Home Schooling – A new idea in 1693

English philosopher John Locke's works lie at the foundation of modern philosophical empiricism and political liberalism.
English philosopher John Locke’s works lie at the foundation of modern philosophical empiricism and political liberalism.

John Locke was a thinker, philosopher, a selfless man. His two most important publications brought him not one cent of profit. In fact, he did not admit writing them until after his death, as a footnote to his will.

His “Some Thoughts Concerning Education” published in 1693 promoted what was then and now, the revolutionary idea of home schools. Locke believed education was for the purpose of promoting liberty, a contrarian view to Thomas Hobbes who believed education should promote submission to authority.

He held in great disdain teachers who worshipped power. “All the entertainment and talk of history is,” he wrote, “of nothing almost but fighting and killing: and the honour and renown that is bestowed on conquerors (who are for the most part but the great butchers of mankind) further mislead growing youth, who . . . come to think slaughter the laudable business of mankind, and the most heroic of virtues.”

Yes, but can homeschooled people be successful? The list of highly successful people who were homeschooled will amaze you as it amazed me.

Photographer Ansel Adams
Founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange
Inventors Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison
Novelist Pearl S. Buck
Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson
Founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale
A host of popular entertainers, mathematicians and at least one law professor.

Homeschoolers don’t have multi-million dollar football stadiums. Their “school bus” is mom’s car. Unlike geographical limitations for public school students, the world is classroom for homeschooled students; it’s school you can take with you, even on a Caribbean cruise.

Home school students do have something, something of tremendous value, not available to public school students: liberty. Liberty to worship God every day, every hour of the day. Liberty to probe and question.

Yes, homeschooling was a new idea 322 years ago.

John White

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