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GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING 41 For this issue, we are trying out a new printer who has offered to do the job for considerably less money. Our regular printers, Eagle Graphics of Boston, have been doing splendid work for us for years at extremely low rates, and we do appre­ ciate their service. We hope our rela­ tionship with the new company, Rowley Printing, will be as good. As some of you know, John has been having a problem with his left leg, has been advised to stay off his feet, and has regretfully had to can­ cel two speaking engagements (Buffalo and Missouri). However, he expects to be in 100% fine shape in a few weeks - actually, by the time you read this. We are pleased to include half a dozen book reviews by Mary Van Doren in this issue. These books are being added to our catalog at her sugges­ tion, as indeed have a number of books in the past. Irving Naiberg, an old friend of John's, runs a small publishing com­ pany called Irvington Press, and we were absolutely delighted to learn recently that he wants to reprint INSTEAD OF EDUCATION, which has gone out of print. He says the book should be available in a couple of months . Also, on John's suggestion, Addison­ Wesley (his current publishers) will reprint Jean Liedloff's THE CONTINUUM CONCEPT which Warner Books had let lapse. We've received about a dozen entries in the GWS T-Shirt contest so far (deadline Oct. 31) . Following the inquiries of several readers, we checked with the sponsors of the con­ test, and - yes, they will be happy to print the winning design on 100% cotton T-shirts as well as on cottonl polyester. By the next issue, we should be able to show you the win­ ning design and to start taking orders. A few people have expressed con­ fusion about the YOUNG CHILDREN: NATURAL LEARNERS supplement, so let me say clearly that it is a one-shot deal, not a continuing periodical. Any future GWS supplements, on that or other topics, will depend on how much time, money, and material is available. Sales of the supplement, by the way, are over 400 and still moving briskly. You'll find the latest catalog to JOHN HOLT'S BOOK AND MUSIC STORE in this issue. To assure delivery by Christmas, please send us your orders no later than Nov. 30 for US mail delivery, or Dec. 14 for UPS deliv­ ery. Also, we are pleased to offer now elegant Gift Certificates (de­ signed on Pat's Macintosh home compu­ ter!) for $10 and up. Perfect when you're not sure what books your friends and relative already own. Gift certificates can be used for GWS subscriptions, back issues, musical

instruments - any item we stock. Oh, and for those who've asked if Franklin and I have set a date: the wedding is November 11' --- Donna Richoux

won't wash, folks," he sa id. "How do we know parents can't teach better? Let them prove it'" Proposed legislation will be pre­ sented this spring ...

MONEY FOR REAL THINGS From Lynn Garringer (GA):

FRIENDLY DISTRICTS: NORTH CALIF.

... David (6) has recently start­ ed getting an allowance and extra money for odd jobs. It burns such a hole in his pocket, and it was ex­ tremely frustrating for us to watch him spend it on something he didn't real~y want just to be spending it. One ay we were shopping and he went through his routine of looking at all the toys for thirty minutes and said, "I'll just get this," somewhat deject­ ed, when I said, "Why don't you use your money to get your own tools?" His face lit up like a Christmas tree and ever since he's been spend­ ing his money on useful adult items instead of pretend toys that he's never been fooled by anyway' It also seems to help him grasp the worth of money more . Yesterday he bought him­ self a fish and everything it needed (bowl, gravel, water plant, drops for water, food) and is so proud of it . With it came a thousand questions, so we're off to the library today to learn about fish' ... FLORIDA TO CHANGE LAWS Ann Mordes (FL) writes:

... Yesterday (9/19) I was in a meeting of the Florida Association of Student Services, held in Tallahas­ see . A friend of mine, a certified teacher, tipped me off to the fact that this particular group were tru­ ant officers, social workers, school counselors, and so forth. She told me that the meeting was going to be about homeschooling and that she and I should go as private citizens . We did and whew' Dr . Patterson Lamb, head of non-public schools in Flori­ da, and Commissioner of Education Ralph Turlington both showed up and spoke on the subject of home schools . Dr . Lamb said that there was an astronomical number of parents teach­ ing their kids at home who were call­ ing themselves private schools . She said that this summer the D.O.E. in Florida had checked several other states to see what they did in this type of situation. Lamb said that since California had the nearest type of laws to Florida's, she called there and asked what they did. California said that they just called home situations private schools and got on with their more important busi­ ness . Lamb said that due to numerous suits against the state of Florida concerning this and due to misunder ­ standings in every county concerning what constitutes a private school, they had decided to remedy the situa­ tion by, guess what? Loosening the law to allow parents to teach their children at home and requiring them to have the kids tested once a year (by a licensed psychologist) to make sure they're keeping up. The truant officers were out­ raged. Some said, "Don't loosen the law, tighten it!" Then Mr . Turlington came on and I must say that I was impressed ... He said that the state could not contin­ ue to say to parents that they had to be certified to teach, when teachers in private schools do not. "It just

[DR: 1 Lynn Hartzler, Program Man­ ager for Alternative Education and In­ dependent Study at the California De­ partment of Education, wrote: ... 1 suggest that you contact the following persons about the arrangements they are making to accom­ modate parents and students who wish to have educational programs at home in lieu of attending school on a regu­ lar basis: Dr . Marilyn DeVore, Home School­ ing Program Director, Butte County Superintendent of Schools Office, 1859 Bird St, Oroville CA 95965; 916-534-4678. Ms. Marta Reyes, Coordinator, Prescriptive Education Programs, El Dorado County Office of Education, 337 Placerville Dr, Placerville CA 95667; 916-622-7130 . I believe you will find their programs to be of interest to your readers ... [DR: 1 wrote to eac h program, and received this reply from Nedra DuBach, Home Study Curriculum Consul­ tant, Butte County Schools : ... Dr . DeVore directed your let­ ter to me because of my involvement and knowledge of both El Dorado and Butte County programs . I have worked and am still working as a non-creden­ tialed assistant, consultant, advi­ sor, and always - advocate in favor of teaching, nurturing, and growing with your children in the home. ... 1 am one of 13 people who are proud to have written a home study concept that is organized enough for the public school system yet has the freedom that home schooling is all abou t. There are policies ready for adoption, forms ready to be used, and enough choices of subjects to fulfill your wildest dreams . Marilyn is using it in Butte as well as Marta in El Dorado . Its basis is the California Adopted Textbooks and daily lesson plans to guide you through the text. And if that gets boring there are supplemental work­ sheets, 2 to 3 day project sugges­ tions, booklists, science experi­ ments, and it goes on. The kindergar­ ten reading readiness and writing has a set of 13 puppet patterns, which all have personalities (through Mommy's voice and hands) and of course have phonic sounds that live as families do - in houses . If Mommy

WHAT'S INSIDE Research: 2 --- Maine regulations: 2 --- Pr i­ vate school vs l oca l approval: 4 --- Deaf child: 4 --- Dropout parent: 5 --- Refugee: 6 _.- L.D. at home: 7 --- Return to school: 7 --- Teens: 7 --- Caring for mother, siblings: 8 _.- From teachers: 9 --- Interruptions: 9 --- JH/Independence: 9 --- Young children: 10 --- JH/Wor1d of books: 11 --- Starting to read: 12 --- Late readers: 12 --- Book1ist: 13-20 --- Drawbacks of reading: 21 --­ Library/4 yr old: 22 --- Letters to Russia: 22 --- Newsletter by teens: 23 --- History: 23 --- Practicing for tests: 24 --- Computer ed. necessary?: 24 --- French videotapes: 24 --­ Art ideas: 25 _.- Kahn, JH/Suzuki: 25 Karate: 26 --- Selling good books: 27 --­ Tapes: 27 --- Book reviews 28-30


2 can't find her words, Alice Hurley, the 30 year veteran and creator, has written dialog. Now, to your questions . The expected enrollment in Butte County was 35 students. At the conclusion of the school year, Marilyn had hired two part-time teachers as her enroll­ ment was 99 students. Her pre-enroll­ ment for the 84 - 85 year is 108 with eight appointments for what we call Request for Participation ... We will have all the supplies out to these peopl e, we hope, before Sept . 1. At that time there will no doubt be ref errals from various schools. We provid e a vast selection of lesson plans at each grade level. The pro­ gram has purchased four computers, four good microscopes, and various science kits, and the county media center welcomes our parents to come, browse, and check out any equipment that would be available to a school. As for the forms, it is reason­ ably basic for the families . Marilyn hold s a conference with every family enrolled. We have devised five minute tests (but we don't call them tests) and with the parents' help and our evaluator, a contract can be agreed upon for the curriculum . We have the cutest second-grader - every subject agreed on is at the 4th grade level with th e exception of handwriting. You know, I tell him one of these days hi s fingers will be long enough. And so with books, pencils, cray­ ons, art supplies, writing paper, they all march out of the building . The next person to see them is their visiting teacher (the kids always call Mom or Dad their teacher) who will arrive at their home the next month, by appointment . Meanwhile, we have worked up a folder for any special things for each chi ld. We have mailed a time card to the home which the super­ vising adult will fill out in what­ ever fashion agreed upon in the con ­ tract. All three teachers, the secre­ tary, and myself always have a Con­ tact Sheet available . This is for every phone conversation, each time they come in for the computer or any other equipment, and field trips. We had two field trips a month last year - it wasn't enough . This year we will try four. Also, since I work with the little ones, we are going to have four Little People's Trips . If the family should take a field trip of their own, we do have a form they can fill out. It is not a must. This program is only as good as its director. Marilyn responds in every way possible to her families. As she h as often written, these peo­ ple are her clients . She also found two exce ll e nt teachers, one with expertise in science, the other in lit erat ur e. Marilyn is a mathemati­ cian deluxe. I fill in the arts, music, hi story . And when a teacher has a disagreement with a family or a family must talk to a teacher who's out of town, we work things out. We only had one disagreement if you want to call it that. A new teacher thought th e end of t h e year evalua­ tion was mandatory through CTBS test­ ing. It wasn't even a five minute upset. The visiting teacher may at the parents' request sit down and talk out an evaluation . You see, in this sort of situation, the teacher has many games for all ages . This bag of trick s is always along on a visit. We believe the success or fail­ ure of a program stems on the rela­ tionship and understanding derived from wo rking out each individual con­

tract. I hope I've answered your ques­ tions. Butte County would be pleased to be listed under "Friendly School Districts," and would be happy to assist any parent in need whenever possible ...

INFO ON TEACHER EXAM

able to ask you and your child some questions about how reading happened and to get a free meal for myself and my family." Susan Richman tells us, "Howard is really enjoying the research/inter ­ views ... He's thinking of putting it all together in a book, or at least giving talks at International Reading Association conferences on the topic."

From Sue Himel (ND): . .. Ronaele Berry asked in #40 for information about the NATIONAL TEACHER EXAMINATION . I took the exam in Louisiana in the spring of 1980 prior to applying for a certificate in that state. There are two differ­ ent types of tests offered. The Com­ mon Examinations measure general know ­ ledge and professional education. The examinations in each different area of specialization measure one's know­ ledge of that field and familiarity with accepted teaching methods. The tests can be registered for and taken separately . I think that any normally intel­ ligent person who pays attention to what is going on in the world will have no difficulty with the general knowledge portion of the test ... Th e section on professional education may sound intimidating, but I ' d recommend a common sense approach to these ques­ tions. That ' s all most educational theory is anyway . . .. The tests in specific areas may be a bit more difficult . I have only taken the test in mathematics .. . It coverered only topics that one might reasonably be expected to teach in junior or senior high school . A word of encouragement - a reporter in Shreveport, La . , decided to take the NTE Commons and Elemen­ tary tests for an article he wrote when the examination became a require­ ment for certification there. La. 's cut-off scores are all near the 50th percentile . The reporter, who had never taken an education course, scored well above the minimum require­ ments for certification ... [DR: For a brochure on the Com­ mo ns exam that includes sample ques­ tions, write NATIONAL TEACHER EXAMINA­ TIONS, EDUCATIONAL TESTING SERVICE, Box 911, Princeton NJ 08541.]

NEWS ABOUT RESEARCH The TEACHING PARENTS ASSOCIATION of Washington State has done an excellent job of preparing and analyz­ ing a survey of 441 homeschooling families, and we at Holt Associ­ ates are selling its 66 - page booklet on the results for $7 plus postage. The survey focussed particularly on what kind of regulation would be acceptable to homeschoolers, so it should be useful to people in states that are considering legislative changes . Howard Richman (PA), a reading specialist, has been running this announcement in the Western PA Home­ schoolers newsletter: "I would like to find out more about how children learn to read at home. If your child has learned to read at home I would like to arrange a small trade. I can come to your house and give your child an informal reading test which will substantiate that he or she can read . Furthermore I can write a let­ ter to whom it may concern which states your child's reading level. In return, all I would like is to be

Wendy Priesnitz (Ont . ) writes in Child ' s Play: ... Replies to my questionnaire on homeschooling in Canada have been coming in strongly over the summer . You may be interested in some prelim­ inary results. About a hundred have been returned to date (out of around 300 mailed). ... Most use an informal, child­ directed approach, while a good num­ ber, especially in B.C., are able to use a provincial government correspon­ dence course. The overwhelming majori­ ty of the people responding have had cooperation from school officials. Mind you, there were few overly posi­ tive reactions reported, but few hor­ ror stories either. Seven people reported negative reactions from school boards, with three families being refused permission altogether. On the whole, families seem to be very pleased with their home school experiences ... And 90% of the respondents indicated that more fami­ lies in their area are homeschooling - our numbers are definitely growing' [DR: ] And Freda Davies (Ont.) learned in August that her grant pro ­ posal to study home-schooling in Cana­ da was approved' She will receive $8,000 from the "Explorations" pro­ gram of the Canada Council.

NEW MAINE REGULATIONS The Maine Home Education Newslet ­ ter summarized the newly revised state regulations for the approval of equivalent instruction as follows: Primary Tutor must be: 1. Maine certified teacher, or 2. A parent assisted by a satisfac­ tory support system: a . Certified teacher, or b. A public or private school, or c. Another homeschooling family with at least one year's exper­ ience, or

d. Any other that satisfies the commissioner.

Program Standards: 1. Adequate time to accomplish program 2 . 175 day school year 3. Sample of weekly instruction program 4. Curriculum outline 5 . Description of instructional materials 6. Tutor's plan for assessment 7. Plan for record-keeping 8 . Identification and description of support system Annual assessment: 1. Provision for annual achievement test, or 2 . Locally developed test, or 3 . Review by certified Maine teach­ er, or

4. Review by State Advisory Board, or 5 . Review of portfolio by state level Advisory Board.

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41


3

Appeals will be made through the State Level Advisory Board. The Board will consist of three home schoolers, one person from the Commissioner's office, and one person from a public school administrative unit. Parental motives are not to be questioned. Curriculum areas required by law: English, Language Arts, American History and Social Studies, Math, Sci­ ence, Physical Education . . . LOCAL NEWS

For addresses of home-schooling groups, see GWS #36, or send $1 for our Home Schooling Resource List. COLORADO: State Representative Jim Moore from Jefferson County is very much in favor of homeschooling and has spoken to meetings of the COLORADO HOMESCHOOLING NETWORK. Lena Eversole writes, "People at the state level say Jane Larsh (a wom­ an who was dead against home school­ ing) is no longer in charge of home schooling ... They say (on the phone) that no one is in charge - they don't have enough money for it." FLORIDA: Ann Mordes of FLASH writes, " Things have been really busy here ... Six to eight long phone calls every day, and tons of letters to ans­ wer. Barbara Plunket has resigned her post - moving out of state ... If any­ one offers to help in Florida please send them to me . I really need help." The new FLORIDA PARENT EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION (9245 Woodrun Rd, Pensa­ cola FL 32514; dues $29/yr) has formed seven districts to cover the state, each with its own Director. ILLINOIS: David Zethmayr (413 South 8 St, Lagrange 60525; 312-579­ 0787) tells us that Illinois, like a number of other states, is consider­ ing extending the compulsory educa­ tion ages "both ways . " A hearing on the subject was scheduled for Sept. 24; a final vote is not due until February. KANSAS: From Charlotte McCann in Burlington: "The simplicity with which Daniel Glynn states in GWS #40 he would 'rather be considered a pri­ vate school' indicates his lack of familiarity with the fact that there are unfriendly school districts in Kansas, or, as in my case, uncertain

school districts. And if all these law suits (or threats of them) could be avoided by the passage of a clear home school law, a lot of time and money could be saved ... "I recently attended the August session of the Special Committee on Education in Topeka where the commit­ tee had hearings on home school in general ... While there was much good input from current homeschoolers, as well as potential homeschoolers, it was obvious from the questions by the legislators that they can't quite accept unregulated (or even very lit­ tle regulated) homeschooling ... There must be more input from the parents about the ~ of laws (content) they want passe~opefully allowing much freedom to the parents . Senate Bill 712 appears to be as good as we could expect - better, actually ... So, per­ sonally, I would encourage all Kansas home schoolers to write to the newly elected officials ... " MASSACHUSETTS: Some responses after our August mailing to 1500 Mass. residents warning them about House Bill 5704, which would lower the compul sory school age to 5: (1) A candidate for State Representative, Lee Weber of Marlboro, called for more information and to tell us of

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41

his support; (2) a Seventh-Day Adven­ tist told us that the church instruc­ ted all the ministers in the state to have parishioners write in protest, as Seventh-Day Adventism counsels fam­ ilies not to begin formal education until 8 or 10; (3) we received $140 in contributions toward the cost of the mailing ($300) . The bill, similar to "education reform packages" in oth­ er states in that it contains dozens of widely different proposals, is due for a vote in early October . MICHIGAN: Pat Montgomery of Clon­ lara says she was dismayed to learn that State Rep. Tim Walberg plans to introduce a home-schooling bill that is modeled on Georgia's new law, which she says is "a law that many, many Georgians find disappointing." She goes on to say, "Personally, I oppose any steps to introduce legisla­ tion about home schooling. Leave well enough alone, I say. Let the folks who are unhappy with the vagueness of the current law (mostly, the Depart­ ment of Education people) introduce a bill . That will give us 'pioneers' a chance to jump on it and make all man­ ner of amendment, or whatever it takes to develop equity. I am loathe to watch a bill introduced by those who support home schooling be ripped to shreds by a hostile House or Sen­ ate. We do not have the number of sup­ porters it would take to pull off a decent bill right now ... " MINNESOTA: Following a sugges­ tion in the Minnesota Homeschool Net­ work Newsletter, home school families packed the courtroom as a show of moral support on Sept. 19, when the state Supreme Court heard arguments on the Budke and Newstrom appeals . Sharon Hillestad reports that the judges were very sympathetic towards the two families, and she expects the decisions to be announced before long. MONTANA: Debbie Kersten of the MONTANA HOMESCHOOLERS ASSOCIATION says that Doug Kelley, one of the can­ didates for State Attorney General, "was a key person involved in the 1983 legislative hearings, which resulted in a favorable law passed on the homeschoolers' behalf. He has also defended and counseled numerous homeschoolers free of chaq;e." NEBRASKA: The August Journal of the NEBRASKA CHRISTIAN HOME SCHOOL ASSOCIATION contains copies of two forms prepared by the State Board of Education for parents who are educa­ ting their children under the new law (which allows for "unapproved" schools). The "parent representative" of such a school must also submit an "Information Summary" on hours, "instructional monitors" (teachers), and "scope and sequence of instruc­ tion." The NCHSA has developed two alternate forms which it feels comply with the law and are more appropriate for home-schoolers. NEW YORK: From Katharine Houk (NY): " Last weekend we had a combin­ ation pot-luck picnic and home­ schoolers meeting. Thirteen families came . .. Many people had young (5 & under) children - they're planning ahead. But there was another girl, age 16, home-schooling this year, which our daughter Tahra (14) was pleased to hear ... "Some happenings at the N.Y.S. Ed. Dept. Rachel Smith, who is the one to send out the home-schooling guidelines to those who request them, had an informal meeting with my hus­ band (Seth Rockmuller) about home­ schooling. She asked to see a copy of GWS and was impressed with the vari­ ety of information available in it . She has decided to subscribe for her

office (Non-Public Schools, Civil Rights, & Intercultural Relations) . " OHIO: Despite the newspaper clip ­ ping we quoted in GWS #40, the Assis ­ tant Director of the Ohio Department of Education says, " To my knowledge, Ohio has not adopted new guidelines concerning home-based education pro­ grams. With regard to teaching a child at home, we are still operating under section 3321 . 04 (A)(2) of the Revised Code ... " OREGON: Jane Joyce of the LEARN ­ ING CONNECTION in Grants Pass writes, "We're starting our third year as a school-without-walls with 34 students (7-16) all learning at home and parti­ cipating in group activities, such as a weekly swim club at the YMCA, a monthly gathering, a paperback book club from Scholastic Books, a compu­ ter class at a community college, flea markets or fairs several times a year, gymnastics classes, picnics .. . Each family registered in THE LEARN ­ ING CONNECTION gets a year's sub to GWS ... So far, TLC has been grudging­ ly accepted by the D. A., Probation Dept., Welfare Dept ., and truant offi ­ cer, and I can obtain public sc hool records from schools my students once attended . I have a credential from Oregon to substitute -t each all sub­ jects, grades K-12, which has-add ed to the credibility of TLC ... Our first two graduates tested at college level on the GED at age 16 . .. At a Home Learning Seminar I sponsored Aug. 29, over 100 people came . .. " TENNESSEE: No one in Tenn. is keeping us ~nformed directly, but we gather that home-schooling legisla­ tion is still alive and will be con­ sidered in the next session . Accord­ ing to a Missouri newsletter, the Ten­ nessee bill allows for six alterna­ tives: "Curriculum may oeapproved by a Christian or homeschooling organiza­ tion, OR a correspondence curriculum may be used, OR the student may be tested with a national achievement test, scoring above the 40th percen­ tile, OR the teacher may be a college graduate, OR the parent may be a cer ­ tified teacher, OR the parent may take a competency test to show the ability to teach, OR the child may be assessed by a professional of a Chris­ tian school or homeschooling organiza ­ tion indicating an adequate level of achievement ."

TEXAS: The Texas Home Educators Newsletter points out that because of the way t he state law is worded, if a

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4

child under 7 is enrolled in first grade and then after a few weeks his parents decide to pull him out, they will be vulnerable to prosecution. If they had never enrolled their child in any school, though, the law would not apply until the child was 7. VIRGINIA: James O'Toole sent us a list of the correspondence courses approved by the state board in July. They are: The American School, Cal­ vert (Advisory Teaching Service), Cam­ bridge Academy, Christian Liberty Academy, Home Study (Institute), ICS, and Pensacola (all addresses on our Home Schooling Resource List). James also writes, "I know of some families that are waiting to see how others are treated [under the new law] before they 'go public' . .. I should add that I have not heard of any case in which a family without a degree has been turned down. I would very much like to hear of such cases if they exist .. . I also would like to know of cases that go to a hearing officer under the appeals procedure now or next year (evaluation clause) . I need to know who is having trouble if I am to be of any help to them. "I feel that we have a healthy situation here because change does not come easily and this law is a start . State Supt . Davis is aware that the law is very flexible, even regarding evaluations, such as port­ folios, etc. He is trying to have the local superintendents work within the l aw . .. If the school system cannot put their best foot forward under this law, then I don't know what law we could pass that would allow them to do so . Under this law they have very little aut h ority to act unless th ey see real abuse .. . " WISCONSIN: Sue Brooks and Chris Mayou report ~n the Homeschoolers of Wisconsin newsletter that the Depart­ ment of Public Instruction has made several mistakes already in implement­ ing the new state law. First, it asked for the names of children on the form it devised for home­ sc hoolers; state legislators got them to revise that . Second, the DPI told school districts that home-schoolers mu st turn in the forms before school s t arts, whereas t he law specifically gives the due date as October 15 . Th ird, it asks parents to sign some " assurances" that Sue and Chris feel may exceed its aut hority, such as " Assurance is hereby given that a copy of t he school calendar, daily or weekly schedule or other materials verifying 875 hours of instruction ... is available for review by the local school district attendance officer." Chris also made this interesting point: "During my visits to the Capi­ t ol [before the new law was passedJ, I heard several times legislators ask­ ing constituents how legislation wou ld affect them gersonall Y; this seeme d c l early to e as important, or mo r e so, t han quoting authorities, exper t s, or other legislation and c ourt cases." - DR PRIVATE SCHOOL VS. LOCAL APPROVAL

From Candace Syman-Degler (OR): .. . 1 need to talk with you about your position, developed over the years , that it's best for home­ sc hoolers to go to their school dis­ tr icts for "sanction." I believe I unde rsta nd your thinking on this: my own l imi t e d deali ngs wit h sc h oo l a u t ho r i t ies have s h own me how hostile they are to t h e words "private s chool." I also see that it's better

to be the party initiating the "co­ operation" process and that the home - schooling movement is furthered in a way that it can't be by those of us who are "private schools." However, I think of all the dif­ ferent home-schooling families I know. What a diverse bunch' The reli­ gious fundamentalists, the religious "moderates," the people who believe the state has no business telling them anything they should do, the "alternat~ve culture" sorts who find lifestyle differences with the public schools. And many more who fit in the cracks between these shallowly drawn categories. Of all these families, I can think of only one who had a plea­ sant experience getting permission to home-school, and that's probably be­ cause the child's father is on the school board. Among the unpleasant experiences we've observed recently is a child­ neglect suit brought against a conser­ vative religious home-schooling fami­ ly because of what is described as a personal vendetta between the father of the family and the school superin­ tendent. In another instance, a certi­ fied teacher has been subjected to a battery of psychological and other tests in order to gain permission for home-schooling. And we live in what is generally known to be a liberal, fairly sophisticated area' You can see that what I'm get­ ting to is FEAR. When I witness these negative experiences ... when I think of the current obsession with testing and standardization going on in the schools, it makes me a coward. I want my younger children, ages 8, 5, and 2, to have the same home-schooling ad­ vantages that the oldest has. Because the school district knows that it has home-schoolers and turns its head, be­ cause I make an honest effort to keep all the records and paperwork a pri­ vate school would, I feel that it would be opening a Pandora's box to go to the school district at this pOint . Am I wrong? Worse yet, am I a coward? I know that ~ children-prob­ ab~y would do fine on tests that a sc 001 board might require, but what about the home-schoolers I know whose kids still can't read and write at age ten? You and I know that it's OK but isn ' t a school board going to slap them with child neglect and immediately put the kids in sc hool? So, what we have is that I agree with your theory about how home­ schoolers and school districts can co-operate, but I'm real leery about how it actually benefits all home­ schoolers, especially those in states like ours where private schools are unregulated. We work, through phone calls and letters to legislators, to keep it that way. There's an active Christian home - school political net­ work that informs us non-religious home-schoolers so we can all work toward the same freedoms ... [JH:] All these points are well taken . In any public statements we make about home schooling, we might do well to say that it doesn't make sense for public education officials to drive into the private school sec­ tor home-schoolers who would be glad to work with public schools - if they could. DEAF CHILD & PAR ENT-AT HOME

Kim Schive (MA) sent us an arti­ cle she wrote for the IAPD Newslet­ ~, which is for parents of deaf

children. The article was scheduled to appear in the September issue: ... 1 am the single parent of a profoundly deaf nine-year-old, Earl, who is adopted and has been living with me since he was five. I am also deaf myself. ... Earl had no language (speech or signs) at the age of five and over the next two years made rapid pro­ gress in the acquisition of ASL [Amer­ ican Sign Language] as a first lang­ uage. By the time Earl was 7 years old and in his third TC program lTC means "Total Communication," as opposed to "Oral," which is speech and lip read­ ing only], I had become very con­ cerned about the education he was receiving, or rather, not receiving. Each TC program that he had attended had claimed to use "Signed English" but instead seemed to be using signs in English word order while leaving off inflectional endings and omitting function words . Earl adjusted rapidly to the communication system of each program, usually by simplifying his own complex language system to enable the teacher to understand him, but he was not being exposed to, or acquir­ ing English as a second language as I had hoped he would. Rather, he was be­ ing exposed to what linguists would term a "pidgin" - vocabulary without grammar . In addition to concerns regard­ ing the linguistic input he was re­ ceiving, I began to contemplate the possible negative emotional conse­ quences of participating in a system that, despite its "TC" label, glori­ fied speech and hearing as the high­ est goal one could attain. I felt that the lack of positive deaf role models in the educational setting was also cause for concern . Virtually none of his teachers had ever met or conversed with a deaf adult. Needless to say, few of the teachers social­ ized within the deaf community . I re­ call hearing the principal of one school refer to a 30-year-old deaf dormitory counselor as a "nice boy." I realized that, as far as these edu­ cators were concerned, deaf children never grew up. Most alarming to me were the low academic expectations that all "pro­ fessionals" seemed to hold. Nobody at Earl's current school seemed con­ cerned that my 7-year-old son was a non-reader and had spent the last six months in math class counting to ten . I was viewed as an overanxious parent and assured that my child would learn to read unless he had a "learning dis­ ability . " Their criteria for the diag­ nosis "learning disability" was that the child in question failed to learn to read in their program. I was told to "accept your child for what he is,'' meaning, I think, "for what we think he is." Feeling that Earl was not yet ready to read, the'teachers in this program refused to even attempt beginning instruction in the basal reader. It was at this point that I took matters into my own hands. Beginning at the end of March, I began to teach

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5

Earl at home several nights each week. We began with reading . Real­ izing that Earl needed to learn a new language (English) at the same time, I felt that using a reading series created for hearing children would not be appropriate . So, I began wri­ ting my own syntax-controlled stories using coloring books based on the pop­ ular "Dukes of Hazzard" TV show. With each story, I introduced one or two new grammatical constructions . I explained these new constructions by referring to his first language, ASL, and its rules . Earl learned new vocab­ ulary words by fingerspelling, finger­ spelling, fingerspelling. Unlike many beginning deaf readers, Earl was able to spell almost every word he could recognize in print . In addition, he never made the common mistake of con­ fusing words which shared an initial letter or letters. (I believe he still decodes print mainly through fingerspelling . . . making it easy for him to acquire new vocabulary and mak­ ing him an exceptional speller.) By the end of May that year, Earl had a sight vocabulary of more than 200 words and was off to a good start in his acquisition of the gram­ mar of English. The school's response to all this? They just added his accomplishments to his current ed . plan, checked them off as completed, and sent a copy to our local special education officials as an "end of the year progress report." Over the summer I added math to our home "curriculum" and Earl man­ aged to work up from a kindergarten level to early second - grade level, covering more than a year's work in less than three months. We worked on both math and reading less than two hours per day, three or four days a week ... Earl and I have continued to work together at home several times a week - times which both of us enjoy and look forward to. Much of Earl's home education is self-motivated and self-directed. As an example: several months ago Earl came home from school and wrote a multiplication symbol on his blackboard. He asked me to ex­ plain what it meant, knowing only that it had something to do with math . I took about ten minutes to ex­ plain the concept of multiplication, illustrating with several simple exam­ ples and some popsicle sticks . .. Earl announced his intention to work on this problem by himself. Armed with popsicle sticks, pencil, and paper, he retired to his desk . After a half-hour or so, he reappeared and requested, "Ask me a hard one . " I complied, asking him for the product of 6x4. He thought for a moment, then replied, "24." I gave him several more problems of increasing difficul­ ty. He responded to each correctly . . . At nine years of age, Earl is an avid reader who especially enjoys bio­ graphies and history. He is working on a late third-grade level in math. I seriously believe that he has re­ ceived the bulk of his education at home . He enjoys school for its social aspects but is often bored with the work he is given. English is still his weaker language, but his profi­ ciency in his second language is be­ ginning to approach his proficiency in his first. At home, the two of us communi­ cate in ASL as well as signed Eng­ lish . Most importantly, Earl is able to distinguish the two language sys­ tems and "code-switches" with ease depending on the recipient of his com­ municat ion . . . This fall, Earl will become a

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41

student in a private Quaker school near our home . He will attend school half-days with an interpreter, leav­ ing after lunch to work at home with me. The decision to leave the deaf school was not an easy one for either of us. His travel time to and from school will be cut by two hours but socially, the new situation will not be as comfortable or easy as the deaf school . Fortunately, Earl has several deaf friends in the area with whom he can socialize outside of school hours . And attending school for half-days seemed a nice compromise between a total home-schooling pro­ gram (which is often difficult to "sell" to local educational authori­ ties) and attending full time . There are two final things I would like to say about Earl. First, he is NOT oral. Despites the efforts of endless speech therapists and dedi­ cated teachers, his speech remains largely unintelligible. He does not use his residual hearing as well as he might had he been fitted with aids at an early age. Secondly, Earl is NOT a genius. During his last psycho­ metric evaluation his I.Q . was scored at 104 on one test and 112 on anoth­ er. If Earl were a hearing child, his accomplishments would seem quite ordi­ nary . As a profoundly deaf child (especially one who began acquiring language only four years ago) he is very unusual. I believe strongly in the inher­ ent capabilities of deaf children. From my experiences with the system of formal education for the deaf, I worry that most deaf children will not reach their full potential. Deaf children in this country are still graduating from schools for the deaf with levels of academic achievement far below hearing children of the same age . I am interested in contact­ ing and corresponding with other par­ ents or professionals who are inter­ ested in home-schooling for deaf children ... [DR:

1 Kim

also wrote us:

. . . Our arrangement for the com­ ing year is something of a comprom­ ise .. . The town is actually investing a lot of energy and money to keep him in school even part-time . They're pay­ ing his tuition at the school of ~ choice and have hired a sign language interpreter for the year. I figure it's costing them $15,000 or so. Well, if they get tired of paying for it, I'll just keep him out full-time. They actually have no academic objec­ tions to my teaching him at home since they know from experience with other deaf youngsters that Earl has done much better academically than those -rn-schools for the deaf . It's the same old story - they're worried about his social development . Well, so was I when he was going to deaf school . Simply being around other kids doesn't automatically insure healthy social interactions, especial­ ly in a toxic school environment. . . . School officials here wanted Earl to take a standardized achieve­ ment test . .. They want to have some basis against which to compare his progress over the course of the year . .. By the time Earl took the test in mid-July, he hadn't done any academic work in over a month . Any­ way, he ended up doing really well and scored on or above the third­ grade level in all subjects - even though he's not yet a third-grader. So Earl and I were very pleased and the school officials were somewhat

surprised . . . The school he will attend is t h e Cambridge Friends School and, as schools go, I rather like it. Because it is a Quaker school, the atmosphere tends to be peaceful and noncompeti­ tive . Everyone ' s on a first name basis (another Quaker tradition) and the teachers seem to have a lot of respect for t h e kids ' thoug h ts and opinions (all classroom decisions are reached by consensus). It ' s a racial ­ ly mixed group of kids whic h was important to me . And, I guess most importantly, the teachers do not seem to see Earl's deafness as any sort of handicap, just as an individual cha r ­ acteristic which contributes to his uniqueness . Finally, it ' s a short school year by public school stan­ dards - 160 days . In spite of all these good points, I feel somewhat unhappy that Earl will not be out of sc h ool full­ time. Still, I've let h im k now t h at he can drop out at any time . At t h is point, howeve r , h e ' s l ooking fo r ward to going . .. Well, it ough t to be be t ­ ter than the deaf school but - I h o p e he's not too disappointed ...

DROPOUT GAINS CONFIDENCE From Lynne Watkins in Colorado: . . . My husband, Kenny, is not con­ vinced that homeschooling is good . .. He finally agreed to try homeschool ­ ing with Eli (5) - mainly because it ' s so impo r tant to me .. . One of the reasons t h a t Ke nn y is apprehensive about me bei n g t he kids ' "teacher" is that I was a total fai l ­ ure in public school - I lost inter­ est very early - probably in first or second grade and struggled miserably through school up till I was 16 ... When I married Ken I cou l d hardly read or write and couldn ' t even do simple arithmetic. (I wasn ' t failing high school - only very unhappily "just passing.") So I think my husband's apprehen ­ sion is understandable . But I've come such a long way on the learning pa th since I've become a mot h er . My first real desire to learn came wi th my first pregnancy when I read every­ thing I could get my hands on about labor, birth, babies' nutrition, a nd parenting . This extensive study ended in a beautiful home birth and a very enlightened attitude toward life and learning . From learni n g nutri t ion I developed a love for organic garden ­ ing and the many, many different ideas of self-sufficiency . I began to teach myself piano at age 25 and now , two years later, am still practicing daily and love it - I've made real progress and am able to play tu nes o n other instruments: flute , clarinet, guitar, and kalimba . I've bee n teac h ­ ing myself wood-working , we h ave recently gotten chickens, I'm learn­ ing to ride a motorcycle - all t h ings I ' ve always wanted to do . What I'm getting at is that I finally feel that I ' m a ve r y active learner and I include the kids i n everything I do that they 're interes t­ ed in . I'm sure it helps the kids to see me so thrilled about learning things I want to know about . Ken has so much to offer the kids, too. He has a very scientific

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and inventive mind and knows so much about things that are beyond me at this point, things I'll probably never have much interest in . But Eli seems to follow in his dad's foot­ steps . They both love to see how some­ thing works - taking apart and put­ ting back together - and have a great interest in guns, fireworks, and that sort of thing. Kenny bought a new 22 pistol the other day, set up a safe place to shoot it and set about practicing. Eli was so interested but was afraid his dad wouldn't let him near - but he did. And later when Dad was clean­ ing, Eli asked me what Ken was doing . I said, "Ask hiiii":"" Eli said, "But he won't tell me~So I said to Kenny, "Your son sure is interested in what you 're doing." "I'm not stopping him from watching ." "He's afraid you'll tell him he's in th e way . " Eli sat down at the table with his dad, and there followed a very long and detailed discussion between them about guns. Turned out great af ter all' I guess it sometimes takes a little reminder to us parents. Eli has had an interest in sew­ ing and sewing machines for quite some time but I've been reluctant to let him sew on my heavy-duty industri­ al machine, so I finally got out my old home sewing machine, found a place in our small hous e where it wouldn 't be too much in the way, and let him at i e:-I was really amazed at his skill' He was able to thread it completely and sew nice straight seams and watch out for his fingers. He made a small pillow and stuffed it with dill from the garden (all his idea). Then he proceeded to make a real patchwork pillow' Sewed all the square patches together, stuffed it, sewed up the ope ning, and had it' He was as proud as I was ... I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised that he did so welr - he's watched me very closely for so long. There are three other home­ schooling families here in Platte­ ville' ... Didn't expect to find so many in this small community .. . I think I will incorporate us as a pri­ vate school. It will give us a name so Eli can answer that he'll be atten­ ding such-and-such home school ... May­ be we'll be the Watkins Family School. But I don't know . Eli wants it to be Super Blastoff School' ... SELF-TAUGHT WAR REFUGEE A letter from Nevada :

... 1 call myself a self-educated person, because I never had a chance to enter elementary school until the age of 9 and could only attend until the age of 15 under very hostile, con­ fining and dictating circumstances . Having bee n born in 1937 in Czechoslo­ vakia to German parents, I can only remember going to school a few times during the war , constantly being bombed, having to run to bombshelters most of the time and on the way home, being attacked by deep flights. In oth­ er words, there was no school. In 1945 we were evacuated by freight train, only to be blown up by the par­ tisans. My mother and two brothers got out of the wreckage and walked for six months trying to escape the Russians, partisans and Czech sol­ diers. We finally ended up in Vienna, only to get into the Russian Zone again. That part of my life is a book in itself. Being forced into an escapee camp, getting our heads shaved,

sprayed with DDT powder, constantly begging and stealing food for sur­ vival, believe me, school was nowhere in sight. My biggest dream ever was being able to go to sc hool somewhere, not being hungry and cold, and having a mother and father in a home without war . My mother finally died from hung­ er and typhoid .. . My little brother and I were picked up by strangers, to be raised by them. We lived for 9 years in the Russian Zone, which was nothing but terror and fear, only this time the bombs were not falling, but much worse things were going on . The elementary school I was finally able to enter, when living with my foster parents, was nothing like the average American family imagines and worries about. We were worried about survival on the way to and from school, not to mention that our main subject in school was Rus­ sian, Russian, and Russian again. No heat, no food except what the Rus­ sians threw at us from their garbage, never knowing what I would find when coming home from school . If the Rus­ sians hadn't been there terrorizing my foster mother and foster sister, then perhaps I could crawl under my blankets with gloves on and do my homework, which was a treat. I used to do farm children's homework all through the night, to get a loaf of bread in exchange for it ... Many times we were prevented from going to school by the soldiers. So when 1954 came and Austria was freed from the occupation and became neutral, my brother and I jumped on a train and went to West Germany ... That's when my school edu­ cation, if you can call it that, ended . . . . My little brother and I lived in one room, I worked (at age 15) in a leather factory during the day on piecework, supporting my lO-year-old brother, and evenings soaking up any educational material I could get my hands on . I borrowed a typewriter, taught myself how to type and also taught myself shorthand from books . After six months, I faked my first application for the German Government Surveying Office in Friedberg/Hessen as a stenotypist and was hired. I gained so much confidence in myself on this very first job, that I buried myself in English books eve­ nings to learn English . To me at the time, the Americans were like God and now my goal was to be able to work for the Americans. One and a half years later, teaching myself English shorthand and the English keyboard on the typewriter, which is quite differ­ ent from a German typewriter, I land­ ed myself a job as a dental reception­ ist and secretary to the U. S . Mili­ tary Dental Clinic in Bad Nauheim/ Hessen. Again, I had faked my applica­ tion as far as schooling information, and no one checked up, so I had again gotten away with it . My English be­ came fluent, working with Americans, and I received a promotion as a pri­ vate secretary and military interpret­ er for the U.S. Army Colonel ... Many coworkers including my superiors thought I had gone to the University of Vienna, graduated high school, etc . After a while I started believ­ ing i t myself. In 1959, I emigrated to the Uni­ ted States and had a pOSition within one week at Stanley Works in New Bri­ tain, Connecticut as a secretary to the Manufacturing Superintendent, then to the Director of Market Re­ search, and finally to the Vice Presi­ dent. I was forced to continue to lie on my applications. After working for

a prominent bank president, I finally discovered that real estate was rela­ tively easy to get into . Again, with­ out going to school for it, I bought a book, studied it and passed the test with flying colors, only to end up as a Real Estate Broker two years later, again passing a test without the so-called schooling demanded today. If these people only knew that I never had more than elementary school behind me??? I opened my own real estate com­ pany in Farmington for four years, raised three children ... Even though I was responsible for six agents in my employ and my three small children and a big house, I never lost the desire to learn more and more. By that time I had the walls o[ my house lined with bookshelves like a library ... When the real estate business started to decline, I refinanced my house and bought a small neighborhood bar for cashflow, not knowing any­ thing about the bar or restaurant business. Again, I bought books on it, told everyone I used to own a bar before and faked my way through it ... I took my daughters at age 15 and 16 out of school, I bought a motorhome with the remains of a life­ time's work and we left the East Coast with no goal in sight .. . I felt very guilty for taking my children out of school for a long time, but then I found out after travelling through this beautiful country of ours for nine months that they re­ ceived more and better education on the road than they had for their last school years. Finding Tahoe and its neverending beauty and serenity was a blessing from God. It reminded me so much of Austria, that it was like home to me . My daughters got their G. E.D. here in Tahoe and are now attending community college part-time for a real estate course ... Now living here in Tahoe in a mobile home and driving an old beat­ up car, I still find happiness in my books, which are lining the walls . I still have this tremendous urge for knowledge and am attending college now, but sometimes I wonder why I am attending ... I just opened a little business out of my house, which is go­ ing quite well ... 3-FAMIL Y SCHOOL

Bret Loucks, now in Wash . State, wrote last year from Ventura, CA: ... I'm a teacher who's been hired by two families to teach their children while they work . All of us, including my wife, live communally . We've had to set up our program as a private school. For months we communicated with the Dept. of Educa­ tion in Sacramento to try and work unaer different alternative education options, but as it turned out , local superintendents have control over "independent study" programs . Our dis ­ trict (Ventura) sets up everything (homework, aSSignments, courses, etc.) and parents can only get con­ trol after d"monstrating "success" to the teacher assigned to them ... So we went on with startLng a school. ... Some of the best parts of our program are described below. Arts - We've dabbled a lot in the arts. A local potter has sold us clay and offered her studio for glazing . She will charge us a nomin­ al fee for firing our work . We've set up a darkroom in one of the bathrooms, and the kids do all

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41


of their own work, after minimal training. We solve problems and teach new techniques as the need arises to get a print to come out the way they want. They shoot with 126 instamatics and old 35mm cameras . We've read scenes from plays (books obtained at the library), and performed a one-act play, setting stage, costuming, etc . We are also doing drama improvisations - one of our best activities . You can do this in t~orm of games ... Writin~ - The most successful activ~ty we ve come up with is doing a newsletter . Math - We've incorporated math into learning computer programming. At times this is difficult, sometimes a snap. Robert likes me to give him a problem, for example calculating the cost of driving to Red Rock Canyon, and he writes a program that will solve the problem. Better yet, he'll try to write a program that will solve a general problem of the same type. In this case he wrote a "mileage" program that will compute gas usage and cost to anywhere (if given the distance in miles), for sev­ eral different vehicles. The logic and math formulas are worked out to­ gether . This is a great way to learn algebra .. . TWO GRADES IN SI X MONTHS From an Ohio reader:

. .. A neighbor home-schooled her son with the permission of the school superintendent for six months ... Michael was in a classroom for L . D. children beginning in the 6th grade at the time his mother tutored him at home . "Tutored" in the sense that they used the school textbooks and guidelines and that their goal was to bring Michael up to grade level, especially in reading. In other ways, they went beyond tutoring, following Michael's own interests and traveling out of state to visit relatives (and their new computer) and museums. Michael was able to come up to his "proper grade level" in skills, a leap of l~ to 2 grade levels for him. He returned to school to be placed in a regular classroom . He also went back without his hate for reading, and began self-initiated reading at home. Part of the key was that he seemed to acquire some self-confi­ dence. Having mastered two school lev­ els in six months, he found out he could do something and was able to reap-past the hurdle of failure that he had always been faced with in learning previously . The special classroom meant failure to him in many ways and he felt labeled by it. Michael's mother did not want to continue home-schooling because she did not like the relationship she felt that home-schooling placed her in with her son . She felt the cost to their relationship was too high . I'm not sure of all that she was refer­ ring to, but I think it related to the pressure she felt of getting him to meet someone else's expecta­ tions ... She found herself pushing him and initiating things for him that he could not initiate out of his fear . She felt like the "bad guy" . . . She had trouble seeing anything but Michael's "negative behavior" and thus could not enjoy their time together . ... Additionally, two months after they began, they were reported to Children's Services for child neglect .. . It seems that a teacher in

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41

the school who was not aware of the superintendent's permission was be­ hind this report. A caseworker did visit their home and was enthusiastic about what a fine home life they had, and privately came back with some friends to visit because of his shared interests in community living and Christianity . . . Though Children's Services dropped the case immediate­ ly, I think this added to the pres­ sure Michael's mother felt . . . Michael has continued in school, just getting by grade-wise in most subjects, though he is a very intelligent young man ...

RETURN TO SCHOOL From Anne Perkins (MA):

1983: .. . Grace started off icial home schooling in the middle of her 5th grade year . Her home schooling was very loose - the learning by liv­ ing idea. We did do projects as her interest arose and she read lots of library books. She took piano, weav­ ing, gymnastics, calligraphy, horse­ back riding. In her 7th grade year, a friend (Gillian Idoine) also did home schooling, but Gilly returned to pub­ lic school the next year . At the beginning of 8th grade, Grace told me she wanted to return to school. I said, "Fine, but let's find the r~ght school." She'd really been out 0 school for four years at that point, and I couldn't see her rushing off to the local public junior high . So we began to investigate schools. With the Superintendent's coopera­ tion, she spent one week at the jun­ ior high to see what it was like. She spent a day at the local tech school (and loved it). We visited three pri­ vate boarding schools and she applied to them . The two traditional private schools were not receptive to Grace's having done home schooling - it's only fair to say that. She did not test well, never having learned to take tests, and they seemed to think she would therefore not do well in their classes . Fortunately, we learned about High Mowing in Wilton, NH . This is a Waldorf School, based on the educa­ tional philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. Here no testing was required for admission and the idea of home school­ ing made good sense to the staff . As a matter of fact, one of Grace's teachers had planned to teach his children at home before he discovered High Mowing . Grace was accepted and given substantial financial aid. I'm enclosing a copy of her report card . With all A's and B's, she's obviously doing fine academical­ ly . And when she's home she talks ex­ citedly about her studies . Few text­ books are used . Primary subjects are taught in intensive three-week "blocks" during which a "block book" is made . Grace does better with her block books and projects than her tests - at least in part due to her home schooling, I'm sure (and it's still fine with me! ) . . . She has some "holes" in her math learning . Her teacher cornered me at Parent's Day in October and asked me to explain her math background - he was mysti­ fied at her ability to do "hard" prob­ lems and inability to do "easy" ones. When I suggested maybe she belonged in Pre-algebra instead of Algebra he said no. And she's gone from a C+ first quar t er to a B, and with his "improving by leaps and bounds" com­ ment he reinforces for me my phil so­ phy of education - that a person will

learn what s/he needs to know when s/he has a need to know that thing .. . The hardest part for Grace is living away from home and old friends, and living in a dorm full of teenagers with little privacy and alone time . For a while last year - when the "straight" schools were not receptive to Grace's applications and the pub­ lic schools seemed destined to quell her interest in learning, I began to question the wisdom of my decision to let Grace stay home those years. But now I know that it was one of the best decisions I've made as a parent. I'm so glad she did home schooling ­ especially during those deadly junior high school years . .. July 1984: . .. Grace has finished two years at High Mowing ... This past year she began to get bored with her classes, to complain that she wasn ' t being challenged . There were a few ex­ ceptions - classes she loved - but her general feeling is one of boredom with classes. On the other hand, this year she was much more comfortable in the dorm - began to make closer friends, be more comfortable with the general school social life. Grace expects to spend part of the coming school year as an exchange student in France ... She is working this summer as a door-to-door canvasser for Mass . PIRG [Public Interest Research Group), a job she found for herself and got her ­ self hired to do even though she is only 16 rather than the usual 18. And she's quite a good canvasser, making the expected amount of money each day . Now the conventional wisdom would say that a kid who grew up alone in the woods, who didn't learn to tough it out at school, who was "overprotected," would not be the friendly, assertive kid who could can ­ vass door-to-door strangers and who could go to France by herself at age 16. The fact is, of course, that she learned to feel good and strong in herself during those years at home, and it is serving her very well now. In fact, by 5th grade in school, Grace was beginning to believe in her ­ self as a kid who didn't measure up, academically or socially. I know with­ out a shadow of a doubt that h er teen ­ age blossoming was only possible because of her pre-teen home school­ ing. Had she stayed in school those years she would now be a Band C stu­ dent, not an A student (though I still don't like that terminology, I don't know how else to describe what I'm trying to say here) . . . TEENS AT HOME

Evelyn Tate (NV) writes: . .. In May we met wit h the sc hoo l


8 board and presented a plan for high school by correspondence through the University of Nebraska . The superin­ tendent and assistant superintendent gave us their full support ... We appreciate your views on co­ operating with the laws of the state . We feel it is essential at this point . As a matter of fact, because of our religious convictions, we couldn't defy the law. We had to sign a contract agree­ ing not to expect to use any school facilities or to expect Amy to attend any events nor would her credits earned necessarily be accepted if she returned to school. That, believe me, was the least of our worries. The biggest objection we ran into was concern for her social life. The superintendent told us to expect it although he felt it was an aspect highly over-rated. Our congregation is the heart of our social life any­ way so we were able to calm their fears. Next year Amy will be tested as to her advancement and the year after that, then if all goes well the State of Nevada will be satisfied . Amy is somewhat afraid to work on her own and we both realize it is going to be a new relationship for us . This is more structured than we like but at least she 's out' She's been at loose ends but if'S picking up. We read ENOCH ARDEN together (she loved it) and since she adores little children she's beginning to write to some wee ones on your Pen-Pal List. She illustrates the letters and hopes to write stories in response to their l etters ... Would lov e to hear more on older children out of the rat race ... From a Denver reader: ... We've home-schooled for the past two years and are starting our third . .. My older girl (13) has been babysitting quite a bit, and has learned fairly reasonable money­ management skills. She also has become enamored of interior decora­ ting through sitting for a decorator, and has a good possibility of doing some exploratory interning with her some day. On her own, she has request­ ed that we try to study one career per week this winter, to find out as much as possible about what she might like to do . I was really pleased with this totally self-instigated plan. She already knows about office manage­ ment, programming, etc., from partici­ pating in our family business ... From Miriam Mangione (NV): .. . At the age of 13 our daugh­ ter's interests became much more spe­ cific . As others have said before in GWS, s h e is no longer interested in studying school subjects and bits of information . She is currently immersed in preparation for a career in dance (she should be ready in two more years), working part-time in a beauty salon, and getting ready for the challenge of life on her own. In some ways it's been a very difficult year for us, with boys and rock & roll now in the picture ... She seems to be outgrowing us faster than I'm ready for - but then, I've always felt one step behind my children. Still, I'm glad we've had her at home since she will be better prepared to be on her own sooner . Also, we ' d never have had ~ time with her had she been in school, with the addition­ al activities; friends, and private

time she now requires. · .. We are looking for something that will provide her with the neces­ sary "t ickets" (8th grade and high school diplomas) . [JH: What is an "8th grade diploma" useful for?] Cal­ vert just doesn't work for us and last year hardly any of it was done. We definitely need something geared individually . .. And from Ruth McCutchen (KY): · .. Alison's (15) latest volun­ teer job is at the local legal aide office where she is filing and summar­ izing social workers' case notes . The attorney in charge of this office is our friend Dan Goldberg (KY) who, along with his wife Margaret, will be opening their home school officially this fall. Alison wants to begin pre­ paring for the GED . Rebekah turned 13 in July and continues to type, draw, and read ­ madly' The Sunday paper had an arti­ cle about the books that high school graduates ought to have read, so she clipped it, and when we went to the library yesterday, she checked out THE SCARLET LETTER, POEMS BY ROBERT FROST, THE ODYSSEY, all of which were on the list ...

CARING FOR MOTHER. .. A reader writes: ... 1 have a new aspect of home­ schooling I've never seen discussed in GWS (or anywhere else). By its nature I wouldn't want my name used, as there are those, particularly "schoolers," who would say I am exploiting my children. I have been very ill for the past few months and have had to remain in bed resting for that time, and I've had to rely on my children (ages 11 and 14) to do my regular chores and bring meals to me, etc. Not everything gets done, of course, and there is still time left for them to do other things that they wish to do, so they haven't become "slaves" as many may think. Home-schooling has enabled me to have them home during this time that I need them (they have been out three years), plus while I'm sick I don't have to worry about them while they're in school (the usual school problems). They are also learn­ ing what is never taught in school : cooking, cleaning, responsibilities, compassion, initiative, nursing and helping others, and much more. My older children, in their 20's, have had everything done for them in their childhood, and now-they still expect everything to be done for them . But the younger ones have had a chance to help out, and what a dUf erence' . ..

...AND FOR YOUNGER SIBLINGS From Diann Foster (KY): · .. My husband Gary started col­ lege in the fall of 1983, full-time. I work the 3-11 shift at a local hos­ pital, full-time . We were hesitant about home-schooling because of the responsibilities of all of us. How­ ever, even though it was probably not the most ideal situation, it went quite well. Patrick (12) and Patrica (10) had been our babysitters for about a year when Gary started college. At first we would leave one or both with

one or two little ones and return in 15-30 minutes. Then we gradually lengthened the time to an hour or more. We found that they did a much better job than any of the teen-age babysitters we had had and also dis­ played more responsibility. We drilled them on what to do in case of an emergency, who to call, and also what not to do (let in anyone, tell whoever calling that they were alone, etc.) . When Gary started schoo l they were left alone with all the children for 1-3 hours almost every day . I am not sure exactly how much academics they learned, but Patrick and Patrica can cook several simple well-balanced meals, do the wash, clean the house, entertain pre-school children, change diapers, feed infants, and even give required medicine to children when necessary. Since it seemed that all year someone was coming, going, or busy with various outside interests, I tried to get the housework organized better. Patrick and Patrica are responsible for the laundry or kitch­ en work each week . Philip (6) picked the living room as his project and does a good job picking up, vacuum­ ing, and dusting. I still do the majority of the housework; however, the fighting about whose turn it is to do the dishes, fold the clot h es, or whose problem it is to get some clean towels or clean bowls does not totally fallon me. Also, I had to come to a realization within myself that even with everyone doing their share, with seven people of all ages and all different projects living under one roof, you cannot have a spotless house, but you can have a happy home. You asked how much watching a 6-7 year old needs. Philip does not require much. He needs someone, but he thinks he does not. The older children tend to be overly bossy with him, and we have discussed with Pat­ rick and Patrica how they handled a situation and then explored what could have been done differently to avoid a conflict. Philip has always been very independent and we have encouraged all the children to be as independent as they can. When others tell me that they must help their 6, 7, or even 12 year old children to get dressed and be on time for any­ thing, I do not understand. All my children started dressing themselves when they were two . Penni (3) has been dressing herself for over a year, and she picks out her own clothes. Sometimes her clothes do not match, and her dresser drawers are a disaster, but basically she does a good job. Sometimes I suggest that she change her shirt or put on some different socks, especially if we are going out, but mostly I just leave her alone with her clothes . Now, back to Philip. A few times we have had to have a serious talk with him about his behavior when Pat­ rick and Patrica are in charge, and he has always been quick to admit that he did treat them badly, and he will do better, and he has. I guess I should point out that most of his bat­ tles with them have been verbal and not physical. A few times he did hit them or try to kick, but that is rare. Within the past month, we have left him with the baby, when she is sleeping, for a few minutes while we take Patrick and Patrica for their piano lesson . Now he wants to get a babysitting job' . . . This fall Gary is only taking 6 hours a semester, so he will be home more to help the children in GROWING \\ITHOUT SCHOOLING #41


9

their school projects . I am looking for a part-time housekeeper to help us out one or two days a week. And hopefully, this year will not be as hectic as last . .. DAUGHTER LEARNED THROUGH WOR K From Catherine Wolken, 3933 Mid­ dleboro Rd, Pittsburgh PA 15234:

. .. My mother often complains about my not being able to cook. She says I never stayed in the kitchen long enough to learn. So one day I told her why I didn't stay in the kitchen . She disapproved of every­ thing I did. I was always clumsy, stu­ pid, and wrong. She couldn't under­ stand why I would rather help my fath­ er outside on the farm. It was be­ cause my father gave me approval. He never told me I couldn't do anything. I drove a tractor when I was 10, not a garden tractor, but a huge thing with metal wheels. My father needed someone to drive it for him so I did. To this day, the things I do well are the things my father taught me. He never sat me down and said, "You have to learn this." But if I asked him how to do something he showed me ... I don't blame my mother - she thought that was the way it was done . My fath­ er was an orphan. He didn't have any preconceived notions about what par­ ents were supposed to do ... FROM TEACHERS

From Terry Crawford, 1618 Shev­

lin, Ferndale MI 48220:

... 1 studied to become an elemen­ tary school teacher three years ago, when, at the age of 30, I found my­ self divorced and alone without my own children and both lonely and searching for some meaningful career (I've been a truck mechanic for eleven years) . I soon realized what should have been obvious to me long before, that the reasons I had hated school as a child were because of the basic falseness of the entire system, not because of some fault of mine' Finally, after college training in methods classes, which I disliked, and inspiring conversations during my theory classes, I was ready for stu­ dent teaching . I thought I'd show the established school a thing or two' I was going to free those students to learn as they pleased. It didn't happen . The demands of the school for testing and drill and head-stuffing wouldn't allow any real learning . I left the experience with a new respect for children, who amaze me with their tenacious integrity and good humor, and an undying knowledge that the schools are the great enemy, of the children and their intelli­ gence ini t ially and of the society the children become . I returned to my mechanic's job that I'd left thinking teaching would be prideful and rewarding; the pay and benefits (since that's all either job has to offer) are higher here. And I ' m not doing any sweet child harm in the name of good .. . From a teacher who has taught in England, Spain, and Sweden: ... During the last six years I ' ve been in many different schools and all have been the same in terms of t ne-emotional environment . Prison really wou l d be a less dishonest

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOO LING #41

choice for children . There is no joy, no real laughter, no real sharing, no time to be, no interest, no kindness or thoughtfulness, little honesty, a lot of pettiness, a lot of selfish­ ness, no peace, a lot of purposeless noise, no future . Children can ' t sit still, can't concentrate, fight and bully each other, tell tales, throw things, waste hours of time, have no sense of identity or self. Teachers use different voices - voices with cold purpose, not love or kindness .. . A teacher wrote in the British newsletter Education Otherwise: . .. Standing as I often do in front of unwilling and rebellious children, I ask myself whether I have any right to be a member of EDUCATION OTHERWISE. I am a teacher and have been for years . I see no immediate prospect of doing other things. My qualifications are peculiarly useless to me in any other walk of life - a nondescript general degree and a teacher's certificate . .. I have had a checkered and not astonishingly suc­ cessful career, and I have probably done more harm than good since the day some fifteen years ago when I realized that whilst any idiot can control children and get them to do more or less scholastic work, the special thing which is education calls for closeness, love, listening, touching . It used to worry me that, as a teacher, I was involved in what is essentially microcosmic fascism. I suppose it still does, especially when I have spent the greater part of a lesson simply holding the children down . For a person in my position, then, E. O. seems to offer a way in which I can take part in an education­ al venture in which real people are doing successfully what I know the schools ought to be doing . This gives me hope that one day the majority of parents and teachers will realize a simple truth which impresses itself on me so insistently . It is this: edu­ cation is for the children and nobody else .. . This realization makes my pre ­ sent position a most equivocal one. I cannot simply "get out," but every day I spend in the teaching profes­ sion, working with unwilling child­ ren, is a constructive betrayal of my convictions . What, then are those convictions? First, that education is a child's right and his parents' real duty . Second, that education is for the child's best benefit alone, and therefore that any part of it which the child finds barren and rebarba­ tive he is entitled to leave un­ touched . Third, that the child is the only one who can determine what he needs to know or do, and take respon­ sibility for meeting that need by the use of his immediate resources. Fourth, that adults are facilita­ tors and providers, not controllers. Fifth, that beyond protection, love, and ma t erial provision, the edu­ cator's only responsibility is to lis­ ten, explain, and clarify . Sixth, that vicious, selfish, and unsociable behavior is generally a reaction to an oppressive environ­ ment . The last point is a frightening one . I discovered this simple truth for myself when children who were un­ controllable in the classroom would

seek me out and converse wi th grave cour t esy a nd gentleness wi th i n mi n ­ utes of a screaming c l assroom row . I asked myself then and I ask myself again now what sort of a half­ conscious community would invest mil­ lions in s hutting up its yo ung in a place where they feel an uncontrol l a ­ ble urge to be unsociable . . . INTERRUPTIONS Susan Richman wrote in Western Pa. Homeschoolers #9:

... Many parents have worried about the number of interrup t ions in their homeschooling day - the baby needs a change, the telephone rings, the 3-year-old hurls a tan tr um wh i l e the older one is trying to r ead, t he housework pulls us in all directions, errands always need to be run, o l der ones need to be at outside classes on time. Although I know it has certain­ ly helped our homeschooling to simpli ­ fy our days as much as possible (translation: cut out swimming at t he YMCA, let Howard do almost a l l s hop ­ ping, go to Kittanning only on den ­ tist appointment days, NOT have use of a car every day, etc . ), perhaps it would be consoling to paren t s to know that stacks of educational researc h have been compiled on the impact, nature, and number of interruptions in schools. Those great chunks of TIME so neatly labelled "ma t h, " " read ­ ing" and "social studies" are in reality sliced and poked and jabbed by interruptions - a messenger appears with a note from the princi­ pal, three students leave midway through for speech class, a parent shows up with a forgotten lunch, a student needs to go to the nurse, children exit for the bat hrooms a nd the water fountain, the building nex t door is being sand - blasted, the school band begins its prac t ice in the parking lot, the interminable bells ring, and the intercom blares an announcement . Having been in bot h worlds, school teaching and home teaching, I for one would take the milder interruptions of home life a n y day' ... ON GAINING INDEPENDENCE A reader wrote:

.. . Lisa (5~) has a very diffi­ cult time amusing herse l f or becomi ng interested in anythi n g on her own . She always wants us to play with he r or to have a friend over to play with. She will spend a grea t deal of time complaining tha t she ' s bored i f she doesn't have someone to play with . We made a long list of all t h e possible things she could do by he r­ self (she included many sugges t ions ) but after one day n oth ing on th e lis t appealed to her . We've always believed that if we took an easy approac h and didn' t pus h that eventually she wou l d be come mo r e indepe ndent, but she just seems t o be ­ come more and more dependent on us t o provide around-the - clock ent e r tai n­ ment . I've read al l t he bac k issues o f GWS and haven't read abou t a c h ild OUR TOWN, EXPLORERS, MOUNTAINEERING PLUS 50 OH£R

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10

like this. So many of the children in GWS learn because of their own desires and I worry because Lisa doesn't seem motivated to do anything unless forced. She really is much more capable than she gives herself credit for. She's starting to read and has been writing many words for about two years. She can do some addition and loves to help in the kitchen and is great at answering the phone and tak­ ing messages. However, outside of answering the phone, she will not do any of these things unless I'm stand­ ing over her helping all the time. I don't want to have to sit and "teach" her all day and I don't have the time to do this even if I wanted to, be­ cause we have a very active, curious l8-month-old who is into everything ­ quite the opposite of Lisa . Even as a toddler Lisa never got into anything. I'm afraid this problem will become worse when all the neighbor­ hood kids start school because she depends so much on having someone to play with. I am convinced that school would do great harm to her. She defin­ itely does not want to go and I'm sure all that structure would con­ vince her even more that she can't come up with her own good ideas. If you would have any sugges­ tions as to how to help promote some independence and how to motivate her or to spark some sort of interests, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. I have enclosed a stamped self­ addressed envelope ... John Holt wrote in reply: ... 1 hesitate to make too specif­ ic suggestions about children I have not seen, so please take everything I say as somewhat tentative. Right off the bat, I don't find anything partic­ ularly wrong with a 5~ - year-old want ­ ing to play with other people or to play with a friend. On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with your saying, if you have to, "I'm sorry, Lisa, I would just love to play with you, but right now I can't, so you'll have to do something by yourself." If she complains about being bored, a not bad response might be to say, "Well, I'm sorry, but nobody ever died of boredom. Perhaps you'll think of something to do later. But in any case, I don't want to hear any more complaints about it right now, because I can't do anything about it." I think it was a good idea to make a list of possible things she could do by herself. Keep the list around where she can see it. Perhaps things that didn't appeal to her on the first day may appeal on another. Or, you can keep adding things to the list. You are quite right, taking an easy approach and not pushing is indeed the solution to this problem, but you don't actually sound as if you are doing it - you seem to be pro­ viding her with the entertainment she asks for, and as long as you do it, she's going to keep asking for it. Delighted to hear about her read­ ing and writing. Obviously, she is a capable child, so you have nothing to worry about there. You say at one point "She will not do any of these things unless I am standing over her helping her a 11 the time." I have to say again, as long as you stand over her helping, she is going to rely on that help. You have to give that up. This is not to say that you must never help her; when she asks for help doing something she has not done

before, you should indeed give the help, even if you have to stop doing what you are doing to do it . But this is not quite the same as standing over her helping her all the time. Say to her something like, "Now do the best you can, for a while, while I do something else, or if you don't want to do it, that's OK too." ... You ask about how to "promote some independence" and "how to moti­ vate her or spark some sort of inter­ ests ." Those are exactly the sort of things you must sto doing. You can­ not promote indepen ence; indepen­ dence comes from within, not from without. The same goes for motiva­ tion. As you are constantly promo­ ting, motivating, and sparking, she is going to remain dependent on those outside sources. I know this is easy for me to say and hard for you to do, but it is the only advice I can give . You have to stand back a bit, be patient, have faith that given enough time she will be able to find her own ways of doing things ...

a

A SENSIBLE MISTAKE

From Lynne Thunderstorm (BC): ... Another example of how mis­ understandings happen occurred with a deck of Rupert cards. Raven (3~) enjoys looking at the simple pictures and playing her own games with them. One card shows a fox picking apples. The fox has a basket with apples in it, and he or she is shown reaching up to an apple-laden tree with an apple in his/her hand. Raven ran to me and exclaimed, "How does the fox ever get the apples to STICK up there'" It reminds me of those optical illusion drawings where you can switch from the profiles to the vase . Once she locked herself into that mindset, she couldn't see that the fox might PICKING apples, but after we talked about it, of course she realized the correct way of look­ ing at the picture ... YOUNG LEARNERS From Gayla Groom-Slatton (OR):

... So much could be gained by em­ ployers' realizing that kids and work can go together. I am a writer and photographer. There are many times when it is difficult for me to work with Cord (2) around, such as when I'm trying to put a coherent thought on paper ... But there are just as many times when my profession becomes a (pardon the cliche) learning experi­ ence for both of us. Cord loves help­ ing me get out paper and pens, re­ place typewriter ribbons, read him what I've written . He types letters on his typewriter to his friends. He doesn't really like to draw with his crayons; he "writes." As for photo­ graphy, that's his big love. I bought him an old 35mm camera at a garage sale (a home schooler's best friend) for $3 . He carries it wit h him on all our photo/camping trips and takes pic­ tures. They're generally not up to professional (or any other) stan­ dards, as you might imagine, but does he ever have fun' I have a picture of him, all 25 pounds of him, standing on a primitive, rocky mountain road, his 3Smm mounted on a tripod, and him cocking the shutter and peering through the viewfinder. He looks like a real pro! He takes pictures of Big Bird and his other stuffed friends,

setting them up to suit him. He even changes lenses. Cord isn't interested in a Kodak instamatic, except to take out the batteries and film pack. Too boring, I guess . For any other par­ ents who might be interested in try­ ing this - some camera repair shops sell cameras that aren't in good work­ ing order for about $5 ... From Colleen Redman-Copus

("Access to Tools," GWS # 26):

... When Josh was little, I had part-time jobs and I took him along with me ... When he was age 1-2, I worked in a church nursery three days a week . He really benefitted from the experience and always had his mum on hand for nursing and so on. I also answered an ad in our local paper to care for an elderly man. We visited "Buck" two times a week . I made his bed, hung out his wash, and took him shopping. This was about all he would allow me to do for him as he was very independent. The relationship that Josh and Buck devel­ oped was very special. My husband and I were building our house at the time and the extra income really helped. . .. My husband has built two oth ­ er houses for sale on lots adjacent to us. The boys went everywhere with him to buy materials, etc. But, it was Dylan (2~) who enjoyed working side by side with his dad for lfing periods on this last house. I t ink he knows the names of more tools than I do' When my husband, Steven, had to take a regular job to fill in with "our vlOrk," Dylan took it very hard ... Josh (now 5) also goes to karate class with his dad. He takes books and toys (his He-man Doll collection) and watches from the sidelines. Some­ times he joins in with the class. Sometimes my husband gives him point­ ers, but I instinctively feel that his best learning is just by being exposed to it ... Barry Kahn (ME) wrote when his younger daughter was 2: ... Jocelyn is quite a little character ... She doesn't always pro­ nounce things too clearly, but her grammar is a wild combination of impeccable and original . "Be care­ ful," I say as she teeters on the edge of something . "I will," she replies, continuing blithely. One of her favorite lead off phrases is "I think so." For example, "I think so I'm hungry." It has a Germanic flavor to it . "I think so I don't Ivant to go to bed." She has been very motherly the last couple of months, forever haul­ ing around the little chocolate­ colored doll she chose on a shopping trip with Grandpa last spring. She nurses it, changes it, diapers it, tells me to hush because the baby is sleeping, pushes it in a carriage, etc. She also talks to it constantly, little bits of advice on how to behave, etc.! ... And from Debbie Healy (CA): ... Andy (3) is addicted to count­ ing: how many people are sitting at the dinner table, how many are there when one leaves, etc. All we have ever done in the way of helping him is to answer his questions ... He has had those magnetic letters and num­ bers on the refrigerator since before his second birthday - he especially

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41


11

likes when we spell out surprise messages to him. He also has his own chalkboard and easel which he uses daily. Andy has shown a real interest in clocks and time in the past six months. I made a cardboard clock with moveable hands that hangs below the real clock in our kitchen. Next to the minute lines I wrote the numbers 1-60 so he might more easily under­ stand why we say it's 20 minutes after 9, for instance . I think maybe that helped a little . One day Andy and I took apart an old electric clock that was broken. I had no idea how to fix it, but it sure was inter­ esting to look at all those little pieces and make guesses at what they do' Last week we found a deal - a quartz digital watch for Andy: 94¢' He loves it ...

THE WORLD OF BOOKS As I write this, Helen Van Doren (10 mos.) is sitting in the doorway to my office with a paperback book, THE LAND OF OZ, in her hands . She is having a fine time with it. For her it is mostly a shiny rectangular object, just thick enough to get a good grip on and wave around, except that because of its shiny cover it slips out of her hands easily and lands every so often with a nice thump on the floor . Now and then she will get hold of it by the cover alone, but she has not discovered, for the most part, that a book is made up of a lot of separate thin pages which can be turned, torn, crum­ pled, looked at, or whatever . Just yesterday, her sister Anna (3 ) was sitting in the big armchair in Pat's office, holding a book, A. J. WENTWORTH, B.A., from which she was reading to her mother Mary, seated beside her . What Anna was saying sounded very much like reading, she had a reading "tone" in her voice. But the words, instead of having to do with A.J. Wentworth, were all about th e adventures of some imagin­ ary friends of hers . Seeing me look­ ing at her from the doorway, Anna interrupted herself to say something like, "I'm reading this book to Mama, and I'm reading the words." I said, "Yes, I can hear that," and after lis­ tening a bit more, went on my busi­ ness . Later, Mary told me that quite often Anna would stop "reading" right in the middle of a sentence of her story, turn the page, and go on, just like someone really reading from a book . Watching and listening to her, and watching her baby sister today, made me realize there are two diamet­ rically opposite ways of opening to children the world of books. One way is to start them with the names and sounds of individual letters; then, with small words; then, with small groups of these words joined to make small sentences; then, with small reading books; and then other books, each a little harder than the one before, until the children supposedly have enough reading skills to read any book they want . The trouble is that by this time most of them wouldn't care if they never saw anoth­ er book in the i r li ves . Gaining entry in the world of boo ks this way boils down to surmounting a long row of obstacles, each a little larger than the one before, or going through a series of locked doors which only open to you when you say the correct password, only to lead you, of course, to still another locked door. GROWING WITHOU T SCHOOLING 1.'41

The other way of opening the world of books to children is the way it has been done for Anna Van Doren. The world of books was first opened to her, she became a citizen of it, when for the first time she clutched a book in her hand and thought, "This book is mine'" Instead of beginning with a tiny idea, the sound of a letter, she began with a big and important one, that books belong to people and could belong to her . In time she filled in this big idea with smaller but still large ideas: that books have stories locked in them; that they have written words in them, and that the stories are somehow con­ tained in the words, so that somehow figuring out the words is the key to unlocking and taking possession of the stories; and that these stories can be shared with, given to, other people. Your conventionally taught child, even when much older than Anna, may know nothing of books except how to figure out what the words say . Anna knows everything else about books, ~ncluding all the impor tant things. - JH

READING : AN EXCITING DISCOVERY John's long-time friend Leila Berg, who writes books for children (LITTLE PETE, the Nipper series ) and for adults about children (READING AND LOVING, LOOK AT KIDS, RISING­ HILL), and who gives talks on child­ ren and reading, wrote from London about her grand-daughter: ... Arvind was staying with me (age then 3) with her dad and half­ brother Purnam (age 9). Purnam, at supper: I've written some stories today. Me: Have you? What are they about? (He told me . Then - ) Arvind: And I've written some stories, too. Me: Have you? What are yours about? Arvind: I don't know. I can't read. This is only the end of the first act, though, so to speak. That very night, she did begin to read . She had had read-eo her, as a bedtime story, "There Were Ten in the Bed" (a traditional song) in the Child's Play edition, which has a little wheel in the book, with which you can actually make the children fallout of bed. She'd gone to bed with the book under her pillow, took it out in the middle of the night, and by the very dim light of a table lamp started to read out loud. She read each word phonet­ ically, carefully and with great application, sometimes several times over till it clicked. And went on and on for at least an hour. Param, her dad, reported this at breakfast, in a state of wonder. So of course we got loads of books from my bookroom, ones she ' d never seen before, and she read through them all. In fact she couldn't stop read­ ing. After breakfast I had to go to a solicitor, to get an agreement wit­ nessed . There was to be no one else in the house, so I had to take Vindi with me. All the way there, on bus, tube train, second tube train, she read - out loud . And a three-year­ old's voice is always very public. Posters, notices, advertisements, official signs, she read them all, phonetically, persisting till she made sense out of them . The whole car­

riage would be hanging on in a sta t e of suspense as she worked away . We got to the solicitor's, a nd I said to her, "I need you to be quie t , because this man is going to exp l ain to me something I don't understand, and I have to concentrate . " So she sat down in the chair - I'd brought her some things to look at . But t h ere were all these legal notices and cer ­ tificates allover his walls' Sh e go t up, and walked round the room, read­ ing them all - out loud. I was t r yi n g desperately to concentrate on wh a t the man was explaining to me . He was a very courteous Englishman, aca­ demic, and rather bemused by this child . Over his scholarly exposition, I could hear Arvind patiently trying over and over again, "B-r-i-g H-t-o-n . B-r-i-g H-t-on, " making this tremendous panting noise in the mi d­ dle of the two phonetically unco­ operative halves. She w,~ ~hvious l y going to go on forever ," ')\'': sol ­ ving the problem (she ' s never JLved round these parts before, ana ~: ~ name means nothing to her ) , so I finally broke off, and called out "It's BRIGHTON, BRIGHTON'" and went back to the document . I broug h t her home, still rea d­ ing all the way . Every time I see her, she asks for a book to read. Don't get the idea that she ' s stopped all other activities. She hasn ' t in the leas t. She's just managed to add reading books. When we got back from the solici ­ tor's, I got her a book from my room, about a Teddy bear. It was just out ­ large print, clear pictures, innocent story; the sort of book you expect a three to four year old to enjoy ­ that to an adult is delightful and charming. She read two pages, and then she began to yawn' I looked at her, and said "I don't think you like this book. I think it ' s boring you ." She said, "Yes . It ' s very bori n g ." So I said, " You go and choose another instead. " She came back with some ­ thing quite different - can't remem ­ ber what it was now - and very happi ­ ly read right through it. But that child, still 3, was already a liter­ ary critic . And she saw when she was patronized - which to my shame, I hadn't done. (But I ' ve learned, rapidly' ) She's been interested, a long time now, in letters . I used to play

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12 "Alphabet Lotto" with her - it's a game of letter recognition, and it's fun. And whenever I was out with her, we'd point out the letters on car registration plates, and street names, and posters, and so on ­ almost all capital letters. (As are most of the letters in public life. Take a bus ride down the High Street, look at the packets and jars on the breakfast table . Yet teachers say "Do not show the child capital letters'" I'm always talking about this ­ talked about it on my Lancashire tour - and they'd just got out three book­ lets, meaning genuinely to be very warm and friendly to parents in the new permissable-revolutionary mode, which said, "Don ' t show the child cap­ ital letters'" Embarrassing.) So now Arvind is not the slight­ est bit confused by mixtures of capi­ tal letters and lower-case letters and decorative or italic typefaces ­ she takes it all in her stride. Yet teachers say this cannot be . . . Just as they say now children don't learn to read phonetically - and have a very short concentration span . . .

bers an individual face. I have no doubt that a child's capacity for such memory recall is very large. My 8-year-old son taught himself to read last year in, I suspect, the same manner, judging by how he approaches a new word when reading aloud . He first reads it as a similar word, then when that doesn't make sense, goes back and tries another possibility. But although I have never heard him try to sound out the word by the way it is spelled (he has not yet been taught that skill or even really knows what the different letters sound like) he has a very large reading and speaking vocabulary. I don't remember what initiated my own desire to read but my son started reading to himself one day when his desire to finish a Tintin book we had been reading aloud became strong enough to overcome the diffi­ culty. He has a great many of these books and reads them well. I have been teaching him myself since first grade, when I took him out halfway through the school year ... Barbara Gauthier (Ont.) wrote:

STARTING TO READ : AGES 4 TO 10 From Stephanie Scheck (CA): .. . My son Stephen (10) has just recently learned to read. In a way it seems almost spontaneous; he just started reading . He had no formal instruction, no pre-reading exer­ cises, no phonics, no beginning read­ ing books . His interests in Dungeons and Dragons and in computer program­ ming provided him with the motivation to want to read . D&D books and a com­ puter programming book have become his first reading materials. I don't want to give the impres­ sion that Stephen learned to read totally on his own without my help. He has asked many questions about the sounds of letters. He needs help pro­ nouncing words . I had read countless books to him, I give much encourage­ ment and support, I try to provide needed resources. The point is that I did not decide that it was time for Stephen to learn to read. He decided that himself. I merely helped when asked . In general, I have come to trust that my kids know best what they want to learn and that they have the inter­ nal strength and intelligence to learn it. I feel so able to trust because this has been confirmed to me over and over. Some examples are: Stephen is learning how to program a computer mostly by playing with it . Diana (12) is teaching herself grammar because she likes to write and wants to be able to do it correctly. She is also working on math (using the Key Cur­ riculum fractions, algebra and geomet­ ry series) because she thinks she might want to go to high school. The more I have let go of feeling respon­ sible for teaching, the more Diana and Stephen have become responsible for learning ... P.S. Diana has just received a check for $150 from Mother Earth News [105 Stoney Mountain Rd, Henderson ville NC 28791] for her article on making miniature stuffed rabbits' . . . From Marian Ronalds (NJ): ... 1 remember teaching myself to read, probably pre-school, by recog­ nizing the individual word by its shape and pattern, much as one remem­

... Brett (8 ) is reading Tintins for over an hour each day. There was no magical breakthrough from non­ reading to reading, he just learned when he felt the need to - like talk­ ing or walking ... From Catherine King (MI): .. . Billy (7) just went through the rites of reading passage last week. On Sunday, he told a friend, "I can't read." On Wednesday, he told a different friend, "I'm learning to read . " The night before, around 9 PM, an attitude change within had gelled enough for him to ask for a book to read. We got out a McGuffey's and he went right through the first twenty pages. I wasn't surprised; I knew that he knew a lot more than he thought; he just needed to finally feel right about making a consistent effort and putting it all together. Previous to this, he always said, "It's too hard" after trying for a bit. His preparation for reading has been letter identification at age 4 (flashcards were fun then), and occa­ sional gentle pressure to try and sound out words - and someone around to answer lots of questions - and regular daily "reading-to" times of 1-2 hours. I can't think of much else. Billy's problem is his 3-year­ old brother who memorizes everything he hears and will tell Billy what the word is before Billy can sound it out' Kenny probably can't imagine why Billy is having so much trouble . .. From Pat Allison (TX): . .. Robin (4) has been playing with letter sounds since he was 2, but his reading skills ?uddenly appeared almost full-blown this spring. In April, he could read LITTLE BEAR and HOP ON POP. Today he read from a second-grade reading book and a third-grade science book. His reading vocabulary is probably quite close to that of an average adult. We have had very little formal school-time. Recently we've begun set­ ting aside one hour a day (we have no clocks, but we do have a sundial) for school . We're making a U.S . map puz­ zle. We're reading about insects, and

listing the ones we find. We play the Globe Game - pick a city at random and find it on the globe. We look at GRAY'S ANATOMY to find out all sorts of neat stuff. Sometimes we have no plan so we just sit on the floor with all our "school books" and find inter­ esting things to read to each other ...

LATE READERS & THE AUTHORITIES Two letters asking the same ques­ tion; first, from Massachusetts: ... How are people handling their dealings with the school officials when their children are not ready to learn a skill within the-ages consid­ ered essential by the educational com­ munity? My oldest had no interest in reading until age 8~, and then shot way up in "skill-level" when we got the Tin-Tin books (I can't say enough good about them). My second child, now 8, has no leaning toward the math skills "the? say she should be de­ veloping. I tried to work with her this winter on subtracting numbers where you need to "borrow" (a ridicu­ lous concept, anyway'). She burst into tears and said she felt I had stolen from her the chance to ever really understand it for herself ... I have left it alone since - however, our local school board would never understand. Our solution has been to enroll in Clonlara - an ideal solution for us, and one that is working very well in every respect. However, somewhere deep down I feel that this is to some extent a cop-out, and a compromise to protect our home schooling position by distancing ourselves from the local school people so that they don't really know exactly what our kids are or are not doing ... From Katharine Houk (NY): ... Ben (5) is mechanically inclined. He understands and loves how internal combustion engines work and I've learned a lot about such things as turbines, nuclear submar­ ines, and all kinds of factory equip­ ment just trying to keep up with him . He calls himself an "inventor" when the people around him are talking about their occupations. Ben's latest idea is the "vacuum mailbox" which sucks the letters and packages through a special opening in the door so they don't get left outside' "But what," he asks me with wide eyes, "if the cat comes too close to it?" His inventions are all in his mind - he rarely tries to draw them or plan them on paper. In fact, just holding a pencil or crayon seems to be awkward for him, so I haven't pushed it . Many of his friends can write all their letters and draw detailed pictures, but that doesn't seem to interest him at all. He's hap­ pier making letters with rubber stamps or the typewriter, and he en­ joys using a paintbrush. . . . So Ben is staying home to learn . Can you imagine sending a child to school who can't (or won't) hold a pencil properly and who just doesn't care about such things? I'm afraid he'd be labeled "slow" or "learning disabled" - or on the other hand that he'd be labeled "hyper­ active" because of the wonderful inventions he gets so excited about. It helps to read in GWS of other youngsters who had little interest in writing and reading, yet still eventu­ CONTINUED ON PAGE 21

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41


21 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12

ally learned how. I figure that be­

cause of all the exciting inventions

and machines available to Ben in

books he will take an interest in wri­

ting and reading eventually .

I would like to hear more from GWS parents of late writers and read­ ers about h ow they kept the authori­ ties off tneIr backs - equivalency and all t hat - because I would hate to find myself putting pressure on Ben to write, just to placate school authorities .. . And here's the attempted solu­ tion of a third reader: ... Yesterday I spoke with a close friend who is on the school board, and what she told me is very upsetting. She said that many people in the community and those on the school board knew that my daughter, age 9, did not read. I thought this was a well - guarded secret, as my unschooling approach to learning is intensely alarming to most folks. Also, when I told my neighbors that if the children wanted to go to school when they were high school age they could, my neighbor said, "How could your daughter get into high school when she can't read?" She actu­ ally thought that by 13 my daughter would not be reading . So I am assum­ ing other people also share this fear and I find this misunderstanding frightening. My decision now is to put togeth­ er as many articles as I can from John Holt and Raymond Moore and oth­ ers on early learning and unschool­ ing, as well as letters from your newsletter from other homeschoolers whose children did not read until age 9 or 10, into a small pamphlet, and pass them out to the school board and my neighbors. These people need to realize that I am not just practicing some new original anti-school theory on the children, but that there is indeed a movement abreast in the USA. I do not feel that any will be con­ vinced that this is a better way, but they will at least know I am part of a process and that there is method in my supposed "madness" ...

MORE ON DRAWBACKS OF READING In "The Drawbacks of Reading," GWS #38, John mentioned an essay by William Hazlitt (1778-1830). Meg Johnson (NH) of the HOME EDUCATION RESOURCE CENTER quoted that essay in an article she wrote for one of her bulletins: ... The essay, "On the Ignorance of the Learned," contains some very provocative statements . At times Hazlitt is discussing learning (in a classical sense) rather than reading per se, but the statements apply none­ theless. As Hazlitt explains, once a person becomes dependent on books, he "may be said to carry his understand­ ing around in his pocket ... He is afraid of venturing on any train of reasoning, or of striking out any observation that is not mechanically suggested to him by passing his eyes over certain legible characters; shrinks from the fatigue of thought, which, for want of practice, becomes insupportable to him; and sits down contented with an endless, wearisome succession of words and self-images, which fill the void of the mind, and continua ll y efface one another. Learn­ ing is, in too many cases, but a foil

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41

to common sense; a substitute for true knowledge ... The book-worm ... sees only the glimmering shadows of things reflected from the minds of others." You must not, he goes on, " ... expect the learned reader to throw down his book and think for him­ self. He clings to it for his intel­ lectual support ." "He is a borrower of sense. He has no ideas of his own and must live on those of other peo­ ple." "The faculties of the mind, when not exerted, or when cramped by custom and authority, become list­ less, torpid, and unfit for the pur­ pose of thought or action." "It is seeing with the eyes of others, hear­ ing with their ears, and pinning our faith on their understanding." Read­ ers "see things, not as they are, but as they find them in books, and 'sink and shut their apprehensions up,' in order that they may discover nothing to interfere with their prejudices or convince them of their absurdity ." Hazlitt reminds us that "Our men of the greatest genius have not been most distinguished for the acquire­ ments at school or at the universi­ ty." ... Hazlitt has not been alone in his thoughts about reading. Arthur Schopenhauer also had some unkind words for the discipline. In his essay, "On Books and Reading," he too offers some provocative thoughts. As he puts it, "When we read, another person thinks for us: we merely repeat his mental processes .. . This is why it relieves us to take up a book after being occupied with our own thoughts." He suggests that it is possible that if one reads too much, " . . . he gradually loses the capacity for thinking ... This is the case with many learned persons: they have read themselves stupid. For to occupy every spare moment in reading, a nd to do nothing but read, is even more paralyzing to the mind than constant manual labor, which at least allows those engaged in it to follow their own thoughts . " . .. It is interesting to note that historical studies show that many ancient societies allowed only select persons or groups the privi­ lege of learning to read . While we sometimes accept the explanation that this was done to keep the people ignorant and submissive, some histori­ ans actually find that in many cases this was done because reading was seen as a potential evil. Not every­ one could tell the truth of ideas or past events once they were written, and it was felt that evil ideas and wrong information could be spread and would be believed if everyone could read. Even John Gutenburg was dis­ tressed by the power his wonderful printing press might give to wicked men who might use it to corrupt others by spreading evil ideas ... [DR: When Joyce Kinmont reprint­ ed this article of Meg's in The Ten­ der Tutor, she interrupted at this pornttClsay, "Could this be what happened to motherhood? Was it the magazines and books - it couldn't have been our hearts - that taught us to let someone separate us from our babies at birth, to give ~ them fake milk out of fake eodies, to let them cry, and to send them out into the peer group at young ages?"] .. . Reading is an excellent tool for acquiring knowledge, but one which deserves considerable thought when we teach it to our children . Par­ ents whose children are not learning to read early or "on time" might enjoy letting their children have a little more time to develop their

thinking skills and to get used to having to think for themselves. As Dr. Moore tells us, most children learn to read quickly and easily when they are a little older and their neurological systems and senses are more developed. Rene Descartes, sometimes called "the father of modern philosophy," wrote a very interesting essay en­ titled, "Rules for the Direction of the Mind." Rule III states that, "In the subjects we propose to investi­ gate, our inquiries should be direct­ ed, not to what others have thought, nor to what we ourselves conjecture, but to what we can clearly and perspi­ cuously behold and with certainty deduce; for knowledge is not won in any other way." He submits that we should study ancient writers, but be careful lest we "become infected with their errors. For it is the way of writers, whenever they have allowed themselves rashly and credulously to take up a position on any controvert­ ed matter, to try with the subtlest of arguments to compel us to go along with them." As home schoolers we have the opportunity to not only help our children get knowledge and facts from books, but also to give them the chance to do their own thinking, free from dependency on peers and books. What children think and discover for themselves may be the best knowledge they acquire. Under Rule IV he too reminds us "how often do we not see that those who have never taken to letters, give a sounder and clearer decision about obvious matters than those who have spent all their time in school ." In Rule X Descartes gives us some practical hints. He suggests that, when appropriate, we not turn just to books for an answer, unless we are interested in some skill or other fact which it would be foolish to waste time trying to discover for ourselves. He found that "not follow­ ing the arguments of others, but the discovery of reasons by my own proper efforts l yields] me the highest intel­ lectual satisfaction." Further he sug­ gests that before reading some books, it might be valuable to put the book aside and try to think for yourself of all the aspects of the question you can, or form independent ideas. Then it is safe and productive to read the book. That way you encourage your own mind to work, may learn for yourself and develop better under­ standing, and will not be swayed as easily by another person's thoughts ...

RESPONSES TO " DRAWBACKS" Catherine King (MI) wrote: ... 1 think the ideas presented in "The Drawbacks of Reading " in GWS #38 are very important. Parents are probably most nervous about their children's reading ability, and it is good to read ideas that put this very potent tool in a less powerful per­ spective. I learned to read at age 4 over my older sister's shoulder ... I read myself into myopia and a reli­ ance on written words for my under­ standing and reality. I wasn't forced, I cooperated willingly, for I loved reading for the same reasons that John expressed . But one of the benefits and blessings for me of home-schooling and parenting is an opportunity to exterience first hand - with and throug my kids ... I think my 3-year-old ' s ability to memorize long stories and songs perfectly demonstrates a quality that


22 can be lost through gaining the read­ ing ability. Now, I have read those Beatrix Potter books many more times than Kenny has, but I can't recite them back the way that he can . He has absorbed them in a much deeper "oral tradition" manner ... From Lynn Cargill (Australia): ... Re "The Drawbacks of Read­ ing," GWS #38. Penny Barker is right about keen readers not being doers ­ in my case at least. I'm an avid "good" reader and I prefer reading about things to doing them. Put me in her bird-watching group and I'd be saying, "What bird - where?" I also have a terrible memory. never remember accurately what I've read. A very thought-provoking article. Made me glad I haven't pushed reading with Skye ... From David Kent (TX): ... 1 most strongly disagree with " The Drawbacks of Reading." As a fair­ ly isolated young boy I read by choice practically the entire con­ tents of the "Book of Knowledge" e ncyclop edia, memorizing many of the drawings and pictures . The feel of the paper, look of the type, heft of the book even, aside from the stories and information, stayed with me. I l oved those twenty books. I am not about to rush my children out to look at a bundle of feathers flying along (which is what it would seem if they had not first seen "Great Blue Heron" in a book). Books are as real as birds . Books are intricately connect­ ed to both the reader and the things described, and if William Hazlitt wants to skip the book and go out to stand beneath a bird, he is welcome to do it: he is the one who said women couldn 't think (Characteris­ tics, 1823). But I agree re TV: how d oes one absorb, touch, smell, han­ dle, or hold a TV? .. And from Nancy Wallace (NY): ... One of the things that I like best about the whole idea of home­ schooling is that it (ideally) offers children and their families the chance to learn and grow in their own idiosyncratic ways . They don't have to constantly compare themselves with other "peers" and worry if they are behind or feel embarrassed if they are ahead, and they can learn things when they want to learn them ... scnDol s strive to make all kids well-rounded, and in the process they do their best (whet h er consciously or unconsciously) to squash children ' s natural curiosity . Home-schoolers, though, who nurture this curiosity will almost surely find that they are raising lopsided kids. Is it really fai r, for examp l e , to expect that Is hmael could be terrific at sports and music and science? No. And s~when I read Penny Barker's letter about how her kids could barely read but were budding naturalists who had taken on a great deal of responsibility around the farm, all I could think was - r eading must not be an important part of th ei r world, a nd since kids can't be expected to excel in everything, th ey've taken off in a direction that makes sense for them. And what ' s more - good for them, for having the self-confidence t o do it .

But does that mean that reading is bad or that there is something wrong with kids who spend more time with their noses in books than they do looking at the natural world around them? Absolutely not. Happy kids are what I always look for - and Ishmael is genuinely happy when he's reading a good book. On the other hand, discovering baby squirrels in one of our trees makes Vita genuinely happy, too, although she loves to read as well . Both kids' approaches are valid, as long as they're happy. I also think that the world of imagination is as valid as the world of real life:-Who's to say, for exam­ ple, that spending an afternoon with Huck Finn is worse than spending the afternoon planting a garden? And so I don't think that we should have to apologize if we or our kids spend much of our time "living" through books. In the same way, Penny Barker shouldn't have to feel apologetic because her kids are so physical and down-to-earth. We are all different, and that's what makes the world such an interesting place . ..

ed to do for the next half hour: one by one bring me books from the catc h­ all table, ask me the author's name (often so und ing out the first letter before I could tell her what it was) and running to find the shelf with that letter, to put the book away where it belonged. At one point when she was vain l y searching for " C" over by the "s" and " T," I told her, "You know the ABC song you like to sing - th e she lves are in the order of ABC, and they start with A over there." That's all she needed' She got such satisfaction out of that ordering of her world . I look forward to our next visit ... By the way, I always say the author ' s and illustrator's names when I'm reading a book to my children. They quickly recognize drawing styles - and Melanie is happy when she finds that the same person who drew the pic­ tures for her book, also drew the pic­ tures for DIg sister Fawn's - as we discovered with Garth Williams one time. Also, both girls hav e liked go­ ing week after week to read subse­ quent books by authors they enjoy ...

A TEACHER ON READING

WRITING LEITERS TO RUSSIA

More from Catherine Wolken (p . 9): ... When I was teaching third grade, I had a little girl in the slow reading class who went along for two and half years completely uninter­ ested in reading. Then one day she discovered horses and became passion­ ately interested in them . In two months she went from the low reading class to the high one . She had to learn to read because she needed the skill to read about horses. I wish I could take credit for her success but the truth is I never taught anyone to read. They mostly learned to read by themselves when they were ready. I was always struck by the seeming nor­ mality of the kids in t h e slow read­ ing class . They didn ' t seem stupid to me. Some of them were the most mature and well-liked kids in the class. One boy could stand in front of the class and tell coherent and intelligent stories, but he couldn't read. He was one who was diagnosed as having dyslexia . ..

LEARNING IN THE LIBRARY From Karen Olin Johnston (CA): ... At our library, one table in the middle of the children's room is a catch-all for the books left out. Melanie (4) had been just taking books from this easy access, although I would also go to the shelves to find a book or two by her favorite authors. Last week, I told her she had p l enty of time to look through as many books as she wanted, as we were a half hour early for "story hour." At first she grabbed and looked through books only on the catch-all table, then she started over to the shelves, removing books. Here I had to intervene and told her, "You can ' t just take these books out - they ' re all in order and have to be put back on the right shelves ." Then I ex­ plained to her that each she l f had a letter taped on it, and that letter matched the letter of the author's last name. She ran back to the shelves and sure enough, found a letter in plas­ tic tape on eac h shelf . What excite­ ment ' You can guess what she proceed­

[DR: 1 Many young people want to know what they could do to lessen the chance of a nuclear war . Here is one idea, from the brochure of LETTERS FOR PEACE: ... LETTERS FOR PEACE was founded by John Dunphy of Nort ha mpton, Mass. The project was inspired by a l etter written to the local newspaper by a 12-year-old girl. She expressed her fear of a nuclear war and her hopes that the Soviet and u.S . people be­ come friends ... LETTERS FOR PEACE encourages you to write a Soviet citizen . Make a friend. We provide the names and addresses of Soviet citizens from cities across the USSR . These names and addresses are taken from curren t Soviet phone books. An envelope addressed in Russian is included. We provide a friendly introduction in Russian at the top of your letter. All you have to do is write a short note ... Put 40¢ postage on the enve ­ lope, and away it goes . In so doing you may contribute to the prevention of nuclear war. If you add a photo­ graph, check with your post office for proper postage. Our introduction in Russian reads: Greetings. I want to become your friend . I believe friendship leads to a lasting peace . If you and I are friends, the world will be a tiny bit safer from the horrible threat of nuclear wa r. If millions of Americans and Soviets are friends, the world will be a mil­ lion times safer . Let us begin. My letter is in English . I was encouraged to write you by a group known as "The Letters For Peace." They gave me your add res s , and they wrote this introduction in Russian. If you can 't read my words below, maybe you know someone who could translate for you . I hope you'll write back. COULD A RUSSIAN READ MY LETTER? English is the main foreign language taught in their schools . If the per­ son who receives your letter can't read it, undoubtedly someone close to him/her can translate it. ... We ask for a contribution of $1 per addressed envelope . If you can

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41


23 afford more, please do so. The money we r eceive will be spent on postage, paper, e n velopes , copying, and other operati n g expenses. · .. WHAT SHOULD I WRITE? Say any­ thi ng you want, but h ere are some sug­ ges t ion s: Be persona l. Tell who you a r e, what you do, you r age and sex. Writ e abou t why you wan t to be friends. You mig h t mention their name was c h osen at random out of the phone book. You could dream a little in your letter: What if we really were friends? What if we cooperated rather than co n fronted each other? What could we accomplish as a team to fight world hunger, to alleviate social ills, and to increase trade? The threat of nuclear war is not only an issue for liberals. It con­ cerns everybody . Communicating is a step towards understanding, and under­ s t anding is a step towards peace . Whatever you write, if at all possible, type it' .. . We at LETTERS FOR PEACE want to assemble many of your letters and the replies you receive into a book. We hope this book will encourage even more people to write . Would you please send us a copy of your letter, and later of any replies. We won't use your name unless you specifically give us permission . · . . P l ease send your contribution to: LETTERS FOR PEACE, PO Box 774, Nort h am p ton MA 0106 1 . .. [DR: 1 The group also recommends the COMMITTEE OF YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS, Bogdan Khmelu l sky 7/8, Moscow, USSR, as a good source of pen pals .

PRINTING A NEWSLETIER Anna Quinn-Smi t h (OR) wrote: ... The kids I wo rk wit h (my daugh t er, age 13, i n cluded) put this firs t issue of their n ewsletter to­ get h er t h emselves, a n d a l ong t he way l earned: group processes to decide on name and logo, consume r pricing for paper, p r i n tshops, etc; reduction of copy, paste - up, and layout; and the finale - actua l ly t aking part in each s t ep of pr inti n g, dar k- room deve l op­ men t of n ega t ives, st r ipping and opaquing n egs, plate - making and press ope r at i ng a t t h e p r i nt s h op I once t rai n e d a t . They we r e r ea l excited and awed, a nd h ave ma n y c r i t ic i sms about the f i nal copy . T hey see h ow t hey will ch ange thi ngs in l a t e r issues . To mee t ex pe n ses they a r e selling copies f or 10 - 25¢, dependi n g on whether it's ano t her kid or wage - ea r ning adult! · .. Along the way on this ven­ t ure, the kids pored ov e r maps, books of myths, Gr eek pl ays , encyclopedias, etc . Again, I on l y faci l itated and answered question s a nd sugges t ions ­ all t he i d eas, ar t wo r k , ar t icles a r e th eirs . ..

FROM A WRITER Fr om Me r ri tt Clift o n : · .. As a fu l l ti me freelance wri ­ t e r , I fi n d th a t I l e ar ned to read and writ e l on g b efo r e e n tering sch ool , tha t I develo ped my profes­ si on al i nt e r es t i n e c o l ogy through a va ri e t y of i n de pendent ou t door activi ­ t ies , i n c l ud i n g p la ying hooky, and th a t I l e a rne d t o p ut my in t erests and a b i l i t ie s t o g e ther t o make a liv­ ing as a te e n- ag ed str inge r a n d co p y-

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41

boy with the local newspaper. . . . Reporters in general would be likely to help homeschoolers who call up looking for resources on some top­ ic they ' ve written about . It's flat­ tering as hell for a reporter like my ­ self to get a call from anyone who's read a n article and wants to learn more about the subject . It usually takes five minutes or less to p r ovide answers ...

IMPACT OF A SINGLE BOOK From Terry Stafford (BC): ... I've been wanting to share an example of how following our inter ­ ests can lead in many exciting direc­ tions. Last fall, I read UNDERGROUND TO CANADA by Barbara Smucker, to Amie (12) and Anika (6) . We all were real ­ ly captivated by it, and immediately had to find other books on slavery at the library . Now, almost a year later, the fascination is still going strong, and we've read over a dozen books, though I'm glad we started with UNDERGROUND TO CANADA, as it is the most spe l lbinding. The passion really hit Anika the hardest, and we have spent the winter playing escaped slaves (including walks in the dark, feeling for moss on the north side of trees, and looking for the North Star). We also read a biography of Martin Luther King, Jr . , and two books and a tape about Harriet Tubman (and since she went on to fight for women's rights, this led to long dis ­ cussions on sexism') I'm sending a story Anika wrote about slaves . She dictated and I typed. It took her about three months to write, as she sometimes wou l d only think of one sentence a week' After telling me one or two new sentences, she would excitedly rip the paper from t he typewriter and run with it to show her father and sis t er. That wou l d be the end of the inspiration for a few days' When she was fina l ly telling me the last sentence s h e threw her arms ope n wide, a n d after saying, "Now they were free and they weren ' t slaves any more," she fell dramatically over on the sofa' . ..

HISTORY ALL AROUND US Some excerpts from a paper cal l ed " Teaching Citizenship, Govern ­ ment, and History," wri t ten by the la t e Ma r y Bergman of th e NATIONAL ASSOC I AT ION OF HOME EDUCATORS : ... During one session of History with my children many years ago, I noticed t hat they were getting rest­ less and decided they ' d had enough for t he day . I se n t them off to play, but o n e child remained beh i nd and decla r ed tha t he wanted more on t he subjec t. I continued on with my one stude n t . In less than 10 mi nutes, the others re t urned, sayi n g t h a t i t wasn 't fai r for that child t o get some t hi n g t ha t t h ey were missi n g . . . . Hi s t ory is t h e li ving s t ory o f t he prog r ess of mank ind, h is hopes, his d reams, a n d h i s failures. It should be t r ea t e d as a ve r y person ­ al subje c t as it relates t o our every­ day exis t ence .. . I have furnished our home with antiques and h ave s h owed the children the diffe r ence in wo r k ­ manship that was done in the 1800's, as compared to the mass produced fur ­ niture of t he 1900's . Car l 's violin t eac h er has an e xt reme l y valuable music s t and t h at is ove r 200 y e a r s o ld a n d the person a l value th a t th is

man places on its antiquity is not wasted on my son . The teen - age boys took a piece of kitchen furnitu r e this week that they found in an aba n­ doned house and comp l etely stripped, sanded, and refinished it . They learned a lo t about how people lived during t h at period of time by the make - up of tha t cabinet . It was li t e r­ ally a kitc h en in one piece. The cutting - board, flour storage, sugar storage, utensil drawers, and s h e l ve s for bowls and dishes told the s t o r y of the efficiency of design used by our forbears . In ripping down an o l d house recently, they found that the carpentry skills of an earlier day were not on a hurry-up schedu l e of their modern counterparts . Th e so l id oak beams were put in place to s t ay forever . Wood was used lavishly . Handiwork was done with precision. The front door, whic h will be refi n­ ished and hung i n our new farm ho u se , was hand-carved, t he glass etc h ed, even the screen door was lovingly p ut together, and is still in excellent condition, which is more than I can say for our newer version on our pres ­ ent home. . . . Even if a family lives in the city there are many and varied ave­ nues for becoming acquainted with h is ­ tory first hand. The buildings in the city, the architecture, the monu­ ments, the homes, the streets, all have a story to tell . Above all, don ' t be phony, don't be melodrama­ tic, just be natural. Do you app r eci ­ ate the old brick paving on Sevent h Street? When was it put in? Wh y does it last longer than blacktop? Do you know the difference between the Vic ­ torian homes, the Georgian, the Fede r­ al, Colonial, Southern Colonial, Greek Revival? There is one Victorian home in our community that we drive by regularly . It is simply marvelous' The gingerbread, turrets, s t ained glass make it a feast for the eyes . All cities have their Victorian re l­ ics . .. Notice roof lines, b r aces a nd brackets, po r ch posts , and stai r ways . .. . This summer we are spendi n g on Colonia l l ife and the Revo l ution . We will travel throughout the Eas t e r n section of the country, and visit all the historic points of interes t a l o n g the way . . . We ~ill stay in t h e Co l oni ­ al hotels, ea t in Colonial res t au r­ ants , and touch Colonial objec t s . fo r those of you who say this is t oo t ime consuming and too expensive, I say,

THE

Home School Manual

By Ted Wade and six others "Dr. Wade's book is persuasive and posi· tive.Not only does he sort out the complex issues involved, but he offers••• detailed information and resources•••" - Michael Borich, BOOKS, KCCK·fM. " ••• a very useful book for parents who are considering teaching their children at home. " - United Press International. " ••• the best and most complete manual we have found on home schooling." - The Teaching Ifome. A few of the 22 chapters: Parents and education , Keeping peace with school authorities, Nelplng chll · dren learn . Teachi ng several children. Early educa­ tion , Teaching reading, Teaching math , Social de· velopment. Also, six appendix sections Including lists of organ· IzatJ o ns. publishers a nd laws. Index. .518 pages, hardcover, 1984. To get your copy send $14,50 plus $1 shipping (and tax In California ) to:

GAZELLE PUBLICATIONS 5580 Stanley Dr•• Auburn. CA 95603


24 fiddlesticks. We can do what we deter­ mine to do, even if we have to spend several years saving in order to do it. We spent some time last year stay­ ing in a family's home while they were in Scotland for a month. They are certainly no better off financial­ ly than we are, they were just a lit­ tle bit more determined to go to Scotland. · .. Last year I met a marvellous local minister on Easter Sunday morn­ ing. Since I was new in the area he told me of all the historic events that had taken place here. I was fas­ cinated and asked him if he would mind sharing these stories with my children. He was delighted and spent every Friday morning for weeks giving the children a long-to-be-remembered treat. · . . While I have been sitting here, John, my 9-year-old, who is dig­ ging in the garden, brought me a chis­ eled piece of rock that was obviously a tool of some earlier inhabitant of the area . We talked about it for a few minutes, looked at the chisel marks, and decided that it had also probably been used by a gardener. My land, we thought, this same spot might have grown potatoes a thousand years ago . .. A JAR O F COINS From Karen Schadel (NY):

... We keep change in a canning jar and when it's filled, count it and put it in coin rolls . One evening my husband got the jar out and sat at the kitchen table to count change. Before long, Joshua (then 4 or 5) was there and inquiring about what Daddy was doing. Ed gave a quick explana­ tion, starting with quarters and how it takes four to make a dollar, and went back to sorting the change ... Joshua joined in and as they pro­ gressed to dimes, nickels and pen­ nies, he began to figure out a lot about numbers, counting, value, etc. Ed was also on the look-out for "wheat pennies" and Joshua soon took an interest in this as well . When they were working on pen­ nies, Joshua discoverd how 10 piles of 10 pennies made 100 pennies or a dollar . But more important for him at the time was how he could count from 1 to 100 using his pennies. He some­ times missed a number but we didn't correct. He was having too much fun sitting there looking like a little miser with his pennies. ... Several days later I found Joshua in his room on his bed. He had opened his bank and was counting his pennies one by one with much concen­ tration. He continued to show an interest in counting for a long time thereafter, to the extend that we weren't allowed to disturb his penny piles and we even found money in his bed .. . PRACTICING ON SAMPLE TESTS

From Family Learning Magazine, 4/84, reprinted in the Western Pa. Homeschoolers: · .. One of the best ways for stu­ dents to improve their standardized test scores is to practice with sam­ ple tests, researchers at the Univer­ sity of Michigan have concluded. Staff members at the university's Cen­ ter for Research and Learning and Teaching reported this finding after a nalyzing 108 studies of various

coaching programs that use practice tests. James A. Kulik, the director of the study, says that in spite of the longheld assumption that aptitude test results cannot be improved by students' study efforts, courses that prepare students for tests can raise scores by an average of seven or eight pOints on aptitude tests and by about three months on a grade-equiva­ lent scale on achievement tests ... Rather than enroll in a coaching program, a student can increase his score on a test significantly by sim­ ply taking one or two sample tests on his own, the researchers also conclu­ ded . "A single practice triaL .. pro­ duced a gain of three points, or two months on a grade-equivalent scale," the report says. And the more a prac­ tice test resembled the actual test, the greater was the test takers' ulti­ mate gain ... [DR: 1 We have long recommended that home-schoolers get sample copies of standardized tests for use in their homes. For those who worry about the tests their children are required to take, for those who worry how their unschooled children would do if someday they were tested, for those who feel (or whose relatives feel) that learning to take tests is a necessary modern skill - and judg­ ing from the mail and phone calls, many parents are in one or more of these categories - having tests in the house to tryout, experiment with, play with, can be most useful and reassuring. Some tests can even be fun, especially when you are not unaer any pressure of time limits or anxiety about results . I always liked the tests of "spatial reasoning" that would ask "Which of these could be folded to make this shape?" or "Which of these drawings is a side view of the given object?" But those kinds of questions can be baffling the first time you encounter them, so it's bet­ ter for that to be in a relaxed situa­ tion than while doing a test that counts. ~o repeat the address of a free catalog which offers single copies of many standardized tests: BUREAU OF EDUCATIONAL MEASUREMENTS, Emporia State U., Emporia KS 66801 . HOW NECESSARY IS COMPUTER ED.? The Christian Science Monitor, 9/13/84:

.. . A recent study done for the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor seems to indicate that there may not be many additional high-tech jobs in the future. Of the 20 occupations expected to generate the greatest number of new jobs by 1990, none are related to high technology and only two - teach­ ing and nursing - require a college degree. The study forecasts only 20,000 new jobs for computer analysts but 800,000 for fast-food workers and 600,000 for janitors and sextons. Assuming this is accurate, what should schools teach? The public pressure is building for schools to provide high-tech courses and mandatory computer courses as part of the curriculum . This is unrealistic. Most of the com­ puter information available now will be obsolete in five years, and there apparently will not be enough high­ tech jobs to justify the move in this

direction . . . The Chicago Sun-Times, 7/23/84: ... There are a number of people questioning the teaching of computers in our schools - especially grades kindergarten through eighth . Joseph Weizenbaum of the Laboratory for Com­ puter Science and an MIT professor, recently suggested that schools place a moratorium on buying computers "until they really know what they are doing." He contends that introducing computers at the primary and secon­ dary levels is "dangerous and reck­ less and may have irreversible effects" on generations of students under the tutelage of poorly trained teachers with undefined educational goa 1 s. Weizenbaum is not the only educa­ tor voicing these concerns . Others claim computers and software are tak­ ing up budget money that should be spent on books. Even in the heart of Califor­ nia's famed "Silicon Valley," the Ad Hoc Committee on Basic Skills Educa­ tion, a group of educators and pri­ vate industry executives, has called for a halt to the fever of placing general purpose computers in every U. S. classroom - a move it calls "a merchandising scam" on the part of the microcomputer industry. ... Steve Wozniak, the designer of the Apple computer and co-founder of the company, stated, "We could actually get by OK without too many computers in school . I hate to say it, but the computer is not the only key or the only way to live your life . Only a small segment of people will have to talk very well to compu­ ters, and they will be largely compu­ ter programmers and developers." . .. In the area of software, we may already have a problem; a glut of entry-level programmers has devel­ oped, while higher-level programming is for the most part the realm of gifted artists - rarely trained in formal education programs. "Computer literacy," the ability to physically operate a computer, is the most frequently employed computer school program and probably the most questionable. Unfortunately, hardware dynamics are such that beyond switch­ ing the computer on or off, there is little likelihood that several years down the road any current operation will remain even similar in nature ... What, if anything, should our schools be doing to prepare our child­ ren? Teach them typing ... Weizenbaum summed it up when he said, "Only a minority of students who come to MIT can write a single paragraph without a grammatical error." He told an Ohio University conference that parents should be ask­ ing, "Why can't Johnny write?" rather than "Why can't Johnny program?" . .. FRENCH VIDEOTAPES From Kristin Peterson, 379 Manda­ lay Dr, Winnipeg, Man . R2P lE6:

. . . Would you (or any of your readers) be interested in French video cassettes? I am not sure how many families have access to the recorders (or wish to use them), but there is an excellent series I came across while teaching French three years ago . It is called "Parlez-moi," and is owned, I believe, by TV Ontar­ io. It is possible to purchase the right to reproduce the Videos, be-

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41


25 cause our provincial department of education dubs them for any school who will provide the blank tape, eith­ er in Beta or VHS format . There are 60 ten-minute episodes featuring a clown-type character named Sol (well­ played by a Quebec actor). Sol is very naive, and stumbles through life learning how restaurants work, and doctors' offices, swimming pools, etc . , so there is much repetition in the course of explaining things to him . I personal l y love these vignettes - I find the humor at quite an adult level despite the simplicity of the language, and I see no evi­ dence of " cuteness" or condescension. I would be hard put to say what age the show is aimed at - anyone who is beginning to study French' My stu­ dents in grades 7 through 12 loved it. . . . The first five minutes of each episode show the vignette in two halves, interrupted by brief explana­ tions of vocabulary in English. The second five minutes, the play is re-run in its entirety without inter­ ruption, so that the viewer's enjoy­ ment of it as sheer drama is not spoiled. I intend to acquire the series myself, to try and help my 16-month­ old son Devon at least accustom him­ self to the sound of the language. And besides, I like them - they real­ ly are fun ... I don't know how much they would cost . . . I can quite easily get some dubbed for you by our dept . of ed., as I am once again a teacher ... [DR: Interested readers should write to Kristin as well as to us. If there is sufficient response, perhaps we could arrange to sell them here . J

ART IDEAS From Leslie Westrum (IN): .. . We've got something neat in our kitchen now - a writing board. It's a piece of wall panel (cost: $11 for a 5x8' sheet) glossy white - I suppose people use it to make bath­ room walls with or something . But we fastened ours to the wall, and we use it to write and draw on with "dri­ markers ." The markers come in lots of colors, cost about 79¢ apiece, and it's much more fun than a chalkboard . To erase you just wipe it with a cloth (no soap or water, and no chalk dust). The panel was too big for our wall, so we cut the end off and made a bunch of smaller lap-sized boards . You can also mount them by the phone for messages - but the best thing is having a giant wall to draw on ... Some friends of ours made a real­ ly neat easel for their daughter ­ it's a regular A-frame shape with a tray for paints, but the rod at the top lifts off so you can put a roll of paper on it. Newspaper roll ends work great . Then you just pull down the paper and tear it off as you use i t . ..

From Marilyn Hall (CA): ... The artwork on this letter is from ordinary pink erasers and stamp pads - red and green and both. Michael (3) uses them very well - he likes being able to make recognizable objects without copying. An ordinary pocketknife cuts t h em - draw the design in pen and remove what isn ' t wan ted . I did all my Christmas paper in trees a nd stars last year, and h ave added to our collection . I like the subtle colors and the great varia-

GROWING WITHOUT SC HOOLING #41

tions that mixing them together (as all children will do) gives ... And from Linda Werner: . . . In response to your request in GWS #36 for information on where to buy washable ink for stamp pads. Fisher-Price sells a 1 . 5 oz . bottle (#701-1) for $1 plus $1 handling and postage. The handling fee is the same no matter how many are ordered, so it would pay to buy more than one at a time. The bottle has a roll-top for easy application. To order, write to FISHER-PRICE TOYS, Consumer Affairs Dept., Printer's Kit Refill, E Aurora NY 14052 . . .

ily work like she does with our encouragement. And the rewards she gets - both material ones like prac­ tice trophies - and the intangible ones like the satisfaction of being chosen to play solos at Suzuki Insti­ tutes - certainly smooth the way for all of us. I don't think stickers, stars, and trophies are any more or less important than we - the grown­ ups - make them . My girls don't prac­ tice to earn trophies. They practice because we require them to practice, just as we require them to bathe and brush their teeth. ... In short, I think Salisbury has a wonderful attitude toward his children's musical education . I just wish he wouldn't imply that his way is the onl way or the best way. Fami­ lies are a 1 different,-cnrldren are all different, and what works for him may prove disastrous for somebody else. Advise with caution' . .. 1 am starting to think that the slippery phrase "Children can direct their own learning" is one of the most dangerous phrases in the home-ed . lexicon, not because I don't believe it but because it means so many things to so many people. When it means that young children are expected to make decisions and choi­ ces with life-long consequences be­ cause their parents can't or won't accept that responsibility - I worry . A f'rinstance . I cannot in any way be certain that Heather or Joce­ lyn will grow up to play violin like Perlman or Stern. On the other hand, if I exclude music from their lives by refusing to pay for lessons, pro­ vide instruments, encourage them, etc., I can be absolutely certain that neither girl will ever be a top notch instrumentalist. Too many cru­ cial years will have passed. As a par­ ent I make choices for them, and not making any decisions is also a choice. Helping Heather practice vio­ lin two hours per day when she is 7 is ~ choice so that if she wants to be an outstanding musician when she is 20 that door will be open for her . ... 1 have infinite respect for my girls' ability to tell me - verbal­ ly or otherwise - what they are ready for. Heather, for example, was not ready to read until nine months ago. It was obvious in all sorts of ways. Now she reads wonderfully, and our contribution (aside from having read aloud to her for an hour a day for six years) to her learning to read was to reply to the question, "What does this say?" We also contributed by not owning a television ... To ask a 2, 3, or 4-year-old, "Do you want to engage in the serious study of the violin, an activity

t

EXCHANGE ON SUZUKI From Barry Kahn (ME): .. . James Salisbury is obviously a nice fellow and I agree with almost everything he says both in GWS [#40, "On Suzuki Instruction") and in a recent 2-part article in Suzuki World, but, BUT, BUT'" Essentially ne-Kas fallen into-the trap of say­ ing, "This is what Suzuki means." IlnaVe talked at length with num­ erous teachers who studied with Suzu­ ki in Japan for anywhere from two months to two years, and the one thing they all agree on is that Suzu­ ki himself is constantly experiment­ ing, evolving, changing his mind, and discarding old ideas in favor of new ones. There is no such creature as THE SUZUKI METHOD and Suzuki himself reminds everyone of that fact every day. There is a body of ideas from which teachers may draw, and to the extent that they are understood, accehted, and appropriate for a given teac er, student, and parent, they may be wildly successful - as they have been for my daughters - or crum­ my, as they are for other folks. I happen to think that Suzuki has lots of excellent ideas, but one must also keep in mind that Suzuki is Japanese, and ideas which work well in their culture may not survive the transfer to America without adapta­ tion. Salisbury might be astonished to learn how competitive Suzuki him­ self is and how competitive many of the other Japanese teachers who work with him are, as well. Those children in Matsumoto don't all practice 2-3 hours every day because they choose to do so . They are being pushed. (Politely' ) . . . Mind you, I don't object to children only practicing when they wish (other people's children, that is), nor do I care if they never take up an instrument seriously. If they grow up to love music, that is wonder­ ful - but neither they nor their par ­ ents should pretend that they have acquired the level of ability which Suzuki is talking about. Salisbury might find me unbear­ ably demanding by his standards, but I happen to believe that expecting Heather to practice two hours each day and Jocelyn one hour is not doing them any harm. For most of the day they do whatever pleases them - eight or nine hours, probably - and the fact is, particularly in Heather's case, she loves playing as well as she does. She also understands per­ fectly well that her level of musicianship is not a bit of good luck but the result of hundreds of hours of practice . If left on her own she might do half an hour per day, but I don't think she would voluntar­

Abiliiy

Development

through the use of

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Athrns. Ohio 45701·4260 U.S.A.


26

which will occupy a significant amount of t ime every day for at least the next ten years and probably alter the course of your life?" is ludi­ crous. Parents make decisions like this, not children . (Sure, there are exceptions - how many do you know?) Having made this sort of choice, I agree with Salisbury that the parents have the responsibility to create an environment which will ensure suc­ cess. (Even if we may disagree over some details of the environment.) ... John replied: · . . 1 am very much interested in what you say about Suzuki, and also about the differences which may exist, and they are probably numer­ ous, between Suzuki as it is under­ stood and taught in Japan and how it is understood and taught here. In fact, as your letter shows, even here it means many things to many people. ... 1 have never seen you and the girls at home, so can only guess from what you tell me what your daily musi­ cal life is like ... I strongly sus­ pect that the decision to play the violin as much as she does and to work on it as hard as she does is almost certainly much more Heather's and less yours than you suggest ... I think you overestimate the coercive element in your musical relationship with her. The fact that you wisely set aside a certain time each day for music (as do the Wallaces), remind her about it, and things like that, I suspect come across to her much more as encouragement, support, and parti­ cipation than the kind of coercion known in school, where kids have to do things to avoid getting in trou­ ble. Since you live with her, you of course know, as I don't, how much reminding you have to do about daily playing, or how much or little pres­ sure you have to apply in order to get her to do it, or how often she says anything like, "Do I have to practice today?" Or "I'm getting tired; can I stop now?" If there was very much of that, you might be more right than I think you are about the degree to which it is your will rath­ er than Heather's that is producing the music . · .. Over the years I have had much experience trying to teach child­ ren, through brute force of will, things that they did not want to learn, and they're endlessly ingeni­ ous at finding ways to get out of that kind of pressure. I've also been in households in which children who did not like music were in fact made to practice by their parents, and I know how those practice sessions sound . If Heather were playing only or even largely because, as you say, you "require" her to, believe me, she would not have made or be making the kind of progress she has . No way. · .. Should it in fact be the case that it is your insistence more than anything else that keeps her at the violin ... it will not be very many years before she simply rebels, gets to the point where she cannot be coerced any more, or begins to figure out all those strategies of evasion that I talked about. If the time comes, as I think it will not, when Heather really gets fed up with it, you are going to see some quite extra­ ordinary and discouraging changes in her playing. Same mistakes made over and over again, things learned last week forgotten this week, etc. Oh, how well I know that scene! But there is another point you

make in your fine letter which seems to me to bear on a matter of fact rather than perception or opinion, and here I do want to argue with you very flatly. The clear implication of your letter is that unless children become quite skillful on an instru­ ment early in their lives, they will never become skillful ... This is one of the great mythologies of music, a piece of musical folklore - if you don't start early, it's too late. Just as an absolute matter of fact, it is not so. I would love to have somebody do some serious and extensive research in this area. I would love to do it myself for that matter, but I have and expect I will have too many other kinds of commitments. But even my rather occasional and informal inves­ tigations have turned up much evi­ dence that this piece of folklore is only that. Thus, not long ago I was speak­ ing to a local woman, a professional musician and the manager of a profes­ sional-class civic orchestra . She told me that when she went to the Yale School of Music, presumably at age 21 or so, she went only as a pian­ ist. As part of her work there she was required to study a second instru­ ment, and took up the viola. Before she left the music school, she was playing viola at a high enough level to play in the New Haven Symphony, which is a thoroughly professional orchestra . In our conversation she told me that she knows a number of people who play professionally, and mean not just picking up a little money here and there, but at a high level of skill, who did not begin until their twenties. I have absolutely no reason to doubt that this is so. There is noth­ ing in logic which supports the idea that it is possible as an adult to be skillful enough to play instruments at a certain level, but not to learn to play them at that level. It is and has to be nonsense. Indeed, as you must yourself very well know, anybody who plays an instrument at a high level of skill is in fact and must be constantly re-learning to play it; that is to say, these coordinations must be re-sharpened every day. My own experience with the cello convin­ ces me absolutely that if I could put the kind of time into the instrument, as I would dearly love to, that a ser­ ious young instrumentalist does, I could acquire a very high level of skill. Perhaps not Starker or Yo Yo Ma, but a very high level, nonethe­ less. ... A niece of mine began playing the piano at nine ... My sister paid for lessons, but made no attempt to make the child practice. On the whole, she played perhaps half an hour a day, perhaps more some days, less others. About all my sister ever did in the way of coercion, if there had been a long spell of no playing at all, was to say that she didn't need to take lessons if she didn't want to, but that there was no use taking them if she didn't play in be­ tween them, it was just discouraging to her teacher. My niece stopped the lessons about the time she entered high school ... She continued to play sporadically, rarely as much as 3/4 of an hour a day, and many days not at all. When she went to college, for a couple of years she had no access to a piano ... I think there must have been very few years during her entire growing up when she ever played as much as an hour a day ... However, be­ cause when she played it was because

she wanted to, and because she is a very musical and music-loving person, and also a very intense kind of char­ acter, when she did play it was with the utmost concentration ... The upshot of all this? Well, I was visiting my sister when my niece came home for Thanksgiving in 1982, and I heard her playing in her room, Sight-reading Brahms and Debussy, and doing it very creditably and musical­ ly. Perhaps not their hardest pieces, but nothing they wrote was easy . Know­ ing how little she had been playing, I was truly astonished. More recent­ ly, she has been able to get her own piano, a good one, where she lives in San Francisco, and is now finally able to play the three or more hours a day that she really likes. One of the pieces she is working on is the Bartok 3rd Piano Concerto. I have not heard her play it, but I can assure you from all I know of her that she would not be undertaking it if all she could do was hack through it. Also, she is living with other musi­ cians, and they would not put up with it. So here she is, in her mid­ twenties, after the kind of experi­ ence I have told you about, and a highly accomplished player. Now you might say with justice that most children who are not "made" to practice don't reach any such high level, but the same is true of child­ ren who are made to practice. I think we need eo-take serious account of the fact, well known to all musi­ cians, that most children who have been to any great degree pushed into music, however skillful they may be­ come at it, do not enjoy it very much. A number of my professional musician friends have said to me wist­ fully that they wished they had loved music as much as I do. I think it is significant that in Japan, except for a few who go on into professional training and music-making, virtually all Suzuki students drop out of music completely at age 14. There apparent­ ly is little or no amateur adult music-making in Japan. So what price all that ability?' ... KARATE AT 11

From Ann Mordes (FL): ... My son Daniel (11) has always been a shy child. He just couldn't seem to get the words out when he came in contact with other children or adults. I read an article in a magazine about what great training karate is, how it teaches one self­ respect, gives much confidence and respect for others. Daniel was very interested in trying the course so we went down to our local karate school and observed the advanced class . The training was so strenuous that I was frankly frightened to death ... I wasn't sure that Daniel, who is somewhat overweight and tall for his age, could handle it. The Mas­ ter assured me that anyone could han­ dle the course. I assured him that I couldn't and wouldn't' Finally I expressed my fears to Daniel. He said, "Of course I can do it, Mom'" So I reluctantly paid for one month and exacted a promise from my "karate kid" that he would stay in for at least one month. Well, that was two months ago and he is doing great! Not only has he lost eight pounds, but he has become conscious of good nutrition and governs himself. Daniel also con­ stantly "trains" (exercises). He not only is able to talk with children,

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41


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but also at length with adults. Every­ one who visits our home gets an auto­ matic karate show (Katas, series of movements) and I have to admit that I am astounded at how good he really is at it. Another good thing about this type of training is that no one laughs at another person (if there is even a giggle, twenty push-ups). No student speaks out once in the class unless they need to ask a question . Every student helps the other if help is needed . The neatest thing is that several tiny kids have brown belts and several adults have only the white (no rank) belts. The kids teach the adults. It's very interesting. They are all taught to meditate and that there must be a perfect balance between mind and body . Never are they to provoke a fight, they must respect even their foes, every class starts with a bow, symbolizing courtesy, and ends wi th a bow .. . I wouldn't recommend it for everyone, but for some, karate really works. Daniel says that he wants a black belt and I'm betting that he'll get it one day .. . Folks wishing to enroll their children in this type of training should be sure that the Master is a kind one who has a basic knowledge of both the spiritual and physical training involved and he should love kids ... SELLING GOOD BOOKS

The 10/19/83 issue of Manas re­ printed a letter by Jack Finefrock that appeared in the journal Daedalus in 1982. Finefrock runs the Kenyon College Book Store in Gambier, Ohio: ... When I worked in a store in Berkeley, the people working in the back room used to talk about what kind of store they would have if it were possible for such a store to make it. We noticed that whenever we increased the quality of the books we stocked, our sales went up. We men­ tioned this to the manager, but he thought we were naive . The experience stuck in my mind . Two years later when I got my first store to manage, I walked into a nearly bankrupt store with no sales and no saleable stock . Since the place was likely to go under, I thought I might as well do as I liked. So, I only bought books that I thought were good . They sold. Because I didn't want to kid myself (I couldn't believe it), I started a card system so I could tell exactly what book had sold and how quickly. To my real surprise, the best books sold quickest, and the dogs just sat there on the shelf . I decided to intensify my experiment and to try to find out what the really great books were . My store became great fun for me . I was out to prove something, and my customers became a great cheering section . .. I got to meet most of the people who read within sixty miles. My friends who were booksellers and book salesmen (publishers' repre­ sentatives) either thought I was lying, misguided (self-deceived) or that the community I was in was so unusual that what I was doing would work only there. The booksellers had tried to sell good books in their stores, t he boo k s hadn't sold, and they we r e mad at their customers for not buying t h em . I tried to explain that I thought the difficulty was that you couldn't have just a few good books, you needed to have all

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41

good books. When you mix the good books in with the trash, the good books get lost. And besides, after wading through all the trash, the cus­ tomers were so depressed that they couldn't tell a good book from a bad one. Then what was the use of their coming to your store, if it was like all the other stores? Customer loyal­ ty is built for stores that stand for something. We booksellers were vulnerable . They had to buy from us or we wouldn't exist. Because I was so tired of hear­ ing that my plan would work only in Chautauqua, and because I was tired of living in a town which had only 400 people, I found my present job in Gambier, to see if my philosophy would work here . It worked even bet­ ter. So I decided that first I would create the store I wanted regardless of the accepted wisdom of booksell­ ing, and would use whatever business sense I had picked up to make the store work. The idea was to find the things that make the store work in the best possible way, that reinforce the aims of the enterprise, and which do not compromise it. Of course, we sell things other than books - stationery, for example. But we do that to pay the overhead, to insure that we never have to meet our payroll from book sales. Books take up by far the most space, and we plow most of our resources back into books. We want to be a good book store, and we will become one by hook or crook, even if we have to start selling ice cream to do it. Because I was stubborn, I deci­ ded to use the philosophy I had applied to book buying for buying everything else in the store . So our stationery, card, and even toy sec­ tions complement each other - all very good . Now we are able to buy university press books, stay open 365 days of the year until 11 PM and dis­ count as heavily as the chains, and survive. I doubt there are many people who have the capital to start a large book store and keep it going, but there are plenty of institutions with tired, badly run stores that do not serve their communities, their facul­ ties, or really anyone. It wouldn't take any additional expense for them to have a good store rather than a bad one. Why shouldn't their stores support the ideas that the institu ­ tions that own them stand for? Most institutional stores do not reflect the nature of their institutions . Or is it that they reflect the real nature of their institutions? Anyway, it can be done ... NEW TAPES AVAILABLE HERE JOHN HOLT AND CELLO AT HOME (60 min. cassette, $6 + post) . Here ' s how this tape came to be . Penny Barker, whose letters from Ohio you have read in GWS, sent me a few months ago a lovely tape of her children's music­ making, from the youngest to the old-

The

est. I was about to write a letter, saying how much I enjoyed and was impressed by their music-making when it occured to me that it might be fun to reply instead with a tape of my own, playing a little cello and talk­ ing about their music and mine. I did this, and Penny wrote back that the children were delighted, and that Dan, their family cellist, spent much time listening to my tape, playing it over and over again. Just about t h is time I received another such tape, from the very talented young cellist Kirsti Shallenberg from California, and again, I made a tape for her of one of my evenings of playing at home, showing many of the things I ordinarily do while "practicing" (a word I generally try to avoid), and talking about what things I was do­ ing. She loved getting the tape, and it occurred to me that many of our readers, whether musicians or not, might be interested in, as it were, sitting in on one of my evening play­ ing sessions, and hearing me do the various things I do, from tuning the cello to working on certain pieces, and all the while talking about what I was doing . That ' s what this tape is, a more or less typical evening session, with only this difference, that the things I usually think about I now talk about out loud. This is by no means a concert; I do playa couple of short pieces in the course of the tape, but most of the time I am working on various kinds of exer­ cises and trying to solve various kinds of problems. It is in short a portrait of a musician, this particu­ lar not very accomplished musician, at work. As such, I think it may be interesting, certainly to beginning cellists, perhaps to other beginning musicians, and even in many cases to people who would like to know more about how I spend my time with the cello. I hope you enjoy it, and if a number of you do, I will probably make one or more additional tapes of the same kind . THE JUKE STRING BAND (60 min. cassette, $6 + post). Th~s remarkable recording, a mixture of jazz, blues, and country music, was made during the mid-sixties by a group of young friends of mine, students at the Com­ monwealth School where I was then teaching . There were five of them: Tony Ackerman, who plays ma ndolin a nd solo guitar; Tom and Sam Clark, wh o play guitar and sing; Mark Kazanov, who plays electric bass gu itar and harmonica; and Huck White, who was at that time an accomplished French horn player and a member of the Greater Boston Youth Orchestra, who on this record provides the rhythm, usually with a pair of spoons, an invention that poor folk musicians t h ought up to make up for the abse n ce of percu s­ sion instruments . The othe r membe r of the group, the female singer, Kim Brody, was not at the school, and I did not know her, and I neve r had a chance to hear her sing in person, which I deeply regret. After playing a number of small concerts during t h e

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28 year, t h e band made a recording . Some­ how I managed to miss getting One of the copies, but later a friend of mine, a n other teacher at the school, made a good copy of his, and it is from this that we are making these tapes. I have heard this recording many times and it never fails to move and impress me . These young people were in the first place technically very accomplished musicians, but they were muc h more than that; they had really absorbed the spirit of the music they were playing in a way quite astonish­ ing for people so young . They deeply loved t h e blues music that was being played at the time by such people as Muddy Waters, Bo Didley, and many oth­ er great artists, and they intuitive­ ly understood passions, sufferings, and griefs, out of which this music arose . They were not just skillful imi t ators of other people's music, but skillful and inventive musicians in t he i r own right. Over t h e years I've played this tape, without saying anything about the people who made it, to a number of peop l e who are more or less experts in these kinds of music, and I have never met one who was not impressed by it, and much more so, of course, when they found out how youn g these musicians were. So you do n ot have to make any allowances for youth and inexperience in listen­ ing t o t h is music, but it is also anothe r piece of eloquent testimony about the t hings that dedicated young people can do. I save my last words for Kim Brody, the singer. I have over the years listened to a great deal of pop­ ular music, particularly in what ma n y peop l e feel to be its Golden Age, t h e 30 ' s. Of the many excellent female singers I have heard, I can only t h ink of one or two whose sing­ ing I enjoy as much as this girl's, and none that I enjoy more . I - and again, many people to whom I played this tape - find her singing abso­ l utely extraordinary, not just from the point of view of faultless tech­ nique, bu t the musical spirit which brought it to life. I have never h eard anyon e who makes singing seem so natural, as effortless and uncon­ scious as breathing, or the chanting of a very small child. The recording begins with her singing a song cal l ed, " We l l, If You Live," and if I have been away from the tape for even as litt l e as a month or so, the first few notes she sings always put shivers down my back and tears in my eyes. Her rendition of "St. Louis Blues " is by far the best I have eve r heard of that great song.

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I feel sure that when you come to the end of this recording, you'll think, "Why, oh ~ couldn't they have made another. Today, twenty years later, they are apparently still all active in music, so perhaps we can hope that someday they may get together and do just this . For the being, this jam is all we have. - JH

MARY REVIEWS OUR NEW BOOKS... CHICKEN SOUP WITH RICE, by Maur ­ ice Sendak ($1 . 95 + post) . This is a lovely l ittle "Book of Months." For each month there is a short, humor­ ous, seasonal poem, with the common thread being - of course - chicken soup with rice. As the final poem says: I've told you once I've told you twice All seasons of the year are nice For eating chicken soup with rice. Anna has loved these poems since we started reading them to her at about 2~. She quickly learned them and doesn't tire of them - and we don ' t (often) either ' LITTLE BEAR by Else Minarik + post) . This is the first of several books about Little Bear and his friends. As Nancy Wallace wrote in BETTER THAN SCHOOL (available here), "LITTLE BEAR . .. is a delight­ ful book - any book I can read two hundred times and not get sick of has got to be good . " It contains four very short stories: "What Will Little Bear Wear?", in which Little Bear com­ plains of the cold and his mother very patiently helps him; "Birthday Soup," in which Little Bear thinks Mother Bear has forgotten his birth­ day; "Little Bear Goes to the Moon," in which he decides to try to do just that; and "Little Bear's Wish," about bedtime . Maurice Sendak ' s charming illus­ trations really add to the stories . His bears have such lovely expressive faces . The text is very simple and rath­ er repetitive - little children love it, and I think beginning readers would enjoy it as well . It's all about things children love - clothes, birthdays, trying to fly, and a lov­ ing mother .

($2 . 95

THE DUCHESS BAKES A CAKE by Vir­ ginia Kahl (79¢ + postage). This is one of my childhood favorites. It's the story, in verse, of a medieval duchess who decides one day to bake "a lovely light luscious delectable cake . " She's not a very skillful baker and adds everything at hand, ending up with a cake that rises too high - much too high. Most of the story is devoted to the problem of how to get the duchess down from the top of the cake . Which wasn't easy, since: Their poor brains were such That they couldn't think often And hadn't thought much . And, as happens with us all, the solution is suggested by a child (one of the duchess's thirteen daugh­ ters). It's fun, rhythmical, and has nice, bold, Gothic-looking illustra­ tions by the author . HOW TO RAISE A HEALTHY CHILD ...

IN SPITE OF YOUR DOCTOR, by Robert S.

Men de l sohn, M. D. ($IJ:'J5 + post).

This is a very important and usefu l book for parents who recognize t h e need to take responsibility for their children ' s health and well - being. Dr. Mendelsohn, who also wrote CONFES­ SIONS OF A MEDICAL HERETIC (avai l able here), is a radical and outspoken pediatrician with many years of exper­ ience, and a lot of common sense and courage. Drawing on his awareness of what goes on in modern medicine, he tells parents how to take advantage of necessary available medical care, but mostly how to avoid common prac­ tices that could be harmful. Mendel­ sohn points out that although doctors do have skills and knowledge that par­ ents don't have, they are also vic­ tims of a very narrow-minded training program and of profit-seeking drug companies . Some of the specific areas Dr . Mendelsohn covers are: How doctors make healthy kids sick; Pre-natal care; Nutrition; Fevers; Headac h es; Abdominal pain; Earaches; Colds and flu; Sore throats; Vision; Skin prob­ lems; Orthopedics; Hyperactivity; Allergies (also treated throughout the book as causes of many problems); Accidents (medical treatment at its best); Hospitals; Immunization; Selec­ ting a doctor. This book has changed my hus­ band's and my attitude toward the med­ ical profession. We don't trust doc­ tors any less than we already did, but we feel more confident about not allowing medical intervention. We bought it primarily to help us settle the immunization question, but have found it to be essential for any prob­ lems. As Mendelsohn says in his intro­ duction, this book differs greatly from other books on children's medi­ cine because the bottom line is not "See your doctor." As with homescnool­ ing and GWS, it's very helpful and comforting to have written, clear, useful support for taking responsibil­ ity for something that so many people have been trained to think can only be handled by "experts." This is one of those books that you will tell your friends about, but that you will hesitate to lend - you never know when you might need it. THE HEART HAS ITS OWN REASONS: Mothering wisdorr. for the ~:- by Mary Ann Cahill ($6.50 + post) . The introduction says, This book is about how money can serve a family and about how you, as a-mother, can serve the best interests of your baby and, in the long run, yourself and your family. Listen to your heart - to the quiet yet insistent voice coming from deep within you and urging you to be with your baby. This is a wonderfully supportive book for stay-at-home mothers, a n d it has the advantage of being very prac­ tical. Not only does it help us feel good about our mothering career, but it also gives very good advice on how to afford it by cutting costs and/or making money at home . It was put together from the experiences of many La Leche leaders, some of whose names you may recognize as GWS contribu­ tors. Cahill refers to people in­ volved in this lifestyle, which has become an unusual alternative in recent years, as "modern pioneers . " I find that I really need the kind of inspiration this book gives sometimes - pioneering is not always easy . When people and the media hit me from all sides and indicate t h at my chosen career is of little val u e

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOL ING #41


29 and that my way of going about it is odd, to say the least, I find that it helps a great deal to read this book and regain the confidence I need to feel good about following my feelings about the value and feasibility of a mothering career. It also helps quite a lot to have so many good ideas on making ends meet. SQUARE-FOOT GARDENING by Mel Bar­ tholomew ($11.95 + p~This wonder­ ful gardening method really is for everyone, no matter how much or lit ­ tle space or experience you have. By following Mel Bartholomew's very sim­ ple method, anyone with a 4'x4' space, even in the house (under lights) or on a roof or patio, can have a productive garden. Square Foot Gardening is a modi­ fied French Intensive method that saves space, time, materials, and work. The book is full of really prac­ tical suggestions on all aspects of gardening. For example: Plant your garden as close to your house as pos­ sible: the more you see it, the more involved you'll be. Plant only foods you like, only in amounts you will be able to use. If you want one plant, plant one seed (or at most, two). This book is very easy to read and to use throughout the gardening seasons. Mel Bartholomew seems to have a square-foot mind - the chap­ ters are divided very clearly and logically into short, easily­ understood sections; you can read one at a time or all at once. It's also easy to find and use particular sec­ tions as you need them. It takes a special kind of person, I think, to devise such a method, but I'm con­ vinced that anyone who is at all interested in gardening can implement it. The basic plan is simple: use well-prepared plots 4'x4'; divide each plot into 16 l'xl' squares, and plant according to the spacing charts provided - for example, one cabbage per square, or four lettuces, or nine bush beans, or 16 carrots, etc . Plant one seed per plant - no thinning will be necessary, and a properly-stored packet of seeds will last for years . Each plant will have enough space, and as the plants grow, they'll shade the soil so that the weeds don't have much chance. With a little effort ­ less than with a regular garden ­ you're almost guaranteed success. When Mark and I first moved to the Boston area, we had a small plot available on which we failed miser­ ably to garden. We managed a to har­ vest a few sprigs of dill. But what a crop of weeds! And radish tops - we couldn ' t stand to thin them. Last fall, though, when we moved to a place with a yard, we started to think immediately about a garden. I.e read books from the library all fall and winter, and were lucky enough to stumble onto SQUARE FOOT GARDENING. It's the one we use . It covers soil preparation, composting, extending the season, special gardens, pests, and includes lots of good charts and diagrams . Our tiny front lawn (about 30'x 13') is now a very attractive, produc­ tive vegetable garden. We have 6 blocks 4'x4' and 2 double blocks 4' x8' (for corn - not really worth the space) . We have, or have had, let ­ tuce, broccoli, cabbage, beets, beans, onions, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, corn, herbs, and celery. And SQUARE FOOT GARDENING has changed our whole attitude about what's "enough room" for a garden . Alon~ the driveway is a long strip about 3 x25'

GROW ING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41

and a shorter one about 3'xlO '. In these two spaces we have lots of toma­ toes (16 plants, 4 varieties), pole beans, hot peppers, sweet peppers, eggplant, New Zealand spinach, squash, melons, and a few flowers and herbs. We have bought almost no vege­ tables for several weeks now. Meal planning has become very simple - a basic protein with whatever's ready in the garden. Besides providing a lot of good food for us, this garden has given us a great deal of pleasure, partly because we felt so confident. We know that this first garden is almost entirely experimental, but if Mel Bar­ tholomew says we can do it, we can ­ and so can you. --- Mary Van Doren ...AND REVIEWS BY JOHN NOW ONE FOOT, NOW THE OTHER, by Tomie de Paola ($3.95 + post). This is a lovely story about the deep friendship of a boy and his grandfath­ er, and by extension, between all very young and very old people . When the boy was a tiny infant, his loving and patient grandfather helped him learn to walk (of course, he would have learned even without the help'). Later, when the boy was older, his grandfather suffered a stroke, was paralyzed, and in the process of recovery had himself to learn to walk allover again, at which point the boy helped him, hence the title . This story of mutual love and help is all the more convincing and affecting for being told very simply, without any attempt to sentimentalize it. In oth­ er words, the author is wise enough to let the situation and the story to speak for themselves, as they do. It should be a wonderful read-aloud book.

ALEUTIAN BOY, by Ethel Ross Oli­ ver ($4 . 95 + post). This fascinating and exciting story is about two boys, one a native Aleut, one a visitor from the mainland United States, who find themselves shipwrecked on a small and uninhabited island - modern Robinson Crusoes of the Far North . The native boy's island is only ten or so miles away; they can see it clearly from where they are. But it might as well be a thousand miles; the waters are much too cold, the cur­ rents too swift, for them to consid­ er swimming back to it, or even mak­ ing a crude raft. Through a combina­ tion of circumstances the rescue plane which is sent out to look for them does not find them. They realize that their friends and relatives will probably give them up for dead, that they will have to find a way to sur­ vive on their island, and beyond that, to make a boat which will take them home. How they do this makes this wonderful story . And it is worth noting that what saved them is the old and rapidly disappearing know­ ledge of native ways that the Aleut boy has picked up from his grandfath­ er, knowledge which is dying out even in the native villages. The author knows the Aleutian landscapes, wildlife, etc., very well. The book, aside from being a very exciting story, is a vivid de­ scription of a strange, distant, and beautiful part of our country . FOR CHILDREN Vol I ($4.25 + post)-anQ MIKROKOSMOS, Vol . I ($4 . 25 + post), by Bela Bartok . Bartok, who died about 1945 or so, was one of the greatest composers, pianists, and teachers of the first half of this century . Those of you who are famil­

iar with classical music will know much of his work, and any of you who like or are learning to like symphon­ ic music, if you don't already know it, should get to know his great (and last) piece, the Concerto for Orchestra. As a teacher of piano, he was distressed, as many teachers must be, by the fact that most of the music which is easy enough so t hat begin­ ners can play it is not very interest­ ing for-them to play, particularly if they do have some knowledge of music . So he decided to write a number of pieces for beginning players (child­ ren or adults), beginning with ex­ tremely simple ones and gradually be­ coming more complicated . These would touch as many as possible of the dif­ ferent parts of piano technique, and would be musically interesting eno ugh in their own right so that people would enjoy very much playing them. The result was these two collections, of which we offer the first volume of each (FOR CHILDREN is in two volumes, MIKROKOSMOS is in four, and if there is enough interest, we ~ill later add the other volumes to our catalog). There are also recordings of this music, which we will probably fairly soon be selling here. THE PENGUIN STEPHEN LEACOCK, by Stephen Leacock ($6.95 + post). Of the many comic writers whom the North American continent has produced, two seem to stand out far above the oth ­ ers . One is our own Mark Twain, well known to everyone . The other, and every bit as funny, is the Canadian Stephen Leacock . There are some dif ­ ferences; Twain was for almost all of his life primarily a writer, whereas Leacock's main work was as a universi­ ty professor, with his comic writing as a sideline. Twain wrote many nov ­ els; Leacock's large output, of whic h the present collection is only a small and tempting sample, was almost entirely in the form of short pieces, which he wrote for magazines . The book begins with one of Leacock's most famous pieces, "My Financial Career . " One of my happiest recollections of school was of hear ­ ing our principal, Lewis Perry, read this aloud, which was an ann ua l event. Dr . Perry was a marvelous read­ er . He had a heavy baritone voice, perfectly appropriate to this piece, and a splendid sense of timing . He had also the confidence of t he comedi ­ an who knows that his lines cannot lose; he knew from years' experience that the boys lined up before him were soon going to be rocking around in their chai~s, and this confidence made us a l l the more ready to laugh . Another great piece, which I had not met before I read this collec ­ tion, is "A, B, and C. " These three men are characters in the "story pr ob­ lems" that we find in so many ari th­ metic books, and people who had diffi­ culty with these kinds of problems will probably get special pleasure from this absurd piece . I know that well before I was finished I was laughing so hard that I could not even get my eyes open. Two things to be noted . As point ­ ed out in the excellent introduction by Robertson Davies (some of whose books we will soon be adding to ou r list), Leacock was a Victorian, a man of strong opinions and prejudices, many of which are not now in fashion . I hope readers will forgive him t hat. The ot her poin t t o make is th at when he talks about money, as he does quite often, we must remember tha t these dollars were very much mo r e val ­


30 uable than dollars today. A good rule would be to multiply any amount he gives by ten, and possibly even by twenty, to make his figures more up to date. I hope that many of you will very soon enjoy your first meeting with this very funny man. ONLY A LITTLE PLANET, by David Brower ($6.95 + post). Those of you who know the Sierra Club books will know that they feature some of the most beautiful color photography and printing being done in this country. This is a splendid collection of beau­ tiful photographs of our earth in its many different forms and shapes, along with a text which tells us, very simply and poetically, and with a minimum of preaching, how important it is for us to take good care of thi s beautiful place we live on. I don't know that it is particularly designed as a book for children, but I think almost all children will enjoy the beauty of the photographs and will be able to read the quite simple text. I could also ima gine that it would be fun to read aloud . WEAPONS AND HOPE, by Freeman Dyson ($17.95 + post). Since 1946 when I left the submarine service of the US Navy, I have been in one way or another involved or concerned with the movement to bring nuclear weapons under control and to establish world peace, certainly the most urgent issue of our time . In those years I have read a great many of the books that have been written on this ques­ tion. Most of them have been elo­ quent, passionate, and for the most part unconvincing except to those peo­ ple who were convinced before they read them. Hardly any of them have looked realistically at the difficul­ ties in the way of achieving a peace­ ful world, or have had the problems of persuading people who disagree with us. Two exceptions, published right after WWII, were THE LAST TRUMP, by a French philosopher named Denis de Rougemont, and Edmond Tay­ lor's magnificent book RICHER BY ASIA, which was one of the two or three most important and formative books of my entire lifetime, and which even now I wish I could find a way to add to our catalog. The third such book is this new one by Freeman Dyson, the most original, realistic, thoughtful and persuasive book on this subject that I have read in a long time . Because it is so well thought out and realistic, and takes such hard-headed account of the diffi­ culties, it is an extremely hopeful book. It seems to offer us not an easy but a perfectly possible way out of the critical situation we are in. Thus, one point, obvious when we think about it, but one that has not been made by any other writer I know of, is that no proposal for the con­ trol or elimination of nuclear or oth­ er weapons has ~ chance of politi­ cal success unless it has the full support of a considerable part of the military establishment. This is not at all the same thing as saying that the military "run the country"; it only means that any proposal which does not get the support of at least a considerable number of influential and respected military leaders has no chance whatever of gaining enough pop­ ular or Congressional support to get through. There is no sense in talking as if these people were not there, or as if their objections could ignored, or as is if they were all malevolent or crazy. What Dyson shows us is that

there are very good grounds for belie­ ving that we could in fact win the support of military leaders for a pro­ posal to abolish or severely limit nuclear weapons, on pragmatic grounds that it makes sensible conduct of war impossible . I note in passing that GIVING UP THE GUN (available h e re) shows that such a thing did in fact already happen once in history. An equally astonishing and hope­ ful suggestion is that invention and technology may make a nuclear war increasingly obsolete. In this connec­ tion he tells us what I did not know and am absolutely delighted to learn, that technology has alreadr made the Hydrogen bomb all but obso e te. As weapons become increasingly accurate, there is less and less need for enor­ mous destructive power, so that for some years now both the American and Russian armed forces have been de­ creasing the size of their warheads. Of course, they are still monstrously destructive and dangerous. But the trend to make weapons more accurate and less destructive is one that we can expect to continue. Dyson's book should be enormous­ ly helpful to those in the peace move­ ment in this and other countries, be­ cause, if they read and heed it, it should make them much more effective. It has troubled me for some time that the Western peace movements were as rigid and fanatical, as closed off from the possibility of new ideas and approaches, as the most fanatic of their hawkish opponents. Indeed, for some years now I have been collec­ ting, on paper and in my mind, rough notes for a book which I thought I might someday write on this question. But Mr. Dyson has saved me the trou­ ble, and in the process written a book much better than any I could have written, since he draws on a great deal of important knowledge that I did not have. It is truly, as its title sug­ gests, a book about hope, and the most hopeful book on this vital sub­ ject that I have seen in a long time. It could very well prove to be one of those books which help to change history. - JH

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School, P.O. Box 1938, Manassas, Virginia 22110 SARA'S RIDE, simple, sturdy baby carrier of unique design, available from parents who use it; in New York City, for $20.Call 212-595-1627 AT LAST! Something really new for homeschoolers LCimPTete curriculum. 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. Single issue $2, one year subscription (12 issues) $20 HOME EDUCATION MAGAZINE,Bx2l8,Tonasket WA 98855 A Professional - a teacher - who can come into my *Plan without a handicap ----to be able to grasp a handicap that was created by education - the lack of it---- to undo its harm and then --- pour in the education-- *My $5000.00 Master Plan of Education for my son Jay. Mrs. Jean Purchio 1020 B Street #14, Hayward, California 94541 - Interviews by appointment only Opportunity open to teachers who can travel. COME WITH US TO EUROPE especially for H.S. and Col lege age home schoolers, a few parents. CANNES FIL~ FESTIVAL, Optional cooking class in Paris, Flamenco dancing in Spain, May-June85 James Salisbury, Bx 2261, Twin Falls 1083303 Home education and home supplement. Language arts materials for elementary thru highschool. Single copies of workbooks,kits,computer soft­ ware from major publisher. Send $1 for catalog to PIRIE, PO Box 956G, Cambridge, MA 02140. Man, 39, nature-loving atheist, intense & articulate thinker, good with hands, fit non smoker still dreams of similar woman of child­ bearing age to help plan large homeschooled rural family - my life's purpose. Bill, Box 1153, Washington, D.C. 20013 Stimulating Toys and Projects for school-age kids. Unusual activity books and kits that will excite a chi ld's desire to learn. Send SASE for free brochure to: Families That Play Together, Box B-1, Dept. G, Sarcoxie, MO 64862. Talya Bernstein,write Ishmael.Lost your address Free Educational Resources - Descriptions and addresses of free films, books, information, and posters geared toward ages 5-13. Send $3.50 to: Michele Wagman Sokoloff, 502 Woodside Avenue, Narberth, PA 19072. SUN VALLEY MUSIC CAMP or SUN VALLEY SUZUKI Instltute, unlque because-staTfed by home­ schoolers. For any young pianists, strings, woodwinds; Teacher training & parent workshops. Swimming, Horseback, hiking, July 22-Aug 3, 85. James Salisbury, Bx 2261, Twin Falls, 10 83303 Home schooling learning materials by Childcraft and Worldbook ages 2-18. For free brochure call 916-272-1644 or write Chitra Turner, 139 Francis Dr. Grass Valley, Ca. 95945

ADDITIONS TO RESOURCES These people have experience in the fol­ lowing subjects and are willing to correspond with others - Adoption: Andrea Heyman, PO Box 1488, Windsor ~D; 303-686-2069 --­ WANT ADS Deafness: Deborah Doerfel, 540 Temperance Ln, Rates for ads: $5 per line (47 spaces). Please TVylanaiPA 18974; teacher Based on reader requests, we'd like to tell these folks you saw their ad in GWS. suggest two more categories: Custody Disputes (that is, when an ex-spouse has-tnreatened to THE LEARNABLES - Span. Ger. Fr. Eng. & Russian take away a child because of home-schooling) taught by audlo-picture system. From GWS #31 " ... promotes the fastest learning ... most enjoy­ and Black How.e-schoolers. able." Also excel. Eng. reading prog availa­ Certified teachers willing to help home­ ble. From International Linguistics, 401 W schoolers: Lynne Behelm, 31rITl1OriteKa,-n­ 89th St, Kansas City MO 64114 Cajon CA 92020; 619-442-6579 --- Paula Wright, OPENING MIND SCHOOL, 7346 Elk Tr, Yucca Valley Catholic Home Schooling CA 92284; 619-365-8734 --- Sandy & Deborah Endorsed by Fr. Robert Fox, leader of Fatima Doerfel, 540 Temperance Ln, Ivyland PA 18974 Youth Retreats, and by Dr. Warren Carroll, Friendly School Districts: Butte County President of Christendom College. Complete Schools;lBS9 Blrd St, Orovllie CA 95965; 916Curriculum, Grades K-12. Seton Home Study

GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41


31 534-4678. Marilyn DeVore, Home Study Director --- Scituate School District, 606 Cushing Hwy, Scituate MA 02066; 617-545-5369. Vida Gavin, Dir. of Special Services Helpful Lawyer: Seth Rockmuller, 18 Washington Av, Chatham NY 12037; 5l8-392-4277 Our complete Resource Lists will appear in GWS #42. Pen Pals Wanted: (Children should send name, age, address, and 1-3 words on inter­ ests) --- Nancy LIGUOURI (7) 565 Piermont Av, River Vale NJ 07675; horses, rabbits, 4-H --­ BEAM, 430 Turkey Ridge, Apollo PA 15613: Matt (10) sports, computers, 0&0; Jamie (9) babies, stickers, swimming; Josh (6) tools, Spanish, outdoors --- Alison FREEDMAN (15) Rt 3 Box 11, Columbia KY 42728; astronomy, geography, mov­ ies --- Sean REILLY (8) 157 Webster Ct, Newing­ ton CT 06111; animals, nature, fishing --­ Emily BOSWELL (9) 7019 Mitchell, St Louis MO 63117; animals --- Kevin SELTMANN (10) 2051 Friendly Dr, Vista CA 92083; swimming, read­ ing, computers --- Gunn Marit AAROE (14) Vest­ gardon 22, 7600 Levanger, Norway; swimming, reading, piano --- Amma DE~~8) 138-01 Rt 2, Cobden IL 62920; horses, roller-skating, rock / ro 11 WHEN YOU WRITE US

Please - (1) Put separate items of busi­ ness on separate sheets of paper. (2) Put your name and address at the top of each letter. (3) If you ask questions, enclose a self­ addressed stamped envelope. (4) Tell us if it's OK to publish your letter, and whether to use your name with the story. ADDITIONS TO DIRECTORY

Here are the additions and changes to our Directory that have come in since the last issue. The last complete Directory was in #36. #39 had a summary of additions and changes since #36. The next complete Directory will be in #42. Additlons and changes must be received by Nov. 15 to be included. ------Our Directory is not a list of all sub­ scribers, but only of those who ask to be list­ ed, so that other GWS readers, or-01ner-lnter­ ested people, may get in touch with them. If you would like to be included, please send us the information. Please tell us if you would rather have your phone number and town listed instead of a mai 1i ng address. --If a name in a GWS story is followed by an abbreviation in parentheses, that person is in the Directory (check here, in #36, #39, and #40). We are happy to forward mail to those­ whose addresses are not in the Directory (mark the outside of the envelope with name / descrip­ tion~ and page number). 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. AL - Ellen CIMINO & Judson WILLIAMS (Natasna 6, Nathaniel 4, Suzanna 1) PO Box 1, Camp Hill 36850 AK - Roger & Megan BENEDICT (Damon 6 mol 2403 LaHonda Dr, Anchorage 99503 --- Ron & Con­ nie MOORE (Ben 4, Kate / 84) 1013 Hemlock St, Kodiak 99615 (change) AZ - CHRISTIAN FAMILY EDUCATIONAL SER­ VICES,-PO Box 47l59, Phoenix 85068 --- Dennis & Jan WOLTER (Jennifer 8, Jeffrey 6, Ian 2) PO Box 585, Tonopah 85354 (change) South CA: (Zips to 94000) - Roger & June DOMING~rr DECOR SCHOOL, 8388 Vickers St, Suite 219, San Diego 92111 --- Sylvia HARE, ABILITIES RESEARCH ASSOCIATES, Gen Del, Pio­ neertown 92268 (change) --- Karen & Jack JOHNSTON (Fawn 10, Melanie 4, Joshua 2) 3201 Tepusquet Rd, Santa Maria 93454 (change) --­ Susan & Richard LAURENTE (Drew / 79, Blaire / 82) 7580 Chester Dr, Salinas 93907 --- Carol MATTAX & Jim PETERSON (Alanna / 8l, Diana / 84) 1446 6th St, Manhattan Bch 90266 _.- David & Margie McARTHUR (Abigail 10, Nicholas 6, AmanGROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41

da 3) 3466 Hillside, Norco 91760 --- Rami & Eric NELSON (Misha 13, Narayan 6, Jesse 4 mol 138 N "C" St, Tustin 92680 (change) --- Paula WRIGHT (Pauli 10, Joe 11) OPENING MIND SCHOOL, 7346 Elk Trail, Yucca Valley 92284 North CA (Zips 94000 & up) - Esther BARUCH &Davld BUTLER (Michael / 8l) 2138 36th Av, San Francisco 94116 --- HOME CENTERED LEARNING, PO Box 2025, San Anselmo 94960 (change) --- Mike & Kathy JOHNSTON (Scott 13, DaniellO) 7001 Larkspur Av, Citrus Hts 95610 (change) --- Dean & Darla KARAGIANES (Deena 9, Daniel 7, Adam 5) PO Box 163532, Sacramento 95818 (change ) --- Rochelle LANDEROS, RELIGI­ OUS SCHOOL OF NATURAL HYGIENE, 6344 Pacheco Pass Hwy, Hollister 95023 --- Dan & Claudia MAPES, 1400 Duncan Spgs Rd, Hopland 95449 (change) --- Adrienne NEW~AN (Damodara 13, Govinda 8, Nimai 6, Syama 4, Jayananda 3) 938 Karen Dr, Chico 95926 (change) --- Madeleine SCOTT & Michael SORENSON (Nyima / 78, Leif / 8l, Anna / 84) 1911 McGee, Berkeley 94703 CO - Andrea & Dick HEYMAN (Joel 3) PO Box l4Err, Windsor 80550 --- Chuck & Suzanne MORTENSEN (Stewart 14, Reagan 9, Garrett 4, Ashley 4, Andrew 3) 12600 Coyote Valley Rd, Mesa Antero, Nathrop 81236 CT - Peter & Lorraine ACKERMAN, RFD Box 144, FaTls Village 06031 (change) --- Dick & Kathy REILLY (Sean 8, Maura 5, Bridget 3) 157 Webster Ct, Newington 06111 --- Joe SHAPIRO & Ilene TRAIGER (Anne 5, Clara & Sally 2) 125 Stonecrest Rd, Ridgefield 06877 FL - Paul & Jere BARKALOW (Zea 4, Kai 1) DOWLIN~PRIVATE SCHOOL, 3696 Tallulah Rd, Lan­ tana 33462 --- Larry WALKER, FLORIDA PARENT EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION, 9245 Woodrun Rd, Pensa­ cola 32514 GA - Linda CARRASQUILLO & Patrick BOYD, phone ~4-424-l809, Marietta --- Claudia CONN, 2986 Acworth Due West Rd, Kennesaw 30144 --­ Bob & Joan FLINN (Joshua 5, Nathan 3) Rt 7, 1604-0 Wood Ct, Valdosta 31602 --- Jeff & Lynn GARRINGER (David / 78, Kristen / 82) LITTLE RIVER LEARNING CENTER, 237 Holly Creek Way, Wood­ stock 30188 --- Rich & Vicki HIGGINS (R.T. / 73, Joey / 75) Phone 977-7095, Marietta IL - Jim & Bonnie KARARO (Jennifer / 78) 1409 Sneffield Dr, Elgin 60120 IN - Melinda BUTLER, WARSAW AREA NEWS­ LETTER~Box 98, Butler 46538 --- Janae KANE, D~LAWARE / MADISON CO. ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS, RR 1, Daleville 47334 --- Janice SASSER, HCME MADE NEWS, 4321 Mirada Dr, Ft Wayne 46816 --­ Pat & Judy SWEENEY (Katie / 78, Amy / 82) Phone 812-234-9343, Terre Haute KS - KANSANS FOR ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION, Phone "913-686-2310 --- Jan & Charlotte McCANN, 525 N 3rd St, Burlington 66839 --- Paula & Keith WHITE (Zephyrus 9, Anemone 6, Xanthus 2) Rt 4 Box 70, Pratt 67124 (change) KY - Steve & Melinda GALBREATH (Elly 6, Cecily~) 137 Rosemont Garden, Lexington 40503 --- Helen GRIGGS (Ryan 4) 225 Cornelison Rd, Richmond 40475 (change) --- John & Gale HART-

MAN (Rachel 12, Rebecca 9, Laura 6) 134 Shady Ln, Lexington 40503 --- Earl & Darlene OGATA (Hoang 19, Kimberly 16, Daniel 9, Natalie 6, Kristin 2, Emily 6 mol 664 Kingston Rd, Lexing­ ton 40505 --- Larry & Diana VOGT (Sunshine 8, Rainbow 5, Sky 2) 119 Westwood Dr, Lexington 40503 --- Larry & Margaret WHEELER (Graham 7, Daniell) 920 Aurora Av, Lexington 40502 LA - Vicki BARRON & Joe BURDICK (Joy 1) 122 S Hennessy, New Orleans 70119 --- Mr & Mrs Richard MOFFETT (Melinda, Monica) Rt 2 Box 428, Denham Spgs 70726 ME - Carol & Stephen BECKETT (Emlyn 12, Brave TIT) Box 7 Peace Rd, Cambridge 04923 --­ Norris & Marina DAVIS (Audrey 6, Andrew 7 mol RFD 1 Box 680, Harmony 04942 --- Sheldon & Jer­ emy GANBERG (Gabriel 6) 223 Highland Cliff Rd, Westbrook 04092-1710 (change) --- Tim & Ellen KETCHAM (Susan 9, James 7, Donald 7) MAINE HOME EDUCATION, RD 1 Box 1167, Farmington 04933 (change) --- Earl & Linda STEVENS (Jamie / 80) 25 Belmeade Rd, Portland 04101 MD - CHRISTIAN HOME SCHOOLS OF WESTERN MARYLANIT, PO Box 564, Cumberland 21502 --­ Joel SNYDER & Esther GEIGER (Emerie / 83) 730 Boundary Av, Silver Spring 20910 --- Jack STOCKDALE, PARENTS FOR HOME EDUCATION, 9610 Armistead Rd, Silver Spring 20903 MA - Derry & Kerry ANDERSON (Ivy 6, Le­ land 4~77 Bank St, Attleboro 02703 --- Joan BEASLEY (David 18, William 17, Walt 14) PO Box 116, S Deerfield 01373 --- Ginger FITZSIMMONS (Jennifer 5, Alexander 3) 148 School St, Water­ town 02172 --- Kathy HALICKI (Adrianne / 78, Lauren / 79) 15 Davison St, Hyde Park 02136 --­ Rick & Carol HUGHES (Evan 6, Peter 3) 551 Sud­ bury Rd, Stow 01775 (change) --- Jim & Sue KINNEL (Ruth 7, Aubrey 3) Phone 617-761-7922, Seekonk --- Pam & John ROSSETTI, 246 May St #2, Worcester 01602 --- Maria SEKKES (Gina 2) 4 Brook St, Medfield 02052 MI - Mark & Linda CLIFTON (Joshua 6, Rache14, Joel 2) 1180 l33rd St, Rt 2, Wayland 49348 --- Chris & Jug TARR (Jesse 2) PO Box 287, Lake Orion 48035 MN - Tom & Jan KEAVENY (Sam 6, Sarah 4) Box l6~ Bird Island 55319 (change) --- Bob & Jean SMITH (Sarah / 73, Katie/75, Daniel/77, Joseph/80) Rt 1 Box 36, Clarks Grove 56016 (change) MT - Judy & Dennis CHAMBERS (Kevin 9, Kristi-o) SYLVANITE SCHOOL, RD 1, Troy 59935 (change) NV - Ivor & Kathryn McKEOWN (Karen 7, KimberTY 4, Stephen 1) PO Box 1656, Battle Mtn 89820 --- Marvin & Evelyn TATE (Amy 14) PO Box 2842, Zephyr Cove 89449 NH - Steve & Ruth CHERRY (Sasha 7, Jered 3) NEw-HAMPSHIRE HOME SCHOOLS NEWSLETTER, 26 Lyndon St, Concord 03301 (change) --- Doug & Meg JOHNSON, HOME EDUCATION RESOURCE CENTER (Corinne 12, Melissa 11, Brad 8, Brendan 3) PO Box 124, Mont Vernon 03057 (change) NJ - Robert & Shelley ASHCROFT (Adam 8, Cara 6:-Roshelle 4, RJ 1) 13 Gloucester Ct, Mt

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The numbe r th a t is und e rlined in th e sample t e lls the number o f the final issue f or the subscription. The Jones' sub e xpires with Issue #4 2 , the next issue. But if we were I to r ece ive th e ir r e newal be for e we s e nt our final account I changes t o the ma iling h ous e (ea rl y De cembe r ) , they would quali fy fo r th e f r ee bonu s i s sue. I Rene wal r a t e s a re th e same as for ne w subscr i ptions: I $15 f o r 6 issues , $27 for 12 issues, $36 f o r 18 issues. If that numbe r in the third line of your label is 41, 42, 4 3 , I etc, pl ease ren ew now - rates will never get an y cheaper. I


32 Holly 08060 --- Bill & Jane FLEMER (Emma/84) 270 Mapleton Rd, Kingston 08528 --- lain & Penny HUNTER (Brian 5) 07 Lawrence Apartments, Princeton U., Princeton 08544 (change) NM - Susan & Edward CAMPAU (Jeremy 8, Molly 4T 1502 Pinon, Alamogordo 88310 --­ Ellen & Ron HALE (Jesse/78, Luke/81) 219 Mira­ monte, Santa Fe 87501 --- MOTHERING MAGAZINE, PO Box 8410, Santa Fe 87504 (change) NY - Brad & Meribeth BERG (Jada 5) RD 1 Box 61~ Westtown 10998 (change) --- Bernard & Martha BOARDLEY (Michael 9, Mark 7) 57 Wild­ wood Av, Mt Vernon 10550 --- Tierney & Brad O'BRIEN-DOVAN (Heather/80, Molly/84) 25 Dover Park, Rochester 14610 --- Kate SHARP & Ernie POLSTEIN (dtr 2) 495 West End #9C, New York 10024 NO - Sue HIMEL (Stephanie/72, Bryan/76) 1723 WTTlow Dr, Grand Forks 58201 OH - Diane & Carl JAHNES (Megan/78, Ben/ 81, Jerr/83) 3970 Pert Hill Rd, Hopewell 43746 --- Jill JORDAN (Amber 2) 4129 Woodedge Dr, Be 11 brook 45305 OK - Frank BRASWELL, NW OKLAHOMA REGION, 2008 Meadowbrook, Ponca City 74604 --- Joyce & Art DICKERMAN-STEWART (Joelle 5, Aaron 1) Rt 3 Box 19, Madill 73446 --- Charlene & Michael WINGER-BEARSKIN (Anis 8, Amelia 5) Phone 918­ 451-2382, Broken Arrow OR - Sonia & Jack BILTZ (Joseph 9) HOME­ SCHOOL~S OF KLAMATH COUNTY, 3934 Rio Vista Way, Klamath Falls 97603 --- Lewis & Janet GOLDSTEIN (Jahnavi 6) Rt 3 Box M75, Sherwood 97140 (change) --- Gregg HARRIS, CHRISTIAN LIFE WORKSHOPS, 180 SE Kane Av, Gresham 97030 --- HOMESCHOOLERS OF KLAMATH CO., 3934 Rio Vista Way, Klamath Falls 97603 --- Gayla & Richard SLATTON (Cord 2) 7506 SE 18th Av, Port­ land 97202 --- Caya SMITH (Jasmine 4, Dylan 2) 1000 Lower Wolf Cr. Rd, Wolf Creek 97497 --­ Jeff & Phyllis WEIH (Nathan 4, Andrea 2 mol 4024 SE 101 Av, Portland 97266 PA - Dave & Ruth ARTHURS (Ann 4) 501 Howard~v, Altoona 16601-4882 (change) --- Mr & Mrs L.D. BAUN, RD 3 Box 345, Harmony 16037 --- Durvasa & Suchitra DAVENPORT (Setha 3) Ph. 215-566-4906, Rose Valley --- Kate & Ed KERMAN (Ada 11, Hanna 8, Jesse 5) 1107 Keystone, Chester 19013 (change) --- Hilary & Scot McCLELLAN (Laura/82, Nathan/84) RD 4 Box 364, Coopersburg 18036 --- John & Christine SELLERS (Randy 15, Heidi 11, Gregory 8) 1035 Perry St, Reading 19604 (change) --- Linda & Chris VERWAY (Erin 7, Robin 5, Leah 1) Box 191 RD 1, Tannersville 18372 --- John & Carol WILSON (Luke 6, Rachel 2) 1409 Pa. Av, Pittsburgh 15233 SC - Michael & Karen SMITH (Alissa 4, RhiannaH) Rt 4 Box 227, Central 29630 TN - Shannon & Bill BUSH (Will 4) Rt 10 Box 66E; Cookeville 38501 (change) --- HOME EDUCATION ASSOCIATION, 3677 Richbriar Ct, Nash­ ville 37211 TX - Richard & Barbara BATES (Katie 7, Jennifer 7, Andrew 4) 1509 Riverview Dr,

when they were printed, and we do not plan to Arlington 76012 --- Neil, Taunta & Hunter

DANQUE PO Box 940, Rio Hondo 78583 --- Alan & repeat the information in them. Our rates for back issues: any combina­ Grace JUSTISS (Suzanne 2) RR 4 Box 2120,

tion of back issues, mailed at one time to one Quinlan 75474 --- Jean WITTEMAN, CHRISTIAN

HOME EDUCATION GROUP OF SAN ANTONIO, 12170 New address, cost 75¢ per issue, plus $2. For exam­ Su lphur Springs Rd, Adkins 78101 --- Richard & ple, GWS #1-40 would cost $32. (40 x 75¢ is Linda WORZER (Matthew 9, Meagan 7, Whitney 5) $30. $30 + $2 = $32.) These rates are for sub­ scribers only; non-subscribers pay $2.50 per­ 1722 Leicester St, Garland 75042

VA - James & Penny GALLAGHER (Jamey 10) lssue-.--An index to GWS #1 -30 is also available 12670 Iandview Dr, Manassas 22110 (change) --­ for $2.5C. Peter & Anne GOODMAN (Ben 12) Rt 1 Box 267, Free Union 22940 (change) --- Steve & Debbie Address chanaas: If you're moving, let us knoW-Your-new a ress as soon as possible. HOKE (Ancy 7, Michael 6, Kaitlin 3, Matthew/ 84) Rt 2 Box 195, Lexington 24450 (change) --­ Please enc lose a recent 1abe 1 (or copy of one). Issues mi ssed because of a change in NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR CHRISTIAN HOME EDUCA­ address may be replaced for $2 each. TION, Rt 3 Box 543, Rustburg 24588 Group subscriptions: all copies are WA - Amelia ACHESON (Alazel 16, Talitha 12, Eleadari 10) 164 Bayview St, Sequim 98382 mai ledtO-c)neacrClress-:-trere are the current --- CHRISTIAN LIFE ACADEMY, PO Box 5858, Lynn­ group rates (lX means you get one copy of each wood 98046 --- Phyllis & Erwin GRAUDSZUS (Eric issue, 2X means you get 2 copies of each issue, 3X means 3 copies, etc.): 5, Ivan 4) 29500 Green River Gorge Rd, Enum­ claw 98022 --- Rose MARSCHALL, 635 N.W. 195th 1 year 2 yrs. 3 yrs. St, Seattle 98177 (change) --- NEW ~ORLD 6 iss. 12 iss. 18 iss. SCHOOL, 2701 Landes, Port Townsend 98368 WV - John & Jennifer NEWCOMB (Elisabeth/ lX $15 $27 $36 78, BoEDy/81, Billy/84) 128 Janet St, Lewis­ $45 $20 $34 2X burg 24901 $25 $45 $67.50 WI - Jim & Naomi COLVIN (Alysha/76, 3X Sean/8~ Zachary/82) Menomonie 54751 --- Steve $30 $60 $90 4X & Toots WEIER (Forest 9, Horizon Blue 6, $37.50 $75 $112.50 Winter 3) Rt 1 Box 349, Coleman 54112 (change) 5X WY - Jack MURPHY, WYOMING HOME EDUCA­ $45 $90 $135 6X TORS' NETWORK, 158 WHarney, Laramie 82070 7X, 8X, etc: $7.50 per person per year. CANADA Please send in the names and addresses --BC - WONDERTREE SCHOOL, Station E, Box of members of your group sub, so that we can 35243,-Vancouver V6fl 4G4 keep in touch with them. Thanks. ONT - Barbara & Bruce SMALL (Carolyn 9) RR 1, ~dwood LOC lAO QUE - Danny & Teresa TITTLEY (Nathan 8, Editors - John Holt & Donna Richoux Naomi ~Caleb 1) 3435 Decarie Blvd, Montreal H4A 3J4 (change) Managing Editor - Patrick Farenga Subscriptions & Books - Steve Rupprecht Ross Campbell Office Assistant - Mary Van Doren SUBSCRIPTIONS Copyri ht Holt Associates, Inc. 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 "' N ..... "'", O month. A single issue costs $2.50. V> .0 <1" :E: For all subs or orders of GWS (not O"'~ "02 books), please send check or money oraers pay­ ,<", 3: able to GROWING WITHCUT SCHOOLING. :x> V> :E: Forei9n payments must be either money 0 -i "''':C orders-'rlD~-funds or checks drawn on US c banks. We can't afford to accept personal en <1" .., - i checks on Canadian accounts, even if they have mVl mn "US funds" written on them. Outside of North <1":c America, add $10 per year for airmail (other­ r wise, allow 2-3 months for surface mail). 2 Back issues: We strongly urge you to get '" the back lssues of GWS, especially if you plan to take your children out of school. Many of the articles are as useful and important as C)

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RENEWAL FORM Use this form to renew or extend your subscription 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):

City, State, Zip:

YES, PLEASE EXTEND MY SUBSCRIPTION FOR: 6 issues, $15 Group sub:

copies of

12 issues, $27

18 issues, $36

issues, $_ _ (see chart)

(Clip and send with your check or money order in U.S. funds to: GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING, 729 Boylston Street, Boston MA 02116.) GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #41


Growing Without Schooling