Real Lives: Eleven Teenagers Who Don’t Go to School Tell Their Own Stories
By Grace Llewellyn (editor) 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.