The Parents' Review
A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture
Edited by Charlotte Mason.
"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
Volume 15, 1904, pg. 235-240
Edited by Miss F. NOËL ARMFIELD, Sec., 26, Victoria Street., S.W. Tel. 479 Victoria.
To whom all Hon. Local Secs. Are requested to send reports of all matters of interest connected with their branches, also 6 copies of any prospectuses or other papers they may print.
N.B.--Kindly write on one side of the paper only.
The Executive Committee has been approached with a view to starting Branches in the following places:--
CARDIFF.--Names may be sent to Mrs. Hamilton, Blackladies, Dynas Powis.
DUNFERMLINE.--Mrs. Beveridge, Pitreavie, Dunfermline, would be glad to hear from people interested.
GUILDFORD.--Names may be sent pro tem. to Mrs. Clarke Kennedy, Ewhurst Rectory, near Guildford.
TUNBRIDGE WELLS AND DISTRICT.--Hon. Sec. and Treasurer: Mrs. Trouton, Rotherfield, Sussex (pro tem.).
Readers of the Parents' Review living in these districts, or having friends there, are asked to communicate with Miss Armfield, 26, Victoria Street, S.W.
BELGRAVIA.--A most successful meeting was held on Feb. 3rd. Over 30 people were present to hear Miss Buckton lecture on "The Training of Young Children," and 16 have formed a class, to meet at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays till Easter, at Miss Buckton's and Miss Schefel's school for training Lady Nurses and Kindergartners, 43a, Acacia Road, N.W. Fee for course, 10/-. The discussion meetings will continue to be held on alternate Thursdays at Mrs. Tufnell's house, 46, Eaton Square, S.W. The annual meeting was held at 9, Tite Street, Chelsea, Mrs. Bigland in the chair. The report and financial statement for the last year was read and passed, and Mrs. Kersey and Mrs. Moore-Kennedy were elected members of Committee. The Hon. Secretary, Lady Helen Lacey, has been obliged by ill-health to go abroad, and all communications are to be directed for the present to Mrs. Almeric FitzRoy, 55, Lower Belgrave Street, S.W.--On Thursday, March 10th, at five o'clock, at 27, Lowndes Square (by kind permission of Mrs. Verity), Dr. Des Voeus will lecture on "Physical Exercises." --On Thursday, March 24th, Miss Sara Pattison will speak on "The advantage of co-ordinate teaching of history and geography," at three o'clock, place to be announced later.
BIRMINGHAM.--At our third meeting Miss Faithfull gave a charming and suggestive address on "Older Girls." She showed how crucial are the years between 15 and 20, and how at this time a sympathetic mother may establish her influence; a girl needs a confidant, and she should be met with consideration and courtesy. She is very liable at this time to hero-worship, and Miss Faithfull pointed out the dangers of extravagant friendship. As regards "coming out," it is wise to let it be a gradual process, and the school routine should not be continued too late or end too suddenly. It is a real misfortune if a girl is glad to give up her intellectual life, and it is well, where possible, to encourage some form of specialization.
BOURNEMOUTH AND BOSCOMBE.--A very interesting meeting was held (by the kind permission of Mme. Kirmse) on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 30th. The Hon. Rollo Russell read a paper on "The Prevalence of Paganism in Education," in which he criticized severely the preponderance given to dead languages and heathen authors in the education at our English public schools, and advocating a more modern training in the best books and the best thoughts of all recorded time, with various subjects of science, languages, history, music, poetry, and manual dexterity; above all, the use of sympathetic imagination in the relations of life personal, social, political, and universal.
BRISTOL.--The Bristol Centre of the P.N.E.U. held the fourth meeting of the session on Feb. 5th, at the Kensington School of Art, when Dr. Newman Neild lectured to a good audience. Mrs. Badock presided. Dr. Newman Neild took as his subject "Nursery Education." He divided the three aims of education into--(1) The formation of character, (2) The training of the mind to apprehend knowledge and apply that knowledge, and (3) The storage of facts. The foundation of the character of the man is laid in the nursery and not in the school. The child is born with a brain that has hereditary capabilities and tendencies. Hereditary influence can be affected by environment. Mimicry is a powerful factor in the education of children--hence the importance of keeping a guard over our own undesirable characteristics. Dr. Newman Neild then spoke of the especial care required in the treatment of nervous children, and emphasised the need of quiet in the nursery. The training of a child should begin with its birth--hence the necessity of a good nurse. With art and music, by surrounding a child with good pictures and good music he would unconsciously have his taste developed and reject the bad and common. The child's faculty of concentration must be developed by making him take an intellectual interest in the subject in hand. Even in play a child should be make to finish what it has begun. Each child must be studied as an individual: an inherent danger in any educational system is the confusing the importance of the aims with the importance of the details of the system. He ended by quoting Mrs. E.L. Franklin at a recent speech in London: "One great danger of the age is lest those who have the training of children, finding training so interesting and beautiful, so constantly all-absorbing, should lose the respect that they should have for the children and for the children's souls and be continually pulling up the roots to see the effect of the teaching, instead of giving them the silence, the quiet they require." --The next lecture will be given in March, by Mrs. Howard Glover.
CROYDON--On Jan. 25th, the third meeting of this branch was held at Hillside, Duppas Hill (by the kind invitation of Mrs. Jacques). The meeting was well attended. Miss Neligan, the late Head Mistress of the Croydon High School, took the chair at 4.30 p.m.; after the Secretary, Mr. Hall, had read the report of the last meeting, the former called upon Mrs. Glover to read her paper on "Our Relation to Music and Art," the report of which, unfortunately, owing to lack of space, we must hold over till next month.
DARLINGTON.--On Dec. 2nd, a meeting was held at Hummersknott (by kind permission of the President, Mrs. A. F. Pease), when Mrs. Penrose, of Barnard Castle, addressed the members on "The Sacred Relations of Family Life." Mrs. Penrose was listened to with close attention by a large company of ladies, and the best thanks of the meeting were accorded to her for the excellent manner in which she had treated such an important subject.--On Feb. 10th, Richard Kearton, Esq., F.Z.S., lectured to members and their children, and a large attendance of the general public, on "Wild Nature's Ways." Mr. Kearton's pictures of birds and beasts at home brought the audience face to face with nature in a way only possible to the patient and adventurous naturalist. The delight and enthusiasm of the children, as picture after picture was presented to them accompanied by racy descriptions, was a joy both to the parents and the lecturer. Mr. Kearton held the rapt attention of the audience for more than an hour, and although the hall (estimated to hold six hundred people) was crammed to its utmost limits, no one seemed to mind the crush.
GLASGOW.--On Friday, Feb. 5th, an address on "German Universities" was delivered by Mr. Thistlewaite, at 15, Woodside Terrance (Mr. R. T. Allan in the chair). The learned lecturer traced the rise and progress of the University from the Middle Ages, when the craving for knowledge, and readjustment of religious beliefs, brought about by the Crusaders, led to the establishment of those seats of learning, of which Prague (1348) was the first in Germany. After giving many interesting details of old time universities, when Latin was the only language in use, and when students and professors led a virtually monastic life, he traced the changes which produced the University of to-day, and described its organization under curator (official head), rector (academic head), professors and privat-docenters. There are three classes of students. Women are not officially recognised and must get special permits to attend lectures. To sum up; the German universities have no bursaries, no prizes, no fellowships, no common room, no athletics, no debating societies, no love of alma mater. The staff of teachers is much greater than ours, but teaching power counts for less than amount of learning. Their libraries are better than ours, and kept up by the State, each university having a "special" library.
HARROW.--A lantern lecture was given on Jan. 28th, on "Wild Life at Home," at Northwood, by Mr. Richard Kearton. Very few people have not had a thoroughly pleasant enjoyable afternoon under Mr. Kearton's auspices, so it is hardly necessary to add more than to say that the invariable accompaniments of all his lectures--keen enjoyment both to eye and ear--were as present on this occasion as they always are, and his beautiful photographs thoroughly appreciated.--The second lecture was by Mr. Gilbert Chesterton, on Feb. 15th, on "Some Point in the Education Bill." This was given also at Northwood. Mr. Chesterton began by saying that there are an enormous majority of modern parents who don't care a rap about their children being taught religion. That though it was a religious question, the whole question of the Education Bill was not brought about by religious fanaticism, but by complete indifference. If Church people were really intensely keen on children being taught religion, there would have been no Education Bill at all. Mr. Chesterton went on to say he should desire religion to be so placed in practical affairs that it disturbed them as little as possible. It is impossible to have a system in which politics come first and religion second. The fact is, that children should be taught by their own parents at home; for it would manifestly not be just to all that any one form of religion should be taught at the Board Schools.
HYDE PARK AND BAYSWATER.--Hon. Sec., Mrs. E. L. Franklin, 50, Porchester Terrace, Hyde Park. "At Home" Thursday mornings, or by appointment.--On Feb. 8th, Mrs. Franklin was "At Home" to about sixty members and their friends, and gave them an address on the principles to spread which the P.N.E.U. exists. Ten new members have already joined as a result of this meeting.--On Feb. 10th, at 38, Gloucester Square, W. (by kind permission of Mrs. Meyer Spielmann), Dr. Emil Reich lectured on "How far can Education mend the less acceptable consequence of the social institutions on the character and mind of the child?" Mr. Meyer Spielmann was in the chair, In spite of a wet night there was an attendance of eighty, who much enjoyed both the lecture and Mr. and Mrs. Spielmann's charming hospitality. In a cursory sketch of the educational methods in England, France, Germany, Hungary and the United States, Dr. Reich showed how one must look to the home to counteract evils resulting from existing social and educational institutions. He very much emphasized how all-powerful the home and above all, the mother were in the formation of the child's character, and seemed to consider that in England the mother did not assert herself sufficiently, or was not sufficiently alive to her power in this respect. He was greatly of the opinion that man, not measures, mattered most, and had much to say on what he considered the cheerlessness of our English youth as compared with those of foreign nations, chiefly due, he believed, to the early responsibility put on their shoulders. He recognised that our system of school government made men of our boys early, but at the same time he believed that they tended to develop an over-serious attitude towards life. Many of the audience disagreed with much that Dr. Reich put forward, but were grateful to him for his stimulating and refreshing address.
LEEDS.--On Feb. 9th, Mrs. H. Chorley addressed this branch on "The Value of Observation." She began by repeating the often heard remark, "I didn't notice," and then pointed out how it is both our duty and our pleasure to notice, and how much of wonderful and beautiful there is for open eyes to see. She showed that little children are naturally observant and are always asking "how?" or "why?" and that this characteristic should be trained and encouraged, so that in all the changes and chances of life they have something to interest them and to fill their imagination. If we want them to be interested in Natural History we must be interested in it ourselves. Children like to have our interests and do the same things we are doing. The lecturer advocated keeping a nature calendar, a long sheet divided into days, on which the child writes down every day what he has seen.
READING.--Natural History Club:--On Tuesday, Feb. 2nd, about 30 members listened with much interest to Miss Stevens' address on "Tadpoles." She told the history from day to day of some she had in her care for some weeks. The eggs were brought to her on March 11th, and placed in a finger bowl with gravel at the bottom, and some grass for the tadpoles to hang to when hatched. A black speck in the centre of each egg had by the 13th become curved in shape, on the 18th gills appeared which branched out a little distance from the neck: these were for breathing, whilst the tadpole had no mouth for the purpose. The shape changed from day to day, and on the 25th spangles of gold began to appear on the under side, the tadpoles until then had been entirely black. By April 28th each had become a complete frog, the tails had shrivelled and fallen, the legs appeared, and the eyes, invisible at any rate hitherto, were discovered to be a beautiful brown. Miss Stevens illustrated her "talk" on the blackboard, and afterwards kindly passed round the daily journal, kept with both brush and pen from day to day. The changes are so rapid that it is quite necessary to make daily sketches, if one is anxious to have a true history of the tadpole. The toad also has a tadpole stage, also the newt.
REIGATE.--At "Ivanhoe," a meeting of the Reigate, Redhill and District branch was held, on Jan. 22nd (by kind permission of Mrs. J. Powell). The chair was taken by Mr. Sewill, who, in opening the meeting, said the branch had been established a year, and they had made a tolerably good progress. The Rev. H. A. Dalton, M.A. (Headmaster of Felstead School), gave an address on "The Relations of Parents and Schoolmasters." He emphasized the need of co-operation between parents and teachers. There was great danger in the possibility of the parents thinking their duty was discharged on sending their children to school, but a heavy responsibility rested upon the parents both during the term and during holidays. If it were found that a boy was being exposed to any serious moral danger at school, it was only right to all the other boys that the parents should inform the master about it, so that it might be corrected, and not, as was often the case, that the boy was simply removed from that particular school. Boys should be taught at home to realize the value and necessity of obedience to school rules. It was lamentable that it was difficult to get boys to read good literature; they so often read magazines and short stories of the sensational kind, all of which were worthless. He urged them to get their boys to cultivate a taste for Milton, Tennyson, Shakespeare, Sir Walter Scott, and similar authors, and the result would be a most beneficial and lasting one. The speaker then spoke at some length on the question of religion, and urged parents to teach their children to read the Bible. In conclusion, he hoped they would all remember that the one real essential thing for the successful work in school and the successful training of any boy was the fact that both parents and master should recollect that both were working together to train the boy or girl not only for this life, but for the next.
RICHMOND AND KEW.--The first meeting of the year 1904 was held on Jan. 19th (by kind permission of Dr. D. H. Scott), at The Old Palace, Richmond, when the chair was taken by the President, Dr. Shuttleworth. The proceedings began by the announcement by the Chairman of the withdrawal from office of the Hon. Secretary, Mrs. Banks, who has so long and ably performed that duty. In a most sympathetic and appreciative speech he deplored the loss to the Branch. He also announced the withdrawal from membership, from unavoidable cause, of the late chairman, Mr. Palliser, so many years the ardent and influential supporter of this Branch. Votes of thanks to both retiring officers were unanimously passed. Mr. T. James Garstang read his paper on "The Teaching of Mathematics to Children," in which he insisted on the necessity for breaking down the artificial barriers between the different branches of mathematics, so that each should become illustrative and explicative of the other, instead of being taken, as was generally the case, in what he called "water-tight compartments." This system, he held, could be easily and advantageously followed with the youngest teachable children, by means of intelligent teaching and suitable diagrams, of which he gave specimens, the walls of the room being profusely decorated with some very artistic and well-executed specimens of his pupils' work in mathematical design. The lecture was followed by an extremely interesting and instructive discussion.
WEYBRIDGE.--A meeting was held at Haddon House, Weybridge (by kind permission of Mrs. Vernon Harcourt), on Wednesday, Feb. 10th. The weather was extremely bad, but there was a fairly large audience, who listened with interest to a lecture on "Discipline," by Mrs. Ennis Richmond. At the close, Lord Stamford proposed a vote of thanks to the lecturer.
WINCHESTER.--On Wednesday, Jan. 20th, at a meeting held (by kind invitation of Mrs. Alexander) at Bolton Lodge, Miss Lathom, of St. Mary's College, Paddington, read an able and interesting paper on "The Training of Teachers for Secondary Schools." She pointed out that to secure a good teacher was the one essential point in all education; that the personality of the teachers was of supreme importance, and that the nobility of the vocation of teaching should be fully recognised by all classes of society, so that the very best men and women should be drawn into that profession. In her opinion there would shortly be in England a very great dearth of teachers for secondary schools, a matter that would become a most serious difficulty in education. Miss Lathom advocated strongly the training of teachers, but thought that the present system of the Training Colleges and Courses of Training was by no means the ideal one. There was a discussion after the paper. --The next meeting will be held at 26, St. Swithin Street, when Mr. Cowan has kindly consented to give a lantern lecture on "Flowers."
WOODFORD AND WANSTEAD.--On Oct. 1st, 1903, there was a meeting held, the lecture being "Snapshot Drawing," by Mr. Ablett, illustrated with lantern slides. It aroused considerable interest, as his methods were unknown to several members, and the results of his system of teaching as seen on the screen were truly remarkable. --The November meeting was a social gathering, when the Branch Secretary read an account of some of the papers delivered at the Conference in October. This was followed by a delightful programme of music and recitations. --In January Rev. W. Manning, Vicar of St. Andrew's, Leytonstone, delivered a striking address on "Religious Education and Education in Religion." Some of the views expressed were too advanced to meet with the cordial assent of all the members. Several members spoke, all in agreement with the lecturer. --Natural History Club. --On Jan. 30th, in spite of a pouring wet afternoon, the Natural History Club meeting was a great success, 42 people being present, and Miss Curwen's lecture on "British Reptiles," which was illustrated by magic lantern (the latter being managed by Mr. Hargrave) was much appreciated by the children. The President, Miss E. L. Fowler, was in the chair. A gratifying result of the meeting was the enlistment of several new members. The next meeting will be in March, when Miss L. Fowler will read a paper on "The Buds of Trees," a subject which is bound to appeal to all who live so near Epping Forest.
Typed by Wrenn, June, 2023; Proofread by LNL, June, 2023