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gill family

READERS' LETTERS

Thank you all for sending them.

Sorry for sounding annoyed, but I really am. I continue to get letters correcting me for my spelling. I'd like to rant and rave about how the errors are the result of the public education system, but that would be unfair.
I DID NOT WRITE THESE LETTERS!!!

1/31/97

Just enjoying your material. I seldom spend time on this. Am having a friend do a home page for The Winona Farm at Winona, Mn.55987 507-454 3126 I hope to find some unschoolers that would like to visit this farm. John Holt visited here in '79 and he ma de the analI don't know how to back this up, so will just quote from a note he wrote,"I don't think it will be possible, and mabe not even a good idea, for you to try to get a clear picture of what The Farm is going to turn out to be, and then spend time and effort trying to maneuver it toward that objective. I think you have to figure that the Farm is an organism which is going to grow in some directions that will surprise you;. However it turns out, it won't quite be what you expected. One way to find out what plants would grow best in a certain soil and slimate would be to throw a lot of stuff into the ground and then see what came up and thrived. Maybe same is true for farm. Start a bunch of different activities, see which ones catch hold, prosper, make you and other people happy and enthusiastic." and he goes on from there. The home page will give some idea what I envision for The Farm, but much will depend on the unschoolers of whatever age visit. Thanks for listening. Dick Gallien

1/28/97

I want to thank you for your article in Minnesota Parents. I tried calling the MHA, but their number didn't include a code or something, So I have to send them a letter.

I've just started becoming interested in homeschooling because of the situation at my daughter's school. She's in 2nd grade now, and we just moved here last June from Massachuestts. My daughter LOVED school last year. Her teacher was one of those rare jewels who inspired her class. My daughter would come home bursting with news about her day. Now I can barely get her to admit she even HAD school, and when she does talk, it's always about someone hurting her! I kept wondering why, kept asking questions at PTA meetings, kept chatting with her teacher. No answers. It wasn't until I went on a field trip with her class today (first time - up til now, I've always worked full time) and I saw the interaction of the children. Most of her class 'expresses' themselves by smacking away at each other - but none of them bother to tell the teacher. My daughter was raised to respect others and in her pervious school, NO ONE got away with hitting another child. But then I saw the other kids picking on my daughter - and I realized why they consistently gang up on her. She doesn't hit back. She tells the teacher. And the teacher is so busy just trying to keep the rest of the kids from beating the hell out of each other that she has no time or energy to protect my daughter from a pack of bullies.

My husband and I have been talking about homeschooling for over a month, but it wasn't until your article that everything was spelled out so succinctly and the information out there listed in a way that makes it easy to research. I already have E.D. Hirsch Jr's Books - "What Every 1st Grader... and ...2nd Grader Should Know'. Now I have other practical guides.

The more I read, the more determined I am to protect my daughter's intellectual curiousity, her integrity and preserve her spirit.

I know that this message is a long one, and I apologise. It's just that you're the first tangible evidence that there ARE options for my daughter - positive ones. Thank you again for your web page and your articles and your commitment to children - your own and others who aren't going to be herded into clearinghouses for kids.

Regards,

Victoria Salcedo


1/24/97

I am one of a group of families who have decided (for all the reasons in these pages) to pull our children out of public school next year and homeschool, but we want to do it together. We envision taking turns with each other's kids and/or at least 3 or 4 days a week having them all together (from ages 3 to 15). We love the idea of that multi-age socialization, and selfishly we love the idea of each getting some time off. (We are spoiled by the public babysitter system, I know.) Well, one of us has a perfect spot in her home and we thought it would be great to use this central place to pool our resources (books, an internet dedicated phone line etc.) She also used to be a teacher, and would be excited to mastermind and informally carry out many activities (she would be great too -- she's got neat ideas, and quit teaching in disgust at the public system). Do you know of anybody who has done this sort of thing before? I guess it's sort of a cross between homeschooling and a parent run private school. What about money? We want to share so that we can all have more, but we wonder about paying this woman for her space and her extra time. Is that legal? (We're in new Hampshire.) Anyway, we don't need to reinvent the wheel, and we would love to learn from someone else's experience. I haven't found any resources that mention it (yes, I've loked through Jon's page).

Can you help? Thanks.


12/25/96

Subject: Minnesota Parent article

Great Job!! Thanks for sharing about homeschooling. It was very helpful. I'm considering homeschooling my 6 year old.

Linda


1/5/97

Hello...! I so enjoyed reading about your personal education as you "educated" your son...i am a 27 yr old mother with 3 children...Emily is 5, Adam is 3, and AJ is 2. I started homeschooling Emily this past fall and am afraid i have leaned a bit too mu ch on "curriculum" and schedules,,,although in actuality, maybe not because we are quite "behind" the Beka program...soemthing that bothers me immensely when i have my monthly cycle of guilt and self-hatred but something that Emily seems to not be upset about at all. :) I do not trust my own self-discipline to do this but i do t ruly believe in the education process by which her interests and her eagerness directs our study and focus, but...how does one do that??? She is very bright and extremely inquisitive and i would change subjects on a minutely basis...which again would be no problem but i feel so unprepared...i am quite capable of creating games...i am excellent in communicatio n (esp with the mind of my own little girl) but we dont have books on every subject and at this very moment i think the public library is scheduling to sue for me for overdue charges!

SHe resists the times we spend in phonics but loves to be read to and to just sit and talk about everything she reads. She loves to dance and color and talk and be social... and although i was horrid at math... she dives into that much quicker than her " blends" and writing.

(Ramble ramble...) SO my question is.. what are the basics??? i mean, what should be scheduled and what should be demanded? ( and i know... i can tell that you hate that word...but i think you understand what the jist of my question is) i have some support but i guess i need to bone up in my personal conviction in this kind of education ("child led")so that i dont crumble and fall back into my (unsuccessful) schedule mindset. So do you have any suggestions as to what to read and where t o find a mindset that supports this kind of teaching? I am afraid that most of the groups around here do it for religious reasons only...so they basically change curriculumns and put theri childrenin a class of one...We are christians who teach everyday and in many ways Jesus' love and faithfulness and all a obut our Heavenly Father...but homescolling to me is much more than just a religious difference. My children would recieve enough at home to ensure a christian upbringing no matter where or how thay attended school... My husband and i want our children to learn to learn. To never stop thier education and to become critical and confident thinkers.

HELP!

Jennifer


Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1997 21:22:25 -0800 (PST)
From: ccgreen@iswt.com
from: ccgreen@iswt.com

message: I am a junior in college majoring in elementary education. I have a six year old sister who is very bright and enthusiastic about school. She has been experiencing some trouble at school lately. There is a child that is somewhat older and larger than her in her class that is abusing her physically. The teacher will not or cannot stop the problem. The teacher insists that the child comes from a troubled home and that there is nothing she can do. I do not believe that my sister should be forced to go to school being afraid for her safty in a school that refuses to protect her. Also, there has been an ongoing head lice epidemic in the school. My sister is one of a few select students who are being tormented by the teachers and principal about this. The teacher will announce to the class that she has lice (when she has been to the doctor to prove that she does not in fact have it). This is damaging to a child. With everything that is going on (keep in mind that she is a first grader and these thin gs a big deal to her) she dreads school everyday and stays very distressed. I guess what I am trying to say is that these are only examples of how this particular school system stinks. I should know, I grew up in it. Our family hates to see such a brillia nt child come to hate school so early. We are not sure that moving her to another school would solve the problem. And we are afraid that if we leave her in and hope things will get better will only leave more time for them to get worse and she will loose valuable learning time. Could homeschooling be the answer? My mother is not college educated but is very intelligent. Her concern is that she does not have the ability to teach what needs to be taught. If this is the answer, does that mean keeping her out of the public school through highschool? When should she be reintroduced into public school? I am sure that any advice you may have will be of help and is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.


Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 19:15:50 -0800

message: Gosh, you are a radical! I'm a conservative Christian, educated at a Christian college, the youngest of five raised in a Christian home, and I think so!


Date: Fri, 14 Mar 1997 18:04:19 -0800
From: MAG595@aol.com
message: PLEASE SEND HELP!!!!

I AM A STAY AT HOME MOTHER WHO IS CURRENTLY ENROLLED AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY STUDING PHYSICAL EDUCATION. ALTHOUGH I AM RECEIVING MY DEGREE IN PUBLIC EDUCATION, I HAVE A SPECIAL INTREST IN HOMESCHOOLING MY OWN SON. I AM ALSO WORKING ON A PAPER FOR ONE OF MAY CLASSES ABOUT THIS. COULD YOU PLEASE SEND ME SOME INFROMATION REGARDING THE CONS OF HOMESCHOOLING. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.

MICHELE GLOSTER
FAIRFAX,VA

I can't help her. Can you?


Date: Thu, 3 Apr 1997 09:48:01 -0800 message: I am a amish girl who was homeschooled for many years. due to unforseen circumstances i am no longer with the amish group. i now attend high school (I am a senior) and i enjoy school so much more. there is a wide variety of people with different values and beliefs. i do not hate the idea of home schooling but i feel that regular schooling is best
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 17:58:46 -0700
From: anonymous@unknown.site.com
message: I am 22 years old and was home-schooled from seventh grade through eighth grade. I feel that while it was beneficial academically, it was very detrimental socially. Don't let your child miss out on the social benefits of either a good public or private school.

This comment would be more meaningful if it were written by someone who had been homeschooled from birth and then entered high school. The fact that this young woman (accustomed to the peer dependent self-esteem generated by a regular school) thinks homeschool deprived her of the same is completely understandable.


Date: Fri, 9 May 1997 08:45:45 -0700 (PDT)
from: pbaustin@hotmail.com

message:
Here in Australia homeschoolers are not required to take tests by any state education system. Interestingly, school students in state schools may only be tested with their parents consent.

I hope we will not follow the U.S.A! Having a Mcdonalds on every corner is bad enough Ha Ha just kidding.


Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 18:28:33 -0700 (PDT)

message: In reference to the sports article. I see your point; what about the taxes we are paying? Should our children be shut out so completely? What about an atitude where we work together to get the school boards to see that we only want what is best for ou r kids, that we don't "hate" them? I'm not sure testing is the natrual consequence of playing sports. We have been tested for 11 years and never been allowed to play sports. Maybe we have to give some to get some and at the same time I say that I am al so adamantly against being told by the schools what I can and can't do with my kids. Sounds contradictory, huh? Don't mean to sound so garbled, it's just that I have been at this a long time and find some questions just don't have absolutes. Joy R agan


Wed, 28 May 1997 10:38:39 -0500

Thank you! I visited your web page and had a wonderful time. I am a libertarian working on my Ph.D. in education (the ironies there do not escape me) and am currently writing an essay on why the elimination of public funding for schools would result in a radical revision of what constitutes education in, what I believe to be, a positive direction.

If I may, I would like (very resectfully) to make a recommendation for your quotes pages! When possible, it would be fantastic if you could include more information on the source of the quote instead of just the author. I am trying to track down the Glasser one on schools as jails and could use a hint as to where to start. I have a couple of his books but don't remember that quote directly.

Again, thank you.

Susan Kistler
University of Minnesota
College of Education and Human Development
Department of Educational Policy and Administration

Visit my Ancient History page.

Page updated by N.S. Gill May 19, 1997.
Copyright 1996 & 1997 N. S. Gill.


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