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Growing Without Schooling 88

'$a.so

Nelya Patry is among those who write for this issue's Focus, 'What

Most homeschoolers have answered the "What about socialization" question about 87,986 times (give or take a few). Usually, though, the answer they give is about how homeschoolers have a chance to meet other kids. They mention Scouts, neighborhood friends, homeschool groups, other activities. But just knowing that homeschoolers have opportunities to meet other young people doesn't tell us anything about how good they are at socialization in the deeper sense of the word what kinds of friendships they value, whether they're - get able to along with different kinds of people, and so on. For this issue of GWS, we asked young people to tell us about what ktnd of socialization is important to them and to describe the opportunities they have to succeed on those terms. For several ofthe young people who responded, having real friends is important people whom you can trust and who like you for yourself, not -only because you're part of their crowd. To Cora Nielsen, a real friend is "constant, not fickle," and can be a pen-pal or someone older or younger just as easily as a sameage friend next door, To Christopher Roch, an older brother can count as a real friend because he and his brother work together on various projects, leam from each other, share the same

enthusiasms.

Inside this Issue News & Reports p. 3 Homeschoolers' Social Lives Don't Lag, Isolation in School, Trip to Russia and Estonia

Supportive Grandparents p. 4-5 African-American Homeschoolers p.

6-Z

& Concerns p. 7-9 Custody Dispute, When Neighbors Disapprove, Time for Oneself, Speech Difficulty

Challenges

lVatching Children Learn p. 9-r4 Radio Volunteer, Studying Astronomy, Drawing, Theater, Pond Life, Rain Forests, Electronics, Living with French Family. Buiding Solar Car, Siblings Have Different Temperaments

Book Reviews p.

15-18

I[I'hat Socialization Means p. t9-29

Enriching Community Intenriew with Bill Berkowitz p. 24-25 Video The Discussion Continues p.25-27o

Resources & Recommendations p. 27-29

Several of the writers commented on ttreir ability to make friends with people who are different from themselves (exactly the ability school is thought to foster and homeschooling thought to inhibit). Ginny Hood says, "It is best to have a mixture of acquaintances people with different values, of different ages - of people. Socialization means dealing with and races, all sorts people who aren't exactly like you." Brenna Yovanoffwrites about being friends with a girl of a different religion and managing to find common ground. The kids repeatedly compared the cliquishness of school social life to the way it is possible, outside of school, to take people as individuals. Megan Cohen, for example, described how she and another girl weren't friends in school because they were part of different groups, but became best friends once they both started homeschooling. The usual answer to the socialization question is designed to show that homeschoolers have social lives that are just as good as the social lives of kids in school. But some homeschoolers don't mind admitting that their social lives, and their atUtude toward socializing in general, do differ from most kids'. Anne Brosnan writes, "We act as if we want to have the same kind of social life as schooled kids, but a lot of homeschoolers have spoken and written about the kind of social life they have or want to have, and it is something entirely different." This strikes me as an important point with implications beyond the question of socialization. Many of our explanations of other aspects of homeschooling, as well, are about how well homeschoolers can make up for not being in school. Yes, we say, they do well on tests; yes, they have typical social lives. Naturally these defenses are often warranted to reassure others and to calm our own fears. But the attitude expressed by many of the kids in this issue is a good reminder that homeschooling really is about seeing things and living in different ways.

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Susannah Sheffer


2 may spend at any lawfully operating school oftheir choice - public, private, or religious." Though homeschooling isn't explicitly mentioned, we hope the Administration intends it to count as a "la*{ully operating school." This proposal is a step in the right direction as far as educational choice is concemed: it allows $5OO of the $f ,OOO scholarship to be used for "other academic programs for children before and after school, on weekends, and during school vacations." Further on, the bill states, "Scholarships under this Act are aid to families, not institutions," which is a welcome spin on the educational choice issue too. However, how the government will deline "academic program" as this bill wends its way through our political process in an election year remains to be

We have two boxes of John Holt's speeches on old reel-to-reel tapes. We'd love to find a volunteer to listen to these

tapes and take notes or transcribe them if they are interesting enough. Or, alternatively, to transfer these tapes to cassette tapes so that another volunteer could transcribe them. We do have an old reel-to-reel machine, which we could make available if the volunteer were in this area (the machine would be difficult to ship elsewhere). I,et us know if you're interested in this project. Not all ourbookshelves have books on them...

Office News & Announcements [SS:] By the time you're reading this, we should be very busy in a couple of ways. We will be linking our subscription, in-

ventory, and accounting information by computer, and though this should make all our ollice operations smoother and more eflicient, it \rrill take us a little time

to master the new system. Also, we will be expanding our office space by moving our shipping department, and much of our storage, into an adjacent office in the same building. For some time now we've been trying to figure out a way to ease cramped conditions in the shipping area and get ourselves more (badly needed) storage space without having to move to a bigger oflice in another location. We can't afford to pay much more in rent than we're paying now, and we didn't want to change our mailing address if we could help it (we still get a good deal ofmail addressed to 729 Boylston Street, and it's been four years since we moved lrom that office). So we are

quite excited that another office at this address has become available and that we will be able to use it without paying much more rent than we now pay.

Michigan homeschooler Emily Linn has done the line drawings that have appeared in the past several issues of GWS. Emily works from photographs, and we are interested in receiving good, clear photographs of children doing things, or adults and children doing things together, to pass along to Emily. Black and white is preferred but not essential. You'd get the photos returned. Sean Wolf Hill, a homeschooling parent in Maine, sent us a copy of the "Equivalent Instmction Plan" that he and his wife submitted to the Maine Department of Education. Sean writes, "We do not follow a specific curriculum and allow our child to direct the leaminQ. I think our

ioling philosophy into the bdx mold." Sean is willing to share family's homeschooling plan with other homeschoolers who send a SASE. Write Sean Wolf Hill, 42 Cold Brook Rd,

nME04444. required, maintain a file of sample proposals so new homeschoolers can look them over. Do any state groups in fact do this? We'd be willing to add a category on a list of Resource People called something like, "People Willing to Share Their Homeschooling Proposals to Others," if there's

Rebecca Mooney hasjoined our shipping department, bringing with her Katharine (5 | /2) and Kellen (almost 4). She is taking over the job of Shipping Manager from Janis Van Heukelom, who will be taking some time off to have her

Would the reader named KYle who wrote to Susannah about various homeschooling challenges please write a note telling me your last name and address?

second child.

Thanks.

Here's another reminder that we are accepting information for the 1993 Directory of Families and Organizations until October 15th. Now is the time to correct an address, add a newbaby, add or delete a host listing, or take yourselfout of the Directory entirely. And as always, you can send us a neu entry at any time. If your listing is correct as it is, you don't need to do anything. Everyone who was in the 1992 Directory and in subsequent updates will be included in the 1993 Directory. Please notice that in this issue, for the first time, the Directory form and the Subscription/Renewal form are no longer back to back. If you are filling out both forms, you'll need to clip them separately and mail them both to us. This will simpliSr things for us, since the two forms go to two different places in our office.

[PF:l On Friday, June 19, we received a phone call from the White House inviting me, as a representative of Holt Associates, to attend a speech about education that President Bush was giving the following Thursday. John Holt had attended and participated in meetings called by, or attended by, the Federal Department of Education where homeschooling was the main topic, and we have, too, but this was

interest.

clearly a different sort of invitation. We had no information about the specifics of

what we would be endorsing by being in attendance, so we respectfully declined the

invitation.

A few days later we received the "GI

Bill for Children" that the President had proposed that day. It will "give each child of a middle- and low-income family a $1,OO0 annual scholarship that families

seen.

As we speak with various political groups, it is becoming clearer to us that homeschooling is primarily perceived as just another "school" to send your children to. The issues many of us consider integrl'io our choice of homeschooling relefiing school's fundamental ideas of lcor6pulsory attendance, grading and .

'

labeling, and credentialism; keeping living and learning entwined; involving i children in the work and concems of i

i

ucational choice" we are the only ones who raise these issues. This is an important reason that we

When we

speak to any groups, regardless ofpolitical or religious orientation, who want to hear our particular perspective on education and homeschooling. In early June I spoke about homeschooling as social change at the Libertarian Party of Ohio conference. This does not (in case anyone was wondering) mean that I am affiliated with the Libertarian ParW, or that Holt Associates is. We speak to various political and social groups to broaden their perspective of homeschooling, not as an endorsement of their platforms, and we don't present homeschooling as a partisan religious or political issue. In ttre case of the White House invitation, on the other hand, we weren't invited to speak, but only to attend, and it seemed likely that attendance could be construed as endorsement of a particular political platform.

Calendar Seot. 12. 1992: Austin Area Homeschoolers sponors a public speech by John Taylor Gatto, 7 PM at the LBJ Auditorium, U ofTexas. For info: 512-327-5425. Sept. 26: Minnesota Homeschoolers Alliance Statewide Homeschooling Conference at Wayzata Evangelical Free Church, Wayzata, MN. For info: MHA, PO Box 281, Maple Plain MN 55359; 612-4912424. We are happy to publish announcements of major homeschooling events, but we need plenty of notice. Deadline for GWS #89 (events in November or laterJ is 9/ lO. Deadline for GWS #9O (events in January

orlater)is

llllO.

Growing Without Schooling #88


3

News & Reports Homeschoolers

Aren't Behind in Social Development This Associated Press story has apparentlg appeared in seueral neuspapers around the country, and tuos also reported on the radio: Youngsters taught at home by parents do not lag in social development when compared with those of the same age who attend conventional schools, a University of Florida study finds. Educators and parents have feared that students taught at home might not develop needed social skills because they lacked regular contact with other children, said Larry Shyers, who did the study

for his doctoral dissertation in UFs College of Education. The study's findings suggest that

homeschooled children behave better because they tend to imitate their parents,

while traditionally schooled children model themselves after other children in the classroom, Shyers said. 'The results seem to show that a child's social development depends more on adult contact and less on contact with

other children than previously thought," he said.

Isolation in School In his column tn the 4/ 13/92 New Republic, Presirlent oJ the Amertcan Federation oJ Teochers Albert Shanker writes about ttrc bookThe Irarning Gap: Why Our Schools are Failing and WhatWe Can lrarn from Japanese and Chinese Education, bg HaroldW. Steuenson artd James W. Stigler. The Jottouing excerpts. and Stranker's comments, mag be useJul to homeschoolers: ... It's ironic that our stereotype of Asian schoolchildren is of passive, repressed kids who are glued to their desks, when, as Stevenson and Stigler

point out, it's American kids who have to sit at their desks for hours on end: "Only after school is over do they have time to play and thereby to reduce the tensions created by sitting in the classroom." This is something we don't even expect of adults - at least not in a decent workplace. And Stevenson and Stigler wonder how much this strait-jacket approach to schooling has to do with some of our kids' problems: "Complaints about hyperactivity and

irrelevant activity among American children offer clear clues that we are asking children to sit still for too many hours every day.... One wonders how often the

currently popular biological explanations of behavior disorders result in diagnoses of minimal brain damage in children who simply need to have more opportunities

Growing Without Schooling #88

for physical exercise and release of tension." Allowing kids too little time to mn around and play with other kids at school intensifies another problem Sevenson and Stigler see in American schools: isolation. We like to think of ourselves as a gregarious people. But when we compare Ameri-

can schoolchildren with Asian, we see that our kids are likely to have a solitary and rather lonely Ume in school. Many come from a distance and go right back home after school. If they don't have friends from their neighborhood at school, a l5minute recess won't give them a chance to make any. And the way our classes are typically structured ensures that students are isolated in the classroom, too. Unlike classes in Japanese schools, where students most often solve problems together, either as a whole class or in small groups, our students tend to work by themselves. This might mean listening to a teacher and answering the teacher's questions or doing desk work, with or without the teacher's help. In any case, our system does not offer kids much chance to meet, mingle, interact and work with other kids, in class or out.

Trip to Russia and Estonia

Jerry Mintz urites: On February 24th I brought a group of students and teachers to Russia and Estonia to help rrn a teacher training seminar informing Russian teachers about educational alternatives. Most of the participants were readers of AEROGRAMME, a networking newsletter for people actively working in educational alternatives (including homeschooling). Three homeschoolers came with me on this trip: Andrew Endsley, 18, came from Ohio. He recently graduated from the Clonlara Home Based Education Program. A couple ofyears ago his historical reenactment group got to be in the movie Glory, and, subsequently he was in the movie Dances WithWolues. [See his story in GWS #77 about thisl. He has since been an assistant director for a movie his sister acted in, filmed in Montana. At the seminar, he did a workshop on movie production for the Russian teachers. It was so popular he had lo do it twice. I had met Jason Tofani, a I2-year-old homeschooler from Oklahoma, on the Prodig/ computer network. When he heard about the Russian trip he decided he wanted to go. I suggested methods of raising funds for the trip in his community: he spoke at his church, solicited sponsorships from the business community, and got help from relatives. On the trip Jason went on his first taxi, subway, train, plane, and cruise boat. At the seminar in

Estonia, he ran an outstanding workshop on homeschooling for forty-five Russian teachers. They asked him what he liked to study, what qualifications his mother had, etc. In the end, they were very impressed with the idea of homeschooling, as exemplified by Jason The third homeschooler who came with us. Gabe Prost. had homeschooled until fifth grade and then homeschooled again with me as we and five others went to the National Homeschool Association meeting in California earlier this year. Now a student at The Meeting School, an alternative boarding school in New Hampshire, he ran an exciting workshop on new games al the seminar. We first flew to Moscow, where we stayed with Russian families, toured Moscow, and visited a l2oo-student alternative school called the School of Self-Determination, directed by Alexander Tubelski. We then went by train to Narva. Estonia. to a resort on the Baltic Sea, for the seminar. At the seminar I was given responsibility for the whole children's program, which included the Russian children. We set up a democratic "school within the conference," which organized our demonstration day as well as all the other children's activities. The Russian teachers were particularly impressed with the students' workshops. Heath Matysik, a student from North Branch, an alternative school in Virginia, wrote in his report about the seminar, "l think [the demonstration dayl communicated to them that kids could teach as well as adults, and that you can have fun and learn." The seminar was sponsored by Eureka Free University, the first private university in Russia. Because of what they have now learned about homeschooling, Eureka plans to have a seminar to train Russian parents to become homeschoolers. After the seminar, we flew to St. Petersburg, where we stayed with other families, toured the Hermitage, and visited a new alternative school. On the way back to the United States we stopped in England to visit Summerhill School. which is now

in its Tlst year. Some of the kids who came on the trip

did some internship work for AERO before and afterwards. AERO will consider other homeschoolers for future travel and internship weeks. AERO, 417 Rosllm Rd, Roslvn Hts NY 11577:516-621-2195. GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING #88. Vol. 15. No. 3. ISSN #0745-5305. Published bi-monthly by Holt Associates,2269 Mass Ave, Cambridge MA 02t4O. $25l,r. Date of Issue: August 1, 1992. Second-class postage paid at Boston, MA and at additonal mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address chmges to GWS. 2269 Mass Ave, Cambridge MA 02140. AD\,'EI{|ISERS: Deadlines are the l5th of odd-

numbered months.


/-

Supportive Grandparents lot about grandParents of homeschooling and critical who are often prlnt these stories. But not all grandparents oppose their children's decislon to homeschool. Here are some We hear a

grandparents who actlvely support that decision.

Our Attitude Changed Slowly Ftom Ragmond Ernest oJ Ohio: Three years ago our daughter told us she was considering homeschooling. We have four kids and we've trained them to be independent, so we really don't interfere. But at first, our private reaction to homeschooling was that we wouldn't do that. We had sent our kids to excellent

schools and did enrichment at home on the weekends. But we didn't tell Susan that reaction, wejust stood back and watched. We knew that they had been having trouble with the public schools, and we could understand that she would be looking for

alternatives. We never felt that Susan was rejecting what we had done with her. In fact, we talked about that issue, and Susan said that if she could send her kids to the school she had gone to as a child, she would do that. This is another generation. things are different, the schools are different, there's a lot more to learn today than when we went to school. We didn't worry about whether Susan would be able to homeschool. We knew that if she tackled that job, she would do it

well. We did worr5r about socialization, and we asked Susan about it before theY started. She said she thought there would be opportunities for her children to meet other children, and she was right. The network of homeschool families has provided at least as much socialization as school did, and then they're involved in other activities they didn't have time for when they were in school. Our attitude toward homeschooling changed slowly. By the end of the first year we could see a real difference in the kids, and it was a positive difference. We like to do things with our grandchildren. We'd be devastated if they no longer wanted to come see us or if we weren't welcome over there. One of them helps me bake bread. They sometimes help us with projects like building shelves. I do a column for the Harvard Business School bulletin - I'm class secretar5r - and I used to do it on an electric typewriter. Then Peter'

who's 1O, said, "Why don't you try doing it on our Macintosh?" I said, "I've never worked one of those things," and he said, "I'll help you." He got me started and now whenever I get stuck, he helps me out. A

couple ofyears ago my wife helped Emily, who's 12 now, make a quilt, and she gave her our old sewing machine so Emily can now make a lot of her own clothing. A grandparent who has doubts about homeschooling ought to just look through the family's portfolio and see what the kids have done throughout the year. I don't see how any grandparent could objectively look at what's happening and not be pleased. At the end oftheir first year of homeschooling, I was talking to Emily on the phone, and I said, "Are you on your vacation now?" She said jokingly, "One of the disadvantages of homeschooling is that the things we do are so much fun, we just keep on doing them." I can see that they have fun with learning and that they're able to learn independenUy. It may be that grandParents who are critical of homeschooling second-guess everything that their children do. We just don't do that. Way back when our children were little we taught them to be independent. It may be a tough way to raise kids but it's a very satisffing way.

If the Kids are Happy... Ftom Dottie Icuin oJ Maryland: When I first heard that my daughter and her husband were going to homeschool, I thought they were ctazy. I thought, "Who would want to stay home and teach?" I imagined that my daughter wouldn't have time for anything else, that she'd be teaching from 8:30 until 3. I didn't understand at first that homeschooling isn't like school in that way. I live two houses away from them, and in the beginning, when I would drop in during the day, I would be shocked when they weren't doing schoolwork. My daughter would explain that they were finished, that that was all it took; they didn't need to be doing schoolwork the whole day. Close friends of ours have thought it was

just terrible that our grandchildren

were homeschooling. Wtren our oldest grandchild was 7 or 8, one friend told us he was worried about what she was missing. He said, "Aren't you worried about her social contact?" I told him I wasn't worried and school isn't always so

wonderful. It's true that at first I had asked about how they would meet other children, but my daughter had explained that there would be other homeschoolers, they would have friends from whatever interests they pursued, and there would be neighborhood kids to play with. I could see that that was true. Ifthe kids are happy, and the parents want to homeschool, what is there to be negative about? If the kid were complaining and sayrng, "I hate this, I'd rather be in school," that would be a different story, but it's hard for me to understand how grandparents can be negative if the children are clearly happy. I guess some people worry about the idea ofbeing different. Also, it must be harder for grandparents who live far away. Living right nearby, I can see that the kids are happy, that they have loads offriends, that they can learn at their own pace. I think it's wrong to make negative remarks to a grandchild about homeschooling. It throws them completely to feel that kind of dissention in the family. Even if you don't feel homeschooling is a good thing, you should keep your mouth shut. My oldest grandchild is very involved with ice skating, and that takes up a lot of her mother's time, too. I help out bY babysitting for the younger kids. I enjoy being with them, so it's easy to help out.

A Completely New ldea Ftom Betty Sommer oJ Michigan: When I learned that my son and daughter-in-law were going to homeschool, I didn't really know anything about it. I didn't even know that it was

possible. It was a completely new idea. But I wasn't against it. They told me their reasons for wanting to do it, and those reasons made sense to me: that the school system wasn't doing a proper job, that the children in school lose their desire to learn. I had had enough trouble with my own children in school to know that this was a problem. Barbara, my daughter-inlaw, had been trained to teach, so I wasn't worried about whether she would be able to homeschool. I felt the children were fortunate to have a one-on-one situation. I had some concerns at first about whether they would have enough contact with other children, but it was soon evident that they were getting plenty of outside contact through Scouts and through their various lessons. so they didn't need any more. We live too far away to be directlY involved in their homeschooling, but when we visit we're broug;ht into what they're up to, and we see their interests and development and are pleased with what we

Growing Without Schooling #88


D

see. The three grandchildren get along so

well togetJrer, too, which I think may be characteristic of homeschooling families. Whenever someone we know brings up the

subject of homeschooling and thinks it's

just terrible, we have an entirely different point of view. If another grandparent expressed concerns about homeschooling to me, I

would tell them not to worry, that this one-on-one teaching is great, that the children will continue to be interested in learning and it's a great opportunity. I never saw homeschooling as a criticism of my child's own experience. I think it's a recogniuon ofwhat schools are like today. In some families, there may be conflict between the grandparents and the parents

over other issues, and the homeschooling may just be the focal point. But you can't tell your kids what to do with their own kids. You've got to let them go and do it their way.

A More Diverse Group Flom Sid Rockmuller oJ Neu York: When my son said that he was going to homeschool his kids I was surprised, on the one hand. But on the other hand I knew that he had always rebelled against public schooling. He always felt that it was a big waste of time. The only real reservation I had about homeschooling was about how the kids would learn to react to other people, especially other people who were different from them. I wondered if they would have a chance to meet all kinds of kids. I discussed this with my son and daughter-in-

law a few times, and once they allayed my fears I stopped discussing it. They said that the kids had plenty of contact with other children, and they didn't feel they had to meet hundreds and hundreds ofpeople. Also, when I began to spend time with the kids and see the friends that they made at homeschooling conferences and workshops, I found out that in homeschooling they get a chance to meet a more diverse group of people than they probably would in public school. I found that homeschooling didn't make recluses out of them. It drd take away a lot of the competition that you would find in school, though. My son always objected to competition even though he did well in competitive situations. My concem is still that even though it might be ideal not to be competitive, the outside world isn't that way. But I have seen that the friendships my grandchildren have with other homeschoolers are easier. more relaxed. than the friendships they would have in a public school situation. If you have a friend and you both go to school and study the same things, one of you is always saying, 'I got better marks than you did." That doesn't happen in homeschooling. I don't take it personally that he has chosen to homeschool his own children. It helps that I never was too happy wth my own high school education. I never paid attention to the curriculum; I learned what I wanted to learn. I seldom did the assigned homework because I didn't see any point to it, but somehow I managed to squeeze by. Because I don't live very close to my grandchildren, I don't see them that often and we don't have a chance to get involved in long-term projects. But I feel that I

know what they're doing and what they're reading. I talk to them a lot, and they like to hear stories about when I was young and some of the things I've done and places I've been. For a while my grandson was interested in steamships, and I kept sending him stuff that I'd pick up about steamships, and then we'd discuss them and I'd tell him about the work I'd done on the waterfront for many years. Now he's interested in m2â‚Źrc, and on his most recent visit we made a trip to the magic stores so he could look them over and find some new tricks to do. To parents who are critical of their kids' homeschooling, I would say that two generations have passed since you had any firsthand knowledge of what educational standards are and what they should be. What was good when I went to school might not necessarily be good today, and in fact it wasn't even good then, but I didn't know it! I would also say that unless you feel that your children are completely lost and are not going to be able to operate in this world, let them pick what they want to do. After all, you raised your children the way youwanted to, so they should be able to raise theirs that way too. When I tell people that my kids are homeschooling, their eyes pop open, but by the time I get through explaining, they're not quite as surprised as they were. Most people have no idea what homeschooling is really like. They think it's about keeping the kids inside and cramming information down their throats. So when their children call them up and say, 'We're planning to homeschool," they're shocked. But once they learn about it they're more likely to see the positive side.

Clonlara School Home Based Education Program is one of a kind. It provides home education families with a comprehensive, innovative program. With Clonlara School, home educating parents have CHOICES galore.

Clonlara School Home Based Education Program

Efiroilment in Clonlara School gives families the peace of mind that assocation with a fully-functioning, innovative, private school provides. Parents receive help in designing and operating an individualized home based education program. Counseling and guidance on every aspect of educating are as near at hand as piuents need for them to be and ask for them to be. All dealings with outside officials are handled with and for a family by Clonlara staff (if necessary/desired by parents). Clonlara School Home Based Education Program serves all age ranges - early education through secondary. In short, ALL of the benefits of private school en-rollment are available to home educating enrollees.

For more information send this ad along with your name and address to: Clonlara School 1289 Jewett St. Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Pat Montgomery, Ph.D.

Director (313) 769-4515


African-American Homeschoolers The Option of Self-Reliance

classifu them to ensure that they do not become upwardly mobile. Black parents have been sending their children to these institutions for years with high expectations. The results have been disastrous. According to the l99O U.S. Census, 52o/o of

Donna Nichols-Whtte oJ Washtngton urites: When Khalil was 5, and supposed to

begin kindergarten, I could not think of any reason to send him to school. I felt that like some preschools, school may have been necessary for some children, but not for mine. There wasn't anything good that the schools could offer him that was not already provided at home. There were many bad things that the school could provide that I decided to avoid altogether. As an African-American family, we have found that our experience differs from that of the general homeschooling population. The difference is marked by our not having a shared history with the homeschoolers we are in contact with. Most of the

t-

homeschoolers whom we have contacts with are white, and as wonderful as they have been, they are unable to understand the African-American experience. Our lack of shared experiences poses difficulties when issues such asvalues, goals, curriculum methods, and choices are discussed. I am inclined toward a more rigorous curriculum than an

African-American males are either dropouts or behind grade level by the l2th grade. I know that as a people we have more potential than educators think we do.

As far as the real world is concemed, I know that school is not the real world. In the real world, people work, are bom and die, express individual ideas, are agemixed, and learn real skills. These things do not occur in schools. Schools seem

locked into social frames and time frames

[In schooll white history is taught eleven months of the year; black history is taught one. (Isn't it all American history?) Everything from textbooks to staff is oriented to the white child. Do I want my child socialized in this world? No

"unschooling" family would be.

that I think are stagnant. The isolation of

I feel I must be this way because

stu-dents causes their alienation from the

I cannot imagine white society accepting

real world.

"unschooled" African-American adults for jobs or higher education. You must understand that I was told. as a child, that I "had to work twice as hard to get halfivay there." This meant that as a black person in Arnerica, my struggle would be a difficult one. I believed this as a child and I am convinced ofthis as an adult. Homeschooling has given our family the option of self-reliance, whereas public education would have made us dependent upon institutional learning. I have come Lo realize how much the public schools have perpetuated the cycle ofpoverty that my community is always accused of

having. When I decided to homeschool, I received much criticism. African-American parents felt I was cheating my children out of the American dream of upward mobility, not exposing them to the real world, and just not qualified to instruct them. I have had difficulty explaining that educators use "upward mobility" as a false promise in order to assure attendance in schools by people ofcolor. Once they have the children in school, they sort and

When I am asked what qualifies me to teach my children, I respond, "I am their mom." The American educational system was not even designed to enable my children to become productive adults. It was designed to ensure that African-Americans would never participate fully and productively as citizens. I, on the other hand, know that I am, at this moment, my children's best resource and opportuni\r. I also received criticism from white Americans. They asked why I wasn't sending my son to one of the best school systems in the state, said that if I didn't send him to school I would deprive him and other students of the "melting pot experience," and asked about socialization. About my school district being one of the best in the state, I say that is impossible. Wherever I go in America I seem to be in one of the best school districts in the state. I have never heard a parent tell me that theirs is one ofthe worst school districts. Besides. for me. even the best school districts are not good enough for my child. As far as the melting pot experience is concerned, I feel that is a family matter

and not a school issue. My children have close relationships with many people of different cultures and religions. Bigotry, racism, isolationism, and supremacy are taught at home. No school can correct the hate that children leam in their homes. The socialization argument is pretty much the same for African-Americans as it is for all homeschooled children, but there are some differences. Our children have to live with racial stereotypes every single day of their lives. They socialize on a daily basis with children who assume they are superior because they are white (this applies to many homeschoolers also). This battle takes its toll on AfricanAmerican children. Schools teach white

superiority and black inferiority on every level and across the curriculum. White history is taught eleven months of the year; black history is taught one. (Isn't it all

American history?) Everything from textbooks to staff is oriented to the white child. Do I want my child socialized in this world? No. Khalil is now 7 and is doing well. He is happy, well-adjusted, and self-directed. I have been his resource and his loving provider. I know I made the right decision by keeping him home.

Doing Something Instead of Just Waiting Kri-stin Cleage Willtams (MI) urites:

I agree with Lucy Salcido Carter ("Latino Homeschoolers," GWS #87) that by taking our children out ofthe schools, people of color - Black, Latino, Indian, all of us - are making a powerful act of resistance. Not only that, but I think we are taking a major step toward selfdetermination. By recognizing the damage that schools do to our young people in denying our history, language, and literature and trivializing our culture, and then by doing something about

of just complaining and waiting for "them" to make things better, we give our children one of the most important lessons they can learn. We are showing them that we are capable people, that we can act independently and that good things happen when we do. As a black woman who has been homeschooling for the past three years, I can say that it is a lot easier to homeschool than it is to go behind the schools and try to undo and reteach what they have done wrong. We have six children. One just graduated

it ourselves instead

Growing Without Schooling #88


7 from college, one just finished her freshman year, and the four homeschoolers are 16, 13, 10, and almost 5. All are doing well

Challenges

at home. They were glad to leave school three years ago and I hear no one asking to

&Concerns

return. I have also found problems within the homeschooling movement. Not so much with outright racism as with the more subtle racism of assuming that homeschoolers are white, middle class, Christian. This comes across at conferences when workshops on teaching history through literature focus on Western European and Anglo-American history to the exclusion of American Indians, AfricanAmericans, Asians, Latinos, not to mention Africans, Arabs, Latin Americans, etc. This subtle racism comes across when the books at homeschooling conferences

or on the booklists given out by correspondence schools are mostly about white males. Something is out of whack. However, never being one to sit around complaining about racism in any of its many and varied forms, I just get on with it. We found literature and history sources ourselves. We made contact with other black homeschoolers. Donna Nichols-White and Kristin Williams plan to publish a newsletter for homeschoolers of color called Umoja (which means "unity"). They ask to hear experiences, ideas. and information, and welcome letters from children old enough to write or dictate as well as from adults, and letters in Spanish and Portuguese as well as in English. Write to Umoja, c/o Williams, 5621 South l,akeshore Dr, Idlewild MI 49642.

'T Had to Teach Them About Their History" From an article in the August 1991 lssue oJEssence magazine by Constance

Garcia-Barrio: ... Mary Beddingfield, a S3-year-old

Black single parent in Pittsburgh, has taught her children at home for five years. "l'm a Christian," she says, "and I wasn't comfortable with the values my daughter was exposed to in school." ... Homeschooling cuts across social lines: "Our members include Christians, Jews, Black Muslims, and other groups," says Terri Endsley, executive director of Home Education kague of Perryrsburg, a

nonsectarian organization near Toledo that consists of 100 families. "lncomes range from welfare to wealthy; at least I0 percent of our members are Black." ... Ayesha Grice... has always homeschooled her youngest child, Fatima, 14. "l decided to teach Fatima at home because of my experience with my older children," says Grice. "There were gaps in their general knowledge that I had to fill. Above all, I

had to teach them about their connection

with Africa and their history as Africans in America. I thought, Whg not giue Fatima all the Jacts about our history

Jrom the start?" ...

Growing Without Schooling #88

Another Custody Dispute A reader urttes: In response to "Custody Dispute" in GWS #86: I too enrolled my children in school during a custody dispute, on the recommendation of a lawyer. I had written statements from a variety of experts including their current teachers, but these were not admissable - only direct testimonyl Luckily, it was such a mess that

eventually the original family court gave it to another one, and after a three-hour hearing I was granted sole legal custody. I plan on resuming homeschooling this coming year, and even though my lawyer says it shouldn't be a problem, I plan on keeping impeccable records and portfolios tn case I find my right to custody being challenged on the basis of homeschooling. I am hoping that once I've begun to homeschool and the children's father, who lives out of state, realizes his Labor Day holiday with the children can be five days instead of three he will realize how homeschooling benelits their

relationship and will not file for a change in custody.

When Neighbors Disapprove From a letter thrtt Moira Nobles (CA) sent to Lisa TretchLer ("Wonies About Kids Being Judged," GWS #45) :

When Sama was 5 and all her friends entered school, there was a lot of criticism and talk about me. None of it was said to me directly but I have since heard about it or had people admit it to me. One friend even told Sama that I was making a big mistake in not sending her to school! Since I live in a very small town, I stick out like a sore thumb. It was very hard at first because I felt so isolated, but I found some like-minded families and developed close friendships six years ago after joining SPICE, a homeschool support group in Sacramento (which is forty miles away). I have since then become very active in my community and am the contact person for homeschooling information in my town. I even have the local school district office referring people to me. People have seen how Chris and Sama (now I I and 13) have grown and they see a real difference in them. They are both very verbal and able to talk about a wide variety of subjects. They also view adults as friends, not enemies, and have quite a few adult

friends. We have always been a student-

directed homeschooling family, with brief

periods of rny trying to be a teacher. These happened each year when I would panic and start worrying about how the kids compared with their peers. These periods were brief as it never worked to have me in a teacher role and Chris and Sama as passive students. We would abandon these attempts and go back to real life. I have found that I have been able to grow away from the feeling that I need to fit in (which we are all taught by society and school). I enjoy being an individual now and my kids are beginning to enjoy it too. It is hard for them at times because they are still subject to peer pressure, but they have learned to deal with the sometimes nasty comments and hurtful statements that their peers occasionally dish out. They realize that often these comments are caused by jealousy and enr,y.

How Mother Gets Time for Herself Ncln Narboe oJ Oregon usites:

I have been following your feature on personal time for parents and assuming someone would write in to share the timer secret. I guess I'm that someone. Years ago, reading something or other, I learned the concept of impersonal authority. "Rain means boots" is a less provocative statement, for example, than, "You can't go outside unless you have your boots on." (This is sounding like Horu To TaLk So Kids W\II Listen and Listen So Kids WiLL TaLk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, the best book on effective communication I know.) This led me to say,

'l'll set the timer for three minutes. When it dings I'll read to you," to my daughter, starting when she was 1 | /2 or so. I moved to longer times once she understood the concept, and made sure I followed through and did what I said I'd do when the timer rang. This has led both to fewer intermptions and to me feeling less crowded when I'm absorbed in something and she wants my attention. Now 5, Julia spends most of her time at home and attends Portland's Cascade Valley School, which is inspired by Sudbury Valley School in Massachusetts, two or three days a week. We vary the time depending on her interest and our schedule. The school has a rule that it is harassment to "interfere with someone else's activity," and, as is typical of 5 year olds, she finds rules fascinating. Part of our pleasure in the school's philosophy is its emphasis on both selfinitiative and non-interference. Julia has grown up seeing me and her father absorbed in what we're doing; we've been


8 respectful of her activities ("Is this a good time for me to ask you a question or should I come back in a little while?"| as well. Now she's part of a larger culture where those are the standards. The encouragement I offer parents struggling to ftnd the balance between their own needs and the needs ofyoung children is the usual bromide - "This too will pass" - and, in addition, a philosophical piece: freedom consists ofdefending freedom, as well as having it. This is what a parent models when she says, "No, not right now - I'm busy." Admittedly, this can be hard to say and even harder for a young

child to hear. The pleasure comes later, when you offer your child something special, say a trip to story time at the library, and her response respects both her rights and yours: "I'm busy reading to the animals now. I'11 be done in. oh. ten minutes. Will work in your schedule if that's when we go?"

situation.

Don't Overdo Anti-School Bias Carol Rodman oJ MassachrLsetts

it

When Child and Parent Don't Get Along A reader asked us to summarize her

letter rather than printing

homeschooled. the father worked at home and the mother worked outside the home, so the father was the one with the daughter most ofthe day. The daughter and the father had dilliculty getting along and ultimately the girl asked to return to school. The mother who wrote to us was considering changing her own work (which she says brings in most of the family's income) so that she could be at home, but was wondering whether it might be better to work on helping the father and daughter get along instead. She would like to hear from others who have thoughts about this

it directly. This

reader wants to hear from others whose children have trouble getting along with the parent who is the primary homeschooling parent. The story she told us was as follows: the family homeschooled for a little over a year and then the daughter asked to go back to school. When they

urites: I read the letters from homeschooled children about educating their own future children [Focus, GWS #871 with growing apprehension. We are doing a disservice to our children if we allow them to believe in such sweeping generalizations about schools and teachers. As home educators we would never allow our critics to make such statements about us without correcting them. To say that schools do not prepare you for life is nonsense. We homeschooling parents are all products ofvarious school systems and have fared very well. Some may argue thatwe succeeded despitewhat

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information, while making

it

clear that

we all fall short ofthe glory ofthe teacher. Our troubled society reflects this

brainwashing. Community is dying. Most cit?ens fail to discuss topics vital to our common welfare, looking instead to experts for answers to problems we should be solving ourselves. On the other hand, families are tied in knots and their energ/ squandered as each unit tries to do everything by itself. Today's problems are too big for individualistic thinking. We need people who can think creatively and use one another's minds as resources. We need more cheaters: people who collaborate on projects together, look over their neigh-

bors'shoulders, and pass notes. We need

tradesmen and women. Such bias against school will not make their choices easv.

team players: people who can, as we say at work, check their egos at the door. And most of all, we need people innocent of (or

Asking for Help is OK

intentionally blind to) the "smart vs. dumb," "PhD vs. GED," "male vs. female," "black-brown-white-yellow," "rich-poorwelfare-taxpayer" dgramics that prevent us from inviting every American voice to the brainstorming table. This is the kind of person the members of our homeschooling family are trying to become. The older members are learning and relearning as we help train

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focused on team accomplishment, The older staff realize that making ourselves accessible to younger colleagues is the most effective way of training them. Teammates have a prett5r free rein to get the work accomplished in the way they wish, as long as quality and timelines stay topnotch. Team leaders (not necessarily the most senior ofthe group) are charged with making sure the team succeeds. Stars and lone guns may be privately admired, but are not formally rewarded. Bonuses go to teams. Building this kind of approach is extremely challenging. True teamwork is a revelation to American workers, and most must struggle to understand it and live it. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the legacy of our educational system. Oh, we may argue that baseball and orchestra were stellar examples of teamwork in high school, but weren't those organizations fraught with bitter competition as well? One need only look at their professional counterparts in society to see how fiercely competitive they really are. School takes our American mania for individualism to its sickest climax. Each student must succeed or fail on the strength ofindividual merit. The institution bars us from relying on one another for help and

Susannah's rhetorical question in

"Setting Up Apprenticeships" (cWS #87), "If we ask for help [on a project], are we not really doing the job ourselves?", resonated deep in my heart. OJcourse school teaches us that getting help is cheating. It took me years to recover from the hideous emphasis on compeUtion that filled my school years. Fortunately, that recovery led me to

the joys of cooperation and teamwork. In a healthy workplace, no one thinks twice about asking for help - that's just an efficient way to learn. Colleagues can be vital resources - if your officemate knows the answer to your question, why should you look it up? If a medical doctor calls a colleague for a consultation on a case, has she 'cheated" in the work of helping you? The consulting group I work with has for years employed a "flat" hierarchy and

our young colleagues. As we ask for help, we come closer to doing the job ourselues.

Corrects His Own Speech Sounds Shari Henry (MN) urttes: Reading GWS #59, I was interested in Cheryl Just's concern over her child's speech difficulties. I never thought much about my son TJ's speech until after his fourth birthday, when it seemed all of his

Growing Without Schooling #88


9 friends had begun to sound so mature and TJ continued to pronounce the "th" sound as "f' ("free" for "three," "baftub" for "bathtub," etc.). I chose to ignore it for the most part, but occasionally I would ask TJ to watch me say a certain word correctly and try to repeat it. It only took a few times of his trying desperately to repeat the sound, being unsuccessful, and marching off either furious or in tears for me to realize that I'd best drop it altogether. Then, last year we spent Christmas in Texas with family. TJ was a new 5 year old at that point. His cousin Christ5r happens to be pursuing a Master's degree in speech therapy. I can't remember whether she tactfully brought up the subject or if I shared my concern with her, but we discussed whether I should be looking into speech therapy for TJ and whether I should expect the school district to pay for it. I guess I was looking for some norms - I did not want to overreact but I did not want to ignore something that might become a bigger problem, harder to cure if we waited. Christy was quite reassuring, suggesting that we not do anything until TJ was at least 7 and that the vast majority of speech problems can be cleared up with a few simple exercises at home. It seemed that a lot of what she was saying made sense in light of the Moores' research, John Holt's ideas, etc.

Still, the teasing by some of TJ's friends was almost more than I could handle (though TJ took it pretty well). I remember one little girl laughing and saying, 'Uuly fourf? What's a July Fourf picnic?" Then she looked at me and said condescendingly, 'TJ still talks like a baby sometimes, doesn't he?" About this time (perhaps spurred on by this episode), seven months after my discussion with Christy, TJ came running into the house one day, excitedly saying, "Mom, Mom, listen: TFIA-REE, did you hear, Mom? THA-REE!" I was so pleased for him. He had figured it out, not over teary sessions with me or anxiety-ridden sessions with a speech therapist, but on

his own. This was just the beginning. It seems that ever since then, TJ has dealt with individual words as they have come up, sometimes not noticing a mistake, sometimes correcting it as he speaks, sometimes correcting it after a few tries. Obviously, the vast majority of his selfcorrection comes during everday talking with me, his dad, or his sister. But one day, out of the blue. as he sat at the table waiting for lunch, he kept repeating, "earTH, earTH." I guess the word just came to mind as one he needed to fix, so he didjust that. The other night he asked me, "You wanna know somepin, Mom... I mean, someTHING, yeah, someTHING," with a big grin on his face. He repeated it a few times, practicing it, perfecting it. I must admit, sometimes it's hard for me to contain my excitement as I watch him successfully master new words. Though, that night after "someTHING," TJ did say happily, "Give me a high five for that one, Moml" Of course I complied, and he finished his

story.

Growing Without Schooling #88

Watching Children Learn Radio Station Volunteer Meredith Conroy (PA) wites: We're in the radio production studio. The station engineer pushes a button and nods his head. "Hi! This is Meredith. Here are some Green Tips..." I read into the

microphone. The station engineer will tape my "spot" (public service announcement) and add music that I chose ahead of time. Then he will put the whole thing together on a cart (sort oflike a special cassette tape with only ten minutes of tape). Next week my Green Tip will be broadcast on the radio. Green Tips is a regular public service announcement that I do about saving the planet. I educate kids and parents about what is happening to this one and only blue ball that spins through space. I try to cover all the major (and minor) problems ofour earth. Not an easy task! For example, one of my Green Tips was on rain forests. What are thef What's happening to them? What can I do to help? These are some of the questions I tried to answer. Besides doing my Green Tips I've done a seat belt safety spot, told a Halloween story, and co-hosted three shows with Mom. Last October my mom started a children's radio show called Elephant Soup on the Air. Every Saturday she plays folk music, stories from many cultures, book reviews. and public service announcements by kids. She also announces community events that are for kids and their families. Quite often she will tell stories live on the air or her co-host brings his guitar to the studio and plays live music. When I co-host, I talk about community events, tell jokes, read poems, and have a good time. I also help Mom think of topics for shows and find cuts of music, stories, and poems to fit those topics. When we co-host a show we go over the script the night before (or sometimes the hour before) the show. We just make sure that we know who's saying what and make last minute changes. My dad tapes all the shows and when I listen to them I learn a lot, especially all my bad habits (such as saying "and" too many times, sounding incredibly nervous, etc.) This past April Mom and I went to the Penn State Children's Literature Conference. I got an exclusive interview with Trina Schart H1rman, author and Caldecott award-winning illustrator, who was speaking there. We taped it and a few weeks later played the interview on our

radio show. A year before I had become pen-pa1s

with Trina. I was studying her life and artwork, but I couldn't find much information, so I wrote her a letter. She responded with a letter packed full in the

tiniest handwriting I have ever seen! I feel very fortunate to get a behindthe-scenes look at how a radio show is put

together. It's fascinating to watch a station engineer tape a spot and then hear it on the radio - especially when it's your own voice!

And Jrom F\tllis Conrog, Meredith's mother: What began for me as a lark became an intensive labor of love which includes every member of our family. Last summer my neighbor, the Director of Mass Communication at a local college, asked me if I would be interested in hosting a radio show for children. Without hesitation I said yes. The initial experience was terrifring. There were so many new things to learn. For many years I had considered myself an "equipment idiot" when it came to any'thing even remotely mechanical or electronic. Now I was confronted with the task of not only putting a palatable program together for children but also engineering my own show. lrvers, dials, buttons, lights and machines surrounded me in an unfamiliar sea. During the next six months I found myself in the thick of hands-on learning situations I could never have imagined. It was exciting and challenging, and it remains so. Reviewing and selecting materials, corresponding with record companies and individual performers, using the word processor, writing scripts and doing radio production, seeking underwriters and mastering engineering skills to obtain my FCC license are some of the new tricks this old dog has learned. The program is aired live which comes w'ith its own particular complications and high-tech manipulations. I never realized just how long a minute can be. My "volunteer career" has led me to discover many new facets of my learning capabilities and my incessant desire to find answers to my questions. It's that same fervor that motivated me to homeschool our three children, to help them become more effective problem-solvers. Over the years I have acquired an extensive collection of folk music. storytelling resources, and children's

literature, and from this collection I gather appropriate theme-related materials for each program. My husband and the children often provide useful suggestions,

too. These informal brainstorming sessions have produced terrific ideas for future programs. Everybody feels a part of the process. Meredith does her regular environmental feature, and her younger sister, Fiona, has done booktalks, and she and her younger brother Silas have done

promotional spots, too.


r0

Writing Away for Info about Llamas Flom Cassandra Czamecki of New

York I have liked llamas for a long time, but just this year I began writing to llama farms. The first letter I wrote was to a llama farm in Vermont. They wrote me back a nice letter and gave me a bunch of llama farms' addresses. In the meantime. we were planning a trip to Maine (I was born there and we try to go up there every year) so we planned to stop at the farm in Vermont on the way back from Maine. The visit was nice. We saw a lot of llamas and one alpaca (a smaller llama). After that I began writing all the time to llama farms. I also found an address for a magazine called The Llama Link - it comes out every month for free. So I have a lot of addresses.

lnterested in Astronomy Lgnda Burris (I(Y) urites:

I have been interested in astronomy for as long as I can remember. I am told by my parents that when I was 2 I was glued to the television set watching a shuttle go up. I am l2 now so that was ten years ago. I know a lot of people who keep changing their minds about what they want to be when they grow up. I've never changed on that subject. My parents say that I have always had stars in my eyes (whether they are joking or not I will never know). My dad is a microbiologist, specifically an immunologist. So I know a lot about science and that could be one ofthe reasons that I love astronomy. Another is that my grandfather likes the stars. So maybe it is heredity. I have a telescope but I don't use it. We tried to watch the lunar eclipse a couple of years ago and the telescope wouldn't work. It is more of a toy than a tool. I have dozens of astronomy books, from Mg Ftrst Book on Space to Uniuerse. I have been to planetaria lots of times. They are usually boring because they are all on the same

thing. Most of the time when people ask, "What is your favorite subject?" or "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I will say astronorny or an astronomer. When I say an astronomer they always remember it as an astronaut. I do not want to be an astronaut, for two reasons: I have to wear glasses so I don't think they will let me go up, and ever since t}re Ctnllenger exploded I have not wanted to be an astronaut. When I realized what the risks were I decided that at this point in my life I was not even going to think about being an astronaut. Besides, there are many other jobs in my field that I can do. A lot of people ask where I get information on astronomy. From books mostly. About a year ago there was a television special on astronomy that I watched. A friend of my mother's works for NASA, so I sometimes get information

from her. As a Girl Scout I really like to do badges in science and math. Math is my next favorite subject. Astronomy has a lot to do with math, and that is probably why I love math too. Right now I am not spending as much time on astronomy as I would like, but I am looking forward to this summer when I will be able to do as much as I like.

Studies Pond Life Rachel Loomis oJ Massachusetts

rrntes: I don't know how I got interested in pond life, but I've always liked slimy things. I live right next to a pond and my parents let me keep pond animals in an aquarium for a few days to study them. I read mostly fact books on ponds, and sometimes I'll read an article in a magazine. I also watch TV programs on pond life. Almost every school year I've studied

pond life. One of my favorite things to do is go frog catching with my best friend, Ben. One year for my birthday I got a grow-a-frog kit from Ben. Since I got it I've been more interested in frogs and other pond life. I just love ponds!

Drawing & Theater HiLary CV:tgton oJ Oregon LDrites: I was 9 the first time I was in a play. Some family friends own and operate a

Iocal theater. They invited me to participate in a summer production of Beautg and the Beast.l was one of the woodland

sprites and also one of the village children. The rehearsals were long - some almost lasted until midnight. But they were fun. I got along just fine with the rest

ofthe cast. Since then I have attended acting classes. I am not taking any classes right now but will the next time they are offered.

I am also interested in drawing, and have been since I was 5 or 6. I mostly

just

draw for myself. My favorite things to draw are horses and dragons. There are Iots of adult classes offered at our local college and art museum but rarely classes for children. I have several drawing and art books I like to use. I especially like to

draw from illustrations in books.

Hilary's mother, Tnrli deVriend, writes: I do not have an extensive background

children from reading. Draw'ing is a kind ofvisual literacy, learning to read the world with your eyes and hands. Consequently, I often see math papers with pictures in the corners and poems complete with illustrations. We keep a fair supply of pencils, colored and plain, markers, etc. in the house along with oil pastels. Regular t)?ing paper is always handy along with small note paper. Hilary hasn't shown a burning interest in painting yet. When she does, I will add new materials to our supply and turn her loose with ttrem. We would both like to try Japanese brush painting. My father studied it when I was a child and taught me many of the basics, so I know enough to get us both started. I say both because my greatest delight in homeschooling is being able to learn right along with Hilary. Who says you can't be a child again?

Friend Taught Her About the Rain Forest Lianna Tennal oJ Arkansa.s u;rites:

I have always liked forests, though I suppose my really strong interest probably began about two years ago, when I met Michael. He was two years younger than me, loved reptiles, especially snakes, and wanted to live in a rain forest. We became friends at once (in fact, he was my best friend for almost two years). He taught me all about the rain forest. Before, I had barely known it existed. I love looking at pictures ofthe rain forest. It looks so wonderful, the vines and

the huge trees and the waterfalls. I want to live there, all by myself, miles and miles away from anyone. I hate civilization. It destroyed everything. Well, I guess I can't say I hate it since there are a lot of things about it that I like, but I wish it had never existed. Sometime this past February there was a man named Lou Gold giving a slide show and talk about the destruction of the natural forests of Washington and Oregon. It was very touching, showing not only what was happening to the forests and how they were being destroyed but also giving a very distinct impression of what the forest was really like. of how it all fit together, of the web of life that is the soul of the forest. When I grow up, I will live in a rain forest. But I don't just want to live in it, I want to live ruith it and be a part of it all. I know that I will be able to.

in art, so Hilary has largely been selftaught. She has received much encouragement from our family and friends, one of whom is a professional artist. We occasionally study from books. I have found Drauing Textbook by Bruce Mclntyre and Drauing With Children by Mona Brookes very helpful. Mostly, I just let Hilary draw as often as she likes. Art is a lot like reading - the more you do it, the better you get at it. Most ofus would never dream ofstopping our

Busy With Real Work Janet Nagel oJ Washington wites:

I'm always thinking that this month we'll start "school," but in six years it's never happened. There always seems to be something more pressing to do - for the past six months it's been our campaign to keep fluoride out of our city's water. And Ehren, now 12. keeps surprising me with

Growing Without Schooling #88


ll how much he's leamed and how much he can do on his own. He still isn't doing much writing, but I'm impressed that what he does, he does with great ease. He wrote a letter to the

editor about fluoridation entirely on his own. I never even suggested it. The only recommendation I made was to add a particular word, and I fixed the spelling. This week he started a course in conceptual physics (meaning it goes easy on math) at the county college. A friend of ours is teaching it and invited Ehren to sit in. The county college has a policy of admitting home learners at age 16, so this is an informal arrangement with our friend and he won't be earning any credit or anything. I'm tremendously impressed with how he handles the two-and-a-half-hour classes and then can't wait to get home to read the textbook. He's written one brief paper already and is working on another now. I never had so much enthusiasm for any high school or college course. The folks in his lab group, and in the class in general, seem to be treating him very well, and his self-assurance with them blows me away.

The more I "neglect" Ehren's education, the more convinced I become that instruction is largely unnecessary and may, as Ivan Illich suggests, actually be teaching children the wrong things about learning.

Living With a French Family Jo Anne Noland oJ Kentuckg LDrites: My oldest son, Greg (16), is spreading his wings as we watch in wonder. Last summer he spent a month in France with a French family. This was a wonderful experience for him and his French improved greatly. He has always had a fascination for speaking a foreign language. I think when he was younger he thought of it as speaking in a secret code that the rest of the family would not understand. On his trip last summer, he traveled to northern France visiting castles, tried new foods, and enjoyed vacationing in the south of France with his family. He earned all the money for this trip from babysitting and bussing tables where I am a waitress. At l5 he flew by himself without a group or chaperone. He missed one plane connection from Paris to Lyon, but solved the problem by catching a later flight and calling the French family to alert them of the change. For this coming summer he has won a place in the Kentucky Govemor's School for the Arts, a three-week residence program at a Kentuc\r college. He plays the viola beautifully. He is also going on a nine-day tour with the I-ouisville Youth Orchestra. His friend from the French family is coming to stay three weeks with us and Greg has been invited to visit them again in August. I don't know whether he will be able to afford this trip since he just bought a viola.

Growing Without Schooling #88

These are all tangible rewards and accomplishments for a l6 year old. But the best reward for me is watching Greg's confident approach to life. All of my children enjoy music and they love soccer. They all play on a team and get a game together at the park whenever they can. We live right in the city. This poses different problems and also different opportunities than many GWS readers in the country have. I'd like to hear how people take advantage of livlng in the city.

Hosting Foreign Students Nickg Hardenbergh (MA) urites:

If any homeschooling families are looking for ways to get to know people from around the world, they could investigate the International Student Office at their local university or college. Three years ago, my family volunteered to be a host family to a foreign student through the Harvard University International Office. We were delighted with our student, Hiroshi, a young linguistics student from Japan. At our mulual convenience, we invited him to our house several times over the course of the year, or met him in Cambridge. Because he was in a graduate

program, he had little time for socializing; my initial misgivings that being a host family would be overly time-consuming

quickly evaporated. When Hiroshi returned to Japan, we enthusiastically signed up to host another student. This time we were matched with a mathematics student from Paris. Once again, we were delighted with our student. My husband particularly appreciated being able to receive mini-tutorials in various aspects of mathematics from Eugene. Since Eugene is in a PhD program, we have been his host family for two years now. Even though Eugene was still in Cambridge, we discussed with the coordinator of the program the possibility of getting another student this year. When we heard that she had a young man from Beuing, China who was coming to the East Asian Studies Program, and that he liked to cook. we signed up for him. Once again, we were delighted. (l think the probability ofour being delighted by these students was high; first, they were interested enough in their studies to get themselves in a graduate program in another country, and second, they are gregarious enough to seek out the company of an American

family.) 'Nhen Zhenzhou, the Chinese student, came to our house, I could not get over the fact that I had, in my kitchen, someone from Beijing. China has been such a closed place during my lifetime. Now I could actually find out about it firsthand. We have learned so much from him about Chinese history, ancient civilization, and life in Communist China. The entire host family experience has been incredibly valuable to us. Having someone from another culture for a friend

is a wonderful experience, and an immense enrichment to our homeschooling program. You can imagine that we use the visits as times to learn more about the students' countries. Equally valuable, we have become more conscious about the structure of our own culture as we answer our students' questions about American life. At the same time, we have a connection to academia and can find out more about the subjects our students are pursulng. Heli Tomford, the coordinator of the Harvard host family program, would welcome families in the Boston area: one does not have to have a Harvard connection. She also tells me that most universities and even smaller colleges have programs of this type; check your local colleges. I found HeIi extremely helpful in trying to match our family with a student. If we had an interest in a student from a

particular country or with a particular field of study, she would try to match us. The range of students is wide: there are young and old students, even whole families who come together. Heli would be

happy to answer questions about the program, and could perhaps also guide people to programs in their areas. She is at

the Harvard University International Office, 1350 Massachusetts Ave, 8th Fl, Cambridge MA O2 I 38; 6 17 - 495-27 89.

Discovering Self-Motivation Cathg Haedge (TX) writes:

It works! It really works! I have read about these things happening in GWS, but just wondered how or if ever they would take place in my home. But today it happened. I managed to stay out ofthe way and watch a miracle. Oh, perhaps it's not really a miracle, John Holt writes about it often. He says when children are truly motivated they can do exceptional things without straining, pulling, or nagging on the part of the parent. Today Kylin, my 9 year old, made pizza. For 3 hours and 45 minutes she was in the kitchen, kneading dough, frying up onions and green peppers (which she doesn't even care for herselfl, spreading sauce, and grating cheese. Eight pizzaswere produced. Everyone in the family said they were better than Dad's! During the production I made myself sit silently in the next room ready to come when asked. I don't know if I was euer asked. A dozen times I wanted to come in and show her something - how to cut the green pepper or grate the cheese or use a pastry blender. But I had vowed not to help unless asked and so I stayed out of the kitchen even when I saw mistakes in the making. Once she put in twice as much butter as called for, and tearfully asked for

help. I did help then - wejust doubled the recipe and on she went. I have rarely spent 3 hours preparing a meal and certainly not on a Monday night. I was tired just watching her. She kept right on to the finish. I was amazed. You're right! Children are excellent


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The best thing about homeschooling is that it is not as formal as public school. There's not always an exact date and time to do an assignment. I think you get a whole lot more of what you want to learn. If you want to study Albert Einstein, then you will probably end up studying him. But in public school the whole class has to study a certain thing. I want to be a cartoonist so I spend a

lot of time drawing and practicing rrriting. In regular school I didn't think it mattered that I wanted to be a cartoonist. I also do a whole lot more reading of what I like to read, and I use my imagination a lot more now. I can write about pretty much anything that I want so my imagination is going about ninety percent of the time.

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vocational center, done martial arts, and done many, many other things with my time that I probably wouldn't be able to do as well if I had gone to public school. Last year I started taking the Industrial Mechanics course at the local Vocational Center because I have always been interested in cars. I am taking the program again this year and I was also chosen to be part of another program called SETS, which stands for Science, Engineering, Technology, and Skills. In this program fourteen students are building a solar car. I'm one of the main people building the car using my welding,

metal-fab, and computer skills (I've learned to use the computer at home with help from my dad). This solar car and most of the students working on it have been on the local news and we will be in the American Tour de Sol, which is a race that involves cars from all over the country that use alternative fuels. This kind of project involves determination, learning new skills and using skills you know already, and applying ideas to a project which we will use and leam from. I have been taking piano for about two years, and I really enjoy it. It helps me feel good about myself and my surroundings. Probably the main reasons I enjoy these subjects or courses I take is the instructors. I have had some of the neatest and coolest teachers I'll probably ever meet or learn from, and that includes my parents. All of the students in the courses I

take at the Vocational Center go to public school and have all their lives. Since I have been homeschooled, I think that my determination in getting something done and doing the best I can helps me with what I work on. I have done a lot of things on my own throughout my life and not being stuck in a public school, always told what to do and what not to do without being able to think on my own, has helped me understand my life and the people around me better. I haven't been around other children my own age as much as I probably would have been if I had gone to a public school. Growing up, I was around kids not only my own age but also people who were much older and much younger than I was, so I learned to communicate

with people of all ages. If the main purpose of schooling is to prepare you for the outside world, then why should we be in a room full of other kids all day, morning to afternon, having someone tell us what we are supposed to do

and not do, and then afterwards finding out that to get a goodjob or do anything we really want we need to think on our own? I feel that throughout my homeschooled life I have lived my own life with the needed aid of people who care about me and know me, not people who don't know me and what I need.

Some Kids Go to School? Theresa Bolin (W torites:

Awhile

ago

in GWS, people were writ-

ing about what to do when kids want to go to school. I thought they might enjoy hearing this. My newly reading 5 year old was reading an AIleka book for beginners, which had a lot of mention of school. He suddenly turned to me and asked, "Do some people really go to school outside

their houses?" We've been homeschooling for ten years. Apparently, school was so far outside his experience, he found it hard to believe.

Child Likes John Holt's Books Inuisa Su.rann oJ California urites: Our 8-year-old son Brandon's favorite books are Hous Chidren Fcril and Hotu Children Learn. As we commute an hour and a halfto the office every day, I read books aloud to help pass the time. Brandon was very interested in these two books in particular and commented that they helped him to understand what was happening in school and why he was having reading problems in particular. His confidence since we began homeschooling has grown tremendously; so has minet This school year, after having absorbed most of John Holt's books during the summer, we are letting Brandon hold the reins of his studies. We have an agreement which provides for accomplishing the paperwork the school district requires; otherwise, he is on his own. Among other things, he is

Growing Without Schooling #88


writing his own book, complete with illustrations. He is paying for making copies, and will soon start keeping records of expenses.

Siblings Have Different Temperaments Penng Barker (OH) torites:

This past winter, Maggie (18) and I sat

in our cabin cozily conversing over a cup ofhoney-cocoa. Maggie had returned the day before from a lOo-mile dogsled race on the Minnesota/Canada border. She described heading out into the minus-2O degree evening with a rose-colored sunset in front of her and a gibbous moon waxing in the sky at her back. She told me that she was exhilarated by the millions of pine trees stretching out below her as her dogs carried her across a wide plateau, and her thoughts turned strongly to her brother Dan. She said she realized that this was the evening he was performing a Mozart Mass at New York Lincoln Center with the Interlochen Orchestra (Dan has been studying at Interlochen this year). Maggie marveled at the idea that she and Dan were doing such contrasting activities, and yet, she said, "l love playing my rriolin and Dan handles the dogsled really well so there is that crossover." We talked about similarities and differences among Maggie and her four siblings, who have all been encouraged or perhaps just allowed to go in their own directions, to follow their own interests. Richard and I know, however, that we have had a "hidden curriculum" in our life based on our moral and ethical values and our lifestyle choices. Without the ongoing discussions such as Maggie was initiating with me, there might be the danger of enforced conformity within the family, albeit unconscious on our part. It was when we spoke of Maggie's youngest sibling, Jonah (13), that Maggie expressed concern. She worried that he was spending too much time on his snowmachine. (lt is essential for M2ggie's dogsledding that Jonah keep the trails groomed with the snowmachine.) Maggie seems to feel that the faster the pace, the less pure the experience. But it isn't really the speed that worries her because her sled dogs run at speeds from 12 to 2O mph. Her worry seems to have more to do with "the extraction of the active ingredient from

nature" that Ivan Illich mentions in GWS

#86. I see a fallacy in Maggie's thinking since a snowshoer could tell Maggie she is missing out on something just as he could

ask Ivan Illich if walking isn't simply a "purification" of crawling and causes us to lose out on a heightened tactile contact with the earth. Maggie's point could be argued at length, but her concern about her brother's choices has merit regardless. I've found that input from my older children regarding their younger siblings is often helpful, partly because it was a short time ago that they were the same age and partly because they have such a genuine concern for one another. So I listened

Growing Without Schooling #88

with an open mind to Maggie's worries and assured her that I would make a point of payrng close attention to Jonah and his snowmachine. It wasn't long after this conversation \Mith Maggie that Jonah invited me to come along with him and Ben (15) to see an otter slide they had discovered. Since I had never seen an otter in the wild, I decided to go. This would give me a chance to observe more of what Jonah does when he is off in the woods by snowmachine rather than by snowshoes or dogsled. With me riding behind Jonah and Ben on a separate machine, we took off at about 20 mph into the woods. We emerged in a clearing that was a snow-covered swamp and traveled a mile or so until we came to a big frozen lake. The boys told me that this was not the lake the otters were on, but was just a lake along the way. I was nervous about going across the middle of the frozen lake, and made Jonah ride close to the shore. When we came off the lake, the snowmachine slipped into a pit and the boys set to work trying to get it out. It seemed an impossible job to me but Jonah said, "Ah, this hap-pens to me all the time but at least there are three ofus to push it out today." This is when I realized that the boys did not see me as a helpless mother but expected me to be a working part of their expedition. It was a very hard job getting the snow-machine up out of the deep pit. At one point I plunged into snow and slush all the way up my leg, and could not free myself from the thigh down. I felt water suction-ing my booted foot and began to panic. Finally (it's a little hard for me to admit this) I got weepy and said to the boys, "l want to go home!" To my amazement, Ben and Jonah began laughing uproariously to think that I looked at this little setback as something so big I'd even think of going home. They lovingly dug me out of the snow and instructed me to walk right along a path they'd stomped for me and to lend my strength to their efforts at freeing the machine. They weren't going to allow my weakness to dominate the situation. Finally with a lot of effort and great satisfaction, the snow-machine was released and we were on our way. We went through forest again, out onto another bog and then onto a huge lake. Immediately the boys shut off the engines and put their fingers up to their mouths. "Shh, there he is," they said. and to my absolute delight I stood looking at

my first in-the-wild otter scampering around a hole

in the ice. After about five minutes the boys insisted we must get closer, so they

started up the engines. The

otter ran for his icy hole and Ben took off toward the island near that spot. I was frightened. I didn't want to go out across all that ice on the snow-machine. Jonah patiently assured me that it was safe. "Why," I asked,

t3 go in and out ofthe lake if

"can the otter the ice is so strongf?" Jonah explained that the otters work all the time keeping the ice clear of their holes. That made sense so I nodded and we took offat about 4O mph across the frozen lake. At the island the boys turned offthe engines, leapt offtheir machines, and sat very still waiting for the otter to come back up. Ben explained that the otter always comes up a while after the noise of the snowmachine ceases. He decided that in the meantime we should snowshoe to the end of the small island to see if there were any beavers about. At the other end of the island Ben showed me the otter's slide - a graceful curve down into what looked like snow, but Jonah punched his foot through and showed me it was only a thin layer of ice with the night's

snowfall still atop it. 'The otters have

done no sliding today," Jonah said. Then Ben called us to come look at the tracks he had discovered. He and Jonah began discussing the marks they saw in the snow. Jonah thought it was the track ofa beaver with his trail drag-ging behind and Ben felt it was a fox pul-ling something along since every few feet he could discern fox prints. I amazed and pleased at the boys'woodland sawy as they followed the trail going in the opposite direction from which the animal had come. The trail split at one point and while half of the prints went down to the lake, the others moved inland and were definitely identifiable as fox spoor. They also found raccoon scat and a tree which a bear had clawed earlier in the year. This small island seemed to hold so many stories! I felt the same stirred feeling inside that I get when hearing Jacqueline de Pre play the Elgar Cello Concerto. The mixture of snow, the island, the wildlife, and the boys' unselfconscious involvement was truly moving to me. I headed back to the snowmachines with the boys ahead of me, musing about it all. I realized that for Maggie and me, coming out into the woods by dogsled holds a specialness that the machines cannot match, but for these "wild" boys, on the edge of puberty, the roaring machines with their speed and maneuverability, the


T4

way the boys can take off on foot and leave the machines behind (unlike the dogs) - all of this holds something for Jonah he seems to need (for Ben too, but canoeing a

whitewater river is Ben's equivalent). Might this be the rite of passage that poet Robert Bly speaks of, that initiation need-

must give Jonah a copy of Gary Paulsen's Woodsong to read and to Maggie

I'11

give

Robert Pirsig's kn and the Art oJ Motorcgcle Maintenance, which begins with the quote, "And what is good, Phaedms, and what is not good - Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?"

ed for boys to emerge as healthy men who

realize their own manhood rather than staying boys throughout their adult lives? I think for Mag6Eie, doing something so basic and elemental as driving a dogteam with sled across miles of snow is satis$ring in the face of a world where our every whim is catered to by ever-new technological advances. For Jonah, the snowmachine gives him immediate presence. He's no longer sitting in the cabin watchlng the woods through large windows (let alone on television or in a National Geographic magazine) but is in the scene with snow whizzing by just below his feet. lt's blurred, but it's there, and any time he can put his foot down and touch it. Perhaps it is a matter of pace rather than quality. Jonah requires a faster pace, Maggie a slower one. That's so much like

the difference between Richard and me. I happily stay at our isolated cabin six months of the year. half a mile from any road, ten miles from the nearest telephone and postal service. I'm surrounded by woods and foot upon foot ofsnow and only rarely go to where more society is gathered. The mail becomes my main contact with the outer world and it can be taken in at my own pace. On the other hand, Richard, who needs a faster pace, runs all of our family's errands in town seventeen miles away. He socializes at the winter dogsled races, uses the telephone in town, and spends two weeks each winter staying at many people's houses as he travels to speak about the summer program we rlln. This would exhaust me but exhilarates Richard. I think I'm beginning to make sense of MAqgie's worries and have decided that I

Learning to Teach Sue Smtth-Heauenrtch (NY

usrites:

Recently I pulled a copy of John Holt's TeachYour Oun from my bookshelf, intending to lend it to a homeschooling friend. But it never made it out the door, for I began to read through many of the chapters again. It was with great excitement, accompanied by many exclamations of "yes!", that I read through the last part, where John discusses changes that could (maybe should) occur in teachertraining. He suggests thatwe let teachers "begin by teaching real classes in real schools, all the while giving them places and plenty of time to talk about their work with others... to read and discuss a number ofbooks about teaching and child psycholoS/, etc., looking for ideas that might help them make sense of their own experience and so teach better." This is how I learned to teach - by doing. I had no teaching certificate, but I did have an undergraduate degree in biolos/, and two years of graduate study with a mentor who gave me freedom to explore, to design and carry out experiments. I found a teaching position at an alternative school for a ridiculously low salary and room and board. My first quarter was spent discovering that normal schooling (lectures, exams, homework) would NOT work. The students refused to do the work I had so carefully planned out. Being young and brash, and unhampered by formal teacher training, I did the only logical (to me)

Getting Work Without School Credentials Jan Fletcher urote in CWS #62 about ftnding work uithout scLnol cred,entials. .lVotu she write s:

I am getting bylines (including occasionally the front page) in a newspaper that has a circulation ofhalfa million readers throughout Oregon, and I haven't a single educational credit in journalism to my name. It was a little scary at first, learning the lingo and culture of the newsroom, especially as a telecommuter a hundred miles away, but I now feel confident. When a Coast Guard dramatic rescue of a fishing boat failed last week, I was on the scene filing the breaking news on the story. Later I was delighted to hear the head Coast Guard public affairs officer telling the news teams that 'The Oregonian had the most accurate story on the tragedy." The national Coast Guard magazine called

the next day wanting reprint rights on my story. I've also had the chance to do a three-part series on a three-day camp for child survivors of sexual abuse which netted the woman who organized it art honorable mention in front of the U.S. Congress for her work. And I'm now working on a story about a golf course which is pitted against an endangered species that only lives on the Oregon coast:

the silverspot butterfly. The thing that really amazed me, however, was that the local community college was so impressed with my abilities that they offered me a contract to teach "The Greenhouse Program," a six-month series on starting a business. They gave me enough work-credit to warrant payment as a bachelor's-degreed business major. [My only college is two years in General Studies in the early'70s.)

thing - I threw out my plan book and my notions ofwhat should be taught and listened to the students. And I listened to more experienced faculty. It was painful, for I knew as I marked the F's on student report cards that it was me failing, not them. Theg were trying to help me learn to teach by not allowing me to snow them with my fancy-dancy college B.S. They were at the school because they did not fit into a conventional schooling environment. I was supposed to be helping them. In desperation I read any book I could get my hands on that seemed relevant to this teaching: Summerhtll, Teaching as a Subuersiue Actiuttg, Hort; Chiblren Learn. Other faculty shared ideas and offered support, guided me to books. My classes changed. What used to be a conventional biologr course with lectures, one lab a week, and exams became ongoing labs with mini-lectures, using reading as a

resource, early morning bird walks with donuts and coffee, and keepingjournals. Each student did what work she thought necessary for learning what she wanted to know. My role changed from that of teacher to that of guide. I learned to trust and respect my students, some of them labeled learning disabled, hyperactive, druggies, drop-outs, problem children. It was not until my second year that I really learned about leaming. A couple of students asked me to offer an ecologlr course in the spring. The course was canceled due to lack of enrollment - only four students signed up. However, they begged me to hold one class meeting so they could convince me that we should have the course. We talked. I told them, as honestly as possible, that this course would be in addition to my full teaching load, and that I had other things I would like to do with my personal time. But as the students outlined their ideals and goals I became interested in the course. They wanted to study the small stream that ran by the school. The state was in the process of reclassi$ring it to allow more pollution, and the students were concerned about what they perceived as underhanded legal maneuverings by development interests. They convinced me that we should save the stream even if we didn't have a course in ecologr! So I agreed to "teach," but only if there was l0O0/o attendance. It was great. They interviewed loca-l residents and an environmental lawyer. I ordered water pollution test kits and they established four study sites and learned some water chemistry. As I watched them busily working, I realized they didn't need a teacher. What they needed was a helper someone to listen to ideas. drive the van. get money from the budget, guide them to books and periodicals, and throw out a question every now and then. What I was Iearning was that I could best teach by getting out of their way. It has been a few years since that ecologr class, and I am going through the (perhaps typical) homeschooling parent anxieties: how do I teach math? will they leam to read? So it is good to read and reflect and remind myself to trust and respect my children - and to get out of the way!

Growing Without Schooling #88


JOHN HOLT'S BOOK AT{D MUSIC STORE Adventuring With Children by Nan & Kevin Jeffrey #1650 $14.95 + shipping

when considering what to take and their experiences bear this point out. For experienced hikers and campers the first part of this book will probably be redundant; as a city-dweller, I found

it invaluable. Ever consider going on a bicycle trip through Morroco with your spouse and two 9-year-old boys? How about learning to sail and live on a catamaran with two I year olds? Or backpacking through the island of Madiera with your two 8 year olds? Since it is hard for me just to go grocery shopping in the car with two young children, I would view any of the above as bordering on insanity - if I had not read this book. Reading this book not only enlightens you about how to accomplish such feats, it also inspires you to attempt any number of exciting, low-cost ways to travel with your children. The authors write in a practical, easy-to-read style and embellish many of their points with real stories from their and others' travels with children. They start off by emphasizing the need to be properly prepared - mentally, physically, and materially - for the types of adventures one wants. For instance, to improve fitness for, say, a hike on the Appalachian Trail they recommend not a regimen of calisthenics, but practice in "laborintensive living": Most types of adventuring require that you periodically carry your home; on your back, in your boat, on your bicycle, in your car. Food and water might need to be fetched by hand, tents raised and lowered, sails handled, anchors hauled, stairs climbed, and streets, paths, and trails walked. Whenever possible, walk or bicycle instead of drive and rely on your hands instead of a machine to do a job. Encourage the children to participate as much as possible... Fortunately, children need less training in this area than parents, provided they're used to performing some chores at home. The nature ofchildren's play enables all but the most sedentary child to be physically fit. More important will be training them to rely on themselves and each other for entertainment... Other skills that can be learned at home include maintenance and repair, languages, and first aid...

What I enjoyed most about this book is how the authors move from broad strokes describing the challenges and pleasures of adventuring with children to specific details about bathing, renting homes, camping, buying food, etc. in foreign countries. They provide lists of equipment, food, toys, and clothing that they recommend for trips both short and long; they also provide addresses for suppliers ofthings they found particularly useful. Needless to say, the authors stress mobility

The second part ofthe book describes various modes of travel that one's adventures can take: camping, hiking, bicycling, sailing, and canoeing. Each chapter starts with the advantages of each mode, describes the capabilities children need to participate, equipment needed, safety concerns, how to cope with situations that are unique to each mode, such as bathing and doing laundry on a sail boat, how to make sure each mode remains a fun way to go, and, finally, the pitfalls to avoid in each mode. The third part of the book discusses issues that come up while living abroad for months at a time (renting, camping, how to shop). The fourth section covers "Practical Concems." Here the authors discuss "Traveling with Babies," "Education," "Medical Concerns," "Social Needs," and "Public Transportation." The chapter on education describes how they homeschool while traveling. The authors emphasize how to separate school

time from play time, which I found to be disappointing in this otherwise break-the-mold approach to living with children. For instance, a homeschooling technique they recommend is, "lt's all part ofteaching, telling children to stop talking, get back to work, pay attention and sit up straight. Keep the atmosphere professional and act like a teacher instead of an angry parent." GWS readers will have to take this school-at-home approach with a grain of salt, or just ignore it totally. While the chapter on education leaves something to be desired, the rest of the book is new and different. Fortunately, the authors' overall attitude emphasizes flexibility and individualized learning; they frequently note how their children learn things by playing and reading, by mixing with foreign kids in the campgrounds, by exploring historic sights, etc. They also have considerable respect for children, something conveyed strongly in every part ofthis book except the chapter on education! For instance, when they write about social needs while adventuring they tell this story: When Tristan and Colin made friends with Francis, a South African boy we met in a campground in Portugal, we stayed an extra two days in order to go on ajoint adventure with his family to a nearby island. When asked. the boys said it was really important to them to stay longer and go to the island. This way, knowing that we had changed our schedule to incorporate some special social time for them, they didn't feel dragged away prematurely when we did leave. It also meant that Francis and his family left the campground the same day we did so none of the children felt like they were the only ones leaving. As children get older, this consideration becomes more important. A five-year-old doesn't care when he leaves one place or friend and goes to another, a ten-year-


John Holt's Book and Music Store

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old does. To keep the older child enthusiastic, especially on a long trip, you're going to have to make some concessions. After all, you'd do the same for yourself.

Part V of the book, "Putting It All Together," contains some useful and unusual advice for adventuring, such as "Book your family into a nice hotel - forget bargain hunting the first night. If there's one time you need a splurge when adventuring, it's now while you're trying to familiarize yourself with an area..." or "Bring plenty of food - go out somewhere nice to eat your first night, then fill in the gaps in your children's hunger with food you brought with you... Peanut butter is a good choice because even if the whole family is sick to death of it in a few days, the chances are you won't see it again until you go home..." (Peanut butter is not available in many places outside America.) All in all, this book has excellent suggestions for creating family trips; it is generously illustrated with photos from the authors' various joumeys; it is complete in its presentation, and it shows you many adventurous and inexpensive ways that your family can spend time together. Pat Farenga

-

Music by Eyewitness Books #1612 $15 + shipping

I was introduced to this book by the words, "Mama,l need this bookl" Hoping to escape the bookstore with only minor damage to my wallet, I tried to talk my then-3 year old out of the book he wanted. "But look at it," he insisted. And he was right. To say that Music is lavishly illustrated still would not do it justice. This book has hundreds of strikingly clear photographs of all types of instruments, from ancient to ultra-modern and from common to extremely obscure. There are Portuguese clay whistles, pan pipes from the Solomon Islands, North American Indian rattle drums, Finnish kanteles, German, Chinese, and English fiddles, and flutes from India and Japan. And that's just the title page! Other types of illustrations are used as well. Bagpipe playing is portrayed in a Breugel painting. Eight multi-colored computer-generated images depict the pattern of vibrations that occur when a drum head is hit. A lgth-century print shows workers in a horn factory assembling the instruments by hand. Creators and innovators are also pictured, such as Stradivarius contemplating a violin, Adolphe Sax demonstrating a saxophone, and Jean-Michel Jarre creating an electronic orchestra. What a feast for the eyes! Music is organized by families of instruments, and within each section you can see their development over the centuries and their cultural variations. For example, the section on strings begins with "Breaking the Silence" (an introduction), continues with "Early and Unusual Strings," "The Violin Family," "Making a Violin," and progresses onto harps, lyres, lutes, zithers, sitars, guitars, and keyboards. Also pictured are how instruments are constructed, how they are played, and how sound is produced. All this is displayed so artistically that it really is "like having your own private museum at home," as the

Cambridge, MA0214O

back cover rightfully boasts. The graphics are complemented by concise descriptions and explanations. The language is clear enough for young children to understand while still being fascinating reading for us older folks. It is this information that ultimately makes Music a good reference as well as fun to look at. For instance, when my son Eoin learned that one ofhis favorite bands played a didgaridoo in some of their songs, he naturally wanted to know more. Our encyclopedia and Oxford Dictionary of Music had nothing. Music not only had a photograph, it also told us that these instruments are sometimes made with the help of termites. Finally, the book is exceptionally well made. The pages are made from good heavy stock, and the binding was made to last. Our copy has had over two years of steady loving and looks as good as the day it was bought. Our whole family has enjoyed this book so much that it's been worth every penny. I'm glad Eoin talked me into it. Phoebe Wells

-

Everybody's Guide to Homeopathic Medicines by Stephen Cummings & Dana Ullman #1590 $10.95 + shipping

I like books, and I especially like how-to books, but what I really like best of all are self-education books that truly make me proficient in a given area. Everybodlt's Guide to Homeopathic Medicine.l is the best single manual I know of for providing your own health care with homeopathy, a system of medicine ideally suited to self-care. I first turned to homeopathy as a last resort. I had a couple of health problems years ago which couldn't be treated by allopathic (conventional) medicine while I was nursing my baby. My search for safe alternative treatment led me to a practitioner who introduced me to homeopathy. Impressed by my own recovery, I asked her advice several times when my child was sick enough to feel miserable but not sick enough to warrant antibiotics or other drugs. She recommended Everybody's Guide, and as a result my family and I have become quite self-reliant in treating virtually all of our minor ills and injuries. Everybody's Guide begins with a detailed introduction to homeopathy which will answer all of your questions about this rediscovered branch of medicine. Homeopathy was once fairly common in the U.S., with almost one in five M.D.'s prescribing these remedies in the late 1800s. (Last year when I gave my father a remedy for sore muscles, he said, "Why, this is what your great-grandmother used to swear by! I didn't know you could still get this stuff.") It fell out of favor with the rise of antibiotics, the wonder drugs, but is presently making a comeback as people seek treatments with fewer side effects. Homeopathy is very popular throughout Europe, especially with Britain's royal family, and remedies are available in most European pharmacies. And what makes homeopathy so appealing? The authors this book, a medical doctor and a public health specialist, say

of


John Holt's Book and Music Store

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that the focus of allopathic medicine is usually to suppress symptoms, "but treating symptoms is like killing the messenger for bringing bad news." In contrast, homeopathy "stimulates the body's defenses to complete the curative process." Remedies use minute amounts of naturally occurring substances to strengthen weaknesses and make the body inhospitable to disease. Therefore, adverse effects are much less common than with conventional drugs. Another benefit is how inexpensive homeopathic remedies are. They are far cheaper than most overthe-counter drugs, let alone prescription medicines. In the next chapter the authors give a very clear presentation of case taking, the method of assessing symptoms and the person's response to those symptoms and matching these findings to the most suitable remedy. This section is so thorough that it is often used as the text in "lntroduction to Homeopathy" workshops. What follows are chapters of health problems by type (colds, digestive disorders, accidents, etc.) and the recommended remedies. The discussion of each illness is very detailed, often including a description of conventional treatments and simple non-medical methods to alleviate the problem. The indications for each recommeded homeopathic remedy are described in more detail than I've seen in any other beginning book. Accompanying each section is a box labeled, "Beyond Home Care," clearly stating when it's time to get professional

familiar with it would likely find helpful information here as well. I now have several homeopathy books, but this is the reference I use most often. Now that my family has used homeopathy easily and successfully for so long, it's hard to remember what it was like not to have this resource at the tips of our fingers. While I have read many well-written critiques of modern medicine, these never went on to offer people a rational alternative which would put health care back into their own hands. Everybody's Guide PW helps to return to us the ability to heal ourselves.

-

A

Basic Course in American Sign Language by Humphries, Padden, & O'Rourke #1582$26.95

The Joy of Signing by Lottie Riekehof #410

a

PACKING

6.95

last fall. The books don't duplicate one another; each one is

^

/\,

helpful in a different way. Ginger Fitzsimmons, the person on our stalf most familiar with sign language, explains the differences as

follows:

A Basic Course in American Sign Language is designed to be textbook for adult second-language learners. The text is composed of 22 lessons, each of which contains two to four basic explanations of the language structures to be learned. Drills and a language

Mastercard and Visa Phone Orders Accepted Between 10 - 4 Mondav - Fridav

(617) 864-3100

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We've carried The Joy of Signing in our catalog for several years, and added A Basic Course in American Sign Languuge just

\trl 7\^ IE\

help.

Everybody's Guide includes descriptions of 23 of the most commonly used homeopathic remedies, good for increasing your understanding of these basic remedies. The book concludes with several helpful lists: mail-order companies that sell remedies, homeopathy organizations, and recommended further reading. There's even a glossary, which is fortunately only three pages long since you don't need to know many technical terms to use homeopathy effectively. Whrle Everybody's Guide is written for the person who has never before heard ofhomeopathy, those who are already

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John Holt's Book and Music Store

exercises are included, as well as short dialogues. Some vocabulary is included, but the book is not meant to be a dictionary. The author points out that the book should be used with a teacher or other model if proper usage and fluency is desired. Trying to learn to sign just from this book would be like trying to learn French just from a book without hearing someone speak it. But if you have someone who can model ASL for you, this book will be a good companion and reference for you to use as well. (Ifyou can't find a local signer, the book provides information about video tapes you can order that correspond to the lessons in the book.) The Joy of Signing is more of a vocabulary book than a language book. Its chapters consist of sets of signs with related meanings, such as "Time," "Food and Related Words," "Education." The book is well indexed, which makes it easy to use as a dictionary. If you are interested in learning isolated signs, or in having a quick way to look up words you have forgotten, this is the better book. Its price also makes it a little more accessible to those (like me) who are still in the messingaround stage. But if you are interested in learning to communicate with deaf people, A Basic Course in American Sign Language might be a better choice. And even if you don't have regular contact with someone in the Deaf community, there are several reasons tht people interested in learning another language might choose ASL. The Joy of Signing comments: Sign language is viewed by some as a new art form and is used in performances by the National Theater of the Deaf, a professional drama group, as a means ofpresenting deaf people and their language to the hearing world. Also being introduced is signed interpretation of music, a beautiful and expressive means of portraying the lyrics, emotions, and rhythms of songs. Both deaf and hearing people are enjoying new experiences through communication in the language of signs, making it possible for them to live together with better understanding and mutual enrichment.

Notes from John Holt's Book and Music Store . The Elementary Algebra Teacher's Guide is out of print. Customer requests were what prompted us to carry this guide in our catalog; maybe customer requests directed to the publisher will help bring it back into print. Write W.H. Freeman & Co, 41 Madison Ave, New York NY 10018; l-800-877-5351. These items have become unavailable as well: Deschooling Society For Children - compact disc The Magic Feather Ten SATs.

It's always frustrating when important books go out of print. We feel strongly about the importance of Deschooling Society and The Magic Feather, in particular, and would like to try to persuade the publishers to bring them back. Ifyou value these books and want to write to tell us whv. that would be a

Cambridge, MA 02f 40

big help.

. We now have 5 used copies of The Underachieving School by John Holt. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis for $5.50 plus $2 shipping (we'll mail them first class), or $5.50 shipping for foreign customers. Please write to our Special Order department. We also have 2 used copies of How To Suntive in Your Native ktnd by James Herndon. These are available for the same price.

. The Universal Quadro is currently out of stock, but the distributor is giving us a deal that we want to pass on to you. For the price of the Universal set ($389), they will give you the Starter set plus the Baby Quadro, a $420 value. You get more pieces this way, and you get the half panels which are great for

little children.

. Publishers have notified us of

some price changes that have gone into effect since our spring/summer catalog went to press:

An American Childhood was $9.95, now $11 Arithmetic Made Simple was $9.95, now $11 Blood and Guts was $8.95. now $9.95 Car Talk was $8.95. now $10 How Children Learn was $9.95, now $11 Peterson's Independent Study Catalog was $l L95, now $16.9s

. Our clearance

sale continues! We had to cut these titles to make room for new books, and we off'er them to you now on a first-come, first-served basis. They are all in perfect condition.

None of the Above: Behind the Myth of Scholastic Aptitude, by David Owen. Price was $7.95, now $5.95. Penrose Tiles to Trapdoor Ciphers by Martin Gardner. Price was $13.95. now $4.95. Story of a Bill (homeschoolers' legislative campaign) by Howard Richman. Price was $6.95. now $2.95. Tops (activity book) by Bernie Zubrowski. Price was $6.95, now $3.50. See chart on previous page for shipping charges.

GWS Back Issues, Index, and Binders Back Issues: We strongly urge you to get the back issues of GWS, especially if you plan to begin homeschooling. Rates: $ 135 for a complete set. For any other combination of back issues, mailed at onâ‚Źji

obscuring #330 Binder with24 rods (holds cWS #1-24), $10. #328 Binder with 18 rods (holds l8 later issues), $9.50. #326 Set of 4 binders and 78 rods (holds GWS #l-78), $35. Add packing and delivery charge for all items (see previous page).


l9

FOCUS:

What S ocialization Mean How do homeschoolers themselves define socialization? What kind of social interaction do they value, and what opportunities do they have for engaging in it? For this issue's Focus, several young readers answer these questions.

Close Friends, Not "Sort

of' Friends

From Megan Cohen oJ Caldornia:

I think socialization is being able to have friends and being

s

each other we had a really good time making up our own oldies music show, and after that we kept writing back and forth and sending songs through the mail. So I think you can share interests with friends through the mail. You can keep secrets for

pen-pals and help them with problems, too. I think if my penpals had a problem I could help them out. I could write to them, or if I couldn't think of any'thing to say in a letter I could call them up. But even though I don't see them every day I can still care about them. So I guess it doesn't much matter to me whether it's a pen-pal or a friend next door, or if the person's 7 or 9 l. Real friends are what I look for. To me, a real friend is someone who doesn't go behind your back and say mean things about you. It's somebody who's always your friend, not somebody else's friend one day and yours the next. A real friend is constant, not Iickle.

able to keep them, but also being able to be independent and not

totally relying on them. Also being able to talk to them and being able to work out arguments. Most of my friends range from ages B to I I and half of them live on the East Coast (New York) and the other half live on the West Coast (California). This situation makes it hard for me to keep friends, and I'm always wondering if my friends remember me. I think having two close long-term friends is better than having ten sort-of friends. When I was in preschool in New York I met a girl and even though I moved to San Francisco we keep in touch and are best friends when I go to New York every summer. As for the question, "ls it harder having friends when you are homeschooling?" I say definitely not. I've also gone to school and there weren't many girls in my class and the boys were immature and basically so were the girls! But homeschooling opened my horizons because in school I felt limited to the kids in my class, but I don't feel that way anymore. In school there was this girl named Bella in my class, and we were friends. Then she joined the clique which I wasn't part of because I hated one of the girls in it. (A clique is a bunch of kids who are like a club and who don't play with anyone else but other kids in the clique.) Then Bella and I both started homeschooling and since then we've become best friends.

Pen-Pals Can Be Real Friends... From Cora Ntelsen NT):

I enjoy situations where there are only three or fewer people more than I enjoy situations where there is a crowd of at least five. You are able to hold a person's attention much more easily in a smaller group. I think that it is important to be able to get along with people who are different from you in some way - age, for instance. Age doesn't really matter all that much to me. I enjoy being with adults at least as much as I enjoy being with people my age and younger. I have two very good friends who are both around 10. (l'm almost 13.) One goes to school and one I met at the Hulbert Outdoor Center program for homeschoolers when she was almost 9.

I also have some older friends, two in particular, homeschoolers, who I think enjoy being with me as much as I enjoy being with them, which is important too. They are both good correspondents, which is nice, and we visit each other whenever we can. I met them at camp, and we started writing afterwards. We discovered that we both like Beatles music, and we started writing back and forth about music. When we visited

Growing Without Schooling #88

...And So Can Brothers Flom Christopher Roch

(PEl):

To me socialization means to have a good relationship with someone. I'm comfortable socializing with other kids, but it's not a big deal to be around other kids. I have one friend my own age who I feel I can communicate with. He knows what I'm talking about, and I understand him. I have an especially good relationship with my oldest brother, Colin. He teaches me things and helps me with things. I feel I know him really well, almost as well as he knows himself, or that's what I think. He probably gives me more than I give him, but I give to him by just being there. I'm practically always with him. He likes me because I'm enthusiastic about almost everything he likes, and he can do what he likes around me. I help him by giving him ideas or figuring things out for him. We made a game called 'Treasure Island" together, and I thought ofquite a lot ofthe rules and the size and shape ofthe board, of how to steal the treasure, ofthe speed the ships could travel, and the number of men they could carry. But I couldn't have done the project alone. I might have given up. Colin found a way to counteract some problems. He did the sawing of the pieces, although I helped sand them. I held it and assisted him, but I couldn't saw it myself. Sometimes I just observe Colin working on a project, like when he discovered an old well and excavated it. I would read what he wrote on the computer, and I went down the well with a rope harness he made. Another time Colin made a crossbow and decided to make another one which was quite a lot better than the first one, so he gave me the little one, and I decided to improve it. I knew how to do this because I'd seen Colin make a spring

trigger. These are

just

a few examples of how I like to socialZe.

Different and Proud of Flom Anne

It

Brosnan (KY):

I think that when homeschoolers answer the socialization question in the usual way they are only trying to prove to skeptics that yes, homeschoolers have a social life as good as school kids their age. We act as if we want to have the same kind of social life as schooled kids, but a lot of homeschoolers have spoken and written about the kind of social life they have or want to have, and it is something entirely different. We all seem


20 to know that the quality of friendship is what counts, and not the amount of friends; that you can live in the middle of New York City and not have any friends or live in a rural community with acquaintances for miles around - that everlthing depends on the

kind ofperson you are. To me, it is like taking a person from a northern part of the country, raising them in the south, and then expecting this person to grow up talking and acting as if he were from the north. Why do homeschooling parents take their kids out of school, raise them in a home/family environment, and then spend their time gloating over the fact that they've managed to make their kids' social lives as glamorous as the social lives of their schooled counterparts? I think that instead of trying to prove to ourselves and others that homeschoolers won't grow up "different from all the other kids," we should simply start acknowledging the fact that most homeschoolers don't fit into a school-t1pe social group and couldn't care less. I am only speaking from my point of view, though, as I have never had that kind of social life and don't wish that I had or did. I know many homeschoolers near my age (f 5) who have decided to go to school, and the biggest reason they go is to have more friends and to belong to a social type of group. Many of them meet very nice, interesting people, but often they meet a group of kids who think that all the kids in the other groups are snobs, and don't socialize with them. I may be wrong, but I have had a little experience with this and it seems to me that within any high school, or even elementary school, you find these groups of kids who socialize with each other and not with any other group, and it becomes almost an ethnic thing, each group having its own culture, sometimes conflicting with other groups and sometimes ganging up on a member of their own group because he or she was seen hanging around with someone the others didn't want to socialize with. To me, friendship and socializing are two different things. Friendship, I think, is ultimately a one-to-one kind of deal. If you can't be friends with someone just because you don't like their other friends, then you are missing the whole heart of the matter. Instead, it's better to concentrate only on this one person and become friends with that sole being, not his environment, family, or other friends, but that person, his nature, attitude, likes, and dislikes. Sometimes this means that you yourself must change to adapt to different situations and the friends you may make in those situations. I know that I have a lot of different personalities, a lot of different sides I show to different people, yet they are all true; I never act falsely or try to be somebody I'm not. Since I take people one-on-one. in many different situations, I know that some of my friends would most likely not get along with my other friends, but this doesn't

matter. My friends don't need to group together, to form "clubs," to exclude other people and all be one ofa kind. I also have friends who are different religions and races than I am, and that has definitely never been an obstacle of any kind. I think that since I was not raised in any one religion, I have been able to grow up with an open mind toward all religions and able to accept people from all kinds of religions as my friends. I know that in the present day, religious discrimination is not as apparent as it once may have been, but I have known children who were prejudiced against other children because of their religious beliefs. I don't mean to imply in any way that all people who are religious are prejudiced against others or that people who aren't particularly religious are not prejudiced. I simply think that in my case, when I become friends with someone I think ofthem as one single person, not as a representative of a race or religion, so in this way it is easy to overcome any barriers that might have been there. I have had bad experiences with groups ofkids who gather together and talk about meaningless topics and speak mdely or

vulgarly towards each other, never get anything accomplished, never talk of anything meaningful. I have not often encountered young people who socialize in a better way - who do things together, or who spend time having quiet, thoughtful, meaningful conversations. There have been some instances when I have socialized with groups of adults or people of mixed ages and there has been an overall sense ofwell-being and direction. One of these has been with groups of musicians, when we spend a lot of time talking about the music or the instruments and then play music together. In these instances we all have a common objective. Another instance is at a historic house/farm where my mother and I are volunteers. Every once in a while the volunteers get together and have a potluck supper, and we talk ofhundreds of interesting things about the house and family and the history and the region, and people come up with new facts and anecdotes, and everybody feels at peace with one another, because we are all involved in the same project. I think that when a group of people are socializing they should all have a common objective, but they don't all have to agree with one another or be like one another. Arguing is one of the best ways to find new ideas about things or answers to questions, and a medley of different types of people makes the world interesting. A group of school kids, all the same age, with the same hairdos, wearing the same fashionable clothes, who all watch the same TV shows, don't socialize with each other with a common objective in mind - to get something done, to argue something out, to discover something new. They socialize because they want to talk about themselves, to show they fit in, to gather self-esteem from the knowledge that they fit in and are not outcasts or misfits. I don't understand how they can ever achieve self-esteem if their objective is to be like other people. Most of the time, I am at peace with myself and I can spend hours and hours alone with myself and my thoughts. I am not talkative, but neither am I shy. I like being around people, and though I myself am not good at conversation, I like most of all to listen to other people as they talk amongst each other. I also like to travel and see new places and new people, so I think I am a

social person. But unlike others, I don't like the type of socialization that school offers, and I would never go to school for the social aspect. Through my interests, I eventually meet people who can be the right kind of friends, and once in a while I find the riSht kind of socialization, too.

Looking for Common Interests Ftom Geoffrey Lituack

(PA):

Socialization. That's usually the first thing people ask me about when I tell them I'm homeschooled. "But how do you find friends?" they say. Usually I blow them off with something like, "Oh, I have plenty of friends from karate, camp, etc." But really, deep down inside, I feel kind ofinsecure. I have very few true

Growing Without Schooling #88


2L friends, but I think they're enough - I have three really good friends, and then I have some other so-so friends that I know. and like, and hang out with sometimes. It's my experience that in school, it's basically the same thing. You have a few good friends you can tmst, and then you have a whole bunch of people that you know slightly and can converse with on occasion. When I meet someone new I try and see if we have anything in common. Does he have a Macintosh? Do we play the same computer games? Does he play role-playing games? Stuff like that. I determine if we have anything in common, if we'd make a decent pair. I would never discriminate against someone because of his skin color, or religious beliefs, because in the long run, that's not really important. What is important is that you share the same set of ideals. For instance, if someone is the "Hey, I've got an idea, why don't we go stick a firecracker down the tailpipe of that car over there" type of person, I don't think we'd make very good friends, because that's not what I like to do. I do have some adult friends, but I don't normally just hang out with them. Usually I do something with them. For instance, my friend Jim is a professional photographer. I go down to the city with him and we take pictures and develop them. I've had my fair share of people who I thought were friends, but it actually tumed out that they were trying to get something from me. This made me sort of paranoid at the time, but I guess I can accept it now, even though it's strange to me because I don't really act that way. But it's not like I'm usually tricked by people. I think I'm pretty good at choosing my friends and knowing who I can

trust.

Different Types of People From Ginng Hood (MD):

My definition of socialization is this: having learning experiences outside the home. It is best to have a mixture of acquaintances - people with different values, of different ages

and races, all sorts of people. Socialization means dealing with people who aren't exactly like you. Some people are nuisances. Others are good friends you'd like to have forever. I get to meet different kinds of people by going out in the world. Some people think homeschoolers are just locked up in closets, but that isn't true. I meet many different types of people in theater, for instance. To me, a well-socialized person is a person who can get along with many different types of people. I'm in a library volunteer program. Many of the people there don't have the same values as me. There is one girl who was chattering away with me about how she had been in The Wizard oJ Oz and how it didn't leave her any time for other activities. I knew she was lying and hadn't been in the play, because I had been in Oz myself. You have to be aware of people who lie, so you don't believe everything that you hear. However, you have to be considerate. That girl probably wanted a rolejust as badly as I did. For me, theater and Girl Scouts are both good for socialization. Theater is nice because it is one of the few times as a kid when you actually feel like you are working, and grown-ups respect you more. On the other hand, Girl Scouts is good for making friends your own age, and talking about stuff that adults don't understand (or have forgotten).

Learning to Compromise From Nelga Patry oJ Verrnont

About developing the ability to compromise: I think everyone learns this from their parents (or most people do any'way), seeing as there aren't many choices in the matter except maybe to move out, which might not seem like the greatest idea. [,ast winter when I wanted to go outside and ice skate, my mother said I could stay out for ten minutes, but I wanted to stay out longer. We compromised and agreed on fifteen minutes. Another

Growing Without Schooling #88

time, my little brother. who's 3, wanted to stay up and look at a book instead of going to bed. My mother said he could look at the book in bed. Parents teach you about compromising early on. You don't really think about it - you don't realize you're leaming to compromise - but for example, my brother found out that he could do something in between what he wanted and what my mother wanted, and that's how he learned. About realizing that things don't always go one's own way: l,ast year we had wanted to go to the Vermont Dairy Festival (a sort offair near us), and what do you think my sister did? She got appendicitis and had to stay in the hospital for a week - which wasn't what I had planned on, but I leamed some things about hospitals. I spent four nights with my sister in the hospital. We found out about the nice nurses who were friendly and the not-sonice ones who rushed you around (my sister had a hard time walking at first) and talked to you as if you were only 5 or 6 (my sisterwas 12 and I was 14 at the time). We also found out about

")'ummy" hospital food.

Hard to Get Along with School Kids From CoLin Roch

(PEI):

I've become very frustrated over social experiences I've had with my peer group. I have the most interaction with my peers at regular weekly meets of the air cadet squadron I have joined. I get fmstrated because of the feeling that I'm so different from the rest. It is nearly impossible for me to have a conversation with anyone, save one or two. I've tried to listen to what most kids talk about, and all I've heard is gabble and sickly laughter; no deep thoughts, questions, or analysis, only monotonous utterances about school. I guess they just talk about what they can relate to in their lives and 90olo of it is school. So, already that excludes me from what they can relate to. They aren't interested in the things I am, probably because they don't have time by themselves to think many thoughts of their own and are turned off being interested in anything. I try to take an interest in what they say, but this is further limited by my strongly set values which are different from the common teenager's. However, there are some teenagers who go to school whom I can relate to. I do not want to isolate myself from my peers. I

realize it is not their fault; they're stuck in school, and I know that I was not myself when I rMent to school. So, perhaps the only socializing I can do with them is on another level, apart from verbal interaction - just being there being myself, relaxed, etc. I think it is good for them to be around a free-from-school teenager who is not trapped in the acceptable mold.


22 I have observed that the people I can talk to are the outcasts from the social superstructure in school, the people who do not conforrn to the mold school has imposed on them and are persecuted by the rest as a result. I also find these people are interested in homeschooling. I'm sure more socialization, in all meanings of the word, will occur for me simply as I become more familiar with people around me (specifically in air cadets). And as I move into my chosen career, relationships that do not depend on school will develop.

to adults and older kids because I come into contact with them more often. These are very positive relationships. I've been in a lot of plays, which involves working with people. Sometimes we would make up skits, and there was a lot of conflict because everyone had different ideas about what they wanted to do and it was hard to make up our minds. I often found myself being mediator between people who would get angry at each other. So another aspect of socialization, to me, is the ability to listen to everybody's ideas and then make a decision

Having an Adult Friend

Lasting Friendships Within Family

Flom Brenna Yotsanojf

(CO):

When I first met some kids who'd always gone to public school, such as people from my neighborhood and my soccer team, they wondered if I had any friends. I thought it was kind of funny. I probably spend more time talking and playing with friends than the kids in school have time for. I think the big difference is time. I feel that I am quite able to get along with people who have different beliefs than mine. For instance, I have some friends who are fundamentalist Christians, and I am a Quaker. We find that it's much easier to simply play games than to have a conversation, but it's still fun to talk as long as we try to keep to subjects that are unlikely to harbor conflict. We can also play imaginary games without any argument. On the whole, I feel that we are able to get along quite well. A couple of months ago I went to visit a grown-up friend. Cathy, who lives in louisiana. It took over a year to save the money for my plane ticket. I wasn't worried about flying or traveling alone, but I was a little nervous about all the complicated things you have to do in airports. I joined Cathy's family for their trip to Florida. It was great to see them all again. I used to help take care ol their kids before they moved away from Colorado. Cathy and I share some of the same interests. She's a nature writer and I've been interested in marine biolory for several years. We went to a folk festival to see an exhibit that Cathy did about the Sewannee River. I met two kids my age at a place where we stayed. One has become a pen-pal. There are some homeschoolers who are isolated. I know kids who don't get into town that often because they live in the mountains. But most homeschoolers I know have lots of opportunities to get to know other people.

Working With People FTom

Judith Metcalf (IX):

What is socialization? What does it really mean? I've been told that it's the ability to form healthy, lasting relationships; to work through rough times; to work together as a group; to know how to deal with dilferent people and situations. These arejust a few examples; I generally agree with them. To me, socialization means the ability to get along with people in real life, to have

healthy relationships with friends you can trust. While homeschooling I have met friends through activities and doing things that I enjoy, such as church, acting lessons, and so on. The friends that I have met through these things have always been very good friends and our relationships have been very stable. I recently tried going to school for a few weeks, and relationships that I formed through school have been short and unstable. I'm not sure I can trust the friends I met there: I'm not sure when they're going to call me next, for example. In school it is hard to do all of the things that prepare you for the real world because of all the cliques and competition. It's hard to see what people are really like. As a homeschooler I have also been able to talk more easily

based on that.

Flom Nicholas Roch

(PEI):

I have never in my life had a deep, lasting friendship with someone apart from my family. I have had the odd good friend at school (when I went to school), but these supposed friends only wrote one or two letters to me after I moved away, and they soon got tired ofwriting and gave up. I am not sure why they gave up wriilng, and this crosses my mind often, but it showed me what

kind of friendship we really had. I've only had lasting friendships in my family. with my two brothers and my parents. I am not embarrassed having a relationship with my family and hope I never will be. We have had the odd quarrel, but this is one way to sort personal issues out. A lot of people think I should be socializing with other children, but I find I can't socialize easily with kids who go to school. I find it hard to get along \Mith people who don't have the same interests as me. If I were to start a friendship with someone who had completely different beliefs, then we would be sure to argue and not continue being friends. The perfect friend to me would be a boy about the same age, who had some of the same interests, who wouldn't mind if I was wearing unfashionable clothes or didn't act cool. But I feel that I don't need any friends outside the family. I'm already happy. To be popular with some of the kids from the local school I would have to change my personality completely, and not in a way I would like to change it. Being around hundreds of children all day does have some effect on you. You soon want to play outside with your friends 'til lO:OO and want to go to the discos that other children go to. But then your parents might say you can't, and you will hate them for that. So this kind of socialization isn't good for you; it takes you away from your family. When other children's parents ask me, "What about the socialization aspect ofhomeschooling?" I get so frustrated. They don't know what socialization is doing to their family.

Best Friends Despite Differences Ftom Jeremiah Gingold (CA):

I live in an extremely isolated area, where friends of any sort, let alone good ones. are hard to come by. This makes the few friends that I do have all the more valuable to me, and I do my best to keep them. Over the years most of the friends I've made here have moved. My best friend of eight years (whom I seldom see) has a completely different background from mine. He's gone to school all his life, he always goes to church, he's more of an average teenager than me. He is politically and religiously conservative, while I consider myself very liberal; as a result we are constantly arguing over political issues and religion. And yet, he is the best friend I've ever had. We both eryou debating each other. and neither one ofus takes our differences personally (although I sometimes feel pretty frustrated by his thickheadedness!). We've had one or two actual fights, too, but never to the point where we actually dissolved our friendship. We've stayed friends through thick and thin, and we're not prepared to give all of that up for Growing Without Schooling #88


23 nothing. I would really enjoy having more friends and acquaintances who are a few years older than me. I don't know many' but the few older teenagers that I know make me wish I could get to know more of them better. It seems to me that the greater the age difference between me and my friends, the more easily I can communicate with them on my own level. This seems especially true with the one or two people I know who have gone away to college. Even just a little time in college broadens their horizons immensely. They tend to be more open-minded, having encountered a wider range of people and ideas. Talking to them makes me realZe how much of my mind I effectively shut down in order to communicate with my same-age friends. In fact, one of my main reasons for wanting to go to college is to meet more likeminded people who can provide me with the kind of stimulating conversation that I often find lacking.

More Confident From Viuien ktpJ MD):

the places I mostly meet friends are at church and at activities with other homeschoolers. A lot of the kids at homeschool activities know what it's like to be a homeschooler' they know what it's like to be different, so theY're nicer to me.

Friendships With Young Children From Serena Gingold (CA): Considering that I don't see other kids frequently, I think that I do fairty well when placed in a group situation or left on my own to make friends. It is easier when I have another friend with me, but even when I am alone I feel confident. Where I live, I don't have ang friends my age. I've tried to be friends with some, but I am so different, probably because I am homeschooled and care about things other than what's happening in school, what teachers are terrible, did that boy like me, etc. Some people would probably say that I don't try hard enough to make friends or that I don't want to badly enough - not true. I think the main problem is that the other kids don't need me as much as I need them. It doesn't matter to them whether I'm their friend or not because they have other friends at school and they're not missing out on anything. I've almost given up on finding someone my age who Iives in my town to be a good friend, but I still hope that maybe someday I might find someone. I actually have quite a few friends who live in town, and some who live right up the road. However, they are not close in age to me. They are all at least three years younger, if not more, school after which makes it difficult for me and made friends

I think that homeschooling has allowed me to develop my social skills a lot more than school did. When I went to school there were two things I could do: join a clique and trail around behind a bunch ofother peoPle, or stay an individual and be laughed at, whispered about, teased, sneered at. bullied, and otherwise was only tormented. I don't see how this could have developed my social opened up to get everything I want and need skills! On the contrary, it stunted am much more confident in out of the friendship. I still have them. I became paranoid. Every more myself and make friends a lot of the kid in me, even time I noticed someone looking at though I'm 13 | / 2. My younger me or whispering with someone easily. friends make it possible for me else, I was sure that I was the toPic to have someone to play with, of their conversation. which I really enjoy. (Kids my It was only after I left school age, especially school kids, never that I opened up and made friends. play!) I find it strange, but litile Now when I overhear someone kids are attracted to me like ants speaking about me, I don't have to to a bowl of sugar. I love taking care. If they don't like me, so care of little kids and entertaining them, so I think it's wonderful what? I can leave them and find someone else to make friends that they love me and I love them. We get along mostly as equals, with. I'm not stuck with them every day for a whole year or more. but they do look up to me because of our difference in age and As a result of this I am much more confident in myself and make height (sometimes not height!). I'm thinking of going into a friends a lot more easily. career in child study and development, so I like having the A point brought up often by critics of homeschooling is that chance to start early. in school you can meet people from all walks of life and learn to But all this doesn't make up for not having teenage friends socialize with them. Not so! How varied can a group of people be whom I can see regular$, and I know I'm missing something. I who are all the same age, listen to rock music, wear skin-tight pants, and prop their bangs up two feet in the air? Since I left realize this especially when I talk with my pen-pal Lluvia Crockett on the phone, or see my pen-pal Cristie Boone' I have school, and especially since I started taking classes at the wonderful conversations with them about things that I never community college, I have met more varied, strange, and unusual people than ever before. College students, mothers who hold two talk to little kids, or local older kids, about, and I wish they lived closer to me. Lluvia is all the way in Colorado and I have never full-time jobs, go to school, and take care of children, senior met her; Cristie is three hours away. citizens, construction workers, engineers, and also people I'd I wish there were someone I could talk with and see all the rather not meet but are still interesting, like high school droptime. I manage to survive most of the time, but if I get to thinking outs, drug addicts, and alcoholics. How many school children get about it too much I get really depressed ald go into a black mood to socialize with such an enorrnous variety of people? for a day or two. I think that having some good, close pen-pals makes it better in some ways, but sometimes I feel worse because I want to see them and talk to them, and I can't. Tease Iately we've made three trips to homeschooling conferences Flom Jessica MetcaIJ (1X): and I've made many friends. I've had a lot of offers to spend time with various families, and I hope to have a chance to do this. I'm The thing that is hard for me is that kids make fun of me. I always working on socialization because of my circumstances, have a learning difference because of my eyes. so it is hard for but I think it just comes naturally to people. me to make friends. When I had to go to school for half of the day so that they could help me with my difference, the kids in the Learning l,ab were very mean to me. They called me a dog one time. My teacher tried to talk to them so they said OK. So

It that I ... I

Finding Friends Who Don't

Growing Without Schooling #88

I left

a lot


24

Enriching Community Life:

Interview with Bill Berkowitz We first learned about Bill Berkowitz's book Communitg Dreo;ms (#1232, $g.SS + post.) when a GWS reader told us how she and her neighbors had used many of its ideas. Knowing that homeschoolers care about the quality of life in their neighbor' hoods they learn in them, rather than in - because school we interviewed Bill Berkowitz to learn more about his work.

school library, and

potential interest in community life, but

so on.

there seems to be a large discrepancy between their potential interest and their actual levels of involvement. You can interpret that to mean that people aren't telling the truth, or that the right triggers or bridges haven't been found to actually get them activated. Kids can sometimes build those bridges.

BB: I can see

how homeschooling in some cases could be

isolating, could keep families apart from other people

in the community. Susannah Sheffer: I gather that some ofthe ideas in your book are about things you and others have actually done

and some are completely hypothetical. How did you learn about the ones that other people had done?

Bill Berkoqritz: I had been directing community programs based at a mental health center in l,owell, Mass. in the early '7Os. I had the freedom to do prett5r much anything I wanted to improve community mental health in the broad sense - to increase connectedness among people, to get people involved in communit5z life. I hadn't had much experience then doing community work, but I would find ideas in newsletters, on bulletin boards, in things that people would send me. So I started to write them down on scraps of paper and to put them in a drawer, liguring that maybe I would have a use for that idea. When I took time off from my job to write, the first book I wrote was a textbook on community organization. Then I wanted to do another project to complement that, and by now I had a box full of ideas, so all I had to do was unpack that box and sort them out. I hopedCommunitA Dreams would be a book of ideas that would trigger people's thoughts and engage their spirit. I once heard a talk by the sociologist Elise Boulding that still stays with me. She said that one of the things that's really lacking in our society is the ability to envision, to imagine; I agree rvith that, so I wanted to try to help people expand their own vision. SS: One of the charges sometimes directed against homeschooling is that it's isolationist, that it represents a withdrawal from community life. On the other hand, we hear so many stories from families who are really par-ticipating in their communities. One of our readers wrote that homeschoolers are often especially concerned about the quality of life in their neighborhoods, because that's where they're finding resources and things to do in the public library rather than in the

SS: When people use the word "com-

But I can also see how it could work the other way; if the child is not going to school, the surrounding community becomes that much more available. The homeschooled child has the time to walk down the block, to talk to people in stores, to feel the rhythm ofwhat goes on during the day and to learn from that in ways that kids who go to traditional schools can't easily do. Traditional schools have not done a very goodjob of integrating themselves with the life of the community, and as a consequence of that, in my opinion, kids have little motivation to vote in local elections, to take part in public life, to stay in their home towns when they get older. SS: Many homeschoolers have very good opportunities to get out into their communities and to be welcomed at various places, but people also tell us that it can be difficult for kids to be in places

that aren't traditionally thought of as places for kids. We see even in our own office here that people are sometimes surprised to see kids in a place that is not specifically ..for kids.

BB: Yes, there's not an expectation that kids are going to be around, and I

think it takes some getting used to. Where work, people sometimes bring their kids during school vacations, but it would take some rethinking for them to be able to come in more often than that. I do think there's room for that rethinking to take

I

munity," they often use it to refer to groups of people that have a common interest the homeschooling comrnunit5r, the music community, and so on. Those kinds of communities are usually geographically diverse. I wonder ifwhen people have a craving to belong to a community, they're craving these sorts of special-interest communities more than just their neighborhood communitlr, because in the special-interest communities you meet people who love what you love, whereas your neighborhood is full of people who just happen to live there. On the other hand, that reader who told us about her kids said that even though her kids u-rere part of various other kinds of communities, they still craved the neighborhood community in a specific way.

BB: I think both types are important and not exclusive of each other. The geographic communitlr has a lot of advantages, though. It's always available. It's a place where the effects of your actions can be easily seen. If you plant a community garden, or if you get a new traffic light, it's right there, you see it. Also, in a neighborhood community, the people are accessible to you ifyou need help - from a cup ofsugar to getting to the hospital. The other side, of course, is that you may feel a real kinship with people in a communit5r of interest that you don't feel with people in your neighborhood.

place, though.

SS: W?rat would you say to people who are intrigued by some of your ideas, who

SS: The reader who recommended your book to us described how it was her

might like to have a richer community life, but who aren't sure that their neighbors are people with whom they would like

children who pulled their parents out into the neighborhood and got them involved in various activities. She said that her kids seemed to crave not only a place in their family but also a place in what we might call the tribe. Does that seem common to you, that people crave belonging in something larger than the family? BB: I think most people do. Surveys show that most people have a lot of

to do things? BB: Most people don't hate their neighbors. They're usually relatively indifferent to them. but I think there's usually room for greater connections to grow. On the radio this morning, one of the officials of the Rio conference [on the environmentl was quoted as saying, "North American lifestyles are not sustainable." So how can they become more sustainable,

Growing Without Schooling #88


25 less consumption-oriented? One good way is for there to be more reliance on the local community as a place where one gets more of one's needs met. There are lots of skills

and interests in one's neighborhood that most people don't take the time to know about. If you build the connections, you'll know about them. If you're doing a project and you want a graphic artist, or you need a housepainter, in any neighborhood of two or three thousand people, chances are there's going to be somebody who knows about these things. Ifyou know those people, you can call them and get advice, or give them the job for a lower rate than you might pay to someone zrnonyrnous.

Video Games: The Discussion Continues Some Games Better Than Others Oliuer Strtmpel oJ Massrrchusefts

SS: What about the provincialism that could result from people focusing on

urites:

their own neighborhoods so much?

I enjoyed your discussion on video games in GWS #87. However, after watching my son Daniel (aged 6) devote a

BB: I think there need to be associa-

tions or federations of neighborhoods so neighborhoods can learn from each other. SS: There's so much talk these days about global thinking, and distance learning, in which kids in schools use various kinds of technologr to learn from people who are far away. Is that at odds with your way of thinkingp

BB: I see it more as being complementary. I think if you learn about someone from another part ofthe world, and learn to appreciate their similarities and differences, that's wonderful. I suppose if we got to a stage where so many kids had access to modems, short-wave radios, satellite dishes, and so on, that they were spending more time using these things than getting to know their local areas, then yes, I might be concerned. But not at this point. In any case, I think technologr and close personal contacts can co-exist. SS: Sometimes people are frustrated

with their own communities. They'll hear about things that people are doing in another part of the countr5r, and they'll say, "We don't have that, our neighbors aren't as friendly, our public library isn't open as often," etc. I think of Wendell Berry's saying that Americans always move when things get difficult instead of trying to work with what's there wherever they live. What do you think about this? BB: One thing I think of is a quote from Dorothea Dix, an activist during the nineteeth century: 'In a world where there's so much to be done, there mustbe something I can do." For someone who is dissatisfied with where they live - well, there must be something they can do. This morning I was waiting for the bus and a man who doesn't even know my name, but who recognized me because we use the same Xerox place, offered me a ride. Even small things like that can make a difference in how you feel about where you live. So if you're dissatisfied with your library not being open enough, put pressure on the system to get the library hours extended. Don't move right away. Stay around and try to make things better.

Growing Without Schooling #88

significant chunk of his life to Nintendo, I feel less negative about video games than the participants in your discussion. Like all media, there's the good and

the bad in video games, and perhaps it would be helpful for your readers to have some experienced users rank Nintendo titles. I'll kick off by highly recommending the [,olo series as excellent puzzles that can involve an adult and child together in very creative yet logical problem-solving. Another game that demands a great deal of immersion and dedicated exploration over weeks and months is Final Fantasy. There's intricate reference material in the documentation, and quite a lot to read on the screen. Daniel and a friend spent most of last weekend poring over this. Quite apart from all the hours of fun, Nintendo was one of Daniel's primary motivations

for learning to read.

Allowing Him to Binge Gail Nagasako (HI) usrites: I read with interest the discussion about video games in GWS #87. I think my experience may be helpful. WeVe always limited TV watching to one hour a day, with an occasional exception for a special Nova or Frontiers of Science program. This was in complete contrast to the neighborhood kids and cousins who spent virtually all their free time watching TV or playing Nintendo. However, I noticed that at family gatherings, where there was Nintendo, it was my son who sat in the darkened room with it while the others were out playing tag. This got me to thinking and researching. I went into the "Fun Factory" and watched kids playing video games, especially the violent ones. I watched how they interacted both during and after playing. I spoke to them afterwards, too, and I didn't see any negative behavior. I spoke to the people who ran the place and they admitted to having been video addicts as kids. They seemed like nice, mature adults to me. I watched kids playing Nintendo and noticed that thev interacted

with each other quite a bit during play and that between games, they talked a lot about the games, sharing secrets and scores, much in the same way that adults talk sports. Of course, I noticed that certain skills were being developed - hand-eye coordination. visual acuity, memory, etc. I also noticed that the kids who spent all last summer playrng Nintendo were no longer interested in it and were now doing nothing but playing marbles or some other such pursuit. I've noticed in myself and others this tendency to binge, and it appeared that video games were no different. I seem to recall John HoIt saying that as long as a child is learning something, he will continue to pursue a particular activity. When he stops learning, he becomes bored and goes on to something else.

I decided to get a Nintendo, and I decided to allow my son unlimited play for a while so as to accommodate the binging pattern. I felt that to limit it much at first might create greater craving. My son played about six hours a day for several weeks. His thumbs got so sore from pushing the control buttons that I had to take the games out of the machine for him! Then I reduced his playing time by an hour or so at a time each week until he was down to two hours combined TV-Nintendo time, most of which he spent playtng Nintendo. It wasn't long before the Nintendo started gathering dust. When I suggested we sell it and put the money toward a computer on which he could learn to program his own games, he agreed readily. We now have a computer, with games that are rarely played. A major part of the rveaning process has been the fact that at our house there are lots of other things to do - basketball, croquet, bike ramps, board games, etc., plus I take the kids hiking, to the beach, to sand piles, etc. Kids would come over and ask to watch TV or play Nintendo, but when I told them the time was up, they found other things to do. At their houses, the main entertainment was the TV and video games, and I can see a certain advantage to that - it's not messy or noisy. But messes and noises and lots of kids are welcome here, so this is where the kids hang out, and nobody plays Nintendo zrnJ[nore. My son is back to his one-hour TV time limit, which he watches when he gets up (l tape two fairly decent cartoons for him) if there aren't any kids to play with yet. If the kids are here, he generally skips the TV. I'd like to add an idea about the issue of allowing our kids the freedom to choose


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reality. Thus, if one truly believes that he can live to be 105 and still dancing while smoking cigars and drinking corn whiskey, then he will. Yet I myself believe in a natural vegetarian diet free of preservatives, colorings, sugar, etc. My solution may seem like a cop-out to some, yet it works for me and doesn't invalidate my son's abilities. I tell him that while I recognize that he may be advanced enough in ability that he can be healthy no matter what he eats. I am unable to maintain that level of creation and thus I must limit his intake of junk for my own peace of mind. After all, my needs are valid too. Since I rarely pull rank like this, my son doesn't object to it much when I do.

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for themselves yet feeling that we cannot let them do things that are harmful to them. We've all struggled with this because we want our children to trust themselves and their inner voices, yet we don't feel comfortable with the choices we see kids making all around us. I am particularly out on this limb because I truly believe that our beliefs are senior to any material

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OK For Parents To Take a Stand Julie Scandora NVA) usrttes: In response to *The Video Game Dilemma" in GWS #87: Discussion on the harmful effects of TV watching and video game playing could fill a whole GWS issue. But the effects seem to be the side issue here. The real issue is parents'discomfort about denying what they feel is wrong for their child. Unfortunately, this indecision and guilt will be sensed by the child and used against the parents. Don't give in! Be confidentl Be firml Regardless ofthe freedom we give our children, we, as parents, still exert considerable control over their lives. For

where they live we decide: cit5r, suburbs, country; apartment row house, sprawling

farm; with siblings, near potential friends, alone. The list goes on. Some of these choices we make with much thought; others seemingly Just happen.

If we decide to bypass the citlr because

ofits reputed dangers and choose the country for its greater contact with nature, are rve to feel guilty over our child's disapproval? If we choose the city for its many emplo5rment opportunities and abandon the count4r because ofits relative isolation from others, are we to worry about whether we "done right"? If we deny video games to our children should we be concerned about impinging on their freedom? I feel no guilt about denying my children TV and video games. This restriction fits in with my philosophy about toys I give them: keep them simple, basic, few, and, when possible, practical. Should I feel any more regret in denying them video games than I do in denying them 'My Little Pony" or whatever the current fad is? Should I give in to their every request? My "no" is a lonely stance in our "gimme" and "entertain me"

But I know it will enable the children to be creative in making what they want and to be self-reliant in filling their societ5r.

time. My children are glad we deny them TV viewing (at home; occasional watching at friends' sleep overs is permitted). I suspect the same is true for video games. They realize that the allure is beyond their ability to control themselves. I don't doubt this control will come with maturity, as it did for me with regard to TV viewing. In the meantime, the children aren't wasting hours a day but are instead learning how to fill their time with contact with the real

world. When our children were infants we surrounded them with a safe environment, removing dangerous items from their reach and periodically giving a "no" (or removing them) when they attempted to do the unsafe. They are older and more independent now. Does this mean we should no longer deny them what we deem unsafe and wrong? Playing video games is dangerous and wrong, I believe, not least because while playing we're unaware of the effects. The games only pretend to portray reality. They give a false sense ofpower. They result in frustration which is never alleviated in the game playrng. It is alleviated in

antisocial behavior (surliness, withdrawal, aggressiveness). The games are a waste of time. My children feel a sense of worth, of accomplishment, of power when they master something difflcult. For instance, my 4 year old learned to ride his twowheeler this spring. My 8 year old can now do cartwheels. My 9 year old can ride her bike no-handed. They feel good about themselves. It's not power over someone or even something (no, not power over the bike); it's power in their ability to control their own bodies and minds. These feelings are leagues away from the power a child feels after an electronic game session. That power is illusive, unsatis$ring. For a look at where video games will take us, I refer to a recent (February 1992,I believe) Nationat Geographic article on Japan. It showed a woman in proper riding attire perched atop a mechanical horse in an enclosed room. The inability to see what is wrong with such a scene lies not only with children. The attraction to the newest electronic wizardry is evidently strong at all ages. Yet each new invention takes us that much farther from the real world and denies that much more our humanity and place with nature.

Blaming Other Problems on Video Games Margie Lesch (TN), tuhose letter started off the uideo games discussion,

nou urites: As I read through my letter and the discussion, it was amazing to me how differently I feel now than when I wrote the letter. But a lot has happened since

then.

Growing Without Schooling #88


27 I realized that the only times I have been really upset with the children's video/computer game playrng were when I was so preoccupied with other things that I couldn't spend the time I liked with the boys, and as a result let them playwhenever they wanted (in the afternoons) until things could retum to a certain normalcy. Since Caleb was born (1985), we have had five major moves, and my husband's mother was diagnosed with bone cancer and came to live close to us when Caleb was two weeks old until she died three and a half years later. With those situations, and with all that is involved in caring for three young children, I sometimes felt overwhelmed. I used the Nintendo as a sitter while I took care of other also important things, but it would sometimes be played more than I felt comfortable with. Yet as much as I didn't like it, I needed for the boys to be occupied. If there had not been mandatory testing in Arkansas, where we were living at the time. I could have been more relaxed, but the boys had to be tested every

year. The funny part ofall this is that I actually spent so litUe time on academics each year and just took the boys everywhere I went - including doctors' offices and cancer centers - and they continued to score well above grade level every year. I think perhaps I should have written and asked how parents deal with homeschooling during times of extreme stress. That was really what I was concerned about. In the discussion, Natalie Rusk mentioned parents blaming everything on Nintendo regardless of whether tlat has anything to do with the real issue. I think that is what I've done at times. It's like when, in the first year you homeschool, you think that everything that goes wrong is related to the fact that you have your children at home. You think you wouldn't be having this problem if your children were in school. As we know, that is not true. We have not had any problems with the boys not doing chores orwhateverbecause ofNintendo, but I did blame a lot on Nintendo that wasn't related to it at all. I do think that every family as a unit

must decide for itself what will work

within that unit. We cannot necessarily say that every child should be able to decide what is good (or abusive) for him- or herself. Children are all different (as much as they are the same) and come to certain

capabilities at different times and as parents we are responsible for seeing what that child is capable of doing and allowing him to do that, but not allowing him to abuse himself when he is younger and perhaps cannot help it. I have one child who asks to go see just about every horror (and R-rated) movie that comes out, and we do see some R-rated movies. I think he knows (or hopes) we won't say yes, yet he always asks. I used to wonder if I should just take him, until one day I overheard him tell a friend very proudly that he wanted to go see such-and-such a movie, but Mom said he wasn't old enough. This implies to me that he knows that he asks for things that are beyond his limits, and

Growing Without Schooling #88

he is glad there is someone there who will

help him maintain his limits. As for the question of whether a child is doing something excessive because of what may be lacking in his life, it is a possibility, although I do think some children are more prone to addictive behaviors than others are. Our lives have always been full and active and happy. I've been amazed at how well we have done considering all the uprootings we have had. I think a family that didn't have Nintendo might have used TV more in the situation we were in, or maybe they would have had more homeschooling families in the area and would have relied on them more. The last year we were in Arkansas, there were many more homeschoolers and the boys were able to go over and spend some afternoons with other families. But when you are new in an area, that is not always available. For the first time in a long time, I now have the time to watch the boys play Nintendo (when they ask) or to be in the room sewing while they play. I am interested in what they have to say about the Nintendo games they are interested in. And if I was any good at anything besides Tetris and Dr. Mario, I would play with

them. Aaron and Seth (our two older boys) have spent many hours devising elaborate maps and stories of Nintendo games. They have learned to play the music of several of the games on the piano. This week they put all their game codes into the computer for easy access. They have them all alphabetized and very official-looking. They have honestly spent more time doing other activities related to Nintendo than

actually playing it. We, personally, have not been concerned about the violence aspect of the games. The boys have not been interested in any of the really gory or gross games. In fact, they talk about how disgusting some of the games are that they see available but don't choose. We weren't going to allow guns, either, but found that from an early age they found their own materials to make their own guns. Although our boys have always liked weapons, and we haven't limited them, they are very opposed to violence, war, or any type of

unkindness to any living thing. There have been times when the boys wanted to play video/computer games and I felt they had been playrng too much, yet I

couldn't really offer them any other suggestions right then and would say, "Yes, go ahead." When they could see that I was upset, they would say, "Mom, we won't play if you don't want us to. We want you to be happy about it also." This sometimes made me feel worse, because I thought they felt it was them or what they were doing that was bothering me. It wasn't, and I explained that to them. When they said they wanted me to be happy about their playing, it also meant to me that they wanted me to be happy with what they were happy with - to accept them where they are. I do, and I believe they know it.

Resources & Recommendations Catalog of Math Materials We received a catalog called Materials

for Math Maniacs that seems full of great stuff. The introductory letter from the people who put out the catalog sounds very much like what we keep saying in GWS: "Mathematics in the real world is not what many of us learned in school, when we were taught to memorize abstract concepts without understanding their relationship to our everyday lives. Mathematics is the real world. Natural formations are mathematical patterns, music follows mathematical sequences, and we all use math every day in our lives in telling time, using money, estimating distances, and solving problems. One of the misconceptions about mathematics is that it's boring and diflicult. Yet many children will spend hours absorbed in solving a puzzle or doing origami - both of which teach important mathematical concepts. and because the process was fun, they're more likely to integrate what they leamed, and to come back for more with interest and enthusiasm." The catalog sells puzzles, tangrams, dice, blocks, models of geometric shapes, and books of puzzles, Iogic problems, and all sorts of other mathematical things. Scattered throughout the catalog itself are "thinking problems" - questions like, "What do the numbers 3, 7,8,4O,5O, and 6O have in common that no other whole numbers have?" - and the people who put out the catalog promise to send you the answers when you place an order. This may be a sales gimmick, but it's pretty hard to resist, and the catalog seems well worth supporting. Institute for Math Mania, PO Box 9lO, Montpelier VT 05601;

802-223-547r.

Quincentennial Education Project JoAnne Miller Buntich of Massachusetts sent us information about the Quincentennial Education Project's packets of resources for schools and communities. The packets contain information and suggested reading about Columbus, with emphasis on the Native American perspective. They also include sample lessons, which presumably could be adapted and used in some other way as well. One packet is for grades K-6 and another is for grades 7- 12. Each costs $4 plus $l postage. There's also a packet for teachers to use on National History Day, which includes articles on related issues, such as U.S. policy toward Native Americans, and a directory of resources about Central America. This teachers' packet costs $12 plus $3 postage. Packets are available from the Quincentennial Education


2a Project, Central America Resource Center, 317 l7t}r Ave SE, Minneapolis MN 55414; 612-627-9445.

airport. Humanities Spring offers a $2O0 scholarship to all students in return for work (kitchen duty, etc.) to encourage the

spirit of collaboration.

Tape of Childrenfs Book

Authors

The Children's Book Council offers an audiocassette on which ten children's book authors discuss ttreir early memories and feelings about reading and writing. The authors included are Avi. Natalie Babbitt, Judy Blume, Russell Freedman, Paula Fox, Jamie Gilson, James Howe, lnis lnwry, Patricia McKissack, and Seymour Simon. Each tape comes with a copy of "On Becoming a Writer," an illustrated pamphlet with biographical information about each of the authors. We haven't heard the tape, but it sounds like a good companion to the book we carry in our catalog, Hou Wrtters Write. The cassette and pamphlet are available for $9.95 prepaid from Children's Book Council, Order Center, 350 Scotland Rd, Orange NJ 07O5O.

Learn Japanese Through Cartoons Geoffrey Litwack (PA) recommends a magazine called Mangqjin. It's a magazine ofJapanese cartoons with English

translations, and American cartoons with Japanese translations, and Geoffrey says that he has found the magazine to be a great way to learn some Japanese. The translations of the Japanese cartoons include a phonetic translation of the Japanese characters and then an actual translation into English. Geoffrey told us that the only drawback is the price, which is a bit high, but he adds that he had been wanting to learn Japanese for some time and has found this magazine extremely helpful. Maybe interested people could share the cost. $3O for lO issues from Mangqjin, PO Box 49543, Atlanta GA 30359.

Literature & Travel Program ln Italy Jenng Oliensis untes Jrom ltalg: Humanities Spring in Assisi is a small, homeschooling, travel-study program in Assisi, Italy for American and Italian students who love Iiterature and art. Students have classes in the morning in our turn-of-the-century schoolhouse in the hills outside Assisi (we also live here) and travel in the afternoon to see related works of art and architecture. The method of Humanities Spring is comparative: students, for example, compare the Roman Baths they visit in Bevagna with what Greek and Roman poets have written about baths. Tuition is $140O which includes everything except airfare, theatre tickets (we make three trips to the nearby Spoleto Festival) and the optional horseback riding. We meet students at the Rome

For further information and application, please write Humanities Spring in Assisi, Santa Maria di Lignano, 2, 06081 Assisi (PG), Italy.

Work on a Horse Farm Inng-ttme homeschooling parent Lorratne Clark writes: My husband Joe and I have gone out on a limb and bought a horse farm. We are

moving from our comfortable home in the suburbs of twenty-five years to a working horse farm. We have no experience in this venture other than the experiences we've gathered since getting a horse twelve years ago (we boarded it out). Involvement with equines kept growing until now we have made this major life change. We are h.ppy, somewhat overwhelmed, and looking ahead. I'm sure this change was influenced by GWS's philosophy. We are open to having working equine students visit. If you're interested, write 134 Spring Creek Ln, Pottstown PA 19464, or call 215-566-4285.

Teen Vegetarian Newsletter We received a press release about a new publication called How on Earth! Teens xtpporting compassianate, ecologicallg sound liuing. Most of the writing is by teenagers, and teenagers have been involved in the planning and development of the newsletter. The announcement says

that the newsletter contains information about vegetarianism and environmental and animal rights issues, and hopes to be a forum for teenage activists to discuss their efforts. Subscriptions are $12 (4 issues), $lO for teens, from The Vegetarian Education Network. PO Box 3347, West ChesterPA 1938 I ; 7 17 -529-8638.

Musical Scores Available For those interested in music: we received a notice that Musical Score Distributors Co, 6l I Broadway, New York NY 10012, 212-475-0270, is nowmaking its sheet music and text books available to

individuals, not just to libraries and music departments. They say they "feature full scores. vocal. instrumental music and a full complement of choral music. Our chamber music is probably the most complete in the country. Our discount schedules range from lOo/o to 2oo/o."

Additions to Directory Here are the additions and changes that have come in since our last issue. Our complete 1992 Directory was published in GWS #84, and #87 contains a summar5z of all the changes between then and now. Our Directory is not a list of all subscribers, but only of those ula ask to be hsted, so that other GWS readers, or other interested people, may get in touch with them. If you would like to be included, please send the entry form or a 3x5 card (one family per card). Please take care to include all the information - last name. full address, and so on. Tell us ifyou would rather have your phone number and town listed instead of your mailing address (we don't have space to

list both). If a Directory listing is followed by a (H), the family is willing to host GWS travelers who make advance arrmgements in writing. If a name in a GWS story is followed by a state abbreviation in parentheses, that person is in the Directory. We are happy to forward mail to those whose addresses are not in the Directory. If you want us to forward the letter without reading it, mark the outsrde of the envelope with writer's name/description and the issue number. Ifyou want us to read the letter and then forward it, please enclose another stamped envelope. When you send us an address change for a subscription, please remind us if you are in the Directory, so we can change it here, too. Please remember that we can't control how the Directory is used; ifyou receive unwanted mail as a result of being listed, just toss it out.

AR - Tom & Julie O'DAY [Meghann/79, Katherine/81. Bridget/84, Timothy/87, Conor/ 89, Ian/91) 255 Caney Creek Rd, Conway 72032

(change) (H)

CA, North (zlps 94OOO & up) - Lucy Salcido CARTER & Jim NELSON (Daniel/84) 1087 Moreno Av, Palo Alto 94303 (H) e oo E}4ft612 DYSKANT & Barry MILLER (Ra).rnil8o, Erek/86, Nadine/9I) 9755 Gorham Pl, Sm Ramone 94583 ... Phillip & Michelle HOLCOMB (Hilary/ 83, Scott/86) 485 Inma Vista Dr, Redding 96002 ... Bobby & Laura INGRAM (Amanda/83, Katherine/8s, Noah/88) 8Ol San Carlos Av, Albany 94706.r Diane KALLAS & Bruce KOLLER (lanl89) 213 Riverwood Cir. Martinez 94553 ..o Randy & Lynne KNOWLES fAnthony/ 77, Jenny /79, Jorma/84, Arly / 86, Elspeth/88, Galen/9O) PO Box 6668, Chico 95927 (change; ... Bob & Dorothy LEL-AND (Jeremy /87, Rachel/9l) 18Ol Nantucket Pl, Fairfield 94533... Chris & Brook PEDERSEN (Rowan/85, Dyian/86) 9tO Spring St, Santa Rosa 95404 ... Paul & Margaret TURANO (Brian/8s, Michael/87) 857 L St, Davis 95616... Neil &VickiZIEMBA (Corey/85, Irene/ 89) PO Box 197. Bodega 94922(ll) CA, South (zips to 94fiX))

-

Mike &

Rhoda ABAYAN (Michael/8l, Matthew/S2) 56 S Garden St #6, Ventura 93OO I ... Steve & Sara BRECHT fVirginia/8 l. George/S5, Edward &

Jonathan/85) 20555 Dumont St, Woodland Hills $ | J$z| ooo AJonna & S. FARRAR (Tara/ 81, Zeyen

When You Write to

83) 454 Papaya St, Vista 92083

- (1) Put separate items ofbusiness on separate sheets ofpaper. (2) Put your name

TWo Harbors 90704 (H)

Please

and address at the top ofeach 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 space and clarity.

...

/

Bill & Sea

PUIERSON (Kellie/79, Colin/81) PO Box 5O85.

huis

DEPPE (Amber/82, Plainfield Av, Orange Park 32073 (H) ooo'v1r2-" g Reenie MacHARRIS

FL

-

Sharon &

Mandy/85, Regan/88)

2 l2O

fMichael/8 l. Molly/83, Kelly/85, Mark/89) 36814 Chestnut Ln, Zephyrhills 33541 ... Tai &

Growing Without Schooling #88


29 Cheryl MONG (Lel,e/93, Michael/89) 12t2 Woodland Av, t akeland 33801

(lanl8S, GA - Derek & Kristen MADDOX Emily/86) 98 Red Fox Run, Warner Robins 31088 (Hl

IL- Ken &Julie BERGENER (Charlene/86, CJ /9Il 17 15 Donovan St, McHenry 60050-3847 ...

Stillwater I7A7A ... Ron & Caroline MERRILL (Jonathan/ 87, Ryan/8g, Paul/ 9 I ) 345 Haverford Pl, Swarthmore l9O8I ... Diane &Dean MO)C.{ESS (Merelei/84,Erlc/87) RR 6 Box 6349, E Stroudsburg I83Ol-9174

Litt6u g Eric TURNROTH (Jonathan/80, Molly/86) 609 E 6th St, Rock Falls 6lO7l 5OO3 W Roscoe, Chicago

60641 (H)

...

WEINTROB (Eljzabeth/ IN - Neil & Susan 8f, Teddy/83) 4604 N Tillotson Av, Muncie

Homeschool Groupe:

Kingston 02881

Vestal 1385O

TX-Don

& Becky DAVIS (Tony /g4.Erica/ 85, Teddy/gO) 2O214 Woodsboro Ct, Spring 77388lll1rro Barbara SCOTT (Catta/82, Sarah/ 84) 325 Overland Dr, McKinney 75069... Marianne & Ken WHEATCROFT-PARDUE

Addrcs8 Changes:

CA- Esparto Homeschoolers, PO Box 3O5, Esparto 95627 (name change only) ... Peninsula Homeschoolers , 4795

77429

EDMONDSON ME - Margaret & Ronald (Joe/78, Arna/7g,Emily /a2l4 r Oak St, Mechanic Falls O4256(Hl ooc Ellen HIRSHBERG & Guy PETTY (Mac/83, Dean/86) 54 Crockett Neck Rd, Ktttery ft 03905 (H)

Aaron/83, Samuel/86) RD #3 Box 437O Ctr Rd, Middlesex 05602 (II)

(Jamle/97, MD - Stacy BATCHELDER Gregory/9O) NOKITI COUNTY HOME EDUCATORS, 8 164 Weyburn Rd, Millersville 2 I 1O8... Theresa LUI IJ eesxt / 7 7, Michael/8o, Victoria/ 85) 10809 Beech Creek Dr, Q6lrr6ll2 f, lQ{.2[ ooo Jerome & Deborah SOLINAS (Elizabeth/83,

Mary & Jack WIISON (Emtly/86, Luke/88, Daniel/89) 317 Monte Vista Av, Charlottesville

Russell & Mary PERSONS [Daniel/81

,

Nick & Kathy CRETTIER (Erin/85,

t{ex/a7l Rt 3 Box 419, Front Royal 2263O(H)... 22903 (H) (Emily/85, WI - Peter & Sarah GILBEIil Susannah/92) 1908 N Clark St, Appleton 5491 I (H)

Greenbelt 2077O

Elaine GREEN (Andrew/78, MT - Bryan & Daniel/80. Stuart/82, Katherine/86) 692 Echo Lake Rd, Bigfork 59911 (change) (H)

95 I 3O;

Homeschoolers Alliance, MN - Minnesota 612-491-2A2a (new phone number only) l[Y - New York City Home Educators Alliance, 2f2-5O5-9Aa4 (new phone number

only) PA

Endless Mountains Homeschoolers

-

[N Central PA),

c/o G Kellogg, RD 3 Box 80,

Columbia Cross Rds 16914:. 7 17 -549-8179 Home Canada - Cowichan Valley Learners, IOSO Marchmont Rd, Duncan, BC VgL 4W4 New zcaland - New Z,ealand Home Schooling Assoc, 5 Thanet Av, Mt Albert, Auckland, New Zealand

Pen-Pals

Catlada: MA - Ted & Shirley CARPENTER [Todd/ 84) 188 First Parish Rd, Scituate 02066 o.. Megan HILL & Nathan FERN (llana/83, Sarah-Mattea/ 85, Jahmai/86, Kidane/87, Wadada/89, Nyala/ 9I) 35 Fidelis Way # 139, Brighton 02I35 "' Mike & Dawn LEASE (Spencer/S3, Courtney/S5) 79 Jason St, Arlington 02174 (l\... Al & Geri LECH (Melissa/82, Amanda/8s) 5 Red Oak Acres, Merrimac Ol860 ... Patricia ROBERGE fJesse/ 81, Gabriel/86,Asia/9 I, newbaby /52) 85 Glendale St, Brockton 02402

ll'ge Dr, San Jose

408-379-6835

(Emma/86) 11800 Grant Rd #r8O7, Clpress

47304

Kathryn/86, Kristin/88) l6U Ridge Rd,

of the IIIY - Home Education Exchange Southern Tier, RD 2 Box 244, Grippen Hill Rd,

29720

VA-

North County Home Educators,

MD

8I64 Weyburn Rd, Millersville 21108

SC & Dianna BROUGHTON - Robert (Bobby/87) 2420 GolfCourse Rd, Lancaster

Vf

Add to the Dlrcctory of Orgisrizatlons: Correspondeacâ&#x201A;Ź School: Weaver Curriculum, 2752 Scarborough, zuverside 92503 (Fre K - 6th, 7-12th supplements)

RI Geraldine & Jack BARRY (Jack/8O, James/82, Mike/85, Brendan/87) 4l Cedar Cir,

Patty DOHERTY & Don NOYap (Kyle/S3,

Breanna/85, Elliot/9o) 23423N Hampton Rd, Chilicothe 61523 (H) ... Lori & Joaquin GARCLA (Esther/78, Jesse/-82) ONOI3 Nepil Av, wheaton 60t87 ... Vickii & Phil GERVAIS (Nicholas/85)

(Christopher/84, Amber/86) Po Box 789, Manila, Phlltppines IO99

(Christopher/78, - Karen SEARGEANT Rebecca/8o) COWICHAN VALLEY HOME LEARNERS. lO5O Marchmont Rd, Duncan VgL 4W4

Children wantlng pea-pals should write

BC

Ma! Kathi CALLEN & David DOERKSEN (Jedediah/84, Eluah Luke/87, Zephram/9L) Box 825, Dauphin R7N 3J5.or Gary & Sandy HOLT Uoshua/8o. Tasha/8 I . Benjamin/83, Sunshine/86) 7O9-15 Carlton St, winnipeg R3C 1N8 (change) (Colin/77, PEI - Paul & Riada ROCH Nicholas/79, Christopher/82) RR #2, Breadalbane COA 1E0 (change) (Hl

& Charles COE

(Jonathan/84, NH - C)'ndi & ten JARVI Jake/88) 8 Hough St, Lebanon 03766 [change)

Other Locatlotrs

SFIAPIRA (Isaac/86, NJ - Dov & Caroll'n Carmel/87, Charlotte/91) 64 Wayne St, Jersey ciw o73o2

llnr""-."** .o*

-

Candace

to those listed. To be listed, send name, age, address. and 1-3 words on interests rrr filo(anflg1 BANKS-WATSON [8] Ross Rd, The Channon, New South Wales, Australia 2480i science,

reading, sports ... Jenna MILIS If2) f3 Rutherford Cres. Kanata, Ontario Canada K2K INI; music, reading, cooking ... TRANA, 206E2rrd St, Wilton 1A52778: Kyrnberly (14) reading, writing, swimming: Jenny (I2) sports, reading, horseback riding; Marci (10) rabbits, drawing, horses; Donny (7) violin, art, sports; netsy (5) computer, dolls. mermaids... Joey NOGAI{OSH [9) 13 Rutherford Cres, Kanata, Ontario Canada K2K INI; dragons, bicycling, drarna ... Amber LORANGER (7) MPO l7-R Krogstad Rd. Washougal WA 98671 : reading, Miung, unicorns

DIRE.T.RY

- Gary & Shari 83, Tegan/86, Sam/89) 2777 North East Rd,

Use this form to send us a new entry or a substantial address change to be run in the next available issue of GWS. You may also use it to make small changes or corrections which we will hold until the complete 1993 Directory is published in GWS #90.

SMEE

Adults (first and last names):

I\IY

MILISPAW (Kedron/

Findley t ake 14736 [change) ... Kathleen & John (Ryan/8ll 2a72 Douglas Way, Cazenovia f 3035 (change) ... Darliel YOKUM & Virginia MAR9UES (Chris/8O, Evan/85, Annika/9o) 30 Lorraine St, Plattsburgh 12901

& Orlando NC - Jeanie COOK-MORALES MORALES (Elena/75, Mia/80, Emily/84) l31l Hatch Rd. Chapel Hill 27576(fr| (Josanna/ - Beth & Paul CRAWFORD 77 , Eber'/ 831 39 I 75 NW Hidden Acres Ln, Cornelius 971 13 (H) roo.169l pA!'ID & Kristin SYKES-DAVID (Aaron/85, Toby / 89) HC 72 Box 245A, Princeton 97721 lll)

Organization (only if address is same as family):

Children (names/birthyears): Full address (Street, City, State, Zip):

OR

PA Carol FITZGERALD & Wade WRIGHT - Dillon/S1, (Jesse/79, Adrian/87) RR I Box 1244,

Growing Without Schooling #88

Are you willing to host traveling GWS readers who make advance arrangements in

writing? Yes

_

No

_

No Are you in the 1992 Directory (GWS #84)? Yes Or in the addiilons in this issue or in GWS #87? - Yes

-

-

No

-


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3l ... FRi\l{K. I 73O N Adoline. Fresno CA 937O5: Daniel (9) computers, Nintendo, drawing; Sam (5) cookies, Ninja Turtles, Ralfi ooo SPIELMAN, 1265 Lois Av, Brooklield WI 53045: Gabrielle (r r) wdting, reading, cats; Ben [8) soccer, reading, Miting; Zach (6) sports, stamps, wildlife ... Eben FOSS [1O), Box 67, Deer lsle ME 04627: biking, sailing, swimming ... TORREL, l24O Deer Creek Rd. Selma OR 97538: Chandra (IO) horses, drawing, nature; Sol (7) eagles, nature, piano... Justine ETZKORN (7) Cormanah Light Station, c/o 2 I Huron St, Victoria BC, Canada V8V 4V9; adventures, swimming, nature... NICHTER, PO Box2l7, Weston OH 43569: Carey (I3) horses, writing, music; Peter (lO) lrgos, dinosaurs, att... Diana DEA\rER (10) 13554 Erving Jacobs Rd, Port Angeles WA 98362: art, reading, outdoors ... Rodney BURTON, Jr (II) I45 OakTree Road, Seymour IL 61875; astronomy, robots. Star Trek ... Janeela PEDICINI uO) 514 Franklin St, Cambridge MA02l39; music, pen-pals, soccer... Mathilda RYAN (9) l85O San Ramon, Berkeley CA947O7: horses, reading, writing... DAY, 27661 Calle de Iron, Romoland CA 92585: Cale (13) piano, drawing, nature; Cory (I 1) skiing, Scouts, soccer; Janice (9) soccer, camping, dolls;

Jeana (7) skating, Barbies, camping: Alan [5) camping, school, music ... Emma WHEATCROFIPARDUE (6) I lSOO Grant Rd # 1807, Clpress TX 7 7 42gi nature, dolls, bicycling'o' Kenny GORDON [4) 6f 53 Coral Pink Circie, Woodland Hills CA 9 1367; cars, stories, books ... LOUGHLIN. 105 W 4th St. Dunkirk NY 14048: Jenna (ll) acting, reading, stamps; Brian (8) bikes, Nintendo, collecting; Eric (4) Nintendo, baseball, playground ... WYAT'| , 9OOO E T-2, Littlerock CA 93543: Sherece [2) sports, music, hair; Brandon (I I) bikes, music, hamsters; Katie (8) camping, music, animals... GRr\IrF, 292I Freedom Blvd, watsonville CA 95076: Josh uO) lego, science, space; Zach (7) firefighting, soccer, plal'rnobile: Hannah (4) dolls, dancing, dressup: Sarah (2) dolls. animals, music ... Corey ZIEMBA (6) PO Box 197, Bodega CA94922: drawing, reading, grmnastics ... LASTROL{NNI, 2804 Alhambra Dr. Cameron Park CA 95682: Danielle (14) horses, babysitting, shopping; Lisa (13) babysitting, crafts, shopping ... Calley ORDOl'llE (f O) 3828 Garfield Av S, Minneapolis MN 55409: reading, outdoors, Scouts... Bridget FITZPATRICK (lO) 2309 Delano Ln, District Hts MD 2O7 47 : reading, running, birds ... Virginia BRECHT (10) 20555 Dumont St. Woodland Hills CA 9 1364; waterskiing, mysteries, music ... DIBLEY, 7039 Cantaloupe Av, Van Nuys CA 914O5: Emerson (13) writing, baseball, poetry; MacDuffo (l l) camping, sports, video gamesi Katie (5) friends, Disneyland, bikes... HERMANS, 6536 Babcock Av, N Holllvood CA 916O6: Andrew (8) sports, Nintendo, computers; Chris (5) Nintendo, lasagna, walking -r p2lnian KEVITT (16) 6945 Ranchito Av, Van Nuys CA 91405: science, fish, backpacking... p413, 12542 Emelita St, N Holly'wood CA 91607: Courtney (14) harp, â&#x201A;ŹXrmnastics, ballet; Elsa (12) g,mnastics, figurines, fl1119 ror Celeste CFIAN (13) 6IOI Ravenna Av NE, Seattle WA 981 l5: ballet, art, horses... Alexandra SEAR (lO) I I N Canterbury Rd, Canterbury CT O6331; reading, art, skating ... BAIIONE. 2905O St Martins, Livonia MI

48152: Nino (I6) basketball cards, computers,; Kris [13) bikes, basketball cards: Sean (lO) basketball cards, bikes: Jacll'n [7) sewing, svrimming, bikes ... Andrea QUARRACINO If 2) PO Box 235. Kimberton PA 19442:. archery, reading, rwiting -o.jO11NSON, 16765 Skyline Blvd, l,os Gatos CA 95030: Dale (12) & Kyle (9); friendships through letters ..r Ashleigh ATKINSON (6) 43I3 Vance Dr #3O7, Anchorage AK 99508; swimming, g,'rnnastics, art

Growing Without Schooling #88

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Growing Without Schooling  

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