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Publisher's Summary

This enduring classic of educational thought offers teachers and parents deep, original insight into the nature of early learning. John Holt was the first to make clear that, for small children, "learning is as natural as breathing." In this delightful yet profound book, he looks at how we learn to talk, to read, to count, and to reason, and how we can nurture and encourage these natural abilities in our children.

©2017 HoltGWS LLC (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about How Children Learn, 50th Anniversary Edition

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  • Overall
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Life changing

Such a refreshing way of viewing children and believing in them! I always tried to read this nook but found the audiobook much more accessible, and will listen to it again and again

1 person found this helpful

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life changing

I could not stop listening to this book.
I was interested in how to connect and teach my new born into her toddler years.. and possibly homeschool her.. and this book has opened my eyes to the amazing world of children how how they see the world, and learn everything they need to succeed. would recommend In a heartbeat.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-05-20

So many truths and treasures!

This book rocks! Narrator is quite good. I thought he captured the personality of the author well. I was never bored or annoyed at his voice either and I’m pretty picky with narrators.

I was homeschooled all the way up to college. I LOVED school, I loved it so much I covered two grades worth of material in one year, and still couldn’t get enough. I deep dived into many, many subjects that interested me, as well as covering all the other subjects that were set in the curriculum we used. My parents chose to do sort of a hybrid between curriculum based (more structured) homeschooling and unschooling (unbeknownst to them). I couldn’t wait to learn and was really excited to go to college and major in a subject that I was passionate about.
Then something happened when I went to College. I hated it. I couldn’t understand why all the sudden learning was so boring. Even in classes that really interested me, I would get excited about it at first, and then get extremely bored with it after a couple weeks in. It seemed so constrained. Not to mention downright hard to understand.
Then I listened to this audio book and was amazed to finally understand why I was having such a hard time in the traditional education system. The truths in Holt’s book resonated so deeply with me because I have experienced them first hand. I have had the opportunity to homeschool to little boys of my own and see these truths play out time and time again. If you are at all unsure about homeschooling your children in this model, I would not hesitate for another second! Just please please please! Make sure your children have as many quality resources at their disposal as possible! Use the library. Take advantage of the love you live in and explore! Go to the ocean, river, lake or pond, the forest, field or slough. Go to museums, cultural centers, your neighbors house. Ask company’s for a tour of their business! It’s so much fun to watch children, excited and enthusiastic about the world around them. You’ll even catch a little of that curiosity yourself if you’re not careful!
Please consider this way of educating your children. You will find it to be really fun! Hard work, yes. But you and your children will thank your future self later- for the effort, care and love you put into this crucial aspect of their lives, and for helping them love to learn and grow everyday.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Rachel Gibson
  • 2018-03-12

Really helpful

Such an eye opener listening to this book. This is a book I will listen too again and again as a reminder.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Tahira Maria Alberte
  • 2020-07-15

Recommended Listening for Parents, Teachers, & Adults around children

Anyone who spends any amount of time with children need this book. It demonstrates the beautiful exchange between the smallest in our population and adults. Presents a logical approach for how to engage with and encourage children to feel safe learning and growing and taking part in our world.

I hope this book continues to positively impact the much needed change in our education system. I hope parents see how simply children learn and feel empowered to play and take active roles in their children’s learning process. I hope anyone who reads this book remains open minded and challenges their own perceptions and opinions. I hope we all shift our teaching styles more towards “how children learn.”

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  • T-Mac
  • 2019-06-08

Good insights

Overall I enjoyed this book and I can apply this more in my children’s life as a parent. The beginning was a little slow but it had excellent insights and examples. Definitely would recommend.

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 2018-05-17

A Must listen!

Amazing book. It has had a profound effect on me as a parent and as a human being. Essential for anyone with little (or not so little) ones in their life.

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  • shawna christian
  • 2020-12-25

wasnt close to what I was expectomg

it was purely anecdotal, not based on real expiramentation. disappointed with information in the book

1 person found this helpful

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  • D
  • 2021-05-23

Slow, but worth it

It's a bit slow with a lot of anecdotal stories, but the stories are so symbolic and generalizable that you know there is deep truth and that research data is not necessary. The slow parts are worth it to get to where he relates the stories to the foundations of how children (and I think adults, too) learn.

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  • A&M
  • 2020-07-07

incredible, glad I read this

Well read, excellent. This was read with such understanding and conviction, I almost thought it was the author himself. The content here is inspiring. A great read as I am new to homeschooling, unschooling, and intentional parenting.