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. 153-154

[A Letter to the Editor from "Pater Junior" appears at the end of these reviews which should probably have been published with the following article, The P.R. Letter Bag.]

We have received for review from Messrs. Cassell and Co., The Little Folks' Annual for 1893. This is just as charming as ever for the little ones, full of bright, pleasant stories and delightfully illustrated.

From Wells, Gardner and Co., the following well-known stories:--Honor Bright, or the Four-leaved Shamrock, by the Author of Peas-Blossom [Peasblossom, the Adventures of the Pine Tree Fairy] [by Evelyn Whitaker]. A capital story which is sure to interest children.

A Lost Piece of Silver by the author of Harry's Battles [F. M. S.], etc. 3s. 6d. Extremely well-written, an excellent gift-book for children.

By the same author [F. M. S.], Edith Vernon's Life-Work. This is too well-known and appreciated to need comment.

Illustrated Manual of Hand and Eye Training, by Dr. Woldemar Goetze, published by Newmann & Co. Such points as Reasons for Manual Training, History of Manual Training, Card-board Work, Wood-work, Metal Work, Modelling, are well and clearly treated in this little book. It is a multum in parvo, and every faddist in manual work will find help and suggestions in his special line. Mr. Goetze closes his preface with the following words: "Work towards perfection, do battle for the truth, bring forth good fruit in training a healthy generation, susceptible of beauty, fit to labour with a will, strengthened to be the ready implement of a clear and highly developed mind."

Directions for Chip Carving, 9d., by J. B. Bury, published by Newmann and Co. This little hand-book is very fully illustrated. The designs are good and well graduated. Any boy over eleven could teach himself a very pretty art. Chip Carving is one of the oldest methods of decorating wood. It is practised in the South Sea Islands, in Turkestan, in Africa, and the Japanese have attained to a very high degree of skill in this carving.

The Human Body, 2s., by Owen Lankester, M.R.C.S., published by Allman and Son, 67, New Oxford Street, W.C. This is a most useful and handy little book for all students and mothers, who wish to know something of the anatomical arrangement of the various organs of the human body. It is illustrated by a moveable figure, which shows the exact position and relative sizes of the organs. It is most reasonable in price, and ought to be introduced into schools and families.


DEAR EDITOR,--In the February number of the Nineteenth Century is an article by Sir Douglas Galton on the invaluable statistics collected by Dr. Francis Warner as to the health of school children. It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of his investigations. He has noted and classified the various defects in their physique, and has drawn up tables showing the proportion of a large number of children examined who shew signs of nervous weakness, defective sight, rickets, bodily malformation, etc., and how far these physical failings are associated with intellectual deficiency. These studies show conclusively the need for special education provision for such children. I note in the Lancet an article on the value of school athletics on mental and moral training, from which I make the following extract:--"It is true that bodily activity does not confer mental power or even encourage mental exertion. It is also true that exceptional powers of mind have displayed themselves in persons physically weak; but neither of these admissions affects our present argument, which maintains the certain advantage resulting to all mental processes, ordinary or exceptional, from that which promotes the health of their nidus in the brain. A further benefit conferred by physical training is its influence upon character. A host of mushroom frailties, vices, and foibles break down in presence of such vigorous growths as the resolution, the endurance, and the manly self-reliance engendered by a habit of orderly and energetic action. justice, fairness, and fellow-feeling are developed by the same wholesome training, and thus many a boy at school acquires almost unconsciously that living force of character without which intellect is but a brittle gem."

The Royal Commission on Secondary Education just appointed, contains many names in whom members of the P.N.E.U will have special confidence and their report will be awaited with the keenest interest. If they can produce a scheme that will link our primary schools to our secondary schools, and make the latter, especially those in private hands, more efficient, supplying the deficiency that exists in many parts of the country, and utilising more equitably the endowments provided for this purpose, they will do perhaps a greater work than even the Elementary Education Act of 1870. The difficulties of the problem are complicated as the Daily Chronicle (Feb. 24th.) truly says, by "the utterly wrong and superficial conception of education which tends to pervade the minds of the middle classes, who also think of higher as of lower standards of education from a commercial point of view, and instead of asking what will conduce to the culture of the growing youth or girl, merely demand what will 'pay' best." Our system in short is chaotic, and our ideal far from high.

The current number of the Weekly Sun contains a review of a biography of Coleridge, which relates somewhat fully the experiences of his early life at home and at school, showing the effect the influence to which he was then subjected had upon his character. "Here is a picture," says T.P., "of imaginative and suffering childhood--very instructive, very picturesque, more common in application than one would imagine who had not ample acquaintance with the infinite complicities of child-life and the child world." The passage is too long to quote, but is worth reading.

The algebraical formula in my last letter is incorrectly printed, but the sense is sufficiently clear.

March 5th, 1894.

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