Posts in Learning and Teaching
Schools and Homeschoolers: Unequal When Threatened with Court over Student Deficiencies

If schools aren’t able or obligated to teach some children to read why can’t we create publicly funded alternatives to school for those children? Self-directed learning challenges Horace Mann’s assumption about the need to compel school attendance: Freedom does not necessarily result in ignorance.

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Technology That Gives Students Agency, Not Instruction

Sitting in a classroom or at home in front of a teaching machine is hardly a major advancement for a child’s social, physical, and mental growth. Our 19th century school assumptions about how learning happens bind us to an industrial model of the school as a knowledge factory, rather than a model of people as active learners. The photo on this post is from an article about the history of B.F. Skinner and his teaching machine by Audrey Watters.

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Self-Directed Education and Late Bloomers

It seems that every discussion about education assumes the primary goal of lower educational institutions is to get people into higher educational institutions. But there are better ways of thinking of one’s learning besides as a means to get a checkbox ticked on an application—after all, learning never stops, it ebbs and flows in intensity over your life . . .

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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.

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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 . . .

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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 . . .

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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 . . .

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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 . . .

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Starting to Homeschool with Pat Farenga

Over the last few months we created this series of six videos, handouts, and a private member's forum to help you start and continue homeschooling in your own way. I wrote a new book, How to Report Unschooling to School Officials, as a capstone to this project (you can get the book separately). But you can get a special price on the complete package . . .

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In Remembrance: John Holt

September 14, 2015, marks the 30th anniversary of John Holt’s death and I’ve been conflicted as to what to write about it . . . As I thought about this anniversary I went through various books and files for inspiration and I came across the documentary slide show we created for the Growing Without Schooling 20th anniversary conference in 1997 . . .

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