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Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World Paperback – September 9, 2014
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“Ben Hewitt walks you along the lanes of his small family farm right into the heart of parenting. He does not judge the new normal of life’s fever-pitch pace but fills you with the courage to follow your hopes, which may well transform your family.”—Kim John Payne, MEd, author of Simplicity Parenting, Beyond Winning, and The Soul of Discipline
“This fine book may make you wish you’d grown up in a very different way.”—Bill McKibben, author of Wandering Home
“What kind of parent doesn't send his kids to school? The kind that thinks maybe kids learn best when ‘learning cannot be helped’—when kids are so excited about the world that they master the skills they need to explore it, the same way they mastered crawling, walking and speaking.” —Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog, Free-Range Kids
“Hewitt provides a beautifully written handbook for those of you considering unschooling. And if you're already unschooling, buy ten copies to hand out to friends and family who ask you how it works.”—Penelope Trunk, blogger, entrepreneur, and home-schooling advocate
“This is a beautifully written, honest, introspective, soul-revealing, and soul-stirring account of one family’s choice to live close to nature and to allow their children to learn naturally, without school, in a self-directed manner. The book’s biggest message, I think, is that we do have choices; we can chart our own lives, we don't have to follow the crowd if we don’t want to.”—Peter Gray, Research Professor at Boston College and author of Free to Learn
"This book fills me with both sadness and joy. My sadness is for the millions of children locked in schools, looking out the windows as the precious days of childhood pass them by. My joy comes from knowing this eloquent book will inspire many to choose a different path.”—Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics and The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible
"Ben Hewitt’s thoughtful and elegant prose cuts through the noise of modern life to reveal the incredible public value and personal satisfaction of being rooted in one’s environment, nurturing meaningful relationships among family and friends, and learning with and from children. You don’t have to live in a cabin in Vermont like the Hewitts to benefit from the book; you can enjoy their story and embrace their spirit to take control of your life and learning to achieve your own unique ambitions.”—Patrick Farenga, publisher of The Legacy of John Holt
"An inspiring read that reminds us the world can offer more to our children than classrooms and cubicles; and they, in turn, can contribute more than test scores and paychecks."—Shannon Hayes, author of Radical Homemaking
"Everyone with a relationship to children should read this book... for the sake of tomorrow's generation.” —Joel Salatin, farmer, Polyface Farm, and author of Folks, This Ain’t Normal
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is so good. I read it in 1 day. I am at the brink of what to do regarding homeschooling/unschooling, veering strongly towards unschooling. This book sealed the deal for me. And yet that's not the point of it. It is one of the most balanced books I have read on the topic. I felt like I spent a few days in the life of, saw this way of life played out, and saw the beauty of it all. This style of education is RICH and FULL with limitless possibilities and numerous experiences. This book gave me full confidence that what I already knew instinctively- is the choice I should follow.
It is not just about schooling though. I identified with many of the author's thoughts on living off the land, even if you are not personally living off the land, loving the land around you. His musings on parenthood were excellent and relevant. I appreciated the transparency and truth of how much work and responsibility is involved. The most overwhelming theme to me was contentment and peace in living a life true to yourself and your values.
When I first started reading it I was slightly worried as it was very flavored with prose. I love prose, but I thought it might be hard to get through given the topic. Wrong. I was brought to tears numerous times because of the writing, but also because of where I am in this journey. It is brilliant in that you get one chapter of beauty and reflection, and one chapter of info and story, and he alternates between the two every other chapter. The chapters of reflection have beautiful art above the title, are brief, and add value. The layout is beautiful and flows well.Read more ›
Hewitt poetically describes the transformation in an engaging story that transports you deep into the forest to a place where you may not want to leave. You'll realize you've been here before, a long time ago, when you'll recall the beauty and wonder of your own childhood mind. But Hewitt's boys can revel in their curosity here, unchecked by teacher or parent. Through their discoveries in the forest, they've found their own path and are designing their own trail. With confidence and vigor they forge ahead, while the reader is left to pause and ponder.
By the end of this colorful tribute to childhood and to his sons, Hewitt will leave you NOT where you began. It will be up to you whether you decide to go or stay. Whichever course you choose, you will revisit your own journey and find the crystals of knowledge you left there long ago. And you will find the truth that you knew the answers all along.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I just had my first son, who is now 2 weeks old. I read this book during my pregnancy and fell in love with the way these folks are raising their children. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Fallon
Though some of us may sometimes "romanticize" what a simpler life and a natural education for our children may look like, Ben Hewitt describes in clear and real context. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Bernardo
I was drawn to this book from the first page. The stories in these pages just made me happy. Plenty of good laughs and aha moments... Read morePublished 1 month ago by T.J. Estep
This was a really good read. If you are reading it to learn about undchooling though then you will be disapointed. It was mentioned only a few times and not in any kind of detail. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Larisa Anderson
If you have any interest in living a sustainable lifestyle, home/unschooling your children, or in finding peace in the natural world you won't regret a moment of this book! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Green Girl
Great story of a family living the dream. I'd say MY dream, but the movement proves it isn't just me.Published 3 months ago by The Zov
This book is an amazing, inspirational story of parenting done right. Read it!!!Published 3 months ago by Amber Alohilani Woolsey
Such a beautifully written book about the things that matter most in life. I felt myself being drawn into life on a farm and envying the freedom the author's two sons have in life. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Cuteasafruit