Abundant observation and clean reasoning are very apt to develop together, hence the importance of Nature study in the general system of schooling. Do not forget the old saying:
These are the things to study about. It is the parent’s duty to determine how best to teach them to the little tots. Perhaps they can be taught in the best manner by taking them close to Nature. This is the course I advise for headstrong children, those of excessive activity and tardy judgments. Teach them to observe and reason – they will come out all right.
One word more about domestic affairs. I do not believe in the multiplication of one’s necessities by constant indulgence. Self-denial is a wholesome thing for all, no matter how rich or poor. Learn to depend more on internal things and less on externals. I have been economical in my habits all my life; simple in my living and scrupulous in estimating the values of things. Though I never could tolerate the waste of a nickel I have gladly expended thousands of dollars to give my family and myself the advantages of travel, because I have put a high estimate on the cultural effects of contact with strange lands, peoples and customs. Nor have I been niggardly in extending assistance to those needing material aid and justly entitled to my help. Saving money is a fine moral tonic, and avoidance of folly in expenditures is a virtue well worth cultivating and inculcating. At several critical times in my life I might have met disaster but for my habits of thrift and self-denial. Let your children learn these habits and practice them.
In time like the present, where so many are being
obliged to reduce their expenses, and save very rigidly, those who have
lived beyond their means, or up to them, can see their folly.