Friday, January 12, 2007

It’s Amazing

I told you about my new (old) book, The Mother’s Book and the articles in there. A great deal further into the book, and I am still being amazed.

There is the article by a Nathaniel M. Dawson (about who I could find nothing)… an extensive guide to teaching ones children all the virtues and characters you can want… I defy you to find a better character training model!

Then there are the numerous articles by Caroline Benedict Burrell… one of which caught my attention because she was speaking of the food which we should feed our young… since fruit and whole-wheat bread (not refined) topped her list, I have to wonder if we have truly learned nothing in the 100 years since her article was published.

Yes indeed… my book is 100 years old this year, and still worth its weight in gold.

The authors are not fans of corporal punishment… they rather think that we’d be better off employing that on the younger children who do not understand (in the form of small taps) and reasoning with the older children.

They like the public school system… but feel that class size should be small, the number of subjects limited, the parents involved to the point of knowing the teacher and all the lessons… and that some things are best left to the parents to teach.

In truth, I support a lot of the conclusions of the book… written in part by those who established the Parent Teachers Association… but I have to wonder what they would have though about today’s schools…

Now, in the schools defense, I have to admit, part of the problem has been the demands of parents… but in their demands, I think the parents have made mistakes… the state should not be in charge of what our children learn… we should.

Perhaps that is a good enough reason to homeschool… ;)

But still… the book is very interesting, the depiction of life from back during the Edwardian period… the realization that the advantages of the American free economy were obvious even then, that life back then really had some wonderful aspects to it.

Added to that the wonderful and numerous mentions of books I have never heard of but intend to read… I think I got my money’s worth!

If you would like your own copy of The Mother’s Book, there are a number around

And as for the books written by the authors... I have one on my desk... and the list of the treasury books:

The Young Folks’ Treasury
I. Childhood Favourites and Fairy Stories
II. Myths and Legendary Heroes
III. Classic Tales and Old Fashioned Stories
IV. Modern Tales and Animal Stories
V. The Animal World
VI. Famous Travels and Adventures
VII. Heroes and Patriots
VIII. Wonders of Science and Invention
IX. Men and Women of Achievement; Self Help
X. Ideal Home Life: A Book for Children and Parents
XI. Golden Hours with Poets
XII. Music and Fine Arts

I learned a lot more from the book about these... basically a compilation of stories and snippets from books, designed to enthrall and interest children. The aim being to ignite their love of GOOD reading (as in classics that are not twaddle).

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