Pioneer: Margorie Nichols
Commencement Speech – Mankato High School
Graduation of Class of 1932.
Valedictorian – Marjorie F. Kyle
VALUE OF EDUCATION IN THE HOME
Education is the eternal debt of maturity to youth and childhood.
Children learn by imitation, observation and play.
Piping down the valleys wild, On a cloud I saw a child; And it, laughing, said to me, “Pipe a song about a lamb.” So I piped with merry cheer, While he wept with joy to hear, “Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe, Sing thy song of happy cheer.” So I sang the song again, While he wept with joy to hear. Piper, sit the down and write In a book that all may read. And I plucked a holly wreath And stained the water clear, And I wrote my happy songs Every child may joy to hear.
In these few verses the poet Blake symbolizes the whole of education. We see the child’s first joying in rhythmic measures, then selecting the meaningful words from the mixtures of sounds by which his tiny ears are assailed, and finally entering upon the consciousness of the printed page and of his heritage of books. To some it may seem a bit presumptuous for a high school senior to be trying to talk about how education benefits the home, but any thoughtful person in his teens has consciously or unconsciously spent many hours pondering on how in his home, in the home of schoolmates and relatives the important problems of good home management have been solved.
That which parents and teachers supremely desire for their children is that they become social beings willing to act with and for others, while at the same time able to think and just for themselves. They desire to education a well-rounded personality as measured by the seven objectives of education: health; worthy home membership; mastery of the tools; the technique and spirit of learning, vocational and economic effectiveness; good citizenship; worthy use of leisure, and strength of character.
Society must demand for every child his right to a fair chance. This fair chance involves first that he shall be born right. With a strong body and a sound mind happiness is half assured. Sound minds afford the most fertile field for the cultivation of character.
Character is developed thru living. It is positive, progressive, dynamic, joyous. The family provides for the child a friendly and hospitable environment for the development of his emotions and ability. The child wants to belong to a family. He wants his family to be as good as those of his friends. Ideals of honesty, honor, justice, are best accepted from those most loved and trusted.
The problem in brief, is to provide the right soil, to trench it, hoe it, fertilize and irrigate it, keep it open to the sun and the rains; and then let the young seed grow. It all takes time. It is hard work. But there is an immortality worth working for.
To all such occupations one can come as a drudge or as an enthusiastic amateur. It’s the How you do things that counts.
One of the essential and inherent qualities of every home is good health. Knowledge of how to keep children healthy is becoming more and more widespread amount parents. Although many individuals may overcome the handicaps of a poor beginning the fact remains that for the most of us a good beginning is half of the battle whether we consider physical health or mental adjustment.
In many homes great care is taken in helping the child form good physical habits but the emotional habits the child may develop are inclined to be neglected, although, so far as the happiness of the child and its future success in dealing with others is concerned these are probably more important.
Habits tend to become fixed and if they are bad habits they lead in adult life to much unhappiness and inefficiency. Care should be taken to see that children are early taught kindness and consideration for those less fortunate for unconsciously they will form their attitudes from the home atmosphere.
Interest in the fine things of life is deeply rooted by constant contact with them, by the knowledge that grownups enjoy them the crude and ugly expressions in various forms become unattractive.
Home education is an important factor: the home environment as a form of indirect education through patterns of action and bases of imitation has incalculable effects.
When a mother and father find the growing boy or girl avoiding work, they are all too prone to lay this to ‘natural’ laziness in human nature. Healthy-mindedness toward work and toward responsibility must be engendered and fostered in the child’s nature in exactly the same way in which reverence and courtesy are engendered and fostered — namely, by the attitudes of the adults who have the child in their charge.
The home is an ideal democracy. First, because it is a social organization existing for the sake of persons. It is an ideal democracy, secondly, because its guiding principle is that the greater lives must be devoted to the lesser, the parent for the little child. Thirdly, ideally is the true democracy in that it gives to each member a share in its own affairs and develops the power to bear responsibilities and to carry his own load in life. Thus the family group is the best possible training for the life and work of the larger group, the state, and for the world living.
We need always to remember that the purpose of education is life, that the purpose of industry is life, that the purpose of religion is life, and that in the home, life reaches its finest growth. Should we not strive to learn to use those extra hours of tomorrow for the improvement of the basic institution of civilization, the home.
It is not essential that parents have collegiate educations but rather that they have an open-mindedness, a willingness to learn and attitude of respect for themselves, their children, and educational institutions.
Will education fit parents to make a better home and to rear children to fill their places in society with great pleasure and happiness for themselves and with more and better service to others?
Education, we think develops the social emotions and guides the intellect so that given the homemakers who enter upon their tasks with honesty of purpose, well trained, there results that most beautiful expression of social life the home, wrought out by all the members of the group working for the common good, who attain the wisdom to meet their responsibilities as the guarantors of the rights and opportunities of children thru persistent effort and study.
Oh, the thing that I call living isn’t gold or fame at all! It’s fellowship and sunshine, and it’s roses by the wall. It’s evenings glad with music and a hearth-fire that’s ablaze, And the joys that come to mortals in a thousand different ways. It is laughter and contentment and the struggle for a goal; It is everything that’s needful in the shaping of a soul.
Marjorie F. Kyle
20th of May, 1932
Mankato High School