Homeschool: an American History
Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of reading Homeschool: an American History by Milton Gaither. Gaither is a professor at Messiah College in Grantham, PA who has noted that “historians of education have not paid sufficient attention to forms of education outside of the public school system.” He is working to close this gap in his book and his blog, Homeschooling Research Notes.
Click on over to read the rest of Dana’s analysis.
At Professor Gaither’s own blog, he explains,
But in the late 1960s and 1970s there emerged a reaction against institutional schooling on both the radical left and right.
I’m glad to read that because it’s the same conclusion that occurred to me.
By the 1950s and 1960s in the United States public schooling was socially conservative and as a reaction to this many liberal parents chose to teach their children at home. They were encouraged by authors such as John Holt and Ivan Illich. Perhaps in conjunction with the liberal movement against conservative education the schools, too, shifted to a more liberal mode of education. This caused a reaction among the conservative parents who viewed this shift as secular humanism and a growth in the number of Christian schools joined the ranks of the already well-established Catholic parochial schools. In 1978 the IRS revoked the tax-exempt status of some private schools and they foundered. Conservative parents were left with the choice of homeschooling or using the secularly humanistic public schools. By the middle of the 1980s both ends of the political spectrum were represented among homeschoolers but the center did not hold. As has happened so many times through history, schism occurred for reasons not germane to military homeschooling. Those effects are still felt today.
(In what must be the vanity of all vanity presses, I’m ‘publishing’ a military homeschooling book that I wrote a few years ago. I’ve put it on a blog because 1) I don’t think the market is ‘there’ for a dead tree version and 2) I don’t want to have copies of a book cluttering the house for years while I try to find customers. I’m far too lazy to ever get rich. The URL might not stay the same as WordPress.com doesn’t allow user-Adsense ads to compete with its own Adsense ads, so I’m looking for another host. And btw, that’s not the entire book so far.)
In any case, go look at Dana’s analysis. If you’re intrigued, you may have to wait to get a copy of Dr. Gaither’s book from Amazon. I just bought the last copy.