Lillian, Agnes Leistico is a good friend of mine. She was a true pioneer in homeschooling, and all our friends thought she was nuts at the time. We just couldn't understand why anyone would want to homeschool, and there were all the usual cliches that go along with it. What was worse was that she was "unschooling." We knew her children were smart, but how would they ever make it in the world with no teaching? What about socialization skills? Well, they turned out to be three of the nicest, most intelligent young people you could ever hope to meet. They are successful and well-adjusted.
The final joke was on me, because my husband and I are now homeschooling two of our 11 grandchildren. My son has homeschooled his two oldest daughters, although all three of his girls are now in public school. My youngest daughter is homeschooling her oldest. We turned into a multi-generational, homeschooling family. My husband was a high school and community college teacher for over 35 years, so we have a good picture of both sides of the educational coin.
Not long after Agnes wrote her book, I intereviewed her for an article I wrote on homeschooling for Home School Magazine. I think the seeds were planted in my brain that day. I began to understand how a child could not only get an education at home, but truly thrive under those conditions. It led to years of research that I have done on the subject. It was something I had to learn all by myself.