WRITING STRANDS: A HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM 3Asked to speak, my fifth graders were covered with embarrassment; manyrefused altogether. Asked to write, they would sit for minutes on end, staringat the paper. It was hard for most of them to get down a half page of writing,even on what seemed to be interesting topics or topics they chose themselves.(
.)As Gaither (2008) observes, “Holt’s fame, rhetorical skill, and tireless activism quicklymake him the de facto leader of the homeschooling movement” (p. 126). But it was also hisexperiences as a student and teacher in traditional school settings that shaped Holt into anoutspoken and influential leader.As a child, Holt studied with private tutors and “at some of the most prestigious boardingschools in the country” (
., p. 122). For high school, he attended Phillips Exeter, and in 1943graduated from Yale with a degree in Industrial Engineering. After serving for three years in thePacific as a lieutenant aboard a submarine, he taught for four years at Colorado Rocky Mountaincoeducational free school; in Cambridge, MA at a “select private school” (
., 123); and as avisiting lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and at the University of Californiaat Berkeley.Yet despite—or, rather, because of—his formal positions and training, he remainedconvinced that “school” is better a verb than a noun. “The proper relationship of the schools tohome,” Holt concluded, “is the relationship of the library to home, or the skating rink to home. Itis a supplementary resource” (Bumgarner, para. 3).