A couple of parents today at the Learning Centre were discussing their dislike of the word school. One actually said it's a big reason she doesn't send her child to preschool. Because it's preschool. They likened it to institutionalizing our kids. Well obviously that doesn't fit my views, because I know my Mum's general philosophy and the way her preschool program works, and I think she's amazing (not good; AMAZING at giving children a strong start and a self-confidence in social groups that for some would not otherwise have come -- and I am far from the only parent who thinks that; I meet people all the time who confirm it). But besides that (and I am sure that there are lots of good preschools out there, besides my own mother's), I think we need to get away from rejecting things based on terminology. I don't feel at all that a preschool or homelearner's program, or even a traditional school or an Institute needs per se to institutionalize our children. I can tell you that at the time I attended (until 2001), the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design was by no means regimented or even adhering to very high academic standards. It was much more loose than I thought reasonable for a degree-granting Institution, actually. And in general a good school. School. Yes. And good. I felt my freedom there.
So if I talk about Tali going to school, it isn't diction-laziness, nor is it an acclamation of an institutionalized way of living - it's just language. Tal goes to school, now, and he's proud of himself, and I'm proud that we've found a school that makes school a good word.