Page:Home Education by Isaac Taylor (1838).djvu/28

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home education:

man heart wants very little infection from without, to render it liable to the most fatal disorders.

But dismissing this wide and difficult question, and the many subjects it would lead to, I yet feel inclined, as a not improper preliminary to the following chapters, to adduce some general considerations, recommendatory, Home education; although by no means implying that it should always be preferred. My immediate object is not so much to prevail upon parents to train their children at home, as to fix the purpose, and to encourage the endeavours of those who may actually have come to that decision.

I shall take leave then briefly to point out the probable influence, upon the community, of the prevalence, to some extent, of Home education, as concomitant with, and subsidiary to Public education; and what I mean to affirm is this—that, even if schools, and large schools, were granted to be generally better adapted to the practical ends of education than private instruction, and that the majority, of all ranks, should receive their mental culture in that mode; nevertheless, that the welfare of society, on the whole, demands the prevalence, to some considerable extent, of the other method; and that a portion of the community—of the middle and upper classes especially, should come under that very different and more intimate process of culture of which home must be the scene. The school-bred man is of one sort—the home-bred man is of another; and the community has need of both; nor, as I think, could any measures be much more to be deprecated, nor any tyranny of fashion more to be resisted, than such as should render a public education, from first to last, compulsory and universal.

It is found in fact that a quiet, firm, individuality, a self-originating steadiness of purpose, a thoughtful intensity of