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Real Lives: Eleven Teenagers Who Don't Go to School Tell Their Own Stories [Paperback]

Grace Llewellyn


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Book Description

July 31 2005
In 1993, eleven homeschooled teenagers described their lives in rich detail, and Real Lives quickly became a homeschooling classic. Erin’s favorite teacher was her horse Nick, blind in one eye. Kyla flew to South America in September of what would have been her senior year—alone, except for her mountain bike. Jeremiah and his sister Serena published a newsletter on peace issues. Patrick, who hoped someday to design video games, had spent the past few years compiling portfolios of his writing and artwork. Rebecca worked at homeless shelters and, through Habitat for Humanity, built houses for people in need. Anne tended honeybees and plucked a bluegrass banjo. Ayanna kept pace with 50 pen-pals—mostly in Africa—while Kevin talked with people all over the world on his ham radio. Amanda performed with a violin quintet and worked through the mail with her writing mentor. Vallie answered questions at a marine science center; Tabitha answered the phone at a crisis line, and helped midwives at births….

….Now those eleven homeschoolers have grown up and engaged the territory of adulthood, college, and career—and the new edition of Real Lives includes updates from all of them. From gaining admission to an Ivy League institution without taking the SAT to crafting a simple life centered on writing and gardening, they tell where life has taken them and where they have taken life, and offer hindsight and advice for others choosing to learn outside of school.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 315 pages
  • Publisher: Lowry House Pub; 2 edition (July 31 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 096295912X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0962959127
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #595,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–In this updated edition of the 1993 publication, the author has added information to the original essays about what these teens are doing today. Some have followed academic careers, while others have blossomed in small businesses and independent endeavors. All are articulate and passionate about what they are doing. Kyla Wetherell rode her bike through the mountains in South America; Amanda Bergson-Shilcock went to the University of Pennsylvania–without taking the SAT. Kevin Sellstrom attends college and plans to be a special-ed teacher. Llewellyn includes a fairly long preface and introduction as well as two appendixes that give additional information. This book is a must for any family considering homeschooling and should be read by high school teachers who wonder why their students lack motivation.–Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal

It is estimated that today there are approximately 150,000 to 300,000 children being homeschooled in the United States. This book is different in perspective from those published over the past few years, such as Borg Hendrickson's Home School: Taking the First Step ( LJ 3/1/89); Jane Van Galen's Home Schooling: Political, Historical and Pedagogical Perspectives (Ablex, 1991); Michael Farris's Home Schooling and the Law (Home Schooling Legal Defense Assn., 1991); and Christopher Klicka's Home Schooling in the United States (Home Schooling Legal Defense Assn., 1991). Here Llewellyn, author of The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How To Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education (Lowry House Pubs., 1991) has edited rich in-depth biographical and philosophical essays solicited from 11 teens who tell why they made the decision (with the help of their families) not to be "tamed" or stifled by traditional schooling methodologies and regulations. The essays shed light on what happens during a typical day in the lives of homeschooled individuals, how the teens became as educated (and self-confident) as they appear to be, what motivates them to learn, their views on homeschooling versus traditional education, hopes for the future, etc. Many misconceptions about homeschooling are debunked. This is essential for all collegiate teacher education collections and for those public libraries where interest in the topic abounds.
- Scott Johnson, Meridian Community Coll. Lib., Miss.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real Lives : Eleven Teenagers Who Don't Go to School March 26 2000
By Mary Jamba - Published on Amazon.com
This book is about the daily lives of 11 teenagers who are currently unschooled. Some had attended public or private schools in the past and some have been life long unschoolers.
I found it facinating to read about what teenagers are capable of when they are not stuck in a typical school setting. It reinforced my decision to not send my own children to school.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! March 14 2007
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
I read this book when I was just starting my high school years as an unschooler and was considering public or private school to continue my education. The teens in this book were inspiring and to this day if I ever hear an insulting comment about my choice of education, I think of what these teens have done and how I want to be just as much as an inspiration to my younger unschooled friends. I recommend this book to ANYONE!
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real Lives Sept. 20 2001
By Bintalla - Published on Amazon.com
The teens profiled in this books are effective living advertisements for the 'unschooling' lifestyle. I was impressed with the book, which I read after "The Teenage Liberation handbook."
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Life stories to ease your anxieties March 10 2007
By R. Mireles - Published on Amazon.com
I never was one who wanted to homeschool from the start. I wanted my children to have exposure to reality. I do however believe that every child is different and as they get older it is clear that some need the socialism and others don't. y son is now in the ninth grade and we have been struggling with him not liking school since 6th grade. He was always a good student but stuggled to keep up, typical with ADD so I expected that. He was always active in sports and all other extra curricular things but when his grades got to the failing and below point that option was gone. He still wasn't motivated and just outright hated school.

His sister (also very social) is in 7th grade and she has never had a problem with the hectic schedule that public school gives to students. She is always in something, cheerleading, drama, etc... but still keeps her grades up. My point is that they are so different as many others are. I enjoyed reading the real life stories of these teens and feel more secure that is ok to let my son walk away from public school. By no means will this be quitting, it is only opening a door to keep his interest while he continues his education from home and through correspondence.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book June 13 2008
By J Sue - Published on Amazon.com
this book was the selling point my husband needed for homeschooling and my son was delighted to have a non-christian focused book about homeschooling that was reinforcing the his choice as a good one as well
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