Unschooling Quotes






“A government has 600,000 students…A school board has 200,000 students… A principal has 600 students…Your family has 100 relatives…An online teacher has 90 students…Your child has you…Trust your instinct.  You know what’s best for your child.” Judy Arnall, Author

“I regard a successful person as someone who is capable of earning enough money to sustain his/her lifestyle while still keeping him/herself happy, curious and involved in the world around.” Agustin Moga

“Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance.” -Albert Einstein

“There is no end to education.  It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born, until the moment you die, is a process of learning.”  Krishnamurti, Philosopher

“You’ll homeschool for the freedom, and then you’ll unschool for the relationship.”  Judy Arnall, Author

“In college, the students are like customers, but in high school, they’re more like prisoners.” Anita and Bashu Roy, Students

“School is a 12 year jail sentence where bad habits are the only true curriculum learned.” John Taylor Gatto, Former Teacher

“Children of strict parents become great liars.” Anonymous

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.” Alexandra Trenfor

“It’s more important to be smart than it is to be popular. Being popular only lasts until school is done. Being smart lasts a lifetime.” Hayley Irvine, Student

“Your gifts are things you do well without remembering how you learned it.” -David Irvine, Speaker

 “We need to trust in children’s curiosity; then all we have to do is feed it.” Judy Arnall, Author

“Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.” – Samuel Johnson

“To me, science is just formalized curiosity.”  Chris Hadfield, Astronaught

“An authentic journey is to be willing to stand alone.”  David Irvine, Speaker

“If a student is not naturally good at math, forcing it may train the brain, but damage the psyche.” Ellen Behm, Engineer

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”  Albert Einstein, Scientist

“We want to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit of the child.” George Bernard Shaw, Author

“Children want more of you, their attachment adult, than they want stuff.” Judy Arnall, Author

“Maturity is the ability to do a job without being supervised, finish a job once you start it, carry money without spending it, and bear an injustice without getting even.” Joyce Irvine, Speaker

“Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” Confucius

“Community is where you make it.” Judy Arnall, Author

“It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.”  Eugene Lonesco, Playwright

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Albert Einstein, Scientist

“When I was in grade school, they told me to write down what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me that I didn’t understand the assignment.  I told them that they didn’t understand life.” Anonymous

“Burnout is misalignment with your authentic self.” -David Irvine, Speaker

You can lead a child to school, but you can’t make him think.”  Judy Arnall, Author

“The really bright student, the eager questioner, the probing searcher, especially if he is brighter than his teacher, is too often seen as a ‘wise guy,’ a threat to discipline, a challenger of his teacher’s authority.” Abraham Maslow, Psychologist

 “School is a system set up for the system, not the user.” Peter Arnall, Engineer

“Children do not need to be made to learn about the world. Or shown how.  They want to and they know how.”  John Holt, Author

“Forced association is not socialization.” Adele Carroll,  Author

“A weed is a plant that has mastered every skill except learning how to grow in rows. Be a weed!” Doug Larsen, Columnist

“Discovery learning is self-determined and can be teacher taught; not government determined and self-taught.”  Judy Arnall, Author

“Travelling is the university of the world.  There is no course or classroom that can teach you what travel does.”  Hayley Wickenhauser, Hockey Player

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

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old.  We grow old because we stop playing.”  George Bernhard Shaw, Playwright

“Don’t just teach your children to read.  Teach them to question everything they read.  Teach them to question everything.”  George Carlin, Actor

“Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.” John Dewey, Philosopher

“It is a miracle that curiosity survives a formal education.”  Albert Einstein, Scientist

“Play is often talked about as if it is a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.  Play is really the work of childhood.”  Fred Rogers, Actor

“The education industry has a financial vested interest in the public not knowing that children can learn to read, do integers, study ancient Rome and biology by playing ‘non-educational’ video/computer games all day.  Many kids have learned these concepts by playing Animal Crossing, Graal, Age of Mythology and Magic School Bus computer games.” Angie Farrell, Author

“Remember, you’re not steering the boat.  You’re finding the wind.” Cathy Ostlere, Author

“Education is what you remember after school ends.” Albert Einstein, Scientist

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” Isaac Asimov, Novelist
“All children possess an instinctual burning drive to learn. Let’s not school it out of them.”  Judy Arnall, Author

“You cannot teach a person anything; you can only help him find it within himself”    Galilei Galileo, Physicist

“I live, therefore I learn” Pam Sorooshian, Speaker

“I am learning all the time.  The tombstone will be my diploma.”
Eartha Kitt, Actress

“Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein

“A single conversation with a wise man is better than ten years of study.” Chinese Proverb

“We will always need parents and teachers.  It’s the rigid system that we could do without.” Judy Arnall, Author

“Nothing is more motivating in the world than play. Nothing.” Judy Arnall, Author

“The true aim of everyone who aspires to be a teacher should be, not to “impart” his own opinions, but to kindle minds.” F.W. Robertson, English Divine

“Education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupils soul.” Muriel Spark, Novelist

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” Ignacio Estrada, Author

“Intelligence is more than academic intelligence; it is being socially intelligent, emotionally intelligent, and digitally intelligent.”  -Judy Arnall, Author

“Creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.” Sir Ken Robinson, Professor

“We are so used to being raised in cages that we don’t question its efficacy any more.  Instead of asking how to make the cages more relevant for the new society, why don’t we ask why we even need the cages?”  Judy Arnall, Author

“Every education system on Earth has the same hierarchy of subjects: at the top are mathematics and languages, then the humanities, and the bottom are the arts.” Sir Ken Robinson, Professor

“You can’t force a child to learn and you can’t stop her from learning.” Judy Arnall, Author

“When I was 14-years-old, I knew my father was as stupid as a brick. When I turned 21, I was amazed at how much he had learned in the last 7 years.” Mark Twain, Author

“I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.” Winston Churchill, Prime Minister

“Many things can’t be taught – they must be experienced.” Judy Arnall, Author

“The best way to learn anything is the hard way. Then the learning sticks.” Unknown

“In University, children are the customers; in school, children are the prisoners.” Judy Arnall, Author

“We want to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, not the knowledge in pursuit of the child.” George Bernard Shaw, Playwright

“For the most part, I do the thing which my own nature prompts me to do.  It is embarrassing to earn so much respect and love for it.” Albert Einstein, Theoretical physicist

“Teachers must give up being the sage on the stage, to become the guide on the side. From teaching to facilitating.” Dave Hancock, Premier of Alberta

“Shopping is a poor substitute for relationships.”  Judy Arnall, Author

“I’ll never let my schooling get in the way of my education.” Mark Twain, Author

“It’s easier to teach teens that want to learn, than it is to teach school-agers that don’t.” Judy Arnall, Author

“Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.”  Albert Einstein, Physicist

“If children have interest then education happens.” Arthur C. Clarke, Author

“We have to accept the simple fact that children can learn without being taught.” -Judy Arnall, Author

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” Albert Einstein

“Learning must start with the learner and move up the chain to the government, not the other way around.  Cost effective delivery is never in the learners best interests.” Judy Arnall, Author

“I’m not going to be at the head of the class, but at the foot.” Albert Einstein, Scientist

“It’s exciting to see how fast your kids learn and grow. I’m not too worried about them, particularly the ones who like to break rules and don’t follow instructions, those are the ones that will do just fine because they know what’s important to them” Michael Dell, CEO

“Bureaucracy is a synonym for frustration.” Judy Arnall, Author

“Children are born with the ability to learn whatever they need to know and will do so, as long as they are not hindered by well-meaning people trying to teach them.” John Holt, Author

“We have completely isolated young people from adults and created a peer culture. We not only created this stage of life, we declared it inevitable.” Robert Epstein, Psychologist

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that is as unique as a fingerprint, and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”  Oprah Winfrey, Actor

“Boredom cultivates creativity, and creativity cultivates solutions.” Judy Arnall, Author

“The only real currency in life is free time.” Measha Brueggergosman, Opera singer

“Play is everything we do that is not bribed or coerced.” Judy Arnall, Author

“Every child is a book waiting to be opened, read, discovered and understood.  Our greatest responsibility as parents and educators is to empower every children to discover and live in their story.” J.A. Pukalo, Counselor

“Educators don’t necessarily have to teach. Instead, they can provide an environment and resources that tease out your natural ability to learn on your own.” Shimon Schocken, Educator

“There is no difference between living and learning… it is impossible and misleading and harmful to think of them as being separate.” John Holt

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” Leonardo da Vinci, Artist

“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die is a process of learning.” J. Krishnamurti

“One of my early memories of school is wondering when they were going to start teaching me the things I didn’t know, rather than what I already knew. Many years later, I began to understand how, insidiously, school had reinforced my inadequacies and had left me with what I now called ‘learned incompetency’ and a fear of not being able to do things ‘right’ the first time.” Wendy Priesnitz, Author

“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, Author

“I spent three days a week for ten years educating myself in the public library, finding mirrors for myself in hundreds of books. At the end of ten years, I was completely educated. I had read every damn book in the library, and I’d written a thousand stories.” Ray Bradbury, Author

“When you teach a child something you take away forever his chance of discovering it for himself.” Jean Piaget, Psychologist

“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, Professor

“A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed. Education may be the only thing people still believe in the United States. To question education is really dangerous. It is the absolute taboo. It’s like telling the world there’s no Santa Claus.” Peter Thiel, Entrepreneur

“There are only two places in the world where time takes precedence over the job to be done. School and prison.” William Glasser, Psychiatrist

“What is most important and valuable about the home as a base for children’s growth into the world is not that it is a better school than the schools, but that it isn’t a school at all.” John Holt, Author

“Education is a private matter between the person and the world of knowledge and experience, and has little to do with school.” Lillian Smith, Author

“The old system where every child was locked away and set into nonstop, daily cut throat competition with every other child for silly prizes called grades is broken beyond repair. If it could be fixed it could have been fixed by now. Good riddance.” John Taylor Gatto, Former Teacher

“None of the world’s problems will have a solution until the world’s individuals become thoroughly self-educated.” Buckminster Fuller, Architect

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

“Education is hanging around until you’ve caught on.” Robert Frost, Poet

“We must demolish the institution of schooling because it impedes learning and enslaves children. Then we need to put both money and creativity into creating opportunities and infrastructures that respect children and help them learn.” Wendy Priesnitz, Author

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

“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, Singer

“Just as eating against one’s will is injurious to health, so studying without a liking for it spoils the memory, and it retains nothing it takes in.” Leonardo da Vinci, Painter

“Children are born passionately eager to make as much sense as they can of things around them. If we attempt to control, manipulate, or divert this process…the independent scientist in the child disappears.”  John Holt, Author

“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, Author

“My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, but prevented 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, Playwright

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

“For better or worse, we learn every day, wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, whoever we’re with. We learn good things, useful things, handy things – and we learn bad things, destructive things, things we might someday wish we hadn’t learned. Life’s like that. On the whole, though, learning serves us quite well, and we’re constantly arranging and rearranging our learning so it’s more useful to us.” Helen Hegener, Author

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

“I recognize June by the flowers, now. I used to know it by review tests, and restlessness.” Lisa Asher, Learner

“Nobody grew taller by being measured.” Roland Meighan, Professor

“It’s not that I feel that school is a good idea gone wrong, but a wrong idea from the word go. It’s a nutty notion that we can have a place where nothing but learning happens, cut off from the rest of life.” John Holt, Author

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” Rachel Carson, Marine Biologist

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

“It was never factually true that young people learn to read or do arithmetic primarily by being taught these things. These things are learned, but not really taught at all. Over-teaching interferes with learning, although the few who survive it may well come to imagine it was by an act of teaching.” John Taylor Gatto, Former Teacher

“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, Author

“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.” Carl Jung, Psychiatrist

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

“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, Activist

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

“Where is the wisdom lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge lost in information?”  T. S. Eliot, Essayist

“Children pursue life, and in doing so, pursue knowledge. They need adults to trust in the inevitability of this very natural process, and to offer what assistance they can.” Earl Stevens, Musician

“We have a cultural notion that if children were not engineered, if we did not manipulate them, they would grow up as beasts in the field. This is the wildest fallacy in the world.”  Joseph Chilton Pearce, Author

“When I look back at all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all.” Paul Simon, Singer

“A ‘school-at-home’ approach to homeschooling is just decorating the electric chair in different colors.” Joseph Chilton Pearce, Author

“School-at-home homeschooling is taking the worst of school and bringing it home.” Alfie Kohn, Author

“Schools have not necessarily much to do with education…they are mainly institutions of control where certain basic habits must be inculcated in the young. Education is quite different and has little place in school.” Winston Churchill, Prime Minister

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

“If we value independence, if we are disturbed by the growing conformity of knowledge, of values, of attitudes, which our present system induces, then we may wish to set up conditions of learning which make for uniqueness, for self-direction, and for self-initiated learning.” Carl Rogers, Humanist psychologist

“Birds don’t go to flight school.” Linda Dobson, Author

“If you don’t make mistakes, you aren’t really trying.” Coleman Hawkins, Saxophonist

“Unschooling is a concept that the billion dollar school industry would not want parents to hear about. Unschooling doesn’t make anyone any money.”  Angela Farrell, Author

“College isn’t the only place to go for ideas.” Helen Keller, Author

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

“Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” Oscar Wilde, Author

“The parent knows that the child cannot be artificially motivated to learn; they know that he is already motivated by the strongest driving force on earth: his inner intent.” Joseph Chilton Pearce, Author

“Teaching does not make learning…organized education operates on the assumption that children learn only when and only what and only because we teach them. This is not true. It is very close to 100% false. Learners make learning.” John Holt, Teacher

“Children don’t need to be taught how to learn; they are born learners. They come out of the womb interacting with and exploring their surroundings. Babies are active learners, their burning curiosity motivating them to learn how the world works. And if they are given a safe, supportive environment, they will continue to learn hungrily and naturally – in the manner and at the speed that suits them best.” Wendy Priesnitz, Author

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

“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, Author

“Schooling was influenced by the idea that self-directed learning created ‘dangerous,’ free-thinking, intelligent people who would make sure the government never became more powerful than the people.” Laurie A. Couture, Author

“What is the difference between genius and stupidity? Genius has limits.” Albert Einstein, Scientist

“My grandmother wanted me to get a good education, so she kept me as far away from schools as possible.” Margaret Mead, Anthropologist

“Those who have most at stake in the old culture, or are most rigid in their beliefs, try to summon people back to the old ideas.” Marilyn Ferguson, Author

“The most potent force for change… is the growing recognition of millions of adults that their own impoverished expectations and frustrations came, in large measure, from their schooling.” Marilyn Ferguson, Author

“Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.” Mahatma Gandhi, Lawyer

“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, Author

“Most of us are tactful enough with other adults not to point out their errors but not many of us are ready to extend this courtesy to children.” John Holt, Teacher

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

“It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry.” Albert Einstein, Scientist

“Some people can’t leave school because they’re carrying it around like a snail and his shell. They live there, still. School became an ingrown, hard part of them. They still define themselves by their school failures and successes.” Sandra Dodd, Author

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” William Butler Yeats, Author

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

“Four years was enough of Harvard. I still had a lot to learn, but had been given the liberating notion that now I could teach myself.” John Updike, Author

“The idea that people should study for about 12 years and then start living is more deeply seated in our culture than many people realize.” Larry and Susan Kaseman, Authors

“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, Journalist

“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, Writer

“When you see a car hurtling toward your child, you push him out of the way before you engage in conversation about Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. We must stop harming the children presently in our care. Right now. Today.” Susan Ohanian, Author

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

“The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as long as we live.” Mortimer Adler, Philosopher

“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, Author

“Children are not our own art products to be turned out well, but their own life work in continual process.” Jan Fortune Wood, Vicar

“We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essayist

“It is absurd and anti-life to be a part of a system that compels you to listen to a stranger reading poetry when you want to learn to construct buildings, or to sit with a stranger discussing the construction of buildings when you want to read poetry.” John Taylor Gatto, Teacher

“Any child who can spend an hour or two a day, or more if he wants, with adults that he likes, who are interested in the world and like to talk about it, will on most days learn far more from their talk than he would learn in a week of school.” John Holt, Author

“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, Journalist

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

“Raising children with an emphasis on intrinsic rewards is not a technique, a method or a trick to get them to do what the parent wants them to by subtler means, but a way of life, a way of living with children with real respect for their intelligence and for their being.” Mary Van Doren, Actress

“Education is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.” John Dewey, Philosopher

“At the end of the assembly line, there is no guarantee that the diploma signifies competence, knowledge or maturity.” Wendy Priesnitz, Author

“Skill to do comes of doing.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essayist

“The joy of learning is as indispensable in study as breathing is in running.” Simone Weil, Philosopher

“Mutual respect is when you don’t do anything to your child that you wouldn’t want to have done to you.”  – Judy Arnall, Author

“Life is learning; learning is life. Unschoolers simply do not think there are times for learning and times for not learning. They don’t divide life into school time or lesson time versus play time or recreation time. There is no such thing as ‘extracurricular’ to an unschooler – all of life, every minute of every day, counts as learning time, and there is no separate time set aside for ‘education’.” Pam Sorooshian, Author

“I am always doing things I can’t do; that’s how I get to do them.” Pablo Picasso, Artist

“We can think of ourselves not as teachers but as gardeners. A gardener does not grow flowers; he tries to give them what he thinks they need and they grow by themselves.” John Holt, Author

“I can’t give you a brain, but I can give you a diploma.” L. Frank Baum, Author

“Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.” Winston Churchill, Prime Minister

“Nothing enrages 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 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, Mathematician

“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, Scientist

“People will always try to stop you from doing the right thing if it is unconventional.” Warren Buffett, Investor

“Everyone homeschools the first six years of their child’s life.  Some of us want to keep on doing it.” Judy Arnall, Author

“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; it’s not whether they know algebra or can analyze literature.” William Upski Wimsatt, Author

“Children learn how to make good decisions by making decisions, not by following directions.” Alfie Kohn, Author

“The founding fathers in their wisdom decided that children were an unnatural strain on parents. So they provided jails called schools, equipped with tortures called education. School is where you go between when your parents can’t take you and industry can’t take you.” John Updike, Novelist

“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, Author

“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, Teacher

“It is hard not to feel that there must be something very wrong with much of what we do in school, if we feel the need to worry so much about what many people call ‘motivation’. A child has no stronger desire than to make sense of the world, to move freely in it, to do the things that he sees bigger people doing.” John Holt, Author

“We all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls.” Robert R. McCammon, Author

“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, Author

“I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built up on the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think.” Anne Sullivan, Teacher

“Real wisdom is not the knowledge of everything, but the knowledge of which things in life are necessary, which are less necessary, and which are completely unnecessary to know.” Leo Tolstoy, Author

“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, Painter

“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, Author

“Home-based education is not an experiment. It’s how people learned to function in the world for centuries. And there is no reason to think people today can’t do the same thing. School is the experiment, not the lack of it. And I think that experiment is in trouble.” Wendy Priesnitz, Author

“I exclusively attended public school… And I can honestly say that on the day of my graduation, if you had given me a pop quiz on history, science, or math, I would have in no way been able to pass it – despite the fact that I completely understood it at the time that it had been ‘taught’ to me, and had even made a good ‘grade’ on it.” Jessica Bowman, Actress

“Whatever an education is, it should make you a unique individual, not a conformist; it should furnish you with an original spirit with which to tackle the big challenges. It should allow you to find values which will be your road map through life; it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die.” John Taylor Gatto, Author

“I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of not staying with your class, etc. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker.” Stanley Kubrik, Director

“Education rears disciples, imitators, and routinists, not pioneers of new ideas and creative geniuses. The schools are not nurseries of progress and improvement, but conservatories of tradition and unvarying modes of thought.”  Ludwig von Mises, Philosopher

“We destroy the 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, or honor rolls, or dean’s lists, or Phi Beta Kappa keys…in short, for the ignoble satisfaction of feeling that they are better than someone else.” John Holt, Author

“The pupil is … ‘schooled’ to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new.” Ivan Illich, Author

“It is as true now as it was then that no matter what tests show, very little of what is taught in school is learned, very little of what is learned is remembered, and very little of what is remembered is used. The things we learn, remember, and use are the things we seek out or meet in the daily, serious, nonschool parts of our lives.” John Holt, Author

“Our job is obvious: we need to get out of the way, shine a light, and empower a new generation to teach itself and to go further and faster than any generation ever has.” -Seth Godin, Author

“Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.” Paulo Freire, Educator

“If you like to make things out of wood, or sew, or dance, or style people’s hair, or dream up stories and act them out, or play the trumpet, or jump rope, or whatever you really love to do, and you love that in front of your children, that’s going to be a far more important gift than anything you could ever give them wrapped up in a box with ribbons.” Fred M. Rogers, Educator

“The freedom to make mistakes provides the best environment for creativity. Education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don’t.” Anatole France, Poet

“Self-education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child’s nature.” Charlotte Mason, Author

“Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.” -John W. Gardner, Author

“Children should specialize early.  Why do they need to wait until university to study their passion?  They will inevitably get a well rounded education just by breathing in our information rich society.”  Anonymous

Like these quotes?

Some are in the book, Unschooling To University, available at Amazon.

Purchase the book at Amazon.ca

Purchase the book at Amazon.com





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