Although home education is becoming more popular and more widely accepted, there are still a great number of critics and skeptics who do not believe it is a viable option. They believe that homeschoolers will end up being weird, unsocialized, uneducated, and/or unable to successfully navigate the real world. However, there is plenty of evidence that says otherwise. That shows that homeschoolers can be just as socialized, well-rounded, educated, and successful as their public/private school counterparts. In fact, there are several examples of homeschooled individuals who have been very successful as adults. Here are just a few of the more well-known ones.
Famed inventor and creative mind (responsible for such things as the telegraph, the phonograph, and two types of batteries), Thomas Edison started his home education when he was 12. Apparently, his mom pulled out of school and taught him herself after his teacher suggested that he was slow. Just goes to show you that a child that doesn’t do well in one setting may thrive in another.
26th President of the United States, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt was frequently ill as a child (he had severe asthma), so his parents opted to homeschool him. He eventually went on to study at Harvard University and Columbia Law School. Not too shabby, eh?
Venus and Serena Williams
Sister tennis superstars, Venus and Serena Williams were homeschooled by their father beginning in their pre-teen years. This enabled them to focus on their tennis training. In addition to excelling in the world of athletics, the sisters have gone on to pursue passions such as fashion design and philanthropy.
28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson received his education by his father until he was 16. He then went on to attend Princeton University and the University of Virginia. He dropped out of law school to teach himself.
If you are a fan of mystery novels, then Agatha Christie is likely represented on your shelf somewhere. The celebrated novelist received a home education until he was 15. She then went on to French finishing schools.
The mother of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale was educated at home by her father. She famously went on to found the Nightingale Training School for Nurses as well as St. Thomas’s Hospital.
Yet another President of the USA makes the list! Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who served as our 32nd president, was homeschooled until he was 14. He went on to attain his secondary education at Harvard University.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
The creative mind behind bestselling book, Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder was self-educated – primarily because her family moved around so much that enrolling in a school was probably pointless. They would always be struggling to adjust to new rules and new curricula. Apparently, this worked well for Wilder because she began her career as a teacher at the ripe old age of 15!
Known throughout the world as an Olympic gold medalist in the ice skating arena. Due to her rigorous training schedule, Kwan’s family opted to homeschool her until she was in the 8th grade.
Alexander Graham Bell
Another well-known inventor (he helped invent the telephone), Alexander Graham Bell was taught at home by his mother for the majority of his education. The years that he attended public school, he was said to not be an exceptional student. However, his mother made it a point to encourage his curiosity and passion. Thank goodness!
Louisa May Alcott
Author of Little Women, Louisa May Alcott was educated by her father, Bronson Alcott – a famed teacher, writer, and philosopher. Her father was very well-connected: some of her tutors included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne!
Susan B. Anthony
Celebrated abolitionist and suffragette, Susan B. Anthony began her education in public school. However, her father opted to teach her at home once he learned that one of her teachers refused to teach female students how to do long division.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Famed composer and child prodigy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was homeschooled by his father as he toured around Europe playing the piano at the tender age of 6!
Honorable Mention: Condoleezza Rice
Though she was not homeschooled for long, Condoleezza Rice’s year of homeschooling seems to have set her up for success. While her peers attended the 1st grade, Rice had to stay home because she was not old enough to attend regular classes. So her mother taught her at home. When she started attending public school the next year (at the age of 6), she was reading on a 5th grade level and doing math on a 3rd grade level.
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