August 28, 2018, is the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Though not present, John Holt supported the students and was highly critical of the police. John adds some thoughtful commentary and advice about being careful not to turn just anger into blind hate in this previously unpublished piece.Read More
John Young writes, "John Holt wrote comparatively little on religion per se, . . . However, I think his occasional comments on the matter enrich our understanding of unschooling, especially as the topic of religion comes into play."Read More
Fifty years ago John Holt woke the dreary world of educational theory by showing that for small children “learning is as natural as breathing.” His brilliant observations are as true today as they were then. Over a million copies were sold worldwide in the decades that followed. This new, 50th anniversary edition features a Foreword by teacher/author Deborah Meier, who praises Holt's influence on herself, in schools, and in homes.Read More
. . . If I could have given myself one piece of advice when I was a child, it would have been: “If you happen to make your mark by doing what you purely enjoy, then fine. But never do what you fail to enjoy for the sake of making your mark.” . . .Read More
Books about homeschooling tend to be nonfiction and educational in tone, so it is a pleasure to see an increase in novels written by homeschoolers that add fresh perspectives and stories about homeschooling and family life. I want to call out these two novels because they share a common inspiration—John Holt’s writing.Read More
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 . . .Read More
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."Read More
"Many of us may coerce without meaning to.
"The question is, what kind of influence do we exercise over other people, what kind of open or hidden pressure do we put on them, what chance do we give them to say No, what do they risk if they do say it? . . ."Read More
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 . . .Read More
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 . . .Read More
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 . . .Read More
John Holt's books have been translated into over 48 languages, and I continue to field requests for more translations . . .Read More
This new movie about learning outside the classroom is not only a great introduction to homeschooling and unschooling, but is also a testament to our individual and group abilities to create new private and public spaces for living and learning with children when institutions fail to do so . . .Read More
Help us make John Holt's videos accessible in other languages and to the deaf by joining our new video captioning project . . .Read More
"How did you homeschool/unschool without having the Internet?" Well, John Holt created a book and music catalog for helping parents and children find learning materials that were either unavailable from school product providers (they didn't support homeschooling then as they do now) or that he thought were better books and materials than standard-issue curricula. I collated most of the books and materials we sold into this list . . .Read More
Many educators grasp the importance of letting children learn through their own joy and passions, but almost none recommend that unschooling can be a sound way to do so. Even fewer dare to be education heretics and question why we need to box children into schools and how else they might learn and grow in today's world . . .Read More
Don't teach the way you were taught: Involve other adults, other kids, and other activities in your children's lives. But most of all, get involved in building an open relationship with your children to best understand what does and doesn't work for them and you . . .Read More
Three types of media for you to enjoy: The slides, bibliography, and videos from my recent talk about how parents of preschool-age children can best help them learn; a new video about Holt's Learning All the Time; and a synchronized update of my slides and video, Homeschooling and Unschooling, presented at the Alternatives to Compulsory Schooling conference at Harvard University in April 2013.Read More
After outlining the general issues the March 7, 2014, Congressional Quarterly Researcher report looks in depth at three key questions:
1. Should governments oversee home schooling more strictly?
2. Is home schooling academically superior to public schooling?
3. Can home schooling help the public school system?
"You don’t learn to love freedom by being a slave." This and many other juicy quotes by John Holt and author/psychologist Richard Farson are in this interview from 1974 about children's rights. Read about the interview and listen to it here . . .Read More