It is told of Francis W. Parker, famous educator, that a mother came to him to talk about putting her six-year-old in school.
“Colonel Parker,” she began, “isn’t it about time we got Ray started in his education?”
“Madam,” he exclaimed, “you cannot mean that you have done nothing about his education all these years! You should have started it the day he was born. Hurry home. Don’t let another hour pass. You are already six years behind.”
Of course, Colonel Parker did not mean that she should have taught the boy to read, to figure, and to spell. The school would do that. Nor did he mean that actually the boy had not been learning from his parents all through the years. He was shocking her into the realization that the home had in fact already set the pattern for much that the child would carry through life. Feelings, attitudes, and habits of thinking, responding, and doing had been formed. Future experiences would of course modify them, but not erase them. Probably this mother had never been told so directly that parents are indeed engaged in a very effective kind of education. Sometimes it is of a not very desirable kind, for home conditions are not always of the best. Children learn quite as much from what they see and sense as from precept.
Sooner or later your children will be in school. As you read this article you will be thinking about the kinds of education you want them to get there. The education they get in the home will continue. You and the teachers will be partners, each engaged in your special duties, but working together toward the wholesome development of the particular abilities your children possess. (Continue below to page 2) (Continue below to page 2)