Freedom and Beyond

Holt's most political book, Freedom and Beyond is also a very practical and useful book for parents and anyone who works with children because it explores in detail many of the tensions caused by giving freedom. Partners who argue over the value of self-directed learning, who worry about discipline, and so on will find that Holt presents both sides of these tensions and notes they will never go away . . .

John Holt on What Are a Deschooled Society and Alternatives to Schooling?

From Freedom and Beyond: "In sum, a deschooled society would be a society in which everyone shall have the widest and freest possible choice to learn whatever he wants to learn, whether in school or in some altogether different way . . . . It would be a society in which there were many paths to learning and advancement, instead of one school path as we have now . . . a path far too narrow for everyone, and one too easily and too often blocked off from the poor."

Our School Choice Is None

Now, there’s no doubt that homeschooling is a choice, but for me and other homeschoolers I know, it was not a choice of schools, it was a choice for our family to avoid the rat race of school: its busy work and pressure for labels, grades, class status, and homework. Our choice was not to go to school and to not turn our home into a school—and that’s a choice I never read about in the school choice literature . . .

Being and Becoming

The movie’s exploration of how children and adults learn and grow together without following conventional school and child-rearing practices is vivid. Indeed, its celebration of childbirth and parenthood at the start of the film sets a beautiful tone for why parents might want to continue this type of holistic family life as opposed to conventional, fractured work/school/family schedules.

Why I Support the Alliance for Self-Directed Education

We want ASDE to be a self-sustaining and steady voice in support of self-directed education in this time of intense technological and bureaucratic surveillance and control of our lives and learning. We want self-directed education to be seen as normative, rather than alternative, in the public discourse about education . . .

Unschooling, Anthologized

John Young, a twelfth-grade English teacher, recently contacted me about The Norton Reader, which he uses in his classes and that first introduced John Holt’s thoughts about education to him years earlier. Mr. Young mentioned that Norton was no longer using Holt’s article and he was disappointed in this development . . .

You Do Not Need a PhD to Look at a Child and to Think About What He is Doing

From John Holt's reply to Dr. Jerome Bruner's letter to the NY Review of Books: "The proper business of the intellectual is to make complicated ideas more simple, not simple ideas more complicated; to make the real world more comprehensible, not less so." Read more about this sharp exchange . . .

Education Disruptors on Two Continents: Shilpa and Manish Jain

Shilpa and Manish Jain are grassroots education activists located in the United States and India, respectively. This spring each is putting on a unique event that approaches vast educational change at a personal, empowering level . . .

Parents' Concerns about Their Children's Futures

The questions from parents that Blake responded to at his talk are the same ones myself and others in homeschooling for the past 30+ years also asked when we started—childrearing issues don't differ from previous generations as much as our external circumstances do—and I feel obligated to pass those answers forward . . .