The Physical Training Of Boys And Girls
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Your child is now emerging from the baby stage. He has acquired a fair usage of his little body and has begun the active use of his mind, and is now a subject of extended training and a program. Please note this important word "program." Nothing in this world happens by accident. For everything there is an efficient cause, and if a child ever gets true and effective training of any sort, it is because somebody thinks about it and thinks about it regularly. Hence a "program."
All training begins, of course, at the physical end. An uncoordinated child is a physical illiterate. Few persons recognize that there is an illiteracy of the body as well as the mind, and that to get rid of this involves as much thought and attention as getting rid of the illiteracy of the mind. There is an alphabet of bodily training. There are primary and secondary and college stages of such training and they must be made to conform with established and ascertained facts about children.
There is another reason why this physical training cannot be left in the illiterate stage. The body is the working instrument of manners, of morals, and many other things besides. An unruly or untrained body is hardly possible as a working instrument of beautiful or attractive manners, and persons whose morals are perverted, in very many cases develop the root of the perversion in some physical source. At least, some careful physical supervision might have saved the case. So we have the soundest of reasons for making the physical training a matter of superior and thorough going interest and attention.