Hope for Heliophobes*

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Hope for Heliophobes* Powered By Docstoc
Description: I'm kidding, of course. [Avery] doesn't actually live in a cave (although I have found what appear to be bat droppings in his bedroom - go figure). But [Dana] and I were becoming increasingly concerned with the amount of time he spent indoors on the computer. Yes, Avery is a voracious reader. Yes, he writes impressively and creatively. Yes, he has an excellent grasp of numbers (though actually doing math problems on paper produces symptoms similar to those of anaphylactic shock). Yes, Avery is intelligent and thoughtful and articulate and caring and self-directing and all those things we want our kids to be. But he doesn't seem to need or want to be around a lot of people. I mean, he's nice to people and all, but he doesn't tend to seek out the company of more than his family and a couple of close friends. Is that okay?After a few of my aforementioned 2:00 AM panic attacks, Dana and I freaked out and enrolled Avery in a public school parent partnership program that met three days a week, one of which was outdoors "in the field." Sounds great, right? Well, it turns out that "in the field" generally meant digging holes or pulling blackberry vines all day in the freezing rain. Avery would come home shivering, teeth chattering and muttering about his increasing distaste for planting trees. Don't get me wrong. The kids were doing good work, but we all know it's possible to get too much of a good thing, especially if that thing is someone else's definition of "good."It's been about six months since Avery abandoned his short-lived foray into structured schooling. Since then, he has continued his love of the computer, but it's not all games. Avery has made movies, created and edited videos, solved puzzles, done amazing artwork, written stories, learned to type and created his own website. Off the computer, he has taken up biking (Avery vows he will never own a car), participated in several "Youth for Peace" rallies in our area, volunteered at a local coffee shop and attends
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