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“Growth and psychic development are therefore guided by:  the absorbent mind, the nebulae and the sensitive periods, with their respective mechanisms.  It is these that are hereditary and characteristic of the human species.  But the promise they hold can only be fulfilled through the experience of free activity conducted in the environment.”  (The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 8, p. 96)

“Independence is not a static condition; it is a continuous conquest, and in order to reach not only freedom, but also strength, and the perfecting on one’s powers, it is necessary to follow this path of unremitting toil.”  (The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 8, p. 90)

“The child seeks for independence by means of work; an independence of body and mind.” (The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 8, p. 91)

“We must clearly understand that when we give the child freedom and independence, we are giving freedom to a worker already braced for action, who cannot live without working and being active.” (The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 8, p. 91.)

“Except when he has regressive tendencies, the child’s nature is to aim directly and energetically at functional independence.”  (The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 8, p. 83)

“The child’s conquest of independence begins with his first introduction to life.  While he is developing, he perfects himself and overcomes every obstacle that he finds in his path.  A vital force is active within him, and this guides his efforts towards their goal.  It is a force called the ‘horme’, by Sir Percy Nunn.”  (The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 8, p. 83).

“The child’s conquests of independence are the basic steps in what is called his ‘natural development’.”  (The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 8, p. 84)

“At birth, the child leaves a person – his mother’s womb – and this makes him independent of her bodily functions.  The baby is next endowed with an urge, or need, to face the out world and to absorb it.  We might say that he is born with ‘the psychology of world conquest.’   By absorbing what he finds about him, he forms his own personality.”  (The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 8, p. 84)

“The child can only develop fully by means of experience in his environment.  We call such experience ‘work’.”  (The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 7, p. 88)

“Learning to speak, therefore, and the power it brings of intelligent converse with others, is a most impressive further step along the path of independence … Learning to walk is especially significant, not only because it is supremely complex, but because it is done in the first year of life.”  (The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 8, p. 86)

“… the first thing his education demands is the provision of an environment in which he can develop the powers given him by nature.  This does not mean just to amuse him and let him do what he likes.  But it does mean that we have to adjust our minds to doing a work of collaboration with nature, to being obedient to one of her laws, the law which decrees that development comes from environmental experience.”  (The Absorbent Mind, Chapter 8, p. 89)

“Happiness is not the whole aim of education.  A man must be independent in his powers and character; able to work and assert his mastery over all that depends on him.”  (The Absorbent Mind, p. 170)

“Under the urge of nature and according to the laws of development, though not understood by the adult, the child is obliged to be serious about two fundamental things … the first is the love of activity… The second fundamental thing is independence.”  (What You Should Know About Your Child, Chapter 3, p. 11)