Page:Home Education by Isaac Taylor (1838).djvu/26

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home education:

I ought perhaps at once to preclude the probable supposition that the principle of delayed development implies either ignorance, or inertness of mind, at any stage of the process: for, on the contrary, I believe that the plans forthwith to be recommended, may secure a higher mental energy, and that more may be taught (or more of general knowledge) than is foten attempted, in methods that do not impair the elasticity, or exhaust the force of the mind, and such especially as do not breed a distaste for learning.

The distinguishing recommendations then, of private education (intellectual culture only now considered) are—1st, That the stress of the process may be made to rest upon the best sentiments, and upon the reciprocal affections of the teacher and the taught, instead of its falling upon law, and routine, and mechanism: 2dly, That every thing, in method and in matter, may be exactly adapted to the individual capacities and tastes of the learner, and the utmost advantage secured for every special talent: 3dly, That it is, or may be, wholly exempt from the incumbrance end despotism of statutes, or of immemorial, but perhaps irrational usages, or of prevalent notions, and may come altogether under the control of good sense; and is free to admit every approved practice: and 4thly, That, whereas public education is necessarily a system of hastened development, private education is free to follow out the contrary principle of retarded development.

If it had come within my purpose to discuss the general question of the comparative advantages, on the whole, of the two systems, many other points must have been adverted to; and especially so, if the moral and religious bearing of the subject had been included in such an argument. But although this general question is here held in abeyance, I would not even seem to be unmindful of the many and powerful reasons which may induce parents, even if home