Difference between revisions of "Homeschooling"

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* [[Alexander Pope]] (1688-1744), one of the greatest and most-often quoted [[English]] poets and essayists.  "From Twyford School he was expelled after writing a satire on one of the teachers. At home, Pope's aunt taught him to read. Latin and Greek he learned from a local priest and later he acquired knowledge of French and Italian poetry."<ref>http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/apope.htm</ref>
* [[Alexander Pope]] (1688-1744), one of the greatest and most-often quoted [[English]] poets and essayists.  "From Twyford School he was expelled after writing a satire on one of the teachers. At home, Pope's aunt taught him to read. Latin and Greek he learned from a local priest and later he acquired knowledge of French and Italian poetry."<ref>http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/apope.htm</ref>
*[[Poulson Affair|John Poulson]] (1910-1993), architect.
*[[Joseph Priestley]] (1733-1804), the father of modern chemistry and the discoverer of oxygen, dropped out of school as a teenager and privately learned  geometry, algebra and numerous languages.{{fact}}
*[[Joseph Priestley]] (1733-1804), the father of modern chemistry and the discoverer of oxygen, dropped out of school as a teenager and privately learned  geometry, algebra and numerous languages.{{fact}}

Revision as of 06:04, 12 March 2008

A young homeschool student

Homeschooling is a movement consisting of 1-2 million students in the United States, including many contest winners, whereby the students receive education outside of traditional schools. Reasons for homeschooling include:

  • a different, often better, education environment with different, often better, opportunities
  • freedom from liberal and/or atheistic bias and culture in schools
  • a more flexible daily schedule
  • avoiding conflicts with public school officials
  • more time by parents with their children in formative years
  • avoiding objectionable vaccines, mental health screening, and questionnaires
  • developing the discipline to work at home as an adult, which can be invaluable
  • less likely to pick up life-long addictions from peers, like drugs, cigarettes, pornography or alcohol
  • the time and availability to learn a trade or profession as an apprentice, as was historically done

Homeschooling parents oversee their children's education, usually providing some of the instruction themselves. In addition, they can mix-and-match other instructional approaches, including:

  • attending a weekly course provided in many communities by the homeschooling community
  • using a correspondence school (or the modern video- or computer-based equivalent)
  • taking classes at local museums or nature centers
  • joining with other families to share teaching responsibilities in a co-op
  • encouraging the student to self-instruct using library books, traditional textbooks or workbooks, knowledgeable mentor's and/or hands-on experiences
  • hiring a tutor for certain difficult topics, like physics

Some homeschoolers also include local "after school" enrichment programs like scouts, 4-H, sports, music lessons, karate or dance classes, public library programs, and summer camps as part of their educational program.

Homeschooling Statistics

In the United States, as of 2003, the government estimated that 1.1 million students - about 2.2% of children in grades K-12 - were homeschooled. [1] A 2005 estimate from the National Home Education Research Institute places the number at 1.9 million to 2.4 million while the National Center for Education Statistics estimates that the number of students being homeschooled increased 29% from 1999 to 2003.[2]Families who homeschool do so for a number of reasons. A 2001 study by the US Census Bureau found that the single largest reason that parents homeschool is that they feel they can give their children a better education at home. This accounted for 50% of the homeschool families; religious reasons came in second at 33%.[3] Other frequently mentioned reasons include dissatisfaction with academic instruction at other schools, the ability to provide religious or moral instruction along with academics, the ability to control what the child is being taught, flexibility in meeting the needs of a child with special needs (such as a physical or mental health problem, a temporary illness, or giftedness), flexibility in scheduling family life, and concern about safety, drugs, and peer pressure at other schools. [4]

Admissions departments at major colleges are now familiar and comfortable with homeschooling, according to a 2004 Boston Globe article. The article quotes a Williams College admission officer as saying:
"We read home-schoolers' applications just like any other application. They don't get any special consideration, but they're not discriminated against, either. Their applications are interesting, and they've certainly done independent work their whole lives." It notes that acceptance rate of homeschoolers at Williams is 20 percent,[5] virtually identical to its overall acceptance rate.[6]

In the United States, some states allow homeschooled students to participate in extracurricular activities at their local public schools. 20 states (Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming) in one way or another expressly allow equal access. In most other states, participation is worked out on a case-by-case basis. [7] In addition, some states, such as Alabama, are considering equal access legislation. [8]

In many states, school athletic associations dominated by public schools exclude homeschoolers from participation in athletics, even though they allow students at different charter schools to participate.[9]


In the United States, opting out of public schools is not new. When Thomas Edison's public school teacher said he was "addled," Edison's mother took him out of public school and taught him at home.

Education at public school year-round from about ages 6 to 18 only became common in the 20th century due to compulsory education laws. The first law requiring attendance at public school passed in Massachusetts in 1852; the second such law passed in Washington D.C. in 1864; and most states did not pass mandatory schooling laws until between 1870 and 1917.[10][11]

But even under compulsory education laws in the late 1800s, the school year was only twelve to twenty weeks long. Very few stayed in school from ages 6 to 18. For example, by 1900, only 6% of Americans had graduated from a formal high school. Moreover, these students did not learn basic skills like reading in school; they learned them at home.[12]

Baltimore's Calvert School began selling the school's curriculum to parents in 1905. Within five years, more than 300 children were enrolled in Calvert's correspondence courses. Over the next hundred years, Calvert served over 500,000 children from a wide variety of families nation-wide and around the world, including missionary families and those in remote locations. [13]

Homeschooling began in the 1960s from very different ideological sources. Seventh-Day Adventists Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore pioneered homeschooling as a result of their research into education and their concern about the harmful effects of schooling on students, particularly boys, between ages 5 and 15.[14] On the other side of the political spectrum, John Holt wrote a book critical of schooling in 1964, entitled How Children Fail. Holt was "a left-winger who regarded schools as instruments of the bureaucratic-industrial complex."[15] More generally, millions of Americans were alarmed at the 1962 U. S. Supreme Court ruling which banned school-sponsored prayer in public schools, and many of those parents began to look for alternatives.

Truancy laws brought pioneering homeschoolers into conflict with local officials. The first New York Times story on "home schooling" appeared in 1974, and concerned two parents charged with "educational neglect" by the Westchester County Department of Social Services. Tests showed that they performed at or about grade level "except for one who is a little slow in reading," and the parents received strong support from a state senator.[16] By the mid-1980s the Times was running articles with titles like "Schooling in the Home: A Growing Alternative" and "There Are Benefits In Homeschooling," and states were legalizing homeschooling.[17] A 1997 article said "It's not only Christian fundamentalists any more" and a 2003 article noted "Unhappy in Class, More Are Learning at Home."

Prominent people who were educated at home

Throughout history, a remarkably high percentage of accomplished people were homeschooled, including nearly every great mathematician. Here is a growing list of homeschooled achievers:

  • Ansel Adams, (1902-1984), the finest landscape photographer of the twentieth century. "At twelve, unable to stand the confinement and tedium of the classroom, he utterly disrupted his lessons with wild laughter and undisguised contempt for the inept ramblings of his teachers. His father decided that Ansel’s formal education was best ended. From that point forward, the boy was home-schooled in Greek, the English classics, algebra, and the glories of the ocean, inlets, and rocky beaches that surrounded their home very near San Francisco."[18]
  • John Adams (1735-1826), U.S. President, learned to read at home, and was then taught in the kitchen by a neighbor with a handful of children. He matriculated to Harvard College at age 15.[Citation Needed]
  • Mary Breckinridge (1881-1965), pioneering American midwife and founder of Kentucky's Frontier Nursing Service. Mary's father was a diplomat, and she was educated in America and abroad by private tutors.[21]
  • Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), the brilliant American businessman and philanthropist of the late 1800s, his father was a poor weaver and Andrew dropped out of elementary school[22] and had only five years of formal schooling.[23]
  • Augustin-Louis Cauchy (1789-1857), one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, was taught by his father during an 11-year retreat to the country to escape the French Revolution. His father "wrote his own textbooks, several of them in the fluent verse of which he was master. Verse, he believed, made grammar, history and, above all, morals less repulsive to the juvenile mind."[24][25]
  • Agatha Christie (1890-1976), best-selling English mystery writer. Christie was educated at home by her mother, who encouraged her to write from a very early age. At sixteen she was sent to finishing school in Paris. [27]
  • Winston Churchill (1874–1965), British statesman. He was homeschooled in learning how to read, write and do math, and was not enrolled in a school until several months into the school year at the age of seven. After only about two years at that school, he was abruptly pulled out and then spent several years under the instruction of two maiden sisters in a less formal school setting.[28]
  • Thomas Edison (1804–1896), the most prolific inventor in the history of the world and the holder of 1093 patents.[29]
  • Evariste Galois (1811–1832), among the brightest mathematicians ever and the founder of Galois groups and fields and Galois theory. "Until the age of twelve Galois had no teacher but his mother, Adelaide-Marie Demante."[32]
  • Zac, Taylor, and Isaac Hanson, of the band Hanson. Educated at home by their mother, and later by a tutor. [34][35]
  • Julia Ward Howe (1819–1910), abolitionist, writer, and women's rights activist. Julia was educated by tutors at home and in girls' schools until age 16. [36]
  • C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), the author of the Chronicles of Narnia and other famous works, was homeschooled by his mother and a governess until age 10, and later sent to be taught by a tutor to prepare him for Oxford.[39]
  • Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), American president. "Though his [formal] education was limited to a few months in a 1-teacher school, Lincoln avidly read books such as the Bible, Pilgrim's Progress and Weemss Life of Washington."[40]
  • Countess Augusta Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), a visionary programmer and namesake of the ADA programming language, was homeschooled by governesses and tutors hired by her mother.[Citation Needed]
  • Benoit Mandelbrot, Harvard mathematician considered the founder of fractal geometry, received no extended formal schooling and was homeschooled by his uncle beginning at the age of 12.[41]
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), German composer. "He was educated by his father, Leopold Mozart, a violinist of high repute in the service of the archbishop of Salzburg."[42]
  • Christopher Paolini (1983-), the author of the best-selling Inheritance Trilogy (Eragon, Eldest, and a third book yet unreleased). He was homeschooled by his parents, through an accredited correspondence course from the American School in Chicago, Illinois, from which he graduated with his high school diploma at 15 years of age. [43]
  • Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), one of the greatest mathematicians and philosophers of all time, was entirely homeschooled by his father.[44]
  • George Patton (1885–1945), one of America's greatest generals. He was homeschooled until age 11 based on his "father's theory of education" that "youthful mind should be led along a path that parallels the development of the mind of the race" by being read to by elders.[45][46]
  • Henri Poincaré (1854-1912), one of the greatest mathematicians ever and an original developer of the Theory of Relativity. Poincaré, who had diphtheria as a child, received special instruction from his gifted mother and excelled in written composition while still in elementary school. He entered the Lycée in Nancy (now renamed the Lycée Henri Poincaré in his honor), in 1862 and spent eleven years there. He entered the École Polytechnique in 1873, graduating in 1875. After graduating from the École Polytechnique, Poincaré continued his studies at the École des Mines. [47]
  • Alexander Pope (1688-1744), one of the greatest and most-often quoted English poets and essayists. "From Twyford School he was expelled after writing a satire on one of the teachers. At home, Pope's aunt taught him to read. Latin and Greek he learned from a local priest and later he acquired knowledge of French and Italian poetry."[48]
  • Joseph Priestley (1733-1804), the father of modern chemistry and the discoverer of oxygen, dropped out of school as a teenager and privately learned geometry, algebra and numerous languages.[Citation Needed]
  • Bernhard Riemann (1826-1866), a German recognized as the greatest modern mathematician. He was taught at home by his father, a Lutheran minister, until he was ten. After that he was tutored by a teacher from a local school until he entered the Lyceum in Hannover at 14. [49][50]
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. President. He was educated by private tutors at home through age 14, then entered Groton, an elite private school in Massachusetts, in 1896. [51]
  • Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), U.S. President. "Roosevelt never enrolled in a public school. He was mostly instructed by private tutors until he entered Harvard College in 1876."[52]
  • George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), author. Tutored in the classics by a clerical uncle until he entered school at age 10. Left school by age 15. [53] [54][55]
  • Mark Twain (real name was Samuel Clemens) (1835-1910), American author and satirist who said, "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." Attended school through the 5th grade, where he "excelled only in spelling" and was frequently truant, then worked as a printer's apprentice for a local newspaper. His mother said, "He was always a great boy for history, and could never get tired of that kind of reading; but he hadn't any use for schoolhouses and text books." [56][57]
  • Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), Italian artist, inventor, and all-around "Renaissance man". Leonardo went to school in Vinci, where he learned to write, to read and to calculate, and was taught geometry and Latin. At 14, Leonardo moved to Florence where he began an apprenticeship in the workshop of Verrocchio. [58]
  • Andrew Wyeth (1917- ), American artist, was tutored at home until he was 18. [59]
  • Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), considered the finest architect ever, was homeschooled by his mother who dreamed that he would become an architect. She used "Froebel's geometric blocks to entertain and educate her son" as his father led the family among various Baptist churches, where he preached.[60] Wright then attended high school but dropped out of college.[61]

In addition, a number of prominent people have chosen to homeschool their children. David Guterson, author of the novel Snow Falling on Cedars (1994), which won the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award, also wrote Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense (1992), an account of his family's homeschooling journey. [62] Actor and recording artist Will Smith and his wife actress Jada Pinkett Smith homeschool their children. [63]. Roseanne Barr stated in an interview that she has started to homeschool her 11-year-old son.[64] Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, also homeschools.[65] Kristin Maguire, head of the South Carolina board of education, which governs all its public schools, homeschools all four of her children.[66]

Arguably Homeschooled

Lists abound of famous homeschooled achievers, some more accurate than others.[67][68]. The following people have been found on such lists. Their educational background has not yet been researched by Conservapedia editors. [Note: everyone is invited to find citations for these listed below and with the citations move them up to the category above.]


  1. [1] Homeschooling in the United States: 2003 Statistical Analysis Report, National Center for Educational Statistics, NCES 2006-042, Feb 2006
  2. Christian Examiner, Sept. 2007, Vol 25, No 9, Pg 1
  3. Home Schooling in the United States: Trends and Characteristics, by Kurt J. Bauman, Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau, August 2001, Working Paper Series No. 53 [2]
  4. Homeschooling in the United States: 2003 Statistical Analysis Report, National Center for Educational Statistics, NCES 2006-042, Feb 2006>[3]
  5. Schoolhouse rocked "home schooling has gone main stream, especially in Massachusetts. It's estimated that as many as 20,000 children here have abandoned test-crazy public schools and high-priced private schools for the comfort of the living room couch. But most surprising of all is that Harvard, BU, Brown, and other colleges are welcoming home-schoolers like all other students." Source for Williams College admission officer's quote, 20% figure.
  6. College acceptance rates: Williams, 19.2%. U. S. News and World Report
  7. HSLDA: State Laws Concerning Participation of Homeschool Students in Public School Activities [4]
  8. HSLDA: Alabama - Legislation for Participation in Public School Activities[5]
  9. New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association
  10. Compulsory Education, National Conference of State Legislatures: "More than 150 years have passed since Horace Mann helped Massachusetts establish a statewide system of education that eventually led to the requirement that all children attend public school. In 1852, Massachusetts became the first state to pass compulsory school attendance laws, and by 1918, all states required children to receive an education."
  11. http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/kellmeyer/050428
  12. id.
  13. Calvert School Homeschooling: A Century of Tradition and Innovation [6]
  14. http://www.moorefoundation.com/article.php?id=2
  15. Micklethwait, John and Adrian Wooldridge, The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America. Penguin, 2004. pp. 190-1
  16. "Parents Accused in Home Schooling," The New York Times, July 28, 1974, p. 45
  17. Belluck, Pam (1998), "Life After Home Schooling," The New York Times, November 1, 1998, p. ED26: "Some 15 years after states began legalizing home schooling in earnest, these early graduates are starting to make their way in the world."
  18. http://wy.essortment.com/anseladamsbio_rjrq.htm
  19. White House Dream Team: Clara Barton[7]
  20. Clara Harlowe Barton, Source: "Historical Times Encyclopedia of the Civil War" edited by Patricia L. Faust [8]
  21. Frontier Nursing Service[9]
  22. http://www.education-reform.net/dropouts.htm
  23. http://www.carnegieinstitution.org/carnegiemedal/background.html
  24. E.T. Bell, "Men of Mathematics," 273 (1937).
  25. http://james.fabpedigree.com/mathmen.htm#Cauchy
  26. http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Biographies/Chebyshev.html
  27. PBS Mystery Series "Miss Marple" site: Biography of Agatha Christie[10]
  28. William Manchester, "The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, VISIONS OF GLORY 1874-1932 (Little Brown & Co.).
  29. http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bledison.htm
  30. http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Erdos.html
  31. E.T. Bell, "Men of Mathematics" 57 (1937)
  32. E.T. Bell, "Men of Mathematics," 362 (1937). Galois' life was tragically cut short at age 20 in a duel, and his work was published posthumously.[scidiv.bcc.ctc.edu/Math/Galois.html]
  33. E.T. Bell, "Men of Mathematics," 340-41 (1937).
  34. Hanson: The All American Boys[11]
  35. Hangin With Presents Hanson[12]
  36. Open Connections Program, Women Working 1800-1930, Harvard University Library: Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910)[13]
  37. E.T. Bell, "Men of Mathematics," 327 (1937).
  38. "As a child she was taught domestic skills as well as her religion by her mother. ... It was my mother alone who taught me the 'Our Father' and 'Hail Mary' and the 'Creed;' and from none other was I taught my faith."A Short Biography of Saint Joan of ArcNew Advent - Catholic Encyclopedia - St. Joan of ArcBiography of Joan of Arc
  39. Lewis, C. S., Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, London: Harvest Books (1955) ISBN 0-1568-7011-8
  40. http://www.civilwarhome.com/lincolnbio.htm
  41. http://www.fractalwisdom.com/FractalWisdom/fractal.html
  42. The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
  43. Book Browse Author Biography: Christopher Paolini[14]
  44. E.T. Bell, "Men of Mathematics," 74-76 (1937).
  45. http://www.pattonhq.com/unknown/chap01.html The Patton Society ("The Early Years")]
  46. http://www.freeinfosociety.com/site.php?postnum=517
  47. Jules Henri Poincaré[15]
  48. http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/apope.htm
  49. School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews, Scotland -- Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann, by: J J O'Connor and E F Robertson[16]
  50. http://www.andrews.edu/~calkins/math/biograph/199899/bioriema.htm
  51. The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers. "Franklin D. Roosevelt." Teaching Eleanor Roosevelt, ed. by Allida Black, June Hopkins, et. al. (Hyde Park, New York: Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, 2003). [17]
  52. http://law.enotes.com/presidential-biography/theodore-roosevelt-administrations/education
  53. Encyclopedia of World Biography on George Bernard Shaw[18]
  54. Dictionary of Literary Biography on George Bernard Shaw[19]
  55. George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950 Biographical Sketch[20]
  56. The Mark Twain House and Museum: Biography of Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain [21]
  57. The Project Gutenberg EBook of Mark Twain, by Archibald Henderson [22]
  58. Leonardo da Vinci[23]
  59. The Homeschooling of Andrew Wyeth, A Conversation with the Artist, Gifted Children Monthly, May 1986, Vol 7 No. 5.[24]
  60. http://freenet.buffalo.edu/bah/a/archs/wright/bio/index.html
  61. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0942394/bio
  62. www.randomhouse.com: David Guterson [25]
  63. Reader's Digest: Will Power: Will Smith is One Driven Guy[26]
  64. Reuters Interview - Roseanne Barr says age gives her a louder voice [27]
  65. http://reason.com/news/show/119689.html
  66. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2008/01/09/17stjour.h27.html
  67. http://www.eadshome.com/Famoushomeschooled.htm
  68. http://www.education-reform.net/dropouts.htm

See also

External links