My Life as a Traveling Homeschooler


In the Words of an 11-Year-Old

by Jenifer Goldman

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An 11-year-old describes her adventures visiting homeschoolers and helping her uncle, Jerry Mintz, start new alternative schools around the US and Canada. Kids everywhere are reading this book and deciding to write their own!

Book Contents

  1. Before Homeschooling: Public School 1
  2. The Trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto 6
  3. I Tried a Private School 18
  4. Trip to New York for TV Show, Pictures 20
  5. More Public School Problems 23
  6. NCACS Trip to Virginia: I Start Homeschooling 25
  7. Question Class 33
  8. Book Report on "Panati's Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things" 37
  9. Meeting With Long Island Homeschoolers 38
  10. Trip to Hecksher Park and Whaling Museum 42
  11. Montana Trip Notes 45
  12. Visit to an Alternative School and Foundation 59
  13. Teen Trip to California 63
  14. Conclusion 93

Chapter One:

Through most of my life school's been pretty miserable. When I started homeschooling, everything got better. I can't remember much of nursery school or kindergarten, but some of the reasons why I didn't like school were–well, why don't I just give you an example of some of the things that have happened to me?: I was in fourth grade. I had a teacher named Miss Jay. She was the teacher of my worst nightmares. We were having a vote on who should write the end of the year graduation speech. I suggested to the teacher that we not tell whose paper it was that we were reading, because I figured that some people would do it by who their friend was, rather than whose paper they liked best. They voted my paper the best, so I was selected to do the speech. But the teacher seemed to try anything possible to stop me from doing it. Three other kids had also tried to write a speech, so the teacher decided that we should all work together. We started working together, but just because I was behind on a couple of papers, she took away the privilege for me to write it, even though I was the one who was selected. The teacher said that I "owed" her work. So the other kids went on to make the speech, and I sat and did extra work. Personally, I thought it was very unfair, because after the kids all decided that mine was the best, the teacher kicked me out of it. I told different people about it, but nobody listened, so that's just what I had to live with.

Most of my education has been through public school, but I also learned from the people in my family. These included my mother, my father, my uncle Jerry, my nana, and my grandpa (until I was seven years old–it's hard to believe that it was three and a half years ago, because I remember him so well, it just seems like a few months). My uncle Jerry is one of the main characters throughout this book, along with me. My nana's been a big help in many things, such as spelling, math, when I was first learning multiplication, and she also taught me much about piano, because she's a piano teacher.


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