We wanted honor Reed Benson as one of our LDS Homeschool Pioneers. I called up his home and spoke with his wife May. He is not able to visit, he has been bed ridden for about two years now. I told her our intentions of honoring him and she said, "Well, he deserves it." I asked her about his feelings on the LDS Homeschool Movement and she, "He loves the homeschoolers and most of our children have chosen to homeschool." Joyce Kinmont remembered, "He called the homeschool movement a "Family Building Movement.""
I told May that we would make a video about him with those that remembered him. She was pleased and asked for a copy when we finished and she sent her love and "Reed's love too."
The following biography of Reed Benson was taken from the Moore Foundation when he received the Elijah Award:
Dr. Reed A. Benson is a professor in the Ancient Scripture Department at Brigham Young University and teaches a thousand students a semester. He has written for a national news magazine, lectured widely, and interviewed with numerous TV and print outlets. A former Air Force Chaplain during the Korean War, he was the President of the Kentucky, Louisville Mission, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He served as Branch President in Oxford, England and in the Israel District Presidency. The eldest son of President and Mrs. Ezra Taft Benson, he is the father of nine children and grandfather to twenty-four.
Dr. Benson was the author of the first dissertation in the nation on home education, which is still in print. He collaborated with John Holt, Dr. Raymond Moore, Dr. Larry Arnoldson, and other early pioneers of modern alternative education, consistently lending his influence to support home education during its critical embryonic years in the western United States. He helped develop some of the modern conventions of the home education movement, including the very notion of state home-education conventions and "modern" home-education outreach. [You can find his whole dissertation here.]
May Hinckley Benson was honored as Homeschooling Mother of the Year in 2000. She completed studies at the University of Utah, University of Maryland, and Cornell. With a great display of courage, she successfully home-educated her nine adopted children for fifteen years during the early days of the modern home-education movement. She is a popular speaker and a pioneer in the home education movement who has consistently lent her voice of experience and support. Both Reed and May are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
[The 2001 Elijah Award was presented to Dr. Reed A. Benson and his wife, May Hinckley Benson.]
The Quaqua Society is both proud and grateful to honor the Bensons for their profound contribution to the home-education community. They have been instrumental in helping Utah to have, at least to this point, one of the most progressive environments for home education to be found anywhere in the nation. Their tireless and uncompensated service has touched thousands of lives. They will never be forgotten.
Biographical sketches for the Bensons were drawn from http://www.schoolofabraham.com/speakers.htm.
Full dissertation at: http://www.ifhomeeducators.org/Articles/benson.pdf