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"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty." -- Thomas Jefferson

Homeschooling consists of the practice of students receiving education from a parent or guardian, or instructors acting under the direction of a parent or guardian, rather than from teachers in a formal school setting like a public school. Virtually every area of the United States has local support groups for homeschooling, which often meet in church facilities. Nearly 7% of college-educated parents homeschool their children.[1] In the United States, an estimated one to two million students are homeschooled, or nearly one out of every 30 students.[2]

Homeschooling has grown by almost 75% in the last 8 years[3] and in a recent survey "the average homeschooled student scored at the 88th percentile" in the core subjects of reading, language and math.[4] The most successful mathematician in contests in history, Reid Barton, was homeschooled.[5] The top college football player and now an NFL Quarterback, who was the first to win the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore, Tim Tebow, was homeschooled until college.[6] A Wimbledon tennis star, Melanie Oudin, chose homeschooling beginning in 7th grade: "With how much I improved in the first year at home, I knew it was the right choice."[7] Homeschooled students make up many of the top college and graduate students in mathematics today.[8]

Homeschooling parents have many available options to supplement education at home:

  • attending a weekly course provided in many areas 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
  • attending a brick and mortar institution for certain classes and taking other classes at home

Homeschoolers often 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. Some areas have extracurricular clubs and activities specifically for homeschoolers, some allow homeschoolers to participate in local public school's after school activities, and some homeschoolers participate in extracurricular activities independently from their schooling through private organizations. Homeschool graduates vote in higher percentages: in 2003, "76 percent of homeschool graduates surveyed between the ages of 18 to 24 voted within the last five years, compared to only 29 percent of the corresponding U.S. population."[9]


Homeschooling Statistics

In the United States, homeschooling includes an estimated 1.1 million students - about 2.9% of children in grade K-12 - as of 2007. "The number of home-schooled kids hit 1.5 million in 2007, up 74% from when the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics started keeping track in 1999, and up 36% since 2003."[2][10]

Families who homeschool their children 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 homeschooling families; religious reasons came in second at 33%.[11] 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.[12]

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 homeschoolers' 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 the acceptance rate of homeschoolers at Williams is 20 percent,[13] virtually identical to its overall acceptance rate.[14]

In the United States, some states permit homeschooled students to participate in extracurricular activities at their local public schools.

The states of 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. [15] In addition, some states, such as Alabama, are considering equal access legislation. [16] In New Jersey, school athletic associations dominated by public schools exclude homeschoolers from participation in athletics, even though they allow students at different charter schools to participate.[17]

Academic level

Many studies over the last few years have established the academic excellence of homeschooled children.[18] Most recently, the average ACT (American College Testing) score of homeschooled students in 2009 was higher than the national average.[19] ACT-tested graduates reporting themselves as home-schooled numbered 4,593 in 2000, a 41-percent increase. Home-schooled students achieved a composite average of 22.8, 0.1 points higher than in 1999.[20] An extensive 2009 nationwide study conducted by Dr. Brian D. Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute,[21] found that homeschoolers scored 34-39 percentile points higher than the norm on standardized achievement tests. The new study was described as “the most comprehensive study of homeschool academic achievement ever completed,” in which Ray surveyed 11,739 homeschooled students from all 50 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico, and drew from 15 independent testing services. Demographically, 82.4 percent of homeschooling parents identified themselves as Protestant Christian, 12.4 Roman Catholic, 1.1 percent atheist/agnostic, 0.8 percent Mormon, 0.4 percent Jewish, 0.2 percent Eastern Orthodox Christian, and 0.1 percent Muslim. Neither the income or educational level of parents appreciably affected the results.[22]

Reasons for Homeschooling

Reasons for homeschooling include:[23]

  • Seeking a higher academic level, and avoiding violence, intimidation, invasions of privacy (e.g., searches) and other hostile aspects of the nanny state-police-state public school culture.[24][25][26]
  • Freedom from a culture of depression and liberal and/or atheistic bias found in public and many private schools.[27][28][29]
  • A more flexible daily schedule, ability to take vacations and travel during the school year, less commuting, and a healthier diet.[30]
  • Avoiding the frequent illnesses, unhealthy obesity, and fatigue that result from the daily routine of public schools
  • Avoiding conflicts with public school officials.
  • More time spent by parents with their children in formative years.
  • Avoiding objectionable vaccines, "mental health" screening, and questionnaires.
  • Avoiding competition between genders, including public school feminists favoring girls over boys.[31][32]
  • Developing the discipline to be self-employed as an adult, and to work at home.
  • Creating an environment in which students are less likely to pick up life-long unhealthy habits from peers, like drug abuse, tobacco addiction, sex addiction, pornography, or alcohol.
  • Having the time and availability to learn a trade or profession as an apprentice, as has been done throughout history.
  • Homeschooling is often an essential approach to achieve the very best in many fields, from mathematics to music to certain sports.[33]
  • Be part of a community that has a much higher percentage of adopted children than formal school; the homeschooling community has a refreshing culture of life.
  • Avoiding being subjected to homosexual indoctrination.
  • Avoiding liberal political indoctrination.
  • Homeschoolers are seen to develop independent thinking and self-reliance that help insulate them from techniques of mind control that afflict public school students and teachers[34]
  • Assuring the rights of parents to control the education, upbringing and disclipline of their children.

It should also be noted that stay at home moms, the most common teachers for homeschooling, reported having happier lives than their working counterparts.[35]

Homeschooling worldwide

A thriving homeschooling movement exists in Canada, and homeschooling also fares well in Australia and New Zealand. It is relatively new in South America, and reportedly faces strong government resistance in places such as Brazil. Homeschooling also faces significant challenges in many other counties. The governments in Shanghai and Beijing are largely opposed to homeschooling. In European countries it is sometimes more restricted than the United States, or illegal, such as in Germany. In Switzerland, many cantons still allow homeschooling, but not all. [36]Sweden recently passed legislation which is expected to ban all homeschooling, except for children with medical exemptions, or foreign workers with the appropriate work visas. [37][38] Recently alarming in England is a June 11, 2009 report on home education by Graham Badman, former Managing Director of Children, Families and Education in the County of Kent, which would effect critical changes in regulation of homeschooling. The report, which was accepted in full by the British Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, uses the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) to militate against the educational rights of parents.[39] An example of such possible restriction is seen in the United States, in which a New Hampshire Court ordered a thriving, 10 year old homeschooled Christian girl to attend public school, solely in order to expose her to "different points of view at a time in her life when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief and behavior."[40][41]


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 became common only 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.[42][43]

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 those at home.[44]

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.[45]

The homeschooling movement 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.[46] 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."[47] 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.[48] 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.[49] 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."

Cuomo-Bloomberg Nanny state New York is the only state which currently requires all home school students to take the GED equivalency exam in order to receive a high school diploma. However, in most cases they are not required to take the otherwise-mandatory exam prep course first.

Prominent people who were homeschooled

Throughout history, a remarkably high percentage of accomplished people were homeschooled, including many great mathematicians. Here is a growing list of such 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 homeschooled in Greek, the English classics, algebra, and the glories of the ocean, inlets, and rocky beaches that surrounded their home very near San Francisco."[50]
  • 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.[51]
  • Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), the author of Little Women and other great works, was taught by her father.[52]
  • Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.), the greatest military leader of all time, was taught by his father and, as arranged by his father, by Aristotle.[53]
  • Susan B. Anthony, leading pro-life feminist and advocate of women's suffrage. Her father homeschooled her.[54]
  • Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. David Brooks wrote, "His mother didn't enroll him in the local schools because, as Raffi Khatchadourian wrote in a New Yorker profile, she feared 'that formal education would inculcate an unhealthy respect for authority.'" [55]
  • Jane Austen (1775-1817), one of the most popular novelists of the early 19th century, was school-educated for only a year, after which she was taught at home by her father, her brothers, and herself, using their large family library.
  • Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806)) wrote the first almanac by a black man and helped survey Washington, D.C.. Banneker was taught to read and write by his grandmother in rural Maryland."[56]
  • Clara Barton (1821-1912), pioneering nurse during the Civil War, founder of the American Red Cross. Barton was homeschooled, and at 15 started teaching school. She later attended the Liberal Institute in Clinton, New York. [57] [58]
  • Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), inventor of the telephone. His deaf mother taught him to read and write, and he returned the favor by inventing the telephone to try to help her (and other deaf persons) communicate.
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), a Christian who spoke against Hitler and was martyred for doing so.
  • Willard S. Boyle, the inventor of the CCD that is at "the heart of virtually every camcorder, digital camera and telescope" and is used in "every picture on the Internet, every digital and video camera, every computer scanner, copier machine and high-definition television," and for which he was awarded a shared Nobel Prize in Physics in 2009.[59]
  • 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.[60]
  • William Jennings Bryan, Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson and before that was the founder of the modern Democratic Party. He was also the leading critic of the theory of evolution who prevailed in the Scopes Trial and was perhaps the greatest orator in American history. He was homeschooled until age 10 as his mother taught him to stand on table to recite his lessons.[61]
  • Robert Burns (1759-1796) Scotland's national poet.
  • 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[63] and had only five years of formal schooling.[64]
  • George Washington Carver (1864-1943) Botanical and agricultural researcher and educator. Born a slave, Carver "learned to read, write and spell at home because there were no schools for African Americans in" his area.[65] He did not attend school until age 12, when he went to a one-room schoolhouse in Missouri; he later graduated from Minneapolis High School in Kansas. Became the first black student at Simpson College in Iowa, transferred to Iowa Agricultural College in 1891. Earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1894 and a Master of Science degree in bacterial botany and agriculture in 1897.[66][67]
  • 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."[68][69]
  • Pafnuty Chebyshev (1821-1894), one of the greatest Russian mathematicians, was homeschooled until college.[70]
  • Agatha Christie (1890-1976), best-selling English mystery writer. Christie was homeschooled by her mother, who encouraged her to write from a very early age. At sixteen she was sent to finishing school in Paris. [71]
  • Winston Churchill (1874–1965), British statesman. It was at home that he was taught 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.[72]
  • Charles Dickens, prolific English author who could not afford school. His "passions for reading were awakened by his mother," who homeschooled him with a curriculum that included English and Latin.[73]
  • James B. Eads, the greatest river engineer ever; by age 13 he spent his "time reading in his library. So began Eads' education as an engineer. He tinkered with his own inventions at home, building a six-foot long model steamboat when he was in his early teens. And he was intrigued by the inventions of others."[74]
  • Thomas Edison (1804–1896), the most prolific inventor in the history of the world and considered by many to be the most influential person of the last 1000 years.[75] His mother pulled him out of public school at age 7, after just a few months, and began homeschooling him by reading from the Bible.
  • Paul Erdos (1913–1996), the most prolific mathematician of the 20th century, was taught at home until college.[76]
  • Pierre de Fermat (1601?-1665), the greatest mathematician of the 17th century and the founder of the modern theory of numbers, was homeschooled.[77]
  • Robert Frost, the leading American poet of the 20th century and winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He "disliked school so much he became physically ill; what schoolwork he did was done at home until he passed the entrance exams and entered high school."[79]
  • 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."[80]
  • Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), one of the greatest Founding Father. He was not allowed to attend school because his parents were not married. Instead, he was homeschooled using Greek and Roman classics in the family library.[81]
  • William Hamilton (1805-1865), the greatest Irish mathematician and biggest contributor since Isaac Newton of mathematics to physics. He was taught by his uncle, the Reverend James Hamilton.[82]
  • Matthew Henry (1662-1714), "nonconformist" Presbyterian minister in England, and author of Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, perhaps the most esteemed devotional commentary of all time. Under State persecution, Henry was homeschooled by his father, and for a time by a tutor, before moving on to a Christian school in 1680.
  • Zac, Taylor, and Isaac Hanson, of the band Hanson. Educated at home by their mother, and later by a tutor. [83][84]
  • Jaime Herrera. She was recently elected to the U.S. Congress.[85]
  • 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. [86]
  • Carl Jacobi (1804-1851), a prominent and prolific German mathematician, was taught at home until the age of 12 and was taught the classics and mathematics by a maternal uncle.[87]
  • Joan of Arc (1412-1431), one of the greatest military leaders ever. Taught domestic skills and religion by her mother. [88]
  • John the Apostle (c. A.D. 20-100), the author of the Gospel of John, considered by many to be the greatest written work ever. He also wrote several other books in the New Testament. His parents placed him, most likely as a child, under the homeschool-like teaching of Jesus rather than a more traditional school setting.[89] John became the first to develop Christian faith and his work has since spread Christianity to billions.<
  • C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), the author of the Chronicles of Narnia and other famous works, was taught at home by his mother and a governess until age 10, and later sent to be taught by a tutor to prepare him for Oxford.[90]
  • Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), American president. "Though his [formal] education was limited to a few months in a one-teacher school, Lincoln avidly read books such as the Bible, Pilgrim's Progress and Weemss Life of Washington."[91]
  • 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.
  • Marcus Aurelius, Stoic philosopher and last of the "five good Emperors" of Rome. In his Meditations, he says that he learned from his "great-grandfather, not to have frequented public schools, and to have had good teachers at home, and to know that on such things a man should spend liberally."
  • Benoit Mandelbrot, a Yale mathematics professor known as the "father of fractals" and the person who coined the term,[92] received no extended formal schooling and was taught at home by his uncle beginning at the age of 12.[93]
  • Mark, also known as John Mark, the author of the earliest Gospel who learned by tagging along with his mother, who was a follower of Jesus; Mark witnessed the teachings and Passion at an age of perhaps only 10 years old.
  • Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999), noted violinist and conductor, never attended school, and was taught Mathematics, History and Hebrew by his father, and French, German, Italian and Spanish by his mother.[94]
  • John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), influential 19th century political and economic philosopher, was home-schooled by his father, James Mill. He learned Greek at age 3, Latin at age 8, studied economics, history, science, etc. before age 10.
  • James Monroe (1758-1831), highly successful U.S. President, homeschooled until age 11.[95]
  • 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."[96]
  • Isaac Newton (1643-1727), considered the greatest physicist of all time. He was homeschooled until age ten, and then was an underachiever at school until he lodged with the headmaster.[97]
  • Christopher Paolini (1983-), the author of the best-selling Inheritance Trilogy (Eragon, Eldest, and Brisingr). 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. [98]
  • Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), one of the greatest mathematicians and philosophers of all time, was homeschooled by his father.[99]
  • George Patton (1885–1945), one of America's greatest generals. He was taught at home 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.[100][101]
  • 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. [102]
  • James Polk (1795-1849), President of the United States from 1845-1849, one of the few presidents who actually did what he promised to do (annex Texas, acquire western territory, and not run for a second term). He was homeschooled until age 18.[103]
  • 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."[104]
  • Ferdinand Porsche (1875-1951), designer of the German VW Beetle automobile and founder of the Porsche motor company. He was homeschooled in addition to attending Regensburg Reichstechnikschule,[105] which is ironic given that homeschooling is illegal in Germany today.
  • Eleanor H. Porter (1868-1920), author of the classic 1913 novel Pollyanna and its sequel Pollyanna Grows Up, about an eternally optimistic missionary child who, by playing the "glad game", transforms an entire community. Porter, a Christian and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, was "educated in public schools during her childhood until illness caused her to turn to private tutors. She then attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts."[106] [107]
  • 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.[108]
  • 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. [109][110]
  • 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. [111]
  • 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."[112]
  • Erwin Schrodinger (1887-1961), was one of the developers of the theory of quantum mechanics in physics. "He was not sent to elementary school, but received lessons at home from a private tutor up to the age of ten ...."[113]
  • Joseph Smith (1805-1844), was a mayor, a lieutenant general, a political theorist, a city planner, and a religious organizer and the founder of the Mormon Church. He was deprived of a formal education but was mainly self taught and "instructed in reading, writing, and the ground rules of arithmetic.".[114][115] His mother said that he was often "given to meditation and deep study."[116]
  • 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. [117] [118][119]
  • 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."[120][121]
  • Alexis de Tocqueville, a Frenchman who came to America in 1831, when he was 25 years old, and wrote a two-volume definitive study of American culture entitled Democracy in America.
  • 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. [122]
  • Andrew Wyeth (1917- ), American artist, was tutored at home until he was 18. [124]
  • Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), considered the finest architect ever, was taught at home 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.[125] Wright then attended high school but dropped out of college.[126]
  • Brigham Young, first governor of Utah, the leader of the Mormon Church, and founder of 200 towns and villages. He was homeschooled and had only "11 days of formal education."[127]

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.[128] Actor and recording artist Will Smith and his wife actress Jada Pinkett Smith homeschool their children.[129] Michele Bachmann homeschooled her own children, but Minnesota authorities prohibited the homeschooling of foster children (Michele Bachmann also had 23 foster children).[130] Roseanne Barr stated in an interview that she has started to homeschool her 11-year-old son.[131] Kristin Maguire, head of the South Carolina board of education, which governs all its public schools, homeschools all four of her children.[132] Elizabeth Edwards, the late wife of the Democratic vice-presidential nominee (2004) and presidential candidate (2008) John Edwards, homeschooled both of their youngest children.[133] The wife of Glenn Beck homeschools their children.

Others were taught to read at home prior to any school. For example, Ronald Reagan was taught to read by his mother before attending school;[134] the only African American man to win the Wimbledon tennis championship (in a stunning upset that relied on a brilliant strategy), Arthur Ashe, was nicknamed the "genius" and had been taught to read by his mother at age 5.

See Also


  2. 2.0 2.1
  7. (her twin sister remained in public school)
  8. For example, Princeton University math prodigy Arie Israel "never attended a regular school. His parents home schooled both him and his older sister, Rachel, allowing them to work at their own pace and discover their own interests. His dad, Benjamin, a computer programmer, helped him with math and science, while his mom, Rebekah, taught him English and history." [1]
  10. [2] Homeschooling in the United States: 2003 Statistical Analysis Report, National Center for Educational Statistics, NCES 2006-042, Feb 2006. A 2005 estimate from the National Home Education Research Institute places the number between 1.9 million and 2.4 million while the National Center for Education Statistics estimates that the number of students being homeschooled increased by 29% from 1999 to 2003. Christian Examiner, Sept. 2007, Vol 25, No 9, Pg 1
  11. 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 [3]
  12. Homeschooling in the United States: 2003 Statistical Analysis Report, National Center for Educational Statistics, NCES 2006-042, Feb 2006>[4]
  13. 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 homeschoolers like all other students." Source for Williams College admission officer's quote, 20% figure.
  14. College acceptance rates: Williams, 19.2%. U. S. News and World Report
  15. HSLDA: State Laws Concerning Participation of Homeschool Students in Public School Activities [5]
  16. HSLDA: Alabama - Legislation for Participation in Public School Activities[6]
  17. New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association
  18. Academic Statistics on Homeschooling
  21. Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics
  22. Aaron J. Leichman, Christian Post Reporter, Study: Homeschoolers Scoring 'Well Above' Public School Peers' (Tue, Aug. 11 2009 09:26 AM)
  23. For 57 unique benefits of homeschooling, see [7].
  24. Revealing Statistics: Education and Media
  25. As an example of the violent culture at public school, "parents said there have been violent incidents, mostly fistfights, at the high school every day this week. 'My daughter is terrified,' said Elizabeth Sabalu, whose daughter is a junior. 'She doesn't want to come to school any more.'" [8]
  26. "Nationally, about 160,000 students miss school daily because they fear being bullied," and in Hawaii students viciously fight each other and post videos of it on One victim is now "being homeschooled at state expense."[9]
  30. Obesity in public school students from junk food appears worse than in homeschooled students.
  31. Nicola Pearson Don't teach boys to be like girls Times Newspapers (July 8, 2008)
  32. Holly Robinson, Teachers Don't Like Boys, Mom (June 17, 2009)
  33. For example, Jordin Sparks (b. 1989) became youngest winner of the music talent competition "American Idol" after she left public school for homeschooling to concentrate on her singing.[10]
  34. This is most recently illustrated by techniques of mind control employed by the Obama campaign.[11]
  37. Hilary White, Socialist Sweden Moves to Ban Homeschooling, August 11, 2009 (August 11, 2009)
  42. 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."
  44. id.
  45. Calvert School Homeschooling: A Century of Tradition and Innovation [12]
  47. Micklethwait, John and Adrian Wooldridge, The Right Nation: Conservative Power in America. Penguin, 2004. pp. 190-1
  48. "Parents Accused in Home Schooling," The New York Times, July 28, 1974, p. 45
  49. 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."
  57. White House Dream Team: Clara Barton[13]
  58. Clara Harlowe Barton, Source: "Historical Times Encyclopedia of the Civil War" edited by Patricia L. Faust [14]
  60. Frontier Nursing Service[15]
  66. MSN Encarta Encyclopedia - George Washington Carver article [16]
  67. George Washington Carver, By Mary Bellis [17]
  68. E.T. Bell, "Men of Mathematics," 273 (1937).
  71. PBS Mystery Series "Miss Marple" site: Biography of Agatha Christie[18]
  72. William Manchester, "The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, VISIONS OF GLORY 1874-1932 (Little Brown & Co.).
  77. E.T. Bell, "Men of Mathematics" 57 (1937)
  78. Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography.
  80. 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.[]
  82. E.T. Bell, "Men of Mathematics," 340-41 (1937).
  83. Hanson: The All American Boys[19]
  84. Hangin With Presents Hanson[20]
  86. Open Connections Program, Women Working 1800-1930, Harvard University Library: Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910)[21]
  87. E.T. Bell, "Men of Mathematics," 327 (1937).
  88. "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
  89. In an approach common among homeschoolers, John's parents placed both their sons under the homeschool-like teaching of Jesus.
  90. Lewis, C. S., Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, London: Harvest Books (1955) ISBN 0-1568-7011-8
  94. Slater, Elinor and Slater, Robert Great Jewish Men (Jonathon David Publishers; 1996) ISBN 0-8246-0381-8
  96. The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica
  98. Book Browse Author Biography: Christopher Paolini[22]
  99. E.T. Bell, "Men of Mathematics," 74-76 (1937).
  100. The Patton Society ("The Early Years")]
  101. ;
  102. Jules Henri Poincaré[23]
  106. Bestsellers, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Pollyanna [24]
  107. Bestsellers, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Pollyanna Grows Up [25]
  108. Robert E. Schofield, The Enlightenment of Joseph Priestley.
  109. School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of St Andrews, Scotland -- Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann, by: J J O'Connor and E F Robertson[26]
  111. 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). [27]
  114. History of Joseph Smith, Jr., by himself, in Joseph Smith's Letter Book at Kirtland, November 27, 1832 to August 4, 1835 (Church Historian's Library, Salt Lake City, Utah).
  116. History of the Prophet Joseph, Improvement Era, vol. 5, p. 257.
  117. Encyclopedia of World Biography on George Bernard Shaw[28]
  118. Dictionary of Literary Biography on George Bernard Shaw[29]
  119. George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950 Biographical Sketch[30]
  120. The Mark Twain House and Museum: Biography of Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain [31]
  121. The Project Gutenberg E-Book of Mark Twain, by Archibald Henderson [32]
  122. Leonardo da Vinci[33]
  124. The Homeschooling of Andrew Wyeth, A Conversation with the Artist, Gifted Children Monthly, May 1986, Vol 7 No. 5.[34]
  128. David Guterson [35]
  129. Reader's Digest: Will Power: Will Smith is One Driven Guy[36]
  131. Reuters Interview - Roseanne Barr says age gives her a louder voice [37]

Further reading

  • Gaither, Milton. Homeschool: An American History (2008) 273 pp. The standard scholarly history

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