Someone has said that the most beautiful word in the English language is mother. That Mother can also be the source of beauty to children who are growing up is pictured in this poem of Anna Hempstead Branch. She is an American lyric poet who has written "The Heart of the Road,"The Shoes That Danced," "Rose of the Wind" and other beautiful poems.
                Notice what a lovely picture we have of mother as we see her reflected in her speech and ways. Aim further to read aloud for the rhyme and picture-making effect of the lines.

My mother has the prettiest tricks
of words and words and words
Her talk comes out as smooth and sleek
As breasts of singing birds.

She shapes her speech all silver fine
Because she loves it so.
And her own eyes begin to shine
To hear her stories grow.

And if she goes to make a call
Or out to take a walk,
We leave our work when she returns
And run to hear her talk.

We had not dreamed these things were so,
Of sorrow and of mirth.
Her speech is as a thousand eyes
Through which we see the earth.

God wove a web of loveliness,
Of clouds and stars and birds,
But made not anything at all
So beautiful as words.

They shine around our simple earth
With golden shadowings,
And every common thing they touch
Is exquisite with wings.

There's nothing poor and nothing small
But is made fair with them,
They are the hands of living faith
That touch the garment's hem.

They are as fair as bloom of air,
They shine like any star,
And I am rich who learned from her
How beautiful they are.

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The home is the child's first school. The child who grows up in a happy home generally grows up to be a happy adult. What he sees and feels and values as a child will be with him until he totters into his grave.
The home, too, is the child's first community. In it he learns that he has a duty and a loyalty outside of himself. He first learns to be unselfish as he lives with other members of his family. Worthy home membership is the beginning of worthy community citizenship.
Writers of all times and of all countries have given us glowing pictures of happy family living.
Father's return after the day's works, the gentle way Mother speaks, the kindness of brothers and sisters to each other--all gain new meaning for us as we learn about these in song and story.
The close ties among the members of a Filipino home are our pride and joy. The lives of our heroes and great men are in themselves examples of worthy home life. To read of Rizal's devotion to his parents, of Mabini's sacrifices to help his parents, of Quezon's love for his children and his wife, is to instill in us the desire and determination to follow these ideals of conduct.

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                All the homes of a country make the nation. This is especially true of the Philippines, where family ties are strong and where the family is an important social institution.
                Read this poem to find out the characteristics of desirable homes. Compare the message of this poem with that of "Departing from the Beautiful Village."

SO LONG as there are homes to which men turn
At the close of day,
So long as there are homes where children are---
Where women stay,
If love and loyalty and faith be found
Across these sills,
A stricken nation can recover from its gravest ills.
So long as there are homes where the fires burn
And prayers are said:
Although a people falters through the dark
And nations grope,
With God himself back of these little homes
We still can hope.

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                Home, whether to a Chinese or a Filipino, is a place where there is so much happiness that when we are away from it we find enough joy in just remembering or imagining how wonderful it is to be home.
                Read to know the full meaning of home and the pang of separation from one's family. The poem is written by a Chinese poet, but the feelings conveyed are true anywhere.

Great trees in the south
Give me no shelter,
And women loitering by the Han
Leave me cold.

O Han too deep for diving,
O Kiang too long for poling!

Faggots, brambles,
I cut them with a will--
But those girls facing home,
I should like to feed their horses.

O Han too deep for diving,
O Kiang too long for poling!
Faggots, artemisia,
I cut them with a will--
But those girls facing home,
I should like to feed their colts.

O Han too deep for diving,
O Kiang too long for poling!

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                Madame Ernestine Schumann was a famous operatic singer who sang often with the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York. She made her last public appearance when she was 64 years old. She was also known as a singer on the concert stage, specializing in German lieder.

                Read to find out what she believes are found in an ideal home.

                A roof to keep out rain, four walls to keep out wind, floors to keep out cold. Yes, but home is more than that. It is the laugh of a baby, the song of a mother, the strength of a father, warmth of loving hearts, light from happy eyes, kindness, loyalty, comradeship. Home is the first school and first church for young ones; where they learn what is right, what is good and what is kind; where they go for comfort when they are sick or hurt; where joy is shared and sorrow eased; where fathers and mothers are respected and loved; where children are wanted; where the simplest food is good enough for kings because it is earned; where money is not so important as loving kindness; where even the teakettle sings from happiness. That is home--God bless it!

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