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I came across this article about 18 Successful Homeschool Alums and thought I'd share. (Linked to the Huffington Post)

Here is a short list of those famous homeschoolers.

  1. Thomas Edison - is responsible for the carbon telephone, telegraph, phonograph, electric batteries and alkaline batteries. He was home schooled beginning at age 12. His mom took him out of school after a teacher insinuated he was slow.
  2. Laura Ingalls Wilder - author of Little House on the Prairie. She moved frequently and mostly self taught. She became a teacher at age 15.
  3. Theodore Roosevelt - Harvard and Columbia Law alum as well as 26th President of the U.S. was  homeschooled due to frequent illness.
  4. Franklin Delano Roosevelt - Harvard alum and 32nd President of the U.S. was homeschooled until age 14.
  5. Florence Nightingale - founder of modern nursing and two hospitals was homeschooled by her father.
  6. Alexander Graham Bell - one chief inventor of the telephone was homeschooled by his mother for most of his education.
  7. Louisa May Alcott - author of Little Women was homeschooled by her father until age 16.
  8. Susan B. Anthony - teacher, abolitionist, and suffragette left public school young to be homeschooled by her father.
  9. Woodrow Wilson - Princeton alum, Virgina Law school student and 28th President of the U.S. was  homeschooled by his father until age 16.
  10. Robert Frost - Dartmouth student and Poet was homeschooled until his teenage years.

What other 'famous', historical, political, or inspiring homeschool alums do you know of?

by on Sep. 19, 2013 at 9:22 AM
Replies (11-12):
by on Sep. 19, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Brian Burns
South Middle School, Arlington Heights

Abraham Lincoln was a totally self-educated man. Though his childhood education was very limited, he learned much from books. When he was young, his mother died from drinking milk from a cow that had eaten the poisonous snakeroot plant. His father left the cabin and Abe and came back with Lincoln's new mother who started his childhood education.

It was hard to find a good teacher, and good schools were rare on the frontier. Everyone who could read and write was asked to be a teacher. To repay the teachers, families gave a teacher as much extra food as they could spare, such as deer meat, ham, corn, animal skins, or produce because money was often unavailable. Lincoln's teachers were Andrew Crawford, Azel W. Dorsey, and a man known as Sweeney. There was no fixed school year, because students went to school whenever there was a teacher to teach them. Teachers used a whip to keep the students in order. If students misbehaved, they had to wear a dunce cap and sit in the corner for the day. Abe thought school was simple. He did his work at night because of chores during the afternoon, and he sat in front of the fireplace, where he would get his only light. He did his arithmetic on a fire shovel because paper was hard to get.

Abe first went to school in the winter of 1815-1816 when he was six years old. He was happy to walk the four long miles to school and always arrived at school early. School opened in the winter because there were not many chores to be done around the house. The school was a one-room log cabin with one teacher and students of all ages and sizes. There were small children and large husky farm boys. It was called blab school, because the teacher made the Students read out loud, so they would not mispronounce words. Students also recited their lessons out loud to the teacher and the rest of the class. Abraham went to school when he was 6, 7, 11, 13, and 15 years old. All the time he went to school did not add up to a year. Abe did, though, remember much in between his schooling. At age 21 he could read, write, do arithmetic, and cipher to the rule of three, which was as much as most teachers in Indiana could do.

Abraham Lincoln's sister taught him and encouraged him to write. When he got tired of doing arithmetic, he would write poems. Many years later he wrote about how hard it was to find a school teacher. If a straggler supposed to understand Latin happened to sojourn in the neighborhood, he was



looked upon as a wizard. Since paper was hard to get, Abe sometimes wrote in the dust or snow. Abe had extremely good handwriting, so good in fact that neighbors would ask him to compose letters for them.

Abe received most of his education from the books he read. As he grew up, he became fascinated with books. He loved to read every minute of his spare time. When he went out to plow a field, he put a book under his shirt and read at the end of rows when the horses were resting. His best friend, Dennis Hanks, said, "I never saw Abe after he was 12, that he didn't have a book in his hand or in his pocket. It just didn't seem natural to see a guy read like that." Books were scarce in the backwoods, and each book he got was precious. The Lincolns did not have any books and Abe was forced to borrow. He was willing to walk miles to get a book that he might read over and over. Abe read everything he could get his hands on and once told his family, "My best friend is the man who will give me a book I haven't read." He read the Bible several times and other books such as Pilgrim's Progress and Aesop's Fables. His favorite book had a very long title: The Life of George Washington, With Curious Anecdotes, Equally Honorable To Himself and Exemplary To His Young Countrymen. He tucked the book into a corner of the loft. During one night, rain from a big storm stained the cover of the book. To pay for the damage, Abe spent three days harvesting corn for the farmer from whom he borrowed it. George Washington later became one of Lincoln's heroes. One time, Abe walked twenty miles to borrow a book about the United States. In fact, he loved reading so much, he even read a spelling book. He used school books such as Murray's English Reader and Pike's Arithmetic.

Abraham Lincoln's childhood education was poor, but that did not matter. With determination and his love for reading, he became one of the greatest presidents of all time. When he was young he stood in doorways and on tree stumps and imitated speakers. He had no idea that someday he would be speaking to not only a country, but the world.� [From Michael Baron, Who Was Lincoln?; Keith Brandt, Abe Lincoln: The Young Years; Richard Kiegel, The Frontier Years of Abraham Lincoln; Larry Metzger, Abraham Lincoln; Earl Miers, Abe Lincoln in Peace and War; Russel Shorto, Abraham Lincoln To Preserve the Union; Rebecca Steoff, Abraham Lincoln.]

Quoting buckeyetravels:

Wasn't Abraham Lincoln homeschooled or he taught himself?

by on Sep. 20, 2013 at 11:31 AM
1 mom liked this

Woodrow Wilson did attend some classes outside his home as a child. Also, he was homeschooled by necessity due to a learning disability. Robert Frost's father was a teacher by profession. So, IDK... these lists always irk me a little bit. There's more to the story, and usually the 'homeschooling' looked nothing like today and was done for entirely different reasons today (as in the case of Lincoln, never by choice, and he'd have jumped at the chance to be able to attend school, and made great sacrifices to do so whenever he could). 

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