John Holt’s book TEACH OUR 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 from a restive audience about homeschooling and schooling in general, 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—this is what is recorded here. The families who join John are the Kinmonts from Utah and the Van Daam’s from Rhode Island.
You can read the back issues of GWS here:
You can read about John Holt and find many ideas and resources to help children learn at
Get the new book, The Legacy of John Holt: A Man Who Genuinely Understood, Trusted, and Respected Children from