Such a theory of education, which need not be careful to call itself a system of psychology, must be in harmony with the thought movements of the age; must regard education, not as a shut off compartment, but as being as much a part of life as birth or growth, marriage or work; and it must leave the pupil attached to the world at many points of contact. Before this great deliverance comes to us it is probable that many tentative efforts will be put forth, having more or less of the characters of a philosophy; notably, having a central idea, a body of thought with various members working in vital harmony. I beg to acknowledge my indebtedness to Dr Carpenter's for valuable teaching on the subject of habits contained in some two or three chapters of that work.
The treatment is not methodic, but incidental; here a little, there a little, as seemed to me most likely to meet the occasions of parents and teachers. But, if only in the volumes of the Home Education Series. The Children Require Country Air Part III 'Habit Is Ten Natures' I. The use of suggestion––even self suggestion––as an aid to the will, is to be deprecated, as tending to stultify and stereotype character. (This adjunct of the will is familiar to us as , whose office is to ease us for a time from will effort, that we may 'will' again with added power. "The consequence of truth is great; therefore the judgment of it must not be negligent."––Whichcote 1. These principles are limited by the respect due to the personality of children, which must not be encroached upon, whether by fear or love, suggestion or influence, or undue play upon any one natural desire. Therefore we are limited to three educational instruments––the atmosphere of environment, the discipline of habit, and the presentation of living ideas. By the saying, Education is an atmosphere, it is not meant that a child should be isolated in what may be called a 'child environment,' especially adapted and prepared; but that we should take into account the educational value of his natural home atmosphere, both as regards persons and things, and should let him live freely among his proper conditions.
I should add that in the course of a number of years the various essays have been prepared for the use of the Parents National Education Union in the hope that that Society might witness for a more or less coherent body of educational thought. They are not born either good or bad, but with possibilities for either good or evil. The principles of authority on the one hand and obedience on the other, are natural, necessary and fundamental; but 4. One thesis, which is, perhaps, new, that , appears to me to solve the question of curricula, as showing that the object of education is to put a child in living touch as much as may be of the life of Nature and of thought. Some of the members which develop from this nucleus have been exploited from time to time by educational thinkers, and exist vaguely in the general common sense, a notion here, another there. ______________ End of Preface _______________________ My attempt in the following volume is to the suggest to parents and teachers a method of education resting upon a basis of natural law; and to touch, in this connection, upon a mother's duties to her children. The Child Should Be Made Familiar With Natural Objects IX. These three principles (15, 16 and 17) should save children from some of the loose thinking and heedless action which cause most of us to live at a lower level than we need. We should allow no separation to grow up between the intellectual and 'spiritual' life of children; but should teach them that the divine Spirit has constant access to their spirits, and is their continual helper in all the interests, duties and joys of life. Physiologists tell us of the adaptation of brain structure to habitual lines of thought–– to our habits. In the saying that Education is a life, the need of intellectual and moral as well as of physical sustenance is implied.