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Each new topic is brought out by means of oral instruction. This is followed by a written exercise, aiding the pupils to remember the facts learned, and also training them to habits of independent work.
In every lesson, a definite task is laid out for the pupil. As the child remembers best that which interests him most, care has been taken to bring each exercise as near as possible to the child's own experience.
The reasons why certain forms are right and others wrong are, for the most part, omitted. The aim is to lead the pupil to use habitually the right expression.
Incorrect forms for correction are not given. It is believed that incorrect forms should not be placed before children. The child is led to avoid common errors by being trained from the first to use the correct forms.
While nearly every lesson is a lesson in oral or in written composition, or in both, special lessons in composition are also given. In these lessons, the pupil is led to see clearly, before he is required to express his thoughts in writing.
Special attention is given to letter-writing and to business forms. Care has been taken to make this part of the work practical
Thanks are returned to all who have aided, by suggestion, in the preparation of this work, and to the several publishers who have kindly permitted selections from their publications to be used. Particular acknowledgments are offered to Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin, & Co. for permission, by special arrangement, to use selections from the works of Longfellow, Whittier, and Lucy Larcom.
M. F. H. ALBANY, N.Y., April, 1888.
SUGGESTIONS TO TEACHERS.
T is not expected that the exact amount of work laid out
in each lesson will be all that is required for every class. Such additional exercises should be given as the needs of the class may demand. Much of the work, particularly in composition, is meant to be suggestive merely. All school studies afford material for good work in composition. Whatever the pupil is interested in, whether it be a topic connected with his reading, geography, history, or some other lesson, will afford him a good subject for composition. Topics of local or of general interest will have a new meaning to the pupil if he writes about them.
Never ask a pupil to express a thought in writing until he sees clearly what he is trying to express. If one is trained from the first to express only those thoughts which are clearly seen, he will acquire greater accuracy of expression.
In dictation exercises, read each sentence slowly once, then require the class to write. Pupils must be trained not only to write correctly, but also to hear correctly. Require all written work to be carefully done.
Accept nothing but the pupil's best work.
The sentences in large type are to be used in developing the various subjects. The pupil should read these sentences from
SUGGESTIONS TO TEACHERS.
the book, and should answer orally such questions on them as may be asked. The questions in smaller type are for the use of the teacher, but they should not be followed too closely. The teacher should add such questions of her own as may be needed to make the subject clear. After the pupil has been led, by means of questions, to see the truth presented, he should, without assistance, write the exercise which follows.
The two books of this series are intended to cover the work from the third year of school to the High School.