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Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of…

Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling (edition 2003)

by John Holt, Pat Farenga

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339432,414 (4.18)5
Title:Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling
Authors:John Holt
Other authors:Pat Farenga
Info:Da Capo Press (2003), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Home-Learning, Politics

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Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling by John Holt



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I've just discovered this maverick guy. What a trailblazer he was. I'm only sorry he died young and didn't stick around long enough to continue writing and publishing his magazine Growing Without Schooling. While I don't agree w/all his ideas, I do find many of them compelling. His analysis of how children learn and how the public school system discourages natural curiosity in favor of mass conformity makes so much sense! I recommend reading this one, as well as How Children Learn. ( )
  homeschoolmimzi | Nov 28, 2016 |
In this book, John Holt explains how learn not only through academics, but by living life. Even though this book is more for homeschoolers, the message is important for everyone. ( )
  crochetingbridgett | Jul 8, 2010 |
This is John Holt's most direct coverage about "unschooling" - why to do it, how to do it, and how to deal with those who believe otherwise. After his death in 1985, Pat Farenga continued his message, including updates to this work, primarily to comment on modern issues and the latest political developments. This book will challenge traditional views in a persuasive no-nonsense way. I suspect it will also challenge most home school parents to consider more creative methods based on their children's natural curiosity. ( )
  jpsnow | Jul 11, 2009 |
#67, 2006

Since I made the decision to pull my son out of school and start teaching him myself, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the subject of homeschooling. This book was one I requested from my library, after seeing Holt recommended as one of the top authors/visionaries in the field.

It was a very interesting book. I was mostly looking for advice on how to get started (and there is a bit of that), but mostly, he discusses his vision of education, and what’s so very wrong with the way it’s being done by most school systems in the U.S. He touches on a lot of political issues regarding schooling, and has loads of anecdotal evidence (as well as results from more scientific studies) which suggest that homeschooling is an excellent alternative to keeping children in a school situation which is likely causing lasting harm to their ability and desire to learn and become happy, genuinely productive adults. So many of the things he discusses are things I remember from my own school experience – and also have witnessed in the short time my own son was at the public school: “Labeling” children, and then treating them as problems to be solved; an over-emphasis on test scores, which creates a culture of competition, rather than a place where students feel safe and comfortable and want to learn (I myself remember times when I crammed for a test, only hoping to retain the information long enough to get a good grade, and then be free to forget it again – that’s not any sort of “education” which has helped me in my adult life). Conversely, he says that the most relevant and lasting kinds of learning happen when people (children and adults both) are interested in what they’re doing, and have a love of learning. There is a lot more, and I can’t possibly cover it all in this review, so if this is of interest to you, I’d highly recommend finding a copy of this book and giving it a read-through.

The book was originally written 25 years ago, so some of the specific data and legal issues mentioned were out of date; this edition has been updated by another author (Holt himself died nearly 20 years ago), so it still contains information which is current and relevant to people reading the book today.

More than anything, this book helped give me more confidence that I can definitely do a good job at this – and that I can give him a far better education than he would receive at our local public school. It also gave me a lot of food for thought, not to mention information and “arguments” that I’ll be able to offer to those who question or criticize me for this decision.

Mostly so I’ll have it for future reference (since this is a library book), I thought I’d share my favourite quote:

“We can sum up very quickly what people need to teach their own children. First of all, they have to like them, enjoy their company, their physical presence, their energy, foolishness and passion. They have to enjoy all their talk and questions, and enjoy equally trying to answer those questions. They have to think of their children as friends, indeed very close friends, have to feel happier when they are near and miss them when they are away. They have to trust them as people, respect their fragile dignity, treat them with courtesy, take them seriously. They have to feel in their own hearts some of their children’s wonder, curiosity, and excitement about the world. And they have to have enough confidence in themselves, skepticism about experts, and willingness to be different from most people, to take on themselves the responsibility for their children’s learning.” ( )
  herebedragons | Jan 15, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0738206946, Paperback)

Today more than one and a half million children are being taught at home by their own parents. In this expanded edition of the book that helped launch the whole movement, Pat Farenga has distilled John Holt's timeless understanding of the ways children come to understand the world and added up-to-the-moment practical advice. Rather than proposing that parents turn their homes into miniature schools, Holt and Farenga demonstrate how ordinary parents can help children grow as social, active learners. Chapters on living with children, "serious play," children and work, and learning difficulties will be of interest to all parents, whether home schooling or not, as well as to teachers. This new edition is supplemented with financial and legal advice as well as a guide to cooperating with schools and facing the common objections to home schooling.Teach Your Own not only has all the vital information necessary to be the bible for parents teaching their own children, it also conveys John Holt's wise and passionate belief in every child's ability to learn from the world that has made his wonderful books into enduring classics.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:21 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Focuses on how to raise children as learners more than how to create a school within one's household.

(summary from another edition)

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