When I read this I of course was thinking, "Homeschooling is this! Homeschooling is this!".
"Schoolhouses are made wrong. If they must be, they should be built in a woods pasture beside a stream, where you could wade, swim, and be comfortable in summer, and slide and skate in winter. The windows should be cut to the floor, and stand wide open, so the birds and butterflies could pass through. You ought to learn your geography by climbing a hill, walking through a valley, wading creeks, making islands in them, and promontories, capes, and peninsulas along the bank. You should do your arithmetic sitting under tress adding hickorynuts, subtracting walnuts, multiplying butternuts, and dividing hazelnuts. You could use apples for fractions, and tin cups for liquid measure. You could spell everything in sight and this would teach you the words that are really used in the world. Every single one of us could spell incompatibility, but I never heard father, or the judge, or even the Bishop, put it in a speech."
I loved that!
I first heard of the author Gene Stratton-Porter on a chat list mainly comprised of Christian homeschoolers who favored using living books as the main staple of their children's home education. Many used also, the Charlotte Mason method of home education. I first saw the books by this author sold at a Christian homeschooling conference.
This book, "Laddie a True Blue Story" has an expired copyright from what I can summise from my Internet research. It has been reprinted by different publishers. You can read the full copy of the book on Google Books, at this URL.
The above passage begins on page 404 and there is more about Laddie's view of school learning, teachers who are strict and who switch the students for punishment and so forth.
I'm feeling rejuvinated to do more family read-aloud's, I've slipped on that lately.