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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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P.N.E.U. Notes.

Volume 10, 1899, pg. 267


Edited by Miss Frances Blogg, Sec., 28, Victoria Street, S.W. 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:--
Bradford.
Manchester.
Nottingham.
Croydon.--Names may be sent pro tem., P. Rands Esq., Brighty, Bensham Manor Road. Streatham.
Surbiton.
Dublin.
Cardiff.
Esher.
Huddersfield.
Bristol. Dorking.--Names may be sent pro tem., Mrs. Powell, Oakridge.

Brussels.--Names may be sent pro tem., Madame de Goeij, 35, Rue du Moulin.
Windsor.
Norwich.

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


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Hyde Park and Bayswater,--A lecture was given by Mr. M. E. Sadler on "Dr. Arnold, of Rugby," on March 2nd, at 20 Stratford Place (by kind permission of Mrs. Mudie Cooke). The lecturer dwelt at some considerable length on the early environment of the great educationalist, and of the influences which helped to mould his character. His remarks were naturally of the greatest interest to the members of the P.N.E.U., who take for one of their mottoes the words of Dr. Arnold's son--"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life." We feel sure that all Mr. Sadler's hearers will be grateful for the opportunity of hearing him again at the annual conversazione on May 10th.--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,--On February 17th a meeting was held at 19, Carlton Hill (by kind permission of Mrs. Beck), when Miss F. Johnson read a paper on "How to make London interesting to London Children." The lecture was followed by discussion.--The March lecturer was Miss Wells, on "Children's Entertainments," and in April Mrs. Clement Parsons will lecture on "A Child's Introduction to Poetry."

Woodford and Wanstead,--Children's Natural History Club--The inaugural meeting of the above Society was held on Saturday, February 11th, at Woodland House, Snaresbrook. Miss E. Fowler gave a short and interesting address in explanation of the objects of the Society, and at the conclusion of the meeting Mrs. Marno kindly gave tea. Thirty-two members were enrolled, and it is hoped more may soon be added to the number. The Hon. Sec. (pro tem.) is Mrs. Aldrich, 9, Manor Road, Leyton, who will be glad to give any further information to intending members.

Dulwich,--On May 18th the Rev. Canon the Hon. E. Lyttleton has kindly promised to lecture on "The Relation between Morals and Religion in the Home," and on June 15th we hope to have the pleasure of hearing Mrs. Curwen's paper on "Pianoforte Teaching." This will bring our present session to a close.

Harrow,--Mdme. San Carolo gave a lecture on February 20th, at 4, Lyon Road, Harrow, on "Voice Production in Speech and Song." She said that some of the best lessons in voice production can be taken from a little child. It seems to be a lost art, and what is it, besides the fog of our country, which is responsible for our partially unused breathing apparatus? The lecturer declared that she, for her part, believed it to be the clothing which is largely responsible; we still think it necessary to the children's clothes round the waist, and it is easy to see that this must accustom the wearer to limitation from the very first. She then passed on to the question of the voice itself. She asked that before considering how we are to use the voice we must have a clear idea of what the voice is. It is self-contained and, like other instruments, threefold. She said she considered the letter "M" as a blessed help in centering the resonators of the voice. The resonators are like the sounding-board in the piano, but our vocal instrument is expected to work with its resonators muffled, for the use of the nasal cavity as a resonator is ignored. It is because of neglect of the resonators in speaking that Harrow boys, for instance, are hardly able to speak for days after Lord's. Intelligent breath control has not been insisted on enough in the past. In conclusion, Mdme. San Carolo added that to Thorpe and Nichol belong the credit of discovering that what used to be called false ventricular bands are the breath controllers, and that now that we know where to direct our efforts we can guide these breath controllers so that the complete vocal ship shall again answer to the helm. At the end of her address the lecturer exemplified her previous remarks by singing songs in various languages. She has a magnificent voice in singing, and in speaking it is absolutely sympathetic and musical--a spoken melody.--On March 11th Dr. Laing Gordon lectured on environment; he does not himself do all the rowing and steering for the child. His aim is to lay the foundation for correct rowing later on. He urged that self-control brings self-reliance, and that to be great means to be misunderstood, that to have self-control is to say valiant "Noes" when others would have said ruinous "Ayes."--The lectures in the immediate future are on April 7th and 13th, from Mr. Rooper and from Professor Holme.

Forest Hill,--An audience of over two hundred members and friends assembled at Forest Hill House on February 27th (by the kindness of the Rev. H. F. R. Bird), to hear a lecture by Dr. A. H. R. Platt on "Egypt, Ancient and Modern." The chair was taken by the Rev. A. F. R. Bird. The lecturer exhibited over ninety lantern slides, many of which were original. The lecture was in reality the outcome of a trip to Egypt, but Dr. Platt is a skilled Egyptologist, and was able to make his subject charmingly instructive as well as highly interesting. Beginning at Cairo, the lecturer took his listeners up the Nile as far as the first cataract and the ruins of Philae. The primitive native method of irrigation was shown and explained, and of course the Great Pyramids were visited. Most of the famous ruins by the side of the Nile were reproduced upon the screen, including those of Denderah and the great city of Thebes--the Temple of Luxor and the ruins of Karnak. The Ramesseum was of course visited, and the various statues of the great Rameses II.--most of which have, unfortunately, been partially destroyed--were shown.

Dr. Platt told his audience how he had witnessed Professor Flinders-Petrie discover and take from their bed of sand the foundation deposits of the Funery Chapel of Amenhotep II., placed there 1,400 years before Christ. The valley of the tombs of the kings was also visited, these tombs being long, sloping passages, about 10 feet high and often over 200 feet long, with chambers cut out on each side; they are covered from end to end with pictures and inscriptions relating the passage of the Sun-God in the underworld during the hours of the night, and illustrating the various demons and monsters which he fought and overcame. Edfu and Koes-Ombo were the next places of interest, and finally Assuan and the island of Philae. The lecturer then ran through some of the most notable treasures in the Gizeh Museum at Cairo. Perhaps the most interesting part of a delightful lecture was the description of the hieroglyphics or sacred writings, and the account of the discovery of how to read and translate them by means of the famous Rosetta stone, now in the British Museum, as well as that of the curious religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptians. We cordially recommend other branches of the P.N.E.U. to secure Dr. Platt's services, which this branch has been fortunate enough to be the first to obtain.

Reading,--Natural History Club,--On February 21st a visit was paid by some 40 members of the club to the Rev. W. H. Campbell's reflective telescope. Each member had a good view of the moon which was beautifully clear that evening, its groups of craters being well lit up Mr. Campbell also very kindly provided a number of interesting microscopic slides which were much enjoyed. On February 28th the second astronomy lecture given by the Rev. W. H. Campbell was much enjoyed by an audience of more than 80 members and friends. Lantern slides illustrating Polar scenery, the midnight sun, lunar craters, etc., etc., were explained by the lecturer in a way which even the youngest could follow with interest. A hearty vote of thanks to him was proposed by Mrs. Philp and unanimously carried.

Hastings and St. Leonards,--On February 22nd at Christ Church parish room a lecture on "The Story of our Railroads" was given to the children and pupils of P.N.E.U. members. The lecture was to have been given by A. C. P. Coote, Esq., but owning to illness he was unable to travel, and most kindly deputed Mr. Wood to read the lecture, which was illustrated by lime-light views. The chair was taken by the Rev. E. J. Sing. On May 18th a lecture will be given by the Rev. H. Wesley-Dennis, M.A., principal of St. John's Training College, Battersea.

Leeds,--On February 16th an address was delivered by Miss McMillan, of Bradford School Board, on "The Nervous System." After dealing with the anatomical features of the nervous system, Miss McMillan said that stupidity and intelligence are measured by the rate at which impressions travel from the external organs of sense to the mind, and the aim of education is to open the roads and facilitate the progress of sense impressions. Starting with the basal sense of touch and the method of training it in so-called idiots, Miss McMillan reviewed the intellectual and moral effects to be obtained by acting on the nervous system through the senses. She dwelt particularly on the sense of hearing, the effect of sounds and voices on the moral tone of children, and drew attention to the harm of sending young teachers into board schools to talk all day to classes of fifty or sixty without any previous training in the use of the voice. In reference to the sense of sight, the lecturer spoke of the numerous cases of defective sight among children due to overstraining the eyes and to general debility. We ought, she said, to teach our children to use their eyes for observing things, for appreciating beauty, and not so much for pouring over school books.--The March meeting was held on March 16th, when an address was delivered by the Rev. M. Kaufmann, on "Training and Culture."

Birkenhead,--On Saturday, February 18th, a lecture was given in St. Aidan's College (by kind permission of Rev. E. Harding), by Miss Taylor, from Southport. The subject of the lecture, which was illustrated by lime-light views, was "Dwellers on Sandy Shores." There was a very large attendance of members of the Natural History Club, and the lecture was followed with the greatest interest by even the youngest members present, some of whom had very searching questions to ask about certain of the "dwellers" depicted on the slides. After the lecture, Miss Taylor kindly showed a great many specimens she had brought with her, which proved extremely interesting, and all present sincerely hope that she will be kind enough to come again next winter for another "talk."--On Saturday, March 4th, twelve members of the Club went with Miss Cox on a visit to the Aquarium at Southport. The expedition was in response to an invitation from Miss Taylor, who kindly met the members at the Winter Gardens, and did all in her power to make the afternoon both pleasant and profitable to them. The Aquarium is not a large one, but much was learned of the habits of the various inhabitants of the tanks, not only from Miss Taylor but also from the curator, and the anemones alone are almost worth a visit. Before leaving, the children were introduced to the vulture "Billy." After tea at a delightful "Jap" shop, and a peep at the sea, good-bye was said to Southport, and Birkenhead reached about 8.30.

Bolton,--A meeting of this branch was head at Hetlands (by kind permission of Mrs. Crook), on Monday, February 27th. There was a good attendance of members. Mrs. Crook read a short paper on Dr. Sully's Studies of Childhood, and a discussion followed.

Scarborough,--On February 23rd (by the kind invitation of Mrs. Kiching), a drawing-room meeting was held, when the Ven. Archdeacon Mackarness gave a most deeply interesting address on "Ideals of Character." The address was beautifully thought out and was most suggestive. The meeting was attended by over 60 members and friends.

Edinburgh.--On February 22nd, Dr. Clouston read a paper at 31, Dearsheugh Gardens (by kind permission of Dr. and Mrs. Berry), the subject being "What the Brain of a Child has to do besides being Educated." Having briefly explained the form and substance of the brain with the aid of diagrams, the lecturer proceeded to dwell more particularly on the different functions of the brain during the period of development, repeatedly emphasizing the necessity for care regarding the premature development of the mental faculties, and showing how at the same time nature may be assisted to produce the perfect man or woman. Sir Arthur Mitchell, K.C.B., presided. There was a large audience.--On March 14th there was a meeting at 7, Heriot Row (by kind permission of Professor and Mrs. Greenfield). F. Grant-Ogilvie, Esq., M.A., B.Sc., Principal of the Heriot-Watt College was the lecturer, and his subject, "The Boy, his Schoolwork, and this future Profession."

Glasgow,--The last meeting of the season was held on March 10th, at 1, Crown Circus (by kind permission of Mrs. May). Dr. Wallace Anderson lectured on "The Healing Power of Nature." In his opening remarks he dwelt on the desirability of calling children's attention to the phenomena of nature and of showing them that each and all, the sting of the nettles and the track of the worm, have a reason and a purpose. He then spoke of nature's methods in relation to the preservation of disease and to the healing of disease. He maintained that men leading a natural, i.e., simple and primitive life, instinctively choose the food best for them, preferring that which is simple, in season, and of which they will not tire. Nature leads children to love sweets because the sugar is good for them, and to prefer country life because open-air exercise is good for them. Nature makes the skin more sensitive than the deeper parts that it may give warning of an enemy's approach. We must not disregard nature's warnings. Referring to nature's methods in relation to the healing of disease, the lecturer spoke of rest as the first essential of the conflict with the disease. If people will not rest, nature enforces rest by means of pain or malaise. Where bilious nature teaches to keep warm and quiet and avoid food, the physician's art comes to supplement nature, which acts on general lines. Civilised man has new diseases and is subject to many hitherto unheard-of accidents and deformities. While we admire nature's wonderful ways and methods, we must not underrate the value of medical service. The usual votes of thanks were cordially responded to.