© 2017


An American History

  • Contextualizes the modern homeschooling movement within the larger context of the late-20th century critique of institutions and expertise

  • Provides readers with a history of homeschooling from colonial times to the present

  • Reveals how the cultural meaning of home-based educated has shifted over time


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Milton Gaither
    Pages 1-23
  3. Milton Gaither
    Pages 25-51
  4. Milton Gaither
    Pages 53-90
  5. Milton Gaither
    Pages 91-130
  6. Milton Gaither
    Pages 131-160
  7. Milton Gaither
    Pages 161-205
  8. Milton Gaither
    Pages 207-240
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 307-317

About this book


This book provides a lively account of one of the most important and overlooked themes in American education. Beginning in the colonial period and working to the present, Gaither describes in rich detail how the home has been used as the base for education of all kinds. The last five chapters focus especially on the modern homeschooling movement and offer the most comprehensive and authoritative account of it ever written.  Readers will learn how and why homeschooling emerged when it did, where it has been, and where it may be going. The second edition has been thoroughly revised to incorporate the most recent scholarship on the topic and to provide comprehensive coverage of recent trends.


Homeschooling Home Education Domestic Education History of the Family History of Education

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.MechanicsburgUSA

About the authors

Milton Gaither is Professor of Education at Messiah College, USA. He is a founding member and co-director of the International Center for Home Education Research and has published extensively on homeschooling and other topics related to the history of US education.  

Bibliographic information


“The best book on home education written to date. A cross-disciplinary gem. Comprehensive, deep, beautifully constructed, alive, and amazingly accessible.” (Joseph F. Murphy, Frank W. Mayborn Chair, Vanderbilt University, USA)

“This engaging and meticulously detailed history displays a breadth and depth of insight unsurpassed in the research literature on homeschooling. Gaither not only tells the story of homeschooling’s past, but explores its wider significance for education in the years ahead.  With this revised edition, Gaither reinforces his status as the foremost scholar of American homeschooling, and his text is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand this compelling educational phenomenon and what it means for families, communities, and broader society.” (Robert Kunzman, Professor of Curriculum Studies and Philosophy of Education, Indiana University, USA)