The Parents' Review
A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture
"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
Volume 7, 1896, pgs. 750-764
Sentimental Tommy, by J. M. Barrie (Cassell, 6/-). Tommy is unique, a new figure in literature, and destined to keep his place there. Like Caleb Balderstone, Othello, or Maggie Tulliver, Tommy is a personality, outlined nowhere else, and to stand evermore as a type of character. "He'll find a wy," and the delight of watching him evolve this "wy," and the certainty that deliverance will come to him in his worst moments, are as real and exciting as if one knew Tommy in the flesh. The curious thing is, though Tommy is a brand-new delineation, one is constantly catching a glimpse here and a glimpse there of every boy one knows in turn. He is a boy before he is Tommy, and he is Tommy apart from every other boy. Mr. Barrie knows his own power. He leaves Tommy in the very dregs of his fortunes, sure of the reader's confidence that, "he'll find a wy," and be at the top of the tree yet. The understudies are delightful, too--Elspeth is very tender and sweet, Grizel has the makings of a splendid woman, Miss Ailie might be a "Crauford" lady. All the characters are touched in with a master hand; but in Tommy Mr. Barrie appears to us to have outdone himself in the presentation of child-life and character. This is not a book for children, but one for parents to read and inwardly digest to their profit and pleasure. (See extract in Christmas Plays for the Children, page 744.)
A Child-World, by James Whitcomb Riley (Longmans & Co., 5/-).
"The child-heart is so strange a little thing,
As the above extract will show, Mr. Riley does occasionally more than touch the hem of poetry, but his knowledge of children is wonderful, and a delight all through the volume. Every rhymed tale in it will give pleasure to parents, and will afford material for profitable study. We have long been of opinion that psychology is a science which none but a poetic mind is capable of expounding, for no other has the breadth and insight, the readiness to receive a flash without attempting to classify it, which should be brought to the study of the infinite in human nature.
The Animal Story Book by Andrew Lang (Longmans, 6/-). Mr. Lang has long worked for the Christmas delight of children, but we believe that he has never done them more service than in this Christmas volume. He tells us frankly in the preface his private opinion of some of the tales. Most of them he vouches for. Everyone who loves animals will love these stories. There are stories about rats and snakes and ants and bears, monkey stories and cockatoo stories, stories of grateful dogs and loving dogs, stories of animals that have found a place in history, and of pets of to-day; and all the stories are well told, simple, and without adornment, as tales should be. M. Dumas and his beasts afford very charming chapters with inimitable illustrations. The snake stories are highly exciting, even if one may not pin one's faith seriously upon Baron Wogan.
The Piebald Horse, and other Stories, by Arthur Burrell (Fisher Unwin, 2/6). Those of our readers who recollect The Church of the Hunted Stag and The Man with the Seven Hearts will require no persuasion to induce them to read a volume of stories by the same author. We wish the book had a title which did some justice to the grace and charm of the stories. Charles Lamb himself could not have told the tale of My Grandmother's Holiday with more tender fun. From the Well of Bethlehem is a very beautiful tale, told as only an accomplished littérateur could tell it. We wish Mr. Burrell would give the world more work of a kind which is rare in these days of the making many books.
The Mind of the Master, by John Watson, D.D. (Hodder and Stoughton, 6/-). Though some of us may feel that the sacred subject of this volume is handled with a shade too much familiarity, and that we do not quite catch the mind of our Master imaged in a way that responds to the image in our own souls, yet we cannot lay down this volume without hearty gratitude to the author for very clear teaching on difficult points, The essay on Faith, the Sixth Sense, for example, should do much to clear our minds as to the simple and practical nature of the "faith" which is commonly presented as a rather mystic virtue. Every chapter contains suggestive teaching. Mr. Watson's book is an important attempt to bring the teaching of the gospels into line, as it were, with the thought of the day.
The Eversley Series (Macmillan and Co., 5/- each). We should like to note our sense of the valuable service Messrs. Macmillan and Co. are rendering in the production of the Eversley Series. They are giving us in a handy, pleasing, inexpensive form, works, which in every case so far as we know, reach the high-water mark of literary excellence, but which would have been lost to the general reader in the expensive library editions, or as the equally expensive and ephemeral book of the season. We advise our readers to note the Eversley Series and possess themselves of desirable volumes as they come out. We are apt to forget that the issue of such a series is an opportunity which may pass before we have made up our minds to seize it.
[The Eversley Series published volumes such as The Pleasures of Life by Avebury, Essays in Criticism by Arnold, Boswell's Johnson, English Literature by Brooke, The Soul of a people by Hall, Stories and Poems of Thomas Hardy, The Life of David Livingstone by Horne, On Compromise by Morley, Greek Studies by Pater, Selections from Pepys Diary.]
We have received the following numbers for review:--
Dante, and other Essays, by R. W. Church. Dean Church's essay on Dante is profoundly interesting and helpful. The vivid life of mediæval Florence stirs in the page. We are enabled to trace the causes which helped in the development of the great poem of the age of faith; and to recognise that which is over and above all external causes, and makes the Divina Comedia a poem and a lesson-book for all time. The essay on Wordsworth is full of insight and instructive appreciation, and the reader feels that Wordsworth is not the less great because his failings and his excellencies are duly considered. The essay on Sordello, with which the volume concludes, makes this great poetic puzzle, if not clear, certainly illuminating. We perceive, as we read, that there is a theme in Sordello, a life-lesson very good for us all.
Miscellaneous Essays, by R. W. Church. Dean Church's essay on Montaigne is sparkling, as befits the subject, and entirely sympathetic. The charm, the piquancy, and the sincerity of Montaigne are presented in a very living way. The reader could not have a better introduction to the writings of the French sage who, if he proposes to himself to think outside the domain of Christian thought and to pose as a practically pagan philosopher, writes with a shrewd gentleness and grace which is always charming, and does not deserve to be regarded, as he so frequently is, in the light of a mere man of the world reflecting the thoughts of the world. We have not space to notice the most interesting essay on Brittany, which brings us face to face with the earnest and rather sombre but heroic Bretons, nor that on the Letters of Pope Gregory the First, and the contemporary light they throw on early Church history. All the essays are deeply interesting and instructive, and well adapted for the daily hour's reading aloud, a tradition to be kept up in most families.
Historical Essays, by Bishop J. B. Lightfoot. Probably the most instructive and interesting of the Essays in this volume are those on Christian Life in the Second and Third Centuries and on the Comparative Progress of Ancient and Modern Missions. We feel we are in the hands of an author of profound historical knowledge, equalled by his power of insight and by his intellectual grasp. The Christians of the early centuries live before us. In face of the depression that comes to those who work abroad and pray at home for foreign missions, of the scoffs of the traveller who assures us that the result of missionary labour is nil, and of the superior attitude of the present-day philosopher who tells us that to leave every man to his own creed is the part of wisdom, it is truly solacing to read Bishop Lightfoot's carefully formed opinions on the subject of modern missions. We go on with our work with good cheer when we learn that, pari passu, the progress of Christianity in the early centuries and in our own day is about equal. In face of such problems as the rapid conversion of Uganda and the tardy progress of Christianity in India and China it is good to learn that, in this matter also, history repeats itself; that the highly civilised nation, with its own systems of religion and philosophy, has far more obstacles to overcome than the ruder peoples for whom civilisation and Christianity come hand-in-hand. It is good, too, to be assured by such an authority as Bishop Lightfoot that the slow conversion of nations of the former type has its element of hope, that the leaven is leavening the whole lump, and that a time is probably coming when these nations also will be born in a day. The whole volume is very interesting and instructive, but we have seldom read any treatise on modern missions so cheering and so conclusive as that on the Comparative Progress of Ancient and Modern Missions.
Contemporary Thought and Thinkers, by Richard Holt Hutton (Vols. I and II). These two are valuable volumes for a father's bookshelves. The wise editor of the Spectator is very well fitted to be a guide to youth, in the matter of first opinions on the subjects of contemporary thought. The essays are short, and would afford capital half-hour daily readings with father and mother during the holidays. Perhaps parents do not sufficiently bear in mind that the holidays give them opportunity to educate the opinions of their young people on matters of public interest, and these short essays afford matter for discussion on many questions from The Conscience of Animals to Agnosticism, from Cardinal Newman to M. Renan, from Ants and Their Policy to John Stuart Mill's Philosophy. These volumes do not contain milk for babes, but when boys and girls are sixteen or seventeen it is time that they begin to face the questions of the hour.
Poems of William Wordsworth, edited by William Knight (16 vols.). Vol III "To students of Wordsworth these volumes are dedicated." A new edition of the works of Wordsworth, edited by Mr. W. Knight, claims the respectful attention of all lovers of the poet. The editor tells us that the present is not a reproduction of the library edition of 1882-1889. It is not only that the volumes are more convenient to handle, but that the present edition has every improvement which scholarly and enthusiastic editorship has been able to suggest. The publishers have done their part well; type, paper, and arrangement are all inviting. The volumes are published monthly, and this is an opportunity to get a complete edition at no unreasonable price. The poems are included in the first eight volumes. For a first introduction to the poet, perhaps, The Poems of Wordsworth, chosen and edited by Matthew Arnold, price 2/6, is to be preferred.
Essays in the History of Religious Thought in the West, by Bishop [Brooke Foss] Westcott. "Splendid visions burst upon us from unexpected quarters, and we find they are included in that view of God, the world, and man, which lies in the fact of the Incarnation." This sentence from the preface gives the key-note to the purpose that runs through this volume. We have here illuminating essays on Plato, Æschylus, and Euripides, because, says Bishop Westcott, "Their hopes and their desires, their errors and their silences were likely, I thought, to show how far the gospel satisfies our natural aspirations and illuminates dark places in our experience." It would be difficult to speak too strongly of the extreme interest of these essays. Parents who had studied that upon Æschylus, for example, even without the help of a translation of the poet, would have quickening ideas for their schoolboy son which should make the Greek class something more than a grind, more even than it is in the hands of a master who does justice to the Greek poet as a poet and as an interpreter of his times. Here we have a key to the unity and continuity of the revelation vouchsafed through, what Bishop Westcott calls, the prophetic Masters of the West, and, in the very light of the richness and suggestiveness of this revelation, we perceive its inadequacy until it is completed and interpreted by the gospel of Christ. The essays on Browning as a Teacher and on The Relations of Christianity to Art are full of instruction, insight and masterly criticism.
We have also received for review:--
Modern Guides to English Thought in Matters of Faith, by Richard Holt Hutton (Macmillan & Co.., 6/-). Mr. Hutton's list of our modern guides in matters of faith is interesting and suggestive. They are Thomas Carlyle, Cardinal Newman, Matthew Arnold, George Eliot, and Frederic Denison Maurice. The insight, incisive criticism, and entire appreciation with which these essays are written make them delightful reading; and a discussion of the influence which each of these "guides" still exercises upon modern thought is instructive and useful; especially so to parents, who should know, as far as possible, to whom the loose opinions which are in the air at any given moment owe their origin.
French Poets and Novelists, by Henry James (Macmillan & Co., 6/-). Probably most of us feel that we require the guidance of those who know before we can even dip safely and wisely into French literature. Mr. Henry James knows, and tells what he knows with the grace, care, and epigrammatic force which belong to him. Perhaps most of us regret our ignorance of the literature of Continental nations, and we could hardly have a happier introduction to the dozen or so of authors, whose names represent current French literature, than Mr. James has given us here. This is a book that mothers should read to make them better able to guide their girls in the choice of French literature.
House of Education.--Next term begins January 16th. Applications for entry should be sent to the Secretary as soon as possible. Ladies wishing for probationers during the Christmas holidays should apply as soon as possible.
Parents' Review School.--The examination papers will be sent out for Monday 14th.
Mothers' Educational Course.--The examination papers will be sent out on November 28th.
P.N.E.U. Library.--The complete catalogue is now ready, and can be had from the Secretary, price 4d., including postage. The catalogue not only contains the list of books at present in the Library, but Mr. Welton's valuable critical list of Educational works, and a preface by T. G. Rooper, Esq., H M.I.
Natural History Club.--The committee have decided, for next year, to discontinue the Geology course, and to substitute for the course--Lessons from our Walks--a series of letters, entitled: "Natural History Lessons in House, Garden, and Field." The Junior Botany course will be continued. The amount of annual subscription for this and the new Natural History course, will be 10/-. The matter comprised in each letter will, in future, be condensed into a smaller space, while the lessons will be amplified by the use of a reading book. Courses of letters already issued may also be had at the same reduced fee. Apply to the Secretary, P.N.E.U., 28, Victoria Street.
THE "P.R." LETTER BAG.
[The Editor is not responsible for the opinions of Correspondents.]
Dear Editor,--In answer to the letter of "An Anxious Mother," I should
like to say that, after two years' work in the P.R.S., my boy of 10
took a good place in a boys' preparatory school. His interest in work
generally, and his anxiety to learn, is, I feel sure, much greater than
is usually the case with boys of his age. He has formed good habits of
industry and attention and study, and now sees the interest of the work
behind the mere task-work which the ordinary school routine often is.
His attention being trained and his intellect awakened, his memory is
good, even for the mere facts which are the mental food that so many of
our schools offer; I know other children who have also done well in
ordinary schools after leaving the P.R.S., and I should therefore like
to assure "An Anxious Mother" that she need have no anxiety on this
score. The methods used and the books recommended in the P.R.S. must
commend themselves to all teachers.
Dear Editor,--I send you the school report on my boy, after his first
week at school. I taught him myself in the P.R.S. (though we could not
always keep to the examinations owing to illness and constant moves.)
He was nine years old:--"We find H------ unusually advanced for his age.
There is no subject of which he does not know something, and his powers
of attention and concentration are most unusual in so young a child.
You have certainly developed his reasoning powers, and, at nine years
of age, he is on a level with boys of 13 and 14 in knowing how to
learn, how to attack a subject, and in intelligent interest in his
work. He is certainly the best trained child we have had, and I say
this with more candour, as I confess I was not prepared for any
practical results from your theories on education. The boy could take
any scholarships you wish him prepared for, but this, I understand, is
opposed to your plans for him. His arithmetic is of quite uncommon
Dear Editor,--I should be glad, if I may be allowed the space, to answer a remark in the letter from 'An Anxious Mother,' in your last issue. She says, speaking of her three boys, "We are anxious, of course, that they should take good places in the public schools when the time comes for them to enter," "good" places meaning, of course, high places. I would suggest that for a boy entering a new school, a low place is much better than a high one.
Other things being equal, a boy who is placed low at first is likely to learn more and be happier than one who is placed high. For one thing he will certainly be more modest, and probably more industrious; he will find himself with boys a little younger than himself, and will be stimulated to try to rise out of their company into that of his equals in age, a wholesome ambition, free from the vanity and egotism that belongs to the effort at surpassing those as old or older than ourselves. At the same time he is less likely to be overworked; he will find his work easier, and will understand it better; so that if he gets in lower, he is likely to come out higher than other boys of equal capacity. Of course there is a limit to this rule. If the boy enters too low he is likely to accept himself as the booby of the school, and so be discouraged from trying to work at all; but between one form and the next it is the lower that should be preferred.
For this, as for many other reasons, it is a mistake in home education to aim at bringing a child forward in those very studies which it is the specialty of the school to teach well. Rather, those things should be dwelt upon in which the school is most likely to fail.
Only one practical warning I should like to give to the inexperienced--do not forget, among other acquirements, to teach a child how to learn, independently, from books. Of the three ways of learning, from things themselves, from a teacher, and from books, the latter, which is still the chief in our public schools, is apt to be the most neglected by modern private teachers, almost in proportion as they are good teachers.
The value of first-hand study of things themselves is beginning at last to be realized, and, to supplement this, oral teaching can be much better adapted to the requirements of each child than any book. But, on the other hand, books also are "things themselves," and the art of learning directly from them is indispensable to any high degree of culture. This art is usually picked up by chance, if at all, but it can and should be expressly taught. Two things are necessary to it: (1) Practice in handling books; (2) The habit of attending to what the book says. In other words, the analytic and the receptive faculty, both applied to books as objects of study. Teach a child to examine a book, as he would any other object, to find out how it has been put together. Get him to notice the mode of numbering the pages, the paragraphs, the chapters, the use of small and large print, &c. Teach him to look out words in a dictionary; not only those that are placed there in order, but also those that are not (e.g. past participles). Let him know, before he goes to school, what an index, and an appendix, and a footnote are. For want of such training the first term at school is usually hard and unprofitable. The boy spends hours staring at his paper in despairing idleness, not knowing how to look for the fact he wants. If, further, it is possible to get the books used in his future school, and so familiarise him beforehand with their methods (irrespective of learning what is in them), much time and worry may be saved.
Even more important than the ready observation of book forms is the
power of understanding written words, without the need of asking
questions. This power is often quite wanting in children who have had
much individual attention. The simplest statements will often be not
understood for want of the human voice expressing them, or from some
literary turn in the phrasing. The remedy for this is, not to give less
individual attention, or to discourage talk and questions, but to refer
to the book itself for an answer whenever possible. Say to the child:
"Don't you remember we read about that last week, I think you'll find
it on page so-and-so," or "I daresay we shall come to that later, we
must look out for it," &c.; and, in explaining a difficulty, do not
explain the fact only, in your own words, but try to get the child to
understand the actual words of the book in the order in which they
occur. The boy who can do this is better prepared for learning at
school than if he knew twice as much to begin with, but was still a
foreigner in bookland.
Dear Editor,--May I call the attention of your readers to the list of branches of the Union which the Committee hope to help in starting, and which is published month by month under "P.N.E.U. Notes." No branch is started unless a wish for it has been expressed from within the locality, and if your readers would send us the names of friends who would welcome a branch and help towards its formation, it would greatly facilitate the work of organization.
I should like to add here that as branches increase in number it
becomes more and more difficult for our few tried lecturers to answer
to every call. One of the chief advantages of a branch is that it helps
to focus and bring out the good educational thought with which every
locality must be alive, and that it brings together those who want to
learn and those who have something helpful to offer. But at the same
time it is never certain that such a speaker will express the
principles and teaching of the Union, and though it may be well to hear
every side and thus to search for truth, still one must be careful to
remember that every lecturer speaks of necessity for himself, and that
the Union as a whole must not be blamed for anything one objects to in
what he says. Of course, wherever it is possible, it is better that the
Committee of a branch should in some way know the line of thought of
anyone whom they invite to speak. It is unfortunate if members have to
listen to teaching which is contrary to that of the Union; though I
should hardly think that anyone not in accord with the principles of
the Union would (if they are aware of these) consent to lecture. Local
Secretaries would greatly help the work of our Secretary, Miss Frances
Blogg, if they would send her regularly their opinion of the lecturers
whom they have had the opportunity of hearing.
Dear Editor,--I think your readers would be interested in a book I have
seen lately, i.e., The Bible for Home Reading, edited by C. C.
Montefiore. It is written for the use of Jewish children, and begins
with the starting point of Jewish history, i.e., the call of Abram; but
its clear, consecutive teaching of the old Testament History surpasses
anything I have seen before; and, as it embodies the results of modern
criticism and research, it ought to be helpful to all teachers.
Dear Editor,--Will your contributor, E. M. Caillard, be so kind as to tell me if the ten essays, on "The Intellectual Position of Christians," have been published in pamphlet form? If so, I should be very glad to purchase one dozen of them for distribution.
I fee sure that the readers of the Parents' Review will agree with me
that they are most deeply interesting and instructive; and likely to be
very helpful to those seeking to know "What is Truth."
Dear Editor--It has often been remarked that there is some sort of correspondence existing between the development of the child's mind during the school period and a succession of phases in the history of civilization. This idea has been taken as the guiding principle of a school, conducted by Miss Scott, at Detroit, U.S.A. [Harriet Scott, Detroit Normal School], and described by Miss Geraldine Buck, M.Sc., in this month's Forum. In the lowest class the children are made to reproduce in fancy the life of the nomadic hunters, of whom they take Hiawatha as a type, the lessons in reading, natural history, &c., all being linked to his story as told by Longfellow. Then follows the Aryan period of pastoral life, which, in the same way, forms the groundwork of their lessons, to be succeeded in turn by the Persian, Greek, and Roman periods, leading up to the Renaissance and modern times. The idea is fantastic, but is declared to show good results, enabling the teacher to cover the same ground in technical reading, writing, drawing, science study, number, geography, and language, as that occupied by the old system, besides much important work in literature, art and ethics. One can easily believe that, in the hands of a good teacher, this is so; but a good teacher can obtain good results under almost any system of teaching.
In the Nineteenth Century, Professor [John Pentland] Mahaffy has a lively article ("The Modern Babel") on the need for some one language to take the place held by Latin in the middle ages, as the medium of communication between educated men of all countries. He considers that English is destined for this position by its richness, flexibility, and easy construction, and by the worldwide enterprise of English merchants; but that its progress is hindered by our diplomatists, who neglect or misuse their opportunities, and by our pedantic adherence to a difficult and irrational mode of spelling. Incidentally he refers to the increased pressure upon our youth to learn an ever-growing number of current European languages, which pressure "produces a waste of millions of valuable hours every year among those who fail in the task, whether from natural stupidity, or from incompetent and antiquated teaching, or from a rotten and ridiculous system of examinations." The gradual simplification of English spelling is also insisted upon by a writer in the Forum.
Speaking of Free Libraries, the Times (Oct. 27th) considers that they
have fallen far short of our expectations as a means of education, and
that the purpose they serve is chiefly recreative, and that they might
be made "much more than they are, centres of culture and more worthy of
the compliments freely showered upon them." I note also a suggestive
article in Pall Mall Gazette (Nov. 4th) pointing out the necessity for
extreme patience in dealing with children, as their minds work so much
more slowly than do ours.
To 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 Executive Committee has been approached with a view to starting
Branches in the following places:--
The Library Committee beg to acknowledge, with many thanks, the gift of
the following books by their authors:--
Also of the following:--
The following books have purchases for the Library:--"The Early
Training of Children" (Malleson); "Psychology of Child-hood" (Tracy);
"Three Addresses to Girls at School" (Wilson).
BELGRAVIA.--The first meeting of the session was held at 34, Grosvenor Place (by kind permission of the Hon. Mrs. Warren Vernon), when, after a few suggestions and interesting remarks on the late improvements and developments in education from the Chairman (the Hon. Warren Vernon), Miss Vinter gave a much appreciated address on "Habit and Character, and the Effect of Motives." She dealt mainly with the difficulties that parents and teachers encounter who are dealing with children at what is generally termed "the difficult age," and her address cannot but have been helpful to many present. The chair was afterwards taken by the Rev. A. J. Myers. The next meeting will be held on December 15th, at 35, Cranley Gardens, S. W. (by kind permission of Mrs. Guy Pym), when Miss Helen Webb, M.B., will give an address on "Neurotic Children." Classes are being held for children in French (Gouin), by Madame Forckel; in Singing (Tonic Sol-fa) by Mrs. Thouless; Dancing, by Mrs. Boyle; and for adults, in Drawing and Painting, by Miss Conder; Dressmaking, and for the Practice of Concerted Music. For all particulars apply to the Hon. Sec., Mrs. Cockburn, 39, Elvaston Place, S.W.
HYDE PARK AND BAYSWATER:--Hon. Sec., Mrs. Franklin, 9, Pembridge Gardens, W. (at home Thursday mornings). A meeting was held On October 20th, at 9, Pembridge Gardens, when Miss Lawrence, of Wimbledon House School, Brighton, gave a lecture on "The Educational Advantages of Games." Miss Helen Webb, M.B. (Lond.) was in the chair. There was an extremely large attendance of members. Miss Lawrence explained the advantages of such games as hockey and cricket for girls, over and above the mere physical benefit to be derived from bicycling, dancing, drill, &c. The advantages to character to be derived from the discipline of the playground cannot, she showed, be over-rated. The obedience to orders, given, perhaps, by a younger girl, the opportunity for unselfishness, and for the small deeds of heroism, are all most desirable for girls. Moreover, the playing of such games, and the necessary organization in connection with them, help much to keep up a pure and wholesome tone in school and home. Mrs. Franklin spoke of the Hockey and Cricket Club formed by her to meet the want which London parents felt for such games. Parents (she said) could not let their children join everything that was offered to them; they must choose among much that was good, and Miss Lawrence in her lecture had helped them to a wise choice, one about which in the case of boys there never was any hesitation, and why so with girls? On November 11th a meeting was held at 37, Cavendish Square (by kind permission of Mrs. Betts), when the Rev. W.J. Edmonds, B.D. Canon of Exeter, gave a lecture on "The Vicissi--tudes of Plato and Aristotle in their Transit from East to West." On Dec. 10th, Mrs. Clement Parsons will lecture on "A Child's Introduction to Poetry," at five o'clock, at 14, Dawson Place, Pembridge Square.
WOODFORD AND WANSTEAD.--The Annual Business Meeting of this Branch was held on November 25th, when the officers for the coming year were elected and the accounts presented.
CLAPHAM.--The October lecture was given by John Jackson, Esq., on "The Day of Small Things: Health in the Schoolroom." Mrs. Mackenzie Evans was the hostess, and the Rector of Clapham took the chair. The lecture was very lively and interesting, and we warmly recommend it to other branches. The November lecture was given by John Burgess, Esq., at Elm House, Clapham Common (by kind invitation of Miss Penfold), the Rector of Clapham being in the chair. Subject: "Stray Thoughts on Education." The paper was excellent, and an interesting discussion followed.
HAMPSTEAD AND ST. JOHN'S WOOD.--By the kind invitation of the Teachers' Guild, the members of this branch were invited to be present at the lecture given by Sir J. Fitch, on "The Educational Uses of the National Portrait Gallery," at the High School, South Hampstead, on Nov. 10th. The next meeting will be on Dec. 9th, when Miss Pridham will speak on "The Teaching of Mental Arithmetic." A course of visits for children to places of interest in London during the Christmas holidays is being arranged. The parties will be under competent guidance. Children of members of other branches are invited to join in these excursions. Full particulars can be had from the Hon. Sec. of the Hampstead Branch.
WIMBLEDON.--The first meeting of this branch was held on November 6th, at "The Lynch," Clifton Road (by kind permission of Mrs. Wolryche Whitmore), Mr. Tyrrell Giles, M.P., in the chair. It was a most successful meeting , being extremely well attended, and the address, delivered by the Rev. F.S. Colman [published in vol 8], being admirable from every point of view, and offering food for much thought to any who had to do with the bringing up of children. Starting with the words of one of the Seven Sages--"Know thy opportunity," Mr. Colman pointed out the great opportunity parents had, while their children were young, of setting them on the right lines. A right education must aim, he said, at making the child;--(1) Happy, for himself; (2) Helpful, for others; (3) Perfect, in himself. He laid great stress on the necessity of happiness for children as the basis of usefulness and perfectness. Referring them to the way in which the children of Sparta were taught to live for the community, he said all children ought to be brought up with the idea that they were to be useful and live for others. He finally pointed out that the child must be taught to aim high, to feel the incentive of progress, and to desire perfectness in all his work. Mr. Tyrrell Giles offered a vote of thanks to the lecturer, and said a few words as to the usefulness of such a society as the Parents' National Educational Union.
EASTBOURNE.--On October 23rd--"Education out of School." This lecture, given by Miss Edith Barnett, was well attended , and her many helpful suggestions and kindly criticisms greatly appreciated. November 27th--at Hampstead House, by the kind permission of Mrs. Farnell, "Obedience," T. G. Rooper. Esq., H.M.I. December 2nd -at Town Hall, "The Psychology of Attention," Miss Carta Sturge. January--address by Miss Mason (the founder of P.N.E.U.) February--address by Mrs. Franklin, Hon. Org. Sec. The home readings, with informal discussion, will be resumed in January.
FOLKESTONE.--December 3rd--Miss Edith Barnett, on "Training v. Inheritance." January--Dr. Helen Webb, on "Heredity." February--Head Master of Dover College, on "The Sphere of Home Influence in School Life." A Brush-work class meets every other Monday, at 58, Bouverie Road, W.; fee, 12/6, for twelve lessons. A Reading Circle is held on first and third Wednesday, at 9, Christchurch Road, at 9.30 p.m. The Natural History Club has been started.
LEEDS--On Friday, November 27th, the Hon. Mrs. Lyttleton gave an address after the annual meeting, on "The Home Education of Boys and Girls in their teens." On December 15th, a Drawing-room meeting will be held, by kind permission of Mr. Gibson, at the Vicarage, when the Rev. Canon Bullock will read a paper on "A religious basis essential in the Education of the Young."
SHEFFIELD--A meeting of this branch was held on October 14th, at the Wesley College, when Miss E. A. Barnett, of London, gave and address on "Education out of School"; Miss Barnett took as a motto the saying of Frederick Harrison, "The true work of education is the inculcation of human duty." The next meeting will be held early in December, when Mrs. Hallowes, of Curbar, has kindly promised to speak.
SOUTHPORT.--The following lectures are announced:--December 8th--"A lesson in Geography, to children of all ages," by Miss Stead, at South Lawn, Rawlinson Road (by kind permission of Lady Wheler). January 27th--"Birds," by Miss Taylor, at Olive House, Queen's Road (by the kindness of the Rev. H. E. Mocatta). On February 16th, a lecture will be given by Dr. Cecil Treadgold, B.A., M.B., entitled, "Hints on Home Nursing," at South Lawn, Rawlinson Road (by kind Permission of Lady Wheler). Miss Mason (founder of the Union) and Mrs. Steinthal will address the branch on March 16th; the meeting will be Held at Wintersdorf, Birkdale. All communications, during Mrs. Dixon's unavoidable absence, to be addressed to Miss Simon, Wintersdorf, Birkdale
BEDFORD.--The first meeting of the session was held on October 14th, at the Bedford Kindergarten, when a paper, by Miss M. E. Porter, on "Art and its relation to Education," was read by Mr. A. Ransome, Miss Porter having been prevented from being present herself through sudden illness. Notwithstanding the exceedingly inclement weather, a fair number of members were present. The chair was taken by the Rev. R. B. Poole, D.D. A lecture was also given to the members of the Natural History Club, on the 10th October, by L. Fishwick, Esq., H.M.L. "Ugly Customers, or, a chat about snakes." This lecture was exceedingly appreciated by all present, young and old, and was well attended. A course of lectures, Miss Wickam, M.B., is now being given to nurses, on "The Care of Children," the first of these lectures was on the 11th Nov.
Edinburgh.--Hon.Sec., Mrs. Berty Hart.--On the 8th December, by The kind invitation of Mrs. Ralph Dundas, the meeting will be held at 28, Drumsheugh Gardens, when Mrs. Mirrless will read a paper entitled "Why is Self-discipline essential to Mothers?" The Cardboard Sloyd and Brush-drawing Class for children began on Saturday, 14th Nov., at 9.30.
ILKLEY.--Hon. Sec., pro tem., Mrs. F. Steinthal.--Miss Simpson, of the Yorkshire College, gave her second lecture on October 20th, on "Climbing Plants," and on November 3rd, on "Winter Sleepers," and on November 10th, on "Birds, and how they fly." The audience increased each lecture; and finally, about 200 children joined. Miss Simpson has promised to give a second course of lectures next spring.
DERBY--The inaugural meeting of this branch was held on Friday, October 30th, when Miss Mason, the founder of the Union, addressed a large and representative gathering in the Albert hall. The chair was occupied by the Rev. Canon Furneaux, Headmaster of Repton School. The chairman gave an excellent introductory speech, in which he shewed very clearly the supreme importance of the earliest stages of education and training, and its vital connection with the later life of the school. The schoolmaster could only supplement and develop previous home training, and his success is to a large extent determined by the nature of this training. The aim of the Union was to give parents help and guidance in their work, and he hoped the branch about to be formed would have a career of wide and increasing usefulness before it. Miss Mason then delivered an address, which combined the force and vigour of a full scientific knowledge of her subject with a deep and loving sympathy in childhood and its needs. After referring in general terms to the formation of the Union nine or ten years ago, and its uniform progress since that time, the speaker proceeded to give a detailed exposition of the motto of the Union--"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life." Miss Mason discussed the far-reaching influence of "environment;" the physiological basis of "habit" and its main laws; and the difference between mental life and mental station, the difference between loading the memory mechanically and implanting living "ideas." In all the phases of education the mother influence cannot be over-estimated: it is in virtue of this divine right of motherhood that women are the rulers of the world. It is for them to awaken the first drawn of life, mental, moral and spiritual, in their children, and so follow the steps of Him who said, "I am come that they might have life." She hoped the formation of the branch in Derby might be a help and stimulus in this direction. The Rev. C. H. Parez, H.M.I., proposed, and Dr. Reddie seconded, a resolution, that a branch be formed in Derby. Thanks to the speaker and chairman concluded the meeting. About forty ladies and gentlemen gave in their names as members of the branch.
BIRKENHEAD.--On Oct. 29th, an address was given by Mrs. Steinthal on "The Object of the Parents' National Educational Union," at 10, Caroline Place (by kind permission of Mrs. Brownell). The branch was formally started with thirty-six members. On Nov. 27th, at eight o'clock, Miss Sturge gave a lecture on "Psychology of Attention," at 18, Devonshire Road (by kind invitation of Mrs. Irvine).
WEYBRIDGE.--The opening meeting of this branch was held on Saturday, October 24th, at Church End (by kind permission of Mrs. Butler), Miss Webb, M.B., Mr. Perrin, and Miss Blogg explained the aims and principles of the Union, and the work done in connection with it. The proposal to form a branch of the P.N.E.U. in Weybridge, was unanimously carries. A committee has been elected. Programmes of lectures, &c., will be issued shortly; Mrs. Vernon Harcourt has kindly consented to act as hom. sec., pro tem.
RICHMOND AND KEW.--A meeting, to inaugurate this branch, was held (by kind permission of Mrs. Scott) at the Old Palace, Richmond, on November 10th. Mr. Arthur Palliser, jun., in the chair; Miss Webb, M.B., and Mrs. Franklin delivered interesting addresses, explaining the objects of the Union: Miss Blogg, the London Secretary, also attended. About sixty people were present, and several joined the Union. The following day, a business meeting was held, when a committee was formed, and arrangements made for lectures, etc.
HIGHGATE.--It is proposed to start a branch in Highgate, apart from Crouch End, as the distance has been proved too great to allow of their being worked as one. The inaugural meeting will be held quite early in December.
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