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
Saving Our Kids, Saving Ourselves

Marilyn Rowe wrote this short, sharp book about why you should consider self-directed education for your children, and also provides an update about the changing scene for homeschooling in Quebec.

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.

What Causes More Anxiety in Children: School or a Smartphone?

Since the dawn of time children were an integral part of adult daily life, for better or worse, but since the Industrial Revolution we've deliberately kept them out of adult society to focus them on school instruction, school schedules, and school awards.