Posts in Learning and Teaching
Escaping the Education Caste System

Some Indian parents help their children cheat on exams to get ahead, and treat children harshly to make them study, in what they perceive as a dog-eat-dog world of education. Is conventional schooling the only way to help people learn and grow into good citizens?

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John Holt's Book and Music Store: Now Online!

"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 . . .

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Give and Let Give: Homeschooling from the Ground Up

"Homeschooling is more than just freedom to learn. It’s more than just awesome classes or innovative learning centers. It’s time with family. It’s building close relationships with your kids. It’s going through real life ups and downs with the support of your friends, your community. It’s kids finding their own mentors by virtue of living an authentic life . . . "

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Slow Homeschooling

"I think children need slowness even more than adults do. It’s in those moments of quiet, of unstructured time, of boredom even, that kids learn how to look into themselves, how to think and be creative, how to socialize. We are doing a great disservice to our children by pushing them so hard to learn things earlier and earlier and by keeping them so busy . . ."

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What is the role of teacher when children do self-directed learning?

I’m delivering a keynote at the online Learning Revolution conference early tomorrow morning. It is being recorded so you can listen to it on your own schedule, but if the topic interests you and you’d like to participate with questions and comments, please grab a cup of coffee and join me. I'm speaking about "What is the role of teacher when children do self-directed learning?" . . .

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Parental Involvement with Children's Schoolwork is Overrated

"Most people, asked whether parental involvement benefits children academically, would say, “of course it does.” But evidence from our research suggests otherwise. In fact, most forms of parental involvement, like observing a child’s class, contacting a school about a child’s behavior, helping to decide a child’s high school courses, or helping a child with homework, do not improve student achievement. In some cases, they actually hinder it . . . "

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New Unschooling Videos

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.

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The Insularity of School Research

People think research about the efficacy of schooling proves that our national well-being, personal advancement, and intellectual abilities are deeply connected to attending school. A new article argues that research about the efficacy of education is deeply flawed and prevents us from creating better solutions for helping children learn. . .

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Remaining a Pacifist in the Reading Wars

I lived through the reading wars and survived, though it wasn’t easy in the homeschooling movement. Phonics purists couldn’t quite embrace John Holt’s ideas since he considered phonics to be just one way that children can learn to read, and not necessarily the best way. “It is good books, not good reading methods, that make good readers,” John said . . .

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