Ben Franklin And Thomas Jefferson Never Went To Public SchoolWritten by Joel Turtel
Most of our Founding Fathers, including Ben Franklin, Sam Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, like most average colonial Americans, spent few years, if any, in formal grammar schools of day, yet they knew how to read and write well.
Most voluntary local grammar schools expected parents to teach their children to read and write before they started school. Most colonial parents apparently had no trouble teaching their children these skills.
At least ten of our presidents were home-schooled. James Madisonís mother taught him to read and write. John Quincy Adams was educated at home until he was twelve years old. At age fourteen, he entered Harvard. Abraham Lincoln, except for fifty weeks in a grammar school, learned at home from books he borrowed. He learned law by reading law books, and became an apprentice to a practicing lawyer in Illinois.
Other great Americans were similarly educated. John Rutledge, a chief justice of Supreme Court, was taught at home by his father until he was eleven years old. Patrick Henry, one our great Founding Fathers and governor of colonial Virginia, learned English grammar, Bible, history, French, Latin, Greek, and classics from his father.
Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, and Florence Nightingale were all taught at home by their mothers or fathers. John Jay was one of authors of Federalist Papers, a chief Justice of Supreme Court, and a governor of New York. His mother taught him reading, grammar, and Latin before he was eight years old. John Marshall, our first Supreme Court Chief Justice, was home-schooled by his father until age fourteen. Robert E. Lee, Thomas Stonewall Jackson, George Patton, and Douglas MacArthur were also educated at home. Booker T. Washington, helped by his mother, taught himself to read by using Noah Websterís Blue Back Speller.
America's Public School System --- Brutal And SpartanWritten by Joel Turtel
The public school system in America has become a dismal failure. But education in many other times and cultures has been quite successful. The ancient Greeks, whose civilization was at its height around 500 B.C., founded Western civilization as we know it. The Athenian Greeks invented or perfected logic, drama, science, philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, literature, and much more. Yet ancient Greece had no compulsory schools.
Other than requiring two years of military training for young men that began at age eighteen, Athens let parents educate their children as they saw fit. Parents either taught their children at home or sent them to voluntary schools where teachers and philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle gave lectures to all who wanted to learn. These great teacher-philosophers did not need a license to teach, nor did they have tenure.
The ancient Athenians had a free-market education system. The thought of compulsory, state-run schools and compulsory licensing would have been repulsive to them. The Athenians respected a parentsí natural right to direct education of their children.
In contrast, Sparta, Athensís mortal enemy, created first truly state-run, compulsory education system on record. Individual Spartans lived and died for state, and had to serve state from birth until sixty years of age. Their society was a brutal military dictatorship in which male children literally belonged to city, not to their parents.
The Spartan military government took boys from their homes and parents at age of seven and forced them to live in military-style barracks for rest of their lives. Spartan men were life-long soldiers whose highest duty was to obey commands of their leaders.