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indicate a course of instruction which avoids these faults and shows a better way.


§ 104. [Translator's Synopsis.-Reading is the converse of writing. They are opposites, like giving and taking; and as taking implies giving, as, strictly speaking, one neither should nor can truly take who has not before given, so also in this case reading should follow writing. The course of instruction is implied in the nature of things. In fact, the boy can already read; the writing of every word was followed by its reading, ' and in the copying exercises this was specially practiced; so that reading in the ordinary sense now becomes quite easy, and the task of a year may be accomplished in a few days.

The first thing to be done is to show the equivalence of the small Roman letters to the capital letters heretofore employed; and to do this in such a way that the resemblances between the two kinds of letters may be seen even in their details. As a connecting exercise, Froebel recommends that the pupil copy passages from the reader in his usual capital letters, thus comparing the two styles of letters.

The point to be reached at this stage is correct reading in pronunciation and punctuation, so that he may be able to understand the writing of others, and test the thoughts and feelings of others by what he himself has thought and felt. Higher, more expressive reading is relegated to the next stage of development.]



§ 105. Thus we have sketched the growth and development of man in all their phases and conditions from the first origin of his being and existence to the first years of boyhood. We have, too, surveyed in a general way in their living inner connection, their necessary mutual dependence and natural ramifications, the important means by which man may be and should be developed in this period in accordance with the requirements of this period and of his being, if his goal is perfection.

If we now survey all that has been determined and said so far in this connection, we see that many phases in the life of boyhood have as yet no specific, definite direction. Thus, the work with colors does not in any way mean to develop a future painter, neither is the work in singing intended to train a future musician. These occupations simply have the purpose to secure in the young human being all-sided development and unfolding of his nature; they furnish in a general way the food so necessary for mental growth; they are the ether in which his spirit breathes and lives in order to gain strength and scope, inasmuch as the mental tend

encies which God has given him, and which irresistibly unfold from his mind in all directions, will necessarily appear in great variety, and must be met and fostered in a corresponding variety of ways.

Therefore, we ought at last to understand that we do great violence to boy-nature when we repress and supplant these normal many-sided mental tendencies in the growing human being; when, in the belief of doing a service to God and man, and of promoting the future earthly prosperity, inner peace, and heavenly salvation of the boy, we cut off one or the other of these tendencies and graft others in their places.

God neither ingrafts nor inoculates. He develops the most trivial and imperfect things in continuously ascending series and in accordance with eternal selfgrounded and self-developing laws. And God-likeness is and ought to be man's highest aim in thought and deed, especially when he stands in the fatherly relation to his children, as God does to man.

We should consider, at least with reference to the education of our children, that the kingdom of God is the realm of the spiritual, and that consequently the spiritual in man, and therefore in our children, is at least a part of the kingdom of God. For this reason we should give our attention to the universal cultivation of the spiritual in our children, to the pure cultivation of the specifically human, which is the divine in individual manifestation; for we may well be convinced that whoever has been cultivated to genuine humanity is also educated for every particular requirement and need in civil and social life.

Many will say: "This is all very well for earlier

periods, but our sons are too old for this-they are already in the last quarter of boyhood. What can they do with this general and rudimentary instruction? They need something definite, something that bears directly on their future vocation; for the time is near when they will enter practical life, when they will have to earn their own living or help us in our business."

It is true, our sons are rather old for what they are still to learn. But why did we not, when they were children and in early boyhood, supply the needs of their minds? Are the boys now to lose this development and cultivation for their whole lives?

We may console ourselves with the illusion that when our boys have reached adult life they will have enough leisure to make up their losses.

Fools that we are! Our own soul refutes this, if we will but listen to what it says and study its meaning. Here and there a few things may indeed be retrieved; but, in general, whatever of human education and development has been neglected in boyhood will never be retrieved.

Shall we, men and fathers, and perhaps mothers, too, not at last be frank, and cease to conceal from ourselves the never-healing wounds and the permanently callous places in our disposition, the dark spots left in our souls. by the ruthless extirpation of noble and elevating thoughts and feelings in the days of our misguided youth and boyhood? Shall we never see that noble germs were at that time broken and withered, nay, killed in our souls? And shall we not heed this for our children's sake?

We may fill an important office, we may have an

extensive professional practice, we may have a lucrative business, we may be expert and energetic, we may possess a high degree of social refinement; but can all this keep us, when we are alone, from seeing the flaws and faults of our inner culture? Can it destroy in us the feeling of incompleteness and imperfection chiefly due to our early education?

Therefore, even though our sons have reached the third or fourth stage of boyhood, if we would have them become competent, full men, and if they have not yet learned and unfolded what their age implies, they must necessarily return to the work of childhood and early boyhood, in order that they may yet do what can be done and retrieve what can be retrieved.

Possibly our sons may thereby finish school-life a year or two later; but is it not better that they should thereby attain a worthy aim rather than (by a more expeditious course) an illusory one?

We claim to be practical men, and we fail to understand the requirements of genuine, true, practical life. We claim to be business men, and we vaunt our prudence and foresight, yet we do not comprehend the business that concerns us most, and prudence and foresight fail us where they are of so much importance.

We boast of our wealth of experience of life, and yet where it would yield delicious fruit we seem to possess so little.

We disdain altogether to examine our own youth from which we might learn so much that would benefit our children. Yet this admonition, too, to turn back and observe our own youth and to keep our soul fresh

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