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The Birth of Modern Homeschooling

The Birth of Modern Homeschooling

(p.32) Chapter Two The Birth of Modern Homeschooling
James G. DwyerShawn F. Peters
University of Chicago Press

For the past century, the overwhelming majority of American children have been educated outside of their homes in public or private “regular” school—state-accredited institutions staffed by educators with formal training. During the middle part of the twentieth century, homeschooling remained a novelty. Challenges to this dogma emerged in the decades after World War II. Following the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education (1954), many whites were aghast that the courts would mandate an end to school segregation and enforce measures meant to guarantee integration, such as busing. Many Christians protested measures that ended religious practices such as prayer in school. As Americans increasingly put their children into religious private schools, debates over state regulation of these schools exploded. Leftist education activists opened Free Schools to provide quality education to children underserved by the public school system. Dissatisfaction with schools on both the right and left contributed to a growing—if still fringe—homeschooling movement. The chapter closes with a summary of the struggle for legal recognition of and protections for homeschooling.

Keywords:   busing, integration, school prayer, private schools, school accreditation, Free School movement

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