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GROWING WITHOUT SCHOOLING 47 JOHN HOLT April 14, 1923 September 14, 1985 Most of you have already heard the sorrowful news that John Holt died on Saturday, September 14, of cancer (multiple metastatic mela­ noma). He died peacefully in his sleep, at his home, at 6:50 AM. As we said in GWS #46, John refused radiation or chemotherapy when the cancer was diagnosed in June, believing from his own research that such methods do more harm than good. He spent 10 days in July in a hospital in Bangor, Maine being treat­ ed (fairly successfully) for fluid accumulation in his lungs; then he spent several days with George and Mabel Dennison in Maine, and the Wallace family in Ithaca, New York. Returning to Boston, John stayed two weeks with the Van Doren family in Quincy and began to receive the Vita­ min C treatment he wanted. On August 26, however, he blacked out for sever­ al hours and spent the next 10 days in Mass. General Hospital, Boston. When he had severe internal bleeding August 30, we began to have friends stay with him around the clock . At his insistence we arranged for him to go home Thursday, Sept. 5, where nurses and friends looked after him. Over the last few weeks he lost much weight, was very jaundiced, and spent most of the time dozing. He was rare­ ly in any pain. John wished to be cremated and his ashes have been sent to his sis­ ters in New Mexico. On Saturday, October 5 - ten days from now as this is written ­ there will be a memorial service at 3 PM at the First Parish Unitarian Church in Quincy, MA (adjacen t to Boston). Present plans for music include a piano duet by Ishmael and Vita Wallace; a selection by Nehemiah Richardson, a young cellist with the New England Conservatory Youth Orches­ tra; a short solo on violin by Mary Van Doren, who, with John's guidance, has been playing for a year; a number from Patrick Farenga on sax and Steve Rupprecht on guitar; and John's special request, a recording of the 1st movement of Bruckner's 9th Sym­ phony. A potluck meal will follow, and we look forward to becoming acquainted with many of John's A second tragedy has left us all stunned. On September 25, Anna Van Doren, 4 years old, was killed in an elevator accident at our office building. Ever since she was 10 mon~hs old, Anna has been coming here with her mother Mary, and later her sister Helen, now 2. She was dear to all of us, and the friendship between her and John Holt was special indeed. This sudden loss is a wrenching blow, and it will be long before our grief lessens. Anna has been buried in Illinois, and there is to be a service for her in Quincy, MA at 1 PM on the same day as John's service, at the same church . friends. We expect to devote much of GWS #48, the next issue, to a tribute to John's life and ideas. Many warm and beautiful letters are already arri­ ving, and if you have any particular memories to share, we invite you to send them in. Also, in the next issue, we will tell you a little about each of us on the staff - who we are and how we came to work with John. Furthermore, as John was a pro­ lific letter-writer until his health failed, some of you probably still have letters he wrote you. If you ever come across something he wrote that you have not seen in GWS or his books, some special point he made, do please send us a copy. As John knew, the staff of Holt Associates and our supporters will continue the work he started, and this helped him to feel satisfied with what he accomplished in his life. It comforts us to remember that we will always have his writings to guide us . --- Donna Richoux, Patrick Farenga, Mary Van Doren, Steve Rupprecht, Sandy Kendall, Mary Maher, Wendy Baruch ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I want you to know of the incred­ ible amount of physical support John's friends gave him in his last days. The top of the list must be Pat Farenga, who was responsible for every detail of John's care, dealing with innumerable doctors, nurses, hospitals, agencies, making sure John got from one place to another, always finding out what John wanted and doing his best to make it happen. Seeking alternative care in a world full of traditional medical practice turned out to be harder than anyone expected, yet Pat coped superbly . Ar.d now, as Pat is executor of the estate, many duties and responsibili­ ties for John's affairs will still fall on him. Mary Van Doren and her family also spent much time and energy on arranging details and caring for John in their home, the hospital, and his apartment. At one pOint, when John was in the hospital, a torrential rain flooded his basement apartment, and the Van Dorens and Day Farenga spen t hours removing water from the sodden carpet and drying hundreds of record albums' If several friends of John's had not .come from out of town and stayed in his apartment to do a heroic amount of care, we probably would have had to suspend all regular busi­ ness - but they came and the work con­ tinued. Leila Berg from England stayed for two weeks, spending long hours at Mass. General. David ChicKer­ ing, the Chicago Symphony cellist who is on leave of absence visiting home­ schooling families, was especially precious for his gift of music, play­ ing John's favorite pieces at all hours of the day and night. Theo Giesy of Virginia and her daughter Anita ( 12 going on 25) not only looked after John but also did a tre­ mendous amount of work in the office (you'll find some announcements in this issue Signed TG'). John was always very comforted when his sisters, Jane and Sue, were with him at Mass. General. Many local friends, too, spent hours and hours at John's bedside: Connie Bernhardt, Karen Franklin, John Hughes, Lynn Kapplow, Merloyd Lawrence, Jean Mur­ ray, Dick Rapacz, Dawn Reger, and we and our families - Pat's wife Day, Mary and Tom Maher, Steve Rupprecht, and my husband Franklin Ross . We know that many of you would have done the same, too, if you could. --- Donna Richoux NEW OREGON LAW The bill we described in GWS #46, House Bill 2475, was indeed signed into law by the governor. The relevant portions: SECTION 2... (2) Before a child is taught by a parent or private teacher, as provided in ORS 339.030 (5), the parent or private teacher must notify the (county] superinten­ dent in writing . The superintendent shall acknowledge receipt of the noti­ fication in writing and inform the superintendent of the school district of the child's residence. The notifi­ cation must be received and acknow­ ledged before a child is withdrawn from school and thereafter before the start of each school year. (3) Children being taught as pro­ vided in subsection (2) of this sec­ tion shall be examined annually in the work covered in accordance with the following procedures : WHAT'S INSIDE Court (MO, TX, Ireland, AL, MI): 2 --- MA District: 2 --- TV: 2 --- NV Turnaround: 3 Local news : 3-4 --- Reforming schools: 4 --­ Christians: 5 --- Curriculum: 5 --- Wartes / ­ School-Homeschool relations: 5 --- Credential: 6 --- Reading: N.Z., Chicago: 6 --- Tests: 7-8 --- Teens: 8-10 --- Library work: 10 --­ Gloves: 11 --- Scissors: 11 --- Housework: 11 --- Success: 12 --- Hard to live with: 12 --­ Free to quit: 12 --- Catalog: 13-24 --­ Husband ·disagrees: 25 --- Return to school: 26 --- Latchkey kids: 26 --- Independent schol­ ars: 27 --- Classes: 27 --- Writing: 28 --­ Typewriter: 28 --- Late reader: 29 --- Far­ sighted : 30 -- - Encylopedias: 30 --- Science: 30 - -- Letters to composers : 31 --- Art lessons: 31 --- Book reviews: 31-34

Growing Without Schooling

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