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The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit…

The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life… (edition 1997)

by Grace Llewellyn

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523727,999 (4.24)1
Title:The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education
Authors:Grace Llewellyn
Info:Thorsons (1997), Edition: Revised edition, Paperback, 304 pages
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The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life and Education by Grace Llewellyn



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I was hoping for more practical ideas and suggestions, but this was mostly essay style writing from the author's perspective from her teaching days. Not as helpful as I would have liked. ( )
  MichelleConnell | Sep 26, 2018 |
Read it about 10 years ago. Thought it was great! ( )
  Rob3rt | Mar 3, 2016 |
Useful stuff in here, though the tone is pretty dated. I especially liked her concept of generalists as people who can draw connections between things. ( )
  beckydj | Jun 1, 2013 |
The Teenage Liberation Handbook is not for teenagers, nor is it a handbook. It cries out for an editor with a stack of red pens and/or a delete key. There are probably some good ideas and potentially some practical advice for teens and parents who are dissatisfied with their school experience and are looking for another answer--but these are buried in chapters and pages of unsubstantiated accusations, dismissive assessments of traditional schooling, and dozens of anecdotes from kids who love their new-found freedom.

The author claims she is writing for teenagers, but in fact, one of the problems with this 400+ page book is that its form and content are not targeted clearly enough. Very few readers, let alone teenagers, will wade through the first 120 densely-written and obviously unedited pages which essentially comprise a rant against public schools and traditional educational systems.

A handbook should have, IMHO, a clearly organized series of chapters with step-by-step helps for families who want to make an educational change. It should be clear, concise, and mostly unemotional. "Handbook" implies "how-to"--and yes, there are how-to's in this book; but its just not worth wading through the propaganda to get to it. ( )
  eba1999 | Apr 27, 2012 |
There are plenty of reasons to homeschool, but this "teacher" (sorry, but subbing and working in some ritzy private school doesn't count you as a master of the profession) doesn't give any of them. Worse yet, she imagines that every single student fits this basic profile: white (I specify that because of the privaledges she assumes these students have), middle class, intelligent, and motivated. For the few students who do, homeschooling is a great option, however you're assuming a lot. For far too many kids, home is a comparatively dangerous place- it might be abusive, surrounded by violence, etc. (I will admit that, especially as children age, there is a flip side, but that's something schools have been working very hard to combat through things like anti-bullying policies.) Almost as bad are the students homeschooled so that their parents can teach them ignorance or so there parents can use them as a babysitting service for younger children. One of the reasons we made school mandatory was to protect children from being forced into the labor force. This woman, with her private school background and transitory subbing, obviously has never worked with special education students. Some special education students can be homeschooled- but usually only if mom's stuck home, too. I've worked one on one with kindergarteners and first graders struggling with basics that their peers mastered long ago. It is the amazing support our system provides that gets these children not only reading, but learning how to say hello to peers (putting these kids in with other kids isn't enough, they need training on what to say and do). Does Llewellyn think that every parent with a child like this can give up her or his life to teach them how to open a milk carton independently? There ARE kids who can not learn it on their own, but I've seen them learn when taught. Not every child or even teenager can go out and hand themselves "a real life and education," and Llewellyn is obviously living in a dream world when she says they can. Even students of "normal" intelligence aren't all self-motived. A video called "The School to Prison Pipeline" produced in inner city CT talked with a student who explained what he and most students on suspension do- play video games. Maybe Llewellyn would argue that they need a break, but are most drop-outs doing anything better? She's suggesting that these drop-outs should have quit school with everyone. There are plenty of things you might want to change about school, but the way to fix them isn't to abandon schools- it's to actually work at it. ( )
1 vote t1bnotown | Dec 30, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0962959170, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:37 -0400)

Explores how teenagers can leave school and design a personalized education program for themselves.

(summary from another edition)

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