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GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING 64 John Holt wrote rn the revrsed How chitdrenleam. 'children use fantasy not to get out of, but to get tnto, the real world.'It's adults who seem to thtnk in terms of escaptng the real world; children are passionately tnterested in malrtng sense of tt, figuringl out how to use lt, and the o storles that parents tell tn this lssue show how crucial fantasy play is to o o thls process. Perhaps because we still thlnk that anythtng children o . choose to do on thelr own can't be lmportant, or because we distinguish wgrk from play in our own lives, we forget to notice how much is going on when children play. The storles tn this issue help to remind us. All of the play described here, though of course full of silltness and plagftiness, has serious purposes. Often the play ls a way of maklng sense ofdilflcult or confuslng things that have happened - a death, i car accldent, a burglary. B5r reenactkrg the events chlldren come to understand them, defuse thelr power, and ln some cases orplore what might have happened instead. Helen Van Doren at play. Mary Van Doren, Helen's Just as often the play tn these stories is used to prepare for thtngs mother, wrltes for thls lssue's Focr:s. "The Uses of that are going to happen, or to help lmagine what mfgfu happen. Fulls Conroy's children, playlng at being famous g5rmnasts, are broadening thelr sense of what is possible ln thelr llves. John Holt used to say urit rr INSIDE THIS ISSUE: he couldn't imagine something in fantasy, tt probably wasn't likely to work well in reality, so that if he found himself unable to imagine i uootOFFICE NEWS p. 2 in-progress betng read and appreciated, selling well, and so on, it sig_ NEWS & REPORTS p. 3-5 naled to him that there was somethlng wrong with hts approach to Ge book as he worked on lt. OLDER HOMESCHOOLERS p. 5-6 Play also helps us understand tradttionally academic or cognittve tasks. often this is because we get to mess around with whatevei it b we're trylng to understand - the parts of a machine, perhaps, or the CHALLENGES & CONCERNS p. 6-8 letters of the alphabet. Through the messlng around, we become so When Friends Dlsagree familtar wtth the way the parts work that we're able to use them for whatResponses to "Feeltreg Isolated" ever purposes we choose later on (to assemble the machine, to make words). Also, role-playing can give us a sense of power where we might RESPECTING CHILDREN'S PRTVACY not otherwise feel tt, as I suspect was the case for socorro Finn who. as p.9 her mother Ktt tells it, needed to be teaching her doll to read to feel comfortable learning herself. WATCHING CHILDRENLEARN p. rO-12 several of the writers in thts rssue talk about play's usefulness to Writng Speeches chtldren trylng to understand human behavior and relationships. The John Holt on Hlstory children cast other members of their family ln roles that help them Dental Apprentlceshtp experiment wlth dlfferent ways of betng, different lidnds of lnteractions. karnlng to Teach Five-year-old Billy Shipley gets to be Daddy and see what it would be like to make the rules, and by listening to hts mother play at belng Billy, he FOCUS: THE USES OF FANTASY PI,AY gets to see htmself ln an lnteresUng kind of mirror. p.I7-2O Fantasy play is a kind of spontaneous but ongoing theater, and it requlres theater's suspension of disbelief. Anyone who has suggested to a BAE}IES AND MOTHERS TOGETHER: child that a doll or stuffed animal isn't really real, for erample,-knows how INTERVIEW WTTH KAYE LOWMAN annoyed or even angry the child becomes at this. I suggest that thts ls not p.2r-22 because children don't know the difference between real and pretend, but because talking about that difference too expllcltly robs fantisy of tts CHILDREN IN THE WORKPLACE p. 22-25 power and value. How could socorro have used the fantasy ofher doll learning to read, for example, lf the adults around her had lnslsted on THINKING AEIOUT COMMUNITY p. 23-24 talktng about the fact that dolls can't really read? Maybe some of our occaslonal nervousness about children's play INVOLVING OTHERADURS IN arises because chtldren are, much of the ilme, so much better at play HOMESCHOOLING p.24-25 than we are. They are tlreless about staylng ln character, skillful at lmaglning themselves ln seemtngly imposslble situations. Kathleen HOWADULTS LEARN p. 25-26 Mccurdy asks adults, "wouldn't lt be neat lf we called what tle dld play?' Many adults do think of themselves as playlng; Richard Feynman, tn ADDITIONS TO DIRECTORY p.26-22 Surelg You're Joktng, Mr. Fegnman, says that he was playing when he first came to the ideas that eventually led to hts winning the Nobel prize. So let's spend more time playing, and learning from those among us who are especially good at it. Susannah Sheffer



OFFICE NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS OUR NEW ADDRESS Exciting newsl As we go to press, we've

just signed the lease on our new olfice, a 2-

story space in Cambridge that gives us a little more room than we have now. We're able to design it to accomodate our flow of work and to make it welcoming to chlldren and visitors, which we very much look forward to. By the dme you read this issue, we will have moved in (hard to beltevel), and we will be able to tell you about the space in detail in our next issue. Our enormous thanks go to Day Farenga, Donna Richoux and Mary Maher, who spent months (without gi\dng up any of their otJrer responsibilities) searching for a space that met all of our

speclflcations. You'll see the new address in the usual places in this issue, and here it is again so that you can be sure to write it down: 2269 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02l4O. We don't have the new phone number at this writing, but callers to our old number will be given that information when lt's available.

IN THE OFFICE Donna Richoux, with the help of Day Farenga and Pat Gould, has spent the past

couple of months developing a program which wlll enable us to computerize the book business's shipping and receiving funcdons, making things smoother and more ellicient and leaving several of us more time for other proJects. We've been enjolng the help of homeschooler Yaron Goldman, who came to Boston from Illinois for two weeks to visit relatives and work in our oflice. We expect a similar visit from long-time GWS reader Theo Giesy (VA) too.

OUR BACK ISSUES A reminder: As we said in GWS #63,

printing costs have forced us to raise the

price of back lssues. After September l, subscribers will pay $2 per back issue plus $2 per order; the entlre set will cost $lOO. Until then, you can order them at the old prices: $l each plus $2 per order.

TRIP TO THE WEST [SS:l As I mentioned in the last issue, I spent ten days at homeschooling events in the West, and was able to meet many GWS friends. In Seattle, I spoke at the Washington Homeschool Organization's conference, whichwas, with 2OOO people, the largest event of its lidnd IVe attended. Washing;ton's favorable law has encouraged many people to homeschool in recent years, and support Is available everywhere. At a support group brunch that my host Sandi Hall (who has done volunteer work for us in ttre past) organized, about thirty people attended, and this was a

small gathering for thts group. In Seattle I was able to meet Mike Farris of the Home School l.egal Defense Assoclatlon, and Pat Llnes, whose research on homeschooling for the Department of Educatlon we have mendoned ln the past. I also had the pleasure ofsome

an even Larger scale than when John Holt flrst wrote of these rrratters. But a vlslt to schools tn any part of the naflon wlll rerreal the sarne unlnspired children and lack of attention to what is betng taught of whlch John Holt wrote a quarter of a cenhrry ago...

unintermpted tlme wlth Clonlara's Pat Montgomery, a rare treat, as those who know how busy Pat ls can attest. Finally, I was able to tape two radio programs for the Washlngton Homeschool Organizatlon, which has made arrangements wlth a local staflon to have its own rcgular program. Others lnterested ln doing the same thing might contact these folks to flnd out how they did it. Next, I took the beautiful ferry ride to Victorla, Brltlsh Columbla, where GWS reader Jan Hunt and several others had arranged for me to speak to local homeschoolers and other interested people, and to tape a local televislon program. I met many of our long-time frlends there, and also had a chance to speak with Ian Hunter, whose work on behalf of youth suffrage I mentioned ln GWS #63. Also ln Vlctorla. I had the wonderful opportunit5r to talk at length with Frank Smith, whose books we sell here and whose work we have enthusiastically discussed in many prevlous lssues. I write about some of what we dlscussed elsewhere in this issue, and I expect further thoughts to develop over time. Finally, I spoke at the Family Learning Organizatlon's Homeschool and Famlly Lrarning Falr ln Spokane, where I met Kathleen McCurdy, Raymond and Dorothy Moore, Mark and Helen Hegener (of Home Mucation magazlne), and many other GWS readers and friends. It was wonderful to meet so rnany homeschoolers and to

hear them talk about their llves.

McGOVERN ON FAIL Here ls a brleJ e:aerptJrom George McGotrem's new irtb..odtrctlon to Jotvt Holt's How Chtldren Fail. ?tre neus edXlon oJ

tte tuk wlll tu out ln the JdL

During the l96Os and l97os I developed a friendship with the late John Holt based in considerable part on our mufual lnterest ln the educatlon of children... As a member of Congress especially interested ln the educatlon of chtldren, I exchanged correspondence with John Holt when the Ilrst edltion of his book Hotu Chidren Fail was shaking the educatlonal world ln the mid- l96os. He exerted a strong lnlluence on my own thinking about educational matters. Indeed, as a preslden$al nomlnee ln 1972, I carrled John Holfs book tn my brlefcase on the campalgn plane. I knew the book well and my farniliarity wlth tts tnslghts gave me the capacity and conlldence to speak forcefully and meanlngfully on educatlonal concems. I remember drawtng on John Holt's wlsdom ln a rnajor campaign speech ln New Jersey before a huge con-

ventlon of the Natlonal Educatlon Association. It is sad to note that chtldren contlnue to fail tn America s schools - perhaps on

Q&A Here are some questlons about olfice policy we've received recent$: Q. Whenyou say, 'Please put separate items of business on separate pleces of paper, do you mean put book onders on one piece and letters on another, or do you mean put dilferent topics of a letter on dilferent pieces of papefl" A. Generally, we make thls request so that we can give the ltem to the proper person wlthout copytng it - so a book order goes ln one place, a Directory entry goes ln another, and a letter that needs to be

answered or considered for publlcailon

goes in yet another. Different toplcs within one letter don't have to be split up

unless you particularly want to do thts. Q. I always thlnk I shouldn't write to GWS because you're all so busy, you don't need to hear one more person's experiences, A. Yes, we dol

Whatwould GWS be

without your letters? Q. How come I can't always lind the person I'm looldng for in the Dtrector5/? I trled to wrlte to someone dlrectly, but they weren t listed. A. When a writer ls ln the Dtrectory, the name is followed by a state abbreviatlon tn parentheses: John Smith fn$. ne sure to check not only the Directory ln the back of the particular issue, but the year's complete Directory and any subsequent additions. If the writer is not ln the Directory, the name ts followed by the whole state name: John Smlth of Tennessee. If the writer wants to be anonymous, we say, iA reader writes.' In elther of these latter cases, you're welcome to send us

mail to forward to these writers, but please

use the Directory if the writer is listed. (Of course, you're always welcome to send us a copy of a letter that you think rnfght be useful to others.)

CALENDAR September 1988: Holt Assoclates will hold some kind of "oflicewarmln$' event

in September, perhaps in cnnJuncdon wlth our annual "Remembering John

Holt" wening on September 14, perhaps sepa.rately. Checkwtth us about the


November 5-7. 1988: Nadonal Home Schoolers Organlzadonal Meetlng trr

T\rcson, Arizona- For lnformatlon send SASE to Becky Olson, NHS Conference Coordinator, 7O2lA Thunderbird Dr, Tucson AZ 857 OA; ffi2 -7 90 -7 57 2. We are happy to rrn announcements

of maJor homeschoollng and related events, but we need plent5r of notlcne. Deadline for GWS #65 (errents ln Novem-

ber or later) ls September loth. Deadline for GWS #66 (events in January or later) is


NEWS & REPORTS SUPPORTIVE UTAH SUPERIN. TENDENT Uny erraldsora on our 'pro;fessors

and Otlvr Allies" llsg sent us tluts at1,tcle Jrom the Utah Deseret News, 6/ B / aB

In a speech that surprised some homeschool proponents, Utah's state schm! suqerlntendent volced hls support Saturday for the homeschool concept. 'Technologr is ra-pldly changtng the way we learn thlngs, freeing people to learn in thelr homes," James R Moss, Utah

superlntendent of publlc lnstrucfion, told home educators. "Old insUtutions are raptdly enaporadng. It's tlme for homeschoolers.' Ttre boldness of the superintendent's endorsement surprtsed and pleased the more than 6OO people attending the Utah Home Educatlon Assocladon's etghth annual convendon. They praised Moss for tris courage, as a publlc educadon leader, to yalldate an organlzaflon they say sulTers from an unJustllled stlgma....Moss sald the role of publtc educatlon ls changlng ln part because of the lnlluence of the homeschool movement. Year-round school, which places a resDonslbtllty on parents to 'keei kids learning during the olf-tr:ack months,' ls leadins educatlon to a homeschool posture, thesuperintendent said. ...A state educaflon planntng commlsslon intends to come out wtth a statement soon that focuses on the conceDt ofeducatton belongtng ln the home between parents and thetr chlldren, sald Moss. 'All that we (public school educators) do must be tn support of that,' By thetr own deflnldon, the UHEA includes those who teach their chtldren in their homes - prfmartly outside the public school system - and those who teach- their chlldren at home to supplement public educatlon. In trts remailis, Moss dld not speclry hls deffntUon of a homeschooler.


indlctment satd hts research, "as described,'was never done, and 'the results as descrlbed under each ofthose studies had not been obtatned.' .. Prosecutors today noted Breuning's well-establlshed reputaUon tn the fleld of drug therapy up to that time. His work involvtnt h5rperactive retarded children was lnstrumental ln formtu:rg publtc health poltcy natlonally.

DOESN'T FIT SYSTEM Ftom an drtlcle In Angeles Tlmes:

tle 6/ 13/58 Los

Ltfe ts turnlng lnto a Catch-22 for ll. year-old Adragon Eastwood De Mello of Santa Cruz. De Mello ts a math whlz who was Just gaduated wtth a bachelor's degree from UC Santa Cruz's Cowell Collele. But he now faces a problem that

has no lmmedlate solutlon, even for genluses. If De Mello, known as "A,D.,. cannot

ftld a graduate school to accept

him - and a number have turned him-doum because of his age - he must - believe lt or not - return thls fall to Junlor high school,

according to state law. 'Our system is not equlpped to deal wtth chlldren like him,' satd AD.'s father, Augustln De Mello, who added that he may move hls famtly to sklrt the state educatlon code. 'l d rather stay here,' sld A,D., who also has a diploma from Cabrlllo College, a two-year school. .But I don't want to go back to Junlor high. I already know that stuff... I mlss not havlng frlends my own age. But I don't regret not being tn the slxth grade now.'

WRITING TO NEWSPAPERS Susan Weinlrob (IN) urlies: I want to tell you how something posltive came out of a situadon that mtght have been otherwlse. In March, our local newspaper printed an article that was unfavorable to homeschooltng. It con-

The Spring 1988 lssue oJ the MARyIAND HOME EU]CATION ASS@IATTON ne.taslettcr reprlnted this ercerpt Jrom the 4 / I 6 / 88 W ashtngton Post:

tained much mlslnformatlon and mlsleadlng remarks. Its four main points were: (l) Parents really don't know what a

BALTIMORE, Aprtl 15 - A narionallyknown drug therapy researcher was tndlcte{ today on charges of falsifring medlcal research that has helped jhaie

be academlcally behlnd their peers; (3)

drug treatment pollcy for mentally retarded chtldren tn the l98os.

Dr. Stephen Breunlng, dlrector of psychologtcal servlces at the polk Center tn Polk, PA, was charged with subrnitting plrony_research studtes when he applied in 1983 for two grants tofalhg morethan $2OO,OOO from the NaUonal InsUtute of Mental Health tn Bethesda for further study of the controverstal drugs Ritalin and Dexedrine. Breuning's reseach lnvolved at least seven studles that he clatmed he conducted 1t th9 U$verstty of Ptttsburgh, showing that Rttalln and Dexedrlne were helpfuiin controlltng h5rperactlve retarded children with fewer adverse slde elfects than other previously-used dmgs. But today's GROWING WTTHOUT SCHOOLING #64

good educatlon ts; (2) Homeschooled

chlldren who return to school are found to

Homeschooled chlldren are lsolated and not properly soclahzed; and (4) Certilled teachers should teach homeschooled children, as they are better qualtfled. I was angry, needless to say, but I declded to do something posltive. I called the newspaper edltor and told hlm I had a companlon plece to the one already prlnted, whlch showed another vICw of homeschooling. While he was polite, he did not seem overly enthustasfic. I told him he was under no obligatlon, but that I would send htm my arttcli. My arflcle was

full ofreports ofresearch and substandation to prove the artlcle's premises wrong. I tried not to condemn schools, but to sho=w how homeschoollng was a posldve approlch to education and family life. I had to call the edttor several dmes.

He flnally agreed to publish the arilcle after he dlscovered that I had several

degrees and ten years teaching e:rperlence. It was publtshed as a guest editorial tn a Sunday paper about a month after the origtnal arttcle had appeared. In response

I got several calls from parents interbsted

ln homeschooling, and met numerous

people who were interested in what we were doing at home. Even those who send thelr chlldren to school without much thougfit were lmpressed with the facts as I presented them. Our local organizadon had never responded to an artlcle ln the press before. Thts ls a mlstake. Many readels are left wlth lncorrect lnformation, and some of these readers are legislators or fufure eC|ucators.

ISS:I I hope others will follow this example-and correct, politely but persis-

tently, the liind of mistnfoirnafion that

Susan describes. You don't har;e to have degrees or teaching experlence to be persuaslve - you are the ones who know the most about homeschooling, and many nâ‚Źwspaper will print letters to the editor lf not guest editortals.

BAD TESTING CONDITIONS F}om a lctter, prinled in tte MayJme Issue oJ Homeschooling Families, that lnneschder fundg Mdsen urote to the Tervessee Commissioner of Mrrcafion a;fter her daughter tcrli tte achier.tenent test rqutred oJ honeschmlers tn ?ennessee:

J am lvrlting to express my e)dreme dlspleasure wlth thts year's second grade homeschoolers' SAT experience. Thi portable classroom was small and consequently overcrowded with students and parents. The air conditloner did not work, and the heat was oppressive. That combined wlth 7 and 8 year olds subJected to three hours of conflnement and-tesilnq made for a tedious, stressful and unplei.s-

ant experience.

The breaks scheduled were too short and too few. The schedule of 9-12 for two consecudve days was too long for chlldren of thts age. I understand that school children take at least a week, with one subeach morning and each after-


My daughter and I went to the tesUnA stte with c-onfidence high, looktng upon the test as a chance to showoff. Ttrts child reads fourth grade textbooks easily, works tn a thdrd grade math book and is cur-

rently mulitplying and dividtng high

numbers, borrowlng and carrytng fourdtglt numbers. Yet ioward the endof the second day oftesdng she had gpeat GROWNG WITHOUT SCHOOLING #64, Vol. I I No. 4. ISSN #O745-5305. h:blished bt-monthlv by Holt Assoclates. 2269 Massachusctb Ave, Canbrldge MA O2t4O. gZO/yr. Date oflgsue,



1988. Sccond-class postagc patd at

Boston MA. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to GWS, 2269 Massachusctts Avc, Cambrldge MA O2l4O. ADVERTISERS: Deadltnes are the

lbth of odd-

numbered months. Contact patrlck Farenga for rates.


dilliculty doing simple math, such as


She was not the only one alfected so

adversely. Halfivay through the testing days these bright children began losing their places and showing signs of stress in various ways. One girl broke down in

uncontrollable tears. Another child left the hot room to tJrrow up. My daughter burst into tears halfivay through both days of testing and left at least one and a half pages of "easy math" incomplete. More than one child left questions

unanswered due to tiredness and stress. The scores these children receive will not reflect their true abilities, nor tell us what they need to work on. Instead they will indicate how well or poorly these

children work under stress. ... I reallze that testing homeschoolers is a relatively new procedure and that mistakes are bound to be made... I have discussed this matter with Dr. Fichard Hooper, who is tn charge of the testing schedule for homeschoolers. He was very

kind and sympathetic and apologized, saying he wouldn't want his young daughter subjected to a similar experience. He stated that the schedulewas the same one used last year arrd was planned for the parents' convenience rather than the

children's. ... My daughter has to live with unfair and invalid test scores, as well asi some very negative feelings about testing and public schools. Homeschoolers require no textbooks, teachers, supplies or space from the state. Surely when they do meet with the school system they deserve a pleasant and positive encounter. Sandy adds that when she suggested to

Dr. Hooper that homeschoolers should be tested at home, he objected that that would give them an unfair advantage over kids in school. Sandy replled that homeschoolers ought to be tested in their usual and familiar environment, as children in school are now. Sandy writes, 'After this conversation, Dr. Hooper said that he

would probably avotd the use of schools for testing all grades lof homeschoolersl next year.' Let us know lfyou have had similar problems with testing situations,

what you have done about them, and ifyou have managed to elfect any change in



Dan and Harriet Shultis, along with John Boston, Nancy Oh, and Beclry and King Wilson, founded a group called National Home Schoolers at the National

Coalition of Alternative Community Schools Conference in Tennessee this past


Accordlng to a mailing that followed the conference, National Home Schoolers has as its primary aim 'the recognition of the right of homeschoolers to legally educate their children at home. All of the serrrices provided by the National Home Schoolers will be worldng toward that end by providing a feeling of communit5r and a membership in strength... The National Home Schoolers would be essentially a seMce organizadon which would provide various seMce functions to homeschool-

ers on a national level. The organlzatlon would be nonproflt and tax exempt.' The matling explains that the group will be 'natlonal ln scope" and will "encompass all racial, religious, economic and philosophical backgrounds,' The group deflnes homeschoolers as 'families where the chlldren are educated prtmartly at home'but adds that 'this would not exclude students who partlclpate ln other structured learnlng situadons.' Membershtp "would be from lndMdual homeschool familles as opposed to state organized groups. Thts ls ln order to keep the greatest degree of poltttcal neutrality ln the new organlzatlon.' The group lists among its proJect ldeas apprentlceshlp exchanges, travel lnformation, a legal fund to atd tn the defense of homeschoolers, and a htgh school exchange program that would enable homeschoolers to make

cross-country vlslts. Dan Shulds lnvltes homeschoolers to contribute ideas. He says that the group needs a full-ttme employee with secretarial and computer skills who ts willtng to move to Rodeo, New Merdco, the gpoup's base. For information, write Dan Shultis, Box 167, Rodeo NM 88056, and see the Calendar llsttng tn this lssue for lnformation about the group's llrst organlzatlonal meeting.

NEW REGULATIONS IN NY In GWS #62, we wrote that the New York State Board ofRegents had voted to require standardlzed testing of homeschoolers ln grades three, flve and slx. At that time, the Regents were ln the process of formulatlng more extensive regulatlons conceming homeschooling, and homeschoolers were maklng every effort to have these regulations provide for alternative methods of evaluatlon, so that testing would not be the only option. The Regents passed the llnal regtrrlatlons in late June, and they took effect on July l. Under the new regulatlons, parents must {lle a form notllring thetr local school district of their lntent to homeschool. According to Katharlne Houk of the Home Schoolers' Ercharge, thts form has not yet been designed, and plans (not yet llrm at GWS's press tlme) are to have homeschoolers, superintendents, and olllcials in the Educatlon Department work together to design lt. Under the r€gulatlons par€nts must also provlde lnformatlon about courses to be taught, materlals to be used, and hours of lnstruction. School superlntendents then have ten business days ln which to

noUS the parents that their Individual-

ized Home Instrucflon Program, or IHIP, compl{es with the r€gulatlons, or ls found to be deflcient. If the latter, the parents have flfteen days ln which to 'submit a revised IHIP which corrects any such deficiencies," at which point the superintendent determlnes, agatn, whether the program ls in compliance wtth the regulations. If lt lsn't, the parents may contest this determlnatlon at the next Board of Educadon meetlng, and may also appeal to the Commissioner of Educatlon, lf after all of this the program is sdll deemed noncompllant (or if the parents don't contest the determinatlon of noncompliance ln the flrst place), parents

must 'knmediately provide for the lnstrucdon of thetr chlldren at a public school or elsewhere ln compllance with

Educatlon Law sectlons 32O4 and 3210." It seems that "elsewhere' means a private school. Finally, the new reguladons do allow for alternative methods of annual assessment, although tn a lirnited way. If parents choose the "commerctally published norm-referenced achierrement test" option, they then choose between administration at a public school, nonpublic school, or "at the parents' home or at any other reasonable locatlon, by a New York State crrtllled teacher or by another qualified person, provlded that the superlntendent has consented to havtng said certified teacher or other person administer the test.' The test score ls consldered "adequate' lf lfs above the thfrg-thtrd percendle or 'reflects one academlc year of gou/th as compard to a test administered durlng or subsequent to the prior school year." If the score ls lnadequate, the home lnstrucfion program is placed on probation for up to two years, and the parents must 'submit a plan of remediation which addresses the deficlencles tn the ctrlld's achievement, and seeks to remedy said

deficiencles." The alternative method of assessment ls a'wrltten narrative prepared by... a New York State certllled teacher, a home lnstrucdon peer Elroup rewiorr panel, or other person, who has tntervtewed the chtld and revlewed a portfollo of the chlld's work. Such person shall certify that the chtld has made adequate academtc progress or that the chlld has failed to make adequate progress.'The pa.rent, with the consent of the superlntendent, chooses the person who wtll wrlte the

narratlve. The ltmitaflon on thls alternatlve ls that te grades four througfi etght, lt may be used only every otheryear; in the alternate years, tesflng ts rcquired, as

lt is ln

ninth and tenth grade as well. Thus, the new regulatlons do not fully elimlnate required standardized testing of homeschoolers.

LOCAL NEWS For addresses oJ lrcal organizations, see Gli[S *6O or ow l onr'schcrilW resource ftst, avallableJor $2 (Item *354).

Ilawrli: The State Board of Educa-

flon approved new reglrlatlons under whlch homeschooling parents must flle a nodce wlth nearest public school prlnclpal, accordlng to an AP notice ln t}:ie 7 /

/ 88 Kauat Garden Isle newspaper. Under the new regiulations parents must also keep records of their children's progress and have them take standardized tests in grades 3, 6, 8 and lO. 8

Iowa: A bill that would have eliminated the crertlflcation requirement for home and prtvate school teachers dtd not get out of the House Educauon Committee thls year. Legfslators who had been in favor of thts bill managd to pass another bill, however, which will put a moratorlum on prosecudons of homeschoolers undl the end of next year's leglslaflve session, according to the May IOWA HOME EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION newsletter GROWING WTTHOUT SCHOOLING #64

and tlre Sprfng Hone


Court ReporL

The newly-passed btll works to prevent prosecutlons by sdpulating that homeschoolers who flle a report wtth thelr school dlstrtct before September l, 1988 cannot be prosecuted unfll afterJuly I, 1989. The report must lnclude the cldld's name and age, and an outllne of the tntended course study, matertals used, and time spent on each areaAn lnterlm study cnmmtttee wlll report to the legfslahrre next year and will probably propose another btll to ehmlnate the certillcaflon requlrement. Malne: Over a hundred homeschoollng parents attended a Deparhnent ofEdu-

cailon and Cultural SeMces hearing on June 8 to discuss proposed revlslons ln the

rules regardtog'equlvalent tnstrucdon'

(homeschoollng) programs, acrordlng to the ,June Tdk Abut lzarnlrlg newsletter. Ttre proposal that most concerns homeschoolers lnvolves handlcapped students (this apparently lncludes students

wtth ldenttlled 'learning dlsabilides'


well). Cunently, gutdelines sdpulate that a report from the Pupil Evaluation Team, which tdentilles and evaluates such students, must be submitted before a superintendent can decide whether to approve the home school ln quesflon. The superintendent can disregard thls report, however. The proposed revlslon ofthts guidellne, on the other hand, would require homeschoollng parâ‚Źnts of handtcapped chlldren (and ig-atn, thls ls a ,r..y 6rbaa deflnlilon of handtcapped) to follow whatever plan of lnstructlon the Pupil Evaluaflon Team sttpulated. Earl Sterrens of Talk ala1ut Leantq says that the DECS ls ln the process of consldering the various commentary that

both homeschoolers and professional

educatlonal orgErnizations subrnltted after the hearlngs. Pennaylvanla: House Bill 2SOl, an omnlbus bill (deals with serreral issues) which tncludes a section on home education, passed out of the House Eclucation Commitee with a unanlmous vote before the end of thls year's leg[slaflve session, accordlng to Howard Rtchman of pENNSYLVANTA HOMESCHOOLERS. When the

next sesslon beglns, the btll must pass the full House, and then the Senate Educaflon Commlttee and the full Senate. If the blll became liaw, homeschooling parents would have to file a notarlzed alftdavit, rather than seek approval as they must under the currentliw. There is

no provlslon for 'qualillcadon" of par-

ents, and at the end of the year parents would submit to their superlntendent a portfollo of records and materials, and efther standardlzed test results or an erraluatlon from a cerdlled teacher or psychologtst. Superlntendents' power would be Itrntted: tf, after recetvlng the above-

menfloned documentadon, they thought that educatlon was not taHng place lna parHcular home, they urould tell the parents which part of the documentaflon was lnadequate and would be required to glve them a chance to change it. Ifnecessary, the family would be able to call a due proaess hearlng to present lts case to an

tmparttal olllcer.

Homeschoolers had been concerned about a provlslon of the btll whlch sald GROWING WTTHOLI SCHOOUNG #64

that parents of chlldren who have been

identifled as ln need of special educailon (other than gtfted and tal-ented) would not be allowed to homeschool unless the parent was cerdfied in special educaUon.

They succeeded ln addtng an amendment to the version of the bill that was passed out of Committee, however, which removes thls restrlctlon and says only that the parents of'special ed" children

must lnclude ln their portfolio of materl-

als a letter from a certlhed spectal education teacher or licensed psychologtst approving of the homeschooling program. South Carollna: The South CaroLna legfslature passed a bill which took elfect on July lst, accordlng to the HOME SCHOOL LEGAL DEFENSE ASSOCIATION. It requlres school boards to approve home schools ln whlch (l) parents have a hlgh school dtploma or GED, (2) parents submlt seml-annual progress reports, and (3) the children take standardized tests, whtch may be glven at home but must be admlnistered by a ccrtilled teacher. The new I aw also requires parents to take a basics skllls test required ofcollege junlors majorlng ln education. The law stlpulates that thts testlng provlslon will not take eflect until the 1989-9O school year, because the test must llrst be validated for use with homeschooling parents. A group of homeschoolers is advlslng parents not to partlcipate ln any studles that would attempt to valtdate the test for such use, ln the hopes of making it impossible to enforce thts part of the law.


I uas at tle Fanrily

Learnhg Orgonizatlon's Fair in Washtutgtor\ I staged


Spokane, Keyes

had, a ch.nce to trrlk l)Xh 16gear-old. &nily, toho wert to schml thtough elghth grade and then fugan

Jatrflg and

hontescfrrcI/ul.g. We recorded our conrsersallon" and. the Jdowing are ercerpts Jrom Emilg' s corr,tr:rlnts,

When I was irn school, I never did mv homework, even ln first grade. I hated school, I hatcd going, I thought it was useless. But I didn't know that I could be doing anythtng else. I thought schoolwas a necessar5r evil, - In seventh grade I went to a private Chrisdan school. My parents thought that atmosphere would get me to do my work, but it didn't work. In fact it was worse. Maybe tt was the strictness. I was more rebellious than ever. In eighth g,r-ade I went back to public school, and at first I liked it better, but I still didn't do any of the work, and it got worse and worse. I got in trouble for not doing my homework. My parents knew I hated school, and thel they heard about homeschooling, I thtnk from a friend. Thev told me about it and I thought it was great. Even when I thought I'd have to use a curriculum at home, I still thought tt wouldn't be as bad.

But as the surunerwore on, I began to


July/August tssue of Mother

Jones mentlons the new Home Instrucflon Program for Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) in Arkansas. According to Mother Jones's description, "HIPPY asks mothers of four- and flve-year-olds to work through- a package of basic learning materlals for 15 minutes a day, 5 diys a wee-k, 3O weeks a year, for 2 years. Aparaprofessional - often a mother who has herself completed the course - makes periodic vislts to monl-tor the progress of both

mother and child.' F\rther on, the descripUon says, "The pr_ogram's goal ls not only to educate preschoolers, but to build mothers' conlldence in their abtlity as eduacators.'A worthy goal, but ts this the only (or the best) way to do lt? Granted, the parents

who take advantage ofthis program probably would not have thought of homeschooltng, and probably do not, as yet,

necessarily trust themselves as educators. But I wonder whether giving these mothers a package of basic learntng materlals is the best way to build thls trust. Is there a way tg help mothers recognlze how blg a part they are already playing in their chlld's education, even without speclal materials from the schools? Can we help such mothers (which Mother Jones describes as often ln "poor, rrral communlties') feel that education ls not somethlng you have to get from a professional, or even a paraprofesslonal? Have any home-schoolers had experlence helping

other parents ln their communities dwelop this trust?

think of what it would involve, whail would have to do. My parents didn't know whether or not to use a curriculum - the

whole thlng wasJust so new - and then my

mom took Kathleen McCurdv's homeschool class [SS: Kathleen M-cCurdv runs the Family Learntng Organlzadon-of Washtngtonl and learned about natural leaming, and we dectded we would do that and not use a curriculum. At {trst my parents thought about homeschoollng Just for me, but then the

boys thought it was such a good idea that they wanted to do it too. Nobel was I I at

the time, and Bryan was 7. I think my parents were surprised that the boys-were so excited.

I still dtdn't know what to expect, or what I would want to do with the itme, because back then I wasn't interested in much of anything. We decided to start homeschooling on the day that school started, and it should have been like anv other day, except we didn't know what t6 expect of one another. We didn't know

what Mom was gofuig to do, if Mom was gotng to assign lots of stuff. My attitude

was still so rebellious. I was so fed up with school that I felt I dtdn't want to learn anything. There was so much tension that



The change was very gradual. Your whole thinking changes. In school, werything's programmed for you, this is

howyou have to think, and then all ofa

suddenyou're on your own, and you don't know what you want to do. It wai so hard at the begtnntng, but I knew there was no way I would go back to school, and I think we all knew it would get better lf we stuck

it out.

I still don't have a clear vlsion of

6 exactly what I want to do, but I've gotten involved ln all sorts of stuff. I like to wallpaper and palnt - I helped my aunt paper the church nursery and an ollice, and I did my brother's whole room and our bathroom. Id like to do a lot more of that. I take after my dad a lot. I think

mechanlcally, logically. I like learning about machfieery, and I ltke belng able to Ilx thtngs, do things myself. I didn't know how smart my father was until we started homeschooling. We'd ask him all these quesdons that we'd never even thought to ask htm, and he knew all the answers. It made me want to ask more questions and leam more from him.

Recently we got a new set ofencyclopedias. I had taken a revolutionary war class in school, and the teacher wasn't very good but I was really interested in it, so we dectded to learn about it. I read up on the battles and started reading to my family, and thenwe decided to make a map of the states and the battles, I always liked history, but I dtdn't like the way I was learning about lt in school. Now we Just kind of play each day by ear. There isn't really enough time to do werythtng we'd ltke to do, There are certaln actlvlties I have that are set ahead of time, llke once a month I set up the sound equipment at our church. Sound equipment ls one of the things I'm interested in. Most things we do are up to us. If we say we want to learn something, Mom might encourage us or push it a little, but for the most part tt's us teaching her, sharing with her the shrlT that weVe leamed. Most of the thtngs that I'm interested tn are thlngs my mom doesn't know anything about, so I Just learn them on my own, and from other people - my dad, my grandparents, friends of the family. Parents don't have to learn things before their lidds - Just encourage them or learn it wtth them and let them tell you about it. At school everybody thinks that you should hate vour brothers and sisters. Maybe it's becausi the people you're around are people your age and you look down on the lowerclassmen. IVe always gotten along well wlth my brothers, espectally Nobel. I couldn't figure out why werybody hated their brothers. I never really had that many friends ln school. I had people I could talk to, but not on a deeper lerrel. Now I have friends of all ages, I'm able to talk to all sorts of people. I'm involved ln a fellowship of Christian women who get together monthly, and I think I'm the only teen there. It's really great because I have all these older friends, all these role models. When I meet someonewho asks me where I go to school, I tell them that I don't go, and they usually don't belierre me. I'm able to talk to them about school because I've been there, and I tell them the different thlngs that we get to do. They think it's great, but then they thlnk they'd miss their friends. I don't have any plans to go to college. fd like to keep dotng the things I'm doing decorating, and worklng Mth machinery. I don't thtnk I'll need credentials. because I'll have had the experience.

Is GWS in your library? If not, ask your librarian to order it. Thanks!


I thomughly enJoyed your excellent booklet, Everyone ts AbIe, and achrally purchased a copy for frtends who have a l3-year-old 'LD'daughter. These folks are teachers and have been close frtends of ours for twenty years, so we have known each other's kids from birth. They were encouraglng about homeschooltng when I was llrst contemplating keeptng my son out, and they have slnce watched the process wlth some lnterâ‚Źst arrd some pardcipation. We frequently talk about

our children. So I offered them the booklet wtth a

confldent assumpdon that it would somehow encourage and uplift them. Days went by and they dldn't mentlon lL I was ptszzled. After a c.ouple of weeks I asked


they had enJoyed it. Imagine my surprlse when they vehemently declared that they hadn't been able to get more than three pages into lt before they became overwhelmed with angerl As they talked, I became acutely aware of the dillerences ln our perspectives, They had looked toward the book with hope, they said, of llnding answers for a kid who's already far down the path

ofthe LD diagnosis. Instead they found useless advice that they should have kept

their kid out of school. Well, they didn't, and they aren't going to, so what are they supposed to do?

Thts jolted me. IVe already made my choice for my kid early. I nury never experience thelr problem. My friends belleve In leamlng disabiltties. They say, 'We've got this kld. She has evidence of thls syndrome. She has a poor attendon span, an inability to make correspondences, to get the big picture. She ts dlfferent." I don't parUcular$ believe ln learning disabilities. I think there were, and are, alternative approaches. Yet how can I have the audactty to contradict thelr experience and their world vteu/? I'm not willtng to take on this girl and homeschool her. So it becomes not my buslness in a way. The girl I see and am so fond of is bored, blase and rebellious. No one has yet found out what her way of learning ls. I guess I realized that ifs counterproductive and alienatlng to tell parents of older LD lidds how homeschoollng would have prevented the problem. I know there are artlcles ln the booklet about parents taklng older ktds out, but my fdends couldn't/wouldn't read them. The polnt ls that what I consldered comforflng only angered these tntelligent, senslUve, wellmeanlng folks. Is there a gentler way to break the news to them? ISS:I



What an lmportant and reveallng story yours isl So often, and in so many ways, we don't want to hear that thtngs didn't have to be so bad, that they could

have gone another way. In my experlence, people who are most resistant to the ldea that school doesn't have to be compulsory, for example, are usually those who hated

school the most. It's as lf we don't want to feel that we've sulfered or stmggled

unnecessarily, In an lmportant way, I think we're rtght to feel this, to be angry when we learn that somethlng we thouglrt was tnevttable could ln fact have been avolded. Had your frlends been open to some of the alternatlve e:qrlanaflons of the behavior tradittonally assoclated with learning disabtlities, they mfght well have then sald, "You meian our daughter desn't necessarlly have a neurologlcal dtsabiltt5/? But for years erreryone's been telling us that she hasl Are you saying we didn't have to go through all that worry, all that concern? Boy, do we feel dupedl'There are

ln fact some very good reiasons to get angry at the current tnterpretation of learnlng dtsabtltties, so I suspect that reading our booklet, and the other critical and challengtng llterature available (see especially the interview wtth Gerald Coles

tn cWS #63), will ltkely make people angry whether they are disposed to agrce with tt or not. But I don't thtnk anger ls the only emotlon avallable to us once we see that ttrtngs don't have to be the way they are, and tt certatnly lsn't the only emotion we hope people will feel when readlng the booklet. I don't think that ln Errrgone is AHe we are only saylng, -Thls could have been prevented (or avolded) tf your child had not gone to school.'As you polnt oul several parents ln the booklet tell stories of chlldren who 'recovered' from learning dtsabilities afGr havtng been so labeled

for years. But beyond thls, I see the booklet (and, agaln, other such ltterature) as a way of saJrtng to parents such as your frlends, 'What you thought was a problem urfthin your ctrlld may tn fact be attrlbutable to other factors. Instead of havlng a dtlllcult problem, your chtld may really be Just flne.' This ts hand to hear when you have been persuaded that the opposlte ls true, but I would so like to thtnk that tt can ultlmately help parents feel hopeful more than angry or despalrtng. You say that your friends wanted to know, or would have wanted to know, what all thils means for them tf they have no lntenflon of talcng thelr daughter out

of school. It seems to me that errcn lf she stays ln school, where (as I gather) the assumpflon ts that she has a leamtng

dtsability, thts child would beneflt from knowing that her parents did not consider her dtsabled, and that lt wasn't necâ‚Źssary for her to go through life thlnkfng, -Ihere's somethtng wrong wlth me.' She and her parents mtght together dlscover prevtously unreallzed ablllties, thtngs she didn't do because she thought she couldn't. They might dlscover the ways tn whtch she learned best, and mfght be able to seek

out a school that was most rtsponslve to these ways - and they urouldn't be dotng

that seektng out of a feeltng that they needed to llnd the best treatment for her, but rather that they needed to flnd the most appropriate envlronment. Wtth this new attltude, the glrl and her parents rnlght be able to quesdon tlre school's assumptlons on occaslon. They nright be able to get through stlly or GROWING WTTHOUT SCHOOLING #64


dIIII-cult school asslgyrments by thintdng ol tlrem as 8.rmes or unfortunate tasks. Thls, tt se€rr to me, uiould dve the clrl a much greater feelfng of control, of b6Ing acdve, than would the feelbrg that she wasn't good at this Hnd of thing, was stuptd, etc.

In pr€s€nting an alternaflve _ leaming (or disabiltttes

theory of anythfng else),

then, we mean to make people feel better, more hopeful, tnc,re anrrale of the ranAe of qosstbtlides, less ltrntted to one waylf

thlnhng. For the rleasrons you have potnted out, thls tsn't alurays easy.

eruoL her chlWren trr sclrcl:


thought the parents of

schooled klds thought I rntght be trytng to

tell them what to do. A correspondent of mlne who ls ln a slmllar sltuatlon commented to me that the parents probably do

not feel dtrectly threafened tniuaUy.


Flom Nancg Hetnfuch oJ peruisgh:a-


don't feel rrre are pushtng our valueC on them. But eventually thelr children start quesdonlng why they have to go to school when our chlldren do not. After all, many ctrlldren are very ln school and some are really hurt by ft (ln my oplnlon). Ttrls puts those parents ln a position of havlng to face thelr declslon and thtnk about the valfdtty of school. I think they mtght feel gutlt5r then, and their way ofdealng wtth it is not to urant their ldds to see homeschooled lilds. I believe thls was tme ln my case at least.



ing Isolated,'GWS #631: I also have had the problem of my ktds needtng other ldds more than the other ktds need them. For two years, I knew no other homeschooler ln Easton. Then I met someone, actually

in my own netghborhood, who had a nlie

gir.l who got along well with my lo-yearold son. But we don't get together much because they are very acdve ln church and have loads of frtends. I was sort of hurt,

but then realtzed lt was probably for the

best because the church kids don't se€m to be a good lnfluence. My son has a good mirture of friends -

a couple of Chrlstlan schml ktds, a couple of publtc school lidds, and two homeschooled boys who llve far away but vislt once every two months, He fights with hts 5-year-old sister sometimes, but I stron$y believe that the most lmportant thing - chtldren can learn ls how to get along ln a f""_rity. They have to learn to play ant work together or our homeschooling wlll be tn valn.

Thls summer I'm taking my S-year-

old daughter to the story/craft houiat the library so my son can have flme alone. Also I think my daughter needs that dme to be Just wlth me. My son also plays -hlm baseSall, whlch gets away ..g"trrty,

GaII Rebbck urrftes;

I must respond to'Difllcult Child'in

GWS #63. I too am homeschoollng an 8 year old, and our flrst year has been diflicult as well. There were outstde pressur€s because hewasn't readlng, refused to do thlngs on hls orrirr, and when bored interfered wtth tris slsters' playtime. But he could also play very creaflvelv. and has hetped take cait 6f nii twin slsters (now 4) much more than thev now -He do of thetryounger slster, who ls l. is very senslflve and wants a lot of one-onone tlme. He ls very choosy about hls


When I look back, I rrallze that as a baby t-ris nurslng needs urere strong. He waswhat I.a Leche League terms a-'hlgh

needs baby,'and I don't thtnk thts characterlstlc shows only ln babies. This lsJust the ktnd ofperson he ls. He has much love to gtve, but he must also be fueled up more often. I have found that tt ts all too easy to

ask a lot ofthls eldest son, and yet glve him the least amount of time. Fbr example, tn the past we have spent a lot of tlme readtng together, but then in the last two years we have expected hlrn to learn to read on his own. Yet readtrg ls the one in whtch I have consistently "gd"tty shared my tlme with him - a good rehson for hlm not to want to learn to do tt on tris GROWING WTTHOUT SCHOOLING #64

then comes home and teaches the rest of

the famrly.

\eading these two letters really -helped me understand how dilllcuit ltvtng

ln avery rural area can be. Living close to

musetuns, unlversldes, etc. has reallv spoiled us, We don't have the burden'of havtngjust one support group, or none at all, available to us, either. It would be lnteresting to hear how other rural

horneschoolers'make lt." And.Jrom KatllE

In response to Lynne Knowles I'Feel-

OTHERS FEELTHREATENED F}om l4rne Knoul.es, wla wrote in "Feellng Isolotd"" CWS #6.9, ttat otlvr patents In ler ammurity vbw her as a tfueat wlentleg rcallzz slr ts tut go@ to You asked

own. Once I made lt clear that I would always make ttme to read to him, even lf he learned to read, he progressed qutckly. It could also be that this iqust the rfghf time for him to learn, but I thlnk I helped put his fear to rest.

Beth Grant-DeRas (CN writes:

I really appreclated the honest5r of the Ohlo reader and of Lynne Knowles ln GWS #-63, and I hope we all reflect upon whether there are famllles as lsolated these two within our own homeschool communldes. We have always been proud of our cholce ofeducadon, and have never trid the fact that we homeschool from anvone. We lave regularly attended ctty, courity and local school councll meetlngs andoften shared our views. We have been both below mlddle class

and sltghtly above, and believe me we often had more fun when we were below, because we worked harder for learning experiences. When you have the money lt

is so easy to plop the money doum andtour the museum. Not havtng the money readlly available requlrEs more tliought, and so you study up on future exhibits and save the money, or make an effort to get involved with the local museum and become a docent. For muslc lessons the same holds true. It is much more rewarding to offer your time o. r'lents lrr exchange for muslc lessons than Just to pay the fee. It's a great way to meet frlends, too. I know a number of families with four or more children who swap talents for each of the ldds' muslc lessons, and each child takes a dlfferent lnstrument and

hrdV (Ny:

It seems to me that Lynne Knowles's problems are not caused jot ty Uy geograph'tc lsolatlon. The stress of pregnancy, the stresses irrvolved tn moving, the burden of keeptng your whole ltfestyle a secret from your famtly - these must take a toll on everyone, not Just on Lyrne herself but on the chlldren as well. I hope she keeps ln mind that sheer exhaultion can make cverything s€em more hopeless than it really ts. And I wonder lf she is trying so hard to provlde classes, friends, etc. foi

her children that they don't really have the lnc.entlve to provide some of that for themselves. Maybe they roould write to pln-pals lf she wasn't dotng it for them. I also wonder if she truly knows beyond a shadow ofa doubt that no one h her family (or her husband's) would understand. Isn't there any way to test the waters, such as showing them an artlcle about homeschooltng and observlng thelr reactions? Ifshe could have more support, or even ehmlnate stress ln one area, tt would help quite a btt.

LETTING CHILDREN IN ISS:I Ds64 the trlp to the West that I mendoned elsewhere ln thls issue, I was often asked some rrarlation of the question, "My child hates to write; what can I do about tt?' People asked me about writlng, spectflcally, because I had often lust been tallidng about lt, but what we tali<ed about could applyJust as well to other


I sald, as we have often sald tn GWS and as others have sald elsewhere, that I suspected the question might have somethtng to do with how they themselves felt about wrtttreg. I said that lf we want chlldren to do somethlng, lt's often rvlsest to do lt ourselves, and likewtse if we clearlv don't want to do somethlng, lfs hard to -



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8 expect that our chlldren will be eager to do


This ls nothing we haven't all said many times. Somewhere along the line I began to feel uncomfortable, however, wtth saying what I did and leaving it at that. I felt that I might be leaving room for misunderstanding or misir:terpretation, and so I'm taking some space here to say something more about what I think is irrvolved when we say, 'If we want children to do something we should do it ourselves," My fear is that ln saying to parents who are worried because their children hate to write, "Well, do you write? Does your child see you wriUng and enJoying it?' I am appearing to suggest another

techntque, another way of natlvalhg children to do something that their parents think they ought to be doing. I worry that adults wtll try to write, and to look like they're enjoyrng it, so that their children will do the same. This seems to me to be an altogether inauthentic and unappealing reason to go home and write. It's my feeling that children sense our mofivations very clearly, and tf they suspect that we're openly and obviously keeping a Journal, or taking up the piano, or whatever it is, simply because we think they aren't doing enough of the activtty and we imagine that this will be a clever way to encourage them - well, this lsn't very honest of us, and it isn't much fun for anyone. What can we do, then? TWo things come to mind. Aslidng Parents how they felt about writing should have only been my first step, albeit an important one. Too often we think children ought to be doing certain things, without considering what about these things is worth doing. Why should anyone write? I might well have asked parents this question. Are there good reasons to do it? What are they? Is it for these reasons that we're aslidng our children to write, or others? If we have our own writing blocks, are we interested in overcoming them for our own reasons? This last question seems most important to me. Adults often write to us at GWS and tell us that they have decided to overcome thelr reluctanc.e to write, to play a musical lnstmment, to speak a foreign language, because they themselves

didn't like having part of the world closed to them in this way. They themselves thought that life would be richer or more interesting or more fun lf they overcarne

this or that block or fear. Parents who dectde to overcome a wriflng block ln thts sptrtt, and who ln so doing lnvtte their chlldren to work along the same llnes, seem to me to be letflng

children ln on thelr work ln an authentlc and helpful way. Thus, tnstead of saSrtng to children, "I nodce you hate wrtdng and never do it, and I'm going to try to getyou to do more of it," we can say, 'I have some dilliculty wtth writing myself which IVe never tried to overcome until now I really want to work on thls, because I don't want my life to be limited ln thls way. If youd like to join me as I work on thls, you're most welcome.'We can even say, "I notlce that you seem to have difllculty wtth wriung too, and I feel a little badly about this because I wonder lf my own difficulties have helped you to feel this way. Maybe we can work together on thls, or maybe you d also like to work with someone else who doesn't have my particular dilficultles slnce it may take me longer to get over mlne than lt will take you to get over yours,' Of course, I don't mean to suggest that we should say these preclse words. I'm offering them as a way of thlnking about these issues and about the range of attitudes we can have. I thlnk that

honestly admttttng that we have dilliculties with writtng or math or anything else, that we'd like to try to overcome these dilficulties, and that we'd ltke to help our children overconre theirs, or, as the case may be, keep ourselves from passing ours on to them, is fair, genulne, and easier for children to understand and accept than the games we have to play when we try to get them to do thlngs that we haven't come to terms with ourselves. Some may say, 'But I don't urant to get over my wrtting (or math or whatwer) blockl" Fair enough. Admtt this, dectde whether it's lmportant to you that your children not have a similar block, and if it is, see if you can make sltuations and other people available to them so that they will have a range of atUtudes available. In other words, if you hate wrtting, have no interest in changing that feeling (many other things may be more important to you), but don't particularly want to pass the feeling on to your chlldren, let them see other people who feel dtfferently about it so that, should they so choose, they can use these other people as teachers and models in this partlcular area.

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COMPUTER NETWORKS For those ofyou who are lnterested in

computer networks and bulletln boards, I have come across some lnteresflng computer servlces geared especial$r for ctrildren, and two spectllcally for homeschoollng. Jim Mayor of Damascus, Maryland, whose Home Educators Computer Users Group has been mentloned tn GWS tn the past, has started a Bulletln Board Service.

Dial3Ol-937-2303 (3OO/ l2oobaud) to log on between 3 PM and 5 AM, MondayFriday, and 24 hours a day on weekends and holt-days. Jtm has llsts of the legal

status of homeschoolln! througfrout the U.S. and Canada wtrlch he obtalned from Clonlara tn Mtchigan, but he hopes that people uslng the system wlll add to and update these [sttngs. The same is true for his resources and homeschooling group llsts, whlch are currentl5r compiled mainly from our GWS Dlrectory.Jtm wants thls to be a closed system, wtth only homeschoolers lnvtted to log on; also, there ls no securlt5r system on thls BBS, so lf you don't want to use your real name, you don't have to. Ruth Bothne of hs Gatos, California runs a servlce called Educatlonal Alternatlves BBS. She runs nlne on-llne c,onferences dlscusslng educational lssues and

ldeas. Among the toplcs are homeschooltng, currlculum, and current educadonal news. You can call 24 hours a day by dralrng 408-353-2394 (3OO/ I 2OO baud). Both Jlm's and Ruth's servlces are avallable at no charge. Aaron Falbel tells us about an on-line service called KldNet that ls aimed at children in schools but which rntght be of interest to homeschoolers. The KidNet proJect, ac.cnrdlng to lts llterature, "lets childnen work as sclentlsts ln collaborative research proJects. The proJect electronlcally ltnks more than 2OO schools, letting chtldren share data on scientlffc proJects. In one proJect, chlldren around the country are measuring the pH of local rain water, complltng the nadon's most comprehenslve data base on acld raln. Next year, mone than IOOO schools will be

linked to the network.' For more lnformadon, contact KtdNet's sponsor, the Natlonal Geograplrtc Society, Educational Media DMslon, Washlngton DC 20036. Flnally, Kit nnn [VA) wrttes: 'If anyone subscrlbes to Compuserve and wants to talk I'd love lt. Dave Peyton of the Goodearth forurh has sald he would be pleased to have honpschoollng discussed on his forum. For the moment, we would be listed under homesteadlng, but he has satd he'll gllve us our own subtoplc lf there are enough messages to warrant lL To reach me, dial your Compuserve access number, type GO GOODEARIfl, and leave a message for Kit Ftnn, ID# 713/tO, 2503.' If any ofyou use these seMces, please let me know howyou enJoyed them, and what else you would ltke to see derreloped tn the way of such servlccs for homeschoolers. I can easl\r envlslon a group of homeschoolers nrnnlng a KidNet-type sclence proJect, and would llke to be tn touch wtth others lnterested tn such proJects. Pat Farenga



RESPECTING CHILDREN'S PRIVACY what follovrs ls a contlnuatlon of a discusslon that Jean and wanda Rezac started In Gws #62, and that Nancy wallace added to tn GWS #63. New readers should be able to follow the letters below, but may want to read the earlier lssues as well.

TENDENCY TO JUDGE l\om Shlrleg Craner oJ Callfomia. I thfnk most parents have a natural, although, I admit, damagtng tendency to Jqdge ana alnaJyze thetr chlldren tn lfght of soclety's standards (regardless of the

chtld's indivtduali$. If society says all 'good' chtldren go to school and do well, It's easy to Jump to the opposlte concluslon that chlldren who do not go to school (or go, but do not do well) are'bad.'This very cornmon attihrde must, at ttmes, make even the most commttted homeschoolrng parents feel lfke hboratory rats, a feeltng wtrlch can result ln unweloome, even unhealthy crtUcal evaluaUon of one's chlldren. My son, after readtng Jean's and Wanda's letters, satd he doesn't mtud all thls analysls, but dtd admit that it's probably because it happens so often that he'sJust gotten used to lt. We agree with Jean that lt's best to make every effort to resist this tendency. I sympathize with Wanda s feellngs about the monthly school meetrngs. Our local program coor-

dlnator and I have a good relailonship, but I often feel that the state's regulations were set uq as stumbllng blocks for parents who choose homeschoollng. I must coryt-anfly remind myself of my abilities, and that the required pa.per work is Just somethtng I have to complete, but not take too seriously.

WRITING ABOUT CHILDREN Wendg Wendt oJ Mtn'esota urites; Jean Rezac's letter was nn eye-opener

for me, as I recently had a similar experience ln my own f"otfly. Several months ago, thtnldng my 8-year-old son would be pleased to hear storles and recall events from the past days ofhts Me, I began readtng to him from tJ're Joumal I had kept durtng the prerrlous year. Was I tn for a shockt Not only was he not pleased, but he was qulte offended that I had even included hlm tn my writtngs wlthout his knowledge. He wasn't bothered that I had been wriflng about him, but that he hadn't known about lt. I nerrer set out dellberately to hide this from him. It had nerrer occurrd to me to mendon tt, elther, as I do most of rrw wrlttng very early tn the morning or laie at ntght when he ls sleeplng, These early mornlng and late nlght hours provide naturally qulet tlmes of solitude for me to reflect on things or concentrate on


At flrst, I could not understand the anger my son expressed upon llrst hearing hls name in myJournal. Now, I see that hJ does not want to feel shut out ofthe world around htm. He llkes to know what I am dotng and to be a part of my Me. Isn't thls what we all would llke from the people closest to us?


THE POWER OF ADULTS We sentJean's and.Wanda's Letters frr CWS #62, and, Nancy Wollace's response In *63, to Glendd Blssex author oJ GNyS AT (o;vallo,ble here) In uhlch tlw WRK, a autlar obsertres ler son's growtt-rg


Itteracy. Glerdo Blssex responds..

I'm lmpressed by the honesgr of Jean

and Wanda Rezac, and of Nancv Wallace.

Jean starts ofl feeltng powerles-s and resentful - but, fortunately, not too powerless to wrlte to GWS. The dtalogue that followed ls a model of spealdng, listenlng, and learning. Homeschooling clearly goes beyond tntellectual growth to encouiage remarkable tnsights by parents and children about themselves and to nurture their sensiUvigr to each other. This ls the intersectlon ofgood parentlng and good teachlng.

Children's experlences of being used and being tntruded upon secm bound to arlse out ofboth parâ&#x201A;Źndng and teaching relationshlps because of the power of adults. When I was observing my own young son, Paul, to learn about hls leaming, he told me lf I oversteppd my bounds. Once, as I was maktng notes about somethlng he was dolng, he said, 'l don't like when you wrtte down everSrthing I say." I wouldn't like It either. I realized

then that our trustlng relaflonshlp as parent and chtld was fundamental, and that anythlng in my relationship to him as teacher or observer threatenlng to violate our prlmary relationshlp had to go - for both our sakes. Paul taught me a lesson about himself that wasn't always easy for me to remember: that unwanted lnstrucflon and supervision can rob a child of the ownershlp of and Joy tn hts or her learnlng.

When he asked the questlons, he was tn control. When I asked them (whtch ls the way ln most schoolrooms), he wasn't. There are thlngs a chtld may not be able to do as well or as qulckly without instruction: and then, lfour egos are too bound up with our children's accomplishments, we fecl frustrated, Paul, now 2O, has been

worklng hard this momlng, do-tt-yourself

book tn hand, putdng new brake shoes on hls car. He Just walked in the front door,

greasy but trlumphant. When dlalogue such as Jean, Wanda and Susannah engagd in ts posslble, we

all grow ln understandtng and respect for one another.


In response to Nancy Wallace's The {eed for Privaqr': It made me appreciate that we llve ln a state ln wtrlch there are no restrictlons or requirements placed on homeschoolers. I do i<eep 'school" records

and sort of plan for my own beneflt. In fact, I do "chop up' our formal school time lnto subJect areas. Ofcourse, I get to do it ln my own way and I get to choose the subJects and dectde what belongs in each subJect. I do this to make sure that I am not neglecUng certaln subJect areas because of my own lack of trterest. My daughter Cathy ts Just 6 l/2, so she ls quite a few years younger than Vtta Wallac.e. I expect at some pofurt for her to assume responsibiltty for keeping records

as she sees fit, and for choosing her subJect areas. Since we do not use a cprrespondence school and use verv Gw textbooks (we prefer real books), so-medme ln the future Cathy will probably need to be able to prove, or at least convlnce someone, that she has had an educafion. Her records

wlll help her summarlze her education that she can tell some college, or other

school, or buslness, that she has tndeed studled câ&#x201A;Źrtain sublects and can do certain


CATEGORIZING ACTTVITIES A reader wrltes: I y"" v-ery interested to read of Nancy -Wallac.e's dllemma concerntng school __,

reports, not from the inrrasion of privacv -

aspect but because I also hate the paperwork. We have been handltng the account-

abiltty with the school distrtct a little dilferently. TMc.e a year we meet with an

asslstant to the superintendent, showing

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trim samples of Ts work, "lesson plans'"


textbook we are using. I put lesson plans ln quotes because I usâ&#x201A;Ź mv planner book to record what we actualiy'did, not what we plan to do. Thus I


attendanie records, and, occaslonally, a


cal.gorlzing my chlldren's activities

on a regular basis. Or should be. I am not faithfufin keePing the record uP to date,


I lind

myself scribbling activities on

scraps ofpaper and catching uP oq the planner a-week or two at a tlme. This

t.ing" -. to the fatal flaw in Susannah's suEiestion of consuldng the children ab6it what they think whould quali'$ as science, etc. from among the things thwVe done. I guarantee it, they (or the

parlnt) will noi remember all they've done ior the last quarter unless it's been written down. And

ii you're v/rtdng the projects

and activities down as they're occurring' seems to me you'rE right back where you started in terms of the privary issue.


DAUGHTER KEEPS OWN REPORTS Ftom Diane CMan oJ Neut York: On keeping records to satisff-the school district: Anneke (ll) now does them herself. For the most part she keeps the plan book, too. We divide the plan book bv sublects, and at the end ofeach dav Anneke records what she has done. We don't necessarily do every subject every dav. - She does see the way activities fit into more than one subject' In many cases she draws arrows to other subject boxes but chooses the maln one she wants to put something under. She does this on the basls of what she thinks she needs more time in, or what the maln focus of the acuvity is. Her Progress report for the schooi district tikes much the same form each month. She keeps it herself and I cerufu it as correctl This works for us partly beiause we do have books for each subject' While some of her work follows the text' she chooses other proJects herself' Even working on a text leaves us lots of time because in a one-to-one situaflon a week's work takes a couPle ofdaYs' That she can sadsfi the authorities herself is very excifing to Anneke. When the superintCndent vlsits' he talks moslly to her and treats her work seriously and with respect, He has no objection to her doing the rePorts'

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Sharron l-erew (PA) wrote lrl. tssue o;f her Jatnilg's rewsletter:

AndJrom Dory's sPeecfu



This month the girls have had a number of proJects where theyVe had a reason to wrlte. The flrst was a request tn the Pennsy\vania Homeschoolers newsletter for children across the state to write and submit speeches to be considered for presenting at the legislative breakfast in Mav. These speeches were to be ffve mlnto t U about somethlng that ,tt lone "ttd-doing because he or she was the "chilJwas homeschoollng.

The flrst speeches thatJenny (9) and Dorv (8) wrote were each less than a minuie'long, For the flrst time both gtrls felt a need [o rewrite something. We talked about different things they could add, and they dictated re\ rritten speeches to me-, then Umed each other as ttrey reread them. Thev did this three or four tlmes before the speeches got long enough. They seemed to really enjoy talking over their pieces'. reorlaniitrig them, and maktng sure they said what they wanted them to' I was absolutelv amazed at their results. When a few weeks later we dlscovered a statewlde essay contest at the llbrary' the girls Aot really exclted. Jenny declded to uie hei legislative breakfast speech but then discoveied that the essay had to be less than llve hundred words, so she went back to rewriting and dlscovered the a(onv of shortening' Dory had to write a .ti* L""rv and decided after the first draft (which is-where she usually stopped tn the past) that she wanted to talk about tt, and thcn she wrote lt agaln.

Ilom Jerury's


I'd like to talk to you todaY about

somethinq that I do, that I really enJoy' I read for ihe preschool storytlme at the Dillsburg Ltbrary. I started readtlg at the librarv when t was about 6. The first fime I read i read one book durin$ one ofmY mother's times. I think the kids were reallv surprised because I was so young. I loved it and wanted to do some more. So I read a book every time my mother read that fall. In the sprinA I started slgning uP mvself to reid foi the whole half hour' It wis kind of sca4r but I felt grown up' My mother sttll sat wtth the kids and that helped to settle them. Nowwhen I read she doesn't even have to come. When I started sicning up mvself, I also started deciding w[at t-wai golng to read about. I would pick a sublEct like'rabbits' or'ntghttime.'Then I would pick three or lour books that went along with that subJect. I'd also thtnk of Poems or flnger-plays or sonAs that went along with tt. I oractlce at home beforehand. I do this so I can read the books real well. I usuallv have them almost memorized. I like to be able to hold the book down so the kids can see the Plctures, so I usually read upside down. I also necd to Practice at home so I can tell what takes a half an hour, and to declde what order to have lt

We've becn [PutUng out our famllY newsletterl every month for three years

now. We started dob:r$ lt because we homeschool and we wanted the rest of our famllv to know what we were dotng. At flrst we lust sent lt to a few people but nowwe send it to ftfty-flte people all over the Unrted States and to my mother's aunt ln Peru.

First we make a ltst of all the thtngs

we could write about' You plck one and think tt over. You harre to remember how

vou were feeling at the time and write lt all

io*tt o. a plece-of paper.

We usually each do three or four. Then we go to our computer and type it up, ustng a disk called oMagic Slate.'When it looks the vray 1ve

wanl tt to we prlnt lt on the printer. Then we cut out the storles and get four or slx oieces of paper and move the articles around o. tit. p"p.. ttll we get them-how we want them. Then we paste them down. We take them to our church where we make sixty copies of each sheet' back and

front. Then [our younger sisterl Annle staples them together and folds them. Jennv and I address all the envelopes' You the whole newsletter ln one day "".t'fdo It usuallv takes us about thrce days.

[Th6 newsletterl has helped me to read and write. When I was learnlng to read I liked tMnA to read lt because tt was in big pdnt a;d 6ec"rr". I already knew what the itori." were about. Other people have told us that thelr lntds Lke to pracdce readlng wlth it too. It's helped with my wrfthg' too. When I was little I had to dtctate all mv artlcles to my mother. Now I wrlte almost all my artlcles myself. Ifs also helped us learn how to do errerythtng you have to do to make a newsletter. We have gotten a lot of letters from people we send lt to. There's a home'"ctt6oti"g famtly tn northern Michtgan thatwroie to asi< us howwe do ours and now they send us thelrs every mgnth' Onle we got i l.tt t from Susannah Shelfer who edit-s Crorrrirg Witltout *r1rr;rl1elg. She said she liked the way I wrote about how my wtren wesnowpants -trying made llttle squeaks to walk quietly. We also send w... our newsletter to Perutsglvanio Hone' schoders and some of our artlcles have been tn tts Backpack sectlon. I like getung clrnments and nlce letters from people who read our newsletter' It makes me want to keep dotng tt.

CRAZY TO WORRY F'rcm Patti mctler


I lust loved readtng Aaron Falbel's tdeas on math l-The Mathematics of the Ordtnary,' GWS #631. It explalned for me why I hlve always loved math. Most of my htlrests are ln people and ln creatint thlnes. I nerrer really understood why I havJalways had a passion about math and logic strcâ&#x201A;Ź it never seemed c'oheslve wtth the other thlngs I enJoy thfnkmg

about. But there lt was in black and whlte: patterns. Math ts thinking about patterns' lfnd th"t ls exactly what I love to do the most - thlnk about patterns tn people's Ilves, patterns ln the garden, patterns of


ll color ln a qullt. No wonder math is so much fun. The last couple of months I had been

slightly worried that Becca (6) wasn't dotng any math Lately, matnly because she dtdn't spend time mantpuladng! numbers out loud or on paper, What she hasn't been dotng ts pracficlng arithmettc - getting those math facts drllled lnto her head. Aaron's idea of ltvlng math ls very liberatlng. Becca spends hours upon hours wondering about the vrorld and making gpesses about how things work. She spends hours classl$dng, ordertng, and playlng with patterns. But the catch for me has been that she urasn't doing it with numbers. Rattrer, she mtght create the rules and order Mthin her doll clties. Or, spend an hour cr€ating pa.tterns with colors ln llttle squares. I never saw thls as math. I was too narrow ln my vlew, looking only for 12-7=5. But now I see that she's dolng lots of math, she's Just not acflvely uslng numbers now. If tt tsn't one thing I worry about, it's another. Last fall I worried that Becca wasn't dotng enough readireg. At that point, she was counting werything. After that, she stopped all vtsible number work and started writhg all the time - letters, storles, notes, etc. And now, nine months Iater, she's reading all the time. I'rn crazy to worry.

TESTING AFFECTS FEELINGS ABOUT MATH Kather'ne McAlpble ('tlVl rurites: I still worry from dme to dme because we dont work at math (in any formal sense, that ls) as often as I think we should. Thls seems to be the one area where my conlidenc€ ln non-directed learnlng falters. Maybe, because I learned long-divlslon under duress, I can't tmaglne that anyone would do so volun-


But a big part of thls an:dety stems, I'm sure, from the cpmpulsory standardlzed tests here ln Tennessee and mv awar€ness that our'right' to homischool depends on Nathantel's achievlng certaln mtntmal scores. It's a conJllct because, much as I hate playlng teacher, I feel compelled to make sure he keeps up with grade level. I wlsh I cnuld be more relaxed about thls, or at least more conslstent. What seems to happen ls every couple of months I have what Nathantel calls a 'math panlc,- haul out the textbooks, and assure myself that he still knows how to mulUply and dtvtde. We might do some newwork on fracdons, and then the books gather dust while we return to the farmore-interesdng pursults of music, htstory, readtng, and nature hikes. A few months later I have another panlc attack, brlng out the books agatn, and realize with amazement that not onlv has he not fogotten fracHons, he sims to understand concepts I haven't taught yet. And so lt goes. Hardly the perfect setup, I guess, but one of the things I'm ltnally leamlng ls that I don't need to be perfect and couldn't posstbly be, since what works for us today mtght not work at all next week. Nathaniel's growth process, and the whole leamlng process, ls so unpredictable that most of the tlme, I'm Just hulllng GROWING WTTHOI.,N SCHOOLING #64

along behind htm trying to keep up. A,fter read.ing CWS #63, Katherlne u)rote:

Aaron Falbel's article was verv heartentng and enllghtening, Wtth-thts broader plcture ln mtnd, I realize that of course Nathaniel is constantly at work on mathematics, whether he's p-ractictng music, lnvolved ln one of hls numerous construcdon proJects, cracldng a newspaper cryptog5am, or slmply (strplg?i explortng all the dillerent ways we have of organlzlng human knowledge. Just the other day, for a building proJect he's been worktng on, he needed to know how to multiply fractlons. So I spent

about two mlnutes showing hlm how, and that was all there was to lt. Obvtouslv he leamed to do tt so quickly because iiwas somethlng he needed to know at that moment. He didn't even seem to regarrd lt as a


as a means to a more

important end, ln thls case making an octagonal tower for his cardboard castle. Yet I know from past experlenc€ that tf I'd sat him down to learnto multiply fractions, it would have taken several days, not to mention much resistance and mutual frustratlon. The problem (for me, not him) ls still those damned standardized tests wherebv-of "basic skills" are evaluated on the basis four mulflple-choice questlons scored by a machlne. We all know those tests are ridiculous - except, unfortunately, the Boand of Education. Accordlng to Nathaniel's latest set of tests, he ls lncapable of telling time, when ln actual practlce he's been telling tlme since he was 2.


Ftom a Jlle oJ unpubltshed material Hola


It used to lrritate me, wlthout my qulte knowing why, to hear people 6lk atl the dme about "historlcal facts." I don't know when the thought came to me that there are no such thtngs as historlcal facts - unless, of course, we mezur artlfacts. The Parthenon ls a fact; so are other butldings, walls, roads, forts, castles; so are arrmor, weapons, tools, omaments, Jewelry, statues, palntlng: so even are pleces of parchment, clay, or stone with wrltlng on them. But what that writing sags ls not a fact, but a report. As such lt ls no better (or worse) than any other report. Such reports are voices speaking out of the past. What we cannot know, cannot be sure of, are

questlons like these: Did that speaker know the truth? If he knew it, did he tell it? Was he mislnformed, mistaken, was he a flatterer or a deceiver, was he pald or made to lie? Why, for what purposes, in whose lnterests, did he write down whatever it was he wrote? We cannot remind ourselves too often of the truth of what one historlan (I think A.J.P. Taylor) has sa1d, that history ts the propaganda of the victors. It ls astonlshing how ready we are to believe the truth of anything that ts written down, provided lt was written down sulliciently long ago. We do not believe everything we see ln today's paper

or ln today's government report. We have learned by the hardest ldnd of experienc.e that we cannot be sure ofwhat happened even yesterday. We have been shown, over and over agatn, that even the testimony of eyewitnesses who have no reason to lie

and are trying to tell the truth ts lnconsistent and unre[able; as countless experi-

ments have shown, people will swear havtng seen things that never happened. Were people IOOO, 2OOoyears ago much more clear seelng and truthful? But someone back there ir the past wrttlng somethlng down does not alone make history. It does not become history undl someone in the present reads aboui it and thinks about lt. In thls sense historvls a transactlon between two people (or eFoups of people) across a span of time, the one, a speaker, wrlter, recorder, putting somettrlng down because he thought it was important and wanted other people to believe something about lt; the other, a hearer, listenlng to the voice of that distant speaker, with hts own reasons for wanting to know what he ls saytng. And so a part of our thinking about history must always be about these two people, the speaker and hearer, and their reasons for spealdng and llstening. It was not until many years after my last history course that I leamed, mostly by readlng lrt Tle New York Reulew o;f Eboks reviews by historians ofbooks by

other historians, that historians do not in the least agree about why tt ts important to listen to these volces from the past, or what voices we should listen to, or how much we may belleve them, or what we may learn from them, or what use we may make of this lorowledge. It was only when I learned that these issues were not Just allve but hot that it began to occur to me that history might be lnteresting. Why was I never let in on any of these arguments? History is not a pile of facts and theories, a dead body ofknowledge, but an actlvit5r of hurnan beings, somethlng that people do. Why do they do tt? And how do they do tt? Such questions as these should be. must be, at the heart of any study ofhlstory - at least for beginners. The students'quesdon, "Why do we have to read this, why is this worth learntng or knowing?" ls not Just a silly questlon to be brushed aside or sneered down or answered with plattfudes about lessons of the past. On the contrary, lt could take us rtght lnto the heart of history as a

human acttvity, and lnto the human

in it. Perhaps sdll more tmportant, it could presence of the people who are engagd

help us to understand that, whether we know it or not, as we are all philosophers so are we all hlstorlans, trying to ffnd out what really happened, who we can trust to tell us what happened, how we may better next time know trrth from error, falsehood, and propaganda, and how we may best use whatever we have learned.

DENTAL APPRENTICESHIP Leonle Ed,watds oJ Mimesota wrltes:

I thought you might be lnterested ln hearingl about a type ofapprenflceship I got hto thls summer. It ls at our local

dentist's offlce. It ls a small and frtendlv

t2 place to work, and was especially good for me because I'm interested in a career in

name, and you canJust add the chlld's too.

dentistry. I work mainly with the dental assis-


tant. I started doing things like cleaning rooms, sterilizing instruments, setting up trays, preparing the rooms for the next patient, and watching how the dental assistant did things. After a while they gave me more to do, such as getting the

patients in and putting a movie on for them, filing, preparing syringes, making sure the rooms are stocked, and developing x-rays. Then I started assisting the dentist with several patients. Norv the dentlst calls me, instead of the dental assistant, to help with fillings and sometimes root canals. I've leamed a lot since I started there, and hope to take a class at a dental school in the fall, even though I'm only 14. Having this experience has given me a chance to see if dentistry is the lield for me before I get stuck with a job I don't like.

THE REWARDS OF NURTURING Marilgn Bohren (IA) u:rites: I^ast October Andre (8) became interested in rock music (his father is a blues

performer). Suddenly his artwork shifted frorn dinosaurs to guitar players from the '5Os and'6Os. Then the g;uitars became very meticulous as he daydreamed about the one hewanted to own. We purchased a little red Stratocaster in February. Now he spends hours a day listening intently to music (good rock) and playing his gultar. He's even jammed with adult gUitarists who hear him learning. He has become such a music fanatic that he tackled the 35,OOO people crowd at the New Orleans Jazz, auird Heritage festival alone, armed with a map. He'd worm his way to the front row and absorb all he could of each perf,ormer. He's also dry at night suddenly and is spending an hour at a time reading by himself, whereas before he'd let me do all the reading. It's like lfving with someone newl The constant nurturing we gave him up to now has overnight produc.ed an 8 year old who is independent and eager to reach out and learn all he can. It makes all that time we spent so rewardingl

YOUNG CHECK SIGNER Roruie Anderson senl us a subscrip-

tton reneual with this note:

Notice our enclosed check is signed by

our S-year-old daughter, Nova. I didn't have any problem at the bank gettlng her narne on our checks. They don't really check slgnatures, so weJust have to protect blank checks, which we do an5rtvay. I bet there aren't rnany 5 year olds on families' checking accounts. We did this because Nova is interested in numbers,

wridng her name, money, and real things in general. As she gets older she'll be able to balance the family checkbook. I would suggest that parents not make a big issue ofthelr kids'young ages at the bank. Usually they'll let you take a siCinature card home to have a spouse add his or her

Nancg Wollace (NY) writes:

Recently, Vtta (13) started givtng vlo-

lin lessons to a 6 year old named Justln.

Vita he'd spent about six months studying with a tradttional Suzulii teacher. He's an tncredibly enthusiastic (i.e. boisterous) kid, and I lmaglne that he arrived at his flrst Suzuki lesson with the same enthusiasm that he brlngs to hts sandpile, where he drlves Tonka Toys around with mandmum speed and sound effects. In other words, despite Justln's love of music, lt lsn't hard to see why his early enthuslasm for the violin flagged, given the fact that hls teacher expected him to be as qulet and submlsslve as hls Japanese counterparts. If nothing else, Vita is still an enthusiasdc violinist, and I'm sure that's why Justln's mother called on her to teach him. John Holt used to argue (and qulte convincingly) that the 'proper" vlolln position and bow hold are really the most comfortable, and that if they are left alone, all chtldren wlll dlscover the most comfortable playing posltlon for thelr own bodies and so, ln tlme, come to play Befiore comlng to


Stlll, I had never seen a child who was left alone long enough to do what John described. VIta certalnly wasn't. Perhaps that's the reason that despite all the good sense that John made, dl I could think when Jusdn's mother called was that teaching a chtld as young and as muslcal as Justin was an enonnous responslbilit5r for Vita to take on. Despite everything that John said about the absurdity of the notion of "bad habits,' for example, I was

afrald that Vita wouldn't noHce Jusdn's bad habtts. or wouldn't know how to ease him out of them. After all, it's not as lf she is free of technlcal problems herself. The day before the llrst lesson, I trled to give Vita advice about how to organlze it. "Flrst you'll need to tune hts vtoltn, right?" I said. 'And what do you thlnk, should you teach his mother to tune it so that he won't have to go for a week between

tunings? Would it be a good idea to ask him to play all his pieces through for you? And what about dolng some lmprovising, you know, ltke you used to love to do?' Vita, who is normally sweet and errentempered, gave me such a lierce look that I stopped in mid-sentence, "l'm givtng the lessons, not you," she sald, 'and I'll decide what I want to do." Justin arrtved for hls lesson right on time, unpacked hts vloltn, and played. Vita sat on the floor and listened. I ltstened, too, but from the other room. Wthout speaklng a word, both Jusdn and Vtta seemed to understand that thts was hts lesson. He seemed to trust, tmpltcttly, that

Vita wouldn't "steal' it from hlm. Justin

was happy and Vtta seemed sure of what she was doing. She was mostly sllent, but she seemcd to be tntensely observant. "Justin made serreral memory mlstakes," Vita later wrote in her Journal, "but wldently he can play his pteces wlthout any. I think ln this regard hls maln problem is that he does not know what hls intuition senses about what should come

next." Justin tired of playing during that llrst lesson as abmptly as he had started, and then Vita moved in with some ideas about what they might work on. She showed hdm how to run his bow straight across the strings. 'It sounds a lot betterl" he satd. At the end ofthe lesson she suggested that at home he try fooling around on the G string ("which he had never used,' as she wrote Later) and she lent hlm a recordlng of the Beethoven violin concerto. "I'll make you a boat and bring it next time," Justln promised as he left. He brouglrt the boat the nextweek, Just as he had promised, and Vita adJusted the muslc stand dovrn to his helght and set the boat next to the music. "I know he can't read notes," she said later, 'but I remember how in my lessons I used to wtsh that I could see them even if I

couldn't read them.' Watching Vita these past weeks has convlnced me that she learned how to teach as well as she does by being taught well herself. With no self-consciousness she has picked up ideas and gestures from her own teachers that she now pa.sses on to Justln. After she tunes his violin, for example, she crosses her arms as she hands it back with the bow, so that when he reaches for them they will greet his proper hands and he won't have to switch the two the way we switch our forks and knlves between cutting and eating. Vlta's Ilrst vtolln teacher did that for her and I thtnk she must remember how nice it used to make her feel. Durlng Jusdn's llrst lesson she told htm that he should feel free to find a c-omfortable standing position. "Faclng your feet outward, the way most Suzuld teacher.s suggest, will only make your whole body tense,- she said. That's exactly what her current teacher said to

her during thetr flrst lesson. Vtta has rrn through many vtolin

teachers over the years. She learned early on that no teacher ts perfect and so, ln a way, she's always Glt that lt was up to her to provide her own muslcal contlnui$r. In acflvely choosfurg teachers (and choostng to leave teachers), she has to decide for herself what she wants to leam and how she wants to learn tt. As I watch her teach Justin, I noflce that most of what she teaches htm she learned by being a teacher to herself. She plays for Justin because she knows how much she's learned from heartng players better than herself. She plays withJustirx because she knowsJust how

thrilltng tt stlll is for her to hear her sound blend in beautifully with other people's. She shows Justln all kinds of

lnvendve ways to make sounds because she knows how useful lfs been to her to know Just what her violin ls capable of.

But she and Justln do more than

make music. They talk, as Vita wrote,

'about unrelated thtngs (trrcks) and only sltghtly related thrngs (violin scrolls).' Vlta loeows how hurtful lt was to have teachers who were only lnterested te her as a vlolinist. Over the past weeks I've watched Justln's enthusiasm for the violln grow, and part of the reason has got to be that through thetr friendshlp, Vita has helped htm to see that the vlolin can be a part of his urhol,e Me, Just as tt ts a part of hers.




deep our current problems are and why his message is so urgent.

By Ivan Illtch #240$6.95

Life today in New York produces a very peculiar vision of what is and what can be, and without this vision life in New York is impossible. A child on the streets of New York never touches anything which has not been scientifically developed, engineerd planned, and sold to someone. Even the trees are there because the Parks Department decided to put them there. The jokes the child hears on television

We were dis[essed several months ago, while compiling our Spring catalog, to discover D eschooling Society was out of print; to our pleasure it has recently been brought back tnto ptrntDeschooling Society is a dynamic booh one that has continued to cause controversy sirrce its publication in 1970. trlich argues forcefully that a primary effect of school as we have let it evolve is to confuse process and substance.

have been programmed ar a high cost. The

new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby "schooled" to confuse teaching with leaming, grade advancement with educatior\ a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new, His imagination is "schooled" to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of communiSr life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive '1Cnce these become


refuse with which he plays in the streets


for somebody else. Even desires and fears are institutionally shaped. Power and violence are organized and managed: the gangs versus the police. I-earning itself is defined as the consumption of subject matter, which is the result ofresearchd planned, and promoted programs, Whatever good there is, is the porduct of some specialized institutions... The

child of the city cannot expect anything which lies outside the possible development of institutional process. Even his fantasy is prompted to science fiction. He can experience the poetic surprise of the unplanned only


Illich is not merely being cantankerous when he describes these things; he is deadly earnest. Recognizing that most of the research our institutions do merely advocates more institutionalizsllion of our lives and values, he hopes that his work will aid people to do'tesearch on the possible use of technology to create institutions which serve personal, creative, and autonomous interaction and the emergencâ&#x201A;Ź of values which cannot be substantially contolled by technocrats." llich is frequently cited as being difficult !o read due to his use of multisyllabic words and uncommon v@abulary, but if you feel comfortable reading the quotes in this review I think you'll find this book highly rewarding; it is one of trlich's easier books to read. In fact, the more one reads Deschooling Soclefy, the plainer and more forceful lllich's poins become, His writing style reminds me of Bruce Springsteen's musical sty'e: "the Boss" likes to use a "wall of sound" to surround his melodies; Illich uses a "wall of scholarship" to surround his ideas. Ideas and examples, point and counterpoint taken from educational theory, economics, linguistics, social theory, and theology (to name a few)


Harlem is made of broken packages planned

through his encounters with'dfut," blunder, or failure: the orange peel in the gutter, the puddle in the streeg the breakdown of order, program, u machine ae the only take-offs for creative fancy. "Goofing off'becomes the only poetry at hand...

trlich cites many other examples of how,


our economy gets

more oriented towards "human services," we increasingly fall into the trap of !o


have a wonderful new hammer, now

hit." We never

seem to nnswer the question,


have to find some nails

"Is this enough for me?"

affirmatively, because, as in school, we seem to feel there will always be a higher level to be achieved, someone else to beat, something better to own or do, more nails to be hammered into place.

Illich equates this

state with images of Hell, where Sislphus endlessly pushes a rock up a


river of fruit tees with receding branches. A

and Tantalus "suffers eternal hunge,r and thirst standing in a

receding waters, overshadowed by


abound in this short book (167 page.s). One finds nearly every paragraph packed with charged sentences that make one stop ard think

world of ever-rising demands is not just

before going on. An example of this, and one of my favorite sentences

Our modern preference for institutionalized goods and services over locally produced items, neighborly help and familial ministrations only increases our alienation. Illich makes this argument from many angles in this book and finds universal compulsory schooling to be the

in the book is about ttre'ledagogical hubris of schools: that schools can do what God canno! namely manipulate others for their own salvation." However, it is when he gives concrete examples that one realizes how


can be spoken of only


John Holtre

729 Boylston Street

Boston. MA O2116

Boot, and Muslc Storc

determining factor for this state. He frequently refers to how the ritual of schooling has become the primary rite of passage for our young into adulthoo4 and how narrow, drawn out, and debilitating Oris ritual is. Illich also makes the remarkable point that while all other basic institutions vary from counbry to country-family, party, church, or pressschool systems essentially have the same basic structure, and the hidden curriculum has the same effect regardless of the wealth, povâ&#x201A;Źrty, size, or political orientation of any country. "Everywhere the hidden curriculum of schooling initiates the citizen to the myth that bureaucracies guided by scientific knowledge are efficient and benevolent. Everywhere this same curriculum instills in the pupil the myth that increased production will provide a better life. And everywhere it develops the habit of self-defeating consumption of services and alienating production, the tolerance for institutional dependence, and the recognition of institutional ranking. The hidden curriculum of school does all this in spite of contrary efforts undertaken by teachers and no matter what ideology prevails."

Illich is not just a l<vetch; he does more than just moan about our sorry state of affairs. The last two chapters outline his ideas for the creation of l-earning Webs, putting students in touch with appropriate teachers and peers via community centers, computer bulletin boards and other means. His descriptions of how such services might work are useful for homeschoolers looking to create new leaming opportunities in their communities, and his ideas for providing "autonomous interaction" for learners are quite sound and haven't been dated by developments in schools, computers or community services over the last 18 years; that alone says something about this book's vibrancy. Ivan Illich and John Holt worked together at CIDOC, trlich's Center for Intercultural Documentation, in Mexico during the late sixties and early seventies, and John is credite4 among others in the introduction, with providing ideas for this book; certainly the seeds of John's thoughts and later work with unschooling are present here. While this book doesn't directly address homeschoolers, it is of importance to all homeschoolers who wish to understand how keeping one's children out of school is more than a matter of parental and chil&en's rights, but also a matter of necessary social action against the gospel of "progress through compulsory education" that schools initiate us to. It is a powerful antidote !o the argument homeschoolers often get, namely that by not pafiicipating in school we are somehow undermining all the'lrogress" schools have made so far.


Books Related to Deschooltng: INSTEAD OF EDUCATION, John Holt. Why

and how compulsory education is one of the most authoritarian and destructive inven-

tions ofman, and how we can change it. #508 $8.95

EQUAL RIGHTS FOR CHILDREN, Howard Cohen. A thoughdul, carefully reasoned argument in favor of making available to children the rights and responsibilities of aduls. #260 $6.95

OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY, Stanley Milgram. Frightening evidence, based on well-known experiments by this Yale professor, of people's willingness to inflict pain under orders. #514 $7.95

GREENLEAF By Constance Bernhardt #318$5.OO Soon after I bought a copy of Greenle$ at John Holt's urging, I wanted !o tell everyone about it. I read ir aloud to a five-yearold friend, who kept intemrpting me with questions about the girl in the book who was telling the story of her life. "Is she alive now?" my friend wanted to know. "Yes," I sai4 "but she's not the same age as she is here. She wrote this when she was an adult, but she wrote it as though she were five, and then six, and then seven, all the way up to thirteen." "How did she do that?" my.friend persisted.

How did she do it? How did Constance Bemhardt manage to find, and listen so closely to, the voice of the child inside of her? How did she manage to produce the treasure thatisGreenlefi John Holt, in the preface, tells us that he had been skeptical when he first heard about a child's autobiography written by an adult. He feared that the book would be sentimental, or false, or full of an adult's ideas of children. But when he finally read the book, his "misgivings gave way no astonished delighr Page after page, the book rang absolutely uue, true to all my adult experience of children, true to all I could remember of my own childhood." Here is the child at four:


have a sister and she is the one thing smaller than me. Her name is Karen. There is no place bigger than my back yard. I bake gravel pies. Karen eats them.

At ten:

I think that when I am sixteen I will be different. I will almost be grown up and

know almost everything. be like to know

I think what it would everything. Sometimes

I know but sometimes f don't.

And at thirteen: This spring sunsets make me sad and happy at the same time. Sometimes I feel like I could explode

But I don't know what from. It is only my feelings. Greenleaf is a story as well as a reflection. We hear about the family's move to a new house, the narrator's new brother, her broken arm, her make-believe games, her interest in writing and painting. I can imagine readers of all ages enjoyrng the book in different ways, and perhaps being inspired to write about their own lives and from their own memories. John Holt used to recommend the book to beginning readers because the big print is easy on the eyes (and the fact that there are only a few pictures makes it clear that the story is in ttre print), and because it can be dipped into here and there and won't seem boring or condescending !o the older beginning reader. After reading Greenle$to my five-year-old frien4 I lent it to a nine year old who never seemed able to give it back. After a while, I

John Holt's 729 Boylston Street

Boston. MA O2l 16

Book and Muelc Storc

stopped asking. I figured she'd discovere4 as I ha4 thatGreenle$was something to hold on to, something to treasure. I envy the rest of you that discovery. -

Susannah Sheffer

Thereby Hangs A Tale Bv Charles Funk #758 $5.95

by Bob Burns, a radio humorist and musician, to describe a musical instrument he created out of necessity when his trombone broke during a rehearsal in back of a plumbing shop. He created his new instrument by combining a gas pipe he found with a trombone-like slide; the result produced fuzzy bass notes which the band thought were hilarious. The instrument was used by Mr. Burns ever since. Mr. Burns wrote a letter to Mr. Funk to de,scribe how he named his instrument: No doubt you have heard the expression, "He blows his bazoo too much." In Arkansas that is said of a "windy" guy who talks too much. Inasmuch as the bazooka is played by the mouth, it's noisy and takes a lot of wind. It just seemed like "bazoo" fitted in pretty well as

When one looks up a word in a good dictionary one usually gets a condensed etymology of the word along with a definition. Thus, we find that the word "etymology" refers to "the history of a linguistic form (as a word) shown by tracing its development since its earliest recorded o@lurence in the language where it is found;" the dictionary also shows us the Middle English, Latin, and Greek forms of the word "ety-

it out it sound like the name of a musical instrument-like balalaika and harmonica.

part of the name. The affix "ka" rounded and made

mology." While this information is useful, it is rather dry and colorless and makes one wonder what sort of person would want a job compiling such data Fortunately there are people like Charles

Funk to make


During World War



rocket gun was developed and when it was

appreciate etymological studies. Mr. Funk was the editor-in-chief of the

demonstrated to an important group of officers "one of them gave the

Funk & Wagnalls Standud Dictionary Series an4 as reading any selection from this book shows, he was a fountain of unusual knowledge (this man would be the undisputed king of Trivial Pursuit were he alive today!). What I find especially gratifying about ttris book is how it demonstrates how all knowledge is interconnected. Mr. Funk's book shows how even the highly specialized task of tracing down word histories cannot be done without leaming about world history, famous personalities and controversies, scientific discoveries (proven, un-

gun a surprised look and sai4 "Thar damn' thing looks just like Bob

proven, and disproven), foreign languages, and so on. Once again we see how unbounded curiosity is so vital even to a task which one might consider exceptionally dry. But Mr. Funk is far from dry. He has chosen words that have especially curious origins and spins entertaining stories about the circumstances that brought these words into our language. While many of the stories have classical, biblical, or mythological origins, some are quite quirky. For instance, we learn that the wordbazooka was coined

Burns' bazooka." The narne stuck, and this word history was made. Reading the stories behind the words silhouette and bowdlerize provides one with historical atmosphere and interesting portraits of the people whose last names created these words; reading about the origin of ,rugenta one will learn about a battle fought to unify Italy in 1859; reading about the wordschool we see its original source is the Greek word schole meaning vacation, leisure, rest. "The education of a Greek boy was by private teachers in reading, writing, arithmetic, singing, and gymnastics. But no man ever considered his education to be completed. His leisure time was spent in listening to the discussions of learned men, and thus this product of leisure, this use of one's spare time came also to be calledschole." So when homeschoolers claim they are

learning before, during and after compulsory school attendance hours they are actually perpetuating the original meaning of the word school! This book is a browser's delight and will provide adults and children with hours of fun and spurs for further research.



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By Simo, Wells, &Wells #684$4.95 A guide to unlock your creative potential through sculpting with


with many photos of unique sand structures. Mary Van Doren wrote us recently to say, "Sand sculphre isn't so different from snow sculpture; snow is sometimes easier to work with, too. One of the neat things about snow pyramids is that if the wearher is cold enough, they last one year we had a nice snow pyramid in the driveway for days after the rest of thesnow had melted. If the snow is too powdery to pack well for snowpeople it can still be packed for buildings. Sprayrng or sprinktng a little water helps with difficult snow like it does with di-fficult sand. Sandtiquity really is a book that can be enjoyed all year round. A four season "beach book" for all climates."

These are Utles we've already reviewed but which we want to recommend for your summer reading: OTTO OF THE SILVER HAND H. Pile. A gentle boy grows up among warring robber barons in this great Middle Age,s adventure. #522 $4.95. NATIONAL VELVET, E. Bagnold, A young girl risks her life to ride in a big horse race. A great novel for people of all ages, and not jusr those who love horses. #506 $2.75. KIDNAPPED, R.L. Stevenson. A great tale of adventure, capnue, and escape, set in Scotland in 1750. A handsome hardcover edition featuring color plates by N.C Wyeth. #414 $19.95.TREASURE ISLAND, Stevenson. The classic adventure of pirates and buried fteasure. Same

A family living in Maine

fine hardcover edition asKIDNAPPED with more color plates from Wyeth. #800 $18.95.LUISA DOIVflC, G. Dennison.

has their serenity shattered when they help a South American refugee. #450. $6.95.

EVERYBODY WINS: 393 Non-competitive Gar_nqs fo5 loung Children By Jeffrey Sobel #266$8.95

ordinary winJose games. For instance, in No Nuke.s the object of the game is to shut down the players who are "power plans." 'If the players can do this to all the [players who are] power plants, the players win. But if the power plants can contaminate everyone, the power plants


The author's sensitivity towards the losers of games and his simple exposition of the rules and ideas in this collection make this an exceptional reference book about play. Three and a half pages comprise the introduction and notes and then the fun begins. A spiriled sampling of silliness and challenge fills the book, right from the fust entry:


All Ages The players carry on a conversation with their partners without using words. They have to make up sounds that make no sense to them and have the conversation that way. If the cavemen and cavewomen could do it, so can we.

The games collected here come from numerous sources; some have been invented by the author through his work as a recreation counselor and from his reading and knowledge about games; others come from among the 27 other books on this topic listed in the very useful bibliography, and a number of the games are simple adaptations of common childhood games with non-competitive rules. The author does have a realistic attitude towards competition, acknowledging is exisience but emphasizing how overrated it is: "Traditional competition

is a necessary part of life, but it must include the element of failwe; cooperative play provides a needed counterbalance to the unavoidable competition... In cooperative play we have fun fust" and emphasize competition when players are ready for it-when they have come to enjoy the game and have lerned the fundamental skills." Some of the games do have a competitive edge to them, but as the following one shows, they are far more thoughtgovoking than

The games in here include one on one and lrge group games, and the quick, clear explanations of each are designed to get you away from the book and into the game as quickly as possible. The author hopes that

will be flexible with the rules and feel free to change them to suit their particular circumstances. The only negative thing about this book is is categorization of games by children's grade level, which homeschoolers might find useless. Also the book is geared towards young children, so don't expect a lot of useful ideas for teens, though many games can be played by all ages. Aside from these criticisms though, Everybody Wins is a winner. the players


IMMTJNTZI\TION CONTROVERSY In GWS 62 we reviewed the book IMMUNz,A.'*TIONS (#373 $7.00). One of our readers wrote a concemed letter from which we excâ&#x201A;ŹrPt:

"I am a pediauic nurse, and after 18 years in my profession, I too am frankly suspicious of the medical establishment. I avoid medical inlcrvention for my family through prevention, and explore all available options for necessary medical care. ...Don't look just for information to suppoft the Position you are attracted to because of your anitudes for or against the establishmentget information on both sides of an issue before you make up yollr mind. With respect to immunizations, you are not weighing risk venus no rish but rather which set of risks you will adopl And remember that you are risking not only your own family by your decision, but also those with whom your family comes in contact"

Edtted & Designed by Pat Farenga



FOCUS: THE USES OF FANTASY PLAY TACKLING A CHALLENGE F}om KIt liIft1, MN: It's very hard to ldent$ what our chlldren use fantasy for because they never do anythfng that doesn't have a fantasy content. Even eaflng breakfast has a plot ltne. Llfe ls never at all prosalc atourhouse. But I can thlnk of some occaslons on whlch the farrtasy that ts a constant background to everythlng they do has made it easler for them to tackle a challenge. Danette spent a lot of time thls spring on roller skates, learning how to be really at home on them. She didn't go out ofour yard and Joln the nelghborhood lidds untll she could skate with skill. This ls unusual as she generall5r dtves right in and leams as she goes. But at lO she ls begtnntng to be aware that lt can be embarasslng to do thtngs badly tn public. She found the practtclng very dull. She doesn't normally like to play alone. But the fantasy of being able to skate well with her frlends gpt her through tt. She was acttng llke an adult tn this - setting her

lt step by step. More usual ls somethlng Soc.orro did th,is year. She was 6 and hadn't yet leamed to read. Slncenrc have to subrnit test results every year I was beglnnhg to be a llttle conccrned when she condnued not to read at all. I suggested a ltttle reading together, but she wasn't wllling to do any readtng herself. She would gtggle and tel me, 'Mommy, you know I can't read.' Well, round about Easter she announced one day that her doll dldn't know enougfr about letters and sounds and procerded to spend a lot of tlme for a few weeks on phonics with me. Of course, she never once admitted she was leaming to read. The doll had to be present at 6tery session. When lt came to herself we Just went stratght from 'of course I can't' to 'readlng ls easy.' I do want to emphaslze that this kind of plot llne ls present ln every acttvlt5r. The vast maJortty of the time lt doesn't seem to senrc any use beyond pleasure. When we do housework they are often the three gtrls from Dltde l:Iouse on the halrle. But thls does not mean they are more wtlllng to work. Brtdget can be Just as ballry about ptclrdng up her roomwhen she ls belng l.aura as when she ls beireg herself. And there are flmes when I think the plot ltne makes ltfe harder. Bridget goes througlr thts cycle wtth her vloltn. She wtll work very hard to get better for a whlle and then htt a plateau where she seems pretty satlsfied wtth her sldll. Then she udll chance to hear a better vloltntst play and become very unhappy wlth her own level of sktll. And then we'll have sheer hell for a few days wtth Brldget growltng at her vlolln and herself ln utter frustratlon because she 'can't make it sing.'The neason I say thls ls negative is that she actually progresses faster durlng the happy ttmes simply because she does much more playtng then. If she ts happy about her sound she wlll spend hours playtng around with sounds and trying to goal and headteg for

wrlte music. But durlng the frustratlon CROWING WTTHOUT SCHOOLINC #64

not there. Invented spelling? Swedtsh? Who larows. In desperaUon Eva runs next door to the offfce to ask Annelise, the school's secretar5r and accountant, how to say'FIETIGE PENGE" tn Engltsh. She comes back and says, "real money.' Ofcoursel I should have known. She wanted me to use real money (rigfige penge) krstead of pretend money. Our game contlnues urith me paytng real money for the items. I leam that Eva can calculate and glve change as fast as I (or even faster, stnce she ls more famtliar wtth Danish currency). The prlces she charged i:r her store reflected a fatrly good knowledge of real priccs, or, when they didn't, I would complatn, whlch made the game all the more lnterestlng. The game lasts quite a long tlme, and then Eva returns all the artlcles to their proper places, dismanfles her beer case counter, and sklps happily out the door to the downstalrs part of the school, saying goodbye to me ln English. ... It ls not hard to see (though tt would be nearly lmposslble to measure) the many dilferent lwels and facets of leamtng fmbedded ln such an eplsode, rangtng from Jet propulslon to calculatlon, to the social mllteu of the boutique, to money, to foretg;n language, and, lest I

periods she spends most of her violin tlme on temper and puts lt away very qulckly. I tend to think that we all have some sort of fantasy golng on Just about all the time. Children are more open about their fantasles; adults keep them more to themselves. Chlldren also let thelr imaginations roam a btt farther. But I think I have some sort of image tn my mind all the dme that has a lot to do wlth my actions. It may be a picture of myself as a 'good mother' or a picture of my husband compllmentlng me on a clean house or a good dlnner. I thtnk we all have a plot ltne to our llves.

UNDERSTANDING THROUGH PLAY F-rom Aanon Falful's work-inprqgress abut the Danish Ftiskolen 7O (seeGWS#59):

Eva, a deltghtful 9-year-old from Sweden, ts playing with some balloons near the olfice In the upstairs part of the school. She blows a few of them up wlthout tying the ends and then releases them all at once. They go flytng all over the place, which she llnds very amusteg. At one point, one of the balloons lltes through the open door of a storage cabinet. There she finds a couple of old addtreg machlnes. She plays with them for a whlle, pushtng the varlous buttons and notlng what ellect ls produced on the machine's tape. It ls an old machine that makes a lot of noise as each ent5r ls prtnted on the tape. This glves her the tdea of playfng store. The addtng machlne ls too cumbersome to move, so sheJust gathers together a few beer cases [SS: A staple of the school's furnlturel in the area outslde the closet to make a chalr and counter where she, the merchant, slts. She gathers a few artlcles to use as merchandlse - some balloons, a book, a cup, some paper which she stores lnside the beer cases on her slde of the counter. She asks me, the customer, 'What would you ltke?" I request a few



moments before) and

announces the total btll. I pay her uslng pretend money, but she objects. I am unable to understand what I did wrong, After unsuccessfully trytng to


knportant ls the fact that, througlr this fantasy play, Eva ls able to exercise her imaginatlon, And because Eva is luclry enougfr to flnd herself ln a place that

,' /--'- ,/ tt-/ | /'I

) ') /l (1r K

prices on her lmaglnary cash reglster (tnsptred by the adding machine Just

the dlcdonary, but

bargain about a pricne, to try to communicate wlth a forelg;ner, etc. Perhaps most

\V \

week). She rtngs up the

speaks no Engltsh) she wrltes the followlng down on a piece ofpaper: RETIGE PENGE. I knew the second word meant monâ&#x201A;Źy, but dld not know the flrst. I look lt up tn

people, to count change, to argue and

/-\---\ (v. ,.r'-.V (A*-.â&#x201A;Ź"--m \r'(

things In my (at that potnt) very fragmented Danlsh (I had bern ln the country barely one

explaln herself (Eva

forget, to maklng frlends with an unfamiltar adulL All these facets were tntegrated lnto one whole - they were all of a piec.e. Whereas most people vtew fantasy as some sort of escape from reality, the way Eva (and many others like her) uses fantasy here ls, lf anything, to put her ln closer touch with realty. Pretending to be a storekeeper is her way ofunderstanding, through play-acdon, what tt mtght be like to be in such a sltuatlon: to sell thtngs to


I\ \'



r.." \


lrD}"**/aY ,l'. / -"t---(-',' i'' ((/-'-r,


\ 1-/-\5--n2>< 6-F n



Baat "

l8 affords her very, very much ttme for this sort of fantasy play, a place that does not opPose such play ag'lnst'real schoolwork,' she has become extraordinarlly good at it.

writing, readlng books, dotng math, telling stories, organlzing shows, playtng



Ftom Ftrllis Cowov PA): Play has been and continues to be the essence of our lives. Mercdith (8) and Fiona (5) become the grmnasts Nadia Comaneci and Olga Korbut, and these roles

interchange, expand, and modtS. They are exploring the world of grmnasdcs from their own perspectlves. They have been influenced by the fact that Meredith has been on a team at a local grmnastics center since shewas 6. Fiona started classes last fall. They spend a great many hours each day doteg warm-ups. Our llving room has become a grm, with two tumbling mats and a carpeted floor beam. They hold competitions, but not necessarily aâ&#x201A;Ź"lnst each other. They take turns at the roles of coach, judge, and performing gymnast, and use a tape of timed orchestrated music to compose floor routlnes of varled complexity, as well as a stopwatch to time each other. Judging is generous, from my point of view. They announce each other, acknowledge the judge, and give constructive fecdback to each other on their performances. The kitchen is often the dining room and social spot for the gymnasts. They pile the mats up and imag;ine they are in the dormitory Bela Karolyi's elite gymnasts "bunk in.' It's an endless game and they stay in character throughout the day. I'm never sure just urho is at the lunch table. Thev have immersed themselves in their faritasy, yet they are very much based in realit5z. We read lots of books about the sport and its stars. Each day brings a new awareness of what their bodies and talents can achieve. They are very serious about their play, but often fall into lovely peals of laughter and sllllness too. And by the way, homeschooling is another facet of their 'S/mnastica school." They work beautlfully together,

/--;-\_... 'r/ - l---\

monopoly, scrabble, and checkers, and so much more - all part of their 'requlred studles,' Required by whom? Required and regulated by themselves.

Ftom Peggy Webb (NY:

Watching Lena play has, over these

flve years, been fasclnatlng, informadve, sometlmes p,vzllng and most always a delight for me. So many of her scenarlos set off a chain of thought ln me: "Why ts she doing this? What ls she learning from this?" It was easy to see the cause and effect when she was standing on a chalr


front of the slnk at eighteen months endlessly pouring water from one glass to another and then several months later expertly pourtng her own breakfast Jutce. I used the word scenario because

that's how many of her play games begin. Many times in a day she'll walk in and

say, 'My name ls Carrie and I'm 12 years old. Who are you?'Thts is my cue to be one ofthe several personas she has lnvented for me. I try to ptck the one she seems to be after - my choices are: Little Peggr Who Is Only F\ree (three), which launches us into a sort o[ role reversal game and ends up with Carrie teachtng Ltttle Peggr the lower case alphabet or separatlng poisonous snakes from non-poisonous snakes: and Ruby, a frtend that needs knas help tn a household task and likes to talk on the broken telephones we have all over the house. Sometimes Lena wants me to be a sort of Ms. Conflict. She'll say, ""Wtll you be the mean person?" and I'm supposed to get some sort of light going, make lun of her,

poke her, etc. Thts ls the part of her play that wears on me a little and about whlch I have questlons. As an only child, kna probably has disadvantages to surmount in attempting to understand behavlor, so I indulge this persona she has created as often as I can, but I wonder somedmes because it seems to be the one she enJoys the most, It's hard to get the play back on track after these exchanges (much like a real Ilght) and maybe it's because I hate

doing tt and don't know lf I should or where lt's


taklng her ln her

mlnd. I know

she's seen real

brothers and slsters flght, heard people shoudng at each

other, and maybe she wants to explore this slde of human behavlor too, but lt's not something I

like to encourage.




lnterested to know how many chlldren spend as much time as

Lena seems to ln another character, I've wondered and have even asked her when she goes lnto one of her'people,"'Why don't you want to be Lena?" or 'Lefs be Mom and Lena for now.' She'll shake her head. Once in a whlle she'll erren say she doesn't like betng herself. Ttrls sets off all kinds of alarms ln me when I hear tt. Sometimes kna will slt for hours wlth one or another of her toy-fllled mtlk cartons setting up elaborate games Just so she can use a new liavorite word. The last one I remember was the word 'reallze.' She must have loved thatword when she flrst heard lt. One nfght I was qutlttng and she had set up her cars, her block roads, her cardboard parldng lot, her stufied btrds, her legos, her felt ptec.es and her plasttc snakes under my frame and she was movlng thls or that ptece around, talktng the whole ttme. It took me a few minutes to REALZE that in every sentence she was using the word realtzc. I could tell by the uray it was rolling off her tongue that thts was what the play was all about. A snatch of the monologue went Itke thts: 'And the green c:rr reallzed he had nowhere to go so he broke through the fence and then the cardtnal reallzed he was golng to get crushed...' kna has already known two people who have dled, one an 87-year-old woman and the other a 43-year-old woman who lived across the streeL These errents provoked a great deal ofcareful dtalogue between us. Colncldent to theyounger wornan's death, kna and I had begiun collectlng newspapers from tlre homes on our street to take to the recycling câ&#x201A;Źnter in our area. We do thls everyweek and Lena has a good understandlng ofwhywe do lt and how lt gets done. Several months after the death of our nelghbor, kna had a lego set-up on the ltvlngroom floon a building, some trees, and a sort of flatbed tmck. She had two of her Barble dolls and was wheeltng them through the butldtng and out the other sidewhere the trees were, saytng, 'Watch out, don't fall off,' and

'Dont be afratd, thls'll only take a

mlnute." I dtdn't Interrupt the play and was eventually relv'arded wtth an explanatlon. The dolls were Helen and Dotde and they were being recycled lnto heaven. Recently, whlle vtstttng my tn-laws' farm in Wlsconsln, kna and I were ln a serious car accldent. Our car was totalled and we came within inches of the same fate. I'm sure ifs the scarlest thing thafs ever happened to L,ena. What made lt an even more dtlflcult time was that I couldn't glve her the phystcal reassuranoe she must have needed because my collarbone was broken and I was utterly demoralized (the accldent was my fault). We are both on the mend and I mendon lt here only because so far this experlence has not yet been given any play treatment. I'm sure it wlll, and tt may already be stardng. Aweek ago kna asked me not to talk about the accldent anymore, sald lt scared her, and also took to worrytng about how we were going to replace the car. She was certalnly vocallztng my lnner feelings here. A few days ago she looked at her scabs under the microscope, Yesterday on a walk to the creek she became Carrle agatn and gave me a blow by blow account ofthe accldent ln a comblnatlon of her own words and those GROWING WTTHOUT SCHOOLING #64

l9 ofus use. IfI had to put I'd guess she'll ffnd away to make sense of lt or at least put lt to rest ghe's heard others

npney on


sooner than I will.

Mommy.' He seemed to accept


PRINT SHOP now, Btlly," he sald. 'I don't think so, Daddy,' I replted. 'It's up to


All .Jason (7) does ts play, whlch ls the sarne as saying that all he does ls work. He has dllferent klnds of play at dillerent tlmes of the day. In the rnomtng, he plays fn a play therapy, role-playtng way. This has become pa.rt of our gettlng up routlne. Thts morning he played Burglar (the houses on elther side ofours have been broken lnto recently). I uras the bur$ar, a doll was the homeowner, and.Jason was the pollc.ernan. He arrested me and put me ln Jail. At that polnt, though, the story took a wonderful, untque turn. Jason became the Jailer. Hts llrst act as Jaller was to bring me the blanket and plllow that td tried to steal earlier, and to say, "You must be very unhappy to steal these, so I'm giving them to youl' I then assured hlm that I was so pleased by that, I'd never

steal again. Much of his play ls llke this, working out not only his problems {such as worryIng about whether our house migfrt be robbed next), but the Larger problems of

our soclety ln general. I like to thtnk that all thts pracflce ln soMng these problems ln a compassionate and creatlve way will help hrm to ffnd the unusual soluflons wtrtch will be necessar5r ln our soclety ln the future.

ROLE.PLAYING Fwm E;bn Shtplcg (CN: When does Billy (5) use fantasy to asslmllate the real world? When doesn't he? We live in a fantastic realm, the boundarles of wtrich are tn a constant state of flux. Each morning we dlscover who we are (tt ts rarely platn old Mommy, Daddy and Btty), and whatwe're to do that day. I am Spotty Man to Btlly's Super Ted: Data to lrts Captaln Jon-Luke Plcardl Laura Ingalls to hls Pa. He ls usually the hero and I am the sidelidck, but sometlmes I am the vtllain, or we can suddenly switch. The other day, he uras Daddy and I was Btlly, and we fell to dlscusslng the recent events of the fast. 'Flemember when we went to the Renalssancc Fatre, Btlly?' 'Yes, I remember, Daddy.'"What dtd you like to do there, Btlly?'And I had to dredge up everythlng he dtd, to a litany of, "And what else?' An lnterestlng role reversal. Klds are asked to reclte thelr exploits all the time, and lt's hard workl But the game took an lnteresdng turn when he said, "Remember when you messed wlth Mommy's computer dlsks and she sald you couldn't play wtth PRINT SHOP because you were belng punished?" 'I remember, Daddy,' I sald, feeling I should add, "I didn't mean to do lt.' I was surprlsed he even brouglrt tt up. As Daddy, he kept harping on the punlshment, so when I ffnally said, 'I'm sure Mommy will let me play wtth the computer agaln some day," he was relierred, and hts little wheels started cltcldng. "I think you can play GROWING WTTHOUT SCHOOLING #64

that, and we went

on to other toplcs. Then he trled a new tack: I was sdll Billy, but he was now Mommy, and he trted to ltft the ban agaln. Thls cracked me up and I fell out of character (we'd been doing this game for over an hour, while we ran errands in the car), but when he reallzed tt hadn't worked, he swttched back to betng Daddy again. As Daddy, he had already conned me lnto playing hts Atart wlth h,im when we got home, and he couldn't be Mommy because Mommy doesn't like to play computer games. (As Btlly, of course, I had to play wtth htm - he had me therel) Another game we play on occaslon ls something I call "Satd Btlly.' The only way I can describe lt ls, lt's as lf we are reading a scrlpt, but lt's all spontaneous. Billy may say somethlng llke, ''kt's go to the movies,' said Billy." ''Oh, I don't thtnk so,' said Mommy, glanctng fondly at her son,' I may reply. ''But we rnight ltke tt,' said Billy, lookCng up at Mommy and smiling." And so on. Whatever we are doing at the tlme gets lnto the story. Usually we play this game whlle we're grocery shopping. In fact, we play a lot of games like this while we're out doing everyday tasks. It cuts down on the monotony and makes us laugh. Btlly uses make-belleve to work things out that bother him, like scary scenes in movles. We once watched The Brave Little Tbaster, a charming, antmated movie about old appllances left behind ln a surnmer house that go ln search of their young rrnster. It had all the aspects of a falry-tale, tncludlng a frightening Junlcyard compactor that threatened them at the end of the movte. The movie ended happtly, but not unttl it had provoked a frightened response. For days afterward, Btlly played compactor games, smashing beloved toys or rescuing them in the nick of tlme, We even took turns being the compactor and the brave llttle toaster, until he had worked out hls fears. One fear, or unc.ertalnt3r, that he had at Christmastlme wouldn't be put to rest until he had wrltten a story about lt. Christmas ls very warm and tradtdonal at our house, wtth c.ooktes for Santa and stockings hung bestde a crackllng fire. But in spite of all our reassuranc.es, Billy became obsessed wtth the Ilre ln the ftreplace. How would Santa get down the chimney? Would we forget to turn off the gas log? A few days before Chrlstmas, Billy dtctated a story called The Chrtstmas Fire, whtch began, "We put a ffre ln the llreplace on Chrlstmas Eve. And then when Santa came, he found smoke coming up the chlmney. And then he yelled down

the chimney, 'Stop that flrel" After that, Billy seemed satislled that Santa could

handle lt, even tf we forgot. When Billy has learned something new, like the Atart he got for his blrthday, he often turns rlght around and teaches lt to one of his tma$nary playmates. I'll hear him Jabberlng away to Pooh (not to be confused wlth another bear of that name), explalntng and encouraglng - and even correcting. Pooh ls not a very cooperative bear, and he often ends up flying off in a huff to South America.

Btlly's latest game has hJm cltmbing the htll behtnd our house to do battle with tmlls. He ls Tacker, I am Hnc'ess, his father Blll ts Ntght Pb:ate, and there is an

entlre troll famtly llvtng ln the culvert

above our baclcyard. He cllmbs the steep

incllne, carrytng his halberd, Excalibur (a handy ptec.e of PVC pfpe), with which he dispatches the luckless trolls. Then he casts thelr bodies down the hill, and we eat them for lunch. I can't even begin to

lnterpret that onel Things are never dull around here, that's for certaln. Billy and his imaginatlon keep us hopptng.

A CHILD'S LABORATORY Kathleen McCurdg NV'N olfered us these ercerpts Jrom her unrkslop, "PIag

A Chfi's l-obratory,' as her


response to

otr reqrrcstJor tlaughts on tlrjs topb:

Adults often take chlldren's play for

granted. It seems to come so nahrrally. But play ts acflve, rather than passive, and reflects emodonal, physical and intellectual engagement wtth the world. Play helps chlldren learn in a casual way rnany skills that would otherwlse seem too

complicated. In our great eagerness to teach our children, we studlously look for educa-

tional toys with built-tn lessons. often these are less lnteresting than the child's

natural play. Play ts by its very nature educational



Many of us are amused at ttre cute antlcs of pupples and ldttens playing, but we also say, 'It looks llke fun, but th.y't really also pracdclng survlval skills learntng to catch thtngs, to pounce.- Why ts lt that when we see children playing we don't see them as practlcing survival


Perhaps some ofyou have read the

work of Jane Goodall, who studied chlmpanzees ln Afrlca for years and years. She reported a strtktng example of how the chlmpanzees' early obsewation, together wtth play, led to sldlled adult behavlor, Adult chlmps have learned to catch and eat termites by peeling the bark olf little hvtgs, wetttng them in their mouths, and then hoolidng them ire the termlte hole. Ihe termltes stick to the hvtgs, and the ctrtmps pull them ouL It turns out that this skill is handed down from older chimps to younger ones by mea.ns of play. The young chimps that Goodall observed dtdn't go anound ltshing for termltes - they were probably still on mother's mtlk - but they spent time peeltng bark oII stlcks and poking them in holes, flnding out which stlcks work best. As chlldren get older, they start playrng ln ways that we would normally call work. Th.y pl"y with a computer, or mess around wtth the car engfne. So don't worry - the ktnd of play that very young chlldren do leads to this kind of play that we can see as leadlng to somethingyou could do for a ltvtng. It transforms into what we call work. But wouldn't it be neat lf we called what ure dtd play? When our sonJoewas about 3 or4, he discovered sclssors. At the tlme, we were doing qulte a blt of travelfurg, so while we were in the car, he cut paper over and over


again - first to see how many scraps he could produce, and later to make shapes. Flnally he was done wlth sclssors. Now scissors were a tool. He knew how to use themwhen he needed them.

places we olten go.

LIFE PRACTICE F}om Mary Van Doren ME): We see that almost all our children's fantasy play is "llfe practice." Th.y pl"y babies, and having babies, They altemate having babies at home (where Greta was born) and at the hospital (where Helen was born). For some re€rson we don't understand, they play sharks and alligators. They run around on the bed, pick up the tmaginary sharks, bring them to show us, and then put them back into the "water.'They show us baby sharks, mama sharks and papa sharks. ffhey see familles tn everything.) An lnteresting thtng started this winter. We were pretty isolated - no friends, no other children around, almost no contact with anyone outside the family. Helen began wanting to play restaurant often. She'd be a customer and Mark or I would serve her meals. Mostly, though, it seemed that we were being "someone new' for her to talk to. She'd tell us about her family and where they

lived. Itwas as though she necded someone new to talk to sometimes, and pretended us right into strangers. Both girls also play gohg shopping and going on a trip. They cram stulf into small suitcases, purses or whatever bags they can lind and tell me, "I'm going on a trip now. Good bye." Then they 6lo into their toy car or walk out of the room. Soon they are back. Helen will say something like, 'That was a long trtpl' Occasionally I make a mistake and say, "Well, it's nice to see you at home againl" Helen answers, 'Nol I'm at the store/at the far away place/ not home now" Their trips are usually to

Mark plays scary games with them sometimes. I thtnk the ldeas come from him and not them, but they love to be a little bit scared, We know it's time to stop when one of them says, "You're not really a spider, you're Just Mark s hand." But up untll then they play - guess what - tea paities with spider families. "Birthday" ls another maJor game around here. Both girls wtll go around the house wrapping pr€sents, mostly to gfve to me, though they mostly always open them for me. They are really very ir:rgenlous when it comes to wrapping. Sometimes tt's hard to see where fantasy stops and realtty begins. Playing laundry in the bathtub often produces clean clothes, and plalng wash the dishes gets the dishes clean.

LIVING IN DOLLTOWN Flrom Peter Beryson (PA):

Amanda (12), Ernily (lO), Julia {7) and Nicholas (4) have, for as long as I can remember, found ways of recreating their out-of-the-home experiences through fantasy play, Of their various milieu for such activities, none has been more consistent, more intensive, more challenging or more fun than the world of Dolltown. Dolltown is now ln a room on our third floor devoted totallv to that one use. It began humbly enough eight years ago. I built a dollhouse with several rooms large enough to accomodate two seven-inch dolls which my wtfe had saved from her childhood and whlch Amanda had enJoyed dresstng. It wasn't long before I built another set of rooms for other, newer

dolls. At flrst Amanda and Emtly had the dollhouses set up ln their own bedrooms, but they found that they had the most fun when the dollhouses were set up side by side so thev could olav toeether. Because



neitlier'bedroom was large enough to handle all of the rooms and the stuff that came with the dolls, we emptied the spare bedroom that had been reserved for live guests, and Dolltown was born. Since then, Dolltown has grown to lnclude approximately fifteen buildtngs (four residences, a hotel, riding stables, a muslc store, statlonery shop, post ofllce, bank, general store,

health food store, library, print shop, school (l), dress shop...); four extended families of dolls and assorted others (servants, shopkeepers, etc.) for a total

population of about thirty.

There's also a box of 'dead dolls" so that as each new



storyllne requlres somebody new to come to town there's always someone to call on to €rssume a new identit5l. There's also a lake, made

from an old porcclain dtshpan, two wagons, a train, a baseball diamond, a

theater... dare I go on... and, crns€rvaUvely thtnktng, about ll,OOO tndividual Items, some purchased but most recycled and relnterpreted from the world outside. One of our favorlte e:ramples of such reinterpretatlon is the time we were Christmas shopplng tn a mall and passed a dtsplay of brass-colored mailholders on sale. Amanda, then 5, exclaimed, 'Oh, look, those would be great Dolltown brass bedsl" and of course she was rtght, so for one llfth the price of 'real" doll beds, we bought some. Over the years, literally hundreds and hundreds ofitems have stmtlarly found new ltfe ln'D' (as the glrls refer to lt) as mlnlature repllcas of

real-llfe artlfacts.

The clelldren have added buildings over the years ln r€sponse to thetr outsideworld experlences. We vlslted friends at their summer cottage on a lake in the mountalns, came home, and shazaam, Dolltown got a lake and a beach, a dock, boats, ltfe preservers, trees, swlm suits, etc. We went to a htgh school production of Peter Pant and a few days later twenty dolls were all gussled up, seated ln make-shdft stands, rvatching a dolls' production of Peter Pon" complete wlth costumes, scenery, flytng actors (held up with wire, Just ltke the llve ones), dckets, a taped soundtrack, and lntermlssion snacks. The girls have also recreated their vlolin and

horseback rldlng lessons. What struck me ffrst about the Dolltovrn verslon ofeach acttvtt5r was the preclsion wtth whtch the glrls remembered, and then recreated, the most minute detalls of every experlence. What I have grown to appreclate e\ren more, howerrer, ts the depth ofthe personal lnteracdons that are a part ofthe dolls'experiences, and how ttrese have been butlt lnto a very complex soclal system. Each pernanent doll has a personallty all lts own, a hcstory, tastes, slidlls, and preferences in work and play. Dolltown has tts own legal system, property agreements, town council (with voting rules), monetar5r system, trash collectlon, transportation and postal system. Famtltal llnes and marital status are observed strictly, so that, for example, if one of the humans (as the dolls call the gAls) decides that her doll family needs a baby, or someone to date/marry one of her stngle dolls, a trlp to the 'dead doll' box ls required. I thtnk the girls are as true to the history of thetr dolls as scrlphvriters must be to the characters of an ongolng drama. The communlt5l newspaper, Tte

Dolltoun Dafly Neros, which for several weeks was publtshed daily, features the town gosslp as well as advicc columns,

news storles, and ads for D-toqrn businesses. It's delivered in dme for breakfast to each doll buildtng after betng rolled and wrapped tn plasdc wrap (iust as our Philadelphia Inqulrer comes ln a plastic bread bag), having been composed on our Mac-

lntosh computer and prtnted out lrr some pretty fancy type styles. Practtcally everything that happens ln our lives, then, shows up, ln one fashlon or another, sooner or Later, ln Dolltown. LJstentng to the chlldren's conversatlons as th€y plrv, both to each other and through thetr dolls, ollers us a way to s,ee how they take ln, tnterpret, and come to understand the outslde world. GROWING WTIHOUT SCHOOLING #64


BABIES & MOTHERS TOGETHER: INTERVIEW WITH KAYE LOWMAN Kage Inumanls tle autlar oJOf Cradles and Careers (avallable tfuough ow catdogfor $11.95 + Instage. item 1 6), a Lo l-rcte Leagte fuk rrbplut 'reslwptttg yourJob to lralude a babg

ll 5


l{e.' Tle "reshapbg' that t}e fuk dtscnsses tcludes unlclrg part'tlne, gour

unrklng at Ia ne, and brtnglrrg fubies to

unrlc- The Jdlowlng lnteruIew d.es tlrlt dlscuss oll oJ the l4glsfbs oJ these optlons, as tle fuk couerc thls useL, rrrr dres lt talce up tle questbn oJ dder chlldren in tle unrlcploce. Mang GWS rcaders houe taken th{s up tn reent lssr.es, and we will cortdtute to prlnt stodes abut children oJ

all ages


lrcIuded In untk situations.

Sueannah Shcficr: What was your own slhratlon before writing the bool0 Dtd you bring a baby to work?

Kaye lawman:


had three children,

and I'd been home betng a wife and mother for eight or nlne years, My youngest was 4. I wanted a part-time Job, which I found. I tmk the job tn October, and got pregnant ln November. I happened to work for a muntctpallty, and I liked what I was doing very much, so I dectded I simply wouldn't mendon that I was pregnant, and I d hold onto myJob as long as I could. When I was about slr-and-a-half months along I menUoned to the assistant rrranager that I was expectlng a baby. I thought they were gotng to start advertlstng for my Job, and I kept wattlng for them to say, 'We'll have someone ln here ln two weeks, thanks a lot, goodbye.' But nobody errer sald anythtng. I was timtd enouglr not to ask, but one of my friends at work who was bolder than I was went to the manager

and satd,'Kayewants to knowwhafs going to happen wtth herJob when she has the baby.'He satd, 'We expect her to crome back.' My frtend sald, 'But she's not golng to leave the baby,' and he satd, "Oh, we expect her to bring the baby with her.' So I can't take any credit, tn my owrr sltuatlon, for havlng been brave and saytng, 'Thls is the way it's going to be." SSI: Do you have any idea what made the manager able to think in that way?

K,: I don't knoq'.

Part of it was that I was very part-ttme - maybe fffteen hours a week. CertalnJobs needed to be done, and lf I wanted to do them at ntght or on the weckend, nobody cared, as long as I got them done on time. So it was already clear that I dtdn't have to be rtght there too much to do the Job. Also, my olllce was

ktnd of set off from the matnstream. I wasn't rtght next to the presldent or the finance department. And I know they had had a terrlble time keeptng anyone in my poslilon, so I have a feeling they didnt want to go through the work of linding someone agaln. SSI: Had

People seemed to be very acceptlng.

There was

a real cama-

raderle about [havtng my baby ln the offlcel. Everybody watched as she cut her flrst tooth, everybody wanted to know, "Is she standtng up yet?" SSi: How long

did you stay with this


K,: Until

she was flfteen months or

a baby to the olllc'e before thts?

K,: I wouldn't

have dreamed of tt.

it strlke you,



the other, and Id go tnto a hlgh school and say, "I'm looktng for such-and-such a teacher,' and there'd be a very patronizing attttude until they found out I was there for some real, ollicial funcfion, and then they'd say, 'No kiddingl You must be a substltute, or they must be desperate.'So I really had to work to establish my


SS: How did you do that?

f,L: Id say, 'Well, I have this baby, and I don't want to leave her wlth someone else, and my boss wanted me at work badly enough to say, 'Bring the baby.'' Once we got past that, it was usually OK. I never apolog;ized for it. SSi: How did all of this lead to OJ Cradles ard. Careers?

KL: I think I was thinking about it by the flme she was about a year and a half old, because I realized how well lt worked. I thought about all the women who are leavtng their babies at home, or paying for daycare that isn't even good for the baby, and I thought, if they only realized how simple it can be. Granted, there are many work sltuations that will Just nwer adapt to this, but in a lot of situations it's posslble. SSt: Did you know ofanyone else at the tlme who was doing anything like


K,: I knew of two or three already, and I think I encouraged a few others who got pregnant after I did. There had been two newspaper storles about the fact that I brought my baby to work, and I think a lot of people sâ&#x201A;Źrw me and worked out similar arrangements. We put a notice ln a La kche kague bulletin asking for these kinds of stories, and for newspaper

so. After that, I would walt until my oldest daughter, who was 12, came home from

clippings about lt.

school, and I would rush lnto the olllce for

SSI: At the tlme, you were thtnldng ctriefly about arrangements in which women brought babies to work, weren't you?

a couple of hours while she stayed with the

baby. SS: One of the things we flnd at Holt Associates is that when you have a baby ln the offlce, you glve a lot ofpeople a chance to see a baby, people who would never otherwise come across one in their dailv


K,: Yes, and ln my situation there was also the fact that I was plannlng to have a home blrth, whlch no one had ever heard of, so there was a lot of watchlng to see, "ls she really going to have this baby at home? Is she really going to bring her into work?' And I thtnk lots of people had never been close to a breastfed baby elther. They were amazed at how easygolng she was, and how ltttle paraphemalia you

you ever thought of bringing

SS: How did

BL: I thought, hey, lf they think tfll work, maybe tt wtll. Thts was ten years ago, and thls was Just not common. I knew that babies are very dlfferent, and that some would be more amenable to thls than others, so I thought, let's just see. It turned out that thls baby was very quiet, very sweet, a baby who rolls with the punches, so thts made lt much easler. I did as little as posslble in the olllce, and as much as possible at home. My fellow employees were lncredible. My prtmary responsibill$r at that tlme was putttng out the bi-monthly newsletter, and my habtt had been to stop lnto each department and say, 'OK, what's happening that people need to know about?'As soon as I had the baby, people beganJotdng down things that had to go into the newsletter and leaving them on my desk lnstead. So everyone pitched tn and helped the arrangement work for me. I dld nurse her at work. I wasn't timid about it, but I had learned to be dlscreet.

need. I dld llnd that when I was out and about with the baby, when I would go someplace to lnteMew someone or take plctures, I wouldn't be taken seriously with a baby in my arms. I would have all

my equlpment ln one arm, and my baby in

EL: I became interested in any lidnd of modiffcaflon of the work schedule that allowed the mother to mother the baby better. That included bringing the baby to work, Ilgurlng out how to do the same Job you were dolng from home, golng part ilme and leaving the baby with someone else for a short time, or golng tnto business for yourself. SSt: What kind of work lends ltself best to these arrangements?


Often it's 'creadve'Jobs - for

example, I can write Just as well at home as ln someone else's oflice, and I think the same ls true of a graphtc deslgner, an artlst, a photoggapher. I remember one wornan tn my book - one of the most lnterestlng storles I ran across - who was a flre protectlon engineer, had worked for a company, and then had a baby and qutt theJob, but they then hired her as a


freelancer to do e:ractly what shed been dolng as thelr employee. I think lt's often trre that if you're a valuable employee, for whatever reason, the employer really will work to keep you. It helps to be low key - the baby should never be a disruptive influence. If the baby's having a bad day, you have to get up

and leave. SSi:

Don't other people want to hold

the baby and help sometimes?

K,: It was Just wonderful. If someone walked by my oflic'e and realized that the baby was starting to fuss and I was busy, they'd come in and pick her up. People changed her diaper, walked with her. SSi:

Thafs fascinating. It kind of

recreates the tribe, the community, in the modern world.

KL: There was a real comaraderie about it. Everybody watched as she cut her first tooth, everybody wanted to know, "Is she standing up yet?' SS: Your baby was kind ofan ambassador for babies, since lots ofpeople don't know what babies are really like, and think they'll cause more trouble than they

CHILDREN IN THE WORKPLACE BEEKEEPING BUSINESS Flom Iofs Sur{lou:er (PN: My husband and I own and mn Bear Honey Farms, a beekeeping and beeswax and honey farmtng business. Our four homeschoolers are lntegral to our success. The three oldest, Beorn (lO), Phoebe (8) and Burleigh (7) take turns ln the spring golng into our hlves wlth thelr father, Clifi. They are all acquirtng beekeeptng sktlls

whlle asslstlng him.

In productlon, all three can help bottle and label honey. Phoebe has developed a distinctlve beeswax candle, which we have added to our craft show display. last year the demand exceeded her production. Certainly, the balance ls not always easy to maintaln: four klds, home business, garden, homeschooling. On the other hand, we are all moved by the challenges ofbeing able to figure out our own schedule, and for that matter, our

own lives.

AUTO REPAIR SHOP Gregg Smtlh oJ Callforntn urrfles:



Yes. You do have to be really

tuned Into your co-workers, so if someone doesn't like the idea of havtng a baby around, you try to stay away from them. SlSl: I've somefimes nodced a difference ln our olfice between the young chlldren who come to visit and those who have been in the offfce regularly. When ifs

their regular environment, ttrere's much less need for, 'Don't touch this,- and that kind of thing, because they're familiar with the plac.e and comfortable there. KL: I think if you set the gtround rules of the place very early on, and say, "Don't touch this," or 'This is your corner here," they will learn that Just as they learn it at home. But again, it's yourJob to enforce that and not take advantage ofother people's good will. SS: All of this makes me think somewhat historically. In the pioneer days, for e:<ample, women always had their babies "at work."

K,: Absolutely. Babies and mottrers belong together, and everybody loses if they aren't. I wish people weren't so lnundated with messages from societ5r. SS: In many ways that message is

really an antt-child message, isn't it? I can't help thinking that bringing babies to work, or otherwise lncluding them, will help change the larger societ5r's view of children over time.

K,: I think thafs very true. One thing that the people I worked wlth got to see over the course of time was that I didn't

consider betreg with my baby a job. I enJoyed bâ&#x201A;Źing$/fth her, she enjoyed being with me. We were madly in love with each other, and I think people had to see that.

I own an auto repalr shop, and slnce my wife is the bookkeeper, my sons Ed (6) and Mark (3) have been spending tlme there since they were born. As lnfants

neither one was bothered by obno:dously loud nolses from air compressors, power tools and unmuflled exhaust, which seemed a little strange to me because there are times when the noise level in the shop gets downrlght annoying. They both napped right through the worst of it as if they were home in their own bedroom, Mark is not really able yet to help me at my work, but he loves coming to the shop, I think mainly because there ls so much stuff that is dlfferent there. Durtng business hours there is simply too much going on that is dangerous to toddlers, so he ls constantly supervlsed by his mother and generally kept near the office or outslde tn the yard by the plum trees. On Saturdays, when I am not really working butJust puttering around, he has a less restricted tlme. Ed has been keenly lnterested ln how things work mechanically for a long dme, and when he started homeschoollng I thought it would be lnteresting for both of us for hlm to come to the shop one morning a week for lnstrucdon and practice in auto repair. He thought that would be great. We started ollwtth a small project, dlsassembly and reassembly of a carburetor. I was pleased and surprtsed tn equal measures at how speedy and accurate he was. Our next proJect was the dtsassembly and repair of a tlred old lawnmower motor. He did qutte well, wtth me helptng only in the most dilllcult parts. The problem was that whtle I needed to be with him quite a lot for direction and dlscussion ofthe project,shop business that

required my tlme and energl lnternrpted us quite a bit, often at crucial polnts, so I felt more harrled and pressured than I

wanted to. Perhaps Monday rnomlng wasn't the best cholcre of tlme for tlds. Now durlng thls ttme he follows me around wtrlle I explatn the Job I'm dotng, why we're doing it and what dlrectlon the Job will take. Usually, f I look, I flnd somethlng on the car that can use his attention, sven if tfs only checldng the tire pressures. He llstens to my e:glanatlons and never seerns to forget a sln$e topic we have discussed. Ed ls free to help me or noodle around on hls own, and he does about flfty percent of each. Ivly employees have all been very

surprised by his work and hls tatklng

about it. He acts way beyond trls years. My current employee has Ed help him out from flme to time. The employees enJoy Ed's being there and there ls a mutual respect between them.




Ftom Dauld. Grant NVA):

I am a scavenger for a downtown soup ldtchen. Three days a week, my dauglrter Amara (3) and I go around to restaurants and grocery stores, collectlng donated bread and produce. This lnvolves sorting through dlscards, culls and garbage. One of the llrst words Amara learned was


The'scavenger run,' as I call lt, takes up to three and a half hours, sometlmes lncludtng a trtp lnto a large commerclal freezer-locker. Amara goes into all the half-dozen places I visit and ls well known to the people there. If I need to use both hands, she wlll slt pafiently in a shopptng cart, or wait standing on the side. Sometlmes she actlvely partictpates, carrylng small bundles of bread or helping to sort the produce. Slnc.e we live in a communlt5l house, wlth other adults and chlldren often around, I savor ttrls ttme alone wlth her. I

am especially happy that she has some "bored' tlme, tlme when she Just observes or does not seem even to do that. I know we learn from each other, Just by belng together. I also llke the regularity of the acflvtty. My wife enJoys the tlme to herself, and for Amara and I, thts weryother-momtng actMty is always a dme of happiness and stmple, useful, Joyous, somedmes bortng, good work.

CHIROPRACTOR'S OFFICE Valefle Vaughan ME) torttes: My husband ls a chlropr:actor, I am a chlropractor's asslstant, and our son, Gabrtel (lO), workswtth us two days a week at the offlce. Our obJecdves ortglnally were slmply to malntaln our family closeness whlle slowl5r lncorporating Gabe lnto the oftice routlne so that eventua\r he could reall5r be an asset to the of[ce. Also, we needed to be able to have Gabe do some of hls schoolwork at tlre offlcc stece I could gtve hlrn at least sorne attendon

there (instead of eltmtnaflng two whole GROWING WTTHOUT SCHOOLING #64


'school days' altogether).

temptatlon to fool around wtth the other

We started all thts a Gwweeks ago, so we're sflll adJustlng, but we began prepartng Gabe for lt a few months ago, I don't mean Just emotlonal preparation. We concnentrated on learnlngl alphabetizing, so he can help wtth flltng, ansnerlng the


phone, handwdtlng, so we can read trls messages, learnlng names of bones and muscles so he can take notes durlng physical exarns, math so he can make change properly. We harrcn't yet used hls help ln these ways; he's sflll worlidng on these sktlls, and we're uraftfng until he's more conslstently correct. So far he's run to the bank to make a depostl or to the newspa.per to place an ad, or to the daycare to pick up hts ltttle

brother Sean (3). He also does the vacuumlng, uaterlng the plants, sharpentng penclls and emptJdng trash. He l,o:ows and we know that he is capable of so much more, so we are trytng to flgure out how to expand hisJob. I am a llttle wary of the pauents' respons€, and I thtnk tt wtll help lfwe let them get used to Gabe belng ln the

olllce gradually. We live in the countr5r, but the olfice is ln a small town, and thls has glven Gabe the opportunlty to e:gand socially. His favorlte activlues when he's flnished

worldng and the adults are sdll at it are skateboanding, and gotng to the library and the bookstore. These little freedoms to Just hang out and browse ln stores (without the presence of Mom wtth her deltberate shopping llst or llttle brother who needs supervlslon) are tmportant for htro espectally because our Me ts fatrly ordered and scheduled rnost of the tlme. We never really asked Gabe whether he uranted to work at the olllc.e. It ts part of the necessit5r of our [ves. I feel oldfashloned about thls. but I llnd that there are other homeschoolers ln our area who are of this mlnd. Many live self-sulllclently and really need the help of their chlldren to funcdon economically. I read in GWS about parents giving their children a cholce |rr these matters, but I wonder if there are sorrte homeschoolers of the old school out there, who feel that the parent has the greater perspective and experience to anfictpa.te further.



rnany parents consultlng the wlshes of

thetr children about matters that I feel are beyond the children's Judgmenl I am not so tradltlonal that I don't allow Gabe to make some declslons. but I think he needs the structure of c.ertaln habtts and patterns. Gabe helps me wlth another Job, too. l-ast September he started taktng gmnastlcs classes. I would slt and watch, untll one day I couldn t stand tt any longer and asked the lnstructor lf I could learn, too. I'm twent5r-llrrc years older than the oldest student at this grnmasflcs school. I love lt, and now, after slx months of tralntng, I have competed tn grm rneets and am an asststant lnstmctor. For four months I taught ten homeschoolers ln thelr own speclal classes (held durlng school hours when the S/mwas free) and now I do an after school class at one ofthe area elementar5r schools, as urell as classes at the grm, Gabe ts my asslstant and ls very helpful as a demonstrator. I pay hlm for tris work, except when he asks not to be patd (he does thatwhen he succumbs to the


Gabe will very soon surpass me at S/rnnastics, tf he hasn't already. I can go on being a coach and teacher, but my ability to actually do thts stuff has a ltmlt due to my age, welght, etc. It's very

humili[dng - tf that's a word - to see that the young really have thelr future accompltshments before them, and we teachers have a lot behind us. It sounds obvious, but there ls a profound humtlrty in it, and it helps me keep perspective.


I remember belng struck, when I returned from Spaln in the mld-slxdes with two ttny children, by the relatrve hosttlity and lndlfference of U.S, people to children. In Spaln, everybody wanted to hold them and play wtth them, but ln the States, they were a nulsance to everyone. It was hard to walk anywhere wlth them because ofall the cars, and no sldewalks, or uncleared sldewalks. It was hard to flnd people near home to share ln carlng for them. We were miser;able undl we found a babystttlng pool and a cooperative nursery school. Now I thtnk these too have disappeared because so many people work full time. I remember reading The Forest People by Coltn Tombull and thtnklng that every communlt5l should have a "bopi' - a safe place where chlldren play together (wtth shallow water and strong vines and good cltmbtng trees and adults worklng nearby). Instead we have separate spaces orJust TV sets, with walls, hard roads and dangerous vehicles separatrng them. And each tlny family ts lsolated - like sad, useless gortllas tn a cage in the zoo. When the men were taken out of the

home by lndustrlallzatton and the chlldren were flnally s€nt to schools, the women who could allord lt were allowed to stay home, to tend the empty house. But gradually thelr work was taken away or made rldlculous by machlnery and marketing. So no wonder the women flnally gave up and left home too - they really had to leave because lt was too craz5r and lonely all by yourself, wlth make

work or only tlny children.

How do we get "home' agatn? The work has to come back, the men and the chlldren have to come back, and the cornmunlty has to edst. All these nuclear familtes can't maintaln themselves without stable communltles. I'm not hearing enough about slowlng down our mobtltty, getttng cars off the roads, people staytng put for longer and really betng commltted to where they are and who they're near for the long term. We're sflll on the freedom, 'go where you want to go," kick, that addictlve feelingl of, "things don't fecl too good here, I thtnk I'll go somewhere else,' or belng expected to move for a Job, or betng ktcked out by

"progress" or'dwelopment.' That's

supposed to be the American way, The young famllles I see today mostly ones who have waited to have chtldren - arje very serlous about solving these problems, lnsofar as they see them. They are trying hard to stay close to thelr chlldren, even lf they both work. They start c€operative or soclal organizatlons to provide communi$r. But they have no idea how vulnerable their structures are to bumout, to wanderlust, to economlc

fatlure - no ldea how easlly their efforts can waporate because societ5l at large ls so hostlle to community as well as to family. [SS:]

I respotded-

I remember being struck, during one of my many readlngs of Jean Liedloffs book, ?he CortbtuumConcept by the suggesdon that human beings were not meant to ralse children atone, whtch I guess is another way of saying that we were not meant to lirc alone, but in communltles. The tmage of the Yequana mother out b: the world wlth the baby on her back, among other adults and enjoy-

ing the stlmulation and companionship

they provtde, ls very different from our Western mother alone with a baby, cut off from any c.ommunity. If this takes a toll on both mother and child, maybe tfs because ralslng children was never meant to be the tsolated activtt5r lt has become. It's hard to talk about this, to try to leam from the Yequana Indians, because, as GWS readers have polnted out in the past, our own soclety is so dlllerent that it seems lmposslble to know what we can take from the Yequana model and use ln our own lives. But I'm convlnccd that we can take something from tt, and ln fact are already doing this in all sorts of small but

sigpillcant ways. Elsewhere in this lssue Kaye Lowman talks about bringing babies into tl.e workplacc, and other ways of integrating children lnto our lives so that, instead of It being a cholcc between us and the babies, we are (to quote Ltedlof| 'engaged in Itvtng [ourl own lives, with babies tre [our] mtdst.'The pleasure that Kaye's colleagues took ln watchtlg her baby grow, and thelr wlllingness to help Kaye tend to the baby, seems to have brought some of the Yequana sense of community in a workable way. Of course such examples are not stmple or without problems (and

they're not the only kinds of examples),

but they ofier us a way to rethink c.ertain


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Dept. GW, Tuscany Rd., Baltimore, MD 21210


things. In GWS #63, Donna Rjchoux wrote about having a friend come in to hold and care for her baby while she worked in the offic-e - another example, to me, of creaflng community withln a very modem, Western situation. The exchange, rather than being monetaqr, ls of energy or interest - Donna beneffts from having another person's arms Into which she can safely entrust her baby, and knard, her friend, benelits from the chance to dwelop a real friendshtp wfth a baby. I'm also interested in your wish for more safe spaces for children to get together. I think adults need this too - not only safe spaces, but welcoming spaces, doing spaces, as John Holt called them, meaning places where people get together to do things. So often, we think in terms of school, so that it can seem to the family who is learning outside of school that the choice is between learning at home in isolation, or going to school to get cornmunity. But of course school as a communit5r is so flawed - the argument could even be made that it's not a tme cornmunity at all, but that's for another timel - so homeschoolers have been very resourceful in creating communities for themselves ln

other ways. Every now and then the question about an actual spacâ&#x201A;Ź to serve as a locus for this comrnunlt5r acttvlt5r arises - what would that be, lf not a school? Frank Smith and I spent a lot of time talldng about this when we had the opportuntty to meet in Victoria recently. He described his vision ofan ideal school, and because it sounded so unlike a school to me, and so much more like one of John Holt's doing spaces, I asked whether schoolwas really the best thing to call it. He came to think that perhaps it wasn't. We can say that a

place that is noncompulsory, gives no grades, involves all ages of people dolng all kinds of work, etc, Is a very nen/ kind. of school, but it seems to me - arrd I'm paraphrasing something John Holt said about the same question - that lf we're going to make something that's so dilferent from school as to be Just about unrecognizable as such, isn't it better to come up with a new name for it than stretch the old name to such lengfhs to llt? So we do need more and better places for people to get together, to see others at work, to help each other, though we do have some already in the form of libraries, communit5l centers, Ys, and maybe some workplaces. I think we also need to think of ways to create community wtthout requiring a physical space (since physical space is often the hardest thing to get and maintain), and I think we have manv useful models in what homeschoolers (ior example: of course there are other places to look as well) are already doing.



A quarterly journal

'% Cfittdftoo[ gerspectiae .,iil:]ij!|: philosophvand


'////tl,/tu. """'^


nd spiritual parenting, schooling and

homeschooling. Nurturing the magical time of childhood. Send $20 to Nancy Aldrich, RR2, Box 2675G , Westford, VT 05494

INVOLVING OTHER ADULTS IN HOMESCHOOLING In GWS #63, we asked readers to tell us about how other adults, besldes parcnts, are involved ln children's homeschooling lives - one way of creating community. Below are some responses.

AN ARTIST FRIEND F)om Patti Pitcler MA): When we lived in Maine, almost all our friends had small children. They were very interestlng people, but all were already spendlng enough ttme wlth young

kids, so they were not very exclted about having more such relatlonshlps at that


Slnce movlng to Seattle thls wlnter, we suddenly have lots of friends without young chlldren. Thts has opened up a new arena for our ldds. They now have many adult friends, some of whlch are our friends, some of which are not. Most of the friends that are excluslvely thelrs are people in the neighborhood whom thry have taken the time to meet. Since they are outside playing they seem to meet more folks than we do. Both our ldds love to garden and often they trot next door to help our neighbor in her yard. Sometimes they play, sometlmes they help. Thts sprtng an artlst frlend of ours asked Becca (6) tf she would like to come and paint wtth her once a week. Becca loves any klnd of art, so sheJumped at the chance. Natalie, our friend, offered to show Becca how to prepare a canvas, how to use oils, and how to mix colors. Once Becca learned a few baslcs, Natalie has pretty much stopped teachlng and the two just paint. Natalie actually nqr'er wanted to specilically teach Becca to paint, she just thought tt would be fun to have Becca

around. So far, this relationship ls working out well. Becca loves thls chance to work without taura (3) around. Becca and Laura have completely dtfferent temperaments. laura often dlstracts and fmstrates Becca by her bouncy, energetlc ways. Natalie, on the other hand, ls very serlous and slow to act. FIer presence seems to lnsplre Becca. She watches Natalie very intently. Sometimes Natalle talks about what she ls trying to do: why she chose thls or that color, what this represents, why this pattem was palnted this way, what ls working, what lsn't. Often, she doesn't say much. They work side by side for three or four hours, quitting usually because I call to say it is tlme for dinner. (Someday soon maybe I can let go enough to Just let her come home when they are donel) Three hours ls longer than Becca ever gets to work on anythtng at home - she seems to love this chance for serious, unlnterrupted

work. One of my favorite things about thls relationship ls watchtng Becca learn that art is a process. Artlsts don't necessarlly create exactly what they urant the llrst time. Sometimes it takes months or years to achieve the ldea they have in their head. In the short tlme that Natalie and Bec.ca have been worklng together, Becca has seen Natalie make slx or seven revlslons of a color or shape until she gets exactly what she wants. Recently Natalte has been

working on a series of paintlngs where she patnts the same general plcture IIve or slx ttmes, vaqdng the colors or making slight changes in shape. Natalie ls very excited about the visual symbols she can create by malOng subtle changes withln the same

general framework. After being around Natalie, Becca now talks about her own art ln a newway. She talks about the symbols she ls creadng, about her color choices, etc. The process behind her art seems much richer and her pleasure gireater since her associatlon with Natalie. I don't know how marry artists would enJoy thls type of relationshlp. Often, artlsts speak of that special state of mind ttrat they have while they are creattng. It can be dtstractlng to have other people around. I know it is for me when I draw. Natalie seems to enJoy working around other people somefimes, as long as she has time by herself too. Since she asked Becca toJoin herbecause she llkes her, not because she thought she was a great budding artist in need of encourag;ement, her motlvaflons seem clear. There ls no pressure for Becca to lmprove or perform up to a câ&#x201A;Źrtaln standard. They areJust pahtfng together because they enJoy paindng and they enJoy each other. In my oplnlon, what could be better? Becca also took a wonderful sculpture class this spring from another artist who uras teachtng the class because she enJoyed watchlng children create. The teacher talked often (to the pa.rents) about watchlng the children create out of thelr own intelligence. I was Just fascArated by thts idea- When I started looktng at their work I could see what she meant. I always thought that children's art reflected their personaltty ln some ways. But when I looked closer I could see that lt was also a reflection of the way thetr minds worked. Thls gave me a whole new way of looking at Becca and her art.

INVOLVING RELATIVES Florn Kath7 hndg (NY): We do not live very close to farnily, but when rrDr sister Marianne, who thrives on artlstlc expression, comes to visit, I always get out a plece ofpaper large enough to cover the whole kttchen table. My slster and my children slt down and draw wlth markers or crayons. She always draws these weird cartmn-llke characters, and my chlldren pepper her wlth questions: Who's that? Whafs he dolng? Marlanne wlnds up creating a story about these unusual faces. I haven't seen my children initate her carlcatures, but Rundy (6) draws trecredtbly detatled drawings that are full of action. They always tell a story, and when he explatns them to me he irrvari-

ably tncludes sound elfects as well.

Actually, my children often treat drawing as a group acfivit5r. They stt at the table with thetr indtvidual pieces of paper and gfve each other a runnfng oommentary on GROWING WTTHOUT SCHOOLING #64


what is gotng on tn each other's drawlngs. My brother lives itr Callfornta, but he srade a polnt ofbrtngtng trls saxophone the last tlme he vtstted. Jtm dtd not begfn the sax dll he was an adult and dld not have much muslcal tratntng before that. Whlle he was here he had aJam sesslon

wtth the lidds: Jlrn on stax, Arlte (4) on harmonica, Rrndy on recorder, Teman (Z on guitar, Jtm's gtrlfrtend playlng our electronlc keyboard. None of my children knows how to producc a recogyrlzable tune on their chosen tnstmrnent, so tlre result was closer to cacophony tban music, but of @urse thery loved tt.


We have a dear fi:lend who ls also a

fourth grade teacher. Although commttted

to publlc educailon, she has supported our

decision to homeschool, desptte havhg some mlsgMngs about the enffre lssue. Eachweek at her convenlence, she comes to vtslt the children. She glves rny 7 year old a math lesson, looks at arty papers or proJects that we have done, and brings us tntiresttng proJects and papers from her class, forus to share. She ls a nature lover, and has given my children a lorrc of and respect for antmals and growlng thtngs. Because of her inlluence, we have become blrd watchers and bird feeders, observers oflnsect Me, and in general, lovers ofour natunal

envlronment. Her lnvolvement ls mostly tnformal, wtth the excepdon of the math lessons. My ctrlldren adore her, and she retums thls alfectlon, so that learnfng from her ls most pleasant for all ofus. Eachyear I go to her class and do one or two programs for them - sometlmes on a forelgn language or holtday that ts unfamtltar to thern I have done creailve wrtttng programs as well. My ctdldren come, and

ln the teachers' cafeterla" and answer questlons about homeschooltng as well. Our relaflonshfp wtth thls friend ls most benellclal all around. and I feel that she has enrlched our endre homeenJoy school for the day. We eat

schooltng experlence.

THANKS TO GWS READERS Terrt Romrrro oJ Mfssour{ turltes: I have never felt tncltned to wrlte to any publtcaflon before, but after reading 'Ftnding Our Teachers' ln GWS #6O, I felt compelled to wrlte to you. It suddenly occurred to me why I enJoy readlng your magazlne. Everyone wrltes kr and tmpa.rts their wlsdom, and I choose to accept what they *ay or to reject lt. When I accept tt, thry become the teacher and I the student.


GETTING INFORMATION Flom a talk Jotut Holt gave tt Fagetteville, Arkansas


thoroughly enJoyed Merritt Cllfton's

statement that he recognizes hls teachers when what they say rlcochets tn his bratn like a bee-bee shot lnto a barrel. Thls happens to me so many flmeswhen I read through GWS. I Just want to thank all the people who send ln thetr thoughts and quesflons, Through all ofyou I have leamed so muchl


more wldely, freely and cheaply available than ls now the case.

In 1976, ban'

bg Derise Rauch (PA):


F}om l4man BarV @297 Tousn lhte

A fewweeks ago I made a telephone

call (actually, it was probably two or three calls that got routed around the switchboard) to the Massachusetts Insdtute of Technologl. I started off asking for the Department of Engineerlng, and I got routed to a professorwhose name IVe

already forgotten.

TEACHER FRIEND Flom Susan Wetthob


When he got on the phone I sald, 'Professor So-And-So, I've called you up to ask you a quesdon. What ls the tenslle strength ofthe strongest cable thatwe now know how to make?' He said wtth a little austerl$r, 'Why do you want to kno'd'?" I thought thatwas a reasonable quesdon, so

I said, 'Well, I'm wrlting an article about space colonles, and I need thts lnforma-


He seemed a llttle surprtsed by that. There was a pause, and then he said, 'Well, the strongest cable we know how to make has a tensile strength of 3OO,OOO pounds

per square inch.' I satd, -Thank you very much. Goodbye." 'Goodbye.' And that was the end of the conversation. Now, before I called up MIT I thought of some other posslble ways of golng after that information. I consldered the possibillty of going up to the Boston Public Llbrary and flndlng a book about strengf,h of materlals and looklng lt up, but ln the first place since the ltbrary has moved into new quarters its flles and stacks have been in considerable dlsarray, and I wasn't sure I could flnd it, or that arryone else could. In the second place the books might have been out of date. And ire the third place, it Just seemed llke too much trouble. So why not do lt an easier wa5/? Well, another possibility, which is the possibiligr I suppose most people would have thought of, would be to go over someplace and slgn up for a course ln Mechantcal Engineering, Ilgurlng that tf I stayed tn the course long enough, eventually we'd get to talking about cable. I don't find that a

very ellicient or useful or lnterestlng way to get informatlon. I don't happen to be one of the people who think tf you want to find out something, the best way is to go sign up for a course. ...Of course leamtng lnvolves asldng quesfons, but they're my questions. And my potnt ts that ln a senslble soclet5r people would have the feeltng that tt was OK to ask quesflons, and it would make sense to ask your questlon as directly as possible, so that you don't slgn up for a course in engineering tn the hopes of flndIng out somewhere along the line what the tenslle strength of cables might be. You Just ask somebody who you think might

know. And conversely, I'm thinldng about a socie$r in which people would answer questions as that nice professor dtd, but trt which it would be a great deal easier to get some idea of where questions could be

answered. I'm talking about a society, ln

other words, in whlch information, or access to lnformatlon, would be much

Rd, Nundo


NY 1 45

1 7





46'265O) :

Although I attended conventlonal schools, I learned as much or more from my own home study as I ever did ln any academlc lnsfituflon. For example, I was trterested in electrlclt5l, and then radio. At 12 t mastered Morse code by my own readlng and study, and astounded telegraph operators by reading Western Union messages and sending clearly on my own key and sounder. Then I read erreqrthlng on radlo. There was nothing tn school on this; it was too new. Because of thls home study I recetved my first grade amateur radio llcense and then landed one of my llrst Jobs wtth Radlo News and soon had slx stenographers and secretartes taking my dlctation and answerlng radio queries. I was an avld scout ln the early days of scoutlng. When I later taught btologr in htgh school I received extravagant commendation for my teaching of flowers, trees, etc. - again somethlng I dtd not learn



I also bought tools and taught myself to use them, and then later in life built

(Home school f amily operated buslness)


Fd We will be glad to send you a complete software list for your specif ic computer. E veS please send me your complete software list.

Children ages/ Grade level/Specif y Computer

Send lo.'The Teaching Computer 67 Barbara Drive Centereach, NY 11720

?s Home Unlverstty of Books and Expertmenting. Now retired, I have a fantasdc library reflecting the interests I have developed in my own urrlverslt5r. I am sflll learning and teaching, and am glad to help out any homeschoolers ln almost any subject - especially scouting, nature study, camping, woodcraft, boating, first atd and

biologr, photography, and prlntlng.

ADDITIONS TO DIRECTORY Herc are the addltions and changes to the Directory that wc have recelved since the last issue. GWS #6O has the cornplete 1988 Directory, and GWS #63 has a summa4r of the additions and changes bctwccn then and now. Our Directory is not a liist of all subscribcrs, but only of thosc uta ask to be liste{ so that other GWS readers, or other intercsted people, may get In touch with them. Ifyou would like to be included, pleasc send the entrJr form or a 3x5 card (one family per card), We prlnt birthtJears of children, not ages. If we made a mistake when corwerffng your child's age to birthyear, please let us krow. Please tell us ifyou would rather have your phone number and town listed instead ofyour

mailing addrcss. If a Directory listing is followed by an (H), the family is willing to host GWS travelers who make advance arrangements in u/riting. If a name in a GWS story is followed by an abbreviation in parentheses, that person ls ln the Directory (check here and in #60 & #63). We are happy to forward mail to those who.se addresses are not In the Directory. Mark the outside of the envelope with mme/descrlpdon, lsue, md page number. If you don't mark thc outside, wc open the envelopc, sce that you want somethiqg forwarded. and then havc to readdress the letter and use our own postagc to mail it. When you send us an address chmgc for a subscription, please rernlnd us ifyou are in the Directory, so we can changc it here , too.

lN( === Janc & Tim PEARIA (Anthony/81, Vemon/84, Carlin/87) 2O55 Campbell Pl, Anchorage 99507 (Hl === F gor & Carl ZDANOVEC Kimberly/82, Marni/85) 6855 Country Rd, Salcha 99714 AR ==- f6a &Julie O'DAY (Meg!ann/79, Katie/81, Bridget/84, TlrnothylAT) RR I Box 277, Shirley 72153 (change)

CA, North (zlpt g/ilP0 & up)


Michacl & Linda BUTLER llan/77,Pattl/79, Olivia/81 , Joel/83, James/87) PO Box 439, Mt Aukkum 95656 === Sam &Jackie DICKER (Michael/84, Jessica/87) 24245 Mountain Chulie Rd. Los Gatos g5i03l0 === GRANTDEROOS Famlly. 8467 Dcervale Rd, Dublin 9456a === Jim & Yolanda O'BRIEN (Jim/78, Jason/ 84) 650 Chapmm ll, Petaluma 94952

CA, SOUTTI (zlpr to 940qr) ==Brym & Liza APPER (Mary/8l, Meghan/84) 4o22 N Cheryl Av, Fresno 937O5 (H) === Bob & Mary Ann PAUL (David/79, Krrsdrra/82) 4516 Cathcr Av. San Diego 92122 CT === Allan & Irls CHURCH (Allan/66, Nat/72, Josiah/77, Jullarrc / SS,Victoria/8Z l4 Tn:mbull St, Meriden O&l5O === Carlton & Susan HOLCOMB (Arber/78, Zacharyl8l) RR I, Winsted 0609A === Joanne MArcARflE, CONNECTICUT HOMESCHOOLERS ORGANI. ZATION, 98 Bahe Rd, Deep Rivcr O6417 (change) === Luz SHOSIE & Ned VARE (Cassidy l79l 628 Winthrop Av, New Flaven 065l I (I{t

DE === Edward & Julte ALLEYNE (Themba/83. Tscrlng/85) 5O2 Taylor St,

Wilmington l98ol FL === Tom & Maurecn ELLISON (Adam/ 83, Jessica/86) Rt 5 Box 316A, Dunnellon 32&3O

(H) HI === Linda lNOtiYE & Brad LAU (Katy/ a4, Emily/87) 33i12 Pa-hoa Av, Honolulu 96816 (change) === Roland & Elolse ZEITLER (Summer/81, Melody/85, Rose/88) 553-A Mikiol Pl, Klhei 96753

IL === Eza & Ilana GOLDMAN l{mn/75, Gideon/a4, Abi gatl / 871 I 72O Shagbark Ct, Napervillc 6O565 IN === Valeric & Ab BROWN (Ben/75, Angela / 7A, Nicholas/82, Cassandra/86) 237O3 River Manor Blvd, Elkhart 4651 6 === Kate & Jtm SMITH (Ulli/72,Molly/74,Magglc/8s) Rt 2 Box 22 I , Shelbyville 461 76 (I4 ME === E.M. McIAUCHIAN & Craig NEISON (Nicole/83, Joshua/861 RFD I Box 469, Anson O49l I (I4 === Dwakr & Carolyn SIMPSON (Michal/aO. Jatme/83, Jmtt/8s) RR I Box 663, Bridgton O4OO9 (cha4ge) === TALK ABOUT LEAITNING (newsletter), 25 Belmeade Rd, Portlmd O4lOl

Irn === Kerry FLETCFIER-GARBISCH & L€if GARBISCH (Amaran/8fl PO Box 66, Tlappc 21673 (chmge) -== Carol & Mlchael SMITH (Aaron/8o, Rachael/aa) IOOO5 Old Annapolis Rd, Ellicott City 21043 Mll === Bernadettc & Row BRO\I/N (Danlal/


&ra/a2, Corinna/84) 356 South

BROSNAN [Arlr:c./ 77, Gaea/791 137 Thc Cresccnt, Babylon ll7V2 (El =: Lteda GOODMAN, FO Box 1274, Chautauqua 14722 === P.ALT. & Brldg HUNT (S€ltna/8I , Marun/8s) PO Box 28, Shelter Island Hgts 11965-OO2A === Ted & Martha IA[JX (Jlm/73,lvlandy/71 tAfiE

Shore Dr, lthaca 1485O (IIl === cordy & Maure en LEWIS (Scan/8f . Eric/84, Noel/87) 4179 Sluga Dr, I\hve Wtndsor 12550 (chaqge) === John & MarJorie PAGE (Jerurlfer/84) 10445 Erte Rd, Farnharn 1406l

OII === flick & frebblc WESTHEIMER (Gabrtel/8O, Nathan/&3. Flarurah/861 1395 I^ake Alhrn, Batavia 45fO3 GI) OK === Mark & Ilnda A,SFITON flbth.ytrl 74,EIlllary/78, Courtney/8l) 9O7 Cheryl Cir, Lawton 735O5 OR === Corrad & Reglrra MUELLER lAnanda/ 77, ceorg/8O, Hans/82, Kirsttn/84, Manfred,/8z f f2o-lsth St NE, Salcm 97301 =: Stan & Marsha FONGRATZ (Arurc/8f , Josph/ 84) 247OO S Metzler Pk Rd. Estacada 97A23 ===

l,aura PRITCFIARD lDarri,el / 7 V PORTIAND AREA TRI-COUNTT HOMESCHOOLERS, 8242 Slcepy Hollow Rd, Woodburn 97O7f (change)

PA === Rob€rt & Suzanne CHIASSON (Alerandrla/ai|, Nlcholas/84, Edward /A7l 139 Ronald Rd, Aston l9Ol4 === Charlotte FREED (Bart/7A, Natall/7g) RD 2 Box 199A, Emmaus 18O49:= Thomas & Paula I{EIMBACH lJeffrq / 7a, Elrz^/8:|, James/86) 457 WWilkeBarr€ St. Easton 18042


Belchertown OIOOT === Chrtstopher SITIACOIA & Nancy LEVAY (Alena/83, Jonas/8/ PO Box 287, ManchaugOl526 === Daphne SLOCOMBE & Nyrn COOKE (Thalla/87) 2 Stratham Rd, Lexington 02173 lrtr === Jlll & Jlm BALL (Brennan/80, Andrea/8 1. Nathaniel/85. Steffan/87) lOSIl Jcwcll, Mylan 48160 === Mike & Cheryl BOCCTA (Rachel/79. Peter/8o, Andrew/87) 9O5 k)dngton, Royal Oak 48O73 === Kathy & Jotur DONAHUE (Robtn/74, Erlc / a2,I(afle / a3l LEARNING TREE RESOURCE CTR. Box 286 Boundary Rd Rt I, Houghton 49931 (change) === p6n & Sara GIESMANN. 1855 Baldwln Ct. Trenton 48183 === Kelth &TraceyHONEYCOMBB (Jesslca/8l, Nathan/84) 276 Broadacre, Clawson 4aO77 === Ellen & Paul XOEHLER (Selh/80. Bree/82, Samuel/87) 218 S Galnsborough, Royal Oak 48O67 =-= Gibbic & Collccn O'GIDBLYN (Meghan/82, Michael/84, lanla7) 18764 Dolores, Lathrup Village 48076 MO === August & Donna GRIFFITH (Sara/ 75, Marla/7al 245 Chambers Rd Apt D, St Louirs 63137 === Ralph & RosemarJr RISLEY (Brie/86,


Itf === Cathl & Dana BELCHER (Chrtstopher/86) PEMNGTON FRIENDS HOUSE, 215 E 1sth St, Neu' York I0OOB === Claudla & I^arry

168O2 Hardee, Belton 64012

MT === Susan & Bob RIITNER (Joshua/76, Shana/79, Mtcah/81, Dena/83, Rebeccah/a6) 4520 Toyon Dr, Bllllngs 591O6 (chaqge|

RJ === Julie & John ANDREWS (Paul/8i}, Ellzab€th/86) 542 Plalnffeld Pk, Greenc O2827


IX === Charles & Margaret BITUNT lAaron/72,|<atIvynl74, Stephen/76) Rt I Box 212-R, Dale 786f6 GD =: Janet & carrt McCULLY (Sharon/85) Rt 2 Box 792, Terrell 75160 === Ra3mond & Gall WINTER (Samarah/ 80, Adalr/84, Taggart/8s) 1536 Coffec St. Pampa 79065 UI'=== Jerry D'ASTO & Dorls NESSE (lanl 84, Cclta/86) l58O N Huy 69, Brtgham City 84302 (r4

VI'=== NancyALDRICH & Mcl BU$S (Jason/77, Sarah/8o, Ehsha/84) CHILDHOOD THE WALI,ORF PERSPECTIVE, Rt 2 Box 2675, Westford O54Sr4 === Mark & Collecn IARIVIERE (Chrlstopher/a2. Jessica/85) PO Box 55, Lyndon Ctr O585O := Sylvla & Ed SMITH (Llndscy/8a, Nathanlcl/861 RFD I, Marshffeld o5658 IYA === Jo€ & Patu BLYSTONE (S€th/8O, Sean/8B, Dylarr/8n 28823 NW Maln St, Rtdgeffeld 98642



MetFn & Mark PERRINE (Mika/78,

Tcal/8f, Curi/84) Rt I Box 73A, Mason 54856 (I4 Valgde g Daryl vAN OORT (Jessica/76,


IIV === Robert & T.TTJENSEN (Cody/8f. Calcb/83) 2O8 Florence Ct, Wnnemucca 89445

Mardn/79, Nicholas/85) W 12691 l{uryAS. Brandon 53919 (chaqge)

NJ === Peny & Gretchen DENNISTON (Iaurel /76, Slry/80, Autumn / 841 122 Grwe Park. Ft Dix 08640 === Jack & Barbara MILLER (Matthew/82, Kelly/86) Box 3, WoodblneOS2TO

CANADA: OIitT === Glen & Chris DICKSON (tlelen/ 86, Brian/88) Box 1914, MarathonPOT2EO === Rob€rt & Monica REID (Eltzabcth/82, Patrtck/84, br:'/a7l PO Bor( 1327, Windsor MrA 6R3 === Jflr


27 & kn ROACH (Nathanlcl/79, Bromvcn/82, Kendra/85) 75 Stuert Av. Wtlloudalc MllN lB2



Flawthomc. Vlc. 3122, Mclbournc (drangc) =: John & Heather BARTON (llsa/79, Campbcll/83) 3f Sharp St, l{cwtonrn, GccloDg, Vlctorla 3220 (IIl =: Vcr,orrtca CROS4IIE& 26 sunhll Rd, Lowcr Tcmplcstourc, Vlctdla 3lO7 =- Joy GODIilN, 37 Wcotworth Av, Cantcrbuqr, Vlctorla 9126 === Suc SIMPSTON (Clatc/84) lO Hillsldc Pdc, Glcn lrrs. 3146, Mclbournc AUSTRAIIA (H)

ADDITIONS TO RESOURCES Cc?ttffcd Tcachcrs Wlltng to Hclp Homcschoolcrs: I(ara BERTHOLF, 3780 CR 129, Hcsperus CO E1326 (ccrdffcd fn CO & NM := Robcrt E. MASON, 5 Samsor Pl, Grarn'lllc OH 4{1O23; 614-587 -4114 (K-r2l

PEN-PALS Chlldrcl natlag F!-Flr

should *rltc

to thosc hstcd. To bc tsted. scrrd namc. age. addrcss, and l-3 words ort lntcr€sts. BOYD. l32l 4 St, Moltnc IL 61265: Branduln (9) crafts. gymnasttcs, cats; Autora (6) babfcs, Smnasdcs, arL Madah (Sf books, art, dolls Joy CRANDAL (161 3O8 Foplar flr. -= frsby MD 20657; readlng, muslc, skadng:= SOMN, lol Arrowhcad Ct, Vacavlllc CA 95688: Suc (lO) $'rfurg. horsce, readlr4g ethy (Z ballct, bablcs, makc-bcltcvc: Mck (14) btcyctng, chess, rntlttar5r hlstory:= Monlca GREEN (ll) PO Box 562, Chrlstmas Vallc5r OR 976411 rock muslc, anlrnals, art -= WRIGHT, Susscx Cor. NB EOE IRO CAIIADA Eltza (q horscs, drarna. rcadlrqg; Franccg (l f) skaung, horscs, drama -: OpaI GAINES (lO) 7r% Mockt4ltrd I^rr, Dallas Tr( 752141 rcpfllce, skadng, letters =: KAPI.AI'I, 312 Bcll Dr, Car5r IL 60O13: Brran (f O bulldqg, go-cafrs, btkcs: Kevln (7 socc.cr. skatcboardlng, Gl Joc === MURRAY, Box 8, Summcr Lake OR 9764O: Robtn (9) rcadlrrg, horscs. ra$lts; ryan (12) Atarl. blh$g, baskctball := Errol BEILBY (6) StarRt Box lO, ShrrhcAR72576; bulldlng, mcchanlcs. tractors:= HIIDREIH, 2lO Maplc flr, Bcavcr PA l5(D9: Jcsslca (81 swtmmlng, skadng, horscs; Danlcl (5) dlnosaurs, vlolln, penpals =: Makt KGJIMA (f 0 f 23 Azuma, tifishloshl, Alchl-kcn. Japan 445; baskctball, corrcspondtng:= E[zabcth ARIiIOLD (l3l 2l Marfon St. Nyack IilY l(D6O: muslc, art, safllng=: Kad€ WlIl,lAMS (71 3134 Strolllng Htlls Rd, Camcron Pk CA 95682; Barbics, tnlns, Fts := LEED, Box I l4-4, Frtars tlfllWV 249i19: Elam (9) colns, lcgoo, plancq Emma (8) horscs, dancc, books =: Cathy SPURGIN (6) PO Box 1938 Durant OK 747O2lbooks. art. cats := WELCH. Rt I Box 37A, Mason Wl 54856: \[4llow (12) falcorrcry, k€ratq Bcnjamln @ bascbatl, playmobtl, lcgos =- CONBOY, 243 W Ptnc. Ccdar Spgs Ml 49tll9: Davld (12) go-carts, B-guns. nature; Erlca (lol ballct, plano. naturc; Jocl (g naturc, socccr. bascball cards =: McganWARE (O 60fo RlvcrtoD Av, N Hollywood CA 91606; crafts, lcc skaflng, rabblts =: Jcrrny SIABILE-KNOWIES (8) Star Rt, BanlgorME 95914; candlemaldng, baldng, btkcrldlng:= f,)cslr€c MIIIS (lO) PC) Box 1388, Mcrltn OR97532; anlmals, skaflng, drawtng=: Mcll-.a STAFT'ORD (9) RD l. Elllotsbuqg PA l7@4: sdckcrs, Barbles, SfmnasOcs =- COTIT)N, I l5O Old Dlrdc ltury, Tttusvillc ftL32796: Analyssa (l fl books, dolls. muslc; Gabrlet ( f O) dctccttvcs. transformcrs. r€adlng:



curlostty, dnwtDg, oglortng;; I(age

muslc, dolls,






36-ll2O SumrnttAv, Vlctorta BC

CAf.IADA ccllo, art, readtng:= Lo'ra RISLEY (lO) f6802 Hardec, Bcltorr MO 64012; camplng, s\ 'lmmlqg, plano := Bryan THOGER-




27526 SE Carl St. Grcsham OR 97OaOi

tralns, animals. flowers === Lluvla CROCXETT


PO Box 67, Walscnburg CO 81089; photo-

gaphy, horscs, dancc:= WILKERSiON. 3a26 S

Mtxand match gradc lcrrels. Catalog $f .OO. H.S. Glcnn Dlstrlbutor:s, 66O5 Bass Hwy, St Cloud FL


CHII.I)'3 GARDEI| OOHllIrNITr, a chtld-

Madlson Av, Tillsa OK 741O5: Brad (a) wlldllfc, readlng. drawln€g Bccky (9) scwtng, rcadlqg. cooklng =-= Dtllon WRIGHT - FII26ERALD (7) 2l I I Eastern Av, Balttmorc MD 21231: wrldng, drawlng, lcc skatlng ==- Reghra I{EYES (lO) Box l0l Hix Rt. Htnton WV 25951: horscs, cats. rcading === POWERS, Rt I Box l2l-A-B, Madlson YA 22727: Patty (8) Srmnastlcs, Brownles, craftsi lklstln (5) ballct, legos, pcts === RIEMAN,3548i1 Gr. So. Ovcrland, Jultan CA 92O36: Ehzabcth (l3l readfng, hlstory, atrplanesl Armlc (lO) cooldng, ltzards, penpals

ccntercd communlty now formlng: to llve together to hclp cach othcr provlde for our chtldrcn decply nurturlng, empowertng and Joyous drildhoods, to provldc for each otler c.omaraderic, lnsplraflon, support. h€altng, and dccp, close ftendshlps, and to provide for ourworld a rnodel of horr chlldren mght bc - of how we all mlsht b€ fn a tmly lovlngworld. Other detatls, tncludiqg locadon, to bc dccldcd togcther. For morc lnformaflon: Sugarmans. 2228 South El Camlno ReaI, #14, San Matco CA 944O3; 415-34l-2A52.


FLORIDADISNEY CONDO 2 bdrm. 2 bath. washer/drycr, phonc, mlcrounvc ovcrr: hot tub.

Pleasc - (l) Put separatc ltems of buslrrcss on scparatc shects ofpaper. (2) hrtyournarnc and addrcss at thc top ofcach lcttcr. (3) Ifyou ask qucstlons. cnclosc a self-addrcss€d stampcd cnvclopc. (4) Tcll us lflfs OK to publlsh your letter, and whcthcr to usc your namc wtth thc story. Wc cdlt lettcrs for spacc and clarlty.

CLASSIFIED ADS Rates: 7Oolword.

$l/word boldfrcc. $5

mlnlmum. Plcasc tcll thesc folks vou saw the ad trGWS. LEARMNC AT HOME Teachtng Guldcs madc to match your liamtly, 5 subJccts, pre K - 6th. Practlcc standardlzcd tcsUng lst-l2th. Sclence exp€rlm€nt card boxes, math mantpulatlv€s, muslc, foretgn languagc, early leamlng, maps. rrlence and art supplles, workbooks K8th. IEARNING AT HOME Box 27O-G64. Honaunau Hl 96726. Homc school your children wlth outstandtng eclectlc currlculum, the classlcs, rcadlngl comprchenslon drllls, emphaUc phonics. Controlled papcrwork. Samplc work, tcsts matled once per quarter. COVENANT HOME CURRICULUM, 3675 N Calhoun. Brookffcld W| 53OO5.

BOOKS. NATIJRAL PRODUCTE, below rctalll WOMENFOLK AT{D FAIRT TALES. WILLI.AM'S DOLL, and other thought-provoktng books, Journals, thumb planos, more. Frec Catalog: CALICO COTIAGE, PO Box 6OG, Montvalc VA 24122. Alpha Omcga Currlculum. Buy


subJect or all.

pool, terrrts. golf. Spcctal ratcs. 314-487-Of 84.

t26+ Fun Acedcnrlc Actlvltler for preschoolcrs. Scnd tiS cash/MO only + SASE. J. Hale, 6O6C Kaulant Way, Kailua HI 96734.

Threc pagc step-b step guldc to SPALDING'S WRITING ROADTO READING (3rd cdluon). Wtll easc lmplcmcntatlon for thc homeschoohng parcnt. $3. Rto Grande School, 771 5 Euclid NE, Albuquerque NM 87f 10. Yukt Nomura, 44Haz*hara, Sasamc-cho, AnJoshl, Aicht-kcn 446Japan, would ltke to o<change Japancsc atudy and chores for English study and board. She's 18 and wlshcs to visit Amerlca for l-2 years. Pleasc wrltet - writc for our free 16 Homc Educadon page catalog ofhomcschoollng books and publlcadons. Box 1O83, Tonasket WA 98855.

Unlquc Glft - Glvc your child a pcrsonallzed book !nwhlch hc and hls hcnds, or shc and her frlcnds, arc the charactcrs of thc story and your nclghborhood ts thc sctdng for a man'elous advcntr-rre. Each of thcsc 32-page hardback books ls fflled wlth funny colorful lllustratlons and a wonderfi:l story that your drlld will lorrc to read orrcr and over qgalrt becaus€ tt ls about him. The storlcs arc b€st for ages l-9. Thcsc havc bcen my ldd's all-dme favortte bookst For morc lnformadon about thls spcclal glft writc to PAUIA KING, 9143 Johnson Drlve, La Mesa CA 92041. DAYSIAR ls a nondenomcnadonal. baslcsccntcrcd, pcrsorralizcd mrrespondence school thc least cryrenslvc and most effecUvc. Wrlte Daystar. 186O3 Htghway l, Sulte 106, Fort Bragg cA 95437.

--; ENTRY FORM FOR DIRT TORY If you would ltke to be tn the Dlrectory and have not yet told us, se,nd rn thls form, or use a postcard or 3x5 card (only one famtly per cad). Adults (tlrst and last rramcs): Organlzatlon (only tf addrese tg sarne as farnlly)

Children (Narnce/Brtft)'ears) F'ull Addrest: Were you tn the l9E8 Dlrectory (GWS #60)? Yes

If thls ls an addreoe change, what u/as Pr€vlous


-state? -

Are yotr wt[tng to hoet trarcltrg GWS readers who make- adnance atragerrcnts No ln vrtdng? Yea







legal situadon ln your statc. l) Look up thc lawyourself, tn a publc library or law library (courthousc, law school. etc.) Laws are lndexcd; try'school attcndancc' or 'educaEon, compulsory.' l8 states have renlsed their home educafion larrs slnce 1982 so dreck the rccsnt statutc changcs. Wc harrc prlntcd or summarlzcd thesc new lanE ln our back lssues. 2) Ask thc state deparhncnt of educaflon for

any laws or rcgulaflorrs pcrtalning to homcsdrooling and/or starflngla prtvatc school. tn some states (parflcularly CA, lL IN, I(Y') there are fcw reguladons conccrnlng prlvatc schools and youcan calt -conccmed your homc a school. so If you arc about r,evealirg your nameand addr,ess to the statc, do thrs ttrouglr frtend. 3l contact statc or local homeschooling groups. Thls list was last prlnt.a rt cws Ld is updated and sord ;.+"*t"rv of our 'Homeschoollng Resourcc Llst.' (#354) Some groups havc pr€pard handbooks or giuideltnes on legal mattcr:s. Ofterr, these groups can tell you more about thc legal climate ln a state than anyone elsc can - whether nen' leglslaflon ls pendlng, for e:<ample, and how the prescnt law is bcing errforced. 4) Contact other famillcs llsted ln our Dtrectory. Thls ts parttcularly useful lf you ltvc ln a state that leavcs homeschooling regulaflons up to t:divldual school dtstrtcts. WhLy"u contaci these families, help them by havlngione some rcsearch on your orrrn ffrst. 5) In general, tt tre not wls€ to start by askingyou-r local schoor drstrrct; uw don't know the law etthcr. Bcttcr to gathcr thc facts flrst on your own'

ffiil*51ff;:f&TH:ffiHfiTfi qualiff for thi fr"e borru" i"'re.

Renewal ratcs are the samc as for ncw subscriptions: $2O for 6 lssucs, g36 for 12 tssuca. $48 for 18 lssues.



RENEWALS At the bottom of this page ts,a form you


Subscriptlons start with the ncxt lssuc published. Our currcnt ratcs arc $2O for 6 lssucs, $36 for 12 lssuca, $48 for 18 tssues. GWS ls prrblished wery other month. A slngfc lssuc costs $3.5O.

Forclgn P.lrmcnt. must be etther moncy

o-rdere in US funds or checks drawn on US


Wc can't afford to acccpt pelsonal chccks on

11o-f: !-I 9ll{othcrwtse' monlns IT ror sunacc manl'' ,h"


take vour chtldren out of sihool. i,fanv of 6'c arttcies are as useful and tmportant a!whcn thcy were prtnted. and wc do not ilan to rcpcat thc

lnformatlon tn them. All back lssues


kqrt ln







Thc numbcr that ls undcrlrned ln the o<ample tells the numbcr of the ffnal lssuc for subscrrpdon. rhe Smrths' sub o<prres with


Our rates for back lssucs: any combkratlon

beJote9/l /aa' cost $l pcr issuc. plus $2 pcr order. For exarnplc, GWS f I -6.3 uould cost $65. After 9/ l cos-t ts $-2,Pcr lssuc Plus $2 Fr '-the order. and $lOO for a full sct. Thesc ratcs arc for subscrlbers only; non-subscrtbcrs pay t|3.5o pcr Bsue' Inderer to GWS: Specl$ ttem numbcr'

," -.i_"fjl'ii?;:r",ffJ;r-'--r?rr'-ff"1tljs t.ra.* ,o f5l_6o, $2: #gal Set of4 Indcxcs, g5 Add packlng and dellvery chargc from center of thls lssue. Blndcrr are avallable wlth rods that hold GWSwlthout obscurlng any text' Gold lcttcrs on

Lter issues), $g.5o: #326 Set of 4 btnders and 7g rods (holds cWS #r-78). $35. Add packlng and delivcry chargc from center of thls lssuc. Addrcc Chenger: lf you'rc mo\'lng, lct us know your new address as soon as posslble. Please enclose a reccnt labcl (or copy of onc). lssues mlsscd becausc ofa changc tn addrcss may be rcplaced for $2 each' Thc post olfice

rssue *',fi:nJ:TJ*t:ff:tr$::H?Ht|i"SUBSCRIPTTON AT{D RENEWAL FORM


placc thc labcl Usc thls form to subscrtbc or rcncw to GROWING WTIFIOUT SCHOOUNG. For rcncwds, chcck or moncy ordcr ln with_your and scnd Cltp thc lnfo. prtnt lf not. posslblc. tf bclorr,, tssuc a rcccnt from may now subscrlbc or rtnew by phonc wlth Mastcrcard or Visal call 61 7-437' l58il' ot.

iis ir-a".



I Ycar 2yrs. 6lss. l2ls.




2X s36

$( t48 .lX S60 $( t70 O( $78


tn 090

,ll2 tl30 il,r4


iso tl26 0156

tl80 0216

2(. 8)L ctc: $ l 2 Pcr PGGon PGrYcar. Pleasc scnd ln thc namcs and addresscs of mcmbcrs of your group sub, so that wc can keqr tn toudr wtth thcm. Thanks.

CWg Edttor - Susannah Shclfcr Itrtanaglng Fdltor - Patrlck Falcr|lga

Contrlbudng Edltor - Donna Rldroux Edltorlal Asslstant - Mary Maher Edttorfal Consultant - Nancy lVallace

of back lssucs, malled at onc tlmc to onc addrcss,

usetorenewyoursubscrlpdon.Pleaschelpusby #996Blnderwlth 24rds(holdsGWS#lrcncwing carl5r' (holds l8 you y-oursubscriPdon z4), $ I ol #s28 Bhrder wtth I 8 rods How can tell whetr expires? Look at this sqlaple

Gloup Subrcrlptlonr: dl coplcs ar€ mallcd to ooc addrcss. Pleasc pa'y wlth onc chccL Hcrc are thc currcnt group ratcs (lX means you gct one copy of each lssue, 2X mcans you 8€t 2 coplca of cadr tssuc, 3xmcans 3 copies,


" ff,X1*',iX"Jl5;ffllfrty"lffi;:"Hi allop 2-3


wl0rout dmrgc.

Book & Subocrlptlon Manager - Day Far,enga Book Shlpper/Rccclvcr - Patrlck Gould

Holt Assoctatcs Board of Dtrcctors: Patrlck Farcnga (Corporatc Pnestdcnt), Mary Mahcr, Tom Maher, f,lonna Rldroux, Susarurah

Shcffcr Advlsors to thc Board: Stevc Rupprccht, Mary Van floren, Nancy Wallacc

aqi f.3lr ir



? 3lF

o 311 i9 r+l F fiI8

'dil ;F


Thanks. Ncw subscdPtlon _


Glft subscrlpuon to bc s€nt to namc shown'

Account Numbcr (for rcnewals): Namc:

Explration Codc (for rcncwals): Addrcss (Changc? Ycs/no)

tD'U (n

s88 -t*lO

Ctty, State, Zlp:



l2 issucs, $36




lssues. $


l8 lssucs, $48 (scc chartl

It ls OK to scll my name and addrcss to othcr organlzatlons'


-zao tr, t{ <'g o (r.) Fr (t (n(,(n GROWING \ryTTHOUT SCHOOLING #64

Profile for Patrick Farenga

Growing Without Schooling 64  

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

Growing Without Schooling 64  

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