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History of Homeschooling: An Infographic

Q: When did homeschooling begin?

A: Long, long ago.

Centuries before anyone thought of warehousing children for the bulk of their young lives, parents were teaching their children. Somehow, despite a lack of official certification, the world muddled along. Empires rose and fell, creative people created, curious people explored and discovered, and families learned and grew together.

This infographic is interesting, but the information is sketchy, and in at least one entry in the Comparison section (number 5, below), questionable. Curriculum is listed as the last item of comparison, and this infographic suggests that “Regular School” has “Richer curriculum because the student has many teachers qualified in many subjects.” Homeschool receives a “Poorer curriculum because parents are not always qualified to teach all subjects.”

The word “curriculum” can be defined as the “subjects comprising a course of study in a school.” Ignoring for a moment the apparent confusion about the difference between curriculum and teachers, the idea that institutional school textbooks are richer fare than living books is laughable. If I were a betting person, I’d back homeschoolers who use Charlotte Mason, Classical, Thomas Jefferson, Sonlight, or any other lifestyle of learning method against textbook learners any day!

For more background on home education and a bit of inspiration, you might want to read For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School, Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, and Homeschooling for Excellence. These are just three of the classics on my shelves, but they were among the most influential when I first began homeschooling long, long ago. Enjoy!

History of homeschooling infographic

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