Pat Farenga of Growing Without Schooling offers us a gift from 1981.
John Holt’s book Teach Your Own had just been printed and controversy over homeschooling was quite strong in 1981, when Holt joined two homeschooling families on live, national television to address strong opinions about homeschooling and schooling in general from a restive audience, moderated by Phil Donahue.
John Holt appeared on The Donahue Show once before, a year or two earlier, speaking about Growing Without Schooling (GWS), a magazine Holt launched in 1977 to promote self-directed learning. That appearance, which I have never seen, helped put GWS on the radar of parents who were dissatisfied with their school options: the Holt office was flooded with mail for over two weeks from people seeking homeschooling information after the show aired. When John came out with his book about homeschooling, Teach Your Own, he was asked back on the program and this is what is recorded here.