President Teddy Roosevelt is one of many distinguished Americans who was homeschooled. As we look back on his childhood, we can marvel at how the extra time and freedom that comes with homeschooling created his unique character and intellect. For example, he had the latitude and space to:

  • Spend ample time  reading
  • Explore and pursue his passion for natural science
  • Travel abroad extensively


Young Teddy had tutors and copious amounts of time to read. His parents “offered him a wide choice of reading material and did not force him to study any particular books.”  In fact, he was such a fervent reader, “never without a book to settle down with or pick up in a spare minute.” Kids laughed at the way he read standing up balanced on one leg and the other foot raised like a stork.


Pursuit of His Passions

All the free time Teddy gained from homeschooling also allowed him to explore and pursue his passion of the natural world. A visit to a to a taxidermist’s shop, where he learned how to skin, stuff and mount animals, was an important event in his life. He hunted, collected, and labeled so many specimens that he was given the attic for his own Museum of Natural History at his family’s home in New York.Image result for free image teddy roosevelt


Travel Without Constraints of a School Schedule

Though sheltered in many ways, Teddy and his siblings saw more of the world than most American children. Twice his family journeyed on yearlong trips abroad. This included a year-long excursion to Europe and also living on a houseboat in Egypt. In Egypt, he was able to observe and catalog many exotic new birds.

When Teddy entered Harvard, he had never been in a class with others before. Teddy participated in a variety of activities and was elected vice-president of the Natural History Society.

Teddy Roosevelt went on to become the 26th President of the United States and was called the “Father of Conservation” for his tremendous work protecting the environment.

A reflection of his education mirrors what so many homeschool families value today: 1) Personalized and customized academics; 2) Experiential and hands-on learning; 3) Travel; 4) Pursuit of passions; 5) Love of books; 6) Time with family.

You may also like:

Need Some K-6 Math Inspiration?

Homeschooling is the Smartest Way to Teach Kids in the 21st Century According to Business Insider

The State of California Pays Me to Customize My Kids’ Education

Top Read-Aloud Picks for Your Family

Do Parents Need More Patience for Public School or Homeschool?

Join my Facebook page to receive every update and post from The Contemporary Homeschooler. I post many articles and thoughts to the Facebook page that are not on my blog.

Note: If you decide to make a purchase through my blog link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it.  This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. So, thank you!

6 thoughts on “Homeschooled Teddy Roosevelt Never Sat in a Classroom Until Harvard

    1. Yes they were. However, across the world homeschoolers of much more modest means are creating personalized, well-rounded and unmatched educations for their children. Riches are not needed to foster a love books as you simply need a free library card. In fact, kids today probably have access to more books than T.R. did. Experiential and hands-on learning can be accomplished in such a variety of ways–sometimes even without spending a dime. For instance, you can do lots of this for free out in nature. Regarding travel, not many families could afford the same extensive travel opportunities abroad. However, they are is so much to see and learn even in our own cities. Many families today choose to take road trips or other vacations to expose them to new experiences and cultures as well as science and living history. Thanks so much for sharing!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s