Brenna's Life Changes

In response to this on the UnschoolingDiscussion list:
I would love to hear from anyone who has teenagers who are unschooling who are doing cool things. They need not to be terrified of speaking in public, and need to be planning to attend the Unschooling Conference in August.... I have PLANS... —KathrynJB@...
Gail Higgins responded:
Although, we are fairly new unschoolers, my 14 year old daughter, Brenna, has been doing very "cool" things since we came home from last years Unschooling Conference. She went with us loaded down with her academic books from a homeschooling co-op which included Anatomy and Phisiology, Geometry, and World History. She truly came home a changed child. She quit the co-op and those textbooks are gathering dust. She read Grace Llewlyn's "Teenage Liberation Handbook", made a quilt with quilting pieces from the conference raffle, started sculpting, became very involved in photography, planted strawberry corn, which is in pots all over our house, in preparation for a small green house she is designing, went back to writing poetry(which is all over her bedroom floor), decided to direct a play this spring and has found the play and a facility as well as a group of homeschoolers to act in it, became interested in vegetarian cooking and made a wonderful dinner for us all last night. She and I took a wheel building class and learned to throw pots that we gave friends and family for Christmas gifts.
I continue to just be in awe of her enthusiasm, energy and the joy she brings to her days. She has always been very self-directed and has homeschooled since she was eight but her energies went into "school-like" pursuits. There was very little of the joyfulness evident that I now see in her every day.

This morning, she has discovered boxes of pictures that I never got into albums and is working on a scrapbook of her life so far. She is also involved in community theatre and enjoys public speaking.

Brenna...would love to be involved in any way at the Live and Learn Conference this year. We will definitely be there. After the changes in our lives from last year, I wouldn't miss it for anything.


(who now even drives around with unschooling bumper stickers
in our extremely conservative and religious homeschool community)

Gail's family moved to a more liberal, artsy area later.
2016 additions—Brenna went to college for a while, and left to learn more about pottery. Here is her online store: Brenna Dee Ceramics

and her blog Pottery and Pastry— The Blog of Brenna McBroom [2023 note: The blog is now more private, and Brenna's way grown, but you could apply to read, maybe. Buy some pottery and send her a fan note, perhaps.]

Gail was new to unschooling then, but she jumped in and helped others for many years. There are photos and quotes—still new ones sometimes. This will lead to Gail Higgins photos (and maybe quotes) at Just Add Light and Stir.

More on teens or parenting for unschoolers or deschooling or strewing .