Athens, as described in Kenneth J. Freeman’s 1907 essay “Schools of Hellas” had very little regulation of education: attendance was voluntary; the acquisition of reading skills was an obligation of citizenship, but the means were left to parents and students; home-education was an accepted and normal process. School hours were set so as to permit children to travel to and fro during daylight hours. Otherwise, it was subject only to that natural regulation which is engendered via voluntary exchange among customers and providers. Athens must have been doing something right, since they produced some of the most remarkable philosophers, mathematicians, and authors in the history of the world.
H/T John Taylor Gatto, The Underground History of America