Page 1

Growing Without Schooling 77 'You'd have to go to school for that,' people say, about experiences or opportuniUes that it's hard to imagtne homeschoolers having access to. "What about biologr labs? What about team

Susan Shilcock (center) is among those interuicwed for this issue's

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: i

News & Reports p. 2-3 New Law in New Hampshire, Speaking

to Estonian Teachers, Organizing Homeschoolers' Dance

Feellng OK About Belng an Older Reader p. 4-5 An Experlenced Homeschooler LooksBack p.5-6 Challenges & Concerns p. 7-9 TWo-Career Families, Single Parents,

Special-Needs Children

Watching Chlldren Learn p.

1o-13

In the Movies, A Day in the Life, Working in a Bookstore, Reading, Helpful and Un-

helpful Teaching Resources & Recommendatlons p. l3 How Adults Learn p. t+

Focus: You Don't Have to Go to School

forThat

p. 15-19

Questlonlng College: Interyiew wlth Herbert Kohl p. 20-21

sports?'Sometimes these questions are posed as challenges from a critic of homeschooling, someone who wants to point out that at least some things are surely impossible for homeschooling parents to provide. Just as often, though, these questions come from homeschoolers who are feeling stuck about a particular issue. Maybe theyVe been homeschooling successfully for a while, but they've come up against a problem: their child wants to play a team sport, or have access to school's social life, or whatever lt may be. If we take that interest seriously, the family wonders, will school be the only way to satis$ it? This is the kind of challenge that we at Growing Without Schooling like to meet. If someone says it can't be done without going to school, we start thinking of, and looking around for, ways that whatever it is can be done. For this issue of GWS, we've interviewed homeschoolers (both parents and children) who have found a way to get or provide the experience in question without having to give up homeschooling. We're hoping that their experiences, and even more important their ways of thinking about such questions, will help others who may be feeling stuck. These homeschoolers have in common what they refused to believe: that they had to accept the whole of the school experience in order to have access to a part of it, and that what they wanted could be found only in school. Jesse Schwerin and Kevin Davies didn't believe they had to enroll in school full time just to get the parts of it (running on the track team and riding the school bus) that they wanted. Susan Shilcock didn't believe that enrolling her child in high school, or even enrolling her in one class, was the only way to give her access to biology labs and equipment. When this refusal is combined with a willingness to think creaUvely about what else might be done, it becomes relatively easy for parents and children to find alternate solutions. Often, families find that focusing on the specific activit5r or experience that they are looking for, as opposed to thinking that school must be the answer, brings results that are closer to what they really wanted in the first place. After all, if what you want is to run on the track team, do you need to go to classes, take tests, and all the rest of it, just to get that one activity? If what you want is the chance to use lab equipment, is school the only place where that can be done? John Holt wrote to a group of students in l97O , ''..We have to push out against the walls of circumstances that hem us in. One of the reasons we have to push is that unless we push we can't really be sure where the walls are. We may find that we are walled in, not so much by a real wall as by a wall that we have built ln our imagination...'John was writing to people who thought they had to go to school to get a good job. The same is true of people who think they have to go to school to get biologr equipment or sports teams. It mag be true in a particular situation, but lt may not. It has certainly not been true for everyone. The only thing to do is to test those walls, see how far they expand, find out for sure what can't be Susannah Sheffer done and what is, in fact, very possible.

-


News & Reports New Law in New Hampshire Just after GWS #76 went to press in July, we recelved a cnpy of New Hampshire's new homeschooling law (previously

Crawling on the olhce floort

Office News

& Announcements [SS:] "Back-to-school" season has

brought us more calls than usual from reporters wanting to do stories on the chil<iren who are not going back to school. In the past few weeks we've spoken to writers from Tfrne, The Natior, The Boston GloLr-, HatTters, Parenting, and Neur York Newsdag. An article in the Utne Reader, which listed us as a resource, has brought in many inquirles, too. Some ofyou may have expected to see our fall John Holt's Book and Music Store catalog bound into this issue of GWS. At the last minute, we learned that postal regulations now prevent us from binding a thirdclass piece of mail in with a second-class piece, so we are mailing the catalog to subscribers separately. This issue of GWS is only 24 pages because we expected the catalog to be included in it. In the catalog you'll see Nancy Wallace's new book, Chfld's tVork, which we have published here at Holt Associates, and A Life Worth Uvtttg: *lected, Letters oJ JolnHoIt You can help us by askingyour local bookstores to order these books, and by reviewing them for newspapers or magazines. We've also put together a collection of John Holt's book reviews (from GWS and elsewhere) called Shanng ?rea.sures.

One note about the availabilitv of A LiJe Worth Lruurg: just as we were gbing to press, we leamed that there had been a delay at the publishers of about four weeks, so that instead of having the book here in late October, as we had anticipated, we will have it in late November or earlv December. We encourzrge those ofyou iho want a copy of the book to order it as soon Ers you get the catalog. We will malntain a list of requests for the book, in the order we receive them, and will fill them as soon as the shipment ofbooks arrives. Ifyou order by credit card, we won't charge you until the order is shipped. We especially encourage you to order early if you're hoping to have the book by Christrnas. We would like to hear from people adults or children - who enjoy math, and are perhaps doing it in lnteresting or unusual ways (other thanJust out of textbooks, in other words, although if you're enjoying that, tell us about it too). We would also like to hear from or about young people who are doing science with real, working scientists - in the lab, in the

field, etc.

called Senate Btll 373). According to a mailing from the NEW FIAMPSHIRE HOME EDUCATORS ASSOCTATION, two parts of the lawwent into elfect as ofJulv l99O: (l) the compulsory attendance law now includes home education as one of the exc.eptions to the public school attendancr requirement, and (2) a Home Education Advisory Council was establlshed, appotnted by the c.ommissioner of education. The muncil will have six members nominated bv New

Hampshire homeschooling orjanizations, two representatives from the State Department ofEducatlon, and a representadve from each of the followtng: the Schml Board Association, the Principals Association, the School Administrators Association, the Nonpublic School Advisory council. The rest of the bill, which will go into effect in July I99 I, includes the ficllowing provisions: l. Parents notifo, byAugust I ofeach year, the commissioner of education, resident district superintendent, or principal of a nonpublic school, of their intent to homeschool. The notlflcation must include a list of subjects to be taught, name of correspondence school used, if any, name of curriculum provlder used, if any, an outline of'the scope ofand instructional sequence for each subject,' and a list of textbooks "or other instructlonal mate-

rials used." 2. The State Board of Education is

given authority to adopt rrles for administering home educaffon programs (more about this below). 3. Parents must maintain a portfolio of records and materials pertaining to the program for at least two years from the date ending instructlon. 4. Parents have a choice ofevaluation methods: a written evaluation bv a certified teacher who has reviewed the child's portfolio and met with the parent or child; a national student achievement test (composite results must be at or above the 4oth percentile); a state student assessment test (ditto); or 'any other valid measurement tool" mutually agreed upon by the parent and whoever is overseeing the education (local public school, private approved school, or commissioner of the State Dept. of Education). 5. If the evaluatlon does not show

educational progress'commensurate with lthe child'sl age and ability," the parents are allowed a probationar5r year of remedial work. If after another evaluation at the end of that year the child has still not shown progress, the commissioner must notiS the parents that they are entitled to a hearing and due process procedure. The hearing officer can order that the home education program be terminated if educational progress is deemed insuflicient, if the parent doesn't comply with the statute requirements, or if the

parent fails to provide the minimum course of sfudy as required by the law. The hearing olficer can also allow the home education program to condnue ifthe parents are found to be in compliance with the law after all. The New Hampshlre Home Educators Associaton cornrnents in its letter: "Durtng the next year, the State Department of Educatton will be working on rules and regulations for administration of the statute. We as homeschoolers hope to hold these at a minimum level, but we believe that there will be pressure by educators to restrict and dellne the law as much as possible. In addltion, we believe that challenges to this law, even though it doesn't go into effect fully until July 199 l, will be issued during the l99l legislative session. Therefore, although we believe that this statute represents good homeschooling legislation, we know that we must continue to be part ofthe process so

that additional requirements and restrictions do not become burdensome."

How many in MT and ND? Whenever we receive them, we print reports of how many homeschoolers are in a particular state. The l99O-9 I reference guide of The Grapeutrc, a Montana homeschool newsletter, says: 'The Oflice of Public Instruction reported lthatl 564 home schools notified county superintendents in 1987-88 and 725 in 1989-9O in

Montana." And the August l99O issue ofthe North Dakota Home School Association newsletter reports that an oflicial in the state's Department of Public Instruction told the

NDHSA that 'he estirnates there will be 6O0 homeschooled children [in North Dakotal in the upcoming school year.' Do any other states have such figures

to report?

State News For adclresses oJstate andLrcaI organizations, see GWS #72 or our home-schrcling resource lbt, auatlable Jor $2.50. Arlangag: The July issue of Update, the newsletter of the ARKANSAS CHRISTIAN HOME EDUCATION ASSOCTATION, mentioned that homeschoolers had requested a meeting with the state Department of Education to discuss streamlining the state's annual testing of homeschoolers. We spoke with Tom Holiman of ACHEA and learned that this meeting did take place in August, and ttrat one result was the formation of an ongoing task force, made up of both homeschoolers and Department of Education members, to meet once a month and monitor the state's testing situation and procedures. According to Tom, homeschoolers had complained that staffing problems within the Department had made test administration during the past couple ofyears unnecessarily chaotic. Mainc: A new law which protects the privacy of homeschooling families' records became effective on July 14, 1990, according to theJuly/August issue of the

Growing Without Schooling #77

,l1


3

I

ReMAINEing At Hone newsletter. The law is an addition to the prevlously existing law,- as follows: 'The United States Family Education Rights and Privacy act of 1974... governs the dissemination of informaflon about students, as well as appllcations fior equivalent instruction through home instrucflon. comments on the complete-

equlvalent lnstruction throuph home instrucdon.' flhe underlined part was added

this year.) South Dalota: The August newslet-

ter of the SOUTH DAKOTA HOME SCHOOL ASSOCTATION discusses the state's new regulatlons: (l) Homeschoolers will now be able to take achievement tests at home; (2) The state ls attempdng to delegate the responsibility for home visits to local school districts: and (3) The state continues to

hold minimum time requirements for homeschoolers, despite homeschoolers'

objections. SDHSA comments about the homeschooling climate in the state in general:

'Our relationship with the state depart-

ment of education appears to be the best it has ever been. I [t]re president of SDHSAI and other state leaders met with the department earlier in the summer. We were received ln a spirit of cooperation as they believe that most homeschoolers are doing a good Job."

Tenneseee: In GWS #76 we wrote that homeschoolers had filed suit against state Commlssioner of EducaUon Charles E. Smith, charging that his policy of denying their requests for waivers of the BA degree requirement (for parents teaching grades 9- 12) was unconstitutional. The judge ruled against the f;amilies on that lssue. In the September newsletter of TENNESSEE HOMESCHOOLING FAMI. LIES, Sandy Madsen adds that also at issue in this case (oflicially called Crites v. Smith) was the August lst deadline for annual registration of home schools. Up to now, families who have failed to register by this date have been denied permission to homeschool. The case involved the Crites family, who moved to Tennessee from Tercas (where they had been homeschooling legally) on August I, 1989. They tmmediately filed a letter of intent but were denied the right to homeschool because they had registered too late.

Prior to filing the recent lawsuit, Commissioner Smith was advised bv his lawyer to issue a memo to all superintendents saying that the August I deadline no longer applies to homeschooling parents from out of state who plan to move to Tennessee after the deadline for that year, so that is where things stand now. Homeschoolers who move from one district to another during the school year and those who decide to homeschool after August I must enroll their children ln school or homeschool illegally.

Speaking to Estonian Teachers Merike Tamn oJ South Carolina wrote us abut her recert Hp to Estonia:

'

>

This w:ui my ffrst trip to Estonia, my

Growing Without Schooling #77

parents' homeland. It was wonderful to meet and stay with many reladves and to attend the largest song festival in the world, held every flve years, with 3O,OOO singers. It was also tremendously exciting to pardcipate in the Estonian Teacher Conference, which lncluded about twenty-flve foreigners of Estonian orlg[n from around the world and more than a hundred native Estonians. The conference was organtzed at thls time to take advantage of the fact that so many 'outside Estonians' (as we're called) were coming to Estonia for the Song Festival. Estonian teachers, who have lived ln a closed, communlst societ5r for flfty years, were hungry for any information from Western countries, and invited us to speak on any topic connected with education. My forty-minute address on "Home(g[ven in schooling oling Thn Throughout the World' (given Estonian) nian) was scheduled first among the ln outsiders. I answered many questions lmmediately afterwards and was told by many that it was the most popular talk. I also led a two-and-a-half-hour discussion sesslon on homeschooling the next day, whichwas supposed to be a small group discussion, but about one hundred teachers showed up. I was exhausted and excited by the experience. Homeschooling is not a new idea to Estonians. In fact, I was probably drawn to teach my children at home in the U.S. because I had heard many times that Estonian mothers a century ago often taught their children to read at home before sending them to schml at age 8 or I or lO. Estonians are the strongest individuals I know, with the strongest passion

for education. They are also traditionally rural people and are unc'omfortable wlth large institutions. So homeschooling suits the Estonian people well, and they know it. Homeschmling in Estonia has a long history, but very few chose it durtng the recent decades of communist rule. Everyone wâ&#x201A;Źrs astounded to hear of its recent growth in many countries. Estonian teachers seemed much more comfortable with the idea of homeschooling and of helping homeschooling parents than American teachers do. In fact, the national Department of Education wants to help parents

who choose homeschooling by publishing special materials for them. I am trying to help with this, by sending some samples of homeschooling teacher' guides, materials catalogs, etc.

I'm sure Estonians would be interested

in John Holt's books, but right now their economic situation makes

it

impossible

for them to undertake translating and publishing them. Maybe in a few years. Many people do know English, however, so I plan to send English-language copies of John Holt's books to some people I met at the conference.

Organizing Homeschoolerst Dance Areader asked us tofirdoutmore the la neschmlers' darne that was advertised fn CWS #74, so we askedJevtA Rdriguez the Massachusetts teertager who hnd. orgonized the dance, to tellus abut

abut

tohotshe'ddone: I wanted to organize some kind of event for homeschoolers. I like to dance, so I decided to organize a dance. I wanted it to be for the whole family, not just for teenagers, so it could be supervised, and so parents could have fun too. The llrst thing I had to do was find a hall to hold it ln. A friend of mine had had a dance the year before, so I asked her what hall she'd used. Itwas at a church in Melrose, Massachusetts, so I called them and they told me I had to write them a letter telling them what I wanted to do. I wrote the letter, they approved of it, and I had to give them a small donation. I advertised the dance in GWS and in our state homeschooling newsletter. I didn't get a very big responsâ&#x201A;Ź to the ads, but I invited my homeschooling friends, and a few others came, so there ended up being about ten f,amilies at the dance. The day before the dance I decorated the hall, and went to a warehouse to buy some drinks and snacks. The night ofthe dance, I set up a table and the stereo. I

didn't have to do much work other than these few things. I was the DJ, so I didn't get a chance to dance myself, but I enjoyed setting up tJre event so others could have

fun. I knew everyone who came to the dance, so it wasn't an opportunity to meet new people. If others are thinking of organizing a dance as a way of meeting new people, one thing to do would be to putyour ad out earlier than we did, and try to get the word out to people in different parts of the state. I already had a group ofhomeschooling friends, but I think organizing a dance would work wen if you didn't already have a group of friends. It might help in that case to say a little more in the ad about what you were planning. I used to go to school dances,

but

I

wanted this to be for homeschoolers. The atmosphere was different. There was more supervision, and it was more fun with parents there too. The kids didn't mind having the parents there - the parents weren't getting in the way, and sometimcs they were getting up and dancing too. I made sure to have different kinds o[ music, and we even had some square dancing. I wasn't sure how to do that, but my friend's father is a square dance caller so I had him do it.

I think this could be a good way for homeschoolers who have never been to a dance to have a chance to go. Afterwards people came up and told me they'd had a nice time. I rnight do another dance again sometime, although I'm not planning anything delinite right now. GRoWING WITHOUTSCHOOLING #77, Vol. 13 No. 5. ISSN #0745-53O5. Published bimonthly by Holt Associates, 2269 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02I40. $25/yr. Date of Issue: October I , 199O. Second-class postage paid at Boston, MA. POSTMASTER Send address changes to CWS, 2269 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02l4O. ADVERTISERS: Deadlines are the lSth of

odd-numbered months. Contact Patrick Farenga for rates.


Feeling OK About Being An Older Reader ISSJ When Giesg social

I

was lnterutewtng AnXa

abut lvr eryederce

urith school's li.Je Jor th{s tssue's For;us (see poge 19), our corusersation twrcd tD tle subject oJ older readers, AnXa" bA her own

descriptloa onlg bgan. to read Jhrcntlg at about age 1 2 (sfe' s nou 1 7). I had,ben

tlrilr/t@ abut the stories abut dder

readers tha!. u.tere tnthe past a uple oJ rbsues oJGWS, a nd. X seemed to ne tho:t oJten uhrrt was tnrdestJor tlese gourE people was ratthetoctoJ ratbtng oble to rea{ but tlw pro$emoJ handlttg sihtations irr uhbh reading usas eryeted or Jeelng pressured or d!{ferent Jrom others oJthe sane age, Anltaandl talkd. abut hotu sfle handled tftese sifuatlrcns rn the Iwpes tlwt others unuld.firtd. ter perspectiw ottd. eryerience telpfuL We alwags sag thr:.tttdresn'tmatter

ulenyoulearnto read but

oJtle seem tofind it

nugb

a chiW could. come toJeel tlut tle adults usere gtultrg ttp on ller, tlnt theg

net-ter eryected. her to

red at aIL funehow

you lotew thot people dtdn'tJeel that abr:,ut aou,

Mom said in so many words, 'You can read, youJust need to work on lt more.'She always made it clear that I could do it, but I would have to put time into it to get to the

goal of being able to read smoothly. At ffrst I read slowly, one word at a dme, and it was hard to get the flowofthe sentence. I knew that I would have to work on lt to be able to read more smmthly, but that lf I could do that, reading would be less frustrattng. When Mom read aloud to me, I would follow along. I could learn without feeltng that I had to read myself. Then Mom

some

ktd.s u:e hearJrom" or abu| so hand. rlot to fu able to read. at, so:g, 9 or 1O ' fucantse otlers tease tltem or tlink theA

ought to know how. Ftom uhat gou've told us inthe past, rt seems as gf you managedto escape thot"

I didn't escape it totally, but I escaped enougfr of it to relax. When I babysat, there were some kids I was very comfortable reading to because they weren't judgmental. One girl was old enough to know that I was supposed to be reading better at my age,

but she wasn't judgmental if I stumbled on aword. I still, every once ln a while, get anxie$r attacks at the thought of reading aloud, even if lt's something I could read to myself. I have to put my fears aside and say, "Yes, you can do this.'

A mother turcte to us abutter daughter being in a situatircn tn uhbh otlwr kid.s wanted to plag a gane tlut ;ntnhrcd readtng and. writltg. ?his girl cotildn't reallg participate, ard. she satd. tlteg didn't

understand. th.at st'e wos tryW ler hardesL Should panents try to protect ttet kids Jrom tlese situations, or lelp them cope

with

only saymg, "It's OK, don't twrry abut tt""

them?

I was lucky because I had my friend Ellie, and she understood. We often played games with her younger brother, who, being younger, wasn't a great reader either, so she would Just read all the questions (or whatever tt was). At home, we played a lot of games that lnvolved question-reading, and Mom would either help me or just read them, depending on how tired I was and whether or not I was ln a mood to trv reading them myself. I think parents have to say to their child, 'Yes, there are going to be kids out there who read better than you do, but if you want to try, or to work on this, I'll help you.'That was always Mom's line: 'If you're ready to try, I'll help you any time." But it was my choice one way or the other. Just try to tell the child that it's not bad that she can't read, but it is going to limit

her sometimes.

It seems to me tlrat lf anryone was

Mom sald ln so many words, 'You can read, you Just need to work on lt more.* She always made lt clear that I could do lt, but I would have to put tlme lnto lt...You get to a polnt where there's enough readlng ln the world that you want to be able to do lt.

take my time, but if I was afraid that people would think I was dumb tf I reallv took the entire time that I would need, I would try to read every other word to get a feeling for what itwas about. When I was in Camusel when I was 8, we went out for something to eat afterwards, and I looked at the menu and thought, "Oh no, what am I going to order?' But I ended up ordering what one of the other people had ordered. But when you use a trick you do think, itwould be easier ilI just knew how to read.

I wrote to one girl wlo had. been bt a dinicult sttuatbn and. said magfu sFe unuld. lntp tn leatn hou to sag, "Reoding is hardJor me and. rt's somethfng I'm unrlctrg ort'Were Aou eter able to sag that?

When I wâ&#x201A;Źrs younger I think I was good enough at the tricks. But when I was older and more comfortable with the tdea, I would sometimes say that, like to the kids I babysat for. I would say it's not my best thing, and I can read now but I don't always read fast, and if I get nervous it's even harder for me. It takes being strong, knowing that this is a weakness, not a failure, and it will come in time. One thing that happened a lot, that I would never give in to, was other people qr:izzirrg me: "What's this word?" 'How do you spell this?" IJust refused. I said, "l don't get qwi,zzd.You said that you knew gou unuld.

started real?ing that I was reading along with her when we would read at night. She would start to fall asleep, and I would get impatient and want to go on with the story, and I would point to where we were, so she knew I was reading enough to know that. And later I would read to myself when Mom was sewing, and when I came to a word I didn't know I would spell it out, she would tell me what it was. and then I'd

continue. That's interestittg, br:cause X remind.s us that it's not as tJ gou suddenlg started rea.dbtg at 12 uittwut hauing ben able to read. at all fu-fore thenNo, lt was definitely a gradual process. TWelve was when I was able to read

smoothly and comfortably. Let's come back to the kids who are in ula erytect

dillicult situolions with people them to read..

It would be even harder if we were in a daily situation, like school. But also, yoir learn to adapt - I've read about tricks that adult non-readers use, and when I read that now I think, 'Oh, I know that onel'

Wlwt's an exanple oJ a trbk? Reading every otherword to try to get a quick sense of what something's about. I often felt that I would have been able to read something if I could slow down and

haw to unrk on readirtg, ond that it gour claice when to do thof. I think

Lurrs

some

people wonder whetlvr kids rlrll eLter trA to do sonething tlut's so lwdJor thenL Wlat made gou decide to usork on iL?

I don't think there was anv one moment, but it was just a basic feeling of, for example, being sick of having Mom read me the menu in a restaurant, wanting to be able to read over the descriptions myself. I was getting to the age w'here I might be going out with someone else besides Mom, and I didn't want looklng at the menu to be a big deal. I also wanted to be able to read to myself. If I got a letter, I wanted to be able to read it privately. You get to a point where there's enough reading in the world that you want to be able to do it. I think kids in school who can't read would get to that point, but they're ashamed of it, so they keep it to themselves and there's no one to help them.

I

tlahk X tuill

b

so heIpJuI to people

just to lear Jrom Aou tlwt it all unrks out eventuallg.

I feel it has worked out, and you know, zrn even bigger accomplishment for me when I finish a book. I went through a period where I would read parts of lots of books but never finish any, so now I'm proud that I can Ilnish them. I still have to stop myself from shying away from things that involve reading in public. The camp that I go to is divided up into tribes, with chiefs, and I used to shy

I feel ifs

Growing Without Schooling #77

..l


away from

hing

a chief because I knew

lt

involved writing down information and relaying it to the group. But this year I was the chief, and I found that the wrtdng in that situation was verv easv. So I have to say to mysel{, "You can do it, don't shy away from something just because you think you can't."

I

tltlul,k that questlon abr,ut shglng awag collres upJor laneschrorlers wla might tike to get to kranu someone in

another state but are aJraid. oJ

part

tle wrhing

oJ tL

My mother's my editor. John Holt was the only person I felt comfortable writtng to by mysel{, sounding t}rings out and spelling them as best I could, because I knew he wouldn'tJudge it.

Igness sorteonre might say, 'Butwhot happens when gou leove home and. don't lunse gow mother anourtd?"

I have a dictionar5r. And when I'm traveling next year, my Journal will be for me, so I won't worry about how it's spelled. It's tnterestbtg tltot gou talk abut keeping aJournal - It means that uriting has a place in gour tlfe even { It's fuen hardJor gou

I've always loved writing. I'm the only one of Mom's children who has written for the Joy of writing. It was always made clear to me that I should go ahead and spell something how I wanted to spell it and then correct it later. or I could ask Mom how to spell a word. My grandmother once asked if I wouldn't learn to spell the word better if I had to use the dictionary, and I told her no, after you call out a word and have it spelled to you enough times, you remember it. And it's interesdng - my older sister developed her spelling skills by spelling words to me.

A lameschder I krtotu, wla fnd.s dlfficull wrrrXs to get indt-ted

readlng

with tteater, but ts qfraid oJ lwvvtg to read Wtvt should she do - rot get inrnhrcd uith it, do X and eryLain to

scrrpts, people,

fnd. an improuisation grcup that

won't require readtq...?

I think she should either find time to get away by herself to read it as slowly as she needs to, or explain to the group, "l am a slow reader, I need time to work on figuring it out, but by the time we go on I ulll have it ready." When I did that play when I was 8, I took it home and memorized it right away, so I dealt with tt that way.

I like tle idea oJ sagtg, "fm a slow reader" t Btead oJ'l can't read or -l'm a bad reader." I Like the wag tlnt tnpties tllrrt you cant do it, euen lf X will take a Little exta time.

More about reading onpage I1-12

Growing Without Schooling #77

fui Experienced Homeschooler Looks Back The Hofurts are cnratg honeschdeadiest pioneers - theg had taken

tq's tlvir

son Robrt out oJ sclwl euen fuJore Jotn Holt bgan pub/.tshng GIVS, Noru Alfurt Hofurt writes o}rut Robert's college

eqerience and. reJlats on tle Jamllg's gears oJ lomesclwllrtg:

Robert condnues to do well at the University of Missouri-Rolla. The universi$r ts considered the most demanding of

the various Universlt5r of Missouri campuses. But fortunately Robert ffnds the academic side of thlngs relatively easy, and he's made the transition from homeschooler to college scholar with ltttle

difficulty.

He's Just completed hls sophomore year and up to now his grades have all been excellent. His part-time Job at our local Wal-Mart (evenings and weekends) doesn't seem to interfere wtth his studies. In fact, I think the two go well together. For the past couple ofyears Robert has been included in the University Scholars Program (UMRs equivalent of a 'dean's list"), which allows him a 3O96 "discoupt" on his basic tuition. And rec.ently he was surprised and pleased to be given a partial scholarshlp, somethlng he hadn't asked for. It will pay the lion's share of his tuition expenses next sâ&#x201A;Źmester. For Robert's sake I'm glad that we live so near the universit5r, because in many ways the schooljust happens to suit his needs. First, UMR is relatively small as state universities go, and Rolla is a small town, so the school has a friendly relationship with the community. That's probably the main reason Robert decided to attend. Robert took his flrst course at UMR three years ago when he was I 7, under a

program that allows 'qualilied" high

school students to take courses for credit. The admlssions director knew that Robert was a homeschooler and had never attended the local high school (or any high school). He decided, on the basis of an interview, that Robert was qualified to take the course. Later, when Robert had successfully completed two or three courses, the admissions director invited him to enroll as a full-time student, though he had never taken any of the usual entrance exams. The director told me recently that Robert could have done the same thing at any University of Missouri campus, but slnce the other three are so much larger, the process would have been more formal and more time-consuming. Robert would have been asked to take his initial course at a community college. Once he had proved himself there, he would have been allowed to take regular courses at the U. of Missouri campus as long as he maintained a'C" average. When he had successfully completed a total of fifteen credit hours, he would have then been allowed to enroll as a full-time degree candidate. Incidentally, no one at the university seems to be the least concerned, now, that Robert doesn't have a high school diploma or a GED. If anything, they seem amused by

the fact that someone could have slipped through without the usual documentation. Second, though UMRis devoted mostly to eng;ineering, it has a small but excellent liberal arts department. Thus the most experlenced professors are often assigned to teach the basic courses. Robert ls especially interested in history, and he plans to make it his major. He had an opportunity to meet some of the senior professors ln the history department right from the begtnntng, and I think he found

that very helpful. Third, class size for most courses is generally Umited to thdrty students, and this gives everyone a chance to ask questions. Judging from what Robert tells me, I think he flnds class dlscussions one of the most enjoyable aspects of his college experience. When Robert took his first course at UMR I was afraid he might be reluctant to speak up in class. He was younger than the other students, and as a homeschooler he had never had much practice with this sort of thing. But to my surprise he was eager to join in, and it seems he more than held his own with his conventionally schooled classmates. I think his home education was partia-lly responsible for his success, since he was usually better informed than

the other students. and since he often had a

more genuine interest in the subject at hand. Fourth, because of its relatively small size, UMR shares its resources with the community in ways a larger universit5r

simply wouldn't consider. For example, there aren't enough interested musicians and singers in the student body to fill all the places in the universigr orchestra,

chorus, and other musical groups. So people from the town are invited to join in, and Join in they do. UMR is accessible to people in town. I've had an oPPortunity to meet students, teachers, and others associated with the universit5l, and to get a feel for what the school is really like. As a parent who's always been involved in his son's education, I appreciate this. Robert, in turn, is having a different experience from what he would have had at a university that separates itselffrom the sur-

rounding cornmunity. One reason we favored homeschooling in the first place ws that we felt strongly that education should not be a cloistered activity, seg-

regatd from the rest of societ5r.

Robert's homeschooling turned out to be an asset in other ways than his comfort in class discussions. One of these had to do with enthusiasm. Going to school was a new experience for him, and enjoyable for that reason alone. His lirst course, American History, was a subject he parflcularly enjoyed. As a result, he completed his assignments well ahead of time, sometimes weeks in advance. And he was willing to make an extra ellbrt in those areas where he seemed deficient. For example, since he had no experience taking tests, at my suggestion he practiced writing short essays on the study guide questions his teacher handed out at the beginning of


6 the term. Alas, lt appears that many of hls conventionally schooled classmates had Just the opposite approach. They could barely drag themselves to class ln the morning, and some dldn't come at all. A few put off their reading undl the nlght before a test, and then found themselves unable to answer even the easiest e:ram questions. Many seemed reluctant to participate in class discussions, not only because they hadn't done the reading but because they really didn't have much t:terest in the subject anyway. I can only conclude that these reluctant students had beenjaded by the years they had already spent in mediocre schools. Homeschooling also allowed Robert to develop his own style of leamlng. Here's an odd example. He always prefers to study during the day because his mind is much clearer then. He's never found lt necessarv to study at night. I find this hard to imagine, and wish I could have been half that well organizd when I was ln college. When Robert started UMR however, he found it hard to imagine why so many of his classmates cut classes and shortchanged their studies. Of course, he's grown accustomed to all that now, along with the other strange habits of universit5r undergraduates, most of which he finds amusing and some of which he's tried hlmself, at least temporarily - letting his hair grow, keeping hls room in the dorm a mess, sleeping through breakfast, etc. But he still does all his studying during the day. Another advantage of homeschooling was that it gave Robert the opportunit5r to involve himself in meaningful work. Once we made the decision to teach Robert at home, it seemed apparent to us that our Boston suburb didn't have a great deal to offer him. To be sure, the town did provide more than its share ofafter school and

work a day to the family welfare. Actually, this was a nrle we all followed, though my wife and I usually worked many more hours a day than that. Ltke many children, Robert had been dotng chores all along helptng wtth the dishes, raktng the leaves. But now (he was 8 or 9 at the tlme) much of the work he did uras mone or less on a par with the work my wife and I were Lrvolved ln. For example, rtght from the beginning he helped us gather and spltt twenty cords

of firewood, clean the ctrlmney, maintain our farm vehicles, râ&#x201A;Źpalr our farm house and other bulldtngs, and plck up and haul away the truckloads ofJunk and trash left

by generations of previous owners. As he grew older, hewas able to assist us with morâ&#x201A;Ź dernanding work. He helped us plant thousands of plne seedlings, constmct roads, butld trvo cement bridges, repair eroslon damage ln our various llelds, and clear fence llnes and erect fences. These tasks requir,ed an ever increasing degrec of sktll and commitment on his part. We didn't give Robert an allowance, but we always paid him for the work he did, so he earned all his own spending money. (He still does.) Most days he worked only an hour or so, but when a big proJect came along, he was willing to work all day for many days at a stretch. And sometimes he'd put in extra hours when there was something expensive he wanted to buy, like a movie camera.

Finally, and probably most impor-

tant, homeschooling allowed Robert to

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develop his interests in ways that wouldn't have been possible, or perhaps even imaginable, in school. Drawlng is one example. Even as a toddler, Robert always liked to draw, and Cynthia and I made an effort to supply him with the paper, crayons, pencils, pens, and other supplies he needed. When he was 5, we brought home a tall roll of newsprlnt paper, the unused end given to us free by our local newspaper. The sheer size of thls newsprint paper (the roll was about as tall as he was) seemed to challenge Robert's imaglnation, and for the next few months he began each day by cutting a large piece of paper off the newsprint roll and drawing a vast underwater landscape which featured schools of fish, along with rocks, sand, scuba divers, sunken ships, and other fanciful additions. He often worked on these drawings for several hours, and sometimes his friends joined in for a gSoup effort. Sometimes I Joined in too. As time went on, his drawings slowly changed, reflecting his lnterest in other subjects. First, he added whales and sharks, and then dinosaurs on the land beside the water. l.ater he drew these animals attacking and eating one another,

experienced home schoolers. The step-by-step lesson manuals provide a classic, comprehensive program

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summertime activlties for children, but

these activities, as desirable as they might havebeen, seemed peripheral to us, and a

poor substitute for what children gain

from direct participation in the important

actirrities of the world around them. We thought that living in the country might give Robert more opportunities to involve himself in meaningful work. Partly for this reason, we decided to leave our Boston suburb and move to the Missouri Ozarks, where we wentually purchased a small tree farm. On our tree farm there was always plenty to do, work as well as play. We asked Robert to contribute an hour of

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and later still, they evolved lnto various of armies, preparing for great battles.

At the same time. he included more and more information, often scientific various types of identiflable dinosaurs, for example, or various types of sharks. He had seen these in books or bn television or in the Boston aquarium, and he knew the correct names for each.

During the Bicentennial celebration Robert's armies tumed into kxington Minutemen and British Redcoats. Previously all of his drawings were twodimensional, but now he was depicting

overlapping forms and three-dimensional sPace.

At 7 or 8, he stopped making large drawings, and chose lnstead to make comics. He cut the newsprint paper into pages a1d staFled them together into little books. Thts allowed him to show a series of drawings and tell a story. At lO, he and his closest homeschoollng friends (trvo brothers) bgan to draw stories about hero dogs they named after their own pets, and they passed these back and forth, often by mail (since they lived quite a distance apart). I g;uess they continued to create and share thesebooks undl theywere l5 or 16, and this probably did more than anything else to cement what I suspect will be a lifelong

friendship.

Though all thls has seemingly little to do with college studies, I think it formed a

kind of framework which supported all the

rest of Robert's education. For example, it led him to read the widest varietv of books and plays, to make movies with his friends and to earn the money for his equipment, to an interest ln music and opera and art forms generally. It led to an interest in fantasy games and war games and the math that goes with them, and to use computers so he could lnvent new games and write

themdown

(2O-3O pages, single spaced).

And it led to his interest in real adventures - history and politics. Actually, Robert's interest in drawing led to our unexpected (and soul-wrenching) decision to become homeschoolers. When he was 5, we sent him briefly to a private school near Elcston. It was a school which proudly practiced the open classroom model, according to which children are allowed to choose their activities for the day from arnong a number of learning stations situated around the room. For the ftrst couple ofweeks he apparently spent a good deal of his time at the art station where each day he would take a large piece ofpaper and draw lish. Apparently Robert was unusual in that he took his drawing home each day when school ended at noon, and continued his work after lunch. Perhaps the teacher became dissatisfied with Robert's neverending interest in drawing fish. I'm not sure what happencd. But one day, when I picked Robert up after school, he met me in the hall with tears in his eyes. His teacher, he told me, would not

allow him to take his drawing home. I knew that up until then drawing was about the only activity Robert really felt comfortable with in his new surroundings, and that it meant a great deal to him to take his drawing home. So I made an appointment to talk to the teacher about it the following afternoon. To my surprise she was adamant, and even a little hostile. It was her classrcom, she said. She was the expert, and Robert's schooling was now in her hands. Within a week we decided to take Robert out of the school. Of course, there were rrany factors that went into this decision, but what set it all offwas this seemingly trivial incident. We were now homeschoolers, something we had never even imagined before, and our lives were changed forever. It took us several months to adjust to the whole idea, but Robert didn't seem to miss school one iota. He was now drawing his {ish completely and

happily at home.

Growing Wthout Schooling #77


Challenges & Concerns Two-Career Families Barbara Hageman oJ Corvtecticut writes: In response to the letter from Tammy Maltby in GWS #76 about her two-career family trying to cope with homeschooling: I thought I would share my story, since we have almost become a four-career familyl We are blessed with two older children in college and do not qualify for financial aid, so I work 5O-60 hours a week, and my

the right order. It is also lmportant, of course, to assist my older children with their education. It has made us a much closer family in many ways. F}om Po,t Etserest oJ Colorado: My husband and I are homeschooling fourchildren 17,5,3, and l) andweboth work full-time. John is an electronics techniclan and I am a paramedic and EMT

instructor. While John works full-time from 8-5

husband, in addition to his professional

each weekday, I teach four evenings a week

career, picks up odd hours some weekends,

and work approximately six 24-hour shifts in the ER and on the ambulance service, as

if they coordinate with my shifts. Of course the college kids work too. So where does homeschooling for our fourth grade son fit in? Actually, the need to work these extra hours for a couole of years was the catalyst that brought us into the homeschool arena. When would I ever see my son, if he went off tc school all day, and I was offto work before he got home? (Previously, all my children went through a Christian school, where I also worked. so we spent all day together.) The resultwas an odd schedule, but it has been very successful for us, without too much stress. My husband works all week during the daytime. He is responsible for rcading with Andrew every evening for 3045 minutes before bedtime. Sometimes they read mysteries, sometimes history or science articles ofinterest. He also takes Andrew on local field trips Saturday or Sunday afternoons, once or twice a month, and makes sure he gets to sports practices. Neither my husband nor I volunteer to coach sports or lead scouts, because we want Andrew to have some instruction from other adults as well. Andrew and I work on school things in the mornings from 9- I I :3O. Some of our mornings are very structured, some are almost all oral, and at least once a week Andrew makes all the plans. After lunch we go to work. Yes, wel I was blessed to find a job in the afternoons where Andrew could come right along. They were very supportive of our homeschooling effort, and my position is in a one-person office, where I do everything. While I work, Andrew draws, reads, plays with garnes or toys that he brings along, works on a Socrates interactive video, watches PBS, or finishes up written work, if there is any. tlc also uses ihe typewriter to write letterq runs errands to all the offices around the building, and has even gotten the yogurt store next door to let him help them make

waffle cones.

Whenever I applied for jobs I was upfront about the one requirement that he be able to come along, and no one ever actcd like I was crazy. This weekday job averages 27 hours aweek. On the weekends I work

for an elderly lady nearby, doing personal care for her on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, from 4 PM to 8 AM the next morn-ing. This gives me another 34 hours of

work. and I don't miss much at home. It leaves me time to drive to scouts. swim team, soccer, and be involved with church. It has been worth the sacrifice to see the growth and development of our son this year, and to know that my priorities are in

Growing Without Schooling #77

we are a hospital-based ambulance. We too

cannot allord babysitters, and working different shifts is one way to avoid paylng sitters. Since I am the one home during the day, I am in charge of the maJorit5r of our schooling. I would love to be able to plan special, enriching actlvities but many days I am too tired and we just get through the required stuff. We do not use a supplied

curriculum, as I prefer to pick and choose the best parts of the materials I have ' discovered. We do not have much extra money to spend on school items so when we do purchase materials they are well used. We do belong to a homeschooling group, but as they are based lifty mlles away and meet in the evenings, we have yet to attend a meeting. We do attend special functions such as the science fair, fun run, picnics, and some of the field trips. I have found that it is helpful to con-

centrate on schooling for an hour or two every morning, and then the kids have the rest of the day to themselves to play, do chores, etc, and I have time to plan ficr work and to clean. They, too, do not have friends close to us, but they play with each other. Rather than plan fun, creaUve, and exciting things, we just do the daily chores and make every trip out of the house something special. Grocery shopping becomes a field trip as do trips to the post office and library. Once every month or two we take a 'real" field trip to a site nearby. If I am really planning ahead, we study about where we are going beforehand, but many times we just go and then the kids investigate further on the next trip to the library, if thcy found the place we visited interesting. Our first trip to nearby Mesa Verde National Park was memorable to the kids because of the ladders and rock paths they got to climb. It wasn't until the second or third trip that they became interested in the museum and the lives of the people who used to live there. It seems that when I

work to provide 'educational activities'

they usually do not work out the way I had planned, but when the activities just happen, the kids all come out learning something special (though not what I had intended). They do learn what they want to, thoughl I guess the advice I would give to Tammy from my three years of homeschooling is to plan an hour or so each day to coverwhatyou feel are the basics, and then let your children lead you from there. They will learn the most just by being with you and your husband and by being allowed to discover things for themselves.

Fl}om Barbora F-reeman (FI):

We are a two-career familv from financial necessity, and homeschool our l2-year-old son. My husband's job requires frequent travel and is an 8 to 5

job, so most of the schooling is done by me. As a nurse, Tammy might find my solution a good one. I work out of my home as a medical transcriptionist for a 3physician heme-onc group. In our area transcriptionists are in short supply so there is opportunity for flexibility. I have invested about $@O: $4OO for a typewriter and $2OO for a transcriber. My typing ribbons and mrrerting tape cost about $@ per month. I provide early morning pickup and delivery and average twenty hours a week of typing. When I first thought of doing this my typing speed was only 30 wpm. It quickly improved with practice and when I reached 60 wpm I was rcady for this type of work. I wouldn't recommend starting until your typing speed is around 60 wpm or thejob

will take

forever.

This isn't a perfect solution (for instance, I can't find a vacation replacement and the work is all waiting for me when I get back from a short trip. In this work you don't make long trips.). I've donc

it for

several years and will be happy to discuss the ins and outs of it with Tammv or other readers. FJom Marion Cohen (PA):

Ours is also a two-career homeschooling family: my husband is a physics professor and I am a writer and part-timc math teacher. We have the additional hardship of being, essentially, a oneitrcome family, since writers make no

'real"

money. I do have a few suggestions that might

be helpful:

l. Changing (if the law allows it) from the Calvert curriculum to one less expensive and less time-consuming. We use no curriculum, as do many other homeschoolers. You might also get textbooks free from the school nearest you, or inexpensively at five-and-tens or thrift shops. Thrift shops have been, in general, great sources for all sorts of material - and toys - and even

many of John Holt's books. As for'time-consurning,' you might consider not specifically 'finding time to homeschool,' but incorporating education into the family life. This is described amply in many pages of GWS: I don't need to go into it herel 2. Or find (i.e. keep on the lookout for) a babysitter who likes to help with Calvcrt. Babysitters for schooling families often help with homework. Your babysitter could double as a tutor. 3. Try to link up with other homeschooling families in your area, perhaps by joining, or forming, a homeschoolers' support group. Then perhaps you could form a tutoring pool, akin to a babysitting pool. Or perhaps even live with another

family and share the workload, including the careers. Then you might be able to work part-time. Or you might find a family where the parents want to work, so they


8 could earn the income while you stayed with all the ktds. Thls could solve the problem of playmates for your ldds (if, indeed, that is a problem). 4. Oryou could simply get a babysitter who has children of her own. 5. As for betng employed at home, several parents I know support their families by running a daycare center ln their homes, orJust taking care of two or three other children. Or perhaps you could work as a private-dut1r nurse (in the person's home) for someone who would love to have

children around.

I realize that many of these suggestions would take dme and energr to implement, butifyou keepyoureyes peeled for advantageous sifuatlons, you will probably

wentually find them. Eventually isn't

soon enough, but it's better than never.

From Panela Wleeler oJ lrdianaI wonder if Tammy has considered just for her own children, but for others whose parents will pay Tammy. It shouldn't be dillicult to flgure out how much you need to bring in to make up for not being a nurse for a few years. AIso, a tutoring situation may be borrowed for some goods or senrices you have; for example, garden pnrduce, babysitting, etc. And a seasonal garden produce stand is a good money-maker. Kids love working in the garden and would probably enjoy taking care of customers. being the babysitter, not

Single Parents Ftom Ctvisttle Wilkte oJ Pernsglvania,' I recently became the contact person for our state's support network for singleparent homeschoolers. We have about eleven families on our list. The group is mainly for emotional support, and to let the children in these families know that there are other families like theirs. Some parents may want to get together to trade time with the children or help each other in more practical ways, but right now the families are too spread apart geographically for that. I've found that single-parent families can usually reach out to the extended family or to people in the community or church for help needed in dayto-day living. This is good also because single-parent famllies need to interact with two-parent families, singles, etc., to avoid becoming another sub-group. A maJor consideradon fior a single parent is income. Some single par€nts get child support, but other sources of income are usually necessary. One mother I know works part-time, and her ex-husband watches the children while she works. Others work at home. It is quite a challenge to homeschool as a single parent, and if you'veJust become a single parent, the decision to homeschool mav have to be reconflrmed in light of your new sihration. When you've taken stock and know that homeschooling is still what you are going to do, you become more creafive and aware of opportunities to make it work. I opted for daycare in our home, and am still doing that, I realized we would need more lncome, however, so I set out to

Ilnd aJob that would fft my schedule but would also be aJob I felt good about doing. I didn'twant to be a burned-out homeschooler. I found a posidon as a counselor in a group home, with a schedule that allows me to be home onweekdays and Sunday (I work two ntghts and a Saturday). I'm also fortunate that my mother lives with me - I have extended famtly right there when I have to work. As sin$e-parent homeschoolers, we have to reahze that we cannot do werything perfectly. I am ahvays wtshtng I had more time wlth my children, but then I realize that if they were ln school we would be together even less. I still spend more time wtth my famlly than many two-parent families do, because we homeschool. One question I've come across is about allowing chtldren to stay home alone when a parent needs to go somewhere. As children grow older, they don't always want to follow their parent around on errands, shopping, meetings, etc. I think that at an approprlate age and level of maturity, children can beneflt from from time at home on their own, to feel responsible for accomplishing tasfts, worlidng on a proJect,

or just relaxlng. Single parents may tend to feel guilty if they can't always be there and meet every need perfectly, but tt is not good for children to have a parent who always feels worried. Sometimes the parent can even fall into an attitude of pitying her

children, and the children end up Geling sorry for themselves, too, and start believing that they can't do as much as other families can do. Single-parent homeschoolers should remind each other that they have taken on a lot, and though it is

delinitely not an ideal family situation, we have to remember that we are still

fanflIes: there are obstacles, but they can be overcome.

I talk to my chlldren directly about these lssues, They have been part of the decision to continue homeschooling, so we pull together and take one day at a time, and remember that we areJust as important as any type of family. There are people who will be supportive. Don't be afraid to let people in. IVe had people from our church take my children out to do things I

did not have time or money for - skating, bowling, etc. Single parents need to exchange informalion on resources. where they have gotten support, and dillerent options to make things work. Homeschooling, even as a single-parent family, can still be rewarding and successful.

lVithout Much Money WendgWestud(NY

ru:rfies:

We're not poor, by any means, yet there has never becn enough money for the cultural indulgences we enjoy: concerts, theater, museums, galleries, €tc. Art sup. plies and books threaten to break the budget every month. Here are some of the soluffons weVe found: Barter for tickets. What skills can you trade? Stuffenvelopes, stick on labels, sort them for mailing; dellver posters around tovm; make phone calls. All these and more "behind-the-scenes"jobs need to be done. In exchange, they canyield free tickets. Our local arts center uses volunteer

ushers from the community, including

some par€nt-and-child tearns; in exchange

for working at a specified number of events, they eam free fickets to other attractions. In addition, they enjoy the many peformances at which they work sometimes with intermptions of late seaung, etc. - at no cost.

Ask for scholarship flckets. Our arts c€nter has c:ertaln series whose events are underwritten by a local business or industr5r, providing a number of free tickets for those who could not allord to purchase them. If these are ofGred in vour communit5r, Ilnd out how they are-distributed. If they're tranded out through the public schools, for example, or through the poverty program, let the administrators know that they are missing people like you and thatyou too are interested. Ifthere's not such a program in your communit5r, see ifyou can get one started. Get to knowyour local arts presenters. Find out their needs and let them know yours. It's not unusual for an event to be undersold. Rather than have an embarrassingly low turnout, which can make both audience and performers uncomfortable, a presenter may give free or drastically reduced tickets, just to build up the audience. Ifthe person in charge knows you're interested, you will be in line to receive such freebies when thev're available. Exchange free child care services. Perhaps some of these events are OK foryour older children, but not your youngest. Maybe it's something that would be enriching to you but not your children. When we Iirst moved to our new community, we found a few other compatible families and started a child-care exchange, in which a pool of families trade babysitting services among themselves without any money changing hands. This has enabled many of us to attend events thatwould have been out of the question if we had to pay a babysitter in addition to buying tickets. It's also built some of our children's and our own

closest friendships. Look into special children's performances. Our arts center offers many daytime events for school groups. Sometimes these are the same attractions o{Iered ln the evenings, but at lower prices. Consider attending in-school performances. With a good relationship with your school district, you may be able to attend some of these at absolutelv no charge. Our major problem has b-een knowingwhen such events are happening. Find out who plans such programs - it may be a PTA or local arts agency, an individual teacher, or an admlnistrator - or make friends with a teacher or parent who can keep you posted on what's coming up. Find out how arts events are reviewed in your local newspapers. Ours doesn't have its own arts reporter. They invite each presenting organization to supply a review written by someone independent of their group. When a children's or family event is presented, sometimes a parent/ child team reviews it, and earns free tickets at the same time. Can't alford carfare to get to the event? Make sure the presenter is aware of the problem, :rs you're not the only one facing this challenge. They may be able to arrange free shuttle bus service to some events. Perhaps there's a single member

Growing Wthout Schooling #77


I who would like to drive a young family to an event they could enjoy together. Can't alford art supplies? Neither can your public schools, sometimes. During years ofausterity budgets, your publlc school art teachers have learned to do without. Get to know some of them and flnd out their resources ln your corununit5r. Scavenge leftovers from factories, retailers, print shops. A real test of

creativity is making something from

"nothing,'and scavenged art supplies have

the advantage of not dictating a right way to do art. Nor will you be concerned that your children are going through the supplies tm fast. Your libraries have lots of books on how to make your own art supplies, even glue and modeling materials. By salvagtng Junk" and making what you can, you'll save your art budget for the Gw supplies you will have to purchase. If you live near a college or câ&#x201A;Źnununity college, there should be a wealth of activides available. There are more free events than we could ever hope to attend at our local college. The music department olfers student and faculty recitals and fullscale concerts. The dance students present mini-concerts and works-in-progress, which are sometimes more interesting than the linished pieces. The art department has free gallery exhibits. Foreign language departments sponsor cultural activities, usually free. Our c.ollege owns a nature center, where it offers free guided nature walks and instruction on weekends. College students may be resources for you, too. For two semesters I hired students to teach a creative movement class for a small group of preschoolers. Our communigr offered nothing along this line, but I found a music education major who was willing to teach for $5 per class. By word of mouth, I lined up five kids and found a free room on carnpus. In exchange for my making the arrangements, my daughter took the class for free.

tion earlier that day. She assured me she could help the momwlth the D.S. child. I assured her I would help in any way I could

with contacts she had in her network. The Natlonal Handicapped Homeschoolers Associated Network (NATHHAN) was bom. But NATHHAN really began tn 1976 when my flrst and only child, Robble, was born wtth Down Syndrome. Three months after his blrth I was thrust lnto singleparenthood. After returnlng to my parents' home in Pennsylvanta, I tried to get regular employment, but there Just wasn't enough dme to schedule therapy appolntments, make emergency vlslts to the doctor, and still maintain my career as a legal secretary. The career was put on hold tndellnitely and I entered a brand new world, one that included a new vocabulary with words like hypotonia, adduction, dysfunction, atlantoaxial dtslocadon - to name Just a few.

After flve years of on-the-Job tralning

with therapists who worked with Robbte and me together, and lots of supportive

teamwork from a lovlng, carlng farnily,

Boothuyn PA 1906l; 215-4519-2o35.

it

was time for Robbie to go to school. In one way I was excited and really could visualize him in school, but part of me could not. I had already spent live long years in professional motherhood teaching my child, guiding his every step of growth. When he was born I was informed that he would not live to see his second birthday. And now I

should quit? I sought out the "perfect program" for him, but my school district told me there was none. I would have to accept what was 'appropriate" for him. When I refused I was

threatened by school authorities - my child would be taken away from me and I would go to jaill In 1982, after a brief school placement, Robbie was taken to the hospital with a partial respiratory arrest because of negligence in the schml setting. That brush with death should not have had to happen to my son, but that was enough to

remind me of my responsibility. I had

"Special-Needs" Children F-rcm Diane Macfuth:

I'r"t April I received a call from a lady in New York State. She had a child with Down Syndrome who was approaching school age. School district authoritles threatened that all grpes of legal action would come against her if she did not put her child in an approved program. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I was reliving the events of my life some thirteen years ago. I knew that no one could pull one over on me when it came to the new homeschool law in Pennsylvania, but how was I going to inform this lady of what to do in New York? I told her she would have to begin by getting a copy of her homeschool law. We exchanged addresses, telephone numbers, words of encouragement. In the mail later that afternoon was a thick envelope from ALLPIE, the Alliance for Parental Involvement in Education. I had never heard of them, but to mv surprise the letter was from homeschooler Katharine Houk, in New York, asking for suggesdons to pass on to parents in her network who were homeschooling handicapped children. I telephoned Katharine immediately, and told her of my conversa-

Growing Without Schooling #77

alreadv observed classes with violent behavior, classes with children sitting literally tied up in chairs, a classroom where a child was placed in a big black box for poor accomplishment. And I also observed the fmstration of parents who were afraid to stand up for what they

wanted for their child. I didn't know that the homeschml movement existed until 1988, but I was a strong advocate for any parents who wanted to school their special needs child at home. I was alone with only my family to support me. I sought help from private schools in the Christian sector who were supportive of my desire but ultimately insisted that Robbie belonged ln a special program. Robbie is now 14. He can read and

write. He can do arts and crafts. He paints, writes poetry, and sings. He plays the handbells. He loves to do hls laundry (with help), works at the public library once a weekas avolunteerpage, and has even received personal letters from Presidents Reagan and Bush. And our latest accom-

plishment is bowling - on a real league with real kids (as we like to put it). I deserve no credit. Robbie deserves all. He has been pafient, understanding, loving, and in many cases has gone the

extra mile in helping other people to better understand him. When asked the age-old quesdon, "Where do you go to school?' Robbie smiles and cheerfully responds, "Oh, homeschool. Do ya hear me?" I am grateful to Howard and Susan Richman for allowing me to share, through their PA Homeschmlers newsletter, the experiences that Robbie and I have faced together. Because of this, approximately twenty famtltes nationwide have called or written to share hopes, fears, and challenges that face their individual homeschool programs. NATHHAN families are currently in NC, MI, TX, PA, t{Y, CA, AZ, and WA. Growing without a school is possible despite any handicap - Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, bltndness, deafness. I would love to hear from anyone who is planning to homeschool or has alreadv been homeschooling special-needs children. Write or call: NATHFIAN, 814 Shavertown Rd,

it

Queries

Here are tu-ro similar queries. We will Jonootd letters to tlese wrhers; please let us knour lf ir's OK to publish gour letter in GWS fuith or without your rnme), tn.

Flom Pam Glaser Ernstotf oJ Massa' chusetts: I am an Orthodox Jew with two children, 4 and 2. The other children in my synagogue all go to private religious schools. There's a lot of pressure and emphasis on early reading - Hebrew and English - at age 5-6. I went to an alternative school in junior high, and skipped high school altogether. I traveled, had my own small business, worked at many jobs, and wrote extensively in a journal. My parents didn't help me learn, but today I give them a lot of credit for allowing me to follow my heart and stay home. I had no trouble getting into college at 2o, and was shocked to find that I knew more and did better than many of my traditionallv schooled classmates. My son is one of three 4 year olds in our town who are not attending nursery school. I love being home with my children, watching them learn and grow. I would love to correspond with any Jewish people, especially ifyou are teaching, or want to teach, our religion and history. And fiom Tamnr Gindis of Netu We are a traditional Jewish family living in Manhattan, but we are hardly traditional in that we are an inner cit5r, Jewish, observant, homeschooling family. I have three children ages 2, 4, and 6 3/ 4,

and find that my greatest worry is isolation from the Jewish cornmunity - for my eldest child who truly enjoys being with other children, and also for myself and my two younger ones.

I am looking, therefore, for other families open to homeschooling and concemed with their Jewish identit5r for us to befriend and play with, with whom we can share experiences, support and be

supportedby.


l0

Watching Children Learn On a Movie Set Wtwn Pat and. Dag Farenga met Andy and. Kira Endsleg at tle Clonlara conJerence this past May, theg leaned tlut Andy, ulen he uros I 5, had, fuen an e:tua in the moule Glory. We talked to Andg, rtow 77, about tfus eqleriernq and to KIu:a. now 15, abuther ac@ eryerlence, fulow is a tanscript oJ what tleg tdd us.

Andy: I'm irrvolved in whafs called "Living History Units.'We dress up in a costume or uniform from a period in history, and then spend time at historic sites, or do reenactments of battles, for the enjoyment of the public and also for our own enjo5rment. A lot of work goes into the historical accuracy of the uniforms. Being involved with this now takes me all over the country. I started doing this at a local fort in Perrysburg, where I live, ffve years ago, when I was 12. From the time I was vbrv young, I was always dressing up in sorrie sort of outfit, pretending to be that person. I also read about history. I was the youngest one in the group at that time. I was in school then, but school didn't do anything fior my interest in history. I started out as a dmmmer ln the group. There were other drumrners, and I

leamed from watching them. I had tried to take lessons in drumming, but it didn't get very far. I wanted to learn historical drumming, and the teacher didn't have any knowledge of that. The group got a call from someone they had known who worked in the fllm lndustry. Since the unit I was with was known for its special attention to historical accurary, we were asked to be part of the battle scenes In Glory. It was originally scheduled for only a one-day shoot, south of Atlanta. But as with any film, they went a little over budget and a little off schedule, and they needed people to stay for the next week. Most of the people had regular jobs they needed to get back to, and it was during the school year too, so about eighty percent of the people left, but I was able to stay on. My father and sister were also on tfre set, just as spectators, so they got to talk with the crew, and made friends with a number of them. When my father and I went out to California after mv sister took an acting class there, we met up with our friends from Glory again, and they told us about a lilm that was taking place in South Dakota, and that led to my next project Donces WithWohses, which will be out in November 1990. In the opening scene - lf it doesn't end up on the cutting room floor I'11 be carrying the American flag in a charge scene.

I like behind the scenes work, and I'd like to continue working on the technical lspects of fflm. It started as a fluke, just because of my lnvolvement ln the reenactment unit, but it's been snowballing ever since. You meet people who remember you, and they gve you a call when they need you on another a project. Aweek ago I got a call from our contact out in Montana. He wants me to work for three and a half months as a production assistant.

I'm not planning to go to college, at least not a stratgfrt four-year program. If this production assistant project goes well, there's a good chance that the same guy will hire me agaln, and withtn a few months it could turn lnto a full-blown

career. I look at crllege as being the same

mistake that contlnuing wtth high school would be. There are these teachers who assume they have a certain set of knowledge that they can giveyou, and in order to get that knowledge you have to go to them and be taught. And they assume that a degree, for some reason, makes you better than before you had the degree. I became a homeschooler at the end of my freshman year ln high school. My mother had seen a dirnintshing interest in leaming in me, ever since I'd been in school, but I guess it came to a peak toward the end ofmy freshman year. I had gone from public school to a parochial school thinldng tt might be better, but it really

wasn't any different. I had nothing in corrunon with my peers, and now, the majority of the people I spend my time

with are threr times my age.

Kira: Because I got to hangaround the set of Glory, I met all sorts of people, and when I went out to I-A for an acting class, my father and I had dinner with those people again, and that led to my being in

another movie. I hadn't done much actinq before then. I hadn't been in any school plays, but I had started taking actlng classes. I always wanted to act, but I never did anything about it until two years ago. Now I'm doing a couple of plays around here - in community theater, and in a professional show, but I wouldn't be one of the professionalst Most of the people are older than me, but I get along very well with people older than me. I started homeschooling about four months later than Andy did. The transition was harder for me. I was asked to trv it for the first nine weeks of what would hive been my eighth grade year, and I didn't want to at all. Then after those nine weeks, I wanted to keep doing it, but I kind of didn't want to let my mom know that I wanted to. I said, "Oh, I'll try it a little bit longer." But it ended up that I loved it and didn't want to go back to school. I liked the freedom to explore what I wanted to do. When you're in school, you really don't have any time to lind out what you want to do wlth your life. You don't have any outside activities. Everything ..rrol-re" around school and friends. Now I've found a lot of activities that I like a lot better. At lirst I was worried about losing my friends. I did lose some, but they were the ones that didn't count. I still hive a lot of friends from school. the real friends - I guess you find out who your real friends are.

I'd like to continue with theater and fllm. As of rtght now, I really don't see how college could benefit me. I think I have enough opportunities outside of college. I plan on being home with my parents for a couple ofmore years, but it depends on what comes up - something might come up where I'd have to leave. I'd be able to handle that if it happened.

A Day in the Life Patti Blgstone MA) writes: Today I am sick with a bad chest cold and cannot even manage to get up offthe couch. The kids are therefore running their day the way they want to, and I am merely an observer. When all is said and done, I suspect it would be just as well for them if days like this came along more oftenl Seth (lO), Sean (7), and Dylan (2) get their own breakfast, and then build an enonnous blanket fort using the ironing board, every chalr in the house, and all of

my clothespins. They call this "Paradise" and it is complete with its own bowl of fresh fruit (Sean tells me that every paradise has fruit.) I read aloud to the inhabitants of "Paradise' a book called l-eJt-Handed Kids by James T. de Kay. (The boys' father is a leftie and Seth does some tJrings lefthanded.) We lind out that one-third of all U.S. Presidents since 1945 have been lefthanded. Reagan was born left-handed but

was forced to switchl The boys then try drawing pictures left-handed. Sean starts playing gannes on the computer but soon asks me questions (while still playin$ that seem to have nothing to do with what he's doing. Sean: How long is a yard? Me: 36 inches. Do you know how long

an inch is? Sean: Yeah, about that long. (Holding up lingers.) Five minutes later: Sean: How did man invent matches? Me: Wow, that's a tough one. I'm not

sure. I guess someone happened to lind some rocks that contained a lot of sulfur and discovered that they caught on fire easily when a spark got near them. Then maybe they tried grinding up the sulfur and sticking it on the ends of wooden sticks. Sean: Yeah, then they glued it onto cardboard sticks, too. So that's why matches stink so much. Sulfur reallv

stinks. Ten minutes go by. Sean: Mom, do trees have feelings? Me: I think they do but theyJust can't tell us about them. What do vou think? Sean: I think they do. gut I don't know about apples. He goes and gets an apple. Sean: You know, Ood made apples like the bottom of those big pop bottlcs. These bumps on the bottom of the apple make it

stand up better than if it were just round. Me: So what came first, apples or pop

bottles? Sean: I guess apples. God didn't know they were going to invent pop. After five minutes of munching: Sean: They should have made pop bottles more like apples so when you were done drinking it you could just eat the

bottle. Painting has meanwhile commenced in the kitchen. This is usually a momdirected activity because I'm fussy about spreading out newspapers, doling out squirts of tempera and rolling up sleeves. I can't see what's going on but I can hear the easel scraping across the floor and the

Growing Without Schooling #77


l1 water nrnning. After an hour, everyone is still painting... and not fighting. My curiosity gets the better of me and I slowly shuflle ln to check out the art scene. Naturally there is paint on the floor, cabinets, clothes, and faces. Proud, smiling faces. There are works of art spread all over the counters and lloor to dry. Today I don't care about the mess. Sean tells me he has decided he wants to become an artlst. I decide to worry about cleaning up later and head back to the couch. When the boys ffgure out they are

hungry they crawl into their fort, looking like savages in war paint, to eat lunch. Fruit, ofcourse, in paradise.

Working in a Bookstore Geolfreg l;rftuack (PN writes: You asked about my experience with

working in a bookstore. To start at the beginning, I met a woman who worked ln a bookstore called The Bookhouse. This came about because I went in there often

asking her each time if she knew of any books zlOO Pages or more. This went on for a few years, and during this time we became friends. Eventually she opened her own children's bookstore not far away from our home - The Children's Bookworld. Mom, of course, had also met her, and when she opened her store Mom asked her ifshe would be willing to have me work for a few hours aweek. She said yes, and I have been working three hours a week ever since. I have learned a lot about how

bookstores are run, the names of wholesalers, how to organize shipments, set up displays, ISBN numbers and how to use a bookstore computer. IVe also had the enjoyable experience of previewing rnnuscripts and gr'ing my opinlon, which has always been valued by the owner - something I appreciate greatly.

Older Readers

Arntulantd NW) wites:

Our oldest son - now 14 - didn't really begin reading undl he was I l. If it weren't foiGWSwe would have considered homeschooling a failure and sent him off to school. As it was we did have our doubts. We would go through cycles of putting pressure on him, working with him daily on phonics or sight reading. He would be unable to recognize a word a few minutes after we had worked on it. He would get frustrated, we would get fmstrated. We found that the best thing to do was to not work with him unless he really wanted us to - which was rare. We have always read to him and he always had a great understanding of what was read to him. I think he enjoyed hearing stories so much that it made no sense to him to sweat out a story word by word. He had to Put uP with razzing from our friends or fear bf being ln a situation where someone would find out he couldn't read. He learned to handle these situations but I

think they led to him feeling insecure about his own intelligence. When he was 9 we enrolled him in the gifted program in

our county. It involved one day a week in agroup ofibout ten kids. Although he passed ihe other tests, they were reluctant to take him because he couldn't read' I think they finally took him because they wanted to feel tlev had some influence on this poor homeschooled child. In this setting, he realized he was as smart as the other kids,

which was a real boost for his confldence. I have noticed that he learns in a scattered sort of way. When I was helping

him learn to ride his bike I would hold it and run along as he rode. All the while he would be talking, Pointing to things along

the road, and seeming otherwise distracted. This was very frustrating to me but t had promised I would help him half an hour i dav for a week. After three days he rode by himself. This is iust took on ^tta up moJt things' He seems ih" *"y he picks to be doing a dozen things at once, yet he does learn very well. This is apparently the way he learned to read. All of a sudden (or so it se'emed to us) he could read whatever he wanted to. He loves to read now and always has a book that he is into. He went from being unable to read the simplest paragraph to being able to read books written for adults. The biggest thing I have learned from this is to trust my kids to learn what they need to (or want to) learn when they are ready. Reading GWS and other parents' experiences with 'late readers' was very helpful. I would also keep thinking about whit John Holt said about reading - a child can't help but learn to read in a home where reiding is a valued part of life. This makes a lot of sense to me but I would find

cLODLo.R.CI SCKTOOL Home Based Education Program Creale vour own hofiro school currlculum wlth the help of Glonlara $choo!H6me Based Educallon Program, lhe well'balattcsd homo $chool program offerlng flexiblo or slandard approach. "(--lunlara slresses nlanipulative lealrring tools attd Ieal'litB experiences In place of endless workboohery....You creale ygul own individualized ptogtam

with lhe help of the Clonlata curliculum.

The Glonlara slatt ls avallable to answer quosllons over lho phone or by mall. Any concorns famlllas have whlch rolato lo home oducatlng can b0 address{id.

Clonlara oraduales rocolvo our Drlvalo school dlploma and full tranJcitpii. ttontiia graduates have gone to collegee ahd unlversllles, lo mllltary faMc6, to tha mlnlstry and lnlo lhe work forco.

Clonlara attonds to all of lhe admlnlstratlve dutles assoclalod wlth home sducatlng wlth and for our on' rolleos. We know tho reoulatlons In ovory stalo and counlry, we handlo conlacts befween school ofllclals and our onrolloos. Thatleaves paronls fioe lo anond lo lh6lr home oducatlng.

'Mury

Pride's

Bis Bonk of llome Learnins

1289 Jewett

Ann Arbor, Mlchlgan 48104

Growing Without Schooling #77

(313) 769-4515

Pat Montgomery, Ph.D. Dlrector


t2 myself doubflng because there were so

many "experts" (teachers, school authorities) who doubted.

Flom Jonna Books (NM):

denc.e. She has often talked of how much she wants to be able to read the klnds of

books she is lnterested tn. I feel that now. I can follow her lead. FJom

We have read to Tasha since infancv and she has had an increasing desire to read herself. She would often, at ages 4-7 especially, curl up with a chapter book and tell-read herself a story. But it seemed to me that she was frr.rstrated that her elforts

in word-for-word reading did not produce a smoothly floMng narrauve as she was used to hearing or telling. When shewas 8

l/2

I

began to have

"oflicial' school with her. This was not mv preference, but rathera response to her pleas to have "real' school and to her

frequent cries of boredom. I began by reading her a story with one or two sentences per page. I would then read one line at a time, and she would repeat the line after me the lirst time through the book, and reSd by herself the next time through. When she could read tlee entire book with less than ten mistakes we would move on to another book. When she ffnished a book she would get a srnall reward. After reading several books according to this system, we began a book that was rather difficult for Tasha, so I fudged on the ruIes and more readily supplied the words she couldn't get, without keeping track of the number of mistakes she made. At this time I particularly felt that reading pages or books over again wasn't necessary, and moving on to new pages or books would build her vocabulary and skills Just as well. Soon I didn't even need to readanv of the material to her lirst. She continued reading this way for a number of books until the level of ieading (still in the I CattReadcategory) was causl ing her to depend too much on phonetic decoding. I was not comfortabli with this and decided to give her a respite from read-

ing and let her natural maturation carry her forward. During this period, I noticed an increased amount of "real-world' read-

ing of signs, cereal boxes, etc. WhenTasha turned lO, I asked her what particular things she would like to do

during her school time. She named reading, Spanish, science, and wridng (she got a diary for Easter which she is avid about).

Today she wanted to read a chapter book aloud to me. We got through two and a half pages of Pollgaru:rr in about thirt5r

minutes. I don't think that Tasha would have sat down and waded through a book on her

own (as she has recently with some Dr. Seussbooks) until shewas 9 l/2or lO. And maybe starting earlier was not all that helpful. But when she was 8 l/2 I just felt she needed to start so she could giin confi-

( ll

Ill.l)t\i:N'S

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a later letter:

In the two months slnce I wrote to vou Tasha has picked up several chapter b6oks and is reading them on her own, silently. She has finished one. She rarelv asks for help. She spells a word to me et'ery now and then and occaslonallv asks me to read a dilficult passage to her so she can comprehend it. She has read to her sisters when I didn't even know she was doing it. She is so much more able to figure out labels and signs now, too. One year ago she was struggling with l2-2O words to a page.

Helpful vs. Unhelpful Teaching

F-tom a story that fuil Sterrens wrote hoo years ago and tlenreentJy reprinted in issue #1O oJ his Talk About karning

newsletter:

Jamie, eight years old this August, has become a baseball fan. He likes to practice, and ourbac$ard games of catch have become a little more serious. It's still for fun, but now he wants to improve, and he

works very hard at it in between clowning around. Nowwe try for accuracy and power. Now we try to catch the ball no rnatter how wildly it is thrown. Now we have baseball gloves. In the beginning it gave me pleasure to imagine myself teaching Jamie the skills known by ..ry person who has played a little baseball. I would be the coach,

At the beginning of the sumner Jamie's catching technique was to stand in one place like a statue, holding his glove out in front, palm up, like Lucy Van Pelt, the Pearurts cartoon character. Soon he was beginning to get the hang of moving his body and his glove with some eflicienry and expertise. With a little intensive instruction, I told myself, he could catch practically anything that comes his way. He'll be a much better player, and he'll be more satislied with his own skills. WronA. I used to be a school teacher, and I still have to work hard to modifu the habit of being the persion whose an"jwer to every problem is more instruction. I don't always succeed. 'Hold your glove higher,' I would say. 'Hold your glove lower; don't be afraid of the ball; reach for it; stay loose; try for the catch even if you don't think you'll get it: move toward the ball.'At first Jamie cooperated and gave it his best, but as the number of specillc lnstructions lncreased, I could see him losing interest in our game of catch. He wanted to be nice to me so he kept at it, but I could see that he was not having much fun. He was mainly interested in pleasing Dad and ending our lesson. Also, instead ofgetting better at catching the ball, he was gettlng worse. There was nothing wrong with the advice I was gMng. But I was saying too much too soon to somebody who needed to remain at the purely experimental level for a while. When we are busy "getting the feel" of a new skill we don't want to focus on unsolicited advice. At this stage, practically anything we do is an improvement.

Intense, unwanted instruction at this point tends to take our minds olf the pleasures

and rewards of experimentation (fooling around). The goal of becoming highly skilled begtns to get in the way of leaming any sktlls at all. I have to remind myself again and again that it is much more important for children to become interested ln something than it is for them to leam to do it correctly. We always get better at things we enjoy doing as long as we are allowed to continue doing them. Sometimes we get so good that we seek out an expert, a teacher, to help us help ourselves

more elllciently.

Like everyone else I sometimes forget

that being a good teacher doesn't always mean glvlng specific instruction. Some-

tlmes it me,uls having the patience to not

lnterfere whlle something important is happening. Many ofus did not experience this luxury as part of our schooling, and we don't entirely trust it for our children. I-eaming to play baseball is not a very momentous skill compared to the things we would like our children to learn, but the dynarnlcs of learning are the same. One must thlnk, experiment, and care. The following day I said to Jamie, "kt's just have some fun throwing the ball around.'Jamie was suspicious and not sure he wanted to play. He felt kind of tired and thought we should wait until tomorrow or the next day when he would be feeling better. I finally coaxed him into the yard, and we tried it. At first he was tight, and I could see that his movements were stiffas he attempted to do everything "correctly" as explained to him the day before during his lesson. Each time he made a mistake he glanced at me for the expectcd cornrnent, but none was forthcoming. I appeared not to nodce or care, and after each uncrlticized mistake he was more relaxed instead of more anxious. He began to concentrate on the ball instead of on me. and, little by little, he began to improve again. fu what if he suddenly starts missing the high ones because for some reason he isn't reaching. He'll notice, and he'll do something about it. There is no danger that he'll spend years and years not reaching high enough to catch the ball and be forced to take "remedial baseball.' Jamie asked a question about how to use his glove on a fly ball. I remembered to give him the short version ofthe answer and then leave it alone. He feels free to ask for help if he knows that he'll get a specific answer without having to suffer through a speech....

Helping People Do Things Megharut O'DaA l4.R) urites: I've helped people do things, but I don't know if that can be qualilied as teaching. I think I've helped my friend Tara be looser, more relaxed. I also think I've taught other kids that homeschoolers aren't weird or stupid. I'm teaching my sister Bridget, 5, to read. I read to hera lot. We used the McGuffey's Primer for her to read from, and thcn she started reading library books. She can read a lot of beginner's words, but she still needs help wlth newwords. I never really start out to TEACH any-

Growing Without Schooling #77


l3

3li3il,l[?fl;l'x*

H.f.l:'i,*"*r,'l Resources & Recommendations

ISS:IThe way I look at it, what Meghann does - help people do things that they ar^e already interested in - ls teaching, though not the kind ofunasked-for, unhelpful Llnd that she (like many of us) associates with the word. It's the kind of teaching that helped Jamie Stwens (see previous story) get better at catching balls, as opposed to the kind that made him anxious and unable to focus on the task itself. Meghann seems to know intuitively which kind of teaching works better, and so I think her letter has a lot to sav to the rest ofus.

Children's Questions Goil Nagasako (HI) writes:

One day Thumper (7) asked me where the universe came from. As we'd already read an anthologr of Creation Stories from various religions and cultures, I gave him a

scientilic theory, telling him how some scientists believe it came about from a "big bang" whereby the parts of the universe were erploded out from a solid mass. Thumper replied, 'l don't believe that. I believe it was created bit by bit and the parts came together like dust bunnies.' Dust bunnies are, of course, those little

balls of fluff that appear somewhat mysteriously under beds. Given what I know and what I believe, I thought his explanation and analogr were an incredibly clear statement of that possible source of the universe,

This to me is one of the wonderful fringe benefits (or is it the main reward?) of homeschooling - Just as I saw his first step and heard his first word. I have the honor and privilege of sharing his world and thoughts. I have learned much from him of life and love and what's trulv

important.

Eating Letters Karen Raskin-Young (CN writes:

In reading Sue Smith-Heavenrich's letter in GWS #74 about her 3-year-old son's way of learning letters, I was reminded of my son Jeremy. By the age of 2 I /2 he was used to alphabet books and a set ofwooden letters that stuck on a carpet board, but a comment he made one day when I came home from work started us in a new direction. 'Cookie Monster ate a W today,- he said, reporting what he'd seen on Sesame Street. My interest piqued, I took up a piece ofbread and started cutting. The bread didn't work so well, but slices of American cheese were pe rfect, and I cut Jeremy a W to eat, which charmed him. For the next year and a half there were almost daily cawings. I cut letters and numbers, somctimes taking Jeremy's requests, and later progressed to words and surprise messages. The process fascinated Jeremy, and I think he learned letters quickly and became interested in their structure partly because of it. He graduated to forming letters from popsicle sticks and sometimes huge, thin, rectang3rlar boxes, and he was an early reader. Ofcourse, he no longer eats American cheese - a small price to pay for so much fun and leaming. Growing Without Schooling #77

Theater Group Wants

Children's lVriting Wendg We s tud

(NY w rite s :

I'm attaching lnformation on the Child's Play Touring Theatre, which performed here this year. They solicit stories and poems from children, then present them as plays in thelr touring performances. I found some of them rather overdone - too much style for kids to follow and enjoy the storyline - but many were well done, and the audience enJoyed them. Some area homeschoolers worked together on a scrlpt that received an honorable mention, but wasn't presented here. It seems the most acceptable scripts require fewer actors and very simple sets, props, costumes,

Some excerpts from the information Wendy enclosed:

3O,OOO

[SS:l Some excerpts from the brochure

that may interest young GWS readers:

The Kids' Project - creating a world in which children are treated with dignity and respect. ... Our goal is to produce a change in the way children are seen. If we can shift the way people see their kids, we believe that a shift to more respectful and

understanding behavior toward them will naturally and easily follow. For more information, kids and adults can write to The Kids' Project, 4470 SW Hall Blvd, Suite IOOO, Beaverton OR 97OO5. or call 5O3-236-KIDS.

This year, Child's Play will read more than

Kids'Project, which has been going on in Portland for a couple ofyears. They hold discussion groups (and are currently televising some of them), Put up billboards, put on some TV public service spots, run booths at children's festivals, and generally try to rais-e awareness of children's rights.

new stories and poems by

children... Briefly, here are some of the elements we look for during the reading process:

Strong Story Line. Stories with a welldefined beginning, middle, and ending are essential. Given a well-constructed and imaginative plot, our actors can develop additional dialogue and action, erpanding and adding detail to the original work. Dialogue. Many children have a talent for natural-sounding dialogue. In writing conversations for their characters, they often reveal much about themselves. Topicality. We are delighted to find stories that include children's thoughts on current world and national problems and events. They often provide unique solutions and perspectives on so-called adult

When You Write

Ane you Int€pest€O In cReatrv€ eoucatlon?

T ellunlan T pavelleps

matters.

EDUCATIONAL CATALOG FOR ALL AGES

For complete information, write CHILD'S PLAY TOURING TTIEATRE, 2650 W Belden Ave, Chicago lL@647;312-235891

to GWS

Please - (l) Put separate items o[ business on separate sheets ofpaper. (2) Put your narne and address at the top of each letter. (3) Ifyou ask questions, enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope. (4) Tell us if it's OK to publish your letter, and whether to use your name with the story. We edit letters for spacc and claritv.

Science & Nature, Math, l,angua€e Arts, Social Studies & History Carnes, Book, \\brkbooks. Maninulatives and more

l.

Magazine of Kids' Reviews

4412Coh,erRoad

o

Phoenix,OR97535

(503) 535-6462 Complementary 32 Page Catalog.

We got the Jollouittg

the mail:

Kids agcd lO to I7t Here'syourchance to tell 'em what you like... and whyl l{eg! Cleck This OutJ is a magazine of news and reviews for kids - by kids. We're brand new and we need reviewers. Books, magazines, movies. Discover the best - or worst - of what's out there. Tell 'em what you like. Tell 'em what you don't like. Write for our Reviewer's Guidesheet or Artist's Guidelines. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope, along with your nzune, address, and grade, to Heyl Check This Outl, Haypenny Press, 2l I New St, West Paterson NJ 07424.

"The Kids' Project" JanHunl

(OR)

wriles:

I am enclosing a brochure about The

U

PATNNAS RTSOU RCE CETITER a lamilyoriented €ducalbnal r€sourcs cantsr HOME SCHOOUNG O 1RAVEL OPPORruNMES

CREAIIVEWORrcHOP

EUJCAIIOMIAjTRNAIIVES

noncftcrlmlnotory rellglon, s€x,

Q*no,o

cts

to rcEe,

or nof'ond odgln

M. Hursr. Director

429 GREENRIDGE RD., GLENMOORE. PA I934:I (215) 45&5138


T4

How Admlts Learn Allowing fime for Piano Ftom Cathg Eade (CN:

I always intended to have a piano if I had children, because I had loved my frec exploration of the piano as a child. So I was thrilled to get a piano when Mindy was 5. Not much exploration or playing occurred, however. I longed to play, but what with laundry, marketing, cleaning, cooking, doing neat stuffwith my kids, reading (l have to read some every day - a total'bookworm") and my freelance wridng, I never took the time to play piano. Finally, when Mindy turned 7,I got this manipulatve urge to get her on that

piano. She'd had access to it, and she'd freely chosen not to do much with it (and internalized that piano is not as important as housework and reading). I certainly didn't want to require piano, or bribe her to play. What I decided to do was ali,ouj mgsef the time to play. Now I sit down at the piano about twice a day - even if there isn't much food in the refrigerator and the laundry is piled high. I've learned and played Christmas carols, classical pieces such as Bach's Minuets, popular music such as Joplin's "The Entertainer,' and so on. I've also started talking with piano students (almost all children) about what they are learning and playing, and about my problems and successes. The result has been that both my girls have spontaneously begun to fiddle with the piano, to pick out tunes, and to ask for help learning popular tunes, classical pieces, and Christmas carols. It's been wonderful, and the most wonderful part isn't that my children are using the piano, but that I'm enjoying piano so muclu

Using the Computer John Boston o/ llome-Centered l,eaming (CA) wriles: I had an interesting "encounter of the learning kjnd" last year with my computer. I bought my new computer in January, 1989. It was going to save me time keeping track of my Home-Centered karning families. It was going to help me put out

my newsletters. What no one told me wzrs that it takes tlme to learn how to do this. I knew how to type, but slowly; that was no problem. I bought some 'How to' books and started reading. I understood the words, but not the meanings in computer terms. I tried to make dBASE and Lotus l2-3 work by following the book, word for word. This only led to some foul-up that I couldn't explain. The books did not help. I had taken a Saturday workshop in the word-processing program WordPerfect, so Ijust used that program and gave up on the rest. I put the books to rest. After about eight months I tried the books again. Still no help. Then last Christmas I had a little time (not because the computer was helpin$ and started reading the books again. This time I was ready (as educators say when they refer to'reading readiness'). The books made sense to me. Just reading them made sense. I could then go to the computer and do what the book asked. I could follow the directions with ease. At that moment 1 felt that this must be how a child fecls when a-ll those letters, words, and sentences fall into place, and reading becomes a reality for them. It took me almost a year of just playing around with the computer to learn its formula. It may take childrcn rrrany years to ligure out the writtcn word. But when they are ready, they will. I know from experience.

Study Group By Mail Frcm Gene Burkart (MA): I've been studying lvan lllich's work

since I went to Mexico in 1973 and attended some of his lectures at the Center for Inter-

cultural Documentation. In the years that followed I read whatever I could find that he had written, never expecting that I would ever meet him or meet anyone else who was interested in his work. But then in 1984, through my name being on the GWS friendly lawyer list, I was sent a flyer noti$ring me about the Maine Summer Institute, where Illich was speaking and holding workshops and informal conversa-

tions. I went there and met people who were

interested in lllich's work, and aftcrwards

I started corresponding with some of them. That winter lllich was again in Maine for several days, and I spent some time

, r.HomeschoolReader. -l . Homeschool Handbook. '. I L"rn Bcttcr By Tcaching M]rself o . HonvMucollonMagazine. |

It

,*rt | lr:l | |

'Lctters-Home' .FREEcArArpc.

We're sure worth a peek!

PO

Box 1083, Tonasket, WA 98855

with him and his colleagues. Afterwards

I

him a ride to Boston, and during our long conversation I told him about my frustration at not being able to find other

gave

people in my area who were interested in his work - I felt I necded a circle of peers to help me continue my studies. He was sympathetic but hc couldn't really suggest anything for me to do.

The following surruner Bill Ellis, who runs ?lonet (a network for people interested in "appropriate technology") held kind of a follow up to the Mainc Summer Institute. Bill told me about the multi-logs, as he calls them, that he has going - people write comments or letters on various topics and send them to some person or organization who copies them and scnds them out. This got me thinking that some

kind of Illich study group through the mail would be the best thing for me to do. Then Susan Hunt, who had organized the original Maine Summer Institute, had

an article about Illich in the UTNE reoAer, at the end of which was a notice saying people could contact Tranet if they wanted more information. About thirty people wrote saying they were interested in Illich and his work. So I decided to go ahead and do something through the mail. I used those names to start. I wrotc a cover letter describing what I hoped to do, how it would work: I hoped we would read something of Illich's writing, nothing too lengthy, and would all then write a one-page commcnt

about what we'd read. I would copy and circulate the comments. I got about 20 responses, and I think we ended up startingwith about l5 people who wanted to participate in it or receive it. Now, some people get it who don't writc for it, but most people do write for it. I keep sending it to anyone who has ever contributed, even if they aren't able to writc now. Some people are shyer about their writing and don't want to contribute, but are seriously interested in Illich's work, and I certainly want them to get it. I get about three of thcse collcctions of comments out a year. Peoplc have volunteered money on and off, to help with postage and copying, even though I've never explicitly asked for help. I think the whole thing has been vcry successful. I've gotten to know the people who are involved with it fairly well by now. I've met many of them, and have spoken with othcrs on the phone. It's good to know that there are other people who share my interest. Also, the discipline of having to study a text and articulate my own thoughts on it, by a regular deadline, has becn a very good exercise for me. Knowing that people are going to bc reading it makes it different from just writing it on my owrr. And seeing how others have t;rken that same text and writtcn up a rcsponsc is very interesting. It really shows how diverse everyone is. After youVc rcad someone's comments a fcw times, a personality begins to emerge - you really get to know a person, in a way, through this. This has worked so well for me that I'm very impressed with thc powcr of using the mail. It's a very simplc thing, but it seems to have great potcntial. It has madc me realize that you don't havc to look only for people in your own neighborhood to Iind others who share your interests. And I've gotten together with many of the people who are participating in this, so it hasn'tjust staycd a correspondence. I certainly didn't expect that to happen when I began this. Using the mail this way sccms so adapatable to different kinds of interests it's basically just letter writing. I can imagine others using it for all kinds of different interests. and it seems to be some-

thing that would work well for homeschooled children :r.nd tecnagers, too. The hard part can be finding othcrs to participate, but today there arc so many different

newsletters about particular interests that people could probably use thcm as a place

to lind names of othcrs.

Growing Without Schooling #77


l5

FOCUS: You Don't Have to Go to School lf some thlngs are lmpossible, least dlfflcult, for or at Just homeschoolers to have access to. People say, about lab equlpment or team sports or a graduation ceremony, "That's somethlng you'd have to go to school for." TVe're not so sure. For thls lssue's Focus. we lnterSometlmes

lt

seems as

vlewed parents and chlldren who have found ways to get these thlngs usithout gotng to school.

Having a Graduation Ceremony Inlensieu with Dawn Bou.den oJ MaryIaru* I went to school through tenth grade, and then homeschooled for eleventh grade. I considered going back to school for senior year, not because I was discouraged by homeschooling (l was very happy with it) but because I felt like maybc I'd be missing out on everything. Senior year is supposed to be your year, the year you've workcd for, and I thought all my friends would be going to the prom and graduating - all thosc things you look forward to when you think of senior year. But then I decided not to go back, because I realized that if I went I would be missing out on the things I had developed within mysclf. I had made certain discoveries about myself, and I felt that if I wcnt back into the school system, espccially now that I felt that a lot ol what goes on within the school system is wrong, I would lose that. I dc.cidcd that if I went back, maybe I'd get to do some of the things they would get to do during their senior year, but it would also be more claustrophobic than ever. Who!. u.tere some oJ the things gou discovered

durbg thatfirst

gear oJ homeschrcling? Whilc I was homeschooling I went to school a couple of times to sit in class with my friends, just to see whcther I'd want to be back in that environment. Some of the teachers were OK, but in some classes the kids had to be a certain way, just to keep the classroom in order, and that kept the kids from really being able to express themselves. And they couldn't talk in class because they'd fcel that they were being laughed at by the other kids if they were interested in something. You think there's sort oJ a prejudice ogattst fuhg interested rn thrngs, anang kids rr school? Yes, so they just goofcd off and made jokes. These are kids I'vc known since fifth grade, but I felt that I had grown so much more during the year I'd been out. I didn't feel that as much when I was around my real friends, but I felt it when I went back into the school. Maybe they just act that way when they're in school and not when they're out of it, I don't know. Did. you obserue

or thir* abut these thhgs whenyou usere in

school? Oh, no. I had always been in that kind of environment. I thinkyou have to be able to stand back and look at it, and not be within it, to realize exactly what goes on. That's why going to mcctings and talking to a lot of homeschooling people also hclped me decide not to go back in, because there are a lot of things that I don't agree with in the school system. To go back in to something that you strongly don't believe in anymore, just to go to a graduation or a prom, just seemed wrong.

Growing Without Schooling #77

for That

It's irteresting that gou usere able to gain tle distonce, and time, Whot kind's oJ th@s did

hanse these irrsrghts, fn such a short gou do dw@ tho,t fvst year?

Part of the problem I had in school was that I've always enjoyed reading, but I think it's much more beneficial for me to think about it than to have to write itdown on paper and cxplain it. That takes the enjoyment of reading it away. But that's what you have to do in school - I guess it's so that tJre teacher can see thatyou actually did read the book. But I know I read the book, and I think I'm old enough to evaluate it myself, or know what I got out of it. A lot of what you're doing in school, by elevcnth grade, is Just busyrvork. I haven't done that much school work in homeschooling. But I was able to go to museums when I felt like it. Every wcck, or every other week, I go with my friend who's in collegc, and we see if there's anything at the museums that wc're interested in' My cousin is homeschoolcd as well, and my grandparents have taken us throughout Virginia and Maryland, to historic placcs' It was fun. it was like a vacation, but wc both also found out a lot about that stuff that wc didn't know before. This year I've bccn working for a computer company. I learned to do a program that does computer animation, and thcn I taught it to people in the office and we did a presentalion for a trade show. So I did all kinds of things that I wouldn't have been able to do in school. I had free time to dccide what I wantcd to do.

I wonder whether twving had tho't time allects tLe uaA Aou think alnut gour Juture. I'm very interested in communications, and this ycerr I took courses at the community collcge in radio and television. So now, when I go to college, that's what I want to major in, and I already have credits in it, and I know what I want to do. Comvtg back to graduation - u;hen ue arranged this interuieu.t wlen Vou wenl to the school's grarluation you fugan to regret rnt fuhg able to hatte one oJ gour own. Aou uere teIIirE me thl;,t

I went to the graduation because my bcst fricnds wcrc graduating. All the names that were being callcd were peoplc I've known for years, and in a way I wishcd I was part of it, but even so, it was so big that it felt really impersonal to me. I didn't end up regretting it that much. I sat there and rcalizerC that it wouldn't have been worth it to me to go to school for a year just for that. Then my Mom had the idea that it would be nice for me to have a graduation, so that I could have somc recogniUon. It is a milestone, and maybe you don't feel that it's as recognized if you don't have a ceremony, if you just quietly pass on to thc next stagc' So my mother talked to Manfred Smith and Barbara Klein of The kaming Communi$r [SS: Enrolling in The karning Community is one way in which Maryland homeschoolcrs can fulfill the requircments of the lawl and they arranged it. It was just my bcst friends and my relatives and neighbors. Manfred and Barbara stood up and talked, and presented me with a diploma, and they each gave me prescnts. It was so nice, because it was even more recognition than you get when you graduate from a normal high school. Thcy both said something about me; they didn't just say something in gencral to a

class of5OO. So it fumed out ff uasn't etEn a clwbe between going to schrcl and havirq a graduation ceremonV - gou had them Lnth. Hou did. it usork out wiTh tte other aspects oJ senior gear that gou had originallg unrried ak>ut missittg? I didn't go to the prom because I would have had to go with someone who went to the high school, and my boyfriend goes to


l6 college. I probably could have gone if I had really wanted to, but wasn't that important, and all my friends ended up having a horrible time. It wasn't something that I felt I missed out on.

I

thlnk some kids tula

it

lurn fuen

tn school through tenth hatd to Leante schrcl then- DId you unrry

grade ntghtfind tt wry about bbtg d{ferentJrom erseryone ebe?

It wasn't hard at all for me. I didn't like the high school very much, and my friends and I didn't tlrant to be like everybody else. They went back to school thatyear, but I still saw them a lot. I get asked a lot of quesfions, but it doesn't bother me because I'm doing something that's tmportant to me, and maybe other people don't realize it's acceptable and tf they ask me questlons, and I talk to them and explain it, they get a better idea of what it is. Hous dtd. gouJind. out

that tomeschmltng uras an opt'ton?

My cousin started homeschooling a year before I did. My parents knew that I didn't like school, and my mom asked if homeschoollng was something that I wanted to do. I said yes, I wanted to try it. We started on a trial basis, and I guess it wasn't undl I had the option to go back to school for senior year that I realized I had been doing well with homeschooling and didn't want to stop. For a whlle at the beginntng I didn't want to do anything. My mom said to Manfred, 'Dawn doesn't seem like she's motivated to do anything, all she wants to do is sleep.' Manfred said, "She's going to need that, Just give her time, after a while she'll get tired of sleeping and she'll want to do something else.' I had had ten years ofhaving to go to school wery day, and I was really grateful for that time to rest and not do much of anything. They let me do that, and in my own time I started doing more.

Access

(PA):

How did gou anange Jor your chtldren to

hanse

As we thought about the coming year, we reallzed that we wanted to give Amanda (now l4) access to some of what she would have if she were in high school. When we went to a meeting, at the local school, for parents to hear about courses avallable at the high school level, the point was driven home very clearly that students who wanted to go on to college ought to have a solid math and science foundation starting in ninth grade. We wanted to keep that option open for Amanda, and she too was aware of some of what her friends in school were dolng and sometimes wondered whether she should be doing more, especially in areas she didn't usually spend much time on. She had the option of sitting in on a science course at the local high school, but she didn't want to do that. We started looking for other ways for her to be around scientists and soak up some of the atmosphere of what science can be. She was invited to be in a course with five or six homeschoolers, but that didn't fit into our schedule. We thought about her taking some science courses at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, or an adult night school course, but ultimately her interest wasn't strong enough for her to want to do all that traveling. We talked with her about the ldea of a private tutor, and she decided that she liked that idea best - she wanted to work witJr a prlvate tutor, sometimes with her younger sister and sometimes on her own.

tle

When we talked about the idea with her, she reminded us that now she teaches part-time at a local college, and I thought that might be interesttng be{ause maybe they could go in to the college and see what lt's like. She said they would probably be able to watch a lab in progress, and I asked if they would be able to use the lab themselves at some point. She thought that would be possible, so it looks like that ls going to happen. When the children are ready to use labs, they will have access to them. So nrhen gou tltought abrut glvlttg tllelnl. access to science equlpnvnt, Vou uene tlnrtk@ abut something more thon the equipnvnt Aou alreadA hane at lanre. Yes, we have microscopes and test tubes and a lot

ofother

equipment that theyVe been working with since they were little. But I thought tt would be valuable for them to see, and to feel comfortable in, the new atmosphere of the lab.

Ttvg may get to see some o.[ theJomul prwedures oJtab unrk, trc, or so,Tte o;f the coruxntlorts oJ tle scierne cultwe, that theg unuld.n't otlenoise have seen uorking bg themselves. It really opens up a whole new area of the world for them, and I'm not sure where it will take them. At the very least it will help them feel that they're messing around with the same topics that other kids their age are messing around with. And although they'll only be meeting once a week, they won't have to waste time waiting to get a turn at things, and their specilic questions will be the ones getting discussed.

access to

biolqy tabs and. equipment?

How did Aou go abutfinding

material.

*ience equipment is oJten ore oJ the fvst thirtgs peopb brirg up uhen theg talk abut thhgs homeschders uson't lnnse access to, but it sounds as tlaugh it unuldn't fu that hardJor others to set up urange,nents wtth people wto u;ork n labs,

to Lab Equipment

Interulew ufth Susan Shilcor,k

wouldn't strictly flt under "biologr,' that will be {lne, and she is not accepting responsibilit5r for their learning a certain amount of

I think the key is usually the person - keep thinking of all the people in your life, and talk about your goals with them. It's very likely that someone will be able to help you make a connection. If you're talking with the person in the stationery store about how your child loves horses, that person may say, "Oh, my cousin is a veterinarian," and all of a sudden you have a possible connection. If you don't say, 'Gee, I wish we could have more chemistry in my child's life," or whatever it is, it's very unlikely that someone is going to come up to you and guess whatyou were wishing for, and offer it. So you have to keep talking to pmple. Sometimes it takes more work to set these kinds of things up, but I think the flnal product is usually closer to what one would want.

Participating in Team Sports Irteruiew urith Jesse and, Virginio Scfuoerin (oJ Massachusetts; Virginia is Jesse's mother): How long

hanse

gou

ben

rurvtirtg on the schrcL teon?

Jesse: One season, and I'm planning on running this coming season, too, The assistant coach asked me to run. When I ran my first race, he saw me, and then he saw me run a IOK race - that's 6.2 miles - and I came in first for my age group. One day he said to me, "l think if you come on the school's cross-country team it will

really improve your running.tutor?

We realized that we had a friend very close by who had taught high school biologr for ten years, and was even a homeschooling

parent, so that seemedJust right. We approached herabout the possibility of teaching some version of biologr to our children - I say both "teaching" and "biolory" very flexibly there, because if they end up becoming lnterested in something tangential that

What rpould Aou so,y to a homeschrrorler wta utas thinking oJ Joinhg a school teant but was usorried that iI might be hard to go to scttcall Jor just that one actlvity? Jesse: I live in a small town - everybody knows everybody else - so it wasn't that hard for me. Sometimes it feels awkward coming to the school after school hours. SomeUmes some of my

Growing Without Schooling #77


L7

friends take the bus home and then go back to school, and it's less awkward when I can walk there with them.

Wre there antg prcdem with bittg allound toJoin

tlv

What gate gou tlw idea to start

teatn?

Virginia: The assistant coach didn't know anything about homeschooling policy, but saw that he had a ldd here who was very lnterested in n:nning and very motlvated, so he kept asking lf he was eligible to Join the team. I ended up writing to the school and telling them what we were going to do - I didn't ask permission, I Just wrote the athletic director of the school and said, "My son is a home-study student ln the knox School Dlstrlct, and he's qualilled for spordng events, and he will bâ&#x201A;Ź Joining the crosscount4r team." The people tn the athletic department were encourag;ing - there was no problem at all. Do gou remembr

uletle1 bJore gou unrked thls out" you abut hotu to houe a.ress tD tean sports?

uereJeelhg at all stuck

Vlrginia: I think there was that feeling. Jesse probably forgets that because he has so much golng on ln his life now, but I do remember that we were feeling that way. Ttrree years ago, when Jesse was almost 12, we had moved to thls town from California, where there's a huge homeschooling population, and Jesse had a lot of friends here, but none were his age. There were no older homeschoolers at the local gatherings here - we were going on twohour treks to meet them. We ended up working hard to flnd out what was available in the communit5r. Jesse started taldng horseback riding lessons where we knew there were going to be a lot of kids. Then he joined the comrnuni$r soccer club, and auditioned for the theater. He also started working in Maggie Sadoway's health food store, and being behind the counter, he met a lot of people. fumeone mtght sag that sending a child to schol unuld easler than settittg up all tlase d{ferent things,

Jacque: There are about fourteen people, ages 5 through 13. We meet wery other week.

fu

Vlrglnia: We certainly know of plenty of children who go to school and don't have friends. We took in a goddaughter thls past year - she's a good friend from California who was failing school and didn't have any friends; she Just wasn't into school at all. She came and homeschooled with us, and that gave Jesse a companion last year.

It never occurred to me that school should be the solution. It dld occur to my husband, and Jesse himself thought school was the easiest answer. But thenwe thought about the time he would actually spend with the other kids, engaged in activities - we talked to him about how he'd spend most of his time in the classroom, being quiet. I now see a lot of bene{its to homeschooling during that junior high dme, even if it was somedmes lonely for Jesse. He wasn't around all that pressure to go along with the group, and he was able to find his own way! hls own feelings about things. He's ended up being really confident ln peer groups.

tle club? Were gou specifically

lrckiry for otlers to write utith? Jacque: Nathan may not realize that he had a lot to do with starting the club. I had gotten the ideaof doing a writing club - I wanted to get a group of ldds together. Nathan was starting to write a book, and when we went to visit another homeschooling family I encouragd him to bring it along, Just to read to the other kids. While the ldds were off - we thought - playtng, I was talking to the mother in the kltchen and sa5dng, 'Wouldn't it be a good idea to get the kids together to write?" We happened to look in the living room, and there were all the kids, listenlng to Nathan's writing, giving responses. Then the other kids pulled out some of their wriffng and started reading it, and we thought, 'Welll lt's already

startedl' Natlran, had gou ever had other lci.rk respord to gour u.nrk,

fuJore tlnt? Nathan: Almost werythlng I'd written before had been short

I don't thtnk Nathan ever looks school for anythlng. If he needs 'ln

towards somethlng, communlty, ol wtthln hls

he'll look the clrcle of homeschoollng frlends.

pieces, and not things I wanted to share. But I felt really positive about sharing my work with those kids because they liked it so much. If they hadn't liked it, I might not have wanted to kecp sharing my work. Jacque: I had been thinlJng that the children were getting older, and really had some meaningful thtngs that they were wriung. I thought that an audience would be a positive addition to that. I had only a vague model ofhow a group could work. I knew that writers got together to share what they did, and to critique it, but I wasn't sure how to do it for children.

Hotu dtd youfigure tt out, then? Jacque: We just did it. I think that by the time we got our club going, Susan Richman, in Pennsylvania, had written her first piece about writing clubs, and from that I saw that all they did was bring work to share and talk about, and I thought, "Well, we could

do that.' Since gou leamed. on the job, do gou hat-te angthhg to saA to mistoJces Aou made, things you might do d{ferentlg

otlers abut rtow?

[SS:l Another way for homeschoolers to have access to team sports is to become involved in communit5l teams and leagues. We've heard from a few families who have done this and enJoyed it. One advantage seems to be that the children on communit5r leagues come from several dilferent schools, so the homeschooler may feel less an outsider.

Writing in Groups Irteruiew uith Jacque and Natf'an Williamson MA: JarErc Nathan's mother): Howlong hos gow uritirtg club fuenmeeting? Nathan: The first one met for about a ye.rr, and then we stopped for a while. The one we have now, with a new group of people, has been meetlng for about a year, too.

Growing Without Schooling #77

ts

Nathan: When we flrst started, a lot of people didn't bring things to read. The worst thing for a wridng club is if people don't bring things, because it really lsn't a writlng club then. When we got to the point where everyone started bringing something, that's when our writing club really took off, and when everyone started having fun. Jacque: We found that if a few children didn't bring something to read, the others became very reticent to share their work. What they had to say was often very intimate, and they didn't want to share it if everyone wasn't going to. We also had a very bad experience in the first group with a child who wasn't there to share writing - she was there for the social life, and that really broke the group up. We got frustrated, and when we started the group up again, I was careful to choose children who really wanted to write.

It's interesting: ushen gou sbwcture a grcup so that ft'sjust


l8 people brWW their unrk and, asking Jor comtnents, you haue to hann people wlo ore htlg working on writittg durhg tte rest of tle u:eek. lt's rattle same as goittg to a class and waitirtg to fu gfisen an assignmenL Jacque: Now that we look back on it we realize that the first group was more of a school-like situation. The kids weren't there because theywanted to write, but because their parents decided they should go, or they wanted to be with other kids. Also, the lirst group met on Friday afternoons because we had two former homeschoolers who were now in school and really wanted to be involved with the group, They had a writing club at school, but they liked ours because the wrtttng was far more creative and they found the kids more supportive. But as the year went on, we found that the school kids were too tired, and were overloaded with schoolwork so they didn't have time to write during the week, and didn't bring anything to the group. They ended up dropping out of the group. Nathl;.n" gou said. earlier tfia,t iJ tle kids hadn'tliked gow wrilittg, gou might not hr:lr* u;otted to keep shoring your usork. How dId the group get used to ollertq npre crilical- comments to each otlet'?

Nathan: When you start a writing club, as in most new situations, you don't really feel comfortable with everybody else, so most of the comments are in the category of, "That was really brilliant" or "I liked that a lot.'As we began to know each other more intimately, we started giving more comments about what we really felt, not just what we thought the others would like. We started being able to say, 'l liked that part in the story, but I think you could do something else better in this other part." That will come when everybody really feels comfortable with everybody

Nathan: It's helpful to have gucst speakers, ifyou look at it that way, even if it's your parents. I got a lot out of what the person said about the letter in Time fiagaz-ine. Did goukraw, Jrom the bgirning, that gou unuld. fu abLe to anange Jor a writ@ group wiJ}aut hauing to turn to schml? Jacque: I don't think Nathan ever looks towards school for anything. If he needs something, he'll look in the community, or wlthin his circle of homeschooling friends. I tend to do a trcmendous amount ofresearch, so ifl want to figure out how to do something I'll turn to other people, or to books. I remember that at one point, when we got the writing group going, I thought, "Whoa, I'm in over my head, I don't know what kinds of comments to give." But we figured it out. I feel comfortable not having all the answers, letting the kids know that we need some help on a particular problem. Nathan: There's more out in the community than meets your eye at lirst. Ifyou take the time to poke around, to look, you'd be amazed at what's out tleere. I'm now studying electronics with a man who moved into our neighborhood. He and Dad becamc good friends, and he said he wanted to get me or my brother interestcd in electronics. He brought some phones ovcr and took them apart, and showed us how thc phone worked, and it was tremendously interesting to me, so he said, 'l'll showyou more." Do gou hanse a regular arrangement

uith hin?

Nathan: No, it's just off and on. Jacque: We've discovered that people without children are a goldmine for homeschoolers. We have three situations within walking distance where we've discovcred people without childrcn who love to share their interests with our kids.

else.

It's not really that helpful for you, as a writer, to hear, 'That was great.'You don't learn that much from that aside from the

Riding the School Bus

fact that they liked it. If they tell you something that they didn't like, you have something to work on.

motheil:

And then Uou fugin to courtt on tfie out to aou.

grop to point those thtqs

Jacque: We discovered that when people made very specific comments, all of us tuned in and thought, "Oh yes, that's helpful." If someone said, 'Your beginning caught me right away, and your last line tied back in to the first line," we became more aware of those techniques. As time went on the group got far more specific with its cornments. Nathan: When people don't comment, it becomes more of a story hour than a writing club. You're just listening to other people's writing, so it's more of a reading club.

It's interestirtg that gow group hclud.es

bth

kids and" ad.ults.

Do you eDer flate the problem oJ the adults taking ornr the

discussrlon? Nathan: There was a time when the kids weren't giving many corrunents, and the adults would kick in and overload us. Some of it was helpful, but I didn't like it because I thought the writing club was for children. Jacque: They definitely made tlreir *'ishes known. They said, 'This is rcally for us. We like your corunents, but keep them extremely short.'The group decided that they wanted to focus on their own writing, and we would be there as aids, but that's all. Sometimes we do bring our own work and talk about it, but it's a large group so there isn't always time. One parent had a letter published in Tinre magazine, and she talked about how she had written the letter in a way that would make it likely to be published. Other parents have talked about having writing published, too. But the kids themselves are publishing more and more, so when we talk about publishing our work we're feeding into their

interests.

Irteruiew with Kevin and. Fteda Davies (Ont: F reda is Keuur's Whg did Aou want to ride

tle

school bus?

Kevin: I wanted the chance to meet some more kids my age who were in the area. The bus ride was about an hour long, each way, and I'd heard from my friends about funny things that happencd to them on the bus, so it seemed like the bus ride was when a lot of the socializing took place. I thought about actuerlly going to school, but I didn't think I was really ready to go back to school. I had gone to school for grades l, 2 and a little bit of3, and I was 16 at the time we're talking about. So I thought, could I ride the bus without actually going to school? My mother ended up getting permission to do that. I rode the bus two or thrce days a weck, and then spent the day in town. Usually I went to the library and did research by myself. I got a little bit of what I was looking for on the bus, but it didn't end up being as much of a socializing place as I had thought it would be. Still, I kept it up for most of that year. Freda. how did you get perrnissionJor Keuin to ride the bus? Freda: I went through several differcnt people. I started by asking the bus driver. She said to ask herboss, but he said he couldn't give me permission. He said I had to contact the fellow on the school board who was in charge ofbuses. I phoned him, and he said.there was no way. He cited a bunch of possiblc problems, likc insurance. I insisted that there must be some way. FIe finally said I could try his superior, who was a superintendent for the particular area. I went to see the superintendcnt, and he said Kevin would have to be enrolled in school to ride thc bus, so I should \r to see the principal of one of the high schools. I-le gave me the name of a principal and a guidance counselor. The principal was insistent that Kevin would have to take courses at the school, but the guidance counselor was more sympathetic and said, 'We can say

Growing Without Schooling #77


l9 he's a student and is doing special studies.' He wrote a letter, got his principal to sign it (not the same principal - he was from a different school), and then we had to present that letter to the bus driver and everything was fine. Even though the experience didn't end up being what Kevin hoped it would be , it was a way for him to explore the school scene without actually going to school.

was looking at one patlt and saying, 'This is the one you should have been on," and I was saying, "Gee, there's this path and this path and this path, and here's the one I happened to take, and I'm just as happy with it." My mother, growing up, always wanted to blend in, but I'm the cxact opposite. I enjoy standing out; I don't like the idea of being just like everybody else. Did the school klds ask gou

Joining in School's Social Life Interuiew with Anita Giesg MN: How dtd gou get involved in

tle

scrir:l lide oJ the local schnl

kids? My best friend, Ellie, has always gone to school. We took dance together when we were 5, and then I moved into hcr neigfiborhood and we became very close friends. I had always gone to her birthday parties, so I knew her school friends to a certain

extcnt, but it wasn't until her l6th birthday par\r that I really started talking to one in particular. She suggested that I come to Young Life, which was an after-school group. From thcre it just kind of grew - I got to know that group of friends, and did things with them.

Had gou been curious about E[ie's srcinl li,[e at sch.nl fuJore that partg? Not really, because I heard all about it. She would tcll me stories, and that was enough lor me. I was also in a performing group thatwent into the schools, so I got to sec the school system that way, and I realized that it wasn't something I wantcd to be involved in, And I knew I was Ellie's spccial fricnd, so I ncver felt lcft out. But at the party, whcn I startcd talking to Ellic's good fricnd from school, I saw that we had a lot of things in common just having Ellie as a friend, Iirst of all, and we both babysat a lot, too.

At first I wanted to make surc that I wouldn't be invading Ellie's world, but she assurcd me that it was OK. I w;rs curious, I think, so I decided to try it. Oncc I got to know the kids at thc afterschool group, they started inviting me to othcr things. I wcnt to the homecoming game a couple of times, and a few school dances, and I even ended up dating one of the guys. Did they sometimes make reJererrces to things thnt had happened at school that gou didn't kraw obut? Usually thcy made eraugh references so I knew who the various teachers were that they were talking about, and I could understand the stories. And from what I'vc heard, thcy don't havc much time at school to socialize with each other, so it wasn't like I was missing that. They get a twenty-five-minutc lunch period, and they have to stand in line and cat during that time. And Ellie says they get sick of each other, sick of be ing with thc sarrc people dery after day. So in a way I was a breath of frcsh air. They never made me fecl likc an outsider. I sort of looked at it as a lcarning expcricnce - now I'll gct to scc how regular tecnagcrs act. I once made a comment to f)ad about how I was getting tjred of regular teenagcrs after being around thcm for a while, and he asked, "Does it ever bother you that you're not a 'normal' tcenagcfl' I said, 'Nol" A lot of thcm are really involved in trying to get through school, but they aren't that interested in it. Some of thcm are interested in other things that are going on in the world, but a lot of them aren't, too. It's funny; one of Ellie's fricnds commented that I wasn't an ordinaqr teenager, and I tricd my hardest to explain to herwhy I preJerred that, but shc fclt that I had missed out on something. I felt that my bricf expcricnce with doing the normal teenage thing more than made up for it. What do gou

tht*

she meont bg

on "ordttary teenager"?

Growing up going to school, and having the social scene. She

Growing Without Schooling #77

abut'gott life outsrde

oJ schml?

When they first met me they didn't know I was homeschooled, and we had other things in corunon to get the relationship going. When they found out, I think it mystifled them - why I would pick that. They knew there were problems with their way, but they didn't sec totally abandoning it. They would ask me 'Do you know' questions: 'We were leaming in science class the other day about this microbe and that gene; do you know about that?" I would say, "No, maybe I don't know that specific thing, but maybe I know something else over here that you don't. Maybe we haven't learned the same things, but I haue becn learning." Actually, I did know something of what the girl was talking about in that case bccause genetics is something

She was looklng at one path and saJrlng, "This ls the one you should have been on," and I was saylng!. "Gee, there's thls path and this path and thls path, and here's the one I happened to take, and I'm Just as happy

with lt."

I've always been interested in. The funny part, too, that I was always trying to communicate to thcm, was that yes, maybe the AP classes thcy were taking were interesting, but I wouldn't have been in thcm bccause way back when, I didn't learn to read at the expectcd age, and I don't think the schools would have managed to teach mc, so I wouldn't have ended up in any advanced classes.

(bme lamescLrders seem

to

fnd it

mtrch harder to

fu

different Jrom others - theg seem to mind X more. I u:onder whether gou etser Jelt that there uare soffte things gou couldn't talk alnut uith these klds, Jor example. Thcrc were some things. One was just the big difference of opinion about homeschooling, because they did think I was missing out on something. With some of the kids I never developed more than a social friendship, but with a couple I did feel that I could talk about anything. Whcn I was growing up I always had a link to what the world thinks of as the norm, through Ellie and through being in ballet, so I gucss it helped to have *rat. And I could see how much that world was a struggle, so I never wanted to be in it. Also, I've always tcnded to u.,cnt to kccp worlds sepa-rate - I had fricnds that I didn't want to share with my family, or if I was with my older siblings I didn't want my youngcr friends with them. But I think as I got older it became easier to blend these worlds. Being the youngcst in my family helped, too, because I always felt that homeschooling wasn't so strange since all three of my siblings wcre doing it too. And because we were one of the first homeschooling familics in our area, we were always in the press's eye, doing newspaper interviews, so I grew up with the idea that this was something ncat, something that got you a lot of attention. Hotu des gour experi.errce u".ith traditional scrcirrl life, these past coupb oJ gears, qffect t]e waA Aou think abut soriol llfe in the gears to come?

I think I could fit in with the mainstream if I wanted to, but I think I could have anyway, whether or not I had these experiences' But I don't fcel that I necd to go to college to meet people. I'm going to be meâ&#x201A;Źting lots of people in lots of ways.


20

Questioning College: Intenriew with Herbert Kohl ISS.J I suspect thot nang GWS readers alreadg lo:ow Herfurt Kohl's r.uork tlvough his books 36 Children, Reading, How To, and. others, We were ercIted to reod his

neusest book, The Question ls College (available lere: see our JalI 199O catolq), because It cltallenges tlu ldea thal cdlege is the only, or the fust" uaA to spend tlase years oJ one's llfe, and talks abut navhg directlg into one's cl:csen unrk thrcugh apprerticeships and. otler oppor-tunfiies. Herfurt KohI talks abut the importarrce o;f louitrg one's work in mrchtle scunte way

that Jolvt Holt taiked obutfinding unrlc unrth doing. I tlink hts book will fu erwrmously useJul to older lpme-schders

ard tleir parents,

and. perhaps the

foUowtng btteruiew uill gererate some discussbnojthese lssues as urell

Susannah Shcffcr: Many people

believe that college is essential to getting a good Job, or to having a successful adult

Iife. Can you say briefly why you think that isn't true?

Herbert Kohl: There are a lot of people who develop very useful crafts,

skills, occupations througlr apprenticeships. In my own community in Northern California, for example, lots of people who work ln computers are self-taught or have found a mentor for themselves. Thev've moved directly from that mentorship into the computer industry. In computer technologr, it is not necessary to go to college. The same is true of environmental work, where one can enter as a volunteer or through some apprenticeship and later on decide if college would be useful. SSi: Some people

say, "But isn't

it

important to have a degree?' HK: I think a lot of parents feel that it's very important for their kids to get a degree and then figure out what they want to do. My feeling is that it's good to have an experience in an area in which you might Iike to make your life's work, and then see what kinds ofcredentials you need, once you've made the commitment to that work. You should ligure out what you want to do, and then get experienc€ doing that, before you decide that college is ofvalue per se. I think degrees are particularly unnecesszrry in areas where the need for interested people is greatest. Ifwhatyou

want to do is in a field in which we don't have enough people, you may be given alternative routes, or allowed to get a credential while doing the work. Now, I don't mean to discourage, say, someone who at 16 desperatelywants to get into medical training as soon as possible, knows what it involves and wants to get started right away. By all means, go to college in that case. But ilyou're just going to college because youVe heard about the need for a credential, oryou feel youVe got to leave home and are readv to be out in the world - you don't need to go to college for

that. SSI: How did you come to question the necessity of college?

HK: TWo ways. One was havlng gone to Harvard, and getting to know some of the Brightest and Best who were the people who engfneered the US involvement in Vietnam and thought up computer-based simulations that lnvolved assassinating local leaders and in general irnagining genocide in the service of capitalism and elidsm. Ttrese were the presdgious members of the universit5r, whose cleverness and intellectuality was unquesdoned. As soon as I recognized the moral brutality of some of our most sophisdcated and well-educated people, I had to say to myself, "l'm not going to be like that, and if that's what universltles produce, it's frightening.' So I've never been parUcularly tmpressed by degrees.

The other way I came to question college was knowing some wonderful kids whoJust said no to it.

others who love what you love. But is it true that it's the only place for people who have what we might call academlc interests? Do you know any young people who have those interests but haven't gone to college?

HK: TWo former students of mine love philosophy and sociologr, but their route lnto those areas has been through working with the homeless and in poor communi-

ties, and doing environ-..rt l work. These guys will go to college for a semester, take classes that they want to take, and then leave. What's lnteresting about them is that they will choose to leam things after theyVe had enough experience to ask the rlght questlons. They can lind their teachers because they're looking for who might potentially have an interesting answer to their questlons. That's interesting, because I'm someone who genuinely loves philosophy or whatever might not want to put up with the other aspects of SIS:

I thlnk a lot of parents feel

that lt's Yery lmportant for thelr klds to get a degree and

then flgure out what they want to do. My feellng ls that... you should llgure out what you want to do, and get experlence dolng that, before you declde that college ls of value per se. SS: What were their reasons?

HK: One was that they'd been to school too long and hadn't gotten anything out of it. Another was that they really did have something they wanted to pursue, that college didn't offer. And they felt that at precisely the point at which they were ready to go out in the world, they were told to spend another four years in school. Some of the most independent youngsters I knew didn't reject college so much as hungered for life,

for experlence. SS: Conversely, what do you think would be a good reason to go to college?

HE: If you love learning through books. My flrst two or three years at college, though they were socially terrible, were wonderful in that r€spect. There were no books where I grew up, and the notion that people studied and talked about ideas was magical enough to me to sustain four full and richyears. After that, I knew how to find my own way, I could teach myself. Another good reason to go to college mtght be a desperate need to go away from home and yet feel secure within an institution. Some people may need a certain amount of stability on their {irst step away from home, if their lives have been very fragile or stressful. SS: I want to go back to the idea of going to college because you love learning through books. I can see how for some people, college is in fact the place to find

still thinking that

college.

HK: My grandparents came from Eastern Europe, and when they came to this country they would occasionally take adult education classes set up on the lower east side of New York. An adult from the cornmunity who knew something would announce a class, and people who wanted to learn that would come to the class. I've kind of taken a note from that, and I now teach a poetry and writing class I've been teaching it continuously for about twentyyears. I announce to people that I would like to do this class for whoever wants to come, because I happen to love poetry, try to read as much of it as I can, and I want to share it. So I say that in the class we will all read poetry together, discuss it, write together, read our own writing if we want to. There's no Ge, no institutional grounding, no credit - it's just there for the sake of it. Right now there are about fourteen of us. lt's really quite wonderful it's become a community of people who care about poetry. SSI: I think it's so encouraging to young people to know that that sort of thing can grow in communities, that they don't have to go to college for it.

HK: I would encourage people to say, 'Here's something that I'd like to learn anybody want to learn it with me?' Actually a.nnounce a class the way peoplc €rnnounce that they want to sell a car. StS:

In The Qtrcstion Is Collegeyou

talk about the conflicts that arise when kids don't want to go to college and parents think they should. What are some ways to make that conllict easier? HK: I think talking about the doubts with someone else helps, and of course talking with your children helps too. The most important thing is to convey to your children the idea that your love for them is not for barter and will never be withdrawn just because you disagree with them.

Growing Without Schoollng #77


2L

The other thing to do, when you're having these doubts, is really look around your cornmunit5l and see what people are doing and what rcutes they took. You'll be surprised at how many people, when you talk to them, will say, 'No, I didn't take the regular route." was stnrck by the storles of conflicts between parents and teenagers ln your book - some ended so badly, with the parents and teenagers not spealdng at all, and some ended so well. SSI: I

HK: If I'm upset witJl my children's choices, I have to look hard at what's bothering me so I can get to the point where I realize that maybe they're disappointing something that I want for them, or they're not taking the path I would have them take. I have to understand that if the choice is really important for their lives and I don't support them, they will walk away. Thls means that you have to respect your children as people who are independent of you. I think it's terribly important not to make threats that are beyond what you really want to happen. Never say, "l'll never speak to you again ifyou don't go to college.'

My oldest daughter used to paint and draw in private. I don't think we knew how much of it she was doing until she was ln junior high. She was one of those kids who

would do homework at the last possible moment. One night we asked herwhat she was doing, really hinting at was she doing what she was supposed to be doing, and she showed us these beautiful drawings. We immediately said, 'This is amazing, have you ever thought about doing anything with it?' She said, "Yeah, I kind of have.' When she graduated from high school, she said, 'You know, I really have been taldng this art thing very seriously, and I don't want to go to college, I want to take ayear to see if I can become an artist.' That's when you, as a parent, have a serious decision to make. You can say, 'No, go to college and become an artist later." Or you can say, 'Why don't you make art your hobby?" But we said OK. I don't think we had any choice, by the way. I think she would have done it no matter what we said. Well, she did it and then decided that she did want training in art, so she went to Rhode Island School of Design, and now is intending to be a printmaker and painter. SSI: [rt's talk about teenagers who don't want to go to college but still have to ligure out what they do want to do. Sometimes we talk as though the way to figure out what you want to do is to sit in a room and think about it, but maybe you can only figure it out through trying various things.

HK: You've hit upon the main retrson why I wrote the book. IVe had the opportunigr to meet and talk with a lot of young people, and I realized that they didn't know what there uras to do, what choices thev had. So I began to collect books and descriptions and photographs to help them think about how it's possible to live and what it's possidle to do. There are probably thousands ofdifferent things that one can do, but ifyou look at what high schools say, and sometimes what parents, who may have very little experience, say, you

Growing Without Schooling #77

hear, "lt's possible to go to college, to be a doctor, a lawyer, a buslnessperson." But what else? The notlon of corrdng to a vocadon is lncomprehensible to most young people. So they've got to talk to people who've done all sorts of things. SS: I think lt's lmportant to thlnk in terms of doirg something rather than being "a sometJeing" - a doctor or lawyer or whatever. What you do doesn't have to have that kind of name.

HK: E><actly. Do a survey of people in your own community and then get btgger and btgger if you have to. Talk to people and ask them what they do and how they came to do it. The young people to whom I've suggested that say that when they've trted to talk to people, there have been maybe one or two g;ruffpeople but the most surprising number will stop and tell you what they do and how they became what they are. SS: When it comes time to make a connection, find a way to apprentice to someone, what's the best way to do that?

HE: First of all, parents have to encourage their kids to believe that they're interesting people. The kind of letter you write, or the kind of phone call you make to find that apprenticeship, will reflect that. It's a good idea to give a history of your interest in the work or the subject. Instead ofjust saying, "l would like to observe you working,' say, "Since I was 7 and I first did the following thing, it occurred to me that this might be what I wanted to do with my life, and now that I'm l7 I've done the following other things, and now I'd like to talk to you." Fill that in with specilic and concrete experiences. It's important to learn to present yourself in a pleasant and natural way, focusing on your strengths. So I would say to parents, help your kids see what's strong about them. Don't only talk about what they don't do or can't do. SiS:

that mistake again. And thinking about why something didn't work out can give you valuable skills in analyzing your own life. SSI: Canyou see the practical parts of your book, the parts about how to go about ftnding work and apprenticeships, applying to kids younger than college age, too?

HK: I set out to write for sophomores

in high school and older. When the book was published and I started talking to people about it, I thought, 'This is probably something to start doing when you're lO or 12.' I would write the book that way now, if I had a chance to do it again. The notion of avocation, and thatyou can do lots o[ thtngs with your life, is something to plant

early. SSI: Among homeschoolers tltere are ktds who are thinking about and doing apprendceships at those younger ages.

HK: I think those kids could pick up my book without the urgency of feeling that they need to leave home right away. They can explore what they want to do without that anxiousness. SS: And then it can be a more gradual thing - they can move fairly smoothly into

being 16 or 17 and thinking about the more adult issues of how to live on their own, support themselves, and so on.

HK: I think that would be a wonderful way to go.

GREEK ROOTS AND THEIR MODERN ENGLISH SPELLINGS A Dictionary Of Roots Translitated From Ancient Greek With Their Modem English Spellings

What about the young person who

just has no idea what

ByRaymondE. Laurita

to do?

HK: I think kids who are that resistant to trying something probably feel that their world has narrowed down to a couple of double binds and one or two vicious circles. So you want to break out of that. Traveling might be a good way, or getting work that requires being in some place you've never been to. I've known kids like that who have tried working in the salmon canneries in Alaska - or here, where I live, a lot of young people who wanted to get away from the cit5r and try doing something physical are working as lumberjacks. So trying some kind of intruiging work, even if it's not work that's going to lead anywhere except to a discovery of more aspects ofyourself, can be a good

O

500 modern English roots with

D

their original Greek meanings Thousands of modern English

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Softcover - $ 18.95 (Add1 0olo Postage Please

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idea. SS: That's good to hear, berause some kids get stuck thinking that what they do now has to be what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Thev wonder what will happen if they don't li-ke it.

HK: kaming what you don't want to do is a very valuable thing. You won't make

Name Address

IJOTAII'O PTESS po Eor {03 YOtXTOvil HG[S, f,Y l059t


22

Additions to Directory Here are the changes and additions to he Directory that have come in since the last issue went to oress. GWS #72 contains the comolete 1990 Directory, and GWS #75 contains a summary of the additions and changes between then and now. The complete 1991 Directory will be published in the next issue, #78. Our Directory is rpt a list of ail subscribers, but only of those who ask to be listed, that other GWS readers, or other interested p€ople, may get in touch with them. lf you would like to be included, please send the entry form or a 3xS card (one family per card). Please take care to include all the information last name. full address. and so on. Please remember that we can\ control how the Directory is used; if you receive unwanted mail as a result of being listod, just toss it out. We print bitthyearc ot children, not ages. lf vye made a mistake when converting your child's age to birthyear, please let us know. Please lell us if you would rather have your phone number and town listed instead of your mailing address. We don't have space to list bolh. lf a Directory listing is followed by a (H), the family is willing to host GWS travel€rs who make advance arrangements in writing. lf a name in a GWS story is followed by a state abbreviation in parentheses, that person is in the Directory (check here and in #72, #75, #76). We are happy to forward mail to those who are not in the Directory. Mark the outs,de of the envelope with name/ description, issue, and page number. lt you don't mark the outside, we open the envelope, see that you want something fonvarded, and then have to readdress the lener and use our own postage to mail it. When you send us an address change for a subscriplion, please remind us if you are in the Directory, so we can change it here, too.

s

AK === Rochelle HARRISOI,I & Philio SHOEMAKER (Iay82,Tia/84) PO Box 273, King Salmon 99613 CA, North (zips 94000 & up) === Lora & Joe DALTOII (Elaina/8i}, RoberuSS) 15 Rutland St, San Francisco 94134 === Karen E Martin FURUI-{JELM (Elinor/8s, Elizabeth/87) 44028 Laurel Canyon Way, Fremont 94539 (H) === Paul & Lisa GREGERSEN (Saratg, Ale)v82) 15850 Marcella St, San Leandro 94578 === Ann KOSITSKY-HAIMAN & Peter HAIMAN (Aarc /82, Joshua/84) 1090 Miller Ave, Berkeley 94708 (H) === Tom & Jackie ORSI (Janelle/ 79, Caroline/82) 76 Precita Ave, Moss Beach 94038 === Ron & Laura WESTON (Walter/84, Averyt$7) 1352 Martino Fld, Lafayene 94549 (H) === Jeff & Julia WHITT (JeremyaT, Jenner/88) o2 Sheffield Dr, Daly city 94015 (H) === Wulf ZENDIK (Fawn/76, Ra/80, Ezzil80, Evil82, ColV82, Teca/83) 1 1475 Tierra Del Sol, PO Box 1 1 46, Boulevard 97005 (H) CA, South (zips to 94000) === John & Rebecca PREWETT (Manhew85, Miriam/87, lsaad 90) 3913 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Lawndale 90260 CO === Bandy & Wendy HARAWK (Josh/78) '| 1 Animas Pi, Durango 81301 (H) === Joy & Henry SCHULTZ (Aaron/86, Jamie/88) 13386 Otoe St, Pine 80470 (H) CT === Jon & Susan FREYER (Emily/87, Hattie/ 89) 63 Lakeside Dr, Plymouth 06,782-1512 FL === Jean CUNNINGHAM & Jose CARABALLO (Daniel/78, Lidiar/g, DamiarvSs) 17802 NE 21 St, Gainesville 32609 (H) === Henry & Pani GERSON (Nita/86, RobirVS9) PO Box 2700, Nal Smyrna Beach 32170 GA === Greg & Vicki SCOTT (Mlchaelr/7, David/8o) REACH, 6l 7 Colony Ct, Woodstock 30188 (H)

lL === Terence BURKE & June McINTOSH (Hannah/86, Jessie & Ellen/8g) 5522 S Kimbark Av #2, Chicago 60637 === Dan & Carrie Lynn HUEBNER (Anthony/84, Amberlyn/87) 295 Abbey-

wood Ln. N Aurora 6O542 === Jane IvIASTERSON & John TREDON (Rachol/8s) 5107 S Blackstone

f1006, Chicago 80615 lN === Stew & Pamela WHEELER (ScotuS:l)

601 Middle St, Newburgh 47630 (ll) llE === Sharon & Haold BLAKE (Janet75, Grahamt6) 1102 North Rd, Readfield 04355 tO === Nancy & Bill GREER (Gl€rv88) 35a Beaghan Dr, Glen Burnie 21061 : Dot & Keny iicDONALD (Michaelf76, LisatT, Evanr/g) 5410 Tilden Rd, Bladensburg 20710 (H) llA === Eric ALBEBT & Margaret PBIMAK, 14 Hancock St, Newton 02166 (H) === Pam & Marc ERNSTOFF (Kobi/86, irartha/88) 2 Webb Rd, Sharon 02067 (H) === Susan WOOD & Jonathan WINFISKY (J€nniter/82) Poners Rd, Legate Hill, Charlemont 01339 (H) Ml === Maryboth MYSLO & Thomas ANDERSON (Andrew/88) 315 Fourth St, Jackson 49201 MN === Mary & Ed RYAN (Jenn7,Edn8, Anne/ 80, Johrv82, NicU84, Gwen/8s, Mary Grace/8g) 6730 Galpin Blvd, Excelsior 55331 MS === Vicki & Adron HALL (Benn7, Adam/80) 241 1 Shady Ln, Picayune 39466 (H) MO === Pam & Tony DAVIES (Micah/81, Annie/ 84, Kiel/8s) Rt 1 Box 489, Goodman 64843 NJ === Alan & Emily GINDER (lsaiah/86, Ezra./ 90) 49 Ketner St, Bloomfield 070m (H) === Brandy MARIAH & J€tf SAffON (Jasmine & Dimetri/8g) 600A Shaler, Ridgefield 07657 === Doug & Mary SCHNORR (Becky/81, Will/8a, Eric/88) 1301 Rahway Rd, Scotch Plains 07076 NM === Louise & Al WILLIAMS (Evan/8:l) 111 Yosemite, Los Alamos 87544 (H) NY === James & Tracey COVELL (James/84,

Johr/87) 24Cramer Rd, Poughkeepsie 12603 (H) === Susan DUNATHAN & Man LAWRENCE (Max/84, Clare/85) 13 Oxbolv Dr, Osrvego 13126 === irehmed & Hulya fMAMOVIC (Ehlimana/80, Ahmedt82, Zetua/ 84) 55 Shetland Dr, Williamsville 14221 NC === Lynda DAY, 219 Skeet Club Rd, High Point27265 (H) === Rachel & Blair HILL (Zacht84) 5705-17 Windlestraw Dr. Durham 27713 === Joan & David HUMPHREYS (Justin/84, Samuel/87) 466 Windsor Rd, Asheville 28804 (H) === Beth & Sadler

LOVE (Kelly/83, Karelyn/84) Rt2Box2972, Columbus 28722 OH === Chris & Janis BAKER (Mike/82, Alex/ 86) PO Box 2602, Cincinnati 45201-2ffi2 === Laurie & Jim CLARK (Tiffany/8s, Kenny/86, Danny/87) 258 E Dominion Blvd, Columbus 43214-2707 (H) === Ellen & Will HUNT (Andrew/84, Susannah/87) 56 E Orange, Chagrin Falls 44022 lql OR === Paniebutf & Richard BEAR (Micah/8O, Bjorn/83, Emily/86) 464 S 41st St, Springfield 97478 (H) === Richard & Suzanne GBEEN ([ionicar/6) 51433 Jory Rd, LaPine 97739 (H) PA === Tom & Madalene MURPHY (Emilyn2, Christianr/o, Clarer/g) RD 6 Box 24, Wellsboro 16901 (H) === Nancy WALLACE (lshmaeln 1, ViratT'l 2424 Panama St, Philadelphia 19103 TN === $1u6e & Barbara BROWN (Annatg, Joshua/81, Zachary/8s) 4444 Paula Ln, Chananooga 374 1 s (H) TX === Lunne BAILEY (Arnot76, KristintTS) Rt 3 Box 540, Nacogdoches 75961 (H) === John & Gareth MCCOY, Box 141365, Austin 78714 === Paul & Rebecca PERRY (larv87, Heather/8g) 128 Ridge Way, Red Oak 75154 === Valerie & Steve SIMS (Rachel/8s, Greer/87) 7023 River Mill, Spring 77379 UT === Steve & Linda BUTLER (Jessica/81, Rachel/83, MatthewST, kena/8g) 90 E Center St, Pleasant Grove 84062 === Fred & Connie HADDEN (Sarah/84, Clifford/86) Box717, Midway 84049 (H) W === Elizabeth & Lenny GIBSON (Nathaniel/ 84, Thaddeus/8g) RD Box 25568, Pawlel 05761 (H) === Clyde WATSON & Denis DEVLIN (Julian/79, Rosey/82) RR tr2 Box 108-C, NoMich 05055 (H) VA === George & Linda DOBY (Allyson/82, Elizabeth/8s, MarldSg) Rt 1 Box 56, Spout Spring

(Brian[9, Emily Anne/81 ) PO Box 382, Phenix 23959 WA === Diane & George GEANULEAS (&nnyr 81, MarU83) 13635-179th Ave NE, Redmond 98052 === Lisa & Ted HILE (Danica/86, Marty/88) 8216 271st Av E, Buclley 98i!21 === Rod & Arlene PAYTON (Robertas, ShannorvT6, Christopher/80, Stephen/86) PO Box l315, Kingston 98346-1315 (H) gth === James & Tara SENNETT (Gina/82) 1 5506 1 Ave Ct E, Tacoma 98445 === Gary & Cathy SLY (Justin/8o, BrandorvS3, Jordan/8s) 28518 SE 228th St, Maple Valley 98038 (H) Wl === Alex & Brenda KRAMER (lan/84. 2459(1 (H) === Jacquelyn FARNEY

Elizabeth/8s) PO Box 237, Cornucopia 54827 === Steve & Julie SORENSEN (Roryn8, Hannah/81) Rt 1 Box 120. Mason 54856 WY === Randy & Cindy HOWDYSHELL (Joey/ 8:1, Keiry/8s, Bronwyn,87, Moriah/8g) Box 283, Hudson 82515 1H) === Harold & Sharon YOUNG, 173 Grass Valley, Evanston 82930 Canada: Alta === Dorothy & Geoffrey BISHOP (Orin/87) 111 32nd Ave NW, Calgary T2M 2P7 (H) BC === Slephen & Carolyn FAWCETT (Maurice/83, Delrae/86) Box 1 198, Kaslo VoG 1M0 (H) === Sandy KEANE & Michael MISKIN (Neal/85, Nicholas/8g) 6332 Argyle Ave, W Vancouver V7W 2Eo (H) === Robin ROBERTS & Diana DENNY (Clio/ 78, Joshua/7g) 4421 Chartwell Dr, Victoria V8N 2R2 (H) === Ruth & Julian ROSS (Noah/82, Jesse/86) RR #1, Winlaw VoG 2J0 (H) Sask === Rebecca HANKINS-VOPNI & Derek VOPNf (Alicia/8o, David/82, Aaronr8s) Box 486, Tisdale SOE 1T0 (H) === lsabel HANKINS-WILK & Marvin WILK (Karal82, Jessica./82, Jason/86) Box 486, Tisdale SOE 1T0 (H) Oher Locations === Mary Pat & Charnchai KENGMANA (Lucas/8s, Nicholas/87, Duncan/8g) 2nd floor, |1A Stanley Beach Rd, llong Kong === 1y66s & Nigel NORTON (lsaiah/8S, Ru'ya/88) PO Box 607, Colonia, Yap, Western Caroline lsl, Micronesia

Pen-Pals Children wanting pen-pals should write to those listed. To be listed, send name, age, address, and 1-3 words on interests === Jasmine WALKER (7) 9383 Ace Rd, Hemlock NY 14466; art, dance, swimming === Roger BUTTON (1 1 ) Drawer RK 8308, Huntingdon PA 16652; scouting, stamps, music === Joanna CROSS (121 258 Pamela Dr #53, Mountain View CA 94040; ballet, horseback riding, ice skating === Ariana ZIMCOSKY (7\ 7289 Monticello, Ravenna OH 44266; Pony Club, books, animals === Josephine STORCH (11) 91 10 Boundbrook, Dallas TX 75243; violin, books, math === Binka HANBICKI (10) PO Box 432, Three Bridges NJ 08887; Barbi€s, legos, reading === ROSS, RR #1, Winlaw BC, Canada VoG 2J0: Noah (8) lego, Tintin, sportstJesse (4) writing, lego, butterflies === Sage COLE (7) Box 1514, Manchester MA 01944; crafts, music, environment === Emily Anne FARNEY (9) PO Box 382, Phenix VA 23959; Barbie, music, dance === WILK, Box 486, Tisdale, Sask, Canada SOE lT0: Jessica (8) animals, astronomy, boating; Kara (8) reading, drawing, swimming; Jason (4) farming, boating, drawing === VOPNI, Box 486, Tisdale, Sask, Canada, SoE 1T0: Alicia (10) collections, reading, sports; David (8) farming, bikes, hockey; Aaron (4) hockey, acting === LEVENTRY, Box 191, Summerhill PA 15958: Matt (14) hisrory, Nintendo, coins; Wade (1 1) computers, Nintendo, baseball cards; Louis (7) Nintendo, ninja turtles, stories ===Jasmine LEVY (9) RD 1 Box SF 9, Hudson NY 12534; animals, swimming, sewing === Annie SHAPIRO (11) 125 Stonecrest Rd, Ridgefield CT 06877; reading, pen-pals, singing === Beatrlce STORCH (9) 9110 Bound Brook, Dallas TX 75243; horses, music, reading === SIMMONS, Rt'l Box 61A, Aledo TX 76008: Ariel (12) animals, design, writing; Laurel (8) ancient Egypt, piano, cooking

cror /ing Without Schooling #77


23

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ALGEBRA FOR 3RD GRADERS & UP! 4x+2=2x+10 is now child's play with this palented, visual/ kinesthetic system. Used in more than 1,0O0 homes nationwide. HANDSON EOUATIOI{S is availabla tor $34.95 plus $4.5o S&H lrom Borenson and Associates, PO Box 3328, Dept. GWS, Allentown, PA 181 06. 21 5-82G5575.

Group Subscrlfllons: We otter group subsaiptions, in which several copies of each issue are mailed to one address. The price is $18 per person, and groups of 5 or more receive the leader's subscription free (in other words, a group of 5 pays 4 x $18 and receives 5 copies of each issue). Please pay for group subscriptions with one check. Please send in the names and addresses of members of our group sub, so thatwe can keep in toucfi with them. Foreign paymenls must be either money orders in US funds or checks drawn on US banks. We can't atford to accept personal drecks on Canadian accounts, even il they have "US funds" wrinen on them. We suggest that toreign subscribers use Mastercard or Visa il oossible. 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. Address Changes: lt you?e moving, let us know your new address as soon as possible. Please enclose a recent label (or copy ol one). lssues missed because of a change in address (that we weren't nolitied about) may be replaced for $2 each. The post office destroys your missed issues and charges us a notification fee, so we can't atford to replace them without charge. Renewals: At the bonom of the next page is a form you can use to renew your subscription. Please help us by renewing early. How can you lell when your subscription expires? Look at this sample label:

1

1234ffi 7A SMt01 111 JIM AND MARY SMITH 27 01 73 16 MAIN ST .I1.I PLAINVILLE 01

NY

The number that is underlined in the example tells the number ol the final issue for the subscription. The Smiths'sub expires with lssue #78. the next issue. But if we were to receive their renewal before we sent our tinal account changes to the mailing house (November 31), they would qualify for the free oonus rssue.

Declassified Ads Rates: 7O I /word, $ t /word boldface. Please tell these folks you saw the ad in GWS. HEAFTLEAF: HOMEMADE MUSIC, ART, & MOVEMENT... because home is where the art is. Free catalog of books, tapes, and music. H€artleat, Box 40-A. Slocan Park. 8C CANADA VOG 2E0.

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Children and Community Network (formerly lvlaking ContacD is back! For unscfroolers, homeschoolers and c*rild-centered community se€kers. SASE to Knowles, 14556 Litde Greenhom, Grass Valley, CA 95945. Would like to hear from oth€r Jehovah's Witness€s concerning children's spiriuality, field service helps, self-discipline. Michaele C. Maurer, 546 Jetferson St., Hayward, CA 94544. CREATIVE PLAY AREAS - Over 185 ideas for homemade playgrounds, costum€s, tents, atts & crafts, etc. Send $1 1.95 to Innovation Station, Box 620. Laverkin, UT 84745. SUPERIOR FOOD PROi'OTES CONCENTMTION! Prepare children for learning. Successful, nag-free method to imorove their diet. $5.00. FREE RECIPES. L-SASE: Doby, Route one, Box 56G, Spout Spring,

vA 24593. Children can learn piano at home without private lessons. LernMusic System of Music Instruction, Box 1834, Carmichael, CA 95609. Needed: Homeschoolers to live in Farm House on edge of town. 507-454-3126. The Winona Farm, Rt 2 Box 279. Winona, MN 55987. EMILY'S TOYBOX - Terrific toys: Baby toys, Lauri puzzl€s, Wooden toys, Ravensburger puzzles and games, Cooperative games, An supplies, Science kits, Usborne books, and more. Catalog $1 .00. PO Box 48, Altamont, NY 12009.

HOME CENTEREO LEARNING - A private school Administrative unit in Calitornina, helping parents helping their children learn at home. Your home becomes a orivale schml under the suDervision of this administrative unit and you become private school teachers. A year-round privale school, that gives you the freedom to help your children learn using the methods and timing you decide best meets your children's learning style. $90 per family per enrollment year. SA $.45 SE to: HCL, PO Box 92, Escondido, CA 92033-0020. 61 9 -7 49- 1 522.

ilbntessori Home Education Handbook. Basic theory, practical ideas. $10. Gloria Hanison, Box RG, APO New York 09678. SUPPORT AND INFORiv|ATION from 11-year-old Canadian netw6rk. Newsletter $17 for 6 issues or sample $2.50. Free brochure. Canadian Alliance of Home Schmlers, 195 Markville Road, Unionville, Ontario. Canada LgR 4V8. LEARN JAPANESE culture, history, lifestyle through n*slotter for young people. FREE information. Send Intl Beply Coupon to lSHlKl(G77), Nakayagiri 308-1, Matsudo, Chiba, Japan 271.

EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE - All major computer versions. HOME SCHOOLER PRICES and still FREE POSTAGE! Fr€€ catalog: SCS, PO Box 1396, Dept. G, Concord, [itA 01742. Spanish -'Learn Along With Your Child" (ages 2 1/2 15). Stimulates total learning capacity. Unique! 10 lessons, original songs, dialogs & supplementary vocabulary. Parental guide, coloring/activity book. Easy! Guaranteed. $19.95 (+$3 s/h). French also available. Optimalearning Language Land, 88-D Belvedere St. San Rafael. CA 94901. 1-800-672-1717 (outside cA), 415-459-4474 (in cA). FREE CATALOGSIII FREE CATALOGSIII Over 30 National Catalogs - Babies & up. Educational & Stimulative: Free List. SMART KIDS, DeptG,94 Goodhue, Derry NH 03038

OWL PELLET KITS - A Unique Learning Tool from nature. Food chains. balance of natur€, animal structufes, habitats, owl identification, reasoning and more. Kit includes pellets, charts, guides, torceps, outdoor aclivities, and more. Can be up to I hours of science. Our kit has been recommended by Poject Wild, NSTA, Learning Mag. Send $14.75 to Nature Store, 455 Cedar St, West Barnstable MA 02668. Makes for a great Xmas stocking stuffer.

Erciting Inexpensive selection of educational materials for families: LEARNING AT HOME, Box 270-gws77, Honaunau Hl 96726; 808-328-9669. FREE ART MATERIALS CATALOGUE - special collection of art and craft supplies to inspire creativity. Unique art books wrinen for children. Write A.G. Petunia Artworks, 5605 Keystone Pl M, Seanle WA 98103.

Bibliographies and informatron on many topics for

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DIRECTORY

Use this form to send us a new entry or a substantial address change to be run in the next available issue of GWS.

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last names):

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EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE AGES 3-18. Spelling, Reading, Math, Art, Science, etc. lBM, MAC, Apple, Amiga, COMM, Atari. Over 700 programs for 60 publishers. For a 200 page catalog send $2 to DAVMAB, 17939 Chatslilorth #418F, GH CA 91344.

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FREE Science Magazine loaded with experiments: TOPS ldeas, 10970 S Mulino Rd, Canby OR 97013

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HOMESCHOOLERS ! BLOSSOMING INTENTIONAL COMMUNITY - Beautiful mountain homesites tor sale near Smoky iilountain National Park. UNION ACRES

NoAre you in the l99l Directory (GWS #78)? Yes If this is an address change, what was previous -state?

Growing Without Schooling #77

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24

Thanks to those who write to GIVS: Growlng ltrlthout Schooling war foundcd la L977 by John Holt.

I

want to go on record wlth my heartfelt appreclatlon for all the "advlce from mothers" that has been prlnted tn G\trS ln past years. There's no way to measure how much those accumulated words of wlsdom and experlence have smoothed our way. Wlth plenty of lssues of GWS ln the house, I never had to feel that we were alone. More to the polnt, f never had to feel that f was alone, because other mothers were sharlng thelr experlences wlth me. Now that there's a falrly large base of older homeschooled chlldren out there to draw on, and now that thelr experlences are appearlng more and more ln GWS, my chlldren are enJoylng the same feellngs of camaraderle wlth homeschooled kids ln other places as I have felt wlth thelr mothers. In fact, after readlng the letters from Mlka Perrlne and Jonathan Klbler, as well as the lntervlew wlth Amanda BergsonShllcock, ln GWS #73, Arlel stood up and sald, "Yea! I'm not alone!" Whether or not we actually need that klnd of reassurance, It's awfully pleasant to recelve lt.

-

Editor - Susannah Sheller Publisher - Patrtck Farenga Contributing Editor - Donna Richoux Editorial Assistant - Mary Maher Editortal Consultant - Nancy Wallace Oflice & Subscription Manager - Day Farenga Book Stripper/Receiver - Janis Van Heukelon Olfice Assistants - Lenard Diggins, Mandy Maher, Mary Maher, Phoebe Wells Shipping Assistant - Ginger Fitzsimmons

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Ann Barr, Patrick Farenga (Corporate President), Tom Maher, Donna Richoux, Susannah

Sheffer Advisors to the Board: Mary Maher, Steve Rupprecht, Mary Van Doren, Nancy Wallace

Copyright Ol99O Holt Associates, Inc.

All rights

reserved.

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Cerelle Simmons (TX)

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Growing Without Schooling #77

Growing Without Schooling  

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

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