New Term, New Tool

Word-choice matters, doesn't it? For example, in the 1970s, a little car called a Nova came out on the market. It sold well in the U.S. because, of course, we think of shooting stars when we hear nova. Who wouldn't want a car that drives like that?

However, sales tanked in Latin America, much to the chagrin and confusion of the company execs. Of course, if you speak Spanish, you understand: no va in Spanish quite literally means "doesn't go." And who'd want a car like that?!

I've long found similar issues with the word homeschool, and so I sometimes refer to what I do as "home education" instead. That helps clear up some people's misunderstandings about my family's educational choice, but there still remain - and probably always will - unfortunate misunderstandings about what we do. So I'd long ago decided that I'll do my best to be an advocate and a diplomat (does that make me an "advomat?," a "diplocat?") and leave the rest up to God.

Then today as I was browsing on Facebook, I came across an article that uses an entirely new term: independent educator.

I love this woman's perspective! She verbalizes well my views on the matter, and I believe I'll move toward adopting the term in some of my own conversations when I think it might help prevent miscommunication. After all, I'd love for more to understand that homeschooling / home education / independent learning is much more akin to nova than to no va, and a new term could be a new tool in that endeavor.

Photo Credit: Stefanvds (http://www.flickr.com/photos/stefanvds/3244859499/)


swt_angel_79 said...

I loved that article too. It's set my mind to rethinking our whole educational terms for homeschooling. I will be refering to Independant Education as an Independant Educator a lot more often and speaking of how much my children enjoy having Independant Studies at home. Great article and great commentary on it from you, Tina! Look forward to more of your thoughts in the future!

Q said...

Off to read that Ind. Ed. article. Yes - I loathe the term home SCHOOL. I don't have their institutions, and I don't want to do anything that remotely resembles their pathetic system. Always chuckle when I see 'homeschooling' t-shirts and such. I'd wouldn't pay money for, let alone wear anything that said 'school' along with 'home' on it. Blech.

Laurie said...

I spent almost an hour yesterday explaining to a woman inquiring about home education that you don't need to do school at home, and that children who are "homeschooled" tend to be out in the world much more than their schooled peers, not less. That's why I picked the term "learners" for NEWHL rather than "schoolers".

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