The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
The "P.R." Letter Bag

Volume 5, 1894, pg. 73-76

[The Editor is not responsible for the opinions of Correspondents.]

Dear Editor,--I should like to tell you the result of my enquiries for the best chair and desk combined, for growing girls, which would prevent spinal curvatures, high shoulders, and defective sight, engendered during school life. I came across, in a friend's house, one that had been recommended to her by Mr. Roth, which seemed to me to answer all these points satisfactorily. By a simple arrangement the desk and seat may each be raised or lowered as required; so that the pupil is fitted with a desk which can be adjusted to his growth. A sliding horizontal movement of the desk enables the writing slope to be brought as close to the eyes as possible. The pupil, while writing or reading, sits with head erect, shoulders thrown back, body supported by the adjustable pad, and the legs and ankles rested by foot boards. The writing slope is at an angle of 15 degrees, and the reading desk at an angle of 40. When I found after seeing this, that Miss Rose Adams, the energetic secretary of the Ladies' Sanitary Association, had used one for many years and spoke very highly of it, I bought two, and am more than satisfied with the result on my children. The prices range from £2 to £2 18s., according to the kind of wood they are made of, and they can be obtained from Thomas Ison, 101, Hampstead Road, London, N. W., who will forward drawings and particulars.


[This is referring to the John Glendenning adjustable modern school desk and seat, 1880, manufactured by the North of England School Furnishing Co., Darlington (London agent Mr. Thomas Ison, 101, Hampstead Road, N.W.) Photo]


Dear Editor,--In response to the constant request from a small boy of four--"Please tell me a new story?" I tried a simple version of the charming fantasy in the February number of the P. R. "Ida's Dream," with the happiest results possible. Could any of your readers tell me of other fairy stories of a similar kind suitable for the infantile mind? Andrew Lang's and J. Jacob's editions are more for older children. We have "The Brownies at Home," the illustrations in which are a constant delight; but the letterpass has too many references to American life to be quite intelligible to very young children.

Lizzie McLachlan.


Dear Editor,--I find that volumes 1 and 3 of the Parents' Review are out of print. I wonder whether any of your readers have them to spare. I should be happy to pay any reasonable price, either bound or otherwise. I really want them particularly to read up the articles which form part of the "Mothers' Educational Course." I should be thankful even for a loan.

Mrs. Percy Powell.


Dear Editor,--In the September number of the Parents' Review last year there was a suggestion given--"How to raise small Oak Trees?" Our acorns have been in glasses four months, and now have long thin rootlets and small stems. I am anxious to know what to do with them; whether to leave them in the glasses or to pot them. If put in a pot, should the acorn be covered by the earth?

Florence M. Thompson.


Dear Editor,--I have been interested in the papers on "The Healthy Treatment of Infants and Children," by H. M. Wilson, M.B., in the late numbers of the Parents' Review. I have found the subjects dealt with very suggestive and practical; and while they opened one's eyes to many previously unheeded truths, they made one anxious to know more upon the topic. Dr. Schofield, your much appreciated lecturer on Hygiene at Ambleside, is about to give a course of four lectures to ladies on "Domestic Hygiene," on somewhat the same lines as Miss Wilson's papers at the Parkes Museum, during Lent; some of which, I learn, H.R.H. the Duchess of Albany will be attending.

Dr. Schofield has been lecturing there on various branches of Domestic Hygiene for some years past, and this year he is going to deal with "Modern Hygiene in Practise in various periods of life, from that of Infancy through the stages of Childhood, Adolescence, and Maturity." These are essentially matters of interest to wives and mothers, and I think possibly many of the members of the Parents' Union will be glad to hear of them.

The ladies are invited to take notes at each lecture and send in resumés of the lecture to the Secretary; these papers are examined by two doctors, and certificates are awarded, which are afterwards presented by the Duchess to the successful candidates.

Further information about the lectures could be obtained from the Secretary of the Sanitary Institute, Parkes Museum, Margaret Street, W.

J. W. W.


Professor Sully will feel greatly obliged to any parent or any teacher of young children who would kindly send him specimens of children's drawings. He wants examples of what is characteristically childish in the treatment of such points as proportion and perspective, and in the combination of a certain amount of detail with a rough and symbolic treatment (e.g., putting in the five figures of the hand and omitting the trunk in drawing the human figure). It may be well to add that he does not want illustrations of precocious artistic skill. The drawings, which should be sent to East Heath Road, Hampstead, N.W., will be taken care of and returned.



Dear Editor,--We have become slipshod with our children. "Training," mothers and fathers tell us, "is impossible in this busy age." We do not believe this. We lament that any parent should dare to express it. We must train the children: They claim this from us. Otherwise we have no right to give them existence.

Many believe in training, but give it imperfectly. They have never thought out the matter. They do the best they know, but they know little, because they have not sought knowledge. Let us try to give a few hints as to how to train those smiles of God, with which He has blessed us.

All children have the sense of right and wrong born in them. As a rule, if the sense of right, nobility, generosity, etc., is strong in the parents, it is strong in the children. The reverse is true. There are, however, many exceptions. Therefore let your sense of right or wrong, justice, etc., be well developed.

When the children's eyes open into life, they will have ever before them a living illustration of what is moral. Don't delude yourself that the child fourteen months old does not know when you do what is wrong; that it does not appreciate the face of harshness, lovelessness, etc. They know. They soon afterwards manifest they know by their conduct: Let your hearts therefore be daily warmed by the eternal love of God that streams down upon all who open their lives to receive it.

No more sanctifying memory is possible than praying with mother. Teach your children to pray. Explain its meaning. Encourage them to believe a Divine Father is near. This will act as a great stimulus to good, or a deterrent to evil. Pray with your children singly, and commend them to God.

Surround your children with the very best companions possible. Moral worth, not social position, or even intellectual greatness must be chosen. Choose their companions. It takes trouble and courage. Remember your children's eternal life as well as present character is at stake.

Surround them with the best of books. Don't be stinted in your range. Put the bible first. Read it with them. Pick some of the many excellent children's magazines. Read every book before you give them it.

Get their amusements for them. The Evil one is ever ready to give them his amusement. You must forestall him. Let father and mother join in their play. What can possibly help to keep your youth than to indulge in cricket with them, after a hard day's work? What can keep their bodies in good order better than plenty of healthy play? Believe me, it is easier to live a good, moral life when the body is sound, than it is when it is languid and out of sorts.

In sending them to school, pick the best school possible. Usually you have no option of which school; there is only one in the town. Often there are two or three. Get your children, if possible, in the school governed by a christian master.

Deal lovingly with our children, but be firm. Don't say "You must not do that," and then allow them to do it. Never mind the fuss, or the unpleasantness; it will only be for once or twice. Good habits are as easily formed as bad. When the children understand you mean--be silent--they will be silent. Never, however, misuse your privilege as a father. Don't provoke your children.

Take your children to church with you always. Send them to the Sunday School. Make their Sunday their happiest day, with singing, reading and tender care.

Mothers, keep your hearts touching or loving, with the great tender love of Jesus. He blessed the children. Their angels behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. God is interested in those sweet faces and laughing voices that bless your life. Let God's love and grace aid you in your high and glorious work.

Fathers, be gentle with your children. Don't be too ready to punish. Never let is be said of you as I heard a young man say, "All I can remember my father for was the terrible thrashings he gave us." Make your children your friends. Live for them. Pray about them. Look to God for His blessing in all you do.

All this means trouble. Does love know such a word? I think not. The work is worth the greater trouble. When they are safe in the Father's presence you will think so.

Yours truly,
J. Meldrum Dreferre.


Dear Editor,--So many valuable hints are given in your magazine respecting the moral and physical training of our children, that I should like to recommend the use of a new writing paper to parents, which is the result of scientific investigation and experience on the best means of preserving the eyesight. The tint closely resembles that of the Westminster Gazette, and is most pleasing and restful to the eyes. It is called "Sozoptic," and the note size is I/- for five quires. It can be obtained in foolscap and other sizes for school and clerical use from Mr. S. H. Cowell, Wholesale Stationer, Ipswich, or through any stationer.

C. Pearson.

[Foolscap: 8x13" sized paper, which was a standard size in England before the international A4 standard of 8.3x11.7.]

Typed by happi, Aug 2018; Proofread by LNL, May 2021