Opportunities For Teenage Unschoolers and Intergenerational Changemakers

Two new online forums built expressly for unschooled teenagers are described by Jim Flannery, the founder/moderator of both. Plus the third Northeast Changemakers Jam happens at the end of March.

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Technology That Gives Students Agency, Not Instruction

Sitting in a classroom or at home in front of a teaching machine is hardly a major advancement for a child’s social, physical, and mental growth. Our 19th century school assumptions about how learning happens bind us to an industrial model of the school as a knowledge factory, rather than a model of people as active learners. The photo on this post is from an article about the history of B.F. Skinner and his teaching machine by Audrey Watters.

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Principles for Correcting Mistakes Children Make When Learning

"This article may be very useful to homeschoolers, not only as a guide in their own work with children, but also as something to quote from in their homeschooling proposals."—John Holt. This excerpt from math Prof. David Wheeler's paper contains his five principles of remediation, which can be helpful as you seek to walk a more patient path of learning with your children.

 

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How Children Learn and the Leap of Faith

Fifty years ago John Holt woke the dreary world of educational theory by showing that for small children “learning is as natural as breathing.” His brilliant observations are as true today as they were then. Over a million copies were sold worldwide in the decades that followed. This new, 50th anniversary edition features a Foreword by teacher/author Deborah Meier, who praises Holt's influence on herself, in schools, and in homes.

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Ask Me Anything!

On Thursday, June 22, noon to 9 pm, you can ask me anything online at the Alliance for Self-Directed Learning member forum. We can chat about John Holt, homeschooling, unschooling, learning, teaching, schools and what they can learn from looking beyond their learning paradigms, issues and regulations that challenge the growth of homeschooling and self-directed education around the world—whatever you want!

 

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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 . . .

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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.

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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 . . .

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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."

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