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Read e-book How Children Learn - Book 2 (How Children Learn Series)

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As adults we often miss and remove the magic of everyday adventures because we aren't open or are more scripted into our ways of doing things. They will learn the proper reasoning better if they are able to have some freedom of play. Again, there were so many great nuggets of thought and understanding. I'm sure many were missed but I hope that many also found their way into the gestalt of my mind and mothering.

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People as a whole are only as smart as a society is comfortable with. In prose style "How Children Learn" reminds me a lot of "The Omnivore's Dilemma", in that both present some pretty depressing news with a great deal of compassion and hope. John Holt wrote this in the 60's and revised it in the 80's a few years before his death, and it's alarming how many of his criticisms of education are still applicable decades later. But it never comes off as polemic or divisive, just concerned for the min People as a whole are only as smart as a society is comfortable with.

But it never comes off as polemic or divisive, just concerned for the minds of children and the adults they become. His overarching conclusion is that children don't need us to learn most of the time. Presented with an interesting problem, a little kid wants to solve it. The issue is adult meddling and often good-hearted attempts to help kill this impulse.

Past a certain age kids give up on trying to learn anything that isn't necessary to succeed. The logic behind school is that it's supposed to turn people in to well-rounded, intelligent human beings. The trouble with that is that no one agrees on what it takes to be well-rounded.

Most of us aren't and never will be. Most cultures with public education aren't overrun with renaissance men.

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People specialize, it's part of what civilizations are built on, so much of what's learned in school is water off a duck's back. What he says early on and pushes through the whole book is to trust kids. Lack of trust can erode entire civilizations, and in kids it corrupts their ability to work things out themselves. The problem he even acknowledges is that giving kids the respect and trust to figure out problems on their own is intensely frightening at times. Apparently being a parent who raises a bright, self-motivated, intelligent kid is a combination of being really easy and incredibly terrifying.

Oh well, it's scary regardless. Jun 03, Leif rated it really liked it. This is kind of a sequel to How Children Fail. In this book, Holt examines how very young children infants to toddlers learn, and what that has to tell us about how humans are hard-wired to learn. Holt doesn't spend as much time in this book talking about the specific failings of the educational establishment, but he doesn't need to: the indictment is clear when one considers how humans naturally learn, and then contrasts that with how schools attempt to teach. Holt's theory is that schools, i This is kind of a sequel to How Children Fail.

Holt's theory is that schools, if we are to have them, should move away from concentrating so much on clever methods for teaching and instead focus on how people learn and facilitate it. This, of course, would require educators to check their egos, which isn't likely to happen soon. Be warned, though: the problems in education that Holt addresses in the 60s and in his s comments on his own work and writing are still alive and well; in fact, they are for the most part a lot worse now, and seem to confirm some of the theories Holt expressed here about where education was headed if we didn't make some changes.

I really enjoyed this book. I've been recently learning about the idea of unschooling and other various learning philosophies, and so I had to try one of Holt's books. And while I didn't really agree with everything he said I found a lot of his stories really enlightening.

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This book is largely filled with anecdotal evidence and he doesn't mess around with statistics and studies if he did, those would probably be very outdated by this point anyway. But I learned a lot from the stories he told a I really enjoyed this book. But I learned a lot from the stories he told and was really surprised at times with what he was saying.

I also found the anecdotes valuable over raw stats because I was able to really easily see the context in which many of these philosophies could be applied. Holt largely uses different stories in various subject areas and environments to reiterate the same few points. But though it was a little repetitive in that sense it didn't seem to bug me. I was so interested in the learning of children in all these different ways that I loved seeing the methods work time and time again. This book really gave me a lot to think about and I would definitely recommend it if you're interested in learning about alternate education paths.

Aug 18, Angela rated it it was amazing.

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John Holt has some really fascinating observations from working with children that really reflect my own experiences with my kids. Children learn through games and play. They seem to learn spontaneously without being taught like Holt makes the point I learned it's important to sort of "watch myself" and not interfere with my kids learning process.

I need to let go and let them discover on their own or gently guide t John Holt has some really fascinating observations from working with children that really reflect my own experiences with my kids.

How Children Learn : From Montessori to Vygotsky - Educational Theories and Approaches Made Easy

I need to let go and let them discover on their own or gently guide them on a path to self-discovery. Holt points out that many children have learned to read without being taught by phonics or whatever "piecemeal" method. In fact, many children "teach themselves" just by being read to. If they ask a question, it's better to just tell them the answer without a big long lecture. I never knew this before, and was worried I wasn't "teaching" my daughter enough; but this approach seems to make so much sense for us. Jul 25, Carol rated it really liked it Shelves: education.

This is my first book by Holt. I'm aware he has a large following. I can understand why. The man has a gift for understanding children and how they learn and navigate the world. The genus of this book is it's timelessness. Written in the 60's the book is still accurate today. Holt said that children do not need to be taught because learning is human nature for children and they have their own unique way of doing it. I'm a believer.

My son taught himself to read and do simple math at a young age This is my first book by Holt. My son taught himself to read and do simple math at a young age with no intervention from myself other than to give him time, space and the tools books should he care to use them. What's particularly sad is how traditional schools are moving in the opposite direction.

Even back then, he sees the dangers in mass testing, large classrooms and instruction that provides little room for improvisation and creativity. Highly recommended for all parents or anyone who cares about future generations. Sep 02, Afton rated it really liked it. Took me a while to get through, but so so good. One part that really stuck with me and represented the main ideas of the book: "They need to build up a mental model of the territory before they start trying to talk about it.

We teachers like to think that we can transplant our own mental models into the minds of children by means of explanations. It cant be done" The whole book gave me a lot to think about as a parent. Jul 06, Kristy rated it it was amazing.


  • How Children Learn by Linda Pound;
  • How Children Learn : Linda Pound : !
  • How Children Learn by John Holt.
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This was the first time I've read a John Holt book, and it was definitley worth it. I'm looking forward to reading How Children Fail next. There was much I marked, and many pages I dog-earned to return to in the future, but I will at least share his ending comment: "What we need to do, and all we need to do, is bring as much of the world as we can into the school and th eclassroom: give children as much help and guidance as they need and ask for; listen respectfully when they feel like talking; This was the first time I've read a John Holt book, and it was definitley worth it.

There was much I marked, and many pages I dog-earned to return to in the future, but I will at least share his ending comment: "What we need to do, and all we need to do, is bring as much of the world as we can into the school and th eclassroom: give children as much help and guidance as they need and ask for; listen respectfully when they feel like talking; and then get out of the way. That may sound idealistic or to simple, but after reading his experiences and what he has learned, you may change your mind.

Jan 14, Basirat Atif rated it really liked it. I give this book a 4 star.