The School of Joy

Millions of teachers around the world have heard of the ‘School of Joy’. This is what Vasily Sukhomlinsky called an informal preschool class that he ran to prepare children for school. The School of Joy was conducted under the open sky, and involved lots of walking, observation of nature, talking, making up stories, drawing, games, caring for plants and animals, meeting new people, and learning to read and write along the way.

Sukhomlinsky describes how he started the School of Joy in the first part of his most famous book, My Heart I Give to Children. We have made the first part of that book available for free as a separate publication. You can download it on this page in pdf format, or follow the links on this page to major online retailers where it is listed for free in either Kindle or ePub format.

Cover image for 'The School of Joy'

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PDF format: The School of Joy
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If you have any difficulty accessing your downloads, please email Alan Cockerill at