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
Over-Prized Productivity

. . . If I could have given myself one piece of advice when I was a child, it would have been: “If you happen to make your mark by doing what you purely enjoy, then fine. But never do what you fail to enjoy for the sake of making your mark.” . . .

Self-Directed Education and Late Bloomers

It seems that every discussion about education assumes the primary goal of lower educational institutions is to get people into higher educational institutions. But there are better ways of thinking of one’s learning besides as a means to get a checkbox ticked on an application—after all, learning never stops, it ebbs and flows in intensity over your life . . .

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.