FIRESIDE EDUCATION - online book

How Best To Educate Your Child At Home

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MAN THE SUBJECT OF EDUCATION.              71
But in all this, it has shaped its course and fol­lowed out its career, from bubbling, infancy at the fountain to its termination in the great reservoir of waters, according to the channel which its parent earth has provided. Such is the inffuence of a parent over his child. It has within itself a will, and at its bidding it goes forward; but the parent marks out its track. He may not stop its progress, but he may guide its course. He may not throw a dam across its path, and say to it, hitherto mayest thou go, and no farther; but he may turn it through safe, and gentle, and useful courses, or he may leave it to plunge over wild cataracts, or lose itself in some sandy desert, or collect its strength into a torrent, but to spread ruin and desolation along its borders.
The fireside, then, is a seminary of infinite importance. It is important because it is uni­versal, and because the education it bestows, being woven in with the woof of childhood, gives form and color to the whole texture of life. There are few who can receive the honors of a college, but all are graduates of the hearth. The learning of the university may fade from the recollection; its classic lore may moulder in the halls of memory. But the simple lessons of home, enamelled upon the heart of childhood,
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