How Children Learn | John Holt | Veggie Magnifique

{ Book Review } How Children Learn, by John Holt



Up until now, I’ve been parenting instinctually. (Or, making it up as I go along, if you prefer!)

But yesterday I entered a black hole of opinions: the Facebook mum groups. I was looking for some guidance with sleep patterns, but came away from my scrolling feeling grubby. The ‘my way or the highway’ mentality rubbed off on me and got my pulse racing as my brain swam with brand new – and yet somehow fixed – opinions about how things should to be done. (Funnily enough, it was those in the ‘gentle parenting’ groups who seemed to be the most hot and bothered.) I almost climbed up on my own high horse to join the ranks of the bluster mums. But then night fell and Baby Magnifique needed me, so I slept on it. This morning, I’m much more of the opinion that I don’t have one, and that suits me just fine.

Of course that doesn’t solve my sleep query. My baby co-sleeps and is breastfed, and he certainly doesn’t follow your typical baby sleep schedule. So, if you’re reading this and a book recommendation from a tried-and-true baby expert springs to mind – you know what to do!

Talking of tried-and-true, this, my first book review, is of a work first published in the 1960s by John Holt. Holt was a teacher, and had a lot of experience observing the fascinating ways children will learn if left to their own devices. It has given even more richness to my observations of my sweet one-year-old, helping me to better experience this marvellous and enticing world from his perspective.

Video: Review of How Children Learn, by John Holt

Holt’s work has sparked the ‘unschooling’ movement. There are a lot of interesting aspects to this approach. I certainly need to look into it further, but it is based on the child-led learning that he explores in this book.

*Nos amis francophones – il y a des sous titres. Il suffit de cliquer sur le ‘CC’ en bas à droit.*


How Children Learn is a charming book, written by a charming man, and I highly recommend it.

Do you have any book recommendations on the topic of little ones? I’m all ears!


Love from the sweltering south of France,

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3 August, 2018 | facebook | tweet | pin

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