Teach Your Own by John Holt

Teach Your Own

Amazon | Goodreads


What is it about?

This book is the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of Homeschooling. I think John Holt originally wrote this book sometime in the early 80s or late 70s, and it was updated by Pat Farenga in 2002. Still, a lot of the information is relevant today. If you have any remote interest in the idea of homeschooling it is a useful tool in learning more about it.

Was it good?

If this is your first John Holt book, I think you will find it brilliant. Having just read Learning All The Time a few months ago, I found some of the substance repetitive, I also did not like that most of the book was composed of snippets of letters written to the homeschool magazine that JH created. I would have preferred more writing from JH himself as he has a way of explaining things that makes it all seem like common sense. I  recommend Learning All the Time above Teach Your Own, but both books are truly inspirational and very insightful.

As a parent who is determined to try homeschooling, I feel more confident for having read these books.

My Favorite Quote:

We can sum up very quickly what people need to teach their own children. First of all, they have to like them, enjoy their company, their physical presence, their energy, foolishness, and passion. They have to enjoy all their talk and questions, and enjoy equally trying to answer those questions. They have to think of their children as friends, indeed very close friends, have to feel happier when they are near and miss them when they are away. They have to trust them as people, respect their fragile dignity, treat them with courtesy, take them seriously. They have to feel in their own hearts some of their children’s wonder, curiosity, and excitement about the world. And they have to have enough confidence in themselves, skepticism about experts, and willingness to be different from most people, to take on themselves the responsibility for their children’s learning. But that is about all that parents need. (John Holt)

Question for the readers:

I accidently forgot to cancel my free trial for Audible and now have a credit I need to use. What is your favorite audiobook, or what would you recommend I listen to?

4 thoughts on “Teach Your Own by John Holt

  1. I look forward to the beginning of each month when I visit the library to pick up a copy of this booklet. I enjoy reading about the latest books here and in the newspaper. Maybe one will catch your eye and find it in audio form.


    1. Thanks! I see these at the library too but never take the time to look at them. My list of things I want to read is over 100 books right now, I was just wondering if people had any particularly favorite audiobooks. I decided to go with the Discworld book because they are usually kid friendly and the narrator (Nigel Plainer) does a great job.


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