The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

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

Volume 7, 1896, pgs. 232-240

Parents' National Educational Union Library.

No.   Title of Books                          Author
1      Tennyson for the Young            Rev. Canon Ainger
2      Elocution for Children                Foster
3      Child's Garden of Verse             R.L. Stevenson
4      The Story Hour                        Mrs. K. Douglas Wiggin
5      The Story of Patsy                   Mrs. K. Douglas Wiggin
6      The Birds' Xmas Carol              Mrs. K. Douglas Wiggin
7      Timothy's Quest                       Mrs. K. Douglas Wiggin
8      Barbara's Brothers                     Miss E. Everett Green
9      Marcus Stafford's Charge          Miss E. Everett Green
10     Fir Tree Farm                          Miss E. Everett Green
11     Mrs. Romaine's Household        Miss E. Everett Green
12     Aunt Mai's Annual                    Mrs. Steinthal
13     A Song, Please                         C. Hutchins Lewis
14     Songs for Little Singers             Henry King Lewis
15     The Golden Boat Songs             Mrs. Ormiston Chant
16     Original Songs, Games, Etc.      Wilhelmina Rooper
17     Circular Tablet (game)              T.E. Lawrence
18     Finger Plays                             Emilie Poulsson


Annual Meeting.--The date of the Annual Meeting was not fixed at the time of going to press; but Miss Blogg, P.N.E.U. Office, 28, Victoria Street, S.W., will be happy to give information.

House of Education.--Applications for Probationers should be made at once. There will be two or three vacancies for three months' students during the October Term, a circumstance which may not soon occur again.

House of Education Natural History Club.--Notes by M.L. Hodgson.--With the beautiful spring around us, and the prospect of a long summer before us, we shall do well to consider what definite work we mean to do this year. A few suggestions on making collections of various kind will perhaps be of use to you, and especially now, when most of you are arranging your work for next term. The following list of collections contains so many things that children, of all ages, take an interest in, that I hope you will, all of you, find something useful in it. I will begin by saying a few words about collections of insects and birds' eggs. I very strongly advise you to discourage them, unless there is evidently a very great love for natural science in the person who wishes to collect them. Boys need much supervision in these matters.

The Outdoor World is a very good handbook for beginners; it contains many useful hints on all sorts of collections. During the nesting season I have always found many deserted nests, some of these are generally in good condition, and very beautiful; if they are fitted into neat boxes and by degrees filled with their right number of eggs, they make a delightful possession. I say filled by degrees because no more than one egg should be taken, as a rule, from a nest.

But with regard to birds much more may be one than in merely collecting nests and eggs. Years ago I made a collection of skulls, both of birds and other small animals, they were not difficult to do, and when mounted on small cards they looked very well and were most interesting--to the cards containing the birds' skulls I added the merry-thoughts, which gave additional interest to the collection. The skins and feathers are also easily preserved; every dead bird or small animal we found was carefully skinned, and the skin preserved and mounted spread eagle fashion after it had been well cured with arsenical soap. For very small children the feathers only may be mounted in books or on cards with great effect. Skulls of bats, mice, moles, etc., may be prepared in various ways, and many boys find great interest and occupation in the work. I am speaking from experience gained during years of work with boys. We did not kill the animals--we used those we found or had given to us by the keepers and farmers who knew what we were doing.

Illustrating the flora and fauna of our village. On the subject of botanical collections much may be said, as they afford scope for all kinds of work for all ages. For the older children, a general collection of plants is not too much to attempt, but with the younger ones much less ought to be done. With the very tiny ones you might begin a collection of fir cones, of which there are many kinds; these are very pretty, and if neatly arranged in boxes they will give the children much pleasure. The leaves of trees, mounted and named, can be easily done, and are not difficult to dry well. The flowers of any special order, say composite or umbelliferze, a collection of grasses--sedges or rushes only, will give plenty of work for one season. The fruits of any one order might also be done by the younger children. A very pretty collection can be made by procuring all the seeds used in either gardens or on farms. These should be put into small pill boxes with some of the seeds gummed on to the lid. Collections of land shells are most beautiful if they are neatly mounted and named. Some of our land Molluscs possess exquisite shells, and many may be found empty along our waysides and hedgerows. I do not think I need say much about sea shells and seaweeds; they appear to be universally collected by children, especially shells. A nice way is to make a neat cabinet for them, and one which can be easily used for exhibition purposes; this may be made out of a few dozen match boxes, fitted neatly into a wooden box, stood on end; if paper fasteners are used for handles, and a nice suitable paper used for covering them, a very ornamental cabinet will repay you well for your trouble. Match boxes of all sizes may be had, 36 small ones fitted into a cigar box will hold an immense number of small shells. I think the most interesting collection that can be made by a family of boys and girls living in the country is one which illustrates as far as possible the Natural History of the village or neighbourhood in which they live. It is surprising how many things can be found if only the eyes are opened to see them. This is not to be done without practice, as the eye sees exactly that which it is trained to see, and it is a great help, if we have a definite object in seeing.

Fossils abound in many neighbourhoods, nice clean ones that come clear out of the stones and soil; beautiful shells and sea urchins of all kinds may be found without difficulty, and many happy hours may be devoted to the search. Page's Geology (new edition) is a great help to beginners in the study of Geology.

A painted collection of flowers could be done by any child with a talent for drawing. This, if persevered in, may prove a lasting benefit to the person concerned, and be of much use in the cause of science, as it is rare to find artists who can draw flowers scientifically so as to be of value as illustrations and to aid definition.

The November Exhibition in connection with the P.N.E.U. may be a help to some of you, as affording an object for definite work with the children.


Insects, if it can be done under supervision, and then only in special cases; birds' eggs and nests, under supervision; merry-thoughts and skulls of birds; skulls of other small animals; birds' skins and feathers, dead birds are often found, especially in winter; shells and seaweeds; corallines; land shells.

BOTANY.--Flowers, general herbarium; flowers, special orders selected; leaves of trees for the younger children; fir cones; fruits and seeds; grasses, sedges or rushes only; galls, oak specially, but include any others you may find; general collections, illustrating the Natural History of your neighbourhood; flowers painted from life.


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

DEAR MADAM,--I feel most strongly on the subject you refer to about the over-pressure of the present day in all our schools. Although my children are but babies, and have not yet begun their school careers--a period of their lives which I look forward to with much dread--I am delighted to send my name to be added to any list of parents protesting against the present pressure of work and long hours indulged in at all modern schools. A leading member of the educational department in India once told me that up to six years old a child should not be taught regularly at all, that after that age one hour a day should be given, and that each year another hour a day might be added until five hours a day were reached, and that never should more than five hours a day be devoted to intellectual study. Can we not demand that our children should not have more than four hours in school per day and one hour for preparation? Children should have at least two hours in the open air if the weather will permit, and if there is time unoccupied there are many occupations which train the hand and eye which might employ them, without overtaxing their brains. And we should find our children more fully developed and far more fitly prepared for their careers in life.
Trusting that many other parents will add their names to the list.
Brook House, Bollington, I am, yours truly,
Near Macclesfield. ELIZABETH HICKSON.

DEAR EDITOR,--In reply to Mrs. Lawson's letter in the April Parent's Review, I should like to explain that we have some of the books needed for the Mothers' Educational Course in the Library, and hope in time to have them all. I have not the catalogue to refer to, but I believe we have the following:--"Carpenter's Mental Physiology," "Clews to Holy Writ" (Petrie), "Times of Isaiah (Sayce), "Teaching" (Calderwood), "Manual of Personal and Domestic Hygiene" (Schofield), "Moral Languages" (Gouin), "Home Education" (Mason), "The Little Red Mannikin" (Lankester).
72, St. George Square. Yours truly,

DEAR READERS,--I should like to say that one object of the Mothers' Educational Course is to secure that mothers shall possess themselves of a small educational library, consisting of books with which they are thoroughly familiar,--able to turn to any passage they want at a moment's notice. This sort of familiarity, with ever a score or so of helpful volumes is among the best results of study; and perhaps some such little library is the smallest professional outfit with which a mother should equip herself.

DEAR EDITOR,--In replay to "Mater Junior's" letter in your last issue, I am afraid the evils of which I complain are too grave to be remedied by any memorial to headmasters such as she suggests. My position is this, I approve of homework if it be suitable in quantity and quality to the capacity of the child, and if the school hours be so arranged as to allow of at least two hours' play or outdoor exercise every day and one hour for such subjects as music, drawing or manual work of some kind. I like teaching my boy, and gladly give him whatever time is necessary that I can spare from my own work; but I cannot let him, at the age of nine, grind for two hours every evening at lessons that are generally beyond him and frequently absurd, when I know he has had no time all day for anything but sums and Latin exercise and other book work. The root of the evil is in the appalling waste of time during actual school hours and this arises from two causes, (1) the incompetence of the masters, who have never learned how to teach and (2) inadequacy of the staff, each master in private preparatory scy99os yav8hgk as far as my experience goes, boys of two or three levels of attainment before him at one time, so that none of them are fully employed more than half the time that they are confined to the schoolroom. If any proof is needed of the inability of schoolmasters to teach, it may be found in Mr. F. Storr's address to the Teachers' Gild at their recent conference at the Merchant Taylors' School. He says:--"We insist that the physician shall have laid the foundation by a systematic study of anatomy and physiology, and further that he shall have walked the hospital and so exercised his 'prentice hand under proper supervision. How long must we wait before we have a similar guarantee in the case of a schoolmaster? How long will they glory in their shame because they knew non themselves? . . . that training may be of use to pupil-teachers, but is supererogatory or even detrimental in the case of university and public school men?" Commenting on the supposed danger of overstrain from university boat-races and the like, the Field (Apr. 11) refers to the longevity and eminence in after life of so many "old blues," compares the moral condition of the universities when such sports were not, and says, "Man requires excitement and interest. There is a danger for youth that if they cannot be furnished with wholesome excitement and occupation in their leisure hours, even at the cost of possible slight tax upon their physique, the many in sheer ennui resort to occupations calculated to sap both morals and health alike . . . We cannot believe that, taken all round, health is injured for future life by competitions of this class as compared with the alternatives of old days, which tended so greatly to entice to less healthy and less moral attractions in leisure hours. We cannot keep our undergraduates in leading-strings; and it is safer to humour and encourage a bent which, at all events, cultivates courage, honourable emulation, self-control and sceticism, and so lays foundations hereafter for the desideratum of mens sana in carpore sano." The same point was enforced at a meeting of the Assistant Masters' Association, or April 12th, when a letter was read from Jr. John Burns, M.P., urging "more athletics and less sport, more games and less gaming, and in all manly exercises toleration and fair play." I have only space to note the introduction by the Government of the Education Bill; the death of Dr. William Sharp, of Rugby, to whom we own the introduction of natural science into the curriculum of our public schools; the "Disadvantages of University Life," in the Spectator, March 20th; and an address on the "New Education," by Mr. Howard Swan, reported at length in the "Journal of Education" for this month.
April 16th, 1896. PATER JUNIOR.


Edited by MISS FRANCES BLOGG, Sec., 28, Victoria Street, S.W.

In whom Hon. Local Secs. are requested to send reports of all matters of interest connected with their branches, also 30 copies of any prospectuses or other papers they may print.

The Library Committee acknowledge, with many thanks, the gift of the following books by their authors:--
"Springs of Conduct." Professor Lloyd Morgan.
"Brush-work for the Kindergarten." Mrs. Rowland Hill.
"Brush-work"; "Aunt Mai's Annual." Mrs. Steinthal.
"Teacher's Guide to Child Pianist." Mrs. Spencer Curwen
"Exercises" (8 parts) Mrs. Spencer Curwen.
"The Country Month by Month." Professor Boulger.
"Primer on Browning." Mrs. C.V. Parsons.
"Lock's Thoughts on Education"; "Lessons on the Church Catechism." Rev. Canon Daniel.
"How Dante climbed the mountain." Miss Selfe.
Also of the following:--
From Mrs. Franklin--"Official Report of Women Workers"; "History of Scotland" (Mackenzie); "Levana" (Jean Paul Richter); "First Book of Psychology" (James); "Fresh Lights from Ancient Monuments (Sayce); "Historical Reader" (Longmans); "First Lessons in French" (Gouin); "Firs Year of Scientific Knowledge"; "Care of Infants (Jex-Blake); "Moral Training" (Miss Sherriff); Monthly copy "Journal of Education."
From Mrs. Spencer Curwen.--"A Song, please" (C. Hutchins Lewis); "Songs and Games for the Kindergarten" (Tisdale & Gilbert); "Medly of Song" (Mrs. Scoggins); "Saltaire Kindergarten Games" (Lois Bates); "Saltaire Action Songs" (Lois Bates).
Also, "A plea for a simpler life" (Dr. George Shene Keith), from Mrs. Keith.
"Strictures on Modern Female Education" (Hannah More).

BELGRAVIA.--On March 26th Canon Scott Holland gave an exceptionally able address on "Goads." After speaking of education as simply evocation--the calling out of capacities and setting nature free--he went on to suggest that although all this was in a measure true, yet we could not dispense with the spur, with the violent pressure of examinations, and the painful "grind." He begged his audience to distinguish two stages--two purposes--two alms in education. (1) The evocation of gifts. (2) The evocation of the self that possesses and uses these gifts. The development of capacities is not the goal--but the calling forth of a central will; a spring of character, a force of judgment which makes up "individuality." The distinction should be forced on the child. "You and your instincts are two, not one, and they are to be driven apart as life grows." Canon Scott Holland then spoke of Concentration, Equity, and Response, as three signs of educated judgment--all of them involving discipline; and then went on to assure his audience that "the will won't put out its power without a squeeze," and thence the use of "goads." The lecture was given at 50 Ennismore Gardens (by the kindness of Mrs. Farret), and was listened to with the deepest interest by about 90 members and friends.
HYDE PARK AND BAYSWATER.--(Hon Sec., Mrs. E. Franklin, 9, Pembridge Gardens. "At Home," Thursday mornings). On March 17th a paper was read by Mrs. Franklin to the Reading circle on "The influence of Education on Imagination." The next meeting of the Reading circle will be on May 12th, at 9 o'clock, at 9, Pembridge 33, Cavendish Square (by kind permission of Mrs. Symes Thompson), on "Children's Work in connection with the Budget." E. Symes Thompson, Esq., M.D., in the chair. Brush drawing classes to children and adults, and French and German classes (Gouin method) will be resumed in May. Names should be sent in at once for the Wednesday Natural History Excursions, under Mr. Rowbotham's guidance, for children from 7 upwards. Fee, 10/--for 10 lessons. Cricket, junior (girls and boys under 12), and senior (girls) on Mondays and Thursdays, commences May 4th, under superintendence of a master. Fee, 10/-. Further particulars from Mrs. Franklin.
HAMPSTEAD AND ST. JOHN'S WOOD.--On March 20th a meeting was held at The Ferns' School, 153, Finchley Road (by the kindness of Miss Borchardt). Mr. F. Bond, M.A., F.G.S., contributed a paper on "What not to teach," which, in his unavoidable absence, was kindly read by Miss Borchardt. There was a good discussion. Miss Hall addressed this branch on April 22nd, on "Country Rambles." The last meeting of the session will be held during this month, when Mrs. Steinthal will read a paper on "How I teach my children."
CLAPHAM.--The March meeting was held on the 25th, at 8 p.m., at 13, Cedars Road, Clapham Common, by kind invitation of Mrs. Beveridge. Miss Edith Barnet greatly impressed her audience by an excellent address on "Out-of-School Education." The Rector of Clapham in the chair. There was no April meeting; the next paper will be read by Miss Pace on May 4th.
FINCHLEY.--Miss Helen Webb, M.B., delivered an address on "Habit," on February 27th, at Meadowside, North Finchley (by kind permission of Mrs. Clayton). Mr. McClure, President of the branch, presided, and there was a good attendance of members and others, who were much interested. A meeting was held on March 26th, at Christ's College, Finchely (by kind permission of Mr. Philipson), Miss Wells, of Hampstead read a paper on "Expediency versus Development in Education."
READING.--The fifteenth ordinary meeting was held on Saturday, March 21st, at Acham House (by kind* permission of Miss Abrams). H.M. Wallis, Esq., J.P., took the chair. An addres was given by Mrs. E.L. Franklin (Hon. Sec. Hyde Park and Bayswater Branch) on "Natural History Clubs, as a means of furthering the Study of Nature." At the close of the meeting interesting collections of specimens were examined and much appreciated by members. It is hoped that an impetus has thereby been given to the newly formed Natural History Club in connection with this branch. The next meeting will be held on May 30th, when the Rev. W. Hume Campbell, M.A., is expected to give an address on "Memory."
EASTBOURNE.--On the 17 March an address was given by the Rev. Rowland Cardwell, Vicar of Fulham, on "The Religious Education of children." The lecturer urged that parents should be definite in their teaching, recalling the fact that children of the poor are more systematically instructed than our own in this particular. He approved of children being taught forms of prayer and hymns and passages from the bible, even before they could fully grasp their meaning, so that they should be laid to store in the young retentive memory. Fathers should not forget that their teaching and example is necessary as well as the mothers. Parents also should realize the fact that children do not love them by instinct in the same way that parents love their children--the love and confidence must be won by the parent before influence and teaching can begin. The speaker concluded with the remark that children are heaven-sent messengers to their parents, so that parents have as much to be taught by the children as to teach them. A drawing room meeting was held at Ingleside, on March 24th, when a much appreciated address was given by Miss Wedgwood, which it is hoped will be repeated later. It was found necessary to postpone the April meetings, Mr. Roberts' lecture will, therefore, be given early this month, at All Saints' Vicarage (by kind permission of Mrs. Woodward), on "The co-relation of mental and physical education."
HASTINGS AND ST. LEONARD'S.--On February 22nd, at the Hastings and St. Leonard's College, Cumberland Gardens, a lecture was given by Rev. F.R. Burrows, M.A. of Ancaster House School, on "Geography: a Neglected Subject at Home and in School"; chairman, P. Pritchard, Esq. (Chairman of the Local School Board). On March 28th, at Miss Tiddeman's Studio (by kind permission), a lecture was given by Dr. Downes, of Eastbourne, on "Backward Children"; Chairman, A. Lewis Ward, Esq. During this month a paper will be read by Miss Beth Finlay, on "University Life for Girls".
SOUTHPORT.--Although this branch has not sent in reports to the last two numbers of the Review, owing to the illness of the Secretary, the meetings have been highly successful this session. The first was held in November, at the house of the President, South Lawn, Rawlinson Road. Lady Wheler took the chair. Miss Simon read a paper on "Teaching and Education," which was so appreciated that it aroused discussion amongst those who had no intention of speaking. The second lecture, in December, was again held at South Lawn, Lady Wheler presiding. Mrs. Miall, of Leeds, who spoke on the subject of "Teaching a Modern Language," delighted her audience, and as many school teachers were present and exchange of experiences followed. The next two meetings were held at the residence of H.C. Mocatta, Esq., Clive House, Queen's road. At the Febraury meeting the Rev. J. Williams took the chair, and Dr. Maccall gave a capital and condensed lecture on "Heredity," illustrating largely. Discussion followed. Miss Mason, Foundress of the Union, gave an address at the March meeting on "The Future of the P.N.E.U." Mr. Mocatta presided. Her words were listened to with reverent attention, as she stirred the hearts of both teachers and parents by her inspired understanding of child nature, and her divine ideals for their education and future. Every meeting was thoroughly well attended. The Branch numbers 52 members, and many heave expressed their intention of joining. Both parents and school teachers fall in with the ideas of the Union and in Southport it is decidedly a "Parents' and Teachers' Union. Mrs. Dixon, 8, Preston Road, Hon. Sec., will be glad to answer any enquiries.
SCARBOROUGH.--On February 12th (by invitation of Miss Theedam), Mrs. Miall read a paper on "Play." In a most philosophical and logical way, Mrs. Miall argued her points, claiming for children more of nature's playground and less routine of life. Everyone felt they had listened to a most interesting and inspiring paper. Miss Theedam presided. On March 18th a small meeting was held (by kind invitation of Mrs. Godfrey), when Mrs. Edward Wallis read a paper on "Punishment." The discussion that followed proved the value of the paper, which dealt with the lax of natural results as the standard rule for correction. Extracts from Herbert Spencer, Mr. Rooper (Parents' Review, 1885) AND Miss Mason's "Home Education" were read, in addition to the paper. Mrs. Godfrey presided. This meeting was the last of the winter session.
BROUGHTY FERRY.--Dr. Emily Thompson gave a lecture to members and their friends on Thursday, March 5th. The subject was "Some Dangers of the Developmental Periods." There was a good attendance, and all present were much interested, and felt that much was said which was both suggestive and useful.
EDINBURGH.--It was found necessary to postpone the lecture which was announced for April 7th, until Tuesday, May 5th. The Title is "The Teaching of Natural History as an Educational Discipline," by Mr. Arthur Thomson.
FARNWORTH, LANCASHIRE.--A drawing room meeting was held on April 1st, at the house of Mrs. Harold Barnes, when Miss Staley, of new Brighton, read a paper on "Parental Responsibility." A short discussion followed, and ten ladies promised to join the P.N.E.U., should a branch be formed in the district.