A Sense of Self: Listening to Homeschooled Adolescent Girls

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Recent research has shown that many adolescent girls come to distrust their own perceptions. This book shows that homeschooled adolescent girls have a much stronger sense of self.

Recent reports claim adolescent girls' self-esteem fades in their teenage years. But in this book Sheffer analyzes the 55 in-depth interviews she conducted with homeschooled girls. She found that these homeschooled girls did not lose their sense of self in their adolescent years and allows ...

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Overview

Recent research has shown that many adolescent girls come to distrust their own perceptions. This book shows that homeschooled adolescent girls have a much stronger sense of self.

Recent reports claim adolescent girls' self-esteem fades in their teenage years. But in this book Sheffer analyzes the 55 in-depth interviews she conducted with homeschooled girls. She found that these homeschooled girls did not lose their sense of self in their adolescent years and allows these girls to expres their thoughts on the issue.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Alexandria LaFaye
As an analysis of an in-depth and, in many ways, scholarly study of adolescent, homeschooled girls, this is an adult book of some interest to young women. The study Sheffer conducted explores the nature of education and the interrelationship between educational styles and self-esteem. Convinced that the independent nature of homeschooling fosters high-esteem in young women, Sheffer presents the results from extensive interviews with over forty girls who were homeschooled. Dense, but absorbing, this book explores and frequently refutes the stereotypes commonly held about homeschooling, high school education, the scholastic aptitude of teenage girls, and the nature of education itself. Parents may find the book an eye opening exploration of a little understood educational option while teenage readers may be interested in the things Sheffer's subjects had to say about their education as homeschooled adolescents.
Booknews
A response to the many reports and studies documenting how girls lose their sense of self and self-esteem during adolescence, interviewing homeschooled girls and analyzing their different perspectives from the general population. Although Sheffer (editor, Growing without Schooling magazine) does not advocate homeschooling as a solution to this problem, her insights and those of the young women she interviews give voice to the tremendous pressures on adolescent girls to conform to subservient models, and the efficacy of providing structures where they are shielded from dampening influences--allowing them to flourish. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780867094053
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 5/5/1997
  • Pages: 192
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.41 (h) x 0.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Susannah Sheffer is the editor of Growing Without Schooling magazine. Her previous books include A Life Worth Living: Selected Letters of John Holt, A Sense of Self: Listening to Homeschooled Adolescent Girls and Writing Because We Love To: Homeschoolers at Work. Her essays and poems have been published in several magazines and she is the editor of Heinemann's Innovators in Education series. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction and Methodology 1
Ch. 1 "They cannot understand the freedom" 21
Ch. 2 Family Context 47
Ch. 3 "We don't have to agree" 72
Ch. 4 "I like who I am" 97
Ch. 5 Acts of Resistance 109
Ch. 6 "A whole different person" 128
Ch. 7 "More aware of my femaleness" 142
Ch. 8 Bringing Resistance into School 157
Conclusion 176
Notes 183
References 189
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