Home schooling

History Of Homeschooling

Not many histories go back farther than the history of homeschooling, because schooling at home, has been going on, in one form or another, as long as there have been homes.  It is a sobering thought to realize that every person reading this is probably both a student and a teacher in the “school” of the home, no matter what other choices they may make in life. This refers, of course, to the fact that others are always watching and learning from our choices, just as we do theirs.

Leaving that for your meditative thought, the purpose of this discussion, however, is to view the history of homeschooling as pertains to academic learning – the knowledge of reading, writing, math and other such subjects which help us to function well in everyday life.

Famous people in this nation’s history, such as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Woodrow Wilson and many others were part of the history of homeschooling. For most, formal or public schooling was not available in their eras of time.  In those early years of America even when a public school was available, it was the parent’s choice whether their children attended and many preferred the education of the home and/or farm.

 Old one Room Schoolhouse

Education in this country, beginning around the late seventeen hundreds, consisted mostly of learning life skills from doing chores and meeting the daily needs of the home. Basic reading and arithmetic were thrown in by those parents who knew them.

Some parents, who did not think themselves literate enough or adequate to teach, would get together with other parents and hire a teacher to come to their home.  In exchange for room and board he or she would teach the children in the nearby vicinity. Abraham Lincoln received about 18 months of schooling from such a tutor, Stephen Douglas.

Since the dawn of widespread usage of public schools in the early nineteen hundreds, many parents have still chosen to school their children at home, for various reasons. The government at some point made public school attendance mandatory, thus in some ways making it more difficult for those parents who felt the education of their own children to be a God-given responsibility.

By the middle of the 19th century there was a growing dissatisfaction among many parents regarding public education.  Around 1970 a strong homeschool movement began to appear, and by 1980 strong support groups, along with parental influence, had caused homeschooling to become legal in about half the states. 

home school room

Perhaps one of the most vital sources involved in the history of homeschooling's growth and acceptance, was the gradual involvement of credible professionals. These men and women not only openly supported homeschooling, but also invested much time and effort into deep study and research of homeschooling results.  Dr. Raymond Moore, spoken of as the “Father of Modern Homeschooling”, was one of these men. He showed studies which were extensive, thorough and  well documented studies of children and how they learn best. That and his books discussing these findings, have been given credit for touching off a renaissance in home-based education – the kind of schooling which many of America’s greatest founders and heroes received. Dr. Moore’s books have been extremely helpful and encouraging for thousands of families involved in homeschooling. 

Today, homeschooling is even supported by a body of attorneys called “Homeschool Legal Defense Association" and can be legally conducted in every state.  It has “come into it’s own”, so to speak, .”