Page images
PDF
EPUB

Santa Claus at the Woman's Club.

"We must tell our children the truth in all things; therefore, we must tell our children the truth about Santa Claus."

Let me tell what a bright woman said recently in the defense of Santa Claus, when his extermination was pending before her club: "Is idealism," she asked, "to have no chance for culture in our educational systems? Are the poetical tendencies of children to be checked and suppressed, the wings of their imagination clipped short at the first flutter for flight from fact to fancy-from the realm of reality to that of the ideal? Santa Claus is a creation of the imagination. As a personification of the spirit of Christmas he is as much a fact as Thomas Edison or Chauncey Depew. He is one of the poems of childhood, one of its parables. Do you tell the average child that the Jungle stories are not true? He will not thank you, nor could he tell you just how they are true to him-as true as that other story-and many like of it-of the youth who climbed through snow and ice up an Alpine height singing "Excelsior!" He must believe it as fact in his early childhood to comprehend its full meaning later. Brand Santa Claus as a falsehood, and where will you stop in your classification of the true and the false for children, and what good will come of your branding? What you call false, because the eyes of your ideality are unopened, is the truth of truths to many children, to those have the God-given instinct for recognizing invisible facts. Think of the boy Ole Bull, listening to the voices of the forest and the oceanhow easily the poetry of his artistic nature might then have suffered irretrievably from assault. Some of us see in the dominant tone of this discussion a danger threatening the proper mental and spiritual development of children; an indication that many intelligent mothers do not regard ideality as they should, and are too ready to prune and clip, with Gradgrind exactness, the little their children may possess, until they have no poetical imaginings, and are as incapable of producing a poetical creation as children will be when the Gradgrinds have banished Santa Claus and much else."-Kindergarten Review.

There is no school that disciplines the mind

And broadens thought like contact with mankind.

-Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

The fruit of idle moments is disorder. Never let one moment pass in the school-room without each one being provided with some profitable employment.

The Christmas Story.

A plea is here most earnestly made for the story of the Christ-Child as a story, pure and simple, and not to be hashed and rehashed in the various lessons of the month. In using it other than as a simple story we rob it of its divine element and sweet simplicity. There is danger of correlating its life and mission to absolute fruitlessness.

Develop the story, a portion at a time, not as a remote legendary tale, but as a vivid reality. Let the children first know him as a little child like themselves. Give them the true historic setting of the story, and put all the poetry and faith of your own soul into its telling. Talk to them of the customs and habits of the people at that time, and let them journey with Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. Have pictures illustrating the different parts of the story, and so arranged that the children can have easy access to them at the intermission periods.

The children will greatly rejoice in the Wise Men, their beautiful white camels, their elegant trappings, and in the costly gifts, because of their reality. The humility and devotion expressed by their coming can be understood by every child. Then, too, the dutiful shepherds in their coats of skin, sleeping with their sheep on those beautiful hills, with the starry sky for their canopy, may easily be made a veritable poem to the eagerly listening children. And then last and best, the heavenly music and the wonderful guiding star unite in making the story one of the purest and sweetest the world has to offer. By its telling every little heart will be filled with reverence and made responsive to the most delicate touch. The atmosphere of the room will be indeed "Peace and Good-will."-Primary Education..

Laws of Teaching.

There is no school unless the father, the mother, the teacher, and the pupil keep school together.

Know thoroughly the subject to be taught, and explain to the pupil' why you teach it.

Gain and keep the attention of the pupils. Excite their interest. In teaching use language that your pupils understand.

Begin with the known and go by easy steps to the unknown. Take the whole class with you.

Excite self-activity in the pupils and lead each to discover the truth. Show the class how to study.

In each lesson let a halt be made, and then have pupils fix points

already made, the conclusion reached, and the premise upon which the conclusion is based.

The teaching must touch the whole nature of the child and stimulate to higher action and more industrious habits of work, of silence, of obedience, honesty, and truthfulness. Three-fourths of education is a habit of work.-J. M. Greenwood in Field and Fireside.

A teacher who has an abiding sense of the value of character over show is much safer as a guide than the one who calls only upon the apter ones when visitors are present. The latter teacher publishes this: "A lie that screens is better than the truth that exposes."

"We never have any cases of tardiness in our school." And how is it managed? A pupil, finding himself likely to be late, returns to his home to await the opening of the next sesion. The man who loses a nickel out of his pocket should immediately throw away the ninetyfive cents! Another way out of it: Tardy pupils go to the office; and if their excuse is a good one, they are given notes of admission to the rooms. The excuse rectifies the fault, and the pupil is marked as punctual. What liars we mortals be!-Journal.

"I am afraid that little is accomplished by the resolution to get rid of some of our faults. It is not our actions but our motives that want reforming. In looking back over the day's work perhaps you are disturbed by the remembrance of sharp words and ungentle manners, yet they seem to have grown to be a part of your school-room habit, and you find that you cannot cast them off. They will take care of themselves when your soul is right. If you have your heart filled with love for your children you will not be unjust. Then when you have your ideal before you, be patient. Do not expect to grow perfect in a day. Be content if each day is a little better than the one before. Slow growth is the surest. Weep not too long over your falls, but keep your eyes clear to see the next step, and remember there is no failure for him who works in the name of God."-Lowell.

"The teacher who can plant the thought in childish hearts that the true Christmas feeling comes only from the loving kindness that prompts to self-forgetfulness in making the happiness of others and at the same time not give one sombre tint to the merry-making that the children's right has done ideal Christmas work."

LITERARY CIRCLE.

In this department notices of all books sent us for examination and review will appear, from time to time. Equal and exact justice will be done to all works submitted to us, according to merit and excellence.

Appleton's Home Reading Books.

The Hall of Shells, by Mrs. A. S. Hardy, author of Three Singers.. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 1897. 60 cents.

Appleton's Home Reading Books present upon a symmetrical plan the best available literature in the various fields of human learning,. selected with a view to the needs of students of all grades in supplementing their school studies and for home reading. The Hall of Shells is a book of much value and great interest, full of information, and just the book for the young. Its language is plain, and the illustrations excellent.

Curious Homes and Their Tenants. By James Carter Beard. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 1897. 65 cents.

This work is designed to attract the attention of the youthful mind to the subject of which it treats and awaken their interest in it. A novel feature in the number of engravings it contains which are unnoticed in the letter press, introduced to render the book more attractive, and, if possible to extend its use beyond the text.

Uncle Sam's Secrets, a Story of National Affairs for the youth of the Nation. By Oscar Phelps Austin. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 1897. 75 cents.

This work furnishes a great deal of practical information about national affairs that is invaluable to young students, and will stimulate them to fuller investigation and thorough analysis. The pursuit of Social Science should not be neglected, and this book is destined to lead to beneficial results.

Young Folks' Library.

Stories of American Pioneers; Daniel Boone, Lewis, Clark, Fremont and Kit Carson. Educational Publishing Co. 1897. 176 Pages. 35 cents.

The Stories of Daniel Boone, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, John Charles Fremont and Kit Carson are given in a perspicous man-ner, calculated to arouse the enthusiasm of youth and stimulate examination into the facts of history concerning these men and their times.. It is handsomely printed, illustrated and bound.

Stories of Colonial Children, by Mara S. Pratt, author of "American History Stories," "Young Folks' Library of American History," etc. Educational Publishing Company, Boston. 1897. 224 pages.

40 cents.

The Stories of Colonial Children are told in such a charming style that it captivates and enchains the youthful mind, and makes a deep impression upon them. It instructs and interests, and imparts an earnest desire for the study of history.

Nature Studies for Youngest Readers. Animals, tame and wild. By Anna Chase Davis, Principal of the Hamilton Hall School, Salem, Mass. Educational Publishing Co., Boston. 168 pages. 35 cents. Nature's Studies For Youngest Readers is admirably adapted as a help to the teacher in primary grades in instructing children. The sentences being simple and short, are easily grasped by even the youngest. The matter, method and arrangement is excellent.

International Education Series.

Bibliography of Education, by Will S. Monroe, A. B., Department of Pedagogy and Psychology, State Normal School, Westfield, Mass. New York. D. Appleton & Co. 1897. 12 mo. binding $2.00.

Cloth

The International Education Series was projected for the purpose of bringing together in orderly arrangement the best writings, new and old, upon educational subjects, and presenting a complete course of reading and training for teachers generally. It is edited by William T. Harris, LL. D., United States Commissioner Education, who has contributed for the different volumes in the way of introduction, analysis and commentary. The works on education are classified in this book in four general divisions, viz: History of Education, Educational Criticism, Systematic Theories of Education, the Art or Practice of Education. This work will prove to be of great use to normal schools, training schools for teachers, to educational lecturers, and all special students seeking to acquaint themselves with the literature of any particular department of education.

Teachers' Help Manuals.

Our Industries. Fabrics. By Albert E. Winship, editor Journal of Education, American Primary Teacher, and Modern Methods: author of "Horace Mann," "The Shop," etc. Boston and Chicago; New England Publishing Company. 1897. Paper binding, 20

cents; boards, 30 cents.

This is an accurate, comprehensive, compact, interesting account of

« PreviousContinue »