The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education Paperback – Sep 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
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Top Customer Reviews
The book goes through every subject and gives lots of resources for unschooling it. I wish I had found this book sooner and I would have had many less sleepness nights, worrying about unschooling versus "school at home"! I am purchasing a copy to use as a reference manual in our library. Lots of volunteer organizations, internships, business ideas. Just an awesome resource for unschoolers.
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.Read more ›
Like Llewellyn, I attended compulsory school, was a good student, and went through college (a professional school) in preparation for a career, and also like her I now see the terrible limitations inherent in our school system. Had I had the opportunity of different and more choices, I could have avoided a lot of the tedium, mediocrity, and loss of freedom that such an educational path demanded, even had I eventually *chosen* to educate myself in a traditional way. As well, I have spent the last decade of my life unlearning bad habits that are directly a result of being coerced for years into doing things that are irrelevant to my life, and being subject to arbitrary authorities. Those things crowded out my spirit and my voice until I forgot I had them or how to use them. I am now remembering how, and books like Llewellyn's have been invaluable to me in doing so.
"It is nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiousity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wreck and ruin. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty." -- Albert Einstein...
Most recent customer reviews
This book is excellent. I sometimes wish it had a different name because a lot of people can benefit from it other than teenagers. Read morePublished on May 24 2004 by Holly Rose
It took me about a chapter to realize that I truly hate school, as much as I've said otherwise, and no matter how many times I've been moved up I'm not going to get anywhere. Read morePublished on May 15 2004 by Lorna Folk
Grace Llewellyn's TEENAGE LIBERATION HANDBOOK is not an opinion. It is a real way to escape the dog-eat-dog hell that is the philosophy of all schools. Read morePublished on Nov. 13 2003 by kenneth Casper
I am 32-year-old recovering public school student. This book finally validated what I knew in my heart all along: education is not a one-size-fits-all deal. Read morePublished on July 10 2003
I am disgusted by the book, and the fact that Ms. Llewellyn is preying upon teenagers, feeding them what they want to hear, and profiting from that. Read morePublished on July 4 2003 by Alex Kriegel
It is frightening though to hear how bad life is for most high schoolers. I was looking for books on homeschooling in my local library when a teenaged bystander put this book in... Read morePublished on March 26 2003
First of all, the reason I gave this book 4 starz (rather than 5) is because Grace Llewellyn doesn't seem very open-minded about any type of education besides unschooling. Read morePublished on March 10 2003
I was in a school that was a failure in almost every way. Emotionanlly and physically abusive, the low achievement and education rates were hardly worth noting. Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2003