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Growing Without Schooling: A Record of a Grassroots Movement Paperback – Feb 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Associates (February 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0913677108
  • ISBN-13: 978-0913677100
  • Product Dimensions: 28 x 21.8 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 748 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,286,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Publisher

Growing Without Schooling is celebrating its 20th anniversary of publication this August.

From the Back Cover

John Holt, the author of eleven books about schools and learning, including the bestsellers How Children Learn and How Children Fail, promoted the homeschooling movementwhich he originally called unschoolingwhen he published the first issue of GWS in August 1977. Here, for the first time under one cover, are the first twelve issues of GWS, fully indexed and organized to help you browse or research its vast archive of ideas about how adults and children can learn together in their homes and communities. These first issues are particularly important because they contain much writing by Holt about the how and why of unschooling that is not published anywhere else, as well as hundreds of firsthand accounts by unschoolings earliest practitioners that resonate with even more meaning today.

It is not what we teach children but how we treat them that determines what type of people they will become, Holt once told me. This is why unschooling is as much about social change as it is about school reform: unschooling is about creating or reclaiming places and events for adults and children of all ages to live and learn together. Certainly there may be places and times when one wants to learn in traditional school settings; unschooling isnt about denying access to school to anyone, but rather, about being able to choose to learn in a school when one needs, or wants, to do so. But children learning this way will choose to play all day and never do any serious learning, some will argue. The response to that criticism is spread throughout the pages of GWS, and crystallized in these first twelve issues.

From the Introduction by Patrick Farenga

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This volume is the first 12 issues of Growing Without Schooling reprinted in an easier-to-read font than the originals. These first newsletters were all written by Holt (versus staff writers) with the exception of some printed letters from readers. I have been subscribing to GWS for a few years but had never actually read anything written by Holt (who is now deceased). I was wonderfully delighted by these newsletters and could not put this book down.
These writings are a collection of subjects such as: suggesting homeschooling as an option to compulsory schooling, legal issues surrounding the ability to homeschool including having to make up one's own private school name, problems with formal schooling (public and private), how children learn naturally without much help from adults, and that children are capable of handling more responsibility than adults usually allow them to. Holt advises on how parents should deal with the school administrators such as when portfolio reviews are necessary. There is a good amount about the growing homeschooling movement and the legal issues; if that does not appeal to you then just skip over it and there is plenty of other information to make reading and buying this volume worthwhile. Holt includes some letters from readers and then responds, and other times he just prints up a response to issues raised by parents. Interspersed are ideas for ways to teach certain things better such as reading and writing and other useful tidbits. Holt also discusses various books that he has read and tells his opinions of them. Of note: these back issues are much more anti-school and negative in tone than the current issues of the magazine which focus more on just pro-homeschooling and are more of a positive attitude.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Interesting and inspiring June 10 2001
By ChristineMM - Published on Amazon.com
This volume is the first 12 issues of Growing Without Schooling reprinted in an easier-to-read font than the originals. These first newsletters were all written by Holt (versus staff writers) with the exception of some printed letters from readers. I have been subscribing to GWS for a few years but had never actually read anything written by Holt (who is now deceased). I was wonderfully delighted by these newsletters and could not put this book down.
These writings are a collection of subjects such as: suggesting homeschooling as an option to compulsory schooling, legal issues surrounding the ability to homeschool including having to make up one's own private school name, problems with formal schooling (public and private), how children learn naturally without much help from adults, and that children are capable of handling more responsibility than adults usually allow them to. Holt advises on how parents should deal with the school administrators such as when portfolio reviews are necessary. There is a good amount about the growing homeschooling movement and the legal issues; if that does not appeal to you then just skip over it and there is plenty of other information to make reading and buying this volume worthwhile. Holt includes some letters from readers and then responds, and other times he just prints up a response to issues raised by parents. Interspersed are ideas for ways to teach certain things better such as reading and writing and other useful tidbits. Holt also discusses various books that he has read and tells his opinions of them. Of note: these back issues are much more anti-school and negative in tone than the current issues of the magazine which focus more on just pro-homeschooling and are more of a positive attitude. Holt mentioned in one of these first issues that he hoped someday that GWS would evolve to be a forum for homeschooling families to write of their successes and I feel that indeed that is what has occurred. (The first issues were just Holt doing the writing and the current issues of GWS are almost all reader-submitted essays.)
Very readable and enjoyable. It made me want to buy all the back issues of GWS. I have since gone on to read some of Holt's books, which tackle specific areas (see my other reviews). As a homeschooling parent it made me feel more confident in both my children's natural ability to learn and of my ability as a person not educated in college as a schoolteacher to be capable and even a superior "teacher" for my own children.
I highly recommend that anyone thinking of homeschooling their children read this. Open-minded teachers would learn some helpful tidbits as well.

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