Hide Articles List

3 articles on this Page

- ^^^^^^^ONCERNING WOMEN.

News
Cite
Share

^ONCERNING WOMEN. .< THE subject of Education appeals to all mothers, and from foreign countries we can often take hints which are of infinite value in the training of our own little ones. There are many methods of keeping school, and from America comes one of the most novel ideas-- that of taking the boys on a voyage round the world, so that they may learn by the direct method what sort of a globe we live on. Fancy studying your Homer amongst the ruins of Athens, and your Latin authors amongst the ancient cities of Rome and Pompeii. There is no need now for geography to be dull. Why, under these circumstances, it would be the most fascinating of recreations. However, we are not all boys, neither are we Americans, or very rich, so that this delightful method of instruction is not, I fear, for us or for our children. From Germany comes another scheme of education almost as fascinating, and certainly more practic- able, from the common sense point of view of more limited means. This is the scheme for the Forest Schools which are held near Berlin, and where the children of the very poor gain health and humanising influences which are usually denied them by their surroundings. A hundred and fifty children were taken from the very poorest part of the city. They arrived poor, pale-faced children, physically and morally de- fective. In a few months they left as strong, hardy-looking little youngsters, their cheeks tanned, and their bodies well set up and well knit by plenty of wholesome food and toil in the open air. The means by which these apparent miracles were wrought were fresh air, exercise, and bringing them into direct contact with the wonderful world of Nature. The day begins by breakfast, which the pupils get ready themselves, and then follows two hours of instruction. At eleven o'clock two hours' ramble into the woods while they study Natural History. After dinner, also prepared by the pupils, they rest in deck chairs after refreshing sleep, they have lessons in singing and gymnas- tics for an hour; then at six o'clock they go home. The splendid results obtained witness to the excellence of the method, and one cannot help wishing that the poor little children of London could receive like benefits. Think what lessons in Epping Forest might do for them I know the distance is great; but the old saying, Where there's a will there's a way," still holds good. The London County Council, by in- sisting on sanitary school premises and efficient playgrounds, has done good work, and we will hope that the time for out-door S( hools is at hand. Our asylums, workhouses, and prisons would not be so lamentably full, and the poor of the land would have the chance of becoming better citizens of the world and of the Empire. When we see the desperately poor in the villages of Wales and of Cornwall, we cannot but be deeply sorry for them but their lot cannot be com- pared with those that have neither fresh air, mountains, nor sea, and have barely a hole in which they may lay their heads. THE Societies which encourage national customs and the use of the mother tongue should meet with every encouragement and support the recent establishment of a branch of the" U ndeb y Ddraig Goch at Bangor is a step in the right direction. Madame Gwyneth Vaughan, Miss Mallt Williams (dressed in thirteenth century Welsh costume), and the Hon. William Gibson (in Irish costume) were some of the most enthusiastic members. Mrs. Bulkeley Owen was unfortunately prevented from attending through illness but in a letter, which was read at the meeting, she expressed her sympathy with the movement, adding that as the cuLi, ation of harp playing in Wales was somewhat handicapped, owing to the unwieldi- ness of the national triple harp, she offered a portable harp as a prize for harp playing. The Hon. William Gibson, who during his stay in North Wales has been learning Welsh with such effect, spoke in the Cymraeg, and mentioned the varied objects of the Union how it en- couraged the preservation of Welsh folk-songs, and the use of the mother tongue in the home and upon all occasions. THE other day an excellent little book was given to me, and all those who are interested in the spread of the Welsh language should get it. Published by Jones, of Conway, as a cheap Welsh reading book to be used in the elementary schools, it contains some beautiful poems by Caledfryn and Ceiriog, and some translations of Of Cashmere trimmed with Coarse Lace. Paper Pattern cut to any size, IS. 61d. Heine and Wordsworth by Prof. O. M. Edwards and Prof. Morris Jones. Mr. T. J. Williams contributes many of the shorter poems, and, with Prof. Morris Jones, shares the honours as compiler of this interesting little series of Welsh poems. WELSH people cannot appreciate too highly the significance and the value of the action taken by the Carnarvonshire Education Com- mittee regarding the teaching of Welsh in the lower standards. Unless a child has a thorough grasp of the language in infancy, it is exceed- ingly difficult for him to acquire it later. The example of such patriotic parents as Professor O. M. Edwards, Professor Morris Jones and Mrs. Tom Ellis in keeping the Welsh of their children pure cannot be too highly commended. To me it has seemed very sad that in the schools the children of the poor should even have their Bible taught to them in an alien tongue. Prof. Morris Jones, in his report, truly said, His book tells him nothing the language he reads he cannot understand, and the language he understands he cannot read." But now all this is to be altered and the children will have their first lessons, and that at a most important and impressionable age, in the mother tongue. As the Jesuits aptly said, Give us the child till he is seven, we care not what you do with him afterwards." It is to be feared that sometimes mothers and teachers do not realize how important is this period of inception. "As the twig is bent so will the tree grow," and the responsibility of those who mould the infant mind is incalcu- lable. The influence that we, consciously or unconsciously, exert upon those who surround us is so great that the strong man may well tremble at the results of his actions and even of his very thoughts and of those who surround him, the child is the most observant and receptive of all. I WHILE the English celebrate the Christmas festival and the birth of the year by going to pantomimes the Welsh take part in the Eistedd- fodau, which are held in all parts of the Princi- pality. In North Wales, however, the attendance has not been so large this year, owing to the great Revival, which is making itself felt in every direction. At Festiniog, Rhyl, Conway, Mold, Llansilin, Holyhead, Bangor, and Aber- ystwyth eisteddfodau have been held, and, with one or two exceptions, as usual, in connec- tion with the various churches and chapels. At Bangor the programme was mainly con- fined to the children, and the value of these festivals in encouraging them in music and in poetry, as well as the more domestic arts, is very great. The little ones take such a pleasure in the proceedings, and it is a real joy to see them Their lack of self consciousness and the readiness with which they contribute their mite to the evening's enjoyment augurs well for them in after life. The holding of these eisteddfodau -a custom which has come down to us from remote ages-is a great force for good, of which we may well be proud. I do not think it is saying too much to put down our recognised excellence in choral singing to their influence.

PAPER PATTERNS.

Advertising