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there is too much accommodation to the idioms and the etymology of the Latin language. We are happy, therefore, to invite the attention of our readers to such books as this of Mr. Fowle :--not that we consider this little work perfect in all respects, but as a valuable improvement which gives excellent pledge of the future character of this and other current abridgements of grammar.
BOOKS FOR CHILDREN.
The Prize, or the Story of George Benson and William Sandford. Newbury port, 1824. 18mo. pp. 36.
This is an uncommonly simple and natural little story. It is exceedingly interesting; and the moral lessons which it inculcates, cannot but make a deep impression. George is perhaps rather too good a boy for ordinary life. The account of the reformation of William, however, is very pleasing, and forms a happy close to the story.
lo some books for children, an attempt is made to deter from vice, by exhibiting the dismal end of evil doers. But the coloring of such representations, is sometimes so strong, that the narrative becomes too gloomy for the tender and susceptible feelings of the infant mind.
The plan which is adopted at the close of this story, is, we think, a more suc. cessful, as well as a more pleasant one: the scene is shifted from the depressing consciousness of guilt, to the happy feelings of a reformed heart. The impression left on the mind of the young reader, after the perusal of such a tale, is the still small voice, which was not heard till the horrors of the tempest had passed away.
The sermon at the end of the book, contains, we doubt, too many expressions unintelligible to young children. The questions, however, which are judiciously anne will enable a child to understand the substance and scope of the dis
It is we think a recommendation to this book that the story is American. Many of the details of children's books published in England, are necessarily un. intelligible to young readers in this country, owing to the difference in the circumstances of life and manners, as well as of political institutions.- In books for children, there should not be a single unintelligible expression.
Harry and Lucy concluded; being the last part of Early Lessons. By Maria Edgeworth. 3 vols. 18mo. Boston, 1825.
These volumes are intended by their ingenious author to entice young people to the study of the mechanic contrivances and scientific apparatus, which are commonly classed under the head of useful inventions. The chief aim of the work, however, is to present all these subjects in that light which is best suited to produce careful comparison, to elicit judgement and reflection, and to suggest such combinations of thought as may aid the inventive efforts of the imaginative faculty. Our present limits will not permit us to do more than mention that this is one of the best of those publications which are turning the current of public opinion on early education, and which are leading judicious parents and instructers to allow the stream of knowledge to flow into the juvenile mind, through the appointed medium of the senses.
To praise any of Miss Edgeworth's attempts would be idle. The American public has long since assigned her one of the highest places among the friends of parents and of youth. The following account of her present work is extracted from the preface addressed to parents.'
“These volumes are intended for young people, from the age of ten to fourteen. They complete the series of “ Early Lessons ;•an bumble work, from which no literary fame can be acquired, but which I have been most desirous to complete, from the belief that it will be more useful than any other in my power. I have had another motive for finishing it; one, which, though it may be no concern of the public, I may be permitted to name. Harry and Lucy was begun by my father, above fifty : 'ears ago, for the use of his own family, and published at a time when no one of any literary character, excepting Dr. Watts and Mrs. Barbauld, had ever condescended to write for children. That little book was, I believe, the very first attempt to give any correct elementary knowledge or taste for science in a narrative suited to the comprehension of children, and calculated to amuse and interest, as well as to instruct. Finding, from experience, that it answered the intended purpose, my father continued the book at intervals; and in the last part, published in 1813, I had the pleasure of assisting him. He then communicated many ideas for the completion of his plan, which I thought too valuable to be abandoned.
'I have endeavored to pursue, in this Conclusion of Early Lessons, my father's object in their commencement—to exercise the powers of attention, observation, reasoning, and invention, rather than to teach any one science, or to make any advance beyond first principles. The essential point is to excite a thirst for koowledge, without which it is in vain to pour the full tide even to the lips.'
Miss Edgeworth is a decided friend to mutual instruction, as will appear from the following passage.
• Much that would be tiresome and insufferable to young people, if offered by preceptors in a didactic tone, will be eagerly accepted when suggested in conversation, especially in conversations between themselves : Children can go on talking to one another much longer than they can bear to hear the address, however wise or eloquent, of any grown person. Young people, of good disposition, learn with peculiar ease from each other, because the young teacher has not forgotten his own difficulties : knowing exactly where they lay, he sees how to remove them, or assist another over the obstacles. The great preceptor, standing on the top of the ladder of learning, can hardly stretch his hand down to the poor urchin at the bottom, looking up to him in despair ; but an intermediate companion, who is only a few steps above, can assist him with a helping hand, can show him where to put his foot safely; and now urging, now encouraging, can draw him up to any height within his own attainment.
• The system of mutual instruction can be still more advantageously pursued in teaching the rudiments of science than those of literature, and may be extended even to higher branches of intellectual education. Upon this principle, in the following volumes, the young brother is employed to teach his sister what he has learned, either from his father, or from books.
At a time like the present, when conversation so often turns on inventions and improvements, these volumes must we think, form a very acceptable present to the young. Parents and children are under equal obligations to the publishers of this useful work.
Nursery Morals, chiefly in monosyllables : original and selected. By a Lady. Baltimore, 1823. 18mo. pp. 177.
This is one of the few books of its kind, of which we can speak with unmingled approbation. It is perfectly intelligible, it is highly pleasing, and it conveys, in a kind and cheerful tore, many a valuable lesson. "It would make, notwithstand. ing its title, one of the best books of lessons for primary schools.
We have not the happiness of knowing who the lady is who has conferred such a favor on the community. But we earnestly hope that she will continue her efsorts in a department in which they are so successful, and in which they are so much needed.
(Continued from p. 134.)
Method of Teaching in Infant Schools. In the first place, the instruction of infants should never be conducted in a manner calculated to excite weariness and disgust. The lessons should not be suffered to weary by their length, nor should they be delivered in a tone of voice approaching cold authority or the accents of anger. It is desirable, in general, to appropriate to each lesson the period of one quarter of an hour, and to shorten the lesson so far as to make it very possible to bring it to a termination in ten minutes. The remaining five may be passed either in rest or in some pleasurable action.
The subject should be delivered in the most simple and childlike language. They who are engaged in the instruction of the young will very quickly discover, that the reason of the failure of their purpose, to call into action the powers of their charge, is in the majority of instances to be found in ourselves, and not in our disciples. Our language is the language of manhood, or the question which we have put has not been capable of a simple answer. If, for instance, according to the plan proposed in this system, it is the intention of the master to instruct his little assembly in the nature of a particular metal, its origin, and the mode of its preparation for use; he will, in all probability, place a halfpenny, or any other coin before them. He will commence his lesson by asking some simple question. At first he may perhaps say, “Describe this." He finds the language to be above the comprehension of infants. He next asks them “What is this ?” Now to this question many answers may with greater or less propriety be given; and the fault of
the errors which may be committed will not be in the mind of the children, but in the incorrect language of the teacher. They may answer, “ It is a halfpenny.” “It is metal.” “It is copper." « It is round.” “ It is brown.” He will perhaps meet their apprehension if he should on the other hand say “ Tell me, my dear children, what this is made of.” If he fail thus to convey his idea, he will proceed to inquire what other things around them, and in which they are already informed, -the room, the house, their clothes,-are made of, and thence lead their minds to the subject before them. They will, in consequence, very quickly catch his intention.
At the commencement of the instruction of infants, one thing alone, if possible, should at the same moment be presented to the mind.
Instruction should not be communicated to them in the form of tasks. If it be intended only to exercise any particular mental energy, the time will regulate the lesson. If it be intended for the retention of the memory, then frequent reiteration is the mode of learning; and that which is not effectually attained at one period will be completed by future repetition.
If it be possible, more of the senses than one should be brought to bear upon the subject which is offered to the mind.
Let the eye or the hand assist the ear in the reception of the communicated thought. I have seen the following lesson on honesty given to an assembled school. There were placed on a board, in an elevated situation, where all could be seen with distinctness, a sovereign,* an apple, and a pin. The conversation, which follows, then took place.
M. My dear children, what is this? C. A pin, sir.-M. And this? C. An apple, sir.-M. And this? C. A sovereign, sir.M. Which should you like best to have? C. The apple!—The sovereign!-M. Whose are they? C. They are yours, sir.-M. Are they yours? C. No, sir.-M. Which may you take when I don't see you? C. None, sir. „M. Why must you not take either? C. Because it is as wicked to take a little thing as to take a big thing: and God sees us always.
In the next place, in the communication of a lesson to his scholars, the teacher should unite with it some one or more of those means of awakening and fixing their attention, which we have already shown to be in his power.
He may deliver the lesson himself in the language of affection and kindness. Or he may place one of the children as monitor in an elevated rostrum. When this child has called the attention of the
• A gold coin, value 20$.
others, by clapping his hands, or by saying aloud in cadence repeatedly one, two, three, four, in either of which they will all immediately join, they will cheerfully say after him the lesson which he may be directed to teach them.
To the words of the lesson, as we have already remarked, some rhythmical action may be adjoined.
The lesson may be uttered in various cheerful tones, in which the whole will by sympathy unite.
It may be formed into metre, or so put together as to adapt itself to some common tune.
Or it may be said by the whole school arranged in order, to the beat of the foot as they walk round the room, or the play-ground.
In order, however, to meet those subjects which could not with propriety be thus communicated, and for the general purposes of the establishment, the whole school should be divided into classes, with a monitor to each class, who may, at stated times, arrange his fellow-pupils before him, and teach them that which the superintendent may see him capable of, and may direct.
Beyond this general mode of instruction, it is necessary that a small adjoining room should be prepared, in which the several classes, in their turn, may undergo, from day to day, a course of personal examination. There the
individual may be discovered; and there the more advanced classes may receive a direct preparation for the higher schools, into which, in progress of time, they are to be transferred.
Singing. It will have appeared in some of the foregoing remarks, and, in other parts of this treatise, that, as far as children of so young an age are capable of the 'art, singing is introduced into these schools, for the purpose of giving occasionally a new form, and adding a cheerfulness, to the lessons in which they are instructed.
In order to assist the infants in the attainment of this art, it is desirable to teach them to beat the time of the simple airs with which they may be acquainted. This attempt will be generally successful. One of the older boys will soon learn to lead the rest with a tambarine, to every stroke on which they will clap their hands, or make some other measured movement with precision.,
READING.–The teaching of letters and of verbal sounds offers, it is confessed, according to the present mode of the attainment of that art, many difficulties to the superintendent of an infants' school. It must be followed, however, in a manner accordant with the system already laid down.
It is necessary, then, according to this system, in teaching the letters to infants, to set them before them; not originally considered as letters, but confessedly as the signs of certain sounds previously