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Pupils should be warned not to mistake mere brilliant appearances for true and desirable happiness.
ROUSSEAU. How important is it, above all things, that every father and every mother should care for the bodily health of their children! since their minds must, without a sound and perfect bodily instruinent, be condemned to inisery.
ZSCHOKKE. All children, even the best, have their periods of energy and of fatigue; and the teacher needs to study the symptoms of such changes, to avoid greatly abusing the child's mental constitution.
To recite and recite continually, and to solve problems within a specified time, places an unnatural constraint upon the freedom of the impulses and movements of the mind.
It is a remarkable and beautiful thing for a boy to apply himself with all the force of his being to the work required of him.
But he is also in need of rest, of solitude, where he may on quiet holidays collect his thoughts, and feel himself relieved of any purpose whatever, even of his own childish whims.
Moreover, there is both in men and children, a limit to the power of the susceptibilities both to things new and old.
Periods of rest are necessary, so that body and mind may recover their exhausted strength.
During such periods the pupil also really learns ; for unknown to himself he is recognizing what is before him; and such new activities of the thoughts are more efficient in producing new combinations of ideas than all the teacher's art.
Plato's principle, that “the gods are the friends of amusement," should be a motto over the door of every home; and Anaxagoras' testamentary provision that “on the day of his death the children should play," has a decp significance.
An unlimited series of ideas, without reflection, and not restricted in purpose, beginning, progress or end-the characteristics which distinguish play from work-is as natural and necessary to a child's nature as breath
Those are wise parents who play much with their children.
The greater the mental activity, the more and more enjoyed is the playing.
But there should be order and proportion in all things.
Srov. How is it that “gymnasium " now only means a place where young people sit still; where they deteriorate their bodies? The name means a place for training the body. With the Greeks there were deeds; with us, only talking about them.
GOETHE. There must be more definite and complete psychological and physiological investigations of the relation between the labor and the recreation of young persons; for it is evident that a natural impulse inclines children to play and to the development of their bodies, as their most proper destination.
SCHRODER. “ The profit of study," says Heumius, “ depends upon the intervals which are devoted to recreation."
It is only in some degree of quiet that the mind can digest the impressions made upon the memory or the fancy, and can make them its nutriment.
Incessant cramming only deadens and tends to stupidity; and it is probably psychologically true, as Lorinser quotes from H. Horst, " That in order to learn with pleasure and success, only a little must be heard or
llow much more influential, even for a whole life, is often a single word spoken at a fortunate moment, than whole years of teaching !
Why is it that mature minds learn in a short time, by much less reading or teaching, quite as inuch as one who does nothing but hcar instruction and study day after day?
Therefore it seems to be real barbarism and misunderstanding of the youthful character, to believe as the directors of some gymnasia do, that all depends upon incessant stimulation, inspection and inanipulation by the teachers, and upon not waiting a single minute of the hour, upon going through the whole lesson without once taking breath, upon a state of inciteinent, wearing, stupifying and loathsome both to teachers and pupils.
Each school ought to have roofed and open play and gymnastic grounds, yards, gardens and halls, and after every lesson the pupils should be obliged to go out of the schoolroom--for our precocious and self-isolating and overwise young people are partly too lazy and partly too proud, to play and run about a quarter of an hour in the fresh air, than to return, strengthened and refreshed, to their labor.
Whatever is thus wanted in time, will be richly compensated by the greater vigor and activity of the school.
ROTTECK AND WELCKER. State Lexicon. Education should at first be more negative than positive in its operation.
It should especially seek to remove the hindrances to free self-direction; and should aim to render the will free, so that this free self-direction may be guided towards reasonable objects.
The educator should not so much form and instill, as develop, and call out.
C. F. MICHAELIS.
The young mind should be nourished with simple and grateful food, and not too copious. It should be little exercised until its nerves and muscles show themselves, and even then rather for air than any thing else. Study is the bane of childhood, the aliment of youth, the indulgence of manhood, and the restoration of age.
Before that age (five) how many seeds are sown, which future years and distant ones, mature successively! How much fondness, how much generosity, what hosts of other virtues, courage, constancy, patriotism, spring into the father's heart from the cradle of the child! And does never the fear come over a man that what is most precious to him upon earth is left in careless or perfidious, in unsafe or unworthy, hands?
WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR Pericles and Aspasia.
The recollection of a thoroughly happy childhood (other advantages not wanting) is the very best preparation, moral and intellectual, with which to encounter the duties and cares of real life. A sunshiny childhood is an auspicious inheritance, with which, as a fund, to commence trading in practical wisdom and active goodness. It is a great thing only to have known, by experience, that tranquil, temperate felicity is actually attainable on earth; and we should think so, if we knew how many have pursued a reckless course, because, or chiefly because, they early learned to think of Happiness as a chimera, and believed momentary gratifications to be the only substitute placed within the reach of man. Practical happiness is much oftener wantonly thrown away, than really snatched from us; but it is the most likely to be pursued, overtaken, and husbanded, by those who already, and during some considerable period of their lives, have been happy. To have known nothing but misery is the most portentous condition under which human nature can start on its course.
Isaao TAYLOR Home Education.
What would be the condition of all our families, of all our children, if religious fathers and religious mothers were to teach their sons and daughters no religious tenets till they were eighteen? What would become of their morals, their character, their purity of heart and life, their hope for time and eternity? What would become of all those thousand ties of sweetness, benevolence, love, and Christian feeling, that now render our young men and young maidens like comely plants growing up by a streamlet's side; the graces and the grace of opening manhood, of blossoming womanhood? What would become of all that now renders the social circle lovely and beloved? What would become of society itself? How could it exist ? And is that to be considered a charity which strikes at the soul of all this; which subverts all the excellence and the charms of social life; which tends to destroy the very foundation and framework of society, both in its practices and in its opinions; which subverts the whole decency, the whole morality, as well as the whole Christianity and government of society? No, sir! No, sir!
DANIEL WEBSTER. Girard's Will Case.
PLAYS, PASTIMES, AND HOLIDAYS OF CHILDREN.
BY HORACE BUSHNELL, D. D.
(WB are firm believers in the efficacy of play-in the ring of happy voices of boys and girls engaged in their innocent sports in the rights of children to significant and frequent holidays--and that all needless restrictions, which limit or repress the natural outburst of youthful spirits, beyond the necessities of the child's true development, spiritual as well as physical and intellectual, should be discarded from the home, the play-place, and the school.
We have nowhere met a more acceptable embodiment of our views than in a chapter of Dr. Bushnell's Christian Nurture, entitled “ Plays and Pastimes, Holidays and Sundays," a portion of which we transfer to our pages.]
“ Having set the young of all the animal races a playing, and made their beginning an age of frisking life and joyous gambol, it would be singular if God had made the young of humanity an exception; or if, having put the same sportive instinct in their make, he should restrict them always to a carefully practical and sober mood. What indeed does he permit us to see, in the universal mirth-time which is given to be the beginning of every creature's life, but that he has, Himself, a certain pleasure in their exuberant life, and regards their gambols with a fatherly satisfaction? What, too, shall we judge, but that as all instincts are inserted for that to which they tend, so this instinct of play in children is itself an appointment of play?
Besides, there is a very sublime reason for the play-state of childhood which respects the moral and religious well-being of manhood, and makes it important that we should have our first chapter of life in this key. Play is the symbol and interpreter of liberty, that is, Christian liberty; and no one could ever sufficiently conceive the state of free impulse and the joy there is in it, save by means of this unconstrained, always pleasurable activity, that we call the play of children. Play wants no motive but play; and so true goodness, when it is ripe in the soul and is become a complete inspiration there, will ask no motive but to be good. Therefore God has pure posely set the beginning of the natural life in a mood that foreshadows the last and highest chapter of immortal character. Just as he has made hunger in the body to represent hunger in the soul, thirst in the body to represent thirst in the soul; what is sweet, bitter, sour in the taste to represent what is sweet, bitter, sour in the soul's feeling; lameness to represent the bobbling of false principle; the fierce combustion of heat to represent the rage of angry passion; all things natural to represent all things spiritual,--so he prepares, at the very beginning of our life, in the free self-impulsion of play, that which is to foreshadow the glorious liberty of the soul's ripe order and attainment in good. One is the paradise of nature be. hind us, the other the paradise of grace before us; and the recollection of one images to us, and stimulates us in, the pursuit of the other.
Holding this conception of the uses, and the very great importance of play, as a natural interpreter of what is highest and best in the grand problem of our life itself, we are led, on sober and even religious conviction, to hold in high estimation the age of play. As play is the forerunner of religion, so religion is to be the friend of play; to love its free motion, its happy scenes, its voices of glee, and never, by any needless austerities of control, seek to hamper and shorten its pleasures. Any sort of piety or supposed piety that is jealous of the plays and bounding activities of childish life, is a character of hardness and severity that has, so far at least, but a very questionable agreement with God's more genial and fatherly feeling. One of the first duties of a genuinely Christian parent is, to show a generous sympathy with the plays of his children ; providing playthings and means of play, giving them play-times, inviting suitable companions for them, and requiring them to have it as one of their pleasures, to keep such companions entertained in their plays, instead of playing always for their own mere self-pleasing. Sometimes, too, the parent, having a hearty interest in the plays of his children, will drop out for the time the sense of his years, and go into the frolic of their mood with them. They will enjoy no other play-time so much as that, and it will have the effect to make the authority so far unbent, just as much stronger and more welcome, as it has brought itself closer to them, and given them a more complete show of sympathy.
On the same principle, it has an excellent effect to make much of the birthdays of children, because it shows them, little and dependent as they are, to be held in so much greater estimation in the house. When they have each their own day, when that day is