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Benjamin Franklin
Volume 116, Program 5
5/31/2013


Originally aired November 26, 2010
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The signers of the Declaration of Independence were men of exceptional vision and bravery. Many of the men and women who shaped the early years of United States history did not receive formal schooling. Benjamin Franklin was such a man. Homeschool Legal Defense Association Chairman and General Counsel Michael Farris talks about Franklin’s education on today’s Home School Heartbeat.

Michael Farris:
Benjamin Franklin was the youngest of 17 children. Although his father intended to give him a formal education and send him to college, he was unable to afford that kind of education for his youngest child. As a result, Benjamin Franklin was largely self-taught, aided by an insatiable desire to read everything in sight.

At age 10, young Benjamin began working as an apprentice to his father, learning the candle-making trade. He didn’t like that trade, and eventually his father allowed him to work as an apprentice for his brother James, who was a printer.

While he worked for his brother, he taught himself arithmetic, navigation, geometry, philosophy, and logic. It’s well known that Benjamin Franklin taught himself science so well that he placed himself on the cutting edge of many scientific discoveries.

Benjamin Franklin’s method of self-education and apprenticeship more than prepared him for his multiple careers as a statesman, printer, author, inventor, and U.S. minister to France.

For one or two courses a year, homeschoolers in high school are often self-taught, with their parents providing some guidance but primarily giving out assignments and letting children work on their own. With a few good books and a desire to learn, young people can receive an excellent form of education. This is Michael Farris.


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