Home School Court Report
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No. 2

In This Issue

Special Feature
The Early Days of Homeschooling
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compiled by Court Report Staff
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Before 1970
Calvert School

Calvert School’s Home Instruction Department has been providing families with K-8 homeschooling curricula since headmaster Virgil Hillyer came up with the idea of a parent-taught kindergarten curriculum in 1906. More than 500,000 students have used Calvert’s home instruction program over the last century.

John Holt

Disillusioned schoolteacher John Holt gave up his campaign to reform traditional schools, instead focusing on ways that children could learn without conventional schooling. He wrote a number of books that helped inspire the homeschool movement, from How Children Fail (1964) to Teach Your Own (1981). He is also known for launching America’s first homeschooling magazine Growing Without Schooling in August 1977.


Among the earliest proponents of homeschooling were Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore. Beginning in the 1960s, their research on childhood Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore education led them to develop the Moore Method of education and eventually to write a series of books explaining and promoting homeschooling, the first of which was Better Late Than Early in 1978.

Pat Montgomery

In 1979, Pat and Jim Montgomery launched the K-8 Clonlara School Home Based Education Program, an outgrowth of their Montessori-based Clonlara School. Over the years, the school has enabled families to homeschool in all 50 states and in more than 30 foreign countries.

Dr. Paul Lindstrom

Dr. Paul Lindstrom launched what is now Christian Liberty Academy School System in 1975 with a small newspaper ad, resulting in several hundred students and eventually growing to over 100,000 families worldwide.

Teaching Home Magazine

Sue and Pat Welch began publishing the popular Teaching Home magazine in 1980. For many years, the Teaching Home assisted state organizations by publishing early state newsletters as part of the magazine.


Gregg Harris In 1981, Gregg Harris, an author, speaker, and homeschooling dad, began offering Christian Life Workshops that offered basic whys and hows of homeschooling. Over 180,000 families eventually attended these events, later renamed The Basic Home Schooling Workshop.

Carden Family Smith Family Farris Family

Home School Legal Defense Association was founded in 1983 by Mike Farris and Mike Smith. First board member families were Mike and Vickie Farris (third photo from top), Mike and Elizabeth Smith (center), and Jim and Jeanie Carden (top).

Initially, HSLDA’s legal and legislative news was published as an insert in the Teaching Home magazine. Our first stand-alone newsletter, the Home School Court Report, was printed in 1985.

Many in the first wave of homeschoolers Dr. James Dobson say they were introduced to the concept when Dr. James Dobson interviewed the Moores on his national radio program, Focus on the Family, in 1982.

In 1983, Accelerated Christian Education (A.C.E.) began providing broader “leadership and assistance to homeschool families” through Living Heritage Academy, using the curriculum they had developed for Christian schools and missionaries.

Carole Thaxton and Jessica Hulcy In 1984, two educators turned homeschooling moms, Carole Thaxton and Jessica Hulcy, wrote one of the first homeschool curricula—KONOS, which emphasized unit studies.

Bill Gothard

Another homeschool program that helped many families get started was the Advanced Training Institute, launched in 1984 by Bill Gothard with the assistance of Inge Cannon.

Homeschooling mother, author, and speaker Mary Pride Mary Pride published The Way Home: Beyond Feminism, Back to Reality in March 1985, and then the first in her popular three-volume series, The Big Book of Home Learning.

Dr. Brian Ray Seeing a need for a journal to collect and publish research related to homeschooling, Dr. Brian Ray began publishing the Home School Researcher in 1985.