Home-schooling is a very controversial issue. Home-schooling began in the United States and Canada during the late 19th century, allowing many children to obtain a formal education at home. In the 1960's and '70's some families began home-schooling their children to provide an education in which the child was free to pursue subjects that stimulated the child's interest. In the 1980's and '90's even more families began home-schooling, often because of religious convictions, but also because they believe that their children were not receiving a proper education. Although, children who are home-schooled have many options regarding their methods of home-schooling, and wonderful opportunities as well, they do miss the benefits of many friends and social gatherings.
There is more than one way to home-school a child. John Holt started a method called "un-schooling" in November of 1977. Over the years, un-schooling has come to mean a more relaxed, casual form of home-schooling to many people, but there are various un-schoolers who do use textbooks and curricula.
Un-schooling is more of a mindset than a method. Another method is curriculum based, where home-schooled children buy pre-set curriculums. Examples would consist of the "Oak Meadow Curriculum", or Calvert. Oak Meadow believes that the child must develop his or her own intellect, but that they should also incorporate his or her heart, hands and mind. In later grades students are encouraged to become involved in their communities, to develop a talent, to be of service to others, and to develop self-empowerment and leadership skills. There are numerous other types of ways to home-school a child. The Saxon method, developed by John Saxon, gives a systematic tool for parents that feel the need for structure. Umbrella Schooling gives legitimacy to home-schooling in states that generally discourage it. Montessori, which is also a school...