The History Of Homeschooling

My parents were some of the very first pioneers in the history of homeschooling.

They taught me at home as a child and I loved it!

my family - my parents were homeschooling pioneers

Now I'm homeschooling my own children.

When you look at the history of homeschooling it's worth realizing that, in the past, children were mainly educated at home.

"One third of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution of the United States had no more than a few months of schooling up their sleeves."

(Grace Llewellyn)

The history of homeschooling shows us that school is simply an institution which we have created to educate children en masse while their parents are out working.

You'll see John Taylor Gatto explores the reasons behind this when we look at the arguments about homeschooling vs public schooling.

In the past, children learned by working in the family business, farming and running a household.

Religious organizations and particularly, the history of apprenticeships, provided a rich source of learning opportunities.

Children learned from their parents, older siblings and, sometimes, paid tutors.

If you follow John Taylor Gatto's argument, you'll see we may have been better off educationally BEFORE school came along.

questioning why people are concerned about homeschooling

"Throughout most of American history, kids generally didn't go to high school, yet the unschooled rose to be Admirals...inventors...Captains of industry...writers...and even scholars."

(John Taylor Gatto, Weapons of Mass Instruction)

Famous People From History Who Were Homeschooled

The history of homeschooling reveals some surprising names from the past of famous people who were homeschooled.

homeschooling pioneers

The History Of School

Wendy Priesnitz quote about home based education

It's easy to forget that school is a relatively new concept.

In America, the system began less than 200 years ago when the state of Massachusetts enacted the first compulsory attendance law.

Since then, many people have begun to question how effective school really is and what values we are really teaching our kids.

For me personally, the most important figure in the history of homeschooling is the iconic John Holt.

John Holt

In the 1960s John Holt became famous for championing the unschooling movement.

He was one of the first to really question the basis of what schools are trying to achieve:

John Holt homeschooling quote.

This page is full of John Holt quotes and inspiration.  He is wonderful at making it obvious that, for many children, school is NOT the answer.

If I need a reminder of the advantages to homeschooling and need a little inspiration, I still have a dip into one of his books.

You can see many of his insights into the problems school creates when we compare homeschooling vs public schools.

John Holt quote

The Modern History Of Homechooling

Since John Holt, increasing numbers of people have questioned what school is doing to our kids and researchers such as Paula Rothermel and Dr Alan Thomas have proven the academic advantages of homeschooling.

homeschooling statistics

Meanwhile, the National Home Education Research Institute in the US has carried out a number of academic studies researching homeschooling statistics, proving that homeschoolers consistently perform above average academically.

John Taylor Gatto

The modern history of homeschooling is brought right up-to-date by the insights of John Taylor Gatto, winner of the New York Teacher of the Year Award in the early '90s:

"Formulaic schooling...must be killed, not modified. Attempts to tinker with its ruthless algorithms prolongs our society's agony and makes the situation worse,"

John Taylor Gatto, Weapons of Mass Instruction

I find his book: Dumbing Us Down particularly powerful because his insights come from teaching in public schools for over 30 years.

I don't think this YouTube clip is great at giving you the best of the arguments which make him worthy of the place he deserves in the history of homeschooling, but it gives you a taste of his ideas:

From the seeds planted by these early independent thinkers an increasing number of people are questioning the system and successfully teaching their children at home.

My parents were one of the first families in the UK to start homeschooling, making me one of the very few second generation home schoolers.

It's pioneers like John Holt, who still provide the inspiration for many of us today.


Homeschooling Start › History


blue arrow
free homeschool newsletter

FREE Homeschool Newsletter

Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name
Then

"Just had a look through your monthly newsletter focusing on math. Thanks so much for all the links and ideas. It's brilliant!" ~ Diana      

"Hi....I totally love all your posts and enjoy reading them....the kids love the activities and enjoy them through and through." ~ Bianka

Share This Page

Sonya Chappell

Free Newsletter

Homeschool activities monthly newsletter
Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name
Then


Homeschool Secrets of Success

Homeschool Secrets of Success
Amazon review
Amazon review
Order now

"With the education system failing so many brilliant children it's great to be able to have resources like your website for inspiration, ideas and just a sense of belonging. What you are doing for your children is priceless." ~ Natalija

"I really appreciate your time and effort that goes into your posts... It's nice to see that you are a 2nd generation homeschooler." ~ Teresa


Keep In Touch
Follow Me