Millions no doubt have read or heard the Hans Christian Andersen tale of how some alleged weavers of long ago convinced their emperor that the new clothes they were selling him were made of such fine and rare material that only the stupid and incompetent could fail to see the exquisite threads. The emperor, not wishing to be exposed as either stupid or incompetent, bought the story and the invisible “clothes.” He wore nothing else as he went though the streets in a grand parade, hearing nothing but praise from his subjects on the excellence of his royal attire. Until one simple, unschooled child broke the spell by crying out the simple, unadorned truth: The emperor was wearing no clothes at all.
The nature of the relationship between “universals” — Humanity, Justice, Goodness, etc. — and “particulars” — this human being, this instance of justice, and that instance of goodness — is a matter that philosophers have been busy at work trying to iron out for millennia. On a reasonably broad spectrum, there are two rival poles: the one is represented by Plato, the other by John Locke.
Rick Boyer and his wife Marilyn are pioneer homeschoolers. Since 1980, they have educated their 14 children at home, having started when homeschooling was still illegal in Virginia. As a pioneer in the home education movement, Rick has written several books on the homeschool experience and has been a much-in-demand speaker at many homeschool conventions all across America. As devout Christians, Rick and his wife believe that Scripture provides a powerful model for the upbringing of children that, when followed, produces wise, proactive young Christian adults who are capable of achieving great works for the glory of God.