- Paperback: 435 pages
- Publisher: Lowry House Pub; Rev Exp edition (September 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0962959170
- ISBN-13: 978-0962959172
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education Paperback – September 1, 1998
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You won't find this book on a school library shelf--it's pure teenage anarchy. While many homeschooling authors hem and haw that learning at home isn't for everyone, this manifesto practically tells kids they're losers if they do otherwise. With the exception of a forwarding note to parents, this book is written entirely for teenagers, and the first 75 pages explain why school is a waste of time. Grace Llewellyn insists that people learn better when they are self-motivated and not confined by school walls. Instead of homeschooling, which connotes setting up a school at home, Llewellyn prefers "unschooling," a learning method with no structure or formal curriculum. There are tips here you won't hear from a school guidance counselor. Llewellyn urges kids to take a vacation--at least for a week--after quitting school to purge its influence. "Throw darts at a picture of your school" or "Make a bonfire of old worksheets," she advises. She spends an entire chapter on the gentle art of persuading parents that this is a good idea. Then she gets serious. Llewellyn urges teens to turn off the TV, get outside, and turn to their local libraries, museums, the Internet, and other resources for information. She devotes many chapters to books and suggestions for teaching yourself science, math, social sciences, English, foreign languages, and the arts. She also includes advice on jobs and getting into college, assuring teens that, contrary to what they've been told in school, they won't be flipping burgers for the rest of their days if they drop out.
Llewellyn is a former middle-school English teacher, and she knows her audience well. Her formula for making the transition from traditional school to unschooling is accompanied by quotes on freedom and free thought from radical thinkers such as Steve Biko and Ralph Waldo Emerson. And Llewellyn is not above using slang. She capitalizes words to add emphasis, as in the "Mainstream American Suburbia-Think" she blames most schools for perpetuating. Some of her attempts to appeal to young minds ring a bit corny. She weaves through several chapters an allegory about a baby whose enthusiasm is squashed by a sterile, unnatural environment, and tells readers to "learn to be a human bean and not a mashed potato." But her underlying theme--think for yourself--should appeal to many teenagers. --Jodi Mailander Farrell
"Bursting with ... wise guidance .... the sole inspiration for ... an endeavor we thought was out of the question." -- The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog
The TLH is more than a book. Its a map . . Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but always thought provoking... -- In2Print Magazine, Fall 1997
The single essential book for those who value learning but not school... a complete tool kit. . . -- LUNO (Learning Unlimited Network of Oregon), April 1992
Will . . . embolden homeschoolers to be courageously creative . . . and will encourage parents to trust their childrens choices. -- Clonlara Home Based Education Program
[Llewellyns] enthusiasm. . ., great faith in kids, and... wonderful educational possibilities she presents will make her book tantalizing reading.... --Booklist, October 15, 1991
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Top Customer Reviews
This book presents evidence that even the most ardent defender of the status quo will be hard-pressed to dismiss out of hand; the unschoolers who went to Harvard, the youthful acheivers in every field from theatre to animal science, the testimonials of parents who report that their 'dropout' kids are now happier, more relaxed, less sullen, and brighter.
Though the author's tone is often that of the impassioned hippie lady, it adds to rather than detract from this essentially idealistic and hopeful book.
This book is for all the teenagers, and all the adults who still have the spine to think that just maybe they didn't deserve to be miserable as kids.
My parents and I talked off and on about homeschooling from the 7th grade on, but always rejected it for one reason or another.
First we feared I would lose all social content, then my mother was scared off by all the work she would have to do to "teach" me, and when I got to high school we dismissed home-schooling altogether, since you "have to" have a high school diploma and do normal high school course work to go to college. After I finally escaped from high school by graduating a year early, I asked my parents if I could take a year off before college. My intention was to do some self-study and just figure out more of what I wanted. They immediately said no. I wonder if, had they read this book, they might have answered differently.
After reading Llewellyn's book, I realize none of our reasons for rejecting homeschooling were valid. I was a smart, self-motivated teenager who hated school. Had I unschooled, I believe my high-school years would have much happier, as well as more intellectually productive.
With all that said, this book is not flawless. Llewellyn has a tendency to descend into some mystical metaphors that aren't really my cup of tea. Skip the first chapter with the "fruit" story on the first read.
I highly recommend this book. It will change the way you think about school, and if you decide to un-school, it is chock-full of great ideas and resources for furthering your intellectual development.
When I was thirteen, bored with school, I was given this book. It took me one long hard summer to convince my parents to let me unschool, but I did. I haven't looked back since.
When I read this book, my immediate thought is: "I am the luckiest teenager in the world to be given this book." I loved myself, my life, and I was so happy I was leaving. It also made me angry that I hadn't left school earlier, that I'd been tricked by everyone.
I know, I know. You're all wondering about social concerns, right? Well I go to school and have lunch with my friends once a week. I also occasionally stay after school with friends and watch football games or sports. I am involved in the school's after school activities and am considering joining our high school's choir. Just because you're leaving school doesn't mean you leave all of it's benefits! You recieve the best parts of both worlds!
However, unschooling is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. I love it. I've learned so much more than school ever taught me, as much about life as about academics. If I don't do my "work," I don't just get a bad grade and forget about it. It still needs to be done, and I've learned to just do it.
In response to what another viewer said (It's harder to look in the library for something to give yourself in education--in school everything is laid out) I agree with that. It's true. I've learned how to look through a library and find that. I've learned to ask the librarians, my parents, and former teaches for suggestions. I've learned how to find things on my own. Also, someone mentioned that Grace "glossed over" things, and I'd like to say that I believe the reason she did that was because each state/country is different about how it deals with unschoolers.
I've been unschooling for a year now, and I love it. I've never been happier, and my only regret is that many of my friends go to school and we can't do much together during the day.
Unschooling is hard, but it's the best thing that has ever happened to me. TLH should be required reading.