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Manuscript Releases Volume Fifteen : Page 43

7. Under Most Circumstance, Children Should Be Part of the Home Firm While

(Written July 13, 1910, from Sanitarium, California, to Elder C. McReynolds.)

My attention has been called to a letter from you to W. C. White, in which you speak of some school problems which are perplexing you. It seems that some teachers think that none of the children and young people whose parents live in the vicinity of a school should have school privileges unless they live with their teachers in the school home. This is to me a new and strange idea.

There are young people whose home influences have been such that it would be greatly to their advantage to live for a time in a well regulated school home. And for those who live where they must of necessity leave their own homes in order to enjoy school privileges, the school homes are a great blessing. But the parental home where God is feared and obeyed, is, and ever should be, the best place for young children where, under the proper training of their parents, they may enjoy the care and discipline of a religious family, administered by their own parents.

The Lord has given children to their parents as a most solemn charge. The parents should watch over the souls of their children as those that must


give account. Fathers and mothers have a sacred responsibility so to train their children that they may meet them in the kingdom of God, and rejoice in their salvation.

The voice of prayer is to be heard in the home, and the children are to be instructed line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. The time is short. Parents must learn to practice patience in the intelligent training of their children.

Every father and mother is to be a laborer together with God. The parents and children form a family firm, and whenever possible they should be kept together. Let not parents allow words of scolding to spoil their influence. To belong to the family firm should be regarded as a sacred privilege. Let the children be patiently and kindly restrained from evil. This restraint, ministered with mercy and tenderness, exercised intelligently, will be a constant school for the children. There are different temperaments in the family, and it is often necessary to let patience have her perfect work. Children from such homes will be a blessing to the school.

Regarding the youth that are of suitable age to attend a boarding school, let us avoid making unnecessary and arbitrary rules that would separate from their parents those who live in the vicinity of our schools.

In many families the parents need the help that the children can render outside of school hours, and all who will do their work faithfully and attend the school during the allotted period should be allowed to have the benefits of the school without question. The father and mother should not be urged to relinquish their loving watchcare over their children.


Unless the parents are convinced that it would be for the best interests of their children to place them under the school home discipline, they should be permitted to keep them under their own control as far as possible. In some places parents living near the school may see that their children would be benefited by living at the school home, where they can receive certain lines of instruction that they could not receive so well at their own homes. But let it not be urged that children must in all cases be separated from their parents in order to get the advantages of any one of our schools.

To insist that in every case students shall leave their homes and be under the discipline of others is unnatural, and would create a condition of things that would not be healthful. May the Lord give wisdom to these teachers of whom you write that they may reason wisely from cause to effect. Parents are the natural guardians of their children, and they have a solemn responsibility to oversee their education and training.

Can we not understand that the parents, who have watched for years the development of their children, should know best the kind of training and management they should have in order to bring out and cultivate the best traits of character in them? I should advise that children from homes within two or three miles of a school should be allowed to attend the school while living at home and having the benefits of parental influences.

Wherever possible, let the family be held together. The elder members should relieve the mother as much as possible. Both boys and girls can lighten the burdens of the home. And the blessing that the children bring to the homelife is of the highest value. Each member is to come close to


Christ in practicing self-denial and self-sacrifice. Each may be a help and blessing to every other, if all will act out the principles of the heavenly family.

Let all seek in the home, in the schoolroom, on the playground, to be laborers together with God. The highest education possible is to excel in right doing. All should strive together to make the school a success. Let old and young be diligent. Let all, teachers, and students, do their best to make the home and the school a sanctified whole. Let us strive so to conduct our schools that they may meet the requirements of Jesus Christ, who gave His precious life as a gift to the world. Let teachers and students guard themselves in word and action and in spirit. Let it be seen that all who compose the school are seeking to the utmost of their ability to improve, as mortals who appreciate what Jesus Christ has done in their behalf. He has cleared the way that through His grace there may be victory.

May the members of the school of which you write gain for themselves the crown of glory when the reward is given to those who overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.--Letter 60, 1910. Ellen G. White Estate Washington, D. C. May 2, 1985. Entire Letter.