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