Compulsory school continues to expand in our lives, capturing children at ever-younger years and not releasing them until they are adults, filling families with schedules, anxieties, and issues that often place the needs of the school over any individual’s need. As a result, our imaginations and spirits learn to accept the limits of schooling as the limits of our lives, too. This talk explores some of the practical and philosophical issues about what is really important to help children learn and grow in our culture today.
Patrick Farenga worked closely with the author and teacher John Holt until Holt’s death in 1985. He is the president of HoltGWS LLC and was the publisher of Growing Without Schooling magazine (GWS) from 1985 until it stopped publishing in 2001. GWS was the nation’s first periodical about homeschooling, or as Holt termed it, unschooling, started by Holt in 1977. Farenga co-authored Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling, articles about homeschooling, education, and unschooling in a number of publications, including Un Mundo Por Aprender (University of Colombia, Bogota, 2011), and the entries about homeschooling for the International Encyclopedia of Education, (Elsevier, 2010) and the online edition of Encyclopedia Britannica (2012). His most recent book is The Legacy of John Holt: A Man Who Genuinely Understood, Trusted, and Respected Children (2013).