Book Review: What do I do Monday?

Title: What do I do Monday?

Author: John Holt

Stars: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐(1 = hated it, 2 = didn’t like it, 3 = it was okay, 4 = I liked it, 5 = I loved it)

Review: Despite John Holt’s fame regarding learning outside of school, my favorite part of this book was its focus on learning in schools. I love unschooling and I’m so grateful that I (and others) have the opportunity to choose not to attend school. That said, so many children don’t have that option (because of finances, family situations or something else) and so it’s vital that our public schools are a better fit for more of the student body. This book is an incredible resource for teachers trying to make that happen. The book is packed with specific experiments, questions, and tools to entice kids to explore the world. The book is broken into chapter based on subjects which would make it easy to use in a setting where that was expected. Although on the surface it seems outdated (published in 1970) with suggested equipment like tape recorders and film cameras, the heart of the suggestions are still applicable (and perhaps even easier to implement with advanced technology). My biggest complaint about this book is how incredibly gendered it is. There are a lot of incorrect assumptions about what boys and girls like to do, without even getting into the fact that not everyone fits into one of those two categories. I still found it a really interesting read but I often had a hard time looking past Holt’s sexism.


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