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The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
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The "P.R." Letter Bag.

Volume 7, 1896, pg. 76


{The editor is not responsible for the opinions of Correspondents}

Dear Editor,--Those of your readers not already acquainted with Mrs. Frewen Lord's "Tales from Westminster Abbey," or "Tales from St. Paul's," published at 1/--(Sampson, Low & Co.) will find them deeply interesting and full of useful historical information, not only respecting the buildings themselves, but the famous characters buried within their walls. The biographers are simply told and suitable for children.

J.B.S Thompson

Dear Editor,--Those of your readers who like to provide some Sunday reading for the household, will find the magazine "Goodwill," edited by Mr. James Adderley, a most suitable, practical, and instructive one for the purpose. It is published monthly, at the cost of one penny, and besides other illustrations, contains an excellent copy of an old master from the National Gallery. To be had of Messrs. Marshall, Keswick House, Patermoster Row, or Smiths' Bookstalls.

Truly yours, J.B.S. Thompson.

Dear Editor,--My object in writing is to know whether you can tell me if I can obtain any of the books on the enclosed list, second-hand, from a Mother who has finished with them? I have all the Parent's Review, beginning with January 1892, except the February number, which has got lost; but I should like to have a complete set.

Yours very sincerely, Elsie Walker

Books Wanted.--The Parents' Review, from the beginning to December, 1891. The Parent's Review for February 1892. "Physiology," by Dr. Schofield. "Manual of Personal and Domestic Hygiene," by Dr. Schofield. "The Care of Infants," by Sophia Jex Blake, M.D. "Moral Training," by Miss Shirreff. Hooker's "Primer of Botany," "Primer of Geology" (Geikie). "First Year of Scientific Knowledge." John's "Field Flowers."

Address:--Mrs. Walker, The Elms, Wakefield.

Dear Editor.--I have been reading lately the "Life of Miss Buss," by Miss Annie Ridley, and it has given me much to think about. Whatever may be the shortcomings of this book as a literary production, there cannot be two opinions about its interest and value to all educationalists.

In the district where I live, there are, I suppose, more boys and girls to the acre of a similar class to my own than in any other part of England, and to meet the needs of this army of youngsters one would expect to find corresponding educational facilities. But this is by no means the case at least as far as boys are concerned. My own, having reached the age of 8½, I set to work to find a school within easy reach of home where he could be prepared for one of the large public schools. But though there is a preparatory school in every road, with numbers varying from 12 to 100 boys in each, it was impossible to find one that reached even the most moderate standard of what such a school should be. I finally sent him to the school that is generally considered the best in the neighbourhood, consisting of about 80 boys under a master, who held a very good record at one of our smaller public schools. But here, as in all the others, the school premises are merely an old private house, adapted in some rough and ready fashion to its new purpose, with all the faults of lighting, ventilation, construction, and sanitary arrangements that might be expected in such a building. The master is exceedingly successful in preparing boys for scholarship at public schools, and devotes all his energies to that end, with the result that from 8

o'clock in the morning till 8 at night my unfortunate child has hardly a minute to call his own. He cannot possibly get through his homework without assistance, though by no means a dullard; and every evening I have to give him (or in my absence the governess) two hours' hard grinding chiefly in the Latin accidence. Now Miss Buss writes of her boarders in a letter quoted in the "Life" : "they finish at 7 o'clock, do no lessons before 9 in the morning, do none at all on Friday evenings, and always put away every bit of school work on Saturday at 12." I want, then, to know why boys must be treated worse than girls, in the matter of school hours and homework, and why there is not for them in every district, a school as scientifically equipped as the High Schools to which their sisters have been going for twenty years past.

I go farther, and ask why boys for whom 7 guineas and upwards per term is paid, besides "extras," should have to put up with schoolbuildings that would not be allowed to be used for a day for the free education of the poor? Why they should have to study for hours in the low ill-ventilated, ill-lighted sitting-rooms, cramped on rough forms round a flat table, distorting their figures and damaging their eyes, instead of being provided with proper desks as are supplied to our board schools?

We are anxious not to send him away from home at present, but unless we enter him at St. Paul's or other similar school, thus wasting all his playtime on the Underground Railway, I do not see what else we can do.

February 11, 1896 Pater Junior