In the nineteenth-century education for several of our presidents was strictly hit or miss for a variety of reasons. On the other hand, a couple of presidents enjoyed what you and I know in the 21st century as Ivy League educations. Fortunately for our young nation, most of these men were leaders who were able to guide our country through so uncharted waters and perilous times.
17 - Andrew Johnson
President from April 15, 1865 to March 4, 1869
Born: December 29, 1808, Raleigh, North Carolina
Died: July 31, 1875, Carter County, Tennessee, Tennessee
Political party: Democratic Party
North Carolina native Andrew Johnson succeeded Abraham Lincoln. He had no formal schooling as his family was very poor. His meager educational background notwithstanding, Johnson apparently was a skilled public speaker.
Book Scrolling has a list of books about our 17th president.
18 - Ulysses S. Grant
President from March 4, 1869 to March 4, 1877
Born: April 27, 1822, Point Pleasant, Ohio
Died: July 23, 1885, Wilton, New York
Political party: Republican Party
Ohio native Hiram Ulysses Grant appears to have had formal schooling from the age of five. He attended a subscription school, i.e., a school which his parents paid for him to attend, as well as two private schools, the Maysville Seminary, and John Rankin's Academy. He matriculated to West Point. Ron Chernow's book
I was musing the other day about how things might have turned out differently if this or that had happened in my life. The same exercise applies to just about any subject. So let's do it with private schools.
What if you can't make up your mind about whether to send your daughter to grade school or to high school?
You won't be alone if you are in a quandary about sending your child to primary grades or to high school. I wrote about this at length in Should You Send Your Child to Private Primary or High School? It is a catch 22 situation. Primary school lays the foundation for solid achievement in high school, while high school lays the foundation for solid achievement in college. If either academic foundation is constructed with less than the best materials, the educational structure built on that foundation will have deficiencies.
The solution is to find the private school which meets as many of your requirements as possible. I explain how to do this in The Search Process: A 5 Point Checklist
What if you think you cannot afford to send your child to a private school?
It is discouraging when you discover that a day school can cost $35,000 or more. And that's just for tuition. Add in fees and sundries such as music lessons, and you are probably looking at more than $40,000. Luckily, you have several options available to you. The first and most obvious one is that there
In December 2017 the 115th Congress of the United States passed a major act dealing with taxes. One of the changes in the Tax Code pertained to ESA or Educational Savings Accounts. Most parents and grandparents are probably familiar with ESAs as a means of saving for their children and grandchildren's college educations. Congress has expanded Section 529 ESAs to include K-12 education expenses as well as college expenses.
First, a bit of history. The educational savings accounts known as Section 529 plans were created by the Small Business Job Protection Act Of 1996. The section of this act which pertains to educational savings accounts is entitled PART VIII—QUALIFIED STATE TUITION PROGRAMS. The text begins on page 141. This is worth reading so that you can discuss the topic with your financial advisor when you set up your 529 plan.
Changes to the Tax Code
On Friday, December 22, 2017 President Donald Trump signed An Act to Provide for Reconciliation Pursuant to Titles II and V of the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2018 While the Act has effects on a wide range of tax situations, the specific text pertaining to K-12 educational expenses can be found on page 74. Here is the relevant paragraph:
‘‘(7) TREATMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY TUITION.—Any reference in this subsection to the term ‘qualified higher education expense’ shall include a reference to expenses for tuition in connection with enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary
It was a different world for the Presidents who held office in the 20th-century. They had a succession of wars to deal with, as well as two devastating economic recessions.
28 - Woodrow Wilson
President from March 4, 1913 to March 4, 1921.
Born: December 28, 1856, Staunton, Virginia
Died: February 3, 1924, Washington, DC
Political party: Democratic Party
Virginia native Woodrow Wilson did not attend school until he was a teenager. He was homeschooled. Scholars seem to think he might have had dyslexia. Wilson compensated for this by learning Graham Shorthand. He did manage to attend college, variously attending Davidson College, Princeton University, and the University of Virginia Law School.
29 - Warren Harding
President from March 4, 1921 to August 2, 1923
Born: November 2, 1865, Blooming Grove, Ohio
Died: August 2, 1923, San Francisco, California
Political Party: Republican Party
Little is known of Ohio native Warren Harding's early education. Scholars seem to think that he was mostly homeschooled. He attended Ohio Central College and earned his degree from that institution.
30 - Calvin Coolidge
President from August 2, 1923 to March 4, 1929
Born: July 4, 1872, Plymouth Notch, Vermont
Died: January 5, 1933, Northampton, Massachusetts
Political Party: Republican Party
Vermont native Calvin Coolidge attended Black River Academy and then St. Johnsbury Academy, local
Not many schools existed in colonial times in our young nation. The dearth of schools makes you wonder what forces shaped the philosophies and thinking of the men who became our first sixteen presidents. In the 18th and early 19th-centuries, formal education usually took place in a small, intimate setting in the home of a minister. Lessons included what we now call core subjects, i.e., reading, writing, and mathematics. Teachers also taught the Scriptures and classical languages.
In pre-Revolution days, occasionally young men were sent off to England to study in boarding or public schools there. Many of these early presidents matriculated to colleges such as William and Mary, Harvard, Princeton and the University of North Carolina, back in the days when these institutions were just becoming established. Politics, agriculture, law, and the armed services figure prominently in the career paths of these distinguished men in many cases. Other presidents came to the job with very little formal education. What follows are snapshots of these remarkable leaders.
1 - George Washington
President from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797. No party affiliation.
Born: February 22, 1732, Westmoreland County, Virginia, Virginia
Died: December 14, 1799, Mount Vernon, Virginia
Our first President, George Washington, was homeschooled and self-taught. His formal education consisted of lessons in mathematics, reading, and writing. Scholars seem to think that George attended classes with Reverend James Marye,