In my web travels, I found the following site states categorically the names of the first American homeschoolers.
- Home-schooling-news.com, Home schooling In modern times, although there were American families living overseas who were already homeschooling their children, the first parents known to homeschool within the United States were Tom and Mary Bergman of Utah, 1971. Unknown to each other at the time, the second known family was Charles and Virginia Birt Baker of Texas, 1972.
I can’t think of any reason why the Bergmans and Bakers couldn’t have been homeschooling, but ‘the first known homeschoolers?’ That would be news to Sandra Day O’Connor (and others), and, in 1990, to an older gentleman at church who, after hearing I was homeschooling the kids, said he had been homeschooled using Calvert. As his kids were older than I was, and as I was 22 in 1972, I’m sure he was homeschooled long before then.
A whiffle about this little article to other long-time homeschoolers brought the following:
- The Nashville Tenneseean, 7 June 1953, Running a Home in a Schoolhouse
- HomeSchool Association of California, 2002, A Brief History of HomeschoolingTufts University professor A.A. Berle wrote in the introduction to his book, The School In Your Home (Moffit Yard, 1912), that American mass education has been a failure over the past twenty-years and that people from day laborers to University professors have written to him about it.
- Illinois state law, January 18, 1950, People vs. Levisen
Anyone can write anything on the Web, and even with the best of intentions on the part of the writer, the information can be in error. The snippet about the ‘first known homeschoolers’ is benign, but if you’re looking for important information about homeschooling, check and double-check references and sources. Caveat lector.
Hat tip to Susan for the references.