The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
P.N.E.U. Notes

Edited by Miss Frances Blogg, Sec., 28 Victoria Street, S.W.
Volume 10, 1899, pg. 336

To whom all 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.

New Branches.

The Executive Committee has been approached with a view to starting Branches in the following places:--
Croydon.--Names may be sent pro tem., P. Rands, Esq., Brighty, Bensham Manor Road.
Dorking.--Names may be sent pro tem., Mrs. Powell, Oakridge.
Brussels.--Names may be sent pro tem., Madame de Goeij. 35, Rue du Moulin.

Readers of the Parents' Review living in these districts, or having friends there, are asked to communicate with Miss Blogg

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The Library Committee beg to acknowledge with many thanks the gift of the following books:--The History of Corsica, by L. H. Caird, from Mrs. Goodhart; Events of England in Rhyme, from Mrs. Crook.

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Belgravia.--A course of four lectures on the "First Elements of Philosophy," by Miss M. Carta Sturge, commenced on April 27th, and will be continued on May 4th, and Mondays May 8th and 15th, at 11.30 a.m., at 40, Pont Street, S.W. (by kindness of Mrs. Ellis). Fee for the course, 10/-.

Hyde Park and Bayswater.--Hon. Sec.., Mrs. E. L. Franklin, 50, Porchester Terrace. At home Thursday mornings.--The next lecture will take place on May 2nd, at five o'clock, at 11, Kensington Palace Gardens, when Professor Earl Barnes (lecturer on "Pedagogy" in America) will speak on "The Study of Children: Its Value and its Dangers." It is hoped that a large number of members will avail themselves of the opportunity of hearing Professor Earl Barnes.--Tickets for the Conference on May 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th can be had from the Hon. Sec.--Cricket for adults and for children, and Natural History excursions will commence in May. Full particulars from the Hon. Sec.

St. John's Wood.--A meeting of the branch was held on Thursday, March 23rd, at 8, Carlton Hill, by kind permission of Mr. and Mrs. Perrin. Miss Wells read a paper on "Children's Entertainments,' dealing with the question of the pernicious effect entertainments often have upon the children who give them. The April lecturer was Mrs. Clement Parsons; subject "A Child's Introduction to Poetry." In May, Dr. Shuttleworth will lecture on "Exceptional Children."

Woodford.--A meeting was held at Maycroft, Snaresbrook, on March 3rd, by the kind invitation of Mrs. Cripps, when Miss Blogg, the Secretary of P.N.E.U., very clearly and emphatically explained the work, its aims and steady, patient growth, especially dwelling on the absolute necessity for the co-operation of parents and teachers, and for the desire to help parents of all classes. All present felt that, although the work was firmly taking root and spreading among the more cultured classes, yet it was most important to extend the principles of true education to our less fortunate parents and teachers. Miss Emma Fowler then reported on the first meeting of the Natural History Club, which was largely attended by the young members. Miss Emma Fowler afterwards read a paper dealing with the very foolish and harmful habit of discussing so continuously the ailments, fancied or real, of those around us; children unconsciously imitate their elders in this as in other habits. Mrs. Whitaker, who was in the chair, closed the meeting with a vote of thanks to Miss Blogg and Miss Emma Fowler for their helpful and suggestive addresses. Mrs. Albert Wilson, Secretary to the Branch, took the names of the new committee, and announced a syllabus of lectures for next session, which will be duly sent out to members. The treasurer's report was also read.

Richmond.--By invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Buckhurst, there was a joint gathering recently of the members of the Richmond and Kew branch of the Parents' National Educational Union, and members of the Metropolitan Section F of the Teachers' Guild, at the Richmond County Schools. The "special attraction" was a lecture upon "Co-education," to be given by Mr. Garrod, M.A., secretary of the Teachers' Guild, discussion being invited to follow. Refreshments were served as the meeting gathered, and subsequently Professor Hudson Beere took the chair.

Harrow.--A lecture was given on April 13th, at Victoria Hall, on "Country Rambles," by Professor Hulme, F.S.A., F.L.S. There was a larger attendance than usual, and the appreciation was keen and spontaneous. The lecturer shewed some capital diagrams drawn by himself. In the course of a most delightful, humourous address he remarked that he did not think it right that the collector should so collect as to carry out his personal pleasure to the detriment of the many. He added that he, himself, had had a great "turn" for botany and nature studies ever since he was six years old, and that the great pleasure of the naturalist is, that he never knows when he is going to "have a happy day" in his country walks, for that often when he least expected it something would turn up which would be a memory to him to the end of his days. In describing the habits of some wild animals, Professor Hulme stated that squirrels are of very methodical and regular habits, that they will go over and over again by the same path. Also that pike and trout frequent their pet spots over and over again, and even if disturbed repeatedly, will return again and again, until eventually they are caught there. Professor Hulme is a close and sympathetic observer of nature, and one felt that the appreciation which his lecture inspired should certainly bear fruit in "sowing a habit" of reasoning observation, which eventually should turn into a deeper characteristic reverence for nature and for the Guiding Power behind her.

Southport.--The fourth lecture was delivered by the Rev. John Williams at his own residence (Clarendon House), on the evening of Friday, March 24th. Mr. Cockshott presided, and opened the meeting with suitable remarks, one of which was that parents had sometimes to deal with children as they could, not as they would. The subject, "Shakespeare on children and childhood," was a very wide and deeply interesting one, and the enormous amount of research by Mr. Williams, a well-known student of Shakespeare, must have meant considerable labour. In the days of Shakespeare, lesson hours were very long, and lessons very simple: the children must have yawned and played during work hours. Holidays were, however, long also, and games many, cockfighting being one among the rest, and "cockshott" more cruel still. There was reading of the character sketches of "sons and daughters" from the different plays.

Lewes.--On February 28th the second meeting of this branch was held. The chair was taken by the Rev. E. Hodgson, Headmaster of Lewes Grammar School. Mdlle. Duriaux gave a charming address on the Gouin method of teaching languages, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all present.--A meeting was held on April 16th, when the Rev. A. J. W. Crosse, vicar of Rye, gave an address, and the chair was taken by the Rev. Dr. Belcher.

Farnworth and Bolton.--A joint meeting was held at the Baths Assembly Rooms, Bolton, on Thursday, March 23rd, when Miss Blogg, in the absence of Miss Mason, addressed the meeting. Owing to the illness of many of the members there were only a small number present. The address was listened to with great interest, and those who were present feel grateful to Miss Blogg for her helpful and instructive address, especially for her reminder that the Branches are not isolated and struggling by themselves, but are all equally members of the Central Union, and as such, have responsibilities and duties, as well as privileges and advantages.

Reading.--Natural History Club.--The seventh lecture (closing the winter session), was held in the Abbey Hall, at 6 p.m., on March 7th. The lecturer was Mr. J. B. Austin (Botanical Lecturer at the Reading College), who talked to the children on the subject of "Rain." He told them something of the Greek mythological stories about rain, and went on to describe its uses, results, production, the formation of rain drops, etc. There were some 50 members present. Mr. W. Long kindly sent the Natural History books from the Library of the Branch, and several were borrowed by the members. A programme of field work for the summer will be issued shortly.

Wakefield and District.--The second meeting of this branch was held in the Gymnasium of the Girls' High School (by kind permission of the Governors and Miss McCroben, the Head Mistress), on Monday, March 6th. Mrs. Boyd Carpenter, who was expected to lecture on "Habit, or the Growth of Moral Effort," was unable to come, owing to a severe cold, but the Bishop of Ripon came in her stead and delivered a most eloquent address on the objects and work of the P.N.E.U.--A discussion meeting took place on April 10th. The subject chosen was "The Teaching of Handwriting with regard to eyesight and hygienic attitude." Several members spoke, the majority of whom were in favour of upright handwriting as being conducive to the preserving of good eyesight and the healthy position of other members of the body. The number of members present was 34.

Leeds.--A meeting was held on Thursday, March 16th, which was much enjoyed by those who were present, though unfortunately it was poorly attended owing to the absence from home of many members. The Rev. M. Kaufmann gave an address on "Training and Culture," dealing with the subject historically, and tracing the methods of training adapted by various ages and nations to produce culture as defined in England by Matthew Arnold. The oldest method--that of the Buddhists and Chinese--is the method of authority: "The Master says"--and this training is fatal to national independence and freedom of thought. The classical method was to teach by question and answer as Socrates taught, and this is the basis of all modern systems of education as set forth by the great leaders of education, though the Greek school of culture lacked soul and eventually lost its power for that reason. Mr. Kaufmann followed the development of the educational ideal down to the present day, and his address was full of information and suggestions that called forth some interesting discussion at its close. A meeting was announced for April 25th, when Mrs. Steinthal lectured on "Professions for Girls."

Ipswich.--Since its first formation the branch has been active. On December 29th and January 5th, Mr. Pollard Wilkinson, B.A., B.Sc., delivered children's holiday lectures on "Electricity" and "Magnetism," which were followed on January 12th and 19th by two lectures on "Local Birds, Moths and Butterflies," by Mr. Woolnough, Secretary to the Science and Art Department, Ipswich Museum. Since these lectures, arrangements have been made for the affiliation of the Ipswich branch of the Natural History Club with the Central Club. The branch has also had the advantage of the following lectures, which were all well attended:--Mrs. Spencer Curwen, on "The Child Pianist" (Mr. Lindley Nunn in the chair); Dr. Helen Webb, on "The Formation of Habit" (Dr. Herbert Brown in the chair); Mrs. Miall, on "Forgetting" (Miss Youngman in the chair); Mr. Carus Wilson, on "The Mighty Ocean," and Mr. Roper, on "Herbert Spencer" (Canon Tompson in the chair). Mrs. P. H. Bagenal, a member of the branch, also read a paper on "The Religious Teaching of our Children and the Difficulties it presents." The formation of the branch in Ipswich has excited a good deal of interest and attention. The membership is now upwards of a hundred, and is an increasing quantity. The branch is greatly indebted to Miss Youngman for lending the High School Gymnasium for its meetings. We are also very grateful to Miss Blogg for a most helpful and stimulating speech at a meeting last December, and to Miss Lush for kindly undertaking the Natural History Club. This numbers about twenty-five children, and they are much interested in the instruction given.

Darlington.--A meeting of the Parents' National Educational Union was held at Woodburn, Darlington, by kind permission of Miss Fry, on March 25th, when Dr. Frank Godfrey, of Scarborough, gave an address on "Health in the Nursery." In the absence of the president, Lady Dale, Lady Eden took the chair, and introduced the lecturer. Dr. Godfrey pointed out that parents were the natural guardians of their children's health, and it was their duty also to the nation to raise up men and women physically well equipped for the duties and strain of life. He thought they could best fulfil these obligations by attending in the early years of their children's lives to the important factors of food, air, warmth, and sunshine. For the infant, human milk was the only perfect food, and its best substitute was humanised milk such as sold by the Aylesbury Dairy Company. The much advertised "foods" did not contain the necessary elements of nutrition, nor did Swill milk. He strongly condemned medicated wines, containing, as they did, a pernicious drug, and, indeed alcohol for children in any form whatever. All milk used in the nursery should be boiled or sterilised. The boiling point of milk was higher than that of water, and for a few shillings a sterilising machine could be bought which, by surrounding the milk with boiling water, killed all germs without giving the milk an unpleasant taste. The lecturer spoke of the necessity of fresh air, both inside and outside. Lessons should not interfere with the morning walk or play in the open air, and should not at any time in early life be of long duration. The young brain was easily over-taxed, and clever children had often been ruined by the anxiety of proud parents and teachers to excel. He thought children's parties were too many and too late, and interfered with the regularity which was so essential in children's lives. He advocated that the nursery should be on the sunny side of the house. Sunshine was exhilarating, and also a strong disinfectant. With regard to warmth, it was important that children should be clad in warm woollen garments, distributed equally over all the body, except on the hands and face. He had often been asked to give his opinion on cycling for children. He thought no child under eight years should ride, no long ride be undertaken at any time, and no child allowed to ride up a steep incline. A child's heart was a delicate organ, and many children had been brought to him suffering from overstrained hearts through excessive cycling. In concluding, he added a few words to the moral health of children, the necessity for cheerful obedience. This training could not be begun too early. This acquiescence in the parent's will was a source of safety and happiness to the child. A cordial vote of thanks to the lecturer for his valuable address was proposed by Mr. A. F. Pease, and seconded by Mr. Hodgkin. A vote of thanks, proposed by Mrs. Henry Pease, and seconded by Mrs. Cudworth, was accorded to Lady Eden for presiding, and to Miss Fry for her hospitality.

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