Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Alexander Graham Bell

Esther has entered the what, why, and how phase of life. We are trying to encourage it. I recently stumbled across a DI .25 cent book that is a 40Th anniversary edition of the best of readers digest published in 1961. This article was written in 1922. It is about Alexander Graham Bell, and how he kept his mind young. in his words: "the education of the mind is after all not a mere question of remembering facts that someone else gives us. the mind should conduct it's own education to a better extent. And it cannot do this unless it thinks for itself. a mind that does not reason is comparatively useless. I have given the subject of self education a great deal of thought, and have evolved what you might call a 'rule of three' in regard to it. the rule is simply this: 'observe!, remember!, compare!" the article further explains that we can adopt this method of thinking and apply it to everyday life. but the part that caught my attention is when it explained how to teach this principle to your kids. I have applied it to answering Esther's questions with some success. we were watching the news and the weatherman described the day as "gloomy." Later that day Esther said "it is a gloomy day is it" (she has not learned compound words yet) then she said "what does gloomy mean?" I then applied this wise principle by asking her what color the sky is, then I asked her what happens when the sky is grey, and what we see in the sky: lightning, clouds, etc... and then we discussed what the sky looks like when it is not gloomy. we had a fun discussion about what it means to us, and how only on sunny (not gloomy) days can we play outside. and it all made sense. we should not just answer our kids (if we can help it) to best teach them to think for themselves. Esther has been using her new vocabulary word well the last week or so, because we have had a great many gloomy days.

("how to keep young mentally" from "The American Magazine" by Mary B. Mullett 1922)

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