Quotes

We have collected together over 100 quotes on the subject of unschooling. We hope you find them inspiring, and useful to share with others. We would love to hear of any of the well known unschooling related quotes that we might have missed

“Education with inert ideas is not only useless, it is above all things harmful.” A. N. Whitehead

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.” Abraham Lincoln

“Forced association is not socialization.” Adele Carroll

“I suppose it is because nearly all children go to school nowadays, and have things arranged for them, that they seem so forlornly unable to produce their own ideas.” Agatha Christie

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school. It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education. ”
Albert Einstein

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” Albert Einstein

“I do not believe much in education. Each man ought to be his own model, however frightful that may be.” Albert Einstein

“It is… nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wreak and ruin. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.” Albert Einstein

“It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated.” Alec Bourne

“I was asked to memorize what I did not understand; and, my memory being so good, it refused to be insulted in that manner.” Aleister Crowley

“How is it that little children are so intelligent and men so stupid? It must be education that does it.” Alexandre Dumas

“We don’t yet know, above all, what the world might be like if children were to grow up without being subjected to humiliation, if parents would respect them and take them seriously as people.” Alice Miller

“It is among the commonplaces of education that we often first cut off the living root and then try to replace its natural functions by artificial means. Thus we suppress the child’s curiosity and then when he lacks a natural interest in learning he is offered special coaching for his scholastic
difficulties.” Alice Miller

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” Alvin Toffler

“Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training.” Anna Freud

“Everything I am interested in, from cooking to electronics, is related to math. In real life you don’t have to worry about integrating math into other subjects. In real life, math already is integrated into everything else.” Anna Hoffstrom

“I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think. Whereas, if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less showily. Let him go and come freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself, instead of sitting indoors at a little round table, while a sweet-voiced teacher suggests that he build a stone wall with his wooden blocks, or make a rainbow out of strips of coloured paper, or plant straw trees in bead flower-pots. Such teaching fills the mind with artificial associations that must be got rid of, before the child can develop independent ideas out of actual experience.” Anne Sullivan

“The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a creative mind to spot a wrong question.”   Anthony Jay

“Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.” Arthur Koestler

“Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.” Beatrix Potter

“Children learn how to speak by listening to others speak. They learn how to converse by watching and listening to others converse. They learn how to hold books by watching other people hold books.” Becca Challman

“Sadly, children’s passion for thinking often ends when they encounter a world that seeks to educate them for conformity and obedience only.” Bell hooks

“We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.” Bertrand Russell

“Life-long learners start their education at home.” Beverley Paine

“Through the power of self-education you can be anything you want to be or do anything you want to do. Self-education power does not require money, fixed time or fixed life style. Options are extremely flexible. Rewards are unlimited. You can control your destiny.” Bob Webb

“If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could be better changed in ourselves.” C.G. Jung

“Today for Show and Tell, I’ve brought a tiny marvel of nature: a single snowflake. I think we might all learn a lesson from how this utterly unique and exquisite crystal turns into an ordinary, boring molecule of water, just like every other one, when you bring it in the classroom. And now, while the analogy sinks in, I’ll be leaving you drips and going outside.” Calvin

“Life can only be understood backwards but you have to live it forward.You can only do that by stepping into uncertainty and by trying, within this uncertainty, to create your own islands of security….The new security will be a belief that …if this doesn’t work out you could do something else. You are your own security.” Charles Handy

“I was undisciplined by birth, never would I bend, even in my tender youth, to a rule. It was at home I learned the little I know. Schools always appeared to me like a prison, and never could I make up my mind to stay there, not even for four hours a day, when the sunshine was inviting, the sea smooth, and when it was joy to run about the cliffs in the free air, or to paddle in the water.” Claude Monet

“My job is not to teach at all, but to find the opportunities for my kids to learn. NOT knowing something can be an advantage, as it reminds me of the wealth of resources out there in the community and world, if only we are willing to go look for them.” David Albert

“Think of reading like riding a bicycle: One doesn’t consciously name the muscles involved or the particular actions required of each, or the parts of the bicycle, or Newton’s laws of motion, or the physics of gears, or the changes in brain chemistry associated with balance. One gets up on the seat and starts to pedal.” David Albert

“Our large schools are organized like a factory of the late 19th century: top down, command control management, a system designed to stifle creativity and independent judgment.” David T Kearn

“Homeschooling is an act of liberation and an act of passion. It is an occasion to walk away from institutional images of life and to embrace a vision that is filled with personal meaning and unmistakable truths for our families. The quality of awareness that comes from the heart is more dependable…
Homeschooling… is about helping make it possible for children to reach maturity with healthy, curious, fully conscious minds.” Earl Gary Stevens

“Public school–where the human mind is drilled and manipulated into submission to various social and moral spooks, and thus fitted to continue our system of exploitation and oppression.” Emma Goldman

“In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Eric Hoffer

“I loved learning, it was school I hated. I used to cut school to go learn something.” Eric Jensen

“Education: free and compulsory – what a way to learn logic!” Frank van Dun

“Drop out of school before your mind rots from exposure to our mediocre educational system. Forget about the Senior Prom and go to the library and educate yourself if you’ve got any guts.” Frank Zappa

“As far as I have seen, at school…they aimed at blotting out one’s individuality.” Franz Kafka

“Believe nothing merely because you have been told it . . . or because it is tradition, or because you yourselves have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conductive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings – that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.
Gautama Buddha

“What we call education and culture is for the most part nothing but the substitution of reading for experience, of literature for life, of the obsolete fictitious for the contemporary real.” George Bernard Shaw

“There is, on the whole, nothing on earth intended for innocent people so horrible as a school.” George Bernard Shaw

“My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, butprevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself.” George Bernard Shaw

“A child educated only at school is an uneducated child.” George Santayana

“Why have kids just to get rid of them? I’m opposed to the whole nonsense.” Gomez Addams

“In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: forget about it. Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream about it. One day, you will glance up at your collection of Japanese literature, or trip over the solar oven you built, and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself.” Grace Llewellyn

“In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: forget about it. Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream about it. One day, you will glance up at your collection of Japanese literature, or trip over the solar oven you built, and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself.” Grace Llewellyn

“All the time you are in school, you learn through experience how to live in a dictatorship.” Grace Llewellyn

“What is the purpose of industrial education? To fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence? Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States and that is its aim everywhere else. ” H. L. Mencken

“The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.” H. L. Mencken

“School-days, I believe, are the unhappiest in the whole span of human existence. Theyare full of dull, unintelligible tasks, new and unpleasant ordinances, brutal violations of common sense and common decency. It doesn’t take a reasonably bright boy long to discover that most of what is rammed into him is nonsense, and that no one really cares very much whether he learns it or not.” H. L. Mencken

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether this happens at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps on learning not only remains young, but becomes constantly more valuable regardless of physical capacity.” Harvey Ullman

“If our earth is to survive, we need to take responsibility for what we do. Taking control of our own education is the first step.” Heidi Priesnitz

“Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance that accumulates in the form of inert facts.” Henry Adams

“What does education often do? It makes a straight-cut ditch out of a free, meandering brook.” Henry David Thoreau

“How could youth better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?” Henry David Thoreau

“The act of placing the power over learning and life into the individual’s hands is both empowering and motivating. The ‘motivation’ people see in unschoolers is really a joy in learning that is seen far less often among the masses in school.” Idzie Desmarais

“Knowledge has outstripped character development, and the young today are given an education rather than an upbringing.” Ilya Ehrenburg

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” ― Isaac Asimov

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” Isaac Asimov

“Schools are designed on the assumption that there is a secret to everything in life; that the quality of life depends upon knowing that secret; that secrets can only be known in orderly successions; and that only teachers can properly reveal these secrets. An individual with a schooled mind conceives of the world as a pyramid of classified packages accessible only to those who carry the proper tags.” Ivan Illich

“School prepares for the alienating institutionalization of life by teaching the need to be taught.” Ivan Illich

“School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.” Ivan Illich

“Learning from programmed information always hides reality behind a screen.” Ivan Illich

“School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.” Ivan Illich

“School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.” Ivan Illich

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” Jim Rohn

“There is no neutral education. Education is either for domestication or for freedom.” Joao Coutinho

“All I am saying can be summed up in two words: Trust Children. Nothing could be more simple, or more difficult. Difficult because to trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves, and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.” John Holt

“We destroy the disinterested (I do not mean uninterested) love of learning in children, which is so strong when they are small, by encouraging and compelling them to work for petty and contemptible rewards — gold stars, or papers marked 100 and tacked to the wall, or A’s on report cards… in short, for the ignoble satisfaction of feeling that they are better than someone else…. We kill, not only their curiosity, but their feeling that it is a good and admirable thing to be curious, so that by the age of ten most of them will not ask questions, and will show a good deal of scorn for the few who do.” John Holt

“Leaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see, whether anyone is following them. “Leadership qualities” are not the qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them. They include, at the very least, courage, endurance, patience, humor,
flexibility, resourcefulness, stubbornness, a keen sense of reality, and the ability to keep a cool and clear head, even when things are going badly. True leaders, in short, do not make people into followers, but into other leaders.” John Holt

“Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners.” John Holt

“The anxiety children feel at constantly being tested, their fear of failure, punishment, and disgrace, severely reduces their ability both to perceive and to remember, and drives them away from the material being studied into strategies for fooling teachers into thinking they know what they really don’t know.” John Holt

“Educating the masses was intended only to improve the relationship between the top and the bottom of society. Not for changing the nature of the relationship.” John Ralston Paul

“I’ve concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress our genius only because we haven’t yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves.” John Taylor Gatto

“Think of the things killing us as a nation: narcotic drugs, brainless competition, dishonesty, greed, recreational sex, the pornography of violence, gambling, alcohol, and — the worst pornography of all — lives devoted to buying things, accumulation as a philosophy. All of these are addictions of dependent personalities. That is what our brand of schooling must inevitably produce. A large fraction of our total economy has grown up around providing service and counseling to inadequate people, and inadequate people are the main product of government compulsion schools.” John Taylor Gatto

“The function of high school, then, is not so much to communicate knowledge as to oblige children finally to accept the grading system as a measure of their inner excellence. And a function of the self-destructive process in American children is to make them willing to accept not their own, but a variety of other standards, like a grading system, for measuring themselves. It is thus apparent that the way American culture is now integrated it would fall apart if it did not engender feelings of inferiority and worthlessness.” Jules Henry

“Just as eating contrary to the inclination is injurious to the health, so study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” Leonardo da Vinci

“To develop a complete mind: study the science of art; study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” Leonardo da Vinci

“If we taught babies to talk as most skills are taught in school, they would memorize lists of sounds in a predetermined order and practice them alone in a closet.”  Linda Darling-Hammond

“Actually, all education is self-education. A teacher is only a guide, to point out the way, and no school, no matter how excellent, can give you education. What you receive is like the outlines in a child’s coloring book. You must fill in the colors yourself.” Louis L’Amour

“The whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don’t know how to be submissive, and so on – because they’re dysfunctional to the institutions.” Noam Chomsky

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” Oscar Wilde

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picasso

“Do not train children in learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” Plato

“The condition of alienation, of being asleep, of being unconscious, of being out of one’s mind, is the condition of the normal man. Society highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal.” R.D. Laing

“I am concerned that too many people are focused too much on money and not on their greatest wealth, which is their education. If people are prepared to be flexible, keep an open mind and learn, they will grow richer and richer through the changes. If they think money will solve the problems, I am afraid those people will have a rough ride. Intelligence solves problems and produces money. Money without financial intelligence is money soon gone.” Robert Kiyosaki

“The idea that the majority of students attend a university for an education independent of the degree and grades is a hypocrisy everyone is happier not to expose. Occasionally some students do arrive for an education but rote and mechanical nature of the institution soon converts them to a less idealic attitude” Robert M. Pirsig

“Traditional education focuses on teaching, not learning. It incorrectly assumes that for every ounce of teaching there is an ounce of learning by those who are taught. However, most of what we learn before, during, and after attending schools is learned without its being taught to us. A child learns such fundamental things as how to walk, talk, eat, dress, and so on without being taught these things. Adults learn most of what they use at work or at leisure while at work or leisure. Most of what is taught in classroom settings is forgotten, and much or what is remembered is irrelevant.” Russell Ackoff

“Nothing bothers me more than when people criticize my criticism of school by telling me that schools are not just places to learn maths and spelling, they are places where children learn a vaguely defined thing called socialization. I know. I think schools generally do an effective and terribly damaging job of teaching children to be infantile, dependent, intellectually dishonest, passive and disrespectful to their own developmental capacities.” Seymour Papert

“Education itself is a putting off, a postponement; we are told to work hard to get good results. Why? So we can get a good job. What is a good job? One that pays well. Oh. And that’s it? All this suffering, merely so that we can earn a lot of money, which, even if we manage it, will not solve our problems anyway? It’s a tragically limited idea of what life is all about.” Tom Hodgkinson

“I imagine a school system that recognizes learning is natural, that a love of learning is normal, and that real learning is passionate learning. A school curriculum that values questions above answers…creativity above fact regurgitation…individuality above conformity.. and excellence above standardized performance….. And we must reject all notions of ‘reform’ that serve up more of the same: more testing, more ‘standards’, more uniformity, more conformity, more bureaucracy.” Tom Peter

“There is, it seems, more concern about whether children learn the mechanics of reading and writing than grow to love reading and writing; learn about democracy than have practice in democracy; hear about knowledge… rather than gain experience in personally constructing knowledge… see the world narrowly, simple and ordered, rather than broad complex and uncertain” – Vitto Perrone

“Because schools suffocate children’s hunger to learn, learning appears to be difficult and we assume that children must be externally motivated to do it. As a society, we must own up to the damage we do to our children…in our families and in our schools. We must also be willing to make the sweeping changes in our institutions, public policies and personal lives that are necessary to reverse that harm to our children
and to our society.” Wendy Priesnitz

“Our rapidly moving, information-based society badly needs people who know how to find facts rather than memorize them, and who know how to cope with change in creative ways. You don’t learn those things in school.” Wendy Priesnitz

“Public education reflects our society’s paternalistic, hierarchical worldview, which exploits children in the same way it takes the earth’s resources for granted.” Wendy Priesnitz

“‘The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet.” William Gibson

“There were no sex classes. No friendship classes. No classes on how to navigate a bureaucracy, build an organization, raise money, create a database, buy a house, love a child, spot a scam, talk someone out of suicide, or figure out what was important to me. Not knowing how to do these things is what messes people up in life, not whether they know algebra or can analyze literature.” William Upski Wimsatt

“Leaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see, whether anyone is following them. “Leadership qualities” are not the qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them. They include, at the very least, courage, endurance, patience, humor, flexibility, resourcefulness, stubbornness, a keen sense of reality, and the ability to keep a cool and clear head, even when things are going badly. True leaders, in short, do not make people into followers, but into other leaders.” John Holt, Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling

“Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.” William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

“To understand a child we have to watch him at play, study him in his different moods; we cannot project upon him our own prejudices, hopes and fears, or mould him to fit the pattern of our desires. If we are constantly judging the child according to our personal likes and dislikes, we are bound to create barriers and hindrances in our relationship with him and in his relationships with the world. Unfortunately, most of us desire to shape the child in a way that is gratifying to our own vanities and idiosyncrasies; we find varying degrees of comfort and satisfaction in exclusive ownership and domination.” Jiddu Krishnamurti, Education and the Significance of Life

“For many years I have been asking myself why intelligent children act unintelligently at school. The simple answer is, “Because they’re scared.” I used to suspect that children’s defeatism had something to do with their bad work in school, but I thought I could clear it away with hearty cries of “Onward! You can do it!” What I now see for the first time is the mechanism by which fear destroys intelligence, the way it affects a child’s whole way of looking at, thinking about, and dealing with life. So we have two problems, not one: to stop children from being afraid, and then to break them of the bad thinking habits into which their fears have driven them.

What is most surprising of all is how much fear there is in school. Why is so little said about it. Perhaps most people do not recognize fear in children when they see it. They can read the grossest signs of fear; they know what the trouble is when a child clings howling to his mother; but the subtler signs of fear escaping them. It is these signs, in children’s faces, voices, and gestures, in their movements and ways of working, that tell me plainly that most children in school are scared most of the time, many of them very scared. Like good soldiers, they control their fears, live with them, and adjust themselves to them. But the trouble is, and here is a vital difference between school and war, that the adjustments children make to their fears are almost wholly bad, destructive of their intelligence and capacity. The scared fighter may be the best fighter, but the scared learner is always a poor learner.” John Holt, How Children Fail

“This idea that children won’t learn without outside rewards and penalties, or in the debased jargon of the behaviorists, “positive and negative reinforcements,” usually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we treat children long enough as if that were true, they will come to believe it is true. So many people have said to me, “If we didn’t make children do things, they wouldn’t do anything.” Even worse, they say, “If I weren’t made to do things, I wouldn’t do anything.”

It is the creed of a slave.” John Holt, How Children Fail

“To learn how to do, we need something real to focus on — not a task assigned by someone else, but something we want to create, something we want to understand. Not an empty exercise but a meaningful, self-chosen undertaking.” Lori McWilliam Pickert

“If the emotions are free the intellect will look after itself” A.S. Neill

“Children, even when very young, have the capacity for inventive thought and decisive action. They have worthwhile ideas. They make perceptive connections. They’re individuals from the start: a unique bundle of interests, talents, and preferences. They have something to contribute. They want to be a part of things.

It’s up to us to give them the opportunity to express their creativity, explore widely, and connect with their own meaningful work.” Lori McWilliam Pickert

“Allowing children to learn about what interests them is good, but helping them do it in a meaningful, rigorous way is better. Freedom and choice are good, but a life steeped in thinking, learning, and doing is better. It’s not enough to say, “Go, do whatever you like.” To help children become skilled thinkers and learners, to help them become people who make and do, we need a life centered around those experiences. We need to show them how to accomplish the things they want to do. We need to prepare them to make the life they want.” Lori McWilliam Pickert

“When people say that school prepares children for the real world, what’s implied is that it is the difficult parts of school (doing things you don’t want to do, forced interaction with peers, following rules that you don’t believe in) that are important. What’s implied is that the real world is going to be an unhappy place and that being treated unfairly by people is a part of life.

It may be a part of life in school, but it is not a part of our lives. School is as far away from the real world as possible. In school we learn that we cannot control our own destinies and that it is acceptable to let others govern our lives. In the real world we can take responsibility for choosing our own paths and governing our own lives. The real world is what we make it.” Rue Kream, The Unschooling Unmanual

“The philosophy of project-based homeschooling — this particular approach to helping children become strong thinkers, learners, and doers — is dependent upon the interest and the enthusiastic participation and leadership of the learners themselves, the children.” Lori McWilliam Pickert

“Each of us is born with a crazy passion to learn. Each of us craves knowledge of our world and our place within it. We learn because we want to learn, because it’s important to us, because it’s natural, and because it’s impossible to live in the world and not learn. Then along comes school to mess up a beautiful thing.”ps pirro, 101 Reasons Why I Am An Unschooler

“Children are not only extremely good at learning; they are much better at it than we are.” John Holt

“Children learn from anything and everything they see. They learn wherever they are, not just in special learning places.”John Holt, Learning All The Time

“School is about learning to wait your turn, however long it takes to come, if ever. And how to submit with a show of enthusiasm to the judgment of strangers, even if they are wrong, even if your enthusiasm is phony.” John Taylor Gatto

“My goal has always been to inspire in them an ongoing love of learning. To awaken a feeling where their work is their passion, so that they never feel burdened or trapped by meeting their material needs, but instead thrive and experience wealth doing what they love while making a positive contribution to the world. To me that is the truest definition of success.” Kytka Hilmar-Jezek, Born To Learn

“Schooling that children are forced to endure—in which the subject matter is imposed by others and the “learning” is motivated by extrinsic rewards and punishments rather than by the children’s true interests—turns learning from a joyful activity into a chore, to be avoided whenever possible. Coercive schooling, which tragically is the norm in our society, suppresses curiosity and overrides children’s natural ways of learning. It also promotes anxiety, depression and feelings of helplessness that all too often reach pathological levels.” Peter Gray

“Many of the world’s greatest geniuses all had in common that they were pulled from the school environment. They were freed to discover the undiscovered. They had the imagination to ‘see’ a different way and the drive to try to build what they had seen.” Kytka Hilmar-Jezek, Born To Learn

“The myth that if you don’t start early, you might as well not start, tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The music-making world that young people confront reminds me a lot of the world of school sports. After a lot of weeding out, in the end you’ve got a varsity with a few performers and an awful lot of people on the sidelines thinking, “Gee, it’s too bad I wasn’t good enough.” We need to be careful about that. There seems to be an unspoken idea, in instruction of the young, that the people who start the fastest will go the farthest. But that’s not only an unproven theory; it’s not even a tested theory. The assumption that the steeper the learning curve, the higher it will go, is also unfounded. If we did things a little differently, we might find out that people whose learning curves were much slower might later on go up just as high or higher.” John Holt, Learning All The Time

“I simply stepped out of the way and maintained my courage and my position in the face of constant disagreement, voiced opinion and attack. I held true and I stood my ground. I maintained my convictions and my commitment to allowing them to live in the kingdom of childhood. I protected them from outside influence and allowed their imaginations to soar. I instilled a lifelong love of learning in them and I shared my passion for reading. I allowed them to choose what they wanted to study and I provided the resources for them to delve in, unguided and undisturbed for however long they needed to gather what they believed to be enough understanding to satisfy their own personal drive.” Kytka Hilmar-Jezek, Born To Learn

“The primary difference I see is that unschooling is an invitation to awaken and ennoble capabilities that exist within the child. Where traditional schooling is to fill the child with facts that we, as a collective have decided upon.” Kytka Hilmar-Jezek, Born To Learn

“Of all the things I have learned since becoming a parent(and sometimes, it feels as if this might be everything I’ve learned), perhaps the hardest to accept is that it is selfish and possibly even dangerous to desire particular outcomes for our children.” Ben Hewitt

“Of all the things I want for them, connection to this place and a sense of knowing how they fit into this world usurps all others. I want this for them more than happiness, because I think mere happiness is a shallow elucidation of the human experience, and by itself is not a particularly sturdy emotional foundation upon which to build a fulfilling life. I want this for them more than success, at least insofar as our culture has come to define success as being a product of money and power and recognition. I want this for them more than physical vitality, because I believe that good health–and not just health of body, but also of emotion and spirit–is only possibly when one feels connected to and secure in their place.” Ben Hewitt, Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World

“Everyone who has ever been to school knows that school is prison, but almost nobody beyond school age says it is. It’s not polite. We all tiptoe around the truth because admitting it would make us seem cruel and would point a finger at well-intentioned people doing what they believe to be essential… A prison, according to the common, general definition, is any place of involuntary confinement and restriction of liberty. In school, as in adult prisons, the inmates are told exactly what they must do and are punished for failure to comply. Actually, students in school must spend more time doing exactly what they are told than is true of adults in penal institutions. Another difference, of course, is that we put adults in prison because they have committed a crime, while we put children in school because of their age.” Peter Gray, Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life

“My success or failure in school was dependent on my ability to follow a curriculum that felt as if it had very little to do with me as a human being.” Ben Hewitt, Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World

“You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand, such as i am. Though for myself alone I would not be ambitious in my wish to wish myself much better, yet for you I would be trebled twenty times myself, a thousand times more rich, that only to stand high in your accunt I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends, exceed account. But the full sum of me is sum of something, which, to term in gross, is an unlessoned girl, unschooled, unpracticed; happy in this, she is not yet so old but she may learn; happier than this, she is not bred so dull but she can learn; happiest of all, is that her gentle spirit commits itself to yours to be directed as from her lord, her governor, her king. Myself, and what is mine, to you and yours is now converted. But now I was the lord of this fair mansion, master of my servants, queen o’er myself; and even now, but now, this house, these servants, and this same myself are yours, my lord’s. I give them.” William Shakespeare

“If for us culture means museum and library and open house and art gallery, for them it meant the activities and amenities of everyday life… The rift is… between “folk” culture, where the unschooled can be wise, and print culture, which enslaved the other senses to the eye.” Nick Joaquín (Culture and History)

“Classifying depression as an illness serves the psychiatric community and pharmaceutical corporations well; it also soothes the frightened, guilty, indifferent, busy, sadistic, and unschooled. To understand depression as a call for life-changes is not profitable. Stagnation is not a medical term. The 17.5 million Americans diagnosed as suffering a major depression in 1997 were mostly damned. (Psychobiological examinations confuse cause and symptom.) Deficient serotonergic functioning, ventral prefrontal cerebral cortex, dis-inhibition of impulsive-aggressive behavior, blah blah blah: the medical lexicon boils emotion from human being. Go take a drug, the doctor says. Pain is a biochemical phenomenon. Erase all memory.” Antonella Gambotto-Burke (The Eclipse: A Memoir of Suicide)

“We are in an unschooled world and everyone becomes our tutor.” Lorraine Gokul

“Assuming that all ‘unschooled’ people to lack education is akin to assuming that a salary is the only means to make money, or, that a vagina or a penis is the only source of an orgasm.” Mokokoma Mokhonoana

“Anxious, inexperienced writers obey rules. Rebellious, unschooled writers break rules. Artists master the form.” Robert McKee (Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting)

“School programs the schooled to type a CV. Life inspires the unschooled to type a business plan.” Mokokoma Mokhonoana

“Children who have the freedom to explore a variety of things and discard them when they no longer make sense do not feel like failures when they choose to drop something. Instead they see it as another experience from which to learn a bit about something and a lot about themselves. This is a much better attitude than the child who is forced to stay, being told to suck it up and stick it out, who begins to feel powerless and resentful. As an adult this child is more likely, for example, to stay in an unhappy career so as not to look or feel like a failure, though he will definitely feel trapped.” Pam Laricchia (Free to Learn: Five Ideas for a Joyful Unschooling Life)

“We are all interconnected and interdependent, and because of this, we are all only as rich as we enrich those around us.” Ben Hewitt (Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World)

“What if the point were not to know as much as possible but to feel as much as possible?”Ben Hewitt (Home Grown: Adventures in Parenting off the Beaten Path, Unschooling, and Reconnecting with the Natural World)

“(Hadley and Mary in the Garden at Blanchard House)
He laughed, a harsh sound, all sign of humor leaving his eyes. “Don’t let any of it fool you, my dear, for even the most tarnished silver can acquire a fine and gleaming polish. And believe me, there is far more tarnish here than an innocent and unschooled eye such as yours can discern.”
“Why would you speak so of yourself?” Mary protested.
He reached for a red-gold curl that had escaped her lace cap and coiled it around his finger. “I would forewarn you, Miss Edwardes that I am a man, and men in general are not to be trusted…” He held her gaze as he slowly released the ringlet, allowing his fingers to skim her cheek. “…especially not by pretty young virgins” Victoria Vane (Treacherous Temptations)

“Morbidity and Mortality Rounds

Forgive me, body before me, for this.
Forgive me for my bumbling hands, unschooled
in how to touch: I meant to understand
what fever was, not love. Forgive me for
my stare, but when I look at you, I see
myself laid bare. Forgive me, body, for
what seems like calculation when I take
a breath before I cut you with my knife,
because the cancer has to be removed.
Forgive me for not telling you, but I’m
no poet. Please forgive me, please. Forgive
my gloves, my callous greeting, my unease—
you must not realize I just met death
again. Forgive me if I say he looked
impatient. Please, forgive me my despair,
which once seemed more like recompense. Forgive
my greed, forgive me for not having more
to give you than this bitter pill. Forgive:
for this apology, too late, for those
like me whose crimes might seem innocuous
and yet whose cruelty was obvious.
Forgive us for these sins. Forgive me, please,
for my confusing heart that sounds so much
like yours. Forgive me for the night, when I
sleep too, beside you under the same moon.
Forgive me for my dreams, for my rough knees,
for giving up too soon. Forgive me, please,
for losing you, unable to forgive.” Rafael Campo

“The unschooled European mind, inclined to rational reduction, to pigeonholing and simplification, readily pushes everything African into a single bag and is content with facile stereotypes.” Ryszard Kapuściński (The Shadow of the Sun)

“Curiosity is, in essence, the replacement for curriculum when unschooling. And that is why being curious is such an important trait for unschooling parents to embrace.” Pam Laricchia (Free to Live: Create a Thriving Unschooling Home)

“A person makes fewer detours as an adult if given the time and opportunities during childhood to really understand themselves, how they tick, and to incorporate that knowledge into their decision making when evaluating choices. Also, seeing how their perspective and goals.” Pam Laricchia (Free to Learn: Five Ideas for a Joyful Unschooling Life)

“John Taylor Gatto’s extraordinary book, Dumbing Us Down. Check out Mary Griffith’s The Unschooling Handbook and Grace Llewellyn’s The Teenage Liberation Handbook. Take a look at Home Education Magazine and its website.” Daniel H. Pink (Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us)

“Thankfully, when working with between one and five students, formal instruction and practice can be much richer, as well as more targeted. Thus 2 structured hours of instruction and practice can cover more content than a full industrial school day.” Clark Aldrich (Unschooling Rules: 55 Ways to Unlearn What We Know About Schools and Rediscover Education)

“However, unschooling doesn’t imply that a child doesn’t take classes or participate in structured learning activities. It means that we, the parents, don’t attempt to make our children learn by giving assignments or otherwise manipulating or threatening them into learning and doing things.” Sara McGrath (Unschooling 101: Top 10 Questions About Learning Without School)

“Ordinary men with extraordinary power
Common men with uncommon results
Usual men with unusual anointing
Unschooled mortal men with immortal vision
Weak men with mighty deeds
-Insight for Fruitful Living.” Ikechukwu Joseph

“Project-based homeschooling is concerned with the underlying motives, habits, and attitudes of thinking and learning. However you feel about knowledge and skills — whether you’re a Latin-loving classicist or a relaxed unschooler or somewhere in-between — the point of project-based homeschooling is to devote some time to helping your child direct and manage his own learning. This does not have to comprise your entire curriculum. (Though it can.) It does not have to be the primary focus of your learning life. (Though it can be.) But it is essential. It is the part of your child’s education that is focused on that underlying machinery. It is the part of your child’s learning life that is focused on your child’s very specific and unique interests, talents, and passions. It is the part of your child’s learning when he is not only free to explore whatever interests him, but he receives attention, support, and consistent, dependable mentoring to help him succeed.” Lori McWilliam Pickert (Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *