This publication analyzes the humanistic ideas of personal development in the pedagogical heritage of J. Dewey. In particular it is stated that J. Dewey saw interrelated changes in rational and emotional areas that characterize the level of harmony, its self-aggrandizement in this development. The author has accepted the fact that namely achievement of this harmony is the strategic direction of humanistic education in modern families of the USA. The author has defined the key ideas of humanistic education in the family, namely the relationship of school and family education with the realities of life; the orientation of the educational process on the child’s activity, on the fulfillment of specific practical cases, on its interests. It is found out that the concept of education by J. Dewey refers to pragmatism. The position of a theorist about the organization of a family upbringing combines socio-oriented and child-oriented ideas. It is noted that J. Dewey appreciated American democracy and considered humanistic education of the child in the family as a key of its preservation and strengthening. The significant tendency in the concept of «school of child’s life» by J. Dewey is the reliance on natural processes of physical and spiritual growth, on satisfaction of natural inclinations, on organization of children’s activities in the educational process. The study has revealed the relevance of humanistic pedagogy of John Dewey which requires the parents to adapt to the individual characteristics of the child, to provide an atmosphere of comfort and «psychological safety». The reformer’s recommendations for the teachers and parents that engage home education are focused on: the unity of the development and education; differentiation and diversification of educational influences; individualization of educating communication; creating the favorable conditions for the development of aptitudes and abilities of the child; a comfortable interaction between different generations in the family; psychological safety, protection of the child; a faith in its strength and capabilities; adoption of the child as it is; positioning of the child’s behavior and actions with success; a change of the target set education on the individual development of the child; providing systematic «spiritual meetings with intelligent people». The perspective direction of the research is the pedagogical analysis and recommendations for the parents in the works of J. Dewey and A. S. Makarenko.