The Successful People Who Were Educated at Home
- Alexander Graham Bell- Inventor of the telephone
Until the age of ten, Bell was educated by his hearing-impaired mother, who taught him the manual alphabet to facilitate communication. He attended school for five years, but was an undistinguished student. When he turned fifteen, Bell went to live with his seventy-two-year-old grandfather, who took charge of the boy’s education and inspired him to challenge himself academically.
- Pearl Buck-Nobel-Prize Winning Novelist
The daughter of American missionaries in China, Buck was given a Western education by her mother in the mornings. In the afternoons she was tutored in China studies by a Mr. Kung, who did not come on rainy days because his mother feared he would wet his feet and fall ill. He was in his late forties at the time. Nevertheless, he died of cholera when Buck was thirteen, and she was sent, two or three times a week, to a mission school for girls.
- Agatha Christie-Mystery Writer
Christie’s mother believed that it was bad for the brain for children to be taught to read before the age of eight, so the future novelist taught before she was five. Her father then instructed her in writing and arithmetic. Another of her mother’s beliefs was that girls should be allowed to run free instead of being sent to school, so Christie immersed herself in the comments of the large family library. She received less than two years of formal education from age thirteen to fifteen and later commented that if she had continued, she would have probably ended up a third- or fourth-rate mathematician instead of a successful author.
- Thomas Edison-Inventor of the phonograph and the electric light bulb
Edison began school when he was eight years old, but did not response well to the harsh methods of the schoolmaster. After three months he overheard the teacher refer to his mind as addled. Edison stormed out of the schoolroom and never returned. His mother took over his education and by the age of nine he was reading literary classic, including Shakespeare and Dickens. That same year, his mother brought home a textbook on physical science. Edison completed every experiment in the book. From then on, his mother encouraged him to study whatever he wanted.