Homeschooled Teddy Roosevelt Never Sat in a Classroom Until Harvard

Homeschooled Teddy Roosevelt Never Sat in a Classroom Until Harvard

President Teddy Roosevelt is one of many distinguished Americans who was homeschooled. As we look back on his childhood, we can marvel at how the extra time and freedom that comes with homeschooling created his unique character and intellect. For example, he had the latitude and space to:

  • Spend ample time  reading
  • Explore and pursue his passion for natural science
  • Travel abroad extensively

Reading

Young Teddy had tutors and copious amounts of time to read. His parents “offered him a wide choice of reading material and did not force him to study any particular books.”  In fact, he was such a fervent reader, “never without a book to settle down with or pick up in a spare minute.” Kids laughed at the way he read standing up balanced on one leg and the other foot raised like a stork.

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Pursuit of His Passions

All the free time Teddy gained from homeschooling also allowed him to explore and pursue his passion of the natural world. A visit to a to a taxidermist’s shop, where he learned how to skin, stuff and mount animals, was an important event in his life. He hunted, collected, and labeled so many specimens that he was given the attic for his own Museum of Natural History at his family’s home in New York.Image result for free image teddy roosevelt

 

Travel Without Constraints of a School Schedule

Though sheltered in many ways, Teddy and his siblings saw more of the world than most American children. Twice his family journeyed on yearlong trips abroad. This included a year-long excursion to Europe and also living on a houseboat in Egypt. In Egypt, he was able to observe and catalog many exotic new birds.

When Teddy entered Harvard, he had never been in a class with others before. Teddy participated in a variety of activities and was elected vice-president of the Natural History Society.

Teddy Roosevelt went on to become the 26th President of the United States and was called the “Father of Conservation” for his tremendous work protecting the environment.

A reflection of his education mirrors what so many homeschool families value today: 1) Personalized and customized academics; 2) Experiential and hands-on learning; 3) Travel; 4) Pursuit of passions; 5) Love of books; 6) Time with family.

You may also like:

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Homeschooling is the Smartest Way to Teach Kids in the 21st Century According to Business Insider

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Do Parents Need More Patience for Public School or Homeschool?

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WikiLeaks Julian Assange is a Former Homeschooler

Julian Asssange, founder of Wikileaks, is a former homeschooler. Whether you consider him a crusader for the truth or someone who has endangered others by putting masses of sensitive information out to the public domain, he is among the ranks of many noteworthy homeschoolers.

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Whether you consider him a crusader for the truth or someone who has endangered others by putting masses of sensitive information out to the public domain, he is among the ranks of many noteworthy homeschoolers.

 

Most recently, the controversial activist and computer hacker released documents damaging to the Hilary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. He warns more will be released before the November election.

Born in Australia, he led a nomadic childhood. His parents ran a touring theater and homeschooled him. We don’t know much more about his homeschooling or unusual upbringing. One thing is for sure: he is a bold and brilliant individual to undermine some of the most powerful governments and politicians.

 

You may also be interested in this post about former homeschooler, Condoleeza Rice:

Condoleeza Rice Writes About Homeschool Memories

To learn about some of the benefits to your family in homeschooling:

Homeschooling: The Road Less Traveled

Read why Business Insider says homeschooling is the smartest way to teach kids in the 21st century:

Business Insider Says Homeschooling is the Smartest Way to Teach Kids in the 21st Century

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Condoleeza Rice Writes About Her Homeschool Memories

We are reading an autobiography that the extraordinary Condoleeza Rice, former United States Secretary of State, wrote for kids. Here is an excerpt in which she talks about her homeschool experience:

“Mother was very systematic about my school day. We’d get up and see Daddy off to work and then start ‘school’. She ordered the first-and second-grade texts in math, science and reading and took me through them in a very rigorous fashion. I’d take tests every week to chart our progress. This flexible schedule also allowed time to practice piano, and as a result, I advanced significantly during this period.”

“This flexible schedule also allowed time to practice piano, and as a result, I advanced significantly during this period.”–Condoleeza Rice

“Occasionally, if I did well in my schoolwork, we would knock off a little early and go shopping in downtown Birmingham. One such trip yielded my first Barbie doll, dressed in the iconic black and white zebra-striped bathing suit. But for the most part, my mother was all business and very demanding.”

“But for the most part, my mother was all business and very demanding.”–Condoleeza Rice


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Note: She wrote, “After launching me academically, my mother returned to work.” She was educated at home for a year or two. I like how she talks about the extra time she gained with homeschooling allowed her to advance quickly.

For ideas on adding more structure to your schedule, you may be interested in:

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning Part One

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning Part Two

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Note: If you decide to make a purchase through my blog link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it.  This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. So, thank you!

 

Abraham Lincoln: Self-Educated with Quality Books

How important do you think reading quality books and articles is to your child’s education, character, and critical thinking skills? As I study some of the greatest minds in history, a recurring theme seems to be they were voracious readers.

Here is an excerpt about Abraham Lincoln who had very little formal childhood education. It amounted to about one year of schooling.

“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.”