Today begins our first day of the 2015-16 school year! Xoe is somehow in 5th grade. I don’t know how this happened. Isn’t she still 5??? And Rowyn, who I swear was 3 just yesterday, is going into 2nd grade. I made the boy-o groan and the girl-o jump up and down with excitement by announcing that we’ll be adding French to our curriculum this year. 😉
So today seemed an appropriate time to look at school as a word!
It comes from the Latin schola, which interestingly enough originally meant “leisure.” (Kids today might disagree with “school” and “leisure” being related, LOL.) But in Roman days, only those who didn’t have to work had leisure time for learning. In those ancient days, the favorite pastime when one had leisure was discussion. Conversation. Philosophy. This is where the idea of leisurely discussions came from, and where it got extended to the place for such conversations. You can see this root reflected in many different languages, and English is no exception.
By the 1300s, the English word was applied not only to this learning and the place where it happens, but also to the students engaged in it. By the 1610s it had been extended to the idea of “people united by similar principles or methods.” Hence, school of thought by the 1860s.
You're right – my daughter objects (who is actually going in to sixth grade. Unbelievable!). Never woulda guessed.