I appreciate what these men are saying. I've read everything by Holt and Kohn (not so much the sears stuff) and it's very compelling. Veyr much and has influenced me in a postivie way.
But I think for some of these guys the philosphy takes presidence over the nitty gritty realities of daily parenting.
Years before I became a parent I read an article in Mothering by a woman who made board games for her kids. There was a photo of her kids playing a color game she made for them. It was sweet.
The next issue had a letter to the editor, by non other than John Holt who basically insulted this mother. He wrote it was a waste of her time to 'teach' colors and that children didn't need to play games to learn them. WHich is true.
But 100% lost on him was the person behond the game- a woman who was spending 24/7 with her kids and was basically finding enjoyable ways to spend their time together. It didn't harm them to play a color game and it seemed that she and the kids were enjoying each other's company. It was a cozy way to spend time together, not to mention she might have been a crafty type. One who simply enjoyed making games & toys for her kids.
John Holt dealt in philosophy and (and a good dose of judging mothers) and not in the nitty gritty reality of being a parent.
I think there is a good point made here about 24/7 parenting homeschooling and the difference between that and writing a philosophical book that I really believe often gets either radical or exaggerates in the author's attempt(whatever author) to drive home some point in their philosophy. I think they can get over zealous and sometimes step on the toes of those who are really in the trenches, that is to say the sahps who are involved in the education of individual children on a day in day out year in year out basis.
I also really enjoyed The Well Trained Mind , but took some of the things said in there by the author with a BIG grain of salt. Namely that someone thinking about structured curriculum or Classical would have to distance themselves from unschoolers. Sorry but I am friends with a family that is on the more radical side of unschooling and we have never had problems.I also didn't agree with some things said about children and their own creativity in the younger years . I forget exactly what it was, I'd have to get the book down but I recall shaking my head.
Either way I strongly believe in taking what you need from a philosophy and leaving the rest if it isn't going to work for your individual family. I think in the end the journey is about finding harmony within your own family and for your individual children .