Principle Of Education In Middle Childhood
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
CONSIDER THE FLUCTUATING VITALITY IN PLANNING FOR EDUCATION
Because of the physical susceptibility at this age the parents should carefully consider the environment in which the child is placed for instruction. The best place in the school and the church school from the standpoint of heat, light, and ventilation should be provided for little children in the kindergarten and primary departments. The periods should be comparatively short for the primary child (not more than twenty minutes) for more formal types of instruction. Where greater freedom is provided for self-expression and there is opportunity for varied motor activity the period may be longer. Children of this age often continue a handwork project where they have a chance for initiative from thirty to forty-five minutes with no evidence of fatigue. The failure on the part of the teacher or parent to consider the fact of fluctuating vitality is apparent when the faces of the children become flushed and a general restlessness, combined often with irritation, occurs. Terman says with reference to the more formal type of school instruction during these years, "We have taken the child out of his natural habitat of open air, freedom and sunshine and for nearly half of his waking hours we are subjecting him to an unnatural regimen, one which disturbs all the vital functions of secretion, excretion, digestion, circulation, respiration and nutrition." Parents should assist those educators who are attempting to secure for children a freer environment, more activity and a joyous, purposeful life in the schoolroom. Studies made of school children show a decrease in vitality, a nervousness and a retardation toward the close of this period which seem to be the result largely of the unnatural regimen of which Terman writes. The influence of fatigue engendered during one period of a morning frequently affects the children for the rest of the day and they seem to lack zest for further work and play. More-over, the influence continues often not only in the physical condition of the child but also in the form of a permanent prejudice against the school, the Sunday-school and the church because of the unpleasant memories associated with these places.
Most of the functional nervous disorders which crop out in later life have been traced back to the period of childhood for their sources. These disorders may of course be due to unfavorable heredity but are frequently caused by faulty care and education. Adenoids and diseased tonsils should be removed by a skillful surgeon; malnutrition should be detected and cured by proper diet, exercise and living conditions ; eye and ear strain should be eliminated ; decayed teeth (even if the first set of teeth) should be treated and filled if not removed. Fully as important as any of these suggestions is the type of education. To quote from Terman again, "A training which inculcates overconscientiousness and scrupulosity, which destroys self-confidence and initiative, or fails to develop a rich fund of healthful, objective interests, lays the foundation for pathological timidity, indecision, weakness, anxieties and morbid fears."
PROVIDE FOR SELF-EXPRESSION
It has been said that the consciousness of this child is motor. He has far better control over his body than has the kindergarten child. Many of the fundamental physical habits have been formed. He therefore has a freedom in action that was not possible before. One result of his greater mastery of body and material is a growing purposefulness. The younger child is largely interested in mere manipulation of paper for instance; the primary child wants to make something definite out of the paper and takes great pride in the result. There is a joyous self-expressiveness about him that is one of his outstanding characteristics and chief charms. In self-expression, how-ever, he shows a daring spontaneity ; there is no precision about his mode of self-expression. His drawings are crude, his acting in a dramatization is impetuous, he blurts out immediately what he thinks, with no concern for the nice proprieties of the English language. During these years he widens the avenues of expression to include not only song, story, conversation, dramatization and a few forms of handwork, but other forms of handwork and reading and writing. For the child's sake, because he needs self-expression for normal development, and for its own sake, because it cannot afford to fail in utilizing a characteristic of such value, education must provide forms for self-expression.
In the home parents may aid by participating in the story-telling, the dramatization; by furnishing material for manual activity, especially a small set of simple but good tools and a work bench and plenty of drawing paper, crayons or paints, also a small blackboard and chalk; by encouraging song and by taking a keen interest in the child's first achievements in reading and writing. There should, however, be no attempt on the part of the parent to force the child's development along any of these lines, and he must be satisfied with crude results, provided the child's best effort is put into securing them. Neither parent or teacher should flatter the child or praise less than his earnest attempt. The child is quick to detect insincerity and low standards, and nothing else so soon loses his respect. While what he has accomplished needs to be appreciated, he can be continually stimulated to the conquest of new problems. In the primary school all of the happy, purposeful activities of the kindergarten should be carried on. In the curriculum there should be a place for conversation, for song and story, for handwork, for games and dramatization, for play on the apparatus. Writing and reading should be introduced as forms of communicating which from the beginning may have meaning and interest for the child in connection with his experiences and as aids in carrying on his play interests. Number is also necessary in the development of many of these interests and finds its place in the curriculum. Nor should the Sunday-school fail to provide for expression. The story of Noah and the Ark has been told to a group of children. They may tell the teacher the things in the story which have appealed to them; these she writes in very simple language on the board; the children then read their own stories. Perhaps they may suggest dramatizing the story, when she will help them to select and organize their material. They may use crayon and paper and illustrate the story freely; afterwards writing a little of the story underneath or opposite the drawing. The reading and writing could of course not be utilized until the second or third primary. In another instance, the self-expression might take the form of singing or prayer.
PROVIDE VIGOROUS SENSE PERCEPTIONS IN TEACHING
Although the motor is very strong at this age, it is balanced by a desire for vigorous sense perceptions. The child revels in the feel of the wind and the rain and the snow. Barefooted he likes to splash through water, chug through mud and kick up the dust. The roar of the engine, the screech of the whistle and the blare of the trumpet are music in his ears. And when it comes to a love for gorgeous color, even the Indian cannot excel him. He is investigative, curious, and the instincts of investigation and curiosity impel him to explore and to take apart,, whereby he is continually getting vivid sense perceptions.. His hunger for real things is insatiable. Every legitimate desire to come in contact with the real thing should be gratified by parents and teachers, and in teaching pictures, flowers, leaves, models, flags, these and many other tangible things will be brought in, which the children may handle, look over and manipulate. There is an increased power of attention, and observation of detail is growing. From this variety of sense perception the child builds the ideas that unlock the storehouse of the ages for him. In other words, he cannot understand the Bible story, the fairy tale or the history story unless, now or earlier, he has come into possession of the key.
PROVIDE FOR THE COLLECTION OF OBJECTS THAT HAVE VALUE
As has been said, this child is supremely interested in things. He likes to collect objects, flowers, stones, shells, acorns, nails, buttons. His pockets contain an odd assortment of string, marbles, pennies, chalk, stickers and the like. His possessions are of relatively little value to any one except himself, but they are very precious in his sight. The parent or teacher may encourage these collections by letting each child have a stout paper bag or a little basket when he goes on an excursion to the woods, the fields or the beach. She may take an interest in whatever he finds, putting the stamp of her special approval on any collection that has educational value. The stones may be used in outlining a flower bed, the leaves for blue prints, the flowers for a chain. A box or cabinet may be given the child in which to keep his treasures. In the primary department of the church school a place may be provided for the collection of such objects as have religious significance and meaning,—for instance, a model of an eastern house, a water jar, a box of ointment, such toy animals as the donkey, the camel and the sheep, figures of shepherds and wise men. These will serve to make the stories more real as well as to gratify the collecting instinct.
MAKE USE OF THE WAXING POWER OF MEMORY
The child during this period evidences an increasing power of memory. He observes more detail and he retains better. Longer verses, songs, stories may be used. He enjoys memorizing and likes to repeat verses, sing songs, and retell stories with a sense of pride in his ability to remember. Therefore at home and at school this power may be made use of for the purpose of storing away gems in literature adapted to the intelligence of the child so that they have meaning for him, but also of permanent beauty and worth. The teacher of religion may select verses, songs, prayers and stories filled with God consciousness and the spirit of worship. These must, of course, be within the child's comprehension so that he finds self-expression through them. They will furnish a background for his later as well as his present religious experience.
SATISFY THE CHILD'S EARLY RATIONAL INQUIRY
Many questions are asked by the child of this age. There is a growing tendency to organize percepts and to form concepts. The spirit of exploration leads to an appreciation of problems. If the parent and the teacher in formulating questions and in giving information will follow the lead of the child's questions much can be done to forward his own investigations and to aid in forming concepts as well as to utilize them in thinking. Dean Grey of Chicago University, School of Education, says that we can have the finest flowering in the higher processes of thinking only if we give proper nurture of the beginnings. The child's questions at this age indicate his eagerness to grasp the whole creative process in nature. He wants to know more of the how and the why of creation than did the kindergarten child. Naive indeed sometimes are his comments upon the information which he secures. Eight-year-old Marshall in reply to his question as to what made day and night had been told how the earth revolves upon its axis every day. He sat thinking a minute and then he said, "Now I see what makes me roll out of bed every night !" The child's questions penetrate deeper also into the mysteries of his relationship to God. Miss Mumford tells of the boy who said one night to his father after some quiet thought, "Father, I don't under-stand. Why can't I hear God when He speaks just as I hear you ? Samuel did; it says so in the Bible ; but I've tried for ever so long, and I can't hear anything." The father, wanting to help the child, looked lovingly at him, and the child, feeling his tenderness, ran and nestled in his arms. The father asked why he came, and the boy said, "Because, father, I knew that you wanted me." Then the way was open to explain to the child that in the same way when we know and love God, the Heavenly Father, we feel his love and his thoughts without hearing any audible voice. The child understood.
MAKE CONCEPTS AND IDEALS VIVID BY APPEAL TO THE IMAGINATION
The chaotic fancy of the kindergarten child merges gradually into the more controlled imagination of middle childhood. Somewhere between six and seven the child begins to question with almost painful eagerness after he has listened to a story, "Is it really true ?" The time comes when he is able to make the distinction for himself between the make-believe and the real. As a rule he loses himself as utterly in the fairy tale as he ever did, although he is now on the inside, so to speak. He is capable of understanding more difficult plots, and, instead of the simple representative play of the kindergarten, a drama with a decided climax is desired. Instead of playing fairies or elves by dainty little trippings to and fro, the fairies or elves must now function in a story. He enjoys dramatizing the old favorite, The Shoemaker and the Elves. Concepts and ideals of a religious nature will make a much stronger appeal to him if made vivid through story, picture, dramatization or picturesque language such as we find in the bible story for instance. God's care of his child in every vicissitude might be discoursed upon by the hour without making one tenth of the impression which results from one telling of Daniel in the Lions' Den.
INTERPRET EXPERIENCE IN TERMS OF PROVIDENTIAL CARE
It is through the story too, and particularly through the bible story, so full of the God consciousness, so impregnated with the thought of God's power, God's love and God's care for His children, that this child may be helped to interpret his experience in terms of God's care for him. The answers to his questions about God as the creator of the wonderful world in which he lives, this world of sense impression where he has begun his voyage of discovery, are most important. Through the wise guidance of his parents and his teachers he comes easily to recognize God as "the giver of every good and perfect gift." There is in return an outpouring of gratitude to God in prayer, of which the following lines from H. C. Beeching are a lovely interpretation, although not intended as a prayer to be used with children of this age :
THE BOY'S PRAYER
"God who created me
PROVIDE AN ATMOSPHERE CHEERFUL, JOYOUS, BRIGHT
Suggestibility is heightened during these years. There is a ready response to the influence of environment, not so much by conscious mental effort as by unconscious reflection. A primary teacher, having one child in a group of children who was of low-grade mentality and with an ugly disposition and indifferent manner, stated that the group was entirely changed in response when he was absent for a few days. A teacher with a happy smile or a mother with a cheery manner usually has a group of children radiating happiness. When it is desirable at home or in the church school that the children be reverent and worshipful, then the parents or the teacher must first create an atmosphere of reverence and worship by manner, voice, expression, and as a rule the desired response will be secured. However, the outward expression must ring true; there must be a sincere spirit of worship within, else the children will, through that intuition which is at times almost uncanny, detect the sham. This atmosphere should be joyous but with no element of hilarity. Children cannot stand too solemn an atmosphere ; they either revolt against it and go to the opposite extreme or they are depressed and saddened by it. In either event the result is not a happy one.
GIVE PROPER GUIDANCE TO THE IMITATIVE TENDENCIES
Not only do children absorb from the atmosphere their moods, but they tend to imitate people, especially the grown-ups, in their environment and to repeat their activities in imitative play; often giving a telling representation of the grown-up's manner and speech with a sorry portrayal of disposition and character thereby. How these primary children enjoy playing school or house, and how shocking are sometimes the revelations of teacher and parent ! Imitation helps the child to understand his environment ; it is also a means of shaping attitude and forming habit. In the imitative plays of this child a group of other children often participate, so that there is a developing social cooperation. We have spoken be-fore of the motor activity at this age ; this child has little power of inhibition. Therefore direction and not inhibition of motor activity is the desirable mode of procedure. The teacher and the parent have the opportunity and the responsibility of providing safe examples for imitation. If the child tends to play robber and jail, a good exposure to the wholesome bravery of the fireman may be all that he needs to change the current of his imitation.
FORMATION OF RIGHT HABITS
These, together with the preceding ones, are the years when there is a great plasticity, when right habits are most easily formed, often unconsciously, in conformity to environment. Imitation and the desire for social approval can be utilized by the teachers as facilitating stimuli. It is not always possible that the course of habit formation should run smoothly, however. There are times when this child tests to the utmost the validity of the rule, and the sincerity and strength of the teacher or parent as administrators of the law. Then it is that those who have in charge the habit formation of the little child must hold firm lest there be shipwreck of the whole process. This child needs sometimes to come up against the "oughtness" of certain moral and religious principles. This incident was related of a child of six years and eight months whose parents were fine people, kindly but strict with the children. They always tried to be fair and honest. Mae had been a guest at a little friend's birthday party, and the array of presents had proved very fascinating. When she went home she asked if she might have a party. Her mother replied, "No, dear, I can't afford to give you a party now. Perhaps after Christmas when your birthday comes we can have one." "But I want one, now," pouted Mae, and in her own mind she decided to have one. The next day, Friday, she invited all the little girls in her class to come to a party at her house on the following afternoon, except one whom she particularly disliked. All Saturday morning, Mae's mother felt that something was troubling the little girl but nothing was said. When afternoon came Mae stayed out in the yard. To the first two guests Mae said, "We'll stay out here to play." Then with a hasty thanks she took the handkerchief and ribbon that were given her and hid them away in the house. Just as she returned the little girl whom she had not invited appeared. "Why, Mary Poole, I never invited you," said Mae indignantly. "I don't care," the child replied. "I'm going to come anyway." Mary walked into the house and said to Mae's astonished mother, "I couldn't bring any present, 'cause mama didn't have any money." When asked what she meant the child explained further, "For Mae's birthday. She didn't invite me but I came anyway." Mae's mother denied the party but was persuaded to look out in the yard. She called Mae and the children to her. Mae burst into tears and said, "I wanted the pretty things." Hard as it was to humiliate the child the mother had to explain that it was not Mae's birthday and the little girl had to return the coveted birthday gifts. For the most part, tact, patience and eternal vigilance are the qualities needed by the parent and teacher. With the stubborn child a diverting of attention for the time being from the issue at hand may be necessary with a tactful return when he is in a better mood. Religious education should seek to establish during these years such habits as prayer, regular Sunday-school attendance, which is not always possible during the preceding period, helpfulness, obedience, fair play.
CULTIVATE RIGHT SOCIAL ATTITUDES THROUGH APPROPRIATE APPROVAL AND DISAPPROVAL
This child is self-assertive, strikingly individualistic. He is unconsciously so bent upon getting vivid sense-perceptions for himself and also opportunities for self-expression that he does not seem to think at all of the other child. He longs for social recognition and wants to play with other children ; but he is always doing the things that get him into trouble. This is the age when teasing, bullying and tormenting first show their hydra heads. Often the things that are done can be ascribed to nothing less than a love of mischief. There is an ethical curiosity to see what will happen if the well-known rule is infringed or proprieties violated. I remember well a group of neighbor children of these ages who were my good friends. Very frequently on summer afternoons I have heard a ring at the doorbell, and on answering have found the group standing on the front porch with the spokesman to the fore. With a look of assumed innocence but with a penetrating expression of the eye every little taddie would look me down while the ringleader made the report. It very often consisted in the laconic sentence, "There's an egg broke in your henhouse." It was an article of good faith between us that they did not visit the henhouse uninvited, hence the challenge to my sense of justice. They were so curious to see what would happen that they "braved the lion in his den," even though a word of serious rebuke from this particular lion was usually sufficient to bring tears to the eyes of the spokesman.
This child is as likely to become quarrelsome, suspicious, unfriendly, snobbish and sneaking in his attitude as the reverse if parents and teachers do not cultivate the right social attitudes in him. This cultivation may be accomplished not only through the unconscious influence of atmosphere and the imitation of right examples set in story or real life, but also by clear-cut approval of what is right on the part of the parent and teacher and as frank disapproval of what is wrong. Elaine had a very selfish attitude toward the other children. One day she was called from the group where she had been playing with the blocks. As she rose to leave she put her arms jealously around her share of the blocks and said to the other children in a decidedly belligerent voice, "Don't anybody touch my blocks while I'm gone." The watchful teacher said nothing at the moment. A little while later Harry, a very generous child, also left the room. "You fellows can play with my blocks while I'm gone," he said. In the meantime Elaine had returned, and the teacher called her attention to what Harry said. "Isn't that nice of Harry to share his blocks ?" she asked. A softened look came into the child's face as she nodded her head. We have spoken of the child's growing consciousness of God as the Great Father: the parent and teacher may strengthen human approval and disapproval by letting the child feel God's approval, His joy when this child does right, and His disapproval, His sorrow, when the child does wrong. Here great care must be taken not to convey the impression of God as a stern judge or an everlasting spy. H. G. Wells has portrayed only too vividly the result of such a representation of God in ostracizing him as a child from God : "I who write was so set against God, thus rendered. He and His Hell were the nightmares of my childhood : I hated Him while I still believed and who could help but hate ?" To connect God in the right way as a loving and all-wise Father with the acts of a little child's daily life is to lay the foundation for that later "listening for God's voice" which is so strong a safeguard in the life of the Christian.
PROVIDE OPPORTUNITY FOR SIMPLE MORAL CHOICES LEADING TO THE BUILDING UP OF A PRACTICAL MORAL CODE
The story that presents a moral whole is very helpful in aiding this child to build up a simple, moral code. The fairy tale of the two sisters is a good one here, one of whom commanded the other to fetch strawberries for her in the winter time. The poor sister was helped by the Seasons (personified) and brought in the strawberries. Whereupon the cruel, greedy sister went to the woods to get more for herself, insulted the kindly Seasons, and perished in the cold. The gentle, unselfish sister lived happily ever after. Bible stories, the fairy tales, realistic stories may all be drawn upon to this end. Actual experience in work and in play with others is very valuable too in giving the child a chance for simple moral choices. Games are developed with a few rules; the child who will not abide by these rules is put out of the game by the children themselves or by the teacher at their request. Three boys were playing before school; two of them began to tease the third, blowing milkweed seeds at him while he was working. These they termed German bombs. The third child stood it as long as he could; he then took up the toy telephone at hand and called up the police department. The teacher was watching, and she realized that this was her time to come to his rescue. She, therefore, walked over and announced herself as chief of police. The boy asked her to arrest the two offenders, which she did. The children held a trial and the guilty parties were punished by having to put away all the blocks with which the three had been working. They appreciated the justice of the decision and went at the job with all seriousness. The teacher said that this experience had a far more salutary effect on the boys than any punishment of hers could have had. Thus the child gets ideas of social con-duct. Hartshorne suggests that we ought to make his group as democratic as possible, with children in it of various races, classes and creeds, in order that his ideal of brotherhood may be broad from the beginning.
UTILIZE THE DESIRE TO BE HELPFUL BY GIVING OPPORTUNITIES FOR SERVICE
The child of this age, particularly the girl, wants to take care of those who are younger. Among the poor, children during these years make the wonderful "little mothers" for which the slums of a large city are famous. Their patience, their devotion, their sacrifices for their small charges are as appealing as they are pathetic. I have found children from wealthy families frequently "only" children, very eager to mother younger children ; and very responsible with them. The child at this age is in addition often very sympathetic. Dorothy when she was seven said to her auntie, who was seeking some one to stay with Virginia of five, who is blind from a severe attack of "flu," "Aunt Alice, let me stay with Virginia. It makes me feel just awful sorry until I almost cry, but I love to sit with her and tell her about things that she can't see." The natural selfishness of the child is often waived in favor of the younger child. When Jane was six she was visiting her grandmother and auntie one afternoon and they were doing everything to make her happy. They gave her a piece of candy, which she took and immediately wrapped in paper. When asked why she did not eat it, she said, "Why, grandma, I am taking it home to Priscilla ; you see she is home without me and I am having such a good time that really I don't need it." These impulses of the child to care for, to share or to give should not only be encouraged by letting the joy of giving be its own reward, but opportunities should be made by parent and teachers for the child to serve others. A teacher tells the story of a child of seven who came to a first grade where it became the custom for the children who had dolls at home occasionally to bring them to school. When lullabies were sung, those who had dolls held them and rocked them, but there were always more than half the group who had none. One day our little girl handed her doll to a child who had none. The teacher made no comment ; the next day Thelma did the same thing and Mary followed her example. Presently every child who brought a doll after one singing of the lullaby gave it to another child, and the teacher said this act seemed to afford them more pleasure than the singing of the song.
Boys get more chance to exercise the parental impulse through the care of pets than of younger children as a rule. A dog or a pony is the heart's desire of every little boy who lives the more natural life of the small town, the farm or the woods. The primary child can learn to protect his pet properly and to be more responsible, and consequently more should be expected of him in this regard than of the younger child. He should not be allowed to keep pets if he neglects them or tortures them; his one passport to continued possession must be good behavior. Children of this age should have gardens if these consist of nothing more than a window-box on the back porch of an apartment. They can learn much about the different kinds of plants, how deep to put the seed, the kind of place where the plant will flourish, and the danger of weeds. They should have the joy of picking their own flowers and vegetables and of bestowing them on the family and friends. It is a pity that any little child must be brought up in a great city and in an apartment building. Every child should have as his natural birthright a backyard in which to play and a bit of soil to call his own.
In these years the interest of the child is capable of going out more widely than in the kindergarten period. His sympathy is more readily extended to those that he cannot see; books and stories are gradually introducing him to a larger acquaintance than that of the home and the neighborhood. This incident occurred in the primary department of a Sunday-school. Lois was very eager for a set of dishes, and as her people could not buy her one, she went on errands for the neighborhood and saved the pennies that they gave her. At last she had a dollar and she had gone so far as to select the dishes. It was at the time when the drive was on for the Armenians. One day Lois said to her mother, "I want to send my dishes' money to the Armenians." Her mother tried to persuade her to send only a part of it. The child was firm in carrying out her resolve. "No," she said, "I have other things to play with and plenty to eat, but the little boys and girls in Armenia haven't; so I want to send all my money to them." Teachers as well as parents can stimulate these children to elect projects by which they will render a distinct service to grown-ups, as in the care of the room; to other children in the class by making little gifts or helping another child in his undertaking; to the children in the school by the giving of a party for them; to the children in the hospital by sending them flowers ; and to needy children in our own and other lands by giving food and clothing. Thus a habit will be formed which augurs well for future happiness and usefulness and which makes for present joy.
GUARD AGAINST DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN FORMAL TEACHING AND THE BEHAVIOR OF PARENT AND TEACHER
The child at this age is, as we have seen, very sensitive to atmosphere and very imitative of his elders. We have noted too the beginnings of early rational inquiry. Nothing but mental confusion and moral danger could follow discrepancies between the teaching of moral truths through the story and their discussion and application in the conversation period, and the repudiation of these truths in the behavior of the parent and the teacher. When the mother or father attempt to teach honesty and truthfulness, and then cover the child with a coat when traveling in order that the conductor may not see him, or lie about his age, disaster is likely to follow to the building up of an ideal of truthfulness and a habit of honesty. The child can know these virtues only as he finds them exemplified in the little everyday happenings of his life. "What you do speaks so loud I can't hear what you say."
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY
1. Of what advantage is it to a child to have his parents take real interest in his advancement in school knowledge? A young woman guest was asked by a six-year-old lad if he might read to her from a new book. Her very genuine surprise and delight over his ability so pleased the child that he exclaimed, "We'll put a book mark where we stop to-day and I won't read another word in here till you come again so we can do it together."
2. Discuss the need and value of a "treasure chest" for little children. The one I know best is a very cheap bureau with four drawers,—two for little six-year-old Alice and two for Harold, who is almost nine. One drawer holds stones and shells, bits of colored glass, marbles, etc.; one holds paper, crayons, paint, paste and all sorts of constructive material. Sometimes the children on rainy days find unexpected treasures in the "making things drawers,"—a new bit of cloth or ribbon or a new sheet of paper dolls for Alice, a new design for an aeroplane and some postage stamps for Harold.
3. As Mrs. J. got on the street car she said to her little son, "Slip in back of those people and the conductor won't see you." Once in the car, I heard her say laughingly, "We fooled him that time, didn't we ?" Discuss the effect of this lesson upon the child's standards.
4. A child at this age likes to find out the answers to puzzling questions. In an attempt to explain the formation of rain clouds to her little daughter, a scientific young mother put a shallow plate of water in the sun to show how the sun "drew up" the water. "But, mother," said the small girl, "don't you think that's sort of mean of us—mean to make it rain on all the people like this?" Was this a wise way to answer the child's questioning? What kind of experiments may be performed to help the young child understand some of nature's wonderful processes?
5. How may the parent gratify the desire of the child of this age for stories that are really true?
6. A little girl of eight whose home had been struck by lightning at one time runs whimpering like a frightened animal and cowers behind her mother's chair at the first sound of thunder. How would you deal with such a case of fear?
7. Why do children sometimes giggle during the prayer or the scripture reading in the church school or at home? What would you do with such an occurrence if you were the parent or teacher?
8. Discuss ways in which the child of this age may help in the home.
(The references given for Chapter 7 are valuable also for Chapter 8.)
CABOT, Seven Ages of Childhood, discussion of the child from seven to eleven under the subject "The Angular Age," pages XI to XIII in the introduction and pages 93 to 133.
LEE, Play in Education, Book 4, pages 166 to 318, the characteristics of children from six to eleven and numerous suggestions concerning their educational needs.
PALMER, Play Life in the First Eight Years, a general discussion of "The Individual" and The Environment" carefully divided into studies of the child year by year.
TERMAN, The Hygiene of the School Child, care of teeth, of nose, of throat, of ears and eyes, amount of sleep, the type of food.