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Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life Paperback – 10 February 2015

4.7 out of 5 stars 177 ratings

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  • Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life
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  • How Children Learn, 50th anniversary edition
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  • The Whole-Brain Child: 12 revolutionary strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
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"Free to Learn is a courageous and profoundly important book. Peter Gray joins the likes of Richard Louv and Alfie Kohn in speaking out for a more humane, compassionate and effective approach to education"--Frank Forencich, author of Exuberant Animal and Change Your Body, Change the World

"[An] interesting and engaging look at how children naturally learn."--Forced Government Schooling (blog)

"[A] cogent advocacy for the central role of play in children's emotional, social, and intellectual development.... Free to Learn makes a good case for the importance of play as a renewable resource for school reform and transformation."--Spirituality & Practice

"A compelling and most enjoyable read, Gray illustrates how removing play from childhood, in combination with increasing the pressures of modern-day schooling, paradoxically reduces the very skills we want our children to learn. The decline of play is serious business."--Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, author of Einstein Never Used Flash Cards and A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool

"A great one...this important book makes a strong case for life learning."--Life Learning Magazine

"Blending the traditions of J. Gary Bernhard's Primates in the Classroom and A. S. Neill's Summerhill, Peter Gray's Free to Learn combines evolutionary and cross-cultural insights with an account of the best in alternative education today. The result is a strong challenge to our prevailing modes of schooling, from the perspective of what is most natural for children: play."--Melvin Konnor, Samual Cander Dobbs Professor of Anthropology, Emory University, and author of The Evolution of Childhood

"Free to Learn provides us with deep, carefully researched insights into the connections between freedom, learning and play.... [I]f you are involved with children, education, unschooling, free ranging, or anything having to do with play, Free to Learn is something you'll want to read, own, share, and give to everyone you know who cares about the lives of our children and the future of our world."--DeepFun.com

"Free to Learn stimulates a parent's thinking about what kind of learning environment helps their child learn and adjust best, and then how to simulate that environment at home or out of school if it doesn't exist among their school options.... Gray has caused me to re-focus my grandparenting activities in ways that will encourage freedom of learning and play. We may not be able to change the world, but we can help our children adapt better to it."--PyschCentral

"In Free to Learn, a passionate paean to the kind of free play and free learning exemplified by Smith's example, Peter Gray, an evolutionary psychologist at Boston College, makes a largely compelling case that children learn best when unencumbered by adult-imposed activities and institutions."--American Journal of Play

"Peter Gray...forces us all to rethink our convictions on how schools should be designed to accommodate the ways that children learn."--Steven Pinker

Book Description

A child development expert shows why "unschooling" is the best way to get kids to learn

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
177 customer ratings
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Reviewed in Australia on 13 July 2018
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Top international reviews

Charles VB
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not the best book of it's type
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 December 2019
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delia p.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book to learn how children really need play above ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 April 2018
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LuvverlyJubblie
5.0 out of 5 stars I like reading books about education
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 July 2018
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Carol Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation and an inspiration.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 May 2018
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Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST read for anyone wanting to know more
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 19 September 2019
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JoM84
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 August 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Anyone specialising in education should read this.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 May 2017
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Candice
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 April 2018
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iluvbooks
5.0 out of 5 stars A must!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 February 2014
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Rita McCarthy
5.0 out of 5 stars A parent of a toddler must read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 November 2015
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Hana Cincerova
5.0 out of 5 stars Should teach this in schools :D
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 January 2019
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K8
5.0 out of 5 stars Must buy!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 June 2016
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Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 May 2017
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Ally Alias
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changing!
Reviewed in Canada on 6 February 2017
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Wilfrid
5.0 out of 5 stars I do not do reviews. However, as a ...
Reviewed in Canada on 9 May 2018
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