The Parents' Review
A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture
"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
Notes and Queries.
As you know so much what is right and good about education, I wish you would tell me what is the usual rule about schoolboys' evening meal in sensible families. My husband has a mania for having the children down from the earliest years to late dinner. He was brought up in the scrambling style of an Irish family, where the children were *en evidence* from morning till night. I do not think the practice healthy, either morally or physically. I have now two boys, thirteen and fourteen, who regularly dine late, but I cannot think it a good thing for them to be eating rich food, being encouraged in pertness and forwardness, allowed to monopolize the conversation, and hearing a great deal of gossip that is not meant for children, which must naturally be the case when we have a large party of visitors, as we do through nearly the whole of the summer holidays and at Christmas. As I never allow my girls to be alone without either their own or a holiday governess, there is always schoolroom supper, and it seems to me that is the fitting place for such young boys. I wish you would tell me what is usually done in large households where there is a good deal going on in holiday times.
My object in troubling you with this letter is to ask you or one of your contributors to say something on the subject of Bible reading. I have a preparatory school here of some forty-five boys between nine and fourteen, and am most anxious to instil a habit of regular and definite Bible reading among them all. At present most of them belong to the Boys' Scripture Union, but I must confess that I am not altogether satisfied with the portions selected, nor with the daily notes upon them in our Boys' Magazine. I have been wondering, therefore, if you and others of the P.N.E.U. could help me with suggestions on the subject, or whether we could get a good committee formed to draw up a list of passages which should last, say, for two years, and add to them short practical notes on each daily portion. Perhaps you might think well to put some query or suggestions bearing on the subject in your February issue if you still have space for it, and we should then see how the idea was received. H.B.
*A Smyrna rug for a baby to lie upon*.
When one of my friends asked, "What shall I make for your baby?" a happy inspiration prompted me to say, "A Smyrna rug to kick upon." Having found the rug most useful I thought it my duty to report it to other mothers. The rug is 36 inches square, has a cream-coloured center, and a broad red border. It cost about fourteen shillings. The wools and needles, &c., are to be got from any good wool-shop. Lefebre, at Canterbury, will supply them. The baby is now nine months old, and spends hours in every day upon her rug, which is firm enough for the muscles to get good exercise upon, and yet soft enough to prevent her from getting any bumps. She has a pillow behind her, so that she can sit up, or lie back just as she likes best. Since the winter began she has worn long stockings up to her thighs (and little crocheted slippers which look very pretty), so that she never gets cold, however much she may flourish her legs in the air. I think she is, muscularly, the strongest baby I ever saw, and I put it down to the hours of active exercise she takes, quite undisturbed, on her rub.
Mrs. Wentworth-Powell offers a prize of *One Guinea* for an Essay (2,000 words) on the best way of teaching children "Concentration of Purpose."
The Essays should reach the Editor by the 10th of March.
Typed October 2013