Of course right after posting it I see my own grammatical error. Anyway, here it is:
I don't think it's extreme to say that believing you wouldn't do anything if someone didn't make you is the creed of a slave. Actually, maybe it doesn't go far enough. A slave does not choose slavery. A person who believes they would do nothing unless forced is making a powerful choice.
Why assume that children who are free to make their own choices will make themselves horribly ill or stab themselves with a knife? People who are consistently trusted to make good choices for themselves are much more likely to do so. And for the record, Holt in no way discourages parents from offering guidance. Quite the opposite in fact.
Anyone interested in learning more about children who live as unschoolers (a term coined by Holt), might want to check out these sites:
I wrote a book about my own family's experiences with unschooling, but I'll spare you the shameless plug .