During this time, I discovered Grace Llewellyn's book The Teenage Liberation Handbook. Everything she talked about rang true for me and made perfect sense. Based on my new awareness and the ideas forming, the next couple of years of my son attending public school were confusing and infuriating. When he would complain about school/homework/teachers, I started to tell him that he had a choice and didn't actually have to go to school. I stopped caring about grades, tests, what his teachers thought, etc. He thought my suggestion to consider 'no school' was crazy. However, on one special day at the beginning of his 10th grade year, he told me after school over a hot chocolate that he would like to try home schooling. He was concerned that he might want to be able to go back to high school if he changed his mind, so we found a public independent study program and he kept up with the state curriculum at home. It was basically more of the same boring assignments. He would cram it all in the night before we had to visit his teacher to turn in his work. It was obvious that he wasn’t passionate about it nor did he need any of it. He was merely jumping through hoops to get to the next level and destination. I realized that this was how he had approached most of is school work throughout the years- by doing the absolute minimum required and somehow coming out with decent grades. He became an expert at “getting by.”
After about 4 months of independent study, he decided he was done for good. He took the California Proficiency Test and quit the public school system. He clearly hated writing essays and reading books in which he had no interest. He tested very high in English and mathematics, but I did not get how those tests worked because they clearly did not show an honest or helpful picture of my son.