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
 How We See Self-Directed Education

"Informal or spontaneous learning is often far more effective than formal learning." If you agree with this position, please share this video with your friends and let us know your thoughts, or join the Alliance: http://www.self-directed.org

Being and Becoming

The movie’s exploration of how children and adults learn and grow together without following conventional school and child-rearing practices is vivid. Indeed, its celebration of childbirth and parenthood at the start of the film sets a beautiful tone for why parents might want to continue this type of holistic family life as opposed to conventional, fractured work/school/family schedules.

Why I Support the Alliance for Self-Directed Education

We want ASDE to be a self-sustaining and steady voice in support of self-directed education in this time of intense technological and bureaucratic surveillance and control of our lives and learning. We want self-directed education to be seen as normative, rather than alternative, in the public discourse about education . . .