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A Sense of Self: Listening to Homeschooled Adolescent Girls Paperback – May 5, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann (May 5, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0867094052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0867094053
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,550,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In interviews she conducted with 55 girls who have opted to learn at home rather than in conventional schools, Sheffer, editor of Growing Without Schooling magazine, has established that their enhanced self-esteem is a noticeable by-product. Her respondents are able to put to rest concerns about their social lives and opportunities to form close friendships. Instead, they almost universally express a sense of liberation at being able to make choices and to believe in themselves. For many, traditional schools had not nurtured these qualities, for a variety of reasons. This insider look at home schooling dispels myths about what it is and what it is not, and contributes to the general educational discussion about adolescent girls by demonstrating that "not all girls are suffering or have to suffer." Sheffer's previous books include A Life Worth Living: Selected Letters of John Holt.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Henry Cate III on November 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
There has been a lot of news and research recently about some of the negative changes in girls as they become young women. The author of "A Sense of Self" Susannah Sheffer was reading some of the literature and noticed a comment about how all of the girls in these studies were in the public school system. Susannah Sheffer has long been involved in homeschooling and wondered if the same types of problems were happening with girls who were being homeschooled. She was thinking outside of the box. So Susannah interviewed fifty-five homeschooled girls. She used many of the same questions in the original studies. "A Sense of Self" is the result of her study.

Susannah Sheffer found that homeschooled girls had a stronger sense of self-esteem, a stronger voice, and were much more comfortable with who they were. She found that these girls had a great sense of freedom, they felt safe, and valued themselves.

The author explores an idea that part of the problem for girls in public schools is they are encouraged to be passive and accept whatever the teachers and other public school employees tell them to do. In many ways homeschooling is an act of rebellion, parents are standing up to the social norms and saying they will be different. So homeschooled girls see this pattern of standing up for what they belief is best and right. Whereas in public schools, girls are taught what the teachers feel is best. Girls learn to go along with the group of children.

Susannah Sheffer explores some ideas on how the public school system could provide a better environment, which would nurture girls so they could retain their sense of self.

This was a fascinating book. It is well written, and has a number of interesting ideas and comments. If you are concerned with the struggles girls go through, this is worth reading.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "the_one_and_only_slink" on April 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a real eye-opener for any girl considering homeschooling. It answers some of your questions, and gives you a personal view of what homeschooling is like at this stage of a girls life.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Book Lady Lisa on May 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
After reading the Ophelia books and the studies on the many and varied problems teenage girls face, this was a wonderful and refreshing perspective. Teenage girls who are self-confidant, not worried about pleasing others with who they are, eloquent, etc. How encouraging! I'm looking forward to reaping some of these benefits of homeschooling...
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