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method is adapted to prevent those mistakes, which boys so often make in reading, by pronouncing words wrong; adding, or taking syllables at random, from the words in their lesson, so as to make nonsense of it. A boy may read the word, He-tero-dox, in haste, he may call it Heterodoxy; or vary it in any way that haste induces him to misapprehend: but if he read it deliberately, He-te-rodox, pronouncing every distinct syllable by itself; he cannot possibly read it amiss. This method, also, accustoms the eye at once to read the syllables in every word, before the word is pronounced. For those who are apt to make blunders in learning to read, this mode will be found the best remedy. We are daily in the habit of speaking to each other: in so doing, we combine syllables into words, and words into sentences; by which we make ourselves understood. This is combination; but those who combine syllables or words improperly, do well to look back to analysis. Syllables are the component parts of words; those who can read syllables distinctly, will soon learn to combine them into words. Every sentence we express, is a combination of syllables and words; under the influence of these daily habits, there is more danger of inattention in learners, to the leading principles of correct reading, than to any other circumstance. much indebted to Doctor Bell, late of Madras, for the preceding information on the subject: I have reduced it to practice, and find it does honour to
its benevolent inventor; to which I have added several valuable improvements, particularly that of the reading and spelling cards.
Extempore Method of Spelling. In this method of spelling the card is used instead of a book--the monitor assembles his whole class, by successive circles, or rather semicircles, of twelves or twenties; calling each scholar by numbers; so as to begin at number 1, and go regularly through the whole class. This preserves a regula- t rity in their reading, and prevents any one scholar omitting a lesson. At first this is troublesome, and occasions some noise; because, in the minor classes, the monitors are obliged to call the boys to read or spell, by the list of their names; but, as a number to is affixed to each name, the monitors soon become familiar with the names and numbers of boys in their respective classes, and this obviates the difficulty.
When the circle is formed around their card or lesson, the monitor points, with his pencil or pen, to the columns of spelling which form the lesson for the day. The first boy reads six words, by syllables: he does not spell the words by repeating each letter, but, by repeating, in a distinct manner, each syllable in every word. If he commits any mistake,
+ the next boy is required to rectify it, without being
told what the mistake is; if the second boy cannot correct the first, the third or fourth may: in which case, the scholar who rectifies the mistake takes precedency of him that committed it, and receives his insignia of merit at the same time. In no case is a monitor suffered to teach or tell the boys in his circle what the error is, unless they should all be equally ignorant: then it becomes his duty to do it. This is, in fact, each boy teaching himself; and the principal duty of the monitor is not so much to
teach them, as to see that they teach one another. * When the boys in the circle, have thus studied their
spelling by reading it, the monitor takes the card into his own hand, and requires them to spell and pronounce such words extempore, as he repeats to them. In doing this, they correct each other's faults, and take precedence as before described.
This method of spelling is commonly practised in schools; but, for the method of studying the spelling lessons, I am indebted to Dr. Bell, believing it was his peculiar invention. A great advantage derived from this method, is, that it forms an excellent prac
tical counterpart to the method of spelling on the + slate. The boys usually spell this way in rotation;
but, if the monitor detects any boy looking about him instead of looking at the lesson, he immediately requires him to perform a part of the lesson which he was inattentive to; he usually performs it ill;
and thus his negligence immediately punishes itself, by his losing precedency in his class. It is very
important, that in all these modes of teaching, the monitor cannot do as the watermen do, look one way and row another. His business is before his eyes; and, if he omits the performance of the smallest part of his duty, the whole circle are idle or deranged: and detection, by the master, immediately follows his negligence. In society at large, few crimes are ever committed openly; because, immediate detection and apprehension of the offender would follow, On the contrary, many are committed in privacy and silence. It is the same, in performing the simple duties of monitors in my institution: their whole performances are so visible, that they dare not neglect them; and, consequently, attain the habit of . performing the task easily and well. This effect is produced from this one cause: that every thing they do is brought to account, or rendered visible in some conspicuous way and manner. What applies to the monitors strictly applies to the boys. There is not a boy, who does not feel the benefits of this constant emulation, variety, and action; for, they insensibly acquire the habit of exercising their attention closely, on every subject that comes before them; and this, without straining it too much.
An Account of the improved Method of Instruction, in
the elementary Parts of Arithmetic.
It is necessary to premise a little respecting the usual mode of teaching arithmetic, which many of my readers will remember to be the method in practice at such schools as they frequented in early youth.
The sums are, in many instances, set in the boys' books, by the master or teacher, at the expence of much pains and labour; in other instances they are copied by the pupil, froin Walkingame's, or some other arithmetic.
The boys are, or should be, instructed how to work their sums, in the first instance, by the master or teacher; they are then expected to do other sums of a like nature, by the example shown.
This is to be done by them, at their 'seats; and, when it is finished, the master or teacher should, and in most cases does, inspect it, to see if done correctly.