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Miss Foley's letter


Commandment 1

Commandment 2

Commandment 3

Commandment 4

Commandment 5

Commandment 6

Commandment 7

Commandment 8

Commandment 9

A Parting Word




* Thanks to Mrs. Elizabeth Owens and her student at Pine Mountain Central School District for this recommendation.

Commandment 1


Why:  All communication begins with a reason.  Our minds have to be stimulated into wanting to talk and listen, read and write.  Every new interest your child develops puts more room in him—makes him more alive, more reachable.  His interests are where you start from, no matter what you want to teach him. So help make those interests as worthwhile and varied as possible.

How:  It takes real experience to make interests.  Even to do anything as easy as fall in love, you have to be with someone a while.  Expose your children to the people, places, ideas, materials you feel might awaken absorbing interests.  If it doesn’t catch on the first time, try again.  Although the President’s poet, Robert Frost, says we have “a preference for love at sight”, most interests take time and repeated exposure in order to take shape.  Here are possibilities in capsule form:

>       Help your children develop hobbies.  Find space for them to work or exhibit if that is the nature of the hobby.  Show your interest. (2)*

>       Try to work in side-stops to interesting places when you make family trips. Even on shopping and business trips, don’t overlook taking in something that may be old-shoe to you but wonderfully exciting to the young.

>       Let your children sit in on some of the visit from adults who have done unusual things or know how to talk with enthusiasm.

>       Encourage your children to read non-fiction, to keep scrapbooks, and notebooks. 

>       Children’s organizations exist primarily to build wholesome interests in children.  Every boy or girl should belong to one of these (not too many –children’s time and interests can get splintered in too many directions).  Get familiar with the program so that you can throw your weight with it. 

>       Go as a family to school, church, community programs and entertainments.  The Woodman Institute in Dover has excellent free, illustrated lectures during the winter months.

>       Watch for leanings of strength in school subjects.  Be on the alert for budding talent in fields of music and the arts, craftwork, etc.  If you can stretch the budget, try to start your children on musical instruments of their own choice after they have seen and heard some demonstrations. (2)

>       See if you can afford at least one good magazine for children. Teachers, Librarians, and church personnel can help in the selection. 

>       Encourage your children to seek the company of many other children; make them feel free to bring their friends home. 

>       When selecting gifts or advising relatives on the same, give some attention to equipment-type gifts which might develop interests in construction, arts and crafts. (2)

>      Is there room for an interest corner, a sort of family museum, in your house?

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