Ralph Swanson – Early Homeschool Pioneer

Ralph Swanson is one of the earliest homeschooling pioneers I know. In 1969, he moved his young family across the ocean to a small island in Japan, and home educated them. At that time, virtually NO ONE was thinking about homeschooling.

Many of you may be familiar with homeschool conference speaker, Kevin Swanson, of Generations with Vision, who is Ralph’s second-oldest son. I am thankful for Ralph agreeing to share his thoughts with us here.

Israel Wayne: In what year did you begin homeschooling, and what was your initial reason to start home educating?

Ralph Swanson
Family Photo 1972 Karatsu, Japan.

Ralph Swanson: 1970 – Dissatisfaction with both public and Christian Schools plus moving to a foreign country.

Israel Wayne: What obstacles did you face in attempting to homeschool (resistance by family, legal threats, lack of access to resources, social stigmas, etc.)?

Ralph Swanson: None

Israel Wayne: In what ways were/are you involved in serving the homeschooling community?

Ralph Swanson: Very little as we were quite isolated

Israel Wayne: What do you wish had known when you first started homeschooling? What would you do differently?

Ralph Swanson: We were happy with the way we did it, but times have changed now.

Israel Wayne: What trends have you seen in homeschooling today that bother you? Do you see new things about homeschooling today that you appreciate?

Ralph Swanson: Haven’t really kept up to date on trends. Plenty of materials available to choose from but some seem quite costly.

Israel Wayne: What advice would you give to young families who are just starting out of the homeschooling journey?

Ralph Swanson: With the culture and its schools getting worse by the year, true Christians have no choice but to homeschool, it seems to me.

Israel Wayne: Please tell us what life is like for you today, and give us an update on your family.

Ralph Swanson: Most of our grandchildren were or are being homeschooled for which we are thankful. Our prayer is that by God’s grace that they will all marry Christians and established truly Christian households.

Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for www.ChristianWorldview.net.