The Parents' Review
A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture
"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
Volume 14, 1903, pg. 389
[Wordsworth is below]
This Club is open to any readers of the Review, either lady or gentleman. The terms are 6 shillings for six months. All work marked for exhibition is criticised by Mr. David Murray, A.R.A., on the yearly "Pupils' Show Day," in Miss Stewart Wood's studio, Vine Court Studio, Holland Street, Kensington. All particulars of the Club can be obtained from Miss A. Y. Davidson, Secretary, 41, Bessborough Gardens, London, S. W.
November, 1902, to May, 1903
Subjects for May.
I.—Silver and green. Go out into the nearest orchard, and sit low down among the long grass until you can see a delicate fringe of feathery grasses against the sky. Note the sharp note of the young green, and the blue grey lights on it reflected from the sky. Paint into your study any wild flowers that may accidentally grow in the grass.
II.—Blossoms. Do not try to paint a whole tree in blossom. Go rather close up to one branch, and see the tender pink, or grey, or white, with the dark stems against a bit of blue sky. Take a small bit, and study it hard.
III.—Draw some bare branches, naming the tree, either in pencil or on a bit of brown paper with coloured chalk.
[We think other branches might like to see these practical suggestions which we are allowed to publish.—ED.]
Parents' National Educational Union.
Collections of Common Things.
Last year, at this time, it was suggested that some Collections of Common Things should be made, which might be of use in Board Schools. A considerable number of Collections were sent in last October, including Shells, Woods, Mosses, Feathers, Bones, and Nature Books. It is hoped that this year a much larger number will be sent in. The following letter, which was addressed to a Member of Committee, shows to what uses such material can be put in our Board Schools, and how gratefully it is received:—
"North Canongate School,
"A year ago you asked me if collections of Shells, Mosses, &c., made by the children of the Members of the Parents' National Educational Union, could be utilised by the children in the Elementary Schools of the city, and I then said: ŒI thought they could.' Now, I no longer think—I know. By a strange chance, the making of the collections coincides with the introduction into the Scotch Education Code (the most humanising Code of the century) of an entirely new subject, Nature Knowledge—a subject which can only be taught by a direct appeal to nature.
"In our Schools, especially those in the poorer districts of the city, there was little material, and little hope of getting more, for the teaching of this entrancing subject, when your Union gifted the collections made by their children.
"These collections have not only been useful in teaching, but now that some of them have been framed, they form a most beautiful decoration to the dull School walls. Not only so, but our own children, inspired by the good example, are trying to do similar work.
"I have, therefore, the sincerest pleasure in thanking your Union in the name of the children and teachers, and would venture to express the hope that the children, knowing that their labour of love is much appreciated by children less highly favoured, may continue this beautiful and helpful work.
"I am, yours very gratefully,
Collections of Common Things.
Three conditions must be observed:—
(a) That no animal is to be killed for the sake of the collection.
(b) That the collection must not include anything which will not keep; and
(c) That the collection must be made by the collector.
The following are suggested as suitable things to collect. The collector may keep to one set of things or may make a general collection.
(a) A collection of things made by animals, e.g., forsaken birds' nests, honeycomb, wasps' nests, galls, egg-cases of buckie, egg-cases of dog-whelks, mermaids' purses.
(b) A collection of shells and skeletons of backboneless animals, e.g., sponges, dried sea-urchins, dried brittle-stars, dried starfishes, dried crabs, moulted crab-shells, bivalve-shells, snail-shells, see-mats, zoophytes, &c.
(c) A collection of leaves pressed in drying paper changed three times, also skeleton leaves.
(d) A collection of seaweeds floated on to rough, stiff writing paper, then dried and pressed.
(e) Bones of backboned animals cleaned on the shore or moor, e.g., birds' bones, fishes' bones, rabbits' skulls, &c. A nice skeleton may sometimes be got by leaving the dead animal near an ant-hill.
(f) Collections of birds' feathers mounted on pasteboard, e.g., curlew, pigeon, rook, peacock, grouse, &c. Heads and feet of birds may also be got on the sea-shore. After a little cleaning in water they should be rubbed well with alum, then washed again and dried.
(g) A collection of strange stones—pebbles, stalactites, fossils, &c.
(h) A collection of pressed club-mosses, ferns, horse-tails, mosses, and lichens.
(i) Photographs of striking scenes—valleys, mountain tops, islands, seaside, stacks, landslips, gorges, &c.
(j) Photographs of living animals, e.g., deer, sheep, cattle, horses, pigs, birds.
(k) Photographs of carefully-chosen trees.
(l) Nature Diaries will also be welcomed as exhibits.
Each object should be labelled with its name and where found.
Some of the following Books may be useful:—
1. Furneaux, The Outdoor World. 7 shillings, 6 pence. Longmans.
P.N.E.U. Literary Society.—Subject for May: King Lear.
Wordsworth, by Walter Raleigh (Arnold, 6/-). (google books) Most lovers and disciples of Wordsworth will, we believe, consider that Professor Raleigh has made the "authentic comment" (to quote the poet's own phrase) on the philosophy and the poetry of Wordsworth. He approaches his subject in a spirit of reverence which wins our confidence. He assumes to start with that which Wordsworth considered of vital importance is of vital importance; or, at any rate, must be held so by those who set themselves to understand Wordsworth. We feel anew, in reading Mr. Raleigh's book, the force of the poet's contention that the occurrences of daily life among the simplest folk, and expressed in the simplest speech, are themselves of the essence of poetry, and conceal "thoughts too deep for tears." Also, that other profound doctrine is borne in upon us, that "nature" is sacramental, not only in the sense that it is an outward and visible sign of spiritual things signified, but also that it is a means of grace whereby we receive the same, i.e., a large content, simplicity, humility and healing. This great doctrine Professor Raleigh interprets, we think, worthily, with the dignity and comprehensiveness it deserves. All lovers of Wordsworth should read the book both for gratification and instruction.
A Short History of the Ancient Greek Sculptors, by H. E. Legge (Fisher Unwin, 5/-). Professor Percy Gardner testifies that Miss Legge's book is "trustworthy, giving a sketch of what is most clear and definite in our knowledge of Greek sculpture." The author desires that the book should be used as a reader in schools, and we hasten to testify that here is a school-book after our own hearts. The Scylla and Charybdis of the makers of school-books are triumphantly passed. Here is no hint of a dry-as-dust compilation, nor of that worse fault still, the free and easy and, we think, odious familiarity with great matters which is assumed when a colloquial sentence or paragraph appears to give a complete knowledge of a matter the very fringe of which is not touched. Miss Legge does not talk down to her readers, and her simple direct descriptions carry the fire of enthusiasm. She contrives, too, to string her comments on a thread of history which has never the air of telling the whole story. We venture to endorse the advice which Professor Gardner offers in his introduction, as also the hope with which he closes—"To take full advantage of Miss Legge's teachings, the reader should go through them slowly section by section, and try to impress them on the mind by visits either to the British Museum or a museum of casts . . . I hope that to many this little book may be the door leading, if not into a new world, at least into a beautiful and noble province of the old world." The book is illustrated by thirty-two photographs.
Clear Speaking and Good Reading, by Arthur Burrell, new edition, (Longmans & co., 2/6). Principal Burrell is a past master in the art of reading, and, is he the sole authority on that most exquisite art of story-telling? His words carry weight, and the diligent student of Clear Speaking and Good Reading should be able to speak and read in a way to give pleasure by the time he has finished his course. Chapter II. deals with vocal mechanism and vocal gymnastics in a very thorough way. The chapter on Pronunciation is a just presentation of the view of cultivated persons; "to be able to assume the provincial at pleasure is looked on as a gift, but to be the provincial is looked on as a sin." Mr. Burrell appreciates, while he forbids, "the wavy tones, the curious, often beautiful cadences of dialect which mark off provincial ** standard speech." "Study to be quiet" in all reading and speech, is the author's special recommendation. Various chapters contain interesting and valuable lists of books dealing with the parts of the subject they treat of. The dedication is characteristic of the author, "To the unconscious teachers of the beautiful in speech—little children—a learner dedicates this book."
Co-Education, edited by Alice Woods (Longmans, 3/-). Miss Woods has got together a record of the practical experiences of some six or seven successful workers in the field of co-education, a valuable contribution to our knowledge of the subject. It would appear on the whole that girls work better when there are boys working in the same class, and that boys are more gentle when girls are amongst them; that boys and girls do not play together, nor, considering the more delicate physique of the latter, is it well they should; that mixed schools do not tend to boy and girl difficulties, flirtations and the like; but that boys seldom continue in a mixed school after the age of 14, so that in the higher forms such schools tend to become girls' schools. The general lesson Miss Woods gathers from the papers she has collected is, that "in order to be a genuine success, experiments in co-education must be whole-hearted."
The Study of the Gospels, by T. A. Robinson, D.D (Longmans, 2/6) net). This little book, the work of a scholar, is one of a series of Handbooks for the Clergy, but it is of singular value to the lay reader as well as to the clergyman. Canon Robinson tells us that, "my object has been to present in plain language such results of my own study as may serve as a guide to the studies of others," and it is, perhaps, this personal element which makes a small book on a great subject surprisingly rich in suggestion as well as in instruction. The author writes from the standpoint of modern textual criticism, noting especially Dr. Harnack's latest pronouncements, and giving its full value to controversial criticism as regards date, authorship, etc. But it is not on such matters that Christianity rests, for him. He boldly maintains that, had there been no documents traceable to Apostolic days, the contents of Christianity would have been practically what they are to-day. The inherent value of the Gospels depends upon the manner of their presentation of Christ; but our idea of Christ does not depend solely upon the Gospels. "I should not ask a man who had serious doubts of the truth of Christianity to enter upon a literary enquiry as to the date and authorship of the Gospels. I should say: Leave that untouched for the present. Read the books themselves wholly irrespective of when or by whom they were written, or even of their accuracy in detail. Take the picture of Christ as drawn by the vigorous hand which wrote our second Gospel. Read it as a whole; let the story grow upon you; watch that powerful, sympathetic, original Character; ask how the simple unliterary author came by his story, if it was not that the story was a direct transcript from life. If a new power was then manifested in the world, revealing a new idea of human goodness, saying men everywhere, and only refusing to save Himself, must you not yearn to welcome the belief that this Power was not finally vanquished by death, but still lives to save men to the uttermost?"
Proofread by Leslie Noelani Laurio, November 2008
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