Homeschooling and Libraries

Things I'm thinking about and learning while working with homeschoolers and writing Helping Homeschoolers in the Library for ALA Editions.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A Question of Language

It is homeschool: homeschools, homeschoolers, homeschooling, homeschooled. One word. Pretty much the only people I see who don’t write it as one word are people who are not actively engaged in homeschooling. Embrace it, accept it, use it.

A stickier wicket is what you call children who aren’t homeschooled. You could say “public school” children, except that what you usually mean is “public and privately schooled children,” which is okay to use sometimes but lacks the elegance to withstand repeated use. It could be argued that “traditionally schooled” children are homeschooled, as homeschooling was the only way kids learned before education became a compulsory affair regulated by the government, which only happened in the United States around the turn of the 20th Century. In my reading, one researcher called them “institutionally schooled children.” I am soooo going to start using that one. It describes many things that seem to me to be inherent and true in our current No Child Left Behind educational system.

I’m still trying to figure out the linguistic complexities of Christian homeschooling, so I’ll have to get back to you on that one.


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