“Keep your children as long as you can in your own house. Domestic feeling is a sacred tie which should be preserved fresh and strong—as long as possible. Often, mothers lose all their influence over sons by their being sent abroad to school. Have as much of your children’s education, therefore, conducted at home, as is practicable. Be assured that no place is so favorable to the good feelings and morals of the young as the family circle, unless the family be destitute of religion and virtue; and for such I do not now write.
“Boarding schools for girls may be useful—but I would advise you to keep your daughters at home, under your own eye, and when they go to school in the day, let them come home by night. You may possibly find a better school by sending them abroad—but the sacrifice is too great, and the risk of evil habits and evil sentiments is not small. And as to your sons, if they must go abroad, place them in the family of some pious man, and under the maternal care of some pious woman, where they may find a substitute for parental attention. While absent, let them return home as frequently as they can, that what I have called the ‘domestic’ feeling may be preserved. If your sons must be put to a trade, or become clerks in a store or counting-house, be very particular as to the character and conscientious fidelity of their master. It is lamentable to see how youth in these circumstances are neglected; and how they are exposed to temptations from which it is hardly possible they can escape without guilt and contamination.”
– Archibald Alexander (1772-1851)