Page images
PDF
EPUB

we have one hundred children moving and saying their lessons at one time. When these lessons are completed the children are supplied with pictures, which they put on the post, the same as the spelling and reading lessons, but say them in a different manner. We find that if a class always say their lesson at one post, it soon loses its attraction; and consequently, although we cannot change them about from post to post in the spelling and reading lessons, because it would be useless to put a child to a reading post that did not know its letters, yet we can do so in the picture lessons, as the children are all alike in learning the objects.—One child can learn an object as quick as another, so that we have many children that can tell the name of different subjects, and even the names of all the geometrical figures, who do not know all the letters in the alphabet; and I have had children who one would think were complete blockheads, on account of their not being able to learn the alphabet so quickly as some of the other children, and yet those very children would learn things which appeared to me ten times more difficult. This proves the necessity of variety, and how difficult it is to legislate for children; instead therefore of the children standing opposite their own post, they go round from one to another repeating whatever they find at each post, until they have been all round the school; for instance, at No. 1 post there may be the following objects; the horse, the ass, the zebra, the cow, the sheep, the goat, the springing-antelope, the camelopard, the camel, the wild-boar, the rhinoceros, the elephant, the hippopotamus, the lion, the tiger, the leopard, the civet, the weazel, the great white bear, the hyena, the fox, the greenland dog, the hare, the mole, the squirrel, the kangaroo, the porcupine, the racoon.--Before commencing these lessons two boys are selected by the master, who perhaps are not monitors; these two boys bring the children up to a chalk line that is made near No. 1 post, eight at a time; one of the boys gets eight children standing up ready, and always beginning at one end of the school, and takes them to this chalk line, whilst the other boy takes them to No. 1 post, and delivers them up to the charge of No. 1 monitor. No. 1 monitor then points to the different animals with a pointer, until the name of every one that is on his plate has been repeated; this done, he delivers them to No. 2 monitor, who has a different picture at his post; perhaps the following: -fishmonger, mason, hatter, cooper, butcher, blacksmith, fruiterer, distiller, grocer, turner, carpenter, tallow-chandler, milliner, dyer, druggist, wheelwright, shoemaker, baker, printer, coach-maker, bookseller, bricklaver, linen-draper, cabinet-maker, brewer, painter, bookbind. er. This done, No. 2 monitor delivers them over to No. 3 monitor, and No. 3 monitor to No. 4 and so on successively until there are about 100 children on the move at one time, all saying different

objects, and every child says the whole of the objects at every post;
this great variety keeps up the attention, and their moving from post
to post, promotes their health. Should any person inquire what can
be the use of the children learning these things, I would reply that
different children have a different genius, and their repeating the
names of the different objects gives them the habit of pronouncing,
the different names of the respective objects, as well as an idea of
their respective forms, so that by this means a ground work is made
for the master himself to act upon when he is teaching the children
by question and answer, which is generally acknowleged to be the
most efficient method yet known of calling forth the thinking pow-
ers of children.
A method of leaching the Alphabet and giving Ideas of things at the same time.

As the human mind is formed for an endless variety, the oftener the scene can be changed the better, especially for children; for if little children are kept too long at one thing, they become disgusted and weary of it, and then their minds are not in a fit state to receive instruction. I cannot help thinking, that many persons, from over anxiety to bring children forward in their learning, actually defeat their own intentions, by keeping the mind too constantly fixed upon one object. Where can be the utility of keeping a number of little children sitting in one position, for hours after they have said their lessons, and not suffering them to speak or exchange an idea with each other? No better way, in my humble opinion, can be taken to stupify them than such a mode; for little children are naturally lively, and if they are not suffered to move, but kept constantly in one position, they not only become disgusted with their lessons, but likewise with their school. This, perhaps, is one of the reasons why so many children cry on going to school; but as one of the principal ends in view in Infunt schools, is to make the children happy, as well as to instruct them, so it is thought expedient to change the scene as often as possible. With this view the following method has been adopted.

We have 26 cards, and each card has on it one letter of the alphabet, and some object in nature; the first has letter A on the top and an apple painted on the bottom; the children are desired to go into the gallery, which is simply seats elevated one above another at one end of the school like stairs; the master places himself before the children in a situation so that they can see him and he them, and being thus situated he proceeds nearly as follows. Q. Where am I? A. Opposite to us.

Q. What is on the right side of me? A. A lady. Q. What is on the left side of me? A. A chair. Q. What is behind me? A. A desk. Q. Who are before me? A We children. Q. What do I hold up in my hand?

[ocr errors][merged small]

A. Letter A for apple. Q. Which hand do I hold it up with? A. The right hand. Q. Spell it.

Q. Spell it. A. A-p-p-l-e. Q. How is an apple produced ? A. It grows on a tree. Q. What part of the tree is in the ground? A. The root. Q. What is that which comes out of the ground? A. The stem. Q. If the stem grows up strait, in what position would you call it? A. Perpendicular. Q. What is on the stem? A. Branches. Q. What is on the branches? A. Leaves, and they are green.

Q. Is there any thing besides leaves on the branches ? A. Yes; apples. Q. What was it before it became an apple? A. Blossom. Q. What part of the blossom becomes fruit? A. The inside. Q. What becomes of the leaves of the blossom? A. They fall off the tree. Q. What was it before it became blossom? A. A Bud. Q. What caused the buds to become larger and produce leaves and blossom? A. The sap. Q. What is sap? A. A juice. Q. How can the sap make the buds larger? A. It comes out of the root and goes up the stem. Q. Where next? A. Through the branches into the buds. Q. What do the buds produce? A. Some buds produce leaves; some blossoms, and some a shoot? Q. What do you mean by a shoot? A. A shoot is, a young branch which is green at first but becomes hard by age. Q. What part becomes hard first? A. The bottom.

B. Q. What is this? A. B for baker, for butter, for bacon, for brewer, for button, for bell, &c. &c. The teacher can take

any

of these names he pleases, for instance, the first: Children, let me hear you spell baker. A. B-a-k-e-r. Q What is a baker? A. A man that makes bread. Q. What is bread made of? A. It is made of flour, water, yeast, and a little salt. Q. What is flour made of? A. Wheat. Q. How is it made? A. Ground to powder in a mill? Q. What makes the mill go round? A. The wind, if it is a windmill. Q. Are there any other kinds of mills? A. Yes; mills that go by water, mills that are drawn round by horses, and mills that go by steam, Q. When the flour and water and yeast are mixed together, what does the baker do? A. Bake them in an oven. Q. What is the use of bread? A. For children to eat. Q. Who causes the corn to grow? A. Almighty God.

C. Q. What is this? A. It is letter C for cow, c.0-w, and for cat, &c. Q. What is the use of the cow? A. The cow gives us milk to put into the tea. Q. Is milk used for any other purpose, besides putting it into tea? A. Yes, it is used to put into puddings, and for many other things. Q. Name some of the other things. A. It is used to make butter and cheese. Q. What part of it makes butter. A. The cream which swims at the top of the milk. . Q. How is it made into butter? A. It is put into a thing called a churn, in the shape of a barrel. Q. What is done next? A. The churn is turned round by means of a handle, and the motion turns the cream into butter. Q. What is the use of butter? A. To put on bread, and to put into pye-crust, and many other nice things. Q. Of what color is butter? A. It is generally yellow. Q. Are there any other things made of milk? A. Yes, many things; but the principal one is cheese. Q. How is cheese made? A. The milk is turned into curds and whey; which is done by putting a liquid into it called rennet. Q. What part of the curd and whey is made into cheese? A. The curd, which is put into a press; and when it has been in the press a few days it becomes cheese. Q. Is the flesh of the cow useful? A. Yes; it is eaten, and is called beef; and the flesh of the young calf is called veal. Q. Is the skin of the cow or calf of any use? A. Yes, the skin of the cow is manufactured into leather for the soles of shoes, Q. What is made with the calf skin? A. The top of the shoe, which is called the upper leather. Q. Are there any other parts of the cow that are useful? A. Yes; the horns, which are mode into combs, bandles of knives, forks, and other things. Q. What is made of the hoofs that come off the cow's feet? A. Glue to join boards together. Q. Who made the cow? A. Almighty God.

D. Q. What is this? A. Letter D, for dog, for dove, for draper, &c. Q. What is the use of the dog? A. To guard the house and keep thieves away? Q. How can a dog guard the house and keep thieves away? A. By barking to wake the persons who live in the house. Q. Is the dog of any other use? A. Yes, to draw under a truck. Q. Does he do as his master bids him? A. Yes, and knows his master from any other person. Q. Is the dog a faithful animal? A. Yes, very faithful; he has been known to die of grief for the loss of his master. Q. Can you mention an instance of the dog's faithfulness? A. Yes; a dog waited at the gates of the Fleet prison for hours every day for nearly two years, because his master was confined in the prison. Q. Can you mention another instance of the dog's faithfulness? A. Yes; a dog lay down on his master's grave in a church yard in London for many weeks. Q. How did the dog get food? A. The people who lived near noticed him, and brought him victuals. Q. Did the people do any thing besides giving him victuals? A. Yes, they made a house for him for fear he should die with wet and cold. Q. How long did he stay there? A. Until the people took him away because he howled dreadfully when the organ played on Sundays. Q. Is it right to beat a dog? A. No, it is very wrong to use any animal ill, because we do not like to be beaten ourselves. R. Did Al

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

mighty God make the dog? A. Yes; and every thing else that has life.

Plan for teaching Infant children by the aid of Pictures. To give the children general information, it has been found necessary to have recourse to pictures* of natural history, such as of birds, beasts, fishes, flowers, insects, &c. all of which tend to show the glory of God; and as colors attract the attention of the children as soon as any thing, they eagerly inquire what such a thing is, and this gives the teacher an opportunity of instructing them to great advantage; for when a child, of his own free will, eagerly desires to be informed, I think he will generally profit most by such information.

There are also pictures of public buildings, and of the different trades; by the former, the children acquire much information, by explaining to them the use of the buildings, in what year they were built, &c.; and by the latter, you may find out the bias of a child's inclination. Some would like to be shoe-makers, others builders, others weavers, brewers, &c.; in short it is both pleasing and edifying to hear the children give answers to the different questions. I have one little boy who would like to be a doctor; and when asked why he made choice of that prosession, in preference to any other, his answer was, . Because he should like to cure all the sick people. If parents did but study the inclinations of their children a little more than they do, I humbly conceive, that there would be more eminent men, in every profession than there are. imprudence to determine what business children may be adapted for, before their tempers and inclinations are well known; every one, says Horace, is best in his own profession--that which fits us best, is best; nor is any thing more fitting than that everyone should consider his own genius and capacity, and act accordingly.

As it is possible that a person may be very clever in his business or profession, and yet not be a christian, it has been thought necessary to direct the children's attention to the Scriptures, even at this early age, and to endeavor, if possible, to lay a solid foundation in the infant mind, and to teach them to venerate the Bible, and to fear and love its Divine Author. Many difficulties lay in the way of attaining so desirable an end; the principal one arose from their inability to read well any part of the Bible. Some parents are quite delighted if their children can read a chapter or two in the Bible, and think that when they can do this, they have arrived at the

It is great

* See life of Dr. Doddridge :-- His parents brought him up in the early knowledge of religion before he could read, his mother taught him the history of the Old and New Testament, by the assistance of some Dutch tiles in the chimney of the room, where they usually sat; and accompanied her instructions with such wise and pious reflections, as made strong and lasting impressions upon his heart.'

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »