The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."

Volume 14, 1903, pgs. 877-880

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 Home Counties Nature-Study Exhibition will be held from October 30th to November 3rd, 1903, by kind permission at the Offices of the Civil Service Commission, Burlington Gardens, New Bond Street, London.

In consequence of the above, there will be no P.N.E.U. Nature-Study Exhibition at the time of the Conference. Members are strongly advised to contribute to the above exhibition instead, and in any case to inspect the objects sent. For full participants apply to Mrs. Franklin, 30, Purchester Terrace, W.

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New Branches

The Executive Committee has been approached with a view to starting Branches in the following places:—

Barry (Glamorgan)
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.
Manchester—Mrs. Freston, 6, St. Paul's Road, Kersal, Manchester, will receive names of people interested in this Branch (pro tem).
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.

A Branch of the P.N.E.U. will shortly be opened at Croydon. Miss Armfield, 26, Victoria Street, S.W., will be glad to receive the names of people, in or around Croydon, likely to be interested in the formation of a Branch.

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Brondesbury—The Brondesbury and West Hampstead branch held its first meeting of the present season at West Hampstead Town Hall on Oct. 8th. After the customary election of officers for the ensuing year, Mrs. Franklin, one of the organising secretaries of the parent society, read an extremely able paper upon the responsibility of parents for the training and development of the character of their children, and how the P.N.E.U. assists its members in discharging this duty. She strongly urged the necessity for parents to train themselves for these responsibilities, and no longer to trust entirely to parental instinct and intuition. To give one instance out of many brought forward, she advocated that parents should take care from the beginning that their children should have placed before them only the best books of their kind, according to the age of the child, and that home reading-aloud should be encouraged, so that, accustomed to the best, the child would naturally later on eschew the inferior. An interesting discussion followed. The Mayor, who proposed a vote of thanks to Mrs. Franklin, spoke in high terms of the value of the mental training gained by the study of mathematics, and the pleasurable advantage to be derived from the study of Nature. The vote of thanks was seconded by the Rev. Dr. Walker, who alluded to the scanty knowledge of history and geography possessed by many people at the present day, and suggested that parental influence might very well stimulate interest in these subjects. Dr. Cunnington, in proposing a vote of thanks to the Mayor for kindly giving the branch the benefit of his support, pointed out that the subject discussed that evening was one of the most important that could be imagined, far beyond fiscal or other questions of that kind, for that, upon the proper formation of the character of the children of this generation, the whole future of the country depended. Mr. Clifford Granville seconded the vote of thanks.

Croydon—An inaugural meeting was held on Oct. 20th. A most interesting paper was read by Mrs. Clement Parsons, setting forth the objects and tenets of the Union. Miss Armfield briefly addressed the meeting on the business working on the Branch, and after a sympathetic speech by the chairman, Dr. Parsons Smith, the meeting concluded, and a large number of those present enrolled themselves as members.

Darlington—A meeting of this Branch was held at Mowden (by kind permission of the Mayoress) on Thursday, Oct. 8th, when Mrs. Clement Parsons gave an address on "The Training of the Will." In spite of the unfavourable weather, there was a good audience, who thoroughly appreciated Mrs. Parsons' delightful paper. Illustrative extracts read by members supplied a pleasant novelty in the proceedings.

Hyde Park and Bayswater—Hon. Sec. Mrs. E. L. Franklin, 50, Porchester Terrace, Hyde Park. "At Home" Thursday mornings, or by appointment.—An interesting meeting was held on Tuesday, Oct. 20th. Miss Helen Webb, M.B. (Lond.) lectured on "Some Small Things of Great Importance" (a lecture chiefly intended for the parents of young children), at 12 Airlie Gardens (by kind permission of Mrs. Rickman, who was in the chair).—The next meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 12th. Mr. A. Burrell, Principal of the Burough Road Training College, Isleworth, will lecture on "Greek and Roman Educational Reformers," at 5 p.m., at 73, Harley Street (by kind permission of Mrs. Jessopp), Capt. W. Friedberger in the chair.

Kidderminster—On Monday, Sept. 28th, a meeting was held in the Gymnasium of the High School for Girls at 7.30 p.m., when members and friends met to hear Miss L. Stacey (a member of the Higher Thought Circle, London), on "Our Forces and how to use them." The lady is a trained nurse of 20 years, standing, and she spoke from a medical point of view, as well as a spiritual and physical. She explained how we misuse our forces, and thereby weaken all our powers. Fear she condemned as an evil force, giving illustrations of people who were so seriously affected by fear alone as to cause bodily illness as well as mental distress. She pointed out the general fearlessness of a little child until "fear-thoughts" were put into its mind. Worry, she reminded us, never paid a bill or cooked a dinner, and bad temper was literally the cause of many illnesses. The phrase, "My blood fairly boiled," was true in a sense which those who used it never suspected. The speaker then proceeded to explain how the good "forces" could best be cultivated, and how, if a thing were worth doing, we must put our whole mind into it. She urged her hearers to "put their minds" into everything they did, beginning with the morning bath. At the close of the meeting, which was well attended, a hearty vote of thanks was given to the lecturer.

Reading—Natural History Club—The final summer excursion took place on Saturday, Sept. 26th, when the pine woods of the Wellington College district were selected as the "happy hunting grounds." Fungi formed the chief objects of interest, and we were exceedingly favoured in having with us on this occasion such an able mycologist as Mr. B. J. Austin, F.L.S., who kindly acted as director. The baskets were soon full of most interesting specimens of various colours and forms, the prevailing humid weather having been beneficial to their development. After about an hour's ramble, the party (which numbered about 25) were gathered together to listen to Mr. Austin, who very kindly gave a short address on the chief characteristics of the specimens obtained, which included Agaricus, Lactarius, Russula, Boletus, Hydnum, and others. The return to Reading was made about 6 p.m., a most enjoyable afternoon having been spent in ideal autumnal weather.

Reigate—The members of this branch had a pleasant gathering on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 8th, at "Beechwood," Reigate, the residence of Dr. Stone (President of the branch), when a highly interesting and instructive lecture on "Classical Education" was given by Mr. C. D. Olive. The lecturer, who was briefly introduced by Dr. Stone, said he would divide his lecture into three parts, namely, (1) What classical education was; (2) what it is; (3) what it ought to be, or, perhaps, some day will be. At the outset, the speaker observed that classical education did not merely imply the study of the Greek and Roman languages; it was education based upon all that was best and noblest in literature and language. He then proceeded to trace the history of classical education from three or four centuries B.C., emphasising the fact that the greatest branch of education amongst the Athenians at that time consisted in the study of rhetoric and public speaking, a class of education which was sadly neglected in our days. He went on to point out that a knowledge of the classics was the most sound basis upon which to build up the education of our children. It was said on all sides that our national education was a failure, but it was not because it was too classical. In speaking of the unsatisfactory results of public school education of to-day, the lecturer said he believed with Mr. Cecil Grant that the ignorance and intellectual apathy of the youth of to-day arose from the worship of athletics, the growth of luxury and self-indulgence, and the fact that masters did not always teach as they ought and might do. The lecturer further contended that, in the majority of schools, each master had too many boys under his control. He went on to explain the primary reasons for his advocacy of classical education. The study of Latin and Greek taught a boy to observe and think for himself more readily than in any other form of study; it gave a boy a grasp of his own language, which he could not obtain in any other way; it was the soundest basis upon which to build up a love of literature; it offered unrivalled opportunities for lessons in right conduct; and, above all, it had humanizing effects.—A discussion followed, in which Mrs. Feilden, Mrs. Sim, Mrs. Sewill, Miss Ambler, and Mr. Sewill took part.

Winchester—The first of this season's lectures was given on Oct. 8th, at the Abbey House (by kind permission of the Mayor and Mrs. Fort). The subject—"Some Theories of Education at the time of the Renaissance"—was most ably treated by Dr. Burge, headmaster of the College.—The children's Natural History branch is proving a success, but the bad weather has interrupted the plans occasionally.—On Saturday, Nov. 21st, the Rev. J. E. Kelsall will lecture on "Birds," with a lantern, at the headmaster's house, The College, at 3.30. Children admitted.

Proofread by Leslie Noelani Laurio, August 2008