Page:Home Education by Isaac Taylor (1838).djvu/19

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7
its comparative advantages.

the damage that is so often sustained by fine faculties, roughly treated with others. For example, a teacher may see reason for remitting certain pursuits with which the mind of the individual has absolutely no affinity, while so much the more attention is given to other studies, which nature has not interdicted. Or, on the other hand, extraordinary natural endowments may be watched over, and held in check, and guided, so as shall give them the utmost ultimate advantage, and preclude the fruitless regrets of after years, under the recollection of squandered time, and misdirected industry. Again; in diversifying the methods of teaching, in accordance with the capacities of those who are to be taught, much may be effected at home which could by no means be admitted at school; and thus in fact the entire period of education may be turned to the best account; while none are left to be the victims of fixed usages, and of courses of study proper perhaps for the majority, but deplorably unsuited to the few. In fact it is more than a few who leave school almost totally deficient in mental culture, not because they might not have learned what would have quickened the faculties, and have been applicable to the occasions of common life; but because they could never learn the particular things taught at school; or not learn them in the particular mode which the unalterable usages of public education admit of.

Home education therefore, in consequence of its power of adaptation, nay be made highly advantageous as well to ungifted, as to gifted children.

A natural transition leads us next to consider another important advantage of private, as compared with public education, namely, that whereas, in the latter, the choice of things to be taught, and of the method of teaching, in each branch, is everywhere governed, either by actual statutes, or by immoveable usages, and is moreover overruled, to a great extent, by sundry secondary considerations of ex-