The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
By The Way.

Volume 2, 1891/92, pg. 639-640


"It is clear to any judicious and thoughtful person that the most important age of Christian nurture is the first; that age which we have called 'the age of impressions;' just the age in which the duties and cares of a really Christian nurture are so commonly postponed, or assumed to have not yet arrived.

"I have no scales to measure quantities of effect in this matter of early training, but I may be allowed to express my solemn conviction that more, as a general fact, is done, or lost by neglect of doing, on a child's immorality in the first three years of his life than in all his years of discipline afterwards.

". . . Let every Christian father and mother understand, when the child is three years old, that they have done more than half of all they will ever do for his character.

". . . It will readily occur to you that irreparable damage may be and must often be done by the self-indulgence of those parents who place their children mostly in the charge of nurses and attendants for just those years of their life in which the greatest and most absolute effects are to be wrought in their character. The lightness that prevails on this point is really astonishing. Many parents do not even take pains to know anything about the tempers, the truthfulness, the character generally of the nurses to whom their children are thus confidingly trusted. No matter, the child is 'too young' to be poisoned or at all hurt by their influence. And so they give over to these faithless and often cruelly false hirelings of the nursery, to be always with them, under their power, associated with their persons, handled by their roughness, and imprinted day and night by the course bad sentiments of their voices and faces, these helpless, hapless beings whom they call their children, and think they are really making much of, in the instituting of a nursery for them and their keeping.

"Such a mother ought to see that she is making much more of herself than of her child. This whole scheme of nurture is a scheme of self-indulgence. Now is the time when her little one most needs to see her face, and hear her voice, and feel her gentle hand. Now is the time when her child's eternity pleads most entreatingly for the benefit of her motherly charge and presence.

"What mother would not be dismayed by the thought of having her family grow up into the sentiments of her nurse, and come forward into life as being in succession to her character? And yet how often is this most exactly what she has provided for!"

(Rev. Horace Bushnell, D.D., pp. 161,162, in an invaluable book, Christian Nurture, 3s. 6d. Published by Richard Dickinson, 89, Farringdon Street, London.)

"There is no creature of God less adequately understood or conceived than a child.

"I know not anything more sad to think of than the cruelties put upon children" --Christian Nurture, pp. 166, 178

From a Mother's Note Book.--VERA


SHEFFIELD BRANCH.-- On Wednesday, the 1st July, a Drawing Room Meeting was held at Mrs. Pye-Smith's. Mrs. Blakeney kindly consented to preside, and Mrs. Woodhouse read a paper on "Some Recent Authors on Physical Training." The attendance, owing to severe thunder-showers during the afternoon, was somewhat limited, but there was much eagerness shown, and twelve new members were added to the former list. At the end of the meeting Mrs. Blakeney proposed that Mrs. Newton Coombe and Miss A. Walmsley should act as secretaries. This was seconded by Mrs. Pye-Smith. --A. WALMSLEY, Hon. Sec


The Editor has reason to suppose that a short course of lectures to ladies, from her, on the training of children would meet the wishes of many London friends. She therefore proposes to give the following FIRST COURSE in the middle of November:--
1. What a child brings into the world. "Human Nature;" Disposition.
2. The Care of the Body. The Development of the Body. The Discipline of the Body.
3. The Sanctity of the Body. The Brain. Conditions of Healthy Brain Activity.
4. The Physiology of Habit, and the part Habit plays in Education.
A small fee for the course (10s. 6d.) will be charged to help towards the initial expenses of the House of Education. Ladies who wish to attend the course will kindly send their names with as little delay as possible to Mrs. Strathearn Gordon, 61, Prince's Gate, S.W., (to whom we are indebted for most warm and helpful co-operation in this as in all our educational work.) A group from any one neighborhood might form the nucleus of a branch of the P.N.E.U., and to extend the society is an important object of these lectures.


Mrs. Alfred Booth awards her prize of One Guinea for the best list of family or nursery dinners for a fortnight to Mrs. Robert Wilson.
Mrs. W.D. Hall awards her prize of One Guinea for the prettiest tune to "Mary, Mary, quite contrary," to Mother Goose.
A Prize of Half a Guinea will be awarded by Mrs. Alfred Priestman for the best list of twelve tales of fact or fiction on the lines of Evenings at Home; that is, combining moral teaching with interesting information and a striking tale. This list should be made with a view to children of seven or eight. Competitions to be sent to the Editor, care of the Publishers, by October 30, with coupon.

Typed August 2013