Welcome to the site about John Holt, a teacher and writer who advocated more humane classrooms and then, when he sensed such school reform was not really wanted by most people, became one of the founders of the homeschooling movement, which Holt originally called "unschooling." Unschooling—learning that doesn't look like school or happen at home—is an effective way to work with, not on, young children and teenagers to help them learn.

Unschooling is also documented in the pages of the magazine Holt founded, Growing Without Schooling (GWS), as are articles, audio, and video recordings of Holt and other pioneers of learning without schooling.

You will also find much other information, research, and support for learning outside of school here.
—Patrick Farenga

Updates

NEW BOOK! GWS issues 1 to 19 are now available in print and digital formats. Learn more about the book and read excerpts here.

NEW BOOK! GWS issues 1 to 19 are now available in print and digital formats. Learn more about the book and read excerpts here.

Purchase the book for $9.99 and get the Kindle version for .99 cents!  Available alone as Kindle or in ePub and other formats at Smashwords: $2.99 "The Legacy of John Holt is unequivocally provocative and memorable."—The Portland (OR) Book Review. More reviews of The Legacy of John Holt

Purchase the book for $9.99 and get the Kindle version for .99 cents!  Available alone as Kindle or in ePub and other formats at Smashwords: $2.99 "The Legacy of John Holt is unequivocally provocative and memorable."—The Portland (OR) Book Review. More reviews of The Legacy of John Holt

Pat Farenga's Blog

Pat Farenga's Blog
New Fiction Inspired by John Holt's Writing about Learning

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.

Freedom and Beyond

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 . . .

John Holt on What Are a Deschooled Society and Alternatives to Schooling?

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."