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Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1863, by
T. 0. H. P. BURNHAM, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
It is in answer to a demand now become very general in this community, that I bring forward an American Kindergarten Guide. Kindergartens are springing up in all our cities. The French and English guides, and the Journals of The New Education, published in Germany and France, are expensive to import; and, besides, I think the selections I take from these sources, modified by my own views, make a book more suitable for American use than a foreign work
I have persuaded my sister to give me her letters on the Moral Culture of Infancy, for an Appendix to my work, because moral culture is a twin object with physical culture in a Kindergarten ; and the letters express the very spirit of Froebel, whose primary object was to give a moral and religious cast to the intelligence of healthy children.
The letters were written in the midst of the practical experiments they describe, in correspondence with Mrs. Lowell's “ Letters on the Theory of Teaching,” published in 1841. They could not be published at the same time, because they were so full of personal details, that the children spoken of would have been easily identified. After this lapse of time identification will not be easy. The circumstances of Mrs. Lowell's letters were imaginary, and they make a noble manual for governesses. But in both cases the letters were written for their authors' mutual understanding and improvement, with no view to publication ; and are all the more genuine and valuable on that account.
I have reduced the price of my Guide, by leaving out th: plates and directions for the use of Froebel's Gifts ; because, without the Gifts, the directions are useless, and with them, superfluous. Two of these Gifts, intended for the nursery, have already been published in Boston, with the manuals for direction. And the other four, which are indispensable for the Kindergarten, will be published in one box with the manual of plates, as soon as the public shall demand it by specific orders. It would be an admirable investment of capital for some one to get up this ; also a box of materials for pea-work, and one for weaving the little paper mats : in short, all the materials for the manipulations of the Kindergarten.
E. P. P. 15 PINCKNEY STREET, BOSTON.
I HAVE been urged to publish these letters, written twenty years ago, as an appendix to a Kindergarten Guide, because the school herein described was a groping attempt at something of the same kind, and had left very pleasant memories in the hearts of the children referred to - now no longer children, but some of them men and women nobly and beautifully acting their parts on earth as parents; and others, having died martyrs' deaths for human freedom in the desolating war that now ravages our beloved country, - angels in heaven.
If an inborn love of children and of school-keeping are qualifications for judging of the best means of educating them, I may claim to have known something of the theory and practice best adapted to that end. My object was to put them in possession of all their faculties. Many improvements in methods, and many facilities in means, have been added to the resources of teachers since these letters were written. Physical training is felt to be of the greatest importance, in preference to the ancient mode of shutting children up many hours in close rooms, and repressing all natural and joyous life. The principle is discovered of educating by directing the activities. Hence the Kindergarten.