The Parents' Review
A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture
"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
Edited by Miss F. Noël Armfield, Sec., 26, 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 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:
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.
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Will Members kindly note that Bible Lessons (Abbot) has been added to the Library.
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Heston—On Monday, Dec. 8th, Mrs. Anson (member of the Central Executive Committee) addressed the Parish Mothers' Meeting, at Heston, Middlesex, on "The Training of Children." About fifty cottage women were present, and one or two members of the P.N.E.U. residing in the neighbourhood also attended the meeting. After a few words of introductions by the Rev. B.O. Sharp, Vicar of Heston, Mrs. Anson gave a brief account of the work of the P.N.E.U., as initiated by Miss Charlotte Mason, and expressed the hope that its great advantages might one day be shared by rich and poor alike. She also said that there was more sympathy felt for the poorer mothers among the richer ones than was always attributed to them, and all the advantages were not necessarily on one side. The poorer mother gets no help from nurses or governesses; but, on the other hand, there is no one to come between her and her children; and "mother" means everything to a cottage child. After emphasizing the sacredness of the task entrusted to each mother with the birth of each child, Mrs. Anson went on to say that children were trained by their parents, whether parents wished it or not; if not well trained, then badly trained, for the parents' companionship and behaviour necessarily influenced the child. Children who realised their parents' love, returned it, and this mutual affection was the greatest safeguard at the difficult time when girls and boys were about fifteen and began to live their own life. A girl who is on terms of intimate friendship with her mother is not so likely as another to make fatal mistakes when the time comes for choosing a husband. Some discussion followed, the women being evidently keenly interested in the address they had heard, and the meeting terminated with a hearty vote of thanks to Mrs. Anson, and to Mrs. Devonshire who had organized the proceedings.
Belgravia—On Nov. 26th, at 133, Queen's Gate (by kind permission of Miss Douglas) Mrs. Franklin, Hon. Org. Sec., lectured to new members and friends of members on "The Place of the Parent in Education." Mrs. Franklin gave a most inspiring and helpful address, with the result that several new members were enrolled.—On Dec. 2nd and 9th, at 35 Bryanston Square (by kind permission of Mrs. Jameson Bryce), Mrs. Scott Malden gave "Two Plain Talks on the Moral Training of Boys," for an account of which see "Hyde Park notes."—The first Discussion Meeting took place at 46, Eaton Square, on Nov. 13th. Seven members have joined this autumn. At the first meeting chapters I. and II., "Parents and Children" by Miss Mason, and 12 pages of Professor Blackie's "Self-Culture" were discussed. "Parents and Children" was taken first, and the meeting discussed several points of interest which had struck them and which they had forwarded to the Hon. Sec. the day before. Family isolation was the first point, and the dangers of it. How it leads to self-praising if not checked, that it is more noticeable in large rather than small families as smaller families have fewer interests at home. How it is wise to allow children to stay with nice people, as it enlarges their ideas and shows them that different families often live in quite different ways. Point 2: how far is it practicable to try to attain the ideal in training, education family life? As water cannot rise above its source, neither can we live at a higher level than that of the conception we form of our place and use in life. The meeting thought that there ought to be no undue straining after the ideal, that the ideal should be led up to by the unconscious mind, and that if the children have no ideals it is probably something wrong in the parents which affects them. It is wise to give them the lives of good men and women to read. Point 3: whether any member could give any details of French family life as personally known to them? One member said, speaking of country life in France 30 years ago, that the members of a French family are completely taken up with themselves, their grand-parents, the young married people, cousins, aunts, etc., and the girls are much kept back. The three last points dealt with the subject of obedience; should obedience be unquestioning, have parents the right to decide for their children on any given point on which the child is capable of making a decision for itself? The following ideas were brought forward; up to a certain age, the child will obey through love, it is better to lead than to drive, that as soon as a child can understand, give it a reason. The experience of life, not the fact of parent-hood, gives the parents their authority. Parents should never relinquish their authority altogether, but should give way on unimportant points. In "Self-Culture", the first point discussed was excessive reading, which was regarded as a malady or narcotic. Reading ought to be well directed, but not banished altogether. The value of object lessons was the next point, how they should be used in conjunction with reading. In seeing pictures, children should be encouraged to criticise, to state why they admire them, and any special thing which strikes their fancy. In comparing historical characters they should be encouraged to say why they like or dislike them, and what special traits they admire.
Brondesbury and Kilburn—A very interesting paper was read on Nov. 26th, by Miss Daniell, on "How and when to begin Modern Languages." She spoke with considerable experience, and made some very helpful suggestions.—On Dec 10th, Dr. Cunnington read a paper on "Common Sense in Hygiene." From his knowledge of sanitation and public health, Dr. Cunnington was able to give some valuable advice on matters of every-day life of importance to his hearers.
Bolton and Farnsworth—A lecture arranged by the M.U. and the P.N.E.U. was given at the Central Hall, Bolton, on Dec. 9th, when Mrs. Clare Goslett gave a most interesting address on "Brain Health and the Care of the Mind." The lecture was well attended and much enjoyed, and it is hoped that Mrs. Goslett may give us another lecture on the same subject at some future date.
Darlington—A meeting was held at Woodside, by kind permission of Mrs. Gurney Pease, on Nov. 20th, Miss Katherine Pease in the chair. Mr. Philip Wicksteed gave an address entitled, "Is Education a Failure?" After touching on the interest taken by parents at the present day in the education of their children, the lecturer went on to consider the success of modern education from various points of view. What was the sense of responsibility for an opinion, of responsibility in making a statement, or of a capacity for weighing evidence? The lecturer thought the average educated man did not feel any responsibility at all for forming an opinion; he bought it daily, ready-made, for a penny or a halfpenny. A peasant's statement might often be more surely relied on; it was at least based on his own observation, while that of the so-called educated man could only be trusted to have appeared in print. As to capacity for weighing evidence, the Bacon-Shakespeare controversy proved how little appreciation people had of the difference between coincidences which were significant and those which were not. The lecturer pointed out, too, that gambling was sapping the moral fibre of the nation, there was still a fundamental ignorance of the laws of chance. How many people, for instance, could be got to believe that the number of times a penny had turned up heads or tails had no influence whatever on what it would turn up next time? So far, then, education could not be considered a success. The lecturer went on to describe the education of the Greeks. Based on a distinct organization and theory of society, it was divided into two kinds: liberal education for free men, and useful or servile education for slaves. Liberal education was not intended to teach people to earn a living, but to teach them how to live and to employ their leisure worthily. Those arts only were liberal which were an end in themselves. Philosophy was widely studied—that divine knowledge; the knowledge of the gods or such knowledge as the gods rejoiced in. Unlike the Greeks, we had no theory of society, and, therefore, no real basis for a theory of education. Practically, of course, we still had slaves and free men—men who, from the cradle to the grave, worked for others in order to earn their daily bread; and men, on the other hand, who lived on the labour of others. No one, however, would sit down to work out a theory of education on this basis. At present there was great clamouring against the useless education of public schools, and a desire at the same time to give more liberal and humanising education in the elementary schools. In the former respect, Mr. Wicksteed deplored the growing tendency to look upon England merely as a great commercial competitor, and to conform education to this idea. As for education in elementary schools, the lecturer thought it might be liberalised on better lines than those at present sought after. Surely there were great possibilities in teaching those in primary relations with the planet. In spite of all the existing confusion of ideas, the lecturer saw hope in this striving after some theory of education. It could never be reached until there was a right conception of citizenship, and thus we might hope to be driven back to reconstruct our social ideas and system. In view of the great interest taken at the present time in the study of a child's mind, the lecturer uttered a warning against cultivating a second-hand self-consciousness in children. There was danger, too, in not valuing subjects such as literature, astronomy, &c., for their own sake, but for their value in training children's minds. Teachers who did this did not know what the intellectual life was. The lecturer drew an amusing contrast between the old-fashioned pedagogue and that of to-day. The former, facing his object, held the child in front of him and kicked and pushed him to the goal; the latter, turning his back to the object, faced the child, and gently beckoned him along. The ideal teacher, of course, was one with an enthusiasm for his subject and an affinity for children. Much good was taught incidentally by the old stupid methods. A child set to get through a brick wall had to knock his head against it till he found a loose brick. In modern intelligence, there might be a danger of losing this dull, dead capacity for forcing a way through difficulties. The lecturer concluded his address by assuring teachers that their faults were not infectious, and that, given a teacher who honestly cared for his subject, he would teach his best self.
Derby—On Nov. 25th, at 35, The Wardwick (by kind permission of the Hon. Mrs. Alexander), Mrs. Meynell gave a beautiful and practical address on "Prayer for and with our children." Dealing with the time when, in the earliest day, the mother should kneel with her little ones to the days when, sons and daughters grown up and absent, "prayer is the only means we have of touching them," she gave food for reflection and several useful hints to the parents present, who much appreciated the address.
Dulwich—This branch held its first meeting on the session on Sept. 30th, at Pond House, Dulwich, when Miss Sieveking, Hon. Sec. to the Horticulture College at Swanley, came and spoke on "Gardening as an occupation for women." She explained the course of training carried out there, and how students after three years' training are enabled to take situations as lady gardeners.—On Oct. 24th, at the High School for Girls, West Dulwich (by kind permission of Miss Silcox, the head-mistress), Miss Annie Evans gave a lecture entitled, "The Story of the Virgin Mary as told in pictures by the Great Masters," which was illustrated by lantern slides.—On Nov. 20th, at The Chestnuts, Dulwich Common (by kind permission of Mrs. Whiteley), Mr. Olive gave his lecture on "Loss of sympathy between parents and children." Mr. Olive treated the subject in a most interesting and witty manner, which was much appreciated by all present. More fathers were among the audience than usual, and they all kindly joined in the discussion which ensued. The Rev. J.H. Mallinson presided.—The next meeting of this branch will be held on Jan. 22nd, when Miss Beth Finlay has promised to come forward and give her lecture on "The Restlessness of Modern Youth."
Edgbaston—The second meeting of the session of 1902-3 was held on Dec. 4th, by kind invitation of Lady Lodge. There was a large attendance, and Mrs. George Cadbury was in the chair. Lady Isabel Margeison who had been expected, was prevented by severe illness from coming, and at a few hours' notice Mrs. Clement Parsons, with great kindness, came down from London to address the meeting. She took as her subject the "Training of the Will," and spoke most beautifully and eloquently upon it, illustrating as she went along by a series of extracts from great authors, which were read by different ladies present. Mrs. Parsons began by speaking of the will as a momentum, the force that moves us, hence the great importance in right education, of "putting into the mind good desires," making the daily habits in a young life tend in the direction of good. Habit is a persistency of impression, a memory of the will—thus, gradually grow abiding qualities, and so, in the end, character is formed: so decision in particular instances are made naturally without effort, running on what have well been called "the railway-lines of habit." Parental sloth is sometimes to blame that children are left to find their own way in these matters; what you want your children to be, you must be yourself: it is no use teaching them what you do not believe, and it is a good plan always to seem to expect good of your children. Obedience is rendered either through fear or through faith, and Mrs. Parsons doubted whether unquestioning obedience need be so strenuously insisted on as a good in itself. On this matter she gave much helpful advice as to "turning the thoughts" if a struggle seemed imminent: preparing a child overnight in special cases for some difficult or distasteful duty. She urged the necessity of occupying, of constructing good as a means of keeping out evil. Mrs. Parsons then went on to describe the three stages of will: first, the primitive will, which struggles to acquire, to possess and to act for self and its own claims; second, the will to endure, which is the ideal of the stoic philosophers; and third, the highest development, when the human will is merged in the Divine. This is, of course, beyond a child's capacity, but surely the goal to strive for. A child naturally starts with the primitive will when self and its desires are uppermost. School-life and young companions will do more than any grown-up maxims towards attaining to a useful stoicism, and hero-worship is an immense impetus to the young soul. An intimate knowledge of noble and heroic poetry has been a wonderful guide and inspiration to many. Mrs. Parsons reminded us that character can only be truly formed in the current of the world, not in the moral hothouse; and she concluded by speaking of the "temperate will," neither obstinate or flaccid, and then of the pessimism so common in this latter day, illustrating from Dante's Inferno where souls suffer punishment for accidia, the sin of gloom. A short and interesting discussion followed.
Edinburgh—The meeting of this branch was held on the evening of Friday, Dec. 12th, by the kind permission of Mrs. Whyte, at 7, Charlotte Square, when Mr. E.H. Miles, Honours Coach and Lecturer at Cambridge University, amateur tennis and racquets champion of the world, gave a very interesting address on "Diet and Exercise." He strongly advocated the desirability of a non-flesh diet to a large extent, on the ground that meat contained an excessive amount of uric acid. He commented unfavourably upon those who expected to find sufficient nourishment on vegetables alone, and recommended plasmon [a flourlike preparation made from skim milk] very strongly as a good substitute for meat. He also dealt with the question of exercises, and gave an exhibition of some useful and interesting forms. There was some discussion after the address, and the meeting did not break up until eleven o'clock. There were about 80 present.
Glasgow—The second lecture of the session was delivered on Dec. 5th, at 11, Great Western Terrace (by kind permission of Mrs. Frome), when Dr. Harper, of the Athenaeum School of Music, spoke on "Higher Musical Culture." The lecturer deplored the low standard of musical education which still contents people, not only in this country, but in Italy, Germany and the United States (though both old and young do better than 50 years ago). He instituted a comparison between the results of a general and of a musical education, much to the disadvantage of the latter. At the end of his musical education, the ordinary student has learnt to play certain pieces from copies or from memory, and may have a good knowledge of the theory of music, but he cannot tackle anything out of his repertoire. His is a mechanical education, he cannot speak in musical language. Yet the current system does good work. It leads from admiration to imitation, and thence progress springs, but it does not produce original thinkers and composers. Now a general education does not leave a pupil unable to carry on a conversation save out of a phrase-book or by reference to works studied at school: even the worst scholar can speak freely and naturally on a subject of general interest. Yet few can compose any music, making intelligent use of accepted facts for the presentation of thought. Only an occasional musician can tell any mistakes on first hearing a piece of music, and how many can sit down with a new score and tell how it goes? Some may hum the melody, but few realise the harmonies. Such a result is akin to that of the humble speller who reads with lips as well as eyes. The lecturer next dealt with conversational improvisation between two players on different instruments, making new music as they go on. At this point, Mr. Turner, of the Athenaeum School of Music, gave interesting illustrations of this ability to deal with the ideas of others. Resuming, Dr. Harper spoke of what more can be done, how to do it, and with whom to deal. He held that students should not only interpret masters, according to the teachers, but should be able to give an interpretation of their own. He emphasised the need of daily reading at sight. The connection of the sound and the printed symbol should be a part of life. Mothers may do much to encourage sight-reading, to develop a musical ear, and to inspirit their children. They should ask about their music, learn what the composer's ideas was, and teach them to interpret the composer's meaning, not merely to reproduce the sounds. Children should practise several times a day, not all at a sitting. They should read from the bass up, not from the harmony; give time, don't hurry. Let all be done slowly. This is the golden key. Various questions followed, and votes of thanks were warmly accorded.
Hampstead—The second meeting of the Hampstead branch was held on Friday, Nov. 14th, at 12, Eton Avenue, by kind invitation of Mrs. Maxwell. Miss Alice Woods, principal of the Maria Grey Training College, lectured on "Emotional Development in Children." and the chair was taken by Dr. Richard Garrett, C.B. Miss Woods, in the course of a very able and suggestive address, dwelt on the emotion of attraction and repulsion, of love and hate, as an important part of activity. Though no one is likely to confess to it, we allow a good deal of materialism to tinge the education of our children. Many, theoretically, admit the necessity of acts of will, but virtually aim at repression, and are unwilling that their sons and daughters should grow up with an individuality of their own. Do not judge of the emotions by their excess. The basic value of the emotions in education is large. Children come into the world endowed with impulses, of which the egoistic naturally predominates in the first place, but there is also a great susceptibility to ideas, and we must aim at cultivating the emotions of attraction. A good discussion followed, and there was a large attendance.—The third meeting was held on Wednesday evening, Dec. 3rd, at 9a, Church Row, by kind invitation of Miss Herford. Miss Cecilia Waern, art lecturer, gave an address on "How to study the Old Masters," and the chair was taken by Mr. Henry Holiday. Miss Waern said that art education was carried on by (1) travel abroad; (2) by study of masterpieces here; and (3) by study of the reproductions; of which she proposed to consider the second means. She affirmed that great national collections are a sign of the decadence of modern times. If art were alive, pictures would be in our houses, churches, and public buildings. The art sense is a birthright of all, which the race cannot afford to lose, yet we are passing through an inartistic phase. Artistic interest is mixed with antiquarian interest, and few dare controvert the accepted standard of taste. The collections have been made representative, and not educative. A knowledge of the history of art is confused with a knowledge of art, whereas the latter is hindered by bookish study. There are three points of view in looking at pictures critically and not historically—(1) Truth to nature; (2) technique; (3) charm and decorative quality. The lecturer then proceeded to demonstrate from various pictures the qualities of unity, harmony, variety and expression. Mr. Holiday then followed with an interesting speech, and there was a short discussion. There was a large attendance.—There will be a public meeting at the Hampstead Town Hall, Haverstock Hill, on Wednesday, Jan 14th, 1903 at 8.30, when the Hon. and Rev. Canon Lyttelton (Head Master of Haileybury College) will lecture on "The Teaching of Scripture and the Higher Criticism." The Vicar of Hampstead will be in the chair.
Harrow—A most enjoyable lecture was given on Dec. 10th, at Mrs. Gregory Foster's house, by Mrs. Clement Parsons, on "Education in the Use of Money." The primary reason Mrs. Parsons' addresses are so interesting, is because of the personal note which always makes itself felt in all she says, and the delicate touches of humour which are never absent from them. This was again the case in her last week's lecture, especially in some of her remarks about the selfishness which flourishes unchecked in many of the members of a household over the spending, on themselves, of the hard-earned money of the father and bread-winner. Mrs. Parsons urged on parents the advisability of exercising a wise control over the actual items of their children's outlay of pocket money; that unless the girls were methodical and accurate in their accounts, in after years when they had household expenditure to manage, they would find themselves landed in many unnecessary extravagances.—On Dec. 16th, Dr. Savage gave an address at Professor Hill's house, on "Forward, Backward and Froward Children." He said that in some cases precocity may be the explosion of power, which only leads to nervous destruction. We should always bear in mind that, as there are mental giants, so there are also mental pigmies. He added (a sentence that should carry on its back more thought than perhaps we are apt to give it) that what might appear harmless eccentricity in a rich man's child, will appear, often, criminal in a poor man's. Dr. Savage, in the course of his remarks on "Froward Children," said he thought they might be called "organically naughty children." There are those who are functionally and organically forward, and those who are only temporarily forward. As regarded punishments, he spoke strongly on the advisability of only giving it in private and "with ceremony."—The next lecture is on Jan. 8th, at 3.30, at 4, Lyon Road, by Mr. Rice (late head-master of King Alfred's School). Hyde Park and Bayswater—Hon. Sec., Mrs. E.L. Franklin, 50, Porchester Terrace, Hyde Park. "At Home" Thursday mornings, or by appointment.—On Nov. 26th, Mrs. Franklin lectured to new members and friends of members, at 133, Queen's Gate (by the kind permission of Miss Douglas). There were about 60 present, and several new members joined after the meeting.—On Dec. 2nd and 9th, at 35, Bryanston Square (by kind permission of Mrs. Jameson Bryce). Mrs. Scott-Malden gave two "Plain Talks on the Moral Training of Boys," to the combined Hyde Park and Belgravia Branches. There were about 150 present, and many useful hints were given.—The programme with new lectures, &c., will be issued in early January. Members are reminded that their subscriptions are now due.
Ipswich—The annual meeting of this branch was held at the Museum, on Wednesday, Nov. 26th. Lady Farren, the local president, was in the chair. After the usual business of the annual meeting, Mrs. Howard Glover, of Hampstead, read a most thoughtful, suggestive, and impressive paper, by Mrs. Franklin, on "The Parents' Place in Education." The attendance was better than usual, about 40 members and their friends being present.
Leeds—The Rev. W.H. Draper gave an excellent and useful address to this branch, on Wednesday, Dec. 3rd. Considering the very bad weather there was a good attendance, and some discussion followed the lecture. The subject was, "Stages in the Religious Life of Children." Mr. Draper divided the religious life into four stages:—(1) The time of unconscious learning, when the child learns the character of God through its parents; (2) The time of trust and conscious learning, when the child asks many questions, and must be taught as much as it can learn; (3) The time of reserve and silence—most critical and difficult time of all—when parents can only stand by and be ready to help if needed; and (4) The time of maturity, when doubts have passed away. The lecturer illustrated his remarks by passages from Cowper, Dr. Johnson, and the Confession of St. Augustine.
Lewes—A meeting of this branch was held on Dec. 3rd, when Mr. Chesterton gave an address on "Children and Literature." About forty people were present. The chair was kindly taken by A.S. Blackwell, Esq.
Reading—The Annual General Meeting of this branch was held on Friday, Nov. 28th, at the Abbey Hall (kindly lent by Messrs. Sutton and Sons), when Miss Hay read an interesting and instructive paper on "Elocution," impressing on her hearers the importance of teaching children when young the art of speaking clearly and distinctly. This paper was preceded by the following business: Election of President, Vice Presidents, and Committee for the ensuing year; reading of reports and financial statements of the branch and the Natural History Club, both of which were satisfactory. This meeting closes the year's work; the new programme will be forthcoming early in the year.
Reigate—Nov. 28th, a drawing-room meeting was held, by kind permission of Mrs. Powell, at "Ivanhoe," Reigate, with the object of considering the expediency of forming a local branch of the P.N.E.U. for Reingate and district.—Mrs. Clement Parsons read a paper on "The Aims and Works of the Parents' National Education Union." The audience showed great appreciation of Mrs. Clement Parsons' paper, and the proposal of the chairman (H.S. Stone, Esq., B.A., M.B.) that a local branch should be formed was unanimously carried. A committee of the following ladies was then appointed: Mrs. Sewill, Mrs. Stone, Mrs. Sim, Mrs. Von Fleischl, Mrs. Latham, Mrs. Pfeil, Mrs. Davies—A committee meeting was held on Dec. 8th, when lectures were arranged for February and March; and it was also decided to start a Children's Natural History Club. The branch starts with about thirty members.
Scarborough—On Dec. 10th a drawing-room meeting was held at Riseborough (by invitation of Mr. and Mrs. George Rowntree). Miss Erart-Davis (Reading) gave a delightful address upon "Nature Study at Home and at School." Many charming hints were given of how children may be trained to observe Nature, and of the many avenues open to study. About forty-four members were present. There were on exhibition eight cases of moths and butterflies showing the "life histories." These were shown by a student of the Bootham School, York, which has the oldest Natural History Society—established in 1834. Some lovely photographs were sent by two brothers, showing the results of camera work during the nesting season. Miss Mason sent six Nature note-books from students at the House of Education, Ambleside; and Mr. Badley Bedales, Petersfield, sent some junior note-books of pupils between the ages of ten and fourteen. All these added largely to the interest of the meeting.
Wakefield and District—On the evening of Nov. 10th, Dr. Reddie, Master of the New School, Abbottsholme, Derbyshire, gave an address on "English Educational Apathy, contrasted with Foreign Educational Enthusiasm." Dr. Reddie spoke very strongly on the advisability of boys being kept at home, or at any rate being taught by lady teachers till eleven years of age, then to be sent straight to a public school where they would remain until going to college. He much deprecated the custom of changing a boy's school at the age of fourteen or fifteen; he also said that, at the present time, too much importance is laid upon Latin and Greek, and advised a more thorough study of the English language.—A well attended meeting of this branch was held at the Technical School, on Dec. 11th. The address was given by Miss Simon, Head Mistress of Wintersdorf School, Birkdale, Southport. Her subject, "For their sakes I sanctify myself," was a most suitable one for all parents and teachers, especially those who have to do with young children. Miss Simon showed how everyone should lay himself apart for his special work in life, whatever that work may be, and that what we do will never be satisfactory unless we train ourselves for it. "Training must be our watch-word," and parents must remember that though the love which comes into the world with a little baby is a most holy and sacred thing, this is not in itself sufficient for the well-being and bringing up of the child, it must be supplemented by much self-training on the part of the parents.—Canon Lyttelton will give an address on January 8th, on "Time for Growth." The Hon. Sec. will be very glad to give particulars of this or any of the lectures to readers of the Review who may live at a distance, but would like to avail themselves of the advantages of this branch.
Wanstead and Woodford—The second meeting of the new session was held on Nov. 13th, at Minto House, South Woodford. Dr. Smythe Palmer presided, and Mrs. Franklin (Hon. Organising Secretary P.N.E.U.) gave a paper on "The Place of the Parent in Education." The lecture was characterized throughout by its adherence to P.N.E.U. teaching and principles, and there was scope enough for Mrs. Franklin to delight her audience by the originality and wisdom of her remarks, and by her well-thought suggestions as to the practical application of these principles. The lecturer contended that, although we are inclined to look upon schools and teachers as the legitimate moulders of our children's minds and morals, yet the greater part of their education was and ought to be accomplished by parents, both before and during school life. Mrs. Franklin then ably dealt with education under its threefold aspect—an atmosphere—a discipline—a life; concluding with most valuable hints on the choice of books, the treatment of pictures, and other matters apparently trivial, but in reality all-important to the successful development of "a human being at his best." A short discussion, with an appreciatory speech from the Chairman, brought an enjoyable and inspiring afternoon to a close.—The second evening lecture of the session was given on Wednesday, Dec. 10th, at Bellegrove, S. Woodford (by the kind invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Warner). The lecturer for the occasion, Dr. Albert Wilson, is extremely well-known to the members, not only personally, but through his writings on medical subjects. The theme chosen was "The Brain in Relation to Mental Development," and that it was a subject of special attraction and interest to the audience was abundantly evidenced by the large attendance of parents of both sexes. Dr. Wilson, as a lecturer, possesses in no small degree the happy and enviable faculty—so rare among savants—of being able to reduce the most highly scientific information to ordinary common-place language, capable of being "understanded of the people," so that, aided by graphic diagrams and illustrated by the microscope, the lecture proved extremely educative and enlightening to the lay mind, and was received with every mark of appreciation and approval by those present. At the conclusion, Mr. Frank Warner, as chairman, made an able speech in support of the lecturer's views and invited discussion. Several of the members asked for further information as to the hours a child should study during the day, and other matters of importance in the rearing of young children, all of which Dr. Wilson answered most fully and explicitly. It was the general wish that the lecture should be printed in pamphlet form, that the members might have the chance of possessing a copy. The usual vote of thanks brought to a close a most successful evening. The next Meeting of the Branch will be held on Jan. 17th, at Minto House, S. Woodford, at which Miss Fanny Johnson will lecture.
Winchester—On Saturday, Dec. 13th, Mrs. Wingfield very kindly lent her drawing-room for the lecture on "Co-education," by Miss Rankin. Dr. Wingfield introduced the speaker, who gave a most delightful and well-thought-out paper on this subject. Miss Rankin's varied experience enhances the value of her opinion on such a topic. Without too rabidly advocating the adoption of co-education in secondary schools, the lecturer set before us, with great fairness, its advantages and disadvantages. With regard to day-schools there seems to be practically no difficulty, but for boarding-schools the system does not yet seem perfected. Taking the home as the great training-centre, is it not the large family, where brothers and sisters rub each other's angles down, that produces the finest type of men and women? If this useful comradeship succeeds so well, why should it suddenly terminate, and girls and boys live apart for nine months of the year? Does such estrangement bring about the best results? It seems not, for the trend of the age is towards co-education, and Miss Rankin thinks it will in time take its place naturally and acceptably without any of the premature forcing which sometimes has the effect of rousing the antagonism of those who might otherwise have been its best friends. The lecturer quoted largely from the latest educational reports dealing with this subject. At the close, Miss Rankin was warmly thanked, and in the discussion which followed, Mr. Cowen gave a most interesting account of several Co-educational Schools in Hampshire. Miss Bramston also told us of a day-school where the system seems to have had nothing but good results.—The next lecture will be at the College, on Jan. 31st, when Mr. Sadler will speak of "Pestalozzi."
Woking—On Tuesday, Nov. 18th, at Riverside, Mrs. Franklin read a most interesting paper on "The Parent's Place in Education." Mrs. Franklin's kindness in coming so far to speak to so small a branch was greatly appreciated. The chair was taken by Mrs. Ingham Baker, who opened the meeting with a few words expressing the great pleasure it gave her to introduce the lecturer, and the warm interest that she took in the work. The lecture was followed by a certain amount of discussion.
Proofread by Leslie Noelani Laurio, Feb 2009
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