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thing, but to begin the work of instruction in the right manner is absolutely necessary, As the summer schools are about to commence, and instruction in most cases will be given to small scholars, I will commence by describing the manner of teaching the alphabet. I shall write as though I were talking to teachers.
The first object is to cause scholars to delight in learning the letters. These may be taught from the book, but much better from the blackboard. Most scholars will learn quite a number of the letters in a very short time, while here and there one in the course of the alphabet seems to be unaccountably hard to remember. If there are six or eight letters that trouble a scholar to remember, he should not be drilled more than a week, for fear of his becoming disgusted with the idea of learning. After having drilled a class one week on the alphabet, if they are unable to learn some letters, let them pass to the reading lessons at once.
Begin with the simplest combinations, and proceed in the following manner: “H-e he, i-s is, he is, u-p up, He is up." After the scholar is able to read it forward readily, without spelling out the words, let him read it backward without spelling out the words, “ Up is he.” Let him read it both ways until he can read it readily either way, always reading it forward the last time. If in spelling it out the first time a letter occurs which gave him trouble while learning the alphabet, tell him what it is, and let him point it out on different parts of the same page, or any other page. Five minutes spent in this manner will enable almost any scholar to recollect that letter wherever it may occur. In this manner the remaining letters may be learned, without seeming to confine the scholar to them.
After he is able to read one line readily either way, let him pronounce the same words in other lines, until he will pronounce either of them wherever they may be pointed out. The next line may be like the first, with the exception of one word ; let the scholar spell this out before trying to read this line, he will then read this line as readily as the first; lot him read it backwards and forwards until he can do so without hesitation -He-is-on, On-be-is; proceed in this manner, always reading it forwards the last time.
scholars advance to words of ree or four letters, and to lines containing six or eight words, read in the same manner, spelling out new words as they occur, thus— May I put on my n-e-w new. May I put on my new hat.
Hat, new, my, on, pat, I, may.' When the lesson contains eight or ten lines, let them read it three or four times through, taking care that no scholar reads the same line twice. No lesson should be passed over till every scholar in the class can read every line, either way, without hesitation, and can spell all the words. They should read in this manner, as far as through Sanders' Pictorial Primmer, or any book similar to it.
This method may appear very irksome at the commencement, but scholars become able to read so soon without spelling out the words, that
they will advance much further during one term of school than they will taught in any other manner; at least, such is my experience. Some may object to reading backwards. My object is, to cause the scholars to learn the words. I let them read backwards, that they may not be aided by the sense in remembering them. Most scholars will remember a short sentence after reading it twice; they will sometimes read it without hesitation, when they cannot pronounce half the words contained in it, if pointed out separately. In reading it backwards, they must know every word, regardless of the sense.
E, M. WISCONSIN UNIVERSITY, April 8th, 1858.
PHYSICAL EXEROISE AT SCHOOL.–No. 2.?
Games and sports in the open air! These are what our youth need to give them physical stamina and power to meet the draughts which scholastic studies make upon the body through the brain. These are indeed what Americans, of all ages, want in larger measure, to give a new zest to life, and secure them against physical and intellectual degeneracy. Running, leaping, wrestling, climbing, boxing, fencing, ball-playing in all its manifold forms, poling, quoits, clubs, dancing, and military drill among the games practicable on ordinary school grounds, with hunting, fishing, target-shooting, swimming, skating, and riding among those which must be practised elsewhere; these are the things to make us a nation of energetic, enduring, efficient men.
But why, it may be asked, should these exercises be taken at school ? Why not make of them an entirely separate matter, and save our schools the trouble and expense attending a matter thus alien from their proper intent?
For many reasons, of which I will state a few :
1st. Because the physical culture of the young is not alien from the proper intent of schools, any more than their moral culture; and the time has, I trust, passed away, when it was imagined that the latter should be dissociated from their intellectual training. All these are best carried on together, ander the eye and with the help of judicious teachers.
2d. Because these exercises require the co-operation and mutual stimujus of numbers as well as suitable grounds for the purpose. The numbers required are, in fact, daily assembled at the school-house, and can not conveniently be assembled again at any point remote from it. Besides, if snitable grounds for youthful sports are not provided in connection with school- houses, in the present state of society, it is quite certain that in cities they will not be provided at all.
3d. Because a proper combination of physical, with intellectual exercise and enjoyment, will endear the school-house to the young, as mere intellectual pursuits never can. That old brown building, with its dilapidated steps, its marred interior, its stiff, and plain, and unattractive walls, broken windows, its general air of original bad taste and superadded desolation
-why is it that whenever you have returned to the home of your boyhood, your feet have so speedily sought its threshold as one of the truest Meccas of the soul? What thronging memories were those which stirred your heart to its depths, and filled your eyes with the luxary of tears ? Not merely-if I may infer the experience of others from my own-not merely the memories of books, and recitations, and daily intellectual tasks, nor of teachers and fellow-pupils, as associated with these—though these, too, have their place and their inestimable value in your thoughts. But, blending inseparably and happily with these, come the memories of schoolboy sports and games ; again you
again yoa recall the emulous activity, and endurance, and courage of the play-ground ; again you feel yourself returning from its exercises with the fresh glow of health upon your cheek, and the fresh energy which hearty play imparts to all the life-currents in your brain; and again you recall, with a fresh sentiment of interest and of kindness, those with whom you once mingled in those school-boy sports and enjoyments, and wish that you could meet them all again, wherever they may have wandered away in the devious paths of human effort and experience, could take them once more by the band with the old familiar grip, and ask them “What cheerf" and bid them “God speed !" in the wearisome journey, and the perilous battle of life.
We can not make the place of school education too dear to the young mind. We can not connect with it too many of these sources of a true youthful enjoyment, which can be spared, or, from their nature, must be spared from home. We can not afford to do without the sports of the play-ground; and, therefore, we can not afford to do without the playground itself, with its amplest practicable means of sport.
Other reasons might perhaps be adduced, tending to the same conclusion; but why should one be tedious, even though he have a gift that
0. M. O.
THE LILIES.— A traveler in Palestine says:
“Not far from the probable site where the sermon on the Mount was delivered, our guide plucked two flowers, supposed to be of that species to which our Lord alluded when He said, “ Consider the lilies of the field.” The calyx of this giant lily resembles crimson velvet; and the gorgeous flower was of white and lilac, and truly no earthly monarch could have been arrayed more gloriously than "one of these."
The above is a cut of the Racine High School Building. It is a plain substantial, unostentatious structure. It was completed in December, 1853, and cost about $7000, exclusive of the lot upon which it stands. It is situated on Seventh Street, between Wisconsin and Barnstable Streets, in the heart of the city. The lot and building are now valued at $18,000.
The building is 50 by 75 feet, and is two stories high, exclusive of basement. It is built of brick, and finished in a substantial manner. It accommodates 500 pupils. In the basement are the furnaces, a laboratory, and two primary school-rooms. On the first floor are four rooms, 24 by 31, accommodating 224 scholars. On the second floor is the High School room, 48 by 51, containing 110 desks and seats. The rooms are not as
high as desirable, but they are pleasant and well furnished. Most of them have been carpeted by the scholars, and the walls are furnished with pictures, busts, maps, charts, etc., belonging to the pupils and teachers. The furniture is neat and substantial. In the High School room the desks are single, in the other rooms they are double.
The building is heated by two of Boynton's furnaces, except the basement, which is warmed by stoves. If care is exercised in patting up furnaces, they answer the purpose well. Those now in fuse work (well, although at first there was some difficulty, which was occasioned by those who set the furnaces not understanding the business. The building is tolerably vertilated, when compared with school buildings as usually constructed.
We do not propose giving a full account of 'the building at the present time as we hope to be able to lay before our readers, at no distant day, a particular description of this and the other schools buildings of that city.
SMALL TALK.—But of all the expedients to make the heart lean, the brain gauzy, and to thin life down into the consistency of a cambric kerchief the most sucoessful is the little talk and tattle which, in some charmed circles, is courteously styled conversation. How human beings can live on such mexgre fare-how continue existence in such a famine of topics and on such a short allowance of sense—is a great question, if philosophy could only search it out. All we know is, that such men and women there are, who will go on from fifteen to fourscore, and never a hint on their tombstones, that they died at last of consumption of the head and marasmus of the heart! The whole universe of God, spreading out its splendors and terrors, pleading for their attention, and they wonder where Mrs. Somebody got that divine ribbon to her bonnet?” The whole world of literature, through its thousand trumps of fame, adjuring them to regard its garnered stores of emotion and thought, and they think, “ It's high time, if John intends to marry Sarah, for bim to pop the question !" When, to be sure, this frippery is spiced with a little envy and malice, and prepares its small disbes of scandal, and nice bits of detraction, it becomes endowed with a slight venomous vitality, which does pretty well, in the absence of soul, to carry on the machinery of living, if not the reality of life.-E. P. Whipple.
Cowles, in his excellent history of plants, notices the virtue of hemp thus laconically: “By this cordage ships are guided, bells are rung, and rogues are kept in awe.”