One of the first effects of school is to break the bond between parents and children, when the children are five or younger. It breaks bonds between siblings, and replaces them with prejudices about age and grade, with rules against playing with kids of other ages, and with social pressure to be hateful and secretive. —Sandra Dodd
John Holt's answer to the following question:
Q. Will they have the opportunity to overcome or do things that they think they don't want to do?
A. I'm not sure what this question means. If it means, will unschooled children know what it is to have to do difficult and demanding things in order to reach goals they have set for themselves, I would say, yes, life is full of such requirements. But this is not at all the same thing as doing something, and in the case of school usually something stupid and boring, simply because someone else tells you you'll be punished if you don't. Whether children resist such demands or yield to them, it is bad for them. Struggling with inherent difficulties of a chosen or inescapable task builds character; merely submitting to superior force destroys it.
~John Holt~ Teach Your Own
"Children do not need to be made to learn to be better, told what to do or shown how. If they are given access to enough of the world, they will see clearly enough what things are truly important to themselves and to others, and they will make for themselves a better path into that world then anyone else could make for them"
~John Holt~, (1923-1985) American Educator, How Children Fail
“It is as true now as it was then that no matter what tests show, very little of what is taught in school is learned, very little of what is learned is remembered, and very little of what is remembered is used. The things we learn, remember, and use are the things we seek out or meet in the daily, serious, nonschool parts of our lives.”
~John Holt~ How Children Fail
The goal of unschooling is not education. It is to help a child be who she is and blossom into who she will become. Education happens as side effect. —Joyce Fetteroll
Kids who are in school just visit life sometimes, and then they have to stop to do homework or go to sleep early or get to school on time. They're constantly reminded they are preparing "for real life," while being isolated from it. —Sandra Dodd
The point that I am trying to make here is that I feel that I am more keeper of the flame than flame-maker. I feel that my kids have these interesting lives that I have the honor to not just watch unfold but guide in any way they need. As I told a friend, I sometimes look at them and feel like I have nothing to do with who they are. Not that I have no influence, because I do, but that the whole idea of parenting as authorship of children, as if they where things to be molded and not human beings living life, has been blown away by my kids' greatness. —Sandra Dodd