The How and Why Library/Introduction
THE "WHY" OF THE HOW AND WHY LIBRARY
It is well known how eager all normal children are to go to school.
By "school" we mean not so much the Common School, as the Commoner School we call "Life."
A child instinctively asks questions. Curiosity is the appetite of the mind. His questions show that his mind is all ready for the answers. If they are given wholesome encouragement and direction, he will grow to find the greatest pleasure as well as profit in learning about the great and good things of the world which he has inherited rather than the silly or the bad.
The answers can be made and are here made to lead straight into invention, art, science, engineering, good morals and good citizenship, preparation for a successful life—the development of a clean, strong body and a clean, strong mind.
To bring home and school into such practical co-operation in the development of the child—that is the greatest idea in the modern educational system; that is the purpose of the "How and Why Library." Its articles have a field all their own. They do not take the place of the delightful story books for children—of which there are many that are good in spite of the fact that there are so many that are either worthless or bad. Neither do they take the place of the text book. They prepare for the text book before the child starts school; they supplement it after he begins.
Did you ever stop to think what a big thing a little key is? The "Hows" and "Whys" between these book covers are the keys to this wonderful world of ours. Without such keys the child cannot enter—cannot understand. This is the tragedy of the old school methods.
Modern education is entering a field of glorious possibilities for our children, but we must do our share. The school can help the home, but the home must help itself. The mother-teacher, the father-teacher, the big-sister and big-brother teachers must come back again.
After all, they're our children—our little brothers and sisters—aren't they?
Open the door and walk in—children and all. Because it is such a remarkable work for children, it is none the less a work of infinite charm for readers of all ages.