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It is not the cleverest teacher, but the best teacher, that the home needs. A great linguist may be totally unable to make others learn the elements of a language, a great musician may lack every single qualification as a teacher of beginners. It is not merely cleverness or a knack of arousing enthusiasm that marks the good teacher, not high scholarship nor commanding intellect, but patience and perseverance in making children do the same things day after day, exactly so. It is this making that is the backbone of education.
The child who is sent to school before learning to obey, to pay attention, to apply himself, is for the time being unteachable. No school can entirely repair the damage wrought by wrong training or neglect during the first seven years of life.
Here is a test of the mother's ability to conduct her own kindergarten:
Can you teach your children the Lord's Prayer?
Can you teach them to sew on buttons? to tie a Knot? to set the table? to use a broom? to draw a straight line?
Can you teach them the names of the birds that visit your yard? the trees and flowers growing near your home? the common garden vegetables? the six basic colors?
Can you teach them Mother Goose rhymes?