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USE OF THE YOUNGER CLASSES
BY JOSHUA LEAVITT.
STEREOTYPED BY TH. CATER & CO. BOSTOP.
KEENE, N. H.
PUBLISHED BY J. & J. W. PRENTISS
THE NEW YORK
ASTOR, LENOX AND
DISTRICT OF VERMONT....TO WIT. BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the thirteenth day of June, in the forty-seventh year of the Independence of the United States oi America, Joshua LEAVITT, of the said District
, Esquire, hath deposited in this office, the title of a book the right whereof he claims as author, in the words following, to wit:"EASY LESSONS IN READING ; FOR THE USE OF THE YOUNGER CLASSES IN COMMON SCHOOLS. By Joshua LEAVITT."-In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled," An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned."
Clerk of the District of Vermont. A true copy of record, examined and sealed by
J. GOVE, Clerk.
The compiler has been excited to the present undertaking, by the representations of several parents and instructers, that there was no reading book to be found at the bookstores, suitable for young children, to be used intermediately, between the Spelling-Book and the English or American Reader. The Testament is much used for this purpose ; and, on many accounts, it is admirably adapted for a reading book in schools. The simplicity and plainness of its language, the interesting character of its narratives, its divine doctrines and precepts, that come home to the heart of every reader, all conspite to make it a useful book to be read in schools. By it is respectfully submitted to the experience of jocious teachers, whether the peculiar structure of simplure language is not calculated to crea:e a tone! I would by no means exclude the testament from our schools, but am persuaded it would be better to place a book in the hands of learners, written in a more familiar style, until they have forined a habit of correct reading.
Such a work, I flatter myself, will be found in the following pages. The selections will be found to contain many salutary precepts and instructive examples, for a life of piety and morality, of activity and usefuldess; but the main object in view was, to select such
pieces as were best calculated to form a habit of easy, animated, and forcible reading.
Good reading approaches near to the style of graceful and animated conversation I have therefore, selected a large proportion of dialogues, and other con-' versations, from the multitude of works which the present century has produced, for the instruction and entertainment of youth.) There are, likewise, some animated narrations, and easy poems.
Great pains should be taken to make reading appear like real life. The reader should place himself exactly in the circumstances supposed by the writer, and endeavour to possess the same feelings and passions Children should never be allowed to pronounce a sentence, or even a word, in that dull, monotonous, humdrum style, which so often disgraces our common Schools. Such reading is as fatiguing to the reader as it is painful to the hearer; while good reading affords equal delight and improvement to both.
It has long been an opinion, with niany judicious persons, that children are convonly put forward too fast in their reading. Theyuld be kept at their spellings, until they can readay pronounce coinmon words, at first sight. ; They will then be prepared to read without that dronish fon stvhich it is so difficult to unlearn.
It is a very useful practice, for the teacher to read over each sentence, before the scholar, giving it the proper pauses, inflections, and emphasis; and then to require the scholar to repeat it, until he can pronounce it with propriety. The proper and easy use of tones, einphasis, and inflections, is partly a matter of taste, and
partly mechanical. The child must acquire the habit of reading well, by the practice of reading well. Prevention is better than cure. It is a leading object of this little work to prevent children from acquiring a tone, or any other bad habit in reading, which will afterwards cost them much pains to cure.
Barely giving a general rule is not found to be sufficien in ieaching any other branch, either of learning
Neither is it sufficient in the noble science of Elocution. The young learner must have not only rules, but lessons, instructions, and examples, living examples, “ line upon line, and precept upon precept."
Let not the faithful teacher consider the time spent in learning his scholars to read with spirit and force, as wholly wasted and lost. In addition to the important practical uses of good reading, he may be assured that the great end of education, that of forming the young and tender' mind to virtue and usefulness, is promoted by no branch of science more effectually, that by learning to read.
To help the young lexrner in the proper application of Emphasis, many emphatic words are printed in Italic characters, according to the plan of Burgh's Art of Speaking. President Dwight pronounced that to be altogether the best method of printing school books. It will be found that, in the present work, the Italics are far less numerous, than in that of Mr. Burgh. The nature of Emphasis has been better understood, since the publication of Walker's Elements of Elecution, and Rhetorical Grammar.
The contents of the following work are all selected, excepting the first chapter. But it is due to the sev