I'm Bonnie, a 25-year-old autodidact and high-school "riseout". In shorthand, I call myself a grown unschooler. In longhand, I was respectfully and attentively parented, but sent to school until I was old enough to drop out, because my parents didn't know homeschooling was an option.
As a kid I was equally happy watching cartoons or reading the dictionary, because I was never told one thing was better than the other. I had a mother who crocheted, made candles and loved Elvis; a grandmother who painted still lifes, watched birds and told ghost stories; and a grandfather who played chess, built furniture, showed bull terriers and spoke a little German. In this rich environment it was easy to see that learning is exciting, and all learning has value.
When I finally left school at age 16, which my parents fully supported, I threw myself into topics that fascinated me: linguistics, comparative religion, genetics, medical pathology, autism, queer and gender theory, politics, and interior design - none of which I could learn in my tiny high school. I spent countless hours online, chatting with people from all over the U.S., as well as England, Canada, Australia, India, and New Zealand. (Some of those people are still my best friends!) When I wasn't doing all of that, I danced, drew, cooked, cleaned (voluntarily!), watched cartoons and documentaries, played the piano, played The Sims, slept a LOT, and listened to Queen obsessively. When I turned 18 I started doing volunteer work with special needs kids, got a GED and then an AA, and was on the path to becoming a teacher until a couple years ago, when I realized it was turning me into someone I didn't want to be.
Having lost my grandmother in 2003 and my mom in 2009, I left my Florida home in 2010 to set off for new adventures in Boston. I have a job I love, babysitting for a child with cerebral palsy. In my spare time, I hang out with my friends, write, explore the city, watch sci-fi, and advocate for radical equality for kids and teens, gender-variant people, and people with disabilities. I'm not big into political activism, but I try to spread information and change minds where I can. This blog is part of that effort.