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THE SUN, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1914.
W W TT 3 v Hi yslcam by Which 12-Year-Old Winifred Sackville Stoner Has Mastered Sub jects and Astounded Educators Mrs. Stoner TeMs of Her Methods of Educating Her Remarkable Daughter Some of the Pastimes tt& in sir m m t v 7 a .VINIFRED SACKVILLE STONER'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN TWELVE YEARS. las learned eight modern languages and one classical language. Has written short stories and articles for magazines and newspapers since her fifth year. Has composed a great many poems which have been sold to magazines. Has acquired a working knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, geography, geology, botany, zoology, ornithology, physics, chemistry, astronomy and mineralogy. Has committed to memory several of Cicero's orations and fragments of Horace, Sallust, Livy and Caesar's Commentaries, and several hundred poems, orations and speaking pieces from German, French and English writers. Has compiled twenty etymology notebooks. Has taught children's classes in Esperanto in the teachers' room at Carnegie Institute, Pittsburg, Pa. Has taught French. Has written French verse. Has acquired marked proficiency on the violin and piano and in aesthetic dancing, painting and sketching. Can swim, row, skate, box, play ball, ride horseback, fence, drive an automobile, cook, crochet, knit and sew. Has defeated several well known chess champions. TO those who have labored through the tedium of text hooka nnd now look hack with :i Milliliter at their gruelling encounters a -h geography, itrlthmetlc, history, , i ra. trigonometry, spoiling, the I'lk-uaneM, ,U, doubtless It will seem i I'tf to learn that n little twelve- ai -Id girl should make the study of a.'.-v subjects her play and pastime. Y-: that l Just what has heen done ' little Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr., f Pittsburg. Pn the daughter of Dr. i .1 Mr. James Huchnnan Stoner, L S. ' II S now In command of the I'nltec" Mates Marine Hospital at Pittsburg. Mr. Stoner Is known In the literary wrld as Winifred Sackville Stoner, Sr. Little Winifred, because of her re narkable mental attainments nnd ex raordlnary physical development, lias attracted the attention of educators the uintry over. At the nge of one year 'ie used polysyllables nnd converged ns luently In "good Fngllsh" ns the .veragc haby of that nge prnttles along i "baby talk." At sixteen months she vas able to read. At 3 she was ns I- ntnlly elllcient ns the nvern.ge child at or 10. At 5 she wns able to talk -everal languages and did n hundred nd one other things that would have ixed the capacity of n high school tudent. At 9 she passed the entnince amlnatlons of one of the largo West rn universities, and now nt 12 she Is i tile to speak eight languages, hns writ en nine books, has taught Ksperanto n the Carnegie Institute In Pittsburg. Is m accomplished performer on the violin nil the piano, has acquired unusual roflelency In lesthetlc dancing', paints md sketches exceptionally well, has eaten several well known chess cham ions. Is nn expert swimmer and clever vmnast. can cook, crochet, knit, sew, nee, row, skate, box, ride horseback, ay ball, Is an enthusiastic motorist, id le ready to take graduate work In ny university In the country. Hut vith It nil she Is Just n lovable little irl, not n little old lady as one might naglne. and has as much fun with her ''ills, her toys nnd her cannry bird as ny other little girl her age In the land. And that Is what has astounded the lucators. That a child could acquire nch unusual mental proficiency nt such n early age nnd not lose her youthful iterest In things which attract the verage child caused several prominent lucators to doubt the assertion thai ie child was normal. In fact, one, the , end of the Department of Kducation i a large university In the Northwest, nirneyed to Pittsburg to test the child, lefore he left he was playing nt dolls vith her and wheeling one of her pet ag Infants around In a gocart, Ithough during his visit he had estub shed the fact that this playful little ,irl lmd acquired knowledge which vould do Justice to any advanced indent In his university and was nor nal In every way. Inquiring Into the matter he found hat the secret of the child's develop nent lay In the method which her nother had used to educate and trnln ier For Mrs. Stoner had Invented n stem for the education and training f her daughter which she called mural education, In which everything hat ordinarily would have been classed s toll was converted Into play play vlth a purpose. So enthusiastic did the rofessor become that he urged Mrs. toner to prepare an outllno nnd nalysls of her system and this ho hlm elf presented to the Hobbs-Merrlll otnpany of Indianapolis, who hnve ist published the material In a little ook especially prepared for mothers nd teachers called "Natural Kduca n." Mrs. Stoner does not claim that all j e mctnodtj sne uses are new. nne. as studied the methods of all " the locators of note from the days of tho nclent Greeks down to our modern tnes. Hut more" than that Hhe hns gone ack to nature and has learned from he animals how they train their young. "We can learn from Mother Tabby s to nature's intended first teacher of he young," jrrs. Stoner says. "Mother Tabby never nllows grandmothers, ouslns, aunts or hirelings to give her hlldren their first lessons. She Insist n being their teacher herself nnd re 'irds this privilege ns one of tho In 'Henable rights of motherhood. More over, she never plays aimlessly, but Iways with n purpose.- When she 'aches her kittens to catch hold of heir tails she Is training their muscles thut when they reach the cathnnd 'ate they can earn their own living i-atchlng rnts nnd mice, Agnln, this use mother never forces her children 1 piny. When they grow wenry she lows them to lie down nnd rest, which - against the usual Idea of child traln ig In the schools, where children aro reed to study even though they aro ot Interested. Hut above nil, wise lailame Cat uses the best language t her command In addressing her llttlo nes, never breaking Into 'kltty-ltty lenwles' like mothers of children. Our ttle ones must often learn that the iby word 'moo-moo' Is tho grownups' rd for cow nnd the word choo-choo' cans locomotive. "All unconsciously Mother Tabby is illowlng tho five objective points of eal education through observation, In eriso Interest, concentration, Imltntlon ml exploration. The kittens observe r movements, become Interested, con centrate their energies, Imitate her movements nnd Inter attempt to ex plore themselves." Following the exnmple of the cat mother Mrs. Stoner undertook the edu cation of her little girl from her earliest babyhood nlong play lines nnd hag fol lowed this plan ever since. Winifred never has been In regular attendance nt school, That does not mean that Mrs. Stoner does not believe In our present public school system. She does, but she be lieves that she has developed n system which can work Improvements In our present grammar school plan, u system which as a preparatory method will re sult In higher efficiency and enable children to enter Into the routine of (he school much further nlong than they do nt present. Hut Mrs. Stoner's system "stands In direct antithesis to many of the teach ings of Mine. Montessorl. Chlelly does It differ In that Mrs. Stoner believes In keeping the Imagination alive by feeding It, so to speak. She believes In fairies nnd fairy stories. Mme. MVm tessorl on the other hand does not be? lleve In fairy tales. Her theory Is that knowledge should not be served with a sugar coating of Imagination However, the practicability of Mrs. Stoner's system I readily seen when It becomes known Unit what .Mine. Mon tessorl accomplishes with children 2 or 3 years old Mrs. Stoner has been able to accomplish with Infants. Under the Montessorl system n child at 3 acquires mental protlciency equal to that of the average child nt 0 or 7. while under the system of natural education Invented by Mrs. Stoner the three-year-old child knows ns much as tho nverage child nt 9 or 10. At present there are no less than twenty children, trained according to Mrs. Stoner's plan, who stand ns proof HI Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr., Billy of her theories and practice. Not one. of them Is overbalanced mentally; not one Is weak physically. They differ somewhat of course In tho varieties of their attainments, yet not one of them Is not advanced at least live years over the nverage child of the same oge. It nil hinges on the spirit of play which enters Into every task under tho Stoner system of natural education. Everything that Is undertaken comes as a game or n lark, yet It Is play with a purpose and a lark under direction with some educational aim concealed. Unable to sing Mrs. Stoner chanted lines from Virgil's ".Kneld" to her little ono when she became restless or re cited passages from famous poems and tho classics. Tho even How nf language us she scanned the hatln and recited tho poems and the rhythi of her vocal tones pacified the baby. Hven its negro nurse was taught to sing to the melo dies of Southern b.illads the words of poetical compositions and lines from Virgil. Gradually the child began to Imitate. Then came her first natural educational game called "Anna Vlr umque" ball. Mrs. Stoner would roll a large red ball to the buhy and pronounce tho first word In the ".ICneld" "Anna." The baby was taught to roll the ball back, pronouncing us she did so tho second word, "Vlrumque," In time, by III ftMML -V-. , ; ; and her 4-year-old star pupil, Walsh means of this game, little Winifred was taught to scan the first ten unci 01 tne famous Latin classic In a manner that did not overtax her mentality. Instead of giving the baby a rnttlo for aimless amusement Mrs. Stoner at tached a balloon to the baby's wrist. Koch day a different colored billoon was used. Thus baby came to concen trate Its nttentlon and became accus tomed to tho different colors and sizes and shapes, 1 Then a number of bells were fastened to the foot of the trundle bed. Kaeh bell had n different tone, a different shade nnd was attached with a corre sponding ribbon, Mrs. Stoner would then tinkle a hell nnd pronounco the name of Its color. Thus the baby was taught how to differentiate between tho tones nnd colors ond received her first Instruction In that phase of her educa tion which would lend to her protlciency In art nnd music. Now enmo another game. This time tho baby was Mother Hed and her mother played the part of Mother Oreen. A box filled with small pieces of red and green yirns was placed between them. Llttlo Winifred would then hunt for nil tho red pieces of yarn In the box, which sho called Mother Hed's children, while her mother did the same -vs Ith the green. After she had learned to differentiate Winifred Sackville Stoner, Sr., between the various letters In tho al phabet by means of other Interesting methods Invented by her mother a sim ilar game was played In picking out the various letters from a box. Noah's arks and nlphahct blocks and anagrams assisted Winifred in learn ing to spell and In associating tho names of animals and other objects with their representations In type. Sho would be shown a picture of a cat with tho name underneath. Then she was net to work picking out the letters and combining them properly to make up tho word. Then she would search nmong tho Noah's art pets, her cutout pictures, &c for tho proper picture to go with the word. letter the typewriter was brought Into play. Winifred would be shown a book and would then pick out the words on the typewriter. This system ot teaching spelling Is one of the most novel experiments; In Mrs. Stoner's entire system nnd one which has caused a grent . deal of favorable comment among the educators who have Inves tigated her work. Likewise It was dis covered that Just as tho typewriter system was a remarkable aid to the teaching of spelling so did It also help In memorizing, for after copying poems, &c, a number of times on the typewriter Winifred was ablo to repeat them without any effort. Arithmetic, nlgebra, geometry, trig onometry nnd the oilier branches if mathematics beenmo fairy lore mys terious Journeys Into the realms of good giants. Arithmos was one of t hi 111. Subtraction beenmo a great battle waged between Mfijor Subtrahend and flen. Minuend and the survivor on tho Held of conflict was tho poor llttlo llo malnder. Etymology became nnolher game, not a mere abstruse search for derivatives. It became a search for the children of Mamma Magna and others until Haby Magnitude and Haby Slagnlllcent and all the other Magna children were re stored to the maternal bosom of Mnmma Magna, liotany became n long, Interesting fairy story, Mr, ("ockle-Hurr was not a noxious weed, but a mischievous llttlo gnome who came Into the garden to make trouble among tho fairy llowers and plants. Geography beenmo a puzzle first nnd then a wonderful Journey nroimd tho world. First cut out puzzles were used. The mail ot tho United States, for In stance, wns prepared In cut out shnpc, ench State fitting Into Its proper place, Winifred theh set to work piecing the mnp together. Thus she learned the position, the size nnd shapes of the States. Likewise she came to examine tho llttlo pieces more carefully nnd to spell out the names of the towns sho found on them. She learned where the oceans lie and what Slates border them. The relatlvo positions and size of Canada and Mexico, our neighbors north nnd south, beenmo clear. After she had acquired this knowledge Winifred nnd her mother started on n splendid Imaginary Journey over tho map. As they "stopped off" ot the prin cipal cities In each Stato MJrs. Stoner would tell the child the Important and Interesting fuels ubout tho city and and her remarkable daughter. he State In which It wns located. Wini fred came to call for these trips when her play hours came. After America camo Kurope, Asia and Africa until tho whole globe had been encircled as a matter of fact It was encircled many times. Trliis to tho zoo, the parks and Hotanlcal Gardens all had their educa tive values, as did also shopping tours Into tho business district, One of tho most original methods of training the memory which Mrs. Stoner hns Invented Is practised on these shopping trips. Tho child Is shown a shop window full of toys, &c. Sho looks It over carefully' and It there are any articles In It the names of which she does not know the mother explains them. Then they pass on and the child attempts to tell her mother the nnmo of everything she saw In the window. In order to do this, of course, hn must conccntrnto her nttentlon when looking into the show window. It is nn excellent exercise nnd has been n grent help to Winifred. . Hvery game common to the nursery was put Into use for educational pur poses, nnd so adept did Winifred become In chess that she has succeeded In de feating several well known chess cham pions both In this country and abroad. Weights nnd measures were learned by playing at storekeeper with her dolls nnd money values were ascertained through a similar method nnd 'by actually accompanying her mother on her marketing and shopping tours. Hut with nil the play and fairy lore and the freedom of tho Imagination ono thing there Is thut Mrs. Stoner has never tolerated. And that Is the use of "baby talk." She contends that It Is Just ns ensy to teach a baby to say "dog" us It Is to teach It to say "bow wow." Her child has always been ac customed to hearing "real Kngllsh" and thus It came to pass that nt tho age of ono year this llttlo girl began to mo polysyllables lu her conversation and at 3 had a most enormous vocabulary. In order to prove her assertion that Winifred Is not n wonder child or a genius, Mrs. Stoner Interested a num ber of other mothers In her system. Kach has been able to accomplish tho samo results with her children and tha natural educational games and toys In troduced by them Into their children's play havo workd the same miracles. To further prove her theories Mrs. Stoner recently consented to give public demonstrations of her system nf natural education In one of the large Pittsburg department stores. A series of ufter noon lec tures were arranged. Several thousand mothers attended as well as hundreds of teachers from public und private schools. Mrs. Stoner took chil dren nt ruiulom from the audience and taught them to sing short lullabies to dolls given them to hold In their arms In everything from Japanese to French In less than fifteen minutes. She played "Anna Vlrumque" lull wl'h them and had them scanning Virgil be fore they left the platform. She demonstrated the easn with which her system can bo put Into practice by any mother. Another Important featuro of Mrs. Stoner's system Is that she recommends thut a child bo given an opportunity CHRONOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT. Could sit alone. Could talk and knew colors. Could walk unassisted. Used polysyllables in conversation. Could, read. Wrote own name on hotel registers and began keeping a diary. Learned the musical notes and played simple airs on the piano. Amazed adults at spelling. Acquired use of the typewriter as an aid to learning spelling and memorizing. Learned the Latin declensions and conjugations as sing ing exercises, and received a diploma in Esperanto. Wrote stories and jingles for newspapers, spoke eight languages, translated "Mother Goose" rhymes into Es peranto, learned the waltz, two step and three step. Increased her fund of knowledge and information in every branch of learning thus far attempted. Learned the outlines of Greek, Roman and Scandinavian mythology. Composed a poem naming and locating every bone in the human body. Passed entrance examinations to one of the largest Western universities. Was elected president of the Junior Peace League of America. At 6 weeks: At 6 months: At 8 months: At 1 year: At 16 months At 3 years: At 3 years: At 4 years: At $ years: At 6 years: At 7 years: At 8 years: At g years: At to years: At 11 years: At 12 years: Began specializing her academic work Ready for graduate to teach others what It has learned, t This she says assists It In retaining the knowledge' It acquires. Wlnlfted has been teuchlng other children ever since she was 3 years old nnd to this day continues the prac tice. One of her particular stnrs Is four-year-old Hilly Walsh, son of the Assistant District Attorney of Pitts burg, who can speak Ksperanto fluently; knows a great deal about geography and the other sciences; has been taught some practical surgery anil generul medicine by being allowed to play nt being a doctor under proper guidance and has benefited from It all In a physi cal way. For during his early babyhood Hilly was a constant sulferer from stomach trouble". His mind wan taken from his physical self through tho employment of the entertaining cducath tal names. Then ns "Doctor Walsh," his mother was ablo to teach hltn not to crave things which did not agre with him. He began to prescribe food and certain kinds of .xerclse for hlmsvlf which were htlpful. He Is now as hearty and lu'iilthy a little youngster as you will find in the city of Pittsburg. The case of Hilly Walsh lunrs out perhaps better than anything else Mrs, Stoner's theories regarding the Imagi nation mid Us cultivation. As Winifred has grown older, she has Invented a number of natural educa tional games and set down rules and facts' helpful to the study of the various educational branches In simple Jingles which any child can learn and under stand. IMiicatlnn Is the greatest game on earth In fact the only game she knows, nnd Its possibilities are unnumbered. According to Mrs. Stoner there are ten commandments in nnti.ral education, Just as thero aro In our religion. These she gives as follows: Thou shall not administer physical punishment. Thou shalt not scold, but glvo rewards for good behavior. Thou shalt never say "don't" to a child. Thou shalt avoid tho word "must"; It Implleth doing a thing against one's will. Thou Khalt not give thy child an op portunity to disrespect thee. Thou shalt not frighten a child. Thou shalt not allow a child to say "I can't"; show him how. Thou shalt always answer a child's questions. Thou Khalt not tease a child. Thou shalt make thy home the most attractive place a child can find. Instead of teaching a child a great many abstract rules and letting it find Itself lost In their meshes, she believes In correcting mistakes as they occur. Tho spirit of ivsponslbllity Is Inculcated in the llttlo one, she believes, not by finding fault and scolding It, but simply by showing a child that It must surfer for Its' mistakes. For InMnnce, on one occasion Wini fred nnd her mother had arranged to go to a matinee. Winifred, out play ing In tho morning, failed to come In at the appointed time to get ready for tho theatre. Mrs, Stoner did not scold, but permitted her to go ahead nnd get herself ready for the performance. When she had dressed nnd ugaln re turned to her mm her. 'Mrs, Stoner fhowed her the clock nnd then explained that It was too late to go to the show, Winifred then realized that she hud brought the disappointment on herself by not obeying her mother's Instruc tions. Thereafter, Winifred had to be told only once. She kept her appoint ments, for she realized what the conse quences would be, Hy giving her daughter rewards for good behavior, Winifred found that It paid only to do tho right thing. The fairies, of course, were held responsible for tho candy under tho pillow nnd tho changing of tho sour lemon left In the corner nt night Into a nice, big Juicy orango after a day that had been well spent. On days when Winifred had been naughty, the fairies did not come, nnd next morning the sour lemon was still In its place unchanged. llecause of the manner In which she has acquired her knowledge, Winifred has not become self-conscious. Fur ther, her mother never forced her to "show off" before strangers. Nor Is she priggish III her attitude, towanl other children, One afternoon Mrs. Stoner had n visi tor who brought her little daughter along with her. The two mothers be gun to talk about their children's achievements, and upon the request of her mother, tho visiting child stood upon a chnlr and declaimed poems and spelled words, really demonstrating rare ability. Hut the manner of tho child's performance wns Indicative of her self consciousness and after sho had com pleted, she begvin to chide Winifred, Hut Winifred was so far advanced over tho visiting child that sho gavo lit tle heed to tho entire performance nnd went on plnylng with her dolls. Then Mrs. Stoner cnlled upon her to reclto und spell, but Winifred looked in music, art and dancing, continuing and physical training. work in any university in the country. up nt her mother with pleading cei and said: ".Mama, If Ukes to recite and spill so well let her do it. I am having .viich a lino tlmo with my dolls." ,; And Mrs. Stoner did not nsk Cwlce. She does not In lleve ill forclin; a child to do things. That, sho says, causes It to lost interest. Winifred Sackville Stoner, ,lr. I Juit like any of the other twenty-two I. til natural iducational children Just like any other normal child. She Is, an her mother has said, simply a normal child will developed, ono who has been Riven an opportunity to make tho most out of childhood. ' Sho Is lovable, unaffected, playful and hubbies over fairly with tho spirit of enthusiastic, satisfied youth. Her mother Is her pal and her companion. She keeps no secrets from her. Dr. Stonfr, though occupied 'with "government business," has contributed his might whenever occasion has dc manded. The Stoners' Is a model house hold. T Iteeently a mother wrote asktng.Mrs. Stoner how much tlmo It would require, should a mother undertake to employ the natural educational method of train ing her child. "Not any more time than you pfnd now nt play with your little one." was Mrs. Stoner's reply, ".lust play with a purpose when you play; that's nil tint Is required. Of coursv the m..-e uu play tho more your baby will le.ini. That Is all there Is to It." Just a she tnucht her child along ediicntlonal llnis so did Mrs. Stoner develop Winifred physically by game's, pastimes' and exercises which sho en Joyed. As a result, this twelve-year-old gill has attained a growth equal to that nt the average girl two years her senior. Is especially strong and health recovers quickly from any little, ai' ments that come to her as they come naturally to any child: takes a Uvclv Interest In everything of nn a'hletle nature, and Is self-reliant to an' un usual decree for one so young. Mrs. Stoner keeps Just as busy ,n does her little daughter, who is of .con stant assistance to her In her many . enterprises and undertakings'. Squirrel in Bryant Park THR usual tranquillity of Hryant Park was disturbed the other ieve lll tllA un.l.L.rt ... ' " .ii'e-iii.uiue iroin no place In particular of n groy squirrel. At the time of the stranger's arrival the benches were occupied by men of all nges nnd experiences. Among the occu pants were a number of nmateur natu ralists, who day after day, when the weather was propitious, had studied nn ture nt close range In the park. Yet none of them could recollect having seen a gray squirrel In the park before. The busviail's nnnenrnnro .11,1 n,., surprise the occupants of the benches mm .is mucn at it startled the occu pants of nearby trees. Hundreds of sparrows weie aroused bv the stnmiror'i. coming. "Who Is this fellow who comes unannounced into our domain?" seemed 10 ne tne question asked. Still thesqulr rel ndvanced without belntf the least bit scared. When the smilrrel .11,1 Tint nun an Vila onward march the sparrows flew from tree to tree, stirring up their com panions, apparently preparing for trouble. Hurried conferences were held nnd scores nf sparrows were su excited that they kept on tho wing seeking re cruits to their ranks. The squlrrii continued his Journey to the most convenient tree, evidently with tho purpose to climb It nnd get some needed rest nfler his Journey from Ten trnl Park, perhaps. He was even tin mindful of tho nttentlon he drew from the occupants of the benches. Tho squirrel was not destined to en Joy his contemplated nnp In the tree Ho had no more reached Its base than tho sparrows opened their attack by swveplng down nnd harassing him from all sides. The Invader was completely surprised and ho was at a loss what to do. So ho started to run. Along bounded the squirrel over th lawn with the sparrows after him, The united chirping of tho birds ra sed such a din that outsiders were attracted and came Into the' park to learn the cause of tho disturbance. The bench occupants had long slnco left their customary seats to seize vanlago points around tho wire railing and to obtain a close view of the battle. Tho squirrel ran about tho lawn, but the sparrows pressed him closely. The birds carried the battlo so far as. to sweep down now and then and take a peek at the squirrel's back. A wpmnn pectator became so excited that she left the liattlegrnhnd. went to the near est telephone nnd kt Police Headquarters know that a squirrel was being mur dered In Hryant Park by sparrows, ne fore a policeman arrived the exhausted squirrel tied from tho park across Sixth ' 1 .1lun....f,arm1 Some folKS aveiiuu iiini iiin.iri- - - ... hoped ho had gono for reenfnrceinen's. .1 II'