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A Brief Look at the History of Homeschooling

Jan 20, 2008
Not until a little before mid 1800s did institutionalized schooling became the norm. Many of America's founders were educated by mentors, family and apprenticeships without any state-run education system. This is some of the background information and basis for homeschooling catalyst John Caldwell Holt's book How Children Fail, which came out in 1964.

The idea of the book, was not on how children were being taught in schools, but how public schooling as a method in itself fails children. This was very controversial at the time and Holt was brought into the public eye very quickly. Holt later produced a follow up book called How Children Learn, which demonstrated his philosophy on the learning processes of children and how institutionalized learning retards this.

However, neither of his books addressed or proposed any alternative to education. Holt basically planted the seed for change and many other education dissenters started producing books and articles supporting the premise soon afterward. Author Harold Bennet had actually written a book that gave suggestions on how parents can keep their children out of school illegally.

Only after parents had written him regarding his teaching, stating they started teaching their kids at home, did Holt start producing literature on homeschooling. His last book Teach Your Own, published in 1980, contains his take on homeschooling.

Beginning Research on U.S. Academics and the Advocacy of Homeschooling

Educational professionals, Raymond and Dorothy Moore were also working on education research. They worked during the same time period as Holt was writing his books, finding similar congruencies.

The Moores concluded that public or formal regimented schooling, before the ages eight to twelve years of age, was actually a detriment to their learning process. They sought and found, according to their studies, a direct relationship to institutional education to such ailments as delinquency, near-sightedness, and a higher enrollment of special education courses.

The Moores also concluded that the time away from family stunted the growth of bonds made at home with parents and stated that it was necessary for a vast majority of children to be educated at home.

Home Schools and Religion

Statistically speaking, the majority of those parents who decide to start homeschooling base their reasons on religious grounds. That is why there is a large portion of available curriculum that is for the Christian homeschool. A great deal of curriculum of a Christian homeschool is not much different than that of a regular homeschool, but there is often supplemental literature on evangelical teachings or belief systems that are shared within the family.

Studies have found that homeschooling parents are of the Christian faith in the U.S. -- nearly 90 percent having been polled said as much. However, other faiths have also embraced homeschooling; Muslim believers are a large growing demographic recently.

Since a large percentage of parents are Christian believers and are motivated to homeschool for such reasons, a good deal of Christian homeschool material has been made available throughout the web in the last decade.
About the Author
Art Gib writes for Heritage Home School (http://www.heritagehomeschool.com/home-school-products.htm) who provide online support and materials for parents who prefer Christian homeschool teachings. Heritage has accredited curriculum and testing modules for grades K-12.
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