John Holt’s Unschooling

Creator : John Caldwell Holt (April 14, 1923 – September 14, 1985) was an American author and educator, a proponent of homeschooling and, specifically, the unschooling approach, and a pioneer in youth rights theory.

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This is important for us to place on our website : John Holt was the founder of modern homeschooling that began in the 70s.

This would interest you if you are into : big picture thinking, history of homeschooling, pioneering work, non-prescribed environment of learning, civil rights, youth rights

Resources on lists out approaches to homeschool, materials and spaces relevant to homeschoolers in Singapore.


“If you want to do school at home, there are many sites, books, and people who will tell you what, when, and where to learn but this isn’t the place for that. I will, of course, help you learn what is expected if you want to compare your children to certain school milestones. But homeschooling doesn’t have to duplicate school in any way in order to achieve those milestones, or for children to learn, grow, and thrive overall, and I want to put most of my efforts in support of the small, but growing, number of people and resources that support self-directed learning for families and school-age children everywhere.”

“Further, homeschoolers, and unschoolers in particular, don’t always use standard textbooks and educational programs for learning and this puts them in a bind when town and school officials review their educational purchases. The educational value of a television is just not as acceptable to school officials (and, probably, most parents) as purchasing a phonics textbook is.

In the 1990s there was an enterprising superintendent in Uxbridge, MA who supported all types of learning in his district and he extended vouchers to homeschoolers. When it was seen that homeschoolers were using that money to purchase video players, music lessons, instruments, and other items that anyone who wants to learn at home would find useful, the superintendent was put on the hot seat, the state Department of Education claimed those things were not proper educational expenses, and another opportunity to conceive of learning as more than just school classes was lost.

To my knowledge homeschoolers still do not receive funding from any state or federal agency in order to be able to teach their children at home. Though some homeschoolers would welcome such financial aid, others—and I’m one—do not due to all the strings that come attached to such money and the ease and swiftness with which it can be taken away, as the homeschooling families in Uxbridge, MA learned years ago.

Such is the dichotomy of living and learning that schools make of our lives. By homeschooling, I hope our actions can awaken people to a conception of education that goes beyond the compulsory credentialing of children and towards a conception of public education as a life-long, chosen support, like a public library, that helps everyone seek or create a life worth living and work worth doing.”


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