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Archive 1 (20th March 2008)

Snipping George Bernard Shaw and Mark Twain

I'm removing

Both men had complex opinions that varied during the course of their lives, but calling them "Christian" is a stretch. My reasons for excluding Shaw are given above. As for Mark Twain, he did write a sympathetic book about Joan of Arc. However, his writings are replete with sarcastic and dismissive remarks about organized religion. He refused to let "Letters from the Earth" be published until after his death. In Mark Twain's Letters, we read:

From a gentleman in Buffalo Clemens one day received a letter inclosing an incompleted list of the world's "One Hundred Greatest Men," men who had exerted "the largest visible influence on the life and activities of the race." The writer asked that Mark Twain examine the list and suggest names, adding "would you include Jesus, as the founder of Christianity, in the list?" To the list of statesmen Clemens added the name of Thomas Paine; to the list of inventors, Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. The question he answered in detail.

Twain's answer was that if the compiler of the list added Jesus, he should also add Satan: "From A.D. 350 to A.D. 1850 these gentlemen exercised a vaster influence over a fifth part of the human race than was exercised over that fraction of the race by all other influences combined. Ninety-nine hundredths of this influence proceeded from Satan, the remaining fraction of it from Jesus."

Twain has been labelled "deist," "agnostic," and "atheist." Gary Sloan suggests (Mark Twain's Covert War with his Maker) that he believed in a malignant God, and says "Viewing Satan as a heroic rebel against the real Archfiend, Twain came to identify with the fallen cherub and often used him as a mouthpiece." Perhaps his views were so complex that he was all of these things and a Christian at the same time, but he was certainly not a Christian as the term is ordinarily meant. Dpbsmith 20:03, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

But if they were homeschooled, shouldn't they be in the "other" section of the list? Human 18:21, 4 May 2007 (EDT)
Sure. That section didn't exist when I removed them; it was a single list of Christians. Dpbsmith 20:32, 4 May 2007 (EDT)
Doing. Human 21:25, 4 May 2007 (EDT)

The part on Mark Twain doesn't even discuss him being homeschooled, only him completing five grades of school. Also the majority of the people on the list were born before state sponsored public schooling. Rellik 22:56, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

You're in the wrong place if you want to censor information from the page.--Aschlafly 23:09, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

Cleaning up the list - putting uncited people on the talk page

The list of homeschooled people for whom there are no citations has been here for too long, IMHO. I am moving these people here, to the discussion page. I hope this is OK with all of you. As each person's education is researched and cited, we can add them back to the list, preferably with a brief sentence explaining who they are and what form their education took (as we have now already for several people). As discussed above, I think it will be easier to describe the religious beliefs of each person individually (if needed in this context), rather than try to decide if they are generically Christian or not. Please jump in and research one of these people so we can build up this article. --Hsmom 15:09, 5 May 2007 (EDT)

I left in Adam Yahiye Gadahn, John Walker Lindh, George Bernard Shaw, and Mark Twain, because their entries had *something* other than their names, and because they were discussed quite a bit here; however these can/should be improved by adding a brief description of who they are/were, adding a brief description of their education, and/or adding citations, preferably ones that describe their education. --Hsmom 15:29, 5 May 2007 (EDT)
Cleaned up the George Bernard Shaw entry.--Hsmom 18:41, 5 May 2007 (EDT)
If it were up to me I'd make this list contemporary (20th century, maybe 19th too) personalities. As it was pointed out earlier, as the homeschooling term is used today, the majority of these wouldn't count. Also, way back in the day, practically everyone was homeschooled. Jrssr5 12:17, 7 May 2007 (EDT)
Do we really need this comprehensive a list? Isn't it enough to point out a few folks who were homeschooled? Flippin 12:28, 7 May 2007 (EDT)
Folks, I saw that list from a source and have reinserted. I took out the ridiculous Lindh reference and other liberal bias. For example, the entry did not even say that most homeschooling today is done to preserve the Christian faith! Frankly, this entry looked like something one would see on Wikipedia. We're not trying to be like Wikipedia here. Thanks and I'll try to find citations for the names I reinserted. Help is welcome.--Aschlafly 00:09, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
I saw that list from "a source," too, but it was just that: a list. Some homeschooling-related site. It did not say where the list came from nor did it give any sources at all. I think the list may be just bouncing around the Internet. What was your source? Dpbsmith 09:44, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
For example, the entry did not even say that most homeschooling today is done to preserve the Christian faith! I'm not sure I agree with this. It is not supported by the citation given for that paragraph. In fact, religion was *third* in the list of reasons for homeschooling provided in the citation, with only 29.8% citing it as their most important reason. If you are going to assert this, it would be best to add an additional citation that backs it up. --Hsmom 09:14, 8 May 2007 (EDT) According to the US Census, 33% cited Religion as a motivation for HS. My citation is older than the one used in this article. Mine says 33% cite religion (not Christianity, but Religion) and the more recent survey cited by ASchafly says 29% cite Religion. Homeschoolin is becoming more and more popular and common and the fastest growing group of HSers are not citeing religion as thier motivation. This is a very interesting development. May 8 [Third Day]

OK, fine, I'll look for citations and add them. But I've personally taught over 120 homeschoolers, and I'd say religion is the motivation for 100 or so of them. The other reasons given, such as avoidance of drugs in school, are not even factors for the vast majority of homeschoolers.
Also, I will find more citations for the 61 people under the "arguably homeschooled" list and move them to the higher list.--Aschlafly 09:55, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
I'm guessing that your classes are taught from an Evangelical Christian perspective, which would make it less likely that non-Christians would sign up for them. You may also know other Christian homeschoolers from church and other social activities. In addition, Christian homeschooling groups often ask members to sign a statement of faith, effectively excluding those who aren't Christian - if one of these groups is your main contact with the homeschooling community, you will get a very skewed impression of the homeschooling population. So it makes sense that the majority of homeschoolers you know are Christian and that they homeschool "to protect the Christian faith of their children and to preserve their family values." For many Evangelical Christian homeschoolers, this is a good thing - they want to raise their children in a community of people who share their beliefs and values. But there have always been homeschoolers who are doing it for reasons of educational philosophy (wanting more of a child-led approach, or stronger academics than their local public school, or logistics (like if the family travels frequently due to Dad's job), or issues with their particular child (like Aspberger's syndrome), etc.), and this category is growing as homeschooling becomes more mainstream. (Growing Without Schooling, a secular homeschooling magazine, started publication in 1977.) In addition, some of those who homeschool for religious reasons are not Christian - they may be homeschooling to protect the Jewish faith of their children, for example. Certainly personal experience is a useful data point, and surveying homeschoolers can be quite difficult. Perhaps you can find some research to support your claim. Let's just be careful when we extrapolate based on our own experiences. We need to set a good example for our students.--Hsmom 16:12, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
Your comment has some truth but lacks a sense of proportion. Parents who homeschool to keep their kids off drugs are about 1/1000th as many as parents who homeschool for Christian purposes. Your comments and edits to the entry seem to avoid recognizing the obvious: the bulk of homeschoolers are doing it for Christian reasons. There is a whole college devoted to this market (Patrick Henry College). How many colleges are there for atheistic homeschoolers? Our entries need to reflect reality, and reality includes proportions. Thanks.--Aschlafly 16:20, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
Aschlafly, I completely agree that keeping kids off of drugs does not, in my experience, drive a lot of parents to homeschool. (On the other hand, I do not live in the inner city - my experience might be different than families in whose neighborhoods drugs are a more serious presence.) I would still disagree, though, that the bulk of homeschoolers are doing it for Christian reasons. I know many Evangelical Christian homeschoolers who are homeschooling to preserve their children's Christian faith. However, I also know many homeschoolers of other faiths, and many who are Christian or Catholic but for whom faith is not among their reasons for homeschooling. I wrote the "reasons" paragraph based on the study I cited. I believe someone above cited another study, which also found that it was not the case that a majority of homeschoolers did so for religious reasons. I am willing to believe that my personal observations and these two studies are not representative of the homeschooling population, if we can find something to back that up. These are certianly not the only studies out there, and I think it would be good if we can find some other references to compare to them. --Hsmom 16:40, 8 May 2007 (EDT)

Arguably Homeschooled

How do you define homeschooled? Had some education at home? A formal school education was available but did not attend? Dropped out of school at age something? Without such a definition, many of the names on the list are frankly, silly and/or wishful thinking. --Mtur 00:13, 8 May 2007 (EDT)

An example of this - Mark Twain is listed on the list. From the biography of Mark Twain[21] it reads:

In 1847, when Sam was 11, his father died. Shortly thereafter he left school, having completed the fifth grade, to work as a printer's apprentice for a local newspaper. His job was to arrange the type for each of the newspaper's stories, allowing Sam to read the news of the world while completing his work.

In 1847, a 5th grade education was quite sufficient for day to day life and working as an apprentice for a local newspaper was a reasonable continuation of his education. It is not homeschooling. It would probably be more useful to first put the person on the talk page and figure out if they were homeschooled and then added to the main page rather than put on the main page without refrence and then removed when they don't fit the definition (whatever that may be). --Mtur 00:24, 8 May 2007 (EDT)

I agree, Mtur. I have found several times in the past that someone on a list of this kind was not actually educated at home. I think, if we are going for a high level of accuracy that befits an encyclopedia, we should do the research ourselves first, using the talk page to discuss. Then we should add the person to the list, and be sure to explain how each person was educated. I don't think we need to have a strict definition of homeschooling; rather, we should describe each person's experience. The result will be a list with an interesting variety of approaches to education.

I've added Mark Twain's famous quote, which is proof enough.

More generally, these lists abound on the internet. I've added a cite. No one really disputes that most or all of these people, and others too, were homeschooled. We can continue to fill in cites, but there is no need to censor this info in the meantime.--Aschlafly 00:47, 8 May 2007 (EDT)

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." I don't think this is proof that he was homeschooled, only that he sees the difference between schooling and education, and realizes that education can come from places other than school. I'd like to know more about his education before adding him to the list. (But your sandbox, etc, so I'll leave him there.)
I agree that lists such as these abound - but here, a higher standard exists. It is not censorship to be sure something is accurate before adding it to the article proper, and the information is available to all on the talk page while the research is being done. Students who want to use these people as examples in their work should know enough about the individual's education to be sure it is indeed an example of what they are writing about. Brief descriptions of the person's education, along with a cite or two about it, will be very useful to our readers. A list without this information, not so much. --Hsmom 09:09, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
"Sam was always a good-hearted boy," his mother once remarked, "but he was a very wild and mischievous one, and, do what we would, we could never make him go to school. This used to trouble his father and me dreadfully, and we were convinced that he would never amount to as much in the world as his brothers, because he was not near so steady and sober-minded as they were." At school, he "excelled only in spelling"; outside of school he was the prototype of his own Huckleberry Finn, mischievous and prankish, playing truant whenever the opportunity afforded. "Often his father would start him off to school," his mother once said, "and in a little while would follow him to ascertain his whereabouts. There was a large stump on the way to the schoolhouse, and Sam would take his position behind that, and as his father went past would gradually circle around it in such a way as to keep out of sight. Finally, his father and the teacher both said it was of no use to try to teach Sam anything, because he was determined not to learn. But I never gave up. 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." [1] I'm not sure that I would consider this to be homeschooling, especially as his truancy was against his parents' wishes, though he certainly had an autodidact's view of education. I have added a fuller discription of his education to the article, so that readers can decide for themselves. --Hsmom 19:53, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
I'm breaking my self-imposed examtime exile to ask this question. Isn't it kind of facetious to say that most of those people were homeschooled, when no formal schooling existed? It's sort of like making a big fuss out of someone from the 1600s being a creationist - of course he was, there was no alternative! Or, like saying, "Jesus didn't believe in global warming." Well... of course not. The controversy didn't exist back then. It creates an idea of conscious choice and rejection of an idea, when there was no such thing. Example: Joan of Arc? There were no formal schools in France at the time. Put another way, could you name someone from before 1700 who was not homeschooled until college? Just seems a little facetious to me. K, back to the books.-Speaker 00:59, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
The point is not to say that someone succeeded by rejecting public school, but that someone succeeded from homeschooling. The latter observation is true and meaningful regardless of whether public schools existed. We don't care as much why someone was homeschooled as whether it was effective.
Sure, I can think of people who lived before 1700 but were not homeschooled: the illiterate, of whom there were many.--Aschlafly 01:11, 8 May 2007 (EDT)

Sure, that's true. But the point that others are making is that the tone of the article suggests that you're suggesting that they rejected public schools, or were part of the homeschooling "movement." Would you mind if I clarified it, to better express your point, or would you like to? Perhaps something like, "Even before public schools were active, homeschooling produced many successful people worldwide. Here are some examples"? -Speaker 01:15, 8 May 2007 (EDT)

A previous version had such a statement - I think something like that should be included. I would also argue that the statement "a disproportionate number of achievers have benefited from being homeschooled" has not been cited or proved, and I'm not sure it's accurate or (from a historical perspective), even meaningful. (See the Harvard discussion above, though of course college admittance is not a great measure of success in life - but that's a whole 'nother conversation.)--Hsmom 09:09, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
The problem with your approach is that most of the people on the list did reject formal or public school, I think.--Aschlafly 01:53, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
I don't think that's true for many of the historical figures. --Hsmom 09:09, 8 May 2007 (EDT)

I think the list, if it actually describes the education each person had, shows that there are a wide variety of approaches to education which can be successful. This can be very useful in an age where educational standardization is being pushed - having all kids learn the same material in the same grade, etc. It's also nice for homeschooled kids to see that they are not so much an oddity as part of a long line of people who did a significant amount of learning outside of school. There's a reason you often see lists of successful minorities - it is very helpful to members of the minority group to havfe these role models, even if their lives aren't exactly parallel. I agree that it's problematic to call it "homeschooling" before, say, the last 50-100 years, but "educated at home", or "educated outside of formal schools" usually fits. At the same time, I think a long list of names without individualized information about their education is not particularly useful, and quite frankly lowers the standard of research and accuracy here. Again, we are setting an example for the students, homeschooled and not, who we expect will use this information in their work. If we expect them to present work that is well-researched and cited from credible sources which are themselves clearly well-researched, shouldn't we be doing the same?--Hsmom 09:09, 8 May 2007 (EDT)

  1. In place of the list in the article, how about tagging each person's biography page with Category:Homeschooled? --Ed Poor 11:36, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
  2. Anyone educated before 1850 was probably not given "compulsory education" in the Mann or Dewey sense. In Little Women Mrs. March kept Amy home and had Jo teach her. Nothing unusual about that. We need an article on Primary education or History of education that gets into that. What proportion of children were educated, and how well? When and where? The one-room schoolroom, or a huge mega-school divided into grades by age? How about Educational reforms or "fads" like Whole language and its attack on phonics, the New math and its ineffective ways of teaching arithmetic? (I'm tutoring some of my friends' kids, and it's a nightmare trying to counter the knuckleheaded strategies they mandate for doing "word problems". --Ed Poor 11:41, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
It's enlightening to have the list in one easy-to-access place. It's striking. You might add your Little Women point also.
Arguably, the category would be easier to access than an article and would be dynamically updated as new biographies were added. --Mtur 14:47, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
As I said last night, the point is not that these individuals rejected public school (though many did), the point is that they achieved based on homeschooling. Why they homeschooled is a separate, and less important, issue.--Aschlafly 12:47, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
I like the idea of a "homeschooled" category. However, I also like the list we are beginning to create here, assuming that we are careful to include a brief description of each person's education. It's very informative and inspiring to see the wide variety of ways these people were educated.--Hsmom 16:16, 8 May 2007 (EDT)

Christopher Paolini

Aschlafly, could you explain why you deleted Christopher Paolini from the list? He is a modern homeschooler, a best-selling author of a YA book series, and was clearly homeschooled. The list entry (copied below), was detailed and cited. Isn't this the kind of thing we want in the list? I haven't read his books -- perhaps there is an issue with their content I am unaware of? I'm not trying to challenge this decision, I just want to understand it. (Or perhaps it was a mistake?) --Hsmom 16:27, 8 May 2007 (EDT)

  • Christopher Paolini (1983-), the author of the Inheritance Trilogy (Eragon, Eldest, and a third book yet unreleased). He was home-schooled 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. [2]
Originally, it was a list of "High-achieving Christians who were educated at home" (well, actually it was "homeschooled Christians" but I proposed the title change to bypass issues about the meaning of the word "homeschooled.") This was the original list. Paolini was added later, and there was some issue about whether he was Christian. I don't know whether that's why Aschlafly didn't include him, or whether Aschlafly just wanted to go back to a list whose sincerity he trusts... some people had fun from time to time adding names of individuals educated at home who are better described as "notorious" than as "high-achieving." Dpbsmith 16:57, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
The list could have come from here or here or here or here. There's probably one source for all of them but none of them credit it, much less give references for the individuals named being educated at home.
I've seen many of these lists over the years, almost none with explanations.--Hsmom 17:22, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
Of the few I fact-checked, some had problems. All of these Web lists, for example, list Franklin D. Roosevelt without comment, but Groton is not my idea of being educated at home. Conservapedia's article is currently adequately clear about Roosevelt's education. Dpbsmith 17:03, 8 May 2007 (EDT)
Yes - exactly. That's why I keep going on and on about how important it is to give a brief description of each person's education - it shows the Conservapedia reader/user what form the person's education took (leaving the *reader* to decide if it counts as "homeschooling" for the reader's purposes), and in researching the brief description, we are also validating the list. I think it's just way more useful if it has been annotated in this way.--Hsmom 17:22, 8 May 2007 (EDT)

Reference 6

I don't understand reference 6 in the article. What does it refer to? DrSandstone 11:25, 9 May 2007 (EDT)

I think it's supposed to say "ibid." I think there is a wiki markup that can be used to refer to a previously cited link, which is useful in case someone puts another footnote in between the 1st and 2nd cites, screwing up the "ibid" concept. But I forget how to do it. Human 11:59, 9 May 2007 (EDT)
"id" is short for "ibid". It's supposed to refer to the preceding reference, though it possible another reference was inserted between the two.--Aschlafly 13:11, 9 May 2007 (EDT)

Use the "name" feature of the ref tag. Format the first reference like this, with the actual reference text:

  • <ref name=cp>[ Conservapedia], main page</ref>

Format subsequent references like this:

  • <ref name=cp/>

Repeated instances of the same reference name show up in the text with the same number. In the references section itself, the entry will contain links back to all the places in the text where the named reference appeared.



Some examples of wikis include Conservapedia<ref name=cp>[ Conservapedia], main page</ref>, the FoxPro wiki<ref>[ FoxPro wiki], main page</ref>, and the CaptainWiki sailing wiki<ref>[ CaptainWiki], Cruising guides and sailing blogs</ref>. Conservapedia is a general-purpose encyclopedia with an emphasis on the conservative point of view.<ref name=cp/>


Some examples of wikis include Conservapedia[3], the FoxPro wiki[4], and the CaptainWiki sailing wiki[5].

Conservapedia is a general-purpose encyclopedia with an emphasis on the conservative point of view.[3]


There have been two introductory sentences to our list of prominent homeschoolers:

  • Throughout history, a disproportionate[Citation Needed] number of achievers have benefited from being homeschooled. Here is a growing list of some of them:
  • Throughout history, some high-profile people have been educated at home, though it should be noted that prior to the 19th century most children worldwide were educated within their family. Here is a list of some of them:
I think the first sentence is problematic because it makes a claim that is not supported by any kind of citation (disproportionate). I also think it would be hard to prove such a claim, because people's education was so varied before the twentieth century. For example, I don't mind including Mark Twain in our list of people educated outside of formal schooling, because I think he is an interesting case of someone who didn't have much of a traditional school-based education, yet went on to become a writer whose works are still in print a century later. However, I think many people of his time had only a 5th grade education, so if we were going to seriously look at the numbers, I don't think we could count him as "homeschooled". Can we work together here to come up with a sentence we can all agree on? Here's my first attempt (below) - please feel free to use it as a starting point for creating something better. Let's work on this here on the talk page until we reach consensus. --Hsmom 09:47, 13 May 2007 (EDT)
  • Throughout history, some prominent people have received some or all of their education outside of formal schooling. (Note that prior to the 19th century, many children were educated at home.) Here is a growing list of people whose educational backgrounds were quite different than today's norm.

Spelling of Homeschooling

Dpbsmith - Can I get some advice - I think you're probably the best person to ask. The Williams article uses "home-schoolers", which is largely rejected by the homeschooling community (at least in my experience). Should it get a (sic), especially since the article here uses homeschoolers? (This whole spelling thing is a pet peeve of many homeschoolers.) Oh, and nice job on the college paragraph - and a double super nice job on the Mothers Day article! --Hsmom 19:49, 15 May 2007 (EDT)

Re the "spelling thing:" it's an issue I was unaware of. What's disliked about the hyphen? For what it's worth, the American Heritage Dictionary says:
VARIANT FORMS: or home-school
VERB: Inflected forms: home·schooled, home·school·ing, home·schools
TRANSITIVE VERB: to instruct (a pupil, for example) in an educational program outside of established schools, especially in the home.
INTRANSITIVE VERB: To provide educational instruction in a homeschool.
NOUN: A school operated outside established educational institutions, especially in a home.
OTHER FORMS: homeschooler
Their giving "home-school" as a "variant" would justify a [sic], so let's do that. Unfortunately there's another question: is a homeschooler a teacher, as their definition suggests, and, if so, what is the right word for a homeschooled pupil?
Anyway, sure, for now let's just put in the [sic] without explanation... until someone feels like writing a section on terminology and usage. Dpbsmith 16:37, 16 May 2007 (EDT)
What's disliked about the hyphen? OK - not sure if I can write this well enough to make sense, but here goes. It's kind of like breastfeeding vs. breast feeding. It's the difference between a noun modified by an adjective, vs. a noun with a separate meaning. That is, breastfeeding is more than just feeding at the breast, more than just a different kind of feeding - it also provides antibodies to protect against disease, it has beneficial effects on mom's body, etc. Thus it deserves a noun all to itself. Same with homeschooling. It's more/different than just schooling that happens at home. Homeschooling includes opportunities and approaches to education that are dramatically different than what you'd find in school. Homeschooling is also often integrated into family life, so much so that it is often impossible to differentiate between the two. For example, reading a book for pleasure - for school kids, this is a "home" activity that has nothing to do with school. For homeschoolers, it is both school and not-school, wrapped up in each other (though of course both sets of kids obviously learn from reading on their own). In fact, homeschoolers talk about people doing "school at home", which generally describes trying to re-create the school model in the home without taking advantage of any of the benefits unique to homeschooling. It is not generally used in a positive context. "Home schooling" or "home-schooling" is often seen in articles written *about* homeschoolers by someone else - many spell checkers will flag "homeschooling", and many journalists will insist that their style guidelines don't allow "homeschooling". Nonetheless, almost everything written *by* homeschoolers uses the one-word form. It's one of those "call members of a minority what they want to be called" issues. (BTW - not trying to make a value judgment here - though I enjoy homeschooling, and it's been good for my kids, I think different kinds of schooling are appropriate for different kids & families - there is no "one best way" to educate children, IMHO.)
As to who is the homeschooler, I would use "she is homeschooled" or "she is homeschooling" or "she is a homeschooler" to refer to the student; "she is homeschooling" or "she is a homeschooling mom" or "she homeschools her kids" to refer to the mom. "She is a homeschooler" referring to the mom is less common, I think because mom can't homeschool without the kids, but I would hesitate to call it incorrect - I would prefer "she is homeschooling" or "she homeschools". "They are homeschoolers", referring to the family, is appropriate. I guess when you're referring to the students and teacher(s) collectively it's right to call them all homeschoolers, but not so much the teacher by herself. (Excuse the sexist language here!)
Note that in some states there is language that comes from the laws in that state. In some states, homeschoolers must be enrolled in some kind of "umbrella school" which provides oversight - technically, these are private school students. In Britain, homeschoolers are "educated otherwise" (if I remember right), from a phrase in their law. In Pennsylvania law there is no such thing as homeschooling - children are "home educated" or "privately tutored" or "enrolled in a public cyber-charter school" - this last one is very controversial, as most independent homeschoolers insist that students in schools run by the government are not homeschoolers, even if they do school at home. (Got that?! Public cyber-charter schools are essentially publicly-funded internet-based correspondence schools.) The idea here is that we must be careful not to confuse, especially in the mind of the general public and the legislature, traditional self-funded homeschooling and publicly-funded school-at-home. The concern is that such confusion could lead to more governmental oversight - if government money is being spent, then accountability (and control, and standardization) soon follows, and with accountability homeschoolers tend to be forced into doing things in a very school-at-home way, which many of us feel takes away the most effective parts of homeschooling. But that's a whole 'nother can of worms. --Hsmom 20:21, 16 May 2007 (EDT)
Got it. Well articulated. The points about publicly-funded officially-supervised schooling at home is interesting. I think these topics ought to be touched on in the article. Dpbsmith 11:36, 17 May 2007 (EDT)


  1. The Project Gutenberg EBook of Mark Twain, by Archibald Henderson [1]
  2. Book Browse Author Biography: Christopher Paolini[2]
  3. 3.0 3.1 Conservapedia, main page
  4. FoxPro wiki, main page
  5. CaptainWiki, Cruising guides and sailing blogs

Notice something

Notice that all the famous people home schooled are very old or even dead? Hard to imagine Stephen Hawking being home schooled.

Homeschooling as a modern phenomenon has only been around for a short time. As most people who become famous for Great Things do so later in life, it will be a while before the results of this Grand Experiment emerge. In addition, many Christian homeschoolers aspire to paths that don't typically result in fame, such as missionary work, etc. Still, point taken - we should add some modern folks.--Hsmom 16:39, 18 May 2007 (EDT)

Realizing that homeschooling is primarily an alternative to public schools. Most homeschooling parents homeschool their children because for whatever reason they are dissatisfied with the public schools. I think that it harms the credability of this website to smack the label of homeschooling on anyone who predates public schools as we now think of them; most people back then would fit the loose standard for "homeschooled" on this page. For example, Jesus is listed as "arguably homeschooled". There is really can be no evidence for this and even if ther was his education would probably not fit our idea of homeschooling today--Ben Talk 16:49, 18 May 2007 (EDT)

Daniel Webster - Homeschooled? Or not so much?

I'm not convinced that Daniel Webster can be described as "homeschooled", even though he got some college-prep tutoring. Here's what I've found about his education, combined with what Aschlafly has written. FWIW, the Dartmouth site is the most extensive, with lots of useful quotes from primary sources; the Notable Names site ("updated as weather permits") seems the least scholarly, but I'm not finding much contradiction. There is a heck of a lot of schooling here, at a level way beyond most people of his time. I welcome everyone's thoughts.--Hsmom 21:39, 20 May 2007 (EDT)

  • Daniel Webster (1782-1852), prominent U.S. Senator and Secretary of State, recognized as one of the greatest orators in history. As the author of the first American dictionary, he is considered the father of the English language in America. Born in Salisbury, N.H., he attended district schools[1] as a young lad.[2] He attended Phillips-Exeter Academy for about nine months in 1794. [3] Webster was then tutored by the Rev. Samuel Wood to prepare him to pass the rigorous oral exam required for entrance to Dartmouth.[4] In August of 1797[5], at the age of 16,[6] he enrolled in Dartmouth College, from which he graduated in 1801. [7]
Why doesn't this prove that Daniel Webster was homeschooled for high school? In addition, the passing reference about attending "district school" before that would not have amounted to much in the 1700s, particularly in New Hampshire. Those schools were not full-time school like today, and he would likely have learned the basics at home. The other links to Webster don't even mention the "district schools."--Aschlafly 21:44, 20 May 2007 (EDT)
I've been a bit confused about when he was at Exeter - looking into it further, according to a biography he wrote in 1829, he entered in May, 1796 and he left in Jan 1797.[8] He was with Rev. Woods for no more than 7 months - he started in Feb 1797 and by Aug 1797 he had entered Dartmouth. As to the district schools, it sounds like his family went to great lengths to have him attend them. From the same source: My father seemed to have no higher object in the world, than to educate his children, to the full extent of his very limited ability. No means were within his reach, generally speaking but the small town schools. These were kept by teachers, sufficiently indifferent, in the several neighborhoods of the township, each a small part of the year. To these I was sent, with the other children. When the school was in our neighborhood, it was easy to attend; when it removed to a more distant district* I followed it, still living at home…When it removed still further, my father sometimes boarded me out*, in a neighboring family, so that I could still be in the school. I don't think we can ignore this, even if he, like many "youngest kids", learned to read from his mother or siblings at home. I can see your point, but I think it's a stretch to include him. Let's hear what other folks think.--Hsmom 22:27, 20 May 2007 (EDT)
The Phillips-Exeter dates look wrong. People don't start high school in May at age 17. Nor would it make sense for Rev. Woods to tutor Webster for only a few months. There is at least a three year gap there to prepare for college, as one would expect, I think.--Aschlafly 23:25, 20 May 2007 (EDT)
He would have been about 14 (1796 minus 1782), which jives with a couple of other sources which mention his age but not the year. The 1794 date comes from the Notable Names Database Weblog article, which doesn't look particularly scholarly and includes no citations. We could work it out more accurately if we looked up his birthday. [Why don't I do that! He was born January 18, 1782, which would make him 14 in May of 1796 when he entered Exeter (according to the autobiography quote), and 15 (give or take a few days) when he left. He would have started with Rev. Wood at 15, and been almost 16 (well, 15 1/2) by the time he began Dartmouth in Aug 1797.] I agree that May sounds like an odd time to start school, but I believe the British system, on which Phillips-Exeter may have been modeled, has different terms (semesters) than we are used to. 14 is the right age for high school today, and I do believe Dartmouth as to the dates he was there. Perhaps we can find more information to verify or refute the Exeter dates. Don't forget that Rev. Woods had planned to have Webster for longer: Mr. Wood put me upon Virgil and Tully; and I conceived a pleasure in the study of them, especially the latter, which rendered application no longer a task... In the spring I began the Greek grammar, and at midsummer Mr. Wood said to me: "I expected to keep you till next year, but I am tired of you, and I shall put you into college next month. [9] He also said that he was miserably prepared, both in Latin and Greek, which is not surprising if he only studied for a few months! (Same source)--Hsmom 23:48, 20 May 2007 (EDT)
Ah, here we go. Phillips Exeter themselves put the date as May 14, 1796, age 14. [10]--Hsmom 23:59, 20 May 2007 (EDT)

The Wright Brothers - Homeschooled? Or not?

The article says:

  • Orville and Wilbur Wright, inventors of the airplane. They did attend some school, but also learned at home from their father, who was a conservative minister, and their mother, who was the top mathematician in her college class.[11] Neither Wright Brother earned a high school diploma, let alone college, and Orville Wright left high school after his junior year.[12]
Looking at the sources given, I saw that both brothers went to school, that Wilbur earned a high school diploma (but never picked up his certificate), and Orville left after 11th grade. While their parents taught them some interesting things (as do all good parents), I didn't see anything that implied that this was ever in lieu of going to school. While I'd love to claim these two as "one of us" (homeschoolers, that is), the sources given don't seem to give me any grounds to do so. Am I missing something? I'd like us to have a strong, well-researched list of people with interesting educational backgrounds. I welcome everyone's thoughts. --Hsmom 23:22, 20 May 2007 (EDT)


I have cleaned up the two lists of homeschoolers based on the discussions above. I have removed the Wright Brothers and Daniel Webster - if further research and discussion in the sections above shows them to be homeschoolers, we can add them back in. I have also moved two people from the first list to the second, because they didn't have any explanation of their education or any references. Because of our experience with the Wrights and Webster, we must view anyone on a "Famous Homeschooler" list we find on the internet with skepticism - they may have been homeschooled, but we should be careful to document their actual education before adding them to the first list. It would probably to be a good idea to change the paragraph introducing the second list to make it clear that these people have not been researched or verified as homeschoolers. By the way, thanks to everyone who has contributed to this article - I think it is shaping up nicely!--Hsmom 09:23, 23 May 2007 (EDT)

Joan of Arc

I've been researching Joan of Arc's education, and I'm not sure it qualifies as homeschooling, at least as we think of homeschooling today. She was taught religion and domestic skills by her mother, as are most girls, then and now. She could not read or write, and I found nothing about her going to school or being taught any academic skills. So while (like most children of her time) she did not go to school, and while I have great respect for traditional women's skills and the way they have been passed from mother to daughter for centuries (regardless of whether the daughters also went to school or not), I don't think I would consider this to be "homeschooling" - it is, IMHO, "mothering" or "raising your daughter" - the kinds of things that most mothers do for their daughters. Below are a few quotes. Thoughts? --Hsmom 20:07, 19 June 2007 (EDT)

As a child she was taught domestic skills as well as her religion by her mother. Joan would later say, "As for spinning and sewing, I fear no woman in Rouen." And again, "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."[13]
She never learned to read or write but was skilled in sewing and spinning...[14]
"It was from my mother that I learned the Pater Noster, the Ave Maria, and the Credo", and "to sew linen fabrics and to spin wool, and when it comes to spinning and sewing I fear no woman..."[15]

That is homeschooling. There is no requirement that homeschooling include a particular curriculum. Joan of Arc should be included. It is not true that most mothers teach religion, the Pater Noster, the Ave Maria, the Credo and skills to their public-schooled children. I'll revert the deletion of her name, even using your cites above.--Aschlafly 14:30, 4 July 2007 (EDT)

It is not true that most mothers teach religion, the Pater Noster, the Ave Maria, the Credo and skills to their public-schooled children. I'm not sure what you mean here - do you mean that most mothers don't teach religion at all? Or that most mothers of public-schooled children don't? I'm talking here of religious families. If those mothers (and of course fathers) don't teach their children religion, who does? I think that, in a devout home, most kids learn the Lord's Prayer etc. (or whatever prayers are appropriate for their religion) from their mother or their father - hearing their parents say them daily, during mealtime and bedtime prayers, etc. They also hear it from other family members and in church. It's woven into the fabric of their family life. I think that's even more the case in Joan of Arc's time. In a devout home, children learn these things even before they are of school age. In addition, girls throughout history learned spinning and sewing because that was their job in the family - the same way children today learn to load the dishwasher or to mow the lawn. Is it homeschooling? I can see both sides of it, and if you feel strongly that Joan of Arc should be included, then that's OK with me. But in terms of our list of famous homeschoolers, I don't think it makes sense to individually list all those people from earlier times who learned religion and basic life skills (and maybe even a trade) from their parents and never even had the opportunity to go to school. Perhaps it would be best to address it by writing a paragraph explaining that learning by your parents' side was the norm for the vast majority of people in those days - going to school was only for the elite. We could rename our list "Prominent people of the Modern Era who were educated at home" - well, "of the modern era" isn't great, but I'm sure we could think of something better - "Of the last 350 years" perhaps. --Hsmom 22:29, 5 July 2007 (EDT)
Joan of Arc was homeschooled. This isn't complex. No, most parents of public-schooled children do NOT teach their children the things that Joan of Arc learned at home. Were most children who went on to achievement homeschooled at the time of Joan of Arc? I don't know, but that fact does not affect whether Joan of Arc was homeschooled. She was.--Aschlafly 22:53, 5 July 2007 (EDT)
Andy, by this logic you could include every human being prior to about 1700, and even most humans after 1700. In Joan of Arc's time, there were no public primary schools, therefore nearly everyone was educated by their parents. NonXtianConservative 14:42, 4 July 2007 (EDT)
No, that doesn't follow. Not everyone who failed to attend a public school was homeschooled. Ever heard of Plato's Academy? That was a few years before 1700.
The point of this entry is not to criticize public schools anyway. But if you want to insert a supported statement that public schools did not exist before 1700, please go ahead and do so.--Aschlafly 14:45, 4 July 2007 (EDT)
Plato's academy was the equivalent of secondary and post secondary education, not primary education. Children learned to read and write from their parents, and so it follows that if their parents couldn't read or write, then the children almost certainly wouldn't be able to either.
Even into Joan of Arc's time, formal education was the province of the noble classes and what little group schooling existed was conducted by the church, not the state. Since most people were not members of a noble family, they would not have been educated in a group setting, but instead instructed by their parents. It wasn't until the advent of state sponsored public schooling that formal education became more widespread.
I realize that your goal is to present homeschooling as superior to public schooling, and you think that by presenting these towering giants of history as homeschooled that it helps your case, but the truth is that what you call homeschooling was the de facto method of learning for the vast majority of humanity the world over, and the handful of great individuals that arose from it are a measure of statistics, not of the superiority of the home-school. Certainly, if you're the child of a Bill Gates or a Richard Feynman you might get more at the foot of your parent than in an average public school, but if you're the son of Joe Ditchdigger or Jane Grocery Bagger then you're likely better off in a public school. A parent who is not well educated themselves is unlikely to be able to instruct their children to become better educated than they are. NonXtianConservative 15:56, 4 July 2007 (EDT)

George Washington Carver

Yet again, when researching someone on the "Arguably Homeschooled" list, I've come up with little support for the argument. George Washington Carver, born a slave, didn't go to school until age 10, but I'm not sure I would call his education before this "homeschooling". More accurately, his education was delayed until he could attend school. The lack of schooling is not the same thing as homeschooling. What do you all think? --Hsmom 21:26, 24 June 2007 (EDT)

Carver was born a slave near Diamond, Missouri, during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Around age ten he left the farm where he was born and traveled through the Midwest doing odd jobs to support his education. Carver studied constantly and attended schools wherever possible, finally graduating from high school in Minneapolis, Kansas, in 1885. That same year he passed the entrance examination at Highland College in northeastern Kansas. But when school officials learned he was black, he was prevented from attending. In 1891 Carver was admitted to the Iowa State College of Agricultural and Mechanical Arts (now Iowa State University) in Ames. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1894, becoming the first black to graduate from the college. After graduation, Carver was appointed to the faculty as an assistant botanist. While teaching, he pursued his master’s degree, studying fungus diseases and classification of plants. In 1896 he received his master’s degree. That year, at the invitation of American educator Booker T. Washington, Carver became the director of agricultural research at Tuskegee Institute, where he remained for the rest of his life.[16]
He began his formal education at the age of twelve, which required him to leave the home of his adopted parents. Schools segregated by race at that time with no school available for black students near Carver's home. He moved to Newton County in southwest Missouri, where he worked as a farm hand and studied in a one-room schoolhouse. He went on to attend Minneapolis High School in Kansas. College entrance was a struggle, again because of racial barriers. At the age of thirty, Carver gained acceptance to Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, where he was the first black student. Carver had to study piano and art and the college did not offer science classes. Intent on a science career, he later transferred to Iowa Agricultural College (now Iowa State University) in 1891, where he gained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1894 and a Master of Science degree in bacterial botany and agriculture in 1897. [17]

Leonardo da Vinci

Here is another from the Arguably Homeschooled list for whom I've been able to find little evidence of homeschooling. Perhaps further searching will turn up more. Until then, I suggest we take da Vinci off the list. --Hsmom 22:00, 24 June 2007 (EDT)

In Vinci Leonardo went to school. Vasari told that teachers of Leonardo da Vinci were despaired about all the questions and doubts of Leonardo. Leonardo learned at school to write, to read and to calculate. Also he was taught in geometry and Latin. Later Leonardo tried to improve his knowledge in Latin, because he thought that he didn't learn enough at school in Latin. Perhaps this is the reason why Leonardo did his notes in Italian. Leonardo lived in Vinci until 1466. With the age of 14 Leonardo moved to Florence where he began an apprenticeship in the workshop of Verrocchio.[18]

Our "Arguably Homeschooled" list is proving to be very inaccurate.

While I understand the logic of having the list in the article, I am finding so many people on the list to have educational backgrounds that I would not consider to be homeschooling that I think we need to reconsider. I suggest we move the list back to the talk page - the level of error is just too high to consider this list credible. Once researched, people who are shown to actually have been educated at home can be put on the "Prominent people who were educated at home" list, along with an explanation of their education and citations showing the facts. Thoughts? Opinions? --Hsmom 22:00, 24 June 2007 (EDT)

Indeed. Some very basic fact checking shows that a number of the people on the list were clearly not homeschooled. Both were added by Mr Schlafly. Andy, are you just pulling these names from your nether regions, or did you bother to check if what you were posting was actually accurate? I notice you've removed some of my additions, who were certainly homeschooled since they lived in countries without formal education systems. Why was this done, Andy? Because they weren't Christian? I thought Non Christian Conservatives were welcome here... that's what your front page says. NonXtianConservative 22:11, 5 July 2007 (EDT)

Famous Dropouts vs. Famous Homeschoolers

This reference [19], currently in the Arguably Homeschooled section, is a list of dropouts, not a list of homeschoolers. While some overlap is possible, and a few people on the list are indeed arguably homeschooled, most are not. I do not think we should be equating dropouts with homeschoolers. I think we should keep the reference here on the talk page, to get ideas for adding to the list of Prominent People who were Educated at Home. I think it may be a good idea to remove it from the Arguably Homeschooled section. Thoughts? Input?--Hsmom 21:40, 24 June 2007 (EDT)

Henri Poincaré

I am a bit confused about Poincare's education. While I have found several references stating that his mother tutored him, it's unclear whether this was just during his illness with diphtheria. It's unclear when he was ill, or how long he was ill. He entered school at age 8 and stayed there 11 years, going on to higher education after that. Most of the references I found seem to rely on (or copy) the entry from the Encyclopedia Britannica, which is not clear. Personally, I'm not comfortable calling him "homeschooled" without further clarification of his education. --Hsmom 22:47, 5 July 2007 (EDT)

Henri was "... ambidextrous and was nearsighted; during his childhood he had poor muscular coordination and was seriously ill for a time with diphtheria. He received special instruction from his gifted mother and excelled in written composition while still in elementary school." In 1862 [when he would have been about 8] Henri entered the Lycée in Nancy (now renamed the Lycée Henri Poincaré in his honour). He spent eleven years at the Lycée and during this time he proved to be one of the top students in every topic he studied. Henri was described by his mathematics teacher as a "monster of mathematics" and he won first prizes in the concours général, a competition between the top pupils from all the Lycées across France. Poincaré entered the École Polytechnique in 1873, graduating in 1875. He was well ahead of all the other students in mathematics but, perhaps not surprisingly given his poor coordination, performed no better than average in physical exercise and in art. Music was another of his interests but, although he enjoyed listening to it, his attempts to learn the piano while he was at the École Polytechnique were not successful. Poincaré read widely, beginning with popular science writings and progressing to more advanced texts. His memory was remarkable and he retained much from all the texts he read but not in the manner of learning by rote, rather by linking the ideas he was assimilating particularly in a visual way. His ability to visualise what he heard proved particularly useful when he attended lectures since his eyesight was so poor that he could not see the symbols properly that his lecturers were writing on the blackboard. After graduating from the École Polytechnique, Poincaré continued his studies at the École des Mines.[20]
It is completely clear that he was homeschooled at least until age 8. The date of entry in the Lycee high school seems too early, and it seems unlikely he spent 11 years in high school. Regardless, he was homeschooled in learning the fundamentals of reading and math, and likely learned far more from his "gifted" mother.--Aschlafly 22:49, 5 July 2007 (EDT)

Citation needed

Throughout history, a remarkably high percentage of accomplished people were homeschooled... Aschlafly, much as I, as a homeschooling mom, would love to believe this, we simply cannot state it in the article without backing it up with a citation. Everything we post here must be true and verifiable. We must always cite and give credit to our sources. We must be careful not to post personal opinion on an encyclopedia entry like this. These are Conservapedia's rules, not mine, and they are good ones. Let's show our students that we are serious about the rules by leading by example - we must stick to the rules if we expect others to do so. Thus, we need a credible citation for this statement. --Hsmom 22:59, 5 July 2007 (EDT)

That sentence introduces the paragraph and list of examples that support it, with citations. 4 out of the top 4 modern mathematicians were homeschooled. That's 100% of the smartest group of achievers. The person considered the greatest president (Abraham Lincoln) was homeschooled. That's 100% of the top. The greatest female military leader was homeschooled. That's 100%. It's not just one citation that backs up the sentence, it is many citations and examples.
Hsmom, your repeated objections, like your objection above to the undisputed fact that Joan of Arc was homeschooled, are getting tiresome. Add some content to the entry rather than object to the facts, please.--Aschlafly 23:06, 5 July 2007 (EDT)


  1. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Daniel Webster[3]
  2. Daniel Webster And the War on the Second Bank of the United States, By Paul J. Rastatter[4]
  3. Notable Names Database Weblog: Daniel Webster[5]
  4. Dartmouth: Daniel Webster: Class of 1801: Scholarly Pursuits[6]
  5. Dartmouth: Daniel Webster: Class of 1801: The Road to Dartmouth[7]
  6. Daniel Webster And the War on the Second Bank of the United States, By Paul J. Rastatter[8]
  7. Dartmouth: Daniel Webster: Class of 1801[9]
  8. OLD STURBRIDGE VILLAGE - Online Resource Library: Daniel Webster, Autobiography, 1829[10]
  9. Dartmouth: Daniel Webster: Class of 1801: Scholarly Pursuits[11]
  10. Phillips Exeter Academy: Academy Chronology[12]
  13. A Short Biography of Saint Joan of Arc[13]
  14. New Advent - Catholic Encyclopedia - St. Joan of Arc[14]
  15. Biography of Joan of Arc[15]
  16. MSN Encarta Encyclopedia - George Washington Carver article[16]
  17. George Washington Carver, By Mary Bellis[17]
  18. Leonardo da Vinci[18]
  19. Education - List of Successful Dropouts [19]
  20. Jules Henri Poincaré[20]

Joan of Arc

Is it really accurate to say that Joan of arc was "homeschooled" in the sense of the word that this article is about. Not a lot of kids - and even fewer girls - of the lower classes got much schooling of ANY type during the Middle Ages. Most, if not all of children's education, what precious little of it there was for French peasants, would have been at home. PFoster 17:40, 14 July 2007 (EDT)

OK, so Joan of Arc and many others were homeschooled in her class and time period. That doesn't detract from the point: Joan of Arc was homeschooled and then became one of the greatest military leaders of all time.
Your criticism has been raised by others in the past, all of whom view this entry as tit-for-tat, homeschooling versus alternatives. But that's not what this entry is about. This entry simply proves that homeschooling has been extraordinarily successful in its own right, regardless of alternatives. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 17:46, 14 July 2007 (EDT)

Fair Inclusion

I've been trying to add William Bonney (Billy the Kid) and John Wesley Hardin, two famous American outlaws, and they keep getting deleted. I don't understand why. Both are certainly prominent, and both are homeschooled at least to the same extent as inclusions like Lincoln, Twain, and Joan of Arc. Obviously they don't paint a rosy picture of homeschooling, but doesn't blocking their entry present only one side of the argument (the pro-homeschooling side)?

Provide some evidence for your claims, as required by our rules. Homeschooled means schooled at home, not running away from home. Obviously.--Aschlafly 17:58, 14 July 2007 (EDT)
Don't be a jerk, dude. This site lists "prominent" home-schooled individuals, not all of them. Also, this is not your site. Why do you think it should play by your rules?
Many of the people on this list were not obviously schooled at home. Twain is a clear example. Lincoln read at home but was not "schooled" by anyone, and people like the Roosevelts and Shaw studied with professional tutors, clearly not an analogy for the parent-lead homeschooling of today. Bonney's school experience is essentially a direct parallel of Twain's, and Hardin was taught by his father, just like Mozart. If your complaint is truly a source issue, I'm happy to go dig up a biography or two, but short of that I can see no reason for not including these two. For most of history people didn't have anything like modern access to public schools, which means that for most of history bad people got their education in pretty much the same way as people like Joan of Arc. Just trying to be fair here.
So you're saying that Lincoln schooled himself at home??? Could be ... but that's still homeschooled. Private tutors is also homeschooling, as many of us homeschoolers can attest. You seem to be saying that Hardin and Mozart were taught by their fathers. That's not homeschooling? Of course it is.
I'm open to unbiased improvements to the article. I don't know the details of Twain, for example. I do know that 5 out of the top 5 mathematicians post-Napoleon were homeschooled, and there are few if any errors on this list. If you can make unbiased improvements by adding information, please do. If you can't believe the list, then perhaps you want to open your mind a bit first.--Aschlafly 22:37, 14 July 2007 (EDT)

Reason for rollback

Don't insert[Citation Needed] when the statement is supported the sentences that follow it. When in doubt, use this page to express your opinion rather than senseless inclusion of multiple[Citation Needed]--Aschlafly 18:48, 14 July 2007 (EDT)

Well, since you mention it, I was wondering why you removed the {{fact}} from the statement saying Ansel Adams is the best photographer of the twentieth century. It's certainly a very bold and opinionated statement (maybe someone is more a fan of Alfred Stieglitz) and I figured it needed backing up.--Offeep 00:22, 15 July 2007 (EDT)
The next sentence supports the statement. Open your mind a bit, please.--Aschlafly 00:33, 15 July 2007 (EDT)
Well, perhaps we can reach a compromise. Instead of adding a[Citation Needed], why don't we just add the word 'arguably' to the sentence. That way, we're both happy. Eh?--Offeep 00:39, 15 July 2007 (EDT)
My friend, open your mind instead. The quote proves that Ansel Adams was homeschooled. All that is needed is a cite for the quote. The list of the others is also extremely well supported. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 00:47, 15 July 2007 (EDT)
Oh ho, it seems we have found the root of our contention. You see, I'm not saying that Ansel Adams wasn't homeschooling. I don't doubt that he was. I'm just saying that the statement that he was the 20th century's 'finest artist' is not a fact (in the same way that "Bananas are the tastiest fruit" is not a fact), and should be changed to show it's opinion. It's semantics, I know, but that's how I roll, with mild OCD.--Offeep 00:55, 15 July 2007 (EDT)
Oh how petty. Your own quote is wrong ("finest artist") and yet you're going to quibble about Conservapedia's statement here???? Everyone knows that Ansel Adams was the "the finest photographer of the 20th century." Nitpick something else, please. Or improve some entries here first and then return with more experience. Thanks and Godspeed.--Aschlafly 01:13, 15 July 2007 (EDT)
Alright, whatever. Anyway, I found the site the actual quote is from. I think I cited it right, but, you know, I'm inexperienced about the matter.--Offeep 01:18, 15 July 2007 (EDT)
Thanks much. I apologize for overreacting a bit. Let's improve this fascinating entry further. In Christ, Aschlafly 11:36, 15 July 2007 (EDT)

What's with the [sic]?

Referring to the quote from the Williams College admissions officer... Is the [sic] there because of the possibly-incorrect dash in home-schoolers? Kazumaru 22:45, 16 August 2007 (EDT)

C.S. Lewis

Assuming that homeschooling refers to the primary method of schooling that a child received, Lewis' homeschooling was only through age 10. Under those circumstances, would it be more appropriate to remove him from this list? Thanks Learn together 13:17, 13 December 2007 (EST)

Being homeschooled through age 10 is significant, as that teaches the reading, math and thinking skills used the rest of one's life. The education Lewis received from his homeschooling was probably almost equivalent to a high school education today.--Aschlafly 15:32, 13 December 2007 (EST)

Related article request

Please create the following ancillary articles and incorporate some of the following within the main article:

Conservative 15:34, 13 December 2007 (EST)

Leonardo da Vinci homeschooled?

Could somebody explain how Leonardo da Vinci was homeschooled? Here is his current entry in the list of "Prominent people who were educated at home":

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.

Right now, this entry sticks out, so I'd be happy if somebody could clarify... --JakeC 10:48, 31 December 2007 (EST)


Debate whether Churchill was homeschooled here. Numerous internet discussions say he was, see, e.g., [23]--Aschlafly 10:37, 29 February 2008 (EST)

Andy, your own reference contradicts what you are saying. The person in that discussion who claimed that Churchill was homeschooled later withdrew the claim and apologised for misunderstanding his source. Philip J. Rayment 15:15, 29 February 2008 (EST)
OK, well, that's a first for that observation. Thanks for pointing that out. But my cited source is just one of many, and it seems obvious that Churchill would have taught to read at home if he first attended school at age 7. Also, there are still unexplained gaps in the description of his formal schooling, with much to suggest he left an intolerable school.--Aschlafly 15:19, 29 February 2008 (EST)

Churchill attended Brunswick House Preparatory School 1884-88; before that he had had attended the school run by a flagellant and sadist and described in 'My Early Life', and afterwards he was sent to Harrow. On Brunswick House:

Koba 11:06, 29 February 2008 (EST)

Your analysis lacks dates and ages, and seems obsessed with branding someone a "sadist". If the school was so sadistic then that only reinforces the likelihood of the claim that Churchill was not always there.--Aschlafly 11:13, 29 February 2008 (EST)

My comment states clearly that he attended Brunswick House 1884-1888, and that he was born in 1874 is common knowledge, even to those of us suffering under the burden of having attended schools. The sadistic school, as I stated clearly, was attended before Brunswick House. It was a boarding school, so attendance was not optional. Do try and keep up. Koba 11:16, 29 February 2008 (EST)

The following comes from the entry on Churchill in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. I trust it answers any remaining questions you might have, and meets your threshold of sadistic behaviour. Koba 11:24, 29 February 2008 (EST)

At eight he was sent to a boarding-school at Ascot where the headmaster took a pleasure in flogging the boys until their bottoms ran with blood. Winston performed well in some subjects but his reports often referred to his unruly behaviour. According to one authority, he was birched for stealing sugar from the pantry and retaliated by kicking the headmaster's straw hat to pieces (Churchill and Gilbert, 1.53). When he fell ill his parents transferred him to a school at Brighton where he was much happier but came bottom of the class for conduct.

This provides no detail on Churchill's schooling between ages 8 and 14, or prior to age 8. It reads like an entry in a gossip magazine as well.--Aschlafly 11:39, 29 February 2008 (EST)
According to the biography at he attended private school from age 7. The article on his education from the Winston Churchill center states that his first school was St. George’s (which he mistakenly calls St. James’s in his autobiography) and where he was beaten. Following that he attended a school at Hove, near Brighton before entering Harrow at age 14. Spencer 12:17, 29 February 2008 (EST)
The Winston Churchill center does not say that the schooling was contiguous, and the claim that he was beaten suggests it may not have been. Moreover, if he was already 7 when he started, then he had probably been homeschooled to learn how to read. There are many claims on the internet, with limited details, that Churchill was homeschooled during some of these periods.--Aschlafly 12:22, 29 February 2008 (EST)

This provides no detail on Churchill's schooling between ages 8 and 14, or prior to age 8. The links that I have given between them show that from age 8 to 10 Churchill was at the school in Ascot; from 10 to 14 at Brunswick House in Hove (Brighton), and thereafter at Harrow. I am sorry that you did not like the quote. The ODNB is probably the most respected biographical dictionary in the English-speaking world - though clearly not as good as the internet - and the author of the entry on Churchill, Paul Addison, was Director of the Centre for Second World War Studies at the University of Edinburgh 1996-2005 and was also a Visiting Fellow of All Souls 1990-91.

Moreover, if he was already 7 when he started, then he had probably been homeschooled to learn how to read

Almost certainly, as biographies mention the benign neglect of Winston by his parents, he was given some instruction by a nurse or governess, as was common in upper class families until recent decades. I would add that I was able to read (to an extent) on starting school aged five. Can I claim to be a homeschoolee?

I will end by repeating: Churchill was not homeschooled in any rational sense of that term. To persist in stating that he was is damaging to the quality and reputation of Conservapedia, and makes a nonsense of any claims to encyclopaedic standards. Koba 15:50, 29 February 2008 (EST)

The reference for Churchill's homeschooling amounts to the claim that he was privately taught by two women in Hove. As his family did not live there at that time he cannot have been homeschooled. GordonB 17:43, 29 February 2008 (EST)
It was a school, albeit a less rigorous one than the Ascot establishment. And the CP entry on Churchill correctly says that he was privately schooled from the age of eight. Koba 17:44, 29 February 2008 (EST)
Are you complaining about the entry? It correctly describes the sisters' instruction as a less formal school setting. It was very different from the British prep schools.--Aschlafly 17:51, 29 February 2008 (EST)
I appreciate that you are trying to reach a solution on this; and I have seen the Brighton/Hove school described as a 'dame school', different in approach to the Ascot prep school. But a bit of 'pre-schooling' by a nurse or governess does not equate to home-schooling as the majority of c'pedians would (in my possibly inaccurate opinion) use the term. I was 'pre-schooled' in such a way by my parents: I could read and write a bit by the time I started school. But there is no way that I would ever describe myself as home-schooled, not for ideological reasons but because I simply don't see that as home schooling; and nor do I about Churchill. His formative educational years were spent at schools. Koba 17:57, 29 February 2008 (EST)
No matter how informal the setting, if he wasn't being educated at home, or even in the vicinity, then there's no way he could be described as home-schooled. GordonB 18:01, 29 February 2008 (EST)
Liberals are so literal, while criticizing others for being too literal (as in the Bible). "Homeschooling" is not limited literally to being schooled at home. Read our entry, please, and try to understand something that is slightly abstract.--Aschlafly 18:05, 29 February 2008 (EST)

Marx, Himmler, Oscar Wilde...

I would love to see a good, non-ideological reason as to why these names were eliminated from the list. AliceBG 20:08, 13 March 2008 (EDT)

Why is a non-ideological reason necessary? DanH 20:10, 13 March 2008 (EDT)

Because if they were only deleted for ideological reasons that is an admission that the article is intentionally misleading. --Merriweather 20:13, 13 March 2008 (EDT)
Well, this is an encyclopedia article about homeschooling, right? And a section of that article is dedicated to listing prominent persons who were homeschooled in one way or another, right? And a noted political/economic theorist, an important figure in the Nazi regime, and a great Irish writer all fit both parts of the prominent/homeschooled criteria for that list, so there is no reason to take them off the list...unless including them on the list somehow makes homeschooling look bad; in that case the removal is strictly ideological....which brings into question the intellectual honesty and integrity of the article, and thus the project writ large. AliceBG 20:16, 13 March 2008 (EDT)
I undid the ideological deletion as it runs counter to Conservapedia's ethos of censorship of facts see Conservapedia:How_Conservapedia_Differs_from_Wikipedia, Item 9 - "Wikipedia editors who are far more liberal than the American public frequently censor factual information. Conservapedia does not censor any facts that comport with the basic rules." Brixham 14:44, 14 March 2008 (EDT)
DanH, so if you won't provide a non-ideological reason can you tell me why you blatantly go against the Conservapedia differences with Wikipedia? I always thought you seemed a reasonable guy. Brixham 15:19, 14 March 2008 (EDT)
The removal was no less ideological than the inclusion of the names. I mean, Himmler? DanH 19:24, 15 March 2008 (EDT)
Touché :) 10px Fox (talk|contribs) 19:28, 15 March 2008 (EDT)
If they are to be put in, I would at the very least ask for a citation. DanH 19:26, 15 March 2008 (EDT)

Where are the citations that Karl Marx was homeschooled? I'll look further for them, but haven't found any yet.--Aschlafly 22:56, 15 March 2008 (EDT)

Problems with this page

I think there are some major problems with this article; not in terms of the content being wildly inaccurate but rather being rather narrow in its focus. If you look at the opening line, it defines homeschool as "a movement consisting of 1-2 million students in the United States". That's problematic because for a start, because homeschooling is not a "movement" (at best, it's a subsection of the conservative movement) and it's definitely not isolated to the United States.

Furthermore, I think you're striving a little too hard to give homeschooling as much credit as possible. Don't get me wrong - I have nothing against homeschooling. But at no stage in the article have you clearly and accurately defined what homeschooling is, because as I noted, the opening definition is extremely flawed. Consequently, when you get to someone like Charles Dickens, I reckon you're drawing a bit of a long bow. To take the Dickens example: as a history teacher, I feel that we should be quite clear that Charles Dickens was never formally homeschooled in the manner that the article implies and the fact that he didn't receive an education for much of his childhood had nothing to do with such things as "a different, often better, education environment with different, often better, opportunities" or "freedom from liberal and/or atheistic bias and culture in schools". To simplify things as much as possible, he ceased to have a formal education because his father was imprisoned for financial reasons. And I can tell you that his mother was no great believer in Dickens getting an education: she was the one that forced Dickens to work in a factory. In short, there is no evidence whatsoever that Dickens received any active home education. Dickens is just one example of the wider problem with the entire article, in that you suffer from a poor definition which consequently makes many of the names that you list as "arguably homeschooled" look silly. Even under a solid definition of homeschooling, I don't think people such as Dickens qualify. PeterS 05:36, 19 March 2008 (EDT)

PeterS, you may be an expert in history, but your logic does not follow. The entry does not care why someone was homeschooled in listing who was homeschooled.--Aschlafly 21:55, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
I think PeterS has a valid point, at least in his first line. As he points out, the article describes homeschooling as "a movement consisting of 1-2 million students in the United States". So for starters, how many on the list were homeschooled in the United States? Clearly, however, homeschooling is not confined to the U.S., so it's the definition rather than the list that should be changed (as far as my argument goes so far).
I don't agree with him that it's not a movement; I think that's probably an apt term. But that raises the next problem with the list. Homeschooling as a movement is a relatively recent phenomenon, over the last forty years, I would guess. So anybody on that list who was educated at home more than around forty years ago does not fit the definition.
There's more that I could say, along the lines of PeterS' second paragraph, but perhaps I'll leave it there for the moment.
Philip J. Rayment 22:14, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
Similar to my comment below, this criticism is overly literal. But to play that game, "homeschooling" is the movement, while those who were "homeschooled" is a broader category that can go beyond the movement.--Aschlafly 22:17, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
My immediate response to that, without thinking through it, is that that might make sense, but if it does, at the very least that distinction should be made clear in the article. Philip J. Rayment 22:19, 19 March 2008 (EDT)

Read an interesting article

I generally don't follow "homeschooling politics" but I recently read an interesting article. Apparently CA has recently placed a de facto on homeschooling. Does that sound like something appropriate for this article? (It would be nice to have something not in list form.) HelpJazz 16:20, 19 March 2008 (EDT)

"Nearly every great mathematician"

Can I object to the statement that "nearly every great mathematician" was homeschooled? It is patently ridiculous, even to a supporter of homeschooling. Here's just a few of the many famous mathematicians from the last few centuries who were not homeschooled: Isaac Newton, Leonhard Euler, George Polya, Carl Friedrich Gauss, John Venn, several of the Bernoulli family, Pierre de Fermat and Johannes Kepler. Off the top of my head, August Möbius was homeschooled only to the age of 13, and some mathematicians were born into European aristocracy who would never even think of allowing their children to be taught in a normal education system, which at the time would have been grossly inferior. Less hyperbole, please! PeterS 21:00, 19 March 2008 (EDT)

Fine, let's look at your examples, several of whom would not be described as "great mathematicians"; others in your list who were homeschooled; and still more who were schooled but achieved despite it. Spell out the schooling of each of your examples and you'll find that nearly all of them fall in one of the categories I just identified, and hence my reversion.--Aschlafly 21:54, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
That last category ("were schooled but achieved despite it") is of people who were not homeschooled. Correct? Philip J. Rayment 22:04, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
Well, yes, you are literally correct, but figuratively that category reinforces the thesis.--Aschlafly 22:13, 19 March 2008 (EDT)
How does "people who were educated in a regular shool and did well" (to rephrase it) support the thesis? (The phrase "despite it" presumes what the thesis is trying to demonstrate, so is a circular argument.) Philip J. Rayment 22:19, 19 March 2008 (EDT)