Ellen G. White Writings

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Fundamentals of Christian Education, Page 145

Chapter 18—Education and Health

For generations the prevailing system of education has been destructive to health, and even to life itself. Many parents and teachers fail to understand that in the child's early years the greatest attention needs to be given to the physical constitution, that a healthy condition of body and brain may be secured. It has been the custom to encourage sending children to school when they were mere babies, needing a mother's care. In many instances the little ones are crowded into ill-ventilated schoolrooms, where they sit in improper positions, upon poorly constructed benches, and as the result, the young and tender frames often become deformed. Little children, whose limbs and muscles are not strong, and whose brains are undeveloped, are kept confined, to their injury. Many have but a slight hold on life to begin with, and confinement in school from day to day makes them nervous, and they become diseased. Their bodies are dwarfed in consequence of the exhausted condition of the nervous system. Yet when the lamp of life goes out, parents and teachers do not realize that they were in any way responsible for quenching the vital spark. Standing by the grave of their child, the afflicted parents look upon their bereavement as a special dispensation of Providence, when it was their own inexcusable, ignorant course that destroyed the young life. Under such circumstances, to charge the death to Providence, savors of blasphemy. God wants the little ones to live, and receive a right education, that they may develop a beautiful character, glorify Him in this world, and praise Him in the better world.

Parents and teachers take the responsibility of training these children, yet how few of them realize their duty before God to become acquainted with the physical organism, that they may know how to preserve the life and health of those who are placed in their charge. Thousands of children

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