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Growing Without Schooling 76 If a child crles every time her parents tr5r to leave her in someone else's care, does that mean she ls too dependent on her parents? Should they tnsist or gently urge her to become more tndependent of them novr, so that when the time comes for greater independence she


be able to handle tt? Will people criticlze them for being over-protective if they don't do thls? If, on the other hand, a child - maybe the same child a few years later - wants to walk to the store alone, or travel to visit a pen-pal, or take aJob, should the parents worry that this child ls movlng too qulckly out of the protected world of childhood? Should they suggest that she walt until she's older to take these steps? Will people criUclze them for being negligent, or for pushi:rg thetr child too hard, tf they don't do these things? The strange thing ts that the same parents may flnd themselves asking both these sets of questions. When children are young, parents are pressured to wean them, to help them separate, to resist being over-protective. When those same children are onlyJust a fewyears older, parents are urged to hold back, to keep their children from venturing into dangerous territory or growing up too fast. What message do children get from all of this? It reminds me of the army's "hurry up and wait': be tndependent, we say to children, but not so lndependent that you begin wanttng to do thtngs we don't thlnk Gussie Abrahamse is among those who wrlte about How Children Becorne t: thls lssue's Focus, pages 19-24

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: News & Reports p.3-4 Tiuanry, Report on Standardized Tests, New York Clty Teacher of the Year Criflcizes Schools

Arranglng Apprentlceshlps p. s From School to Ilomeschoollng p.6-T Otder ieaders p. 8-9 Challenges & Concerns p. lo-12 Homeschooling With Little Money, TWoCareer Family, Doing Without Curriculum, Effects of Testing

Watchtng Chlldren Learn p. l2-r5 In Defense of Vtdeo Games, Joining Wrlters'Guild, Working ln a Bookstore, Silimming, Singlng ln Chorus, Exploring Book Revlews p. 16-18 FOCUS: How Chlldren Become

Independent p. 19-24 Guldance or Manlpulatlon? The Dlscusslon Contlnues p. 24-29

Addltlons to Dlrectory

p. 30-31

children should do. Homeschoolers can be caught in this double bind ln a particularly acute way: on the one hand, it seems as lf homeschoolers are encouraging dependence by not maldng their children spend large chunks of tlme away from home; on the other hand, homeschooled children are often involved ln serious work or adtrlt acttvities, and are used to making many important declsions for themselves. Knowing that homeschoolers think about how to help children move toward independence without pushtng them on the one hand or holding them back on the other, we asked both chlldren and adults to wdte about that question for this issue's Focus. Those who responded generally agreed that we should neither push the cliregl child nor hold back the one who is ready to move forward. As Cathy Rezac wrote, 'I'd say kids become independent when the parents don't try to stop them OR make them independent.' In other words, let the child who needs to cling, cling, and let the child who ls ready to move forward, move forward.

Children will tell us when they need to remain lnside the protected garden of childhood and when and ln what ways they are ready to venture out of lt. Theywill be able to tell us this ifwe don't lock them lnslde on the one hand or push them out on the other. In ExapeJrom Childhcr;d' John Holt talked about wanting to put a gate on the wall of the garden of childhood, and he was most emphatic about sayi4g that it should be a swinging gate, not one that would close behind children as soon as they walked through tt. Independence, in other words, does not come about ln one glant step, but ln a serles of forays out and retreats back in. Anita Giesy argued eloquently for the need for a swinginggate when she wrote, backln GWS #69, "Ifyou knowyou can't go back, tt's harder to go forward.'Would children step out of the garden if they knew that once they did there would be no turning back? But if they can step out now and then to look around, see what's there, tr5r vartous paths, and then come back when theyVe had enough for the tlme belng, we don't have to worry about pushtng or about holdtng back. With a swtnglng gate, and with all the lnteresting thlngs to do on the other slde of lt, lndependence will take care of itself. - Susannah Shelfer

The National Organization Question We are addtng three new organtzatlons

to our llst of homeschoollng groups that consider themselves natlonal ln scope: the Natlonal Center for Home Educatlon (PO

Euergone r:scs thc cornputcr ln our olhccl

Office News & Announcements [SS:l We are sorry to say goodbye to Kathy Munro, who has very capably run our shipplng deparhnent for over a year. Kathy's hmtly ts movlng out of our area. We welcome Janis Van Heukelon and her 2 l/2-year-old, daughter Emlly to thatJob. Mandy Maher, who has been comlng

lnto the olllcc wtth her mother Mary for the past twoyears, hasJust gotten her working papers and can now do for pay what she has been dolngvery competently as avolunteer up to now: filling out the ollice's weekly deposit sltps and helping Day Farenga with varlous clerical tasks. Mandy has also offered to take over the recelving part of the shtpping/receiving Job, so she will spend about an hour a day on that as well. Long-time homeschooler Theo Giesy, from Virg;lnla, spent a week helping ln our oflice in midJuly, and brought with her


l/2-year-old Ellen.

Slnce our last lssue went to press, Pat Farenga spoke at the Clonlara Home Based Education Program conference in Toledo

and the Wastrlngton Homeschool Associatlon conference in Tacoma, and I spoke at the Malne Homeschool Association conference ln Irwiston, Malne. We thank all of youwho orgarize and attend theseconferences for maliiing them so successful for us. Many ofyou have sent ln suggestions

for our fall Book and Muslc Store catalog. We appreciate these suggestions very much,

and want you to know that we appreciate them even lf we can't always follow up on every one of them ln dme for the next catalog. It can take a long tlme to get review copies ofbooks frompublishers, and longer still to read and evaluate them, so sometimes \rle have to save a book for next year. We'll try to mendon tn GWS those books that readers have stron$y recommended, even if we aren't able to add them to our catalog this time around.

Box 125, Hlghway 9 at Rt. 781, Paeonlan Springs, VA22l29l, the Nadonal Home Education Flesearch Institute (25West Cremona, Seattle, WA 981l9), and the Naflonal Homeschool Associafion (PO Box 58745., Seattle WA, 98 f 38). Readers wanting to find out more about these groups and thelr acdvliles should wrlte to them dllectly, but here are brtefdescrlpdons, based on lnformadon we have received so far. The Natlonal Center for Home Educatlon ls a rec.ently-founded non-prollt mlntstry of the Home School kgal Defense Assocladon ln Paeonlan Sprtngs, Vlr-

ginfa. Through computer lnformaflon servicâ‚Źs la the state legfslatures, the NCHE disseminates leglslative and educational lnformadon, tncludtng the group's own posidon on particular btlls. Note: the NCHE mails only to homeschooling Clroups, not to Individual famtlies. The Natlonal Home Education Research Institute, also founded thls year, ls run by Dr. Brian Ray, of the Hone Sclwl Researcher ln Seattle. Besides pursuing traditional research avenues, such as unlversldes and public and prtvate grants, Dr. Ray proposes that local homeschooltng groups hire hlm to analyze and report on the data that the groups collect under hls supervision. The groups could then present the data to local school boards and state legislatures, givtng them the demographic and educafional lnformation they need to make informed declslons about home-

schooling. The Naflonal Homeschool Associatlon has had trvo maJor organlzational

meeUngs so far, and has been operadng ln

one form or another for over two years. Because it's a grass-roots organlzation founded by a diverse group ofpeople, questions about the group's form and function haven't been fully settled yet, but a recent Ilyer g;ives some lnformatlon about the group's purpose and actlvlties: 'The Natlonal Homeschool Association ls a naUonwide non-proflt organlzatlon whoss primary aims are to advocate tndividual freedom and choicc ln educaflon, to serve families who homeschool, and to lnform the general publlc about home education." The flyer describes a newsletter, an annual confeience, and serreral programs (some of whlch weVe alr,eady mentioned or listed ire our Dlrectory): nationwlde support grouP networking, a homeschool travel dlrec-

tory, an apprentlceship/mentorshtp

About the 1991 Directory As we said tn the last issue, we are dtscardtng all the names ln our l99O Dlrectory and comptltng the l99l Directory from scratch. If you want to be ln the l99l Directory fuhich wtll be published in CWS #78), gou must lftll out a Dtrectory entrgJorm (see page 3l) wtth the complete lnformaflon. You must do thts erven lf you've been ln every Dlrectory slnce GWS #1. The deadline for l99l Dtrectory entries

ls October 15, 1990, so this ts the last remlnder we wlll be able to glrc you.

Tbc only pcoplc who do not to rcnd ro cntr5r for thc l99l


program, and a single Parents network. Some homeschoolers say they feel a

Dlrcctory are those whose names


in the Directory additions in GWS #75, or tn the addtdons ln this lssue, #76. We

assume that the names ln #75 and #76 are current enough to be lncluded tn the l99l Directory, so lf you're ln elther of these tv lssues, you don't need to do anythlng else. But if you don't see your rurme ln either of these lssues, send in a form.

We hope to see lots of forms comlng ln

ln the next couple of months, so that the

l99l Dtrectory can be as complete as posslble.

need for a natlonal group - or rather, a

national group that does somethlng other than what the 26 "naflonal or general" groups on our Flesourc.e Ltst are already dolng. Other homeschoolers say they are opposed to any new natlonal orgarrJza' tions. At Holt Assoclates, we've been skeptical ofthe need for a new natlonal organizatlon, rememberlng John Holt's tnterest tn keeptng homeschoollng decentrallzed, open to all, and local, We remember how John reacted when, years ago, we recelved several letters from homeschoolers who were upsetbecause they d been shutout of local support groups because they weren't 'the rtght type of Chrtsflan.' John was angry, and proposed thatwe ldentlff such excluslve groups tn our llstlngs by prtnting a code letter, such as a capltal "C,'to Indicate that these groups would only help certain homeschoolers. After sitting with that idea for a while, John declded not to do tt alter all. He felt that such distinctions would encourage the factionallzing of homeschoolers, and ln so dolng dirntnish the impact homeschoolers need to have as a cohesive, though dtverse, S3oup when dealtng with state and natlonal authoritles. He also felt that tndtvtdual homeschoolers could llnd the support they needed by uslng our listings and other resources that are avatlable, wlthout having Holt Associates or any other group become a natlonal watchdog suggesting whlch g;roups to Join or to avoid. However, John was also fond of saying wryly, 'In a country run by c.ommlttee, make sure you're on the commlttee.' Because these natlonal grouPs cre forming, many homeschoolers are apparently feeltng that they need to decide which group to loin, or at least to suPPort. While we will keep Holt Assoclates lndependent - we have no plans to formally Join any group, although our stalT members rnay as lndividuals (for lnstance, I have advised and rvritten letters to the NFIA regarding its formadon) -'we feâ‚Źl most comfortable supporttng the Nadonal Homeschool Associa-

tion, for the following reasons:

The National Center for Home Educa-

tlon has made lt clear tl at tts political

agenda lncludes much more than home-

schooling. It acfively lnvolves ttself in politically right-wtng lssues that are not related to homeschooling, and we can't in good conscience suPPort an organizationihat seeks to tdent$ homeschooling with one par$cular polidcal group. We recognize that many local grouPs may IInd the NCHE s leglslattve informatlon useful, and we provide the address here so that those of you who want to take advantage of this lnformadon may do so, and so that those of you who want to know more about the other politlcal lssues ln which the group lnvolves ltself can lind out about them as well. We welcome the National Home Edu-

cafion Flesearch Instltute's efforts to generate more research about homeschooling, and we trust that tt wtll matntaln the research's credibilfty by not becoming beholden to any speclal lnterests of the left or the rtght. Dr. Ray has stated publtcly that he ls aware of thls obligation, and that It is not hisJob to massage data, but stmply to let the data speak. The NHERI's focus is

Growtng Wthout Schoollng #76

on research, not on leglslatlve or organlzauonal acttvtty, so lts scope ls dlllerent from the NCHE's and the NHA's. We bellerre that the Naflonal Homeschml Assoctatlon has the best chance to become a useful tool for homeschoolers, rather than a pardsan polidcal volce. Many ofthe thtngs they do or hope to do are activlties that homeschoolers have asked Holt Associates to do but that we simply cannot do glven our smdl stalf - for example, the malntenancc of the stn$e parent network and the apprenttceshtp/ mentor program. These are speclflc acdvlties that we see a need for and that urc support. The group ls unrktng to flnd a decentnltzed stnrcture - perhaps only malntatnlng a phone answerlng machlne or callforwardlng servlce based tn the D.C. area, to keep the group's bureaucracy from taktng on a Me of lts own, The NtlA has the potenttal to be a

well-tnformed, mlddle ground for the dlssemfuratlon of homeschoollng tnformation to all who tequlre. We hope tt wtll remaln poltdcally non-pa.rtlsan and wtll make the case for all types of homeschooling, referring people to speclfic organlzations that address speciflc needs or lssues. We can also imagtne the NHA making an active effort to provlde legtslators wlth informaflon about homeschoollnt and its effectlveness, or collectlng lnformatlon about whlch strategfes for tmproving homeschoollng regulaflons work and which don't work. We'd like to see it empower local leaders to handle thelr own alfairs wlthout over-rellance on 'outside experts." The NHA ls stlll open to suggesdons, so you can get ln on these declslons - you can get on the 'commlttee.' If you're lnterested, write to the NHA to Join tts Clrcle of Correspondence, whlch ls where most of these lssues are belng dtscussed, or come to the next conference (Sept. 2 I - 23 at the Natlonal 4-H Center tn Chery Chase, MD). Wrlte to these three naUonal groups if you want to know more about thelr philosophy and thelr acdvtfles; don't rely on our interpretatlon of them. Joln whlchever group appeals to you the most. Or don'tJotn any group. Or protest the existence of these groups. Or start your own. Remember that you don't haue to Joln a group to be a leader in the homeschooltng movement. By John Holt's deffnttton, all of you already are leaders. As he satd tn GWS #2: I.eaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along wtth huge crowds followlng them. Leaders are people who go thelr own way wtthout caring, or even looking to see,

whether anyone ts followtng them. "tradershtp qualltles' are not the qualitles that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do wlthout them, They tnclude, at thevery least, courage, endurance,

patience, humor, flodbflty, nesourcâ‚Źfulness, stubbornness, a keen sense of reality, and the abtltty to keep a cool and clear head even when thlngs arâ‚Ź gotng badly. Tlrre leaders, ln short, do not make people lnto followers, but

lnto other



Patrlck Farenga, for Holt A.ssoclates

Growlng Wthout Schooltng #76

News & Reports Alterreative to Tnrancy? Flrnoln

ttre (Santa Fe) New Medcan,

5/ |e/eo:

A l6-year-old Farrntrgton boy was

sentenced Frtday to lO days teJatl for not gotlrg to schml, State Dlstrlct CourtJudge Paul R Onuska sentenccd the untdenUJled youth after ruling the boy was ln contempt of court for violattng the Judge's March 22 order to attend school. ...Deput5r Dlstrlct Attorney Darrel Jlles, who prosecuted the case, sald thls ts the flrst tlme a truancy case ln SanJuan

County has resulted tn aJall term. "It's a way to encoura4le other ldds that truancy ls a problem and that the schools are serlous about tt,'Jlles satd. 'We're helping to enforce thal" Jtles satd about a dozen slmllar cases are pendtag. FarmingSon Schools Superlntendent Jim Miller said the sentence sends a strong message.

'In a number ofcases in the past couple of years the Farmlngton schools have tried to prosecute parents,- Miller sald. "But we loeow that ln some cases kids don't attend school beyond the control of the parent, and we believe this sends a strong message to be ln school regularly meantng every day.' Theyouth, who turned 16 on March 27, h^d missed 55 full days and ffve halfdays of school between September and the mtddle of Aprtl, Jlles said. The youth had not attended school since then, Jlles sald. Jiles sald the boy had testllled durlng the court heartng that he had been in a car accldent and that hls doctor had recommended that he not attend school. The boy's mother supported his testlmony,

Jiles said. Jlles sald the school had extrausted all means to force the boy to stay ta school. "Well, we don't know what other alternatlve we have,'Jiles said. 'The school has done weqrthing tt could. I don't knowwhat cholces we have left to us.'...

otler altemaltrc? ang GWS readers haue anldea?l

ISS:I Really? No Hnaln- Do

Teacher Criticizes Schools A a uple oJreaders lnve sent us the text oJ a speech that JoturTaglor Gatto gaue when accepttlg the Neu York Cttg Teacler oJ the Year anuard- fume ercerpts: ...I've notlc,ed a liascinating phenomenon ln my 25 years of teachtng - that schools and schoollng are tncreasln$y lrrelerrant to the great enterprlses of the planet. No one belleves an5rmore that sclentlsts are tr:alned in sclence classes or polittcians ln cMcs classes or poets ln Engltsh classes. The ls that schools don't really teach anythtng except how to obey orders. This ls a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, carlng people work ln schools as teachers and aldes and adminlstrators but the abstract logtc of the instltutlon overwhelms thelr

lndtvtdual contrlbuflons. Although teachers do care and do workvery hard the lnstltutlon ts psychopattrlc, lt has no consclence. It rtngs a bell and the young man tn the mlddle of urrttlng a Poem must close his notebook and move to a dllferent cellwhere he must memorlze that man and monkeys derlve from a cornmon anccstor. Our form of compulsory schoollng ls an lrrventlon of the State of Massachusetts around 185O. Itwae reslsted - sometlmes with guns - by an estlmated 8O96 of tlre Massachusetts populatlon, the last outpost tn Barnstable on Cape Cod not surendertng tts chtldren untll the l88os when the area was selzed by mtlttla and chlldren marched to school under grrard. Now here ls a curlous ldea to ponder. Senator Ted Kennedy's oIIIcc released a paper not tm long ago clatmlng tl'at prlor to c.ompulsory educatlon the state ltteracy rate was 98% and after lt the llgure never

rt ls absurd and antl-llfe

to be part of a system that compels you to glt ln

conflnement wlth people of exactly the same 8ge and

soclal class.

again reached above 9196 where lt stands


1990. I hope that lnterestsyou.

Here ls another curloslty to thtnk about. The homeschooling movement has quietly grown to a slze where one and a half million young people are betng educated entirely by their own parents; Last month the educaUon press reported the newe that chlldren schooled at home seem to be flve or even lO years atread of their formally tratned peers ln thetr abfllty to


I don't thtnk well get rld of schools an5rtlme soon, certalnly not ln my [fetlme, but f we're gotng to change what's raptdly becomtng a disaster of lgnonance we need to reallze that the school lnstitutton 'schools" very well, but lt does not 'educate' - thafs lnherent tre the destgn of the thtng. It's not the fault of bad teachers or too llttle money spent, lt's Just lmposstble for educatlon and schooltng ever to be the same thtng. ...The datly rntsery around us ls, I thfnlq fn large measure caused by the fact that - as Paul Goodman put tt 3Oyears ago we force chlldren to grow up absurd. Any reform tn schooling has to deal wtth tts


It ls absurd and antt-ltfe to be part of a GROWING WITHOtIT SCHOOLING #76. Vol. l3 No. 4. ISSN #0745-5305. Publlshcd bl-monthly

by Holt Assoclates, 2269 Massachusetts Avcnuc, Carnbridgp MA ozlao. $25 /W. Datc of Issue: August l, 199O. Second-class postagc pald at Boeton, MA. POSTMAS'IER: Scnd addrass drangcs to GWS, 2269 Massachusctts Avcnue, Cambrtdge MA 02140. AIwERTISERS: Dcadllnes arc thc 15th of oddnumbcrcd months. Chtbtnas shopptng ads arc duc Scptembcr 15. e,ontact Patrick Farenga for rates.

4 system that compels you to slt ln conflnement wlth people of exactly the same age and soctal class. That system effecHvely cuts you off from the lmmense dtrrcrstty of Me and synergf ofvartety, lndeed tt cuts you offfrom your o\rln past and future, sealtngyou ln a contlnuous present much the same way televlslon does, It ls absurd and antt-llfe to be part of a system that compels you to llsten to a stranger r,eadtng poetry when you want to learn to cronstmct bulldlngs, or to slt wlth a stranger discusstng the construction of buildings when you want to r€ad poetry. It ls absurd and anfl-llfe to move from cell to ccll to the sound of a gong for every day of your natural youth ln an lnstltutlon that allows you no privary and even follows you to the sanctuary of your home demandtng that you do lts 'homework.' ...The chlldren I teach are lndillerent to the adult world. Thts delles the e:rperience of thousands ofyears. A close study of what big people were up to was always the most excidng occupadon ofyouth, but nobodywants to growup these days and who canblame ttrem. Toys are us. ...Rlght now we are taldng all the ttme from our chtldren that they need to derrelop self-knowledge. That has to stop. We have to lnvent school erperlences that gtve a lot of that ttme back, we need to trust chlldren from a very early age wtth tndependent study, perhaps arrangd tn school but whtch takes place auroy from the lnsdtutlonal setttng. We need to lnrrcnt curriculumwhere each kld has a chancne to dwelop private uniqueness and self-reliance. ,..We've got to glve ldds independent ttme rlght away because that ts the key to seU-lorowledge, and we must retnvolve them wlth the real world as fast as possible so that the lndependent flme can be spent on somethlng other than more abstractlon. Thls ls an emergency, lt requlres drastic acflon to correct - our chlldren are dgng lfke llles ln schoollng, good schooltng or bad schooltng, lfs all the same.


Report on Standardized Tests F\om anaftIcle f,r.'Ilre Boston Globe,


StandardDed tests, Mdely used by schools and tndustry, are deprtvtng thousands of Americans of opportunides in classrooms and on theJob because the exams are culturally btased, too narrow and admlnlstered too frequently to young chlldren, an lndependent commlsslon said today. A panel ofleaders tn tndustry, educatlon, buslness and labor crldclzed the use of standardtzed test scores, wtrlch are often the only measune used to determlne a chtld's placement ln school, an appllcanfs admission to graduate school or the success ofa candidate foraJob, The National Commlssion on Tesdng and Publlc Poltcy based lts report on a three-year study that recomrnends €omprehensive changes ln the use and destgn of the tests as well as an agency for monitortng them. ...Among the changes called for by the

commlsslon ls the elimlnaflon of testing for elementary school assessment. "Four

and Syear olds are stmpf tooyoung to be subJected to standarrdlzed testlng as a me€rsure of achlerrement,' the panel satd. Members also urged that govemors who have stepped up calls for more testlng ofctdldren at the earllest levels, furcludtng kindergarten, should back olffrom such

requlrements. 'When readtness tests are used to determine whether chlldren may enter klndergarten or llrst grade, up to a thtrd of the ctrlldren who liall below the cutoff score may be mtsclassiffed and tncorre,ctly denled acress to servlcc,' the report sald. ...Rather than contlnulng the use of multlple-chotcc tests, the commisslon called for alternadves, tncludtng the demonstration of skllls ln a peformance, a product or a portfollo. The report, 'From Gatekeeper to Gate-

way: transformlng testing ln Amerlca,'

sald, *Test scores ar€ tmperfect me€uiures and should notbe used alone to make

tmportant declslons about lndtviduals, groups or lnsfltudons; tn the allocatlon of opportunldes, lndivlduals' past performance and relevant experlence must be


State News For addresses ojstate and.lrr,al orgatdzntbns, see GWS *72 or our Honeschdttg .Resource llst, auollable Jor $2.5o.

Ilacrrll: The Board of &lucatlon's Curriculum Commlttee voted on July 5 to approve new state admlnlstratlve rules on

Compulsory Attendance Excepflons (whtch cover homeschooltng), accordtng to Linda Inouye of the FRIENDS LEARNING AI HOME newsletter. The new rules lnclude changes thatwere suggested by homeschoolers, such as allowinS parents to request an alternatlve means of waluating prng5ess ln the years when standardized tests had been nequted (grades 3, 6, 8, and


Iowa: Homeschoolers Aaron and Theresa Rlvera were found gullty of violatlng lowa's compulsory educadon statutes (a mlsdemeanor) on April 19, l99O fur Linn Dlstrlct Court, accordtng to the Aprtl-May lssue of the IOWA HOME EDUCATIORS ASSOCLATION Neurs. The FUveras were sentenccd on May 16 to serve twenty hours of communit5l servlce under the dlrection

of the Cedar Raplds School Dlstrlct, Iowa ls the only state currently requtrtng homeschoolers to be cerdlled teachers.

Mlnnceota: Homeschooler Kathy

Dolezal wrltes,'Minnesota's Nonpubllc School Councll has glven the Home Based Educators Accredtttng Assoclatlon (HBEAA) permlsslon to begtn accredittng home schools ln the state of Mlnnesota. There are several r€asons parents mtght wish to have thelr home school accrcdtted. A home school that ls accredlted reports to the accredltlng agency, not to the local schml dlstrlct. Yearly testtng begtnntng at age 7 is required by the state unless the home school ls accredlted. If and when the student enters the school system, fullcredlt ls assured. There are also network-

tng opportunides and the avatlabtltty of trained and experienced personnel to olfer

advice and enceur:rgement. HBEAA values dtversity of bellefs and methods and works to assure the ctmmunity that educadon is

posslble wtthout hornoSenlzed currlcula and bureaucratlc lnterference.

"For more lnforrnatlon contact l(athy or HBEA.{ 1983 Robln Lane,

Centervllle MN 55038-977


l: 612$53-

North Delote: In GIVS #75, we reported that on March 23, l99O the Deparfunent of hrbltc Instructlon had held a heartng on the proposed 'Qualtty Assurance' regulatlons regardtng homeschooltng. The DPI has now lssued a renlsed set of r€gulatlons, accordtrg to the May tssue of the NORIH DAKOIA HOME SCHOoL ASSOCIATION newsletter. Under these new r€C|ulatlons, homeschoolers who are ln "unsupervlsed' programs - ln other words, cerflIled teachers or have passed the Natlonal Teachers Exam - wtll not have to submtt progress reports hrrlce a year, as had orlglnally been proposed. Only those whose chlldren score below the 3Oth percentlle on the standardlzed test will have to submlt these reports. Also, the DPI added the requlrrement of 'mental abtltty testlng' to determlne reasonable academlc progress, and specllled what ls requtred for a school dlstrict to lssue a htgh school dtploma to a homeschooler, and called for a nadonally standardlzed academlc aptttute test for all homeschooled chlldren. Both the NDHSA and the HOME SCHOOL LEGAL DEFENSE

ASSOCI/|TION are worlidng to oppose thls last requlremenL These rules ha'rc notyet been adopted; the DPI ts walttng for the oplnion of the Attomey General, wtrlch lt had requested, and the mles must also go to the Leg;tslattve Councll. Readers who want more detalled lnformadon about these proposed rules should contact the NDHS.A'. Tcnneeccc: In GWS #75, homeschooler Sandy Madsen wrote about the thrce famtltes who had llled sutt asktng state olllclals to stop denyfng degree waiver requests ffennessee law requlres parents who are homeschoollng chlldren tn grades 9- 12 to have a BA degree or to apply for a walver of this requlrement each yean slnce the lawwent tnto elfect tn 1985, all 36 familbs who applted for walvers have been dented them), Sandy recently sent us a matling from the TENNESSEE HOME EDUCATION ASSOCIATION wtrtch reports that Judge Inrln Kilcrease denled the farniltes' request for a temporar5r lnJuncdon and dented the sult class actlon status. Homeschooler nuly appeal thts declslon, or nray tqr to seek a Permanent Instead. lnlunctlon - Wlrconrln: The Legtsladve Councll (made up of legtslators from the Wsconsln Senate and Assembly) plans to study homeschoolng, whtch may lead to the proposal of a new homeschooltng bill, accordlng to the June newsletter of the WISCONSIN PARENTS ASSOCI.f(NON. WPA opposes the shrdy because lt belle',res the current law ts reasonable and ls worklng well, but tt wtll provtde lnformatlon to the study commlttee and wtll tesd$ before It. For a detalled e:rplanadon of WPA s posldon on thts study, see thelrJune news-


WPA also reports that a btll r€qulring standardlzed testtng of homeschoolers was tntroduced last March butwas notacted upon before the legtslature adJourned' The group wtll watch to see tf such a btll wtll be tntroduced next year.

Growlng Wthout Schooltng #76

Arran gtng Apprentic eship Young people often flnd that the best way to arrangc

apprentlceshlps, lnternshlps, or volunteer opportunltles ls not through a formal progran but by wrlttng letters or talklng to people who are dol.g the work they want to do. Ilere are two examples:

Helping Theater Group Errana Rofurts (MA) wri;tes:

I have been homeschooled for almost slx years. In ttrose years I have been saflsIted followtng basfcally the same routlne. ThIs fall I wtll technlcally be a freshrnan tn htgh school. Slnce thls comtng year would mark a transldon dme if I were in school, I thought I rntght ltke to make tt one for myself. At llrst I thought school mlght flnally be the answer. I wanted some place to go

wery day. I've always had most of my acdvifles and, well, my life outside my home. I am an only chlld so I don't have tJle company and butlt-ln frlends that other people wtth sibllngs have. So I talked thls overwlth my mom, and we started the lookireg Proc€ss. A school that appealed to us both was CushingAcademy. It ls very close by so I c.ould be a day student. They have a decent theater program, and lots of sports. So we got the admisslon package, and I looked through the book telltng about campus llfe, and IJustturned up my nose. I mean, ltwas really awful. All these plctures of classrooms, and the prlcc was quite trtgh. So much for schooll I don't remember how I got the idea to have a theater apprentlccshlp, The whole tdea really appealed to me. I love theater, and spendlng a few days every week worktng on tt sounded great. It would solve my problems aboutwanflng to go someplace wery day, and tt would be fun. So I began thfnldng about what would be the fdeal situatlon for me. I concluded that, say, three days a week worklng backstage, tn the box offlce, anyttrtng to do wlth theater would be great. I was sendlng out some headshots and resumes for auditlons for myself, so I sent along a cover letter sa5dng that I was interested tn volunteerlng ln thelr theater, explainlng I was a homeschooler and very flexlble. At ltrst I felt klnd of strange asking to be an exc€ptlon, but I got used to the ldea. I hadn't heard from the plac-es I had wrltten to ln Boston when one day my Mom and I were talklng to the scenic deslgner at Mount Wachusett CommunttSr College, Patrlck Mahoney. I do a lot of theater at The Mount (that's what the college ts called by weryone here), so I know everyone pretty well. Mom happened to mentlon that I nras looklng for an apprendceshlp ln Boston, and she asked htm tf he kneur of any places I could wrlte to. Patrlck sald yes, he thought he did. Then he asked tfwe had constdered The

Growlng Wthout Schooling #76


Mount as a possibtlity. We hadn't because It hadn't oc.curred to us as behg a real theater, but of course lt Is. I had reccntly had a chance to have a tour oftwo professlonal theaters ln Boston and Worcester, and afterwards I reallzed how really professlonal the theater at The Mount ls. Patrtck satd he would mentlon tt to Gall Steele, the head of the theater department. I called Gail after about aweek and we set

upameetlng. When I went to the meeflng, Gail and Pat asked me what I would be tnterested ln dotng. I told them two or three days aweek helplngwhere I was needed would be great.

They were really exctted. Then Gall sald she had talked to the head of the humantties department and he suggested I mlght llke to take a few courses at the college. I couldn t believe ttl We setup forme to take two classes, The F\rndamentals of Acttng and Sccne Tech, and get college crediL Going through the process of being admttted was a rlot. You could tell they'd never heard ofsuch a thlng: a l4-year-old girl who doesn't go to school wanting to come to their college and take classes. I ffnally got ac.c€pted, and I'm gotng to begin the whole thireg in the fall. They otrered for me to start the apprenticeship this sumner, but I am so busywith a theater in Wilton, NH that I told them the fall would be better. So I {Inally got a change, and lf I ever want to go on to Boston to do an apprenticeship there, I can say, look, I've already

up apprentlcesl'dps mag fitldJesse's htter


Hello. I amJesse Rlchman and I am

wrlung to you on behalf of an lnterest of mine. Before I go any farther let me lntroduce myself. I am an avld reader of the LeaderTlmes, and I am almost thlrteen. I have been taught at home by my mother all my life, and I hope to be aJoumaltst when I grow up. Early ttrfs sprlng when Pat Rlch, one ofyour reporters, was at our house for an arHcle about my brother and me wlnning on the local level of a national map competitlon, I told her about my ambition to be aJournalist. The glst of her advlce to me wErs that I should volunteer at newspaper ofllces, and try to tnrnerse myself in thatworld as much as I could. In adherence with thts advtce I am urrtting to you to volunteer to do anlrthtng, or alrnost anything, around the olffce that I could do that would help out the newspa.per olllce, and beneflt my own educatlon in the ways of a reporter. The best tlme for me to volunteer would be on T\resday afternoons. I am including with tlrts letter a copy ofa current events essay tJlat I wrote reoently, as part of my history fair proJect on the Berlln Walt I rvtll also add to that my paper on the Berln Wall. Hope you also enJoy a copy of a family newspaper I edlt. I am looklng for$Erd to your response on thls... Please don't keep mewaittngl Thank you, Jesse Rlchman

had experiencel

In a Newspaper Office [SS:] Whenl happened to b spealc@ rolth Susan Ricllurr.n (PA) qfter GWS #73, whbh hod a Focus on Voung people with bttertse frtterests, was publtslvd, she nenlloned that ltr'r son Jesse had reallzcd qfter readhg the interuieu;s in thot tssue, tlut fus fnterest in cutrerrt events and, Joumallsm could. b anntd as an ttense InteresL Jesse sent us anessag he'd wrilten about this interest, and, we Ente


o;f X here:

I don't know when I began to take a large lnterest ln current events, but I know that now I c.ertainly do. Current errents have become more and more excitlng thls year with all that ts gotng on ln the world. I


A Dictionary Of Roots Translir ated From Ancient Greek With Their Modem English Spellings

ByRaymondE. Laurita

! tr

had for a long tlme read little snatches of Tbne rnagazlne, whlch was always around


the house. However, as time passed I slowly began to read a gSeater percent ofthe content. I began to subscribe to other magazlnes such as WorM Press Reuiew, a month-


500 modern English roots with their original Greek meanings Thousands of modern English words with General Spelling hocesses clearly illustrated Clarifi es relationships between spelling, meaning and grammar Appendices with modern meanings and spellings of 1,000 Greek prefixes and suffixes

ly compllaUon of news articles from

papers around the world, and I sometlmes Ilnd myself in front of the magazine racks at the libnary, reading about news that

lnter€sts me. Jesse also senl us a copg o;f alefur he runntlg wrcte to tlv ed:ttor oJ ala'al

newspapen asl&tg to rnbutteer tlvre. He hasn't yet retrcd a replg to hts letter, bd { he dres end up unrldng at tle paper,

prhaps fe u:ill wrlte abut thot t^ afudue {ssue ojCWS.Int}e mearittre, others ula are thbtkbtg abri tnlurteerlng or settttg

Softcover - $ 18.95 (Add109o Postage Please Check or MO only) Name


From School to Homeschooling If chlldren begln hone-

schoollng after havlng gone to school for a whtle, thc transltlon can aomettneg be

dlfflcult for the


famlly. We asked a few chlldren who had been ln thls sltuatlon to tell us about lt and to let parents know what can make the transltlon easler. In each case, the chlld'e parent added some commentg as well.

Forgetting What School Taught F}om Kaffinlr Ddezal MN):

I'm l5 and wtll be ln tenth grade thls

year. I attended publtc school through grade four. When my parents declded to homeschool my younger slster, I decided to homeschool too. The flrst year out ofpubltc school, I dtd very ltttle school work, but stncc I love to read, I read many books, both fictton and non-flctlon, and I learned more than I probably would have ln school. I also watched 3-2-l Cortact and Secret CItg almost every day. I dtd do a ltttle school work, but I hated tt and protested when lt urassuggested. Over the next three years I started to

like dotng school work more and started dolng more of lt each year. For example, I dtdn't do any math out of a book the flrst year I homeschooled, but the next year I dtd some formal math work and am now golng through algebra on my orpn. I nerrer actually studied any school subJects out ofa text book, except math. I dtd get lntensely lnvolrred ln some proJects. For example, I studted holography and eventually made a laser hologram through a sclence museum class. I leamed a lot about geologr and food and nutrlflon through 4-H proJects. I eamed almost every Glrl Scout badge posslble. Sttll, someflmes, I wondered whether I was learnlng as much as schooled klds. Last year I attended publtc school part-ttme and found that I have as much knowledge about subJects taught fur school as anyone else tn my grade, Often, I llnd I know more. I think I remember thlngs I learned when I wasyounger becausewhen I leamed them I was enJoytng myself. As an example, tn phystcs thts year I had no trouble understanding stmple machlnes because I learned about themwatchtng 3-21 bntactln flfth grade. Even though I was nwer graded and nerrer took tests on anythlng I learned at home, I found htgh school classes easy last year. I thtnk the bestway to make the tr:ansltlon from publtc school to homeschool ls to be allowed plengr of time to forget some of what was leamed tn school about how vou should learn, I sflll often prefer to do school work the same way I did it when I was ln school, because they taught

me thelr way was the "rtght' way to learn. I

thlnk tt's trnportant for parents to provtde thelr homeschmled ldds wtth as many dlfferent varlefles of learnfng oPPortunl-

tles as posstble. MaHng tlre transldon from school to homeschool does take tlme and lt tsn't always easy.

Feeling Different F\om Maryrcse Ddezal MN): I'm 12 and tn serrenth grade. I started homeschoollng when I was ln second grade. My parents took me out ofschool after I started getting extremely upset every day after school. My mom tells me that at flrst I hated the ldea of homeschoolfng, but after on$ a Gw days I told her I uranted to homeschool through trtgh school. I don't remember havtng any trouble adjustlng to homeschooltng when I was 7, Howerrcr, many tlmes tn tlre last three years IVe wtshed I went to publlc school L"..n". I feel ltke the one Strtte marble tre a sack ofblack ones. There's nothtng partlcularly spectal about lt, but lt's dtfferent. I feel that way because we are the only homeschoolers ln our areawlth ldds my age who homeschool wlthout uslng a currlculum' But most of all, I Gel that way because I often am wlth publtc school frlends who talk about what ts happentng ln school. At those flmes, I feel really out of lL I don't thtnk Id be as mature as I am if I was ln school because schooled ldds bastcally have to do what they're told. They don't get to choose what they study or to pursue their lnterests. Sometlmes I wlsh I wasn't so mature because then I'd flt tn' Sometimes I also wlsh I was ln school so I would see my frtends every day. Next year I'll be taldng band and maybe art and art htstory at the publlc school. I thhk fll enJoy it.

I've contlnued to homeschool for many reasons. I enJoy staylng up at ntght and worHng on projects. I llke worklng at my o\rtn pacc and spendlng tlme on the thlngs I'm most lnterested ln ltke flute, ptano, wntfng, and arL If I need abreak, I can take one. I don't have to follow tons of mles. I can go to the bathroom when I want

tol My advlce to parents who have dectded

to homeschool ls to talk to your lids about tt. If they want to homeschool you are ln luck, but don't be surprtsed or upset lfyour chlldren change thetr mtnds and questlon the wlsdom of homeschooltng. If your chlld does not want to homeschool, suggest try'ng ft for a ccrtaln pertod of fime. Read to them (orlet them read) arttcles tn thts and other homeschool magazlnes and newsletters. See tf you can flnd some other homeschooled chlldren about the same age as yours ln your area- If posslble, get your

chtldren together at a park, swtmmtng pml, or some other place where they can play and get acquatnted wtthout havlng to talk to each other the whole ttme. Try to show your ktds that homeschoollng gtves them lots of chotces and that tt can be fun. Potet out the advantages of homeschoollng and try to elmtnate the dtsadrrantages.

Kat|'ry Me".aL Katrlna's Margrose's notllrlr, odds:


I thtnk parents someflmes have a harder tlme when they start homeschooltng than the ldds do. lknow I spent lots of ttme worrytng about letttng the glrls follow thelr own lnterests and uronderlng whether they were dotng enough, wen though they obvtously do much more than most lidds and conslstently scsre very htgh on the actrlevement tests urc're requtred to gtve. Every once ln a wtrlle I'd get tnto a'school' frame of mtnd and lnelst (usually over protests) that they pracflce some speclllc ilrtll. tve seen agatn and agaln that lfs not necessary to worry. When the glrls need a sklll and-are ready to learn lt, they do. I thlnk the keys to success are provldtng lots of resourcâ&#x201A;Źs and opportunltles, rvorktng wlth ldds on proJects, sharlng your own tntercsts, and encouraâ&#x201A;Źllng the i<tds to share thetr lnterests wlth you and _


"I Had Made My Own Decision" F.rom


RLsleg (MO):

The transltlon from school to homeschoollngwas notvery had. I met a few homeschoolers ln thts area and knowtng that I was not the onf one made lt easler. Sometlmes at llrst I felt left out when I saw the klds get on the school bus wlthout me. But that dtdn't last too long. On the other hand I felt prtvtleged because I had made my own declslon to homeschool and they- didn't have a cholce. One of the thtngs my parents dtd that I thi:rk made my time at home more enJoy-

ablewas to let me make my own schedule. I could go outslde whenever I wanted to. I thtnk [hat helped me Gel more free than I would have felt at mtddle school. I was allowed to babystt at chlldren's homes and I earned qutte a btt of money because I was arrallable when the other babysttters were at school. My dad ls olf work on WednesdaYs so my paients let me harrc that day off, and we h"d -or. famtly ttme than I would harrc had tfI had been tn school.


rnother, Rosemary Rlsbg' add's:

lora and I had a lot of dme to talk about homeschooltng, as she started quesdontng me aboul lt three years before ri,e actually started dotng tL Shed ask me tf I'd do tt and I'd say that I dtdnt know maybe, and lt lust ktnd of went from there. Th6n when we-really dectded lt was tlme, durtng Chrlstmas rracatlon precedtng the Iia[ wf,en we started, urc talked about tt often. We talked about respecttng each otheds prlvacy so we wouldn't feel there was too-much togetherness. I'd tell her that I wanted her to be self-motlnated' that I dtdn't want to poltct her' Just any ltttle thoughts we had, we nolced. Lora always scemed to crave soclal acdvldes and frtendshtps. I'd nodce that she Aot offthe school bus on FHday ntghts acurig trrttable tf she dtdn't have plans for Growlng Wthout Schoollng #76

7 company or golng somewhere that weekend. She never really seemed to have what she consldered enough frlends, yet It seemed llke she got tn qulte a few spats wtth the glrls she nras frtends wtth. I often wondered f she wasJust hard to get along wlth, or tf ltwasJust the age, or the other gfrls. Because ofthts, I was concerned that she would feel lonely not belng ln school. My concern turned out to be unfounded. She was never antsy durlng the day when other ktds were ln school. She dldn't apect any soctallzlng durlng that ttme, and Just enJoyed worklng at her own pace, betngwtth me and theyounger chlldren I was taldng care of, and sometlmes dolng err:ands for me. She wrote to a lot of homeschoollng pen-pals, and loved gettlng mall from them. Sometlmes they called back and forth long dlstance, We occaslonally took fleld trlps wlth other homeschoolers, or planned lunch and play wtth other {amllles, lora found out for the flrst tlme that she llked betng alone. After the netghbor ktds got home from school, she'd sttll try to cook up plans wtth them, but I notlced that her soclal life was taking a btg hrrn for the better. Other ktds were calling her as much as she called them, and they were always lnterested in flndlng out what her days were llke. I'd overhear conversatlons where the ldds sald theywtshed they could be homeschooled. Other times the gtls would say, "I could never stand to be wtth mv mom that much." lora would say, "I r6aly ltke my mom." She started maldng frlends wlth other kids tn the netgfiborhood that she'd never bothered wtth before, and the frlendshlps doreloped ln a much more sadsfactory way than her school lilendshtps had. Itwas as lf now she could choose who she wanted to be frlends wlth, lnstead of betng thrown wlth certaln people and belng expected to be friends. She wasn't trrttable or havlng all the spats anymone - as lf her alone-dme and people-ttme was more ln balance for her. I could really understand that, because when I worked ln ofllces wlth people I dldn't really llke, I needed a lot of alonetime when I was olfwork. At home, IVe always felt more balanced, and enJoyed chooslng who I was wlth. Iara only read what she was forced to read when she was ln school, and I would someflmes coercc her by readlng one chapter out loud to her and then havtng her read the next to me, All of a sudden, durtng the surrmer between school and homeschool, she became an avld r€ader. ThIs was always somethtng I uranted for her, because I love to read as does her father, and I thought tt would help her when she dtdn't have soclal plans. I don't know how many books she read that summer, but I was amazed - lt was as lf now that she dtdn't have to, and she was free, she wanted to read. She has read over slxtv books in each nlne months of homeschooling. If we dtd nothtng else these two years, I conslder

that a maJor accomp[shment.

lora ls sensltlve to crlflclsm, and the

hardest part of starflng to homeschool for her seemed to be the relaflves who were so crittcal of our declslon to homeschool. She loved tt when adult frlends and netghbors showed thelr lnterest and enthuslasm and she Uked to vtstt wtth them about lt.

Growlng Wtthout Schoollng #76

Helping Kids Recover F\om Daniel Bery&r (ME): At lhst homeschoollng was strange, but then tt started to be pretty fun. I got to do more thtngs that I wanted to. Homeschmltng ls a lot better than school. And jomDantel's parents, Jrtdy Ganng andJlnrBerybv We began homeschoollng our boys, Matthew and Danlel, when they were I I and 8, and have been close enough to some of the homeschooltng famtltes around us to notlce slnllarltles arnong homeschoolers ln thls age group who have attended school before startlng homeschmllng, In no way do we want to tmply thatwe have found the answers to successfu[r homeschooltng prewtously-schooled chlldren. There are sttll many days full of chaos and worry ln our home, Erreqrthtng we can relate that works for us carne orlg[nally as suggesdons from other people who are far wlser than we are. Before chlldren go to school ln the {lrst place, all of thetr natural learnlng systems are lntact. Thls ls what we can see in famllies who have homeschooled their chtldren from the very beglnning. However, once chlldren are ln school for about three years, they are forced to shlft over to a very unnatural system to suMve the emphasls on memorlzadon and the datly stress, rigtdtty, and humtliation of classroom llfe. Those of us who bring our children home after this shift-over will not {tnd the same people we sent olf to school when they were 5 or 6, Even the most tender, loving parents cannot undo what has already been done to thelr children. Most children are very hurt and angry about what has happened to them and to thelr peers ln school. As long as they stay ln school that anger must remaln under control, When they come home, lt all begfns to come out. It may show up ln extreme htghs and lows, negatlve emotlonal outbursts, or long periods ofapparent depresslon. Mothers and fathers who feel that they might not have the dme or emotlonal resources to deal with thts should not feel gutlty for dectdlng to keep thelr lidds tn school. Homeschoollng ls rewarding and nourlshlng for parents who have never sent thelr chtldren to school. But children who have been in school for a few years cannot provtde a nourlshlng experlencc for thelr parents, because they need too much themselves. Sometlmes, mothers and fathers dectde that they have no choicc but to rescue thelr chlldren from school and attempt to change the course of thelr llves. Every chtld ls worth rescutrg, and in time can make some recovery. But an older, prevlous$-schooled child who stays around the house and trles to do the same types of activitles that seem to work for homeschoolers who have never been to school wtll be tradlng a set of school problems for a new set of problems caused by leavtng school. When chlldren have already adJusted to school, thetr tnternal, self-evaluaflon systems have been replaced by soctetal norrns. ^ds a r€sult, many of them begtn to feel llke fallures for leavtng schml. Explahrfng to them that soclety

has actually fatled them does not solve thelr problems, The one thing that seems to help ls work outslde the home. Parents of a chtld who ls lO or older can help thetr chlld to the feeltngs of personal lallure by Itnlng up a full-ttme apprenflceshlp, volunteer posltlon, or Job before the chlld Ieaves school - or lmmedlately thereafter lf the e:dt from school ls an abmpt one. This Job does not hanrc to be a paylng one, and lull-ttme can mean whatever lt takes for your chlld to be lnvolved and useful. Ttre Job should be one that your boy or gtrl desperately wants to go to each day, In other words, tt should be somethlng ttrat your child loves to do, notJust somethlng

that lllls the tlme. Substttuttng else which we, as parents, thlnk ls tnteresting, or encouraglng our child to do somethtngJust to get hlm out of the house, wlll not do the trtck. Shortly alter leaving school two years ago, Matthew began worldng wlth a man who has a landscaping buslness. He loves the work and because of trls energr and enthuslasm he has now become a real

I thlnk the best way to make the transltlon from publlc school to homeschool ls to

be allowed plenty of tlme to forget some of what was learned ln school about how you should learn.

asset. This sununer he wlll begtn earning a wage for his labors. What he has already

recelved from thls apprentlceshiP - new self-esteem, real skllls, and an awaxeness ofhow the world works outslde of school or hts famtly - could never b measured by salary. Most lmportant of all, he secms to be taking on a new dellntflon of himself to replace hls former status as chld fn school. Inttially, we worried that Matthew would be too flred orwould mlss out on other lmportant things by spendtng so much time on thls apprenfrceshtp. What we found out ts that he ts capable of knowlng when he ts tlred, and that he can make cholces about what he wants to do errery day, Over and over, when he has had to choose between working and another

option, he usually chooses work' We help htm wtth academics when he ls avallable and lnterested. Untll ttrls sununer, we dtd "homeschoo[ng' wlth Matthew untll IO:OO each mornlng, after whtch he went to hls apprentlceship. Now that hts sltuatlon has hrrned lnto a summerJob, he wants to begfun work early, so we catch hlm as we can. Many Omes we use the pre€ED workbooks as guldellnes to cover elllclently what he wlll need to

know to pass the htgh schml equtvalency exam. Chtldren who have been ln school past about the thtrd g;rade have Perrnanently acc.epted school standards such as grades and graduatlon, so lt ls essentlal that they obtaln a htgh schml dtploma as early as they can, Thls ls one more thlng that wtll allow them to feel normal.

Older Readers These wrlterg are respondlng to the letter from Molre Nobles ln GWS #74, 'rSon IIas Trouble wlth Readlng":

lectures as well, satd that fn some cases a vlslon problem appean and that a regular rye examlnaflon usually does not detect thls slnce lt takes 2O-3O seconds for the vlslon to blur. In a non-dysle:dc pâ&#x201A;Źr.:son, their cyes have moved on to other words by

Overcame Difficulty

thls time.

Flom Barfura Gsuthler (On9:

If t had read Molra Nobles' letter six months ago I would hane sald to myself, -There ls a boy who, ltke my Simon (l l), ts havtng a hard ttme readlng.' However, over the last slx months Slmon has become a reader.

Acouple ofyears ago I satdownwtth trlm a few times and trted to shour hlm how some slmple vrords sounded and how the sounds change when one letter of the word changes - e.g. hat, cat, sat. Hewould tense up and ftdgit - somethtng he never does In other situaflons. Anyhow, lt didn't work, Hereadwords backwards, and numbers as

well. He could see the same word many times and sfill not recognlze lt. He was begtnning to notlc.e how well other children could read and he felt he uras stupid because he couldn't read. He satd that lf he could have one wlsh, he would wish he could read. I began to worry a llttle and started ashng around about dysleda. (Simon's father stmggled through school and read hts ftrst book at age 3 l; he still has a lot of trouble readtng.) Meanwhtle the tlme for Slmon to vislt the Spectal Ed coordlnator for hls testlng was approaching, so I suggested that he read to me ablt. He didn't want to so I plcked up a book at the libraqr that had some pictures, lots of words but good spaclng between the llnes, and a good

mystery to tt. I read it to hls younger brother, and the next thlng I knew, Slmon told me that he had read the whole book. He tmk that book to the testing and hls

readingwas up to gyade level (grade 5 - hts previous result had been early grade 2). He now is reading a much more advancrd book wtth hardly any pictures and lines closer together. He says the words tend to get blurry if the ltght tsn't good and tf he has to look at a word for a long tlme. I {tnd this lnterestlng because one of the women I talked to about dysleda, who has done extenslve readlng and has attended

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Simon s'tll has to work hard at hts reading and realizes that reading doesn't come easlly to him as lt does tp trls older brother, who was readlngTom Swtft and Hardy Boys at age 9. Howerrer, Slmon excels at math whereas hls older brother has to struggle there, so I thlnk we have all learned to ac"cept that each of us has our strong polnts and each has to work harder on some things. Simon eventually found a way to make reading work for htm. Wtth love and support, my e:gresslng confidence ln the fact that one day he would read, and my aclorowledgment that tt ts hard for trim, he got through the period that was dtlflcult for him, when others could read and he


Poor Reader Loves to Read FJom a longer letter Kathg Szgmanskt oJ Mbvesota wrote to Moba:

My personal experlence ts wlth JJ, now I I l/2. Hehas aclasslccase of dysloaa, according to the experts. What I know is that he doesn't learn readtng, wriflng, spelling, etc. the way many others do. It requlres much more effort, energt, and concentratlon. When he was younger, till about 9 or lO, I let tt all go by, assuming he was a late bloomer and all that. He was reading some, but he had many of the typtcal dyslexta problems, and writtng and spelling problems (nearly tllegible printlng and very poor spelllng - erren lnvented spellings dldn't have much rh5rme or reason), State law changed and we would have to submit to annual tesflng, whlch I was quite concerned about. So we tried to hit the books (thls ls when he was lO l/2) and encountered a lot of anger, frustration,

and battling. Then we attended the Christtan Center

for Educadonal Dwelopmenfs week-long

seminar (Rt 4 Box 3OO, Owatonna MN 55O6O; S7-45f-85O2) which, forus, took olf some of the pressure of testlng. (In other words, even lf he dtdn't do so well on the test, it would be clear that we were doing somethirng about his 'problem.') Even thougfr he was I I by this dme, we essenttally started over with readtng. Reading aloud is usually a dlsaster, so he doesn't do much of that. Somedmes I'll give him a reading assignment of reading to hls 6year-old sister, which he doesn't seem to mlnd as much, probably because she doesn't ever correct him and lsn't bored bv slowness. He tends to read what flts rathei than what's wrltten (firr e:<ample, tf the sentence ts, 'Mke played with his new

top,' he'll read 'toy' for 'top'). It's very lnterestlng, however, that

thls poor reader loves to read. He'll check out IOO-2OO books weekly from the library. Many of these are easy readers, but some are non-Ilctlon and novels. Everv book

does not get read through cover to cover and I know that he mlsreads many of the words, but he contlnually pages through

them. Ocasslonally I test to see lf he's really readlng, and he can tell me most of what a story ls about. I suspect this love of reading comes from having a lot of books around and a motherwho has her nose ln a book qutte often. Plus, he's nerrer had anythfng but encouragement - never been

beltttled for chooslrcg 'ldddte books.'

Learning at


F}om Pat WIItIanrs


Molra Nobles' son Chrls sounds very much llke my son Cam, who ls now lO l/2. After years of our belng paHent and trylng to help/teach him to read in numerous ways, he ts llnally havhg some sucoess. Cam gets frustrated very easlly about anything that does not come to him quickly. He blows up about seemlngly unlmportant thtngs, and never gives hlmself a chance to learn anythlng that seems difhcult at first. He's also poor at following verbal lnstrucdons, and ts easily dlstracted. He does not want anyone ln tlre room (except someone who ls helphg him) when he ts dotng anythfng dtl[cult fiike readin$, even tf they are qutet, I don t think he would ever be able to concentrate in a classroom. Cam reversed letters and numbers for a long tlme (and sdll does occaslonally),

but his biggest pmblemwith readlng


to be rememberlng words. By last fall, he had learned the baslc sounds of most of the consonants (most of the time), and he knew some of the vowels, so he could sound out simple words, but he couldn't remember thewords from one sentence to the next. It took a very long time for htm to read even the stmplest story, and by the tlme he was done he dldn't remember what lt was about. Nowonderhe hated to read: ltwas all pain with no rewards. Names, addresses, telephone numbers, dates, days ofthe week, nursery rhymes, etc. do not stick wtth Cam. On the other hand, hts general memory ls excellent. He can remember all ktnds of events vividly, and hts understandlng and memory for concepts (real thtnking rather than regurgitattng) surprlses me somedmes. He has a very dtlllcult tlme with arlthmedc facts, but he ptcks up mathematlcal concepts wlth ease. I love'real" math, so we

learning about the more abstract portions of math together, and do very little of the convenHonal adding, subtractlng, multtplytng, etc. He has learned how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide ln the enJoy

convenHonal nranner as long as he can use a table for the facts. He also enJoys playing computer games that challenge his speed and sktll at math facts, and these have helped a lot, "Math Castle,'a shareware game for IBM PCs, ls our f,avorite, because it lets the player progress at a very slow speed.

This fall we started using a serles of reading books called Progammed Readary (sold by Phoenlx Irarntng Resourcc, Inc., 468 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016). Using this serles, Cam has prog-

Growlng Without Schooling #76

I ressd, tn the past nlne months, from only betng able to sound out a few of the

slmplest words to actually readlng qutte complicated storles. And he enJoys ttl There are 23 workbooks tn all and they are not lnexpensive (almost $9 each), but to us

tt ts worth lt. Cam ls sdll not r€adfng at all fluently, and seldom reads other books, but now he doesn't hesttate to at lea-stTRY to read slgns, catalogs, computer garne lnstructtons, fltles of artlcles, etc. He nont thlnks

that he ts gotng to be able to r€ad, because he CAN read some thlngs. Would Cam have learned to read, say

byage 12or 15, lfwehadJustlefthtm entlr,ely alone? I'm not sur€ he would have ever tried; lt was Just too frustratlng for him. I don't thfnk I could have left him alone forerrer, elther. I don't llke the term 'learning dtsabtltttes,' but Cam deftnttely has dilltculty learning ccrtaln things that other children seem to ptck up wtth ltttle effort. On the other hand, he ls very good

with his hands; he loves to play with mechanical obJects, butldtng sets, electmnlcs, computer games, etc. He has never considered himself stuptd, but he ls very glad that he ts finally learning to read.

Concentrating on Two


Ftom a lortger letter tlwt Jane Pearia b Motra:

(HI) sert

Anthony can write letters and numbers perfectly when that's what he ls conc€ntratlng on. When he ls dolng somethtng new ltke challenglng math problems or wriflng words he has nerrer wrltten before, that's when he rqrerses letters. Just today, I've acccpted the ldea that for now, he can't conc.entrate on composlng, spelltng, and handurdtfng at the same time, but that tt wlll all come together with time. While typlng thts, I realized a slmilar thtng about myself. I thought I d learn how to use the \rlndows' on our word processlng program, In order to flnd a qulck way to rearrange somethlng. I trled several things that didn't work before I reallzed I was rtsktng forgetttng what I meant to say. I decided I'd experlment with the 'windows" another tlme. It certalnlv doesn't mean I

have 'dyscomputta.'

Outside Pressures Florn Stacy Miller oJ North Carctina: I(arlna ts 9 l/2 and we are ln our llrst year of homeschmltng. I never wanted to homeschool - I alurays felt my daugftter and I were too dghtly enhvlned/entangled already and I needed the separatlon school alfords. Ehe frtend who tntroduced me to

thatKarlna probably lnterpreted the sltuatlon dtfferently.) I sent my barely-3-year-old dauglrter to a cooperaflve preschool - a gentle translUon from home, I reasoned - and later to a GWS helped me to see

Waldorf school. When her class dtsbanded, for a number of reasons, at the end of second, we found ourselveswlth an educatlonal crlsls: we couldn't alford another prlvate school, and Karlna was not for publtc school thlrd grade. Homeschooling appeared ltke the pnoverblal lightbulb tn my head. All of a sudden

Growlng Wthout Schooltng #76

my husband, daughter, and I saw lt as an exctttng solutlon to our problems, although we llgured ttwould be tough. Whew - we were rtghtl For one thing, the schedule has been dilflcult for all of us. Karlna and I would'school' ln the mornlng, then I would take her to a frtend's house for the afternoon wtrtle I went to work. My husband would ptck her up on hls way home fromwork at 5:3O. I would get home around 8:OO. By the ilme I ate some dlnner and read bedtlme storles to Kartna I, for one, was extrausted, She was often wound up and not the least btt lnterested h gotng to sleepl More lmportant, I knew she needed more unscheduled at-home ttme, to bulld, sew play, and daydream. So I changedJobs - now I work at home, and whllewe have less money, we have more freedom.

Readingcws has helped rne understand that unstrucfured ttme is as lmportant, if not more lrnportant, than whatever struchrred school dme we may have. I needed to read about Moira Nobles' son Chris, and about the 8 l/2-year-old perfectionist. By the ttme I finished readlng those two letters in GWS #74, I was sobblng. Why? lt has somethlng to do with my own struggle with my daughter. At 9 l/2, she's only beginning to read - ln a

famtly and community that both over-

value reading and academlc achlerrement. A turntng polnt came a couple of months ago, one Monday mornlng, when Karlna ended up sobbing on her bed out offrustration, 'Why am I dtlferent? Why do I have this problem? Why can't I read?'An hour later, however, she was pla5dng violtn

beautifully at her lesson, playtng wtth a rratural ease and muslcall$1. InTleIr oltn Way, by Thomas Armstrong, has helped me understand such a dlspartty tn l(arlna's slidlls, and appreciate her strengths. I 4"o saw that lt while mtght be OK wtth me (at least on some lerrels) that l(arlna was not readtns vet, lt was not OK wtth her. Our soluuo-n-has been slmple and alfordable and fun for Kartna: weekly she meets wlth a tutor, to work on readlng and spelllng. The tutor ts not dotng anythfng that I couldn't do, except that she, not I, ls dolng It. It seems lmportant to Ikrlna to work on thts one herself, wlth help from sorneone other than Mom. Her readtng, her atfltude, and her conlldencc level have all rmproved. Interesttngly, I see that ln a way, Karlna at 9 I /2 ts being taught to read Premafurely. Outslde pressures - whlch, adrnlttealy, tnclude me - hanrc pushed her to want to read because she fela uncomfortable not betng able to do what most klds her age can do. Yet ln a hollstic and organlc way, she's not ready. We're forclng the bud to bloom. Readlngtn GWS about the Phenomenon of perfecflonlsm has helped me to see thts tratt ln my own child. Her slowness to reach certaln milestones may be at least parttally due to her need for ttrtngs to be rtght - from toilettng to wa[dng to readtng to wrtfing and spelltng, Only as her confidencr level has rlsen has she been wtlllng to rtsk some 'personal spelllng,' rather

than havtng everythlxg ltterally out for her, for example.



Challenges & Concerns More on Homeschooling With Little Money More Jrom

Barfura Gauthlen

In response to Kathy Purdy's 'Homeschmltng Wtth Very Ltttle Money' h cWS *74:, I also have some doubts about whether I am provtdtng my sons (14, I l, 8) with a chancc at a decent future. I have been sln$e and homeschooltng for seven years. We have very few new thlngs, have a large gartry to save moncywhenerrerwe

|ff: ""0

I see a lot of posltive aspects to living wtth ltttle money. There are rarely any complalnts about the work that has to be done around the house and garden. They all know that lf we work hard we can keep ourhouse, dog, and ducks. Theyalso know

that the altemaflve ls a low-rent apartment ln the ctty (we live ln a tov.rn of ISOO), no vehlcle, no animals, and probably work for me and school for them. They also really appreciate lt when we rent a VCR and movies once or hvlce a year. Orderlng a plz.z.a or going to a restaurant doesn't happen very often, but when lt does lt ls a real treat. My two older boys cut grass, shovel snow, and take ln heatlng wood for netgfrbors to earn some pocket money. Only the youngest sdll gets an allowance (5+ for each year of age was and still ts the rate). I llnd that havtng to work hard for what we have keeps our family close together. It also puts demands on the children to make their own way and not depend on me to make their lives good, They understand that fcr now (I do plan to go to unlverslt5r when they are older) I have my hands full makfng lt posslble to homeschool. Thls ls my greatest prtorlty and I am happy wtth my standard of ltving for the present. No matter what the famtly's lncome level, and perhaps even more so for those with less since the need ls stronger, children can leam how to use the world around them to gain lnformaUon and to learn how the world works. With these skills and wtth curtostty, confidence, and support, once they declde what they want to do with thelr lives they will ffnd ways to achieve

their goals. However, there are days when I wonder what tt is ltke for my boys to have so much less (in the area of possessions, that is) than their friends, and I wonder whether they detect the pain and sadness I somedmes feel for our sltuaflon. Howerrer, there are many, many tn this world u/ith a lot less and we are lndeed fortunate to have

whatwe do. We belong to two ltbrarles, a small one

in our town and a btg one elght kilometers away, and enJoy readtng together very much. We are fortunate to have an lndoor pool tn the nearby town and make good use of that. Swtmmlng lessons are relatively inexpenslve. There ls also a basketball league ln town that gfves a full season for $25 per ctrild, and a softball league durtng July and August at $15 per chtld. Whenever I can, I get lnvolved tn coachlng, supeds-

lng, or helplng out tn other ways. I also Ilnd that there are many good TV programs on the publlc broadcasting channels, and also a few on commerclal TV that we watch

4. One fleld trtp each month 5. Access to school psychologfst, speech theraplst, nurse, and other speclal-


regUlarly for entertalnment. We haven't any other homeschoolers tn the area" so tn that r€spectwe are lsolated. But the boys knowJust about all the adults ln town, as they are always runntng errands for me or buylng nalls and scnews for thetr many proJects, They are treated wlth respect, ldndness, and friendllness almost weqrwhere they go.

6. The rlght to research and order our own academic and art materials 7. $4OO perchlld peryearto purchase academlc and art materlals 8. The rtght to use the butldtng houslng the gym, home economics room and restrooms for bl-monthly meetlngs and potlucks on Saturdays, especlally during

Having a low inc,ome and being homeschoolers was very dillcult when we llrst moved here IIve years ago. My boys were constantly teased and called names. They

9. The rtght to attend summer school and other school funcdons and workshops lO. Home vistts by the homeschool coordinator as needed

No matter what the famlly's lncome level, chlldren can learn to use the world around them to galn lnformatlon and flnd out how the

After some discusslon. the administrator agreed to all of the above and erren

world works.

the winter

suggested other ways in which we could be served. We have now been a part of this program for a semester and are quite pleased with the subsequent enhancement

of our homeschoollng elforts. I am sure helped to have formed a group before negotiating, and I amJust as sure that


havlng a reasonable, forward-thinking

were even pushed around and had a few things taken from them. Three times I had to speak to parents and once had abig

confrontation with a group of older kids, butwe stood ourground and things smoothed out. Part of it too, I think, was

my boys learning who to approach and who to avoid. Before moving lnto town we lived on a farm and everyone they came ln contact with was nlce to them. Unforfunately, they had a few things to learnl

Ilom Susan Swecker oJ CallfomiaI would like to address the problem of homeschoolers with low incomes by sharing with you what our rural group of homeschoolers has worked out with the

local school admlnistrator. F'irst, I should point out that flve local homeschooling families had organized and met monthly at our house for potlucks, art projects, information sharing, and soclalizing for the past two years. When the

newly hired school administrator

approached us with an ldea for a local homeschool program alllliated with the school, we were slow to respond. When we finally met with him we had put togethera list of demands thatwe had previously discussed among ourselves. We

let the admintstrator know rtght oII that we had bargatntng power due to our soll-

dartty and the knowledge that our partlcipatlon ln the programwould bring the school $3,OOO per chtld peryear. (Among the llve famllies we have eleven school age children with many young ones comtng up to school age soon.) We proceeded to

negotiate from that point. Our lst of demands tncluded the following: l. No tesdng unless someone requests


2. Use of the school libra4r and c.omputers at specillc tlmes 3. Use of audio-visual materials,

darlrroom, and supplies

and fiscally responsible admirristr:ator

had a lot to do with the success of thls fledgling program. Our homeschool c'oordinator, provtded by the school, ls also helpful in arranging fteld trips and art lessons, and tn communlcadng wtth the


I would recommend this as a way ln which homeschoolers could work with their local schools for the beneflt of the

children, our budgets, and the schoolsl It has given us the opportunity to obtain some of those flne learnlng aids and art materials which we otherwise could not afford. And Jrom Nafits Pterre oJ Texas:

Frequently I remember my own ctrildhood: We didn't have a car (my parents still don't have one) and we dtdn't have the mon€y to go to town by public transportatloni so we stayed at home with mother, who was there for us four children. We had a gr€at time plalng tn and around the house, using all opportunldes available more than once, and ln different ways. We weren't exposed to television, magazines, newspapers, or shops. On our first trip to town (I was already about 8 or 9) we walked; our llrst television we rented for the Olymplcs. As we got older we bicycled to school. In this way, slowly, our range expanded and we dlscovered the world outside. Today, I belteve, the medla machine, the entertainment craze overPowers us so stron$y that tt handly gives our children a chance to discover their very own self; it rather creates an outer activity level that ls observed and c.onsumed. Within our sltuation of not havlng the mon€y to provtde ourselves wtth all those excltlng, wonderful educational materials, I now see the benellts and opportunltles that come with betng poor, At least when the children ar€ young - homeschoollng teenagers and young adults may well be

Growlng Wtthout Schoollng #76

ll financlally more demandtreg and ask for rrrore lnput from the surrounding crrrrlmurdty. We are lucky to have an abundanc.e of space here where the ctrtldren can romp and play to thetr pleasure. There ts plenty of nature and lfe to learn about. Many used books have been glven to us, and a teacher frlend, supportlne of homeschoollng, talks wlth me and ansurers all the quesflons I have, I use arry free educational matertals I can send fon I have a creaflve mlnd and so, rnany thlngs are betng produced out ofthrowaway household materlals. I belleve tt wtll always be a challenge to create leamlng opportunifles for and wlth my famlly. That's why I read GWS and arry books on homeschooltng wlth an eager mtnd to learn about more enrlchlng ldeas. Many thanks to all the famtlles and tndlvtduals who have paved the path.

Two-Career Family Tanvng Maltbg

MN wrltes:

I'm havtng some tough times with homeschooltng, I work full-Ume and so does my husband. Ourboys are ages 7, 5, and 4 months. We're trytng to flnish up the Calvert curriculum with our oldest so we can switch to something else, but even though weVe droppd all but his math and wrtdng lessons (he does well ln readtng), I'm sttll havtng trouble nndhg tlme for school, or for much else, for that matter. As for answers IVe seen in GWS and elsewhere: l. No, we have no supportlve relailves


2. We're havlng a tough enough dme paytng for a babysitter, much less a tutor. 3. We're worktng on remodellng our house enouglr to allow someone to move ln to help us, but agaln, not enough money means slow gotng. My husband is plannlngto help me when we start the newyear by taldng one or two subJects, say math and sclence, and teachtng those to the boys. Unttl then, I'll dowhat I can. Also, my boys don't have someone to play wlth every week, much less every day, Most thlngs for school-age ldds are ln the qrenlngs, and I work evenlngs (I'm worklng on getting a shift change). I would tnrly love to wln the lottery so Mark and I could both stay home. r ^cldng that both of us work to provlde our famtly with essentlals whlle paytng olf educatlon and medtcal bllls, among others. We enJoy our chlldren's company. We also enJoy helptnC them leam. I (perhaps lncorectly) percetve that the vast maJortty of homeschmlers have a stay-at-home parent" and that those who do stay home have much more free time available to do creative, fun, exclHng tlrtngs wtth thetr chtldren. We've tried sendlng money to outfits who claim, "You canwork at home' and have thus far had to follow uir with our postmaster about mail fraud each time. And to my knowledge, there are no posslbtlides for us belng employed in our present careers at home (I'm a nurse and he's a laborer). I don't want to hand the opportuntt5r to teach our children to someone else, because I feel tt's my responslbllity and I

really do enJoy lL I guess my blggest questton ls, honr do tn o-career famllles homeschool? Eepecfally of tnterest to me would be comments from people who don't have outslde help wtth the schoollng. ISS:I We know that there cre twocareer famllles who are homeschoolfurg,

and we at GWS need to hear howyou rnanage lt, too. Please send us coples of whatwer you udte to Tarnmy, and let us

knowwhether lt's OK to prlnt lL

Doing \fithout


Iauie Adans (PN wdtes:

Durlng a recent crlsls, I hauled out my back lssues of GWS and old lssues of Perutsyhnnla Honeschders and was comforted, encouraged, and flnally brave enough to take abtg step (formel). We had been enrolled tn Chrlsdan Uberty Academy. By January of our ffrst year I was drownlng fur paperwork and absolutely hating wery mlnute of lL Tom (12), Tlna (l l), and Blalr (9) were endurlng lt, as the prtce of staying home. But lt was showing ln them - ffghttng, no creaHvl$r, no hobbtes, no readlng for fun. These symptoms of strâ&#x201A;Źss were the same as when they were ln schooll That surprlsed me - that I was as capable ofcauslng thatas the schools werel About that tlme, I recelved Hone *hd Burtout by Raynrond and Dorothy Moorc. I devoured the book tn about four hours and carrled tt around the house, rereadtng tt, for four months.

clortLc.Rcl scYtool Home Based Education Program Creale your own horilg gchool currlculum wlth the halp of Glonlara School Home Basecl Eclucallon Prograrn, lhe well.balancod home $chool program offerlng flexible or slandard approach. "Cllonlata sllesses nranipulative lealrring lools irnd real-ilte experiences ln place o.f endless wor.kboo_[ery....You creale ygur own irrdividualieed plugram

wilh the help of the

Clonlara cunlculum.-

Ths Clonlara slaff lr avallable to answer quostlons ovor lhe Dhone or bv mall. Any concorns famlllas hava whlch relato lo homo oducAilng can be addrsssdd.

Clonlara graduales r6c6lvo our prlvalo school dlploma and full . Clonlara gradualos have gone lo collegee ahd unlverslller, to mllltary ooMco, to the nrlnlslry


and Inlo lhe work forco.

Glonlara atlsnds lo all of lhe admlnlelratlve dutles aisoclalod wlth homo educatlno wlth and for our on. rolloet. We know tho regulatlons In overy slato and counlry, wo handle conlacte befiryeon school oltlclalc and our onrolloos. Thal leavas parenls fiee lo ailond to lhSlr home educailng.



Bis Bonl of lloms

l2E9 Jewetl Ann Arbor, Mlchlgan {8lO{ Growlng Wthout Schoollng #76


Pat Montgomery, Ph.D. (313) 769-4515


L2 We putaway the hlstory, phonlcs, r€adtng, sclence, and Blble textbooks. For htstory, the ldds and I now go to tlre unlnerstty llbrary, where they have an'educator's,/ctrtld's' floor. Ttrey harrc btograptdes of people I'rrc nerrer heard ofl The klds lorrc It, They've read about ten each ln the last tnro months. Stnce all three ldds know how to read, I put away the phonlcs books completely, and for r€adtng, we all agree on a booh then read aloud, all ofus together, for at least an hour dally. Readtng aloud ts a mlracle tonlc - tt bonds us so close achrally..pels good. For sclence, weVe checked out errery sclence experlment book tn two llbrarles, and done a few - not errery one - and planted

flowers, Thls has helped a lot. The kids are dotng better. Tom ls throwtng trtmself tnto trts study of geologr and nock collecttng. He alsoJust bought 2OOO stamps and ls havtng a great tlme flg;urln41 out what stamp goes to what countr5r. We use our encyclopedla, world atlas, and stamp catalogs. If he ts neally shrmped, we call a stamp-collecung friend, He spends hours at ltl And he's drawtng again. That had also stopped durfng our'paper slavery.' He earns his mon€y by babysitttng. He's the favorlte for two famtltes wtth 7-year-old boys. They both told me how tmpressed they are with trts maturtty at 12 years old, Tlna's an avid reader - she can flnlsh a book ln a ntght. We'd been talklng about volunteering ln the communlt5l somewhere, so Ttnavolunteered at our Ubrary, and they accepted he5. I went wlth her when she asked them, to vertS that she

had my permlsslon (trrttattng that kids can't be taken at thelr word). Ttre manager said, "As long as she stays tn the klds' sectlon, tt's OK.'But the llbrartan she

worked wtth let her clean records, stamp books, and even let her shelve adult books. She satd, 'Slnce lt's slow and lt's Just between you and me, you can do tt.' Ttna would go to the llbrary every day, all day if she could. She's plannlng to do that this surnmer. She loves to help the little ldds and toddlers llnd fun books, and she really wants to help wlth story ttme for the 3-6 year olds. LastWednesday, there was a struchrre Ilre in our tourn. The smoke came from near the universlty, so slnce my husband works there (as aJanttor), we walked down to check lt out, It turned out to be a barn


| . Homeschool Reader


Homcschool Handbook "r'l Lcarn Bctter By Tcachtrg Mpelf




|, t


HoneHr.collonMagaztneo -.,, t o Lcttcrs Homc o

|I )ll,{ |-- ."*'".t'.oo.

Ilre. As we werc standlng there, one of the Ladles euxUary went by carrylng donuts- I asked lfwe could help, and she said yes. The lrtds and I hauled a wagon u/tth glant Jugs ofwaterand lemonade cups and aJug of cofree, We got to cross the 'Do Not Cross' Itnes, and to set up near the flre. Talk about exclflng - there were four compa.nles, crisscrosslng hoses, and the ladtes an$rrcr€d all the ktds'questlons. No one asked whywe were there, not ln school. Ah, freedom. I thtnk wtth us tfs a gradual thtng. Fear and lgporanc€ played a bfg part tn howurc dld thtngs at the be$nnfng. Fear ofthe school dtstrtct and lgnorance tn dolng to our ldds what was done to us. It's slowly gettlng better.

For New Homeschoolers Dausn Clenrrltts oJ British C.alwnbla

wrltes: Over the last three years we've gone through some stages that I thtnk we needed to experlence before we could wen begiln to understand some of the real reasons for home learntng. At first we couldn't understand how some of our long-time homeschooling frlends could be so relaxed about the whole endeavor. So thts ls my attemPt to explatn lt to someone else who mtght be Just starflng out and have simllar feeltngs. You start wlth some reseryations, fears, hang ups, muddllng through, always wonderlng lf you're dotng anything rlght and when you'll ever get organlzed. Then one day you reallze that you don't have to struggle so hard €rnymore. Thts learntng thtng ts happenlng and lt vrasn't througlt

any efforts ofyours, but probably ln splte of those efforts. And tfs not a static thlng elther. It's a process thafs been golng on in your chlld all the tlme, but lt's only now, through the Jarring of some small incldent (rnaytre a seemtngly profound observation made byyour chtld) thatyou begin to reallze the wonder of lt. What a reliefl And how the Pressure Itftsl You now know you don't have to struggle wtth organizlng that learntng and forclng that sktlls acqutsldon. The ball is rolltng and it's downhtll all the way. Oh


For a moment - or an hour - or even a few days, and then you are agaln beset by

those same old worrles, that old Pressure to make trtm me€rsure up. But thts time lt's not qulte so tense. It's not so long untll you experience your next 'leamlng revelatlon" and you calm dourn agaln. As time goes by it gets easlerand easler and we are gradually learntng to Iet go and trust a llttle more. I ptty my eldest chtld forbeartng the brunt ofthls process. How much easler lt would have been for htm had I begun with a more relaxed atfltude, as some seem able to do. It's a learnlng experlence for me, too, or maybe lt's Just unlearntng what socle$r has tauglrt me. Well all beneflt, though. Unloostng those chalns may be a long and sometlmes paln-ful experlencc, but I would much rather galn thts freedom gradually than not at all,

Effects of Testing GaiI Kege s oJ West VWnIa wrlte s: PO

Box I O83, Tonasket' WA 98855

I've always felt there were two disUnct

groups of homeschoolers - thos€ who ar€ iequired by state law to take a standardlzed test and those who aren't. Usually, sometlme ln January, we begtn thtnklng about testtng, whlch we are rcqutred to do each year, I found tn the early years of homeschoollng that the tests wene a mere lnconvenlence. They werent too hard and my daughter dtdn't have any problems wtth them. Thls year the Stanford Achlerrcment Test, rather than the Caltfornta Achlevement Tesl was gXven, and all those lnvolved ln our testlng program agreed that ltnras much more


Sad as lt may be, there ls a c€rtain soclal pressure that edsts wtthln the extended famlly and the communlt5r for a chtld to do well on these tests. Regtna, who ts 12, took the 6th-7th grade comblned test thts spring, She scorcd h|gh fn rnarry areas and low ln others, She andously awalted the results by mail and was qulte upset to reallze that she dldn't do as well as she had hoped. It angers and hurts me to qge my chl-ldren's self-esteem ralsed and lowered by a standardized test. The testswere glven ln a church ln town on a Frtday and Saturday morning. It was lust as much a social errent as a serious one,-especially for the older ktds who were

thrilled at the opportunlty to soclallze durtng breaks. In fact, many of them rushed through the tests ln antlclpadon ol aetttnE together outside afterwards. Thls iest stle ri6s preferable to our locol school,

wtrich ts another opton available to us, but I feel the excitement deterred Regina from tatidng the tlme to do those tncredibly long dtviston and word problems correctly. At dmes tt ts dtlllcult to flnd a mtddle road in regard to balanctnt creadvity with

test r€qulrernents.

Chdr Ttunk (FI) wdtes: This year we had our chlldren tested for the llrst flme to satis$ the school board. and when lt was over I reallzed for the ltrst tlme how neryous I had been. 'What lf they don't measure up?'I know what I'm dotng ls rtght, but tt ls so scary. Perhaps havtng them tested and havtng thelr performance measure up to what was expected and beyond will give me the conlldence I was laclidng'

I only reallzed my own feeltngs ln Itahtof mv 16yearold's. Inourstate, the

oillv*"v icnla under l8 can take the GED tesi ts to enroll tn Adult Baslc Educatlon for thtrty hout's. Our son had to take a preentrv test to determlne whlch class he was to eiter: he scored at the 12.9 grade level. So far, so good; self-esteem still tetact for

both ofus. After the 3O-plus hours ofAdult Baslc Educatlon, and before the real GED stgn-up, under- l8 year olds must take a pre-test. He mlssed Passtng by three polnts' Of c-ourse, they would not let htm regster for the test. He condnued gotng to classes. This sltuatlon detertorated more and mone and Ilnally we took hlm out of the classes, bought cno books, and he worked on them on hls own at home. He also started hls flrst lob and was llred after two months. It was irot a good ttme for any of us. Well, the GED sign-up was thts week, so he had to go te for another pre-test. We were all pretty uptight. He passed with llfty polnts to

Growlng Wtthout Schoollng #76

l3 will be allowed to take the regular test, whtch we assume he wIll be spane, so he

able to pass. We were all so rellerred we


I dtd not realize how much trts orlglnal pre-test score had bothered us until last nlght, when he announccd that maybe he would be wanttng to reglster atJunlor college after all. Hls confldence had been so stripped by the flrst score that he put on the armor of not carlng about college, saylng he'dJust be a sales clerk, etc. He set up such a brarrado that I believed hnr+ and kept thfnldng of all these avenues he could Pursue. Why dtd we erren puruse the GED avenue? Junior college here won't accept him without that and an SAT score (so we sdll have that hurdle to Jump). At 16, anything beyond Junlor college fieavtng home) ls not

a possibiltty. There weren't too rnany

opflons bestdes Juntor college ln thls area, and even that ls one that I worrv about. [SS:] We're addlng truo books to


fall catalog that may be helpful to readers ln situadons slmilar to Ctndt's: ??re Quest&cn Is Cdlege, by Herbert Kohl, and

Careers l//,ftlurut Cdbge by Jo Ann Russo. Also, Cornelius Bull's Center for Interim Programs (see GWS #72) and David Denman's Ttme Out (see GWS #75) may be useful; they help htgh school- and collegeage students flnd alternatives to convenUonal schools, such as work, apprenticesl-rip, and travel opportunltles.

The "Back-to-School


Morlon Colen (PN usrltes: Maybe the following is more of a prob-

lem in the ctt5r: Kids havlng frtends who go to school and, especlally at the begtnning of the year, getdng that wtsdul look ln thelr eyes concernlng things like school suppltes. My frtend Lorralne Clark calls it

the'Back-to-School hurdle.' This summer will be our {bst 'Back-to-School hurdle.' I

plan to hand Bret (f f) $lO or so and send him out to buy'home school supplles.' What he buys wlll be tris cholce; 'reg;ular" supplies like paper and paste, or stlckers to do art proJects, or fancy magfc markers to do math with. Or maybe - I'm not sure yet halfofit can even be for baseball cards or comlcs, somethlng, 1.e., that has absolutely nothlng to do with school, home- or otherwise. The point ls, he'll have something to look forward to tn September, ltke tris schoollng friends. So far, we haven't yet had the problem of all our 4 year old's frlends looking forward to ldndergarten. Ferhaps lt's because, wtth the homeschoolers' support group meettngs at our house, and wtth all the talk about homeschooling, the word Devin has learned ls homeschool. 'I'm going to homeschool,' he tells everyone happily and proudly. Perhaps, also, lt's because so many of hts friends seem to be ayear or more younger than he is, and so are not gotng to be going to school thls September. I thtnk this mtght be a good thing to consclously do - try to see that youryoung children have some frtends who are a year or two younger than they are, so that when that Year-Before-Klndergarten ls ntgh, they wtll have some frlends who are NOT about to start school.

Growtng Wtthout Schoollng #76

Watching Children Learn In Defense Of Video Games

tud,te B,ltt (GN wrltes:

I've been wanting to write and tell you

ofthe unexpected benefits conferred by the much-maligned Nlntendo. I broke down and bought Katie one tn January wtth Chrlshnas mon€y sent by a generous relattue. Need I tell you of the gutlt I suffered as my dearly beloved homeschooled chlld sat glued to that dratted scr€en? I began to thfnk I was homeschooling so my child c-ould play Ntntendo. When the flrst few weeks' lnfatuatlon had worn off, I nottced that the tlme she spent on Nlntendo was balanced bywork and play, and I refused to allow myself to worry, I also saw my chlld perstst onward through repeated attempts untll she conquered each world tn the game. And over these past few months lt ls, to me, no colncidence that she initiates and finishes tasks that formerly bogg.d the proud chtld down in total fmstratton. The task that most impressed me was cleantng her room and keeptng it clean. Math and composltlon have also become much easler for her.

I should have known that Katte wouldn't have spent so much dme with the Mario Brothers unless she was getting somethlng

out of lt.

I mlght have been able to

learn these thlngs as well from somethlng lother than vldeo gamesl, but the polnt ls that I wasn't lnterested ln anythlng else. And Jrom

Patuk Meehan (FI):

want to clear up some mlsconceptions that I think some people have about Nintendo and all other video game sysI

terns. Grown-ups seem to consider lt perfectly acc.eptable for young people to use art and muslc, or chess and Monopoly, to meet other people, relieve stress, or take on new challenges. But for some strange reason, Nintendo, whtch performs the same

functions, ts not all rlght. In liact, Nintendo has benefitted me tn speclfic ways. I bought myAmtga 2OOO computer last year to use for animatlon (whlch was my big focus at the ttme) and

other general art proJects. Slnce I have gotten lnter€sted tn Nintendo and electronlc games ln genenal, I have dectded I would like to be a game designer. My Amiga is a great tool for designing the playing maps and levels for video games. I have leamed so much more about art and my skills have increased tremendously. I have found that tn order to destgP vldeo games I must learn a very demandlng computer language. I also need to learn a lot more advanc.ed math. Before Nlntendo I was not very motlvated or enthuslastlc about learnlng math at any lwel, but now I see how and where I am going to use math

and am much more tnterested and thorough ln my approach. I'm not oractly dylng to do math every daY, but I'm not strtrking lt elther, Vtdeo games lntroduced me to archl-

tecture. It has becorne so exc{tlng to me tlrat I may choose lt as an alternate professlon f for some reason game destgn doesn t work out, but of course at thls Polnt game destgn ls my flrst cholce. I have always been creadve and hfgHy tmagtnattve. Vldeo games have helped me

leam to orgl^trt"E my fmagtnfurgs lnto

storles wtth very dellntte constmcdon. I have a much more dlstlnct way of thtnklng now. Destgntng the game and the characters ts excidng, but composlng muslc to flt the acdon has become erpally tnteresttng to me. I had taken muslc lessons years ago, but dropped out because I wasn't really lnterested. Now I take two one-hour classes aweek and would take more lf my parents could allord tt. I tntend to compose all the muslc to go wtth my games, or at least have more than a rudlmentary knowledge of music. My Amlga computer ls one of the best for muslc composltlon. I am very eager to learn enough muslc so that I maybegin using the software I have avallable. But remember that when I bought the computer I did not really tntend to use the music side oflt even though I was aware oflts

capabllltles. I have also become more lnterested ln leaming about m5rths because vldeo games seem to work very well using m5rths as story frameworks. I thtnk trtstory could give games some nlce hvists also. Electronlc games act as tr:ampollnes for the mind because the player must

exercise hls or her thtnlOng powers ln order to solve the game. The player is forced to problem-solve, us€ strategS/, ttmtng, and very, very nlrnble eye-hand

coordination. In my oplnlon, uslng electronlc games sldllfully cannot help but influence other thlngs. If your bratn has been lmproved you can't help ustng tt lrt other areas, and the eye-hand coordinatlon should help ptano playtng, uslng a computer keyboard, tJptng, etc. I rnfght have been able to leam these thlngs as well from somethlng else, but the polnt ls that I wasn't lnterested tn anythtng else. I've played chess for a long time, but lt nerrer really set me on flre' Unfll vldeo games came along nothing had really tnsplred me a lot. I uras good at anlmadon and lnterested tn malrdng movles, but I found the cost of moviesJust too orpensive. I belonged to a club of all adults (except me and a frlend of mtne), but when they furcluded us at all lt was to hold the booms or clean up. You won't believe this, but the adults acted so sllly that I could hardly stand to be around them. I soon left that

behindl Now I don't have to depend on .rnyone else for me to make progr€ss tn my destgn work. I need someone to be tnterested and hlre me, but ln the meantlme I can go rlght on deslgntng aumy, and all I need ts to

learn more and more, have a ltttle btt of equlpment, and keep on worklng,


Joining Writers' Guild &rctle Stnurpns (IX) tuites:

For a couple of years, Artel (now I l) had wtshed for some sort of chlldren's wrtdng group, and had erren trted to get one started ln our nrral ar,ea. For most of that tlme, her prtmary deslrre sâ&#x201A;Źemed to be to meet other ctrildren wtth an lnterest tn vtrldng, rather than to be a member of a wrtters' group t r general, When she beglan to call herself a wrlter and to show an lnterest ln tr5dng to publlsh noto, I thougfrt she probably needed to get to know other wrlters who shared, her goals and agonles, so we attended a meetlng of the wrlters' gutld that meets ln our ltbrary one nlght a

month. I wasn't sure what to expecL Frankly, I was conccrned about the gutld members' reacflon to havtng a chlld asi young as Arlel tn thelr mtdst, but I hoped they'd see how serlous she was and give her a chance. I needn't have worrled, As the members

tntroduced themselves at the start of the meetlng, dtllerent ones mendoned degrees they held. When Ariel's hrrn came, she satd, 'I'm Arlel Slmmons, and I'm sure you can tell by looHng at me that I don't have any degrees of any ldnd.' And then she went on to describe her wrldng experlence, whtch t:cluded edtttng a monthly newsletter for her 4-H club, I saw some eyebrows rise then, and I ngured she'd made a good starL Shed been conlldent enough to bring along a copy ofa story she'd wrlttenJust a couple of weeks before. Sure enough, after the group had heard her story, she had a crowd of admlrers. They all wanted to know tf I helped her (I assured them that I was only her typtst), and after that was settled, they went to great lengths to encourage her and to make her feel at home tn thetr group. Although they seemed surprised by heryouth, I was deltghted that they accrpted her as a fellow wrlter, Somethlng nlce about the gutld ts that they draw names each month, and tlen correspond wtth each other before the next meetlng. So Artel received a letter from one member and wrote to another after that flrst meetlng. She really enJoyed the whole experlence and felt she'd made several new frlends, Unfortunately, we were unable to attend the next two meetlngs. In the meantlme, I took her to a crldque group that meets every month ln Fort Worth. She dtd not read, but sheJotned the dlscusslon and took an acttve part In the proceedtngs. Thts critique group ts an ofshoot ofthe local chapter of the Society of Children's Book Wrlters, so her reactlons were especially valuable to these wrlters slnce they are wrtdng to ayoung audlence, We'd ltke to attend a meetlng of the SCBW soon. It's an hour's drlve, but we've heard there are two or three chtldren ln that group, so Ariel ls arudous to gtve lt a try. And Jrom


Later letter:

We attended the wrlters'g;ulld meetlng for the second dme, and - oh, Joyl - there was another I l-year-old glrl there. Her mother, a local wrlterwho has publtshed a few chlldren's storles here and there, heard about Arlel through some of the other group members and, thus encouraged,

brought her two daughters to the meettng. They had even been homeschooled for a whlle when they were younger. WeVe already had them over to our house for a day ofplaylng and gettlng to know about each other. The mom hasJust started a full-ttme Job worklng for the local newspaper, and we are ln the discusslon stage of seefurg lf we can amellorate her chtld-care problem by having her klds spend a lot of ttme wtth ours thls surmer, The funny, ttn$e-up-your-splne part of all thls ls that Arlel had expressed an lnterest tn wrlting for that local newspaper (chlld's polnt of vlewessays, I belleve, are what she had ta mtnd), so for the last month IVe been Mehlng we knew someone at the newspa.per, or had some sort of networklng posstblltfles there. Vollal The door has Just opened a crack.

Works in a Bookstore, in a Gymnastics Class Eleadatl Acheson MA) wrltes: When I was 14, I started worklng at a used bookstore in a small town. I'd been homeschooling for seven years. My

employers, homeschoollng parents, couldn't allord to hlre me morâ&#x201A;Ź than one Ilve-to-seven hour day perweek. I rvas paid a 3O96 commtssion and rarely made more than twenty dollars a day, sometlmes less



Durlng the past two years tlte store moved to a larger locatlon and my hours have lncreased to thre.e flve-hour days per week. My lncome and responsibilitles have lncreased as well. I now buy and prlc.e books, clean, organlze dlsplays, make buslness calls, wrlte buslness letters, conduct book searches, answer questlons, and restock shelves. In additlon, when the owners are on vacatlon I handle mail and

banking. At flrst I was the only employee, but a few months ago three more employees were hfred. All four of us are now paid hourly wages. As senlor employee, I am pald more per hour than the rest even though I am the youngest. When the owners are unarrailable, the other employees call me when they have quesdons. All the responslbillties have made me feel tmportant and more


Last September I got a secondlob as a coach at a newly started grmnasdcs club.

The club started small, but already my hours have more than doubled. When I started I wasn't strong enough to spot wen a front ltmber with the older klds. Now I'm spotting the older kids'back handsprtngs by myself. I also lead warm-ups and teach the less compllcated trlcks whlle the head coach teaches the harder stulf. My rlesponstbtltttes there wtll keep grcwtng because the head coach is expecttng a baby and will not be able to spot as well. I enJoy teachtng and have learned a lot about toddlers and older lidds. I also learn from watching what the ktds learn, I really feel happy when I see ldds whoVe trted hard to perfect a trlck ffnally do tt. The trtumph on their faces really makes my day. I conslder my Jobs the most lmportant part of my homeschoollng educadon.

Amelta Achesoa Eeadad's mothen


At least ntnety-flve perc.ent of the

tlrne, our feeltngs about Eleadarl's worldng are posltlve, But, perhaps llke other homeschoolers, we have our llttle 3:OO AM panics. Have we alloured buslnesses to take advantage of our chtld? Certalnly no adult c.ould have allorded to work Elea's bookstore Job that llrst winter. There were days when she came home so tir,ed and dtsappointed that she'd worked all day and earned less than a dollar an hour - the sad

realtty of commlsslon work, The only

consoliatlon uras reallzlng that the bosses were barely able to pay thelr bllls, and she was an essentlal part of thetr strugglrng buslness. But the followtng summer, when the tourlst season was tn full flow she saw the benelit of commlsslon work, someflmes maktng as much as twelve dollars an hour. Her secondJob, as grm coach, pays

slx dollars an hour. And what about schoollng? Not that we have ever set astde large blocks of ttme

for teachlng, and, of all our chlldren, Eleadart has obJected most to anythlng that sounds llke lessons, But sometlmes lt seems like she spends all her dme elther worklng or gettlng ready for work. Is she rntsstng somethlng that wtll be tmportant to her later on ln life? At flrst, wlth her working one day a week, it wasn't a problem. But over two years' tlme it's escalated to three days at onejob and three days at the other, as much tlme as shewould spend tn school lf she weren't a homeschooler. The difference is that there lsn't a law tellinS her she has to spend that ttme working. She could qutt, tf she dtdn't enJoy lt so much.

What about the money she's makteg? What does a teenagerdo wtth that? Eleadarl has her own bank account" and lt has a four-digit balance. But she spent 5/6 of her lncome for the flrst six-week sesslon of the grmnastlcs club on clothtng' I was appalled. Do I lecture her about thriff Dcis anybody successfully lecture a l5 year old about anythtng? So I lecture myself t:stead: 'It's not my money she's spendlng' She eamed tt herself and has the rlght to spend tt howwer she wants" She does siem to be pretty senslble about her spend_tng, but I panlc when she takes $ IOO out of

the bank for a shopplng trtp, especially when money ts ttght for the rest of the famrly. Sometlmes she even ofiers us a loan to pay the btlls. Hoping to squeeze a httle math lnto her llfe, I once satd I d pay interest on her loans lf she could calculate how much I owed her, compounded datly, of course. She dtd, ln splte of the fact that she has always balked whenever I trled to teach her anythtng about math. I see that I've talked mostly about the problems of Eleadart's work. Even the problems aren't all negaflve. And the other 95% has been pure pleasure. I've seen my shy tomboy bloom lnto a young buslness *o'*, kriown and respected 6y the other buslness people tn town. Sometlmes my husband Mel and I go to the bookstore to play games (there's a game area ln the itorel and I love to watch my daughter ln acuon, selltng books, answerlng the phone, loolidng uP the current prlce of a baseball card. Or I'll arrive ten rnlnutes early at the grmJust for the prlvtlege of watchlng Eleadart help eager young S/mnasts master the balance beam. I someflmes wonder where all thts wtll lead

Growtng Wtthout Schooltng #76

l5 her ln the future, but I have no doubts that tt ls good for her rlglrt now.

Serious About Swimming CrIstE fure (CA) wdtes fn response to tlw Feus on Vowlg Wople wtthlntense lnterests ttt GWS *73:

I do synchronized swlmmnrg wtth the Santa Clara Aquamafds. It ls a sport whtch ls simllar to water ballet. We swlm. to muslc as a team of etght people, and do tndividual llgures. I practice two to three hours a day, Monday through Frtday. I don't mlnd spendlng thls much tlme on lt because I really enJoy synchro. It gfves me a challenge to see how good I can be, It ls also very good phystcal exerclse, We do about twent5r freestyle Laps every day and also swlm laps with our legs up in the alr. When we go to team meets we get really exclted about what place we're gotng to get. The last meet I went to, lfwe placed tn the top threewe would qualffy for the Natlonal Age Groups Meet where we would compete agalnst teams from all over the Untted States. Our team got thtrd and we will be gorng to Clayton, Missourl for Natlonals next week. When we found out we had gotten thad tt was so unbellevable that some of us started cryingl IVe made lots of very good frlends te synchro. Some of them go skatght to swimrntng from school and don't have any time to do anything else. I also really ltke to read and play the plano and I have flme to do these thlngs because I'm home-

schooled. I hope that I wtU be contleulng synchro for at least a couple more years. When you are one of the top swlmmers ln our club you go to places like Russl,a, France, Spaln, and sometimes the Olymptcsl ld llke to hear from any other homeschoolers who do synchronlzed swlmmlng.

Singing Chorus

in Kids' Earth

tura Dilltplane MA)


My mom, Suste (my slster), and I were

starting homeschool for the llrst tlme. We were dolng lots of thtngs I would never have done ln regular school. I read tn GWS #73 about klds who were homeschooling

and concentrated on one particular thtng. That remtnded Mom and me of a stnging chorus we werle ln of homeschoolers, the Ktds'Earth Chorus. We were dotng tt a lot and it was pretty hard, but excltlng, and we all liked doing this. What our group concentrated on was slngfng about cleantng up our world and about how we are wreclidng werythtng on earth. The Kids'Earth Chorus started when Jill Steln, a shrger and songwrtter, wanted to do somethlng for Earth Day. Later, wtth the help ofher friends, she declded she wanted to form a lttOe Ktds'Chorus and produce a tape to go to all the publlc schools so they could learn some songs about the envlronment ln time for Earth Day. She found some homeschoolers (us) and we started to learn some songs and play wtth how they sounded. A fewweeks went by and we found that we had a ltttle

family chorus, ktds and moms. The tape

Growlng Without Schoollng #76

was made but we sHll ltked belng together and stnglng. We started performlng at Itbrartes and we were lrrvlted to Earth Day Cambrtdge and Boston. Our famtly stopped ustng to:dc chemlcals and started to buy saG products and recyclable cans, We dldn't use so rnany paper towels and paper napklns,When we went to McDonald's, we asked for paper and NOT styrofoam. We save yogurt c€ntalnere and use them agatn. Almost olerythlngwe do now, we thlnk about how tt allects the earth, Now that Earth Day ts over, we dectded that stnce we love stn$ng together and tellfueg people about the Earth so much, maybe we could do some communlty slngs (we had a me€tlng to talk about thls) or

make a tape and songbook (a longer version of the publlc school tape). We feel llke there's a magic bubble around us when we stng together and we llke stngtng and brtngtng tt wtth us to other people.


had Just been readlng ln GWS about chlldren wlth

lntense lnterests and then reallzed that I was llvlng wlth such chlldren. *ra's

mother, Pat, adds:

I had Just been readlng ln GWS #73 about chtldren wlth lntense lnterests and then reallzed that I was livlng wtth such chlldren. Sara (lO) and Susanna (8) have spent most of the past live months stngtng. Stngtng with the Kids' Earth Chorus took over our llves - ln some sense, became our passlon. But lt's taught us (me, espectally) Ilrst-hand how home leaming can allow chlldren and adults to follow thelr true lnterests, growtng and strlvlng and worktng wtth amazlng concentraflon and wtth amazlng results, I suppose I had an lntellectual belief ln tlds when we wlthdrew from school; I'd certatnly read about lt, But experlenclng lt - wowl The chorus is called the Kids'Earth Chorus for several reasons: the chtldren (slx of them, aged 7 to lO) are the focal potnt of the group, and have a maJor role ln decisions, musical selecdons, and plans; all of the songs so far relate to earth/

envlronment/famlly lssues; and ffnally, the ktds are the ones who are tnherttteg the mess we"re made of Mother Earth. As the chorus conthued to meet, rehearse, and perform, somethlng happened that I'd read about ln John Holt's books and tn GWS. The chlldren started to have lndependent frlendships and teteracdons wtth each other and with the other adults ln the group, that cross-ag;e fertlllzatlon and learning that so rarely happens in schools. They relate to

Jill and to the lead

guttarbt, Ken Selcer, tn thts really complex way. Jtll and Ken are not thelr teachers and they don t functlon as parents,


rather as adults from whom the chlldren do leam but whom they also llke and respect and enJoy betng wtth. We would like to hear from other familles/ktds/groups lnterested ln muslc and envlronmental lssues. Are other people wrtttng songs? Are people dotnt thts ktnd of communtty/chtldren's muslc?

Stopped from Exploring krg

Ftom a letter that Brttfsh atlf,lrr l-eila wrcte us recenilg:

Near me here llves Joan, an elderly, c,onvendonal, but nlce teacher, now rettled. She told me how she was taught to do the current new'sets' style of maths, wh,lch she thought rtdtculous, but she decided tt mrght sult Dor€en, one of her six year

olds, who was 'not very brtght.' It would keep her busy whlle Joan got on wlth a 'senslble' way of teaching the bdghter the obJects trto sets ones. Doreen very well, so the next week Joan gave her the collectton to anange agatn. 'Bleedin' 'ell,' crted Doreen tn dlsgust and dlsbeltef' 'You gone and mucked 'em uP alreadyl I only cleared 'em up for you last weekl' (Different ldeas about the real work.) ,..Sometlmes lt's very dilficult to see a ctrild's real work because we can only see our expectatlons - which ls what the ctrlld ts not dotng. It even happened wlth A'S. Nelll, He was convlnced the ldds lat Summerhilll dtdn't want to leam to read, and he wouldn't look when they wanted to show hlm they could, whlch made them very uPset.

...Sthoolteachers as a rule don't let you explore. When I was I I or 12. we had a maths teacher who, together wlth her frtend who started at the school at the same tlme, walt young, attractlve, tntelllgent. Now I was naturally attracted to algebra - I enJoyed the tmagtnaflveness of tt. She started to show us the proof of some theorem. 'We'll assume x ls 15,' she sald. Immedtately my hand went uP' 'But why should we?t I sald, I couldn't understand how anyone could tell me what I should assume, and furthermore could thfnk that proved anythtng, tf she dectded what I assumed.

Desplte her youth and vttallty, she couldn't explaln the sltuatlon to me. Every time she told me to assume xqras 15, I doggedly but more and more hopelessly said, "Why? What would happen tf we dldn't assume x ts 15?' After a ltttle of thts, she dectded I wasJustbetnga pest, and when I still lnsisted on asklng'!Vhy?'I became the form clown, looktng back, I marvel that ttris young teacher stralght out of unlverslty should have mlssed such a rnagnlflcent opportunt$r. Why dtdn't she say, 'You can each ofyou plck whatever

numberyouwant, and see howltworks out.'When wery chlld te amazement dls-

cpvered they got the same answer, what a Jubtlant alllrmadon of algebra that would have been. But no. We had to assume that x was whaterrcr number she told us to assume. We had to be stopped from explor-


lVhere to Get Child-Sized Tools In pa.styears readers have asked us where to get chtld-stzed tools. Katherlne McAlptne (ME) sent us a page from the Johnny's Selected Seeds l99O catalog (free fmm Foss Hrll Rd, Albion ME O49lO) that advertlses chlld-stzed garden tools, hand tools, watertng cans, and wheelbarrows. These are real tools, not toys; they are smaller or llghter than the adult-slzed


JOHN HOLT'S BOOK AIVD MUSIC STORE STANDING UP TO THE SAT uy John weiss, Barbara Beckwith, and Bob Schaeffer#1288 $6.95 So much has been revealed about the flaws of the Scholasttc Aptttude Test that lfs too bad so nrany colleges strll requlre tt. If you have to take a test, though, tt's better to feel that you understand how lt works, what tt really measiures, and how lt may be flawed, than to feel that you're gotng to be evaluated by somethlng mysterlous and obJecttvely wtse. Students cran use all the tnformaflon that's now available about whafs wrong wtth the SAT to feel more confident about taklng the test, and to better understand how to do well on lt. Foryears weVe urged students and their parents to use None oJ tle Abr:e and Crackittg the Sgstem - two books in our catalog in just this rvay. I ast fall we added another: Standbg Up to tIle SAT, put out by Fai/Test, the testtng-reform research and advocacy organizaflon that we have often mentioned in GWS. This book thoroughly demystifles the SAT and helps students prepare for the test by understandlng the test itself, not by studytng vocabulary llsts or dolng math problems. Many people mlstakenly belleve that the SAT ls so stratghtforward that lf you have studled basic math and En$tsh, the test can't help but accurately reflect your abiltties. But those who have studied the SAT know that isn't true. The authors of Standbg Up to tle SA?wrtte in answer to the quesflon, 'Is Coachlng Cheattng?":

l,eamtng how the SAT works lsn't against the rules - lt's simply smart.... Each SAT item lncludes choices designed to lead you auray from the wanted :rnswer. ETS lthe Educational Tesflng Service, which writes the SATI calls these choices 'dlstractors.' Thelr purpose ls to fool you. It's only fair that you know what ktnds of traps to look out for. Strrnd@ up to tte S,AJT warns you about these traps, and helps you prepare for the test and know what you're entitled to ln all sorts of other ways. For example, there's an appendix that details what the proctors of tests are required to do, I remember the chapter tn David Owen's book None oJ tle Abr:e that descrlbes how a proctor (probably out oflgnorance or lazlness) vlolated the rules ln ways that gave the students ln that pardcular testing room €u1 lncrcdtble dlsadvantage, It's important to know what to expect tn thts regard so that fyour test isn't being adminlstered properly you know lt and can complaln. Most people prepartng for the SAI probably don't even think of this sort of thtng, but as these books show, it can make avery big difference, Another useful part of the book ts, ironically, something that could render the book unnecessary for some students: it llsts colleges that don't requtre the SAI or the ACT (the American College Testing Progpam's exam), and that list includes about EO schools, several ofwhlch are considered selective or presflglous. The authors say: Some [colleges] now allow appllcants to subrrrlt other test scores lnstead of the SAT. Others recommend but don't requlre the test. A few don't care lfyou submtt test scores at

all. These trend-setttng colleges are generally high-quality, competltive schools. In every case, theyVe found that dropptng or reduclng thelr rellance on the SAT broadens thelr appllcant pool and lmproves the quality of thetr students.

Standiry Up to the SATrvill probably make you angry, but it wtll also help you dwelop a skeptlcal, confident, and lnformed attltude toward this exam and others like


- Susannah Sheffer ECONOMICS AS IF THE EARTH REALLY MATTERED by Susan Meeker-Lowry #rv42$9.95 I ^"t year we replaced Ethical huesttg in our

catalog with

fuonomics as lf tte FanthRea/d;g Mattered, as we feel tts wide range of alternatlve ways to turn money to good use would app@l more to our readers. The author, who began homesteadtng ln Vermont in the l97Os, begtns with a personal essay telling how and why she began wridng about'lnvesting for social change.'As she safd fn the llrst article she ever wrote on the subject, she ls writtng for the the kind of person who "must feel'rfghf about their investments each day, knowing that the present is all there really ls to work with and if they don't do something to better the world today, there may be no tomorrow.' Her phtlosophy matches what John Holt said about social change tn GWS # l; ln fac.e of despalr, she writes: We cannot wait for change to happen; we are part of the system... we must start now, maklng the cholces and changes we can make. As we do this, the r€sults of thes€ changes will ripple outward, helping us Join urith others to create powerful momentum for change or a new way,

Only part of one chapter discusses the tradtUonal forms of lnvestment that appear in Ethical Inrsestlng: the soctally screened mutual funds like Calvert Social Investment Fhnd, the banks that lnvest in local neighborhoods like South Shore Bank of Chicago. A word of warning: I read tn Sie"r.anagazlne that there has been so much interest recently in socially conscious lnvesting that all the major lnvestrnent companies are creating funds wtth words in their titles like "Green" and 'Earth,' but that they are not choosy about what companies they put Lr them, and, ln fact, some are maJor polluters. Business will always llnd a way to get a buck from the gullible. Meeker-Low4l contlnually stresses puttlng money lnto small-scale ventures. One qulte long chapter deals wtth making loans to ftends'businesses: whether to do lt, what standards to use, how it rnight allect the relationship, what sort of written agreement to use, and what to do tfthe deal sours. Perhaps I should say that John Holt was generous in loaning money to his frlends; some loans were never paid back but others have been paid back handsomely.

A large section of the book provldes detailed lnformatlon on thirty-five revolving loan funds that support various social causes, Investors loan money to the funds, earning from zero to 596 or even 796 lnterest" and the organizadons loan ln turn to qualilled proJects. For example, the Cooperadve F\nd of New England loaned money to the Boston Food Co-op to reno\rate lts store, and the Lakota Fund ln South Dakota supports the development of small business by members of the Sloux trlbe. 'Despite the seemingly high risk of their loans,' Meeker-Lowr5r wrltes, 'most of the the funds have exprlenced no defaults and most have never fatled to meet thelr obligations to lenders." Other intriguing topics in the book: LETS, a system of barter credits that keeps all the "money" clrculating within a communit5l lnstead of being drained away; Land trusts for

2269 Massachusetts Ave.

John Holtre Book and Muslc Store

alfordable houslng; bloreglonallsm; recycling as a way of increasing loc.l self-rellance; worlrer ownership, such as the Mondragon model. The organlzadon of the toplcs ts sltghtly confusing, wtrtch I think derives from the fact that the book began as separate newsletter arilcles. The table of contents ls very detatled, howwer, and the appendtx ts loaded with addresses for further

information. Uoln in the dance,' says Meeker-Iawry, 'we need you alll' And she certainly provides enough help for any of us who choose toJoln her to do so. Donna Richoux




$9.95 Every dme I read this book, my head starts buzzing with ideas of ways to improve the business at Holt Associates. Just as Paul Hawken says in hts opening chapter, most writing about buslness seems to have little or no connection to the actual experienc€ of mnning a small cromparry. But this book matches more closely what IVe seen here than any other. Hawken founded two successful businesses: Erewhon, the first natural foods store

Cambrldge, MAO2l40

those who help them as threatentng, because these people have

all they can handle, too... Other contents: practical lnformatlon on organlzaflon and Ilnanclng; how to read the signals of the marketplace: and a great section on the simllartty between r€specttng your customers and respecting your employees. Even while he's givtng examples of what has worked for hls company or others (a'coolide-Jar' system of reurards for reduclng mall-order shtpptng errors, for example), Hawken stresses that he wants to avold any lmpllcadon that others should copy hdm. Rather he'd like to see us to put the baslc principles such as lntegrity and playfulness lnto pracdce ln our own way. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who ls already running a small business, as well as to the broader audience of anyone who thinks they might like to do so someday. As Hawken reminds us, 'Small business has been the drtvlng force In economic growth and Job creadon tn the United States sfulce the mld-seven-

ties,'and 'Desplte the grumbltngs of buslnesspeople about government tntervention.,. the self-owned and -operated buslness ls the freest llfe ln the world.'- DR



in Boston, and later Smith and Hawken, mail order garden supplies (whose first catalog of tools so impressed John Holt that he added it to ourcatalog as a worthy publicadon in its own


right). Hawken started off knowing nothing about business and

often we don't do much of our living at home, not much of

learned from experience, as he is convinced any ofus can do. I ffnd his book to beJust the right mtxture of the author's personal experience, observations of others' experience, and conclusions drawn from these. Just as we use thls mix ira GWS to give confidence to our readers, Hawken gives me hope that we're on the right track, even though, as he says, business ls a frighten-

ingbuslness. While some of hls advlce remlnds me of weaknesses here, such as the list of what figures to watch to keep track of your progress, other bits are reassurlng, such as thls one (good for toobusydays): The slightly understaffed company avoids this danger [of territorial inftghtin$ because people need each other more. With "too much" work to do, people are quite willing to share that work and the responsibility and information that go with it. They are grateful for help, arrd they don't perceive



Jan and Charlie Fletcher, eds. #1250 $8.50

Too often these days, family members' lives are scattered;


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together, A home-based family buslness is a naturial cholc.e for homeschooling farrdlies. We choose to be together for many good reasons. A home business may be a way to make homeschooling more possible for some people. Thts is not a general book about how to start a home business, norJust about how to run one, though there are lots of practical and useful ldeas and suggestlons gleaned from the authors'experiences. Thls ls a book about the shtft to a homebased lifestyle. Jan and Charlte Fletcher have collected arffcles about home business wrltten by people who have home businesses. (Most are written by Jan Fletcher). Nobody gfves the slightest indicadon that a home business ls easy, but then what is? I like this book so much because its main focus ls on running a small family business at home in order to be at home, ln order to work as a family. Even people who do not have and are not consldering a home business can galn a lot from reading this book, I think. There is so much good material in it on families working together. I

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beterre that famtltes need to vrcrk together, whether on a buslness, on household rnatters, on a garden, orwhaterrcr. I tlnd thts book to be encourag;lng - rvorldng together can streng-then our farnllles and ean brlng us a lot of learnlng, growth, and Joy.




by Lama Yongden #1270 $t2.95

Cambrldge, MA02l40

abtlity to spln ayarn, the unexpected consequences of these actlons. We learn a lot aboutTtbetan culture, not to mendon the lntrlcacles of yak tr:ading and other such lore, and I'm struck by how often I found myself thtnlong, 'Thts ls Just so dlfferent fnom

Westem culture.' For lnstance:

When we look for new books to add to the Ilcflon secflon of our catalog, we look espectally for unusual books that are overlooked by most book merchants, and Mlpam ls most certalnly

suchabook. It ls the llrst book wrltten by a Tlbetan [.ama for Westem readers. The author, tn hts tntrcductlon, tells how he planned to spend hls llfe, 'serene$ and studlously, tn a Tlbetan monâ&#x201A;ŹBtery,'but that the "dlsconcerdng play of unknown causes' made htm travel to many lands: In this way I came to read.,. books whlch ln the form of novels claimed to descrlbe Tlbet and the customs of its inhabttants. In these I found subJect for no llttle surprise. When the hilartty - mfngled wlth some measure of indignation - excited by the extravagant descriptions ofcertain wrlters had substded, I felt that lt was undesirable that readers should be led lnto error by such accounts; slnce 'in thetr turn mtght dlsseminate lncorect nodons on thethey strength ofwhat they had read and belleved to be the truth, On my return to Tlbet, I therefore began to collect materlal whlch would lllustrate the ldeas and customs of my compatrlots. Publtshed in 1938 and cast in early twentieth-century Tlbet, Mpam uses an omnlscient narrator to descrlbe the sptrltual and emotlonal Journey of a Tlbetan man from btrth to death within the context of hls adventures and culture. Yongden writes in a letsurely and conversatlonal style, providtng us with local color that ls nlcely worked lnto hls story. At hts btrth, whlch opens the book, Mtpam ts greeted with portents such as 'a palr of btrds wtth golden crests' that alight on the thatched roof of hls home; the vlllage drought suddenly ends with an abundant rain; and "a large leopard appeared close to the house, calm and unafratd." The vlllagers see these thl:gs as proofthat the newborn ls an'tncarnated lama,'and so sure are some villagers of ttris that they clatm the chtld ls the relncarnatlon of the recently deceased lama, Mtpam the Preclous One. Ttre author wryly adds, "To tell the truth, the trlumphant father had adrottly helped them to form thls opinlon." The author loves to toss ln these lronlc asldes, and flnds humor as often as he does drama tn Mlpam's ltfe. Like so many children, Mipam is ralsed and trained wtth the expectatlon that he wlll bec.ome somethlng hls parents want htm to be - ln thls case an astrologer - but, through a serles ofgood and bad teachers and other circumstances, he becomes a merchant and philosopher instead. As the story progresses we follow Mtpam on hls Journeys to Chtna to sell goods, and these adventures lead hlm to become a well-respected advlsor to varlous local folks who need to know how to get around or cope wlth authorltles as varied as Mandarlns and Catholic mlsslonarles, Desplte hts good standtng tn his communlt5r, Mipam ls unhappy. He feels the tug of rellglon and much of the story detalls how religlon and datly life are lnextricably enhvlned for Tlbetans, and how Mipam flnally comes to terms wlth, and accepts his role ln, hls religfon. The'drama of Ttbetan rellglous practlces ls frequently brought to llfe, such as when Mtpam runs afoul of a local prlnce who then comnrands the vlllage maglctan to ldll Mlpam by means of a rlfual ceremony, slnce Mlpam has already fled the vlllage. We are provtded wtth the vtllagers' feellngs about havlng to partlclpate ln thls cerlemony (fear and horror); the physical detatls of the oeremony, and, ln keeptng wtth the author's llne

Llke other chlldren of Tlbet, [Mtpam] had heard terrlllc tales of demons. He knew that all sorts of beings llve hldden ln trees, rocks, and sprtngs, ready to play cruel pranks on all who come wtthtn thetr reach.... He was fully aware of the perlls whlch men and catfle lncur when they venture to leave thelr homes at ntght. There ls safety fn the houses of the village, for around them are planted htgh poles, flytng flags on which protecdve charms are prlnted. But ln spite of everythlng, Mtpam was not afrald. No matter how dlllerent the culture and relrglon, there are experlences that we all share as human belngs, and thls ls a speclal part of tlrts book. Most of us will recogntze Mlpam's Joy at consummatlng a good buslness deal, understand hls love for the lady Dolma, or sympathize with hts grief at the death of his mother, Changpal. The latter is a good example of how our foreign hero and his world speak to us despite our cultural differences:

Mipam, who had left Terzln's house without reallztng what he was doing, wandered aimlessly through the town. One stngle thought fflled his mind: hls mother was dead, he would never see her agaln.., never, ne\rer. She had loved hlm more than her ffrst-bom. Untll now he had hardly appreciated thls, but he saw, in a flash, that she had expected somethtng more from him than the satisfacdon whlch a good son rnay gtve hts mother, "The gods sang ln my room at the moment whenyou were bom, and 'signs'apeared around our house," she had told htm longago. He was too young, then, to heed her words, but their meanlng came home to him now. From the son born in the midst of prodigtes, Changpal had hoped for a prodtgy: she had hoped tn vatn. He was not a

wonder-worklng saint, and havlng left hls father's house so early, he had not even had the opportunlt5r of proving himself agoodson... He recalled the rellgious songs... which the beggireg ptlgrtms sing for alms at the vlllagers' doors, Wlen I had, a motler I ru,as not bg her stde, And tul:rln I refurned to ler, mg motl'er hod. dled

I thtnk Mrpam connects with Westemers, wen though tt deals wlth a world so radically dtfferent from our own, because of passages like this, wlth whtch anyone who has lost someone close to them can idendf. Lama Yongden deals wtth so many of the great themes of llterature that it ts lmpossible to sec his book as Just aTtbetan travelogue; he wrltes about the lovlng struggles of parents and chlldren, the pursuit of love, achtewtng fatth and redemptlon, and flnding one's work ln the world. But wenJust for the taste of Ttbet, for an lnslder's view of thls far away place, this book ts excellent.- Pat Farenga

aaaaoaaaaaaaooaaaaaaaaoaaaaaaaaa ErcL lrucr: We strongly $2.5O; #382lndex to #31-40, $2i #3â&#x201A;Ź14 urge you to gct the back lssues of Index to #41-50, $2; #385 Index to GWS,cspcciallyifyou plan tobcgln *51-6O,$2; #381 Sctofalltndcxcs, homeschooling. Many of thc articles $5. are as useful and lmportant as wherr Blndcn arc avallable wtth rods thcywere prlnted, and we do not that hold GWS wlthout obscurlng plan to rcpeat thc lnformaflon ln any text. Gold letters on csrrer. #33O thcrn. All back lssues arc kept ln Btndcr wlth 24 rcds (holds GWS *lprtnt. Rates: $125 plus postagc for a 24), $1O; #328 Binderwlth 18 rods complete sct. For any other combi- (holds 18laterissues), $9.5O. #326 nadon ofback lssucs, malled at onc Sct of4 btndcrs and 78 rods (holds timc to onc addrcss, thc cost ts $2 cWS *f -78), $35. cach plus $2 per ordcr. Add pectlng ud dcllvcry lndcrcr to GWS (spcciff ttcm chrrgc for all ltems {sec chart on number): #380 lndcx to GWS tl-3O, prcrrlous page).

FOCUS: How Children Become Independent For thls lssue'r Focns, we asked young people, 'What do you thtnk has helped you, or ls helpln! you, take steps toward lndependence? Dld your parcnts encourage you to take those steps, or dld you have to encourage them to let you do lt? Do you thlnk there are thlngs that parents do that hold klds back when they want to become lndependent? Are there, on the other hand, thtngs that parents do that help ktds become lndependent?" Wc alEo asked parents to wrlte about these questlons from thelr oen perspectlve.

Knows She Doesntt Haae to Be Independent Ftom Gussfe Abrohanse MN: It seems to me that trre lndependence ls not how often you ane away from home, but howyou feelwhenyou are away. I started gotng to preschool (two mornlngs a week) at age 3. There uras a glrl tre my class who went when she was 2. You could call me less tedependent because I went to preschool later. But when she was at pre-

school, she crled all morntng, whereas I had fun. I thlnkwhat has helped me take steps towards independence ts the knowledge that tf I want to, I don't have to take a step out lnto t].e world untll I am readv. Sometlmes I love being home by myself, readtng tn bed. Then there are other dmes, like when I am slck, that I don't urant my mom to go out, And she rvon't. Ihowlng that I can move back and forth between dllferent lwels of lndependence gives me conlldence to move ahead.

From Clingy to Confrdent And


Adele Abrahamse:

Gussle was a clingr baby and toddler. She cried lf I ever tried to leave her with anyone else. She nursed day and ntght, even at age 2 and beyond, She would only fall asleep tf lytng on top of one of her parents, Of course, she also slept most of the night tn our bed. She screamed tf I left

the room to go to the bathroom. I probably wouldn't reveal thls now lf I couldn't also tellyou that, at age I l, Gussle ls completing her second year as a member of a ctty-wtde swtm team. She loves golng to swim meets, and when I ask her lf she wants me to go wtth her, she says, "I don't care.' She ls spendlng two weeks

thls summer at two different overnlgfit

camps. She has slept at overnlght camps, lor aweek at a tlme, slnce age g. Itwas her request to do so. She loves sleeplng over at frlends' houses. She enJoys staytng home readlng when I go shopptng. A few weeks ago, her dad and I went away one Sunday, at about 8:3O ln the morntng. Ttre plan was for Gussle to get up tna letsurelyway, do

her chores, make her breakfast, then call her unclewhen shewas ready for htm to plck her up. We found out the next day that she had not even called hlm untll two tn the afternoonl As a new mother, I soul-searched about whether letdng Gussle cllng was

Growlng Wthout Schoollng #76

rlg;ht or noL Some experts satd yes, though none to the degree that Gussie seemed to need. Other experts sald no, that I would

spotl my child and brlng on permanent damage to her psyche. It crossed my mtnd: f you can't be a baby when you're a baby, then when? The key to maktrxg these dtlllcult declslons ts betn! very honest wlth ourselves. Letting Gussle cllng because of her need to do so ls very dilTerent from her cltngtng because of mg tnsecurides. Wtth the first sltuatlon, I am free to let her move lnto the world when she ls readv. -more As homeschoolers, we are wtlltng than most to appreclate that some chlldren are ready to read at age 6 and some at age 9. I think that emodonal unfolding lnto trdependence procedes along similar Itnes, Some are ready to separate earlier than others, and there ts no rtght or wrong about lt. It's Just the rvay tt ts.

First Time Away From Home F\on Cathg

Rezac MA):

I'd say ldds become tndependent when the parents don't try to stop them OR malce them tndependent. It helps when parents don't say thlngs like, "You're too young to do tlrts.' If the kids think they can do something, you should let them try, wen if you thlnk they can't, because you might be surprlsed.

I think chlldren who leam at home areJust as lndependent as people who go to school. I think I've become more lndependent because I'm outslde all the tlme and learnlng what I unnt to. I'm not attached to other people so much because I don't have to do what they want me to do ln my learntng, I'm more used to maldng my own declslons for myself. I ast winter I went to the Hulbert Outdoor Center lsee GWS #751 for llve days without my parents. I loved lt. My older sisterJeanwas there, butwe onlv saweach other two or three times a day. I probably

wouldn't have gone tf she dtdn't go, but after we got there I found out that I dtdn't really need her except to help me put my hair up each mornlng. As far as gotng to Hulbert was c,oncerned. there was no encouragement tnvolved exc.ept me encouragtng myself, which was pretty hard, and my slster practically "maktng' me go. Except for sleeptng over at frlends' houses, thls was the flrst tlme I was awav from my parents for any length of ttme. i thought tt rvould be a lot worse than tt really was. I thought I probably wouldn't

make many frlends, but I sUU trted tt. That's what I ltke about my parents. They let you do somethlng wlthout saylng you'r€ too young or anything ltke that and lt's a lot easler. I thtnkyou should let klds try

thtngs. I thtnk what Antta Gtesy sald ls completely true. I agr€e - lt ls harder to go forward lfyou knowyou can't come back, and you're not as afrald to try thlngs lfyou know your parents are there and sflll

wlltng to help you.

Why Children R.emain Dependent l}omJean Rezac: There are only a few reasons why I thtnk chtldren r€maln dependent, and those are:

l. If thelr parrents make the children thlnk that they are gotng to mlss the parents tf they go away, and say thtngs like, 'Oh, I'm gotng to mlss you so muchl' I've found the trrth ls whenyou go away you don't thlnk about your pa.rents much. 2. lfthe parents feel lnsecure about the kids gotng arvay, they can transmlt that tn other ways than words. I found thatwhen I went awav for the Ilrst ttme, I felt I was gotng to mtsi my parents when we sald goodbye, and lt would be really sad. But llve minutes after I left I felt flne, and nerrer gave lt a second thought

after that.

Don't Doubt Children I am amazed at how many tlmes I undermlne my chlldren's self-confldencc with c,omments llke, 'Are you sure?' 'What about such-and-such?' "Won't you need to take this?" "Are you sure you don't want to...?" etc. If our chtldren llve up to ow e:rpectadons of them, too often our expectatlon ts tlnt they are not ready to handle somethlng. Sure enough, they bec-ome

not ready,

When my 3 year old dectded to spend the ntght at a frlend's house for the llrst dme, he was aware that he rvouldn't see me undl the next day. By ahrtg, 'Are you sure? You knowyou won't see me unfll tomorrorry'?' I was not really trytng to make sure he knew thls - lt was selfevldenL But I dtd send a message that t doubted hls self-evaluaflon - I dtdn't have the conlldence that he was ready. I learned somethtng wonderful from Frank Smtth (l can't remember wtrlch book). He asks why we are sometlmes able to learn somethtng and other tlmes not, wen lf opportunlty, exposure, and moflvatlon are present fn both tnstances, What ts It that enables us to complete the connectlon when we leam to do somethlng? Accordtng to Smlth, lt ls the ABSENCE of the beltef that the thlng ts dtl[cult or lmposslble to do. In other rvords, fatth. T?tls sounds stmpllsflc, but I found that tt allects wery aspect of my lnteractlon wlth my ldds. When I look at the thtngs ln our farnl-

20 ly that have fostered elther dependenoe or tndependence, they alurays boll down to thls crlsis of falth and doubt. What IVe done out of doubt (the beltef that the thtng may be dilficult to do) has ended up keeping my kids dependent. When I've had fatth, then growth and lndependence have resulted. Where does thls doubt come from? IVe been looldng at mine, and see that tt comes from my ambldon and correspondtng fear of fallure. I want to be proud of how my chlldren handle a sltuation because lt reflects on me. Since I have a stake tn the outcome, I also fear that they rnfght fall. It's incredlbly tmportant to be able to fatl, and to welcome the fallure as an opportunity to learn what went wrong. This process takes the sttng away, and turns the experienc.e lnto a posltive one. Because I still haven't learned this lesson well myself, I tend to see fallure as negadve and to be avotded. I want to protect my children from lt, but the truth ts that whenever I protect them from failure I weaken them. How much better to be able to teach them to be obJecflve, not resentful, and to use the opportunity to s€e what went wrongl This ls the essence of growth and responsibiligr, and I wouldn't want to deprive them of it. How to move from doubt to fatth? Fake fatth doesn't work. I've trled actlng supportive when I'm really doubtful, or psyching myself up wtth Intellectual arguments. Nevertheless, the message I send out ts doubl That doubt cannot foster growth, and the only way to dissolve it ls to face it squarely, which ls patnful. For me, giving up my pride, ambitlon, and fear ts the key to the switch. When I see where my ego enters lnto the situatlon I can step back and let things develop naturally for the child (not me). I must let my children live

their own lives.

It really pa.ys off. IVe always known that children have a good awareness of their capabilifies, and are rarely wrong about what they can handle. When they misJudge, they see lt and adJust accordtngly. My role is to be available when thlngs prove too much, and help them adjust.

Our oldest went to high school this year after nine years of homeschooling. Because we don t do formal academics, I was uptight about hiswritlng. I kept "suggesttng' that he work on it before school started. One day heJust turned to me and said, 'Mom, wlll you lay ofl?


leam tt

when I need to.' He was absolutely rtght. His own evaluation of hts abilittes was accurate - he had no problem learntng tn the classroom, but I was sendlng him the message that I believed wrtting would be difffcult or lmposslble for hlm to leam under

those clrcumstances. He had the absence


that beltef - and thus had no problem. I don't thinkyou can come up with a formula of parental r€sponses that will promote independence ln children. Formulas rarely work - in fact, wery formula I've ever trled to apply (for anything) ln our famtly has backfired. For me, looktng at my emotional responses to the sltuatlon holds the key. Kids are so well equlpped to grow and learn that tf that lsn't happentng there ls somethlng htndering the natural proccss. The subtle doubt that comes from my fear of failure has htndered our family

for a long dme, but a lot of growth ts happentng now that it ts fading. All of us (myself tncluded) are movlng toward greater personal strength and lndependence.

On His Own In Music World F}om HanTson Handl (CN: One thlng that has helped me become lndependent from the rest of my famtly ts that I want to be a muslctan, and they aren't muslclans. So I have to go out and do thlngs on my own, For lnstance, if I want toJam, my mom and dad can't so I have to flnd aJam or start my own. Someflmes they drop me olTat a weeklyJam session at the muslc store, and they don't stay so they aren't there to help me flgure out what key a song ls belng played ln, or what the chords are. Besides, they wouldn t loeow anyway. So I have to ligure lt out myself or ask somebody else. If I want to play aJob at a harvest falr or on a radlo show I have to ask some frlends to do tt wtth me. If I want to meet a certain famous musiclan, I know that my parents aren't golng to be able to lntroduce me, so I have to go up and introduce myself. My parents support me and encourage me, especially wtth transportaflon, but they expect me to prett5r much be on my own ire the world of music. Maybe if they were musiclans too I wouldnt have had to become so independent. Another way my parents have encouraged my independence is encouragfurg me to eam my own money. They said, 'We wtll pay for your banJo lessons, but lfyou want to start a second instrument you will have to pay for the instnrment and the lessons yourself.' So I got aJob dotng yard work at a church in our nelghborhood and in ten months I had enoug;h money to buy my g;uitar. Then I wanted to go to a banJo camp ln Colorado this summer. My mom and dad satd they would pay for the transportatlon and hotel and food but I would have to pay for the camp itself. I have earned enougfi money by teachlng banJo and gl.ritar lessons. Especially if you want to do something that your parents can't do, you are going to have to become pretty lndependent. Sometimes ifs scary or hard but after a while you get usd to it and it's an adventure. The main thtng to learn ls that lf your parents can't help you, you can get up enough courage to ask other people who know more about it.

Let Kids Stretch Out When Ready

out of thetr garage and lnto their backyard, fed the dog, and orrcr to let the dog

opened the approprtate dnpes. Comtng back tnto the house, she had the great big grtn she has when she ls especlally pleased

with herself.

After church she went back to the netghbors'house to take the dog for a walk around the nelghborhood. Ordtnarily she will not stray far from our property, but now she ls feeltng so much more self-conlldent. Thls ls Just one of many lndications that she ts becoming more lndependent. In a few days she wlll stay by herself, for over a week, with filends ln another town, and ts eagerly loolidng fonvard to lt. She has worked up to thts polnt by gradually staylng overnight at frlends' homes when It was her cholce to do so. Ttrts pastyear she flnally learned to swlm and has quickly developed lnto a strong swlmmer after years of being afraid to go out of arm's reach of the poolside. Another lndication of her growing tndependence ts her ability now to talk comfortably with adults, None of these accompllshments has come easlly for her because she sees her older brother and slster dolng various lndependent activides with apparent ease. Sometlmes thetr tmpaflence wlth her lacks understandlng of the fact that they, too, had to stumblingly take those same Ilrst steps. They don't remember that they also were reluctant to risk moving


I've watched one friend's girl change from ayoung chtld who would go lnto hysterics lf she lost sight of mom for even a second to a lO year old who looked forward to acHvldes away from home and mom. Her mother had met her needs when she wasyoung, so shewas nowready to move forward. Another homeschoollng mom wasi very ooncerned because her sonwas not the least bit lnterested in readtng until he was 9. l.astyear, when hewas lO, she plac'ed htm tn the local publtc school and the teacher was amazed at hts readlng ability and particularly his comprehension skills. Several weeks ago another friend's daughter chose to spend over two weeks wtth us whlle the famtly went to a mountain cabin, and she even extended her stay with us after they returned, Thts child, too, was one who would not stray from mother's side when younger.


our chlldren the opportuntty out when they are ready, notwhen others thfnk they should be ready. g;tve

to be secure at home and then stretch

More Confrdent as a Homeschooler From Artel Slrunons (DQ:

Flom Agnes Lelstiro (CN: Just yesterday moming Susan ( I l) took a btg step forward. She ts beginning to

obtain pet sittingJobs but has been reluctant to accept them because ofnot betrg comfortable with entering empty homes, My husband and I have olIercd to accompany her and she has accepted our ofler for threeJobs, but stll wtth a blt of reluctance. Yesterday morning I couldn't accompany her because I had to prepare brealdast on a tigftt schedule, and she didn't want to ask her father. Without salng anything to us she got the neighbors' house key, went

When I was ln school, I was a loner, not playing much with the other children or c€ming ln contact with anyone if I could help it. I was shy, even ln my own famlly, and couldn't look an adult in the eye without feeltng squeamish and embarrassed. Durlng that ttme, I was a hermtt, livhg fn myself, not part of the outside world. That was 4 | /2 years a4o, and I am very dillerent now. When I'm lntroduced to a new group ofpeople, a writers' guild or 4H club, I lntroduce myself as me, urho I am, not uhatl am. In a new settlng, I have nothing to lose. If the people don't like who

Growlng Wthout Schooling #76

2l I am, I don't have to go there agatn. tn school you're stuck wlth people who wtll be wtth you forty hours a ureek for the next nine months, Of c.ourse you want these people to ltke you, so you put on atrs, go

with the flow andJump on the nearest bandwagon. Now I'm eager to go out te the world and meet new people, almost the oppostte of that second grade hermtt who strted away from li[e.

Balance of Freedom and

Security futd.

jom &relle

through all the wrong doors and slammfng tlre rest ln her face. Those occaslons on whtch I trted (stuptdly) to push any of my chlldren through one door or another were

the times I rtsked destroylng the balance of freedom and securit5r tfrit nia supported grourth up to that potnt. Though she was temporarlly stunted by the school's stake, prune, and tle method of educatlon, Ariel bounced back ntcely, and thanks to her example, our other chlldren, Laureland Hunter, escaped theespa-

ller. Access to lnformadon, tools, ldeas, and e:rperlences ls the basis for thelr (and my) education and growlng lndependence,


From the ttme the flrst Whde


Catalq appeared over twent5r years ago, access has been a blg lssue for me. I'm prett5r sure, now, that my protracted dependence as a teenagerand young adult was ln some way tted to my fallure to understand access. When I was younger the rudimentary trapptngs of lndependence, taken for granted by my peers, always seemed beyond my reach. I didn't learn to drive until I had been out of college for six years (and tn Texas, there ls no public transportatlon to speak ofl. I could never think of a career that might sult me. I didn't understand how thtngs worked. I couldn't llgure out how to do tlre things I did want to do. In spite of a htghly sucoessful school career, I arrtved at the threshold ofmy adulthood dependent and helpless, nwer havlng grasped the hvin concepts of access and process. I wasJust begtnnlng to

pull the world into focus when Arlel was born, and she learned to walk around the same ttme I leamed to drive. We ltt out together, Arlel and I, fellow adventurers. Those were powerful days. What looks like lndependence often isn'L I left home to go to college when I was 16, but I sttll depended on the people around me to do thtngs for me, take me places. Itwas easy for me to leave my parents, but lturas lmposslble for me to stand on my own feet. As a parent, then, I nwer equated attachment wlth dependencc. My aim in motherlng was to balance the ytn and yang of securlgr and freedom. It still ts. Love of freedom drlves my chtldren on, Just as deslre for securit5r yanks them back. Thetr growth proceeds ln a succession of loops: two steps forward, one step back. As Hunter nears 5, he ls notlceably more capable than hewas slx months ago. He ls also noticeably cltngter. Growth ls a wheel, not an arrow. Our declslon to homeschool our chtldren was a declslon to grant lndependence. As Arlel's flrst-grade teacher sald to me, ln an ellort to dlssuade me from my purpose, "Oh, you shouldn't homeschool - you'd be givlng her o<actly what she wantsl" Ah, yes. The pranalence of that way of thtnktng about children denles them access to the world. Bables are cooped up ln play-pens, cribs, and strollers so they can't get what they want or go wher€ they would ltke to go. I bet my parents felt better about my being away at college knowtng I couldn't drlve. In my motherlng/teachtng I try to provtde access, to lllumtnate the posslble, to open doors. Arlel's experlence wtth school was that her teachers (and the system at large) made a hablt of shovtng her

Growlng Without Schooling #76

Always Made Her Own Decisions F}om Kfin Kopel MO): I think I have been able to become increasfurgly lndependent stmply because my parents have given me the freedom to do so, Betng away from my famtly and taking on new challenges aren't dlsconcertlng to me because IVe been dotng thlngs on my own, maktng decisions for myself, and facing my problems for as long as I can remember. I have alwavs had the freedom to make declsions and-choices for myself and to be in control of my own ltfe - as much as was approprlate for my maturlty lenel; obvlously, you don't allow a 2 year old to dectde whether she can play tn the street or not. Taldng on more responstbilitles and privtleges has never been overwhelmlng to me, because lt's not as lf I was fully taken care of as if I were an infant for slxteen years, and then someone sald, 'Hey, you're 16, I guess lfs tlme foryou to be independent,' and then dumped all the responsibilities and privileges on me that someone at 16 should be capable of handltng. I've grown tnto my tndependence, or rather, lt's grown as I have. Lastyear, when I was 14, I flew to Boston to vlslt Susannah and to work ln the Holt Associates olllce for a week. It was the Ilrst ttme I'd flown alone (actually, lt was the flrst tlme I'd flown at all slnce I was 6) and the llrst ttme I'd vislted anyone outstde of famtly members that far from home by myself, Even thoug;h lt was something I'd nerrer done before, Mom and Dad didn't make a btg deal out of it; Just because I hadn't done tt before was no reason I couldn't do lt. I guess thcy llgured that tf I wanted to do lt, then I was ready to and perfectly capable of doing it, and would make sure I knew werything I needed to know ln order to do lt. My parents have allowed me to llve my own Me, to explore and ffnd my onrn ans\ners, to do thtngs on my own. They haven't been there errery lnstant, helplng me over the hard placcs, gtvlng me the answersl, solvlng my problems - ln short, they haven't ltved for me whlle I bltndly followed them. They allowed me to do thiregs on my own, when I was ready, ln my way, at my pace, because they belteved that I knew better than anyone else what was rlgfit for me. Often I messed up and made mistakes that would have been arrotdable lf Mom and Dad had been an:douslv hoverlng over me, watchtng my every slep to make sure I didn't fail. But they dtdn't hover over me to prevent all my mlstakes because they knew that maklng mlstakes

and messtng up was how I, llke weryone else, would learn. They knew that by trJdng many thlregs and searchlng unttl I flnally found the rtght one I would learn much more than lf someone had handed me tlre rtght thlng tn the llrst place. By allowlng me thls freedom, my Parents have lmplled a great deal of trust ln me and my capablltttes, whlch has c€rtainly gtven rne no nearpn to doubt myself, and ts somethlng I can fall back on. They have also passed on to me a lack of fear that terrlble things wlll happen f I mess up - th€y aren't afiatd to make mlstalres, and they aren't afrald for rne to make mlstakes, so I'm nener aFatd to do somethi:ag Just because there ls a chance that I mtght mess up. The ptrtlosophy about rnaldng mlstakes around here ls, -Thafs Me, no blg deal, get back up and try agaln.' Wtth that


tfs really lmposslble to 'fall.'

School Made Her Afraid of Independence AndJrom Jrcelyn Kopl:

As Kim and I dlscussed the ldea of grouttng towards lndependence, I became aware (once agatn) of how destructlve my

schooling experlence was. Althougfr my parents made practlcally no demands on me ln terms of accompllshment, thls freedom was qutckly undermlned the minute I entered school. I tmmediately became a slave to the system, ac:ceptlng every demand thatwas made of me and struggling to perform and c,omply wlth every rtqutremenl Often I was ficrced to take on challenges I wasn't ready for or had no lnterest tn. But I vras afrald not to comply for fear I d be labeled with that terri[dng 'F for fatlure. Rellecdng on the effects of beteg a victlm ofthe school system ls sobertng. I strove to c.omply and succeeded ln most respects. I stayed at the top ofmy class and was generally ltked by my teachers and classmates. But I left school only to leam that I was almost totally unprepared to deal wtth the real demands of ltfe. School had prevented me from havtng the opportunity to experlence life - to make cholces, to act on my own, to learn from mlstakes, to learn about myself and others. Belng schooled robbed me of the excltement of belng allve and bestowed upon me tnstead the burden of responstbiltty to do what I uras told, Jump through all the hoops and measune up or be reJected. My, how I Jumped, and oh, how ltttle I ltved. My schooltng left me wtth a great fear of failure and of llfe, Gar of betng outstde the system and a sense thatjust around wery corner stands a test, a challenge, a superlntendent thatJust mtght be more than I

canmeasur€upto. Strugg[ng to r€capture my own llfe, sanfty, and lndependenc.e makes me very cautlous about plactng demands on my ktds. It thrtlls me to see their excltement and enthuslasm and tenaclty when they take on thelr own challenges ln thelr own way and ttme. I am amazed at and tnsplred by thetr resllience when they fall short or come to a dead end. They have not been rats€d tn the shadow ofthe btg, bad'F." Their freedom and confldence glves me strength and hope for my own racovery.


Encouragement Helps Flom Adam Ftanklltt (FI):

I thtxk homeschoollng makes lt easier to be tedependent, becauseyou have the opportuntty (and the ttme) to go out and do

things for yourself. I thtnk sllght encouragernent from parents helps you to be tndependent. In some cases I rpouldn't have the courage to go out and do somethtng wlthout encouragement. Also, ln some thlngs parents help you galn accâ&#x201A;Źss to somethtng (an adult class, for lnstance). I am currently volunterlng at a sclencr musrcum. My parents encouraged me a llttle blt to do that because at ffrst I wasn t surâ&#x201A;Ź that I wanted to do lt 0 love tt now). My parents

haven't really dtscouraged anyttrlng that I wanted to do (unless luanted to do somethtng totally out of the questlon, like Xghti"g a bonflre ln the front yard). I think some parents encourage ldds to do things they rvanted to do as a ktd. My

dad slgned me up forT-ballwhen I was younger. So I tried tt and dtdn't really ltke tt. I told my dad and he said, "Flne,' so I got olf the team. Some pa.rents might not do that - let ldds stop dolng what they don't like (wlthtn re:rson of course). I think you have to practlce to be tndependent on some things, kading a tour at a museum for lnstance. When I flrst trled lt I nras klnd of nervous, but then after awhlle I got used to lt. In short, I thlnk for some people lndependence comes nahrrally, and for cithers lt has to be practiced. But I don't thlnk homeschoollng r,etards your abtltty to be lndependent.

Independence Can Be Fostered, Not Forced And

speclal case, but it has made us aware of

fiom Karen Flankltrc

After a long famtly dlscusslon, we

came to the conclusion that the ease with which a cleild becomes lndependent has

more to do with tndivtdual personaltty and wtth a famfly's overall style than wtth whether or not a chlld ts ln school or

leamlng at home, We tried to deflne what

to hlm lf he uas liorccd to leam tt. We thought that somettring bad WAS happentng to hfm, and we took ldm out. We felt that what thts method was teachlng hlm was that no one would help trtm, or that lrts parents didn't care about hls fears. We thought that hts compllant behavlor, when It came, would mean that he had gfven up hope of rescue, not that he had leamed to handle himself wtth conlldence. It took several months to undo the damagewe dtd to hlm. He sttll remembers tt (at age l3) and remlnds us, half-Joldn$y, of the flme we abandoned trtm. Though lt can't be forced, ttrere are rnanyways to foster lndependence. We have had to do many thtngs tn our famlly to make lt easler forJessica (now lO) to become lndependent. Jesslca was bom wtth Cerebral Palsy and so has grown up with an assortment of phystcal lrnpatrments and delays, as well as vision problems. Though we did many of these things almost unconsclously for Adam, we had to conscious$ arrange our home and Me so as to make tt posstble for Jessica to become self-reliant. In the bathroom we have a step stool, a single level control on the sink and tub, low coat hooks tnstead oftowel bars (even very young children can hang a towel on a hook), electrlc toothbrush and pump toothpaste. In the hdtchen we have a step stool, small table and chalrs, plasdc dishes and utensils, snacks stored in lower cablnets. In bedrooms we have low closet bars and shelves, open toy bins and low bookshelves. When Jessica was ready to learn to set the table, she still needed a walker, so we put a bicycle basket on the front to make it possible for her to carry things. When Chris (now 7) was learning to walk, we used the same basket. It's true that Jessica's situation is a


ls that causes someone to be Independent. True lndependence ls to be not only capable of taking care of the situation yourself, but conlident that you CAN do it. A parent can make a child do somethlng tndependently, but can't make a chtld BE lndependent. WhenAdamwas 4, we lived ln a neighborhood where there were no other young children. Wewere new to the area and didn't know anyone. Adam really wanted some frlends, so we enrolled him tn the "best' preschool program around. He was terrified. He hated lt. The teacher assured us that hewould be flne and would adJust. She was sure that he was too dependent on Mom and needed to learn to depend on someone else. She tnformed us that they often had to open the car dmr and pry a chtld, kicktng and screaming, out of the car. I let them pry Adam out, against my betterJudgment. Thls went on for two or three days. During that tlme, Adam started waktng often at ntght, wettlng his pants, and panicldng tf he dldn't have a parent ln stght, Some saw thls as conflrmadon that hewas too dependent on us and needed to leam, rtght then and there, to depend on others, and that nothtng bad would happen

how much we can do to help our children toward independence. She was, and often stlll ls, shy ln new sltuatlons. She needs tlme to flgure out how she flts tn. I don't think she is very dillerent from others in this respect. If we are comfortable in a sltuation, then lt Is easy to be lndependent. If we aren't comfortable, then lt doesn't help for someone to try to caJole us lnto dotng tt. Jessica takes a little dme to develop a plan ofattack: 'Howcan I do what the other ldds are doing with these crutches and braces?'She has come up with some inspired modiffcations. She velcroed a mtni-golf club to a crutch. She elther bats with her crutch, or nrns with a bat as a crutch, when playing backyard baseball. When Jessica has figured out that she can do something in her own way, she is conlldent that she can succeed, and she proceeds. I asked Jessica lf she thoug;ht there were times when she had to convlnce me to allow her to be tndependent. She reminded me that she had to work on me a whlle

before I let her take vlolln lessons. When she was about four, she attended a concert and fell ln love with viollns. She saw Itzhak Ferlman on TV and announced that she was going to play the violtn. Her attltude was that tf he could do lt then she could do tt. Though I love strlngs and always wished fd had the opportunlty to leam to play, I didn't encourage her at all. At the time, her fine motor coordinadon was so poor that I was sure lt would be a

frustratlng, dlsappotntlng, humilfathg, and expenslve experlment, I also thought tt that she vrould forget about lL She didn'L She contlnued to have lnterests tn two main thtngs: horseback rtdtng, wtrtch she was by then dolng, and vtolin, wtrlch she tnslsted she uranted to do and could do only tf I let her. By ttrts tlme her coordlnatlon was much lmproved, though a long way from perfect. But ltke all parents, I hated to see her set herselfup for fatlure. Ltfe has handed her so many disappointments that I couldn t stand the thought of golng out and lookrng for more. But I began looktng for a vlolin teacher wtth a lot of padence, Just before Jesslca's 9th birthday, we met awonderful Suzuld teacher, a gifted vtollnlst. She has become a special frlend. When I llrst talked to her on the phone, she was mtldly fnbrested ln taking on a new student, but because she was very busy, she was about to pass me on to another teacher. When she learned more about Jessica, though, she became more lnterested, since she had once taught a blind child to play. When I mentioned homeschooling, that clinched the deal. She teaches several other homeschoolers and is qulte an advocate, I asked Jessica about fuedependence and worklng up the nerve to t4r something - her flrst solo viohn recital, for example. Her response was, '\t/hy would I be nervous about that?" I thlnk Jessica ls dweloping a strong and consuming interest ln music, and we are trldng to help her llnd ways to develop that interest and learn more. As has been said in GWS rnany tirnes, parents are often the ones who have to help their ldds gain access to the things they want to do and learn. We had to helpJessica find the right vtolin teacher. A dillerent teacher could have been a disaster. Mam's lntense lnterest in marine btologr has caused us all to do a lot ofsearching for opportunitles. Though experlences are easler to flnd ln Florida than ln most places, often they are offered only to adults or older teens. Adam found a martne btologr class offered as an adult cpnHnulng education class, and was llrst told that he was too young to take lt (hewas 12 at the time). But after the lnstructor was assured that Adam and his friend would not be disruptive and c.ould keep up with the class because they already had a lot ofknowledge about the subJect, theywere allowed to enroll. I went with the boys to their flrst meeting wtth the teacher, but they worked it out with hlm themselves. They enJoyed the class and did fine. Adam then toyed with the idea of volunteerlngat the science museum, but hesitated because he dtdn't thtnk they would be interested In a ldd. He heard that they were looking for Junlor docents last summer, but tl..e requirements were to be l5 and have a glowlng letter from a sciencre teacher. Hewas nervous about his chances, but he went tn and talked to the director, The museum was planntng a btg exhibit about marine biologr and sharks. When thcy found out that knowledge of shark research was Adam's strong suit, they waived any other requlrements. Adam worked there all surrner and although he didnt get paid, we didn't pay anyone any tultlon for all he learnedl Alter the summer progfam was over, was Just a passtng fancy and

Growing Wthout Schoollng



23 the other docents dropped out. Because


school, they weren't avallable durtng the week, and they didn't urant to spend weekends there. Adam rporked many weekends and some weekdays gufdhg tours, glvlng touch-tank demos, slnglehandedly runntng the gtft shop, cleanlng llsh tanks, usherlng planetarlum shows, and supervistng btrthday partles. The glft shop buyer asks htm for a ldd's oplnlon about some of the ltems she ls consldertng buylng. The museum has called hlm a few tlmes to ask hlm to come ln and run the dft shop. When that happens, he ls responstble for unlocklng, settlng up the reglstea selling, keeptng track of lnventory, balanctng and closlng out the register, and prepa.rtng the bank deposit, It beats the heck out of a consumer math course at schooll He enJoys leadtng tours of adults and of younger clrtldren, but doesn't llke teenagers because they questlon and lgnore his authortt5r. He thought lt was especlally funny that the slgn says no one under l3 ls allowed ln the museumwlthout an adult, because hewas 12 at the tirne.

Feeling Proud F-rcm Grace

R|lter (NY:

cautlon and conduct (the same conversatlon my mother and I had twen$r-flve years before). We must allow chlldren to grow up wlthout fear of the world and wtth a healthy, lndependent splrlL I do gtve the llids a nudge here and there - I convlnced the three oldest to wean, for lnstance. As La Irche kague says, lt rvas "chlld led" - thelr ages and behavtor stgnaled that nurslng was no longer essenilal. But I don't feel I can force them to grow. Grace wants to rlde her btke alone to ballet next year, but urants me to walk her to glrl scouts which meets ln a school. Now and then I grow tmpatient with some aspect of chtld development. Now Anna is qutte tyranntcal wlth me, for testance. Placing lt ln perspectlve - the long years of experimendng a child goes through durtng tts gowth - helps. In our Jobs as responslble parents we must watch carefully and learn when a gentle push or hug ls ln onder.

Wants Mother There in New Situations Ftom Tasha Bcp,ks (NM): ast summer (when I was 9) I worked as a helper at a daycare center. It was my mom's idea to volunteer. I wanted to do tt to earn money (the director ollered to pay me), but I didn't feel like uralklng tnto tt rlght away. I think lt helped me to be on my

small, unusually shaped arm (from btrth) has alfected how comfortable Tasha feels

ln new or publlc sltuadons. She feels andous about reactlons, but usually makes frlends easlly after the tnlflal curloslt5r or starlng turns to farnflhrtty. She ls now older than the most bluntly curlous Hds (ages 3-6) and so doesn't feel as threatened. SheJust gets tlred of etglalnlng. I do thtnk ft has made her sornewhat less outgolng tn the lntttal stages. Tasha's recent advance tn readlng capabilfty has made her feel lndependent ln more sltuatlons. As she becpmes more cpnlldent counttng money, I think she will be more lndependent ln the markeL Because we homeschool, Tasha goes wtth us nearly everywhere, so I thtnk she wlll get around more easlly when she ls r€ady. Much of myown lndependenceuras delayed unfll after I graduated from college and had

to llnally deal wtth the real world. Even now I get pertodtc mental blocks about how to go about thtngs.

Coping With Illness in


FtomPeggy Webb (NY):


There are some things I have felt proud that I could do: go to the store alone, go to the park, and stay home by myself someflmes when my mom and brother and slsters go out. I did these things because I was ready to. A mom and dad can't help a chtld be lndependent. It has to be the rtght tlme for

that chlld.

Growing Up Without Fear F}om

llnda Holzbatrcr, Grace's

mother: In our family, we have tried to support

our children's lndependence by following

their lead; we do not believe tn forcing children to do what they are not ready for. Even a well-lntentloned but unUmely plan can go astray and actually retard the gpowth of independence. When Grace was almost 3, Natwas born, and Kenny (Grace's father) encouraged Grace to sleep tn her own room. She was not ready and strongly reSisted any suggesUons regardlng sleeping alone for qulte a few years. Our three older children (Grace, 9, Nat, 6, and Anna, 3) are now galnk€ lndependence faster than our criflcs imaglne. In fact, I feel that I or other well-meantng

adults sometimes hlnder the natural progression ofindependence. For lnstance, I rvas strongly aSol'rst Nat sleeplng over at a friend's house because he was still nursing, But Nat's mind was made up, Kennywas on Nat's slde, and Nat went and was line. Anna, going through a clingr age 3 pertod, had much the same experlenc.e: shewas more ready than I could belleve and she

was right.

My mother-inlaw and brother-ln-Law crlflclzed my declslon to allow Grace to go to the neighborhood delt alone when she was not quite 7. They clatmed that chtldren nouuadags must be protected; there are "crazies" eve4rwhere ready to sprlng out at lone lidds, It ls tme that crlmes a€Finst chlldren exist, butGrace and I dlscussed

Growing Wthout Schoollng #76

own a little. I didn't feel reallv comfortable

there, though. I uras afratd I ris doing thlngs wrong and that I mtght get yelled at for tt. I felt like the dlrector treated me too much like one of the little l<tds tnstead of like a helper. Some of the other helpers treated me more ltke a helper. I would work there agaln, though. l^ast Christmas I wanted to use my own money to buy presents. I felt more like uslng my own money when I could shop secretly by myself. Mom gave me ldeas and helped me look amund. But then I felt like I had to getthe things she preferred because I was afratd of getflng something that wasn't good. When I shop for myself I sttll feel like I should get the things my mom llkes. I feel better about getting lt tf she likes lt, too. I feel more sure I wtll llke lt. Tomorrow I'm starting a llve-day Bible school. I'm klnd of nervous and afraid I'll get in a trap I can't get out of - be asked to do somethlng I can't do or not be able to do something I want to do, I'm sort of going so my younger slster will want to go. I will probably want my mom to come with me to the room. In most new situations I like my mom or my dad - usually my mom - to come with me the first time. Belng able to walk tn wlth my mom and not havlng a lot of people stare at me helps me feel more comfortable. I don't like going tnto new sltuatlons where a lot of other people are already there and know the rules already. I Iike tt when the other people are startlng wlth me. Also, having one ltttle arm makes me feel nervous at llrst, but then I get to know people and they usually like me.

Anxious About Reactions F-rcm

Jama llcoks.'

At dillerent times in her life, havtng a

Last November, my husband Wayne was struck down at work wtth what was subsequently dtagnosed as cancer. Ttre prtmary slte was behfnd the rlght bronchus, and lt had metastaslzed to the braln, whlch meant lt was lnoperable. Hor to commenclng tr€atment he also had two strokes whtch left him paralyzed on the rtght side, speechless, and wtth fmpatued

vlslon. There were no solutions, no good answers, and he was essenHally wrltten olf. The medical stde of thts wrenchlng odyssey weVe been through ls a book ln itself, and maybe I'll get to write lt, but for now I can Joyously report that I am waiting for Wayne to come home for lunch from a Job he recently got supervislng a constnrc-


proJecfl Where was our 7-year-old Lena for two months whlle we entered the scary world of

nuclear medtclne and IIve htgh-powered, big-city consultants and the valley of the shadonf Well, on Chrlstrnas Day on the floor of our room at the hospttal, she Ilntshed openlng her presents (qutetly, Dad is sleeping), and massaged hts rtght foot and hand as he woke up. When the IV alarm went off, she got to push the resetbutton because from prevlous vlslts she knewwe dtdn't bother the nurses every Ume lt sounded and most always could get tt gotng ourselves. And when lt nras dme to go, she packed up her stulf and went offwlth our

family friends for the two-hour drtve back to her home away from home. I can't say now ln all honesty that I gave kna's quantum leap lnto lndependence much thought at the tlme. Ctrrcumstances most deffnttely precluded that lunrry. Before Wayne's lllness, I used to wonder how lena would ever learn selfrellance. I'd always assoclated those characterlsdcs, at least the acqulstdon of them, wlth overcomlng hard knocks, surmounflng a troubled chtldhood, etc. Durtng the worst of Wayne's lllness, when frlends and famlly asked me how our daughterwas dolng, my btg concern wasr that she not have to grapple with what would surely be

24 an unfathomable chaln of errents (healthy, vttal, lovtng then next stop a funeral) so I worked thlngs out so she could be as much a part of tt as was practlcal. In other words, lf there $/as golng to be a slow or not-so-slow deterloratlon, she should be tlrere wlth us. Now that we have our Wayne back and I do have flme to thtnk a llttle more phllosoptrically, I realtze what a waste of concrm it was. Flandom, uncontrollable errents aren't the only launchlng pads to tndependence and certalnly not the most preferable, but they do happen. Ltfe, the livtng of it, whether lt's ser€ne and measured or rocky and strewn wtth catastrophe, is golng to provlde all the setflngs needed for gainlng lndependence. To pracdce lndependence would be, tn my oplnion, like

practiclng ltfe.

Before thls change ln our llves, Lena had spent a handful of nlghts away from home, all withln hvent5r mlnutes of home, complete with good ntght phone calls and home by lunch the next day. She talked about sleepovers but always llked tt best when they occurred at our house, Since the illness, she has kept an overntght bag at the ready, occaslonally forgets to say goodbye when she races for the car of her best

friend's mom, and has taken to answerlng the phone full-tlme ln case it's for her. By the way, ln addition to totally

shedding any and all ofher separation andety, she has, without any guidance (or teterference) from us, broken new ground ln lndependent learntng, completed half a math workbook, started curslve writing, and I don't even knowwhat else. What I do know she's learned ls what can be accom-

pltshed over seemin$y lnsurmountable odds when frlends and farnily pull together, and, most lrnportant, what one person, her owrr dad, has tndependently achleved.

Likes To Watch Before Trying It Herself F-rom

Arue fuvllocqua


My daughter Maggte ts, llke both her parents, somewhat fearful of parttcipattng in groups, People have blamed me for her shyness because I don't force her lnto such sltuatlons. I've leamed to tgnore what these people cannot possibly understand. Maggte and I watched and enJoyed ayear's worth of her younger slster's dance lessons, and Maggte be<ame so comfortable at the studlo that she began ballet lessons herself, And now that she's ln ballet class, and happy there, her teacher can push her to learn somettrlng she may be reluctant to try. I couldn't have forced her to Joln the class when she wasn't ready to, though. She wouldn't have done lt and lt would

only have hurt our relaflonship ln other ways. Thls summer I menfloned craft classes at a local college and alter asklng, '\ilhat happens lf I don't ltke them? Could I qult?", she dtdn't hesltate to say she would try them. TWo years ago she would have sald no because she was afratd ofJointng groups; lastyear she would probably have satd, 'If you come wlth me." But now she's at a point where she's willing to try group experlences.

Guidance or Manipulation? The letters that follow are ln response to the dlscusslon, 'Then Does Guldance Become Manlpulatlon?", ln GItrS #75.

Different Approaches for Different Children Fton Arne O'&ten (PN: The dlscusslon of guidanc.e and mantpul,aflon tn GWS #75 ls very timely and interestlng. I felt somewhat more at ease with Bart Brush's questions than I dtd wtth Susannah's answers, because the questlons s€emed better to rellect the complerd-

ties and inevitable imperfectlons of wery-

day llfe. In otherwords, I'm not sure how useful broad generallzadons are ln addressing thts lssue. Dlllerent approaches s€em

to work for different chlldren on dillerent occaslons. This ls not necessarily manipulatton by the parents, but stmply an alert response to changtng needs: for one chlld,

guidance,/manipuladon/access/exposure/ coercion mtght be cnrcial at one time; for another at another time, not at all. My middle child, age 7, ls rather shy and perfectionistlc. Often, she finds the prospect of making a mistake or misJudgment more than she can bear, so she tends to stay close to what ls familiar. Consequently, I somedmes assume the risk ior her ("subJect her to experiences') until she ls stronger: we are golng here today, we are begtnnhg thts book, let's try these problems, tlme for the Spanlsh lesson. Repeatedly, she discovers that she canread lt, she ccn flgure lt out, lt is tnterestlng, so she becomes better able to take rlsks for herself, actively requests new thlngs, becomes

braver about the unfamiliar. Susannah writes, "If you thlnk certain things are lmportant, live that, demonstrate it, let the lmportance become apparent to your children.'A flne, cosmic truth (we demonstrate what we really think ts important whether we want to or notl), but tf that were all there was to it, each generadon would be exactly like the preccdlng one. A couple ofyears ago, my husband and I took our son, now I l, to a model aeronau-

tlcs exhlbiflon explicttly to 'expose" him

to some thlngs we nelther knew nor cared very much about, but thought he rnfght be lnterested tn. And was he everl His current ldea of heaven ls constructlng huge, radio-

controlled replicas of clvllian aircraft. i know a man, now ln hls ffiies, whose mother made htm stay ln with her every Sunday afternmn to listen to the opera on the radio. He hated tt. Yet, he has an abtding love ofopera and an encyclopedic knowledge of tt which gives him per-

sonal pleasure and social presfige. I know another man, now ln hls seventles, whose mother made him take plano lessons, He got so proflcient that he was able to put hlmself through college playtng trr aJaz.zband, but before graduatlon he qult and hasn't touched the piano or any other lnstrument tn llfty years. My grandmother loved to sew; lt was lmportant, satisfidng work for her. My mother was indifferent to sewlng. We never had a sewing machlne and my parents were Just mildly amused when I achieved the

quesflonable dlsdncflon of betng the only seventh grader tre my school er,rer to have flunked Home Economlcs. In my midteens, I did begfn to sew and spent my ffrst eamtngs after graduatlon on a good sewtng rnachlne. Ifs now a great source ofpleasure to me, although I am sflll not beyond a beginning level. And one of my daughters loves lt too, and shows special slgns of creadvity in this medium. I could multiply examples endlessly. We took all three chlldren to Mosc.ow this spring - deftnttely coerclonl - and they each reacted dillerently and unexpectedly, depending on thelr respecdve temPeraments and stages of development. Who can predtct? Each child has not only the Influence of her parents, their own (often furconslstent) admlxture of lndilference and fussiness, but also her own heredity and her own destlny, either or both of which may be at odds with her parents' designs. If we thtnk of real chlldren we know or have known (rncluding ourselves), can we predict wlth any assurance what they will be in a year or twen$r years on the basis ofwhether their parents exposed them to this or that, gave them access to something else, or coerced them hither and


I suspect that beneath our soul-searchtng lies the fear (or hope?) that we alone are responsible for what our children become, so every declslon becomes unendurably momentous. Wlll I spoil WW II for her tf I take her to thls museumwhen she doesn't warrt to go? lf I never mention tt, will they ask about birds, automobiles, Italian folksongs, differential calculus?

Clearly, although I certainly don't

disagree with any of Susannah's comments, at the same time I think that none of these quesdons can be addressed rvtthout detailed reference to a parUcular chlld

at a particular moment.

OK To Discover Things When Older Ftom Terry Hahrn oJ lVtsconsiru

I thtnk the discusslon on gtrrldance vs.

manipulation needs to go deeper. We need to thtnk about why we feel compelled to have our ctrildren learn, appreciate, or'be exposed to' everythlng we vlew as lmportarrt, &Jore they reach adulthood. I thlnk we often fail to understand Just when and how we gatned our own knowledge and appreciatlon of thlngs ltke World War II or Shakespeare. Because we have all been schooled and were llrst exposed to these thtngs as chlldren, we assume that thls ls where we got our knowledge and

appreclatlon. In some cases, ttrts may be true. How-

qrer, I think lt ls more likely that, al-

though we may have been exposed to many thtngs tn our youth, we achrally learned most of what we know and now appreclate much later in life. For most of my llfe I thought Shakespeare plays were dull pieces of literature

Growing Wthout Schooling #76

25 that people read tn a boolc I had no tdea how trilarlous hls cornedles were untll after I attended a llve performance. I uras tn my late SOs when thls happened. Much ofwhat I now know and appreclate aboutWorld War II I thfnk I learned after I left school - from (perish the thought) telerrlslon dramas llke'Wnds of War," 'The Holocaust"" etc. or from polltlcal commentarles that made reference to 'lessons to be leamed' from the past. Nerrertheless, ure remember llrst encountering most of these thfilgs as ctrlldren. We therefore assurre thit our ctrtldren need to be erposed to these same thlngs or else they wtll run the rtsk of not knowlng some baslc plece of knowledge or rnisslng out on some e:rperlence. This fear of our chlldren mlsslng something ls the cause of much andety, We are, llrst of all. worrled about our children keeptng up wtth schooled chlldren. Beyond that, we fear our chlldren wlll grow to adulthood and not know something that ts so-called common knowledge. We tmaglne them ln some conversadon when a topic like the Holocaust comes up. In our mlnds we plcture our chlldren not knowtng what lt ts and looldng ignorant. They are then embarrassed, others belleve them to be "stuptd,' they think of themselves as'shrpid,' and, ultlmately, blame us for not educattng them properly. I'm not sure I know how to deal wtth this fear, Perhaps we need to analyze how we ourselves now handle these sltuailons. When someone begtns talktng about something of wtrich we have little or no knowledge, what do we do? Are we uncomfortable and afratd? Do we hide our ignorance and hope the topic changes? Are we embarrassed and do we think of ourselves as stuptd? Or do we openly admlt our lack of knowledge and ask the person to please explain what he ls talking abouf? I'm sure we would agree that, even lf we actually dld the former, we would prefer to be the type of person who would do the latter. And thts ts the kind of person we want our children to be.

But our obsession wlth 'exposlng' our children to everythtng tmportant and loadtng them down wlth as much common knowledge as possible may actually work ttrls preferred result. Ifone enters "gainst adulthood thlnlntng he ts totally educated, knowlng werythlng that's lmportant, then I thlnk that person would tend to be much more fearful of looldng lgporant. Much better, I thlnk, that we vlew ourselves always as uneducated, which ls, after all, much closer to the truth, no matter how muchwe know 'A llttle knowledge ls a dangerous thfu:rg." The true meaning of thls cltche ls not fully understood, The danger of surfacr exposure as children does not necessarily Ite tn the risk of a negadve experience, although thts rtsk ls always there. Beyond that, the exposure, even as a poslflve experience, may trlck a person lnto thtnking he knows somethlng he doesn't - thus cutttng o{f fufure curloslty and leamlng as an adult. As children, we were all exposed to thtngs like the War of 1812, the fall of the Roman Emptre, etc. We grew up thtnktng we knew about these things. They are part of our common knowledge. But our knowledge ls actually amazlngly lfdted. It may

Growing Wthout Schooltng #76

achrally be a chlld's knowledge. ln all Itkelthood, most of us would not even know why the War of I 8 I 2 was foug;ht, or why the Roman Emplre really fell apart. The reason we know so ltttle may be that we Just don't care. It ls not lmportant to us. If that ts really true, then lt's all rtghL But perhaps we don't know more because we thlnk we know all that ts lmportant to know about these thlngs. Our natural curtosity about them ls gone. Followlng thts ltne of reasonlng, one could conclude that the less we are exposed to as chlldren, the better offnrc mtght be. Thls would be an extreme vlew, but ln my oplnlon no less extreme than to belleve we must try to expose our chlldren to everything thatwe now know and belleve to be


I belterc thaL almost wlthout exceptlon, lt doesn't really matter lf our chlldren mlss somethtng. Some of the greatest Joys of my adult life have been in dlscovertng things I never knew. Some of them were common knowledge to most other adults, and, on rare occasions, my orlgtnal tggrorance was cause for some embarrassment. But this did llttle to reduce myJoy of discovery - one ofthe gF€atestJoys there ls. I amJust now beglnntng to appreclate classlcal music. Perhaps tfI had been exposd to lt more as a child, I would have leamed to ltke it then and I could have been enJoldng lt for these last thlrty-llve or fort5r years. But I do not feel cheated because ttrts did not happen. Rather, I am exhtlarated by the prospect ofnow addtng something new to my Me. These thtngs happen much too rarely in adult life. Perhaps this is one reason so many people seem to be livtng such sad,


lives. Whaterrer knowledge or e:<perlence our

chlldren mlss as chtldren is ltke the toowell-hidden Easter candy or the forgotten Christrnas present. Onci tt is discovlred, long tts 'approprtate' ttme, tt carries wtth tt hulce the Joy and meanlng.

Children Are Able To Decide F}om Anne Brosnan (NY:

I very strongly belie're that no homeschooler, or anyone else for that matter, has a preJudtce agalnst learnlng somethlng, until someone makes them learn tt. One of Bart Brush's quesflons uras, 'How can we expect chlldren to ask about what they don't know e:dsts?' He goes on to say a chtld must be lntroduced to ttrings he didn't know edsted. But every single thing or subJect ln the world ls arrallable to anyone, and Me ls so complex and there are so many things to learn tn tt that the question is true for anyone. Everybody can name something they don't know about, and for everybody there ls somethlng thcy don't know because they don't know lt odsts. There's no way sx)meone can be 16 years old and not lmow about World War II. All rtght, maybe tt could happen, but certalnly not among homeschoolers. And tf someone has dlscovered tt and passed tt over, that's a cholce he was probably aurare he was maldng, maybe because he was busy (dotng somethtng Just as important, wen tn the eyes ofa parent or teacher) or he dectded to do tt some other dme. No one

shouldJump ln at thls potrt and say, 'looh WWII ls somethlng you should know about,' because not only ls that forcrful but tt ts dlrectly acknowledgtng that the ldd ts not able to dectde what he wants to learn and do tn ltfe (but he certalnly ts). There are turc ldnds of leaming tn Me. One ls what you do tndinectly because lt comes lnto your llfe. Some of these things are what parents and teachers say you need to know. They are slmple thfngs ltke

multlpllcatlon tables, eflquette, brushtng your te€th, etc. Then, there are those subJects thatyou choose to pursue onbl because ofyour interest ln them. ThIs can be anythfng bom blcycltng to computers.

Thry are whatyou do ln between getttng up and golng to bed. Between thes€ two glroups

of thtngs, there ls nothing that you really need to know that you won't otherwlse learn unless gulded. Ifyou'need to lmow It' - to do what? To llve? Well, I'm sure no onewould dte lf they turned 40 and dldn't know how to play a muslcal lnstnrmentl Or hadn't lrrvesngated World War III Or read The Wtlch of Blackbttd Por'ld.l lf somethtng was really trnportant - lf there was somethlngyou needed to know - I'm sure that you would reallze tt and then leam tt wtthout help. Ttre same quesflon, 'Howcanwe expect childr€n to ask about what they don't know eldsts?' could be answered, 'If theyVe llved thls long wtthout needtng tt,

wlll they ever?' Meddllng ln


leamtng ls absolutely wrcng, and lf you feel they need to learn somethlng, vralt and see lf they do. And lf they norer want to or need to, chances are th€y can get along line

wlthout tt. One more thlng about guidance. I

tlrtnk that lf a parent wants a ktd to learn thlngs, and good and lnterestlng things, the last thtng to do ts try and teach them to the ldd. Both my mom and dad llke classtcal muslc and nature. and so do I. I read the same klnds of books Mom does. Some people rnlght llnd thts funny, because my parents never asked me to llke these thlngs or erren supposd I would. They hardly ever

talked about what klnd of muslc they ltked or what kinds of books they wer€ readtng. If someone came up to me and sald, 'You are Just llke your motherl' I would flatly deny tt. If Mom came up to me and asked me to read thls wonderful book she uras readtng, I would probably say no. Whf? Because I ltke to be tndependent and plck out rr{f ourn books and choose rI/ own

lnterests. The rcason my parents and I have some of the same lnterests ls becaus€ we llve our llves together and see many of the same things. At the same fime, Mom ls a palnter and I am not, whlle I urrtte poetry and she says she could never do such a thtng. But both ttrtngs are forms of art and we lllre dolng them. I probably ltke classtcal muslc because I never heard much rock, and I love nature because I grcw up tn tt. I read the books that were l5dng around the house. At the same tlme, I know that lf I were to do somethlng totally welrd like ralse goats or shoot off rockets or start listening to rock muslc, my parents wouldn't care, except to ask how lnr heck do I plan to look after a herd ofgoats? So you see, parents can gutde thelr chtld by completef tgnorlng tdm. All they have to do ls lfue a nlce llfe of thelr oum, wlthout even suppostng a tdd wfU pursue the same lnterests,


Andfiom Claudfa, Brosnan Anne's mother: I'm uncertaln how to aPProach ttrls dlscusslon because I'm beglnntng to feel that elther you hane an allnfty for selfdt'ected educatlon, or you don't; lt's almost a personallty lssue. We can say that tt works, but some people can't bellerrc lL Maybe I can potnt out the fuflllty of conoem over a partlcular subJect (WWII or arty other) by saytng that I could make a pretty good case for the study of Icrelandtc saga, or cnlonlal New England, or Naflve Amerlcan studles, or lnvertebrate zoologr, or eastem rellglons, or sonnets, and on and on. Each of us would nrake different cholces. I suppose part of the trouble ts that some oeoole don't see thelr children as enureiy slparate tndtvtduals. Ttrey beltwe they are crcadng thelr chlldren (tn thetf own tmageZ), That, to me, ls wrong-headed. Besldes, you can't steer a chlld llke a car. It's more lfke trytng to paddle a nrbber raft wlth one oar: lt usually goes a dilferent way

than you tntended. You Just end uP wastfung tlme, whlch, if tt's your own tlme, lsn't so bad, but tf tt's somebody else's (1.e. your chtld's), then lfs not good.

The Problem With Requirements FtomJanHunt (ON: I too have puzzled over the dlstlnctlon between guldance and manlpulaflon.,{.s a parent commltted strongly to chlld-dtrected homeschooltng, I somedmes wonder lf I shouldn't be a blt more aggresslve ln structurlng my son Jason's tlme, setting uP certaln acflvldes ln splte of a Lack of lnterest on hls part, or at least remlndlng him of areas he's tgnored for a whlle. I especlally wnnder about these thtngs after readtng about an extremely dedicated chtld who has o<celled ln a pardcular ffeld of acflvtty, such as muslc. Jason's passlonate lnterest ln astronomy does not lend Itself - yet - to obvlous dtsplays of"sucoess." It ls at these flmes thatJohn Holt's words have meant the most to me, remlndtng me that trust ls the most essentlal tngredtent of a homeschooltng program. While tt ls lndeed tmPortant to make a variety of subJects avallable to a chtld, I ttrink that lt ls almost lmposslble to avold dotng thts. Thls ts the age of lnformadon. Unless you keep your chlld locked tn the attlc, he wtll be surrounded by lnformatlon of all ldnds - through conversatlons, books, tel€rrlslon, Illms, stores, nature, etc. Today Jason asked me about opera' Ttrls surprlsed me, as opera ls a subJect my husband and I have ltttle lnterest in. I asked what had been the sounce; lt was a Dlsney cartoonl He asked me some questlons about types ofoperas, and we had a short discusslon. In sptte of my own lack of lnterest tn thts subJect, I tmst hlm to know lf and when he wlll want more lnformatlon. He knows that our encyclopedla has artlcles on nearly wery sublect, and that lf that lsn't detatled enougfr, he can flnd more lnformaflon at the llbrary, or from knowledgeable people. Whtle modeltng by the pa.nent can be rrcry helpful, tf lt ls not stncere tt wtll have ltttle value; I would never felgn an tnterest ln opera or anythfngelse. Butbecause I have alrready seen

Jason study subJects ln great depth desptte my oqtn lack of lhterest, I trrst hlm to set hls o$rn currlculum tn thls way. A subJect elther cllcks wlth Jason, or It does nof - who knows whY? So far, astronomy, math, physlcs, and art have cltcked strongly, wtrlle other areas have not. Whatwould I gatn by requtrlng that he study those subJects? Flesentrnent, frustraflon, and less tnterest tn that Partlcular area. If I can trust trlm to knowwhat he needs to learn - and when he needs to leam It - he mav some dav become lnterested ln those othir ar."t, and wtth thts ktnd of lnner motlrratlon, he can leam them qutck-ly. If not, any pressunes from me would only make him even less tnterested. And after all, no one ls tnterested ln everythtng, nor ts any partlcular knowledge absolutely essentlal for a good llG. Chlldren are very adept at hearing our lrldden messages. Regardless of howcarefully we phrase lt, when we tell a chtld that a certaln acdvtty ts requlred, we tmply that lt must be so unpleasant or dtllicult that hewould never do tt on hls own; otherwise, why are we going to the trouble of r€quirtng tt? [No one has ever requlred a ctrild to eat ice cream.) In some circumstances, we should dlrect learning that ls so lmportant we simply cannot leave it to the child - avoidance of danger, c€nstrucilve handling of anger, peaceful conlllct resoludon, and so on. But does Shakespearc really fft lnto thls categorf? And besides, what ls the rush? There seems to be an unspoken assumpdon that lf a chtld has not mastered wery subJect on earth by the age of lO, we have falled ln our homeschooltng. But a child has a llfetlme to leam whatever lnterests hlm as an adult John Holt demonstrated thts beautifully, with hls cello. One serious problem with requiring a chtld to do somethlng ls that tt tmplies potenttal punishment: tf the child refuses, then what happens? If you requlre a c'ertain activtty, and the chtld ts unable or unwllltng to comply, then you are forced lnto the posldon of elther resctndlng the requlrement or punlshlng the chtld' If you do nothtng, that means you weren't really requtrtng the acttvity after dl. If you pun-

lsh, thenyou gfve marry harmful messa€les to the chtld. As Susannah suggested, uslng force to further learntng ls a mlstake because lt ls "discourteous and probably won't work anyway, and the rtsks of dotng so great." Perhaps one answer to the question, 'When does guidance become

it are

manlpulaflon?", ls: when lt becomes threatenlng. As I see tt, the goal of homeschoollng ts to help a chtld leam horo to learn, not to dictate what that learnlng mlght be, or when lt must take place.

A Matter of Personality F}omJulle I'oVd NVN: One of my slsters ls a conseryailve Republtcan who lves ln a two-story house wtth lots of anflques and a gun near her ptllow. She spanks my lO-month-old nlece tn public. She drinks lots of collee and takes volce lessons.

My other slster ls not lnterested ln poltttcs. She llves ln a dellberately austere slngle room wtth her husband, dog, and

two cats. She works ln an ashram, ls a vegetarlan, and constantly sends me upMting ltterature such as 'Be all you can

be.' I am a paclffst and convlcted Peace - demonstrator. I ltrrc tn a huge, sloppy' old farm housewlth my two chlldren and hus-

bandr and have no pets, Just stock. I make a lfvhg by teachtng, crafts, and market gardentng. - We three are 3O, 31, and 33; we had the same parents, went to the same schools, dAgled ln the same bedroom, were frlends ir[[r ststers. We love each other, and can explatn each other Pr€tty accurately to our reipecflve husbands. But I'd say thatwe' for the most part, and desptte our nearly tdentical chtldhood experlences, live ln dlfferent unlverses. Bart Brush wrltes, 'Ifs dlflIcult for me to tmaglne a very deep resentment developtng irom sucli a b'fu-key program.'Wellt It's not dtlflcult for me at alll I thtnk we all have wtldly dllTerent personalitles. There are lots of us who iren't comfortable unless we EIre led' by a competent teacher, step-by-step through a clearly de8ned body of knowledge. My nelghbor organlzed a weekll Spantsh program when a natlve speaker came to our tsland. But she nearly went batt5r durlng it, because, as he was llllterate, he was unable to tell her aboutverb endlngs. He iust told folktales, Everyone else says they loved tt. Now, I thlnk we mfght be tempted to criticlze my neighbor for not befueg able to learn that way. Perhaps she had too much of thls orioo ltttle of that as a chtld? I wonder. Maybe no matterwhat happened to her as a ktd, she d sdll want to be taught in a parflcular way. I thlnk we who subscrlbe to GWS are self-selecting, ln that we all mlstrust compulsorv mass educatlon, and we all thtnk or hop-e we could do lt better at home. But ls that a unlversat truth, or ls lt a statement of our personalltles? This sprtng, I taught ln avery small school wtth ktds K-8 ln one classroom. Some had been homeschooled but declded to spend this vear tn school. In a small class, learntn! styles ofeach ldd are consplcuous. You can't teach ldds contrary to thetr style, even tf they'd 'adJgst' tn a larger Classroom. You're too close. Much a{ttnst my preconcelved deslres, there *ir. few lids who lnsisted on being " the "real'way' They demandd taught workbooks, questions at the end ofchapters, guided discussions, and qut?-es. ThE balkii at any hint that we d send them off on their own. When we llnally gave up and dtd what they asked, they made gtgandc academic and coplng leaps. The whole tone of the place ltghtened. end there were a few klds who refused

to cop€ wtth authorlty tn any form' Any

dirrecl reguest was refused. One Hd worked on every subJect we rvere dotng, but very carefully nerrer at the same hour as the rest

of us nor wtth the same materlal' Another dtd nothtng vtstble but somehow ft,ttplou.d rnlghttly ln-orery area I was worrled about. Another dtd nothtng vlslble and as hr as I know dtdn't tmprove at all. There wereothers for whom my teachtng style seemedJust rtght. (My teachlng style,-for thls class and wtth my pardcular cp-teacher, was to say that at Syou do math, at 9 you wrlte, and at lO you read.

Growlng Wthout Schoollng #76

27 Consult me for suggestlons or problems, or, better, consult another lidd. Don't be loud or mean.) They set thetr own goals, worked towards them, and, dependlng on personalIty, etther achlwed them wlth a solld THONK or veerd off and trled somettrlng else.

Noq according to my personal theory of educaHon, ttrts last group was correct,


least for the sort of sltuatton you flnd ln a classroom. But tn light of evldence, my theory ls wrong. I can't reJect a good half of thls student body, saytng they don't know how to learn. I can't tell them that lmmerslon and cheerful explorailon ofa subJect ls better than lgnortng lt or better than gdrnly slogglng through lt startlng at page one. IVe seen wfth my own eyes that all three approaches can work. Now, back to the subJect at hand. The kids ln the flrst group do harbor resentment against the free and easy, proJectoriented, ungraded program that our school, for the most part, has had. They hated tt, and wtll tell you so at any


School here tsn't partlcr'larly compulsory. Kids stay home lf they feel like tt and parents go on extended vacatlons ln winter, I thtnk the problem lsn't ln school vs. home, but ln personality. Some people crave structure, and that lsn't a fault, tt's Just thelr personallty. We adults who subscrlbe to GWS prefer learner-dtrected educatlon. I do belleve tn heredity; I think tt's ltkely tJrat our ldds rnfght share thls preference. BUT I also thlnk ifs ltkely that we mtght flnd one of our klds who lsn't ltke us, One of our klds may thrlve on betng told what to do and what to read. I have seen such children, and can testtff that they are healthy and happy tn splte of this. This is reflected ln what the kids said tn GWS about learntng from other lidds, or from an adult, or teachlng somebody else. Each particular penon is dlfferent, and wlll have a dlllerent preference. 'Ihe preference will change accordlng to who the other kld or adult ls, too. It will change with age, personallty, subJect, etc, I suppose lt's a telltng lndlcatlon of my personallt5l that I love thls rlchness, I love that for each sltuatlon and for each person we have to work lt out all over agatn. All of us are ready to grow more, somehow, but maybe not the same'how."

More Than Two Choices Ftom Ead Stewns (ME): Bart asks, "Are parents [everl Jusflfled In saylng, 'li/e've trled to furnlsh you with enJoyable hlstorlcal materlals, and we're sorry you haven't found them more lnteresdng. However, we bellerre hlstory ts lmportant for e',rcry cltlzen, and we must lnslst that you spend an hour a week on hlstory ln one form or another, You may choose howyou would ltke to go about thts, or we wlll choose.'" He asks, 'Is thls manlpulation or, worse, outrlght coerclon? Or is tt sttll only approprlate


call lt coerclon because, of these three expresslons, coercion ls the only one whlch leaves no doubt as to the use of power and the threat of enforcement. To be sure, Bart's suggested approach ls a I would

Growlng t9Vlthout Schoollng #76

klnder, genfler approach than the schools'. In a declslon to reqube that a 16year old learn about World War II he would keep the hours lnfrequent and short, search for materlal that ls excitlng, not demand 'the slmple regurgttaHon of facts,' and allow a great deal of leeuray wtth materlals and methods. Thls certalnly ls not the same alr dotng hard time ln the publtc schools, but the approach ls, nevertheless, llke the schools', based upon power.

Bart ts looklng for a mlddle ground between demandlng that chtldren learn tn

convenflonal ways and allowtng ctrlldren to absolutely refuse lnvolvement ln broad areas of lnqutry which the parent conslders to be tmportant. But academlc requtrements, no matter how'reasonable,' always mean that there ts retrtbutton lf the student refuses to comply, There ls no such thlng as a requlrement wlthout a sancflon, erren

lf the sanctlon ls relatlvely mtld or

subtle. Perhaps the parent wlll be tn a huII undl the child compltes, or the parent wtll not be amenable to a request for some

speclal favor. Whether the thr,eatened punlshment ls mtnimal or severe, there are many problems assoclated wlth using force as a teachtng tool. Aslde from havtng to deal wtth resentment, any parentwho decides to oversee learnlng ln thls manner must also declde: How many'tmportant' subJects are there to be studted, and bywhat age? How rnany requirements are too many requlrcments? How should the requlrements be enforced? How far can we go wtth required exposures to academlc subJects and still be encouraglng a chtld to take responstbtltty for his or her own educatlon? When we see that serendtptt5r ts

worktng, that by and large an educatlon ls talidng placc, it seems to me a conslderable rlsk to begin tnterfering because we have a notion that by a given age there should be a more thorough knowledge of some aspect ofhistory or ofanythir:g else. I obJect to forced learntng experlences because they are discourteous, and they brced both dependency and resentment. As an educattonal policy, the method is impracdcal and counterproducdve. It means extra work toward an end that could very likely be far less deslrable than teenage lgnorance about WW II. When a chtld says, 'He can make me do lt, but he can't make me Itke tt,'what has been accomplished? Many of us have strong oplnlons about what ls lmportant, and we freely sharc those oplnlons with our spouses, frlends, children, acquaintances, and even wlth strangers, Obviously we cannot avoid a blt ofpersuading and lnlluenclng as a roufine component of belng allve and ln relationship with those around us. Whether the focus ls on education, entertalnment, famlly llG, careers, chtld-rearlng, or rlomance, most of us want to be heard. We Ilnd that pushlng and shovlng brlngs us negaflve results, so we learn to be artful. Those who rnanage to exerclse lnlluence wlthout the use of force arc râ&#x201A;Źgarded as

stlmulatlng rather than dlctatorlal, among thelr chlldren.


We don't need to thtnk that we have only two cholces tn the educatlon of our chlldren: orderlng them about on the one hand, or ne$ecdng them on the other. When we malntain a good reladonshlp with our klds, one based upon mutual

conslderatlon and respect, we have enorrnous lnlluence and a mulfltude of

opportunldes tn wtrtch to exerctse


wlthout havtng to resort to commands and the means to enforce them. To quote George Bemard Shaw: 'What wewant ls to see the chtld tn pursult of knowledge, and not knowledge tn pursutt of the chtld.' The ctrtld ln pureutt of knowledge wlll dlscover that human experlencc ls lnterconnected and atrallable from a tleat rarlety of paths. Ttre ctrlld who ts betng pursued by knowledge leams to run harder and trtde more sklllfully. I am not saylng that a Hd who ts told to focus upon World War II for one hour each week wtll tmmedlately fall apart and lose all lnterest tn learntng, I am saylng that, as a homeschooltng poltcy, crmpulsory exposure lnvltes many more problems




There wlll always be stgntflcant gaps in the knowledge ofany young person, but thls ls not a serlous problem for one who has developed an agg;resslrrcly lnqulrtng mind. Also, the ages of 16, 18, or 20 are not tnerrltably the end of one ldnd of life and the begtnnlng of another. Therc ls ample tlme for a young adult to learn thoroughly and gratefully that which mtght have been recelved wlth boredom and resentment at an earller age. We mlght suspect that many tmportant thtngs won't get leamed at all unfll our chtldren are ltvlng tndependently ln the world. In the educaUon of our chlldren lt ls lmposstble to predtct the correct season for an lnterest to blossom. We can attempt to encourage and tnsplrre, but tt ts prudent to avotd dlctattng laws and lnsfltuttng punlshment. As tn throwtng Frtsbees, some of our olfedngs wlll fly trre wtrlle others go wlde of the mark, but thtngs always go better tf there ts somebody there who genulnely llkes to play catch wlth us.

Why Manipulation is Bad F}om Aanon.Falfull. I want to take a posldon that mtght seem extuâ&#x201A;Źme to Bart Brush: AII mantpulaUon ls bad.

In artlculatlng my posltlon, I am not trylng to prescrtbe to homeschoolers what they should do. Rather, I hope to help those homeschoolen who are confused about the dlstlnctlon between grldance and manlpulatlon, between access and exposure, Ilnd thelr own beartngs and form clearer posltlons for themselves, I want to put some thougfits on the table, to glve GWS readers access to ccrtaln ldeas. Manlpuladon Is bad for two maln reasons. The llrst ls ethlcal: manlpulatlon

ts stmply not nlce, It furvolrres coerclon, subverslon, scheming, and certaln amounts of dlshonesgr, It ls nothlng more than a subtle form of force. It doesn't rnatter that the person dotng the expostng thtnks tt's for the other person's own good. The end does notJustt$ the means. We do have the rtght and duty to prevent people from hurtlng each other, but does one

person control what another person thlnks or leams about? I say no. The secpnd realron has to do wlth the psychologl of leamtng. ManlpulaHon usually stops leamlng dead tn tts tracks, or when lt doesn't lt teaches the taclt lesson

2a that one needs to be manlpulated - exposed to things - ln order to learn. So mantpulatlon's ellect on learnlng ls elther deadenturg or dtsabling. It ts deadentng because lt erects an emotlonal barrler between the learner and the subJect or sldll ln questlon. As John Holt put lt, the learner ls lnsulted because unasked-for help - however lovingly offered - carries with tt the sllent emotional message, "You rvouldn't learn this on even hrow tt was lmportant unless I made you leam lt.'The learner's enerS/ is then taken up wtth defendtng htm- or herself from the manipuladon. As a result, eyes g;laze over, ears do not llsten. Mantpulaflon ts dtsabling because lt deprlves children of the opportunity to dlscover their own lnterests. This ls important work that they need to do themselves (wtrich does notmean that they need to do tt tn tsolatton). lhts is what Susannah was alluding to when she satd, -Too much exposing, too much dectdlng for chtldren what they wlll tr5r, erodes thetr capacities as self-educators." Ivan Illich said lt even more succinctlv ln Desclrooling fu.letV: 'School... teacties the need to be taught.' Homeschooling, unfortunately, canJust as easily do the same. Exposure, as I dellne it, means that one percon sublects another to an experience. The persion dolng the e4poslng decldes what should be learned and when. The learner is passlve; he or she can only react to the exposure, Exposure, then, is a form of manlpuladon because lt means that someone other than the learner ls

controlling the leamlng. I reJect the notlons ofapproprlate and lnapproprtate expsoure. All exposure ls

inappropriate, There may be dillerent degrees ofexposure, however, that employ varying degrees of force: Mild (emotlonal force): 'We would really like for you to watch ttrls televislon program." Moderate (snealry force): I'll get Johnny to learn about WWII by tahng advantage of hts interests in architecture or horses or sliding. Strong (overt force): "We believe tristory ts tmportant for wery citlzen, and we must lnslst that you spend one hour a week on hlstory in one form or another." Similarly, playing classlcal muslc at bedtime for the purpose of lnlluenchg or shaphg a ctrild's muslcal tastes ls snea$ and manlpuladve. Playing classlcal music because you yourself want to llsten to lt ls another rnatter enttlely. Thls ls one rrlay tn which classlcal muslc becomes acc.esslble to chil-

dren tn a family. They lorow lt's there and can llsten to it tf and when they want to. Personally, I would hate to go tfuough life dotng things or talking about things only because I hoped to lnlluence other people. I have my own Me to llve, and they have thelrs. It is a greatjoy to share things I enJoy or care about wtth others - recommending books to read, Iilms to see, places to go, people to meet, muslc to llsten to, etc.

But my friends know that they can reject any or all of these recommendadons without Jeopardlztng our frlendship. There are no emoflonal strlngs attached, Now, I don't mean to suggest that I thlnk one should never do anythtng for the sake of chtldren. I mlght olfer to take some children to, say, an atnusement park even though ttris ls not somethlng I urould do on my own. Such a gesture ls like glvtng a gift -

It may not be somethlng I would have chosen for myself, but I do lt or glve lt because I think lt's something the other person would ltke. But dotng thtngs that you thtnk other people roould llke ls very dllferent from dotng thlngs that you thlnk thcy shouldlike. We must make sure that ctrildren have the optlon of saldng no to what we olfer them without having to fear disappointing us. Perhaps some homeschooling parents

thelr role in a way that makes my positlon seem tmpractical or even romantlc. Perhaps they feel lt ts their dut5r to make sure thelr chlldren learn certaln things by certaln ages. I malntaln that such a role is fraught wtth ethical problems and puts learning ltself tn jeopardy. I would rather see

think that the Job of homeschooltng parents was to make thelr children's exploraflons tn and Journeys through the world as safe and tnvidng as possible, whlle at the same dme providhg as many cholces and opportunldes as possible, whlch tncludes maldng their own work, lnterests, passions, and concerns vtstble and therebv accessible.

OK To Push Sometimes Flom Susan Ricfunrrn (PA): So some people are wondering whSt Susan Richman wari really doing when'she worked at getting her two boys to begin drawing with confidence and success? Was I manipulatlng (a very negative term for most folks, unless you're a chiropractor) or was I merely guiding? Here's an update on the children's art actlvities. Molly continues to be an amazing artist, worklng far beyond an average almost-7 year old, and drawing on a daily basls. She ts firm in saying that she wants to be an artist, probably an illustrator, when she grows up, and I think she very well may be. Her work astonishes me with tts detail, lts creadvtty coupled wlth close observatlon. I do virtually no lnstructlng with her in art, rarely even make a suggesdon, as she is so selfdirected, (l remember a reader once wrlttng to GWS to

say that they felt they blew tt wtth art because they'd hung up so many of thelr

child's early works that they turned the

child off somehow. Well, we've always

hung up and enjoyed Molly's incredtble pictures and lt has never tumed her off, but only further motivated her when she sees her work all around her, and I can't tmagine not wanting to hang up her work, as I thoroughly enJoy it and love to look at It as often as I can.) Jesse sflll does not often choose to sketch or draw; it stmply tsn't his btg interest. But he has been asked by Gerry Mandel, the editor of the children's rnagazlne Store Soup, to do three different sets of illustrations, and he has taken these requests very seriously and spent hours working on these pictures. The magazine has slncerely appreciated hls work, and thls has madeJesse aware that he does tudeed have ability ln thls area that can be tapped when he puts his mind to lt. When there ls a speciflc proJect gotng that needs lllustraflon or artwork as part oftt, he feels motlvated to work long and hard, and really stretches himself, And at tlmes I set up a sltuatlon, such as a recent sketchlng

trlp to our town speclflcally to draw old Vlctortan homes, and he really became concentrated tn hls work and came up with something so good he chosâ&#x201A;Ź to put lt on the cover of hls pordolto of work for the year. 0 did a draw.lng too - I was part of thts venture, notJust as asslgner,) Jacob too usually doesn't choose to draw tn the same way that Molly does, but he has developed tnto qutte a nature artist. He loves to draw birds of all t54pes, tn part tnspired by hts frtend $an Williamson, who does arnazlngbird drawtngs. Ryan wrote ln the last lssue of GWS aboutJust letting klds watch htm do varlous thtngs as tris favorlte uray of teaching somethlng. Well, on our last vlslt to see the Willlamsons in Vlrgfnla, Jacob uratched Ryan draw, and once home he started rtght ln on his own. Jacob shows an trecredtble ability to stick wtth a drawing undl lfsJust how he wants lt. He too works best at artwork when it ls part ofa larger proJect such as a book, but he also has quite a bulletln board full of his drawtngs from the past year, and many people have sincerely enJoyed them. He no longer Gels that burning lncompetence about drawing that he felt several years ago. I actually have a sort ofhobby ofcol-

lecting stories from families about flmes when they have pushed thetr child to do somethlng the child was balldng at, and lt came out all rlght, and the child was glad of it ln the end. I don't gather these storles as proof that thts ts the best way or the,only way to react to our children, but merely as reassurances that at times thls may be a proper response and lt neâ&#x201A;Źd not have disastrous oonsequences, It sometlmes ls Just the nudge that a chtld needs to galn the confidence to do somethlng new. I think of my homeschooling friend Judy and her nlnth grade son Will. Judy was very lnvolved with puppetry, and had begun performlng puppet shows for school groups. Although Will had always been very acdvely lnvolved ln creating elaborate puppet stages and props, he never rvanted to actually use one of the puppets on stage. That was OK wlth Judy and she let It go, respectlng his wlshes. But she dtd decide that Will u.rould g;lve an lntro talk to a class group of young chlldren about thelr puppets and about puppetry tn general. He balked. He complalned. He sald he wouldn't do it. Judy said stmply that he would, and she discussed with htm howhe might get ready. The day got neaner and nearer, and llnally Wtll began really prepartng his little talk. The day came and he did beau-

tifully, explalning thtngs to the children wlth animatton and lots of concrete detail. He even enJoyed the experlence, and I thlnk probably learned a good btt about his real capa.bilities that he might not have knovm lf his mother hadn't been a llrm support behind him, showing htm that she had wery conlidence that he could do well. I've heard any number of slmilar stories from other parents, and I think thry deserve telling, as we can learn from these stories lnJust the same way that we can learn from storles about invited learning. I don't view my children as tender hothouse plants who will be blown away by one goofofapproach on my part. I vlew them, and myself, as pretty resllient and strong, able to handle new challenges. Just as I want them to feel a sense ofconlldence

Growlng Wthout Schoollng #76


ln trytng new thlngs, I want to demonstrate

that willingness to be unafratd to Jump lnto unchartered waters by my own acdons with them. I also thlnk that they respect the fact that I should have (tur general) more knouiledge and a wlder ercperlenflal base than they often do (though tt-ris ls certainly changtng as the ldds get older and more eq>ert ln thetr own fields of lnterest that I don't share). I thtnk they tn fact count on me to have a wider perspectlve on thelr educafions, and feel comfortable that someone else is watchlng out for glarlng holes and flndnrgways to bridge them. I am the adult, after all, and they accept that I'll have some rightful gutding to do. I wtll be the ffrst to admlt that I often Just let my ldds know that they urfll do crrtain things, such as enter a poet5r contest, complete the Wodd Magazb'e geography qulz contest, complete the htstorlcal map for the Blcentennlal Commlsslon, be tn the recttal, cumplete the proJect for the hlstory and science falr, or whaterrer. Sometlmes I know that lf left on thelr own, they would not have flntshed many of these proJects, anen though they eagerly wanted to take part tnttially. Just as I need others to support me on following through wlth things, I see my hdds need my strong support in followtng through and keepturg on track wlth their work. I urant my lrdds to have any number of experlences where they can look back and say, 'Gee, thatwas tough gotng at times, but I kept at tt and finished tt, and I'm glad I dtd.' Take the ldstorical map contest sponsored by the Btccntenntal Commlsslon as an example. The proJect involved completing a pictorial map on a large poster-size outllne map of the ortgtnal states and territorles of the USA (provtded by the National Geographic Society). The kids had to thtnk of a spectllc theme for the map and IInd unique ways to illustrate it, I liked the tdea, I ltked the sample u'lnntng maps lllustr:ated ln the brochure, I knew my boys both loved history and maps and geography, so I presented the proJect to them. I wasn'twlshy-washy about tt, but gave them the clear understandtng that thls was not a 'posslbtltty' I was olfertng them'access' to, somethlng they could take or leave, but somethlng that I felt would be a worthwhlle proJect ln lts own rtght and I was tndeed requlrlng tt and would help them set the time necrssary to do a goodJob. We dlscussed how we all do seem to

funcdon more productively with deadllnes, especially outside deadlines, and they knew that I was requirtng that they get thetr map together on tlme and actually take part ln the compefltion. I knew that wlth our often slde-tracked and busy llves we would neverJust do this map, or do lt well, Mthout the culmlnattng event of sendtng tt oII for Judgtng. They agreed with me. Now, I rnight have furstead held an tnner dialogue of worry, wondering if theyd be dtsappotnted ln thelr tnabiltty to wln, or maybe they Just wouldn't want to study colonlal Amerlca rtght now (lt was a btt of an lntermptlon ln other thtngs we were dolng, after all), or maybe they'd never want to cr€ate a rnap agah, or maybe I shouldJust leave lt all up to them to decide. I thfnk I knew my busy boys well enoug;h to know that although they love hlstory, theyJust would not have made

Growtng Wthout Schoollng #76

tlme ln thelr llves for thts proJect wlthout my guldancte and - dare I say lt - my strong Push. Jess€ got very Lrvolved ln researchlng for ttrls project, and we all began searchlng through our American htstory resources. The boys flnally agreed on the theme of

Producdon and Trade tn Early Amerlca, and set to dr:awlng shlps and trade routes and learnlng about tndigo and rlce productlon and the cotton gin and lts elTects, and trlan$e tr:ade and slavery, rlver routes of trade and early roads, and much more. They pored over nrany maps from our atlases, including several htstorlcal maps. The boys were exclted about their tnslghts, and work on thelr rnap was progresslng, But lt was often slow and dawdly proeFes, and they had to really scurry at the end to llntsh up. I was acflvely tnvolved the whole way, not Just as a task setter at the begtnntng, but as thelr ongotng consultant, crltic, gutde, and coach. They made the deadltne, and ure deltvered the map. They felt proud that theyd actually completed the proJect" as seneral times theyd been very tempted to give lt up. They had no thought that they mlght actually win - the focus of our car ride dlscusslon was on how good it felt to complete something that had taken lots of honest effort. Ttrrns out they not only won llrst place tn our congresslonal dtstrtct but also won second place in the state of Pennsylvanta. They were astonished, and eagerly helped dectde what geogfaphy materlals we'd buy wtth tlretr prlze money. It was another lesson ln the value of perseverance, and they are r€ady to try even harder next year, already thtnldng of posslble new themes to lnvestlgate. I think of Klm Kopel's excellent letter, very heartGlt and slncere, about overcoming her long-time math block. Ktm's mother's way of reacilng to Kim's block was tojust walt. As Bart Brush points out, thls wasn't the only way of handltng tt. Many of us Just would not feel comfortable leavlng a child to choose when to start learntng bastc math, and ln rnany states I think tt could almost be tllegal to hang around for so long - tt would mean Jeopardlztngl your homeschooltng saGty, Ktm's story has a happy endtng, and I thtnk she shows extraordinary perceptton and gained enonnous lnslght from the way she worked wtth math, but I would have stepped in rtght from the start, pr€padng a strong grounding ln concrete understandlng and enjoyment of the subJect fuJore my child's llrst experlence wlth a standardlzed test.

In GWS #5, John Holtwrote to a parent whose son rvas balldng at worlidng on hls speech problems and the mother was concerned that she mtght lose her rlght to homeschool because of lt: I agree wtth you that the problem ls urgent, and I thtnkyou would be

wlse to make a strong ellort to convlnce your ctrtld of thts. I assume here, as always, that ctrlldren are lntelllgent and responslble human belngs, who want to understand how the world around them works. Were I ln your shoes, I wouldn't hesitate to say to A that even lf he wasn't worried about his speech defects, I was uery worrted, for all the reasons you have

mendoned.... I would say, 'Thls rnay not seem llke an tmportant problem to you, but lt does to me, ,rnd I lnslst that we solve lt and solye lt qutckly, or we nury all be ln very s€rlous trouble.' Thls ls one of the placee where I would intervene qutte forclbly to protect a child from a danger that he could not understand, Just as I would not let him drlnk or eat eyerlrthtng he found ln the medtcine cablnet. For thlngs that we feel are very lmportant, we don'tJust watt.

Additions to Directory Here are the changes and additions b he Directory that havo como in sinco ho last issue went to pre$. GWS fi2 contains fto complote 1990 Directory, and GWS #75 contains a summary of he additions and changes betwe€n then and norv. Our Directory is not a list of all subscribers, but only of hose who ask to be listed, so hat oher GWS readsrs, or ohor intor€sted people, may get in oudr with them. lf you would like to be included, please send the entry form or a 3x5 card (one family per

card). Please lake €re to include all the information last name, full address, and so on. Please remember that we can't control how he Directory is used; if you receive unwanted mail as a r€sult ol being listed, just toss it out. We print Urthyea$ ol dlildren, not ages. lf we made a mistake when conrerting your cfiild's age to birthyear, please let us know. Please tsll us if you would rather have your phone number and


list€d instead otyour mailing

address. We don't haw sDace to list boh. lf a Direcbry listing is followed by a (H), family is willing to host GWS travelers who make advance arr:rngemenB in writing. lf a name in a GWS sory is follorved by a sate abbreviation in parenheses, hat person is in the Dhectory (check herc andin*72and #75). We are happy to forward mail readers whos€ address€s are not in he Directory. Mark he oulsrUe of he envelope with name/description and issue. lf you don't mark he outside, rv6 open the envelope, ses hat you want somehing forwarded, and hen have to readdress he letter and uss our own postage to mail it. When you send us an address drange for a subsoiption, please remind us if you are in he Direcory, so we can drange it here, too. The complete 1991 Directory will be published in GWS #78. lf your name appears in the additions and changes belor, or in he summary in GWS #75, you will automatically be included in he 1991 Directory and do not ne€d to do anything else. lf your name does rul appear here or in GWS f75 .rnd you want to be induded in fie '1991 Diectory, you must send us a lorm wih the full inlormation by Ocbbet 15, 1990, even if you were in the 1990 ArccW or have be€n in othet Arcdodes in the past.



CA, North (zlps 95m0 & Ronnie & Marsha (Nova/83) Puppy School, 225 Estates Dr, Bsn Lomond 95005 (change) Jill & Greg BOONE (CristuZ8, Pauy80, Curtis/83) PENINSULA HOMESCHOO{-ERS,4795 Lago, San Jos€ 95130 (dtange) Jan CRAWFORD & Sharn FIAILEY (Neal/82, Nora/88) 1781 Santa Lucia Ek, San JosE 951 25 (H) Lyn E Ken GATES (Kird8a, Sophie/ 89) 136 1/2 Vornon St, Santa Cruz 95060 (H) Pat & Daw PATANE (Samueu8o, Nicflohs/8l) 1218 Woodf aurn Av, San Jose 95128 Lee & Tripura SANDERS (Pradeep?S, HamsanT, JayanttS) 9860 E Zayante Rd, Felton 9gX8 William CA, South (zlps to 95000) Micfielle BUSH (J6remiah/86) 2374 Sbnyvale Rd, Tujunga Nancy & Greg DUKE (Jackson/









30 80, Sda/81, Elizabeth/87) 1458 S Lilac Av, BloomingMary SARGENT & Joe MULLENIX ton 92316 (Dillon/&5, Travis & Jess€/8g) 2057 Cerro Gordo St, Los Angolos 90039 Joy & Hank SCHULTZ (Aarorv86, CO Jamie/88) 2583 S Laredo Ct, Aurora 80013 CT Bill & Elizabeh ELDRIDGE (Bryorv8l, SaralvSo) 47 Wentworh Dr, South Wirdsor 06074 Kevin JONES E Karen GUMPEL (Viola/84, Charlotte/8s, Caleu87, Baby/go) 120 Bradley Rd, lt/hdison






Gary & Joyce BUSSELL (Daniel/85, Alaina/88) 1140 NE Touvn Terr, &nsen Beach 94957 Vickie & Curt HOLME9IiIORRISON (Eamorv 76) 455 Butterfly Forest Rd, Generra 32732 (change) === Dan & Jane NEVEL (Ariellaf/8, Orion/8o) 1ogq5 NE 12th Av, Miami Shores 33138 GEORGIANS FOR FREEDOM IN EDU. GA CATION, 209 Cobb St, Pdmeno 30268 (cfiange) Greg E Vicki SCOTT (MichaeFZ, David/80) REACH (Responsiblo Ed Achiewd in Caring Homes), 617 FL




Colony Ct, Woodstock 30'188 (change) (l-l) Terence BURKE & June McINTOSH (86, lL 89, 89) 5522 S Kimbark Av #2, Chicago 60637 Louis & Jennifer GORDON (Katie/81, Patty/84) 520 Gregory, Wilmette 6d)91 === Bruco E Debbie KAPLAN (Brian/78, Kevin/81, Amy/84, Jacob/87) 312 Bell Dr, Cary 60013 === John & Theresa THROOP (Johnt7s) 3O9 W Mason, Springfield 627O2 Par & Tom WOODS (J€remyng, Emily/81, Erin/8s, Elsa/87) 863 W Chicaoo St, Elgin 601?3 lN === Terry & Alice INMAN (Rachel/7s, ChristophernS) 76-02 St George Blvd, Fishors 46038 MD === Ann & Chris DAVIS (Calida/8i|, Jordarv 86) 1 152 Heaps Rd, Street 21154 (H) === Fred & Thelma SCOTT (Phoeben6, Sarah/78) 10058 Water ford Dr, Ellicon Ciry 210(! (H)




llA-== Cyndie & Jim CONNOLLY (Jssse/82, Kyra/86, Hannah/8g) 25 Cedar St, Hingham 02043 === Susan &Micfiael GARFIELDWRIGHT (Hanah/ 81 , LoatVS6) RFD #1 Box 51 , Charlemont 01 3il9 (H) === Dave & Sue GIULIANO (Jesse/7g, Jenna/82) 101 Country Cir, S Dennis 02660 (change) === Bill & Lorena HEUER (TadtTI, J€d/82) 164 Norfolk Sr, Holliston 01746 (H) === Cynthia HUARD & Larry HAMBERLIN (David) 17 Milton St, Arlington 02174 (Hl === Roy & Cindy MAUREB (AarorV81 , MaryatrvSS, ElizaJamila/8g) 13 Stalford Rd, Wales 01081 beth & Brian PRESCOTT (Luketo, TamasnS, Michael/88) 40 Phillips St, flr 1, Greentield 01301 Ml === Lisa & Ken KANDER (Beth/81, Jacob/ 8tl, Adam/86, Clah€/8g) 21 22 Houser, Holly 48442 (H) --- Lyle & Juliet MUFFMAN (Caidiil83) 132 Grand NE, Grand Rapids 49503 (change) === Thomas & Diane LINN (Enilym, Sarah/81, Andrew 83, RobervSo) 9120 Dright Dr, Deroit 48214(Hr=== Neil & Ellen PUETZ (Jeremyf/4, l,latkl77, Michael/84, Jetf/88, Katie/go) 10oS Wght St, St Johns 48879 (H) === scott & Jule SADGER (Jordanatg. Christopher/ 81 , Ariel/84) 2140 Miller Rd, Buchanan 49107 (H) === Dennis SCHRANTZ E Nicki WOOD (AaroM/8, llegarvSil, Noah/8s, Kali Rose/8g) 4907 Cooper Rd, Jackson 49201 (H) llN === Chris & Susie FRENCH (Sara/80, Brianl8s, David/89) RR 1 Box 65, Tracy 56175 llO === Jim & Kathy O'DONNELL (MargareVS6) 47 Clermont Ln, St Louis 63124: George OCEAN & Corliss SCHAEFFER (Forresv86, Melody/8g) RR Rt Bp.x221, West Plains 65775 (H) NJ === Anne lvlOCK (Racheltg, Toby/81) RR 1 Box 105, Tarnvorth 03886 === Lyn HAMILTON & Ridrard EVERT (WilliamnS, Alic€/82) 249 lvlt Lucas Jerry E Ann LANGINRd, Princeron HOOPER (Stephanie/81, Jo€/83) 118 Powder Hom Dr, Phillipsburg 08865 === Renee LEAVY & Steven KOHN (Rebecca/88) 1 080 Franklin Lakes Rd, Franklin



Lakes 07417 NY === Kenneth COLE & Victoria DEPERSIIS (Julianna/86) 570 Van Duzer St, Staten lsland 10304 (H) =-= Linda HOLZBAUER & Kenny RTTTER (Gracel

81, NaV84, Anna/86, El€anor/8g) 607 Cascadilla St' lfiaca 1489) (change):- Robert & Sill<e MAHARDY ([rorgan/84, Galen/86) Box 45, RD #1, Martin Rd' Allison & Bob MESNARD (NaCleveland 13042 talie/8s, L€nora/87) RD 2 gox 244, Grippon Hill Rd, Joe & Lisa O'REILLY (Rebeoca/81, Vestal 13850 Brianna/84, Christopher/86, JonaharySS) RR 1 Box lvan & Sl0, lrigh Cape Rd, Napanoch 12458 (H) Kahy PURDY (Temarv8o, Erond/8l, Arlarv83, Taliha/8s, Lacfrlan/87, Cadencang) RD #1 Box 334, John E Cindy Chenango Forks 13746 (chango) SOEHNER (Shano/81, Nichol€/86, WilliadSg) 16 Kenilworth Dr, E Northport 1 1731 (H) -== Wayne E Peggy WEBB (Lena/83) 212 Williams Ln, Kingson





'12401 (cfiange) NC Carol de POIX (kinn9l PO Box 151 , gynum 27228 ISLAMIC HOMESCHOOI- ASSOC OF NORTH AMERICA, 1312 Plymouth Ct, Raleigh Patrick & Peggy NUGENT (Julia/87, Re27610 Lori b€cca/8g) Rt 1 Box 252-D,Climax2723,3 & Will WAGOIIER (Braelyn/84, Logan/86, AmrorVSS) t alin & Charles PO Box stl, Oriental 28571 WELLMAN (Collie/8l, ElarV84, LeaM9, PollervS3) Rt #1 Box 45, Tyn€r 27980 (H) =-= Kate ZURICH & Jeff STILLSON (Midraey84, Luko/87) 375 Old Leicester Rd, Ash€vill€ 28804 (l{) OH === Jim & Ann FINGAR (DianafiS, Elizabeth/82) 57 Central Av, Athens 45701 === Scon & Paula KOWALKE (Peter/7g, Adam/82) 5998 Taylor Rd, Painesville 44077 === Cheryl & Dan i;hCORMICK (Livia/82, D€virv87) 8340 W Bancroft, Toledo 43617 (H) === Dani€l & Elizabeth RYAN (Rub€n/8s, Raphael/8g) 458 W€st Hines Hill Rd, Hudson 44236 (ll) === St€\,e & Dianna ZIrcOSKY (Ariana/83, Ang€lique/84) 7289 Monticello Way, Rav-






enna 44266 OR === Gene & Diana BASKIN (Lisat72, Chadie'8, lvlarla/86, Anna/8g) Rt 1 Box 2154, Banks 97106 (change) === Michael & Sue DUGGAN (Jessica/87, Andrew/90) 3690 Hill View Dr SE, Salem 97302: Maggie JIHAN & Cameron SMITH (RivannatS, Nessatg, S€th/82, Avery/89) HC 63 Box 555-N, Ghiloquin 97624 (H) === April & Paul REDING (Paul David/82, Amy/85, Peter/87, Amber Rose/89) 2006 NE Liberty, Portland 97211-5i139 PA === Bill & Puddy CLARK (Miles/8l, Julia/83) 654 Kromsr Av, Berwyn 1g!1 2 (ll) === Jennifer & Steven McCA RTHY (Kaitli rV83, Anna/86) ENDLESS NIOUNTAINS HOMESCHOOLERS, RD 6 Box 198, Wellsboro 16901 === Donna STEWART & Rick MULLER (Billy/8o, Sarah/81, Joshua/84, JohrVST) 1734 Mill Rd, Hilltown, Perkasie 18944 RI === RHODE ISLAND GUILD OF HOI,IE TEACHERS, 272 Pequot Av, Warwick 02886 SC === Psys & Jean GROVES (Timonf/s, AustirvSo) 204 Brandywine Dr, Summerville 29485 (drange) === Wayne & Becky HENRITZE (Rachel/8s) 418 Highmarket St, Georgetown 29440 (H) TN === Robert & Janet BELSER (fotilB7) 4711 Richmar Ct, Nashville 37211 === Karen SMITH (Af issa/7g, Rhianna/83, Dierdre/87) 2202-4 Greenbnar Cir, Johnson City 37601 TX === Carolyn & Rudan BETTELHEIM (Joanna/87) 328 Shdke, Buda 78610 (H) Steve & Danielle IvIONSON (kuliarvS6) 1601 Cricket Hollow, Austin 78758 (H) VT === Dale & Anne BINGHAM (AndreW85, Linley/88) RR 1 Box 1635, Franklin 05457 VA === Dana & Philip BIELATA (Philip/84, Jeremy/87, Sonny/89) 1821 Sydenham Trail, Virginia Beach 23464 (H) === Hugh & Carla HALLER (Ruth/ 82, Hannah/87) Rt 3 8ox 868, Lovensvillo 22080 (H) BeBy & Mike SKELTON (Kimb€dy/84) 12350 Natural Bark Dr, Chesterfield 23832 (H) WA === HOME SCHOOL RESEARCHER,25 W Cremona, S€attls 981 19 (change) === Scon & Juli€ SESSIONS (Jodien8, Ca,atSO, Luke/83) WHATCOM HOMESCHOOL ASSOC.595 Trout Lake Rd, Bellingham 9{t226 === Karl & Ellen THOMPSON (Samuel/8o) 4295 Deming Rd, Everson 98247 (H)



Frank & Deborah WOSLUM (ii|athew|/S, Barry/ 80, Brennatg) PO Box826, Graham 9&138{826 Wf === Donald & Caol BURRIS (Lyndan9' Donald/83) 2415 Amherst Rd, Middleton 53562:= G€ne & Betty WALTON (Nickt6, Kat€/80) 812 W Cramer, Fort Atkinson 53538




Joanne & Ridtard ARES (Mlchello/83, libnique/87, Aime€/88) 7308 154 St, Edmonton TsR Dorcfry & @offrey BISHOP (Orin/87) 111 iilaura DONEGAN32 Av NW, Calgary T2M 2Pg RYAN A Joseph RYAN (Frances8l, Matf€w83, lvlargarevS6) 10647-61 Av, EdmonOn T6H Jeff & Sarah GOLDIE (Megan/83, Erid85, Ailish/88) Shelagh 1082+62 Av. Edmonton T6H 1 N1 HAMILTON & Flarvey CHIMERA (Saralv8o) 1063&61 Ouinhn & Cheryl MICIAK Av. Edmonton ToH (Comwelu84, Lowg7l87* Connors Rd, Edmonon Sylvie RAY & Robert WRIGHT (Gabriel/ ToC 486 86, oriorvEg) 6o6F Michener Park, Edmonton T6H









BC Dennis & Dawn CLEMENS (Ryarv82, Kelby/84, MarilV86, BenjamirySS) RR #1, Duncan VgL 1M3 === Alice WHITEHEAD (Lucie/82, Hazel/84) 202-930 Convent Pl, Victoria V8V 2Y8 Oue === Gordon & Henriene SNIEDER (Timothy/8g) 1635 Erin Pl, Dorval H95 156 (H) Sask === otto SCHNIBER & Sylvia BUTTNERSC HNI BE R ( Mai rel75, PatrickfT9, St€phsn/84, Katya/ 83, Antonio/86) 47 Broadview Crescsnt, St Albort TgN 0B1

Olher Locations === Elsa HAAS, APRENDER SIN ESCUELA (Spanish GWS), Hortaleza,4, quinto izquierda,2S0Oa Madrid Spaln (change) (H) David & Fiona HANCOCK (Laura/83, Graham/86) 08 Calle Gardenia, San Francisco, Rio Piedras Puerto Rico 00927 === Juditlt & Ashley LYE (Kirstirv83, ManhevSs) &zF9 Fukasawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo Carrie & Brandon KNOX (Corey/82, 158 Japan Samatha/8g) Whispering Pines Ranch, Red Rock TX Rob & Barbara SHEPPARD 78662 (Costa Rica) (Ellie/8o, Martha/8it, Alfi€/87) 18 Queen Kaherine St, Kendal, Cumbria, England LAg 7OG (change) (H)




Pen-Pals Children wanting pen-pals should write to those listed. To be listed, send name, age, address, MAURER, 13 Stafford and 1€ words on interests Rd, Wales [tA 0,|081: Aaron (8) Indians, rocks, books; t\,laryam (6) books, cooking, animals =* Erin DE POIX (1 0) PO Box 51 , Bynum NC 27228; reading, cooking, animals === CAIN, Rt'l Box 24,|, Micanopy FL 32667: Jennifer (10) animals, art, nature; Kathryn (8) reading, dolls, bike-riding === PIERCE, Rt 1 Box 69, Eldddge MO 65463: Eva (7) swimming, dolls, dress-up; Sonnet (13) reading, history, rocks -== Anna MORRIS (8) RR #1, Gr. 12 Box 5, Wnlaw BC VOG 2J0 Canada; iewelry, ballet, kangaoos === Addla NEVEL (12) 10395 NE 12 Av, Miami Shores FL 33138; conservation, nature, movies *= GIBB,429 S 7 St. Richmond lN 47374: Laura ( l 1) violin, sports, pen-pals; Sarah (7) swimming, gymnastiet, papeF delivering === Chim€ns AITKEN,3909 S lraryland Pkwy #214, Las Vegas NV 89109; reading, skating, llyqSLUM, PO Box 826, Graham WA drawing 98t13&0826: lirathew (12) soccor, highland danca, nintendo; Barry (9) socer, cooking, mythology CECERE. 61ffi Burnham Rd, Roanoke VA 24018: Will (7) tress, legos, sports; Ted (8) reading, sports, legos: HAMILL, 2214 Gtant St, Berkeley CA 94703: Hanison (10) blu€grass, kayaking, inventions; Finnegan (8) horseback riding, dogs, writing === Campbell BARTON (7) 31 Sharp St, Newtown, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia; experimenB,





models, house design ==- Paul REDING (8) 2006 NE Liberty, Portland OR 9721 1-5335; science, collecting insects === Susan KETCHAM (15) RFD #4 Box 5500, Farmington ME 04938; natur€ study, sailing === Nova

Growing Without Schoollng #76

3l MELLOW (7) 225 Estates Dr, Ben Lomond CA 95005: dance, animals, fantasy ..;essie SIERRA-ROMAN (9) l2 Cheriton Rd, W Roxbury MA 02132; dancing, science, art *= DILLIPLANE, 61 Huron Av. Cambridge [rA 02138: Susanna (8) piano, swimming, dancing; Sara (10) art, swimming, singing Hillary BORRUD (9) 34708 S ituridian Fd, Woodbum OR 97013; animals, art, nature



Additions to Resources Certilied Teachers Willino to Helo Homeschoolgg: Micfielle Barone BUSH, 1369 Foohill Blvd, La Canada CA 91001; 818-952-1485 (K-,|2, special ed) Ken LEBENSOLD,7575 Sunkisr Dr, Oakland CA 94605; 41$636-0473=- Marilyn LOU/E, 1295 Marshall Dr SE, Salem OR 97302;50$362-1203 (Spanish K-12, English 7-12) RogerTRUNK, Rt I Box 1 10, Satsuma FL 32189; 904-649-4479 Heloful Psvcholooist Michelle Barone BUSH, address above Travelino Familv: Loius and Jennifer GORDON (Katie/81, Patty/84), 520 Gregory, Wilm€tre lL A0091



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Group Subscrlptlons: We offer group subscriptions, in whidr several copies of each issue are mailed to one address. The price is $18 per person, and goups ol5 or more receive the loader's subscription free (in other words, a group of 5 pays 4 x $18 and reeives 5 copies of eactt issue). Please pay for group subscriptions wifi ono check. Please send in the names and addrssses of members of your group sub, so that we can ke€p in touch with hem. Foreign payment! must bo eifier money orders in US lunds or checks drawn on US banks. We cant atford to accept perconal cfrecks on Canadian accounts, even if they have "US funds'written on hem. We suggest that loreign subscribers use Ivlastercard or Visa if possible. Outside of North America, add $15 per year for airmail (otherwise, allow 2-3 months for surface mail). Ask us about air mail rates for group subs.

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The numb€r that is underlinod in the examole tells the number of he final issue for the subscription. The Smiths' sub expires with lssue #77, the next issue. But if we were to receive heir renerval before we s€nt our final account changes to the mailing house (Septemb€r 31), hey would qualily for the free bonus issue.

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Thr lloon'r Rhythmr.t Work: A Daily Guide b Observing l,loon Rhyhms in Children and Ourselves. $.|0 + $1 postage. Paul Plan, Box 233A, RD 2, Ghent, NY 12075. HEARTLEAF: HOilEMADE llUSlC, ART, & tOVEllENT... because home is where lhe art is. Free catalog of books, tapes, and music. Heardeaf, Box to-A, Slocan Park, BC CANADA VOG 2E0. FRENCH lS FUN - "Learn Along Wih Your Child." (Ages 2-15) Stimulates total leaming capacity. Uniquel 10 lessons, originai songs, dialogs and supplementary vocabulary. Parental guide, coloring/activity book. Easyl Guaranteed. $19.95 (+$2 th). Spanish available in S€pt. Optimaleaming Language Land, 8&D Belvedere St, San Rafael, CA 94901. 1-8W672-1717 (outsid€ cA). EN RICH YOUR CURRICULUT: Envionmenal education matorials for all ages, all subjects; motivational rubber stamps; sci€nce/naturo education materials. Send SASE for information. EcoTeachGWS, PO Box 245836, Sacramenro, CA 95824.

WINGS - A personalized leam/play educational package, ages 3-6. Exciting and ditfsrsnt. Also, caring tutoring, all ages. Ken Lebensold, PhD, 7575 Sunkist Drive, Oakland, CA 94605, 4196:b{473. FLASHiTATH Makes drilling math facB - Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division - FUNI Kids develop skills, work at their oln level. IBM PC/XT/AT. $1o/disk. Tony Mingl, 126 J€fferson, Box 69, Lafayette, OR97127. Creative Solutlons for challenging cfrildren. Great se. leclion of educational resources for families. LEARNING AT HOME, Box 270-gws76, Honaunau, Hl 96725.80&32&9669.

Alpha Plus, hands-on math and science sp€cialists, introduces The 4th R: Reasonlng newslener. Subscription $10, FREE sample issue. Box 189H, Chewsville, MD 21740. OUR CUSTOM TEACHING PROGRAMS conlain the fingst student and teach€r matorials available. They are also he best suited for busy Home Educators. To b€sl s€rve you ws can mail you a questionnaire or interview you over he phone. All subjects K-8. Call LCIPSSI at 1-813-992-6381 anytime. Cost $20O and up. Serving Parent Educators for 10 years. Three families with young children seek otrer lamilies inlorest€d in humanistic homeschoolng and organic market gardening on 10O acr€s of beautiful land just

Growtng Without Schoollng #76

"PRACTICAL PARENTING," booklet by moher ot

four.04. family,'Dept. H, P.O. Box


173O, Lebanon,


EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE AGES 3-18. Spelling, Reading, lrrah, Art, Scienoe, etc. l8M, MAC, Apple, Amiga, CO{tlM, Atari. Over 700 pograms for 60 publishers. For a 200 page catalog send $2 to DAVIIAR. 17939 ChaFu,orh #418F, GH CA 91344. FREE

Scl.nce Magazlnr loaded wih experiments:

TOPS ldeas, 10970 S Mulino Rd, Canby OR 97013.

Chlldren c.n l..m plano.t hom. ryithoul private lessms. LernMusic System of Music Insrucdon, Box 1&14, Carmicfiael, CA 95609. Seeking COSTA RICA HOMESCHOOLERS. ing Pines Ranch, Red Rock, TX 78662.


EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE - Get roady NOV\I for the upcoming school yearl lBM, APPLE, lvlAO, COMM, TANDY, AMIGA and ATARI includedl HOME SCHOOLER PRICES and, as always, FREE POSTAGE on all orderslWrit€ for free catalog: SCS, PO Box 1396, Dept. G, Concord, M401742.

ALGEBRA FOR 3rd GRADERS & UPI 4x+2=2x+10 is now child's play wih his patented, visual/ kinesthetic system. Used in 1,0o0 homes natiornvide. Order HANDS€N EOTJATIONS for $34.95 plus $4.50 S&H from BORENSON ANO ASSOCIATES, Depl GWS, Box 45O, Dublin PA 18917. HOMESCHOOL BOOKSHELF - Free catalog, over sixty books! Home Education Magazine - Now 56 pages bimonthly, current issue only $3.50. Home Education Press, Box 1083, Tonaskst, WA 98855.

-uai-,r"a*i",a"a-i;*rl"..i"s.liiiltiii'"rrvknown patented mastery system gives each child the opportunity o work at his,lher own speed at home from basic counting and number tracing up ino collegelevel work. Proven in 30 years of use around he world to help children develop a strong foundadon, build self-confidence, and reach heir maximum mahematical potential. Self-paced work a.lso helps he child enridr cognitive skills and develop habits of neatrpss, an€ndon to task, and strong work-planning skills. Please write lor information to The N€tr Leaming C€nter, 1 00 Dorset St, Box 190, South Burlington W 05403.

lEnrnv-roma-ron-D-rREc;oRY Use thts form to enter your name in the would llke us to run ln the next lssue.

t99l Dtrectory

OR to subrntt a new entr5r that you

Adults (ftrst and last names): Organizailon (only tf address ls same as family):

Chlldren (names/birthyears)


F\rll Address (Street, Ctty, State, Zlp): Are you wiltng to host GWS readers who make adrrancr arrangements fur wridng?


To be ln the 1991 Dlrectory, send ln the form at the rtght by October 16, 1990.

ad in GWS.

east of he coir3tal town of ltilendocino. We have ostablish€d a rural community with a balanoo betw€€n individual homes and shared facilitieg. Loving respect for our drildren, ourselvos and lhe land Ouidos our overall vision. For information send legal-eized 450 SASE to Comptdre Community Farms, PO 8ox 167, Comptdre, CA 95427 or call Rws and Jano 707-gl72315.


Check here if this is an entry for the l99l Dtrectory (cWS #78): _ Check here ifthis ls a new en\l or substantial address change to be run ln the next Issue AS WELL AS ln the l99l Dlrectorv


Coming this Fall! a a

A Llfe Worth Llvlng: Selected Letters of

a o

John llolt

a a

edlted and wlth an Introductlon by Susannah Sheffer (Ohlo State Unlverstt5r Press) These letters begln



Nancy Wallace's flrst boolg BettqTFnnSr,hrp/., made her one of the homeschooling movement's most popular

a a a

span the next four decades, and are full of materlal that has nerrer before been publtshed ln any form. They dlscuss the school reform movement, teachlng, how chlldren learn, pollttcs, music. self-rellanc€ and conserrratlon, povertlf, raclsm and the black communlty, the law, llfe on a submarlne durtng World War II, and wrlting and

a a o o a a o a a

a a a



a a

"These lcttcrc brlng back dl thc brllliance, gweetaees. and


(sometlmes) t.Lc fasclnatlng cranklncse and ccccntrlclty of one of the moet truly glftcd and lnvcntlve cducatore of our ttmce. There are no cllcheg ln John Holt'g thfnHqg. It b dl ortgtnel,


o o o

. : l . ! trrevcrcnt, ctubbornly utoplan ; and practical at thc canre tlmc. o For thosc who grcw to lovc.Iohn ! Holt, this book wlll be r treasure.l For those who dld not know hlm. it wttl bc a rcvelatlon." Jonathan Kozol. author Death at anEarlg Age and




a a a o

a a a

Illtterate Amerlca

o a

Growlng Wltbout Schoollng wrr foundcd ln LgfI by John Holt. Edltor - Susannah Shelfer Publtsher - Patrlck Farenga Contrlbuttreg Edttor - Donna Flichoux Edftorlal Assistant - Mary Maher Edttortal Consultant - Nancy Wallace

by Nancy Wallace

o a a

ln 1945 and

Chlld'e Work: Tatlng Chlldren's Cholces Serlously Assoclates)

OIIIce & Subscrtpson Manager - Day

Farenga Book Strtpper/Flec.elver

- Janls Van Heukelon OIIIce Assistants - knard Dtgglns, Mandy

wrlters. Now, tn ChlldsWork, Nancy looks at what happens when chtldren are allowed to spend years maklng thelr own declslons about how to explore and make sense of the world. Ctrllds Work ls about how Nancy's ctrlldren grew up and found work they loved; lt is also about how Nancy learned to take the work of chtldhood

Matrer, I\fiary Maher, Phoebe Wells Shfpptng Asslstant - Glnger Fltzslmmons

Holt Assoclates Board of Dlrectors:

Ann Barr, Patrlck Farenga (Corporate Presldent), Tom Maher, Donna Rlchoux,

Susannah Sheller Advlsors to the Board: Mary Maher, St€ve Rupprecht, Mary Van Doren, Nancy Wallace


Copyrlght Ol99O Holt Assoclates, Inc.

All rtghts


"f found Chlld's Wor|r cnthralllng. It b ertremcly vell-sritten and nevcr for e moment boring. Nancy deecrlbcc hcr doubtlng momentg honeetly, but shose how ehe learned on



s3i R +v A







Allson Stallibrass. author of -Tttc SelJ-Resperlttng Chtld


!.< t5'



z'6 >7 F ^r F8


'Would thet cvcry parcnt and educator mtght rcad Chlldb Worlc.."

o t e


Jean Lledlolf, author of -The Colrl,lnutm Concept



Usc this form to begln or renew a subscrlption to GrowlDgWithout Schooling, For rcnewals, place the labcl from a recent lssuc bclow, lf posslblc. If not, print thc lnfo. Cllp thls form and scnd tt wtth your check or money order In US fi.urds, or call 6 I 7-864-3 I OO to subscribe or renew by Mastcrcard or Vlsa. lhanks very much. (For more detatls about subscripuons and renenals. sce lnslde - pagc 3f .) New


Subscriptton _ Renewal

Copy ALL numbcrs on top ltnc oflabel (for renewals):

Glft subscrtpflon to be sent to name shown



Address (changc? ycs/no)


Ctty, State, Zlp or Postal Code:

If change of addrcss, what was old zlp code?


6 tssucs,

Group Sub:

$25 coplca -

12 lssues,


l8 issucs, $@


Ol8 eadr, for a total - of $- (note: groups of 5 or morc rcceive leader's sub free)

Plcase s€nd -us thc namcs and addresscs ofother group mernbcrs.

It ls OK to r€nt my namc and address to other organlzadons:

Yes- No-


Growlng \[4thout Schoollng




Growing Without Schooling 76