john taylo gatto

Play and Homeschooling – What fun!

Play and Homeschooling – What fun!

The Importance of Play

I’ve read recently a number of books on home schooling, education and also some references on exercise.  With these and other references, there is a definite stress on the subject of ‘Play’.  And the importance of just having fun in what you are doing

I just finished reading The 5 Hour School Week by Aleena Amuchastegui.  A pretty good sales pitch on home schooling.  Already sold on the subject long since, I’ve been availing myself of some more recent texts on the subject. Including a more recent one by John Taylor Gatto.

And there is some interesting information has come to light recently regarding the dangers? of exercising in a less than light mood.  Well, not ‘dangers’ exactly but … Apparently the stress of exercising while ‘serious’ is not nearly as effective as when one is treating like it play.

I’ve often used exercise to lift myself out of some rather serious moments in my life.  That said, I DO find ‘play’ is a much better way to do study, exercise or just do life.

In the book, 5 Hour School Week, the author shows how her children changed so much being home schooled.  All the stresses weighing the family down seemed to lift, just fly away.  It was still work but the children were learning because they wanted to not because they had to

These children will never need Ritalin or any mood altering drugs.  I don’t know what the stats are on home schooled kids vs. industrial schooled kids regarding drugs like Ritalin but I’d put money on the fact that it is pretty rare with home schoolers. 

One, they don’t have the stresses and two, they don’t have a staff trained to watch for certain indications that, in their minds would warrant the prescribing of a mood altering drug. 

I’m a huge proponent of home schooling.  I have two sons that were mostly home schooled.  All the arguments against these two men, just don’t stand up to the results. And this goes by far for the majority of home schooled kids. 

Social Skills or Relationships

They generally have better social skills than most industrial educated kids.  Lots of reasons, one being that they generally have social intercourse with more different age groups.  I noticed that my youngest was more than comfortable at a very young age keeping up a conversation with an adult.  And fine with kids his own age. 

Parents Qualifications

There is no shortage of websites, blogs, and groups that help parents with a curriculum.  If you want to go that route.  Younger children, it is more like, ‘what do you want to learn today?’

The basic math skills, grammar, reading and writing come pretty easily.  Beyond that, there is so much now online…!

If you read through other articles, posts and pages on this website, you will see that I’m more than a little against drugs.  They have their place.  Most people aren’t going to get a tooth pulled without some freezing.  I’d rather be knocked out to have my appendix removed. 

Giving a child a drug like Ritalin because he or she can’t sit still, when they really should not be sitting still, well, that’s just a crime.  Children can learn very quickly if you let them.  Very quickly.


Stressing about when a child is reading is pretty silly.  Generally, they will read when they are ready and want to.  As one of the authors above stated, one child will read at four years old and the other at 7, 8 or 9.  At 14 or 15 years old, you will not be able to tell which learned at what age.

It is not a competition. 

If homeschooling is something that you have thought about, don’t discount it out of hand.  Do some reading.  The four books that I recommend here are very good.  And there are some great websites and blogs out there.  Do your homework before you decide. 

Don’t read all the negative stuff. 

If you were looking to get your car fixed, you would look for a successful mechanic.  Check out some successful homeschoolers.

Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto

Weapons of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto

The 5 Hour School Week by Aleena Amuchastegui

how children learn by john holt

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