If you’re homeschooling OR just starting the research process, you may be wondering about the history of homeschooling.
How did homeschooling get started anyway?
And, you may have questions like:
Is homeschooling illegal in some states?
When did homeschooling become legal in the US?
Here’s the thing:
There are many myths and facts about homeschooling, how homeschooling got started, and the history of homeschooling.
If you’re new to homeschooling (or just researching the option), it can be overwhelming trying to figure out all the homeschooling advantages and disadvantages, we find that the best place to start is at the beginning.
SO . . .
To understand where homeschooling education is today, you must first understand how did homeschooling begin.
We’ll take a brief look back at the weird (and sometimes shocking) history of homeschooling and cover some homeschooling facts—with its rich history from colonialism to today.
THIS IS PART 15 IN OUR SERIES FOR NEW HOMESCHOOLERS.
A BRIEF HISTORY O F HOMESCHOOLING
Homeschooling’s History | A Homeschooling Timeline
When Did Education Become Compulsory in the US?
You may be surprised about the history of homeschooling (and even find fascinating facts about homeschooling that you want to share)!
If you’ve ever wondered where did homeschooling come from (and what are homeschoolers doing today), you’ve come to the right place!
(And, just like any good history, homeschooling controversy abounds, so it will definitely be interesting!)
SO . . .
. . . how long has homeschooling been around?
Check it out:
Homeschooling was actually the norm in early America, going as far back as colonial times when people came over on the Mayflower.
Then, it was standard to school your children at home while completing all the other homesteading chores.
Enter: homeschooling in the 1800’s:
It wasn’t until 1837 when Massachusetts opened its first public school that the move toward compulsory education started.
Compulsory education means that education is required by law for children.
During this time, attendance in a school became required for all Massachusetts school aged children.
READ THIS NEXT:
According to the Georgia Home Education Association (GHEA), the first public school:
- created the “first statewide school system in which schools were centralized, state controlled, and financed by property taxes” and
- “was the beginning of state-controlled secular education and the first significant loss of freedom for individuals and families in Massachusetts and, consequently, the entire country.”
By 1918, all states enacted compulsory education, requiring children to attend school, and making homeschooling a crime in all states.
Fascinating Homeschooling Fact:
Compulsory education is determined by the child’s age. Each U.S. state determines the compulsory education age for their state.
History of Homeschooling | Why was homeschooling illegal in the 1970s?
Jump forward a few decades to the liberating 1960s and 70s and homeschooling started to gain a widespread interest again.
However, at that time removing children from public schools to homeschool was illegal.
According to the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), school officials called the process of removing a child from a public school to a home school “criminal truancy.”
During this time, when parents removed a child to homeschool, the traditional schools recorded the amount of time that children were out of the school as unexcused absences instead of a withdrawal from the school.
This forced parents who wanted to homeschool to take an illegal, underground approach.
To get around the strict homeschooling laws, parents started homeschooling before children were ever enrolled in the traditional school system. That way, no public school record of the kids existed.
Some families even went as far as to move to a new community where their children were never enrolled in that local school system just so they could start home educating their own children!
Unbelievably, some parents were still fined or even served jail time for simply wanting to teach their children at home.
READ THIS NEXT FOR MORE HOMESCHOOL INFO:
SO . .. When did homeschooling become legal in the US?
Right before this time, Nevada and Utah started to allow homeschooling.
Nevada passed homeschooling legislation in 1956, followed closely by Utah in 1957.
It wasn’t until 24 years later in the 1980s, that other states followed.
(WOW. I KNOW.)
By 1989, Michigan, North Dakota, and Iowa were the only three states that still considered homeschooling illegal.
By 1993, all 50 states had enacted legislation to make homeschooling legal.
Today, homeschooling legal requirements vary based on the state where you live, but it is legal to homeschool in all 50 states.
If you live in another country, you will need to check the homeschooling laws for that country.
In some countries (like Germany), homeschooling is illegal!
So, if you live in the United States, go ahead and homeschool! Just be sure to first check your the homeschool requirements for your state before starting!
WHAT ARE YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING?
WHICH HOMESCHOOL HISTORY FACT SURPRISED YOU THE MOST?
LET’S TALK IN THE COMMENTS!