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Growing Without Schooling 83

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Joanna Hoyt Is among those Interviewed for this Issue's Focus on young lobbyists, pages 15- 19.

Inside this Issue News & Reports p. 3-5 Homeschooling in France, Access to School Activities, Testing, GED Age Requirement Lowered

Homeschooling Siblings p. 5 Fitting in at Group Activities p. 6-7 Are Homeschoolers Abandoning Schools? p. 8-9 The discussion continues!

Challenges & Concerns p. 9-12 Mothers Want Time Alone, Helping with Teens' Social Needs, Meeting People from Different Backgrounds

Watching Children Learn p. 13-14 Helping in Pottery Business, Geography Bee

FOCUS: Young Lobbyists Homeschooling Kids in the Legislative Process p. 15-19 What I Gained by Not Going to School p.19

Writing a Homeschooling Story: Interview with Stephanie Tolan p. 20-21

When I was about 9 and just beginning to ride public buses by myself, I noticed that I often had to wait a long time for the bus I took regularly. When I complained about this to my mother, she suggested that I write a letter to the transit authority telling them about the situation. I did, and several weeks later the phone rang and an official voice asked to speak to me. My surprised mother handed me the phone, and I discovered that it was a representative from the transit authority calling to ask me further questions about the complaints I had made. He seemed genuinely concerned about the problem, and promised to try to do something about it. A few more weeks later, to our further astonishment, he called again, this time asking me whether I had noticed any improvement on the bus line. Writing a letter to someone about a problem worked. It accomplished something, and even a 9 year old could do it. That made a lasting impression on me, as speaking up and being taken seriously seems to have made a lasting impression on the homeschoolers we interviewed for this issue's Focus. We spoke with kids who have testified at hearings about homeschooling laws or regulations, or helped out in the lobbying effort in other ways. None came away from the experience feeling jaded or ineffective; instead, each spoke about having made a difference, having been listened to. Each said, MI would do it again." Adults who are working for (or against) specific homeschooling legislation have discovered that involving children in the effort helps. Legislators are often impressed by the testimony of children. As with so many things that children do, however, kids who become politically active may run the risk of being seen as cute symbols rather than as serious lobbyists, partly because many adults simply aren't used to taking kids seriously, and partly because without the vote kids lack full lobbying power. Yet because homeschooling is so clearly an issue that affects the lives of kids who are doing it (or who might want to), it's a good issue with which to begin. Responsible legislators often genuinely want to hear from the children to make sure that they, and not just their parents, want to continue homeschooling. As Michelle Addorisio, who testified in Connecticut, put it. MUsually all you hear is the parents' point of view, and I think people wonder, 'What about the kids? Are they really enjoying this? Do they wish they were in school?'" When kids testifY, or lobby their legislators, or write letters, they are able to say very clearly that homeschooling matters to them and that the new legislation or regulations would affect their lives. Any legislator who is seriously considering the homeschooling issue would be foolish not to take young people's testimony seriously. And in fact, the consensus among the kids we interviewed was that their testimony or other activities did seem to count in the lobbying effort. As Joe McCurdy said, about lobbying with his mother, MSometimes it was just like, 'Oh, here's a cute kid, let's make him feel welcome,路 but a lot of the time I felt that they really did want to hear what homeschooling was like for me and how I felt about it."- Susannah Sheffer


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In Memoriam: Jud Jerome

Yes, this scene is taking place 1n our office!

Office News & Annoucements [SS:) Long-time subscribers may remember that this is the issue into which we used to bind our fall catalog. As we learned at the last minute last year, postal regulations now forbid us from binding a third-class mail piece into a second-class piece, so we now mail the catalog separately. If you're a current subscriber and haven't gotten a fall catalog, let us know. We've got many wonderful new books in this catalog, as well as the re-Issue of John Holt's Never Too Late, which AddisonWesley has brought back into print. We've added two articles from Home Education Magazine to our Reprint Set #2: Pat Farenga's article about homeschoolers who choose not to go to college, and my article about options families have when homeschooling children say they want to go to school. These are two issues about which we often get asked questions, so we're hoping that making these articles available will be an easy way for you to see what we have to say. Reprint Set #2, which also includes three other articles, sells for $2.50. We'd like to hear about ways in which homeschoolers have been able to have focused discussions about particular books with, perhaps, a larger group than the family - another one of those things that some people think can only be done in classrooms. I know that some homeschoolers have formed book discussion groups. What are these like? How do they work? What about the book discussion groups that libraries sometimes hold? Has anyone tried these, and have they been a good, out-of-school way to satisfy one's interest in discussing particular books with others? And what about discussing a book with a group of pen-pals, for those who don't have easy access to a group close by? We would also like to hear about any work that Is being done to give "dropouts" viable alternatives to school. So often, when communities try to work with dropouts (I.e. kids who have left school without becoming legal homeschoolers), all effort Is directed toward getting them to go back to school. But It would be interesting to hear about efforts to help these kids find or sustain worthwhile lives outside of school, instead - by developing useful skills, or being able to get jobs or apprenticeships, or by knowing that there were parts of cities or towns in which dropouts were welcome. Let us know about anything along these lines that is going on where you live.

(SS:) We were very sorry to learn that Jud Jerome died on August 5, 1991, after struggling with cancer for several months. Jud may have been the first parent John Holt knew who was actually letting his children grow without schooling, and the two corre路 &ponded about this and many other subjects for over f"lfteen years. Many of the early issues of GWS are full of Jud's letters. After John's death, Jud continued to keep in touch with Holt Associates, writing a memorial poem for John and a few pieces for GWS. In the last letter I got from him, written last April, he said, "I've written more 路 and been generally happier 路 since turning 60 than in any previous period of my life." GWS reader Sky Yardley sent us the following memorial essay, about how Jud inspired him to homeschool his own child:

In the fall of 1973 I'd just moved to Frog Run farm, a commune in northern Vermont. I quickly heard about Downhill Farm, our legendary sister commune far to the south in the mountains of Maryland. The previous spring, a van-load of Downhillers, who turned out to be Jud, his wife Marty, and children Topher (5) and Polly (13), had spent a month helping us tap 1300 maple trees in our first, wild, sugaring season. Help we needed -ours was arguably the most labor-intensive maple syrup operation imaginable: when the ancient horse-drawn sap sled wasn't breaking apart in a bottomless mudhole or someone wasn't discovering four leaks in our dented storage tank, seven or eight people were getting drenched to the bone lugging two full, sloshing pails of sap through hip-deep snow as we all struggled to keep ahead of the dripping trees. By the time the season was over and the final disaster had been coped with, Polly had decided she would like to stay on. And she did, for thirteen years. By the time I arrived, early that fall, Polly had become a legend. She could fix everything in sight, was one of the few who could frrmly control the horses, was fearless on top of the barn roof, would work all day and laugh into the night Unfortunately, when I arrived Polly was gone for a few months on a cross-country hitchhiking trip with fellow Frog, Oro. At this point the idea of Polly's going to school was laughable to everyone who knew her. She was too busy working and learning. Two years before, Jud, at 44, had retired for good from formal, institutional academic life. Over the years he had continually pushed Its limits, winding up eventually at an experimental campus of Antioch College in Columbia, Maryland. He and Marty bought a 100-acre abandoned mountain farm with the intention of starting a commune. Although Jud's work commitment would keep him at Antioch for another six to eight months,

he asked Polly if she would like to leave school and move right out there with some friends to fix the place up. Polly didn't take long to decide, and a homeschooler was born. Homeschooling was different in those long-ago days. The struggle to fln4 other homeschooling families was particularly challenging. Laws were more restrictive, and in a sense Polly went underground. Never a social butterfly anyway, she kept a low profile on trips to town. She carried with her documentation of her supposed status as an enrolled student at a private school on the west coast More than once this paperwork, arranged by Jud, helped her out of sticky situations with zealous law-enforcement officers. As Polly and I became friends, what I noticed most about Jud was a clear, unspoken belief in her as a person who could make smart decisions for herself. He deeply trusted her and then acted on that trust in a radical and profoundly loving way. In this atmosphere, the decision to stay out of school became no decision at all -just a continuation of life as usual. No big deal. Jud taught me a lot about seeing young people as people. As I was growing up, the first thing I had to know about anyone even close to my age was, "What grade are you in?" This one number gave me so much essential information, I figured. Later in life I hadn't realized how constricted I stlll was by these beliefs, until one day at Frog Run Farm, I got a letter from Topher, then 14. Topher had homeschooled his whole life and had just spent much of a recent two-month visit completely designing and installing, as well as teaching me about. the wiring for our new barn and milkhouse. He knew his stuffi In addition, he took his bookkeeping business with him on the road and spent a significant amount of time on the phone with clients and entering data into his computer. Anyway, after he returned home, he wrote me a letter, in longhand for some reason, and Iremember feeling embarrassed for him about his "childish" penmanship and his "atrocious" spelling. With my prejudices I thought Topher looked stupid writing like that, though I sure knew he wasn't stupid. Yet Jud, his father, who made his living as a writer and a poet, couldn't be concerned in the least. He knew Top her would learn proper spelling when he wanted to, just as he learned wiring - and of course he did. Jud had a way of talking and being right with you without bothering with a lot of the categorizing many of us are taught. Somehow he quickly found the heart of the matter and didn't just talk about It - he lived it. I'm grateful to him because his example of trusting his daughter's instincts twenty years ago has helped me decide to let my own daughter grow without schooling today. Thank you for being you, Jud. The Jerome family says that memorial contributions may be made to a fund established for the publtcation of the book of poetry Jud was working on at the time of his death: The Judson Jerome Memorial Fund, PO Box 740, Yellow Springs OH 45387.

Growing Without Schooling #83


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News & Reports Homeschooling in France French author Catherine Baker told us about two books she has written (we haven't yet seen the books themselves) about homeschooling and kids who refuse to go to school. Her descriptions of the books give some sense of the home schooling movement in France: Insownission a l'Ecole Obligatoire (Obligatmy Schooling Refused), published by Bernard Barrault, is an attempt to analyze what nonsense it is to force children to go to school when they are unwilling. "Uberty - what climes are conunitted in your name I" The book, which could have been austere, was written to my daughter, with a smile. She chose not to go to school and spent all her childhood rollerskating in the streets of Paris. Today, at 17, she Is training to be an assistant filin editor. The second book is Les Cahiers au Feu (Books on the Fire) . The title Is a line from a rhyme that French children sing at the end of the school year. This book is based on an enquiry made among 86 families who had all taken this radical choice and had to fight against the law (which allows deschooling but makes life impossible) and especially against the gossips. Some parents taught their children themselves; others, like myself, did not even do that. Som children travel, others gather together, still others stay at home and make, one day, the passionate discovery of reading.

Access to School Activities in Oregon From the 8/24/91 issue ofThe Oregonian: Children who attend school at home will be allowed to participate in public school sports and activities this fall. The state Board of Education on Friday adopted a temporary 180-day rule allowing homeschool students to join interscholastic sports and activities - provided they score at the national average or higher on standardized achievement tests. Board members set the standards as high as pennitted under a new law that, for the first time, gives homeschool students access to public school activities . The students can participate only in activities offered by the school that serves the attendance area in which they live. It is a law that not all board members like. Board member Donald Kruse said the law will mean different standards will be used to admit public school and homeschool students to activities since standards vary from district to district. He also questioned whether homeschooled children would be accepted by public school students. ... Greg McMurdo, deputy state superintendent for government relations, recommended the board adopt a temporary

Growing Without Schooling #83

rule so homeschool students could join fall sports and activities. The board could consider refining standards for a permanent rule after it has had time to conduct research and public hearings, he said. McMurdo said he informed homeschoolers of the proposed temporary rule, but none showed up to speak against it during the board meeting in the Multnomah Education Service District headquarters in Portland.

Problems with Testing in Washington From the Spring-Summer 1991 issue of FLEx. the newsletter of the Family Learning Organization of Washington: A bit of history: When Senate Bill 3279 was being processed by the Washington legislature in 1985, it seemed reasonable to accept a requirement of testing in order to gain legislative approval [of homeschooling). But, who would do the testing? Where can one get tests? How would children react to the annual grilling? These questions were hardly mentioned at the time. Some of us may even have thought you could buy such tests at the local bookstore! After the law went into effect and people began to comply, we began to hear such questions more and more. In 1987, Emporia University Bureau of Educational Measurements offered to make tests available to homeschoolers. Many parents have tested their children in the ensuing years and have come to rely on this relatively simple way of complying with the law. The problem: Now it develops, standardized tests are zealously guarded by the publishers who have gone to great lengths to "protect the security" of the tests, whatever that means. Judging by their reaction, letting parents use tests is like giving out the password of a secret society to uninitiated candidates. So, while we thought we were just testing our children to see if they had learned the equivalent of what is taught in school. the test publishers have judged us to be "highly suspect" and have prohibited parents from using their tests unless they are professional educators of some kind, lest we infringe on their special area of expertise. This has resulted in the closing down of Emporia's services, which had been in business since 1914. And, in turn, the Family Learning Organization Testing Service and others who relied on Emporia have had to curtail their efforts to provide tests to homeschoolers. Some have made arrangements with publishers while sidestepping the Issue of whether parents should be in charge of testing. Others have written letters to Emporia and the publishers imploring them to change their policy toward parentadministered tests, but to no avail. ... Of course, you can still get tests through a teacher or school. But wasn't that what many of us were trying to avoid?

And there is the other option [in the law): a teacher's written assessment. But what about people in Curlew who must drive thirty miles to find a friendly teacher, or the folks in Metaline Falls who live sixty miles from the nearest testing site .... Another problem: Homeschoolers are getting an education about standardized tests. They are finding that tests are not very helpful! Instead oftelling us how much the child knows, or how he stands in relation to his school-educated peers, these tests mostly tell us how well a child has learned to take multiple-choice tests, and how good he is at guessing what the testwriter had in mind. Since standardized achievement tests were designed by textbook publishers, they are intended to be used with a specific curriculum and in a classroom setting. Therefore, it really is a mistake to expect much from standardized tests in the case of homeschoolers. The article goes on to suggest possible solutions to the testing problem in Washington: find other sources of tests (certified teachers, private schools willing to include homeschoolers in their testing program); rely on teacher assessments; persuade test publishers to change their minds; and change the law. The article then discusses some difilculties inherent in each of these options: some certified teachers are unwilling to test a child who is not under their supervision; the law specifies that teachers who write assessments of homeschoolers must be currently employed in the field of education, which eliminates homeschooling parents who have teacher's certificates; it seems unlikely that test publishers will be persuaded to change; some homeschoolers are afraid to open up the possibility of changing this one aspect of the law, because it might pave the way for other, more restrictive regulations to be included. But FLO reports that homeschoolers have discussed trying to amend the law to include other options for assessment. Meanwhile, FLO suggests that since there are no regulations about how teacher assessments should be done, parents should write their own evaluations and submit them to certified teachers for a signature. If any other states are dealing with this issue, please let us know.

Choosing Not to Test The August 1991 issue of the Massachusetts Home Learning Association newsletter printed a letter from a homeschooling famay to a school superintenGROWING WJTIIOUT SCHOOUNG 1183. Vol. 14, No.5. ISSN 110475-5305. Published bi-monthly by Holt Associates, 2269 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA02140. $25/yr. Date oflssue: October I. 1991. Second-class postage paid at Boston. MA. POS1MASTER: Send address changes to GWS, 2269 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge MA 02140. ADVERTISERS: Deadlines are the 15th of oddnumbered months.


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dent, explaining the family's decision not to test their son this year. Massachusetts does not require testing; it requires that family and school offzcials come to an agreement about what method of evaluation will be used. Note that the letter points out that the state's law does not require testing of homeschoolers, explains succirzctly why the family has chosen not to test, and proposes another method of evaluation. Others might want to use this as a modeL substituting their own reasons for choosing not to tesL In states that do

require testing, families who choose not to test will have to acknowledge that they are going against the law and give very clear reasons for doing so. We would like to hear from any families who have done this. Dear Dr. : We received a call from your office this week regarding testing of our son. This letter is sent with the intention of explaining to you our position on testing at this time, and also to offer an alternative means of reporting our son's progress. We would like to cite the "Charles Decision" (Care and Protection of Charles, 399 Mass. 324; 1987) concerning the issue of testing: "Other means of evaluating the progress of the child may be substituted for the formal testing process, such as periodic progress reports or dated work samples ... • and give the following reasons for our decision not to allow our son to be tested at this time. They are: 1) Age: We feel that our son, at age 8, is too young to be subjected to the testing process and that at this time there are better, more valid ways of determining his progress than a formal test. 2) Difference in experience: We have come to discover that homeschooling allows for a quite different experience than school does. Whereas in a formal school setting learning experiences are often

designed to be later quantified by a test, self-directed learning experiences are the domain of the learner himself, and therefore resist quantification, though they may to some degree be observed by a person in close contact with the learner. This large variation in the two experiences is another reason for our belief that formal testing at this time is neither valid nor fair. We would like to propose that we continue to send progress reports to you at a time of year most convenient to you (our preference would be some time during the summer months as we have done over the last two years). These reports would consist of our observations of our son's progress, field trips we have taken, and a listing of new supplies we have acquired during the preceding year. We want you to know that the testing issue is one we are in the process of coming to terms with. Since tests are a fact of life in our society at this time, we do not mean to deny our children the chance to take tests and [to) learn how to take them. It is more a matter of timing: at what point is any one individual mature enough and strong enough to submit to the testing process without trauma? These are some of the questions we have been asking over the last few years. Our conclusion at this time is that our son is neither old enough nor mature enough to benefit from formal testing. Sincerely,

GWS Survey about Library Use The American Library Association has asked me to speak about libraries and homeschoolers at their conference in June 1992 in San Francisco. The ALA and I thought it would be useful to ask GWS readers what homeschooling materials and resources they find lacking, and which ones they use, in their local libraries. Libraries are becoming more aware of homeschoolers. A recent article titled "Learning at Home: Public Library Service to Homeschoolers" by Susan B. Madden appears in the July 1991 School Library JournaL Some of the ideas listed in the survey below come from this article. Please clip out or copy this survey and return it to GWS. You can also just write your responses on a separate sheet of paper, but be sure to number your responses to correspond to the items below. I encourage you to write me longer responses and ideas about how libraries can better serve homeschoolers, and how homeschoolers can help libraries. Please address your replies to "GWS Library Survey" at our address. Below is a list of services and materials that libraries could offer to homeschoolers. With regard to each one, please circle "use" if it is available in your local library and you do make use of it; "don't use" if it is available but you haven't used it; "not available" if it isn't available but you would like it to be. 1. Homeschool Vertical File Packet: includes local and state regulations and laws, local homeschooling groups, basic bibliographies and articles culled from the popular press, school district phone num-

bers, addresses, and names. use/ don't use/ not available 2) Library tours to individual families or groups. use/don't use/not available 3) Workshops on how to use different catalogs, encyclopedias, databases, etc. use/don't use/not available 4) Curriculum guides from local school districts. use/don't use/not available 5) Displays of homeschoolers' projects - art works, science fairs, student writing, etc. use/don't use/not available Further questions: 6) Do you and/ or your children do volunteer work for your public library? Yes. _ No._ No, but we would if our library allowed volunteers. 7) What library books and materials do you use the most in homeschooling? 8) What books and materials do you want your library to get to help you with homeschooling? 9) What I like best about our library is 10) What I like least about our library is Please write in any additional comments, particularly if you have some of these services in your library but do not use them (tell us why!). Thanks for taking the time to respond! - Pat Farenga

Local News For addresses of state and local organizations, see GWS #78 or our homeschooling resource list available for $2.50. {Addresses of these groups change often; be sure to note the changes that have been printed in the issues sirzce #78.)

Changes In Testing Requirement Arkansas: The Department of Education has recommended some changes in the regulation for the administering of the test that homeschoolers take each year, according to the June/July 19911ssue of the Arkansas Christian Home Education Association newsletter. The changes are that fam!lies who do not pay for the test by the required date cannot take the test, and that families who do not test, unless prior arrangements have been made, cannot continue to homeschool the following year. These regulations have not yet been approved, but the ACHEA reports that the process is well along and that there will be opportunities for homeschoolers to comment. Hawaii: Gail Nagasako of Maui Homeschoolers writes, ¡our new proposed regulations will permit parents and principal to come up with an alternative way of evaluating progress in lieu of the tests which have been required after grades 3, 6, 8, and 10. ¡We spoke with Linda Inouye of the Friends Learning at Home group, and she told us that after the public hearings in May, the regulations are now awaiting formal approval. Gail Nagasako added in her letter, "I actually enjoy writing my year-end report. We follow a totally unstructured format and it's easy to get feeling that all we do is

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5 play and do errands and housework. My year-end report helps me see how much learning actually occurred. Then, too, I feel that a very detailed report like mine, with lots of quotes from John Holt's books and others, helps educate my principal and may help change the system a bit. • Compulsory School Age News Maryland: House Bill 55, which lowers the state's compulsory school age fro 6 to 5, passed this legislative session and goes into effect in 1992, according to issue #54 of the Maryland Home Education Association newsletter. MHEA reports that Gary Cox of Walkersville Christian Family Schools introduced an amendment, which did pass, waiving attendance for children whose parents feel they are not ready for formal instruction until age 6. Pennsylvania: House Bill 1695, which would lower the compulsory school age from 8 to 6 and raise it from 17 to 18 (seeGWS#82), passed out of the House Education Committee, but didn't get any further because so many homeschoolers protested it in letters, phone calls, and visits, according to the Summer 1991 issue of the Pennsylvania Homeschoolers newsletter. PA Homeschoolers has scheduled a lobbying day on October 16, and has prepared a fact sheet detailing their arguments against lowering the entrance age and raising the exit age. GED Age Requirement Lowered Washington: HB 1264, which became law on July 28, 1991, allows homeschoolers to take the GED at 15, according to the Spring-Summer issue of FLEx, the newsletter of the Family Learning Organization of Washington. In the past, students wanting to take the GED had to be 19 or have their school's approval, but now homeschoolers 15-18 can take the test if they present to the State Board of Education a copy of the Intent to Provide Home-Based Instruction form that they submitted to their school district (under Washington law, homeschoolers file this form each year).

Calendar November 13. 1991: "1heExhausted School - Find Out Why Our Schools Are Dying,· with speakers John Taylor Gatto (NY State Teacher of the Year), Dan Greenberg (founder of the Sudbury Valley School), Pat Farenga of Holt Associates, and four "self-educated" students of John Gatto. At Carnegie Hall in New York City. 7:30PM. Tickets $15. For information: 212-874-3631. Nov. 15: Two events at the same location: first, John Holt's Book and Music Store and Homeschool Associates of New England Book Sale, from 11 AM to 6 PM at the Brody Mountain Ski Resort in New Ashford, Mass. Call617-864-3100 for information. Then, the Homeschool Associates of New England Mothers' Weekend Retreat. Day Farenga will be speaking. For information: 207-777-0077. We are happy to print announcements of major homeschooling events, but we need plenty of notice. Deadline for GWS #84 (events in January or later) is November lOth. Deadline for GWS #85 (events in March or later) is January lOth.

Growing Without Schooling #83

Home schooling Siblings See GWS #82 for more letters on this topic.

Understands His Sisters From David Rees (MN): I am 11. I have two sisters. Dana is 8 and Aleta is 5. I love to tease them, but sometimes I get carried away. Then they have a right to be upset with me. Usually when I least expect it, they get me back. We make up pretty quickly (most of the time). Then we're like old buddies. When they did things that seemed odd to me, I used to criticize them. Now I try to remember that because I'm the eldest child in the family, no one ever told me what I was doing seemed strange, and I had no reason to think it was. So I shouldn't judge my sisters· behavior by my 11-year-old perspective. I fmd that this consideration helps us get along, and it is rewarding to understand how they and other people think and why they react the way they do. I think I really understand my sisters. Dana can be quite annoying because she is very timid about things, such as the dark or bees. On the other hand, she can be extremely brave and enthusiastic. When she is, she is lots of fun. Aleta is always brave and fierce about everything and is a great companion, especially when I remember what used to make me happy when I was her age. But she can be very disagreeable when she is tired. After all, she's only 5.

Working Together And from Dana Rees: I'm 8 and my brother David is 11. My sister Aleta is 5. We all get ideas from each other. When Mom is gone or busy, David helps teach. He has a special way to teach that Mommy doesn't, and he makes it more fun. He also read to us. I read to Aleta and help her. Aleta copies a lot that I do. David shows me some of the books that he's read that I've never seen. He tells me which books I would like to read and in which order I should read them and which are the best. His suggestions are always good. We take our singing, ballet, gymnastics, and swimming lessons together. We're in different levels, but we still work together, ski together, practice soccer together, bike together, and make up duets on the piano together. We get in fights too sometimes. We are almost always together, not separated in classrooms, and because we are so close we get angry at each other a lot, probably more often than other children do, who don't see each other as much as we do. We also learn how to make up from our fights. Mom lets us alone and when we tattletale Mom just says, "Work it out,· and she ignores us. Aleta plays with me more than David does, but all of us have fun together. Sometimes I think both of them are pests: Aleta

at night and David when I don't want to do what he wants me to do. We are learning to accept when other people want to be alone, and we let them. So I guess we get along pretty well. Homeschooling gives us time for reading and doing things together and alone and for doing our work.

Closer at Home From Debbie Westheimer (OH): High on the list of reasons to school at home is family unity. We feel strongly that keeping our children at home has indeed helped them be closer siblings. We have four children: Gabriel (10 1/2), Nathan (soon to be 8), Hannah (4 1 /2), and Eva (2 months). We live on a farm in a neighborhood with four other households. The children have never had a multitude of social options. I'm quite sure this is another reason why they are so close. Examples of closeness: we have a room with wall-to-wall futons which we call the sleep room. The three oldest children sleep together in this space. Bedtime has always been a special time of closeness for all of us. It's not unusual for Gabe to read to Hannah. Also, Gabe has taken on a helping role with Hannah. When it comes to putting clothes away after laundry, getting dressed in the morning, or cleaning up after play, it is Gabriel who lends a hand. Last week, after Gabe finished some dishrack responsibilities, he said, "I'm going to see if Hannah wants to play with me. She looks like she needs a friend." Just as Gabe has taken on a special big brother relationship with Hannah, Nate has done the same with Eva We call him "magic" because there are times when no one else can soothe Eva but him. He has a certain walk, a certain bounce, or a certain smell that appeals to her. Unlike my other three babies, Eva rarely falls asleep nursing. More often it is Nathan that does the trick. How lucky we feel that all the children are able to experience a baby in the house. Gabriel and Nathan are real brothers. Most of the time they are on good terms, partners at work and play. Sure, there are times when they need to take a break from one another, but that is rare. From a very early age it was clear that Nathan was going to be a bigger person than his older brother. Although he hasn't passed him up yet, the fact that they are so similar physically leads to compatible play. Most of their day is spent side by side. They make music together, do farm chores together, build with !egos together, and attempt money-making ventures all in partnership. Each does have his own independent skill that is not shared, too. Whereas Nathan is skillful at team sports, Gabriel works on independent sports like archery and horseback riding. There's no doubt in my mind that homeschool!ng allows all of us to experience a deeper relationship than we might have had, had our children left the house daily for eight hours.


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• Fitting In at Group Activities

Sarah-Kate Giddings (MA) sent this letter to several other horneschoolers. Their responses follow. Dear Friend, I have recently started working at the GWS office. Susannah asked me what kinds of things I would like to hear from other homeschoolers about, and I mentioned my trouble with fitting into certain groups. I have written about it below, and I hope that you will write a reply to prlnt along with my letter in GWS. I am currently involved in two different groups; one is a theater class and the other is a soccer team. One big thing that makes them different is how I fit into each of the groups. In the theater class everyone likes me and most of the kids are my friends. They think ifs really neat that I homeschool and wish they could do it, too. I'm also good friends with the theater teacher. On the other hand, on the soccer team I just don't fit in and I really feel like an oddball. This could be partly because all the other kids come from one school and there I am, this weird girl who shows up out of nowhere. "Where do you go to school?" they often ask. "I homeschool, • I reply, and everyone immediately classifies me as some kind of Martian. The coaches change every year, so I don't know them either. Occasionally there are one or two girls who will be nice to me and act as my friends, but everyone else still doesn't want to take any time to get to know me since I'm outside of their crowd. I didn't join either of these activities with my friends, so it was important for me to make friends with people in the groups. What do you think about fitting into group activities? Have some kinds of groups been easier for you to fit into than others? What do you think makes the difference? I am especially interested in knowing how you approach people in a group when they all know each other already. What ways of approaching them do you think work best? How have you gotten people to accept you in this kind of situation? I hope to hear from you soon! Sincerely,

Proud to Homeschool From Lorie Brownand of Washington: I have been in several groups (such as ballet classes, etc.) and I find that in most cases, being a homeschooler makes little difference. Usually, when people ask what school I go to, and I reply that I homeschool, they either seem interested and stuff me with questions saying how dreadful school is, or more or less pity me. They don't really act any different though. I actually don't talk with many people, but I don't think it's my being a homeschooler thafs a cause of that. In the past two years of being in a dancing group (Sunshine Generation), two girls who are also homeschoolers have joined. When the first girl started, I thought she might be more friendly with my sister Amee and me, than with some of the others, since we were the only ones who had homeschooling in common. I was rather surprised, then, when she didn't say anything on the subject at all. The other girl, as I soon discovered, was the same. One thing I did notice, though. was that whenever some other kid asked either of them what school they went to, they'd either ignore the question completely or respond in a very low voice that was not

meant to be heard. That definitely surprised me, for I always have felt rather proud to be a homeschooler. Homeschooling most certainly does make a difference here in our neighborhood, though. It used to be that when someone found out that I homeschooled, they expected me to be "less smart" than themselves, and started quizzing me on easy things; such as simple multiplication problems, and even ABC's. That, I did not appreciate! Once everyone got to know me a little better, they stopped that, but still all the neighborhood kids act like Amee and I are most definitely "odd,· and always chant: "Here come the home girls!... • (as we have been nicknamed) whenever they see us. When I join a new group where everyone is well acquainted, and no one seems interested in getting to know me, I usually keep very much to myself. I suppose the best thing to do is just act friendly and talk to the other kids whenever you get the chance, but I personally hate the idea of going over and talking to someone when they appear to be totally unfriendly. Usually if someone wants to be friendly and nice, the fact that you homeschool doesn't matter much, and even if they don't like the idea, they'll at least be polite about it.

Doesn't Need Groups to Make Friends From Katie Machano.ff (I'N): This is a difficult thing for me to wrlte about because I have never been in the situation that Sarah-Kate described, and I don't know how I would react. I don't join a group to make friends, I join to learn something new, so how I fit into the group doesn't really matter to me. The only group I'm involved with now is ballet. I have been taking ballet since I was 3. In my ballet class, most of the girls are much older than me, so ifs hard for me to make friends with them for that reason. We talk, but I don't have them over or go to the movies with them. But this doesn't bother me, because I go to ballet class to learn how to dance. I have never been involved in team sports. The only things I have been involved with were dance, a few classes at Bible school, and working on sets at our local playhouse. I have never been involved in any situation where I haven't known someone or was made to feel uncomfortable because I was different. I am fortunate in that I know a lot of homeschoolers in my area and I know a lot of kids with whom I have things in common. I make friends through our homeschooling group, and my mother is involved with a lot of other stuff, too, and many of the women she knows have kids close to my age. A lot of kids here already know about homeschooling, and they think it's really neat. So, since I make friends in other ways, I don't try to use group activities as a way of making friends.

Adult Help is Valuable From Annie Shapiro (C11: I take jazz dance lessons. Last year everyone else in my class was older than me and they all went to the same school, for the most part, so they knew each other already. They were always talking about school and people I didn't know, and not paying any attention to me. I wanted to be part of their group, but I was too shy to go over and start talking, so I would just stand there and listen. By the recital last sprlng, a few of them had noticed that I existed and talked to me, but most of them still didn't. I also take part in a theater workshop, and every sununer we put on a Broadway musical. We rehearse five days a week from 10 to 2 so if I didn't have any friends there it would be pretty boring. When I started three years ago, I didn't know anybody and I was very shy. For the first week or so I would sit with whoever was friendly to me. Later I discovered that these were not my favorite people, but then I met someone who was really nice and was my friend for a while. This sununer on the first day the director introduced me to a new girl and asked me to be friendly to her. So we

Growing Without Schooling #83


7 started talking, and now we're good friends. Also, this year, besides being friends with the new girl, I had a whole group of friends, all ages, and it was a lot of fun. In this group, everyone is very nice about my homeschooling, and they don't ask too many questions. Another activity where grown-up intervention has helped is Girl Scouts. If I were just stuck there with those girls I probably would have stood all by myself in the corner, but the leader has us doing things all together that help me be included. The girls in Girl Scouts have always been very interested in homeschooling and they usually think it sounds good.

Just Be Yourself From DanieUe Maher (CA): I am 12 years old and am on a soccer team now. This is my first time ever playing. No one has ever asked me where I go to school. There is only one other girl on the team and the rest are all 12-14-year-old boys. I had never met any of these kids before I started. One day the other girl asked me if I wanted to spend the night at her house. I said I couldn't because I had to pick cucumbers in the morning. I thought it was weird - she didn't even know me and she wanted me to spend the night. When I go to group activities, I just go do what I'm supposed to do. What difference does it make if I go to public school or homeschool? I always think it's fun when someone asks where I go to school because they think it would be so much fun to stay at home. I have been very involved in 4-H, the local swim team, and the young women's program at our church. I always just go and do what I'm supposed to do and try to just be myself. I think it's easier to fit in when you know someone, but I think if you can just be yourself you'll find it easy to be accepted anywhere.

Some Groups are Easier Than Others From Amanda Bergson·ShUcock (PA):

I've been involved in lots of groups since I was young (I'm 15 now). In my experience, some groups really work, and others I sort of prefer to forget In my flyer, "One Homeschooler's Answers" [avail. as part of Reprint Set# 1 in the John Holt's Book and Music Store Catalog], I wrote about an awful girl at gym camp who kept asking me what school I went to and didn't believe me each time I told her that I was homeschooling. I was very upset about that, because she didn't know me at all but still assumed that I was lying. TWs went on every day, but by the end of the week I had made friends with some of the other kids at the camp, and on the last day, when this girl asked me what school I went to, and I started to tell her about my homeschooling again, before I could say a single word, another girl jumped in front of me and said, "Stop asking her that! She's a homeschooler, her parents teach her at home, • and went on and on saying all the things I'd said all week. I just stood there smiling,

Growing Without Schooling #83

because it was wonderful to have someone else step in and do the explaining for me. At the ballet studio, where I'll be going for my fourth year this fall, it took me a really long time to fit in. My first year, when I was 10, I mostly hung out with my sister Emily and our friend, Sarah, who had introduced me to that ballet school. I just admired the older girls from afar. The second year was basically more of the same, although I also hung out with a couple of Sarah's friends, who were a little younger than I was. But I didn't make any very good friends. My tWrd year there, I sat in the back of the student lounges and overheard some of the older girls' conversations. The older girls were the ones I started to become friends with, because the ones my age were OK, they never said anything rude about homeschooling, but they were mostly into boys, and criticizing other people, and the lastest fasWon, wWch wasn't my thing. Several of the younger girls would listen in on the older girls' conversations and then repeat everything they heard all around the studio, wWch obviously wasn't a nice thing to do. I think the older girls appreciated that I wasn't like thal So I started making friends with the girls who were two or three years older than I was. I really appreciated having older friendsWps. TWs year many of the older girls have left the studio, and I have two friends who are very close to my age. They have been in the ballet school since the beginning, but we didn't really become friends until this past year. In my experience, there are always people who think homeschooling is great, people who are neutral about it, and people who think it's bad or wrong in some way. You meet some of those people at everything you join, although I think SarahKate's soccer group sounds particularly bad because it sounds like a place where almost everybody is not open to the idea. My sister Julia, who is 10, wanted me to tell Sarah-Kate that she plays on a club soccer team, wWch is different from a school team. It's made up of people from different schools, so they don't automatically know each other. Also, in a club team, the coach usually has more of an investment in staying with the team from year to year, often because a close relative of theirs is playing with the team. Julia's coach's daughter plays with the team. Club soccer is usually more difficult and you may have to try out to get in, but it's lots of fun. Julia has been to tournaments as far away as three hours from where we live. I think it's great that Sarah-Kate is succeeding with the theater group, and as I said, there will always be groups of people with whom you fit in well, and groups with whom you don't fit in as well, throughout your whole life - at least that's been my experience. I think you'll find that as you get older people are more open to listening. When kids are young, I think they want everything to be the same way so they can be used to it and feel comfortable with it. They don't like the idea that somebody could be different and still be a nice person. It doesn't go along with some of the things they've been taught. (Of course, this is just a generalization, and it's obviously not true for everyone, but it is something I've

noticed.) I feel that most of my life I've been able to make friends with people older than me, younger than me, and my age, without feeling that every time I want to make friends with somebody, I have to make sure they're my age firsl I think this is a great, flexible part of homeschooling. But it is good to have friends within your own age range, too. I think that mostly what makes you fit in with other people is when you are yourself, and don't try to be something that you aren't. Sarah-Kate asked about how to approach people who know each other already. With the older girls at ballet, I didn't try to force myself on them. I just sat there and listened quietly, and I didn't spread rumors or gossip about them as the other younger kids did. It took time, but they started to accept me and to talk to me as a person. They found out about my homeschooling, and now everybody knows about it. I've had a nice discussion about it with one of the girls. Sometimes homeschooling means that you have an easy way to get in with a group, because somebody knows about it already, or it's just a good topic of conversation, but sometimes it makes things more dilllcult because it takes people time to get used to the idea. But I've found that people eventually stop thinking of me as "that weird girl who doesn't go to school,· and start thinking of me as a person, as Amanda, wWch I like. I've also found that when you're approaching new people, finding a common ground is a great way to get started. If you hear somebody saying that they just saw a new movie, you can step up and be a little assertive and say that you saw it too, and talk about what you thought of it. Even if the conversation ends after that, the person will remember you because of that conversation and not just because you're a homeschooler. I've discovered, too, that you don't always have to mention homeschooling first thing to everybody you meel Sometimes it may come up fairly early in the conversation, but you don't have to go straight to it all the time, as if it's some sort of disease and you have to let people know that you have it before they can talk to you.

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8

Are Homeschoolers Abandoning Schools? The discussion continues! See GWS #82 for the first set of letters on this subject.

Homeschoolers Can Still Volunteer From Laurel Provost of Massachu-

setts: It seems to me that a homeschooling volunteer with time and love to give bears no distinction from the volunteer who is a retiree, whose children are grown, or whose children attend a different schooL I withdrew my son Kevin, aged 8, from second grade in April of this year. We had every expectation of finishing out the year, but approval came early and we took advantage of that to begin home study right away. I had three years of really intensive involvement in our system, both on a political level and with the children directly. When we left in April I had a number of long-term projects dangling; one, a schoolwide play, had been in the works for months and was at that point requiring my presence in the school nearly every day. In discussion with my principal of my decision to homeschool, I mentioned that my immediate concern was that this not affect the chance to finish out these commitments. She was relieved that I wanted to stay and very supportive. She saw no conflict between my wish to stay and my wish to remove my child from the school. I should mention here that this is an especially backward school with teaching philosophies that would have curled John Holt's hair. This principal was new and struggling to tum the place around with zero cooperation from staff, and she was dedicated to voluntarism, and parents. Interestingly, that has become a count against her in the eyes of the central office. In my home-study application I cited a number of reasons for leaving the school which got the attention of the School Committee, who began looking into things and questioning the teachers. This naturally eamed me the enmity of the staff, who

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were generally unhappy to see me still coming in every day. However, that is a small obstacle and we carried on. Kevin was able to watch rehearsals, assist with sets, and participate in the unfolding process of a play's preparation instead of sitting behind a desk all day and seeing only the finished product with little idea of how we got to that finished product. It was an invaluable and wonderful experience for both of us. He came away with a true understanding of what it is to work together toward something meant to give pleasure to others. I was able to continue my volunteer work under difficult circumstances of sad and unproductive enmity between parents and staff. I think if that can be done then parents on smooth waters should certainly feel free to offer their continuing work although they homeschool. Naturally every community is different; ours is diverse and starved for help. We are also financially hamstrung, although I think we need more common sense than high finance here at the moment. I would recommend to any potential homeschooler to go ahead and make themselves available to the school; I became a better volunteer the minute school was no longer ruining my family life. I was able to put aside my anger and frustration in order to concentrate on the children. After all, that's what we're all there for.

System Resists Change From Milua McDonald (MA):

After reading ¡Are Homeschoolers Abandoning Schools?", I found myself pondering the questions it raised. Do homeschooling families owe time or energy to the public schools? My first reaction was no, absolutely not, it is the job of schools to provide services, and those who choose not to take advantage of those services need not feel guilty or obliged in any way to contribute to the institution. This feeling comes after a year of having a child in public school and trying in vain to express concerns and work with the PTA, the teachers, and the principal. Though we were willing and able to be involved and help in any way we could, we found ourselves and the other parents who shared our dissatisfaction ostracized by the PTA. the teachers, and the administration. The PTA even went so far as to label us a splinter group. Most of us will not be at the school next year. Some have opted to enroll their children in private school, some chose other public schools. Two families, including us, are homeschooling. Though all of us care deeply about our children and their education and wanted to contribute our time and energies to the school, I don't think the principal would give his right arm to have us back. In fact, I'm certain he's happy we're leaving. Obviously, this is just one experience and not all school officials would react this way. However, I do believe that public

schooling is a system that fiercely resists change, and the ideology at the heart of it resists any real input from parents. As I thought more about the issue, I remembered something I read in John Holt's Teach Your Own, about how social change is a long, slow process that every homeschooling family is participating in simply by homeschooling. I also thought about the chapter in that same book, on "School Response, • about how much schools can leam and benefit from cooperative relationships with homeschoolers. Most of us are aware of homeschooling families that maintain some kind of contact and collaboration with their local schools. This is very encouraging, as is the support from school teachers such as New York's John Taylor Gatto. My feeling is that with cooperative superintendents or principals, there are benefits homeschooling families can give to and get from schools. Families that feel uncomfortable withdrawing from school completely may not have to. Situations that are mutually satisfactory and rewarding can be worked out. Some school districts are unwilling to go this route, and that is unfortunate, but keeping children in school simply to fulfill a social responsibility seems absurd. My first responsibility is to myself and my family, and if I did not exercise my right to choose what I feel is the best path for my children's education, I would not be doing my job as a parent. Besides, I feel that although homeschoolers are abandoning schools Uterally, we are ultimately fulfilling a much larger social responsibility. By joining the growing population of homeschooling families we are adding our voices to those who are trying to redefine our society's ideas about education and schooling, and we are raising happy, confident, interested individuals who have much to offer the world.

Helping Children Rather Than Schools From Penny Barker of Ohio:

I can't help but agree with Andrea Rosenberg (GWS #82) about not climbing aboard a ship that's going around in circles. For me, since I'm not into sailing as Andrea's family is, it's like sewing. Altering a dress I've already made that has problems with fit is much more difficult, close to impossible many times, than getting a new bolt of cloth and beginning from scratch. The problem is what to do with the fabric in the old dress - still good in spite of the poor construction. With the school issue, I think the schools are not healthy places, but what to do with all those children in them, who are good? I guess everyone has to come to grips with this issue in his or her own conscience. Our family works with school kids in the summer in a non-compulsory farm setting, along with homeschooled kids too. This summer we worked with 4 75 kids aged 6 to 12. I don't care about the schools, but I

Growing Without Schooling #83


9 do care about the children - not in a mushy "I love all children" kind of way but with a stronger feeling of "these children will be here after I'm gone, they will be a part of the world my own five children will live in.路 So 1 do feel a commitment to giving them my quality time that will move them forward. For my husband Richard and me, this means moving them beyond school thinking. Every week that I live with these children, rm amazed at the "school ways" in which they think. When I bake bread in the summer kitchen several mornings each week (twelve loaves with eight kids), the kids and I have a great chance to chat. As we are mixing and kneading away, inevitably one of the kids comes up with, "How many turns do we each get?" Now this question always amazes me and makes me realize how far from real life these kids have been taken. I always kindly tell them that I don't know how many turns anyone will get (we move in orderly progression around the table toward a bowl at each end of the table) and I don't even care how many turns each of them get (this always amazes them) because, "I Just want to get this bread mixed up and kneaded, folks, so we can set it to lise and have it ready for tonight's supper so all forty-five of us can eat itl" These kids have thought in terms of classroom administration - "It's your tum to read now, Suzy" - for so long that they lose sight of reality. Another point about the bread-baking morning: Although I give the children a blief presentation of how I want them to knead the bread, I don't tell them any particular way I want them to stir from the liquid to the dough stage. I let them try varlous ways and figure out how they want to do it, while I busy myself with starting lunch. But there is always some child who wants to tell the other children how to do it because he or she doesn't really think people can do something they aren't familiar with unless they have someone telling them how. I don't say much because I really try to be a silent observer at this point and I'm too busy fixing lunch and adding flour to those bowls. But as I talk with the children later in the process, it's always the child who loves school and is a good student who wants to take all the adventure out of a person's time at the bowl by telling them exactly how to do it. Sometimes I think just the exposure schooled kids get to the idea that some kids don't go to school is a move forward. When the children ask one another (again around the big oak bread-baking table) what school they go to, there is usually one who says, "I don't go to school" or "My mom teaches me at home.路 It causes first amazement and then a lively conversation about what it must be like not to have to get up each morning to catch a bus and come home each afternoon to do homework. Always, by the time the bread is in two huge, smooth mounds and is set to lise, several kids are saying things like, "I'm going to talk to my mom and dad about teaching me at home.路 I inwardly smile, thinking that this time in my kitchen will either introduce a new and good idea into the families of those kids, or cause some disgruntlement. At any rate, it's bound to cause some new thoughts about compulsory schooling.

Growing Without Schooling #83

Challenges & Concerns Mother Wants Time Alone Rain Mako of Arkansas writes: Your Focus on homeschooled kids and plivacy [GWS #81) struck me like water in the desert. To think one day my kids would want plivacyl My boys, 11 months and Just 3, want interaction or company twentyfour hours a day. Since we have a family bed at night, I can count on one hand the hours in a week that I am alone. My husband and I are self-employed at home. Any time we have alone almost always is spent on work. Of course we realize our lack of plivacy is the trade off for our choice to live isolated in the country and stay at home with our family. We do enjoy many benefits. But we also fantasize about when they will grow up and become more independent. We are fairly committed to home-based education, but the balance between working to make money the family needs for physical survival and spending time filling all the family's other needs seems precarious. Being able to work and even play uninterrupted by children nine hours a day for free is a very powerful incentive to put our kids in public school. I'd love to see a feature on how homeschool parents feel about plivacy and how they manage to get time and space to fulfill their own plivate needs. With our 3 year old we occasionally set a timer for thirty minutes and insist that he play by himself without talking to us but we allow him to be around us. If he doesn't stop trying to interact with us during that time he must spend the time alone in the loft of our house. Surplisingly, he often seems very content durlng these structured times apart, though he comes back to us immediately when the timer lings and generally we then do a one to one activity like reading a book. Perhaps as he gets older we will be able to explain to him our need to work or converse uninterrupted and he'll cooperate without the timer and the threat of being put in the loft I'd like to know if other parents have been able to share their need for plivacy with their children and gotten willing cooperation, and how old their children were at the time. I appreciate GWS's Focuses on children's needs, but I love to hear the clues of how parents get their needs met as well. After all, if the parents are leaving themselves needy they really won't be able to assist their children in getting their needs met. If nothing else, It sets a bad example.

How One Mother Finds Time We asked Shart Henry {MN) how she finds time to write so much for GWS while caring for two young children. She replied:

Since moving to Minnesota a year and a half ago, I have had much more time to write. Initially, my time came from not having any outside social obligations or

distractions. As a family, we all got used to having more quiet time with fewer demands from others, so what began as a product of our move has become habit for us. 1his is not to say that I do not plan gettogethers with friends or participate in outside activities - I do - but now I limit them and I rarely allow myself the luxury of unplanned long talks with a neighbor or on the phone. It seems that when we don't spend so much time visiting, my children are quite content to give me some chunks of time each day to do those things which interest me- in this case, write. On top of that, my husband is very supportive and does not see being with the kids as a chore or as a favor to me. In order to write the amount that I do, I have had to become a lot more organized. My writing may have managed to get done in days past, but the house would fall apart in the process. On recommendation from a fliend (with four boys under 5), I purchased a book called The Messies Manual. Reading it and applying Its prlnciples has helped immensely. Scheduled into our day (though our schedule is quite flexible) are several small but significant peliods of time for me to use the way I choose. It is a rare day when I use all of the time peliods for myself, and more often than not, I willingly forfeit one or two of them to read extra with the children, or go to a nearby park. The important thing is that if I need them, if there is something that I particularly need or want to write, the time can readily be made available. 1his is tremendously helpful since I need to strlke while the iron is hot, perhaps after receiving the current issue of GWS or a letter from a fliend in need, or reading about a controversial political topic in the local paper. Right after I get dressed each morning, I usually have about fifteen minutes or so while the kids are either playing with one another or still asleep. I use this time to jot down notes. Another crucial time for notetaking comes light after the mail arrlves, so I try to grab another thirty minutes or so then (from about 11 to 11:30). By this time of day, the children have had my undivided attention for about three hours, and are quite content to entertain themselves. I use my time here to respond to mail that arrlved that day by at least sclibbling down my immediate thoughts. Once I am satisifed with my notes, I roughly organize the materlal. Then I just take off and write. I usually do one draft, proofread once to make grammatic and spelling corrections, add references, cut out large portions I find extraneous, and head for the typewriter. I reserve two hours of quiet time each afternoon, usually from about 1:00 to 3:00. Most often our quiet time begins by reading together, playing quiet games, etc., but the children are then encouraged to occupy themselves. lf It goes as I hope, Bekah (2) sleeps and T.J. (5) retreats to his room with books for about an hour. If dinner is easy or already put together, I can also use the first hour that Tim is home, as the kids are all over him to


10

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play ball, go fishing, or something of that sort. Usually, this is the best time for me to type without having to share the typewriter too much. All of this adds up to a considerable amount of time each week for me to write, but if other things come up and I am extraord!narlly busy and cannot seem to get writing done that I want to do, I have two other options: Sunday afternoons, when the kids want to go fishing or do car repair with Tim, and (though I have probably only used this three or four times this year) "movie day. • On a rainy or otherwise lazy day, T.J. and Bekah each pick a movie, I fix snacks and juice, and they are quite content for about three hours (two movies). TWs is such a special treat and seems to suit all of us. My background and particular style of learning help me to be able to write with relative ease and to be able to do so in spurts. I was one of five children and got used to working in a fairly noisy environment. I was also used to many lively discussions, especially at the dinner table each night. My parents treated our opinions on any topic as worthwhile from the earliest time I can remember, but this meant no placating us Just because we were young. My father loved (and still does) to challenge our ideas, making us more and more able to articulate our thoughts over the years. My mother was always helpful in going over our writing with us, and encouraged clarity and consistency of thought (though she was not above correcting grammatical errors in letters we sent home from college!). Writing has become almost a necessary part of my life. With less social interaction and not having family members all within a few miles of me, it is my way to express my feelings and thoughts. Once I"ve committed something to paper, it is as if I do not have to spend any more time with that issue and can go on to deal with dayto-day issues with a clearer mind.

Finding Other Homeschoolers Emily Unn (MI) writes: As an older homeschooler, it has been hard for me to locate other Wgh schoolaged homeschoolers in my geograpWc area. I find that I have many friends who attend school, and many homeschooled friends I know through writing letters. Because of my pen-pal friends and the younger homeschoolers I know, I have come to realize that homeschoolers seem, on the whole, to be independent, mature, creative, and interesting people. I"d like to know more of them in person! In an effort to find older homeschoolers in my area, I have placed - in several homeschooling publications - variations on the following statement: "Emily Linn, a 14-year-old Detroitarea homeschooler, is organizing a group of older homeschoolers, aged approximately 12 through 17, who live within about an hour's drive of Detroit. The geograpWc area includes metro-Detroit, southeastern M!cWgan, Toledo, OWo, and Windsor, Ontario. The group is open to all older homeschoolers, regardless of

philosopWcal orientation, and will therefore be non-sectarian in nature. The purpose of the group is to provide an opportunity for older homeschoolers to get acquainted by enjoying activities together such as sw1mming, attending the theater, potluck dinners, visiting museums and ex:Wbits, and a variety of other social and cultural events, depending upon the interests of the group. These cooperatively planned activities will be held monthly or bi-monthly, and the first one - a potluck dinner at Emily's home - will be held in the late fall. Parents are welcome. If you are interested in further information about the group, please contact Emily Linn at 313-331-8406 .• In addition, I have rented the Holt Associates mailing list and will be doing a bulk mailing, I will be sending an invitation to the few older homeschoolers I do know of in this area, and I will place a note on the bulletin board of my local public library. Through my pen-pals, I have discovered that other older homeschoolers share my problem of finding homeschooling friends locally. Therefore, I wonder if others have attempted to form a group and, if so, what methods they have used, and what their success has been. Also, I would like to know what other older homeschooling groups have done in terms of activities or the formation of special interest subgroups, such as a musical ensemble or a writers' group.

[SS:} When I spoke with Emily on the plume, I suggested that she consider traveling to visit one of her pen-pals (or mDre than one), or Inviting them to visit her for a weekend. She said that since many of her pen-pals were each other's pen-pals, too, having everyone visit seemed like a good idea, and she and her family plan to do this In the fall. In a recent letter, Emily wrote: You gave me several ideas about friendsWps with older homeschoolers, and I have used them all. You even reminded me that my pen-pals are truly my friends, so I called one of them in Indiana, and we had a wonderful time talking. She was surprised! GWS seems to me like more than a magazine, or even a place to find information; it's really a place to share information, and to make friends.

Helping With Teens' Social Needs More from Penny Barker of Ohio : A change took place in Maggie (now 18) and Dan (now 17) in the last few years. Both have been strongly into their work Maggie with her sled dogs, Dan with his cello -yet there was a restlessness, an uncenteredness, whenever they stepped away from their work during the day. Not that I think they should be constantly involved in something, not at all, but it did mark a change from their earlier years when Dan would take a break from his cello studies by Wk!ng in the woods or tending to Ws ferrets, prairie dogs, and opossum; Maggie would come inside after hours on her dogsled to play violin and

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11 knit. All of a sudden, or so it seemed, these two needed something more than the family could give them, something beyond. As they stepped further from the family (which they did not rebelliously, but definitively), the step usually centered around their work interests. Yet there seemed to be a force stronger than merely work stimulus that urged them on. With Dan this became apparent when he wanted to attend various music workshops during the busiest season of our family's breadwinning work. Before, he had always felt the need to put the family first, so we were a bit surprised. Nevertheless, he did go for two summers to Indiana University in Bloomington, not only to feel some of the aura of the great cellist, Janos Starker, who is resident there, but also to mix with other young musicians. The family survived with Dan absent during part of our summer program, just as we had when our oldest. Britt, needed to be away during part of the summer each year. Dan's time at Bloomington led to his first socializing with the opposite sex as opposite sex - up until this time he had various girls and boys in his life but all as friends, with gender not of any particular significance. nus year he has decided he would like to mix with young people who are into a variety of the arts, and to give significant time to the systematic study of his cello. So with the good help of Pat Montgomery and Kathy Sutherland of the Clonlara Home Based Education Program, he finished up his high school work through Clonlara and is entering Interlochen Center for the Arts as a postgraduate student, which means he will study only music and is not required to take any other academic courses. Pat and Kathy helped through letters of recommendation and by translating all of Dan's experiential learning into language and credits that the Interlochen admissions board would understand. I consider their help not only invaluable but a big reason Dan got a good scholarship. They inter¡ preted Dan for Interlochen. I know that Dan is looking forward to studying with cellist Crispen Campbell, but also to mixing with other young men and women who share his interests. The Interlochen Center is located in the woods on the edge of a large lake, so Dan will be able to balance his music with the outdoor life that is a part of him. I feel that Dan's courtship needs as well as his musical needs will be met in this setting. Maggie, on the other hand, is pretty well tied to home, with her kennel of fifty sled dogs. Unlike Britt, who traveled all over the world and was courted in many different lands, and unlike Dan, who will be going to a place where a number of young people are ga thered for similar interests, Maggie is a bit isolated by virtue of the work she has chosen. Richard and I puzzled over this when we began to notice dissatisfaction in Maggie. She was still passionate about her dogs and about working in the deep snows out of doors, but when she wasn't specifically doing this, she became restless. She showed this by being grumpy with other members of the family, especially in the evenings when she would often go to bed in tears, being soothed only by our consistent (an hour or two for ten years now) nightly reading a loud. When we

Growing Without Schooling #83

talked to Maggie about her pattem of evening behavior, and it was becoming a pattern, she would say things like, "I don't think I'll ever meet someone who thinks like me" or "I don't know what I'll look forward to when the racing season ends.¡ Further intimate talks led to the first inklings from Maggie that she sought companionship other than her brothers or Richard or me. What to do? There had been two main reasons for our moving to the isolation of the northwoods for half of the year: Maggie's need for lots of snow for her dogsledding and my need for privacy after living with 450 young people all summer during our Country School program. Since it was Richard's and my final decision to establish a home miles and miles from any social life with four teenagers, we couldn't just say, "Whatever your problem is, Maggie, it's yours." So, with some lively family brainstorming sessions, we came up with the idea of sharing the adventure of dogsledding with others just as we share our life of farmsteading in the sununertime. Because of the nature of the experience (it is very vigorous and quite adventurous) and because of Maggie's social needs , we decided to invite older young people to join us, rather than the six to twelve year olds we have to the farmstead in the summertime. We have now spent two winters with young people aged 11 to 22 joining us for dogsledding. It was during one of our dogsledding weekends in the winter of 1988 that Maggie met 21-year-old Rafe, a research biology student at Reed College in

Oregon. He and Maggie share a love of animals and of the outdoors, and Rafe's parents and Maggie's (that's Richard and me) are all Montessori-trained, which lends another common thread to their relationship. Maggie and Rafe "court" when time and proximity allow them to do so. nus summer they have been able to organize (with the family's help) and operate (on their own along with Maggie's younger brothers Dan and Ben) a northwoods dogtrekking experience for young people. The fees from the participants help Maggie to finance her racing sled dog kennel, and the actual experience for Maggie and Rafe of leading young people in this outdoor adventure makes for further growth in their relationship. I know people who think that parents shouldn't get involved in their children's social lives, but like so many home-educating parents, I do feel a certain responsibility for all of my children's needs, be they academic, spiritual, social, physical. I also know there is a time to step back. a time when my children will have to slip out from under the protective tent of home and family which has shielded them during their vulnerable years. The road of selfdiscovery opens before them and I am ready for that. I feel it was my responsibility to be aware and ready to help with their young adult social lives, just as I was aware and ready to act with so many things when they were little. They would express a need, I would help introduce them into the area of interest, and then it was up to them to do what they would with it. That's how I view

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12 this courtship aspect of their lives. It is a delicate subject, but so real and important, I think.

Meeting People From Different Backgrounds Linda TagUaferro (NY] writes: In GWS #82, you asked how readers' children have been able to meet people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. This summer, my son, Eric (10), had the opportunity to learn about different cultures through museums. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City had a family workshop on Indonesian gamelan (orchestra) music. I was especially antsy to attend, because I lived in Indonesia for seven months when I was single. Eric and I went, and had a grand time playing the various gongs and xylophonelike instruments that make up a classical Javanese orchestra. The leaders of the workshop set things up so that everyone could manage to play a simple melody together with about fifteen inexperienced others. It sounded great. A few days later, we attended an Indonesian shadow puppet workshop, also at the Metropolitan. A homeschooled friend of ours was also there, and at the end of the lecture, I asked the Javanese puppeteer if the children could look at the ornately decorated puppets. Indonesians adore children, and I knew the answer even before I asked. So Eric and his friend got to play with the puppets for about twenty minutes, with the Indonesian puppet contingent smiling at him all the while. Earlier this summer, we attended a ceremony at the Museum of Natural History in which an ancestral pole carved by the Asmat people of Indonesia was presented to the people of the city of New York. A homeschooled friend, Heather (10), had been to many previous activities at the museum concerning the Asmat, and had made friends with an Asmat man with the unlikely name of Ernest (they have converted to Catholicism, and taken new names). At the pole-presentation ceremony, Heather introduced us to her new friend. Mind you, Heather speaks no Indonesian, and Emest only a smattering of English, yet they became quite close. I took the opportunity to practice my longunpracticed Indonesian, and Eric got to

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climb up the sides of the huge ancestral pole - something I doubt that the museum would have approved of, had it not been for Ernest's invitation. I think that homeschoolers have a distinct advantage in meeting with people from other cultures, because they are so open to the new and different Because homeschoolers are not age-segregated, they make friends wherever they go, and nationality and age are never barriers to these new friendships. From Kristin Williams (MI}:

We're a Black family living in a racially and economically mixed area. Just a while ago, we were talking about all the different types of people we know. It was after we had a friend from the Philippines and her two children over for a cookout. We don't really go out looking for people who are different from ourselves. Many came through the family: a cousin has an Arab-American girlfriend, another had a Japanese mother-in-law, another is married to an Afro-Canadian, one to a Polish-American, still another to a Jamaican and one to a Nigerian. We all see these people at family gatherings, reunions, visits, etc., where they are just part of the family and not viewed as any stranger than the rest of the relatives. We go to a Catholic church that is mainly white. A year ago we had a Vietnamese-American intern at the church. We all got to know him. We went to his first Mass, and to the dinner afterward where we saw his family. My daughter Tulani, who is now 13, corresponds with him off and on since he left, and he sent us a tape of Vietnamese music. In our family and among our neighbors we have Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Black Christian Nationalists, and Muslims, as well as atheists. My daughter Ife, who is away at school, had a Japanese roommate. We met her several times when we went to visit and she went out to eat with us and told us tales of ghosts she'd met. Last spring she came home with Ife for spring break. Jilo, also away at school now, used to go with a Cuban/Puerto-Rican guy and we all got to know his whole family through cutting wood together, visiting each other, helping out in times of need, etc. We met the lady from the Philippines when she was married to a local man. We also have a good friend who is white whom we have known for years and years, who comes to visit off and on. Our neighbors' sons are married to Mexicans and we see them when they come up. Some members of our church had an exchange student from Colombia a few years ago, and they practiced their beginning Spanish on her. My son James, now 9, had a native Alaskan in his religion class for several years, and she came over to the house a few times. Through 4-H, Tulani and her older sister Ayanna have met a variety of people, including Latino, Black, and white. At a puppetry workshop they met a pen-pal of Tulani's who is an Asian Indian. Our family doctor is an Asian Indian-American. Through Skipping Stones magazine's penpal section they've gotten quite a few penpals from other cultures and a few from other countries.

We also try to bring other cultures into our home in other ways th,an meeting different kinds of folks. We have tapes of Latino, African, Native American, and Asian music, which we listen to often. We listen to short wave radio broadcasts from the BBC, Radio Habana, Radio Marti, and others. We grow snow peas and use them in stir fry dishes. We grew red beans this year that we are drying and will use in tacos, tortillas, and refried beans. For the last two years we've grown pole beans, com, and pumpkins together in a Native American-type garden. We go to intemational fairs and multi-cultural masses. We find and read stories, books, and magazines about people of color, which isn't always easy. And last but not least, we are learning Spanish.

Worries about Racial Prejudice among Pen-Pals Kathryn Colbrese Ul) writes: Our family is a multi-racial family. We have eleven children, seven of whom are adopted. Hispanic, Caucasian, African, and Asian races are represented in our family. Several times our children have written to pen-pals whose names we found in GWS and, after establishing an enjoyable relationship, sent pictures. Sometimes the other child was never heard from again. Twice my daughter was told in the next letter, "I can't be your pen-pal anymore. I'm too busy.¡ This happens almost exclusively to our children of African descent. It has discouraged the children from continuing with their pen-pal relationships, and they are extremely hesitant to send pictures. I am disappointed. Somehow I expected more from homeschooling families. Some of those same children had written about the effects of God in their lives and indicated that faith and worship was an important part of their lives. It is hard to understand it all. We don't make a big deal of this in our family, but it causes pain. We are doing our children an injustice if we don't introduce them (on some kind of common ground) to children of other races. To "give to the poor," be it food, toys, clothes, etc., is not the answer, because that creates a feeling of superiority. As parents we need to do whatever it takes to allow our children to know and respect others who are different from us. [SS:) I very much want to believe that race had nothing to do with the fact that these children's pen-pals stopped writing. I know of some other children who write to pen-pals of races different from their own, with enthusiasm and interest. I also know that some children get swamped with too many pen-pals and have to cut back- this is something we've discussed in previous issues of GWS. But it seems important for readers to see Kathryn's letter. Maybe the Colbrese children's pen-pals will write back to them now, or others will begin writing. The letters that have come in so far about how families are helping their children to meet people of varied backgrounds encourage me; let's see even more.

Growing Without Schooling #83


13

Watching Children Learn Helping with Pottery Business Kevin Crowe {VA) sent us a letter that his son /(ai had written (via dictation) about how he helps with his father's pottery business. Though the letter arrived too late to be included in our Earning Our Own Money booklet, it's such a good alustration of a parent making his work visible and accessible to a child that we are printing some of it here: I'm Kai and I'm 7. My dad is a potter. I help my dad mix clay. I make pots and I help fire the kiln and sell pots. First the truck comes and I put on old clothes. We get the hose and mask so dust doesn't get in our face. We water [the clay) down and mix it in an older mortar mixer. We mixed 2000 lbs in five hours. We get the wheelbarrow out and we take the clay out and put it all over the studio to dry and put it in bags to store. We take out clay and wedge it and get it ready. I don't use the wheel too often: I use the table to make slab trays. I roll them out, make them, and glaze them with designs . ... I like making cream pitchers and vases on the wheel. Some trays are hard. I made one [he stops to measure one) that Is 14" long and 7 1/2" across. I liked it. I didn't sell it; I gave it to my mom. ... We're getting ready for a firing in August. We get big ware boards with pots. My dad and me take them out to the kiln. We put up the shelves. Biggest pots at the top and smaller ones at the bottom. We load both chambers and after both are loaded, we brick up the doors. ... We get wood from the saw mill. We dut it and split it and stack it next to the kiln. We use a cord of wood to flre. We feed It into a little hole in the side of the kiln called a stoke hole. I have to go up and watch the stack of the kiln. If it's too thin, we stoke more wood. If it's thick, we leave it. We wear gloves and stay up at n1ght People come sometimes and help us. It takes 24 hours to fire the kiln. We eat meals at the kiln. In the morn1ng my dad's the last one up. He's been up all n1ght, I haven't We have our show. I have to set up a table with cloth. I display my trays. My dad sets up his pots. I put leaves and ferns on my table. I have to price [the trays) and make my business cards. Then the show begins. We set up parking signs on the road. I sell my trays to people. I earn my money that way. I help my dad wrap pots for customers. [The show) lasts two days. Friends come and go. Some of the time I play, some of the time I sell my trays. I keep some of my money and the rest I put in the bank. I've been doing this since I was 5.

Kevin adds: This process fascinated me, in that I'd never asked Kai to describe his involvement in the pottery before. I was surprised at the detail he gave - a good reminder to me again of how much of what passes for routine in my life gets a careful turning

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over in Kai's hands. Another role that Kai fills, that he barely touched on, is that ofteacher to Bram (4) - a role, though unnoticed by Kai, that gives him a sense of worth. Kai has been in the studio since he could make it on his own and has been my teacher in helping me to really see the magic in what I do. In return, I hope to give the boys an understanding of cycles - where things come from, where and how they go. I want to give them the sense that what they do matters here, that we are not wondering what to do with them at home, as so many parents with schooled kids seem to do during the summer.

Geography Bee Anne Brosnan (NY] writes: For the past three years the National Geographic Society has been conducting the National Geography Bee for kids across the U.S. to compete in their knowledge of geography. In GWS #69 I wrote about how I had asked for information concern1ng how homeschoolers could participate. I was actually more interested in making it possible for homeschoolers to participate than I was in the competition itself. The first level of the competition is in the schools, so even though homeschoolers can take part in it, they have to assemble for a day in a group of at least six kids. Geography is the study of the world, its peoples, its wildlife, its geology and history. Basically this means that it is the study of everything under the sun. And I do mean sun, because as some of you may know, the National Geographic magazine has frequent articles on astronomy, time, and space. Geography is a science that almost everybody can get interested in because if you have an interest, it can usually be classified as geography somewhere down the line. In my case, the first year I was in the bee I had a good knowledge of nature, history, and ancient civilizations, though I was embarrassingly ignorant of state and national capitals, and political and economic geography. Nevertheless, after the preliminary and flnal rounds, I had won. The geography bee is not conducted in the style of a traditional spelling bee, as the same question does not go around until someone happens to get it right and those who don't get it are eliminated. Instead, it is just a trivia quiz, where each person gets a new question and the scorekeepers keep track of the right and wrong answers for each person. After the questions are asked, each kid gets about twenty seconds to come up with an answer. Usually this is long enough, if not too long, especially when you don't know the answer and you have to wait, red-faced, for your time to be up. I don't want to give the impression that the bee is very formal or competitive, because I enjoyed it each year I did it. One thing I've noticed about homeschoolers is that they have a good sense of humor, and can make the best of a bad or uncomfortable situation, so the kids who

didn't know an answer to a question wouldn't give up, but would try their best, making up a ridiculous answer that would leave everyone in stitches. The age range in the bee has both good and bad sides to it. Having little kids and big kids together did make it less competitive and more of a game, but I couldn't help feeling that the little kids thought they didn't have much of a chance. The first year we held the bee all ages were together, but last February, when we had a much bigger turn-out, we divided the kids by grade and it seemed to work out pretty well. After the first bee I took the qualifying test for the state bee, but did not pass. There was some fault in the planning system at the National Geographic Society which led to my having to take the test and mail it in on the same day that we held the first bee. I like to blame the fact that I didn't pass on that, because at the end of that day I was tired of quizzes and tests, and when I took the qualifying test I erased and wrote, erased and wrote, later to realize that If I had left the original answer I would have gotten it right (shows I have no experience taking tests]. After mailing the test in, I came home resolving to study up for next year and make geography my life's work. Needless to say, that plan fell through and I studied music all summer. But last fall, when we got the news of the next bee, I put my heart and soul into studying for the next few months. My studying paid off; I got flrst place in the preliminary and flnal round of our "school" bee (the bee made up of homeschoolers). I thought as I mailed in the qualifying test this time that I had finally fin1shed with geography. My goal had simply been to win the "school" bee again, and I didn't expect to get any further, but my studying got me in trouble. In March we got a letter telling us directions to the state bee. Only the top 100 scorers of the test in each state get to compete at the state level, so it was very exciting to think that I had passed and would be competing to be the New York representative in the Nationals. I have noticed that when kids answer questions, If they don't know the answer they won't guess at it I think this is because kids in school are used to studying for a test and memorizing those useless data bits, and If they forget them they think they are done for. I can memorize useless data bits, but If I don't know something I can always suppose or imagine the answer. I can guess, because there is nothing to lose. If I know a little bit about the subject, I can remember that stuff and produce an answer from what I know about things related to the question. The state bee was held at a high school, and it being the second time in my life I had ever been in a high school, the fact that I was one of the very few girls participating (I don't know why that was: it doesn't seem right to me) and the only homeschooler, plus the fact that I had hardly donated my life to the strict study of geography but had only been studying it for a couple of months, all made me feel the


14 oddoneout. I can still remember one of the last questions I was asked at that bee, because there was some debate over it. The question was, "What mountain range crosses more degrees of latitude than any other'?" I used up my whole twenty seconds thinking about this. Latitute and longitude confuse me all the time because I cannot remember which is which. Once I got it straight that latitude runs horizontally, I thought of some mountain ranges that ran vertically and therefore would cross lines of latitude. I had to choose between the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Andes. I guessed the MidAtlantic Ridge, feeling very confident about my answer, but I was put down for an Incorrect answer. The answer was the Andes. Later In the cafeteria I met the moderator and he told me that I had tied for third place In my group of twenty. That was nice to know, but I really wanted to know why the Mid-Atlantic Ridge had been wrong. He didn't even know what I was talking about- he didn't know about the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and said, "They wanted something more specific," thinkIng I had meant the Andes when I gave my answer but couldn't come up with a name. Even though I didn't get to go on to the finals, we stayed to watch them, and the questions were not that hard. Since I am In the eighth grade, I can't participate In the National Geography Bee next year, which Is disappointing because even though there were a few trials and tribulations, I had an exciting time competing In the bee the past two years. I'm amazed at how far I got and

how far I could have gotten if I had started studying a year earlier. And when I think about it and realize that geography is not even one of my main Interests, and that not very much studying got me that far, it made me think of what a homeschooler could do if he or she was very Interested In geography. What I'm trying to say is, it's wonderful to be a homeschooler because you can spend a lot of time concentrating on one subject, at least if you are a selfdirected homeschooler. Since I was the only homeschooler at the bee, I felt the need to have more homeschoolers doing that sort of thing. Even though most homeschoolers are non-competitive and probably would rather work for the National Geographic Society than participate In the bee (I know I would), it seems to me that it's a competition homeschoolers could do well at, especially those Interested In geography and with free time to study. It encourages me to see home schools being recognized by the NGS as an education category equal to public and private schools.

Want to Write Letter-Stories? Lyn Milum. 1219 Timberland 1rail, Altamonte Springs FL 32714, writes: I recently finished reading John Holt's What Do I Do Monday, and am Inspired to put out an Invitation for a Letter-Story project - a round-robin story that homeschoolers could write through the mall. If Interested homeschoolers send

me their age and a self-addressed, stamped envelope, I will divide the participants Into groups of five or six and mall each one the list of players they are writing with, and the deadlines for mailing out their parts of the story. Each player will write the first page of a story and send it to the next person on their list. Then each one will add to the story they have received, writing a second page, and send it on. This will continue until everyone receives his or her original story starter back with all the other participants' contributions added to it.

The rules are: each participant must complete the page of the story he or she is working on, and mall it with all the pages of the story that have been written so far, by the deadlines. These dates will be two weeks apart, which I hope will allow enough time for mall delay and creative flow. When the stories are complete, each participant will photocopy and mall out their finished stories to each of the contributing players on their list, so everyone can see how the story turned out. It might be a good Idea for participants to try writing round-robin stories with their friends or parents first, each contributing a paragraph at a time, to find out how they might enjoy the game. We have played this orally - It Is one of our favorite pastimes on car trips. As stories develop, we tend to become very attached to branching off In our own direction, so we have to practice patience as we wait for our turns. What makes these stories the most fun for us Is using lots of emotion, description, and exaggeration.

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Homeschooling FOCUS: Young Lobbyists • Kids In the Legislative Process Homeschoollng laws and regulations directly affect young people, so it's natural that they would want to join their parents in working for favorable laws and opposing restrictive ones. For this issue's Focus, we interviewed kids around the country who have testified at hearings or helped out in other ways.

Testifying in Maine When Maine's Department of Education held hearings earlier this year about proposed changes to the state's homeschooling rules, several homeschoolers spoke against the changes, including 9-year-old Joanna Hoyt. How did you get the idea to get involved in homeschooling political efforts?

My parents had been discussing the different bills on homeschooling, and when I heard that there was going to be a hearing, I thought I would like to say what I felt, too. There had been another hearing that we had gone to, but we had come too late, so I didn't have a chance to speak. There were some things I felt really strongly about. I felt that some of the changes they were proposing were really bad - like the one where people could come and have unannounced inspections of homeschoolers, and then terminate the homeschooling, I think, if they didn't like what they saw. I don't think someone else has the right to decide how I'm going to learn, based on criteria that may have nothing to do with how I learn. I also felt strongly that schools should be more willing to give materials to homeschoolers. Our school is very willing, but others aren't. I have homeschooled friends who complained that schools weren't letting them have materials, so I knew that some schools weren't as willing as ours is. You were the only child testifying at the hearing, weren't you? Did you have to get pennission to do it? No, you just had to sign up on a list. I sort of expected to be the only child. It made me a little uncomfortable, but I was also proud of being the child who wanted to participate in adult things. Were people swprised to see a child testifying? It seemed that some of the people watching, and some of the other speakers, were surprised. Some of them told me afterwards that they were surprised and glad that a child could participate too.

Did you write down what you would say beforehand?

I had a prepared speech, because if I had gone up without it I wouldn't have said half the stufTI said . I would have had stage fright. Was anything about testifying differentfrom the way you expected it to be?

I didn't know that they expect you to refer to special sections of the bill. And there were a lot more people watching, and a lot more people speaking, than I had expected. But otherwise my

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mother had explained what a hearing was and how it worked. What kinds of responses did you get to your testtmony?

The responses that I got were all positive. After it was over I had a conversation with a superintendent who had been the only one speaking on the other side. I realized that he had been trying very hard to be polite and not treat homeschooling like a bad thing, but he was anything but popular at this hearing because everyone else was on the homeschooling side. I told him that I had some different views of the law, but I was glad he had come to present the other side, and glad that he had tried to be understanding and had been polite, and not treated it as something that was unreasonable or crazy. He said that was a mature observation, but it seemed obvious to me. How did the whole experience make you feel about the political process?

I was glad that I was accepted just as the other adults were, and not treated differently. I was glad they didn't have any age restrictions on who could testify. Before this I had been encouraged by the receptiveness of our senator, George Mitchell, who I had written to several times about my feelings about the nuclear arms race and the Persian Gulf war. He seemed to be treating me on his level instead of treating me di!Terently because I was a child. Is it frustrating to you not to be allowed to vote? Some kids might worry that their testtmony wouldn't be taken as seriously because they didn't have the power to vote.

I think I would be ready to vote. I would be voting if they allowed kids to. But people at the hearing seemed to have listened to me anyway, because later they s poke about several points that I had raised. What would you say to other kids who were wondering whether to get involved in political efforts - writing letters, testifying?


16 Kids have the power to do things just as much as adults do. If you don't feel like it, don't do it, but don't be held back by your age. People will really listen to children sometimes, and you can really help. Do you think you're going to continue to be involved in political work?

I think I'm going to continue to speak at hearings. I've always had the thought at the back of my mind that I would like to run for Congress some day, too.

Lobbying in Washington Joe McCurdy, now 16, was 10 when he helped his mother, Kathleen McCurdy of the Family Learning Organization, lobby for homeschooling legislation in Washington. What kinds of things did you do when your mother was lobbying for legislation?

Mostly I followed my mom around as she lobbied legislators. Sometimes the legislators would ask me questions. I think they liked seeing a homeschool kid in person, seeing that I wasn't weird . What kinds of questions did they ask you?

Most of them asked the usual question about socialization, did I have any friends. I had a lot of friends and I was able to tell them that. I remember that one senator asked me if I had ever gotten a black eye. When I said no, he turned to my mom and said, "How is this kid ever going to get along in the world if he's never gotten into fights on the playground?" Then he asked me if I had a girlfriend, and I was only 10. I thought it was strange that those were his ideas of what school should be. I also got to know the governor. When he first met me he asked me my name and how old I was, and when I told him, he said that he was my age, plus forty, plus some other number, or something like that, and he asked me what that was. I answered it correctly, to my mother's delight, and after that the governor always said hello to me, and remembered my name and the names of evecyone in my family, after only meeting me that one time.

How did you feel about all these questions? Did they seem

intrusive, like quiz questions, or did you welcome the chance to explain and defend homeschooling? I thought the question about the black eye was strange, but mostly, as you said, I welcomed the chance to defend homeschooling. I remember one legislator, after asking me how my experiences as a "junior lobbyist" were going, commented, "Wouldn't it be great ifyou could go home and tell your class about your wonderful education in government!" Then she paused a moment and got a funny look on her face and said slowly, "But if you were going to school, you wouldn't even be here." After that, she was a firm supporter of homeschooling.

I guess in a way, hearing all those questions gave you a good sense of what people's concerns about homeschooling were. Did any of their concerns surprise you? Well, the fact that they seemed to be more worried about socialization surprised me a great deal, but a few of them seemed to be concerned about more relevant things, such as whether I would be able to read by the time I graduated.

Were there any particular homeschooling issues that youfelt strongly about? I felt strongly that testing shouldn't be required, and that they shouldn't say we couldn't homeschool anymore on the basis of a test score.

How did you come out feeling about the political process? Did itfeellike the effort was worthwhile? It made me see how hard you have to work to get what you want, and how easy it is for someone to stop it. But it also made me think that if you want something and you don't get involved and try to make it happen, that's really the worst thing you can do. Our system of government works well when we get involved. We sit around complaining about those "crazy people at the Capitol" and yet expect them to know what the people want when the people aren't standing up and saying what they want.

Did you feel that you were being taken seriously as a kid going around lobbying and answering questions? Sometimes it was just like, "Oh, here's a cute kid, let's make him feel welcome," but a lot of the time I felt that they really did want to hear what homeschooling was like for me and how I felt about it.

When adults lobby, they're very conscious of the power of the vote - they can say that they voted for a particular legislator, or that they will vote based on this one issue. Did it ever fJ'UStrate you that you couldn't vote? I definitely saw that voting was important, that legislators responded to voters. I remember sometimes wishing I could vote because my big brother and my mother and father could, and I thought I probably had less impact because I couldn't vote. But I did feel that people were listening to me, and in some ways I was more involved in the political process than some adults.

And isn't it amazing how long the restriction applies? Here you are now, so many years later, and you still can't vote. I know. I'm working, and I'm almost on my own, but I still can't vote. But I do feel that if something bothers me I can do something about it, I can have an impact. What would you say to other kids who might be wondering whether it's worthwhile to get involved as you did?

If you're really worried about something, you should do

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17 something about it, because there's always something you can do. One of the representatives I met had a framed letter on his wall from a child. It meant so much to him that this child had written what he thought and not what someone told him to write.

Testifying in Hawaii

really supPQJ)tive of everything that we said. How did the experience make you feel about the political process in general? Some people feel apathetic; they think there's no point in trying to change things or to speak up.

Angel Bosco, 14, testif"~ed at the hearings that the Hawaii Department of Education held in May about the new home路 schooling regulations being proposed.

Well, they are changing the regulations, so they're doing what we wanted. If we had kept our mouths shut, nothing would have happened. I think it's great that we can protect our rights, speak up for what we believe in and get listened to and have action taken. So I'm glad we did it.

How did you decide to become irwolved by testifying at the hearings?

Opposing a Bill in Connecticut

My mom told me about what was going on, and she said that the Department of Education would probably like to hear from a child who is actually being homeschooled, that it would probably be more beneficial to hear about it from a kid's point of viewwhat they're doing and what it allows them to do. Did the idea of testifying seem frightening? I'd never done anything like it before, and I was nervous when I did it, but after it was done I was really glad I did it. Did you have any particular feelings about the proposed regulations or any issues that you especially wanted to talk about?

Last November, the Connecticut Board of Education had approved new state guidelines for homeschooling (see GWS #78). Some months later a restrictive homeschooling bUl was tntrrr duced into the legislature (see GWS #81}. The Education Committee voted against considering the bUl, but the representative who had introduced it petitioned for Its revival. resulting in public hearings on March 25th. Many homeschoolers spoke against the bill, and it was never reintroduced. We spoke with two of the yotmg people who testified at the hearings. First. 15路year路old Jared Simons: How did you decide to testify at the hearings? My mother told me that they were looking for kids to testify. I

I didn't know much about the regulations until my mom told me, but I feel that what we have here in Hawaii is really, really good, and I was interested in protecting that. if I could help in any way. I like the flexibility of homeschooling. I spent a semester in public school, and went to private school before that. and most of the kids there hated their parents. In homeschooling we get to be with our parents and grow with them. I've been homeschooling for two years, and it was hard at first, naturally - there were clashes between us. But then I got to know my mom, and that's what the kids are lacking in school. So I was really interested in protecting the homeschooling situation we have, and making it more stable. Did you plan out beforehand what you would say at the hearings? I wrote it with my mom, and when I got stuck she would help me. We had to have it typed up because you're supposed to provide copies to the Department of Education. I talked about the fact that I'm able to volunteer at a rest home, and that that got me the Thomas Jefferson Volunteer of the Year Award. I said that if I had been in school I probably wouldn't have been able to volunteer, but since I'm homeschooled I have the flexibility and I'm able to give of myself, and that in turn was honored by the community. Did you get asked questions afterwards? They didn't ask me any, but they could have. Lots of people came up to me, though - mothers and fathers who were there - and said, "Wow, we're so proud of you.路 That made me feel good about what I had done, because I had been so nervous since I had never done this before, and I thought, "Oh no, did I talk too fast, did I do this, did I do that?" But when everyone said they were proud of me, I felt good and I thought, maybe I had an impact Did you wonder whether your age might keep the Department of Education members from taking you seriously? I think some kids might wonder that. I did wonder that, but then I thought, they need to hear it from both the parents and the kids. And I do think they took us seriously - me and the boy who testified. They didn't stare off into space, but were reading along with my testimony as I was saying it. I don't think they were out to get us homeschoolers. They seemed

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was nervous about it, but I had spoken at church once before, so I had some experience with public speaking, and I decided to do it. It

was important to me to protect our right to homeschool. I was already aware of what the bill proposed, and I knew I disagreed with it. What in particular bothered you about it?

It was much too restrictive. I think I had an objection about each point in it. I thought it was crazy that they wanted home schools to meet all the fire and safety regulations that schools have to meet. And the quarterly testing was a big issue. I didn't think that was right at all. I didn't like taking tests when I was just starting homeschooling. The correspondence school that I'm with now has you take tests after each section you do, but that's no problem for me. I don't mind taking tests on specific material, but the tests that the


18 bill was requiring seemed different to me because those tests would actually be judging me, judging whether or not I should be put in school. They wanted to take that out of my hands and say that it's their decision to make, and if I don't meet the requirements I have to go to school, because public school is of course better. What was it like to give the testimony? Well, it was scaxy to get up in front of all those high-powered people, but once I sat down in the chair and told them who I was, I just concentrated on what I had to read - I had my talk already written up- I wasn't as nervous. My testimony was pretty straightforward. I told them how homeschooling was important to me.

"Kids have the power to do things just as much as adults do. Don't be held back by your age. People will really listen to children sometimes, and you can really help."

What kind of response did you feel you got? At first I felt almost rejected for my ideas, because I was very outspoken. Everybody else who spoke just talked about what they were doing in homeschooling, but I pointed out parts of the bill and said, "You're crazy for doing this. • One of the legislators chuckled as I was speaking and that made me nervous. But then afterwards a couple of people - other homeschoolers - said I did a good job. Did anything surprise you about the hearings? There were a lot more people there than I expected. But when I go to a meeting like this I go with an open mind, so when I got there I sort of scoped out the situation, figured out what other people were doing and how everybody else was feeling about the whole thing. Now that you've done this, how do youfeel about the political process in general? I definitely think each person can make a difference. Even though there were so many other people who talked, I feel that I made a little difference by going up there. I think it's great that we have the ability to do this, to actually take part in our government I would do it again - this first experience makes it so much easier for me to do it the next time. Do you think you were taken seriously even tlwugh you're young? Some kids feel that it makes a d!fference that they can't vote, for example.

I did feel that if I were an adult I would have been taken mare seriously, but I felt I was paid attention to even though I was younger, and being young shouldn't stop anyone. I felt that my speech was basically my vote. But I would vote now if 15 year olds were allowed to. Next. we spoke with 14-year-old Michelle Addorisio: How did you hear about the opportunity to testify? A good friend of my mom's, who was one of the people

responsible for getting the homeschooling guidelines we have now, called and said she was trying to get together a group of kids to testify. I had given a speech about homeschooling for 4-H the year before, so I just got out my old speech and shortened it for the hearings. Were there any issues or any parts of the bill that you knew you felt strongly about? Everybody was very concerned about the fact that it was too restrictive. We would have to go in for all these tests. It was like instead of my mom being in charge of my education, the school would be. If I was in school, yes, there would be the principal and the teachers, but my mom felt that if she was taking on the responsibility of educating me at home, she wanted to do it, then, and not have to answer to somebody else. Under this bill we would have had to give in reports of what we did every day instead of just every year, which we had been giving. Just knowing that someone was monitoring what I did every day, and how many hours I had put in, would have bothered me. It would have made me worry more about what I did. What did you say in your testimony? I talked about Colonial America and how homeschooling started, and then I went into why homeschooling is important to me. I said that instead of being isolated from the community, homeschooled children are involved in numerous community activities and sports - that we do get out there, we're not just sitting at home all day. At the time that I gave the speech, I was involved in the Hartford Ballet Preprofessional Program, and I was in 4-H, and taught Sunday School at a church. I also took piano and art lessons. I'm not taking ballet anymore, because I was at the level where if you go on, you're going to be a professional dancer, and I never wanted to be a professional dancer, I always wanted to go to college. When I stopped doing ballet it opened the doors for me to do other things. Over the summer I've started working at a hospital. How did people respond to what you said? I really enjoyed giving the speech because I kept total eye contact with everybody. I only glanced down at my notes a couple of times. I knew everybody was listening because I was watching them the whole time. When I was done, the chairwoman said, "I'm glad you're not in my district, because if you ever went into politics I would be in trouble.¡ Everybody started laughing, and then our legislator said, "Well, she's in my district, and I'm worried." I think they even take kids more seriously than adults in this kind of situation, because usually all you hear is the parents' point of view, and I think people wonder, "What about the kids? Are they really enjoying this? Do they wish they were in school?" I felt really good about what I said, and if it changed their minds a little, that's great. Does this experience make you think that the political process works? I felt really good about it. I felt that it works, that if you set your mind to it you can accomplish anything, as they say. Everybody makes a difference, and you feel really good about yourselfwhenyou're done. I had been really nervous, and when I first got up there I thought, "Maybe I shouldn't be doing this!" But then I just sat up straight and did it, and when it was over I thought, "Wow, I really did that!" It was easy once I got into my speech and made it seem like I was talking to them one-on-one instead of reading a speech. Afterwards we wrote a letter to our legislator, because he had been supporting us throughout the whole thing. He was even homeschooled for a couple of years, so he really understood where we were coming from.

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At the Iowa Capitol When Ed Dickerson, the lobbyist for the Iowa Home Education Association, was working to pass the state's new law (see GWS #82), he often brought his children with him to the Capitol to watch and help ouL We spoke with Bel')/amin (14), Shoshana (11), and Elise (7): What kinds of things did you do to help your father?

Benjamin: We helped a lot with mailing postcards to homeschoolers in the group so they would have the information they needed to contact their legislators. When we were at the Capitol, when the debate was going on, we would sometimes take messages down to the legislators. Sometimes they talked to us a little bit, asked us if we enjoyed homeschooling. Elise: At the Capitol I would get papers ready to hand out to people.

Benjamin: And them getting to know usl How did people respond to you. as young people being there in the Capitol? Elise: Sometimes people would ask me who I was and what I was there for. I told them my name and that my dad was a lobbyist for homeschooling. Benjamin: Fortunately, we weren't the only ones there, although we were usually there the most often. I think people responded to us very well. Everybody knew who we were, and I guess even if we didn't think of ourselves as examples of homeschooling, people saw us that way. At first it was sometimes uncomfortable, but the better we got to know the legislators, the more comfortable I felt. I personally enjoyed the legislative process. I liked seeing how they interacted with each other.

Did you think it was important that the law be changed?

Did you ever hear them discussing homeschooling issues?

Shoshana: I did.

Shoshana: Yes, we heard all those debates.

Benjamin: I did, too. Before this law passed, we hadn't been legal, but we weren't illegal, either. We were kind of in the cracks of the law. The new law basically made room for us, and made it so that more people could homeschool.

Benjamin: Sometimes we heard them bringing up figures that didn't seem to quite match.

Shoshana: What was interesting was that a lot of people who didn't homeschool before the law changed did want to homeschool afterwards.

Shoshana: It would be easier to write to legislators now, now that we know them.

Benjamin: Now that we're able to have dual enrollment with our school district, if I wanted to I could apply for sports and that kind of thing.

Benjamin: And now that we understand how the process works. It makes me think that I might like to go into politics later, or maybe be a page. It seems to take a lot of teamwork to get a bill through, and I enjoyed that.

Would you get involved again,

if some other issue came up?

When you were at the Capitol, were you able to follow what was going on? Benjamin: It took a little while, but yes. It was fun to sit up in the gallery and watch the debates. You always hear about how certain people control the debates, but it didn't seem that way to me. Shoshana: I always enjoyed watching the legislators talk to each other, in the debates and also when they weren't in the debates, when everyone was just kind of milling around. Elise: I learned that they go back and forth between the House and the Senate when a bill is being passed. You've really gotten a chance to see the process ofgetting a law passed. How does that process strike you now that you've seen it? Benjamin: It does take a lot of effort to get a bill through, because usually barely a third of the bills are passed. But it's worth it, I think. Shoshana: It was really fun getting to know the legislators -

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What I Gained By Not Going to School Vita Wallace (PA) sent us this paper that she wrote when she turned 16 and officially graduated from homeschooling: The most important thing I think I have gained through my education is that I know what I love to do. I think if I had gone to school I wouldn't have had time to find out. I know it's awfully confusing for people when, after graduating from thirteen years of schooling, they still don't know. And after all, the earlier you find out, the more you get to do itl What helped me most with that was that I was never hindered from trying, for as long as I needed to, almost anything I ever strongly wanted to do. I've had more time this way to investigate what interests me in my "school work" and to think about it, and that helps me to remember what I learned. I don't cringe at the thought of doing "school work" just because it is school-like work or avoid things that seem similar to school work the way some kids do. I've been able to make friends with all kinds of different people - people younger, the same age, and older than I am; my teachers, colleagues, and students; my neighbors young and old; my parents' friends, my brother's friends and teachers; and most important, my brother. He's been my best friend all along, and I am so glad we didn't go to school if only for the one reason that we might not have been able to be such bosom buddies otherwise. I also feel that because my work has been largely in my own hands I take a lot of responsibility for the quality of what I do, which is something I miss in a lot of people I know. Because they have never had much of the responsibility for most of their work, they don't take it even when they can. Then there are the obvious things: I've never taken a test or gotten a grade, and I rode on a yellow school bus for the first time on my sixteenth birthday, when I rode with the Curtis Institute of Music orchestra to their production of Xerxes/


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Writing a Homeschooling Story: Interview with Stephanie Tolan Back in GWS 171, when we discussed examples of homeschoolers in fiction, we mentioned Stephanie Tolan's wonderful book A Time to Fly Free. We were excited to discover that the book is back in print, and we quickly added it to our catalog (11634, $3.95 + post.). The story Is about 10-year-old Josh's unhappiness In school, his efforts to convince his parents to let him leave it, and what happens once he becomes a homeschooler, The story Is set in the early 1980s, so many contemporary homeschoolers will Identify with it (especially those who have spent some time In school). We interviewed the author to find out what led her to write a book about a homeschooler, and to explore some of the issues that Josh's story raises. Susannah Sheffer: How did you come to write this particular story? Stephanie Tolan: I'm a consultant to parents of highly gifted kids, and the damage that school does to some kids is an issue that has been around in the gifted movement for some time. Homeschooling is an important option for kids who are far beyond the nonnal school curriculum. Even schools that have gifted programs usually don't have provisions for such kids. I was thinking about those issues, and I wanted to write a book with such a child as a central character - a kid who didn't fit, for lots and lots of reasons. SS: Did you know any homeschoolers at that point? ST: Yes, a friend of mine took her son out of school when it was still illegal where we were. We made a lot of contacts within the homeschooling movement. I corresponded with John Holt about the extra difficulty of meeting the needs of a highly gifted child. He didn't feel particularly aware of gifted kids as a needy minority at that time, though. At that time a lot of parents were using those packaged curricula, and those are totally inappropriate for the kids for whom school is inappropriate, because they're based on school models. I thought GWS could have more suggestions for parents who needed to support gifted kids.

SS: Oh yes, the Giesy family's case -

ST: Right. Norfolk was a perfect setting for the story anyway, and because I knew the legal situation there, I knew that Josh could be out of school more easily there than in some other parts of the country at that time, so I was able to slip that in rather neatly, without making a big issue of it. SS: Did you need to do any other research into homeschooling, or did you base Josh on the kids you already knew? ST: That was it - I knew the character of Josh, what he needed and what school had done to him, well enough already. One of the most important things I wanted to convey with that book was the level of harm done to such a child by the sort of school he was in, which was a very traditional system. I've several times thought of writing a sequel, because people want to know whether Josh goes back to school. Just as we were about to homeschool my son in Virginia, we moved to North Carolina and he ended up going to such a wonderful school there that I thought, I could write a sequel in which Josh goes to a school like that, where all the kids are treated like individuals. SS: In terms of how the 1980s went, it seems as if the sequel could have gone either way -Josh could have gone to a school like that, or he could have met a lot of other homeschoolers and taken advantage of the way the homeschooling movement grew during those years.

ST: Yes, I suspect that if I did write a sequel now, I would probably have him stay out of school, because now I know so many homeschoolers, and some of them are in college, so now I know what can happen beyond the elementary school level. SS: We've had some discussion in GWS about homeschoolers' desire to see themselves represented in fiction. ST: It's something to think about, because there are so many homeschoolers now that there should be stories about them. The only problem is that people homeschool for so many different reasons, and their experiences are different, therefore.

SS: I found it interesting that in the book you managed to convey a good picture of the legal situation in the early '80s. Without making a big issue of it, you did get across the idea that this was something people could do, and that Josh's family wouldn't be the only one doing it.

SS: That's true. Sometimes when I think of writing a story with a homeschooled character, I think, "But which homeschooling life would I base it on?" But I'm impressed by the way you managed to write a very particular stoty that at the same time convey some of the more general issues.

ST: Well, I had moved to Norfolk, Virginia, where there was the court case at that time-

ST: Well, that's really how literature works -you get the universal by focusing

on the particular. So, because I already have Josh, if I wrote a sequel it would be about his world, his experiences. SS: You spoke earlier of the harm that school can do. This seems to me one of the really distinctive things about the book, that Josh's dislike of school is taken seriously- both by you, the author, and by the other people in Josh's life. That's so rare in children's books. Often in books kids don't like school, but nothing like what happens to Josh ever happens to them.

ST: Most writers were to one degree or another unhappy in school, I think. They were creative, bright kids, and schools were not built for them. But when we were growing up, there was no question about going to school - it was the law of the land, the law of the whole society, there was no such thing as saying, "I don't want to do this anymore.¡ So I think that people who haven't had a real connection with homeschooling, or with a child who's being really destroyed by school, can't see any way out of it. If they have a character in a book who doesn't like school, they'll do all the things for that character that were done for them when they were unhappy in school, but they won't go so far as to have someone say, "You don't have to go," because no one said that to them. Once it gets into your head that it is actually possible to raise an American child without that child's going to school, it opens up a whole universe. But most people never entertain that thought in the first place. SS: So many children's books seem to be about learning that you have to go to school, even if you don't like it. What kinds of reactions did you get to your very different message?

ST: My editor had two concerns about the book: she wanted Josh to be older, because she thought he seemed older than 10, and she said it was negative about schools. I said, "That's true, but I'm pretty negative about schools, and if I'm going to deal with this subject I'm going to come down pretty hard on the kind of situation that destroys a kid like Josh. • Then, after it got published, I got lots of good feedback from teachers. I was astonished by this, because I had thought teachers would be very upset by that terrible teacher I had created. Finally I said this to one teacher, and she said, "No, no, you don't understand. None of us consider that teacher to be us, but we all know somebody like that, so we all think you're doing a good thing by exposing that kind of teacher that none of us are!" I also had several teachers say to me that the most horrible thing about reading A Time to Fly Free was realizing that they had destroyed some Joshes in their lives, without ever meaning to.

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21 SS: Did you ever hear from any kids who had read the book? ST: Interestingly enough, a teacher I knew used the book in his fifth grade class. He assigned Jean Craighead George's My Side of the Mountain and A Time to Fly Free because they were both books about kids doing something unusual. It's funny; I later used My Side of the Mountain in a book of mine - one of the characters tries to go out and live in the wilderness like the character in My Side of the Mountain, and he practically starves because none of the things that are described as possible in that book is easily possible, in fact. I knew this because my family and I had tried it. So, what was interesting was that the fifth graders in my friend's classroom totally believed My Side of the Mountain, and didn't believe A Time to Fly Free. They simply didn't believe that there was a kid anywhere whose parents would let him walk out of school. The teacher asked me if I would mind writing to these kids, telling them why I had written the book. I told them how many kids were homeschooled in America, and they were totally astonished. Then they found out that one of their classmates had been homeschooled until that year, and he had never told them!

boosting the school by standing over my son, making sure he got his homework done - homework that I saw was utterly worthless, but I thought, "Well, they keep telling me he needs to Jearn self-discipline.路 Then I remembered a quotation from John, something like, "You don't get a child ready for adult headaches by hitting him on the head with a hammer.路 I thought to myself, what is the point of selfdiscipline for a task that is not worth doing? I finally quit being the mother who supported the school system and became the mother who supported the child. SS: Another thing that's striking about Josh is the way he has such a clear sense of his own life outside the classroom. While he's sitting there he knows what he'd rather be doing. I think some kids are

Once it gets into your head that it is actually possible to raise an American child without that child's going to school, it opens up a whole universe.

SS: The kids' reaction is very believable to me, sad though it is. ST: Yes, there's this sense that you can't grow up without school. They believe that the only place you can learn is in school. SS: And why shouldn't they believe that, after all, when everyone has been telling them that for years? Back to Josh- you say that he's gifted, but he certalnly wasn't perceived as gifted in that classrom. ST: Most gifted kids aren't. But also, I didn't make as big an issue of Josh's intelligence as I might have because I wanted a variety of kids to identify with him. SS: The teacher in the book is always asking Josh why he doesn't pay attention, which now makes us think of the new disease, Attention Deficit Disorder. It seems to me that even someone who isn't familiar with your way of thinking could see that even though Josh isn't interested in paying attention to the things the teacher wants him to pay attention to, he is capable of paying lots of attention to the things he cares about. Because you Jet readers see Josh's inner life, we can see what teachers in school aren't always able to see. Maybe it helps readers see that the stuff he's being asked to pay attention to is often ridiculous. ST: That's why I used real examples. The science book that got Josh so angry was a real science book that my son had. My son became completely crazed by the stupidity of that textbook, and the school wanted him to read it, to believe it was teaching him something, and to answer some stupid questions at the end of the chapter. He wouldn't do it. There's a lot of pressure on mothers to make sure their kids conform, and at the time I was still

Growing Without Schooling #83

afraid to leave school because they haven't yet figured out what they would do otherwise. ST: That's something I got from the kids I knew, that school stole hours from them that they weren't willing to give up. My son and my closest friend's son had a terrible time going to bed at night because there were so many things they had wanted to do during the day that they hadn't been able to do. We went nearly nuts watching school take six hours from them every day, for utterly time-wasting activities, for the most part. SS: What about kids who don't have as much of a life outside school, though, maybe because school has so thoroughly stolen their time that they haven't been able to develop outside interests? What do you think about their ability to figure out what they really love and care about, if they leave school? ST: Yes, so many kids are so thrown by summer vacation because they're used to being told what to do. I would imagine that for kids who don't already have their own interests, there would be a time of adjustment at the beginning of homeschooling that would be very difficult. I work at home and schedule my time myself, and I've had so many people say to me, "I don't know how you can do that, I don't think I could be a writer because I don't think I'd have the self-discipline at home to actually work.路 I say, "Well, the opposite is true when you do something you really care about -you have trouble getting anything else done." But it takes time to go from being a person who has been told what to do, and who doesn't ever think in terms of, "Do I like doing this?", to being a person who can ask, "What is there out there to do, and what do I like doing, and

how will I use my time?" That whole issue of what you like to do is almost totally irrelevant in school. In fact, they do the grotesque, puritan thing of saying, "If you like to do it, it's probably something you slwuldn't be doing!" SS: I think the experiences of homeschoolers have shown that it does take time to get used to managing your own time and figuring out what you like to do, but that has to go on some time, and so many people only begin it when they're adults and out of school. If you're given the opportunity to start much earlier, so much the better. What gives Josh the strength to say no to school, when so many kids just stick it out? ST: I don't know. I think I had to believe that a kid might really do that. I really wrote the book for my son, his friend, and the child that I was, who never even knew how devastated I was by school because I was so busy rwtreacting. If you had asked me how I felt about school, when I was a child, I would have said I loved it. But then when my son was having trouble with school, he came home one day and told me something that his teacher had done in math class, and I got so angry that when I went to pick up the phone to call her, I could barely hold the phone, my hand was shaking so much. I began for the first time to realize how much rage I had stored up as a child, without realizing it, and how much of my life was stolen from me. SS: It's interesting that in the book, the mother is at first very skeptical of the idea of letting Josh leave school. It seemed to me that you let her voice the concerns that a lot of people have. ST: Well, they were the concerns that I had at first, too. I went through all the things that she went through in deciding whether to do this with my son. SS: We've talked a lot about Josh's life in school. One of the things I really like about his life outside of school is that right away he gets involved with the man who helps wounded wildlife. Right away, he has real work to do outside the home, and is taken seriously by the adult he works with, so you paint a picture of homeschooling that is very like the picture GWS often paints. You show that it doesn't only go on inside the home. ST: Yes, I tend to write books in which adults and kids have genuine relationships, in which the adult doesn't patronize the child. I think mentoring is such an important issue for homeschooling kids and parents especially, so there are other adults in the child's world and the parents don't have to do everything. I think kids grow from that. SS: It's also interesting, and important, that Josh, who had seemed so rebellious in school, willingly submits to the demands of the work with that man. ST: Right, because it's real work, it's not done for the sake of teaching him


22 something. He learns because he has to learn to do what he's doing, and he retains it because it connects to other things he knows, and because he sees that it has value. This is what he's been looldng for and not finding in school. He rebelled against meaningless work, but he craves meaningful work. He wants to do what he believes in and cares about.

Additions to Directory Here are the additions and changes to the Directory that have come in since the last issue. Our complete 1991 Directory was published in GWS #78, and GWS #81 contains all the changes that carne in between then and now. Our complete 1992 Directory will be published in the next issue, #84. Our Directory is not a list of all subscribers, but only of those who ask to be listed, 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 if you 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 arrangements in writing. If a name in a GWS story is followed by a state abbreviation in parentheses, that person is in the Directory (check here and in GWS #78, #81, & #82). 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 outside of the envelope with writer's name/description and the issue number.lf you want us to read the letter and then forward it, please enclose another stamped envelope.

HELP YOUR CHILD BECOME ALL S/HE WAS MEANT TO BE!

* Self-confident * Self-disciplined * Independent Hands-on learning is FUN! Children love to learn the Montessori way! Become a certified Montessori teacher through home videotapes. Or, rent any 1 tape (5-6 hours) for introductory offer of $72:

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WRITE: Montessori Teacher Preparation of Washington 3410 S 272nd St Kent, WA 98032

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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: if you receive unwanted mail as a result of being listed, just toss it out. CA, North (zips 94000 & up)- Robanne & Steven BACKMAN (Cayla/88) 1680 Castro Or, Campbell 95008 (change) ••• Grete & George JOHNSON (April/77, Dale/SO, Kyle/83) 16765 Skyline Blvd, los Gatos 95030 ••• Diane & Charles JOLISSAINT (Davidf7S, Mark/S1) 795 Belfair Ct, Sunnyvale 940S7 ••• Patrick & Nancy STEINER (Jared/76, Christina/78) 5S07 McKinley Or, Garden Valley 95633 CA, South (zips to 94000) - Janeen DIMICK (Janae/76) 19002 Racine Dr, Irvine 92715 ···Bill & Karen ENOCH (Christopher/84, Stephanie/87, Rebecca/90) 5S03 Garber Way, Bakersfield 93307 (H) ••• Timothy & Sherri JACKSON (Shelley/S6, Stacey/ SS, Stephanie/90) 141 Shapley Way, San Clemente 92672 (change) ••• Elizabeth & Terry WOODFIELD (Sarah/S4, Katherine/SS) 3701 Parkview ln #SB, Irvine 92715 (change) CT- Herrick & Susan STICKNEY (John/79) CONNECTICUT HOME EDUCATORS ASSOC. 63 Spindrift ln, Guilford 06437 F l - Eric & Barbara REINHARDT (Anna!S6, Sarah/90) 8512 Sunset Willow Ct, Orlando 32S35 ••• Rosanna & Dave RICHMOND (Kyla!S5, Devin/S7, Shaila/90) 2785 SE Carroll St, Stuart 34997 l l - Greg & linda BRUNET (Kimberly/83, Alissa/87, Patricia/91) 1351 lilac ln, Carol Stream 601SS ••• John & Pat TETZLAFF (John/SO, Danny/84, leah/88) 1424 loch lomond Dr, Crystal lake 60014 KY- Donald & Carol BURRIS (lynda/79, DonaldiS3) 707 Caldwell St, Corbin 40701 (change) ••• Geoff & Almuth KOBY (Sarah/S4, Peter/SS, Elizabeth/91) 1204 Crosby Ct, lexington 40517 (change) (H) MA- Valerie LAGORIO (Jay/S5) 14 Oxford Park, Revere 02151 ••• John & Milva McDONALD (Justine/S5, Eric/S7) 23 Elsworth Rd, Newton 02165 ••• Steve & Martine PROUTY (lillian/S5, laura/SS) 62 S Spencer Rd, Spencer 01562 Ml- Tony & Sherrie ANKNER (Aaron/79, Andrew/S6, Adam/S9) 125 E Fenn Rd, Coldwater 49036 (H) ••• Angelica ROBERTS & Francis BILANCIO (lra/83, luigi/90) 7416 S 4th St, Mattawan 49071 (H) MN- Ann & Peter BODINE-BONYHARD (John/74, Karina/75, David/79) 7333 Gallagher Dr #339D, Edina 55435 (change) MO- Kim, Olline, & Charles GREGSON (Jennifer/76) 1507 Brock, Stlouis 63139 •••leonard & Barbara RITTER (Aaron/77, April/SO, Jeremy/S2, Rachel/85, laura/90) 7157 Sugar Spring Co, St louis 63129 (change) NJ- Mary & William CAMBRE (Timothy/83, Christina!S7, Shayanne/90) 16 Sugarbush Rd, Howell 07731 NM -linda & Robert LUPOWITZ (Arianna/77, Sion Ben/SO, Max/84) PO Box 2075, Corrales S704S •••louise & AI WILLIAMS (Evan!S3) 121 Aztec Av, los Alamos 87544 (change) (H) NY- Cathi & Dana BELCHER (Christopher/S6, Noah/S9) HOMESCHOOLERS NETWORK OF THE MID-HUDSON VALLEY, RD 2 Box 211 P, Ski Run Rd, Bloomingburg 12721 ••• Anne & Paul BONAPARTEKROGH (Mary/83, KatieiS5, Phoebe/90) 413 Mitchell St, Ithaca 14S50 (change) ••• Roger & Heather MILLEN (Tanner/S7, logan/S9) 1049 Babcock Hollow Rd, Cortland 13045 ••• Carol & Michael REIFF (Simon/SO, Zoe/S4) 552 La Guardia PI, New York 10012 NC- lynn & Bob BALLARD (JonathoniS5) 11 North long Branch Rd , Marshall 2S753 ••• Chuck & Donna EARNEY (Barrett/77, Oliver/S2) 154 Spring Creek ln, Wilmington 2S405 OH- Elizabeth LOWEN (Katherine/71 , Becky/ 73) 592S Morningside Dr, Fairfield 45014

TX- Jay & Betsy GOREE (Oesty/79, Stuart/SO, Oan/84) PO Box 1533, Cleburne 76031 ••• Bettie HOUSE (James/74, Sally/7S) 513 W Celeste, Garland 75041 ••• Pleas & Debbie McKEE (Joshua/83, Adrienne/S5, Benjamin/86) RR 1 Box 254, Campbell 75422 (change) (H) ••• Jim & Nancy PHAUP (Jonathanm) 731 Santa Dolores, Kingsville 78363 VA- David & Sherry BOYD (Carrie/SO) Greenfield Mtn Farm, Rt 2 Box 262, Afton 22920 (H) WA- Dean & Julie DRAKE (Jami/81, Amanda! 82, Jodi/85, Oeanna/87, Oaniei/S9, Aaron/90) 4268 Van Horn ln, Bellingham 98226 ••• Kathy & Bruce HORNBERGER (Jonathan/79, Bethany/81, Zachary/ 87) SOO Indian Terr. Bellingham 98226 WI -Annie & Richard KRUPNOW (lsaac/83, Sasha/S7, new baby/91) W1174 Hickory Rd. St Cloud 53079 (H) Canada ONT- Jasper & Jane HOOGENDAM (Philip/ 78, Hannah & Jordan/81, Solita/89) RR #6, Cobourg K9A 4J9 (H) •••linda SEPP (Skye/84, Kirin/88) 1844 Bloor St W, Toronto M6P 3K6 (H) Other Locations- Todd EGGER & Debbie TREUS (Keir/SS, Teryn/90) 624 Nakada, Toyoda-cho, lwatagun, Shizuoka-ken Japan 7438 ... Robert & Jill GILLINGS (Jonl79,liarn/83, Zoe/85) Ballaglonney, Ronagwe, Arbory, Isle of Man, British Islas ••• Dan & Gloria HARRISON (Eiizabeth/74, Antonia/78, Anna & Sophia!S4) American Embassy, PSC 83, Box R, APO AE 09726 (Portugal) (H) ••• TSgt & Mrs. Jack SARTOR IS, PSC Box 2928, APO AE 09009 (Germany) ••• Mary & John SHEEHAN (Patrick/S9) 14 Glenard, Mona Valley, Tralee, Co Kerry,lrsland (H) Groups to add to ths Directory of Organiza· lions: Bakersfield (CA) Open Support Group, S15-836-3454 (9-4 wkdays) Homeschoolers Network of the Mid-Hudson Valley, RD 2 Box 211 P, Ski Run Rd, Bloomingburg NY 12721 914-733-1002 Address Changes: Connecticut Home Educators Assoc. 63 Spindrift ln, Guilford CT 06437; 203-457-1642 North Dakota Home School Assoc. PO Box 486, Mandan NO 58554 Pennsylvania Home Education News, 1003 Arborwood Dr, Gibsonia PA15044 Deists: North VA Homeschoolers Newsletter

Additions to Resources Helpful Teacher: Elizabeth Lowen, 592S Morningside Dr, Fairfield OH 45015 (Montessori) Hepfullawyer: Charles Bardon , 167th and NE 6th, No. S15, N. Miami Beach Fl33160; 305-770-1410

Pen-Pals Children wanting pen·pals should write to those listed. To be listed, send name, age, address, and 1-3 words on interests ••• LAIN, 1525 Old House Rd, Pasadena CA 91107: Angie (6) coloring, Barbies, make-believe; Andrea {11) dolls, animals, Nintendo ••• Sarah HUSSEIN (10) 2020 Turpentine Rd, Mims Fl 32754; animals, reading, gymnastics ••• Marina MOSES (6) 259 Saratoga Ct, Goleta CA 93117; reading , fantasy, dolls ••• Amber GOUSHE (9) 3005 Breeze Terr, Austin TX 7S722-1907; skating, dances, gymnastics··· Gabrielle SPIELMAN (10) 1265lois Av, Brookfield WI 53045; golfing, swimming, biking ••• Abigail McNULTY-CZAPSKY (14) SS4 West End Av #4, New York NY 10025; animals, flowers, mysteries ••• Aaron APGAR (S) 321 Conover Rd, Hightstown NJ OS520; reading, electronics, minnowing

Growing Without Schooling #83


23

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homeschool group. Contact Doug Woodward, 68 Lakey Creek, Franklin, NC 28734. 704-369-6491.

Collins, 17623 County Road 9, Avon MN 56310. 612845-2907.

HANDS.QN LEARNING. The very best for homeschoolers in math, science, art, geography, writing, reading, and more. Complete curriculum . Free catalog. LEARNING AT HOME, Box 270-gws 83, Honaunau, HI 96726. 808-328-9669.

Tutoring by Mall. Certified teacher with 10 years' experience tutoring homeschoolers. Lessons individually prepared. Richard Kephart, 1 High St, Malvern, PA 19355. 215-644-8319.

Start your child on successful experience-based learning. Send $3.00 for guide on enhancing preschoolers' natural learning to: The Sharing Network, Box 742, Point Roberts, WA 98281 . SAVE$$$ ON MORTENSEN MATH. 25% OFF REGULAR PRICE . NOW AVAILABLE GRADE LEVEL MANUALS K-6 ONLY $12.95 TOLL FREE CALL VISAIMC. FREE CATALOG CALL 1-800-338-9939. EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE designed to teach and hold the student interest. Covers most subjects taught from Preschool through High School. For a 200 page catalog that contains over 700 educational programs send $2 to DAVMAR 17939 Chatsworth #418F GH CA 91344 . UNION ACRES INTENTIONAL COMMUNITYBeautiful mountain homesites for sale near Smoky Mountain National Park. Rt 1 Box 61J, Whittier, NC 28789. 704-497-4964 . FREE Science Magazine loaded with experiments . TOPS Ideas, 10970 S Mulino Rd , Canby OR 97013. SEARCHING FOR HELP IN MATH, ENGLISH, READING OR GEOGRAPHY? VIDEO TUTOR has the answer. We offer high quality, educational videotapes specializing in these subject areas . Video Tutor tapes are used in thousands of homes, schools and libraries nationwide. Most tapes include companion workbook. Video Tutor can also provide videotapes on a wide variety of other subjects . For free catalog call 1-800-445-8334 Ext. 4. SPINNING TOP KIT: Make wooden spinning top with launcher. 6 yrs +. $5 .95 ppd . More kits, Family Pastimes Games, alternative health products for families . Catalog-$1 .00; Brochure-LSASE. Mountain MedicinaVGWS (formerly Turtle Island), 1001 Mill St, Ely, NV 89301. VISAIMC 702-289-6909 . APPLEII USERS: MONITOR YOUR CHILDREN'S MATH PROGRESS. One 5 1/4" disk contains randomly generated practice problems and tests on all middle school topics except geometry, word problems. Results stored on disk for parent monitoring. Excellent for skill development, reinforcement. Comprehensive preparation for secondary math. Disk teacher created, classroom refined. Disk, documentation - $65. Mike

Wanted: contact with homeschoolers in the League City, Texas area. Our boys are 9 and 15. Judy Rosen 713-334-1672. Non-sectarian, OLDER HOMESCHOOLERS' GROUP (approx. ages 12-17) forming in S.E. Michigan, including Toledo, Ohio and Windsor, Ontario. Please call for info: Emily Linn 313-331-8406 . SHIMER COLLEGE seeks applications from homeschoolers. Four-year liberal arts curriculum. Small discussion classes. Intense student involvement. Early entrance option . POB A-500, Waukegan, IL 60079. 708-623-8400. Excellent work-at-home business opportunity. Part time or full time. 503-n0-1798 for 24-hour recorded information. Welcome Home is a 32 page monthly newsletter devoted to the support of mothers who choose (or would like to choose) to stay home to nurture their families. Sample issue: $2, 1-year subscription (12 issues): $15. WELCOME HOME, DeptHS, 8310A Old Courthouse Rd, Vienna VA 22182. BUILD CREATIVITY. Newsletter gives art activities and articles on artists and the arts. Trial $1. ART-iFACTS, 1920 Greenwood #1, Poplar Bluff, MO 63901. Allow 4-6 weeks. PUERTO RICAN HOMESCHOOL ADVENTURE January 1992. Children 10-16. 7 days. Everything PR $400. Susannah Benson 717·464-0963.

PERSONALIZED CHILDREN'S BOOKS • Customize with name, age, city, friends. Write or call for free brochure! My Book, PO Box 20642 (GWS), Riverside, CA 92516-0642. 714·789-8503. EARTH MOTHER ARTS. A CREATIVE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE . New home business of creative educational materials for kids of all ages. Free brochure. 10% discount on first order. PO Box 1094, Lawrence, KS 66044. Make your good curriculum even better- include your computer I Be a charter subscriber to educational newsletter for Macintosh families with children 8-12. Satisfaction guaranteed. $15110 issues. Desktop Schooling, 1507 Brock, St. Louis, MO 63139.

ENTRY FORM FOR DIRECTORY Use this form to send us a new ent:Iy or a substantial address change to be run in the next available issue of GWS. Adults (first and last names): Organization (only if address is same as family):

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Declassified Ads Rates: 70¢/Word , $1/Word boldface. Please tell these folks you saw the ad in GWS. HEARTLEAF: HOMEMADE MUSIC, ART, & MOVEMENT... because home is where the art is. Free catalog of books, tapes, and music. Heartleaf, Box 40-A , Slocan Park, BC CANADA VOG 2EO. Stay home, make money . Over 200 companies need homeworkers immediately! Complete recorded information. 818-957-8243 ext. 3. Families Learning Toget her - new North Carolina

Growing Without Schooling #83

in

Full address (Street, City, State, Zip) :

Are you willing to host traveling GWS readers who make advance arrangements in writing? Yes _ No Are you in the 1991 Directory (GWS #78) Yes_ No_ Or in the additions in this issue, or GWS #81 or #82? Yes_ No_

If this is an address change, what was previous state?_


24

GWS was founded in 1977 by John Holt. Editor - Susannah Sheffer Publisher - Patrick Farenga Contributing Editor - Donna Richoux Editorial Assistant - Mary Maher Editorial Consultant - Nancy Wallace

Look for these and other new titles in our Fall 1991 John Holt's Book and Music Store catalog:

Never Too Late, by John Holt. Back in print! #508 $9.95

John Taylor Gatto Speech to homeschoolers. Audio: # 1598 $9.95; Video: #1600$29.95

The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education, by Grace Llewellyn. #1630 $14.95

The Kid's Guide to Social Action, by Barbara A Lewis. # 1602 $14.95

The Thomas Edison Book of Easy and Incredible Experiments, by the T. A Edison Foundation. #1632 $12.95

My Life as a Traveling Homeschooler, by Jenifer Goldman. #1614 $8.95

Once Upon an Eskimo Time, by Edna Wilder. #1620 $9.95

Children Learning at Home, by Julie Webb. #1586 $22.00

Unpuzzling Your Past: A Basic Guide to Genealogy, by Emily Anne Croom. #1636$9.95

Everyday Law for Young Citizens. #1592$11.95

Making Theater, by Herbert Kohl. #1608$12.95

A Basic Course in American Sign

Language, by Humphries, Padden, and O'Rourke. # 1582 $24.95

A Time to Fly Free, by Stephanie Tolan.# 1634 $3.95

The Anatomy Coloring Book, by Wynn Kapit and Lawrence Elson. #1580$13.95

Prices Do Not Include Postage -

Holt Associates Board of Directors: Patrick Farenga (Corporate President), Mary Maher, Tom Maher, Donna Richoux, Susannah Sheffer Advisors to the Board: Ann Barr (Clerk), Mary Van Doren, Nancy Wallace Copyright ©1991 Holt Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.

Standardized Tests and Our Children, by FairTest. #1622 $3.00

Nwnber the Stars, by Lois Lowxy. #1618$3.50

Hey Mom, Can I Ride My Bike Across America?, by John Seigel Boettner. #1596 $14.95

Office & Subscription Manager - Day Farenga Book Shippers/Receivers - Katheiine Doolittle, Ginger Fitzsimmons, Janis Van Heukelom Office Assistants - Lenard Diggins, Mandy Maher, Mary Maher, Phoebe Wells

,-------------

The Weather Companion, by Gruy Lockhart. # 1640 $12.95 See Chart in Fall 1991 Catalog.

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Growing Without Schooling #83

Growing Without Schooling  

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