Megan /8 1) 1340 N Dous­ man Rd, Oconomowoc 53066 --- Steve & Toots WEIER (Forest 9, Hor i zon 6, Winter 3) R 2 Box 102 , Pound 54161 CANADA ---BC - Terry FAUBERT (Jody 6) Gen Del, Lund vTIN 2GO ONT - Carole SMITH & Stephen BYRNE (Katie~ Daniel 3) 18 Cockburn St, Perth K7H 2A9 OTHER LOCATIONS - Suzanne &Richard ALEJANDRE (N1ko 7, Lee 5) Av. Diagonal, 305, Barcelona 13, Spain (change)

$29 .25. $29.25 + $2 ; $31.25 . ) These rates are for subscribers only; non-subscribers pay $2 .50 per 1ssue. An index to GWS #1-30 is also available for $2 .50. Address chanaes: If you're moving, let us know your new a dress as soon as possible. Please enclose a recent label (or copy of one). Issues missed because of a change in address may be replaced for $2 each. Group subscriptions: all copies are mailed to one address. Here are the current group rates (lX means you get one copy of each issue, 2X means you get 2 copies of each issue, 3X means 3 copies, etc.) : 3 yrs. 1 year 2 yrs. 6 iss. 12 iss. 18 iss. lX $15 $27 $36 2X $20 $34 $45 3X $25 $45 $67 .50 4X $30 $60 $90 5X $37 .50 $75 $112.50 6X $45 $90 $135 7X, 8X, etc : $7 .50 per person per year. Please send in the names and addresses of members of your group sub, so that we can keep in touch with them. Thanks. Editors - John Holt & Donna Richoux Managing Editor - Patrick Farenga Subscriptions & Books - Steve Rupprecht Ross Campbell Office Assistant - Mary Van Doren

SUBSCRIPTIONS Our current policy starts all subscrip­ tions with the next issue published. Rates are: $15 for 6 issues, $24 for 12 issues, $30 for 18 issues. GWS is published every other month. A single issue costs $2.50. For all subs or orders of GWS (not books), please send check or money oreers pay­ Copyri ht Holt Associates, Inc. able to GROWING WITHOUT SCHOO LING. ForeG~n payments mu st be either money orders 1n funds or checks drawn on US banks. We can't afford to accept personal checks on Canadian accounts, even if they have "US funds" written on them. Outside of North America, add $10 per year for airmail (other­ wise, allow 2-3 months for surface mail). Back issues : We strongly urge you to get the back 1ssues of GWS, especially if you plan t o take your children out of school . Many of the articles are as useful and important as when they were printed, and we do not plan to repeat the information in them. Our rates for back issues : any combina­ ti on of back issues, mailed at one time to one address, cost 75¢ per issue , plus $2. For exam­ ple, GWS #1-39 would cost $31.25 . (39 x 75¢ is

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RENEWAL FORM Use this form to renew or extend your subscr ipti on to GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING. Place the label from a recent issue below, if possible. If not, print the info . Thanks. Account Number:

Name:

Expiration code:

Address (Change? Yes/No):

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l/ll/ln

.......... 0

City, State, Zip:

o :t>:z :z .'" " 0

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6 issues, $15 Group sub:

copies of

12 issues, $27

n

3:"<>, :t>:t>:t>

YES, PLEASE EXTEND MY SUBSCRIPTION FOR:

l/l~l/l

l/lOl/l

18 issues, $36

issues, $_ _ (see chart )

(Clip and send with your check or money order in U.S. funds to: GROWING WITHOUT SC~OOLING, 729 Boyl ston Street, Boston MA 02116.) GROWING WITHOUT SCHOO LING #40

Growing Without Schooling  
Growing Without Schooling  

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

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