The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."

Volume 4, 1893/94, no. 2, pgs. 151-153

"En hoexkens ende boexkens."

The first and second numbers of the Westminster Budget have special
interest fo rthe members of the P.N.E.U. containing as they do illustrated
articles descriptive of the nursery at Haddo House, and of the occupations
and amusements of the children of our President, Lord and Lady Aberdeen.

A circular has been issued by the Education Department, says Sketch, to
the managers of Infant chools, enforcing the following leading principles
as a sound basis for the education of early childhood:--(1) The recognition
of the child's spontaneous activity, and the stimulation of this activity in
certain well-defined directions by the teacher. (2) The harmonious and
complete development of the whole of a child's faculties.

This has been the means of introducing me to Hand and Eye, the organ
of the Sloyd Association, in which the full text of this circular appears; and
those of your readers who have not seen this new magazine will doubtless
be glad to have it brought under their notice. It is published monthly by
O. Newmann & Co, and in the five mumbers which have already appeared
are to be found contributions by such well-tried friends of our Union as
Mrs. Steinthal, Mr. T. G. Rooper, and others.

The British Weekly has before now given kindly mention of the Parents'
, and in the issue of February 23 nearly a column is devoted to an
account of our work. In the current number I see that Alphonse Daudet
is engaged on a book dealing with the way children are brought up at the
present day. The eminent novelist is himself a most devoted father,
and personally superintends the education of his children. His boys, till they
are ten years of age, are taught entirely by their mother. When they are
ten they are sent to the Lycée, and all ther home-lessons are prepared
under their father's supervision. Daudet says that, although the work
is sometimes tiring, if is wonderful how children's lessons refresh the
memory and improve the knowledge of a grown-up man.

The symposium in the Idler this month is devoted to the discussion of
the question whether childhood is the happiest period of one's existence or
the most miserable. In a semi-humourous fashion, but with much truth,
G. R. Sims, Miss Florence Marryat, Mrs. Panton, Mrs. Fenwick Miller, and
others point out why this happiness, which is a child's due, is in so many
cases not attained.

Mr. St. Clair Buxton, Surgeon to the Ophthalmic Hospital in Marylebone,
has been calling attention to the alarming increase in cases of myopia or
short-sight. Caused in many cases by heredity, it is fostered by malnutrition,
and by studying in badly-lighted and badly-ventilated schoolrooms, and by the use of badly-printed books. He urges all concerned in the education of the young to give this matter their most serious consideration.

I cannot do more than refer to the lecture delivered by Miss Hughes, of Newnham, before the Teachers' Guild, on the Value of Illustrations, pictorial, verbal, and dogmatic in teaching, an account of which appears in the Westminster Gazette of to-day.

I have left until last the most important article of all, "The Teacher's Training of Himself," by the Head Master of Harrow, in this month's Contemporary. After insisting on the exceeding dignity and responsibility of the teacher's office, as the only profession that "touched the whole trinity of man's being, body, mind, and soul," Mr. Welldon goes on to say that while strictness is absolutely necessary, this is of no value without sympathy. Courtesy is essential both towards parents and scholars, and the former are not to be regarded as natural enemies, but in the highest degree helpful and considerate. He has ever found them more than grateful for services rendered by the teacher, and sensible and tolerant of his difficulties. A teacher must likewise possess good temper and good health. A special danger that besets the teacher is the cramping and narrowing effects of his work on his own mind, and to avoid this, the schoolmaster must not be a schoolmaster only, but must extend his interests by travel and wide reading. He can hardly read too much or too variously. All knowledge illustrates other knowledge. Finally, the end of Education is Character: to think nobly, and act nobly, that is the sum of all true teaching.

March 4.
DEAR EDITOR,--Please call attention to a little 1s book, published by Hodder & Stoughton, called Baxter's Second Innings [about cricket, by Henry Drummond] (specially reprinted for the . . . School eleven).

Its gay Blazer-like cover is most attractive to a boy, and once opened no boy would lay it down (unless he was being watched) until it was finished. It could be read in a short half-hour; but might make its mark on a lad's "scoring sheet"--i.e., character--for life.

Baxter had been "bowled out" first ball in a match, and a good bit injured; and his captain comes to have a chat with him, which drifts into a chat over the game of life.

"Temptation," the "greatest bowler in the world," is described, with his changes of bowling, to harrass the man in "swifts," "slows," "screws."

The captain urges that it is an honour to be challenged by him: "That's what makes a boy 'play up' . . . how could you score if there were no bowling? . . . Every ball the bowler sends in is a chance to score."

Baxter, who has lost all confidence in himself, asks "Is there a ghost of a chance? I might block for a bit perhaps; but I could never score!" but, encouraged by his captain, decides: "I was almost funking it, but I think I'll go in."

E. V.

DEAR EDITOR,--I have tried to get "La Conquête de la Lune" mentioned in the paper on French books in Parents' Review from Hachette, but they do not know it; La Nature, a periodical, is not at all suitable either for children or young people; perhaps it would be as well that it should be known, to prevent others getting it.

A. A. J.

Popular Lessons on Cookery, by Mrs. [A. M.] Boyd Carpenter (Percival & Co.). This is truly a fascinating cookery-book; you turn over page after page, and find yourself carried along as if you were reading a story-book. It is a great thing to treat the little details of daily living in the simple serious lucid manner of this little volume. This is "only" a cookery-book, but it is dictated by that reverence for human nature the increase of which is one of the most promising signs of the times. It would be difficult to overstate the practical value of this manual; it is no mere collection of of recipes which you remember or forget as may happen; but for every process you have the principle; for each dish, its value as a food-stuff. Then, nothing is regarded as trivial or unimportant; every smallest detail of preparation and serving is given with the clearness of a practised teacher. We wonder, by the way, why there is nothing about porridge. Countless pleasant, wholesome new dishes, easily prepared and not costly, should make Mrs. Boyd Carpenter's book a treasure trove in any household.

A Young Heart of Oak, published by Hodder & Stoughton, is the beautiful and touching story of the noble life of Henry S. Boldero, R.N. [Harry Stuart Boldero, 1863-1887, Lieutenant, Royal Navy. With a preface by the Very Rev. H.D.M. Spence.] Told by the Dean of Gloucester [Donald Spence], in a simple quiet way befitting the story of a true Christian hero, it carries one's sympathy, and it would be difficult to read it without emotion. Through the whole of the short life of twenty-four years the brave soul shows itself, strong in purpose, upright, self-sacrificing; helping others by earnest sympathy and bright example, giving gladly from a heart overflowing with Christian graces to all who needed his help. Henry Boldero, or Bold-hero as his messmates called him, has left an example that will help all who read the story of his his life, so ably told. No better book could be found to give our sailor boys, as they will feel intense pride in the hero as one of themselves, in addition to the interest always felt in a well-told tale. In reading the story boys will feel that it is true, and not a goody-goody story with a smug moral to be swallowed at the end. The story of an early death caused by noble disregard of self in devotion to duty will never be felt by them to be what they call, "too pi." [Boldero's health was affected by "his hard work and exposure as navigator in the severe climate of the Newfoundland coast seriously affected his health. After three weeks in the hospital of St. John, he was invalided, and by slow stages was taken home to his father's house at Folkestone. The fine stalwart frame sank rapidly, but to him death had no terrors." from Methodist magazine, Volume 38, pg. 266-273]

Canterbury Chimes [by Francis Storr and Hawas Turner] (Kegan Paul, Trench & Co.) contains Chaucer's well-known tales re-told for the children; it is a very useful book for reading aloud, and also to give to children for their bookcase. The romance of Palamon and Arcite is always loved by them, and it is a good tale for older children to learn to tell the younger ones. To read it over a few times, and then to tell it as well as they can, is a capital exercise for children's memories. The post of story-teller is always enjoyed, and most children can learn to tell tales if once set going.

A Year with the Birds (W. Warde Fowler; Macmillan) is a capital book for reading aloud to children interested in the doings of birds. Every page of it is delightful, and few boys would object to possess such a well-written account of bird-life. The book is pleasant reading from one end to the other.

Typed and Proofread by LNL, July, 2023