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Title: Farm Boys and Girls
Author: McKeever, William Arch
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber's note:

      Text in italics is contained within underscores,
      i.e.: _italics_.

      Additional notes can be found at the end of the text.



The Rural Science Series

Edited by L. H. Bailey

FARM BOYS AND GIRLS

       *       *       *       *       *

The Rural Science Series


  THE SOIL.
  THE SPRAYING OF PLANTS.
  MILK AND ITS PRODUCTS.
  THE FERTILITY OF THE LAND.
  THE PRINCIPLES OF FRUIT-GROWING.
  BUSH-FRUITS.
  FERTILIZERS.
  THE PRINCIPLES OF AGRICULTURE. 15th Ed.
  IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE.
  THE FARMSTEAD.
  RURAL WEALTH AND WELFARE.
  THE PRINCIPLES OF VEGETABLE-GARDENING.
  FARM POULTRY.
  THE FEEDING OF ANIMALS.
  THE FARMER'S BUSINESS HANDBOOK.
  THE DISEASES OF ANIMALS.
  THE HORSE.
  HOW TO CHOOSE A FARM.
  FORAGE CROPS.
  BACTERIA IN RELATION TO COUNTRY LIFE.
  THE NURSERY-BOOK.
  PLANT-BREEDING. 4th Ed.
  THE FORCING-BOOK.
  THE PRUNING-BOOK.
  FRUIT-GROWING IN ARID REGIONS.
  RURAL HYGIENE.
  DRY-FARMING.
  LAW FOR THE AMERICAN FARMER.
  FARM BOYS AND GIRLS.
  THE TRAINING AND BREAKING OF HORSES.

  _Others in preparation._

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: PLATE I.

FIG. 1.--At least once each day the busy farm father may think of a way
to combine his work with the children's play.]


FARM BOYS AND GIRLS

by

WILLIAM A. McKEEVER

Professor of Philosophy
Kansas State Agricultural College



New York
The Macmillan Company
1913

All rights reserved

Copyright, 1912,
by the Macmillan Company.

Set up and electrotyped. Published February, 1912. Reprinted
August, 1912; January, June, 1913.

Norwood Press
J. S. Cushing Co.--Berwick & Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.



  DEDICATED
  TO THE SERVICE OF THE
  TEN MILLION BOYS AND GIRLS
  WHO ARE ENROLLED IN
  THE RURAL SCHOOLS
  OF AMERICA



PREFACE


In the preparation of this book I have had in mind two classes of
readers; namely, the rural parents and the many persons who are
interested in carrying forward the rural work discussed in the several
chapters. It has been my aim to give as much specific aid and direction
as possible. The first two chapters constitute a mere outline of some of
the fundamental principles of child development. It would be fortunate
if the reader who is unfamiliar with such principles could have a course
of reading in the volumes that treat them extensively. Nearly every
suggestion given in the main body of the book is based on what has
already either been undertaken with a degree of success or planned for
in some rural community.

I am very greatly indebted to the following persons and firms for their
kindness and generosity in lending pictures and cuts for illustrating
the book: E. T. Fairchild, State Superintendent of Public Instruction,
Topeka, Kansas; J. W. Crabtree, Principal State Normal School, River
Falls, Wisconsin; George W. Brown, Superintendent of Edgar County,
Paris, Illinois; O. J. Kern, Superintendent of Winnebago County,
Rockford, Illinois; Miss Jessie Fields, Superintendent of Page County,
Clarinda, Iowa; A. D. Holloway, General Secretary, County Y.M.C.A.,
Marysville, Kansas; Dr. Myron T. Scudder, of Rutgers College; Doubleday,
Page & Company, Garden City, New York; _Rural Manhood_, New York City;
_The Farmer's Voice_, Chicago, Illinois; _The American Agriculturist_,
New York City; _The Oklahoma Farmer_, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; _The
Inland Farmer_, Lexington, Kentucky; _The Farmer's Advocate_, Winnipeg,
Canada.

My thanks are also due _Successful Farming_, of Des Moines, Iowa, for
permission to use excerpts from President Kirk's article on the model
school, and portions of a series of brief articles written for the same
magazine by myself.

The references given at the close of the chapters have been selected
with considerable care. It will be found in nearly every case that they
give helpful and more extended discussions of the several topics treated
in the preceding chapter.

  WILLIAM A. McKEEVER.

  MANHATTAN, KANSAS.



TABLE OF CONTENTS


  CHAPTER                                                         PAGE

      I. BUILDING A GOOD LIFE                                        1
           What is a Good Life?                                      2
             1. Good Health                                          3
             2. Usefulness                                           3
             3. Moral Strength                                       4
             4. Social Efficiency                                    5
             5. Religious Interest                                   5
             6. Happiness                                            6
           Is the Human Stock comparatively Sound?                   7

     II. THE TIME TO BUILD                                          12
           What of the Human Instincts                              12
           The Dawning Instincts                                    12
           Social Sensitiveness Helpful                             19

    III. THE RURAL HOME AND CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT                   26
           What Agencies build up Character?                        26
             1. Play                                                27
             2. Work                                                30
             3. Recreation                                          33
           Moving to Town for the Children                          36
           A Back-to-the-country Club                               38

     IV. THE COUNTRY MOTHER AND THE CHILDREN                        41
           Poor Conditions of Women                                 42
           For the Sake of the Children                             44
             1. Surplus Nerve Energy                                44
             2. A Rest Period                                       45
             3. The Home Conveniences                               46
             4. The Mother's Outings                                47
             5. The Home Help                                       48
             6. The Children shield the Mother                      49
             7. Planning for the Children                           50
             8. A Common Conspiracy                                 51

      V. CONSTRUCTING THE COUNTRY DWELLING                          54
           Plans and Specifications not Available                   55
           What appeals to the Children                             57
           The House Plan                                           59
           How One Farmer does It                                   60
           Outbuildings and Equipment                               61
           Human Rights prior to Animal Rights                      61
           The Children's Room                                      64
           The Evening Hour                                         67

     VI. JUVENILE LITERATURE IN THE FARM HOME                       69
           How Good Thinking grows up and Flourishes                70
           Types of Literature                                      72
           A Selected List                                          75
           Literature on Child-rearing                              79
             1. Periodicals on Child-rearing                        80
             2. Books on Child-rearing                              80

    VII. THE RURAL CHURCH AND THE YOUNG PEOPLE                      82
           Decadence of Rural Life                                  83
           Work for the Ministry                                    84
           The Country Minister                                     86
           A Mistake in Training                                    89
           Rural Child-rearing                                      90
           The Churches too Narrow                                  92
           Constructive Work of the Church                          93
           An Innovation in the Rural Church                        95
           Spiritualize Child Life                                  97
           A Summary                                                98

   VIII. THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE RURAL SCHOOL                    101
           Radical Changes in the View-point and Method            102
           All have a Right to Culture                             103
           Work for a Longer Term                                  105
           Compulsory Attendance Laws Needed                       106
           Better Schoolhouses and Equipment                       107
             1. Location                                           108
             2. The Water Supply                                   109
             3. Size and Adaptation of Grounds                     109
             4. Improvement of School Grounds                      110
           A Model Rural School                                    112
           The Cornell Schoolhouse                                 115
           Help make a School Play Ground                          117
           General Instruction in Agriculture                      120
           Domestic Economy and Home Sanitation                    122
           Consolidation of Rural Schools                          123
           More High Schools Needed                                124
           Better Rural Teachers Needed                            125

     IX. THE COUNTY YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION              129
           Boys leave the Farm too Young                           130
           Purposes of the County Young Men's Christian
             Association                                           131
           How to organize a County Organization                   132
             1. Select a Good Leader                               133
             2. Local Leaders Necessary                            134
             3. A Committee on Finance                             134
             4. Little Property Ownership                          135
           How to conduct the Work                                 136
             1. Local and County Athletic Clubs                    136
             2. Debating and Literary Clubs                        137
             3. Receptions and Suppers                             138
             4. Educational Tours and Problems                     138
             5. Camping and Hiking                                 139
             6. Exhibitions                                        139
           Spirituality not lost Sight Of                          141
           Work in a sparsely Settled Country                      143

      X. THE FARMER AND HIS WIFE AS LEADERS OF THE YOUNG           146
           Preparation for the Service                             147
           Work persistently for Social Unity                      149
           Corn-raising and Bread-baking Clubs                     150
           Other Forms of Contests                                 151
           The Improvement of the School Situation                 152
           Home and School Play Problems                           154
           A Neighborhood Library                                  156
           Holidays and Recreation for the Young                   158
           Many over-work their Children                           160
           Federation for Country-life Progress                    161
           The Vocations of Boys and Girls                         162
           Other Local Possibilities                               164
           The Boy Scout Movement                                  165
           Rural Boy Scouts in Kansas                              166

     XI. HOW MUCH WORK FOR THE COUNTRY BOY                         171
           See that the Work is for the Boy's Sake                 172
           Not Enforced Labor, but Mastery                         174
           Provide Vacations for the Boy                           176
           A Tentative Schedule of Hours                           178
           Think out a Reasonable Plan                             179

    XII. HOW MUCH WORK FOR THE COUNTRY GIRL                        183
           A Balanced Life for the Girl                            185
           Work begins with Obedience                              186
           Working the Girls in the Field                          188
           Some Specific Suggestions                               189
           Do you Own your Daughter?                               190
           Difficult to make a Schedule                            191
           Teach the Girl Self-supremacy                           192
           Summary                                                 194

   XIII. SOCIAL TRAINING FOR FARM BOYS AND GIRLS                   197
           A Happy Mean is Needed                                  197
           A Social Renaissance in the Country                     199
           Conditions to guard Against                             200
             1. The Social Companionship of Girls                  201
             2. Bad Companionships for Boys                        202
             3. Secret Sex Habits                                  204
             4. The So-called Bad Habits                           205
           A Center of Community Life                              207
           Invite the Young to the House                           208
           How to conduct a Social Entertainment                   209
           What about the Country Dance?                           211
           Additional Forms of Entertainment                       212
             1. The Social Hour at the Religious Services          212
             2. A Country Literary Society                         213
             3. The Social Side of the Economic Clubs              215
           Some Concluding Suggestions                             215

    XIV. THE FARM BOY'S INTEREST IN THE BUSINESS                   220
           What is in your Boy?                                    220
           Much Experimentation Necessary                          221
             1. Willingness to Work                                222
             2. Ability to Save                                    223
           Start on a Small Scale                                  224
           Give your Son a Square Deal                             225
           Keep the Boy's Perfect Good Will                        226
           Some will be retained on the Farm                       227
           The Awakening often comes from Without                  229
           An Awakening in the South                               229
           Partnership between Father and Son                      231
           Summary and Concluding Suggestions                      232

     XV. BUSINESS TRAINING FOR THE COUNTRY GIRL                    235
           Is the Country Girl Neglected?                          236
           Why the Girl leaves the Farm                            237
           Certain Rules to be Observed                            239
             1. Teach the Girl to Work                             239
             2. Teach her Business Sense                           240
             3. Train her to transact Personal Business            241
             4. Make her the Family Accountant                     242
             5. Miserliness to be Avoided                          243
             6. Teach her to Give                                  244
             7. Teach the Meaning of a Contract                    245
             8. Prepare her to deal with Grafters                  246
           Should there be an Actual Investment?                   247

    XVI. WHAT SCHOOLING SHOULD THE COUNTRY BOY HAVE                250
           Changes in Rural School Conditions                      250
           The Boy a Bundle of Possibilities                       252
           Classes of Native Ability                               253
           The Great Talented Class                                254
           Round out the Boy's Nature                              256
           Other Important Matters                                 257
           Develop an Interest in Humanity                         259

   XVII. WHAT SCHOOLING SHOULD THE COUNTRY GIRL HAVE               262
           Special Problems relating to the Girl                   262
           Protecting the Girl at School                           263
           Lessons in Music and Art                                265
           The Reward will come in Time                            267
           The Mother's Office as Teacher                          268
           Home-life Education                                     270
           Education for Supremacy                                 271
           An Outlook for Social Life                              272

  XVIII. THE FARM BOY'S CHOICE OF A VOCATION                       275
           Should the Farmer's Son Farm?                           275
           Impatience of Parents                                   276
           What of Predestination?                                 277
           Three Methods of Vocational Training                    279
             1. The Apprentice Method                              280
             2. The Cultural Method                                280
             3. The Developmental Method                           281
           The Farmer Fortunate                                    282
           What College for the Country Boy?                       283
           The Foundation in Work                                  284
           Clean up the Place                                      285
           Money Value of an Agricultural Education                286
           A Successful Vocation Certain                           287

    XIX. THE FARM GIRL'S PREPARATION FOR A VOCATION                290
           What is the Outlook?                                    290
           Desirable Occupations for Women                         292
             1. May teach the Young                                293
             2. May take up Stenography                            294
             3. May do Social Work                                 295
             4. May secure Clerkships                              296
           A College Course for the Girl                           298
           Associations with Refined Young Men                     299
           Make the Daughter Attractive                            300
           Summary and Conclusion                                  301

     XX. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE OUTLOOK                             306
           Strive for Preconceived Results                         306
           Consult Expert Advice                                   308
           Meet Each Awakening Interest                            310
           Work for Social Democracy                               311
           The Outlook very Promising                              312
           The Modern Service Training                             314
           The State doing its Part                                316
           The New Era of Religion                                 319
           Final Conclusion                                        319

   INDEX                                                           323



ILLUSTRATIONS


  PLATE

      I. Fig. 1. At least once each day the busy farm
           father may think of a way to combine his
           work with the children's play                _Frontispiece_

                                                           FACING PAGE

     II. Fig. 2. Canadian boys breaking young oxen                   6

    III. Fig. 3. An attractive Kansas home                          28

     IV. Fig. 4. A day nursery in the country                       42

      V. Fig. 5. A rural home in the South                          56

     VI. Fig. 6. A well-equipped farmhouse                          64

    VII. Fig. 7. Children playing under the shade trees             72

   VIII. Figs. 8-9. Rural church, Plainfield, Illinois              86

     IX. Fig. 10. Village church at Ogden, Kansas                   92

      X. Fig. 11. Corn Sunday in an Illinois church                 96

     XI. Fig. 12. A country schoolhouse in California              108
         Fig. 13. Type of model rural school used in
           Kansas                                                  108

    XII. Fig. 14. Model rural school at Kirksville, Missouri.
           Normal                                                  112

   XIII. Fig. 15. Rear view of the Kirksville school               114

    XIV. Fig. 16. Using Babcock tester                             120

     XV. Figs. 17-21. Consolidated school and those it
           displaced                                               124

    XVI. Fig. 22. The Cornell rural schoolhouse                    126

   XVII. Fig. 23. A.Y.M.C.A. play club                             132

  XVIII. Fig. 24. Y.M.C.A. Convention in Ohio                      138

    XIX. Fig. 25. Jerry Moore, champion corn raiser                150

     XX. Fig. 26. A lonely schoolhouse                             164

    XXI. Fig 27. Tennis in the country                             180
         Fig. 28. Country play festival                            180

   XXII. Fig. 29. Industrial exhibit in rural school               192

  XXIII. Fig. 30. Agricultural and domestic science club           208

   XXIV. Fig. 31. School and church in Canada                      212

    XXV. Fig. 32. Kansas prize winners                             230

   XXVI. Fig. 33. Girls' doll display                              238

  XXVII. Fig. 34. Boys whittling                                   252

  XXVIII. Fig. 35. Study of corn                                   256

    XXIX. Fig. 36. School gardeners                                270

     XXX. Fig. 37. Country schoolgirls                             290

    XXXI. Fig. 38. A girls' class in sewing                        300

   XXXII. Fig. 39. Girl sowing seed                                312
          Fig. 40. Boy thinning vegetables                         312



FARM BOYS AND GIRLS



CHAPTER I

_BUILDING A GOOD LIFE_


If you were about to begin the construction of a dwelling house, what
questions would most likely be uppermost in your mind? If this house
were intended for your own use, you would doubtless consider among other
important matters those of comfort, convenience of arrangement,
attractiveness of appearance, strength, and durableness. The great
variety of dwellings to be seen on every hand is outwardly expressive of
the great variety of ideals in the minds of the people who construct
them. No matter what means there may be available for the purpose, it
may be said that he who builds a house thereby illustrates in concrete
form his inner character.

With practically the same quality of materials, one man will construct a
house apparently with the thought that its chief purpose is to be looked
at. Much work and expense will be put upon outer show and embellishment,
while in its inner arrangements it may be exceedingly cramped and
thoughtlessly put together. Another will erect his building with a
thought of placing it on the market. Cheap workmanship, weak and faulty
joinings, and the like, will be concealed by some thin covering meant to
last until a profitable sale has been made and some innocent purchaser
caught with a mere shell of a house in his possession. Occasionally,
however, there is found a man whose plans conform to such ideals as
those first named.


WHAT IS A GOOD LIFE?

As with the construction of a house, so it is in some measure with the
building of a character. Some lives apparently are constructed to look
at; that is, with the thought that outer adornment and a mere appearance
of worth and beauty constitute the essential qualities. Other lives are,
in a sense, made to sell. Not infrequently parents are found developing
their boys and girls as if the chief purpose were to place them
somewhere or other in the best possible money market. A life is worth
only as much as it will bring in dollars and cents, is apparently the
predominating thought of such persons. And then, occasionally, a life is
built to _live in_; that is, with the idea that intrinsic worth
constitutes the essential nature of the ideal character.

But what _is_ a good life? And why is not this precisely the question
for all parents to ask themselves at the time they begin the development
of the lives of their own boys and girls? Assuming a fairly sound
physical and mental inheritance on the part of the child and the given
environment as the raw materials of construction, what ideals should
parents have uppermost in mind before undertaking the tremendously
important and interesting duties of constructing worthy manhood and
womanhood out of the inherent natures of their children?

1. _Good health._--It is a difficult task to develop a sound, efficient
life without the fundamental quality of good health. So it may be well
to remind parents of this fact and to urge them especially to avoid in
the lives of the children, first, the beginnings of those lighter
ailments which frequently grow into menacing habits--for example, the
diseases that become chronic as a result of unnecessary exposure to the
weather--and second, those various contagious diseases which so often
permanently deplete the health of children, such as scarlet fever and
whooping cough. It is now held by medical authority that every
reasonable effort should be made to prevent children from taking such
infectious ailments--that the so-called diseases of children can and
should be practically all avoided.

2. _Usefulness._--The newer ideals of character-building call for the
early training of all children as if they were to enter permanently upon
some bread-winning pursuit. Such training is a most direct means of
culture and refinement, provided it be correlated with the proper amount
of book learning and play and recreation. Such uniform and
character-building discipline tends to preserve the solidarity of the
race, and to acquaint all the young with the thoughts and feeling of the
great productive classes. It may be this is now regarded as both a
direct means of culture and of leading the young mind into an intimate
acquaintance with the lives of the masses. Such training is regarded
also as one of the best means of preserving our social democracy.
Therefore, although on account of inherited wealth the child may
apparently be destined for a life of comparative ease, even then there
is every justification for teaching him early how to work as if he must
do so to earn his own living. Much more will be said about this point
later.

3. _Moral strength._--In the construction of a good life, moral strength
must be estimated as one of the important foundation stones. But this
quality is not so much a gift of nature or an inheritance as it is an
acquisition. It cannot be bought or acquired through merely hearing
about it, but it must come as a result of a large number of experiences
of trial and error. The child acquires moral self-reliance from the
practice of overcoming temptation in proportion to his strength, the
test being made heavier as fast as his ability to withstand temptation
increases. As will be shown later, it proves weakening to the character
of the growing child to keep him entirely free from temptation and the
possible contamination of his character in order that he may grow up
"good."

4. _Social efficiency._--The good life is not merely self-sustaining in
an economic way, but it is also trained in the performance of altruistic
deeds. In building up the lives of the young it will be necessary and
most helpful to think of the matter of social efficiency. Therefore, it
will be seen to that the child have practice in assuming the leadership
among his fellows, in taking the initiative on many little occasions,
and in some instances to the extent of standing out against the combined
sentiment of his young associates. Of course, during all this time he
will be backed strongly by the advice and the insistent direction of his
parents, the idea being to induce him to think out his own social
problems and to carry forward any suitable plans of a social nature that
he may devise.

5. _Religious interest._--Few parents will deny that religious
instruction is just as essential to the development of a good society as
is intellectual instruction. Indeed, there is much evidence to bear out
the conviction that religion is a deep and permanent instinct in all
normal human beings. This being the case, it is fair to say that such an
instinct should have some form of awakening and indulgence in the life
of the child. However, there is no thought or intention of prescribing
any particular form of religious faith. He might at least be sent to
Sunday school and to church regularly where he may be led to do a small
amount of religious thinking on his own account.

6. _Happiness._--The good life is a happy life. But nearly all the
students of human problems seem to think that happiness eludes the grasp
of the one who seeks it in a direct way. "I want my children to be happy
and enjoy life," is often the remark of well-meaning parents. They then
proceed as if joy and happiness could be had for money. It is true that
during his early years of indifference to any serious concern or
personal responsibility, the child may be made extremely happy by giving
him practically everything his childish appetites may call for and
allowing him to grow up in idleness. But there comes a time when the
normal individual begins to question his own personal and intrinsic
worth. The instincts and desires of mature life come on and if there be
not available the means for the realization of the better instinctive
ambitions, then bitterness and woe are likely to become one's permanent
portion.

However, it may be put down as a certainty that happiness and
contentment will naturally come in full measure into the life that has
been well built during the years of childhood and youth. If the good
health has been conserved, a life of usefulness and service prepared
for, moral strength built into the character, social efficiency looked
after continuously, and something of religious experience not
neglected--it will most certainly follow as the day follows the night
that the wholesome enjoyments and the durable satisfactions of living
will come to such an individual.

[Illustration: PLATE II.

FIG. 2.--These Canadian lads are enjoying their first lessons in
live-stock management. We call their conduct play, but surely no one
was ever more in earnest than they.]


IS THE HUMAN STOCK COMPARATIVELY SOUND?

There are now among the students of the home problems many who are
seriously interested in the matter of breeding a better human stock.
Many noteworthy conclusions have already been reached, and ample proofs
have been produced to show that the human animal follows the same
general lines of evolution as do the lower animal orders. It is shown in
general, for example, that little or nothing that man has learned or
acquired during his life is transmitted to his offspring. That is, even
though a man devote many years to the intensive study of music or
mathematics or the languages, such study will not affect the ability of
his child in the study of the specialized subject. The same unaffected
result obtains in respect to any other form of expertness of the merely
acquired sort. For example, the fact that a man through long practice
becomes expert in the use of the typewriter does not affect the
character of the child in respect to such ability. It is a no less
difficult task for the child to learn to master the use of the
typewriter keyboard.

On the other hand, it is shown very conclusively that physical and
mental characters inborn in the life of a parent tend at all times to be
transmitted to the child, although many traits are known to be wanting
in the first generation of children and to appear in the second or
successive generations. According to the law of Mendel, the traits of
the parents are transmitted to the child about as follows: one-half of
the elements of one's physical and mental natures are inherited from his
parents, one-fourth from his grandparents, one-eighth from his
great-grandparents, and so on. In any given case, however, there might
be great variation from this rule of the averages, just as actual men
and women vary more or less widely from the average human height of so
many feet and inches.

There is no thought here of discussing the intricate problems of
eugenics. The purpose of this brief dogmatic sketch is that of
attempting to induce parents to believe that the great mass of our
American-born children are comparatively sound in their physical and
mental inheritances. The pathologists profess to be able to prove that
nature is most kind to the new-born child in respect to inheritance of
disease. In fact, it is shown that very few diseases are directly
transmitted through the blood, and that many once so regarded are now
found to be infectious in their natures. There is considerable
indication, however, that the children of the diseased--tuberculous
parents, for example,--inherit a weakened power of resistance for such
disease. But this matter is somewhat foreign to our present discussion.

Best of all, for our present consideration, is the great mass of
evidence sustaining the theory that about ninety-nine per cent of our
new-born infants are potentially good in an economic and moral sense.
That is to say, this great majority of the young humanity have latent
within their natures at the beginning of life the possibilities of
development into sound, self-reliant manhood and womanhood.

So, the writer of these lines would gladly lead rural parents to the
point of being very courageous and optimistic about their infant
children. He would have them see in the latter all the possibilities of
good and efficiency that they may care to attempt to bring out by
thoughtful and conscientious training. For that matter, it can be shown
that many of the leaders of men are constantly springing up out of the
ranks of the common masses and from those of humble parentage. Some of
these great leaders, it is true, are what may be called accidental
geniuses in respect to their native strength and their persistent life
purposes. But many others, and perhaps the majority of them, are merely
men and women who have been reasonably sound at birth and who have been
trained from childhood to maturity in a manner that best served to build
up strong, efficient character.


REFERENCES

    The references given at the close of each chapter are meant
    to direct the reader to specific treatment of the topics
    named. It is thought that nearly every chapter or book
    referred to will be found helpful and instructive to such
    persons as may naturally become interested in this volume. In
    some instances a line of comment is given to make clearer the
    contents of the reference.

    Must Children have Children's Diseases? Newton. _Ladies' Home
    Journal_, April, 1910.

    _Dietetic and Hygienic Gazette._ Gazette Publishing Company,
    New York. $1 per year, monthly.

    The Miracle of Life. J. H. Kellogg, M.D. Good Health
    Publishing Company, Battle Creek, Mich. Read especially pp.
    363-388, "How to be Strong."

    Our Duty to Posterity. Editorial. _The Independent_,
    February. 1909.

    Relation of Science to Man. Professor A. W. Small. _American
    Journal of Sociology_, February, 1908.

    Character Building. Marian M. George. A. Flanagan Company.
    Treats the ethical problems of the home.

    Through Boyhood to Manhood. Ennis Richmond. Chapter 1,
    "Usefulness." Longmans.

    Making the Most of Our Children. Mary Wood-Allen, M.D.
    Chapter IX, "Keeping the Boy on the Farm." McClurg.

    Youth. G. Stanley Hall. Chapter XII, "Moral and Religious
    Training." Appleton.

    The Contents of a Boy. E. L. Moore. Chapter VI, "Social
    Interests." Jennings & Graham, Cincinnati.

    Mind in the Making. E. J. Swift. Chapter II, "The Criminal
    Natures of Boys." Scribners.

    The Young Malefactor. Dr. Thomas Travis. Chapter II, "The
    Child born Centuries Too Late." Crowell.

    The Family Health. M. Solis-Cohen, M.D. Chapter I, "The
    Preservation of Health." Penn Publishing Company,
    Philadelphia.

    The Durable Satisfactions of Life. Dr. Charles W. Eliot.
    Crowell. Points out ably the higher way.

    The Study of Children. Francis Warner, M.D. Chapter IV,
    "Observing the Child. What to Look at and For." The
    Macmillan Company.

    What makes a Liberal Education. Editorial. _The Independent_,
    July 1, 1909.

    Relation of the Physical Nature of the Child to His Mental
    and Moral Development. George W. Reed. _Annual Report
    National Educational Association_, 1909, p. 305.



CHAPTER II

_THE TIME TO BUILD_


We shall continue to assume that the reader, if a parent, is thinking of
his child as being in the position of one whose character requires
constant attention in order that it may be built up through the right
sort of training and the right sort of practices. Just as certainly as
there is a best time in the season to plow corn and also a time not to
plow, as there is a time to plow deep and another time to plow shallow,
so there is unquestionably a best time to give the child any particular
form of training or to withhold it. In general, it may be said that the
most effective training in respect to the human young is that which
centers most closely around the childish interests and instincts.


WHAT OF THE HUMAN INSTINCTS

By observing critically for a few days the conduct of an infant child,
one may notice two or three pronounced instincts at work producing
helpful results in the little life.

1. There is the instinct to nurse, which is so fundamental in securing
the food with which to sustain and build up the body.

2. There is the accessory instinct of crying, also often necessary as
nature's signal for another intake of the food supply. Associated with
these two instincts are a number of reflexes which take care of the
important organic processes, such as digestion, assimilation, and
excretion. Now, we have practically all there is to the "character" of
the human infant. He has, as yet, no instinct for fighting, for sexual
love, or for business. And any effort to arouse and make use of the
last-named dormant qualities would be futile as well as ridiculous. In
respect to a vast majority of the things to be learned, the child is a
mere bundle of potentialities, all of which must bide their time for an
awakening. In short, wise parents soon learn that the center of life in
the infant child is in the stomach, and that if he be fed rightly, kept
much in the open air, clothed comfortably, and bathed frequently, the
body-building processes will usually go on in a satisfactory manner.

3. Although the little life seems so tiny and the daily round of
infantile activities so simple and monotonous, the character-developing
processes are already making their subtle beginnings. For example, the
first lessons in habit are being inculcated through the comparative
rhythm in the infant's life. It will be found both conducive to good
health and helpful to character-development to attend to all the
infant's needs with strict regularity. Let us follow the new-born child
around his little cycle and see what happens. First, he is given a
hearty meal, which is followed at once by perhaps two hours of profound
sleep. Then, there is a gradual waking, the body writhes and wiggles
slightly, and then more, and then still more, until a loud cry is set
up. Under healthy conditions the crying should go on for a very few
minutes, as it helps to send the good blood through every part of the
body, purifying and building up the parts and carrying out the effete
matter. The function of excretion is not only thus much aided, but the
nervous equilibrium is completely restored. The little life has now
swung completely round to the beginning point of two hours previously
and it is ready to start on another journey with the intake of another
hearty meal.

It will be found that the life circle described above continues with
slight variations for the first few weeks, the child sleeping probably
twenty to twenty-two hours out of twenty-four, if it be in a natural
state of health. But slowly the conduct of the infant will become more
complex, and that in response to the growths and changes taking place
within his body. It will be found that he can take a heartier meal, can
stay awake longer, kick harder, wriggle more, and cry louder as the days
multiply. In a month or so his eyes will be seen following some
brilliant or attractive moving body, while the impulsive movements of
the hands will begin to suggest some slight definition of their conduct.
Not long thereafter, the baby smile will break out in a reflex fashion
and the hands will likewise grasp objects placed in the little palms.
Coördinate with these new activities, nature is at work storing up new
nerve structures and cells, especially in the region of the spinal cord
and the cranial centers.

4. The child is all the while learning. As yet, there is little for the
caretaker to do other than to feed the infant with exceeding care and
regularity, and to enjoy the awakening of the new infant activities. In
four to six months, the young learner will lead a much more complex
life,--sitting alone, holding things in his hands, and looking about the
room. But it must be understood that he still hears and sees very few
things in a definite way. Then, in the next two or three months he will
first creep,--he should in time be induced to do so if possible for the
sake of his health,--at length he will stand upright, and finally walk.
None of these processes must be hastened, although they may be aided
when the inner prompting and strength warrant such conduct.

5. During the second year there will probably break out with sudden and
surprising strength the new instinct of anger. It has been latent there
all the time, but the low degree of intelligence and of nerve structure
has not given it proper support and indulgence. But on an occasion there
is perhaps taken from the child some cherished plaything, when he
suddenly flies into a rage, yelling, screaming, kicking, and growing red
in the face. This outburst of rage is a most interesting and enjoyable
aspect to the parent who rightly understands children, although some
ignorantly make it a matter of deep concern, regarding it as significant
of a vicious character in the coming boy and man.

The purpose of this present discussion is to illustrate how the human
instincts come into their functions at various times during the life of
the growing child. And the further purpose is to urge that such thing be
_watched for and met with just the sort of training necessary for
permanent and helpful results_.

Now, let the little child fly into a rage two or three times and have
his anger appeased through indulgence in the thing he cries for, and he
has acquired his first lesson in the management of the parent or nurse.
He has learned that if he wants a thing, all he needs to do is to squall
or yell and the desired results will be forthcoming. But this childish
rage really furnishes the occasion for the beginning of some
disciplinary lessons. "Should I give the child everything he cries for,
or withhold the desired object until he quits?" asks an anxious parent.
Neither rule is necessarily the right one, and yet both, on occasions,
may be correct. Suppose, instead of the infant you have a five-year-old
boy who cries for a loaded revolver he happens to see in your hand.
Would you give it to him to stop his crying, or withhold it? Suppose
again he should cry for the return of his own plaything which some one
unjustly snatched from him. Would you return his plaything to stop his
crying, or let him cry it out? Now, here is implied the correct answer
in dealing with the outburst of anger in the infant. It is all a matter
of justice and fairness. If some agency, human or otherwise, snatches
his food from his mouth, and the child squalls for its return, indulge
the infant at once. If he has been well fed, comfortably clad and
bathed, and under every proper consideration should lie still and behave
himself, then do not run and take him up because he happens to be trying
your patience with his squalling. Hold him to it and let him bawl it
out. There is really nothing better coming to him if you are thinking of
the development of his character--and your own.

6. So, somewhat later on you will find this same instinct of anger
showing itself in the various forms of fighting and quarreling. The
parent who understands the true natures of healthy children will not
worry for a moment because the children show natural dispositions for
contention and combativeness. On the other hand, it will be understood
that these very tendencies furnish the occasion of many a lesson in
social ethics. How can the child ever learn to be just and fair to his
mates or square and considerate in his dealings with adults unless it be
through the give-and-take experiences that come from attempting to get
more than his share,--and failing much of the time,--and from attempting
to over-ride the rights and privileges of others, and having such
attempts properly thwarted? Indeed, it may be regarded as a great
misfortune to the child if he has to grow up as the only one in a home
and is denied the daily companionship of those of his own age from whom
he may learn justice and fairness as a result of his attempts to get
more than is just and fair for himself.

7. The watchful parents will observe that perhaps some time during the
second half year, and with some pronounced repetitions later, there will
be clear manifestations of the instinct of fear on the part of the
child. Again, there is nothing for deep concern other than to meet this
instinct in a general way as has been observed for the others named and
to give the proper training. Fear must have been a human necessity
during many years of savagery and barbarism. It still has its positive
and negative values in the development of character. It serves as a
deterrent from dangerous and criminal acts. It is also found to deter
the growing infant from doing many a thing which he ought to be learning
to do. Fear shows its most interesting aspects in the form of what has
been called social sensitiveness; that is, bashfulness, shyness,
reticence, and the like.

Parents should by all means watch closely the various childish and
youthful tendencies to fear, allowing those fears which promise to be
helpful to remain in the life or to die out slowly through counteracting
conduct; and eliminating those other forms which would seem to serve no
useful purpose. Examples of the latter sort would be the fear of
ferocious animals and of murderers. Such mortal enemies are so uncommon
in this civilized land that fear of them will probably be of no service
to life. On the other hand, it may stunt and deter the development of
courage. Especially do such fears tend to induce the habit of
unnecessary concern and deep worry, thus destroying the peace and
happiness and cutting off the length of years of many members of our
society.

8. There is no questioning the value of social sensitiveness in respect
to the development of character in the young. Some degree of bashfulness
and embarrassment in dealing with people, especially those regarded by
him as of superior worth, may be considered an actual asset in the life
of the growing boy. This bashfulness will give him a rich inner
experience of doubts and fears, and of hopes and triumphs. Slowly, under
proper guidance and direction, the sensitiveness wears away through
repeated experience of a contrary sort, and such qualities as create a
self-reliance take its place.

On the other hand, it is doubtless a misfortune, especially for the boy,
to become blasé--indifferent and unembarrassed in the presence of people
of all ranks and conditions--while he is yet a mere lad. Under our
present organization of society, the boy who would win the life race
must have much experience of trial and error, of failure and success,
and of tribulation and triumph; and all that for the sake of a
self-reliant character. Now, the boy who has lost all sense of
embarrassment in the presence of others is likely to be denied the
stirring inner experiences just named, and to settle down in an
indifferent, self-satisfied attitude toward the big problems of human
conduct. It may be counted, therefore, as an indication of much promise
and advantage that the country youth and the country maiden continue to
be comparatively "green" and bashful during the period of their
adolescence.

9. The instinct of sexual love will manifest itself at the proper time
and age. Before so doing, certain organic changes and inner nerve
developments must take place. Parents may learn some lessons from
observation of this instinct that will apply to practically all the
others. For example, there should be no attempt to hurry the
manifestation and the functioning of the instinct, nor should the
training necessary for its development and refinement be denied or
withheld. Of all the many inner awakenings that come to the developing
human being, there is probably none that quite matches the surging
energy of sexual love in healthy young manhood and womanhood. And to an
extraordinary degree, opportunities for instruction and development of
the character become present at this time.

First of all, parents need to be reminded of the naturalness and
wholesomeness of the sex instincts in adolescent boys and girls. They
must be urged to provide carefully for its natural growth through the
proper commingling of the sexes in a social way, and yet there must be
preserved in the young lives just enough strangeness and mystery about
the sex matters as to indulge the poetic and the romantic aspects of the
unfolding natures. It need not, therefore, be a matter of worry and
unusual concern to parents if their fifteen-year-old son and a
neighbor's thirteen-year-old daughter show pronounced tendencies to be
"crazy in love" with each other. However, this situation furnishes most
fitting opportunities for teaching the boy courtly manners, gallantry,
consideration for women of all ages; and that through and by means of
his own personal experience. In fact, this stirring period of sex-love
opens up in the mind of the boy reflections that tend to run out into
every possible avenue of his future life.

Likewise, the girl. That same little girl who shortly ago hated boys and
declared she would never have anything to do with them is now
manifesting much interest in the youth of her acquaintance. This thing
cannot be laughed to scorn, or scolded away, or whipped out of the life
of either boy or girl. Its roots are in the sex organs as well as in the
heart. This first love period furnishes the rarest opportunities for
teaching the girl proper lessons in respect to her comeliness, her
purity of thought, and the sweetness of her own personal character. If
during this time she be withheld entirely from wholesome association
with boys and young men, there is a probability that she may become a
drone or a mope, and especially that she may lose valuable training in
the acquisition of those winsome ways so helpful to young women in the
matter of their obtaining suitable life companions.

Perhaps less need be said in respect to giving the growing son those
forms of social training which make it possible for him to win to his
side an attractive helpmate. But beyond the question of a doubt there
can and should be much done by way of training the daughter in this
respect. In addition to her good health, her moral self-reliance, and
those other desirable qualities illustrated in a preceding paragraph,
the young woman who is thoroughly prepared for meeting successfully the
issues of life has had careful training in all the practices that refine
and beautify her character.

This duty of rural parents to the growing daughter is no less imperative
than in the case of city parents. It may be considered as an excellent
way of planning for the future happiness and well-being, not merely for
one, but doubtless for an entire family, if the growing girl be indulged
and directed reasonably in social matters during this period of
greatest strength of her natural sex instinct. This thing cannot be
safely put off a few years with the thought that the family will move to
town and then the girl may have her proper opportunities of training.
After such procrastination and neglect, it becomes too late ever to
correct the many faults of omission.

10. There develops somewhat late in the lives of young men and young
women what might be called the "homing" instinct, which amounts to
nothing other than a deep and pronounced prompting from within to set
definitely about the matter of getting into a home of one's own and
providing for and building it up. This is different from the mere sex
instinct named above, although perhaps an outgrowth of it. It must be
noted in passing that this homing instinct, when at its strongest,
furnishes the proper occasion for instruction in respect to the home and
the home-building affairs. Happy indeed is the young man or the young
woman who, after a period of such instruction, may have the opportunity
of settling down in a suitable dwelling place and there beginning the
establishment of the ideal family life.

11. Unquestionably there dawns in the life of normal young men--and
perhaps to a milder degree in respect to young women--a pronounced
instinct of a business and economic sort. This inner prompting is
doubtless associated with the two last named. It may be observed by any
person who knows how to study the lives of children and young people
that some particular youth who a few months ago was a spendthrift,
indifferent of his future needs and welfare, is now heard to declare
emphatically again and again that he must get into business, must save
and invest his means and provide for his future needs. So, there is not
a little evidence in effect that we have here another inner development
of the nerve mechanism. And the time is most fit and opportune for the
parents to exhaust every reasonable effort to discover what the youth is
best suited for as a life practice and to guide him on toward the
realization of that purpose. Much more will be said in another chapter
in respect to the choice of a vocation.


REFERENCES

    Rural parents who develop an intensive interest in the
    child-training problems will find it most profitable to read
    somewhat extensively in the texts that are not too direct but
    that give a careful treatment of the fundamental principles
    of child psychology. King's and O'Shea's books listed below
    are of this special character. For a fuller list, see Chapter
    VI.

    The Child: A Study in the Evolution of Man. A. F.
    Chamberlain. Chapter IV, "The Period of Childhood." Scribner.
    A sound and somewhat scholarly treatment.

    Boy Wanted. Nixon Waterman. Chapter I, "The Awakening";
    Chapter II, "Am I a Genius?" Forbes & Co., Chicago.

    Education of the Central Nervous System. Reuben P. Halleck.
    Chapter VII, "Special Sensory Training." American Book
    Company.

    The Moral Life. Arthur E. Davies. Chapter V, "Motive: The
    Beginnings of Morality." Review Publishing Company,
    Baltimore.

    Psychology. J. R. Angell. Chapter XVI, "The Important Human
    Instincts." Holt.

    Essentials of Psychology. W. B. Pillsbury. Chapter X,
    "Instinct." Macmillan. Rural parents will find this entire
    text a non-technical and fundamental help.

    Development and Education. M. V. O'Shea. Chapter XII, "The
    Critical Period." Houghton, Mifflin Company.

    Psychology of Child Development. Irving King. Chapter on
    "Instinct." University of Chicago Press.

    Your Boy: His Nature and Nurture. George A. Dickinson, M.D.
    Chapter II, "Elements of Character." Hodder & Stoughton, New
    York.

    An Introduction to Child Study. W. B. Drummond. Chapter XII,
    "The Instincts of Children"; Chapter XIII, "Instincts and
    Habit." Longmans. The book is worthy an entire reading.

    A Study of Child Nature. Elizabeth Harrison. Chapter I, "The
    Instinct of Activity." Chicago Kindergarten College.

    Observing Childhood. A. S. Draper. _Annals American Academy_,
    March, 1909.

    Are we spoiling our Boys who have the Best Chances in Life?
    Henry van Dyke. SCRIBNER'S MAGAZINE. October, 1909.

    How to civilize the Young Savage. Dr. G. Stanley Hall. _Mind
    and Body_, June, 1911.



CHAPTER III

_THE RURAL HOME AND CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT_


That the farm home is an ideal place in which to build up the lives of
growing boys and girls has become almost a trite saying. But that rural
parents are yet failing to realize the child-nurturing possibilities of
such a place may be exemplified in thousands of instances. When we point
to the farm home as being the best possible place for rearing children,
we mean that it contains all the crude materials for such work, and that
there must be in charge of that work some one who is conscious of the
many aspects of the problem. So we hope to show the fathers and mothers
of the farm community, not what they might do if they were differently
situated, but as specifically as possible what there is in the present
rural home situation that can be made directly available in the
construction of the lives of their children.


WHAT AGENCIES BUILD UP CHARACTER?

First of all, we must ask, What are the ordinary forces which need to be
brought into service in the development of children? At the head of the
list, we should name play, as furnishing a great variety of instructive
activities; then, work and industry; after that, the recreation that
comes properly after the performance of work. So, we have with all their
implied meanings the three great child-developing agencies: play, work,
recreation. Now the question naturally presents itself, Can the ordinary
farm life be made to furnish in right amount and proportion these three
essential elements of character development?

1. _Play._--The necessity of indulging and training properly the play
instinct of the child is becoming so fully appreciated of late that many
of the state legislatures, and even the national Congress, have seen fit
to make it a matter of deep concern. In order that all children may have
full exercise of the divine, inherent right to play and to learn through
play, many so-called child labor laws have been passed. These enactments
have prescribed conditions under which children will be permitted to
work at gainful occupations, and in the majority of cases they have
strictly forbidden such child labor below the ages of fourteen to
sixteen.

But the foregoing efforts in behalf of the young have been of a somewhat
negative sort, merely guaranteeing the child the right to play. On the
positive side, much is also being done. The scientific students of child
life have been pointing to the great benefits of play and to the
present need for larger means and fuller opportunities for play on the
part of the masses of children. As an outcome of all this research and
public agitation, there is now in progress a general movement which
looks to the placing at the disposal of children everywhere the
equipment and apparatus necessary for building up the character by means
of play experience. The large cities are expending millions of dollars
on municipal playgrounds, and the towns and rural communities are
catching the spirit also.

It has been shown beyond a question that adult life can be prepared for
and enriched in many ways by means of scientifically provided play
during childhood. Two or three results are especially sought through the
playground training: (1) better physical health and increased power to
resist disease; (2) enlarged opportunities for the outlet of the
spontaneous activities through the use of the hands and other parts of
the body; (3) the provision of a powerful deterrent of evil thought and
deed and of juvenile crime; (4) the manifold opportunities for learning
how to get along with one's fellows and to treat them in fairness and
justice.

[Illustration: PLATE III.

FIG. 3.--This beautiful Kansas home, with its large orchard and many
shade trees adjoining, was constructed "away out on the barren plains
where no tree will grow." In this place an excellent family of nine
children grew up.]

It has already been urged that sound health constitutes one of the
foundation stones of good character. Play is especially conducive to
sound health. Some may think that work without much if any play will
bring about the same results in the child life, but such proves not
to be the case. The monotony and drudgery of enforced labor have been
crushing the lives of children everywhere, especially until the wise
legislation of very recent years prevented such thing. Strange to say,
the same amount of exertion in spontaneous play may build up and
strengthen the physical and mental life of the child. What is the secret
of the striking difference in the result? Spontaneity! is the answer.
The child goes at his play with a joy and an eagerness which are
entirely absent from work--a sufficient guarantee that his nature is
being fed upon the very stuff which his soul craves. It is true that
children will play in a bare room containing nothing more than a pile of
trash, but such a situation is woefully lacking on the side of
instruction. Very little will be learned from a year of such
ill-provided play.

So, there is every necessary reason for urging that the farm home
provide not only the time and the occasion for the play life of the
children, but that the means and proper materials also be looked after.
At a certain rural home in the state of Michigan, where two boys and one
girl were growing up, were found the following nearly ideal arrangements
for the play life: a small clump of trees, which afforded opportunities
for climbing and ample shade during the warm weather; a swing hung
between two of the trees; a pole serving as a horizontal bar between
two others; and a ladder leading to a rude playhouse constructed between
the forks of a branching maple tree. Thereabout were seen also a boy's
wagon, two home-made sleds and other materials of this same general
class, not to mention a fairly well-kept lawn, where the children could
romp.

Now the cost of all the foregoing materials would be trifling in a money
sense and not very expensive in point of preparation and work, while
they would pay for themselves a hundred-fold in their results for
character-development. If necessary, it could even be shown how just
such provision for the play of the boys and girls on the farm will in
time add to the actual cash value of the place and to the money-earning
power of the boys and girls whose lives are being served. It seems
altogether fitting to remind rural parents of their duty in respect to
their children even though the mortgage may not yet have been lifted,
and even though some of the live stock may have to suffer a little, and
some of the farm crops deteriorate slightly. Let there be provided,
first of all, some adequate materials for the indulgence of the play
instinct of the child.

2. _Work._--This term implies a wide meaning, and deserves a lengthy
discussion. In a chapter to follow under the title "How Much Work for
the Country Boy," we shall give due attention to it. The purpose here is
to advise the parent to make a study of the situation and to make
provision for the amount and kind of work and industry necessary for
the proper culture of the growing child.

First of all, there must be appreciated the sharp distinction between
work and play. The latter is spontaneous, allowing the child to follow
his caprice of mind. He may take up one play activity and drop it at any
moment that another appeals to him more strongly. But with work, the
situation is different. The purpose is outside of and not within the
performance, as in the case of play. The work looks toward some end
necessary of achievement and carries with it the elements of sacrifice,
of giving out of one's life something that is his very own in order that
some other thing may be acquired. In the case of work the normal child
probably at first finds almost any assigned task irksome. He feels that
he is being more or less unfairly or unnecessarily driven to it and that
when he grows to be a man, he will have a lot of money and hire somebody
else to do the work.

All natural, healthy-minded boys are at first somewhat stubborn and
rebellious in regard to work. No matter how good their parents may be,
if merely turned loose in the world without direction and the spur of
authority, they will almost invariably avoid manual labor. So it might
as well be put down at once as a rule that every boy who is to become a
real worker and an industrious character must be set definitely at his
tasks while a mere child and held strictly to their performance. After
much persistent urging, the young worker begins to forget the thought
of being driven to his duty and to acquire instead a habit of industry.
By slow degrees he develops within a sense of obligation in relation to
work, also a feeling of responsibility for tasks done or left undone.
Finally, after years of this sort of experience, the young industrialist
reaches a point in his life when he can throw himself enthusiastically
into some sort of well chosen occupation. And then and there emerges
from his inner consciousness the exceeding great joy known to so many of
the industrious men and women whose worthy life-long devotion to work is
constantly reconstructing this good world in which we live.

It will be understood, of course, that the term work as here used
includes the school training. The ordinary child regards the appointed
duties of lesson getting in the nature of work and feels the same
pressure of insistence and compulsion in relation to them.
Unquestionably, the ordinary school course goes part way toward
furnishing discipline in industry. The course of the newer schools about
to be instituted throughout the country will reach still farther in this
direction. It is very encouraging indeed to observe that the public
school curriculum is destined to include, not only the study of books
and the recitation of lessons learned from books, but also the many
forms of manual labor and industry applicable to the character of the
growing child. But until the public school authorities have provided
such an ideal course of training, parents must see to it that the
class-room duties be thoroughly supplemented with carefully assigned
home tasks of the industrial training sort. In a later chapter specific
attention will be given the question of the schooling of the country boy
and the country girl.

3. _Recreation._--What a vast amount of misunderstanding and misuse
there is of this term! Observe, if you will, the real meaning of the
term or of the kindred word, to re-create. It implies in this use that
the body has been depleted, worn out, or fatigued by work and that there
is to be a rebuilding of the same. But it is amusing--or would be if it
were not so pathetic--to see how city parents often bestir themselves in
an effort to provide recreation for their idle boys. Many of these boys
who are seen loafing about the home town during practically the entire
summer vacation period are given an outing in order that they may thus
be furnished "recreation"--from indolence.

But farm parents are inclined to err on the other side. That is, they
tend to over-work their boys and not to give them enough outings to
furnish proper recreation and renewed zeal for the work required of
them. Hence, the need of carefully considering the matter of the outings
for the farm boy and girl. It can most probably be shown, for example,
that the boy who works on the farm five and a half days of the week and
who is given the other half day for rest and recreation--that he does
more work in the five and one-half days and does it better than he would
do in six full days without the half-holiday. The question here is that
of a balanced schedule. How long should the boy be held to his task
before being allowed a holiday or recreation period?

Just how can these half-holidays, outings, and the like, be worked into
the farm boy's program so as to make them contributive to the
up-building of his character? What of this sort can be done to cause him
to return to his assigned tasks with greater zeal and enthusiasm? How
can it be provided that the boy may look forward to these outings with a
thrill of joy during the long days he has to spend behind the plow or in
the harvest field? Finally, how can these recreation periods, large and
small, be so associated with his work-a-day tasks that he may come to
regard farm life as a wholesome type of vocation--one that he may follow
with pleasure and profit for himself, and one in which he may succeed so
well as to make his achievements constitute a living commendation of
such a calling to others? In a later discussion there will be shown many
methods whereby the recreation experience of the farm boys and girls may
be properly looked after.

Few persons seem to appreciate the value of solitude as a means of
recreating and building up the inner life. Probably one of the greatest
agencies in the development of many a powerful personality is the fact
that its possessor was compelled by force of circumstances while young
to spend much time in the company of his or her own thoughts. It is
impossible to think intelligently while one is doing any body-straining
work; for example, wood sawing or hay pitching. But there are many forms
of occupation for boys and girls on the farm which permit of comparative
rest of the body. So the foundations of many a worthy career have been
laid in the silent reflections of the boy spending the day alone in the
woods or on the prairies with his cattle and dog and pony, or sitting on
the seat of the riding plow.

Likewise, the farmer's daughter, during the performance of many simple,
non-fatiguing tasks, reflects perforce upon the larger meanings of life
and makes out in mind many plans for the time when she hopes to
undertake the mastery of various trying and interesting problems. Lack
of this enforced solitude and its attendant reflections--lack of the
discovery of the joy of being at regular intervals alone with the great
soul of Nature and with one's inner consciousness--doubtless contributes
in some measure to the undoing of city boys and girls. The constant
turmoil of the street, the excitement of the ever changing scenes and
situations, give an over-indulgence to the senses, ripen the judgments
too early, and rob the character of those soberer habits which later
enable one to find good in the common situations and the common people
of the world.

It is, therefore, recommended that farm parents provide for a part of
the sterner duties of the boys and girls such tasks as will allow for
comparative rest of the body while the mind may tarry undisturbed with
the reflections of the inner life.


MOVING TO TOWN FOR THE CHILDREN

The practice of the well-to-do farmer who moves to town to "educate his
children" is an old story and is fraught with many a hidden tragedy, to
say nothing of the impoverishment of the land and of the social order
left behind. Why cannot the intelligent farmer remain on the home place
and join a movement having for its purpose that of making the
neighborhood a more desirable place of human habitation?

One of the dullest places in the world is the country town which has
been filled up with retired farmers. These are usually men who came into
the place for the purpose of getting all the possible advantages at the
lowest possible cost. In the typical case the new city dweller of this
class secures a very good residence, and that often, if possible, just
outside the city limits, in order to avoid local taxes. He takes little
or no interest in the town's municipal affairs and votes against nearly
all proposed improvements. He keeps his own cow, horse, chickens, and
garden, and brings extra supplies in from the farm. Gradually he takes
on a few of the city ways. That is, he uses less home produce and does
some buying at the stores. But for want of stimulating employment he
gradually grows stouter and mentally more stupid, sleeping away many of
the hours of the day in his chair--an indication that he is dying at the
top and that he is soon to be cut down. Really, the retired farmer is a
nuisance to the town and the town is a bore to him.

But what of the children whom he brought in to "educate"? They learn
rapidly, soon taking on the city manners. The natural restraints from
evil conduct, which the farm home furnished, are now wanting. The blare
and bluster of the town both excite and delight them, while the parents
have positively no rules or standards by which to govern and direct
their young in the new situation. All the boys and girls need to do in
order to gain parental consent for going out at night is to declare that
"everybody is going" or that they are "expected" to be there, and the
thing is settled. Thus the young ruralists newly come to town go dancing
and prancing off into a veritable world of sweet dreams and
delights--spoiled forever for any service that they might have rendered
in building up the country community--and finally destined to become
mere cogs in the ever grinding wheel of some city.


A BACK-TO-THE-COUNTRY CLUB

Nearly every town and city of the United States has had a so-called
Commercial Club. This has been in reality a boosters' club bent first of
all on bringing big business to the place and thus opening the way for a
bigger population. Anything for the sake of more people has been the
watchword. Now, I would reverse this order of things. Nearly every one
of these towns and cities needs a club or committee that might have for
its purposes: (1) to show the would-be retired farmer how to shift the
burdens from his wife as housekeeper, how to provide better social and
intellectual advantages for his children and yet _stay on the farm_; (2)
to find means and methods whereby to plant in the rural community those
persons of the city population who are not making a fair living in their
present positions, seeking first of course to choose those who are
capable of transplanting and then preparing them with care for the
change.

I am satisfied that this thing can be successfully thought out,--that
is, how the worthy poor city family may be removed to the country and
there through hard work gradually acquire enough land whereon to earn a
fair living at least. This end will never be accomplished by merely
driving out the poor families, but rather by means of scientific and
sympathetic practice of re-establishing them. Well-conducted research
shows that these poor people are nearly all constituted of good, sound,
human stock. So, if transported under the conditions named, there may be
expected to come forth in the second generation a splendid crop of rural
boys and girls.


REFERENCES

    Report of the Commission on Country Life. Introduction by
    Theodore Roosevelt. Sturgis-Walton Company, New York. A brief
    but epoch-making book. The student of rural problems will
    find it a splendid outline guide.

    Cutting Loose from the City. E. G. Hutchins. _Country Life_,
    Jan. 1, 1911.

    Back to the Farm. J. Smith. _Collier's_, Feb. 25, 1911.

    Value of a Country Education to Every Boy. _Craftsman_,
    January, 1911.

    Why Back to the Farm? Editorial. _Craftsman_, February, 1911.

    The Country-Life Movement. L. H. Bailey. The Macmillan Co.
    Contains a contrast of the back-to-the-land movement and the
    country-life movement.

    Drift to the City in Relation to the Rural Problem. J. M.
    Gillette. _American Journal of Sociology_, March, 1911.

    The New Country Boy. _Independent_, June 22, 1911.

    Overworked Children on the Farm and in the School. Dr. Woods
    Hutchinson. _Annals American Academy_, March, 1909.

    Why One Hundred Boys ran away from Home. L. E. Jones.
    _Ladies' Home Journal_, April, 1910.

    The Country Girl who is coming to the City. Batchelor.
    _Delineator_, May, 1909.

    Play and Playground Literature. For most helpful and
    inexpensive literature on this subject address: The
    Playground Association of America, 1 Madison Ave., New York
    City.

    Conservation in the Rural Districts. James W. Robertson,
    D.Sc. The Association Press, New York.

    Education for Country life. Willet M. Hays. Free Bulletin,
    U.S. Department of Agriculture. Treats ably consolidation
    and rural agricultural high schools.

    Child Problems. George B. Mangold. Ph.D. Book II, Chapters
    I-II, "Play and the Playground"; Book III, Chapters I-V,
    "Child Labor Problems." The last reference contains accurate
    information as to child-labor legislation up to date of
    publication.

    Influence of Heredity and Environment upon Race Improvements.
    Kelsey. _Annals American Academy_, July, 1909.

    Burning up the Boys. Editorial. _North American_, September,
    1910.



CHAPTER IV

_THE COUNTRY MOTHER AND THE CHILDREN_


Greater attention needs to be given to the conservation of the farmer's
wife. Although there are many other justifications for giving more
thought to the care and the comfort of the country mother, the single
fact of her very close relation to the children growing up in the home,
and of her peculiar responsibilities as center of life there, warrant us
in devoting a chapter to her interests. Recently, while passing upon a
country highway, the author met a funeral procession. A little inquiry
revealed a pathetic situation, one that has been repeated thousands of
times throughout the length and breadth of this fair country. The
deceased was the wife of a young farmer, both of them under thirty-five
years of age, hard working and ambitious for success, but thoughtless of
their own health and comfort. Their farm was somewhat new and
unimproved, there were hundreds of things to do other than the routine
affairs of home keeping and crop raising. Worst of all, there was a
mortgage to be lifted. After all reasonable improvements were made and
the mortgage paid off, then, according to their plans, they were going
to take matters easy. But the delicate cord of life suddenly broke in
the case of the wife, and left the young husband as overseer of the farm
and home and sole caretaker of three little children.

How can parents hope to produce a better crop of boys and girls in the
farm communities so long as the typical farm wife is crushed into the
earth with the over-weight of the burdens placed upon her? A few
minutes' enumeration in this same rural neighborhood brought out the
startling fact that in fully half of the homes a scene similar to the
one just described had been enacted during the last score of years. That
is to say, during the twenty years, fully one-half of the farm mothers
living in that particular neighborhood had died before their time from
one cause or another. In most instances the death occurred during what
we usually speak of as the prime years of life, and at a time when the
rose bloom should naturally be fresh upon the cheek. Fortunately, this
serious condition, still present in some communities, is being gradually
improved by the improved methods.


POOR CONDITIONS OF WOMEN

The report of the Country Life Commission makes the following
suggestions:--

"The relief to farm women must come through a general elevation of
country living. The women must have more help. In particular these
matters may be mentioned: Development of a coöperative spirit in the
home, simplification of the diet in many cases, the building of
convenient and sanitary houses, providing running water in the house and
also more mechanical help, good and convenient gardens, a less exclusive
ideal of money getting on the part of the farmer, providing better means
of communication, as telephones, roads, and reading circles, and
developing of women's organizations. These and other agencies should
relieve the woman of many of her manual burdens on the one hand and
interest her in outside activities on the other. The farm woman should
have sufficient free time and strength so that she may serve the
community by participating in its vital affairs."

[Illustration: PLATE IV.

FIG. 4.--A day nursery at the Country Social Center. It may be otherwise
called "an institution designed to lengthen the lives of tired country
mothers."]

In discussing this same matter, Henry Wallace, a member of the
Commission, says in his paper, _Wallaces' Farmer_:--

"They have been saying that the mother is the hardest worked member of
the family, which is often and we believe generally true. They have been
saying that in the anxiety of the farmer to get more land, he not only
works himself too hard, but his wife too hard, and the boys and girls so
hard that the boys get disgusted and leave the farm, and the girls marry
town fellows and go to town.

"Now the farmer's wife is really the most important and essential person
on the farm. As such she needs the most care and consideration. You are
careful, very careful, not to over-work your horses. How much more
careful you should be not to over-work the mother of your children. You
rein back the free member of the team. You take special care of the
brood mare, and the cow that gives three hundred pounds of butter. Have
you always kept the freest of all workers, your wife, from doing too
much? How about this?"


FOR THE SAKE OF THE CHILDREN

But this chapter, as well as the entire book, is being prepared in the
interest of boys and girls. So we shall attempt to show a number of
specific conditions that may be sought as tending to conserve the
strength and the life of the rural mother, with a view to her continuing
to be in every best sense of the word a caretaker and conserver of the
lives of her own children.

1. _Surplus nerve energy._--However it may be achieved, the thing to
work for in this connection is a surplusage of nerve energy. If the
child training is to go on in a satisfactory manner, the mother
especially, and if possible both parents, must have stated times and
occasions for looking after such training and for inculcating a series
of important fundamental lessons. The first and best test of this
child-rearing situation may be made at evening. If, after the work of
the ordinary day, the mother is still fresh enough to take a real
interest in the children's affairs, to read to them briefly and perhaps
tell them a story or two, or to read for further preparations of her
work with them,--then it may be said that her life energies are being
conserved in a fairly satisfactory manner. The children will most
certainly reap the benefits. But if the close of the ordinary day's work
finds the farm mother suffering from physical and nervous exhaustion,
cross and impatient with the other members of the family, depressed in
spirit and gloomy as to the future, these are signs which should give
alarm to the head of the household and arouse him to the point of
looking into such distressful conditions, and setting them right.

2. _A rest period._--How would it do to plan for the mother a daily
period of rest and relaxation? Would not such a program furnish
something of a guarantee of length of life in her own case and of peace
and contentment in the home, and of improved well-being in respect to
the children? How shall we state this question? Must the very lives of
the rural mother and her children be run through the mill of over-work
as a grist for the improvement and up-building of the farm animals and
the farm crops? Or should all of these material things be valued only in
proportion as they contribute to the happiness and contentment and the
long life of the members of the family? Too many farmers seem to say, as
expressed by their conduct: "I _must_ lift that mortgage this year! I
_must_ market so many bushels of corn and so many head of live stock!
So here goes my wife, and here go my children into the hopper! Perhaps
they will have to give up their lives. At any cost I _must_ make this
thing pay!"

Then, how would it be to set apart an hour or more each day, regularly,
for the rest and relaxation of the mother, and call it "Mother's hour"?
During that time let it be the policy of the entire family to require no
work, no assistance, no favors of her, unless it be in case of illness.
During such a time of recuperation, the delicate organism of the
ordinary woman would tend to regain its poise. The nerve energy would be
more or less restored, while she would tend to view the better things of
life more nearly from their right angle. Best of all, she would regather
during the hour not a little strength to be used later in the caretaking
of her children. Try it for a week.

3. _The home conveniences._--This is not the place for a detailed
discussion of what might or ought to be put into the house for the sake
of the convenience of the home-maker. But if such materials be
thoughtfully arranged, they may be made most effective, even though they
be small and inexpensive. A little inquiry among the ordinary homes will
show what is meant here, by either the presence or the lack of the
things indicated. It is not so much a question of expense as it is one
of thoughtful provision. The guiding principle of the home convenience
is that of saving and conserving the strength of the housekeeper.

There is especially one day in the week which might be appropriately
called the "mother-killing day." That is the occasion of her doing the
washing and ironing for the family. Not infrequently two or three days
thereafter are required for the restoration of her normal strength and
health. Now, it is clearly the specific duty of the farmer to take hold
of just such matters as this and attempt seriously to put them right.
Doing the washing for four or five, and that with the use of the wash
tub, is a man's work so far as required muscular energy is concerned,
and very few women are able to do it regularly and live out their
allotted lives. Therefore, let the conscientious farmer see to it first
of all that some kind of machinery be installed for lightening such
wife-killing tasks as that just named. Let him provide such household
helps and conveniences _first_, and for the sake of the house mother and
her children. And then, if there be other means available, let him
provide the man-saving machinery about the barn and the fields. In the
chapter on "Constructing a Country Dwelling," fuller attention will be
given to these matters.

4. _The mother's outings._--The farmer who is seriously interested in
providing for the care and comfort of his family, and for the
instruction and intelligent direction of his children, will see to it
that his life companion be allowed her share of outings. This matter
must be just as much on his mind as that of marketing the produce. The
usual habit of the farmer's wife is to give up willingly her rights and
opportunities of this sort. But she cannot well continue to be
spiritually strong and mentally well disposed toward the world unless
she be permitted to get out among her friends and acquaintances at
frequent intervals.

So, arrange carefully a series of outings for the country mother. The
beginning of such a program is to provide that there be available for
her use and at her command a horse and carriage. This equipment need not
be of the finest quality, and it may be used for other purposes, but
when her needs appear, it should be given up to her purposes. At least
one afternoon a week she should go away from the place and be free as
much as possible temporarily from the cares of the household while she
finds congenial company among some of the neighboring women, or at the
library or elsewhere.

5. _The home help._--The unending problem of the home life throughout
much of the civilized world is that of obtaining adequate assistance in
the performance of the household work. Much of the time such assistance
from outside sources is practically unavailable. And yet something must
be done to meet the situation. If there be young girls growing up in the
home, the solution of the problem may, and should, be met by means of
requiring the daughters to assist with the home duties. But in case
there be no daughters it is seriously recommended that either the father
or the boys do certain parts of the heavier housework.

It is not necessarily beneath the dignity of the best and most brilliant
man of this country for him to get down on his knees in his own home and
help perform the menial work there which threatens to break the health
of his life companion. If there be growing sons in the family, there is
every justification for training them to assist in the housework in a
case where such assistance is needed to shield the health and strength
of the mother. It prepares for better manhood and for more sympathetic
protection of his own wife to be, if the boy be required to do such
things and thus to become intimately acquainted with what it means to
perform the many burdensome tasks that tend to wear away the lives of so
many good women.

6. _The children shield the mother._--There will perhaps be no better
occasion than this to remind parents of the necessity of carefully
training the growing children to perform such deeds as will shield the
mother in the home, and show a sympathetic interest in her welfare.
These matters will not naturally be acquired by children. The country
to-day is full of grown men whose mothers and wives have worked
themselves to death; and yet these men did not detect the seriousness of
the situation until it was too late. There are many men of this same
general class who are willing and even anxious to protect the women of
the home from the crush of over-work, but who know not how to do it.
Such faults as we have just named might easily have been avoided had
these men, during very early boyhood, been brought into an intimate
acquaintance with the burdensome tasks of the household. Especially
should they have been drilled time after time in the performance of
deeds of love and sympathy in respect to their mother. It may seem a
little thing for a younger child to rush to the table, call for and
partake of the best the table provides and, inattentive to the wants of
any other members of the family, hurry off to his play full fed and
happy. And yet this very thing may be indicative of a serious lack of
attention to the rights and requirements of others, such as may be
carried over into his future home life and there amount to serious
abuse. Again, it must be insisted that deeds of sympathy and altruism
are acquired through the actual and continued practice of the
performance of such deeds.

7. _Planning for the children._--Among the other splendid results of the
conservation of the nerve energy and the vital interests of the house
mother may be mentioned that of her ability to plan thoughtfully for the
instruction of the boys and girls. It is not an easy task to select
appropriate stories and readings for the young. It is neither an easy
nor a trifling matter for the parent to be able to read suitable
stories to them and to interpret helpfully such stories. It is not a
trifling matter for the parents to converse together an hour at evening
and there plan as to the future home instruction of their young. When
should this be introduced into the boy's life and when that into the
girl's life? What is a fair allowance for the boy for what he does and
for his spending money for the Fourth of July, Christmas, and the like?
What is a fair allowance for the girl with which to purchase her clothes
and for her pin money? When should each of them be told this and that
about the secrets of life, and where may helpful literature thereon be
obtained? Just when and how much should the boy and girl be allowed to
go among the young people of the community? When we consider the
far-reaching results which their solution may mean for the developing
young lives, these and many other such questions become exceedingly
important.

8. _A common conspiracy._--In many a farm home to-day there is a secret
compact which goes far to shape the destiny of a great number of lives.
Go if you will to the farm home where the life of the mother is being
gradually crushed out by the over-work and the lack of sympathetic
protection on the part of the husband, and you will almost invariably
find a secret understanding between the mother and the growing children
in reference to the future careers of the latter. It is implied by
these words put into the mouth of the mother: "Your father is too
ambitious about the work and in his desire for accumulating wealth about
the farm. He is over-working me, is thoughtless of me, and indifferent
to your present needs and your future welfare. Work on as you must,
driven by him, but do as little as you can and grow up to manhood and
womanhood. Study your books, get through with your schooling, and in
time find something easier for your own life work. Perhaps we can
persuade him to give it up after a while and move to town, where you can
go out more, dress better, and get more enjoyment out of life." Thus,
the children grow up to mistrust and dislike their father, and to
despise the vocation in which he is engaged. Such a state of affairs
will precipitate their flight from the home nest. This will take place
at the earliest possible moment and will often be in the nature of a
leap into the dark, anything to get away from the drudgery of the farm.

Mark you this situation well, you farm fathers, and attack it in all
possible haste with the best available relief. A happy, contented,
well-protected farm mother almost certainly means the same sort of farm
children, while the converse situations will also run in the same
unvarying parallel. Do not satiate your desire for more hogs and more
land with the sacrifice of the peace and happiness and the very
life-blood of your wife and children!


REFERENCES

    The Nervous Life. G. E. Partridge, Ph.D. Sturgis-Walton
    Company, New York. This book is especially recommended as an
    aid to the relief of the tired farm mother.

    Parenthood and Race Culture. Charles W. Saleeby, M.D. Chapter
    IX, "The Supremacy of Motherhood." Moffat, Yard & Co., New
    York. This is a book of great value for students of race
    improvement.

    From Kitchen to Garret. Virginia Van de Water. Chapter I, "A
    Heart-to-Heart Talk with the House Wife." Sturgis-Walton
    Company. Wholesome advice concerning the conservation of the
    mother's strength.

    Proceedings of Child Conference for Research and Welfare,
    1910. L. Pearl Boggs, Ph.D. Page 5, "Home Education." G. E.
    Stechart & Co., New York.

    The Efficient Life. Dr. L. H. Gulick. Chapter XVIII, "Growth
    in Rest." This entire volume is highly recommended as being
    suitable for over-worked mothers.

    What the Farmer can do to Lighten his Wife's Work. T. Blake.
    _Ladies' Home Journal_, Feb. 15, 1911.

    The Higher Tide of Physical Conscience. Dr. L. H. Gulick.
    _World's Work_, June, 1908.

    Education for Motherhood. Charles W. Saleeby. _Good
    Housekeeping_, April, 1910.

    The Profession of Motherhood. Dr. Lyman Abbott. _Outlook_,
    April 10, 1909.

    Power Through Repose. Annie Payson Call. Chapter XII,
    "Training for Rest." Little, Brown & Co.

    _Wallaces' Farmer_, Des Moines, Ia., is especially to be
    commended for its editorial championship of The Farm Mother.

    The Freedom of Life. Annie Payson Call. Chapter IV, "Hurry,
    Worry, and Irritability." Little, Brown & Co.

    Ideas of a Plain Country Mother. _Ladies' Home Journal_, May
    1, 1911.

    _American Motherhood_. Coopertown, New York Monthly, $1. This
    magazine publishes many short articles bearing on the subject
    of this chapter.

    How to conduct Mothers' Clubs. (Pamphlet No. 302, 8 cents.)
    _American Motherhood_. Coopertown, New York.



CHAPTER V

_CONSTRUCTING THE COUNTRY DWELLING_


Much has been written in books, and more has been spoken from platform
and pulpit, relative to the patriotism of the American people. In
addition to all this the public schools of city and country have been
consciously instructing the children with a view to laying a permanent
foundation in their lives for love of the native land and for defense of
the national ideals. But it seems to me that the best word on the
subject of patriotic instruction has never as yet been given wide
publicity. So long as a boy has to grow up in a home where there are
meanness and turmoil and strife and hatred and degradation, one may
point a thousand times with pride to our great nation, display again and
again before his eyes the proud banner of freedom, sing with him
numberless times the patriotic songs eulogistic of the fatherland and
its national heroes,--under such circumstances a boy can never be
expected to develop into anything other than a superficial patriot. But
give him a good home, simple and unadorned though it may be, where love
reigns, where his childish needs are thoughtfully ministered unto,
whereinto he may go at nightfall after a hard day's work and find rest
and peace and comfort; a home whereinto he may take his childish cares
and perplexities and place them before the affectionate consideration of
his parents and perhaps his elder brothers and sisters; a place where he
is carefully taught the rudiments of filial respect and a wholesome
regard for work and industry,--bring up the boy in the midst of these
plain, sympathetic situations, and you have a real patriot. Although he
may be reminded only occasionally of the meaning of the national flag,
and although he may read with no unusual interest about the blood that
was spilled on the national field of battle, a life so reared would mean
that the love of home has become rooted in the heart of the young
patriot, and that he would rise up if need be and give his life in
defense of that home. In such a case, only a small stretch of the
imagination would make it possible for the youth to regard the nation as
his home in the larger sense, while his willingness to defend that home
in time of real need would be none the less present and strong.


PLANS AND SPECIFICATIONS NOT AVAILABLE

There are hundreds of types and thousands of varieties of rural dwelling
houses. It would perhaps be impracticable to attempt to furnish definite
plans and specifications in connection with this chapter. The wide
variation in the nature of the selected sites, in the means available
for building the home, in the size of the family to be accommodated, and
the like, would hinder us in the attempt. But there are certain
principles that may perhaps apply in nearly every instance and that
especially in thought of serving the first and best needs of the
juvenile members of the household.

It is altogether possible to make a two-room cottage out on the open
prairie a place suggestive of repose, of beauty, and of other high
ideals. So, no matter how small and inexpensive the rural dwelling may
be, let the builders work first of all for that simple beauty and
attractiveness which may most certainly invest the heart of the
indweller with a feeling of comfort and satisfaction. Let it be a place,
though humble, that may soon become to the members of the family the
most beloved spot on earth. For, after all, the best things of life
cannot possibly be bought with money. There are often misery and
dissension and bitterness in the finest palatial dwelling, while the
essential elements of beauty and worth may have lodgment in the hearts
of the humblest cottage dwellers. However, it is not the intention here
to argue any one into the thought of building a humble cot for the mere
sake of humility. The point we desire to make is merely this: that,
although possessed of very meager means with which to build, one can
actually construct a home in which the inhabitants thereof may dwell
in peace and contentment, and a place over which the Spirit of the
Most High may brood in great strength and beauty.

[Illustration: PLATE V.

FIG. 5.--An attractive old country residence in the South, built in
1854. At least one good family has been matured therein. And to them

  "How many sacred memories
  Bring back those childhood scenes."]


WHAT APPEALS TO THE CHILDREN

In the selection of a location and a site for the dwelling the welfare
of the children must be thought of, second only to that of the house
mother. Now, what material arrangements will appeal to the growing
children and add much interest and romance to their lives as in future
time they view them in retrospect? First of all, perhaps, a broken
landscape might well be mentioned, a hill or two near by the place, with
a sharp cliff or embankment to the crest of which the children may climb
and there cast down missiles. Such things tend to add a charm to the
young lives. And then, if possible, have a brook or larger stream of
fresh running water. A large river is less desirable on account of the
danger to child life. But a stream which may furnish, not merely water
for the live-stock, but a swimming and bathing place for the children in
summer and a skating pond for them in winter, to say nothing about the
pleasures of fishing and boating--these will appeal most strongly to the
boys and girls. And then, the woodland, or at least the shady grove with
trees to climb, and possibly nuts and wild flowers to gather--a place
where chipmunks and song birds and the like may have their natural
habitat, and wherefrom there may proceed the weird and doleful sound of
the night owl and the whip-poor-will; herein one may find many of the
crude materials well suited to give proper nourishment to the souls of
the young.

But the things just named will not nearly always be accessible.
Throughout many of the commonwealths there are vast stretches of level
plateaus with scarcely a hill or woodland in sight, and yet covered with
a rich, tillable soil. These places may for good reasons be selected for
the site of a dwelling. But they demand more work and heavier expense of
money and time before the best material surroundings of an ideal home
for boys and girls may be realized. Before the house is scarcely laid
out in such a place, the shade and ornamental trees should be planted,
selecting for part of the planting a quick-growing species that may be
removed later after more permanent and more valuable trees have reached
a suitable height. Of course, a stream of water cannot always be
diverted so as to make it pass the place, but a fair substitute may be
had by the construction of a pond. And this thing should be accomplished
at the earliest possible moment. If there be a small dry ravine, dam it
up with concrete and catch it full of surplus water during a rainy
season. It is a positive injustice to boys and not a little unfair to
girls to require them to grow up without any access to open water of
some kind. And it is almost a matter of criminal neglect to require
children to live permanently in a home about which there are no trees
growing. So it is recommended, even if the house construction must in
part be delayed or cut off, that the surroundings just named be sought
in all earnestness.


THE HOUSE PLAN

In planning and arranging the house, the matters to be thought of in
addition to those named above are convenience and comfort. While it is
somewhat important that the house look well to those who may be passing
upon the highway, it is vastly more important that it be good within and
serve such needs of the home-maker and the children as will conserve the
strength of the former and render the lives of all happy and contented.
In addition to the matters just named, that of placing the dwelling to
face in the right direction will be thought of. That is, arrange the
house so as to take advantage of the morning sunlight, the evening
shade, the winter blasts and the summer breezes. While for the sake of
entertainment it may be well to place the rural dwelling near the public
highway, rather than sacrifice the child-developing factors of shade
trees and streams and the like, it is often better to build back from
the road and make a private lane leading thereto.

In arranging for the heat and light in the house, think first of all of
the health and sanitation of the family. Ordinarily, the windows of the
farmhouse are too small; while worse still, many of them, even in the
bed chambers, are permanently nailed down. So, if the health and the
general well-being of the boys and girls, as well as the parents, are
worth anything at all, attend religiously to these small and inexpensive
conveniences, not neglecting to provide most carefully for keeping out
flies and other insects. The wise farmer will find the secret of getting
along with his own household and of rearing a strong, healthy family to
lie in the strict attention he gives to just such small matters as
these. The things that overstrain the physique, that try the temper and
patience of the housewife, must especially be looked after and something
of a better nature substituted for them.


HOW ONE FARMER DOES IT

Mr. W. F. Mottier, living in Ford County, Illinois, gives in _Farmer's
Voice_ his plan of providing for the children, as follows:--

"I have always tried to farm intelligently. One of my favorite ideas in
regard to farm life is that of making the home as attractive as possible
for the children. So I put on the place all the modern improvements that
I can afford, in order that the children may not feel that town life is
the best. And our children do not have any desire to go to town. It
would bring a sad thought to me to hear my children talk against the
farm life or home life on the farm."


OUTBUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT

With few exceptions, the money available for building the home should be
expended first in putting the house into the ideal condition just named.
After that, if any means remain, the outbuildings may be constructed.
Otherwise, crude, temporary arrangements may easily suffice. There is
one thing, however, that must be provided with scrupulous care and that
is the water for the household use. It must be, first of all, wholesome
and comparatively free from impurities. Then, if at all possible, it
should be cool and taste well. Actual records have shown that one will
not drink enough water to satisfy the demands of his health in case the
taste be in any degree unpleasant to him. So the ideal water for
household use is comparatively soft, is cool, highly pleasing to the
taste, and is free from disease-carrying germs. This comparatively
simple matter of providing the water will prove most important in
relation to the well-being of the household and the up-building of the
family life. See to it at any cost that the well be situated out of the
way of seepage from any barn or outbuilding, even though it may from
such necessity be placed somewhat out of the reach of convenience.


HUMAN RIGHTS PRIOR TO ANIMAL RIGHTS

If the farmer cannot afford to erect a good barn he may take reasonable
care of his horses with the use of a cheap, improvised one. Actual test
will show that horses may be made comfortable in the summer time with
the use of a straw-thatched shed for a barn, provided the drainage be
reasonably good and the earth floor be kept in good order. The thatched
covering may be made to keep out the rain. During the winter, with the
use of a few slender poles, the entire shed may be inclosed with a hay
or straw wall and the place thus be made very satisfactory for the time
being. Similar sheds and protection may be provided for the other
live-stock, all to await the time when the means are at hand for better
conveniences. It is especially suggestive of a mean lack of
consideration of human rights in the case of the farmer who has a big,
expensive farm barn towering up beside a little dingy shanty of a
dwelling house. And yet this thing is all too common, particularly in
new prairie regions. Such is the place out of which beastliness and
criminality and anarchy tend to be germinated from the lives of boys and
girls, to say nothing about the hidden tragedies that surround the lives
of the many women who are forced to put up with such an arrangement for
half a lifetime.

Just one illustration of a situation of the sort described will suffice
to point out the moral. On an occasion two strangers drew up to a
farmhouse. One of them was a land agent, and the other a home seeker.
Their mission was that of purchasing a farm. The owner of the farm
showed them about the place with considerable enthusiasm, but his heart
swelled with pride when he reached the magnificent barn, one side of
which was devoted to the propagation of a high-grade strain of Duroc
Jersey swine. Every convenience and comfort for the hogs was provided.
He boasted about his success with them, showed an affectionate regard
for the different individuals, calling them by name. The horses, too,
might have aroused the envy of the entire neighborhood. They were sleek
and well-fed, full in flesh and fair in form. There was provided every
convenience for feeding and caring for the horses and the hogs, so that
the hired men found the work about the barn exceedingly easy and
pleasant.

Then the attention of the visitors was turned to the farmhouse. Yes, it
was small and run down and poor, the intention being to build a larger
one "some time." But that same intention was known to have been
expressed repeatedly for a period of twenty years past. And where were
the boys? Well, that was the trouble, and furnished the excuse for his
willingness to sell the place. He simply could not induce the boys to
stay there and take an interest in things. Two of them, barely more than
boys, had left the home nest in its meanness and degradation and hired
out in town. The mother of the boys was living there because she had to,
but upon her face were lines of suffering and disappointment and
degradation. Yet in the midst of it all, strange to say, the father
seemed to blame the boys and their mother for having conspired against
the interests of the farm home and plotted to get away. In the course of
his conversation he made it somewhat evident that he would have sold out
and left sooner had the other members of the family not been so urgent
about the matter, and that he was now holding on partly to indulge his
spite and feeling of stubbornness in reference to them.

The cheap novels one may pick up depict many a fictitious tragedy. But
in the place just described lies the typical scene of thousands of real
tragedies during the course of which numberless lives of boys and girls
have been wrecked forever,--lives latent with possibilities of goodness
and beauty, of mental and moral strength. And then, the bitterness and
anguish of soul of the mothers of these lost members of a high
humanity--what of that? The silent walls of an untimely grave in many
cases closed them in, while much of the memory of their secret suffering
lies buried with them.


THE CHILDREN'S ROOM

Even though the means available will not allow for more than the
humblest sort of cottage, there should be definite thought of providing
therein some room or niche or corner to be considered as the private
property of the children. In a three-room dwelling on the Kansas prairie
in which lives a happy family of five, and about which thrifty young
shade trees and orchards are growing, there may be seen a children's
room that would surprise and inspire any ordinary observer. In a little
attic room facing the east and reached by a mere step-ladder
arrangement, may be found the "den," which is the private place of the
three children. A small window opens out to the east and a small
improvised dormer window about twelve by twenty inches admits light and
air from the south. There is no plastering or other expensive covering
upon the sloping roof walls, but the artistic mother has provided dainty
white muslin for concealing the rough places, and with the help of the
children she has decorated the little room in a manner that would
attract the very elect. None of this has required a money cost, but it
has all been done beautifully at the expense of thought and good sense
and artistic taste, prompted by rare consideration for the needs of the
boys and girls.

[Illustration: PLATE VI.

FIG. 6.--A commodious farmhouse in Canada, equipped throughout with a
complete water system. Many farmers waste enough trying to build a house
without a modern plan to pay for this extra convenience.]

The two little girls and their brother, ranging in age from five to ten
years, spend many a happy hour in their attic chamber. The heat from the
room below comes through a small aperture and warms the little place in
winter time, while the breeze passes through the little windows in
summer, tempering the room satisfactorily excepting upon extremely hot
days. Upon the walls are arranged beautiful post cards, larger pictures
gathered from magazines and other sources, and small though beautiful
home decorations of every conceivable sort. The little seven-year-old
boy has a small assortment of curios collected from the hills and
streams, while the girls have a small display of their childish
needlework, their dolls, and some of their best school drawings. How
suggestive and how helpful it would be if this little den could be
displayed before the eyes of all the humble cottagers throughout the
rural districts!

Yes, the hogs may live out-of-doors and the horses get along very well
indeed with a temporary barn thatched with straw, but the places of the
boys and girls must be looked after and that in the interest of making
them happy, of filling their lives with every good, clean sentiment, and
of preparing them for that large sphere of usefulness which may mark
their future. If the house be larger than the one we have described,
then provide accordingly for the children. Give them a good room of
their own. Put their ornaments and playthings in it. If there be space,
provide a library containing a few suitable volumes. And after this
thoughtful provision has been made, see to it carefully that their
schedule for work, schooling, and the other duties allows for ample time
and opportunity for their enjoyment of the apartment set aside for them.
In years to come, that sweet poetic sentiment running back to the home
of one's childhood will be given greater strength and beauty because of
the fact that this thing just urged has been done. And more than that,
the man (or woman) who has the blessed privilege of recalling these
bygone scenes of childhood receives from such contemplation a new sense
of inner strength and new enduement of power to go on with life's
struggle and master the larger problems that come to him.


THE EVENING HOUR

No matter what the cares of the day may have been, how many things may
have gone wrong, how much hay left out in the field unprotected from the
rain, how many acres of corn unplowed and losing in the battle with the
weeds, how many items of household duties unperformed--there is every
justification for laying aside these work-a-day affairs at the approach
of bedtime and for the spending of a precious hour with the problems of
the children. Farm parents as well as other parents can thus preserve
their youth and add immeasurably to the joys of their own lives. This
thing of being with the children at evening may seem slightly awkward
and prosaic at first, but it will slowly grow into a habit and will
become transformed into an experience of great charm and beauty. Best of
all the high refinement, potential in the lives of the children, will
thus be gradually brought to an expression, and the foundation stones of
substantial manhood and womanhood will be laid in their lives. Yes, it
is true, even farm parents may learn to lay aside their cares and
perplexities and enjoy the splendid privilege of getting intimately
acquainted with the hopes and desires and aspirations of their boys and
girls!


REFERENCES

    The Outlook to Nature. Revised edition. L. H. Bailey. Page
    79, "The Country Home." Macmillan.

    Low Cost Country Homes. A. Embury, Jr. _Collier's_, June 10,
    1911.

    A Primer of Sanitation. John O. Ritchie. Chapter XXXIII,
    "Public Sanitation." World Book Company, Yonkers, N.Y.
    Recommended for general use.

    From Kitchen to Garret. Virginia Van de Water. Chapter X,
    "The Boy's Room." Sturgis-Walton Company.

    Home Waterworks. Carleton J. Lynde. Sturgis-Walton.

    "Comforts and Conveniences in Farmers' Homes." W. R. Beattie.
    Yearbook, Department of Agriculture, 1909. Washington, D.C.,
    pp. 345-356. See also in same volume, "Hygienic Water Supply
    for Farms," pp. 399-408.

    Water Supply for Farm Residences, The Plan of the Farm-House,
    Saving Steps. Cornell Reading-Courses.

    Rural Hygiene. H. N. Ogden. The Macmillan Company.

    Rural Hygiene. I. N. Brewer. J. P. Lippincott Company,
    Philadelphia.

    Earn your Child's Friendship. J. Balfield. _Lippinott's
    Magazine_, January, 1911.

    Fireside Child Study. Patterson DuBois. Dodd, Mead & Co.

    Home Decorations. Dorothy T. Priestman. Chapter XIV, "Rooms
    for Young People." Penn Publishing Company, Philadelphia.



CHAPTER VI

_JUVENILE LITERATURE IN THE FARM HOME_


It may be truly said that the strength and impressiveness of the
personality depend on the nature of the inner thought of the individual.
Now, thoughts are not unlike the trees and the growing grain, or, for
that matter, any other living thing; unless they have proper nourishment
they wither, perish, or dwindle away to a puny shadow of their possible
selves. How shall we measure the strength and force of the human
character other than by the bigness and the purity of the daily thoughts
of the individual? It matters little what the occupation may be--a hewer
of stone, a hauler of wood, a captain of industry, or a governor of a
state--each of these may be mean and little in his respective position
provided his thoughts be sensuous and groveling. On the other hand, each
of these can shine in his allotted place in a light all his own,
provided he have the habit of entertaining clean and inspiring ideas in
his secret consciousness.

Now, one of the larger problems of the rural life is that of supplying
the many hours necessarily devoted to silent reflection with a suitable
form of thought culture. Proverbially, the farmer and his wife and their
children are hurried along with the work-a-day affairs and tend
gradually to acquire the non-reading habit. This is bad for the parents
in that it keeps their minds running around upon a little cycle of hard,
industrial facts. It is worse for the children in that it fails to
supply the proper nourishment for the dream period through which their
lives are necessarily passing. What can be done, therefore, to nourish
and build up the best possible thought activities, especially in case of
the rural boys and girls?


HOW GOOD THINKING GROWS UP AND FLOURISHES

It may not be out of place to show here somewhat more definitely how
attractive forms of literature gradually work themselves into the lives
of the young. In the first place, the young person cannot invent his own
ideas. He does not manufacture his thoughts out of something latent
within his organism. The latent situation consists merely of a nervous
system prepared to receive manifold impressions and to retain them and
give them back through the process of ideation. That is, the young
person thinks only about things that have actually happened in his life.
All he knows has come to him through the avenue of his senses; what he
has seen and heard and felt, and so on, constitutes the "stuff" out of
which his thoughts are made. So he must have the widest possible
experience, while young, in the use of his natural senses.

The literature best adapted to the child would be that which appeals to
the interests predominating in his life at any given time. During his
early years not hard, prosaic facts, but situations that stretch the
truth and sport with the fixed condition of things are especially
appealing to him. He should therefore be indulged in the classic myths,
fables, fairy tales, and the like. The parent will of course be on guard
against his acquiring any seriously erroneous beliefs in respect to such
things, and also against his receiving any serious shock or fright from
the tragic aspects of the tale. Later on, during the early teens, the
boys and girls will become more and more interested in the stories of
the wars of old and in the fact and romance of history. Stories
supplementing the text-book history of the home country may now be
introduced.

As a possible means of bringing the minds of the boys and girls into a
more intimate knowledge of the rural situation, nature studies and
nature stories should be offered. It must be remembered that it is quite
possible for the boy to grow up within a stone's throw of many of the
living things of nature and yet scarcely recognize their presence, much
less know anything definite about them. Therefore, nature-study books
and leaflets written perhaps in story form and containing attractive
illustrations of the birds, bees, flowers, and trees to be found near
about the rural home will prove most interesting and instructive to the
young. Through such helpful literature the mind will gradually acquire
the habit of casting about in the home environment for the description
of possible objects and conditions new to one.

One of the best and most helpful results accruing to the young person
who indulges the habit of reading good literature is this: he acquires a
large vocabulary of words and phrases in which to clothe his secret
thought and with which to express himself to others. All this furnishes,
not merely a splendid form of entertainment for the silent reflections,
but it also gives the thinker a sense of the power and the worth of his
own personality.


TYPES OF LITERATURE

It may be stated as a foregone conclusion that no farm is well equipped
for the happiness and well-being of those who dwell thereon unless there
be an ample supply of good literature in the house. No matter how well
stocked with high-grade farm animals, how productive in point of farm
crops, how well kept the hedges and lanes may be, secret poverty and
littleness of mind lurk in that home if the literature is wanting. So,
first of all, let us lay the foundation by means of enumerating some
periodicals and books of a more general nature.

[Illustration: PLATE VII.

FIG. 7.--It is a mistake to try to make bookworms of children. Many of
their best books are "green fields and running brooks," also frequent
opportunity to play together in groups and neighborhoods.]

1. _The best reading._--Of course the Bible might head the list. Whether
or not there be a large "family" Bible, there should be at least a text
of convenient size and form for everyday use. This book should contain a
good concordance.

Then there should come into the home a first-class weekly newspaper;
possibly the local paper will supply this need. Many farm homes now
receive a daily paper regularly.

In addition there should be available a weekly or monthly summary of the
current events of the nation and the world. The _Literary Digest_, the
_World's Work_, and the _Review of Reviews_ are examples of standard
magazines of this particular class. Either one of them will stimulate
most helpfully the quiet thought of the farmer and the members of his
family and keep one in touch with the most important movements of the
country.

Along with the foregoing, there should be kept constantly at hand a
first-class farm magazine. There are numberless periodicals of this
sort, but perhaps among those of the first rank and those which
especially give definite helps for the boy-and-girl life of the farm may
be mentioned _Wallaces' Farmer_, Des Moines, Iowa, the _Farmer's Voice_,
Chicago, Illinois, and the _Farmer's Guide_, Huntington, Indiana. Also,
the semi-official state paper well known in many of the commonwealths is
usually very helpful.

Look out for trash. There are many papers published, ostensibly in the
interest of farm life, which are in fact cheap and trashy sheets made
use of almost wholly as a medium of advertising quack medicines,
get-rich-quick schemes, and other frauds. A reliable means of testing
the value of any one of these so-called "farm" or "home" papers is to
examine the advertisements. If there be any considerable number of
advertisements which offer sure cures for chronic diseases, confidential
treatments for secret troubles, fortune telling, and attractive
high-priced articles at a trifling cost, then the whole thing is
probably fraudulent and not worthy to come into your home. Also avoid
the paper or magazine which advertises intoxicating liquors. It is very
low in moral tone, to say the least.

2. _Books for children._--In selecting a list of books for farm boys and
girls, we should make little or no distinction between them and the
children of the city homes. Their earlier literary needs are practically
all alike and their youthful minds must be nourished in about the same
fashion. In offering the lists to follow we do not pretend to have
selected nearly all the profitable books available, but rather to have
named a few examples of volumes already found enticing and helpful to
the young mind. The majority of them are standard and well known. While
the price and publisher are given in many instances, often a cheaper
edition may be had.

In order to proceed with greater certainty and economy in purchasing
books for the children, the rural parent is advised to consult some one
near at hand who is thoroughly familiar with children's literature.
Perhaps the superintendent of schools of the town near by, or some local
minister, or some well-informed leader of a mothers' club, may furnish
the desired assistance. It would also be helpful to write for the
general catalogues of a number of the large publishing and distributing
houses and from their lists select a number of suitable titles. Many of
them publish the older classics in very attractive form for ten to
twenty-five cents, the original unchanged and unabridged.

In order to stimulate interest in forming the nucleus of a home library
the farmer should either make or purchase a small set of book shelves.
Important as it may seem to build a first-class house for the
thoroughbred hogs, this matter of the children's reading is even more
important and should be attended to first, before it becomes too late to
catch the attentive ear of the boys and girls.


A SELECTED LIST


    The following lists are taken chiefly from those selected by
    such well-known critics as Mary Mapes Dodge, Kate Douglas
    Wiggin, Edward Everett Hale, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, and
    Hamilton W. Mabie.


  _Ages Four to Six Years_

    VARIOUS AUTHORS. Boston Collection of Kindergarten Stories.
    J. L. Hammett Company, Boston. 50 cents.

    BRYANT. Stories to Tell to Children. Houghton, Mifflin
    Company.

    HOLBROOK. Hiawatha Primer. 50 cents. Houghton, Mifflin
    Company.

    EGGLESTON. Story of Great America for Little Americans. 35
    cents. Houghton, Mifflin Company.

    SCUDDER. Fables and Folk Stories.

    STEVENSON. A Child's Garden of Verses.

    LANG. Blue Fairy Book.

    RUSKIN. King of the Golden River.

    FIELD. Lullaby Land.

    WIGGIN. The Story Hour.

    SEWELL. Black Beauty.


  _Ages Six to Seven Years_

    NORTON AND STEPHENS. The Heart of Oak Books, No. 1. 25 cents.
    Heath.

    GILBERT. Mother Goose.

    CARROLL (CHARLES L. DODGSON). Alice in Wonderland. $3.
    Harper. 35 cents. Crowell.

    ANDREWS. The Seven Little Sisters. 60 cents. Ginn.

    KINGSLEY. Water Babies.

    KIPLING. The Jungle Book.

    GREENE. King Arthur and his Court.


  _Ages Seven to Eight Years_

    GRIMM. Fairy Tales. Translated Mrs. E. Lucas. $2.50.
    Lippincott.

    GOLDSMITH. Goody Two-Shoes. 25 cents. Heath

    ÆSOP. Fables. Selected by Jacobs. $1.50. Macmillan.

    HARRIS. Nights with Uncle Remus. $1.50. Houghton, Mifflin.

    BIBLE STORIES. 60 cents. A. L. Burt Company, New York.

    HAWTHORNE. Wonderbook and Tanglewood Tales.

    IRVING. Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, or
    The Sketch Book.


  _Ages Eight to Nine Years_

    BALDWIN. Fifty Famous Stories Retold. 35 cents. American Book
    Company.

    LONGFELLOW. Hiawatha, The Village Blacksmith, The Children's
    Hour, etc.

    MABIE. Norse Stories Retold from Edda. $1.80. Dodd, Mead.

    MILLER. Out-of-Door Diary for Boys and Girls. Sturgis-Walton
    Company.


  _Ages Nine to Ten Years_

    NORTON AND STEPHENS. Heart of Oak Books, No. 4. 45 cents.
    Heath.

    HODGES. The Garden of Eden. (Bible Stories.) $1.50. Houghton,
    Mifflin.

    MATHEWS. Familiar Trees and Their Leaves. $1.75. Appleton.

    BURROUGHS. Wake Robin.


  _Ages Ten to Eleven Years_

    HIGGINSON. Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic.

    DANA. How to know the Wild Flowers. $2. Scribner.

    BLANCHAN. Bird Neighbors. 35 cents. Doubleday, Page.

    NORTON AND STEPHENS. Heart of Oak Books, No. 5. 50 cents.
    Heath.

    CHURCH. Stories from Virgil.

    MORLEY. A Song of Life.

    STEVENSON. Treasure Island.


  _Ages Eleven to Twelve Years_

    ALCOTT. Little Women. $1.50. Little Men. $1.50. Little, Brown
    & Co.

    LUCAS. A Wanderer in London. $1.75. Macmillan.

    ALDRICH. Story of a Bad Boy. $1.25. Houghton, Mifflin.

    SHAKESPEARE. The Tempest.

    SCOTT. Tales of a Grandfather. The Talisman.

    EDGEWORTH. Parent's Assistant.


  _Ages Twelve to Thirteen Years_

    KIPLING. Just So Stories. $1.20. Doubleday, Page.

    SETON-THOMPSON. Wild Animals I have Known. $2. Scribner.

    WYSS. Swiss Family Robinson. 60 cents. McKay; also Dutton.

    PALMER. The Odyssey. $1. Houghton, Mifflin.

    GOLDSMITH. The Vicar of Wakefield.

    DICKENS. A Christmas Carol. The Cricket on the Hearth.

    HUGHES. Tom Brown at Rugby.


  _Ages Thirteen to Fourteen Years_

    SWIFT. Gulliver's Travels. $1.50. Macmillan.

    LONGFELLOW. Evangeline.

    DANA. Two Years before the Mast. $1. Houghton, Mifflin.

    NORTON AND STEPHENS. Heart of Oak Books, No. 6. 55 cents.
    Heath.

    LAMB. Tales from Shakespeare.

    COFFIN. Old Times in the Colonies.

    FRANKLIN. Autobiography.

    STOWE. Uncle Tom's Cabin.


  _Ages Fourteen to Fifteen Years_

    DEFOE. Robinson Crusoe. $1. McLoughlin. $1.50. Harper.

    BUNYAN. Pilgrim's Progress.

    NORTON AND STEPHENS. Heart of Oak Books, No. 7. 60 cents.
    Heath.

    AUSTEN. Pride and Prejudice.

    THOREAU. Walden.


  _Ages Fifteen to Sixteen Years_

    COOPER. Leather Stocking Tales.

    BURROUGHS. Birds and Bees. 15 cents. Strawbridge and
    Clothier.

    PYLE. Robin Hood. 60 cents. Scribner.

    SCOTT. Ivanhoe. 60 cents. Appleton. Lady of the Lake. 35
    cents.

    GINN. Lay of the Last Minstrel. 25 cents. Macmillan.


  _Sixteen Years Old and Older_

    IRVING. The Alhambra. 25 cents. Macmillan.

    MACAULAY. Lays of Ancient Rome. 75 cents. Macmillan.

    KIPLING. Captains Courageous. $1.50. Century.

    NICOLAY AND HAY. Boy's Life of Lincoln. $1.50. Century.

    EGGLESTON. Hoosier School Boy. $1. Scribner; also Heath.

In addition to the foregoing, there is beginning to come from the press
a mass of juvenile literature that promises to furnish most practical
inspiration and guidance to the juvenile mind on the farm. Much of this
new rural life literature may be had for the asking or for the mere
price of publication. The following are recommended:--

    _The Rural School Leaflet._ Edited by Alice G. McCloskey, and
    issued under the general direction of L. H. Bailey at Ithaca,
    N.Y.

    The Country Life Publications, issued by D. W. Working,
    Superintendent of Agricultural Extension, Morgantown, W.Va.

    The series published by A. B. Graham, Superintendent of the
    Extension Department, Ohio University, Columbus.

    The annual reports of County Superintendent O. J. Kern,
    Rockford, Ill., and of County Superintendent George W. Brown,
    Paris, Ill.

    The Wisconsin Arbor and Bird Day Annual, issued by State
    Superintendent C. P. Cary, Madison, Wis.

The Extension Departments of many of the state universities and nearly
all of the state agricultural colleges are now issuing a series of small
pamphlets on such matters as stock judging, grain breeding, soil
testing, and home economics. This literature should be given the widest
possible circulation in the country home, as it will prove helpful both
to the young and to the parents in their direction of the young.


_Literature on Child-rearing_

Parents who are seriously in earnest in the matter of developing the
lives of their children will find great assistance and much inspiration
through the reading of books and magazines on the child-rearing
problems. In fact, it may be put down as a practical certainty that the
work of child training cannot go on effectively and continue in its
interest except one have some aids of the kind just named. Therefore,
the interested parent should cast about for the books and magazines that
promise to serve in the solution of the particular problems at hand. It
happens that the author has collected a large number of books and
periodicals of this class and that he has made a somewhat critical
examination of them.

In listing the titles below, a word or phrase is used to indicate the
contents or purpose of the text.

  1. Periodicals on Child-rearing

    _The American Baby._ American Publishing Company, 1 Madison
    Ave., New York City. $1 per year, 10 cents per copy. Contains
    much detailed and most helpful instruction on the care of the
    child.

    _American Motherhood._ Coopertown, N.Y. $1 per year, 10 cents
    per copy. Helpful and sympathetic. Especially strong in
    respect to health and sanitation and in methods of
    instructing children in regard to the secrets of life.

    _The Child-Welfare Magazine._ Official organ of the National
    Congress of Mothers, 147 North 10th Street, Philadelphia. 50
    cents per year, 10 cents per copy.

The educational pamphlets published by the Society of Sanitary and Moral
Prophylaxis, 9 E 2d Street, New York City. Excellent monographs, each
treating some urgent child problem in relation to morals, sanitation,
and the like.

The Home-training Bulletins, prepared and issued by William A. McKeever,
Professor of Philosophy, State Agricultural College, Manhattan, Kan. 5
cents each. Each of these pamphlets contains about sixteen pages and
covers a particular home-training problem. The numbers thus far issued
are:--

  1. The Cigarette Smoking Boy.

  2. Teaching the Boy to Save.

  3. Training the Girl to Help in the Home.

  4. Assisting the Boy in the Choice of a Vocation.

  5. A Better Crop of Boys and Girls.

  6. Training the Boy to Work.

  7. Teaching the Girl to Save.

  8. Instructing the Young in Regard to Sex.

Others are in course of preparation.


  2. Books on Child-rearing

    HOLT. Care and Feeding of Children. $1 Appleton. Most helpful
    and practical.

    CURLEY. Short Talks with Young Mothers. $1.50. Putnams.
    Helpful from the medical side.

    HARRISON. A Study of Child Nature. $1. Chicago Kindergarten
    College. Excellent. A standard help.

    ALLEN. Civics and Health. $1.25. Ginn & Co. Most helpful on
    the side of sanitation.

    HALL. Youth. $1.50. Appleton. A great book on child study by
    one of the world's leading authorities.

    KING. Psychology of Child Development. $1. University of
    Chicago Press. A Fundamental work for those who wish to make
    a scientific study of child life.

    RITCHIE. A Primer of Sanitation. 60 cents. World Book
    Company. A clear, helpful presentation of the facts.

    CHANCE. The Care of the Child. $1. Penn Publishing Company.
    Full of detailed information about infants, especially.

    MANGOLD. Child Problems. $1.25. Macmillan. Presents the
    matter ably and in the light of the freshest information.

    CALL. The Freedom of Life. $1. Little, Brown & Co. A great
    and inspiring book. Will give rest and poise to tired
    mothers.

    GULICK. Mind and Work. $1. Doubleday, Page & Co. A companion
    book to the one above, only more suitable for the father.

    SALEEBY. Parenthood and Race Culture. $2.50. Moffat, Yard &
    Co., New York. A remarkably instructive volume on race
    improvement.


REFERENCES

    How to Direct Children's Reading. Mae E. Schreiber. Annual
    volume N.E.A., 1900, p. 637.

    A Suggestive List for a Children's Library, 483 titles. Helen
    T. Kennedy. Democrat Printing Company. Minneapolis.

    A Mother's List of Books for Children. Catherine W. Arnold.
    A. C. McClurg & Co.

    Children's Rights. Kate Douglas Wiggin. Pages 69 ff. "What
    shall Children Read?" Houghton, Mifflin Company.

    Fingerposts of Children's Reading. Walter Taylor Field.
    McClurg & Co. Gives extensive lists.

    Books for Boys and Girls. Brooklyn Public Library, New York.
    A carefully selected list of 1700 titles, 200 of them being
    especially marked for their value.



CHAPTER VII

_THE RURAL CHURCH AND THE YOUNG PEOPLE_


There was never a greater demand for efficient leadership in the rural
communities than there is to-day. The country has continued for many
years past to become richer in farm products and equipment, but it has
steadily grown poorer in social and spiritual values. In fact we have
unconsciously acquired a distorted idea of values. Hogs are too high in
proportion to boys. Beef cattle are absorbing too much interest in
proportion to the time and money expended in perfecting the character of
girls. It has long been the proud boast of the Middle Western states
that they could feed the entire country. And we have continued so long
in this way as now to regard big crops and the great abundance of farm
animals and other such material possessions as ends in themselves. So it
is high time that we ask ourselves what this material wealth is all for.
Looked at from at least one high vantage point, it may be properly
regarded as so much encumbrance unless we shall be able to convert it
into a means to some worthy and spiritual purpose.


DECADENCE OF RURAL LIFE

The open country in the Middle Western states has for some time been the
breeding place for sterling manhood and ideal womanhood, and the
recruiting ground wherefrom have been drawn many men and women to
undertake the management of the larger enterprises of the country. The
enforced self denial and discipline of work; the continued practice of
quiet reflection; the comparative freedom from the evil and degrading
influences peculiar to much of the child life in the cities; and many
other character-building experiences could be set down on the favorable
side of rural child-rearing in the past. But this situation is rapidly
changing. The ten-year period just closing has witnessed a decadence of
country life, the rural population actually showing a decrease. Large
numbers of the best families have moved to the cities and towns, and
their places on the farm have been taken by irresponsible laborers and
transient renters.

Yes, the wealth of the rural community is still there, lying more or
less dormant, and all the other means of a splendid civilization are
there. But in the usual instance there is no one to assume the
leadership in bringing about the reconstruction of the rural life. Now
that he has accumulated such an abundance of material things, the
typical farmer needs to be shown how to deal more fairly and helpfully
with the various members of his family. Some farmers' wives are
gradually being dragged to death with the over-burden of work, which
might be obviated if the farmer and his wife were both shown
specifically a better way of getting things done. Many boys and girls
growing up in the country are being cheated out of their natural
heritage of good health, spontaneous play, and the joy of social
intercourse, all because of the fact that farm products are too much
regarded as an end rather than a means to the higher development of the
members of the rural family. So a good soil and excellent crops are
essentials for a substantial rural society, but they are not a certain
evidence of such thing. It is possible to go into some of the country
communities where these material things are accumulated in great
abundance and yet find the people there living a little, mean, and
narrow form of life, and that chiefly because they do not quite
understand how to use the splendid means at hand in the accomplishment
of some high and worthy purposes.


WORK FOR THE MINISTRY

And so we hereby issue a call and a challenge for workers to enter the
great fallow field just named and make it blossom with new social and
spiritual life. And it is the conviction of some that the ministers of
the town and village churches can undertake this work much better than
any other class of persons, for they are already in many respects
trained leaders. Let these ministers be provided if possible with an
assistant, a layman it may be, for both their town and country work.
Then let each of them have a rural appointment to which they may go from
one to four times each month; and, inspired by a vision of all the
possibilities ahead of them and endued with divine power and guidance,
enter earnestly into the great work of rehabilitating the country
community. It is evident that the minister who will leave his town
congregation with perhaps only one Sunday sermon and go to a country
church and preach to the adults, and teach and lead the young, while his
assistant takes charge of the second Sunday service at home--it is
evident that such a minister will not only wear longer in the locality
in which he is stationed, but that he will find in the rural work just
mentioned such a flood of zeal and inspiration as will more than make up
for and repay the effort. Many of the town ministers are preaching to
audiences that are more or less irresponsive to what they have to say.
Under present conditions they are compelled to preach to the same
audiences too much. Their sermons grow stale. But under the arrangement
here recommended, such conditions would not obtain. They would come back
from the rural appointment so laden with new ideas and ideals as to
appear to the home congregation in a most advantageous light.


THE COUNTRY MINISTER

There is at present not a little promise that there may be developed
throughout the country a new type of country-dwelling ministers. It is
certainly a logical position for the effective religious worker to
assume; namely, that of actually dwelling among those whom he is
attempting to serve. He acquires an intimate knowledge of their
problems, their point of view, including the status of their individual
beliefs and prejudices.

[Illustration: PLATE VIII.

FIG. 8.--The fifty-year-old country church at Plainfield.

FIG. 9.--The new country church at Plainfield, Illinois, erected through
the inspiration and leadership of Reverend Matthew B. McNutt.]

As an example of what the country minister can achieve one needs to read
an account of the splendid work of the Rev. Mathew B. McNutt of
Plainfield, Illinois. Mr. McNutt was called to this charge in 1900 when
a fresh graduate from a Presbyterian seminary. At the time of his call
there was in the locality a small dead or nominal church membership and
an occasional weak, ineffective service held in the little old church of
fifty years' standing. This devoted and far-seeing man got down among
the people with whom he settled, made a careful survey of the economic,
the social, and the religious life of the place, and began his wonderful
work of reconstructing all this. The ultimate purpose was the
improvement of the spiritual well-being. He organized singing schools,
granges, literary and debating societies, sewing societies, and clubs of
various other sorts, all as a means of awakening the life of the
community and bringing the people together in a spirit of mutual
sympathy and helpfulness. After less than a decade of hard work a
marvelous transformation of the rural life thereabout was achieved.
Among other notable changes was a new church to supplant the old one.
The new building was erected at a cash cost of ten thousand dollars; has
an audience room seating five hundred or more, several Sunday school
class rooms, a choir room, a cloak room, a pastor's study and a mothers'
room, all on the main floor. In the basement below there is a good
kitchen, a dining room with equipment, also a furnace, a store room, and
the like. The church membership has grown to one hundred sixty-three
with many non-members attending, while the Sunday school enrollment
increased to three hundred.

Now there are always a few minds who wish to measure all earthly things
in terms of a money value. To such it may be shown that the land values
in the vicinity of this new country church have gone up to a marked
degree and that the economic conditions are all of a most satisfactory
nature.

As further evidence of what a rural community working together may
achieve for the spiritual welfare, there may be cited the instance of
the little side station by the name of Ogden in Riley County, Kansas.
Here the people got together and voted to build a country church, and
that without determining as to the denominational affiliation. A
committee of leaders was appointed to raise funds and to draw plans for
the building. In a short time, arrangements were perfected for
constructing the building at a cost of four thousand dollars. It was
later voted to place this new church temporarily under the direction of
the Congregational church in Manhattan, fifteen miles away.

In one or two instances the religious leaders in a country community
have succeeded admirably in establishing a "commission" form of church
administration. The method pursued has been that of having a committee
of three, each a member of a different church, to call by turn from the
towns near by the ministers of the various denominations. Further
details of the plans provide for the committee to raise funds so that
the minister may be paid a definite amount for the service conducted.

One of the first essential steps in the establishment of a rural church
is a careful survey or study of the situation. While it may be accounted
a sin against God and humanity to add another church where there are
already more than the people can support, often it will be found that
very large, well populated country districts are wholly without access
to any religious service whatever. Verily, the field is white unto the
harvest and the laborers as yet are few.


A MISTAKE IN TRAINING

Too long we have been training young people in the school and in the
home to struggle for the best of everything--a sort of rivalry that
results in envy, jealousy, and strife, and a falling apart where there
should be coöperation and sympathy and a spirit of mutual helpfulness.
The craze for clothes, the glare of the electric lights, and the lure of
the cheap theater have struck the country people and are drawing away
much of the best young blood there. It seems that we have over-done this
thing of pointing to the top and urging our young people to scramble for
that, until as a result no one is looking for a place to serve, while
all are looking for a place to shine. Now, there may be "plenty of room
at the top" for selfish scrambling, but in some respects the top is
woefully over-crowded. On the other hand, there is a vast amount of good
room at the bottom, acres of it, and we might well commend it to every
one who may be imbued with the idea of doing some effective work in the
world. All over the broad, open country, in thousands of rural
districts, the situation at the bottom is literally crying out for
constructive workers who will come in there with their good courage,
their scientific training, and in the name of the Most High get down
among the people and the common things in the midst of which the people
live and lay a substantial foundation for a new and beautiful
structure--an edifice erected out of the plain materials to be found in
any ordinary rural community, and that by means of transforming such
things and making them contributive to the high and lofty
spirit-purposes for which they are really designed.


RURAL CHILD-REARING

We are not half awake as yet to the meaning and possibilities of the
rural community as a place for rearing children. The city environment
ripens youths too fast and too early and works all the spontaneity and
aggressiveness out of the boys and girls before their mature judgments
are ready to function. As a result of this city hot-bed, we have as a
type the blasé sort of young man, and a young woman who is overly smart
in respect to the "proper things to do." Either of them has little power
of initiative and less power of persistence. One of the greatest virtues
of the somewhat isolated rural home is that it matures human character
more slowly and keeps the boys and girls fresh and "green" and
spontaneous while there is being gradually worked into their characters
the habit of industry and the power of doing constructive work.

If one should desire to obtain a sterling specimen of manhood, he would
not take up with the "smart" city youth who at the age of sixteen has
had all the experiences known to men. The latter is too ripe. He knows
it all. From his own point of view, his knowledge of the world is nearly
completed. No, one would prefer to go to the most remote country
district and, if need be, lasso some green, gawky, sixteen-year-old who
is afraid of the cars and the big girls and who has never had a suit of
clothes that fits him. This scared, unbroken youth would go through a
tremendous amount of rough-and-tumble, trial-and-error experiences
during the course of his college training; and he would live intensively
and rush into many unknown places and commit many blunders, between
whiles catching countless inspiring visions of how he might be or become
a man of great strength and ruggedness of character. Such a man might be
relied upon to shoulder the heavy burdens of the world. Such a man could
be called out to join in the forefront of battle when the moral and
religious rights of the people were at issue. Such a man when fully
matured could be sent into some kind of missionary field and be expected
to labor there for a long time alone, courageous and persistent, finally
winning a very small following; then a larger number of adherents; and
then the entire population at his heels, applauding and backing him up
in his every worthy effort.

The author has long had a vision of a man trained and developed through
the seasoning experiences just sketched and who, under the inspiration
and the guidance of the Most High, will go into these rural communities
which are latent with material life, and there begin his labors in
behalf of the higher things into which all the elements of this typical
rural situation may be transformed. Just as fast as men hear this divine
call and heed it and take up this work, so fast will our country life be
reconstructed and the best that is in our society become gloriously
transformed and everlastingly saved as a heritage of the oncoming
generations. And it is evident that the rural minister, working through
the rural church, is the person to whom this divine call may most
naturally come.


THE CHURCHES TOO NARROW

Not a few of the country churches are too narrow in their limitations,
tending to chill out those who do not happen to be adherents of the
creed, and to foster dissensions and hatred among neighbors. And they
are not touching in a vital way the lives of country boys and girls.

[Illustration: PLATE IX.

FIG. 10.--This attractive and modern church building was erected by the
Christian people living in the vicinity of the country village of Ogden,
Kansas. Four different denominations participated at its dedication. Its
ruling body is undenominational.]

It will be agreed that the gospel of the Master of men may be made so
broad and inviting as to attract all who have a spark of religion in
their natures, and that means practically every one in the community.
But there is no good reason why the rural church should stand alone as
such. It should and can be made a social as well as a religious center
for the whole community. So, let there be constructed a modern building
with big windows, and several apartments for Sunday school classes,
and for meetings of social groups, such as the grange, the farmers'
institute, the sewing society, and the literary and debating clubs. Then
there should be apparatus for the preparation of meals, with a room in
which a long table might be spread as occasion demands. Outside of this
building there should be a children's playground with some simple
apparatus for play.

Not less frequently than one afternoon of the month--and twice would be
better--the people of the community should drop everything and come
together for a good social time and a general exchange of ideas. On an
occasion of this kind the town minister could be present or someone from
the outside who would bring with him at least one helpful and practical
idea about building up country life. Let this building be regarded as
the property of every man, woman, and child in the community and strive
to bring it to pass that the legitimate and worthy interest of all shall
be actually served there.


CONSTRUCTIVE WORK OF THE CHURCH

This country church here thought of need be no less a religious affair,
but it must become distinctively a socializing agency. It must not
merely save souls, but it must save and conserve and develop for this
present life the bodily, the moral, and the intellectual powers of the
young. One cannot adequately develop those splendid latent powers in
young people solely by means of teaching them the Sunday school lesson
or preaching to them, no matter how true the gospel may be. The evidence
is ample to show that boys and girls who attend church and Sunday school
are nevertheless falling into many vicious habits of conduct, and are
growing up without many of the forms of discipline and training
essential for stable Christian character and social and moral
efficiency. In fact as a means of temporal salvation the old-fashioned
church and Sunday school are proving more and more a failure.

Now, as soon as the church realizes the meaning of the foregoing
situation and acts accordingly, just so soon will this splendid old
institution be enabled to do efficient work in vitalizing the practical
affairs of the community in which it is located. To illustrate this
point: The great curse of boyhood to-day is the tobacco habit, and this
vitiating practice is slowly working its way among the country youth.
The youth who acquires the smoking habit before becoming physically
matured thereby depletes his physical health to a marked degree, reduces
his mental efficiency ten to fifty per cent, and almost completely
destroys his power of initiative. Such a youth is never found contending
for any moral issue or any high and worthy cause of the people. His
constructive instinct is made more quiescent, while his disposition to
condone evil is greatly and permanently increased. Boys who attend
church and Sunday school are also, like others, falling victims to the
sex evils of various forms.


AN INNOVATION IN THE RURAL CHURCH

Perhaps there is no better illustration of how the economic affairs of
the neighborhood may be vitally linked with the church service than the
work carried on under the direction of Superintendent George W. Brown,
of Paris, Illinois. During one year Mr. Brown conducted on seven
different occasions an over-Sunday program, somewhat as follows:--

On Saturday either at the country school house or in the basement of the
country church there was arranged an exhibition of corn, while during
the day class exercises in the study of corn were in progress. On the
day following, Sunday, there were two sermons, the theme of each being
closely allied to the economic problems studied the day previously. The
ministers are reported to have coöperated enthusiastically in this work,
each one attempting in his sermon to show how better economic life may
be made contributive to a better religious life.

On the Monday following, the program was continued with a farmers'
institute representative of the several interests of the adults and the
young people. At this Monday meeting a number of the faculty of the
state university were in attendance and gave helpful addresses
appropriate to the occasion. At night the County Superintendent gave an
illustrated lecture, using the stereopticon to show the audience just
what was being done in the various parts of the county and country by
way of improvement of the social and economic conditions.

In many places in the New England and other eastern states the rural
communities are attacking the social-religious problems in practically
the same manner as is being done at Plainfield, Illinois. At Danbury,
New Hampshire, there is a Country Settlement Association, which is
accomplishing some epoch-making things. At the official building there
is provided a trained nurse to assist the entire community. The
organization conducts social-betterment work for the local neighborhood
and leads in a campaign for social reform throughout the state.

Likewise, at Lincoln, Vermont, there is an interesting example of
coöperation between the religious and social interests. Three churches
have formed a federated society. In a building maintained in common by
them, the meetings of the Ladies' Aid Society, the Good Templars, the
Grange, the Grand Army Post, and many others of a social nature are
held. Such coöperative work is certain to have a helpful and
far-reaching effect on any community.

[Illustration: PLATE X.

FIG. 11.--An illustration of "Corn Sunday," as instituted by
Superintendent Jessie Field, Clarinda, Iowa, in the rural churches
thereabout.]


SPIRITUALIZE CHILD LIFE

Above all things else, let the country church be reorganized with
reference to the interests of the young. Let the minister and the other
leaders take a firm stand for a square deal for the farm boys and girls
in respect to work and play and sociability. Let them place before
country parents clear, concrete models and methods as to how to accord
fair treatment to the children in every particular thing. Let them
organize the young people of the community into groups for play and
sociability and direct them in both of these matters.

It is high time we were considering all of our legitimate interests as a
part of our religion. Indeed, there is no good reason why the young
people could not meet together at the rural church and on the same
evening have an oyster supper and a prayer meeting. They could very
consistently discuss and participate in both a temporal and a spiritual
affair on the same occasion and in such a way that each part of the
program would be vitalized by the others. And likewise the smaller
children. It should not be considered at all irreverent for one to go
directly with them to the playground after the Sunday school lesson is
ended and there lead and direct them in their health-giving enjoyments.
Try this in your rural-church society centers and see if the boys and
girls do not run with great enthusiasm to the whole affair.

One great error committed by many of us in the past is that of regarding
work and things as arbitrarily high or low. But the author does not see
why plowing corn may not be made just as sacred and just as divine a
calling as preaching the gospel, provided the former be regarded in the
light of service of some high spiritual purpose; as indeed it may be.
So, here is a distinctive part of the function of the rural church;
namely, to spiritualize work as well as workers--to urge upon the
attention of the rural inhabitants the thought that their work must all
be regarded as a means to the transformation of the community life and
of each individual life into a thing of transcendent worth and beauty.


A SUMMARY

Now, here is the proposed plan in a nutshell. The country community is
the best place in the world for bringing up a sturdy race of men and
women and the country church is or can be made one of the greatest
agencies in the achievement of this work. But such achievement can best
be brought about only when the country church goes to work to save the
whole boy and the whole girl. And that means that the church must
understand better how human life grows up--that it must meet these
growing boys and girls on their own level of everyday interest and
socialize and spiritualize these interests through close contact with
them. Then, make the rural church a social center for the young,
including exercises in work and play and recreation, as well as a place
for religious instruction. The child is a creature of activity and not
of passivity. You cannot preach him into the kingdom in a lifetime; but
you can get down with him and work with him and play with him and guide
and direct him through his self-chosen, everyday interests, to the end
that he may afterwards enter the ranks of the Lord's anointed.

Again, it is urged, make your country church a center for the entire
life of the community. Not only have the adults bring their practical
affairs to this center for consideration, but have the boys and girls
come with their implements of work and play, with their specimens of
farm and home produce and handiwork, with their miniature menageries and
workshops--all this with joy and reverence before and after the
religious services.


REFERENCES

    Efficient Democracy. W. H. Allen. Chapter X. "Efficiency in
    Religious Work." Dodd, Mead & Co.

    Rural Christendom. Charles Roads. Prize Essay. American
    Sunday-School Union, Philadelphia.

    Report of the Commission on Country Life, pp. 137-144,
    Sturgis-Walton Co.

    The Country Church and the Library. John Cotton Dana.
    _Outlook_, May 6, 1911.

    The Country Church and the Rural Problem. Kenyon L.
    Butterfield. University of Chicago Press. A strong
    presentation of the entire situation.

    The Rural Church and Community Development. President Kenyon
    L. Butterfield. The Association Press, New York. A collection
    of practical papers and discussions on several important
    topics.

    The Day of the Country Church. J. O. Ashenhurst. Funk &
    Wagnalls Co., New York. Read especially the excellent chapter
    on "Leadership."

    The Church and the Rural Community. Symposium. _American
    Journal of Sociology._ March, 1911.

    Philanthropy, A Trained Profession. Lewis. Forum, March,
    1910.

    _Rural Manhood._ The Association Press, New York Monthly.
    This magazine publishes many excellent articles on the Rural
    Church.

    The Inefficient Minister. _Literary Digest_, April 10, 1909.
    A report of the criticisms of Dr. Henry S. Pritchett, of the
    Carnegie Foundation, and Dr. Henry Aked, of San Francisco.

    _World's Work_, December, 1910. An interesting account of
    Reverend Matthew McNutt's work in building up a country
    church.

    The Country Church. George F. Wells, in Cyclopedia of
    American Agriculture, by L. H. Bailey, volume IV, page 297.



CHAPTER VIII

_THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE RURAL SCHOOL_


The country districts are slowly waking up to an appreciation of the
fact that within their bounds lie, not only all the elements fundamental
to the material wealth of the world, but that they also contain in a
more or less dormant form all the essential factors of intellectual and
spiritual wealth. The rural school is theoretically the best place on
earth for the education of the child, not only because of its close
proximity to the sources of material wealth, but because of the openness
and comparative freedom of its surroundings. Then, the country school is
especially effective as a place of instruction on account of its happy
relation to work and industry. Too often the boys and girls of the town
school go unwillingly to their class rooms with the feeling that the
lessons are heavily imposed tasks.

But in the typical country school the pupils are young persons who have
already experienced much of the strain of work and who go somewhat
eagerly to the schoolroom, because it is in a sense recreative to them,
and because of their being in a position to see more clearly what
substantial training is to mean to them in the future. That is to say, a
distinctive difference between the typical country child and the typical
city child is this: the former believes that he is pursuing the course
of instruction in a more voluntary spirit and for the sake of his own
personal interests and up-building, while the latter is inclined to feel
that he is performing the school tasks for the sake of some one else and
because of the strict requirements of outside force or law.


RADICAL CHANGES IN THE VIEW-POINT AND METHOD

But if the theoretic worth of the rural school is to be made at all
actual, some very radical changes in view-point and method must come to
pass. First of all, we must keep asking the question, What is education
for? And perhaps we must accept the answer that in its best form
education serves the higher needs and requirements of the life we are
trying to live to-day. In case of rural teachers and parents it has been
too common a practice to urge the child on in his lesson-getting with
the statement, or at least the suggestion, that lessons well mastered in
time furnish a guarantee of a life of comparative ease and freedom from
heavy toil. The sermonette preached to the boy in this situation is too
often substantially as follows: "Go on, my boy, master your lessons,
pass up through the grades, and be graduated. Behold So and So, a great
captain of wealth, and such and such a one, a great statesman. Now,
these persons are in a position to take life easy. They have wealth to
spend for the employment of labor and need to do little of such thing
themselves."

In other words, the view-point of the school has been radically wrong.
We have been advancing the idea that education enables one to get _out
of_ work, whereas we should have been urging that education of the right
sort enables one to get _into_ work. That is, it means enlarged capacity
for work and service and proportionately enlarged joy and contentment in
the performance of worthy work of any nature whatsoever. Let rural
parents once inculcate the last-named point of view upon their growing
boys and girls and the attitude of the latter toward the school and its
tasks will be likewise radically changed.


ALL HAVE A RIGHT TO CULTURE

And then, a second question we need to ask ourselves is, Whom is
education for? or, What classes should have the benefits of it? A close
comparison of the school ideals of twenty-five years ago with the most
progressive ones of to-day reveals a surprising situation. Without
seemingly realizing the fact, we continued for generations in this
country to tax ourselves heavily for the purpose of supporting schools
almost exclusively in behalf of the so-called professional classes. We
said, especially to the growing boy: "Now, if you wish to become a
lawyer, a physician, a minister, or a teacher, here is your opportunity.
Pursue this well-arranged course, finish it up, and that all at our
expense. But if you wish to become a farmer, a merchant, a craftsman of
any sort, then this institution is not at your service. We will teach
you to read and write and cipher, after which you may look out for
yourself." Thus we were taxing the masses for the exclusive education of
a few classes. To-day the best ideal is a radically different one, as it
attempts to serve all worthy classes and vocations through the school
administration. It assumes that artisans as well as artists and the
professional classes have the same inherent right to both the practical
aid and the direct culture which an educational course may furnish.

As a practical result of this new ideal, now rapidly advancing
throughout the country, we are about to have an age of cultured farmers,
high-minded stock raisers, refined architects and builders, and so on.
That is, our newest and best educational courses are beginning to
provide the means and opportunities for the education of all worthy
classes. So it behooves all interested rural parents to turn their best
efforts toward the transformation and the betterment of the country
school. Certain specific achievements in relation thereto are now being
planned for and in many instances accomplished. Let every one concerned
take notice of this situation and join with all possible earnestness in
the forward movement.

In his instructive monograph entitled "Changing Conceptions of
Education," Professor E. P. Cubberley states the new ideal as follows:--

"The school is essentially a time- and labor-saving device,
created--with us--by democracy to serve democracy's needs. To convey to
the next generation the knowledge and the accumulated experience of the
past is not its only function. It must equally prepare the future
citizen for the to-morrow of our complex life. The school must grasp the
significance of its social connections and relations, and must come to
realize that its real worth and its hope of adequate reward lie in its
social efficiency. There are many reasons for believing that this change
is taking place rapidly at present, and that an educational sociology,
needed as much by teachers to-day as an educational psychology, is now
in the process of being formulated for our use."


WORK FOR A LONGER TERM

One of the first steps toward a more helpful schooling for the country
youth is that of lengthening the yearly school term. In many thousands
of instances, the country school is conducted for only three to five
months during the year, and even this short term is indifferently
attended. But the actual length of the year should be seven months or
more. Many of the country districts can easily provide for eight
months. The farmer should not concern himself about a small additional
tax, but should have in mind rather the larger additional gain to the
well-being of the young in the community. If the local tax be not
sufficient for supporting a longer term and a better school, then seek
to have laws authorizing the distribution of state aid to the weaker
districts. This law has been actually passed in a number of the
commonwealths. The act in the usual case provides a general school fund
out of which the deficit for the smaller rural districts may be made up.


COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE LAWS NEEDED

The far-seeing country dweller will be glad to join in a movement in
behalf of compulsory attendance at the public schools. Already a number
of states have enacted fairly good laws on this subject, but some of
them allow "loopholes" providing for the too easy avoidance of their
requirements. Perhaps the best and most effective type of law of this
class is that which requires the child under fourteen years of age to
attend the entire term of the public schools, allowing for his absence
only in case of sickness or in cases where it is shown upon
investigation and beyond question that he is the main support and
breadwinner of a family.

In connection with the legal requirements for compulsory attendance,
there must, of course, be provision for the truant. Truant officers,
who may be required to serve only part time and who may receive pay for
actual services, are set over specified districts and required to bring
in all truant school children. Although this compulsory attendance law
has been in force only a few years, reports show an almost unanimous
belief in its effectiveness. The reader will understand the
justification of such a law to be this; namely, the inherent right of
the child to be educated whether he may appreciate such right or
advantage or not, and the implied right of the community to have his
best service as a well-educated member of society. The effects upon
crime and criminality of the neglect of the education of the young have
been so thoroughly discussed of late as to require no restatement here.


BETTER SCHOOLHOUSES AND EQUIPMENT

A survey of the entire country from one side to another reveals a
deplorable state of affairs in respect to the conditions of the typical
rural schoolhouse. In thousands of cases, there is nothing more than a
dingy, little, old one-room building, scarcely suitable as a place
wherein to shelter chickens or pigs, and with nothing in the
surroundings to suggest or even hint at a place where young minds are
taught how to aim at the high things of life. Now, these crude
structures were once a necessity. In pioneer days the little, old box
schoolhouse, or even the sod structure, served a mighty purpose in the
transformation of the plains and the wilderness. But times are now
radically changed. The wealth of the country is abundant. Improvements
of nearly every other sort have gone on as the times advanced. But too
often the little, old cheap schoolhouse on the bleak country slope
became a fixed habit. In setting forth plans for a newer and better
country school building, the author cannot improve upon those prepared
by E. T. Fairchild, State Superintendent of Public Instruction in
Kansas, and published in his Seventeenth Biennial Report. We therefore
quote as follows:--

1. _Location._--"In selecting a site for a school building, the
questions of drainage, convenience, beauty of surroundings, and
accessibility should have prime consideration. Select, if possible, some
plat of ground slightly elevated, and of which the surface may be
properly drained and kept free from mud. It should be especially seen to
that water may not stand under the building. If the elevation is not
sufficient, this trouble should be overcome by proper filling in beneath
the building. The location should be as nearly as possible central with
reference to the pupils of the district. But other things should also be
considered. It is better that some pupils should be put to a slight
disadvantage than that attractiveness of surroundings, remoteness from
environment likely to interfere with the work of the school, or other
essentials, should be sacrificed."

[Illustration: PLATE XI.

FIG. 12.--A cozy little country schoolhouse in the tall, picturesque
woods of California.

FIG 13.--This model country school building, planned by State
Superintendent E. T. Fairchild, of Kansas, is being copied in many
places.]

2. _The water supply._--The purity of the water supply for the school is
no less important from the standpoint of health than that of the air
supply. The greatest danger lies in the use of water taken from wells
that are used only a portion of the year. Such water is certain to
become stagnant. In the autumn before the term commences special care
should be taken to pump all water out of the well and to clean the same
if necessary; thereby much sickness may be avoided. The well, of course,
should be so located as to avoid any contamination owing to vaults or
drains.

3. _Size and adaptation of grounds._--The school grounds should contain
at least three acres, and five acres would not be too much. While the
cities are cramped for playgrounds and purchase them only at a high
cost, the latter can be secured in the country in sufficient size and at
a relatively small expense. Let it be kept constantly in mind that the
school grounds should be adapted for play, that they should afford a
protection from winds, and that they should also be attractive. They
should likewise be adapted for school gardening and experiments in
agriculture. For the purpose of play, the breadth should exceed the
depth where there are separate grounds for boys and girls. Where the
playground is large, the building should be centrally located with
relation to the size of the grounds and should be situated well toward
the front. This will provide two fair-sized and well-proportioned
playgrounds. Where the grounds are small and contain but one acre,
symmetry must yield to utility and the building should be located well
to the front and to one side, so as to leave one well-arranged
playground.

4. _Improvement of school grounds._--In writing of the value of
well-arranged school grounds, Professor Albert Dickens of the Kansas
State Agricultural College says:--

"This sermon on school ground improvement is one that I have tried to
preach for some time. In my judgment, it is the most important and the
most difficult of any of the problems in civic improvement. The average
country cemetery is sorrowfully neglected, as a rule, but its treatment
is careful and generous compared with the school grounds of the average
country district. Some day we shall realize that all these factors of
environment are formative influences, and shall not wonder that the
character formed in surroundings devoid of beauty has hard, coarse, and
cruel lines in its make-up.

"It is an easy matter to picture an ideal country school--its
clean-swept walk to the road, its ample playground, its windbreak of
evergreens, its groups of hard- and soft-wood species, borders of shrubs
and beds of bulbs for early spring and perennials for summer and fall.
But to get it--to find some way to overcome the serious obstacles--is
worthy the attention of statesmen and club women.

"Nearly every district has made an attempt. That is one of the hard
things to forget--one of the reasons so many districts fear to try
again. They had a spasm of civic righteousness--an Arbor Day
revival--and every patron dug a hole in the hard, dry ground; every
child brought a tree, some of which were carried for miles with the
roots exposed to sun and wind--and then they were planted and, in some
cases, watered for the summer; and the days grew warm and the weeds grew
high; and by the next fall the two or three trees yet alive were not
noticed when the director went over with his mower the Friday before
school opened; and so ended that attempt at a schoolyard beautiful.

"It ought to be possible to convince the patrons of every district that
a single acre of land is not sufficient ground upon which to grow big,
bright, broad-minded boys and girls; that two, or three, or four acres
of land, well planned as to baseball diamond, basketball court and a
good free run for dare-base and pull-away--that such would give the
state and the world better results than if the land were devoted to corn
and alfalfa. This, I believe, is the first problem of great
magnitude--to get the ground--and it must be considered. Children must
play. The noon hour, when they eat for five minutes and play fifty-five
minutes, is all-important in a child's life."

In order to carry out the suggestions given by Professor Dickens, why
not organize a general rally, perhaps on the occasion of Arbor Day, and
all hands join in preparing and planting the school grounds to suitable
shade trees, shrubs, and the like? The playgrounds could also be laid
out and equipped on this occasion. Then, after this excellent start has
been made, have the school board appoint some reliable man as caretaker
of the grounds with payment of reasonable wages for what he does. Thus
the good beginning will not be lost.


A MODEL RURAL SCHOOL

The State Normal School at Kirksville, Missouri, has built and equipped
a model rural school for use in practical demonstration work. President
John R. Kirk gives a detailed description of this building in
_Successful Farming_ (April, 1911) as follows:--

"This schoolhouse has three principal floors. The basement and main
floor are the same size, 28 x 36 feet, outside measurement. The basement
measures 8 feet from floor to ceiling. Its floor is of concrete,
underlaid with porous tile and cinders. The basement walls are of rock
and concrete, protected by drain tile on outside. The basement has eight
compartments.

[Illustration: PLATE XII.

FIG. 14.--The model rural school building, as constructed for practice
and demonstration work at the Kirkville (Missouri) Normal School.]

"1. Furnace room, containing furnace inclosed by galvanized iron, also
double cold air duct with electric fan, also gas water heater.

"2. Coal bin, 6 x 8 feet.

"3. Bulb or plant room, 3 x 8 feet, for fall, winter, and spring
storage.

"4. Darkroom, 4 x 8 feet, for children's experiments in photography.

"5. Laundry room, 5 x 21 feet, with tubs, drain, and drying apparatus.

"6. Gymnasium or play room, 13 x 23 feet.

"7. Tank room containing a 400-gallon pneumatic pressure tank, storage
battery for electricity, hand pump for emergencies, water gauge, sewer
pipes, floor drain, etc.

"8. Engine room, containing gasoline engine, water pump, electrical
generator, switchboard, water tank for cooling gasoline engine, weight
for gas pressure, gas mixer, batteries, pipes, wires, etc.

"The pumps lift water from a well into pressure tank through pipes below
the frost line. Gasoline is admitted through pipes below the frost line
from two 50-gallon tanks underground, 30 feet from building. All rooms
are wired for electricity and plumbed for gas. The basement is
thoroughly ventilated.

"The main floor contains a school room 22 x 27 feet in the clear,
lighted wholly from the north side. A ground glass in the rear admits
sunlight for sanitation. Schoolroom has adjustable seats and desks,
telephone, and teachers' desk. Stereopticon is hung in wall at rear.
Alcove or closet on east side for books, teachers' wraps, etc.
Schoolroom has a small organ, ample book cases, shelves, and apparatus.
Pure air enters from above children's heads and passes out at floor into
ventilating stack through fireplace.

"Main floor has two toilet rooms, each of these having lavatories, wash
bowl with hot and cold water, pressure tank for hot water and for heat,
shower bath with hot and cold water, ventilating apparatus, looking
glass, towel rack, soap box, etc. Each toilet room is reached by a
circuitous passageway furnishing room for children's wraps, overshoes,
etc. The scheme secures absolute privacy in toilet rooms. All toilet
room walls contain air chambers to deaden sound. The toilet rooms are
clean, decent, and beautiful. They are never disfigured with vile
language or other defacement.

"All rural schoolhouses with the comb of the roof running one way have
attics, but the attic of this rural school is the first one and the only
one that has been well utilized. This attic is 15 x 35 feet, inside
measurement, all in one room; distance from floor to ceiling 7½ feet
in the middle part. It is abundantly lighted through gable lights and
roof lights. It contains modern manual-training benches for use of eight
or ten children at one time, a gas range and other apparatus for
experimental cooking. It is furnished with both gas and electric light.
It has a wash bowl with hot and cold water, looking glass, towels, etc.
It has a large typical kitchen sink and a drinking fountain, but no
drinking cup, either common or uncommon. It has cupboards, boxes, and
receptacles for various experiments in home economics. It has a
disinfecting apparatus, a portable agricultural-chemistry laboratory and
numerous other equipments.

[Illustration: PLATE XIII.

FIG. 15.--A rear view of the model rural school building at the
Kirkville Normal.]

"A rural school can be built here from beginning to completion with all
the above-mentioned equipments of every kind, including furniture, for
$2250. The heating and ventilating apparatus, the pressure tanks,
gasoline engine, water pumps, dynamo, furnace, etc., can all be easily
adapted to a two-room model, a three-room school, or a six-room school
by having each fixture slightly larger.

"This model therefore solves the schoolbuilding question for villages,
towns, and consolidated rural schools."


THE CORNELL SCHOOLHOUSE

An attractive rural schoolhouse was erected some years ago at the New
York State College of Agriculture, to serve as a suggestion
architecturally and otherwise to rural districts. It is a one-teacher
building, and yet allows for the introduction of the new methods of
teaching. It is a wooden building, with cement stucco interior, heated
with hot-air furnace, and with two water toilets attached. The total
cost was about $2000. The College writes as follows of the house:--

"The prevailing rural schoolhouse is a building in which pupils sit to
study books. It ought to be a room in which pupils do personal work with
both hands and mind. The essential feature of this new schoolhouse,
therefore, is a workroom. This room occupies one-third of the floor
space. Perhaps it would be better if it occupied two-thirds of the floor
space. If the building is large enough, however, the two kinds of work
could change places in this schoolhouse.

"The building is designed for twenty-five pupils in the main room. The
folding doors and windows in the partition enable one teacher to manage
both rooms.

"It has been the purpose to make the main part of the building about the
size of the average rural schoolhouse, and then to add the workroom as a
wing or projection. Such a room could be added to existing school
buildings; or, in districts in which the building is now too large, one
part of the room could be partitioned off as a workroom.

"It is the purpose, also, to make this building artistic, attractive,
and homelike to children, sanitary, comfortable, and durable. The
cement-plaster exterior is handsomer and warmer than wood, and on
expanded metal lath it is durable. The interior of this building is very
attractive. Nearly any rural schoolhouse can secure a water-supply and
instal toilets as part of the school building.

"The openings between schoolroom and workroom are fitted with glazed
swing sash and folding doors, so that the rooms may be used either
singly or together, as desired.

"The workroom has a bay-window facing south and filled with shelves for
plants. Slate blackboards of standard school heights fill the spaces
about the rooms between doors and windows. The building is heated by hot
air; vent flues of adequate sizes are also provided so that the rooms
are ventilated.

"On the front of the building, and adding materially to its picturesque
appearance, is a roomy veranda with simple square posts, from which
entrance is made directly into the combined vestibule and coatroom and
from this again by two doors into the schoolroom."


HELP MAKE A SCHOOL PLAY GROUND

Throughout the entire country there is at last rising a wave of
enthusiasm in behalf of affording the child a better means of play.
First the cities took the matter up, then the towns, and now the country
districts are beginning to do their part. The farmer and his wife should
feel an interest in such a matter, for they can render no better service
to their community than that of joining the district teacher in an
effort to equip the school grounds with play apparatus. As a suggestive
outline of what materials to procure, the dimensions and cost of the
same, there is given below the equipment worked out by certain
officials in Colorado and described briefly in Superintendent
Fairchild's report, as follows:--

A turning pole for boys may be made by setting two posts in the ground,
six or eight feet apart, and running a 1 or 1¼ inch gas pipe through
holes bored in the tops of the posts. The cost of such a piece of
apparatus should be as follows, assuming that the necessary work will be
done by the teachers and boys: Two posts, 4" x 4", 8 ft. long, 50 cents;
one piece gas pipe, 8 ft. long, 15 cents.

Teeter boards may be made by planting posts ten or twelve feet apart,
and placing a pole or a rounded 6 x 6 on top of them, and then placing
boards, upon which the children may teeter. Individual teeter boards may
be made by placing a 2 x 8 board in the ground, and fastening the teeter
board to it by means of iron braces placed on each side of the upright
piece. The cost of the above apparatus would be, for several teeters:
Two upright posts, 6" x 6", 5 ft. long, 93 cents; one piece, 6" x 6", 12
ft. long, $1.22; four teeter boards, 2" x 8", 14 ft. long, $2.50. For
individual teeter: One piece 2" x 8", 16 ft. long, 56 cents--to make
upright piece 4 ft. long and teeter board 12 ft. long; two iron braces
and four large screws, 25 cents.

A very attractive and desirable piece of apparatus may be made as
follows: Secure a pole about ten or fifteen feet long. To the small end
attach by the use of bolts one end of a wagon axle, spindle up. Upon
the spindle place a wagon wheel, and to the wheel attach ropes, about as
long as the pole. Place the big end of the pole in the ground three or
four feet, and brace it from the four points of the compass. The ropes
will hang down from the wheel in such a way that the children may take
hold of them, swing, jump, and run around the pole. The one described
was rather inexpensive. A telephone company donated a discarded pole, a
farmer a discarded wagon wheel and axle. The only expense was that of
paying a blacksmith for attaching the wheel to the pole and the cost of
the ropes--about $2. It furnished one of the most attractive pieces of
apparatus on the playground.

An inexpensive swing may be constructed by placing four 4 x 4's in the
ground in a slanting position, two being opposite each other and meeting
at the top in such a way as to form a fork. The pairs may be ten or
twelve feet apart, and a pole or heavy galvanized pipe, to which swings
may be attached, wired, nailed, or bolted to the crotches formed by the
pieces placed in the ground. The cost of this apparatus will be: Four
pieces, 4" x 4", 14 ft. long, $1.25, one piece galvanized pipe, 3", 12
ft. long, $2.50.

Boards of education could well afford to purchase one or more
basketballs, and a few baseballs and bats for the boys. These things
more than pay for themselves in the added interest which boys and girls
who have them take in the school. For much of the apparatus suggested
above the wide-awake board of education and teacher will see
opportunities to use material less expensive than that suggested. And to
such persons many pieces of apparatus not specified here will suggest
themselves to fit particular needs and opportunities.


GENERAL INSTRUCTION IN AGRICULTURE

A great fault with the district schools has been an inclination to think
that anything close at hand is too mean and common to be considered as
subject matter for instruction. The thought has usually been that the
school would prepare the learner for some brilliant calling away off
where things are better and life is easier and more beautiful. As a
result, the country schools have been educating boys and girls away from
the farm. The new method is that of educating them to appreciate what is
under their feet and all around them, through an intimate knowledge of
the processes of nature and industry as carried on in their midst.

[Illustration: PLATE XIV.

FIG. 16.--Using the Babcock milk-tester in a New York school.]

One of the more direct means of educating the boys and girls for a
happy, contented life on the farm is to teach them while young the
rudiments of agriculture. This method is now actually being put into
practice in thousands of the rural schools. The state of Kansas recently
enacted a law requiring all candidates for teachers' certificates to
pass a test in the elements of agriculture and also requiring that
the rudiments of this subject be taught in every district school. Other
states have similar laws. As a result of this and like provisions, there
is now a tremendous awakening in the direction named. The boys and girls
in the country schools are finding new meaning and a new interest in the
fields and farms upon which they are growing up.

It is a comparatively simple matter, that of teaching the young how the
plant germinates and grows, how the seed is produced, and how farm crops
are cared for and harvested. Likewise, it is easy to describe the
elements of the various types of soil and to show how these elements
contribute to the life and growth of the plant. The questions of
moisture in its relation to plant life, of insects harmful and helpful
to growing crops and animals, of the bird life as related in its
economic aspects to farming--all such matters can be easily taught to
children by the young-woman school teacher. It is only necessary for the
latter to take an elementary course of instruction herself, to read a
number of collateral texts, and to get into the spirit of the
undertaking. In a similar manner, instruction in regard to farm animals
may be given, the emphasis being placed upon the consideration of the
types of live stock actually raised and marketed in the home
neighborhood.

It must be emphasized that these matters relating to elementary
agriculture and animal husbandry can be made just as interesting and
quite as cultural as any of the subjects in the general curriculum of
the schools. Wherefore, the rural dweller who catches the spirit of such
instruction should lead out in the securing of public measures and
public improvements looking toward an early embodiment of these new
subjects within the prescribed course of study.


DOMESTIC ECONOMY AND HOME SANITATION

The time is now at hand when the district school failing to give any
attention to practical household affairs is to be classed as out of date
and unprogressive. Well-written texts and pamphlets covering the
home-keeping subjects are now both available and cheap, so that the
excuse for deferring their use is approaching the zero point.

Of course it is impracticable as yet to have apparatus for cooking and
sewing installed in the one-teacher district school, but the bare
rudiments of these subjects may nevertheless be taught with the
expectation that home practice may be thereby improved and better
understood. Perhaps the most practical method of present procedure is
that of organizing an independent class of the girls of suitable age and
meeting them informally. The texts and pamphlets furnished by the
college extension departments may be followed. In case of graded and
high school courses this work should by all means be carried on as a
regular class exercise.

Home sanitation may easily and profitably be taught in the district
school, even though only one or two periods per week be set apart for
the purpose. Perhaps the best method of instruction is that of
presenting carefully one specific lesson at a time. For example, pure
drinking water, clean milk, food contamination by house flies may be
treated each in its turn. Adequate charts and illustrations should be
brought into service.


CONSOLIDATION OF RURAL SCHOOLS

There is much agitation nowadays in regard to consolidating the rural
schools. Although present progress is slow, it seems comparatively
certain that the one-teacher rural school is destined in time to become
a thing of the past. However, there is no particular haste in the
matter, provided some such plans as the foregoing be put into effect in
case of the single school. Perhaps the sparsely settled district has the
greatest justification for looking toward consolidation. It happens that
there are thousands of small schools having an attendance of from five
to ten pupils. In such an instance, it is practically impossible to do
the best work, the children lacking the spur of rivalry and enthusiasm
and the helpful lessons in social ethics offered only by the larger
massing of the young at play.

In many places, three or four rural districts are uniting in this
movement, the general plan being that of constructing a central
building with ample working space for all, and then transporting the
children to and from the school. The scheme is working well as a rule.
Among the great advantages is that of a possible grading of the school
so that the teacher may have time for each subject and more opportunity
for specialization. Perhaps the most serious and difficult part of the
plan is that of providing a safe and suitable means of conveyance to and
from the school. Some excellent patterns of school wagons are already on
the market, while manufacturers are constantly at work improving them.
So we may expect better results as time goes on. It has already been
shown very satisfactorily that the conveyance, when in charge of a
well-trained driver, furnishes improved moral and physical safeguards
for the child.


MORE HIGH SCHOOLS NEEDED

Not only every county, but also every rural township, should have its
well-equipped high school. It is a serious matter to send boys and girls
in their middle teens away to college. Many lives are thus more or less
ruined simply from too early loss of the personal restraints and
influence of the parents. But with a first-class high school in easy
reach the young people may at least return home for the Saturday-Sunday
recess and thereby continue in the close councils of their parents. And
then, the rightly-managed high school will bring the student into
closer touch with the local rural problems that may not be possible in
case of the distant institution.

[Illustration: PLATE XV.

FIGS. 17-21.--This magnificent consolidated school in Winnebago County,
Illinois, was inspired by the excellent work of the well-known
Superintendent O. J. Kern. The four little one-room buildings illustrated
above gave way to it.]

In the location of high schools intended to serve the rural interests
there should be an effort to keep away from the towns and cities. In the
latter places the allurements of the cheap theater and the snobbery that
often invades the city high school are illustrations of the evils that
serve to entice the young away from the substantial things of life. A
good county or township high school located centrally and in the open
country is ideal. At such a location it is vastly easier than in the
city to center the attention of the students upon the rural problems,
not to mention the greater availability of demonstrations on farm and
garden plots.


BETTER RURAL TEACHERS NEEDED

The ideal preparation for a teacher in the rural school is a complete
course in a first-class agricultural college, with the inclusion of a
few terms' work in the educational subjects. So long as we send into the
district schools young teachers who have been taught merely in the
common text-book branches, and whose training has been exclusively
pedagogical, the practice of educating the boys and girls away from the
farm will go on. The country school is, in its best sense, an industrial
school; and only those teachers can do best work therein who have had
the personal experience in industrial training and the changed point of
view which only the agricultural college can give. So if the board of
trustees in any rural district really wishes to unite in supporting an
effective back-to-the-farm movement, let them offer to some
country-reared graduate of the agricultural college a salary of about
twice or three times the amount usually paid. After a few terms of
school taught by such a person, the good effects on the rural uplift
will most certainly reveal themselves. But so long as school trustees
continue to try to drive a sharp bargain in the employment of
teachers--securing the one with the passable county certificate who will
teach for the least wages--the boys will continue to run off to town for
"jobs" and the parents will continue to "move to town to educate their
children."

There is some hope of a new ideal in relation to the country school
teacher; namely, that he shall be a man in every sense, worthy of a
salary large enough to support himself and his family the year round as
residents of the community. Then we shall have a profession of teaching
in the rural school work.

[Illustration: PLATE XVI.

FIG. 22.--The Cornell schoolhouse. A one-teacher building, with a
workroom or laboratory at one side that the teacher can control through
the folding doors and glass partitions. Every effort is made to render
the building and place attractive and homelike.]


REFERENCES

    Annual Report Page County (Iowa) Schools. Miss Jessie Field,
    Superintendent (Clarinda).

    The reader who is especially interested in this chapter is
    urged to become acquainted with the splendid work
    accomplished for the district schools of Page County, Ia.,
    by Superintendent Jessie Field. As indicated by her published
    annuals, and otherwise, she has led all the other young women
    superintendents in the work of organizing the boys and girls
    into clubs and classes for the study of school gardening,
    bread making, grain propagation, and the like.

    Report of the Committee on Industrial Education in Schools
    for Rural Communities, of the National Educational
    Association.

    Among Country Schools. O. J. Kern. Ginn & Co. A clear
    helpful, and inspiring text.

    The American Rural School. H. W. Foght. Macmillan. Covers the
    entire subject carefully.

    The School and Society. John Dewey. McClure, Phillips & Co.,
    New York.

    The School and its Life. Charles D. Gilbert. Chapter XXII,
    "Home and School." McClurg.

    Efficient Democracy, Wm. H. Allen. Chapter VII, "School
    Efficiency." Dodd, Mead & Co. A most helpful and stimulating
    volume.

    The School as a Social Institution. Henry Suzzallo.
    Monograph. Houghton Mifflin Company.

    Wider Use of the School Plant, Clarence Arthur Perry. Chapter
    VI, "School Playgrounds." Charities Publication Committee,
    New York.

    Education in the Country for the Country. J. W. Zeller.
    Annual Volume N.E.A., 1910, p. 245.

    Teachers for the Rural Schools; Kind Wanted; How to secure
    Them. L. J. Alleman. Annual Volume N.E.A., 1910, p. 280.

    The State Board of Health of Maine (Augusta) issues a series
    of practical pamphlets on health and sanitation in the school
    and the home.

    The Most Practical Industrial Education for the Country
    Child. Superintendent O. J. Kern. Annual Volume N.E.A., 1905,
    p. 198.

    Among School Gardens. M. Louise Green, Ph.D. Charities
    Publication Committee, New York.

    A Model Rural School House. Henry S. Curtis. Educational
    Foundations, April, 1911. A. S. Barnes & Co. Dr. Curtis is a
    national authority on the question of the school playground.

    Education for Efficiency. E. Davenport. D. C. Heath. A most
    able plea for making the schools serve every worthy interest.


    Changing Conceptions of Education. E. P. Cubberly. Monograph.
    Houghton Mifflin Company.

    Methods of conducting Book and Demonstration Work in teaching
    Elementary Agriculture. O. H. Benson. Bureau of Plant
    Industry, Washington, D.C. An excellent guide.

    Report of Committee to investigate Rural School Conditions.
    Superintendent E T. Fairchild and others. Address the
    Secretary N.E.A., Winona, Minn.



CHAPTER IX

_THE COUNTY YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION_


Among the movements of first importance looking toward the uplift of
young men is that named at the head of this chapter. Parallel with the
intensive and systematic effort to build up the commercial life of the
city and allow the country district to take care of itself, has been a
like effort to provide for the care and development of the city boy and
the uniform neglect of the needs and interests of the country boy. Now,
here at last is a movement that is proving a real means of salvation of
the rural youth, mind, body, and soul.

President Henry J. Waters, of the Kansas State Agricultural College,
struck the keynote of this young country-life movement most effectively
in a recent address when he said: "We believe in the existence of a
social renaissance. One needs only to read the daily and weekly papers
printed in hundreds of prosperous villages and cross roads corners, the
faithful chroniclers of the community's activities, to find buoyant hope
of the future of farm life.

"The dignity of labor; the close connection between heads and hands; the
monthly or weekly meetings of farmers' institutes in hundreds of
counties; the special lectures provided by agricultural colleges; the
movable schools; the farmers' winter short courses, in which thousands
of men and women and boys and girls participate; corn contests; bread
contests; sewing contests; play carnivals; poultry-raising contests;
stock-raising contests; conferences on the country church, country
school, good roads--all these activities denote the growth of a new and
mighty spirit in the country life of America.

"We need further demonstrations, together with concrete thinking, a lot
of constructive programs, and a deal of hard work and self-sacrifice, in
which the county work department of the Young Men's Christian
Association can have no little share, to speed on the great epoch of
rural social renaissance."


BOYS LEAVE THE FARM TOO YOUNG

It is a tragic story when the whole truth is known, that of the young
boy running off to town in search of some employment that will bring him
a little ready cash for spending money, and also in search of the
sociability so woefully lacking in the rural home environment. Too long
have the country parents attempted to argue and scold and force their
boys to remain at home where they are confronted only with the monotony
of hard work and a very dim prospect of a possible land or other
property inheritance. So at last there is being raised the very
important questions, What is the matter with the country boy? and What
can be done to help him? Knowledge of the fact that more than one-half
of the boys of the United States are living in farm homes makes the
problem of their individual salvation assume momentous proportions.

There can be no reasonable thought of holding all the boys on the farm.
Many of them are best fitted by nature to go elsewhere and find suitable
employment, but there is every good reason for preventing the great
exodus of immature youths who run off to the cities, not knowing what
they are to face and without any well-defined purpose. Yes, the great
concerns of the towns and cities must continue to call many of the
brainiest young men from the rural districts. In fact, the country may
with every good reason be considered the proper breeding ground for the
virile minds destined to control the great affairs of nation, state, and
municipality. But every reasonable effort must be put forth to keep the
boy in his country home until his character is relatively matured and
his plans for a future career are fairly well defined.


PURPOSES OF THE COUNTY Y.M.C.A.

Doubtless the first chief purpose of the county association is that of
building up the boy's character and finally perfecting his spiritual
nature. But this high aim is not sought in the old-fashioned, direct
manner. Instead, there is a studied effort to build up the boy gradually
through the enlistment of his natural interests in matters that lie
dormant in his home environment. The truly scientific method in this
field is first concerned with providing means whereby the boy may work
out his own spiritual salvation. Along with the farm labors, tedious and
irksome to him when undertaken as exclusive requirements, the country
boy is given an opportunity to take part in certain athletic and social
exercises which appeal to his instincts and arouse the spontaneity from
the depths of his own nature.

In carrying on the country work, an attempt is made to approach the boy
from the peculiar situations of his home environment. What specific
readjustments are needed in his home life in respect to the amount of
work required of him? What of the recreation he enjoys? The local
society in which he moves? The home church and Sunday school? The
temptations that may lie near about him? and so on. These and many other
such inquiries are made with a view to dealing with the boy in an
individual way and reëstablishing his life for the better.


HOW TO ORGANIZE A COUNTY ASSOCIATION

Unless it may chance that, after a brief survey of the field, some
person from the outside comes in to perfect the organization of the
county association, any interested person within the limits of the
county must make the start. Devotion to the cause, persistence, and
unfailing enthusiasm are perhaps the best personal equipment for the
local beginner of this new work. His first concern should be that of
gathering a committee of men like himself from different parts of the
county. Doubtless these will form themselves into a sort of brotherhood
committee. After such temporary organization, the next important step is
that of securing an able county leader.

[Illustration: PLATE XVII.

FIG. 23.--These Y.M.C.A. members find time for play as well as work. Try
a club like this as a means of keeping the boy interested in the farm.]

1. _Choose a good leader._--Now, the success of the movement is to
depend very largely upon the character of the leader to be chosen. If
the right man be selected, no matter how hard the conditions, he will be
able finally to bring system and order and spiritual progress out of it
all. The important characteristics of the ideal leader of country boys
are comparatively few. First of all, he must, of course, be moved by a
sense of devotion to the cause of Christianity--the up-building of the
characters, especially the spiritual natures, of young men. He should be
a man who has been trained in a good college, if possible a graduate,
with experience in the Y.M.C.A. and other like organizations. He should
have had some special training in such subjects as psychology,
sociology, and economics, and should be fairly well versed in the
literature of these subjects. He should be especially fond of boys and
boy life and interested in the conduct of people of every kind and sort.
He should be somewhat trained in athletics and an enthusiastic supporter
of clean sports. He should have what is known as good business sense. It
may not be essential, but it will certainly prove advantageous, if the
chosen leader has himself been reared in the country.

2. _Local leaders necessary._--After the leader has been selected, the
next step is that of the appointment of carefully chosen leaders for the
local neighborhoods. These may be men of almost any age from middle life
down, but perhaps the ideal age would be that of a few years older than
any of the boys of the neighborhood. All must be enlisted if possible,
not one being slighted or offended.

3. _A committee on finance._--An able finance committee is also of high
importance. This should consist of men chosen especially for their
unusual ability as solicitors and persuaders of men in a financial way.
Let these workers go over the county soliciting funds for the
organization, providing from the first especially that the secretary
shall be well paid for his services. Close-fisted residents, as well as
all others, in every nook and corner of the territory must be seen and
asked to contribute. It should be a comparatively easy matter to show
men who cannot appreciate the social and spiritual needs of the boys
that the new movement will most certainly increase general property
values and bring up the price of land.

4. _Little property ownership._--While new, the county organization
should guard against attempting to own and control any considerable
amount of property or equipment. Not the material goods possessed, but
the strength and force of the spiritual enthusiasm will have greatest
value in carrying on the work. It will be found quite satisfactory in
nearly every case to have the boys meet in some farm home, village club
room, or country schoolhouse. And then, there is always danger of
developing a Y.M.C.A. too exclusively as a business organization. There
are many instances in the towns and cities where this is deplorably
true. The best spirit of the work is submerged by the continuous
hounding of the people in the skirmish for funds to keep going the
over-heavy business machinery of the institution. There often develops,
in such cases, a large body of men who regard the Y.M.C.A. as an
organization of loafers and easy-going money spenders. Once such
sentiment develops, it is desperately difficult to eradicate it. So the
country Y.M.C.A. should preserve the semblance of humility, and that
partly by getting along with almost no property or equipment other than
what its own members may provide in a crude fashion and what may be
necessary to furnish the office of the general secretary.


HOW TO CONDUCT THE WORK

One of the first steps in conducting the new work is that of making a
survey of the entire county. The names, ages, and location of all the
boys must be secured, together with some items respecting their present
social and religious affiliations. In fact, the more personal items
included in the first survey, the better. Some boys will at first look
with disfavor upon the new movement, believing that it is merely another
scheme to convert them to religion and get them into a church. Care must
be taken to disabuse the boy's mind of this thought from the very
beginning. Therefore, it may be well not to try to hustle him into a
Bible-study class the first time he is invited out. While the main
issue, namely, that of spiritual development of the boy, is not to be
forgotten, he must nevertheless be led to this goal through the path of
many very common instrumentalities. A Y.M.C.A. athletic meet would most
probably prove a better opening number than a Bible-study class or
merely a religious service. As the work proceeds, the occasions for a
great variety of exercises and programs will present themselves. Among
these perhaps there would be the following:--

1. _Local and county athletic clubs._--The athletic event is one of the
easiest to put on in a newly organized boys' club. An able leader,
perhaps the county secretary, should be present to preside over the
event, inducing the boys to form a baseball club, or a basketball team;
or at least to arrange for some event in which they can all participate,
although that may be as simple a thing as swimming or jumping. Introduce
at once the thought of practice and the development of skill, holding
out the plan of a county organization and a county field meet in the
future, which all may attend and in which the ablest shall have promise
of a conspicuous part.

2. _Debating and literary clubs._--There is always the possibility of a
literary society, provided the thing be carefully instituted. The secret
of successful debates among persons of any class is to find a "burning"
question. So, avoid such matters as Tariff Reform and the World Peace
Movement and come right down home to some perplexing problem in the
lives of the boys of the club. Something about their work, their lack of
recreation, their chances against those of city boys, and so on, will
arouse interest and bring out rough debating material. Find latent
talent of other sorts in the club. Some boy can sing; perhaps another
can play a musical instrument; still another one may be a natural-born
storyteller; a fourth may be an expert acrobat and tree climber; a fifth
a shrewd hunter or trapper of wild animals. In this way, nearly every
boy can be led to take part in a general program.

Thus, while contributing something toward the entertainment of all, each
boy's active participation will go far by way of awakening his personal
interest in the new life.

3. _Receptions and suppers._--After the boys get fairly under way with
their club, they may need to arrange an oyster supper or some such
affair at which they will discuss their many mutual problems. On some
such occasions they may desire to invite their parents to come and enjoy
the program, also to participate in the discussion of their affairs.
This form of close association will be found especially enticing to the
boys, giving them a good, clean place to go for social enjoyment and
something to look forward to in their thoughts during the somewhat
prosaic hours of the day in the field.

4. _Educational tours and problems._--The boys may find it feasible to
go in a body once or twice a year on an educational tour--to the state
fair; to study some particular thing in the city; to gather data for the
solution of some local problem; to make a study of the habitat of some
bird or animal; to gather specimens of rocks or plants; and so on. In
case of any such trip there is not a little necessity of some
college-trained person as overseer, so that the study may be made
intensive and not become dissipated in mere sport and fun. It is usually
advisable to make a careful study of only one thing at a time.

[Illustration: PLATE XVIII.

FIG. 24--A great Y.M.C.A. Convention in Ohio. Let the boy attend one of
these great gatherings if possible, and he will return with a year's
supply of enthusiasm.]

5. _Camping and hiking._--The boys of the county should be brought
together at least once a year in a summer camp. Farmers will soon learn
to appreciate the value of such things in the life of the boy and will
gladly allow him a few days' vacation for the purpose. The boy who
enjoys such a privilege will more than pay it back through the extra
amount of work his enthusiasm will naturally prompt him to perform. For
the camp site there should be selected some shady woodland with a good
stream of water for fishing and swimming. A crude lodge may be
constructed and all the necessary crude camp equipment provided. Each
boy will want to carry his own blanket and extra clothing.

One matter must be considered in all seriousness; namely, the sanitation
of the camp. Even at the outlay of a comparatively heavy expense, the
camp food supplies, including the dining table, should be screened off
from flies. The garbage therefore will all be scrupulously buried, and
it will be ascertained with certainty that the drinking water is free
from disease organisms. Then, the boys may sleep on the ground, wallow
in the dirt, splash in the water and mud as they please and return home
in the best of health.

6. _Exhibitions._--It has been found practicable to have the boys
prepare during the season for coming together with a county exhibit,
including a wide variety of things peculiar to their interests.

This exhibition should be made as a big annual event, if possible, such
as will attract all manner of persons and make friends for the county
association. In its ideal arrangement the money expense will be kept
down to a minimum. Also keep out the idea of premiums. The contest plan
of promotion will some day receive its desired consideration and lose
its place as a means of promoting social and spiritual well-being. As a
matter of fact it fosters much envy, ill-feeling, and bitter strife and
thus strikes at the root of the good-fellowship which you are striving
to encourage. _But, urge every boy to bring something for the sake of
the help he may contribute and let the honor of this service and the
approbation of his fellows be his high reward._

One boy may come with a mammoth pumpkin; another with a device of his
own invention for catching ground squirrels; still another with a new
method of tying a knot; another with a bushel of highly bred corn;
others with farm and garden produce of the same attractive nature;
others with wild grasses, curios, or geological specimens; others with
the parts of a miniature menagerie. One boy may have caught a badger
alive; another a coyote; another a jack rabbit; another a huge turtle.
Another may bring a cage of rattlesnakes or a box full of snakes of all
sorts; another a set of original plans and specifications--for an ideal
farmhouse, or farm barn and surroundings; for making the well sanitary;
for a milk house; for keeping flies out of the house or barn; a recipe
for driving ants and other insects from the house. The boys in one
family may come with a lot of samples of soil, showing how differently
each must be treated for the same general crop results. Others may bring
specimens of "cheat" and noxious weeds, and the like, with a scheme for
destroying them. Another may have a plan for a patent churn or a
labor-saving device in the kitchen.

Thus there may be brought to the boys' fair an interesting and most
instructive variety of objects, plans, and devices, all looking toward
the improvement of home conditions. Such a gathering as this will bring
not only the parents and other adults from the home county, but great
flocks of outsiders will also come in and learn and become deeply
interested in the affairs of the County Young Men's Christian
Association.


SPIRITUALITY NOT LOST SIGHT OF

It ought to be easy for the average thinker to appreciate the fact that
all the foregoing rough-and-ready work in the lives of the boys can be
made a practical means of the salvation of their souls as well as of
their bodies and intellects. Spiritual perfection is not reached at a
bound. There must be much doing of the crude yet worthy things which
grow naturally out of his inner nature before the boy can finally
achieve a degree of spiritual development that may prove a permanent and
fixed part of his adult life. Yes, there will be some Bible study, an
occasional short prayer, and now and then a real sermonette in
connection with the work of the organization, but much more frequently
the Christian life and character will come as a sort of discovery in the
boy's life and that through his own conduct.

Through all this wholesome exercise of his better and cleaner interests,
the youth will gradually be led away and kept away from those things
which contaminate both the body and the spirit and introduce the
individual to a coarse, debauched life. In other words, Christianity
will be a thing achieved and that through the young man's efforts rather
than a thing instantly caught in some emotional revival meeting only
gradually to waste away in the months immediately following. One
well-built specimen of Christian manhood--a character of the sort which
the ideal work of the County Y.M.C.A. may finally construct--is worth a
dozen of those suddenly converted men whose secret lives are so often
embittered with the consciousness of backsliding and following ever
after the old evil ways.

It will be observed at a glance that in the foregoing outline there is
an avoidance of the heavier work-a-day tasks and problems. It is the
thought of the author that the boys have quite enough of such labor as
it is and that the County Y.M.C.A. can do its best service if it
provides a set of new activities of a more recreative sort. The central
idea--second to the perfection of his spiritual nature--is that of
giving the boy a larger amount of social experience through
self-training in matters that will bring out his latent unselfishness
and his self-reliance. The heavier problems of an economic sort suitable
for discussion among the boys and the girls of the country districts
will have due consideration in another chapter.

In planning the various parts of the county work and the club life of
the boys, there must be extreme care not to arrange for too many and too
frequent meetings. It is especially to be desired that the boy do not
acquire the runabout habit, even though he may in every case go to a
desirable place. Therefore, in arranging the programs it will be seen to
that the meetings are held somewhat infrequently, but that on each
occasion the meeting be continued until some intensive work has been
done. For example, it would be much preferable to have all or a major
part of one afternoon and evening of the week for the exercises rather
than to have brief evening meetings a number of times during the week.


WORK IN A SPARSELY SETTLED COUNTRY

The following statement will show what was achieved during the first
year in the Y.M.C.A. of Washington County, Kansas, which has a rural
population of about ten thousand people.

_General Statement_:--

  181 boys enrolled in Bible-study groups, meeting weekly.
  35 men give time to the supervision and planning of the work.
  236 boys attended ten boys' banquets.
  51 out-of-town delegates attended the county convention.
  175 men and boys attended the convention banquet.
  161 boys took part in the relay race.
  91 men and boys on baseball teams.
  24 boys played basketball.
  56 men attended 10 leaders' conferences.
  65 men conducted one day financial canvass.
  200 boys given physical examination.
  26 took part in the annual athletic meet.
  13 young men's Sundays conducted by secretary.
  6000 miles (approx.) traveled by secretary.
  283 citizens back of work.

_Financial Statement_:--

  Pledges unpaid from previous year  $120.25
  Pledges for year                   1568.25  $1688.50
                                     -------
  Received during year               1386.15
  Due unpaid pledges                  302.35  $1688.50
                                     -------
  Amount paid                        1352.89
  Due unpaid                          298.00
  Available balance                    37.61  $1688.50
                                     -------


REFERENCES

    Neighborhood Improvement Clubs. Professor E. L. Holton.
    Agricultural Extension Bulletin, Manhattan, Kan.

    Camping for Boys. H. W. Gibson. Association Press, New York.
    Careful directions for camp life.

    Training for Boys; Symposium. _Harper's Bazaar_, March,
    April, August, September, November, 1910.

    Keeping Home Ties from Breaking. E. A. Halsey. _World
    To-day_, January, 1911.

    Training Men to work for Men. E. A. Halsey. _World To-day_,
    March, 1911.

    The Organization and Administration of Athletics. Dr. Clark
    W. Hetherington. Annual Volume N.E.A., 1907, p. 930.

    _Rural Manhood_, issue of June, 1910. Rural Leadership
    Number.

    Social Activities for Men and Boys. Albert M. Chisley.
    Y.M.C.A. Press, New York. A valuable book covering a wide
    variety of activities.

    _Rural Manhood._ Henry Israel, editor. 50 cents per year. A
    most valuable exponent of the County Y.M.C.A. work.

    The Physical Life of the Boy. Dr. D. G. Wilcox. (Pamphlet.)
    Address, Federated Boys' Clubs, Boston.



CHAPTER X

_THE FARMER AND HIS WIFE AS LEADERS OF THE YOUNG_


No less urgent and divine is the call for spiritual aid and leadership
in the rural districts to-day than was that which came to the apostle
Paul of old in form of a vision and a voice crying, "Come over into
Macedonia and help us." In the open country field, far removed from
church or social center, is the demand for leaders and directors
especially great. Men engage for a lifetime in an enthusiastic endeavor
to amass wealth and to build up great business concerns. But the man or
woman who heeds the call to go forth into the country districts and save
the bodies and souls of the young--that person will not only experience
exceeding great joy and enthusiasm in his work, but he will thereby lay
up for himself in the memories of the redeemed a precious treasury of
golden deeds.

Country parents as a rule are not in a position to do the best things
even for their own children, much less to go out as leaders of the young
at large. They are sometimes lacking in the necessary means, more
frequently too busy, and most frequently not sufficiently informed as
to be fully awake to the meanings and possibilities of any such
undertaking. However, in nearly every country neighborhood there is a
man or woman, or both, who possess many of the big opportunities for
enlisting in the service of the young. Those who have no small children
of their own to care for would naturally be freest to get away from the
present home duties. Then, some parents having children of their own not
infrequently catch the inspiration and heed the call. At any rate, it is
entirely fair and reasonable to assume that some one of the neighborhood
could do it were there the disposition.

As a means of arousing any such persons to attempt to do some
constructive work among country boys and girls, the following detailed
suggestions are offered. Those who feel at all called to undertake this
service may be assured that the interest grows more intense with time
and effort put forth, and that the joy of accomplishing something in
behalf of the young people of one's own vicinity is perhaps unsurpassed
by that of any other type of human endeavor. In the discussions to
follow we assume that some farmer and his wife have heeded this divine
call.


PREPARATION FOR THE SERVICE

Since very few are sufficiently versatile to undertake any and every
kind of social work, perhaps the first step is that of choosing a
definite line of action. And let the choice be in the direction of the
chooser's leading social interest. As a means of preparation for
efficient work a brief course of training is to be much commended. It
may be found practicable to slip away from home during the winter months
and take a farmers' short course in one of the agricultural colleges.
Or, one may find the peculiar instruction and inspiration needed by
attending a convention or conference of the ablest leaders
representative of the work. One of the rural-life conferences now
frequently held might be found ideal. Go prepared to take notes, to ask
questions, and especially to obtain a large number of literary
references.

The use of helpful literature is most important at this stage. A
magazine which admirably covers this particular field is _Rural
Manhood_, published by the Association Press, New York City. Then,
secure the report of the Country Life Commission, and a number of the
latest works of a similar nature, some of which are listed below. Write
to the Department of Agriculture at Washington for their bulletin on the
organization of boys' and girls' clubs. Also from the extension
department of the agricultural college may be obtained for the asking
all available literature of this same general class.

Now, make a careful survey of the neighborhood, or the larger field,
with a view to finding out the specific conditions in relation to the
chosen line of service. Make lists of names and ages of the boys and
girls, including all other data of a helpful nature. Proceed with the
thought that the work to be undertaken is not to be merely a means of
entertainment, but of education for the young.


WORK PERSISTENTLY FOR SOCIAL UNITY

In his most instructive volume "The Rural Church and Community
Achievement," President Butterfield says: "We are in great need in this
country of an institution or institutions which have for their definite
objective the study of the conditions and problems of farm home-life;
not merely the matter of home management, or home keeping, but the
fundamental relationships of the family to the development of a better
community life in the rural regions." Now, let the newly enlisted social
worker assume that he is to undertake something by way of bringing about
a fuller integration and unity of the people of the neighborhood.

Every new worker in the social field needs a word of warning against the
rebukes and discouragements with which he may at first meet. To say the
best, the neighborhood will doubtless be indifferent in regard to the
newly proposed organization. But let the social worker go on
persistently, unmindful of any such hindrance, even though scarcely a
person in the neighborhood seems ready to join in the movement. In the
typical case of valuable constructive work of this sort, it will be
found at first that the masses are practically all opposed to the plan.
However, as fast as it wins its way through unrelenting effort and
unswerving devotion, the doubters and opposers will come over to its
support. And after the movement has established itself reasonably well
and achieved something worth while, the same people who once stood out
will then fall enthusiastically into line and help with the undertaking.

It will be impossible, of course, to point out definitely to the local,
self-appointed leader just what plan of social endeavor to follow. Since
there is such a great variety of conditions, it seems advisable here to
make a somewhat extended list of possible lines of work in the rural
districts.


CORN-RAISING AND BREAD-BAKING CLUBS

Perhaps among the easiest organizations to effect among the young people
of any farm district are the clubs or contests in juvenile farm work and
home economics. The beginning of such a purpose will consist of getting
into communication with the extension department of the state
agricultural college. After obtaining their literature and learning
their methods of procedure, call the boys and girls together, asking
their parents to come along. It may be found practicable to call a
general meeting of the entire neighborhood, inviting old and young
possibly to a basket dinner, and there to lay before them the plans of
the organizations. While the contest in corn-raising or bread-baking
has proved a marked success where tried, if possible arrange matters so
that every earnest endeavor on the part of the young shall receive a
suitable reward, not merely the winners of the first and second prizes.

[Illustration: PLATE XIX.

(Courtesy of American Magazine.)

FIG. 25.--Jerry Moore, the champion boy corn raiser of the United
States. He raised 253 bushels on a single acre of ground.]

It is usually an easy matter to secure funds for paying the way of the
boys to the state-wide farmers' institute or the boys' institute usually
held at the agricultural college during the holiday season. Provide that
every boy who reaches a certain standard--say, that of raising so many
bushels of corn on an acre of land--shall go at the expense of the fund.
Likewise, organize the girls into a bread-baking club or something of
the sort. Prizes may be offered for the best bread, but all the girls
whose home-making work meets a certain fixed standard of requirement
should have promise of a suitable reward. Perhaps they too may be sent
without expense to themselves to a state conference on home economics.
In case of these trips to the state meetings it will be necessary to
appoint responsible chaperons for the boys and girls.


OTHER FORMS OF CONTESTS

It may be found advisable to start a good-roads contest among the boys
of the home township, offering an attractive prize to the one who shows
the best results at the end of a given period and a per diem payment of
money to every boy who faithfully takes care of his half mile or
quarter mile of public road.

Then, there may be instituted on a small scale stock shows and poultry
shows in the hands of the boys of the neighborhood. To this the girls
too may come with any such thing as display specimens of their home
sewing and fancy work, house plants, and the like. In fact, these
exhibitions may gradually develop into a sort of neighborhood or
township fair for the special benefit of the young. To this display may
be brought, not only the items named immediately above, but the larger
variety of things mentioned in the chapter on the Rural Y.M.C.A.


THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE SCHOOL SITUATION

Rural leaders will nearly always find many opportunities for improving
the local school situation. But let the organizer keep unfailingly in
view the high aims of all this rural work; namely, the awakening of a
deeper interest in the affairs that normally belong to the neighborhood
life, and the fuller measure of joy and contentment to result from every
such achievement. So, there may be undertaken the redirection of the
work of the country school. For example, bring forces to bear upon it
that will result in the introduction of the study of elementary
agriculture and the simple elements of home keeping and home sanitation
therein. Work for a better class of teachers and a higher salary
payment. Endeavor to have the length of the school term extended and
the school attendance made more regular. Institute a series of
red-letter days for the school during the year. It may be practicable to
have a "parents' day," an occasion on which all will be invited to come
out and join the pupils in a noonday lunch and learn more about the
progress and the needs of the school. Provide a half-day for free and
open discussion of school matters and if possible organize among the
patrons a sort of "boosters' club."

Another form of endeavor in behalf of the schools is that of striving
for improvement of the high school facilities of the neighborhood.
Perhaps there is not a high school within riding distance of the homes.
Cannot one be instituted, say, for the township? Or, what can be done to
improve the present neighborhood relations to the high school that may
be already within reach? Is there a prohibitive tuition fee? Does the
high school now in existence actually serve through its courses the best
interests of young people who come in from the neighborhood? Again,
perhaps it would be feasible to organize the grown boys and girls who
have dropped out of the country school into a neighborhood group and
provide a daily conveyance for taking them to and from the town high
school By this means, many may be induced to go to school who are idling
away the valuable winter months.

During the last decade, what has been the trend of the young men and
women who have gone from the home district to high school or college?
Have any of the best of them returned to the farm? Or, have these
institutions been a means of sending them away as permanent city
dwellers? Does this thing need to continue? Cannot some movement be
instituted for bringing about a radical change? So long as the country
boys and girls attend the town high schools and there be required to
take the old-fashioned classical courses--which have always served to
introduce their minds to the city life and to the professional
callings--the country districts will continue to be depleted of their
best brains and energy.


HOME AND SCHOOL PLAY PROBLEMS

Start a movement in the interest of better provided play opportunities
for the children of the neighborhood. The possibilities of enriching and
extending the young life through the avenue of better play are just
beginning to be understood. We have always accepted the theory that
young children must have some time to play, but we have given little or
no heed to the matter of providing for their play such apparatus as
might furnish scientific contributions to the development of their
characters.

Make a brief inquiry throughout the neighborhood and you will perhaps
find that not a single farm home has apparently given this matter any
definite attention. Now, what playthings may easily be provided in such
homes? After having determined that matter, begin a campaign of
education of the rural parents. First, write to the Playground
Association of America in New York City and ask for a list of their
literature on play. From this source you will obtain pamphlets and
larger volumes giving specific suggestions for installing rural play
apparatus, and details as to dimensions, prices, and the like. Now, you
are ready for work. Appeal to a centrally located family for their
coöperation in establishing a model. Induce them to provide for their
children a full set of the apparatus, seeing to it that the expense is
kept down to the minimum. Nearly all of the materials of construction
are lying about the ordinary farm home and need only to be assembled and
put into place. Once you have established your model home playground,
then invite your neighbors in to see it, perhaps making a sort of picnic
or holiday occasion out of the affair. At any rate, you may be sure that
the parents of the neighborhood will begin at once to copy the models
and many will even improve upon them.

Along with your efforts there may be necessary a campaign of instruction
and admonition in relation to the play of the children. Many parents may
be working their small boys and girls too hard and allowing not enough
time for play. In this respect your persistent effort will in time show
excellent results.

Let us suppose that the farm home selected for the model playthings has
at least one small boy and one small girl therein. Then, the following
might be set up:--

A swing, a seesaw, a sliding board or pole, a pair of rings, a trapeze,
and a horizontal bar. Have all under shade if possible. Provide also a
small play wagon and a cart or two, with a sand box for the small child.

Inspect the district school in reference to play facilities and you may
find nothing other than the bare ground with perhaps a baseball diamond.
Here, then, is a rare opportunity for constructive work. Organize in
your own way a boosters' club and provide play apparatus. In Chapter
VIII you will find full details as to the equipment best suited for the
purpose. Provide in every case that the expense be minimized. Nearly all
of the apparatus may be constructed free of cost by interested persons
in the home neighborhood or in the near-by village.


A NEIGHBORHOOD LIBRARY

Another very enticing line of endeavor for the rural leader is that of
establishing the country library. Some one in the neighborhood has a big
house, one room or more of which may conveniently be set apart for the
purpose. Induce the owners of this house to clear up a room and remodel
it, if need be, and make their home a sort of intellectual center for
the district. Of course the schoolhouse or rural church may be available
for the purpose, but the farm home will be better for a great many
reasons, among them being the possibility of having the library open at
all hours of the day so that books may be exchanged on the occasion of
one's passing the place. Now, go after the well-to-do residents of the
district and gather a fund for the library. Paint in glowing terms the
visions you have of this thing when it has been set on foot. Declare
your purpose as that of helping and uplifting the community life. Show
the "close-fisted" resident that the establishment of a neighborhood
library will attract desirable settlers into the district and improve
prices of land and produce.

After having obtained a small fund, consult the best authorities for
advice in selecting the books. By all means avoid cheap stories and
trash of every other sort. Since your work is in behalf of the young,
obtain a few attractive and instructive picture books. There can
probably be obtained a book which treats and illustrates fully the bird
life of the local state, giving a brief description and pictures in
their natural color. Young people may be very much attracted by
authentic books of the nature-study class, including those descriptive
of wild animals and of hunting and exploring tales. Consult the lists
given under the chapter on the literature in the country home for
additional titles and suggestions.

If it be found difficult or impracticable to purchase books for the
neighborhood library, then, the next best thing will be the traveling
library. Communicate with the state library association and learn
definitely what may be obtained from that source. Then, proceed to bring
the best available volumes into the neighborhood. In the selection of
the library do not forget the local interest. Secure every attractive
volume that will help to make the boys and girls acquainted with the
best meanings of their own community life and more interested in staying
by the home affairs and building them up. Not the least among the
valuable elements of the neighborhood library will be the periodicals,
in the selection of which expert advice is recommended.


HOLIDAYS AND RECREATION FOR THE YOUNG

In an ably written article published in _Rural Manhood_ of January,
1910, John R. Boardman, International County Work Secretary, says: "A
new gospel of the recreation life needs to be proclaimed in the country.
Rural America must be compelled to play. It has to a degree toiled
itself into deformity, disease, depravity, and depression. Its long
hours of drudgery, its jealousy of every moment of daylight, its scorn
of leisure and of pleasure must give way to shorter hours of labor,
occasional periods of complete relaxation and whole-hearted
participation in wholesome plays, festivals, picnics, games, and other
recreative amusements. Better health, greater satisfaction, and a
richer life wait on the wise development of this recreative ideal."

A brief survey of the neighborhood will doubtless show the lack of
general method in dealing with the farm boys' and girls' holidays and
vacations during the long summer months. Here, then, is apparent another
field for constructive leadership. In proceeding to change the present
situation, it may be well to gather a considerable list of authoritative
statements like the one just quoted. Farm parents gradually fall into
the habit of over-working their half-grown children. Now, if we can
institute a custom of weekly half holidays for the young people of the
neighborhood, a splendid work will be done in behalf of a higher
community life.

Begin work by selecting an attractive central location, and plan that
the young, and the older ones, too, may come to this place one afternoon
every week, or at least two afternoons every month, and have a good time
generally. Games may be played, local clubs may meet in the shade of the
trees, the sewing society and other groups of women having their
interests served. The farmers' clubs may have opportunity for helpful
exchange of ideas, while the little children may play and romp about the
premises. Invite all to come early in the afternoon and bring an evening
lunch to be enjoyed in common. Thus, you may give the young people who
regard their everyday work as drudgery, such interest and inspiration
as to tone up their lives noticeably for every hour of the long days of
toil.


MANY OVER-WORK THEIR CHILDREN

In connection with your efforts in behalf of the holiday or weekly
picnic, take up carefully the matter of the proper amount of work for
the farm boys and girls of any given age. You will find such willingness
on the part of parents to do the right thing by their children and a
proportionate amount of ignorance as to what ought to be done.
Therefore, you may be able to carry on most profitably to all a campaign
of instruction in regard to such thing. You will, of course, first make
out as best you can with the aid of all available literature, an ideal
schedule of hours of work and play and recreation suitable for the boys
and girls of the different ages.

At the holiday picnic it may be found advisable to organize the boys
into a club of their own and the girls, likewise, for the promotion of
their several and mutual interests. Inspire all with your earnestness
and enthusiasm and lead them to consider the latent possibilities of the
neighborhood, of how it might be transformed into a place of great worth
and attractiveness. At the same country picnic, look to the
practicability of organizing into a club the tired mothers of the
district. They are many. You will know them by their careworn looks.
Create a sentiment in behalf of more frequent outings and more
recreation for these women. Help them obtain literature relative to
their own affairs, to exchange ideas and plans in behalf of their own
betterment. Show them especially the possibility of quitting the work at
stated times even though that work be less than half finished, and
getting away from the tedium thereof--all in the interest of longer life
for themselves and better service for their homes and families. Almost
any sort of club which these mothers can be induced to attend will
achieve the purpose desired.


FEDERATION FOR COUNTRY LIFE PROGRESS

Federations for country-life progress are now arising in many parts of
the country. One of the first was organized in New England, under the
leadership of President Butterfield. The Illinois movement may be
described, as an example.

The Illinois State Federation for Country Life Progress is composed of
nearly half a hundred subordinate organizations. Their platform of ten
principles given below sets forth a number of most important and
practical purposes, as follows:--

    1. Local country community building.

    2. The federation of all the rural forces of the state of
    Illinois in one big united effort for the betterment of
    country life.

    3. The development of institutional programs of action for
    all rural social agencies. This means a program of work for
    the school, another for the church, another for the farmers'
    institute, and so on.

    4. The stimulation of farmer leadership in the country
    community.

    5. The increase and improvement of professional leadership
    among country teachers, ministers, and all others who serve
    the rural community in offices of educational direction.

    6. The perpetuation among all the people of country
    communities of a definite community ideal, and the
    concentrated effort of the whole community in concrete tasks
    looking toward the realization of this ideal.

    7. The recognition of the country school as the immediate
    initiator of progress in the average rural community of
    Illinois.

    8. The study and investigation of country life facts and
    conditions.

    9. The holding of annual country life conferences.

    10. The protection of this federation and of all country life
    from any form of exploitation.


THE VOCATIONS OF BOYS AND GIRLS

A most commendable work for the rural social leader would be that of
showing the possibilities of guiding country boys and girls more
scientifically in the direction of their coming vocational life. Too
often, there may be found a mistaken farmer who is attempting to force
his boy to take up the farm life when as a matter of fact the boy is in
no sense fitted for such vocation and should be trained for a distinctly
different line of work. Then, on another occasion, you will meet a man
who is farming simply because he has to do it, and who is over-anxious
that his boy be guided in the direction of something else. The point
especially to be emphasized here is that the parent cannot choose
arbitrarily a vocation for his child. The native interests of the latter
must be consulted again and again, while the child is growing up, and in
the end the young person must decide the matter for himself.

The world is full of wrecks of human character who are such largely
because of the single fault of their never having been trained
scientifically in a vocational way. So advance as best you can the idea
that parents must be most patient in awaiting the development of the
various instincts and desires in their growing children, and for the
final decision of the latter in respect to a calling. It should be made
clear that many of the best and ablest men in the world floundered about
not a little in deciding upon the final choice.

This very important matter of choosing a vocation for the young man and
the young woman will be taken up in Chapters XVIII and XIX of this
book.


OTHER LOCAL POSSIBILITIES

It will be understood that the possibilities of church and Sunday school
work in a rural neighborhood are not intentionally slighted. Little is
said in regard to them here simply because of the fact that there is a
country-wide organization with well-directed local branches and with a
flood of excellent literature constantly at work in building up the
church and Sunday school life. The reader may be reminded, however, that
this field still presents many excellent opportunities for serving the
highest interests of the home community.

The matter of purely social gatherings for the boys and girls is
important. It will perhaps be found that they are running to cheap,
degrading dances, either in the home neighborhood or in a near-by town.
If the rural leader can break this thing up and substitute a literary
club, a better form of social intercourse, or any other gathering, for
the cheap dance and its resultant debauch, the effort will certainly be
most commendable. It is not as a rule advisable to condemn and denounce
these cheap affairs, but rather to begin at once a movement in the
interest of the better substitute. Just as soon as the latter begins to
take form, the young people will naturally discontinue their degrading
affairs. Chapter XIII of this book will offer a more extended discussion
of the social problems of country youth.

[Illustration: PLATE XX.

FIG. 26.--An example of the little lonely school in the woods, a problem
of the social worker. Not enough children to stimulate one another
properly in the lesson-getting and play activities.]


THE BOY-SCOUT MOVEMENT

There is much to commend the boy-scout movement as a country
organization. It must be thought of as an educative institution. In
discussing its best meanings and possibilities, Professor E. L. Holton,
of the Kansas State Agricultural College, says: "Education as used here
means habits of health, of work, of thrift, of observation, and of
research. It is habit that determines the health of an individual and
the sanitary conditions of a community; the social and moral level of
the worker and the quality of his work; the returns from the farm and
the ideals of the farmer; a man's bank account and his insight into the
secrets of his environment. Habit has its physical basis in the flesh,
the blood, and the nerve cells. There must be actual first-hand
experience and leadership hitched up with text-book knowledge in
educating the boy. The old elemental instincts of adventure, pugnacity,
gang life, and following leadership must be taken into account and made
to work out into life-compelling desires."

Before attempting the organization of the local Boy Scouts, one is
advised first to send to the national organization and that of the
state, if there be any, for literature and directions. The only caution
which it seems necessary to give here is that there be connected with
the conduct of the organization some serious problems and requirements
and that it be not given over exclusively to merely doing wild and
daring "stunts" and "hiking" about the country.


RURAL BOY-SCOUTS IN KANSAS

As an example of what is being done by way of organizing the rural boy
scout movement, the Kansas plan under the direction of Professor E. L.
Holton is here given:--

The Agricultural College Council is organizing companies of Rural-Life
Boy Scouts in all parts of Kansas. The aim of the Council is "a company
in every community." There are 160,000 boys in Kansas eligible to
membership. It seeks to encourage boys to learn the secrets of the
prairies, the streams and the forests, and be able to read nature as
well as books; to have a growing bank account, and to do some type of
work better than it has been done by anyone else.

During the month of July or August there is to be a five to ten days'
Rural-Life Camp of Instruction in each county, which is to be attended
by all companies of the county. This camp of instruction will be under
the direction and management of the County Council. The program will
consist of:--

    1. Games and athletic contests.

    2. Contest in judging farm crops and stock.

    3. Naming birds, wild animals, fish, flowers, trees, shrubs,
    etc.

    4. Reporting on the savings bank accounts.

    5. Contests in any other line of work carried on in the
    county.

    6. Talks on rural life subjects.

The duties of the individual scout are as follows:--

For the Third Class--

    1. Know by sight and call ten common birds.

    2. Know by sight and track ten wild animals.

    3. Know by sight five common game fish.

    4. Know in the fields ten wild flowers.

    5. Know by leaf, bark, and general outline ten common trees
    or shrubs.

    6. Know the sixteen points of the compass.

    7. Know the elementary rules for the prevention of typhoid
    fever.

    8. Plant and cultivate according to the latest scientific
    methods not less than one-half acre of some farm or garden
    crop. (The town boy may substitute a town lot.)

    9. Own and care for according to the latest scientific
    methods some type of pure bred domestic animal. (This
    includes poultry.) Value not less than $10.

    10. Maintain a bank account of not less than $15.

    11. Shall strive to graduate from the common schools.

For the Second Class--

    1. Know by sight and call twenty common birds.

    2. Know by sight and track twenty wild animals.

    3. Know by sight seven common game fish.

    4. Know in the fields twenty wild flowers.

    5. Know by leaf, bark, and general outline twenty common
    trees and shrubs.

    6. Know the elementary rules for the prevention of
    tuberculosis.

    7. Plant and cultivate according to the latest scientific
    methods not less than one acre of some farm or garden crop.
    (The town boy may substitute town lots.)

    8. Own and care for according to the latest scientific
    methods some type of pure bred domestic animal. (This
    includes poultry.) Value not less than $20.

    9. Maintain a bank account of not less than $20.

    10. Read the books of the Young People's Reading Circle for
    the eighth and ninth grades.

For the First Class--

    1. Know by sight and call fifty common birds of Kansas.

    2. Know by sight and track all wild animals of Kansas.

    3. Know by sight all the common game fish of Kansas.

    4. Know in the fields twenty-five wild flowers.

    5. Know by leaf, bark, and general outline all common trees
    and shrubs of Kansas.

    6. Know by sight twenty-five common weeds.

    7. Plant and cultivate according to the latest scientific
    methods not less than two acres of farm crops. (The town boy
    may substitute town lots.)

    8. Own and care for according to the latest scientific
    methods some type of pure bred domestic animal. (This
    includes poultry.) Value not less than $25.

    9. Maintain a bank account of not less than $25.

    10. Shall read at least two of a list of books on rural life.

The motto is: "Know the secrets of the open country."


REFERENCES

    See Rural Leadership Number of _Rural Manhood_, June, 1910.

    Play for the Country Boy. Clark W. Hetherington. _Rural
    Manhood_, May, 1911.

    The Y.M.C.A. Socializing the Country. Farman S. Vance. _The
    Independent_, April 15, 1911.

    Holiday Plays. Marguerite Merington. Duffield & Co. Suitable
    for rural leaders.

    The County and Local Fair. L. H. Bailey. _The Country-Life
    Movement_, 1911. This article contains many practical and
    stimulating suggestions for making a successful county fair,
    on a new basis.

    Farmers' Institutes for Young People. Circular No. 99 of the
    U.S. Department of Agriculture. (Free.) This circular gives a
    large fund of details of all sorts of clubs and movements.

    Kindergarten at Home. V. M. Hillyer. Baker-Taylor Company.
    N.Y. Contains much constructive work.

    The Young Farmer's Practical Library. Edited by Ernest
    Ingersoll and published by Sturgis-Walton Company, N.Y. (75
    cents each.) Contains some excellent matter. The following
    volumes are included:

      From Kitchen to Garret. Virginia T. Van de Water.
      Neighborhood Entertainments. Renée B. Stern.
      The Farm Mechanic. L. W. Chase.
      Home Waterworks. Carleton J. Lynde.
      The Satisfaction of Country Life. Dr. James W. Robertson.
      Roads, Paths and Bridges. L. W. Page.
      Health on the Farm. Dr. L. F. Harris.
      Farm Machinery. J. B. Davidson.
      Electricity on the Farm.

    County Superintendent J. F. Haines, Noblesville, Indiana, has
    a fund of helpful data on agricultural fairs by young people.

    The Extension of Industrial and Agricultural Education.
    (Pamphlet.) Extension Department, University of Wisconsin,
    Madison.

    Children's Singing Games Old and New. Mari Ruef Hofer. A.
    Flanagan Company. Chicago. Miss Hofer is an authority of
    national reputation on the subject of play and games.



CHAPTER XI

_HOW MUCH WORK FOR THE COUNTRY BOY_


Over-work, poor pay, and little recreation are the agencies which
annually drive thousands of good, promising youths from the rural
districts into the cities, where their splendid native abilities for
serving the world and society are most likely to become subordinated.
All too often it is a case of a young man leaving the home place,
surrounded by opportunities which he has not been allowed to avail
himself of, and going into a place where he will take up the monotonous
round of merely "holding a job." In the former position, under
intelligent care and direction, he might have grown into a strong,
self-reliant man, full of resources, endued with good purposes; and at
last have taken rank among those who are lifting the race to higher
things. In the position obtained in the city he is almost certain to
find his surroundings badly cramped, his spontaneity largely restricted,
and his power of initiative without a motive for its indulgence. In
short, his city position will press him continually and insistently to
the end that he reduce himself to a mere machine, or a mere cog in a
great machine.


SEE THAT THE WORK IS FOR THE BOY'S SAKE

One of the means whereby rural parents may assist their boy to develop
into that fullness of life which the latter's native abilities and
excellent environment guarantee him, is to provide a scientific relation
of the young life to the work which he may be required to perform. First
of all, what is the proper way in which to regard the boy's work?
Ordinarily, the farmer is inclined to think of the work rather than the
worker, and to ask himself what he can put the boy at in order to make
his services most profitable to the business. Now, no evil intention is
charged here, but this erroneous point of view is almost certain to lead
gradually to an abuse of the boy. Why not put the question in this way:
How much work and what sort of work will be most conducive to the boy's
present development and to his future welfare? The radical difference
between the two positions may be readily seen. And while the latter may
be less profitable in form of material and monetary gain, it will prove
to be far more serviceable in the production of sterling manhood.

It is not an easy matter to determine offhand as to the amount of work a
boy of any given age should perform. Conditions vary greatly. The safest
mode of procedure is to study the individual boy carefully. Let the
parent first acquaint himself with the general principles of human
development through the service of suitable literature, as recommended
in a former chapter. Then, the boy's physical strength, his aptitudes,
and his native interests should be taken into account. Among other aims,
seek that of a happy adjustment of the boy to his work. Some of the
tasks required of him will be and should be somewhat irksome, as a means
of discipline. On the other hand, much of the work he does should be
backed up by his hearty approval and good will.

It is probably true that no boy is instinctively fond of work and that
the average boy must be held to his tasks whether he chooses to perform
them or not. But the final pleasant relations of the boy to his work can
best be secured by means of counseling with him on the subject. Explain
to the lad the fact that industry is the greatest factor in the world's
progress and development. Point out to him instances of worthy men,
young and old, who are faithful workers. Make him to see that he can the
better become an honorable man through an intimate knowledge of labor.
Point out to him instances of men who are failures in life, and others
who are criminals, explaining--as statistics prove--that the majority of
these delinquent persons were never trained during youth in the
performance of any specific work. Show him if possible how even the
wealthy person who has nothing important to do, is a burden to himself
and a menace to society.


NOT ENFORCED LABOR, BUT MASTERY

As stated above, no natural boy probably takes up hard work willingly or
voluntarily. Parents may as well accept it as their peculiar duty to
direct and discipline their boys with required tasks. But after
considerable persistent and conscientious enforcement of the boy's
labors the parent is almost certain to be rewarded with the latter's
manifest willingness and fondness in doing what was at first thought of
as pain and punishment.

It is a serious matter, however, to observe how many grown men there are
who look upon their work with the dread and disfavor natural to little
boys. One is inclined to wonder at this and at the cause of it. So far
as can be learned by inquiry among workmen and those who dread their
enforced labor, their view of the situations is about as follows, to
render liberally the language of a stonemason-philosopher: "Work is
something no man is naturally fond of. Every worker would quit if he
could afford to and take life easy. If I had ten thousand dollars ahead,
I would never work another day. Of course somebody has to work or we
should all starve, but my advice to a boy is that he get a good
education and thus learn how to make a living some other way."

Here the parent who has true foresight in respect to his child's
development is confronted with a serious problem. It is not merely a
matter of teaching the boy to work, but rather that of teaching him to
become master of his work in order that personal pleasure may finally
come from the performance thereof. So, one must follow the boy most
thoughtfully in the latter's initial steps toward satisfactory industry.
While it is sometimes advisable to take him forcibly back to the place
where he failed and even to enforce obedience and effort with the rod,
it is most certainly the parent's duty to praise the small lad for his
first light tasks well performed, and otherwise to show appreciation
thereof.

"It took me a year to get this boy down to business," said the proud
father of a fifteen-year-old who had just won a second prize in a
state-wide corn-raising contest. "During the summer of his sixth year I
took him with me into the field on occasions when he could do something
light and learn from it. But my chief plan was to train him in garden
work. I gave him a small plot to tend and helped him lay it out and
plant it. At first he showed great interest, but I knew that it was of
the playful kind and that it would soon wane. Sure enough, in a short
time he was dodging and slighting his garden work. Then, I began a more
definite method. At morning I would instruct him very carefully what he
must do for the day, and at each evening I required him to compare
results and instructions with me. Punishment was necessary more than
once, but slowly he began to catch my point of view."

"I bought the boy's first spring radishes for table use and permitted
him to spend half the money. This seemed to open his eyes. Later I paid
him for his other produce. During the second season I emphasized such
matters as carefulness in selecting seed and the arrangement and
cultivation of the garden produce. Several of the neighbors expressed
surprise and delight when they saw the attractive garden. This merited
approbation was noticeably effective. Since that time I have had little
trouble. I can give that boy any ordinary farm problem to-day and he
will work it out most enthusiastically. He has learned the joy of
mastery in his work."

The foregoing somewhat lengthy statement is given with the thought that
it may furnish illustrative material to others. It is a mistake to keep
driving boys to their work "just because they ought to do it," as one
stern father put the matter. But it is altogether fair and advisable
that a series of rewards be offered. The youth must be made to feel that
his work is to serve some worthy personal end. This well-trained boy's
reward came gradually as follows: (1) parental approbation. (2) a money
return. (3) the praise of the neighbors, (4) the joy of self-reliance
and mastery.


PROVIDE VACATIONS FOR THE BOY

It is unreasonable to expect the growing boy to have the same vital
interest in the work as that of his parents. The wise father will see
to it that his youthful son has some outside incentive for work, as well
as money payments and words of praise. Vacation periods and holidays
judiciously placed will prove a splendid tonic for the working boy's
mind. The schedule given below will indicate the relative amount of time
that should be given to such recreative indulgences. Even in the matter
of holidays there is a tendency of some fathers to regard them as so
much stock in trade to exchange for the boy's extra effort. So, some
farmers will map out more than a reasonable week's work and say, "Now,
boys, finish that up by Saturday noon and you may quit." In such case we
have mere exploitation of the boy's strength and energy in the interest
of the work and the profits. The scheme will fall flat sooner or later
and leave the boy still despising the work and mistrustful of his
employer.

The plan pursued by a prosperous farmer in dealing with his two sons may
serve to illustrate a very good method. This thoughtful father reports
substantially as follows:--

"The work on our place is never ended, but whenever I find that the boys
need a vacation they get it just the same. They are fourteen and sixteen
and splendid help during the summer. I never permit them to work more
than ten hours a day, while they are allowed a full half day off each
week to use as they please, and about once each month they have an
entire day to themselves. Also during the hot weather in the middle of
the summer they have from three days to a week for some special outing.
Last summer they camped out five days with some other good boys. It is
my theory that the boys who are given such vacations will do more work
and do it better than those who are not."

The foregoing plan may seem to sacrifice the interests of the work, but
in fact it really does not. After all, it is merely a question of the
right point of view. Is the boy for the sake of the work, or the work
for the sake of the boy? Answer the question conscientiously for
yourself, dear reader. And may the boy be forever the gainer!


A TENTATIVE SCHEDULE OF HOURS

Obedience may be regarded as a pre-requisite for successful boy
training. So, the first light tasks required of the small lad will be
intended as merely a means of training him to obey and to feel the
meaning of responsibility. No one has thus far seemed to think it worth
while to attempt to prescribe for the work and play of children. How
different in the case of the school requirements! Even in the district
schools the thing is reduced to a system--_both the quantity and the
quality of the work necessary for each age and grade are carefully
scheduled_. Now, why not the same forethought in planning the necessary
amount of the other exercises? And why not have this scheme made out by
_highly trained experts_ as is the case with the school course? There
seems to be no plausible defense for this traditional expensive
oversight on the part of society.

The schedule below is offered as merely schematic and possibly
suggestive. In any given case there may be wide departures from it. But
the thought is that of training the whole boy, and that for the sake of
his own and society's future good.

Age 4 or younger.--May be taught the nature of a required duty from
being sent on an occasional small errand about the place. Practically
all the time should be given to play.

Age 5.--Use substantially the same methods as for age 4, but add the
requirement of one regular light task daily and follow him up in the
performance of it.

Age 6.--Continue as above, adding to the required tasks slightly. If the
lad now be taken to the field, he must go more in the spirit of play
than of work. Of course he will learn much about farm matters at this
age, but his activities will be largely spontaneous. Note the plan
reported above.

Age 7.--At this age, the boy should be required to do light chores at
evening after school--such as carrying in wood and kindling and
attending to the stock. Or he may help in the house. During vacation he
may help for two to four hours daily with some easy tasks, preferably
about the house. Of course there is much work about the barn and fields
which is not too heavy for him.

Age 8.--Some boys are put to plowing at this age, but such a thing is
little short of criminal. Moreover, they should be held regularly to _no
sort of work_ all day long at this age; that is, unless the parent
desires to reduce his boy to a little old dried-up man before the age of
twenty is reached, and perhaps drive him from home.

Age 9.--Intermittently half-day or all-day tasks may now be imposed;
provided the lad be taken along as a mere helper and may, about
two-thirds of the time, either play at his work or regard it in the
light of a playful pastime. Do not work the joyousness and spontaneity
out of him at this young age.

Age 10.--An average of five hours solid work per day is all that the
10-year-old farm boy should be required to do. Much play and recreation
of the rougher sort should supplement it. The desire to construct
something with tools is now strong and should be indulged. Or, see that
he has a pony to ride as he hurries about the place in the performance
of his many errands.

Age 11.--Increase the required tasks about one hour per day with similar
treatment as for age 10. This is the age for training the boy to be a
sort of "page" in service of his mother and sister.

[Illustration: PLATE XXI.

FIG. 27.--A tennis court in connection with the country boys' camp.
There should be more of these.

FIG. 28.--A country play festival. We cannot answer rightly the
question, How much work for the country boy? and at the same time
neglect to provide for his play.]

Age 12.--Many 12-year-old boys are required to do a man's work every
day. But such a thing is done in the interest of the work and the
profits and not for the sake of the boy. A good way to measure his worth
at this age is to see that he does not earn more than half as much as
the full-grown man. Give many half-holidays. His interest in fishing,
rowing, swimming, and the like, needs much indulgence.

Age 13.--From this age to 15, watch the boy for the beginning of
adolescence and be unusually careful not to over-work him. Most of his
bodily strength must go into making new bone and muscle. Frequent
intervals of rest and relaxation should be the rule, together with
avoidance of too long and too heavy a day's work. Even permit some crops
to be lost rather than abuse the boy.

Age 14-16.--This is the time to begin to interest the boy in working to
serve his own ends. His social instincts will now appear strong and he
will desire many new possessions not hitherto thought of. Therefore,
adjust his work to these new interests and lead him to feel as much as
possible that he is working for his own advantage. There is still danger
of over-work. So see to it that rests and vacations with opportunities
for social experience are frequent. It is a matter for parental concern
if the farm boy be not able to return to his labors at the beginning of
each new day with freshness of spirits and overflowing energy.


THINK OUT A REASONABLE PLAN

Finally, the farmer is urged to take up the matter for consideration
early and make out what seems a reasonable plan of relating the boy to
his work, and then to adhere persistently thereto. It has been charged
repeatedly that the typical well-to-do farmer works his wife and
children hard all day and until late bed time in the evening; that heavy
chores are piled upon the boys after they have already worked overtime
in the field; that they are routed out at four o'clock every morning,
when they go half asleep and moaning to their work again.

If the foregoing accusation be at all true, its truth must certainly be
the result of carelessness and ignorance of human rights, and not
premeditative inhumanity and criminality as it seems to be! The reading
of good farm literature, together with some intensive study of books and
periodicals on the care and management of children--these will most
certainly prove corrective agencies of some of the abuses named herein.


REFERENCES

    Standards in Education. Arthur H. Chamberlain. Chapter III,
    "Industrial Training: Its Aim and Scope." American Book
    Company.

    Child Labor and the Republic. Homer Folks. National Child
    Labor Committee, N.Y.

    Teaching the Boy to Work. (Pamphlet.) Wm. A. McKeever.
    Published by the author, Manhattan, Kansas.

    Half Time at School and Half Time at Work. F. P. Stockbridge.
    _World's Work_, April, 1911. An interesting experiment at the
    University of Cincinnati.

    Care of the Child. Mrs. Burton Chance. Chapter X, "The
    Awkward Age." Penn Publishing Company.



CHAPTER XII

_HOW MUCH WORK FOR THE COUNTRY GIRL_


Imagine a wedding scene in a rural home. The only daughter, a young
woman of ideal age for marriage, is joining her heart and her hand, for
weal or for woe, to those of a young man of suitable character. But
strange and unexpected as it may seem, there are many tears on the part
of the immediate relatives of the girl. Her parents are manifesting the
strange emotion of solemnity at a time when gaiety might be expected.
Why is it? you ask. The whole situation has an interesting and inspiring
history. It is simply this: During all her years the parents of this
girl have watched her grow up, through infancy, childhood, maidenhood,
and finally into the full maturity of a woman; and every stage of her
growth has been carefully safe-guarded by them. They have made the home
life and the home work serve her needs and purposes in a most beautiful
and instructive manner. They seem to have attempted at all times to put
into their daughter's life just such experience as would become a
helpful part of her growing character. And what a reward! What a
splendid satisfaction to the worthy parents to be able to contribute to
society such a product of their affectionate care and training!


A BALANCED LIFE FOR THE GIRL

Should we follow it out, the biography of the good young woman mentioned
above would teach many a valuable lesson to the parents of other
girls--would teach them that a growing girl has her specific needs and
her inherent rights, which must be provided for by her parents through
the proper kind of directing and caretaking. A certain amount of
restraint, of work, of play, of recreation, of social experiences, of
practice in self-dependence, of opportunity for service of others--yes,
a certain amount of all these things must be conscientiously supplied
for the life of the growing girl so that she may develop into a
well-rounded character.

Parents are not accused of intentional wrong to their daughters. Such
cases are rare. The chief sins against the daughters of the rural homes
are the sins of neglect, of indifference, and of ignorance as to what
were necessary to be done. So what we may accomplish in this chapter is,
first to arouse parents to an appreciation of the seriousness of the
problem before them; and second, to offer some specific aids to the
better achievement of the task of bringing up a girl to the rural home.

It is a well-established principle in plant propagation that certain
nutrient elements must be present in the soil before growth will go on
properly. It does not satisfy the needs of the plant for some of the
chemical substances to be present in large amount if the others be
absent. There must be a sort of balanced ration for the vegetable life.
Similarly in case of that tender plant of the household, the young girl;
she can be kept alive on work and study alone, but for beautiful and
symmetrical growth other elements of character-nourishment are
necessary. What are they? The reader is referred to Chapter I for a
general list.

The hurry of work and the isolation of the ordinary country home tend to
foster an over-serious disposition in girls. There is too little to
provoke a smile and not half enough practice in smiling. Laughter is
also too infrequent. A boy may grow up habitually stern and sedate and
yet be able to fight his way through a successful manhood. But with the
girl it is different. Her habit of smiling and of being pleasant and
agreeable may prove to be one of her most valuable charms. So, the early
and continuous training of the girl in sociability must be considered
among the parental duties to her; and that by encouraging her to be
sociable at home and by providing that she have frequent companionship
with others of her age.


WORK BEGINS WITH OBEDIENCE

One of the initial steps in the training of a child is that of securing
a willing obedience, a habitual performance of required tasks and
duties. It may prove an easy matter to drive the girl to the work. But
how about the problem of teaching her to take up her daily tasks
willingly and with a joyous heart? Girls are little different from boys
at this stage of their education. They do not take naturally and fondly
to work. They will slight and neglect it. Worse than that, if untrained
in faithfulness to household duties, they will lounge about the place or
run much in society and allow their mothers to work themselves slowly to
death--and scarcely seem to realize what is taking place.

Similarly as in case of the boy, some forcing, some rebuke, and
occasional punishment will be necessary to initiate the girl into the
work habit. But shortly obedience and willingness will come, and with
them a deeper consciousness than is manifested in her young brother.
After that, the danger of over-work will soon begin to be apparent to
the watchful mother, and be guarded against.

Habit formation is a prominent factor in the first lessons of obedience
in work. It will be highly advisable to start everything right. After a
few instances of slighting one kind of work or expending too much energy
upon another kind the young character begins to take on these faults
permanently. Many women scrub floors and wash dishes unto their death.
Others perform these endless tasks quite as well "in a jiffy" and go on
their way singing. Why is this? Is it not a matter which the mother
should think about most seriously in relation to the training of her
daughter?


WORKING THE GIRLS IN THE FIELD

Is there any justification for requiring a girl to work in the field
with the men and boys? Many girls are doing so, whether required or not.
Careful consideration of the matter seems to bring out a few
suggestions. The farm girl while a child under ten years may accompany
the father or the brothers into the field and there be permitted to do
some light work occasionally, provided she regard it in a semi-playful
way. On very rare occasions, when older, she may be rightfully called on
to drive a rake for a day or take some similar part of the work in order
to help prevent the loss of a valuable crop.

But the practice followed by some farmers, of often requiring their
daughters to do a man's work in the field, and excusing the fault with
the thought that it is for the sake of laying up wealth for her future
enjoyment--that is abominable and should be prohibited by law. Among
other objections, it is probably most hurtful to the young woman's pride
and self-respect to be forced to perform farm labor. And then, during
such time as she works in the field her much needed opportunities for
the practice of the womanly arts and refinements are slipping away.

Of course we should not take away from the country-reared woman the
poetic sentiment about the days of her childhood when she helped rake
the hay and drive the cattle home, "just for fun."


SOME SPECIFIC SUGGESTIONS

It is difficult, of course, to lay down specific rules here, because
every case is a special one. But nearly all intelligent parents can
easily determine whether or not they are fair to their girls. It would
seem reasonable that in addition to the affection and interest properly
bestowed upon her in the home, the daughter should have at least the
same measure of value--money value--put upon her work as is the rule
with the hired helper. Certainly no worthy parent would ask her to work
for a smaller sum.

Too many of these good, promising girls are cramped and limited in their
lives until the self-pride is crushed well-nigh out of them. Often such
young women will be seen moping about in a stooped attitude of body,
stiff and awkward in their manners, lacking in self-confidence and in
that beautiful grace and ease of movement which mark the well-developed
young woman of twenty years. All of this is more or less indicative of
parental disregard and mistreatment--indicative that some one has
cheated her out of the time that should have been allowed for rest and
recreation and social improvement and given her in exchange an
over-amount of grinding toil and enforced seclusion--_all for the sake
of the work and the profits_.

It is a singular fact that so many country mothers make no provision for
throwing extra safeguards around their young daughter during the monthly
period of physical drain and weakness. It could probably be shown that
her lowered vitality and the increased susceptibility to fatigue at this
time make almost complete rest and relaxation highly advisable. It is
also most probable that the strain of work and the exposure to inclement
weather, so often allowed during the monthly period, are the incipient
causes of life-long weakness and disease.


DO YOU OWN YOUR DAUGHTER?

There are still not a few parents who are possessed of the old-fashioned
idea that their children belong to them, that they have a proprietary
right in their own sons and daughters. Just now there is thought of a
father who is intelligent, in many ways above the average man, but who
seems to regard his twenty-three-year-old daughter as a sort of chattel.
Being a widower, he needs her services, so he would employ her at the
least possible wages, or none, to take charge of the home, rear the two
or three smaller children, and cook and keep house for himself and three
or four hired men. The best excuse that may be offered for this man's
attitude toward his daughter is sheer ignorance of the true meaning of
the situation. But such treatment of a mature daughter is little short
of cruelty. This young woman should have every possible opportunity just
now to prepare herself for the future. Her conduct for the present may
even have the appearance of being somewhat selfish in order that her
future well-being and that of those dependent upon her may be
safe-guarded.

Further details of the foregoing case need not be given. The issue to be
made out of it is this: The parent who is doing the fair and square
thing by his daughter not only trains her to work and then safeguards
her life against an over-amount of work, but he also sees to it that the
labor she performs is contributive to her enjoyment, to the
strengthening of her character, and to the perfection of her life for
the future. Parents are justified in using every possible means as
contributory to the future well-being of their growing daughters, and
all this for the sake of the generations yet unborn. Thus, perhaps
without realizing the fact at all, the former may return to the race
life that measure of assistance which they themselves received.


DIFFICULT TO MAKE A SCHEDULE

It is difficult to make out a schedule of hours for the growing girl as
we did for the boy, but the former chapter may be taken as a general
guide. As with the boy, so with the girl, the first step in discipline
is that of securing a willing obedience. Then the tasks may be assigned
in accordance with the girl's age and strength. There is no good reason
for attempting to get work out of the child through a make-believe
policy of play. Children had better be made to understand from the first
that the world we live in is constructed largely through work; and that
labor is honorable and may even be made pleasurable.

"I should rather do the work myself than be bothered with trying to get
the children to do it," is a very common expression, and one which
indicates an erroneous idea of the problem we are considering. So long
as parents put their children at the tasks merely for the sake of
getting the tasks done, the children will suffer as a consequence. But
if the thought of the child's need of the discipline coming from work be
uppermost, then, the results are likely to be wholesome.


TEACH THE GIRL SELF-SUPREMACY

One of the greatest problems of the future of the race is involved in
the fact that many thousands of the best young women in the land--young
women who are well fitted to be the mothers of a better race of human
beings than we now have--are choosing an independent calling for
themselves. It is the author's belief that one of the most tragic
experiences known to any considerable portion of the American people
is this gradual starvation of the maternal instinct usually necessary in
the case of the well-sexed young woman of the class just mentioned.

[Illustration: PLATE XXII.

FIG. 29.--An industrial exhibit in a country school. If the boys and
girls could enjoy frequently the refining experience of having their
work observed by approving eyes, their appointed tasks would seem
lighter.]

And yet much of this fatal choice of an independent vocation on the part
of many young women doubtless results from bad management of the growing
girl. In too many country homes especially, the work is complete master
of the housekeeper and not the converse, as the case should be. As a
result, thousands of good women who ought to be in the pink and prime of
life are going pathetically to the only rest which the conditions seem
to allow--the grave. It is an awful thing, this wreck of so many good
lives through over-work. Under such conditions, may we reasonably
censure the many young women who foresee such a fate as a possibility
for themselves and avoid it through choice of an unmarried life and
independent support?

Girls are more readily enslaved to work than boys. It is comparatively
easy to teach a young woman to work, but it is an extremely difficult
matter to teach her when and how to quit work. Here, then, is the point
whereat we would center the attention of the parents of the country
girl. Make her mistress of her work. Develop in her by actual concrete
lessons the ability to stop and rest or take recreation at the necessary
time, even though the work be not half done.


SUMMARY

1. Give the girl a trifling daily task at four or five years of age,
merely for the sake of discipline. See to it, however, that her young
life be occupied chiefly in play and enjoyment and outdoor recreation.

2. Gradually increase the amount of work required, but always with an
eye single to the girl's physical growth and character-development. Some
definite thing to do as a regular daily requirement will prove most
helpful.

3. Continue throughout the daughter's growing years to provide for her
pleasure. Her schooling, her personal belongings, her social advantages,
and the like, must all be made to serve the purpose of making her life
in the home a happy one. As she grows in strength and years, she will
assume the increased amount of work with willingness and even with
pleasure, provided the assigned duties be vitally related to her present
purposes and her life interests.

4. Moreover, country parents must learn to think of themselves as first
of all engaged in bringing up their children for a better human society;
and secondly, as engaged in farming and housekeeping. If this point of
view be held to persistently, the crops may often suffer and the
housework frequently remain unfinished, but the vital interests of the
boys and girls will continue ever to be served.

5. Finally, let us continue to appreciate the value of outings and
vacations as potent factors in relieving the drudgery of work about the
country household. Women's work in the country home naturally calls for
much isolation and seclusion. The pre-adolescent girl should be taken
out of the farm home once or twice per week during the summer vacation.
It is good for her to go with her mother to the town market and to the
women's club meetings. As soon as she enters young womanhood, a square
deal for the girl who helps in the home will call for a weekly outing of
some kind and a careful provision for her social needs. All of this
outside intercourse will serve to quicken the body and the intellect of
the girl as she goes daily about the household duties, and to give her

  "Thoughts that on easy pinions rise
  And hopes that soar aloft to the skies."


REFERENCES

    The author has been able to find little printed matter of
    worth on the important problems outlined in this chapter. The
    industrial training of the country girl is a neglected
    subject. It seems to have been taken for granted that she
    needed none.

    Sex and Society. W. I. Thomas, pp. 149-175, "Sex and
    Primitive Industry." University of Chicago Press. Shows in
    outline the emancipation of women from the bondage of work.

    Growth and Education. John M. Tyler. Chapter XII, "Manual
    Training Needed for Girls." Houghton Mifflin Company.

    Mind and Work. Dr. L. H. Gulick. Chapter II, "The Habit of
    Success"; also Chapter XIII, "The Need of Adequate Work."
    Doubleday, Page Company.

    Motive for Work. Margaret E. Schallenbeyer. Annual Report
    N.E.A. 1907.

    _Wallaces' Farmer._ Des Moines, Iowa. Weekly. This periodical
    prints many articles, editorial and contributed, which
    discuss the subjects treated in the foregoing chapter.

    The Mother of the Living. Mrs. Catherine Barton. Published by
    the Author. Kansas City, Mo.

    The Girl Wanted. Nixon Waterman. Chapter VIII, "The Purpose
    of Life." Forbes & Co., Chicago.

    Life's Day. William L. Bainbridge, M.D. Chapter VIII, "The
    Irresponsible Age." Frederic A. Stokes Company. N.Y.



CHAPTER XIII

_SOCIAL TRAINING FOR FARM BOYS AND GIRLS_


We have been exceedingly slow in realizing the social needs of our
children, in the usual instance depending on chance conditions to
determine the matter for us. The city and the rural communities present
a striking contrast in this respect. It does not seem possible that both
can be right, while there is much to support the opinion that both are
wrong. That is to say, in the city community the majority of the
children are allowed to spend too much time in the company of others. As
a result, they take on social manners and customs in a mere formal way
and by far too early for the good of their character-development. The
city ripens young life too fast. It produces the manners and refinements
of adult life before the child becomes matured mentally. In the ordinary
rural community there is not enough social experience for the young; and
hence, a certain amount of crudeness, awkwardness, and lack of
refinement tend to linger permanently in the character.


A HAPPY MEAN IS NEEDED

What seems necessary, therefore, is the establishment of a social life
which will be a compromise between the excess of the city and the
deficit of the country. So far as can be learned, very little has been
achieved in the matter of establishing just such a social order in the
rural communities as will tend to develop the lives of the boys and
girls in an ideal, symmetrical way. We may not feel very certain as to
just how this ideal juvenile society should be constructed.
Nevertheless, an attempt will be made to sketch in this chapter a
working plan therefor. Some may see fit to adapt it, while others may
improve it through practice.

What especially needs to be thought of in the development of any normal
young life is the problem of rounding out the character on all sides.
There are certain fundamental character-forming experiences and
disciplines, such as work, play, recreation, and social intercourse.
Many parents seem to be possessed of the idea that they can develop
their children through play and social training alone. Others seem to
believe that hard work and plenty of it is all that is necessary for the
development of a substantial character in the young. Still others appear
to allow their boys and girls to roam at will and to indulge them only
in the recreative experiences. But how indefensible the idea that anyone
should try to find permanent joy and satisfaction through recreative
experiences without first having had as their counterpart the experience
of work and the responsibilities that pertain thereto!

So, again, it may be contended that there is a happy mean between the
over-work and the absence of social experience so common in the farming
communities and the lack of work and the extreme social excitement that
so often obtains in the life of the city child.


A SOCIAL RENAISSANCE IN THE COUNTRY

There is becoming more and more apparent the necessity of not only a
revival of the social life in the country, but also the demand for its
reconstruction. It is especially to be desired that the reorganization
be effected under the guidance of sound principles of psychology and
sociology. That is, it must be based on the fundamental fact of the sex
instinct so prominent during the adolescent period, and the further fact
of the imperative demand at this time for a large amount of social
intercourse. How differently this point of view persistently held will
shape the matter as compared with the older ideal of merely "giving the
young folks a good time"! Yes, the social life of adolescent boys and
girls has its source in the sex instinct then so predominant. It is not
therefore to be viewed as a piece of superficial sentimentality, but
rather as a profound law of nature.

As suggested by two or three of the preceding chapters, there may be
organized a social center in the church, or other such centers may
develop independently through the leadership of some mature persons. But
instances of this class of effective organization are as yet few and
far between. Meanwhile, the young are growing up and their present
social needs are very pressing. Individual farmers cannot wait for
neighborhood movements; and so the parents of the children requiring the
social life must themselves take the initiative in the matter.


CONDITIONS TO GUARD AGAINST

Before proceeding to a detailed outline of various plans for supplying
the social needs of rural young people, it may be well to point out a
few of the pitfalls to be guarded against. In reference to the latter,
it is not the purpose to advise parents to try to place their children
in an exclusive social set. Far from that. The purpose is rather the
converse; namely, to urge parents to attempt to build up good, clean
characters in their boys and girls and yet permit the latter to mingle
freely with common humanity. An aristocracy in the towns and cities is
bad enough and a thing wholly out of harmony with the best and highest
interpretation of our national life; but an aristocracy in the country
neighborhood is an abomination.

But while the so-called best families must think of their young as
growing members of the entire social community and not as belonging to
an exclusive set, there is nevertheless great need of constant
watchfulness in respect to certain evils that always threaten the lives
of farmers' sons and daughters.

1. _The social companionships of girls._--Of course it must be admitted
that there is frequently present in the country neighborhood some vile
or wicked young character whose influence is very pernicious. On one
occasion this person may appear in the guise of an exemplary young man,
smooth in manners, stylishly dressed, and apparently interested in the
best affairs. But as a matter of fact, he may be secretly an agent for
some infamous institution in the city. The records show that thousands
of country girls have been enticed away to the cities by such characters
only to meet an untimely and awful fate. The parents of the country girl
should therefore know who the young man is with whom she keeps company.
Usually it is a comparatively easy matter to test his worth. If he have
no fixed local attachment in a home, and no permanent business relations
in the community, he may be regarded with suspicion at least, and may be
compelled to furnish evidence of his moral integrity.

Another type of the young country man unworthy of the company and
companionship of the young woman is the one who is known by the men of
the community as being habituated to the use of vile and indecent
language, or to the practice of drinking intoxicants. If such be among
his known characteristics, the evidence is decidedly unfavorable, making
him unsuitable as a social companion of the country girl. It is
reasonable to predict that he will never change his ways very
radically, and especially that he will not develop into a desirable life
companion for the daughter. Some good parents make the fatal blunder of
allowing their girl to keep company with such a coarse-grained young man
simply because he is so "good hearted," and "means well," and the like.
To say the least, a depraved social taste will gradually develop in the
girl's life if she continue in such company.

Another contamination for the country girl sometimes results from the
depraved young woman who has drifted into the neighborhood. The girl
herself will be in the best position to detect such a type, as the
latter will be marked by her coarse manners when in the presence of the
girls, and by her practice of discussing obscene matters in private
conversation with them. This is the situation in which the innocent
young girl's mind may become forever poisoned and her wholesome faith in
humanity entirely too much unsettled.

2. _Bad companionships for boys._ Similar warnings as those given above
need to be sounded with reference to the young country boys, and others
as well. Farm boys are necessarily much in the company of men of very
common tastes and low ideals. They hear not a little evil conversation
and profanity, as it is used by such men. As a result, there will be
need of much constructive teaching at home. Admonitions, warnings, and
advice will be necessary.

In every instance it is well for the parents to remind the boy of the
great interest they have in his welfare, of how deeply he may grieve
them by taking up any of the evil practices in question, and of the high
ideal which they hold in mind for his future.

Farm parents will need to keep up an intimate and frank exchange of
ideas with their youthful son on the general subjects discussed in this
chapter. They may ask him to repeat all he has heard and to relate all
he has seen, good and bad, they then offering their corrections and
admonitions. The especial danger is that the boy may acquire evil forms
of speech, pernicious ideas for his secret thoughts, and a too low
estimate of the worth of humanity. The vile companion is especially
inclined to make the youth believe that there is no purity of character
among girls and women--a most lamentable state of mind for a boy or a
man of any age.

The boy in the country is not only very much in danger of having his
mind contaminated by the evil speech and the evil misinformation
mentioned above, but there is always the possibility of his being
enticed by some older and depraved companion into the company of evil
women. Strange to say, there are a few men who seem to plan deliberately
this form of downfall for innocent boys and to regard the success of
their vile plot in the light of a mere joke. It is perhaps a fault of
society that such men are permitted to run at large. And it is
especially the fault of fathers if such men keep company with their
boys. No matter how excellent the family history, how well-born the boy
may be, and how carefully he has been admonished, there is always some
danger of his yielding to an evil sex temptation--a situation which the
parent should always be watchful about and ready to meet.

3. _Secret sex habits._--It is probable that country boys are more prone
to secret perversions of their sex life than are city boys. The enforced
solitude of the former and the increased opportunities for such secret
evil may be accountable for the difference. In any event, there is
necessity of constant watchfulness, and that especially until the son
has reached comparative maturity of the physical body. The danger is at
its height at the beginning of the adolescent period, fourteen to
sixteen years of age. But the preparation for meeting the possible sex
perversion should be begun very early and consist in frank talks and
admonitions. The small boy's questions about the origin of life must be
answered frankly but only to the extent of imparting to him enough
information to satisfy his present curiosity. Thus to satisfy his
childish curiosity will prove a means of counteracting the evil
influences of the bad companionships referred to above. Then, the youth
needs to be shown some instances of the ruinous effects of sex
perversion in boys and men, together with the inculcation of the idea
that any such evil practice will cut off the possibility of his
realizing the high standards of moral character set for him. It is well
also to remember that prevention of the boy's misuse of his sex life is
comparatively easy and that cure is extremely difficult.

4. _The so-called bad habits._--When we speak of the "bad habits" among
boys and men we are inclined to think of swearing, smoking, and the use
of intoxicants. Without thought of defending the practice of profanity,
we may say that it is often acquired in an innocent fashion and that it
ordinarily implies no conscious or intentional evil. That is, it is
usually not so bad in its actual analysis as it sounds to the listener.
Moreover, it is a habit which many boys take up and afterwards
discontinue when once they have set up for themselves high standards of
manliness.

With juvenile smoking the case is different. Without the thought of
offending the adult smoker or defending adult smoking, we may say with a
high degree of certainty that the use of tobacco is extremely hurtful to
growing boys. It weakens and deranges the organic processes, leaves its
deleterious effects in the throat, eyes, and lungs, and breaks down the
natural constitutional defense so essential in time of such diseases as
pneumonia and typhoid fever. On the mental side, tobacco lessens the
boy's ability to study. Very wide investigations have shown that the
habitual smokers among school boys rank low in scholarship; that they
are prone to fail in their classes and quit the schools; that almost
none of them take high rank as students. The moral effects are even
worse. In times of temptation the young boy who smokes is more inclined
to yield and to choose the worse form of conduct instead of the better.
He lacks especially that fine sense of inner worth so necessary for the
one who would succeed in arousing his own moral courage sufficiently to
withstand the temptations that naturally beset young life. The rural
parents will not of course despair about the boy or turn against him
should they discover that he has secretly become confirmed in the use of
tobacco. There are still possibilities of his development into a
substantial character; but because of his smoking the problem becomes a
much more involved and difficult one.

All that has just been said in reference to tobacco may be emphasized
many fold in respect to intoxicants. To allow a growing boy to begin the
use of intoxicating drink in any form seems to be wholly indefensible.
However, if there are open saloons in the adjoining town or city, even
the best country boys are always somewhat in danger of taking the first
false step. Rural parents must not be satisfied with the thought that
their boy is "too good" to take up such a thing; they must be assured
that he is not doing so. Now, the only way to obtain such assurance is
by means of keeping in intimate touch with the boy and his
movements--by knowing when and where he goes, why he goes there, and
whom he meets in the various places visited on his rounds. Thus, he may
be saved from a life of debauch and degradation, and that by means of
providing carefully that he reach his full maturity of mind and body
without any knowledge of the taste of intoxicating drinks.


A CENTER OF COMMUNITY LIFE

As explained in a number of preceding chapters, there are being carried
out several plans for bringing about a social awakening in the farm
districts. Some of these are succeeding admirably, especially the county
Y.M.C.A., and in a few instances the rural church. But presumably there
are many thousands of country districts wherein these helpful agencies
will not be found for many years to come. So, in the following lines
there will be an attempt to furnish detailed methods and suggestions to
rural parents who are under the necessity of assisting their own
children in a social way. The discussion thus far has been of a somewhat
destructive order. Now, something of a constructive nature will be
offered.

The first essential in the awakening of a clean social life for the
young is a center of effort. If there be no church or clubhouse of any
kind within easy access of all, then the farm home may be made use of
for this service. There are many advantages in the common country home
as a social center for the young, among them being the probable presence
of some sympathetic parent to offer guidance and to keep down unbecoming
conduct.


INVITE THE YOUNG TO THE HOUSE

So, if country parents are really in earnest about doing something to
develop their own children in a social way, let them throw open their
own homes for the purpose. In a certain Iowa home this thing was done in
an admirable manner. Let the father tell the story in his own
language:--

"For years we had a room in the house which we called the 'parlor.' It
contained some expensive furniture which the members of the family
scarcely ever saw, as the place was usually kept closed up and dark. Why
we reserved such a dark, musty room for the 'special company' that came
two or three times each year, I do not know. At any rate, we decided to
make the place useful. In remodeling the house we enlarged it to 16 by
20 feet in size and added one very large window.

[Illustration: PLATE XXIII.

FIG. 30.--An agricultural and domestic science club in Oklahoma. Without
being so named, it is also distinctively a social club, and a splendid
socializing and refining agency.]

"Here we made a society room for the young people of the neighborhood.
Extra chairs were obtained, also a large new stove and fixtures for
gaslights. There were also some simple wall decorations and a small
library and reading table. That was two years ago. Since then our two
boys and two girls have given many parties in that room and no one
has got more enjoyment out of the affairs than their parents. We feel
as if that room was the best investment we ever made."

Not nearly all anxious parents may be so situated as to follow the
excellent plan described above, but it is certainly worthy of a trial by
all who can avail themselves of its benefits. Best of all, the young
people in whose behalf this thoughtful endeavor is put forth will most
certainly grow to maturity confirmed in the belief that the country life
is not lacking in its social enjoyments.


HOW TO CONDUCT A SOCIAL ENTERTAINMENT

In giving a social entertainment to the young people of the country,
there are a few simple yet common matters to be observed. First of all,
there is the frequent tendency toward reticence or backwardness. It will
be remembered, of course, that the object of the occasion is not merely
passing amusement for the young, but also that of furnishing some means
of character-development. In fact, the author wishes that every chapter
of this book be thought of as contributing something toward the building
up of young lives. So, in case of the home party, it will be necessary
to see that every one present takes some active part. The bashful youth
who is merely permitted to sit by and look on will go home secretly
displeased, if not much pained, at his own backwardness. He may even
fail to appear again on such an occasion, and thus the availability of
a most helpful agency be permanently lost to him.

It is not therefore so much a question of the dignity and importance of
the games played as it is a question of the active engagement of every
one present in the amusements. Much will depend on leadership. An able
leader will have the group organized before the several members realize
what is being done. An expert student and director of young people was
seen on a certain occasion to take charge of a party of forty boys and
girls ranging in age from fifteen to twenty years. These were quickly
placed standing in two parallel lines of twenty each. Each side was
given a dish of unhulled peanuts and asked to engage in a contest of
passing the nuts down the line one at a time, from hand to hand, the one
at the farther end of the line placing the nuts in a receptacle. This
simple game "broke the ice" for the entire evening. After that it was
easy to keep the entertainment going.

The supervisor of the social affair is advised to discourage all games
that tend to an over-amount of silliness and that allow for undue
familiarity of the sexes. There is, however, a dignified form of fun and
merriment quite as enjoyable as the baser sort. And, too, the leader of
the evening need not be reminded of the many little opportunities for
inculcating wholesome lessons in dignified manners. Many a "green" and
awkward country youth is started on the way to salvation through the
courteous treatment he receives from some older and much respected
person. Simply to treat him as if he were a dignified young gentleman
amounts to inciting him to put forth his greatest effort to make a show
of manliness. A close student of young nature will often observe that
merely to address such a youth as "Mister" So-and-So causes him to
straighten up and try to look the part.

The hostess and guide at the rural party of young people will err not a
little if she feels under the necessity of preparing a banquet or even a
heavy luncheon for the occasion. Something as simple as a light drink
and a wafer or two will be quite enough. The object of the refreshments
is not merely to feed the young people to the point of stupefaction, but
rather to give physical tone to support the vivacity of all.


WHAT ABOUT THE COUNTRY DANCE

Unless the country dance can be radically reformed, it must be very
strongly advised against. There is something about this occasion as
usually conducted which seems to invite coarse characters and
disreputable conduct. The country dance has so often been the scene of
vice, drunkenness, and other such evils as to have received a permanent
stigma of cheapness. The only seeming possibility of making a success of
it is by the method of inviting a very exclusive set to attend, and this
thing is so suggestive of aristocracy and snobbishness as to cause not
a little ill feeling in the neighborhood. Under present conditions the
country dance cannot be so managed as to make it contribute to the
social and moral uplift of country young people. There are many better
forms of entertainment which may be substituted for it.

Along with the country dance should be rated the cheap professional
entertainments that are so often given in the country school houses.
Many of these are not only degrading but are morally evil in their
suggestions, while they tend to give the young a depraved taste in
respect to public shows and theaters. The school trustees may well
exclude all such "shows" from the building.


ADDITIONAL FORMS OF ENTERTAINMENT

The farm parents most desirous of leading in the young people's
entertainments, and best fitted to do so, may find it impracticable to
invite the young into their home. In such case, there are several other
ways whereby the desired ends may be achieved.

[Illustration: PLATE XXIV.

FIG. 31.--A rural scene in Canada, where the church and the school are
situated together. The large barn in the background is significant. Much
of the daily thought and conversation is centered here.]

1. _The social hour at the religious services._--It is deemed quite
advisable that those who plan the religious service in the country have
thought of a social hour in connection therewith. The latter may prove
fully as helpful in a constructive sense as the former, and it can in no
wise detract from the value of the religious meeting. This combination
of events is already being successfully tried in a number of places.
For example, at the mid-week evening service, there is given first an
hour to the prayer meeting or the discussion of the religious topics and
the church work. After that, the scene is changed into one of clean,
wholesome amusement with the special thought of giving the young people
social entertainment and training. It has been found that this very
method of uniting the religious and social service under a carefully
planned program sometimes more than doubles the attendance. Of course
the first essential for the success of such a meeting is that an able
leader be in charge of it.

2. _A country literary society._--In times gone by the country literary
society has played a mighty part indirectly in the building of the
nation. Many a statesman or leader of the people has received his first
aid and inspiration at the little old country "literary and debating
society." There is no good reason why this same general form of society
might not continue to do its effective work. However, in its best form,
there will be some additions to the old procedure of merely debating the
important public questions. The program makers may well have in mind the
ideal of bringing out every form of talent latent among the young of the
community. It is especially advisable that every young attendant be
given an invitation to do the part of which he is most capable, and that
he be urged to do it. It is quite possible to arrange a program upon
which only the ablest and most capable young persons of the neighborhood
may appear. But such would be a violation of the best purpose of the
society; namely, not merely to provide a first-class entertainment, but
an entertainment _which shall bring out the greatest possible variety of
talent and awaken interest and enthusiasm on the part of every member_.

Then, let the motto of the ideal country literary society be, "Something
worth while for every member to do." The old-fashioned country society,
like the older public school, was too narrow. It touched life and
awakened interests in only a few places. The old school tested a boy in
the three R's and geography. If he did well in these, he was "smart." If
he failed in the traditional subjects, he was branded as a dullard and
crowded out of the school, although in respect to some other untested
activities he may have been a slumbering genius. So with the primitive
"literary and debating society"; debating and "speaking pieces" were
practically the only numbers on the program and usually only the ablest
were allowed to appear. Ordinary talent in debating and reciting and all
manner of promising talent in other lines was allowed to slumber on in
the lives of many of the young people in attendance. Now, it is
practically a certainty that every member of the young literary society
can perform a part very acceptably, provided the discerning leader know
what that part is. And best of all, the bringing out of such talent
means the awakening of many other splendid interests among the youthful
members of the community, and finally the development of moral courage
and other forms of manliness and womanliness.

Now, to come to the point of a social result, the so-called literary
entertainment can easily be made up in two parts, the literary and the
social; and there should be set apart an hour for the latter.

3. _The social side of the economic clubs._--In many instances, there
will be organized boys' corn-raising or crop-improvement clubs, and with
them country clubs of the girls interested in household economy. These
club meetings may be made the occasion of not a little social
improvement. The boys and girls may meet at the same hour and place, and
after the business has been disposed of there may be a coming together
in a social way. Such arrangement is highly advisable for two reasons.
First, it will certainly increase the membership of the clubs; and,
second, the social instincts of the young people may be suitably
indulged.


SOME CONCLUDING SUGGESTIONS

The leader interested in the foregoing plans may again be reminded of
the necessity of instituting a social organization of such a nature as
to touch all the young lives in the neighborhood. The rules and
regulations governing the society should therefore be drawn on broad
and liberal lines, not forgetting the great possibilities of awakening
slumbering interests and aptitudes, and of building up a social
community that will draw young people to it.

If one will take the time to drive for a hundred miles in a direct line
through the farm districts, as the author has done, he will be not a
little surprised at the striking contrast in the social conditions of
the various neighborhoods passed through. In one instance he will be
told that there is absolutely nothing present to invite the young--a
dull, dead place with perhaps many run-down farms and farm homes to keep
it company. He will learn that the young people of such a community are
running off to some neighboring town where many of them find a cheap and
degrading class of entertainment. But the next adjoining neighborhood
may present a converse situation. One will be told that the young people
are happy and contented there, that they have frequent meetings of their
social clubs and other forms of organization; most probably the
appearance of the neighborhood will be likewise much better than that of
the other one mentioned. Attractive homes, well-kept roads and hedges,
and other evidences of prosperity will meet one's view.

In one district visited, the author found that this better situation had
an interesting history and that it was nearly all traceable to a quarter
of a century of public-spiritedness of one man. This resident had
settled upon a quarter section of good land. While he was reconstructing
his own home and its surroundings into a place of attractiveness, he was
continually engaged in awakening the entire neighborhood in behalf of
better things. He had led out in establishing a well-attended Sunday
school in the district, had been instrumental in instituting regular
preaching service there twice each month, had led the entire
neighborhood out on more than one occasion for a day's work in improving
and beautifying the school grounds, had been the organizer and director
of the country literary society, and of more than one club of farmers
and their wives. During all this time he was correspondent for one or
two county papers and used every occasion for advertising the home
community. All together, it was a most commendable and far-reaching
service which this one man performed for his own neighborhood. So, it
may be said that wherever there is one inspired leader in a country
community, there is life.

Finally, it may be urged that the biggest thing in the rural community
is not the big crop of corn or wheat or the excellent breeds of live
stock. Important as these things are, the great concern of the community
should be the development of sterling character in the lives of the
growing boys and girls and the cleanness and integrity of the
personalities of every one within the neighborhood limits. To that end
let this social center ideal be actualized, becoming a place toward
which the thoughts of all will go frequently and fondly during the hours
of care and toil. Let it be made a place the thought of which will
forever impart a full measure of good cheer, of contentment, and of
honest courage to the mind of every member of the society thereabout.
Let it be a place so ordered and arranged that things sacred and divine
may reach down to the things often thought of as very commonplace and
mean, and exalt the latter to their true and proper place. Lastly, let
it be earnestly desired and planned for that every heart in the rural
district shall be rekindled with a living fire of enthusiasm in behalf
of the general improvement--of interest in the things that are high and
divine, and of affection and good will toward all in the community. Let
some local resident rise up as leader and bring this order of things to
pass, and the social experiences of the young people will naturally
become of such a nature as to develop them into men and women of great
worth and efficiency.


REFERENCES

    Wider Use of the School Plant. Clarence Arthur Perry. Chapter
    IX, "Social Centers." Charities Publication Committee, N.Y.

    Chapters on Rural Progress. Kenyon L. Butterfield. Chapter
    XIV, "The Social Side of the Farm Question." University of
    Chicago Press.

    Development and Education. M. V. O'Shea. Chapter XIV,
    "Problems of Training." Houghton, Mifflin Company.

    Social Control. Edward A. Ross. Ph.D. Chapters VII and VIII,
    "The Need and Direction of Social Control." Macmillan.

    The Girl Wanted. Nixon Waterman. Forbes & Co., Chicago. A
    wholesome and cheering book for girls.

    Confidences. Edith B. F. Lowry, M.D. Forbes & Co. Plain,
    helpful talks regarding the sex life of girls.

    See the excellent editorial article, "Forces that Move
    Upward," _Farmer's Voice_, June 15, 1911.

    Causes of Delinquency Among Girls. Falconer. _Annals American
    Academy_. Vol. 36, p. 77.

    Democracy and Education. Dr. J. B. Storms. Annual Volume
    N.E.A., 1907, p. 62.

    The Efficient Life. Dr. L. H. Gulick. Chapter III, "Life That
    is Worth While." Doubleday, Page Company.

    The Ideals of a Country Boy. A. D. Holloway in _Rural
    Manhood_, May, 1910.

    Why Not Education on the Sex Question. Editorial article.
    _Review of Reviews_, January, 1910.

    Report of Vice Commission of Chicago. Chapter V, "Child
    Protection and Education." Guntorf-Warren Printing Co.,
    Chicago.

    The Spirit of Democracy. Charles Fletcher Dole. Chapter XXIX,
    "The Education for a Democracy." Crowell & Co.

    The Education of the Boy of To-morrow. A. D. Dean. _World's
    Work_, April, 1911. Prize essay.

    College and the Rural Districts. W. N. Stearns. _Education_,
    April, 1911.

    The Boy Problem. Educational pamphlet No. 4. Society for
    Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis, N.Y. 10 cents. Treats ably
    the question of social purity.

    Genesis. A Manual for Instruction of Children in Matters of
    Sex. B. S. Talmey, M.D. Practitioners' Publishing Company,
    N.Y.



CHAPTER XIV

_THE FARM BOY'S INTEREST IN THE BUSINESS_


The theory that the boys and girls who grow up in the country must in
time become settled in farm homes of their own has neither logic nor
psychology nor common sense to support it. It is never a question of
whether or not a boy will take up the work of his father, but whether or
not he will find at length the true and only calling for which his
nature is best fitted. If the parents of the country boy will keep the
latter question clearly in mind, many a problem in the latter's rearing
will be made much easier.

In order to break the monotony of the style of expression, much of this
chapter will be addressed somewhat directly to the father of the country
boy.


WHAT IS IN YOUR BOY?

If a man should come suddenly into possession of a piece of land having
a productive soil, one of his first questions in regard to the soil
would be, What will it best grow? Farmers blundered and starved along
for generations in an attempt to make a first-class farm produce the
wrong crops, or to produce the right crop through the wrong manner of
treatment; and this simply because they used methods of tradition and
guess rather than those of science.

Now apply the foregoing situation to the boy problem, if you will. So
long as we attempt to secure from him the wrong results and deal with
him by wrong methods, we are likely to conclude that there is "nothing
in him." Therefore, in order to act intelligently and helpfully in the
matter of giving the young son a business relation to farm life, it is
first necessary to determine, as far as may be possible, the bent of his
mind, remembering that the great artist, the great writer, or the great
captain of industry is just as likely to be born in the country home as
elsewhere. In fact, we shall learn in time, much to our advantage, that
there must be a careful sifting process which will result in sending
some of the country-bred young men directly to their important places in
the city, and some of the city-bred youths to the rural industries.


MUCH EXPERIMENTATION NECESSARY

The one who undertakes to develop a boy's interest in business affairs
has really before him a problem in experimental psychology. Many of the
youth's best aptitudes are necessarily still slumbering and unknown to
either himself or others. The fundamental steps preparatory for a
successful commercial venture on the part of a young man are
comparatively few but none of them can safely be omitted. They are as
follows:--

1. _Willingness to work._--In this connection, perhaps something will be
recalled from Chapter IX. We may at least be reminded of the difference
in the attitude of mind of the boy who regards labor as a painful
necessity and the one who enjoys a willingness to work. So long as the
youth feels as if he were driven to his tasks there is little hope of
arousing his interest in the business side of it. His mind will continue
too much on the problem of avoiding work and on ways and means by which
to get something for nothing.

There is probably a period of dishonesty in the life of every normal
youth. Following the dawn of adolescence there is a great wave of new
interest and new meaning coming to him out of the business and social
world. The world is so full of interesting enticements. Everything looks
to be good and within easy reach. He is especially prone to accept
material things at their advertised value. He spends his dimes for prize
boxes thought to contain gold rings and other such finery. His quarters
and half dollars frequently go in payment for the "valuable" things
offered "free for the price of the transportation," the purpose of this
tempting gift being "simply for the sake of introducing the goods."

But it is well to see the boy safe through this period of allurement. So
long as the world seems to hold out so many highly valued things which
may be had for a trifle the youth will see little need of his working
to obtain them. So, attend him in his efforts to get something for
nothing. Permit him to be stung a few times and thus teach him how and
where to look for the sting. Finally, impress him with the thought that
every material thing worth while represents the price of somebody's
honest labor. At length he will see the reasonableness of industry and
settle down with a purpose of making his way through life by means of
honest endeavor. You now have the youth so far on his way to successful
business undertaking.

2. _Ability to save._--All healthy boys are naturally inclined to be
spendthrifts. Saving a part of one's means is a fine art acquired only
through judicious practice. It is assumed that the young son is being
reasonably paid for certain required tasks. So the next duty is to see
that he saves a part of his earnings. For the purpose of this training
in saving, a toy bank may be procured; or he may be directed in
depositing a small weekly sum in a penny savings bank. Still another way
is to teach him to keep a book account of his earnings, giving him
due-bills for the amounts withheld from his wages.

There is one small business practice, the importance of which for the
boy is too frequently overlooked; that is, the practice of carrying a
small amount of change in his pocket. He must learn to use his money
thoughtfully and not merely on every occasion of his being allowed to
have it. He must acquire the habit of self-restraint in the use of
money. To do this is to learn to spend judiciously. To have reached this
stage of financial training is a sufficient guarantee that the youth is
proceeding well on his way toward success in business enterprise.


START ON A SMALL SCALE

Then, give your growing son as wide a variety of experience in work and
in watching business affairs as the situation will permit of. During the
process of this mental growth help him to make a small investment in
something that will grow and increase under his intelligent care. Let us
assume that your specialty is a certain strain of corn or a certain
breed of cattle. If the boy shows an interest in this matter, start him
in at an early age, say ten to fourteen, on his own account. Give him in
exchange for his work a small plot of ground on which to grow corn,
perhaps with a view to his later entering the boys' contest for a prize.
Or, help him to get a small beginning in the cattle business.

But in case the lad shows no interest in your business, do not let the
matter seriously trouble you for a moment. Simply continue to give him
his general education, including the best school course available and a
training in the performance of work as well as the judicious use of the
spending money that may come into his hands. Careful study of the boy
may indicate to you that his aptitude for business runs in the
direction of something to which you are giving little or no attention
but to which you may in time bring him.

There is the case of a successful wheat raiser who discovered his son's
fondness for thoroughbred cattle. So the boy was carefully started on a
small scale in the business of raising short-horns. To-day that son is
known far and wide as an able specialist in this line of stock breeding.
Now, if the father in this case had done as thousands of other farmers
are still doing; namely, if he had attempted to force the boy, against
the latter's natural inclination, to take up wheat raising or any other
undesirable business, then, the son would have most probably skipped off
for the city and secured a fourth-rate place for the mere wages it would
bring. Some day this tragic, oft-repeated story of mismanagement and
misdirection of the growing boy will come out in all its distressing
details.


GIVE YOUR SON A SQUARE DEAL

Deal with your young son on business principles from the beginning. Do
not hastily and unwisely give him a piece of property that will have to
be taken from him in the future because of its having grown into a
disproportionate value. This old form of mistreatment of the country boy
has been the means of thwarting the business integrity of many a
promising youth.

If the boy's small beginning develops under his care into a business of
large proportions, the only check or hindrance that the ethics of the
case will allow is that you treat with him on fair business terms, just
as you would with any good business man. You may cause him to bear all
his own personal expenses and all the expense connected with the care
and development of his live stock or crop. Then the matter of curtailing
him must stop. And if the son soon becomes able to buy you out, it is
certainly an affair to be proud of, not a thing to hinder by unfair
means.


KEEP THE BOY'S PERFECT GOOD WILL

It is a serious matter to lose the boy's confidence or in any way break
faith with him, even though there be nothing about the place in which
you can make him take a business interest. As he grows to maturity his
own inner nature must gradually guide him into the way of a calling--and
a divine calling at that it may prove to be. It may not seem out of
place to quote the words of a religious teacher who says: "Do you not
know that if one's inner nature points out clearly and inspiringly what
he should undertake for a life work, such thing may be regarded as the
Voice of the Divine One speaking faithfully through the instrumentality
of one of his own creatures?"

So it may prove at length that you will have to sell a load of corn in
order to set up in the garret of your house a miniature art studio of
some kind for your young son. Or, perhaps you may have to establish a
small machine shop as an adjunct to the barn or wood shed, wherein the
budding genius may blossom into that beauty of manly power and
efficiency which all the world is glad to admire. Out of just such a
wise indulgence as that last named a certain Kansas boy finally became
enabled to revolutionize the old farm home and the work done there
through the installation of an excellent motor power plant. Electric
light for the house and barn, power for operating feed grinder, washing
machine, grindstone, fanning mill, and many other such machines--all
this has resulted from the rightly directed work of a youth who could
have easily been driven to the city into some treadmill of mere wage
earning.

But, occasionally the boy will prove himself a versatile character,
succeeding in a measure in every line of small business to which you
introduce him, yet showing a marked success in none. In such case the
advisable thing to do is to continue his general education for a longer
period than is necessary for the boy who shows an early inclination
toward a given line of work.


SOME WILL BE RETAINED ON THE FARM

It is admittedly desirable, all things fairly considered, that many of
the very best boys remain on the farm and help develop rural life into
what it should be. Hence the necessity of finding a way to interest such
boys in some of the many business affairs connected with the farm home.
Perhaps there is no better way to develop the lad's interest in the
affairs of the place than that of allowing him to participate in the
practical business transactions as the conditions may allow. Let the
parents take him to the store, the bank, and other such places for the
benefit of his experience. Send him in with the produce with authority
to sell and to invest a part of the proceeds in whatever the family may
need. The father should have the boy with him when selecting and buying
machinery or live stock at public sales. Send him to the bank with
checks or drafts to be deposited or collected. Give him an opportunity
to keep the family accounts, or at least to keep his own recorded in a
book.

The ordinary farmer can think of more ways than the foregoing whereby to
give his growing son the needed experience in money matters. The best
result of such practice is that if there be anything in connection with
the affairs of the farm in which the boy will have a native interest
this aptitude will be discovered; and it can then be made the basis of
the young man's introduction into a successful participation in some
practical business. The boy's permanent calling is seriously involved in
this discussion. On page 279 of this book will be found a description of
three methods of vocational training.


THE AWAKENING OFTEN COMES FROM WITHOUT

Parents who find it difficult to arouse the farm boy's interest in any
part of the home business may sometimes easily secure the desired result
by sending the youth away on a trip to the county fair or other such
place. As a means of stimulating boys in respect to some kind of
productive home industry the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical
College instituted a school of agriculture for country youths at the
state fair. Each organized farmers' institute and each county
superintendent was asked to send one boy. A large tent was furnished by
the college. This served for a lecture and display room during the day
and a boys' sleeping room during the night.

At the first session 122 boys attended, coming from 57 counties. The
lectures covered such subjects as farm crops, veterinary science, track
and field athletics. The displays at the fair were used for illustrative
matter. So far the results of the school have been reported most
favorable. An increasing number of boys throughout the state are making
preparation for it.


AN AWAKENING IN THE SOUTH

It is most encouraging to observe the changing ideals of business
and industry now in progress throughout the nation. The many
vocational-training schools and the increasing attendance at the
mechanical and industrial colleges bear witness of this fact. The
American Negro, ever a faithful laborer, is now being taught in such
institutions as Tuskegee and Hampton, not only to perform some honest
work well but also to plan and prepare for a business of his own.

The son of the southern planter is becoming more and more imbued with
the new spirit of efficiency through personal industry. On this matter a
member of the faculty of the Louisiana Agricultural and Mechanical
College says: "It is a mistake to think that the best of the country
youth of the south are continuing in the old-fashioned ideal of becoming
mere gentlemen of culture and leisure. In 1910 there were nearly 50,000
boys living in a dozen of the southern states, who astonished the entire
country with their achievements in corn-raising. They ranged in age from
fifteen to eighteen years. At the national exhibit held in Columbus,
Ohio, one hundred of them showed an average yield of 134 bushels of corn
to the acre. This corn-growing practice is under the direction of the
national government, and is more than a big, exciting contest, it is a
splendid course in rural home education.

[Illustration: PLATE XXV.

FIG. 32.--A group of "coming" Kansans. Every boy pictured here carried
away some sort of prize at a state corn show.]

"We have at this college hundreds of young men from the plantations and
they are intensely interested in working out the industrial problems
that pertain to their own home affairs. I have been surprised at their
eagerness to get into the soil and to do the mechanical work
connected with their studies. All over the south there seems to be an
awakening among the boys and young men, of an interest in the industrial
and commercial problems of the plantation."

The farm papers and the educational magazines in the southern states
give much evidence of this same sort of awakening. The farmers' and
planters' organizations, the local improvement and school betterment
clubs, and many other movements, are giving both incentive and direction
to the country youths who are at all inclined to find an interest in the
home affairs. The rural parents who desire outside aid in arousing their
boys' interest in the home business may well seek such assistance by
bringing the latter into closer touch with one of these progressive
organizations.


PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN FATHER AND SON

After the farmer's son has fully settled upon his father's business as
an ideal one for himself, there may be brought to the latter a gradual
relief from the worry of details, and that through a partnership
management. A. G. Hulting, Jr., of Geneseo, Illinois, thus describes
such a plan of coöperation in a letter to Arthur J. Bill, the
agricultural writer:--

"We have 160 acres of land in the farm. My father owns the land. I do
the work, provide all the labor, horses, and machinery, and we have an
equal interest in the live stock and we share equally in the net
returns."

Other terms of coöperation have proved successful. In many cases, the
son rents all or a part of the place on terms similar to those allowed
the outside renter; excepting that he is usually given the advantages of
free board and the use of the home conveniences. In all such business
transactions between father and son it is highly advisable that the
contract be carefully drawn in writing. The verbal contract is
proverbially a trouble maker, and that even among relatives.


SUMMARY AND CONCLUDING SUGGESTIONS

1. Not nearly all promising youths can be encouraged to take a vital
interest in the father's business.

2. In case the boy cannot be induced to take a permanent interest in
anything on the home farm, he may at least have much practice in the
transaction of the small business connected therewith.

3. The ability to work willingly, the ideal that an honest living is to
be earned through personal effort, and the practice of saving a part of
the weekly or monthly earnings--these will give any boy an excellent
start on the road to success and affluence.

4. Deal with the young son on business principles from the first, seeing
that he shares reasonably in the losses as well as in the gains.
Although his interest in any chosen line of work may not become vital
till he makes some money out of it, hold him persistently in line
during the "lean" years and thus allow him to learn the excellent
lessons of failure.

5. It may prove unfair to the members of the family to permit one of the
sons to secure control of the business of the home farm. Some pathetic
instances of this kind have really occurred. For the sake of the peace
and well-being of all, such an occurrence must be prevented by careful
forethought.

6. On the other hand, in case where the boy has started with a scrawny
pig or through renting a piece of the home place, and, after dealing
fair and square with all, has come into possession of considerable
property of his own, do not wrest it from him or in any way take
advantage of his minority. Such a youth will in time most probably
reflect high credit upon the family.

7. Finally, the farm parent needs to be warned against the possibility
of developing his son into a mere money-maker. Such is a poor standard
of success. The man whose only aim in life is merely to prosper
financially is a poor citizen of any community. Teach the boy to succeed
in his business ventures, but at the same time imbue him with the
thought that his money wealth must be regarded as so much opportunity to
help build up the community, the state, and the nation. Teach him that
financial success is worthy of the name only when it is linked with
social efficiency.


REFERENCES

    Again we find the field of literature treating the subject
    directly an exceedingly scant one. In forming a business
    partnership with his son the farmer should be guided by
    well-tried precedent. A letter of specific inquiry to one of
    the leading agricultural papers will most usually bring a
    helpful reply.

    A First Lesson in Thrift. Horace Ellis. _Psychological
    Clinic_, March 15, 1910.

    Industrial Education for Rural Communities. Annual Volume
    N.E.A., 1907, p. 412.

    The Child's Sense of the Value of Money. Dr. William E.
    Ashcroft. _S.S. Times_, July 24, 1909.

    Psychology and Higher Life. William A. McKeever. Chapter XIV,
    "The Psychology of Work." A. Flanagan Company, Chicago.

    Industrial Education. Various Authors. (Pamphlet, 25 cents.)
    _The Survey_, N.Y.

    Industrial Education. Kimball. No. 1, Educational Monograph
    Series, School of Education, Cornell University.



CHAPTER XV

_BUSINESS TRAINING FOR THE COUNTRY GIRL_


During a two-hour ride on a railway train the author had as a seat
companion a sixty-year-old farmer and stock raiser, whose specialty was
that of raising mules for the market. And what of definite information
this good husbandman possessed about the long-eared beast of burden
would fill a volume of considerable size. He knew just what time of year
the mule should be foaled, when weaned, when broken to the halter and to
work; how to feed and groom a mule in order to get the best physical
growth; how to train the animal so as to develop all the latent good
qualities and repress the bad ones.

After the natural life history of the faithful mule had been carefully
reviewed by the rural companion the conversation was turned to the
subject of girls. Had he a daughter? "Yes, twenty-two years old." What
did she know about money and the common affairs of business? "Business!
Mighty little any woman knows about business," said he. "We buy our girl
what she needs and have put her through the town high school. I expect
her to get married sometime. Her mother has taught her how to do
housework." Further than that the father seemed to know very little
about his daughter, and he showed plainly that he did not consider this
second topic of conversation half so interesting as the first one.


IS THE COUNTRY GIRL NEGLECTED?

Inquiry will prove that the foregoing case of parental ignorance and
indifference about the daughter is all too common, especially the
ignorance. It seems never to have occurred to many parents who have
growing daughters that unless the young woman have a fair amount of
knowledge of the value and use of money her future happiness and
well-being and that of her family are in danger of becoming seriously
jeopardized. It is a singular and yet lamentable fact that so many
American parents,--parents too who are intensely desirous that their
growing children have the best possible moral and religious
teaching--that these same good parents fail to understand how one of the
very foundation stones of efficient moral and religious life is
constituted of a definite body of knowledge of common business affairs.
They do not seem to realize that the young man or the young woman who
knows from experience just how money is earned, and how it may be
judiciously expended and profitably invested, is far on the way to a
high plane of moral and religious living.

However, there is probably no place of greater opportunities for
developing sober judgment in the growing girl than that afforded by the
ordinary farm home. For here the business management of the household
and of the farm affairs are practically merged. There is the further
advantage of a considerable variety of ways whereby the daughter may be
remunerated for what she does. But, how may we best interpret this
question? First of all, what in a practical sense is a satisfactory
business training for a young woman, a farmer's daughter in particular?
Do we desire that she become a shrewd money-maker and successful a some
sort of commercial life? Few would take such a position. But in order
that the young woman may be fully prepared to fill her heaven-ordained
place as the center and source of love and influence in a family, we
must provide that she be given just such instruction in the use of money
as will enable her to occupy her high position with the greatest
possible success.


WHY THE GIRL LEAVES THE FARM

Under the title above the Farmer's Voice prints portions of two letters
which help to throw not a little light on this much-neglected subject.
Miss Alta Hooper writes:--

"The one great cry going out from the people, and one also much in need
of an answer, is 'how to keep the boy on the farm.' It is very seldom
that the girl of the farm is alluded to, although it may be that she is
included, in a general way, in the great amount of literature concerning
her brother. But, take it from the farmer girl that she is a live one,
and unless money is coming into her pockets, unless she is comparatively
independent and has some interest to keep her awake, she isn't going to
'stay put,' but will get out where she can earn some money of her very
own, to buy the little things so dear to the hearts of girls; and she
will not be questioned and lectured and scolded over every little
expenditure.

"Oh, the girls on the farm have minds and pride and ambition just as big
as their brothers' too; and in many cases they are not given half a
chance to realize one iota of this ambition. It is then that a career
off the farm and away from the farm home appeals to them. Then the
thought comes that even though the salary to be earned may be small,
still it is all one's own, and there is no fear in planning where and in
what it shall be invested."

Likewise, Mrs. F. L. Stevens, writing for _Progressive Farmer_, says:--

"How often have we seen young girls leaving comfortable farm homes to go
into typewriting, clerking, or bookkeeping, in order to have their own
money. An allowance for personal expenses in the beginning would have
solved this problem. But the father has not seen it that way.

[Illustration: PLATE XXVI.

FIG. 33.--At a tender age girls are instinctively fond of doing such
work as is displayed here. Strange to say, some mothers deny their
little daughters the character-forming benefits of this childish
occupation.]

"It is not necessary that the daughter be given a monthly or yearly
allowance of so much cash, but the really better way, it would seem,
would be to start her in some special branch of work, say,
poultry-raising. Or perhaps she might be given a cow or a horse or a
pig, which would in time bring in sums of money by careful management;
and the business, a small one perhaps in the beginning, would easily
develop. Many young girls like to work in a garden as the produce is
always a good source of income and an interesting and educational work."


CERTAIN RULES TO BE OBSERVED

If we are to give up the idea that the young woman naturally possesses
the necessary business judgment, and to substitute the better idea that
she must be taught how to manage her own affairs; then, What are the
fundamental steps necessary to impart such instruction? It seems to the
author that they are these:--

1. _Teach the girl to work._--As was shown in a previous chapter, the
girl must be taught carefully and conscientiously how to work. Even
though she may be so fortunate--or unfortunate--as not to be compelled
to do any of her own housework, only a first-hand knowledge of how such
work goes on will enable her successfully to direct it. The strength of
our democracy is much dependent upon the character of our women. The
modern tendency toward the development of a leisure class among the
women and girls of the wealthier families is quite as much a menace to
social solidarity as was the older order of keeping women in ignorance
and servitude.

The problem of household help is much intensified because of the
disfavor with which the so-called better classes of women look upon the
vocation of the domestic employee. The necessary inequality of rank of
the home mistress and her employees is more a matter of tradition and
imagination than of reality. The social inequality which follows and
which drives many young women into less advantageous places of
employment will disappear just as soon as all growing girls are
conducted through a carefully planned course of work and household
industry. No farm parents can afford to deny the daughter the excellent
disciplinary results of careful training in the performance of every
ordinary household duty.

2. _Teach her business sense._--In cases where the growing boy or girl
is simply given spending money for the asking--or the begging--there
results a perverted idea of the meaning of money. A girl so trained
during her youthful years is inclined to take this same attitude toward
her husband in the future. That is, she will probably regard it as
necessary to beg for an allowance and deem it right and proper to spend
all she can obtain in this way. The seriousness of such relations
between man and wife is easily seen. But the growing girl can be taught
that money is merely a convenient unit of measurement of values which
are produced chiefly by means of work.

Advanced students of our social life are putting forth much effort to
solve the divorce problem. In their efforts to determine causes and to
provide cures for divorce, some of them have gone so far as to advocate
a school for matrimony, one of the ends being that of preventing
incompatible persons from entering into the life union. Among the causes
contributing to the divorce evil have been the radically different
ideals of the use of money on the part of the contracting pair. An
attorney of long standing experience with divorce cases says:--

"As a rule the woman who alleges non-support in her petition for divorce
reveals the fact, before the case is ended, that she is lacking in the
proper idea of the use of money, is often especially weak in knowledge
of how the family income should be spent if the family affairs are to go
on satisfactorily."

3. _Train her to transact personal business._--Then, begin early in her
life to teach the girl to transact business affairs that relate to her
personal interests and to the home life of women. Do not buy all the
little articles necessary for her, but allow her, with money reasonably
provided, to make her own minor purchases under your advice and
direction. The intelligent farmer knows somewhat definitely what his
yearly income and outlay are. Why should not his daughter be told how
these accounts run, in the usual year, and she then be asked to keep an
account of all her own personal affairs for a year? Such required
practice will do more than all the arithmetic lessons in the schools to
inculcate an intimate knowledge of the value of money in relation to her
own affairs--to say nothing of the good business judgment likely to be
acquired.

Thus the country girl may receive a better business training than her
city cousin whose nearness to the attractive stores and shops proves a
constant incentive for over-indulgence and wastefulness in the use of
money.

4. _Make her the family accountant._--As soon as she becomes old enough,
take the daughter into your confidence as regards the family expense
account. Make her acquainted with the items of income and expenditure in
detail. And also make it appear to her that the business of the home is
not being conducted satisfactorily unless some portion of the income be
set aside for the emergencies of the future.

At this point there is offered an opportunity to give the daughter some
much-needed business training. There is much being said of late by way
of urging the farmer to keep an accurate book account of all his
transactions. Out of the experiment stations have come published letters
and bulletins urging that such things be done and showing methods. But
the evidence goes to show that the majority of farmers do not find time
for it. So it will in many cases be found practicable to turn this
important task of bookkeeping over to the growing daughter. Among the
many benefits to be derived will be the excellent business training it
will furnish her. As a diversion from the common household duties the
accounting will prove most refreshing. And, then, the farmer will soon
find this service to the farm business so important as to justify him in
paying his daughter reasonably for the work.

5. _Miserliness to be avoided._--While the habits of a spendthrift are
perhaps above all things else to be avoided, a close second to this as
an evil practice is the habit of expending in a miserly and begrudging
manner. So, teach the girl to give her money willingly for all the
ordinary necessities and comforts of life and for such luxuries as the
conditions will reasonably warrant.

The far-sighted parent and the one really interested in the future of
his daughter will readily observe how much enslaved adults finally
become in the use of money. There are perhaps as many well-to-do persons
who are miserly because they cannot help it as there are improvident
persons who are spendthrifts because they cannot longer prevent it. Both
classes manifest the certain results of training and habit. In his
interesting chapter on the psychology of habit Professor James explains
so aptly how the man, long practiced in enforced economy, but at length
having ample means, goes to the store with the determination of paying
liberally for an article; and how he finally comes away with something
cheap.

A "golden mean" is therefore to be sought in training the girl in the
use of money. Not how to save at all hazards, but how to spend
judiciously, with conscious thought of the right relation between income
and outlay--this is perhaps the more acceptable ideal.

6. _Teach her to give._--While inculcating business ideas into the mind
of your growing daughter, guard against her acquiring a mere passion for
money-making and the accumulation of wealth. For example, one of the
best means of achieving this end would be to see that she gives a part
of her earnings to some worthy cause or other. Explain to her again and
again that she must keep up in her life a sort of equipoise of receiving
and giving, if the highest sense of inner satisfaction is always to be
her portion.

The young must learn sooner or later that there is other than a money
profit to be derived from the investment of money. Accordingly, it will
not be found difficult for the rural parents to point out to their
daughter some place merely where she may invest a small part of her
earnings in human welfare. An orphan child living in the neighborhood
may be sorely in need of a new dress or school books, a lonely and aged
widow may be cheered by the gift of a wall picture, a crippled child may
be accumulating funds for hospital treatment, or another person may have
lost heavily from flood or fire. These and many more like them may be
made the occasion of teaching the girl a beautiful lesson of sympathy
and sacrifice. And the sacrifice should come out of what she has
accumulated through her own small business enterprise.

7. _Teach the meaning of a contract._--It is often declared that women
fail to appreciate the obligations of a contract, that they will enter
into a strict agreement to buy an article or to pay for another and then
refuse to carry out such agreement. Merchants have been so often called
on to deal with this feminine change of mind that they have seen fit to
establish a custom of taking back at cost any article not found
satisfactory upon trial. This failure of women to adhere strictly to the
terms of an agreement has given currency to the opinion that they are
naturally dishonest. Weininger in his volume "Sex and Character" even
offers a line of questionable proof to confirm the correctness of the
opinion.

But Dr. G. Stanley Hall in many of his researches shows that falsehood
and deception are common and natural practices among ordinary children.
All forms of honest and fair moral and business practice are less
natural than acquired. They must have actual experience, and much of
it, as a basis for their becoming a permanent part of character. Hence,
the so-called dishonesty of women in relation to the obligations of a
business agreement--that is probably nothing more than a matter of sheer
ignorance. Farm girls are proverbially lacking in business practice and
in knowledge of the rights and obligations of a contract. It is
obligatory upon their parents to remove such ignorance through business
training.

8. _Prepare her to deal with grafters._--"The majority of his victims
were women," is the statement so often read in connection with the
fraudulent schemes of the exposed money shark. Millions of dollars are
annually taken from credulous women by the get-rich-quick money trader.
This polite form of theft has become so flagrant as to necessitate much
vigilance and many prosecutions on the part of the national government.
Widows and other dependent women are especially the sufferers.

The necessity of preparing the innocent young woman to deal with the
enticing business fraud is very apparent. Two or three matters must
especially be attended to in giving the required instruction. First,
take advantage of many occasions to explain to the girl just how a given
case is being worked, so that she may be on guard against such
allurements; second, it is well to advise the untrained young woman
against investing in any scheme of profit sharing that offers above a
good current rate of interest.


SHOULD THERE BE AN ACTUAL INVESTMENT?

Then, what if anything should be done in the ordinary farm home by way
of providing an investment for the growing daughter so that she may
daily have some practice in business affairs, as well as an income for
use in meeting her personal expenses? Before attempting to answer this
question, let us be certain that we have the correct point of view of
the growing daughter's ideal relation to the practical affairs in the
rural home. It seems to the author that there is only one safe rule of
procedure here and that is, whatever the investment,--if there be any at
all,--it must be understood that the ideal is one of developing the girl
into a beautiful womanhood and not one of making the investment pay in
the mere money sense of the term. In other words, the business of the
farm and the farm home must serve directly the highest interests of the
members of the household, even though money accumulations cannot, as a
result, go on quite so fast. Or, as we have put it several times before:
The farm and the live stock and all that pertains thereto must be so
managed as to contribute directly to the development of the high aspects
of character in the boys and girls, and not as materials which the
growing boys and girls are to help build up and multiply.

Now, if it still be insisted upon that the country girl have a definite
business relation to the affairs of the home, there are two or three
ways whereby this may be accomplished. One method is to give the girl a
fixed and reasonable sum of money for whatever she may do by way of
helping in the house. Another is that of providing a small investment in
something that may be expected to increase reasonably in value and
finally bring her a money return. Of the two methods of procedure
mentioned, it would seem that the first is the more desirable. If the
daughter be given an interest in anything like the live stock or some
farm crop, the thing will not appeal to her directly, and whatever
interest she may have in it will be a purely borrowed one. On the other
hand, if she be given a generous allowance for her services, and during
the younger years be trained in the expenditure of this allowance, good
results may be expected. Similarly as with the boy, the growing girl
must be taught to look toward the future. A system of restraints must be
placed against her tendency to squander her small income, and gradually
she may be trained to set aside a small portion of what she has with a
view to its being applied upon something of her own later in life. It is
perhaps too much to ask the girl to save enough money to pay her way
through college, but there are many advantages in training her to save
for a certain portion of that expense. Perhaps she may be able to buy
her own clothes.

It is not reasonable to assume that every well-trained country girl will
find it advisable to take a college course. So, instead of saving up for
college expenses, she may be taught to lay by something for the day of
her marriage and with the thought of helping equip a home of her own. As
a matter of fact, it is not a question of the specific purpose for which
the money may be set apart. The main issue is that of staying by her day
after day and week after week, and guiding and advising her until she
finally acquires good sense, mature judgment, and self-reliance in
regard to the business affairs that may be expected to constitute a part
of her life as a keeper of a home of her own.

_How the southern girls earn money._--One of the most interesting and
significant modern movements in behalf of juvenile industry is that of
the Southern Girls' Tomato Clubs, originated in 1910 by Miss Marie
Cromer, a rural school teacher of North Carolina. Thousands of young
girls are now participants in the new work, each one tending a small
plat of tomatoes and canning the produce for the market. One girl is
reported to have cleared $130 from one season's crop raised on one
fourth of an acre. The General Education Board and the National
Department of Agriculture have given liberal support to this
tomato-growing work.



CHAPTER XVI

_WHAT SCHOOLING SHOULD THE COUNTRY BOY HAVE?_


It is a well-known fact that rural life conditions have been changing
rapidly within the past decade or more. It has taken us a long while to
get away from the thought that the farmer is to be anything other than
merely a plain, coarse man, comparatively uneducated and innocent of the
ways of the world. But we are at last seeing the light in respect to
this and many another such traditional belief of a menacing nature. We
are now looking forward expectantly to the time when the rural community
shall contain its proportionate share of people educated or cultured in
the full sense of either of these words.


CHANGES IN RURAL SCHOOL CONDITIONS

Many of those now in middle life can easily remember when the farmer boy
was sent to school only during the time when his services were not
required for the performance of the work about the field and the home.
This period was narrowed down to about three months in the year. After
the corn was husked in the fall, he entered school, usually about
December first. And at the first sign of spring, about March first, he
was called away to begin preparations for the new season's crop. During
these sixty days, more or less, the growing lad was supposed to pick up
the rudiments of learning and by the time maturity was reached to have
worked himself out of the ranks of the illiterate. So he did, for he
learned to read falteringly, to write a scrawling hand, and to solve a
few arithmetical problems.

We observe the new order of things. In practically all the states there
have been recently enacted laws requiring every normal child to attend
school during the entire term and to continue for a period of seven or
eight years. The splendid results of this provision have only begun to
be apparent, but another decade will reveal them in large proportions.
Back of this new legislation in behalf of the boys and girls is the new
ideal of the possibilities and the worth of the ordinary human being. We
are just beginning to understand this splendid truth; namely, that with
very few exceptions all of our new-born young have latent within them
all the aptitudes necessary for the development of beautiful and
symmetrical character. The modern ideal of public education recognizes
two things: first, the right of the child to the fullest possible
development; and second, the duty of society to see that the child
receive such training whether the parent may wish to accord it to him or
not.

The author is especially desirous that the reader appreciate the
situation sketched in the foregoing paragraph. What does it mean? It
means that our children are at last to have more nearly equal
opportunities of development, that their worthy aptitudes or traits are
to be brought out through instruction and made to do service in the
construction of a sterling character. It means that we shall have
cultured artisans as well as cultured artists; that the plain man behind
the plow or in the workshop shall be capable of thinking the big,
inspiring thoughts as well as the little, puny ones. It means that there
will spring up everywhere among the ranks of those once regarded as low
and coarse, a magnificent society of men and women who, as individuals,
will feel and realize a secret sense of power and worth, and who will
shine in the light of a new inspiration.


THE BOY A BUNDLE OF POSSIBILITIES

It has been proved beyond question that the ordinary child contains at
birth potentialities of development far greater in amount and variety
than any amount of schooling can ever bring into full realization. If
you will make a list of one hundred different and highly specialized
vocations, and pause for a moment to contemplate the matter, you will
doubtless agree that any common boy might be so trained as to some
degree in any one of the hundred that he might be made to do fairly
well in several of them; and that he might become an expert in at least
one of them.

[Illustration: PLATE XXVII.

FIG. 34.--Only whittling. But in the case of these country boys it is
thought of as not mere idling, but as a pastime that leads toward the
world of industry.]

So, there is little need of being worried over the thought that the boy
is a natural-born dullard, without native ability to learn and finally
to make his way in the world. It is true that there is occasionally a
real "blockhead" among children, but such cases are quite as rare as
imbecility and physical deformity. Indeed, such cases are nearly always
connected with one or both of the defects just named. Then, while in the
usual instance the child is to be assumed to possess an ample amount of
native talent, one of the specific problems of his parents and teachers
is that of learning in time what his best latent talent is, so that it
may give proper incentive and direction for his vocational life.


CLASSES OF NATIVE ABILITY

Roughly speaking there are three classes of native ability in the human
offspring: the super-normal, the normal, and the sub-normal. The first
is constituted of the geniuses--few and far between, perhaps one in a
hundred to five hundred. The second is composed of the great mass of
humanity upon which the stability of the race is built and out of which
the geniuses--and the majority of the sub-normals--spring through
fortuitous variation. The third class is constituted of the
feeble-minded, the imbeciles, and the exceedingly rare natural-born
criminals--altogether, perhaps one in every two hundred or more of the
population.

Now, what we are trying to get at here is a fair estimate of what the
parent may reasonably look for by way of a stock of native ability in
his child. The natural-born genius will be known by one special mark;
namely, he will be so strongly inclined toward one special line of work
or calling as to need no outside stimulus or incentive to make him take
it up. Indeed, in the usual case of a pronounced genius it is a very
difficult matter to prevent the individual from following out his one
over-mastering predisposition.

The marks of feeble-mindedness or idiocy are too well known to need
description. Such cases are also so rare and so special in their manner
of treatment as to call for no extended discussion.


THE GREAT TALENTED CLASS

The great masses of humanity are constituted of what we mean here by the
talented. That is, as described above, at birth they possess a large and
abundant stock of potentialities of learning and achievement--much more
than can ever become actualized because of the comparatively limited
time and means for education and training. Of course, we recognize that
among the talented classes there is an endless variety of combinations
of abilities. So are there many degrees of ability.

But in addition to the foregoing marks of latent ability in the great
middle classes we must note a distinctive feature of the development and
education of such classes. It is this: _The two great conditions
necessary for the successful development of the ordinary child are
stimulus and opportunity._ Unless the slumbering talents be awakened by
the proper stimuli, they may slumber on throughout the whole lifetime
and no one detect their presence; and unless opportunities for
development be given to satisfy the awakened talent, it may return
permanently to its condition of quiescence.

In attempting to furnish the necessary stimuli and opportunities for the
development of his boy, the farmer has--if he will only use it--a great
advantage over the city father. The great variety of work-and-play
experience afforded by the rural situation, the fairly good general
schooling now coming more and more into reach of all farm homes, the
many conditions contributory to self-reliance and independent thinking
in the case of the boy--all these raw materials of stimulus and
opportunity lie hidden about the common country home. But the parents
must themselves become wider awake to the meanings and purposes of such
materials, or otherwise their value is lost through disuse. And again,
it is urged that parents make the same careful study of their children
as they do of farm crops and live stock. See the reference lists
following the first five chapters.


ROUND OUT THE BOY'S NATURE

Fortunately, the new provisions of the schools are furnishing more and
more definitely the equipment and the course of training most necessary
for the masses of the growing children. Fortunately, too, the illiterate
father is not to be permitted to dictate as to what subjects his boy is
to study in the school, there being not only compulsory attendance, but
strict requirements that every child pursue the prescribed course. The
time is fast approaching when the rural parent in any community can feel
assured that this course of study has been mapped out by expert
authority in just such a way as to serve the highest needs of his boy,
the idea being to teach and awaken every side of the young nature into
its highest possible activity.

In the usual case it is a waste of time to attempt to predetermine the
boy's vocational life before he has gone at least well up through the
intermediate grades of the common school; and even then, there is
usually not much indication of what he is best suited for. So, one of
the great purposes of the common school course is that of sounding the
boy on every side and in every depth of his nature, so to speak, in
order to find what is there, and to determine what he is by inheritance
best suited to do as a life work.

[Illustration: PLATE XXVIII.

FIG. 35.--An illustration of how to keep the boy on the farm. Every boy
needs to acquire early an intimate knowledge of some great industrial
pursuit.]

The usual inclination of the rural parent is that of looking at his
son's education too strictly in terms of dollars and cents and to be
impatient at the thought of the boy's taking a broad, fundamental course
of schooling. Such school subjects as language and composition are
especially thought of as a useless waste of time. But fortunately, as
indicated above, the choice is no longer left either to the boy or his
father. The former must pursue the subjects assigned him and allow time
to prove the wisdom of such a procedure, as it most certainly will.
Wherefore, let the rural father attempt to think of his boy, not merely
as a coming money-maker, but as a coming _man_; a man of power and worth
and influence in the community in which he is to live, a man of whom his
aged father in future time will be most proud, and by whom he will be
highly honored.


OTHER IMPORTANT MATTERS

As suggested above, the evidence is very overwhelming in effect that it
is the duty of rural parents to give their children a broad, general
course of training as a foundation for efficient life in any place or
position. Moreover, it must not be thought for a moment that the legacy
of money or property will in any wise furnish a satisfactory substitute
for such a course of training. Mean-spiritedness and narrow-mindedness
are almost invariably prominent traits of the man who has been prepared
to know nothing outside of his business even though that may be a big
business. On the other hand, extensive culture, including a character
well developed in all of its essential elements, is by far the best
equipment that can possibly be furnished the boy for his start in life.

Now, while the growing boy's education must not be especially prejudiced
in favor of any particular calling, there is no good reason why the
farmer's son should not be given the benefit of every possible intimate
and wholesome relation to the father's work and business. That is, he
must not be forced to take up the vocation of farming, but he must be
given every opportunity to know its best meanings and advantages. And if
he is finally to leave for some foreign occupation, he must go with a
profound sense of the possible worth and integrity of the calling of his
father. Then, in order that there may be maintained most friendly
relations between the farm boy and the farm life, see to it that he has
an occasional outing. Widen the scope of his home environment by means
of sending him outside occasionally. Let him go off to the state and
county fair and learn what he can there. Let him participate in the
grain and stock judging contests, as heretofore recommended. Let him
attend some of the larger sales of blooded stock and learn there to know
more intimately the possibilities of animal husbandry. Accompany him on
a trip to the big city occasionally--under proper provisions and
restrictions--and help him to acquire some valuable lesson which may be
taken back to the rural community and used to the advantage of the
latter.

Also, what about the literature in the home? Although a chapter has
already been given to the matter, for the sake of emphasizing its great
importance it is again referred to here. Why not see to it that there be
secured a few enticing volumes of the clean and uplifting sort? A very
few dollars will furnish the nucleus of a library of which the boy will
soon become proud. Ask the school superintendent or teacher to make out
a list of ten of the best books for your boy and then secure these at
once. Bring into the home also one or two of the best standard magazines
and keep constantly on the table one or more of the best and cleanest
newspapers. Then, see to it that the boy's life be not so nearly dragged
out during the day's work that he cannot spend thirty minutes or more of
each evening at the reading table.


DEVELOP AN INTEREST IN HUMANITY

All education is for the sake of human welfare. The thing learned like
the material thing possessed is most worth while in proportion as it
serves some high human purpose or need. There is abundant opportunity to
teach the country boy that education cannot well exist for its own sake
or purely for one's own selfish uses. So it is well early to awaken the
youth's interest in people. Have him compare his own lot with that of
others in very different circumstances. Take him occasionally to the
orphanage, the industrial (reform) school, the imbecile and insane
asylums, the prisons, and the sweat-shops in the city. Thus through
acquainting him with how the other half lives you may cause the boy to
reflect seriously on the best meanings and possibilities of his own
life, and to plan in his mind a splendid ideal of integrity for his own
coming manhood.

The boy's education is not going on rightly if he is not being
introduced to the current affairs of the world. The literature suggested
above should be made to serve the purpose of bringing his attention to
these matters. He should become interested in the political welfare of
his community, his state, and his nation, and learn to feel his
responsibility in regard to such things. But he will probably not
voluntarily acquire these better relations to society at large. It
should therefore be regarded as the urgent duty of the parent to give
the necessary guidance and instruction.

Finally, we must again be reminded of the high ideals of education and
culture necessary to, and consistent with, substantial country life. The
greatest of producing classes--the agronomists--must and can in time
rank at the head of all others in moral and intellectual worth. So, let
the rural parent look ahead and formulate in his own mind the splendid
vision of his son grown up to full maturity of all his best powers. Let
him see this future citizen as a man of magnanimity, of splendid
personal force, and of great constructive ability in the important work
of budding up the affairs of the community in which he is to live.


REFERENCES

    Chapters in Rural Progress. President Kenyon L. Butterfield.
    Chapter VI. "Education for the Farmer." University of Chicago
    Press.

    Education for the Iowa Farm Boy. H. C. Wallace. Pamphlet.
    (Free.) Chamber of Commerce, Des Moines.

    Value during Education of a life Career Motive. C. W. Eliot.
    Annual Volume N.E.A., 1910.

    To keep Boys on the Farm. M. E. Carr. _Country Life._ April
    1, 1911.

    Education Best Suited for Boys. R. P. Halleck. Annual Volume
    N.E.A., 1906. p. 58.

    The Training of Farmers. Dr. L. H. Bailey. The Century
    Company. Contains a statistical study of why boys leave the
    farm.

    The Best Thing a College does for a Man. President Charles F.
    Tawing. _Forum_, Volume 18. p. 570.

    The Care of Freshmen. President W. O. Thompson. Annual Volume
    N.E.A., 1907. p. 723.

    Proceedings of Child Conference for Research and Welfare.
    Page 142. "The Discipline of Work." Frederick P. Fish. G. E.
    Stechert & Co., New York.

    The Young Man's Problem. Educational Pamphlet No. 1. Society
    of Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis. New York. 10 cents. Every
    parent should read this excellent discussion on sex
    education.



CHAPTER XVII

_WHAT SCHOOLING SHOULD THE COUNTRY GIRL HAVE?_


Perhaps it need not be urged that the country girl be provided with the
same general educational advantages as those outlined for the country
boy, as the plain demands of justice would mean as much. She, too, must
be thought of as possessing all the beautiful latent possibilities, and
high ideals of personal worth and character should be constantly
entertained for her in the minds of her parents. And then, they must
allow no ordinary business concern about the farm home to stand in the
way of her unfoldment in the direction of these higher ideals.


SPECIAL PROBLEMS RELATING TO THE GIRL

Over and above those provisions which relate to the general development
of the country boy there are several special considerations in reference
to his sister. For example, she has a more delicate physical organism
which must be shielded, especially at times, against the heavy drudgery
that will naturally fall upon her willing shoulders. And then, the
standards require of her rather more of refined manners than they do of
her brother. Moreover, it may be shown that a refined and attractive
personality will become a larger asset in her life than in his.
Comeliness and habitual cheerfulness and numerous other like qualities
must be thought of as necessary and helpful characteristics of the
well-reared country girl. It will also be much to her advantage to have
some special training in at least one of the so-called fine arts. Let
her have her musical education or some advanced work in literature or
painting. A sum of money invested in something of this sort while the
daughter is growing may be considered a far better investment than if
the same amount were laid away to invest in a dowry.


PROTECTING THE GIRL AT SCHOOL

It is not merely obligatory that the farmer send his young girl to the
district school regularly, and thus round out her nature symmetrically
through instruction in all the common branches. The delicate nature of
the normal girl requires far more protection than is often accorded it.
Unlike the city walks and pavements, the country road leading to the
schoolhouse is often menaced by muddy sloughs, tall vegetation, and deep
snow banks. Wading through such places, especially in bad weather, gives
undue exposure, the feet frequently becoming wet and the body thoroughly
chilled. Many children sit all day in the schoolroom in this condition.
As a result of the lowered vitality the incipient forms of various
diseases enter the body, there perhaps to return intermittently and with
more serious effects as the life advances.

What may be done as preventive measures, it is asked. Simply this:
Prepare a better road from the home to the schoolhouse, by putting in
foot crossings over ravines, by mowing weeds and grass, by filling and
draining low places, and the like. On stormy days and on occasions when
the young adolescent girl is passing through her monthly period of
weakness--one especially endangering the health--it will be advisable to
provide a conveyance to school and back.

Country parents also often need to be cautioned in regard to
over-working the school girl. Some even require her to do practically
the same amount of work as she could well endure were there no extra
burdens at school. Manifestly, this is both unjust and injurious.
Observe the conduct of the young school girl for a few days. If there is
no song and laughter in her life; if she is not ruddy in complexion and
buoyant of step; if she mopes and drones about the place; do not censure
her, but seek a constitutional cause and watch for evidences of an
over-requirement of work.

The close inspection of the health of school children, now conducted in
many cities, brings out the somewhat startling fact that many boys and
girls come to the class room every morning fatigued and depressed beyond
the point of effective study. The old way was to call them dullards, to
punish them, to shame them out of the school, to humiliate their
parents. The new method of dealing with such children calls for
scientific measures. First, the exact conditions are ascertained by
experts; second, the parents are urged and helped to provide for the
child more sleep, better food, more fresh air in the living chambers,
more recreation, a relief from over-work, or some special medical
care--as the particular case may demand.

If one wishes full evidence of the effective gain for studentship that
results from the new manner of treatment of the dull and backward pupil,
let him examine the many reports of individual cases as published in the
_Psychological Clinic_ at the University of Pennsylvania, especially the
issues of 1909-1910. The indifference or the thoughtlessness of country
parents may easily allow for the existence of the foregoing bad physical
conditions in the case of their own daughter, and as a result her
otherwise promising life may become permanently blighted.


LESSONS IN MUSIC AND ART

The ordinary farmer needs to learn to take more pride in his daughter
and in her accomplishments. The time will come when he will be far more
proud of her wealth of character than he will be of her wealth of
material goods. A country father of moderate means bought a first-class
piano for his two girls and employed a music teacher. "You may think
that I cannot afford such things," said he. "But I can. I am running
this farm for the good it will do my family." He was a true philosopher,
as well as a successful farmer.

It is entirely practicable and most helpful to her development to
provide that the country girl be given instruction in music, or art, or
something special and advanced in the form of needlework. In its best
sense this special instruction will not be thought of as vocational
training, but rather as a necessary manner of giving permanent
expression to her æsthetic nature. The author believes that the matter
should be stated even more emphatically. That is, not to give the normal
girl some such means of indulging her æsthetic tastes is seriously to
neglect her education, if not to do her a permanent wrong.

While vocational training and economic advantages are important
secondary considerations in connection with the daughter's instruction
in the fine arts, the father who helps her become an amateur in one of
these lines thereby renders her a splendid service for life. It is
neither very difficult nor very expensive to arrange to have the girl go
to the near-by town or to a neighbor's once or twice per week where she
may receive competent instruction in music or painting. To make the
arrangement most effective there will need to be a musical instrument in
her own home, a conveyance at her ready disposal, and a regular
allowance of time for practice. No just and affectionate parents can
deny their young daughter any fewer advantages than these, if the means
for securing them can at all be acquired.


THE REWARD WILL COME IN TIME

The lessons in painting or fine needlework may be provided for in the
same way. If the expense seems heavy, the far-sighted parents will think
of their declining days of the future and imagine the large return the
daughter may render them through the skill which they have been
instrumental in developing in her.

But without waiting for old age to overtake them the father and mother
of the girl artist may derive some benefits from her work. She may
furnish the table service with hand-painted chinaware or adorn the walls
of the home with attractive paintings. And also, as heretofore
indicated, the daughter may herself in time conduct a class of amateur
students of the fine art in which she has made preparation.

One word of precaution must be offered in reference to the training here
considered. In the usual case the girl is not started young enough. Her
advancement in the music, for example, is likely to be much more rapid
and her skill much more marked, if the age nine to eleven, rather than
five or six years later, be chosen as the beginning time. The author has
witnessed many pathetic instances of adult girls in a desperate attempt
to master the mechanical part of the introductory music. The extra
amount of desire and effort possible at this more advanced age do not
nearly compensate for the better memory and the greater facility of hand
and finger movement possible at the earlier age. This same general law
of early beginning probably holds good in respect to the other fine
arts.

In relation to all the foregoing seemingly trivial matters there comes
to mind what is perhaps the most serious problem that confronts
practically every well-reared young woman; namely, that of her
successful marriage to a worthy young man--a subject to be discussed at
length in another paper. And so it is contended that if her future
happiness or well-being be a consideration, if the realization of her
fondest hopes and her instinctive desires be worthy of the thought of
her parents; then, they must by all means see that some of the foregoing
refining qualities become woven into her whole character during the
formative period. Thus she may be given practically every possible
advantage in finding that true life companion.


THE MOTHER'S OFFICE AS TEACHER

In his usual familiar and straightforward way "Uncle" Henry Wallace thus
addresses the country mother through the medium of an editorial in
_Wallaces' Farmer_:--

"It is the mother that shapes and molds the character of the girl. If
she is sweet spirited, looks out upon the world hopefully and desirous
of seeing the best in men and women, her daughters will as a rule have
the same sort of outlook. If she permits gossip and fault-finding at the
table, her daughters may reasonably be expected to do likewise. If she
sharply criticises the preacher's sermon at the Sabbath dinner, she need
not expect her daughters to become devout. If she is a poor housekeeper,
how can she expect her daughters to excel in that finest of all arts? We
know something of the depth and tenderness of a mother's love, how
earnestly she seeks the welfare of her daughter; but if she has a wrong
conception of what is best in life, even this unspeaking affection may
be the source of evil instead of good.

"One of the first things you should consider about that girl of yours is
her health. Give her plain food and plenty of it, sensible clothing, a
well-ventilated and well-lighted room, and all the exercise that she
wants, even if she does seem to be something of a tomboy; and, barring
accidents, she will usually be healthy through early girlhood. When she
begins to develop into womanhood is the time for you, mother, to do what
no one else can. Tell her about herself, about the changes that must
come, and about the care she must take of herself if she is to be a
healthy and happy wife and mother. A mistake here through false modesty
is often the source of trouble for years to come."


HOME-LIFE EDUCATION

This book is based on the assumption that every good young woman is good
for something of a practical nature. In considering the make-up of such
a character, it seems reasonable to assert that no other qualities stand
out more prominently than the trained ability to carry on successfully
the work of the household. The necessary drudgery of the home life seems
to be the greatest burden that modern society has placed upon women.
Proportionately great should be the preparation to bear this burden. The
ideal to be realized is, perhaps, not that the girl may be enabled to do
more of such work, but that she may be trained to be true mistress of
it. Woman's work is never done, and it never will be, no matter how many
worthy women kill themselves in an attempt to finish it. So the greatest
thing to be desired in respect to this unending round of toil and
drudgery is that of a well-poised, spiritually-minded character, such as
may enable its possessor to sit down at the end of a working period
unusually long and in spite of the confusion and unfinished business
restore the composure and keep in touch with the higher implications of
life.

It is not really a difficult matter to teach the ordinary growing girl
to work and perform faithfully all of her assigned duties. It is more of
a task to teach her how to quit when she has worked long enough and
thereby to preserve her health and prolong her services.

[Illustration: PLATE XXIX.

FIG. 36.--These country boys and girls supply the home neighborhood with
the produce from the school garden. Such work is first-class vocational
training.]


EDUCATION FOR SUPREMACY

It is unquestionably a splendid aid to successful womanhood for the
growing girl to be taught how to cook and sew and take care of a house.
But as a guarantee of peace and happiness throughout life she had better
be taught many specific lessons in self-mastery. And it seems certain
that the farm home offers many more advantages for developing a poised
character in the young woman than does the city home. So let it be seen
to by country parents that their girls be trained from childhood to meet
life's stress and storm with calm composure and sweet serenity. Only
such training will suffice to tide the latter over the great crushing
ordeals that tend at some time to fall to the lot of every good woman.

Conditions in the well-ordered country home may be made to contribute to
another form of self-mastery in the growing girl. That is, she may be
made supreme over the conventionalities of dress and the social customs
that touch her life. By this it is not intended to prescribe in respect
to such things as the style or appearance of the young woman's clothing.
She may be first or last or medium in the list of the well-dressed. But
it is here contended that she can be trained to subordinate these
matters to a personal charm that is her very own, and that emanates from
a beautiful and well-poised life within. It is quite as destructive to
good character for one to be meanly clothed through necessity and at the
same time envy and despise those who are better dressed as it is to be
among the richly adorned and try to make mere adornment a mark of better
and superior rank in society, or a means of lacerating the feelings of
one's associates.

The country mother will let pass one of the rarest forms of opportunity
for refining and beautifying the character of her daughter if she does
not educate the latter rightly in respect to these conventionalities.
Train her to be neat and attractive in appearance, but at the same time
teach her that no manner of outer adornment can cover up or substitute
for sweetness and purity of the inner life. The splendid effects of such
an education will reveal themselves to best advantage in the young woman
when she has finally entered a home of her own. If she cannot then and
there shine in a light that emanates from her own soul, the sacrificial
work of ministering to the needs of her own household will never be well
performed.


AN OUTLOOK FOR SOCIAL LIFE

Provision will by all means be made that the growing country girl be
introduced to the best social life within reach. She must mingle with
those of her own age and learn how others think and act. She must attend
parties and the other social gatherings, especially the literary
societies if there be any available. For the sake of her training, if
for no better reason, she may be brought into close relation to the
Sunday school and the church. It will be good, indeed, if she find some
congenial work in one or both of these organizations. Let it be
remembered that the healthy-minded, well-matured woman is very probably
at her best and is most highly satisfied and contented with life only
when she has opportunities to perform some kind of worthy social
service. Farm parents may well bring it about, therefore, that their
young daughter have some specific deeds of altruism to perform. Let her
carry a small gift or a word of cheer to the door of the sick or the
infirm. Let her make with her own hands some simple, inexpensive present
to be carried to the one who needs it most and whose heart will be made
glad by it.

Above all things else, it must be provided that something more than the
mere grasping nature of the young country girl be indulged and
developed. Some there are who still contend that life for men is, at its
best, a game of chance and contention. But such an ideal, if held up to
the growing girl, will tend to check or destroy all that is best and
most beautiful in the feminine nature. Young women especially must learn
through practice that the best and most beautiful character is
altogether consistent with the performance of deeds of service and
altruism.

Finally, educate into the daughter as much habitual cheerfulness as
possible, let her heart be made glad again and again, not merely
because of what she has, and because of what she receives day by day,
but also and especially on account of what she gives out of the best and
sweetest of her own nature in behalf of those whom she may find occasion
to help and cheer on their way over the journey of life. All this will
help to make her a creature of whom not only the other members of her
family, but also the entire community will be most proud.


REFERENCES

    My Escape from Household Drudgery. Mary Patterson. _Success
    Magazine_, August, 1911.

    Proceedings of Child Conference of Research and Welfare.
    Beulah Kennard. Page 47, "The Play Life of Girls." G. E.
    Stechert & Co., New York.

    Women's School of Agriculture. I. H. Harper. _Independent_,
    June 29, 1911.

    The Girl of To-morrow--Her Education. E. H. Baylor. _World's
    Work_, July, 1911. Prize essay.

    Education of Women for Home Making. Mrs. W. N. Hutt. Annual
    Volume N.E.A., 1910, p. 122.

    Give the Girls a Chance. Canfield. _Collier's_, March 12,
    1910.

    The Durable Satisfactions of Life. Charles W. Eliot. Pages
    11-57, "The Happy Life." Crowell.

    The Kind of Education Best Suited for Girls. Anna J.
    Hamilton. Annual Volume N.E.A., 1907. p. 65.

    Parasitic Culture. Dr. George E. Dawson. _Popular Science
    Monthly_, September, 1910.

    Training the Girl to help in the Home. William A. McKeever.
    Pamphlet. 2 cents. Published by the author. Manhattan, Kan.



CHAPTER XVIII

_THE FARM BOY'S CHOICE OF A VOCATION_


Turn which way you will upon the great broad highway of life and there
you will always be able to find the wrecks and broken forms of
humankind--men and women who have failed in their life purposes. Strange
to say, that particular aspect of the science of character-building
which has to do with the substantial preparation for vocational life has
been very much neglected. By what rule do men succeed in their callings
and by what different rule do other men fail? Are some foreordained to
success and others to failure? Is there an inherent strength in some and
a native weakness in others? Is there a type of education and training
which specifically fits and prepares for each of the native callings?
None of these questions has been thoroughly gone into with a view to
finding out what were best to be done and what best to leave undone. So,
we blunder away, hit or miss, in the vocational training of our boys and
girls.


SHOULD THE FARMER'S SON FARM?

In attempting to give helpful suggestions to farm parents relative to
their boy's vocation, perhaps this question will first demand an
answer. The tentative reply to it is this: The farmer's son, or any
other man's son, should follow that calling for which he is best suited
by nature and in which he will thereby have the greatest amount of
native interest; provided it be practicable to prepare him for such
calling. Some farm boys are destined by nature for mechanical pursuits,
others for social or clerical work, others for captains of industry, and
so on. Likewise, the city boys may reveal in their natures a great
variety of instinctive tendencies and interests which will be found of
great worth in guiding them into a successful life occupation.

Yes, the farmer's son should by all means take up his father's business;
provided that at maturity he may have both native and acquired interest
in the same and that to a degree predominating any other native or
acquired interest.


IMPATIENCE OF PARENTS

It can be proved that the country boy matures more slowly than the city
boy. For example, at the age of sixteen, he is behind the latter in
height, weight, school training, and sociability. But while the city boy
matures more rapidly, the country boy makes up for the loss by a longer
period of development. It is the author's firm belief that this fact of
slow growth proves a tremendous advantage to the country youth in that
it allows for greater stability of character, and especially for a
greater amount of courage and aggressiveness in form of permanent life
habits.

But one might well wish that all rural parents could realize the evil
consequences of being impatient with the son in respect to his choice of
a life work. Many a good boy yet in his teens is hounded and driven
about by the continuous nagging of his parents, who ignorantly believe
that he should have his future destiny all planned and ready for its
realization. As a result, this same good boy is often driven to
desperation and to the point of leaving the home place--of breaking away
from the affectionate ties that bind him to parents, and of seeking the
position wherein he might earn a living. As a matter of fact, few young
men have any very clear or reliable vision of their future life at the
age of eighteen, or even twenty. Many of the best men in the world are
faltering and uncertain even as late as twenty-five. However, if the
relatives and friends would only exercise all due patience, offering
only such helps and suggestions as can be given, and trusting the future
finally to throw upon the problem a light from within the youth
himself--then, we may be assured, practically every man will finally
come to some line of effort that will bring him a comfortable living.


WHAT OF PREDESTINATION?

The old-fashioned idea of a boy's being marked by the hand of destiny,
"cut out for" some particular calling in life, still has a place in the
minds of the masses. The kindred belief that some men are "natural-born
failures" has also wide currency. A third superstition is the very
common opinion that others are "just naturally lucky." All these
traditional opinions are the outgrowth of ignorance of human nature such
as may be dispelled by means of a course of instruction, or a carefully
arranged course of home reading, in modern psychology.

None of the foregoing superstitions would be worthy of our attention
were it not for the gross injustice which they entail upon children.
Parents everywhere--in both city and country--are dealing with their
children upon the assumption that one and all of these fallacies are
true. "My oldest boy just naturally has no luck," said the father of
three sons and two daughters. "He changes around from one thing to
another and fails every time." But what of this particular boy's early
training? Was it the same as that of the others? Did he enjoy equal
advantages? Did his parents when married really know anything about
rearing children? or, did they really mistreat their first-born through
ignorance and use him as a sort of practice material from which they
learned how to do better by the succeeding ones?

Until the foregoing inquiries about the "unlucky" son's boyhood life be
fully answered, we cannot reasonably permit ourselves to condemn him.
There is nothing more in predestination than this; namely, it can be
shown that the child is born with not a few latent abilities--aptitudes
for doing and learning this and that--and that one of these aptitudes is
likely to have correlated with it more than the average amount of nerve
development in the corresponding brain center. As a result, that
particular aptitude will require less training than the others and will
tend to predominate over them as maturity is approached.

The reply of the psychologist to the statement that some men are
"natural-born failures," is this: Few if any of those possessed of
ordinary physical and mental qualities at birth are necessarily so.
Excepting the feeble-minded and the like,--whose marks of degeneracy are
usually apparent to all,--it may be asserted on the highest authority
that none are "natural-born failures" to any greater extent than they
are "natural-born successes"; but that they have within the inherited
nerve mechanisms many possibilities of both success and failure.


THREE METHODS OF VOCATIONAL TRAINING

We should be willing to overlook almost any other interest in this
discussion for the sake of inducing in the farm father the belief that
his young boy is a potential success--the belief that this boy is
furnished by nature with the latent ability to shine somewhere in the
broad field of human endeavor--provided he be rightly trained and
disciplined during his growing years. Here, then, is probably the
greatest of all the human-training problems; namely, the vocational one.

Roughly speaking, there have been three methods of vocational training.

1. _The apprentice method._--First, historically there has been the
apprentice method, the youth being "bound out to learn a trade." The
chief faults of this traditional way of teaching the boy to be
self-supporting were these: it made no allowance for intellectual
development, and it gave the father too much authority to choose the
calling for the boy.

A modern offshoot of the old-time apprentice course is the trade school
which flourishes in many of the big cities to-day. This new institution
has one great advantage over its prototype. It offers such a great
variety of forms of training that the youth may exercise much free
choice. But it preserves one of the serious defects of apprenticeship in
its neglect of the intellect of the learner. The modern trade school can
never hope to do more than prepare young men and women to make a good
living. It is a get-ready-quick institution, and can never be expected
to give the student breadth of view and depth of insight into the great
problems of human life.

2. _The cultural method._--The second-oldest method of preparing men for
a vocation is what has been called the cultural method. It has aimed at
high advancement in book learning with the thought of finally enabling
the student to enter a professional class comparatively few in numbers
and supposed to possess a superior advantage over the great mass of
human kind. One fault of this method has been to emphasize learning for
its own sake and to defer too long the training of the individual in the
material and practical side of his calling.

But the chief fault of this cultural method has been its contempt for
common labor and ordinary industry, its theory being that true education
prepares one to avoid such practices. If the young man wished to prepare
for law or medicine or teaching or the ministry,--one of the "learned
professions,"--then the old classical school was at his service. But if
he would become a mere artisan or industrial worker, there was no
advanced course of schooling available.

3. _The developmental method._--The third and newest method of preparing
the young person for his vocational life is in reality a compromise
between the first and second. It provides that the learner shall have
book instruction and industrial training at the same time, and that both
of these are to be regarded as cultural, since taken together they
prepare for independence of thought and action, and for the vocation, as
well. This new method of preparing young people for their life work
would call nothing mean or low. It aims to serve all impartially in
their struggle for self-improvement and vocational success. But its
motto is the development of head and hand together. It seeks to produce
cultured handicraftsmen as well as cultured artists and professional
men.


THE FARMER FORTUNATE

Our justification for the foregoing somewhat lengthy discussion of the
different theories of education is that of wishing to be certain of
bespeaking the father's patience and forbearance in the preparation of
his son for the vocational life. The farmer is most fortunate in having
ready at hand a large amount and variety of industrial practice to
supplement the boy's book lessons. In this respect he probably has a
superior advantage over all other classes.

But in guiding his boy gradually toward the vocational life the farm
father can easily mistake what is merely a passing interest on the
former's part for a permanent one. The carefully kept records of farm
boys show that they take up many different lines of work with great
enthusiasm, and yet soon tire of them and drop them. These serial and
transitory interests are usually mere juvenile responses to the
awakening of some new nerve centers. They are not much different in
nature from the brief passing interest which the child has in his
various playthings.

Now, the chief function of these transitory interests in special forms
of work and learning as shown by the young growing boy is this: to
furnish the occasions for a great variety of activities and practices
for trying him out on all the possible sides of his nature. Not one of
these intense boyish interests is necessarily very directly preparatory
to his final choice of a vocation, while all are indirectly so.
Therefore, if the fifteen-year-old son chances to win in a corn-raising
contest, or at a live-stock exhibition, or if he manifests unusual
interest in arithmethic, declamation, or nature study, do not regard any
of these as necessarily pointing to his best possible vocational work.
Presumably, at such an undeveloped age, he is still in possession of
some latent interests and aptitudes, one of which may far outweigh any
such thing hitherto awakened in his life. Give him time to mature and,
if at all practicable, send him on to college.


WHAT COLLEGE FOR THE COUNTRY BOY

It is the opinion of the author that the State Agricultural College, as
now situated and organized, is the ideal institution of higher learning
for the country-bred youth. It offers him every reasonable incentive and
opportunity for continuing in the calling of his father, if he be so
inclined, while at the same time it gives instruction in many other
departments of learning. Whether the state institution be a separate
one or merely a college within the organization of the state university
matters little. In either case the young man will be brought within
reach of a course in scientific farming, stock raising, horticulture,
and the like, either to choose or let alone--and the so-called cultural
work will still be there for the taking.


THE FOUNDATION IN WORK

Many rural parents, weighted down with the over-work of the farm,
cherish and express a very earnest desire that their sons may find some
easier form of earning a living. So they deliberately plan with the boy
the "easy" course to be pursued. Said one such farmer: "Wife and I
decided that there would not be much in it for Henry except hard work if
he settled down on the home place, so we decided to send him to college
and educate him for something that offered less work and more pay." So
they shielded the son from the heavier duties of the farm and encouraged
in every way the boy's thought of an easy way to success.

But one thing these well-meaning parents failed to foresee. That is,
when the boy entered college, he began to look for that same sort of
royal road to learning. The assigned lessons and tasks soon took the
appearance of drudgery and he dodged and avoided them wherever possible.
In less than a year the youth had failed at college and was back home.
"The confinement of the college did not agree with his health." More
than three years have passed since, and the boy has spent the time
drifting from one "job" to another and all the while growing weaker in
character and integrity.

Here we have but another instance of the old, old story, with its tragic
aspects. Yet, nearly all the faltering, vacillating men now drifting
about the country might have been saved through careful training in the
performance of work. The boy who would be insured success in his coming
vocation must be required to buckle down to solid work of a kind and
amount to suit his years and strength. He must learn through the
character-building experience of toil, not only what it means to stay by
an assigned duty till it is performed, but he must also experience the
unfailing joy of work well done. He will thus have the advantage of the
spur of successful effort and acquire the beginnings of that splendid
self-reliance which is a distinguishing mark of all successful men.


CLEAN UP THE PLACE

But there is a sort of drudgery and of ugliness against which the boy's
nature instinctively rebels, and it ought to. By this we mean to refer
to the actual conditions of over-work and the accompanying run-down
appearance that characterizes so many farm homes to-day. No wonder the
boys hasten away to the city to find a "job."

Why not clean up the place by cutting away the underbrush and weeds, by
planting shade trees and repairing fences and out buildings, by painting
and renovating the house and barn?--and all this as an investment in
behalf of the children and their possible future interest in the farm
home as the best place on earth in which to dwell? All this and more
might be urged as means of guiding the thoughts of the farm boy towards
the possibilities of his taking up the calling of his father. And while
all these material advantages may not serve to overcome the natural
tendency of the young man to seek a radically different type of
occupation, they will at least make it more certain that his natural
abilities for an agricultural pursuit were not left unawakened.


MONEY VALUE OF AN AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION

The College of Agriculture in Cornell University some time ago made an
inquiry into the educational status of the farmers in a certain county
of New York. It was found that out of 573 farmers, 398 had not advanced
farther than the district school, 165 had attended high school one or
more years, and 10 had received a college education. The 398 who had
attended district school only were receiving yearly for their labor
$318; the 165 farmers of high school education were receiving annually
$622; and the 10 who had attended college one or more years were
receiving an average of $847 income for their services.

The foregoing investigation is at least suggestive in its results. It
tends to prove that there is an actual earning-capacity value in the
higher agricultural education. While the matter has never been
extensively studied, it can doubtless be shown that the graduates of the
agricultural course are receiving much larger incomes than any of the
classes named above. In addition it can doubtless be shown that these
graduates are better equipped, not only for earning a livelihood, but
for substantial citizenship. Of course there are many notable exceptions
to this rule, but the rule is, nevertheless, general.

Now, if the farm parent wishes to figure his boy's future on the basis
of money-earning capacity, he can easily be shown that the higher
schooling in the average case increases such capacity. In addition there
is abundant evidence of the fact that the higher schooling gives the
young man a much better equipment for serving the society in which he is
to live.


A SUCCESSFUL VOCATION CERTAIN

Finally, it may be said that the successful vocational life of the
ordinary country-bred boy may be guaranteed as practically certain,
provided he have every ordinary advantage of development and training of
which he is capable. Train him early in lessons of obedience and work;
make his life more wholesome through ample play and recreation; see that
he learns how to earn money and how to save a part of his earnings;
provide that he attend the public school regularly until at least the
grammar grades be finished; give him an opportunity to become personally
interested in the business side of the farm life; allow him
opportunities to mingle with the cleanest possible society of his own
age; and then await patiently his own inner promptings as to what line
of work he should take up. A college course may prove necessary in order
to help him uncover deeper and better levels that lie hidden in his
nature. Then, after he has chosen a calling in this careful and reliable
way, with all your might, mind, and soul encourage and support him in
his efforts! This is practically the only way to make a big, efficient
man and citizen of your boy and to make his calling a _divine_ calling.


REFERENCES

    _Vocational Education._ Published bi-monthly. $1.50 per year.
    The Manual Arts Press, Peoria, Ill.

    Vocational Education. John M. Gillette. Chapter VI,
    "Importance of the Economic Interest in Society." American
    Book Company.

    Vocational Guidance of Youth. Meyer Bloomfield. Chapter II,
    "Vocational Chaos and its Consequences." Houghton, Mifflin
    Company. The entire volume is most timely and helpful.

    The Problem of Vocational Education. David Snedden, Ph.D.
    Houghton, Mifflin Company.

    New Type of Rural School House. W. H. Jenkins. _Craftsman_,
    May, 1911.

    Vocational Direction, or The Boy and his Job. _Annals
    American Academy_, March, 1910.

    Education for a Vocation. President's address before the
    N.E.A. Annual Volume, 1908, p. 56.

    Vocational Direction. E. W. Lord. _Annals Academy of
    Political and Social Science_ (Philadelphia), March, 1910.

    Social Phase of Education. Samuel T. Dutten. Page 143, "The
    Relation of Education to Vocation." Macmillan. The entire
    book is sound and sane.

    Income of College Graduates Ten Years after Graduation. H. A.
    Miller. _Science_, Feb. 4, 1910.

    Occupations of College Graduates as Influenced by the
    Undergraduate Course. F. P. Keppel. _Educational Review_,
    December, 1910.

    Assisting the Boy in the Choice of a Vocation. Pamphlet. Wm.
    A. McKeever. Manhattan, Kan.



CHAPTER XIX

_THE FARM GIRL'S PREPARATION FOR A VOCATION_


What, may we ask, are rural parents doing in regard to the careful
preparation of their growing daughters for the vocational life? The
author has frequently asserted that many a farmer is to-day giving
vastly more thought to the question of preparing his live stock for the
money market than to preparing his girls for their life work. The
seriousness, the well-nigh cruelty, of this situation becomes apparent
only when we inquire into the facts. How long must this carelessness
continue? How long will farmers remain indifferent to the tremendous
responsibility of giving their children every possible aid in the
direction of a high and worthy occupation? Their chief concern continues
to be centered too exclusively upon the cattle and the hogs and the
corn. Are the boys and girls to be left to shift for themselves? And are
they to continue to have their careers determined by mere chance and
incident?

[Illustration: PLATE XXX.

FIG. 37.--Country school girls learning the rudiments of cooking. In no
distant future such work will be required along with the traditional
subjects.]


WHAT IS THE OUTLOOK

So, if the country father having a young family were here before us, we
should ask him: What is the outlook in regard to a happy future for
your growing daughter? Do you want her to take her place among the men
and be forced to do some sort of man's work in order to obtain her
bread? or, do you earnestly desire that she find some sort of worthy
woman's work? And if the latter be your choice, what helpful agencies
are you bringing to bear upon the situation? In the midst of all your
consideration of these matters touching your daughter, we should have
you most earnestly and prayerfully consider at least one thing; namely,
with few possible exceptions, the healthy, growing girl looks forward
instinctively to the time when she is to become mistress of a household
of her own. And in every case, if the girl fails to become such a
mistress, there is only one reasonable alternative to be thought of and
that is to provide that she engage in some sort of work which will give
expression in the largest possible measure to that which is best and
truest in her feminine nature.

Ordinarily, in planning for the future of their daughter, parents might
as well consider the problem as having a two-fold aspect. Assuming first
of all that the girl instinctively desires to preside over a home of her
own, how can she best be prepared for that place? Second, in case that,
by some miscarriage of plans, she fails to reach this most worthy
ambition, what may she safely fall back upon as an adequate means of
self-support? Now, if this statement of the matter be a correct one, it
seems that the general scope of the problem of preparing a girl for her
vocation ought to be fairly clear. Still another way of putting the
situation is this: The girl must be carefully prepared, not only for her
first choice of an occupation, but also for her second choice, because
of grave danger of the failure of her first choice to be realized.

There is a perplexing aspect of the whole question implied here, and
every parent who has a daughter should become aware of it and also
prepared to confront it. That is to say, almost any ordinary man may go
out into the open market and push his quest for a life companion and be
able to return in the course of a very short period with one at his
side. But with the girl it is radically different. Practically her only
stock-in-trade consists of her personal charm and her pecuniary
advantages. And many a young woman with both of these qualities very
strongly in her favor fails, by some chance or other, to receive an
acceptable offer of marriage. Statistics widely gathered will show that
age is also a very positive factor in this matter, and that the ratio of
probability of marriage of a single woman begins to fall very rapidly
before she reaches thirty.


DESIRABLE OCCUPATIONS FOR WOMEN

While there is abundant evidence to prove that the great majority of
normal young women desire instinctively and above all things else a
happy marriage, including a contented home life and children to care
for, some alternatives must be now pointed out in case of failure to
realize the highest ambition.

1. _May teach the young._--School teaching is perhaps the most common,
as well as the most commendable, occupation for unmarried women. In many
a case, the farmer's daughter will find it greatly to her advantage to
engage in this occupation for one or more terms. Thousands of the most
worthy young women in our land are devoting their lives to this highest
of secondary vocations for women. The work of teaching gives exercise to
the altruistic feminine nature and approaches in a fair degree the
satisfaction which comes to the mother who is sacrificing for children
of her own.

But school teaching wears heavily on the vitality of nearly all young
women who follow it long. Diseases peculiar to the sex are said to be
very prevalent among such teachers, probably resulting from an excessive
amount of standing. Tens of thousands of girls are going from the farm
home to the school room, some of them to remain permanently in the
business, but the majority to earn money of their own and to place
themselves in better position for successful marriage. So, perhaps the
first duty of the country parents to the daughter who takes up school
teaching is to see that the latter's health be not seriously impaired
thereby. After that, the young woman's proper advancement in the
profession may be thought of. The ungraded district school is an
excellent trying-out and testing position for the young teacher. But if
she continues many terms in the school room, graded work will prove more
advantageous, especially in the important matter of bringing the young
woman into the company of marriageable young men.

2. _May take up stenography._--A vast army of young women now support
themselves with the use of the typewriter. This work pays slightly more
the year round than school teaching. It is somewhat more confining; but,
for various other reasons, it is less deleterious to the general health.
Such office business, however, subjects the young woman to many
temptations. It is the opinion of the author that stenography is not at
all a desirable occupation for the farmer's daughter to enter. The
continued absence from home, the constant association with people
differing radically in tastes and manners from the rural population, not
to mention again the many temptations to accept lower moral
standards--these and other matters will tend to estrange the farm
daughter from her parents and to make them feel that something of the
former charm of sweet simplicity and home affection has passed
permanently out of her life.

One thing at least is to be considered before the daughter be permitted
to leave the country home for an office position. That is, the work is
not to be considered as permanent, but rather as a possible means of
preparing for marriage and the contented home life that should follow.

3. _May do social work._--Next to the work of teaching, perhaps the
social-service work now being developed and carried on in the cities
would make its appeal to the true-hearted young woman. Here again we
have a sort of task that dips into the affections and sympathies of the
worker and furnishes an opportunity for her to give freely out of the
best she has in her make-up. Among the fortunate considerations of
teaching and social work are the opportunities they offer for the
sympathetic care and guidance of children--the indulgence of altruism
and the mother instinct in the young woman. Parents will observe as a
rule that their daughter returns from such occupations as these with
increased affections for the home family and the home life and a broader
and more general interest in people.

In recent years there has developed a new and remarkably promising field
of social work for both young men and young women. Charitable,
philanthropic, and other social-welfare institutions have been greatly
multiplied, while their work has been put on a scientific basis. The
modern method of securing employees in such places is that of calling
persons especially trained and fitted to do the work required, and to
pay reasonably for the service. Several new, first-class schools and
institutions for training workers in this human field have been recently
organized.

Now, if country parents become anxious to have their daughter go away to
the city and find desirable employment and that at living wages, the
author recommends this new line of social work most highly. For reasons
given above, and for others, it will prove an excellent stepping-stone
to the home life--the work is in the general field of human betterment
so inviting to the natural instincts of the well-reared young woman; the
associates are persons likewise interested in human welfare and ranking
high in moral and religious character; the required work is usually of a
nature to awaken the deepest sympathies and affections and to make the
countenance of the worker shine with a new spiritual light.

4. _May secure clerkships._--Clerking and general store work is much
followed by young women to-day, but such work may be put down in the
list of hazardous occupations for women of any age. Close economic
conditions in the cities force many thousands of girls to leave home and
seek clerkships at a wage so low as indirectly to undermine the health
and more directly to impair the morals. Great armies of these girls are
compelled to live in dingy, cramped quarters, to subsist on much less
than the quantity of wholesome food necessary for good health, to
practice the strictest economy in matters of dress--to say nothing of
the constant temptation to sell their virtue as a means of increasing
the small income to the living margin.

Only in extreme cases, therefore, will intelligent farm parents consent
to their daughter's leaving home to take up a clerkship, and that when
her home life and her social surroundings can be satisfactorily foreseen
and arranged for in advance. Even then, the question must be raised:
Will this new position probably prove helpful as an introduction to a
better form of occupation?

No other possible occupations for the farmer's daughter will be listed
here excepting that of trained nurse--a position in which many young
women are doing a splendid service for humanity and at the same time
supporting themselves adequately. But of course such a position should
not be thought of unless the girl feels an inner call to take it up.
Practically all other outside lines of work for women are too masculine.
Parents should by no means allow their daughters to take up a life task
that means nothing other than mere money-making. Many women, it is true,
are succeeding to-day in business callings, but they are doing so as a
rule in violation of certain laws of nature. Many of these business
women are masculine in their dispositions and they become more so as the
unnatural calling continues to be pursued.


A COLLEGE COURSE FOR THE GIRL

At first thought it would seem that ability to prepare a good meal and
to do her own sewing might constitute all the education in household
economy necessary for any young woman. But such proves not to be the
case. There are hundreds of home-making problems, great and small, for
which mere knowledge of the two important affairs just named will
provide no answer. While the ability to cook and sew well are doubtless
essential characteristics of the good housekeeper, they are not at all a
guarantee that their possessor is a good home maker.

Parents must learn to take the larger and more liberal view of the
future of their children. Not merely practice in the culinary art, but
also a developed and refined personality; not merely industrial
efficiency, but also constructive ability of a social nature; not merely
mechanical skill in managing the details of housework, but a set of
well-matured, effective plans for making the home over which she
presides a place of joy and contentment for the other members of the
family--these are some of the evidences of character which the wise,
far-seeing parent might well desire for his daughter. Now, it is the
thesis of this chapter that the normal woman is at her best only when
she has become mistress of her own well-managed household. But such an
exalted position can scarcely be reached except through a broad, general
course of preparation.

The one-sided, classical college training has spoiled for life many
otherwise good and happy women. Such a course tends strongly to draw the
mind and the affections of the young woman away from the home and from
motherhood and other such matters so fundamental to the well-being of
the race. But in seeking for an ideal school for the daughter the farmer
will find unsurpassed that institution which offers extensive courses in
household art and management, supplemented fully with work in the
so-called culture subjects--language, literature, history, sociology,
psychology, and economics. This work constitutes what might be called a
balanced schedule of instruction for the young woman. If pursued to its
conclusion, such a course of training enriches her personality and
multiplies her opportunities for future usefulness many fold.


ASSOCIATIONS WITH REFINED YOUNG MEN

If the young woman's preparation for her life work be satisfactory to
all, she must have extensive experience in the society of young men such
as only the co-educational college can give. As her position in the
rural home has been already too much isolated, an exclusive women's
college is least to be desired as a place to educate the country girl.
But the domestic science course in a state university or a state
agricultural college will be found almost ideal. Here the girl may be
held to a reasonable performance of her assigned duties, while at the
same time she may mingle freely in the society of both sexes.

Indeed, if the thesis of this chapter be a sound and tenable
one,--namely, that normally woman's highest satisfaction is to be sought
through helping her attain efficient home life,--then, there is every
reason for agreeing with the late Professor James in his contention that
every young woman ought to be taught how to know a good man. It is
distinctively the business of the young college woman, not only to
prepare well all her lessons in household economy and the literary
subjects, but also to keep her eye out for a suitable life companion.
And her father should be made to realize that her opportunities for
marrying a man of high worth and ability are increased many fold through
the completion of a course in the ideal form of co-educational college.

Marriages among college mates are usually most successful, both in the
final establishment of substantial home life and in point of resulting
in a reasonable number of well-reared children. Statistics gathered
widely show that the young woman college graduate marries somewhat later
than her non-attending sister, that she has slightly better health, that
her children are somewhat fewer, but better reared.

[Illustration: PLATE XXXI.

FIG. 38.--a girls' class in sewing. No girl of this age needs to wear
any better garment than she can make with her own needle if she be
rightly trained. Such training is a part of real preparation for life.]


MAKE THE DAUGHTER ATTRACTIVE

It may therefore be urged upon all rural parents, as a cold business
proposition, as well as a duty, that they take every reasonable
precaution to develop in their growing daughters both an attractive
personality and a beauty of the inner character, whether she be so
fortunate as to attend a good college or not. All this must be done with
a thought of rendering the daughter as attractive as possible in respect
to any worthy young man who may in time seek her heart and hand in
marriage. It is time for parents to cease passing this thing by as a
mere piece of sentimentalism and to begin to do the fair thing by their
girls. Why should it longer come to pass in this enlightened age that
some parents break down the physical health of their girls with the
burden of over-work and thus consign them to a life of moping and bitter
disappointment for the future; that other parents indulge their girls in
the giddy, butterfly type of life and thus blight their prospects of a
substantial and satisfactory place in human society?


SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

In summarizing and concluding this chapter we wish to remind the reader
of what has been said in the preceding ones. There are a number of
distinctive elements that must be carefully wrought into the character
of the farmer's daughter with a view to laying a substantial foundation
for her future career.

1. First of all, the girl's health must be kept in mind. She must not
have an over-burden of work heaped upon her delicate shoulders, nor must
she be allowed to expose herself unnecessarily to the inclemencies of
the weather so common in the ordinary rural districts. There are many
women moping about to-day, ill and despondent much of the time because
of the negligence of parents who permitted them when growing girls to
wade about through mud and slush and thus impair permanently their
physical well-being. Many of the minor ailments of mature life recur
habitually, and that because they were permitted to be acquired when the
organism was young and sensitive.

2. The daughter must be taught how to carry on practically all the
necessary details of the housework. The plain cooking and sewing and the
general care of the home must be required as duties on the part of every
promising girl. It is especially obligatory on the part of rural parents
that they train the daughter in such a way as to make her a true
mistress of the household over which she may sometime preside. She must
learn through specific guidance how to subordinate the heavy home tasks
to her spiritual well-being.

3. It is also essential that the girl learn how to manage the business
affairs of the home; especially, how to purchase the supplies of the
kitchen and the larder in the most economic fashion. She must also learn
both how to secure her own personal belongings at a reasonable cost and
how to make them serve her real needs without unnecessary expenditure
of money. It will be a great achievement in her behalf if the girl
approach her marriage day thoroughly imbued with the thought of
coöperating with her husband in the general business of maintaining a
home.

4. We would remind the reader again of the necessity of giving attention
to the development of an attractive personality in the growing girl.
Pleasing manners, refined expressions, neat and attractive apparel,
kindliness and sympathy, frankness and straightforwardness--all these
should enter into her make-up and be thought of as parts of her
permanent character. They will also go far toward winning to her side a
suitable life companion.

5. The young girl on the farm should have much advice in respect to the
nature and character of men. This will be achieved partly through her
well-ordered social life and partly through specific talks from
thoughtful parents. Country girls are probably less informed in respect
to the natures of men than are city girls. Many beautiful and innocent
young women are led astray either before or after marriage by evil and
designing men; many of them consummate marriages with men who have an
outer appearance of trustworthiness, but who harbor within some most
serious and insurmountable evil and disease. Although she may not for a
time be conscious of what her parents are doing, the latter should be
for years purposely engaged in preparing their daughter to know at sight
a good man.

Finally, it may be said that there is no greater charm or thing of more
superior beauty in this good world of ours than the character of a woman
who has been well-born and well-reared, and who has been safely guided
into the home of her own wherein she reigns as mistress supreme. In this
ideal home the love and sympathy and the kindly deeds of the true
home-maker will reveal themselves permanently in the lives of her
children and her husband and the many others who come into contact with
her constructive personality.


REFERENCES

    Women's Ways of Earning Money. Cynthia Westover Alden. A. S.
    Barnes & Co.

    The Home Builder. Dr. Lyman Abbott. Houghton, Mifflin
    Company. Sympathetic and cheering.

    Almost a Woman. Mary Wood Allen, M.D. Crist, Scott &
    Parshall, Coopertown, N.Y. A plain talk to the young woman
    about her sex nature.

    The Problem of Vocational Education. David Snedden, Ph.D.
    Chapter XII, "The Problem of Women in Industry." Houghton,
    Mifflin Company.

    The Vocational Guidance of Youth. Meyer Bloomfield. Chapter
    I, "The Choice of Life Work and its Difficulties." Houghton,
    Mifflin Company.

    Parenthood and Race Culture. Charles W. Saleeby M.D. Chapter
    X, "Marriage and Maternalism." Moffat, Yard & Co., New York.

    Should Women work for their Living? M. Yates. _Westminster
    Review_, October, 1910.

    Social Diseases and Marriage. Educational Pamphlet, No. 3.
    American Society of Sanitary and Moral Prophylaxis, New York.
    10 cents. Every parent should read this booklet.

    Vocational Training for Girls. Isabelle McGlaufin.
    _Education_, April, 1911.

    A Healthy Race; Woman's Vocation. C. M. Hill. _Westminster
    Review_, January, 1910.

    Social Adjustment. S. Nearing. Pages 128-148, "Dependence of
    Women." Macmillan.

    Purposes of Women. F. W. Saleeby, M.D. _Forum_, January,
    1911.

    Does the College rob the Cradle? H. Boice. _Delineator_,
    March, 1911.

    The College Woman as a Home Maker. M. E. Wooley. _Ladies'
    Home Journal_, Oct. 1, 1910.

    The American Woman and her Home. Symposium. _Outlook_, April
    17, 1910.

    Teaching the Girl to Save. Home-Training Bulletin No. 7. 2
    cents. Wm. A. McKeever, Manhattan, Kan.



CHAPTER XX

_CONCLUSION, AND FUTURE OUTLOOK_


In concluding this volume we wish again to remind parents of the
necessity of working for specific results in the rearing of their
children. Modern man, unlike his ancestor, who roamed over the earth, is
a creature of complex and highly refined make-up which no primitive or
natural environment could possibly produce. The forces that work upon
his character development are so radically different from those which
formed the life of his remote forbears as possibly to account for the
contrasts in the two forms of finished personality.

Although there is evidence to support the theory that man belongs to the
general evolutionary scheme of animal life, the progress of the race has
been so very slow that a thousand years of time can show no very
distinct improvement either in physical form or mental quality. While
the human young is exceedingly plastic as an individual,--yielding
easily from one side of his inherent activities to another,--the race is
relatively fixed and stable.


STRIVE FOR PRECONCEIVED RESULTS

Parents and other instructors of the young must therefore accept their
charges as made up of very complex potentialities of learning and
achievement--each a bundle of latent characters transmitted to him from
the ancestral line. Many of these inherited characters are too weak in
any given individual ever to show in his life conduct; many others will
come to the surface only in response to proper stimuli and practice;
still others will break out and show a predominance almost in defiance
of any training intended to counteract them.

But the teacher and trainer of the infant child may accept the theory
that the latter, if taken in time, can be bent and modified many ways in
his character formation; that such plasticity is, however, always
subject to the relative strength or weakness of the many inherited
aptitudes and activities latent within the individual.

There is no good reason, therefore, why the parent should not begin
early to build up the character of his child in accordance with a
preconceived plan; provided such plan do no violence to any of nature's
stubborn and inexorable laws. The parent may also accept this task as a
long and tedious undertaking, and expect to get results in proportion as
he works intelligently for them. The farmer does not even think of
producing good crop results from his land without hard work and much
thought; then, why should he expect so delicate a plant as the human
young to reach satisfactory maturity without much care and
consideration? By far the greatest sin against the child is neglect of
his training.


CONSULT EXPERT ADVICE

We must not be unmindful of the necessity of a balanced schedule of
activities for the child. The vegetable plant must have air, sunlight,
moisture, nitrogen, and so on, to support its growth. If one of these
essential elements be lacking, the result is fatal to the fruitage. So
with the child. If the best character results are to be expected,
certain essential elements must be put into use. We have named them as
play, work, recreation, and social experience. But as one approaches the
individual problem of child training it does not prove so simple and
easy as these terms imply. When and how to give each of these necessary
exercises, how much of each to furnish, the means thereof, and the
like--these and many other such questions begin to arise.

When the parent reaches the point of perplexity in dealing with his
child, it is a fairly good indication that his interest is aroused, at
least. But what is to be done? Simply the same thing he would do at the
point of perplexity in the wheat propagation, _consult an expert_. If
one of the work mules becomes lame or reveals a bad disposition, should
the owner take it to an electrician for advice? If the family cow
becomes locoed or shows an unusual result in her milk product, should
one consult a piano tuner? Yet, strange to say, parents are often known
to do similarly in dealing with the perplexing problems of
child-rearing. Consult the popular magazines and the book shelves any
day and you will find many lengthy dissertations on the boy and the
girl, written not infrequently by persons who have spent a lifetime
studying _something else_. But they are very fond of children and they
mistake this fondness for knowledge of an expert kind; and worst of all,
they offer it as such.

The farm parents who wish to receive expert advice in the treatment of
their children must learn to consult directly or through literature only
those who have made a long and intensive study of child problems. And in
the latter case they need not expect to obtain all necessary help from
one source alone. Usually the child-study expert is a specialist in only
one certain part of the field. For example, at the University of
Pennsylvania under Dr. Lightner Witmer, there has been made a specialty
of the sub-normal child. We should probably obtain from that source more
expert help in that one phase of child welfare than from any other
source in America. If one wishes reliable help on the subject of
diseases of children, he should naturally expect to obtain it from some
medical authority, from one Who has spent long years practicing in a
general hospital for children. One of the very few great sources of
information on the general psychology of child development is Clark
University, where many child-welfare problems have been worked out by
experts under the able direction of Dr. G. Stanley Hall.


MEET EACH AWAKENING INTEREST

A very reliable general rule of guidance for the parent child trainer is
to strive to furnish intensive practice for each and every childish and
juvenile interest at the time of its awakening. As stated in Chapter II
the most predominant interests in the young emerge in response to the
unfoldment of instincts and the development of organic growths within.
Perhaps all do so. But the point of importance for the parent is to meet
each of these awakenings at the time of its highest activity with
intensive training. The instinct to play, to fight, to steal, to run
away, to work (?), to fall in love, to engage in some occupation, to
marry and make a home, to have children--these have been named as
especially important by virtue of their awakening successively the
individual's interests in matters of great consequence to character
development.

But instincts are blind. Their possessor does not foresee the way they
point. They come suddenly and catch the subject unprepared to direct
their force in what we call intelligent ways. Hence, the extreme
necessity of there being present at the side of the child, at the time
of his instinctive awakening, some mature and intelligent person who has
been through the experiences the former is about to begin, and who will
sympathetically point the right way and insist that it be followed.


WORK FOR SOCIAL DEMOCRACY

One can scarcely become deeply interested in the future of his own child
without coming intimately into touch with the child welfare problems at
large. Even country parents, isolated though they may be, will discover
that serious study of the matter of bringing up a family of good
children will require that they study the lives of other human young.
Moreover, they will need the use of other children as "laboratory"
material for training their own. All this will gradually lead the way to
a fuller social sympathy in such parents and to the inculcation of more
wholesome social ideals in the minds of their offspring.

Finally, the rural parents who are seeking a full and adequate
development of the young members of their own family will most probably
see their way clear to assume a helpful leadership of the young people
of the neighborhood as advocated in Chapter X of this volume.

While many agencies for the betterment of rural youth have been
discussed,--such as the County Y.M.C.A., the Boy Scout Movement, and the
Social and Economic Clubs,--the neighborhood which has at least one of
these agencies intensively at work may be considered fortunate. And it
may be said that such a neighborhood is well on the way to economic
improvement as well as social improvement.


THE OUTLOOK VERY PROMISING

Throughout the United States there is being manifested a general
tendency to accept the theory that our human stock is relatively sound.
While there are seemingly large numbers of the criminal, delinquent, and
dependent classes, they are in reality comparatively few in proportion
to the entire population. And when we accept the estimate of the experts
that about ninety per cent of the cases included in the classes just
named are preventable through wise foresight and training, the outlook
for a better race of human beings becomes most cheering.

"The proper study of mankind is man," says the poet. But for many
generations we have regarded this statement as mere poetry and not
necessarily truth. Our policy up to the recent past has been rather
this: The proper study of mankind is everything _except_ man, leaving
the all-important problems of child-rearing to the decisions of wise old
grand-mothers and debating societies. But a radical change has come, and
that within this present generation. Men and women highly trained in the
colleges and universities are now applying their scientific methods to
the study of man with no less zeal and earnestness than that which has
characterized the student of the non-human problems for many generations
of time.

[Illustration: PLATE. XXXII.

FIG. 39.--Sowing the seed, all by herself.

FIG. 40.--Thinning the vegetables.

New York Scenes.]

Through the able conclusions of the painstaking expert the so-called
institutional life has been especially improved. The industrial
(reform) schools are now practicing a system of balanced activities--of
study, work, play, and the like--such as the findings of these
investigators have warranted. The method of paroling the delinquent
child, after he has spent a term of preparation, was proved most helpful
through the careful tests of a large number of cases. Recently the
parole system has been effectively applied to certain classes of
penitentiary convicts. A most productive agency for good now in use in
many of the prisons and all the industrial schools is that of building
up the waste places in the individual life through specific training and
instruction. The first question raised in such cases is, What is the
particular moral defect of the individual? second, What are the causes?
third, What will reconstruct his character and give permanent relief?
That is, the expert psychologist and the expert sociologist are being
called into service with the expert alienist and physician. The purpose
is to save and reconstruct the whole man. Compulsory education and trade
schooling are now very common in state prisons.

In the care and protection of the insane and the feeble-minded our
country can boast of but slow progress. Many of the members of these
classes are permitted to run at large and even to marry and beget their
kind. Now, while our human stock is in its mass very sound and sane,
there are constantly being thrown off from it these mentally defective
classes. The complete obliteration of all such classes to-day would not
result in their complete disappearance from the race. Others would be
born as variants from normal parentage. But the evil of it all lies in
the fact that we are still permitting many of these defectives to
multiply, and that in the face of the fact that a normal child has never
been reported among the offspring of two feeble-minded parents.


THE MODERN SERVICE TRAINING

Of all the institutions contributing to the direct improvement of the
race there is perhaps none surpassing in importance the modern training
school for social workers. In New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, St.
Louis, and other large cities such may be found usually affiliated with
some university or college. The general purpose is that of training men
and women to go into the field of social service and apply the methods
and conclusions worked out by the research student. Hitherto, much of
the social work has been conducted by persons possessing merely
religious zeal and enthusiasm. Their efforts were praiseworthy, but they
lacked the training necessary for coping with modern educational and
economic problems. The distinctive feature of the new methods is that it
is based on scientific and business principles. That is, the social
worker is trained in the same methodical way as the prospective lawyer
or school teacher, and is also paid reasonably for his services.

The modern social worker not only proceeds with a well-defined plan, but
he usually makes or requires a survey of his newly-opened field. The
social survey--now becoming more common as a means of beginning a
campaign of improvement in the cities--has revealed some most
interesting, as well as distressing, situations in the submerged
districts. The housing situation, sanitary conditions, wages and incomes
of different classes, sweat-shop employment, the protection of workmen
in shops and factories, child-labor conditions, and so on--these are
examples of the problems of the investigator, while his tabulated
reports serve to guide the social worker. Now, the duties of the latter
are many, but in general they lie in the direction of improvement of the
conditions as found. Among the undertakings that often fall to his lot
are: establishing new social centers in congested districts, providing
for new parks and playgrounds, locating reading and recreation rooms,
organizing self-help and home-improvement clubs among the lower classes,
conducting cooking and sewing schools, and the like.

Of special interest to the rural dweller is the fact that the modern
methods of first making surveys and then applying remedial agencies is
now being extended into the country districts, giving many marked
results already and promising greater ones for the future.


THE STATE DOING ITS PART

That the nation and the state are active participants in these new forms
of child-conserving and man-saving endeavor is indicated on every side.

The national government has encouraged the states in the enactment of
stringent child-labor laws. In the usual instance children under
fourteen to sixteen years of age are prohibited from working away from
home at gainful occupations. Correlated with this is the
compulsory-education law in the several states.

The national and state governments have also coöperated in the enactment
of laws prohibiting the adulteration of foods and foodstuffs and in
enforcing better sanitation. As a result of such measures, state and
local, together with the help of greatly improved hospital practice, the
infant mortality in several of the large cities has been reduced more
than fifty per cent in the past decade.

Inspired by the splendid pioneer work of the National Playground
Association, the cities and towns have recently made very rapid progress
in the establishment of playgrounds and recreative centers for old and
young. Many millions of dollars have already been expended for such
purposes. Now the country districts are adopting the same means of
social improvement.

The primary system of selecting candidates for political office is
proving to be a most potent agency for the general uplift. By means of
it, better men are being inducted into office. Better still, the old
corrupt practice of the ward politician, so deleterious to the character
of youth, is losing its once powerful influence on government.

The so-called social evil, so damaging to the health and morals of
thousands of our best young men and young women, is now under fair
promise of improvement. The remarkable survey of the Chicago Vice
Commission and the work of the other well-planned organizations looking
to the solution of the same general problem have proved most effective
in revealing the true conditions and of awakening the public conscience.
All of these activities in the interest of putting down the sex evils
point very clearly one moral to all conscientious parents; namely, that
the best and most certain method of inculcating lessons of purity in the
case of the young is through preventive measures, and through the
practice of purity during the years of growth. Open and frank discussion
of the sex problems as they arise normally out of the experiences of the
child, admonitions and prohibitions in regard to impure associates, the
insistence upon a single, and not a double, standard of purity for the
two sexes--these are some of the specific duties of parents.

As an instance of what may be achieved by way of helping the weak and
depraved to defend themselves against debasing habit, and especially of
what may be done by way of prevention of a character-destroying habit
in time of youth, the Kansas prohibitory law is cited. The longer this
statute remains, the more effective its work and the more unanimous the
public sentiment supporting it. So popular has this measure become that
no political party and no faction of any other class has been able to
take any effective stand against it. It can be shown to any fair-minded
investigator that the great majority of the citizens of Kansas are total
abstainers from the use of intoxicants; also that the state has brought
up a new generation of tens of thousands of men, now mostly voters, who
have no personal knowledge of the use and abuse of alcoholic drinks and
who have become confirmed as total abstainers for life.

Another unique Kansas measure--ignored and derided at first only less
than was the prohibitory liquor law when new--is the statute forbidding
the use of tobacco in any form on the part of minors. The wisdom of this
statute is supported by the conclusions of scientific study of the
effects of tobacco on the young. The general purpose of the law is to
prevent the youth from taking up the tobacco-using habit before reaching
full maturity of years and judgment. The general result will be the
gradual development of a generation of total abstainers from the use of
tobacco.


THE NEW ERA OF RELIGION

Even into the sanctuary of the modern church is the new scientific
spirit finding its way. It has become an accepted principle of procedure
among ministers and other church workers of late that the best way to
save souls is not to depend wholly upon divine grace, but to assist this
subtle power by means of the constructive work of many human agencies.
Preventive measures that aim at safeguarding the young against evil
contaminations, the institution of social improvement organizations and
of literary and economic clubs, the formation of good-fellowship
societies, of societies for conducting social surveys, of committees for
giving vocational guidance and for the administration of spiritual
healing--these and numerous endeavors of the same class give evidence of
the great service which the modern church is rendering young humanity.
And all this splendid work is being carried forward without doing any
violence to the essential doctrines of the great historical institution
so long engaged in its serious efforts in behalf of human salvation.


FINAL CONCLUSION

As a closing remark the author can only express again his belief that no
past age ever held out such inspiring hope and such splendid
encouragement to the many parents who appreciate the needs of
intelligent care and training for their children. And because of the
natural advantages of the surroundings, country parents have the
greatest justification of all for being enthusiastic over the outlook.
Now, let them go patiently and reverently at the work of bringing up for
the service of the world a magnificent race of men and women--men who
have brain and brawn and moral courage and religious devotion; women who
have a profound sense of maternal responsibility, an inspiring
superiority over the perplexing duties of the household, a deep and
far-reaching social sympathy, and such a poise and sublimity of thought
as to reveal the divinity inherent in their characters. For lo! In the
hidden depths of the natures of the common boys and girls there lie
slumbering these splendid possibilities!


REFERENCES

The Meaning of Social Science. Albion W. Small. University of Chicago
Press. An epoch-making book, restating ably the general
problem of social reconstruction.

    Report of Committee on Rural Social Problems, National
    Conference Charities and Corrections. Address Porter R. Lee,
    Sec'y for Organizing Charity, Philadelphia, Pa.

    Annual Report. Association for Study and Prevention of Infant
    Mortality, 1211 Cathedral Street, Baltimore.

    Government Report on Children as Wage-earners. Department of
    Commerce and Labor, Washington, D.C. This department is
    bringing out nineteen volumes in all, each covering a
    particular problem of women and children as wage-earners. The
    following are especially related to the subject matter of
    this chapter:--

      The Beginnings of Child Labor Legislation in Certain States;
        A Comparative Study.
      Conditions under which Children leave School to go to Work.
      Juvenile Delinquency and its Relation to Employment.
      Causes of Death among Women and Child Cotton Mill Operatives.
      Family Budgets of Typical Cotton Mill Workers.
      Hook Worm Disease among Cotton Mill Operatives.
      Employment of Women and Children in Selected Industries.
      Reports and Circulars National Christian League for Promotion
        of Purity, 5 East 12th Street, New York.

    Annual Report of National Conference of Charities and
    Corrections, 1911. Charities Publication Committee, New York.
    See this valuable volume for reports of progress in the
    different lines of child-welfare effort.

    The White Slave Traffic. _Outlook_, July 16. 1910.

    The Rockefeller Grand Jury Report of White Slave Traffic.
    _McClure_, May, August, 1910.

    Moral Research in Social and Economic Problems. G. Connell.
    _Westminster Review_, February, 1910.

    My Lesson from the Juvenile Court. Judge Ben. B Lindsey.
    _Survey_, Feb. 5, 1910.



INDEX


  Acquired characters, not transmissible, 7.
  Agricultural education, money value of, 286.
  Agriculture, as a rural school subject, 120 ff.
  Anger, a healthful instinct, 16;
    right treatment of, 17 f.
  Aristocracy, fostered in the schools, 103, 104.

  Bank account, necessary for boys, 223.
  Bill, Arthur J., 231.
  Boardman, John R., advocate of rural play, 156.
  Books, for children, how to choose, 74;
    a selected list, 75 ff.;
    on child-rearing, 79, 80.
  Boys, bad companionships for, 202 f.
  Boy Scouts Movement, 311.
  Boy Scouts, Professor Holton's definition of, 165;
    how to organize, 165 f.;
    in Kansas, 166 ff.
  Boys leave the farm, why, 62, 63.
  Bread-making clubs, 150 f.
  Bread-winning, cultural, 3.
  Building site, suited to children, 68.
  Business career, instinct for, 24.
  Business, training for farm boy, 220 ff.;
    finding the boy's interest in, 221 f.;
    dealing fair with the boy in, 225.
  Butterfield, President Kenyon L., 140, 161.

  Character-building, agencies of, 28 ff.;
    must go on with schooling, 90 f.;
    requires religious training, 94.
  Chicago Vice Commission, 317.
  Child-rearing, rural, 90 ff.
  Children's hour, recommended for evening, 67.
  Children's room, good illustration of, 64 f.
  Child study, a necessity, 308 ff.
  Cigarettes, law against, in Kansas, 318.
  College education, for farm boy, 283 f.
  Compulsory education, now general, 251.
  Consolidation of rural schools, illustrated, 109, 123.
  Cornell University, model rural school 115 ff.
  Cornell University, 286.
  Corn-plowing, may be divine calling, 98.
  Corn-raising clubs, 150 f.
  Corn Sunday, in rural church, 95.
  Country boy, the right schooling for, 250 ff.;
    his interest in humanity, 259;
    must know current affairs, 260.
  Country church at Plainfield, Ill., 87;
    at Ogden, Kan., 87, 92;
    Commission management of, 88;
    too narrow, 92;
    as social center, 94 ff.;
    at Danbury, N. H., 96;
    at Lincoln, Vt., 96;
    federated society in, 96.
  Country dwelling, its relation to juvenile character, 54 ff.;
    plan it for the children, 56, 57.
  Country girl, business training for, 255 ff.;
    why she leaves home, 236 f.;
    rules for training in business, 239;
    not to be a money-maker, 247;
    earning money in the South, 249;
    schooling for, 262 ff.;
    to be taught music, 265 f.;
    vocation for, 290 ff.
  Country Life Commission, 42 f., 148.
  Country mother, as teacher, 268;
    report of Country Life Commission, 42;
    conservation of her energies, 44 ff.;
    conspiring with the children, 51 f.
  Country school, to be redirected, 152 ff.
  Crying, good for infants, 14.

  Dance, usually degrading, 164;
    hard to control, 211 f.
  Department of Agriculture, 148.
  Dickens, Professor Albert, 110 f.
  Disease, relation to habit, 3;
    avoidance of by care, 3.
  Domestic economy, for girls, 298 f.;
    in the rural school, 122.

  Exhibitions, by rural Y.M.C.A., 139 f.

  Fairchild, Supt. E. T., 108 f., 118.
  Farm barn, not to be better than the dwelling, 62.
  _Farmer's Voice_, 60, 73.
  Farm girls, danger of over-working, 182 f.;
    working in the field, 188;
    sometimes misjudged, 190 f.;
    work schedule difficult to make, 191;
    and self-supremacy, 192 f.;
    social companions for, 201.
  Fear, nature and purpose of, 16, 19.
  Federation for country life in Illinois, 161 f.

  Good health, fundamental to development, 3.
  Good life, definition, 2.

  Hall, Dr. G. Stanley, 309.
  Happiness, a part of the good life, 6;
    how obtained, 6.
  High school, rural provisions for, 124 f.
  Holton, Professor E. L. on Boy Scouts, 165.
  Home conveniences, necessity for farm women, 47.
  Home life education, 270.
  Home sanitation, in the rural school, 132.
  "Homing" instinct, 23.
  House help, training the children for, 49.
  Human stock, mostly sound, 7, 8;
    potentially good, 9.
  Humble parentage and leadership, 9.

  Instincts, of children to be studied, 310;
    two are fundamental, 12;
    related to impulse, 14;
    for home life, 23;
    for business, 24.

  James, Professor William, 300.

  Kansas, Rural Boy Scouts in, 166 ff.;
    a boy genius of, 227.
  Kansas State Agricultural College, 165.
  Kirk, President John R., quoted, 112 f.

  Leadership, of farmer and wife, 146 ff.;
    preparation for, 148;
    in Y.M.C.A., 133 f.
  Library, for neighborhood in farm home, 155.
   _Literary Digest_, 73.
  Literature, purpose of in country home, 69 f.;
    best adapted to the child, 71, 72;
    types of, 72 f.;
    on child-rearing, 79.

  Marriage, planning for the daughter's, 291 f.;
    to be studied, 300 ff.;
    training the girl for, 20, 21.
  McNutt, Rev. M. B., and his work, 86, 87;
    church built by, 87.
  Mendel's law, and human inheritance, 8.
  Minister, of city should preach in the country, 85;
    a country type, 86 ff.
  Moral strength, an aim in character-building, 4;
    acquired through trial and error, 4.
  Mothers' club, organization of, 160 f.
  "Mother's hour," recommended, 46.
  Moving to town, to educate the children, 36;
    how it affects the farmer, 36, 37.

  National Corn Exhibit, 230.
  Native ability, three classes of, 251 ff.;
    how stimulus and opportunity assist, 253.
  Newspaper, kind for the farmer, 73.

  Occupations for women, 293 ff.
  Oklahoma Agricultural College, work at county fair, 229.

  Play, growing interest in, 27, 28;
    practical uses of, 28 ff.;
    an excellent set of materials for, 30;
    sharply distinguished from work, 31;
    after Sunday School, 97;
    neighborhood center for, 159.
  Play apparatus, model in farm home, 154.
  Playground, apparatus for, 118 ff.;
    for home and school, 154 f.
  Playground Association of America, 155, 316.
  Population, decrease in country, 83.
  Prohibitory law, in Kansas, 318.
  Psychological clinic, 265.

  Recreation, meaning of misunderstood, 33;
    how related to farm work, 34 ff.;
    for rural youth, 139.
  Religion, the new era in, 319;
    interest in a part of life, 5.
  _Review of Reviews_, 73.
  Rural manhood, 148, 156.
  Rural school, changes in view-point of, 102;
    to serve all, 103 f.;
    compulsory attendance upon, 106;
    model at Kirksville, 112.
  Rural schoolhouse, better ones needed, 107;
    location of, 108;
    in Kansas, 105;
    model at Cornell, 115.

  Saloons, a menace to boys, 206 f.
  School grounds, size, and adoption of, 109.
  School playground, 117 ff.
  Sex evils, to be studied, 317.
  Sex habits, secret, 204.
  Sex instinct, as socializing agency, 199.
  Sexual love, instructive and extremely helpful, 20;
    necessity of careful treatment, 20 ff.
  Smoking, bad for boys, 205 f.
  Social democracy, fostered by training, 4.
  Social efficiency, training for, 5.
  Social entertainment, how to conduct, 209 f.;
    several forms of, 211 ff.
  Social renaissance, in the country, 199.
  Social sensitiveness, a form of fear, 18;
    great value in training, 19, 20.
  Social training of farm youths, 197 ff.;
    in economic clubs, 215;
    a working plan for, 198 ff.;
    based on sex instinct, 199;
    menaces to, 200 ff.;
    in ideal country home, 208.
  Social training schools, 314.
  Social work, for girls, 295 f.
  Solitude, a means of culture, 35.
  Stenography, for girls, 294.

  Teaching, hard on young women, 203.
  Tuberculosis, is it inheritable? 8, 9.

  University of Pennsylvania, 309.
  Usefulness, as ideal of education, 3.

  Vacations, based on instincts and desires, 163, 226.
  Vacations, necessity of providing for, 176 f.;
    a father's plan for, 177 f.
  Vocation, for farm boy, 275 ff.;
    should it be farming, 275;
    go slow in choosing, 276 f.;
    three methods of training for, 279 f.;
    preparation of farm girl for, 289 ff.
  Vocational schools, in the South, 229 f.

  _Wallaces' Farmer_, 43, 44, 73.
  Waters, President H. J., 127.
  Wealth, not evidence of substantial country society, 84.
  Witmer, Dr. Lightner, 309.
  Women, occupations for, 291 ff.
  Work, as basis of society, 171 ff.;
    for the boy's sake, 172 f.;
    wrong attitude of workmen toward, 174;
    a father's method of training boy for, 175 f.;
    a schedule of hours for, 178 ff.;
    how much for the girl, 183 ff.;
    foundation for vocation, 285;
    necessary as discipline, 30, 31;
    not liked by natural children, 31;
    acquired fondness for, 32;
    a part of the good school course, 33;
    spiritualized by country church, 98.
    _World's Work_, 73.

  Y.M.C.A., rural 129 ff.;
    purposes of, 131;
    how to organize, 132 ff.;
    leader for, 133 f.;
    how to conduct, 136;
    example of rural in Kansas, 143 f.



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       *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's note:

    Punctuation has been made consistent without note.

    Archaic or alternate spellings have been retained.

    Plate X: 1st edition has a different caption for this plate:
      An illustration of "Corn Sunday," as instituted by
      Superintendent George W. Brown in the rural churches in
      the vicinity of Paris, Illinois.

    Page 99, References: "Colton" changed to "Cotton" (John
    Cotton Dana).

    Page 127, References: 1st edition has 1906, not 1905, as
    publication date for "The Most Practical Industrial Education
    for the Country Child."

    Page 140, "One boy may have have caught" changed to
    "One boy may have caught"

    Page 329: "County-Life" changed to "Country-Life" ("The
    Country-Life Movement.")





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