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Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 10, 2001
This volume is the first 12 issues of Growing Without Schooling reprinted in an easier-to-read font than the originals. These first newsletters were all written by Holt (versus staff writers) with the exception of some printed letters from readers. I have been subscribing to GWS for a few years but had never actually read anything written by Holt (who is now deceased). I was wonderfully delighted by these newsletters and could not put this book down.
These writings are a collection of subjects such as: suggesting homeschooling as an option to compulsory schooling, legal issues surrounding the ability to homeschool including having to make up one's own private school name, problems with formal schooling (public and private), how children learn naturally without much help from adults, and that children are capable of handling more responsibility than adults usually allow them to. Holt advises on how parents should deal with the school administrators such as when portfolio reviews are necessary. There is a good amount about the growing homeschooling movement and the legal issues; if that does not appeal to you then just skip over it and there is plenty of other information to make reading and buying this volume worthwhile. Holt includes some letters from readers and then responds, and other times he just prints up a response to issues raised by parents. Interspersed are ideas for ways to teach certain things better such as reading and writing and other useful tidbits. Holt also discusses various books that he has read and tells his opinions of them. Of note: these back issues are much more anti-school and negative in tone than the current issues of the magazine which focus more on just pro-homeschooling and are more of a positive attitude. Holt mentioned in one of these first issues that he hoped someday that GWS would evolve to be a forum for homeschooling families to write of their successes and I feel that indeed that is what has occurred. (The first issues were just Holt doing the writing and the current issues of GWS are almost all reader-submitted essays.)
Very readable and enjoyable. It made me want to buy all the back issues of GWS. I have since gone on to read some of Holt's books, which tackle specific areas (see my other reviews). As a homeschooling parent it made me feel more confident in both my children's natural ability to learn and of my ability as a person not educated in college as a schoolteacher to be capable and even a superior "teacher" for my own children.
I highly recommend that anyone thinking of homeschooling their children read this. Open-minded teachers would learn some helpful tidbits as well.
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