Jump to content

Menu

Has anyone else learned from John Holt?


M in Canada
 Share

Recommended Posts

I know John Holt's ideas are in general in total opposition to the classical education we espouse here. But he has such lovely insight into children and even though I often argue with him in my mind while reading him, he has always been helpful.

 

What he gives me is motivation to be more patient with my children, he helps me see that it is good to let the kids have room to grow and understand on their own. I am also reassured that if, for example, I don't have time to do the art appreciation sessions I had envisioned, but the kids do end up looking at the lovely art books I got for the sessions , then their own observations on their own are as good if not better than if I were there trying to get them to explain to me what they see and what they think of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have read John Holt and while I've learnt from him I don't follow him to a T. I've read WTM and learnt from it but don't follow it to a T either. I pick and choose, we're mostly classical but trying to relax with the younger kids. I'm trying to let them take me on the learning journey while they're young, when they don't "need" formal education.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I too have enjoyed his writings, and many of them helped me with our youngest. Let's face it -- some children are just slower. My youngest did not really talk until he was three. He has no speech problems now, but John Holt helped me through it. I like that he makes me think more of my child than of keeping up with someone else's child.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not a fan of unschooling, but I thought Holt's book, Never Too Late, was an extremely moving message to adults. Sadly, in some ways it was too late for him, as he died shortly after the book was published. But what a strong message it was about the intense pleasure of life long learning.

Danielle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually read his books before I knew anything about classical education. I learned a lot from them, even though the overall method (?) or philosophy (?) not sure of my wording here, didn't call out to me; there were definitely elements of truth and beauty and wisdom in there, that I still go back to often.

 

:)

Melissa

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was his books--all of them--that I read in 1982 when I was considering homeschooling. I'm convinced that if I had not, if I had read anything that espoused more structure, I would not have been able to continue hsing. My dd *needed* to be unschooled in the beginning because the poor little thing was burned out from the high-pressure Christian school she had been attending.

 

But even later, I'm glad we unschooled. We learned things all the time, and had wonderful experiences, and both of my dds are wonderful, bright young women.

 

Yup, love John Holt.:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've learned a lot from John Holt, from unschoolers in general and, quite frankly, from every educational theory book I've ever read.

 

When I talk with new homeschoolers I always recommend that they read wide and deep. It's easy to limit oneself to the book or group of books that are closest to one's comfort level, but significant growth, insight, and inspiration can also come from ideas that are way outside our comfort zone.

 

There have been many times where I've picked up a book, read the back, and thought, "wow, that's *way* out there." I could have put the book back, but instead I read it and there is always something I can take from it.

 

My homeschool has been enriched by the ideas of unschoolers, by the Charlotte Mason philosophy, by the Montessori approach - by Gordon Neufeld, John Holt and Alfie Kohn. I'm most inspired when I read things like The Well Trained Mind and Climbing Parnassus, but I also make a point of reading Educating the Whole-Hearted Child once a year.

 

My scope and sequence is mostly classical. But, the flow of our day, the way our learning areas are set up, the methods I bring in - they often come from elsewhere.

 

I spent a couple of years lurking and occasionally posting on an unschooling board. I was inspired again and again by the creativity of these parents and the kinds of things the kids were doing. I learned a lot from them and I continue to learn and grow from the wisdom of other homeschoolers and educators.

 

Sarah

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and started reading it. I really loved his philosphy but my own academically driven, public school-washed brain kept me from really "grabbing onto" anything he said, KWIM? I was drawn to Classical ed. for the organization, the rigor, the focus on academics. That's so me. But, deep down in my heart of hearts...something about unschooling and even CM just resonate w/ me. My own de-programming isn't complete so it's hard to implement. I've had experiences where my kids, left to their own explorations, have learned so much, (i.e. the finding or the bird remains, discovering what type it was, piecing together the "what must have happened", etc.) so I KNOW this works. This thread (thank you for starting it!) and another I read last night has motivated me to really read Teach Your Own and pray (really pray...like on my knees, fervent, serious seeking the Lord prayer) about the direction our own hs must take. NOT what we SHOULD be doing or what others are doing, but what WE must do. B/c after all...we are all different and have different goals, situations, dc, learning styles, etc. THAT right there is one of the reasons I'm so addicted to this board...even to my own ruin sometimes :D I love learning from others...my problem is trying to assimilate that new knowledge into our own situation w/out doubting what we are doing or trying to become a carbon-copy of someone else's hs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gatto's "Dumbing Us Down" has good explanations of why it's so difficult for so many of us hsers to feel comfortable with the ideas espoused by John Holt.

 

 

I like John Holt's books; another writer who gets me really fired up is John Taylor Gatto.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gatto's "Dumbing Us Down" has good explanations of why it's so difficult for so many of us hsers to feel comfortable with the ideas espoused by John Holt.

 

The thing is...I like both of these authors to some extent. I guess I feel like Holt is a big picture guy, not a day-to-day kind of guy. I think in the big picture many of his ideas are right. However, it would take a LOT of time and work to produce results if every child were to learn *everything* via natural leaning. It's a great concept and very applicable to certain subjects. It's just not feasible all the time.

 

I guess that's why I homeschool. I can take great ideas from Holt, Gatto, Montessori, even Ron Clark (I love his book The Essential 55) and I can incorporate all of the ideas and thoughts I can into something that works well for me and my kids.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...