History of Homeschooling in the U.S.—How Teaching at Home Developed Over Time
Are you about to start homeschooling but are still reluctant because of the olden associations with this way of teaching? Homeschooling is no longer reserved for highly religious families as it was in the past. DoNotPay will present the history of homeschooling in the U.S. and explain how it improved over time.
To better analyze the idea of homeschooling, we’ll present a brief overview of teaching at home in the:
- Colonial America
- 18th and 19th century
- 20th century
- 21st century
In Colonial America, public schools were scarce and open only for boys. These institutions were usually managed by religious groups (primarily Puritans) who implemented the idea of mandatory public education. Most children in America still received their education at home until the 18th century.
In the 18th and 19th century, most students left homeschooling for the one-room schoolhouse. During the 1800s, education was voluntary, and attendance varied from season to season and even day to day. The average number of days students attended school was 78 and for only a few hours a day.
Homeschooling or domestic education was experiencing a rapid decline. By the end of the 19th century, 72% of children aged 5–17 were enrolled in public schools. They only had to attend schools 99 days per year and a few hours a day.
The 20th century was not a homeschooling era. By the end of the sixties, 87% of children (ages 5–17) were enrolled in public schools, and almost everyone else was in private schools. The average school attendance at that time was 162 days.
This was also the time when education was slowly moving from federal to state control.
The homeschooling movement exploded in the U.S. during the 1980s and 1990s due to concerns related to sex, drugs, and disorder, which penetrated American culture at the time. Christians became worried about exposure to negative beliefs and wrong values from the religious perspective.
- Special learning needs
- Gifted children
- Safety reasons
- The opportunity to bond with their children
The process also became significantly easier because of modern technology, an abundance of available curricula, and various teaching methods available. Only a few states still impose strict homeschooling requirements, but the rest have pretty lax statutes. You can check out the rules in each in the table below:
The only mandatory step is to send a notice of intent to homeschool to the superintendent of your school district, although some states skip this formality entirely. The letter informs the school that your child will be homeschooled and shouldn’t be marked as absent.
If the state you reside in requires sending a letter of intent to homeschool, you should use DoNotPay for the task. We can generate this document for you fast and without any trouble. You can choose between:
- Downloading the PDF and sending it yourself
- Having us mail the letter in your stead
- Having the letter notarized
To get your letter of intent, you should:
- Sign up for DoNotPay
- Choose the Notice of Intent To Homeschool product
- Provide us with the information about your school district
- Answer a few questions about you and your child
If you are still indecisive about embarking on a homeschooling journey, here are some advantages to consider:
- Tailoring the education to your child’s needs, abilities, and goals
- Having your child learning in a safe environment
- Focusing all your attention on one student
- Being your child’s teacher and spending more time with them
- Adjusting the teaching pace and method
If you don’t quite grasp the concept of homeschooling, maybe reading these helpful articles can clear things up:
- Can you start homeschooling in the middle of the year?
- Can someone else homeschool your child?
- How much does it cost to homeschool?
- How many hours a day should you homeschool?
- Are specific subjects mandatory?
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