The future ... is in the hands
of the children.
The children are in the hands of the teachers.
Dr. William H Bates
School years can be a challenging time for many children,
and this can show in their eyes. Especially third grade (age 8),
when we switch from learning-to-read to reading-to-learn, often
proves to be a stumbling block as far as vision goes. The letters
become smaller, while expectations rise. The resulting added stress
in a child's life can easily cause blurry vision. When that happens,
the child is usually taken for a first visit to an optometrist
and may be prescribed glasses.
The good news is that it doesn't have to be that way.
Children at this early stage of eyesight challenges can often easily
return to clear vision and can avoid needing glasses by simply being
taught how to relax their eyes again. As the strain has not had much
chance to take hold or become deeply habitual, the progress they make
can be very fast and lasting.
Dr. Bates spent many years helping school children. He found that
by simply hanging up an eyechart in the classrooms, along with giving
some simple instructions, the necessity for glasses in the entire
school, including the teachers, was decimated.
NEW BOOK !
If you are interested in helping the children's vision in your
school, then Visions of Joy's 142 page book 'Eye Education
in our Schools' has the information you need to get started.
This excellent book has, for the first time ever, brought together
specific information regarding use of the Bates Method of eye
education in schools. At the end of the book I have
added a practical overview of the advice given by Dr. Bates to
schoolteachers and children.
I believe that with just this book, an eye-chart
(free), and possibly Dr. Bates' original
book (free), any school can implement eye education with a
minimum amount of time and effort required from the teachers,
and they can begin reaping the results of improved vision for
their students. This method has been successfully used in
various schools in the past, and deserves to be widespread knowledge
Having personally experienced
the immense joy of regaining clear vision, I trust that anyone who
reads and studies this book will also benefit greatly from this
knowledge. I sincerely hope that you will contribute to
returning the Bates Method of eye education into the schools, where it
belongs and where it can be of greatest benefit.
To obtain a copy of 'Eye Education
In Our Schools', make a donation of
US$ 10.00 to Visions of Joy and send an
email stating that you are ordering the 'Eye Education In
Our Schools' book. Within a day or two of receipt of your
payment you will receive an email with the PDF file of this book
Also see Children's Vision
Below is an example of one of
the many articles in the book 'Eye Education In Our Schools'.
An Opportunity for Teachers, by
W.H. Bates, MD
(taken from Better Eyesight Magazine, Vol VII, No 10, April 1923)
The future of this country is in the hands of the children. The children
are in the hands of the teachers.
Parents spend relatively very little or no time with their children
while the teachers supervise the lives of the children for at least
six hours a day. The duties of teachers have been increased very much
in recent years. There was a time when the child got all the possible
education from the home, but now some children do not even get enough
to eat at home and the teachers have supplied food, heat, warm clothing,
fresh air, exercise and games. We ought to be very grateful to the
teachers because they not only supply the necessities but also the
pleasures which children need.
I am interested in the eyes of the schoolchildren. It seems to me
a crime that young children should have to wear glasses; even children
before they enter school, nursing babies, have occasionally been compelled
to wear glasses. There was a time when I prided myself on my ability
to prescribe glasses, even taught other doctors how to do it, but
I never fitted young children with glasses because it was very rare
to find children under six years old who could be manifestly benefited
by wearing glasses. One teacher told me that the Board of Health of
the City of New York not so very long ago sent a doctor to examine
the eyes of her pupils. He prescribed glasses for every one of these
children and even insisted that she should wear glasses. I told the
teacher what to do and she very promptly became able to use her eyes
without glasses and without any discomfort.
As one child after another lost their glasses, the teacher told each
child who was not wearing glasses what to do
to improve his sight and finally every child in her class obtained
perfect sight without glasses after they stopped wearing them. Furthermore,
the scholarship of her pupils improved immensely. By practicing central
fixation her children had no more headaches when they looked at
the blackboard or when they read their books. Surely what that teacher
did was not a crime and what she did other teachers can do all over
the United States. The number of children wearing glasses is steadily
increasing. I have many schoolchildren brought to me wearing glasses,
to be cured of their symptoms without them and I find that in a very
large percentage of these cases the glasses prescribed were very weak
and entirely unnecessary. By a little rest, palming and swinging,
the vision became normal and the eyes perfectly comfortable without
Here is a great opportunity for all the teachers in the public and
private schools to come forward and do the common sense thing for
their pupils. Of the hundred and ten million people in the Unites
States when we average five children to a family, the number of children
is approximately eighty million. Of course these figures are not at
all accurate but even if there were only one million schoolchildren
in the United States it would be worthwhile to preserve their eyesight.
The majority of people are poor; they can not afford to pay for eyeglasses
or to pay the doctor for his examination. The teachers have aided
materially in supplying glasses to their pupils because they thought
the glasses were necessary. Every teacher cured of imperfect sight
by reading my book or practicing my treatment is able to cure every
one of her pupils. There may be some exceptions to this but I have
found out that so long as the child is able to see to come to school,
the child can be benefited by the teacher.
From time to time I have published articles on the prevention of imperfect
sight in schoolchildren. From time to time I have cured teachers so
that their sight became normal without glasses. Always I have urged
them to do something for their pupils and many of them have, but there
is a certain proportion of teachers who lack the courage of their
convictions and neglect to do what they are able to do. I wish I could
say something that would encourage such teachers to go ahead and benefit
their pupils. They cannot do any harm to a child suffering from headaches;
the child can be relieved of a headache by closing the eyes and palming.
No eye specialist, no person of average intelligence would object
to a child resting his eyes. Taking a rest from his studies is not
a crime and most teachers can tell better than anybody else how much
rest a child ought to have. Every day schoolchildren come to my office
and I tell them to take off their glasses. When the children are allowed
to practice my treatment they get well without glasses. I think that
is much better than to condemn them to the use of glasses for the
rest of their lives. My discoveries in physiological optics have demonstrated
that all children wearing glasses can be cured without them.
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