Jul 102013

Thomas Edison was one of the most famous homeschoolers ever!

I was APPALLED when I first read that Thomas Edison was basically tossed out of school at the age of 12 because he was “too dull” to succeed academically. Needless to say, we all know differently today!

Thomas Edison’s educational history and life can be a great inspiration to your child, particularly if your child struggles with academic learning. Thomas Edison struggled too, but he achieved great things!

For all practical purposes, Thomas Edison was homeschooled. After he was dismissed from his school, Thomas’ mom helped him set up experiments and let him do research to his heart’s content. Thomas’ mom helped her son experience his learning passions.

In looking back upon the life of Thomas Edison, you may find an inspirational story for your child and clues for helping your child learn. I HIGHLY recommend reading books about Thomas Edison’s life to your child. It provides great encouragement.

Reading Thomas Edison’s story will also help YOU face tomorrow’s homeschool day with renewed inspiration, particularly if you have a pre-teen or teenaged boy who makes your day a challenge.

Feed your child’s passions like Thomas Edison’s parents fed his, and who knows where your child will go.

The education of Thomas Edison started unremarkably, like other children of his era. He attended school when his family work load permitted. However, Thomas Edison was not your “model” student, and his “public” school career was cut short.

“His mind often wandered and his teacher the Reverend Engle was overheard calling him ‘addled’.” (Addled – [adj] confused and vague; used especially of thinking; “muddleheaded ideas”; “your addled little brain”; “woolly thinking”; “woolly-headed ideas” (from the Hyperdictionary, quote from Wikipedia)

“He was imaginative and inquisitive, but because much instruction was by rote and he had difficulty hearing, he was bored and was labeled a misfit [in traditional school].” (from Crystalinks).

“The school teacher considered the famous inventor to be a bit dull. After three months of schooling, one day the teacher called Thomas an “addled” (confused) student. Thomas hurried home and told his mother. When she went to the schoolhouse to talk to the teacher, they got into a heated discussion and the teacher told Mrs. Edison that Thomas was not teachable. Mrs. Edison promptly removed Thomas from the school and from then on he was homeschooled! ” (from Homeschool Learning)

Edison was schooled “sporadically for five years” prior to his total dismissal for being “addled”. Edison’s official schooling ended at the age of twelve, but we all know that is not the end of the story.

“His mother had been a school teacher in Canada and happily took over the job of schooling her son. She encouraged and taught him to read and experiment. He recalled later, “My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me; and I felt I had something to live for, someone I must not disappoint.” (from Wikipedia)

SOOOOO, ALWAYS remember, your defiant or “addled” twelve year-old boy might have a spark inside of him that just needs to be lit by someone who believes in him as a bright child. Who better to light the fire than YOU?!

I think all of us, with differently spirited children, have a special and blessed job to do. With my child, I KNOW I am shaping his future in ways that public school never would have (especially with the experiences we previously had in PS). Maybe one day, I’ll be the home schooling mother of my great and famous son! ;-D

If you’d like to know more about how to homeschool your creative learner, click through to learn how to teach your child through multisensory instruction.  Make learning fun and fulfilling for your child, and who knows where he’ll end up?