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Patrick Farenga is a writer and education activist who worked closely with the late author and teacher John Holt and continues his work today as the president of HoltGWS LLC. After Holt died, Pat published Growing Without Schooling magazine (GWS) from 1985 until it stopped in 2001. GWS was the nation’s first periodical about learning without going to school, started by Holt in 1977. Unschooling is a word Holt preferred over homeschooling, since the learning Holt encouraged didn’t have to take place at home nor resemble school techniques and materials. The Farengas unschooled their daughters, now aged 27, 24, and 21.
Pat speaks as a homeschooling expert at education conferences around the world, as well as on commercial radio and television talk shows. His media appearances include The Today Show, Good Morning America, Voice of America, Geraldo, NPR’s Learning Matters, CNN’s Parenting Today, The Dr. Drew Pinsky Show, and Fox and Friends.
Pat co-authored Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling (Perseus), The Beginner’s Guide to Homeschooling, many articles about homeschooling and democratic education and essays about unschooling in a number of publications, such as Un Mundo Por Aprender (University of Colombia, Bogota, 2011), and the entries about homeschooling for the International Encyclopedia of Education, 3rd Edition (Elsevier, 2010) and the online edition of Encyclopedia Britannica (2012). His most recent work includes reprinting Holt’s Escape From Children: The Needs and Rights of Children (HoltGWS, 2013) and a forthcoming original title, The Legacy of John Holt: A Man Who Genuinely Understood, Trusted, and Respected Children (HoltGWS, 2013).