I don't know anything else about John Dewey, but I found this quote by him:
Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.
I like that. Bookwork makes Raccoon crazy. At this point, he thinks he won't learn to read. He compares himself to me, not realizing that he is learning just like his peers. I wonder if he'd find watching other kids fail to be encouraging. But the sitting is killing us both. He slouches, chews on his shirt, holds his pencil wrong, and falls off his chair, all to avoid writing. He hates repetition. Today was impossible until I told him we'd do a tea bag rocket. Then all the fidgets were gone and he was 100% attentive.
I know he needs a "doing" school, I just don't know how to get us there.
I think the only thing we learned today is that our tea bags are a single square so we cannot unfold them like the instructions say to do. Ours never took off, but we watched a youtube video to see what was supposed to happen. My kids didn't care though, they just liked that we burned something.