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which require special attention should be introduced at the commencement of the day, before the mind is wearied or preoccupied. The general time table is as follows:*
DAILY TIME TABLE. Nine o'clock : school doors opened ; teacher in attendance; the children, as they arrive, deposit their clothes and bread in the baskets which are placed at the respective class posts, and proceed to the play-ground. Where there is a monitor's class, it is taught at this hour.
Ten o'clock: children assembled in galleries for morning lesson.
Two o'clock : in gallery for afternoon lesson, or in circulating classes for picture or object lessons.
Three o'clock : school dismissed.
Synopsis of a Week's Lessons for the Elder Classes. The object of the following arrangement is to secure, first, the recurrence of each subject at certain intervals ; and secondly, to indicate the manner in which its several parts should be taken up in successive lessons, so as to avoid a desultory and confused method of teaching on the one hand, or the neglect of any material point on the other.
MONDAY. Morning Lesson.-Arithmetic, enumeration of real objects, the ball-frame, notation
with blackboard. Reading.t-Preliminary questions on the subject of the lesson, with explanations. Teacher then reads a portion of the lesson, with remarks up
i tone of voice. Children read, classify words in first sentences. Spelling. Midday Lesson.-Geography, Map of the World, first outlines-cardinal points
circles-climates--division of time and seasons. Afternoon Lesson.-Developing lesson-form, lines, and plane figures, with illustrations
from objects. Teacher draws on blackboard simple outlines, children analyze them. Song, “Geometrical lines.”
TUESDAY. Morning Lesson.-Singing exercises on tone and time, concluding with a song. Reading.-Children read, questions on the meanings of words, substitution of words,
pasts of speech, spelling. Midday Lesson.--Arithmetic, addition and subtraction, with ball-fraine and blackboard. Afternoon Lesson.--Geography, division of land, continents, islands, peninsulas, countries. Song, “The solid earth.”
Morning Lesson.-Developing lesson, color, texture of surfaces, structure, (as laminar,
fibrous, &c.) Reading.-Children read, teacher then reads with ellipses, requiring the children to
complete the sense. Questions on the time of verbs, number and gender of nouns,
and comparison of adjectives. Spelling. Midlay Lesson. --Singing. Teacher sings the melody to be learned twice or oftener
to the children, explains the style and time, then the children sing it with the teacher.
* In Ireland the general school hours are from ten until three o'clock, while in England the children attend twice in the day ; in the morning from nine until twelve, and, in the afternoon, from two until four or five o'clock.
The reading classes come up twice, first to read, and then they return to their seats to look over the lesson again for questions and spelling; otherwise the lesson would be too fatiguing. When the subject of the lesson is sacred history, it should not be made the basis of ary grammatical teaching.
Afternoon Lesson.-- Picture lessons. The monitors should have been well trained
previously. The classes must move exactly at the appointed time, and the teacher go from class to class, assisting and directing, so as a keep up the spirit of the lesson.
THURSDAY Morning Lesson.-Geography. Divisions of water, oceans, seas, gulss, lakes, rivers,
with explanations of each term. Reading.– Teacher reads slowly, purposely making errors in punctuation, &c., re
quiring the children to look on their books and correct them. Children read; classifi
cation of words. Spelling. Midday Lesson.--Developing lesson. Weight, with illustrations of mechanical powers. Afternoon Lesson.--Arithmetic. Multiplciation and division, with ball-Irame and blackboard.
FRIDAY. Morning Lesson.-Singing. Children sing ; teacher listens, corrects, and instructs ;
gives explanations of the words of the song. Reading.- Children read, and ask the teacher questions on the subject, and meanings
of words. Spelling. Midday Lesson.--Arithmetic. Mental arithmetic and illustrations of fractional parts by drawing on the blackboard. Afternoon Lesson.--Natural history of animals and plants, with pictures.
The foregoing is only given as a specimen, as each teacher should arrange his own work in accordance with the circumstances of his particular school. It will be seen tbat no place is given above for religious instruction, as that must entirely depend upon local arrangements; but, as a general principle, the commencement or close of the day should be selected for this important exercise.
Moral lessons will intermingle themselves with all others, and must be taken up as they arise; it is, however, a good practice to defer any important investigation to the beginning of the afternoon gallery son.
IV. DEVELOPING LEASONS. For want of the habit of observing the properties of common things, and the evident conclusions to which such observation must lead, the most lamentable errors are often committed even by those who are considered educated. People are continually committing follies of which an unreasoning animal would scarcely be guilty. We have seen a person deliberately put one foot on the step of a carriage in motion, fully expecting the road to move on to accommodate the remaining toot. How few, when called upon for any muscular effort, know how to economize their strength, or can judge of the weights they are about to move. How few servants or parents think of the nature of the articles of food or of utility under their care, or reason on the cause of smoky fires, ill-cooked food, or ill-ventilated rooms, or could tell why danger lurks in a copper saucepan or a leaden cistern, or distinguish a mushroom from a fungus. To look beyond mere utility, how much intellectual improvement do we lose for want
of the habit of observation. To many persons nature is a sealed book. When they walk abroad, the animal and vegetable life around them appears but a hopeless mass of confusion, in which they fail to perceive the order and beauty of Divine wisdom. To them the stars tell no wonders, mark no seasons, and, from a want of this knowledge in the reader, the most accurately written description often conveys but a vague shadow of the reality. To remedy these evils, the education of the perceptive faculties must be commenced in infancy, carried on in youth, and confirmed in manhood.
To cultivate the latent powers of children is the intention of those lessons which, in an infant school, are called developing. If, for instance, the ear be not trained in early life, the power of distinguisbing musical sounds remains very imperfect; yet, in a school, all will learn to sing, unless where any positive defect of hearing or voice exists. The same may be said of drawing, which is less difficult in many respects than writing. Take, as a further example, the faculty which enables us to judge of weight or resistance, and observe how it becomes strengthened by education in workmen who have to perform mechanical operations; no doubt there are differences of natural ability in this respect, but most men acquire sufficient skill for the purposes of their respective arts. Now the business of elementary education, in its widest sense, embraces the development and training of every faculty so far as is necessary for the common purposes of life, and, in so doing, it prepares the pupil for special instruction of whatover kind.
From much experience, we have found that it is better to commence by teaching the properties of things separately; so that each may make a distinct impression before the pupil is required to recognize it when in combination. Simple perceptions may be divided into those of form, size, position, number, weight, motion, color, temperature, taste, odor, and sound; all these require cultivation; and as the senses are the channels by which they are conveyed to the mind, their nature and mutual relation must be studied by the teacher. By the eye, we perceive form, size, position, motion, number, and color; by the ear, all sounds; by the sense of touch we perceive beat and cold, weight, form, motion, texture, size, and number. The senses of taste and smell are very intimately connected with each other, both in their uses and mode of action.
The education of the senses commences with life itself, so that even the youngest child in an infant school has already acquired many ideas; and were it not so, the difficulties of the teacher would be almost insurmountable; as it is, enough remains to be done in
establishing a relation between words and things, and training the mind to correct methodical observation, before ordinary instruction can commence. We have found in practice that form is the most striking quality of bodies, and therefore the best to commence with ; as, from its being capable of clearer definition, it is more easily comprehended than any other.
Form. The first exercise for the younger children should be to learn to distinguish and name the regular polygons, without entering into any explanation of their properties. The best means of doing this, is for the teacher to prepare a set of models in card or pasteboard, of the required forms, of not less than six inches diameter each, which should be exhibited singly, and the name repeated by the children. If two sets be prepared, it is a good first exercise for the teacher to hold up a forin and require the little learner to select a similar one to match it; when, the two being placed on each other, their identity can be shown.
In further explaining the properties of figures, we must advance by slow degrees, and beware of impatience or haste; and, as each defini. tion is given, it should be fixed in the mind by abundant illustration, as the great object is to give certainty and clearness to the mind.
We suppose the children to be seated in the gallery for these lessons, and the teacher furnished with a blackboard and chalk. Each figure required for illustration must be accurately drawn; for although a student far advanced in geometry may be able to comprehend a diagram rudely sketched, because he has in his mind a correct conception of what is intended, yet, in imparting first ideas of form to children, it is indispensable that all representations should be truly and neatly drawn. Should the teacher be unable to do this by hand, a ruler and compasses will smooth all difficulties, and the necessary diagrams may be prepared beforehand, to save time during the lesson. Large compasses constructed of wood, with a chalk-holder, can be obtained ; or a very good substitute may be made with a lath, a foot long, having a piece of chalk tied to one end and a common brad-awl inserted at the other, to form a center, by shifting the place of which, circles of different diameters may be accurately delineated. With two centers and a loop of twine, ellipses can be drawn; and the sight of these simple contrivances is instructive to the children.
Another means of illustrating geometrical forms is by the gonigraph, an instrument consisting of ten short rulers or joints of iron hinged together. The facility with which various lines and forms can be represented by this contrivance, renders it very popular in infant
schools; and it has the additional advantage, that it can be used by the children themselves.
We now proceed to give such hints as are necessary for the order and succession of lessons on this subject, which the teacher must further expand and illustrate.
Length.—The first step is to give a clear conception of extension in one direction. Draw a fine straight line, and explain that it has length only; measure it with a string or compasses, and then give various illustrations of length, or distance from one point to another; stretch a string or tape, divided into feet, along the room, and show that the room is so many feet long; remove the string, and explain that the length of the room is still there, and would be the same whether the room was wide or narrow. Make the different children tell where they live, and point out that some have far to come to school, and others a less distance--that in each case we speak only of the length of the way, not of its width. Extend these illustrations : as the length of a stick, of a road, a street, a table, the play-ground, a line, and the like. Also draw proportional lines, and compare them. Distance from one place to another is always said to be so far, or so long; and never so broad, or so thick. A road would be just as long whether it was a good road or a bad one; whether we ran or walked along it, or went by a railroad, we should go over the same distance, although in different periods of time.
Length and breadth.- A surface has length and breadth, but no thickness; it is the outside boundary of any thing, as the surface of the floor, of the ceiling, the walls, the play-ground, and so forth. The largest measure of the floor is called length; the smallest, breadth, or width. One child may be made to walk along the room, and another across it. It may be pointed out, that if either the length or breadth of the room were made less, the surface of the floor would be smaller; and if the length of the play-ground were increased, its surface would be greater. The children may be made to point out