Books – Unschooling

Books – Unschooling

Here are few favorite books about unschooling:

“Learning All the Time” by John Holt  (really anything by John Holt)

If John Holt had his way, today’s primers would be replaced with the largeprint edition of The New York Times, cursive handwriting would fade into disuse, and talking “cutesy-wootsy” to children would be considered a criminal act. This highly opinionated former teacher and original thinker spent the last half of his life challenging widely accepted classroom practices. The author of 10 books that concentrate on early child development and education, Holt is widely considered the father of the modern-day homeschooling movement because he grew to believe that schools stifle the learning process. In this, his final book–compiled by colleagues from drafts, letters, and magazine essays written by Holt before he died in 1985–he strings together his own observations and philosophies to show how young children can be encouraged to learn everything from reading and math to music and science. Holt’s thoughts carry the power of common sense.

One of his pet peeves: the silly, nonsensical rules of phonics drilled into schoolchildren today. One of those adages, found on the walls of many an elementary school classroom, goes, “When two vowels go out walking, the first one does the talking.” Holt points out that two pairs of vowels in the sentence violate the rule. This is not only confusing to some children, but simply “dumb,” he complains. He dismisses picture books and primers, with their small, simple vocabularies. In their place, Holt urges parents to expose children to the Yellow Pages, warranties, letters, ticket stubs, and newspapers–the print trappings that adults rely upon for everyday life. Holt’s call for context amid learning is delivered in a sensible, delightful writing style. He even includes several graphics and number games that can easily be used at home.

Anyone who comes in contact with a small child would benefit from–and enjoy–reading these last words from a man who clearly adored and remained mesmerized by children and their inquisitive minds. –Jodi

“Free to Learn” by Pam Laricchia

Thinking about homeschooling?  Curious about unschooling?

Walk with me as I share the five paradigm-changing ideas about learning and living that freed my family from the school schedule. With over ten years of experience, I have come to see how key these ideas were, and still are, to our unschooling lives. With stories, examples, and clear language, “Free to Learn: Five Ideas for a Joyful Unschooling Life” explores the depth and potential of unschooling.

“Free to Live” by Pam Laricchia

What does unschooling look like day-to-day? Want to help it take root and blossom in your family?

There are a number of characteristics that allow learning to flourish and in “Free to Live: Create a Thriving Unschooling Home” I discuss the four that have had the most positive impact on our unschooling lifestyle. Understanding why these characteristics are so helpful makes it easier for parents to choose to respond in ways that support unschooling, rather than undermine it.

“Life Through the Lens of Unschooling: A Living Joyfully Companion” by Pam Laricchia

As more and more parents challenge the assumptions of the school system, their curiosity about unschooling grows, and often one of their burning questions is:

What does day-to-day life look like for an unschooling family?

Pam Laricchia has been unschooling her three children for over a decade. “Life Through the Lens of Unschooling”, like day-to-day life, meanders here and there, covering a wide array of topics. You’ll find essays tackling everything from learning to read to visiting relatives, all organized around nine key words that have been woven into the fabric of their unschooling lives: deschooling, learning, days, parenting, relationships, family, lifestyle, unconventional, and perspective. The theme is life; the lens—unschooling.

“College without High School” by Blake Boles

“College Without High School” shows how independent teens can self-design their high school education by becoming unschooled. Students begin by defining their goals and dreams and then pursue them through a combination of meaningful and engaging adventures.

It is possible to pursue your dreams and gain admission to any college of your choice. The guidebook shows how to fulfill college admission requirements by proving five preparatory results: intellectual passion, leadership, logical reasoning, background knowledge, and the capacity for structured learning. The author, who leads teenage unschoolers on educational adventures, offers several suggestions for life-changing, confidence-building activities that will demonstrate those results.

“Better than College: How to build a successful life without a four-year degree” by Blake Boles

Do you need college in order to be taken seriously and earn a real living?

Conventional wisdom says yes. But true success relies upon self-knowledge and entrepreneurship: two qualities that you can obtain effectively and inexpensively without traditional college.

“Better Than College” provides the step-by-step guidance and inspiration necessary to design your own higher education. This book teaches you how to find community, stay on track, and get hired or start your own venture, all without a four-year degree. Curious college students will learn to think clearly about their motivations, plan a gap year, or navigate life after school. And “Better Than College” will show parents how self-directed learning can lead to a lifetime of achievement–no expensive institution required.