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 10, 1899, pg. 132

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

Dear Readers,--I have found the following passage in Maeterlinck's La Sagesse et la Destinde suggestive and perhaps profitable. It may perhaps arrest the attention of some mothers who do more than they can. --Editor.

"Evitons d'agir comme ce gardien du phare de la légende, qui distribualt aux pauvres des cabanes voisinca l'huile des grandes gardienne d'ut, phare plus on moins nécessaire. La mère la plus humble qui se lakes attrister, absorber, anéantir tout entière par lea plus étroits de ses devoirs de mère, donne son huile aux pauvres, et ses enfants souffriront toute leur vie que l'áme de leur mère n'ait pas étè ausai claire qu'elle eút pu l'ëtre. La force immatérielle qui luit dans notre coeur doit luire avant tout pour elle-mème. Ce n'est qu'á ce prix là qu'elle luira pour les autres. Si petite que soit votre lampe, ne donnez jamais l'huile qui l'alimente, mais la flamme qui la couronne."

[Google Translate: "Let us avoid acting like this guardian of the legendary lighthouse, who distributes to the poor of the cabins the oil of the great caretakers of ut, the more or less necessary lighthouse. The most humble mother who saddens herself, saddles, absorbs, destroys all by the narrowest of her mother's duties, gives her oil to the poor, and her children will suffer all their life that their mother's soul has not been as clear as it could have been. The immaterial force which shines in our heart must shine above all for itself. It is only at this price that she will read for others. As small as your lamp is, never give the oil which feeds it, but the flame which crowns it."]

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Dear Editor,--I believe that all parents will be interested in Dr. Lewis'* thoughtful and wise remarks on the laws of health, and the reasons why it is so important to regulate the food of children in order that the brain, which is so intimately connected with the well-being of the body, should be nourished and strengthened by the simple and nutritious food required for the physical growth of the child. I heartily commend his pamphlet to the notice of all who have to do with the education of children.
Yours faithfully,
H. M. Perowne.

* Some Health Aspects of Education, by Dr. Percy Lewis (The Scientific Press, Southampton Street, Strand).

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Dear Editor,--I have been inquiring in vain for the name and address of any member of the P.N.E.U. in Dover. I want to send two children of seven and nine (boy and girl) to a congenial day school in that town carried out on broad lines. Should this meet the eye of a reader who can give any advice or assistance, it would be a great kindness to communicate with Yours truly,
C. E. Powell
Great Bentley Vicarage, Colchester.

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Dear Editor,--I have been much interested in one of the articles in the Parents' Review, to the effect that the neglected children get on best. Why?

I am trying an experiment of the kind on my youngest child, thirteen, leaving her a good deal to herself; the result being that she is always in mischief, being a character incapable of ruling herself. It seems to me that some children can be trusted to educate themselves, and some cannot. I should like to know the experience of other mothers on this point.

Yours faithfully,
R. C.

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Dear Editor,--Will you kindly allow me to thank I. B. S. Thompson for mentioning in your paper the Art for Schools Association. For a long time I have tried to get photographs of the works of some of the old masters, but without success. But thanks to your correspondent the walls of our schoolroom can now be decorated in a quite satisfying manner. A. M.

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Dear Editor,--The Spectator of December 31st comments on the Archbishop of Canterbury's recent address on the subject of holidays, and approves of his contention that to be really beneficial that they should be entirely unspoiled by work. Holiday tasks are a mistake. If holidays are too long shorten them, but whilst they last let them be a period of complete mental rest. The writer proceeds to point out various defects that still exist in our educational system:--"The classes are still too large, the teaching itself is often needlessly dull, the times during which strict attention is necessary are too long--we doubt if anybody attends fully to anything for more than an hour on end--and there is a failure to regulate work by capacities which is most disastrous." He also discusses the question of learning by heart and of competition, complaining that every school is a mere machine, which treats alike all the material with which it deals.

This article was followed by a letter from Mr. Wm. Marriott of Tonbridge, very strongly in favour of learning by heart, an exercise which he maintains, and in my opinion rightly, is suited to most boys, and is most valuable in its effects on taste, style, scholarship and power of expression.

There are also letters on the alleged Want of Pity in Children, and in the Times the correspondence on the Training of Teachers is continued, chiefly as a duel between Mr. Page, of Charterhouse, and the Headmaster of Haileybury.

I note also Professor Percy Gardner's Impressions of American Universities in the Nineteenth Century for January, and a letter by Mr. Sonnenschein on "Examination Evils" in the Pall Mall Gazette of December 24th. Pater Junior.

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