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has such a one for children ten or twelve
and even younger, ought, if any sort of proportion is to be maintained, to have oilcloth on its drawing-room walls and chromos over that. The nursery walls are of far more importance than the drawing-room walls. And a little care and a very little expense, indeed, will make possible a room which shall be a veritable schoolroom. First of all, the walls must be plainly papered. A soft gray or olive is best. If there be a border above the rather low-set picture moulding, the picture in the border) may be deep cream, or, if one likes it, it may have a simple and unobtrusive little pattern of rose-buds or morning glories running over it. The moulding should be of wood to match the woodwork of the room. The pictures are next to be considered. Go to some shop where inexpensive copies of the old masters are for sale. The pictures which will be appropriate and which the children will come to love are endless. There ought to be a Sistine Madonna. If you can, let this not be a small picture. Let it hang well down from the moulding by a long wire, so that, if they like, the children may climb on a chair, and, as half of them will, talk to the child and touch the glass over the little face and hands. Then there are children by Van Dyke, a copy of Guido Reni's Aurora, etc."
One mother made it a habit to change her pictures about in the rooms of her children, so that her boy might find right before him when he awoke, as a surprise and a message from mother, some picture that had never been there before, and which he would therefore observe with new thoughts of its meaning.
Unquestionably there ought to be historic pictures of national heroes and scenes of patriotic interest; for example, in the case of an American home, pictures of Washington and Lincoln and Roosevelt; of the discovery of America, and the "Landing of the Pilgrims"; and sim
1 Some thoughtful children discovered that Raphael's model was not the mother of the child. They preferred Haushalter's Madonna which they saw was a real mother. They would like Bodenhausen for the same reason.
ilar pictures in other lands, with which the child should be introduced to the great stories of world history.
It would be a fine way to broaden a group of children old enough to be reading history to ask them to find out the names and stories of men corresponding to Washington, Lincoln, and Roosevelt in other countries. That would challenge them to think as well as read.
Children Hungry for Stories and Poems Mothers and fathers, be on the lookout for good stories to tell the children. See that your stock is large and constantly replenished. "Formal moral and religious instruction should begin with stories at home," says President G. Stanley Hall. "Stories are the natural food of children, but most of the children today are story-starved or filled up with ill-chosen stuff. Every mother should be a storyteller, and the father, too, should take part. Before the child goes to school, before he learns to read, he must obtain his moral values through the right kind of tales : Bible stories, in so far as they can be adapted to the child's need; fables of animals, nursery rhymes, legends of saints, stories of good and bad fairies, wherein virtue is made very attractive and wrongdoing black and ugly.” Dr. Hall tells of an Oriental grandmother who, though unable to read, could tell two hundred stories. How many are in your repertoire ?
And the family circle needs not only stories but poems, and especially story poems. Reading has ever been recog
2 Association Press, 347 Madison Avenue, New York City, issues a selection of “Poems of Action” (75c.), containing the sort of poems that have been found to be favorites of young people, especially of boys. Many of them should be in every child's memory store. The short stories of 0. Henry, in half a dozen volumes, are well adapted for wife and husband and other grown-ups to read aloud to the home group. Send for list to Doubleday, Page & Co., Garden City, New York. For Bible stories selected and simplified for little children, send $1 to Abingdon Press, 150 Fifth Avenue, New York City, for Hurlburt's Bible Stories. “Illustrated Bible Readings,' giving Bible stories in the actual words of the Bible, is better for older boys and girls and adults. Send $1 to the International Reform Bureau, 206 Pennsylvania Avenue., S. E., Washington, D. C.
nized as the very first work of mental education, but it has been interpreted too narrowly both by teachers and parents. A child has not really learned to read who is not able to read aloud entertainingly in his own home. Ability to do so in childhood and wifehood would do much to make evenings at home more popular than the dangerous allurements elsewhere. Let parents and teachers conspire to have children take home in memory something short and sweet every week to “read,” in the sense of reciting, at supper. And let parents read aloud to their children, if they know how or can learn how to read well, as a good example.
Then read from the treasure volume
And the night shall be filled with music,
"Do you do any literary work"? asked a neighbor of a mother. "Yes,” she replied, “I am writing two books." "What are their titles”? "John and Mary," she answered. “My business is to write upon the minds and hearts of my children the lessons that they will never forget.”
“When my children were young,” said a mother, “I thought the very best thing I could do for them was to give them myself. So I spared no pains to talk with them, to read to them, to teach them, to pray with them, to be a loving companion and friend to my children. I had to neglect my house often. I had no time to indulge myself in many things, which I should have liked to do. I was
so busy adorning their minds and cultivating their hearts' best affections that I could not adorn their bodies in fine clothes, though I kept them neat and comfortable at all times. I HAVE MY REWARD NOW. MY SONS ARE MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL: MY GROWN-UP DAUGHTER IS A CHRISTIAN WOMAN. I HAVE PLENTY OF TIME NOW TO SIT DOWN AND REST, PLENTY OF TIME TO KEEP MY HOUSE IN ORDER, PLENTY OF TIME TO INDULGE MYSELF, BESIDES GOING ABOUT MY MASTER'S BUSINESS WHEREVER HE HAS NEED OF ME. I HAVE A THOUSAND BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES OF THEIR CHILDHOOD TO COMFORT ME. NOW THAT THEY HAVE GONE OUT INTO THE WORLD, I HAVE THE SWEET CONSCIOUSNESS OF HAVING DONE ALL I COULD TO MAKE THEM READY FOR WHATEVER WORK GOD CALLS THEM TO DO.”
Mother as Son's Best Friend There were two boys in a home, and after a few happy years one was taken into the Shepherd's arms. The two boys and their mother had always knelt for the bed-time prayer and each had offered a simple petition. The first night that there were only two to kneel, the sobbing voice of the lonely brother uttered but one sentence: "Dear Lord, keep mother and me intimate." Said the mother, years after, “I consecrated my life to answer that prayer.” Did she have to give up anything? Yes; receptions and calls were secondary matters when the boy's friends needed entertaining. Embroidered doilies and hand-painted screens were of no account whatever beside the cultivation of intimacy with her boy and the answering of his prayer. "Always give me the first chance to help you, dear," she would say, and he did. Whatever was dear to his boyish heart found glad sympathy in her.
Both boys and girls need to keep "intimate" with both father and mother. And daily prayer might help to keep