The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

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

Volume 5, 1894, pg.71-72

"En hoexkens ende boexkens."

These little Ones, by Alice Powell, 2s. 6d. Abel Heywood and Son. Mrs. Powell needs no introduction to the readers of the Parents' Review, as she has contributed from time to time to its pages. This is a book written by a thoughtful mother to all mothers, and deals sympathetically and intelligently with the management of her little ones. Young parents are surely in these days being roused to the fact that they must choose some consistent method upon which to base the training of their children and to these Mrs. Powell's book will be a great help and guide. The subjects embrace Parent's Infancy, Physical Development, Moral Development, Religion, and Education. There is not a dry or uninteresting page in the whole book.

Mon Journal, 1d. a week or 8s. a year. Hachette and Cie, Paris. This is an excellent French magazine for children. The tales are told in simple French, and the coloured illustrations are very high-class. We have no children's Magazine so good in England. We would recommend parents to take it, for the sake of their children who are learning French, and who would soon begin to read and enjoy the tales, and thus make greater progress in their knowledge of the French language.

DEAR EDITOR,--The controversy about the teaching of religion in elementary schools, to which I referred last month, has called forth a wise article in this month's Contemporary Review, from Dr. Brooke Herford, which I commend to the notice of your readers, as it seems to me to have a wider application and to contain instruction for individual parents in dealing with their own children. He begins by saying very truly that the question would appear to be one of justice between the various churches, and that what we are seeking is such "a minimum of doctrine as may fairly satisfy different ecclesiastical parties, meanwhile the greater question of justice to the child's mind is left out of the argument." The three great words of religion (says Schiller), are God, Duty and Immortality, and to lead the child to realize these we must use the same method of common-sense as we employ in teaching a science like mathematics, and not start by asking him to accept some abstract proposition, however true, for which his mind has not been duly prepared. For instance the formula (a and b)² = a² x 2ab and b², is absolutely true, but we do not begin by making a child learn this by rote, we rather gradually teach him first something of the properties of numbers, advancing from the concrete to the abstract until he is fitted in some measure to understand it.

[The typist says that the equation has a typo, and should read (a and b)² = a² plus 2ab and b².

In religion "what we want to begin with is to give children some sense of the reality of the subject, of that side of life and feeling as really touching them. We want to give them--or should we not say to awaken in them--some living thought of the presence and love of God, of the reality of prayer, of the sacredness of duty, of the immortality of the life that is in them; and to tell them of the holy life of Christ, in whom these things live for us." We must "make the story living," and bear in mind that Christ himself taught his disciples in this manner and told them that there were many things He had to say to them, but they could not bear them then.

The scheme for The Gresham University in London, which appeared in the daily papers of February 5th, will be studied by all interested in higher education.

My time for reading has been very limited this month; I have therefore to ask you to let me postpone any notice of the February magazines until my next letter. I would like, however, to add with reference to the article in the Parents' Review, that a chronological chart of the History of England has been very carefully worked out by David Nasmith, Q.C., L.L.B., showing the leading events mapped out in spaces representing years, decades and centuries, the eye being further assisted by different tints over the periods during which each dynasty occupied the throne.

February 11th, 1894.

Typed by Dawn R, Aug 2018; Proofread by LNL, May 2021