Monthly Archives: July 2012

Words That Differentiate

Question: What one word would you use to differentiate a Common School education (i.e. either public or private school) from a home-based education?

I offer the word “individual”.

An individual is distinguished from a group in that “an individual has special, singular, or markedly personal characteristics; exhibiting unique qualities.”

Now, imagine that Common Schools (government or private) suddenly decided to prioritize the individual, rather than the curriculum, as they seek to educate our children. Even though plenty of evidence exists that children must be treated as individuals, the sheer number of children Common Schools are attempting to educate (not to mention financial limitations) mitigates against this ever happening.

Some individuals do thrive in a Common School setting. The problem is that this translates into an expectation that all children should thrive in a Common School setting. Because of this expectation, those who don’t thrive are regarded as deviant in some way with the deviant child being negatively labeled and the deviance being treated as having negative value to society.

When a child is educated at home, there is no need to compare the child to some generic group “norm” and this allows the child’s individuality to become the central focus of his, or her, education.

If you are already educating your child at home, is the curriculum you are using driving your child’s education, or is the child’s individuality driving his, or her, education?

OK, it’s your turn: Suggest some other words that differentiate a Common (public or private) School education from a home-based education.