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John Caldwell Holt
John Caldwell Holt (1923-85) is recognized by many as the father
(some now even say grandfather!)
of the modern homeschooling movement and the person who coined the term
"unschooling." He was the author of ten books about education. In 1977, he
founded Growing Without Schooling magazine as a way to
support homeschooling families and to provide a forum for them to communicate
with one another. Growing Without Schooling ceased publication at the end of
2001 after 143 issues. While subscriptions are no longer available, many of the
back issues can still be purchased.
John passed away a few years before we began our unschooling
journey, but he still had a strong influence on us thorough his books and
magazine. We think his books are "must read" information for anyone who is
homeschooling or considering homeschooling. He wrote with great clarity and had
many insightful ideas that continue to make much sense today.
Collections of some of the best stories in GWS Magazine, on two of their
Life After Homeschooling contains stories about homeschoolers
moving into the wider world. Detailed accounts of the college admissions
process and of alternatives to college, all from homeschoolers' perspectives.
Paper, 14 pages.
Transition from School to Homeschool. Leaving school is the first step, but
adjusting to a new way of learning and living is an ongoing process. These
stories - several by young people themselves - take you inside that process and
offer reassurance and insight.
#3472JH $4.95 unavailable
A Life Worth Living DVD tribute to John Holt
Pat Farenga created this slide show for Growing Without Schooling's 20th
anniversary conference. It was transferred to DVD and enhanced with footage not in the original show. It covers Holt's early career as social
reformer and private school teacher, to famous author and school reformer, to unschooler and homeschool advocate.
Filled with rare photographs, tape
recordings of Holt's own words from interviews and lectures over the years, and
some video of Holt, you get a view of Holt's transformation from a "high
standards" elite private school teacher, to a free schooler, to a pioneer
homeschooler. A Life Worth Living is a perfect introduction to one of the most
innovative thinkers about education. JHB
22 minutes - DVD format.
For a limited time, we will include a 7-page booklet titled, "The
Education of John Holt." It's a reprint of article that first appeared in
the December 1981 issue of Yankee magazine.
Books by John Holt
Freedom and Beyond by
John Holt. Many
of the questions with which homeschoolers continually wrestle are addressed in
this book, in Holt's clear, eloquent, and comprehensive style. What's the
difference between "structured" and "unstructured"? Between coercive and natural
authority? What does discipline really mean? What happens when kids who are not
used to making choices about their learning suddenly get this opportunity? What
tensions arise, and how can we help?
Holt's exploration of these questions would be enough to make the book extremely
valuable, but there's more - Holt also offers a cogent analysis of why schooling
cannot cure poverty and what deschooling would mean for the poor. Fascinating,
important reading. JHB
Paper, 263 pages. 1995 edition.
#3278JH currently out of stock
How Children Fail by John Holt -
First published in 1964, this book has helped many parents and teachers over the
years understand what actually happens in the classroom.
John Holt was a keen
and astute observer of children, with a passionate conviction that our children
deserve much better. His writing is very clear and accessible, and makes so
Paper, 298 pages.
Children Learn by John Holt -
John Holt opens our eyes to the amazing ways pre-school children learn so many
things. His writing is clear, concrete, down to earth and based on his
observations of children and how they learn from what interests them.
like about John Holt's writing is his constant curiosity about learning. It will
get you thinking about both your child's learning and your own.
Paper, 320 pages
Instead of Education: Ways to Help
People Do Things Better by John Holt lays out the foundation for
unschooling as the vital path to self-directed learning and a creative life.
Instead of Education gives lots of examples of how to create learning
opportunities outside the established educational structure, as well as
fascinating stories of people who choose to self-educate, non-compulsory
schools, learning centers, and informal learning arrangements in action.
All the Time: How Small Children Begin To Read, Write, Count, and Investigate
the World, Without Being Taught by
John Holt. John was working on this book before his death, and it was
completed using his articles in Growing Without Schooling and other
previously uncollected writing. As with all of his books, this work exhibits the
great respect he had for children and insights into how they learn.
explores how children learn and think and demonstrates that children can and do pick up
"the basics" (reading, writing, math) from the world around them. I find many of his ideas very
practical, not just theoretical, and every so often I pick up and skim this book
to help remind me that my children are, indeed, learning all the time. Paper,
A Life Worth Living: Selected Letters
of John Holt, edited and with an introduction by Susannah Sheffer - From
the backcover: "The letters of education critic and reformer John Holt were
worksheets for his public writing as well as a fascinating record of his time.
They contain some of his most poignant insights into education and educational
reform, school, and politics. In this absorbing collection, Holt can be seen at
his fiercest - openly challenging the usefulness and wisdom of compulsory
schools, of universities, of the institution of childhood - and at his freshest,
revealing thoughts conceived in the moment of writing."
This book is now out of print, but we have been purchasing used copies. As a
result, we have a small quantity available. The copies may have creases, library
stickers, highlights, notes or a combination of any of these.
|Sharing Treasures: Book Reviews by John
Holt. Edited by Patrick Farenga and Jane Prest Holcomb. This is a
collection of book reviews by John Holt about education, children, and learning.
John Holt reviewed the literature of education for the popular press of his
time, but as his interests in children and learning expanded beyond school
walls, so did his search for books and materials that would be useful to people
who are learning without attending school. These are John Holt's personal
recommendations for homeschooling resources. His insight, wit, and eclectic
selection offer us new ways to view learning.
Because the age of this publication, many of the books are out of print.
However, many are in print and the reviews themselves are interesting reading as
they reflect the views held by John Holt.
Sharing Treasures is out of print, and we have very few copies. The copies we
have are in new condition.
Paper, 92 pages. 8.5"x10.75"x.25"
#7086 $15.99 unavailable
Your Own - The John Holt Book of Homeschooling by
John Holt and Patrick Farenga. When we
acquired the John Holt bookstore, we never thought we would
have the chance to carry a new book by John Holt (who died in 1985). Okay, it's
not a "completely" new book, but it is a new edition with lots of new
information. Long out of print (with used
copies often going for much more than the original purchase price!), the classic
Teach Your Own: A Hopeful Path to Education has now been updated and
The new version is entitled Teach Your Own - The John Holt Book of
Homeschooling. Appropriately enough, it has been updated and edited by
Patrick Farenga, the president of Holt Associates. Pat has combined personal
stories and the resources from his own book, The Beginners Guide to
Homeschooling, with this classic work by the father of the modern
homeschooling movement. The original was published in 1981 and was the source of
inspiration for many parents considering homeschooling. Holt's words are every
bit as inspiring today and show a timeless common-sense that will have nodding
your head in agreement as you read along.
This book will help you avoid the trap of turning your home into a miniature
school. Instead, you will be encouraged to take advantage of
homeschooling's flexibility to provide an educational experience that is nearly
impossible to duplicate in schools. If you are already homeschooling but have
ever had moments of self-doubt, or wondered how to face relatives who question
your decision, then this book will restore your confidence and remind you of the
many benefits of the path you have chosen. If you are just getting started or
only considering homeschooling, this book will help open your eyes about the
many possibilities and will supply you with a wealth of information and
resources to help you on your way.
Legal advice and suggestions for countering common objections to homeschooling
are included. An extensive bibliography and several appendices will provide you
with information on other books, correspondence programs, curriculum suppliers,
helpful private schools, homeschooling organizations, learning materials, and
opportunities and activities. This is a "must have" book for every homeschooler!
Paper, 334 pages
Underachieving School by
lays out his basic arguments about how schools fail our children and offers a
wealth of inspiring ideas for what to do about it.
The Underachieving School is a collection of essays and articles written
and compiled by Holt, each brimming with inspiration and ideas on how to teach
children. Taking into account how children actually learn, this book shows us
the difference between learning and schooling through his original thinking;
clear, thoughtful writing; and firsthand accounts of what does and doesn’t work
Paper, 164 pages. 8.5"x5.5"x.5".
“Education is something a person gets for himself, not
that which someone else gives or does to him.” John Holt, from The
What Do I Do Monday? by
Holt. This is Holt's classic answer to teachers who asked, "How can I put all
your ideas into practice myself, with my kids?" The book contains hundreds of
things to do or try - "measuring speed," "measuring strength," "fractions,"
"recording talk," "writing for ourselves," "writing for others," and much more.
It is also a hard-hitting look at what's wrong with marking and grading, at what can
help troubled children, and at the difference between "teacher as cop" and
"teacher as guide." Holt wrote that of all his books, he felt that this was the
one homeschoolers would find most practical.
Paper, 300 pages. 1995 edition.
Books with contributions from John Holt
The Lives of
Children by George Dennison is the deeply inspiring story of the First
Street School, where twenty-three children, black, white, and Puerto Rican, all
from poor families, and many with severe learning and behavior problems, came
together with five teachers who believed that "the business of a school is not,
or should be, mere instruction, but the life of the child."
It includes a 13 page
introduction by John Holt in which he
writes: "This book must be seen also as a destroyer of alibis and excuses. We
cannot say any longer that we do not know why we are failing, or that we do not
know what can be done instead, or that we cannot afford to do it. If we go on
failing much longer, stunting and wrecking as we have the lives and spirits of
millions of children, it can only be because for peculiar and dreadful reasons
of our own that is what we really want to do."
Part of the Classics in Child
Development series. Paper, 309 pages. Limited quantities.