Marcia Miller's Reflections & Resources

Smart, curious, alert, observant…

Ben and cousin Sam working together

I once again came across this wonderful quote from John Holt, and thought it deserved sharing:

“What makes people smart, curious, alert, observant, competent, confident, resourceful, persistent – in the broadest and best sense, intelligent – is not having access to more and more learning places, resources, and specialists, but being able in their lives to do a wide variety of interesting things that matter, things that challenge their ingenuity, skill, and judgement, and that make an obvious difference in their lives and the lives of people around them.”   ~ John Holt, Teach Your Own ~

If you haven’t read any of Holt’s books lately (or ever), do yourself a favor and take some time to do so.   You’ll be glad you did. Here are a few to get you started:

Teach Your Own: A Hopeful Path for Education

Learning All the Time: How small children begin to read, write, count, and investigate the world, without being taught

Growing Without Schooling: A Record Of A Grassroots Movement

Instead of Education: Ways to Help People Do Things Better

John Holt was one of the first homeschooling authors I read. His books were full of insight about children and learning, and I loved everything he wrote. As a former teacher, he was the bridge from my education background, to help me see the need for self-education and unschooling. He spoke my language. I could relate to all of the anecdotes he shared about his classroom experiences, and then how he grew and changed to appreciate all the learning experiences outside of the classroom, too. I could tell how much he liked and respected children, and how much he trusted parents. He had tried and tried to make educational reforms in his classrooms and on a broader scale, but eventually he realized that families were in a much better position to create the educational change children deserved.


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