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Posts Tagged ‘Pat Farenga’

Just a quick note that today on the anniversary of John Holt’s death, Pat Farenga and associates have updated and improved their longstanding website chronicling Holt’s unschooling work.  You can find the site’s homepage here.

In addition to many other wonderful historical resources, the site has every back issue of every year of Growing Without Schooling, the first national newsletter about homeschooling and the most important historical resource extant for the early years of the homeschooling movement.  If you’ve never read through any of it I highly recommend doing so–Holt’s writing is lively and compelling, and many of the issues with which he was wrestling in the late 1970s continue to have resonance today.  Issue 1 begins in August of 1977, and the final issue takes you to December of 2001.  Most remarkably, it’s all free, just as Holt would have wanted it to be.

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This post reviews John Taylor Gatto, Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher’s Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling (New Society Publishers, 2009).

John Taylor Gatto is a legendary figure in the world of homeschooling.  My bookon homeschool history describes how by the late 1980s secular and conservative Protestant homeschoolers increasingly became estranged.  The large Christian conventions and publications stopped inviting as speakers leaders who did not share their worldview.  Gatto is a standout exception to this generalization.  His stature is great both among conservative homeschoolers like those affiliated with HSLDA and among more liberal homeschoolers like those affiliated with Home Education Magazine, and he regularly keynotes conferences and conventions of all parties.

This, his latest book, is something of a grab-bag of classic Gatto themes.  My review here will not systematically work through his chapters but will use it as an excuse to make some comments on Gatto and his meaning for the homeschooling movement.  (more…)

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