There are tactile-ethical values in nature study and handwork: the tactile attitudes of tenderness and protection which a boy feels for fragile birds' eggs carefully stored, perhaps with a caress, in cotton; the perfect polishing of a wood surface; the respect for the fiber and individual resistant qualities of material; the rounding of edges and corners for comfort and beauty; the obedience to lines, drawings, and so forth; the accuracy and truthfulness in fitting edges; the general submission to the laws of nature whenever a piece of raw material is attacked. We can suggest rather than demonstrate the important bearings of all this.And thus was discussed the nature of real schooling, based upon actual observations of how children learn and grow, and upon our own human natures and the rhythms of real life. Can folks not see the difference between what is proposed and the artificial realities in which we try to engage kids.
See how a child will stroke a smooth surface with half awesome delight. What does it mean? It means that life is more than words. In due time, of course, the child should be able to speak and spell a declarative sentence, stating that the sensation felt exquisite. Sometime he may even discuss whether "rapturous" is a better adjective. But, after all, the adjective is but a tag or a symbol. The sensation itself is unutterable. Character is made up of attitudes, appreciations; and verbal images, although very essential to abstract thinking, are idle and void unless they are born of concrete contact.
Make, fix and create... And teach others to do so.