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Our course of instruction is on an extensive plan; but the number of those who are able to avail themselves of it are few, compared with the whole number of our scholars. Many enter the school at an age more advanced than that of our lowest class, and others continue only a short time, or leave the school before they have gone through the prescribed course. Those who continue till they have gone through all the classes, attend to a complete and systematic course of lessons, and may be said to have a regular religious education. Those who do not enter at an early age cannot, at first, be placed in classes consisting of pupils of their own age and capacity; but if they are diligent, and attend faithfully to all the studies assigned them in the preparatory class, and the reviews taken by the other scholars of their previous lessons, they may, in a short time, be raised to a standing with those of their own age and capacity. Those who leave school before the prescribed age, will of course lose all the benefit of the lessons learned in the classes to which they have not been advanced.
6. Morning and evening prayers for children of 3 or 4 years old. 6. Graces before and after meals. 7. Prayers on entering and leaving church. 8. Hymns. 9. Morning and evening prayers for children from 4 to 8 years old.
10. Introduction to Church Catechism. 11. Church Catechism. 12. Explanation of the Festivals and Fasts.
13. Method of finding the places in the Bible and Prayer Book 14. " "reading the Bible so as to understand it the more easily. 15. Prayers for children from 8 to 14 years old. 16. Explanation and Enlargement of the Catechism. 17. Exercises on the Catechism. 18. Explanation of the Liturgy, and directions for a decent and de
vout behavior in public worship. 19. Harmony of the Creeds, and the Creeds proved from Scripture,
20. Collects and prayers from Prayer Book. 21. Psalter from do. 22. Metrical Psalms and Hymns from do. 23. Harmony of the Gospels. 24. Bible History, Geography, and Chronology. 25. Natural History of the Bible. 26. Scripture Tables. 27. Evidences of Christianity. 28. Instruction in the chief truths of the Christian Religion. 29. Evidences of the Doctrines, Discipline, and Worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church. 30. Explanation of Confirmation. 31. ""the Thirty-nine Articles.
32. "" Lord's Supper.
33. Commentary on the Scriptures. 34. " u Prayer Book. The lessons attended to in each class, are as follows: Class IV. Division 2. Nos. 1, to 6.
From the above tables, it will be perceived that every scholar in the school attends to a scripture exercise, and also to an exercise upon a sermon. In the morning, the four lowest divisions have a sermon read to them by their teacher, from Burder's Sermons to Children, Sermons to Children by a Lady, or a similar book, and are examined upon it in the afternoon. The other classes are examined upon the sermons they hear at church. General Principles. The grand principle upon which we proceed, is explanation; and books are used only as guides or assistants to the teachers. Every thing is first explained to the children; and then, if necessary, thej may commit the lesson to memory. But in no case whatever, if it can possibly be avoided, do we require them to commit to memory what has not first been explained to them. 'There is always danger lest what is committed to memory, or, as it is commonly expressed, learned, without having been previously understood, should either bring disgust to the mind, by exciting an effort which is followed by no immediate gratification, or should soon be forgotten, Vol. i. -36
In order, then, as much as possible to obviate these difficulties, whenever it may be thought necessary to exercise the memory in that which is above the intellectual power of a child, the teacher should endeavor to select those modes of expression which approach the nearest to the language of childhood; or, if this should be impossible, to model the lessons so as to excite some pleasurable sensation with its attainment.' Another principle by which we are governed, is, to use as plain and simple language as possible, and of two words, or two forms of expression, always to use the simplest, so that the children may not be at a loss to understand our meaning. For instance, if in examing the children on the sermon, we ask,' What conclusion did the minister draw from all this?' or,' What moral application did he make of his subject?' few, probably, will understand what we mean. But if we ask, ' What did the minister tell us we must do, when he said this?' they will be at no loss to comprehend the question. And in single words also, as well as in phrases, the simplest should always be chosen. Instead of asking a child ' Who created you?' we shall be more likely to be understood, if we ask ' Who made you?' This principle we think should be carried into all our conversation with our scholars. In all our exercises, we recognise the importance of the principle laid down by Mr. Wilson, that the minds of very young children cannot be exercised with cheerfulness on any subject, for a longer space of time than about a quarter of an hour; and as most of our scholars are very young, we endeavor carefully to meet this tendency to weariness, by dividing our lessons into so small portions, that they do not occupy more than that time. Division of Time. The morning exercises commence at 8 o'clock, and close at 10, which gives us two hours for instruction. These we divide into six portions of fifteen minutes each, and six portions of five minutes each. The first portion of fifteen minutes is devoted to opening th' school with prayers and singing, and the other five portions to the various exercises of each class. Four of the portions of five minutes each come in between the exercises of the classes, and are devoted to some general exercise, in which all the scholars are simultaneously engaged; such as singing or repeating a hymn, or repeating portions of scripture, or of the catechism, &c. The other two portions of five minutes each are occupied in filling out the rollbook, sending round the missionary box,* and closing the school. The afternoon exercises commence at half past 1 o'clock, and close at a quarter before 3 o'clock, giving us an hour and a quarter * For the object of this box, and the amount received from it, see the Report. for instruction, which we divide into four portions of ten minutes each, two portions of fifteen minutes each, and one of five minutes. The portion of five minutes is devoted to opening the school with singing; three of the portions of ten minutes each, and one of fifteen minutes, are occupied by the teachers in the exercises of their respective classes; one portion often minutes is reserved for addressing the whole school in a simple lecture or enlargement by the superintendent on some of the exercises of the day, or to addresses from clergymen and others who may visit the school; and the other portion of fifteen minutes is devoted to filling out the roll-book, sending round the missionary box, and closing the school with singing and prayers. Between each of the class exercises, the scholars are all engaged in one general exercise, such as repeating some short sentence of scripture, which occupies but very little time, and is deducted from the portions allotted to the class exercises. In order to give notice of the termination of the exercises in which the classes are engaged separately, and call the attention of the children to the general exercise, it is necessary for the superintendent to have some signal which the scholars will all understand. For this purpose, we use a small bell, which may either be carried in the hand, or fixed in a permanent position in some suitable place. At the expiration of the period allotted to each lesson, or on any occasion of calling the attention of the children, this bell is rung. As it is important that the superintendent should speak to the scholars publickly, as seldom as possible, the bell is further used in directing some of the motions of the scholars, such as standing, sitting, kneeling, &.c. For this purpose, after the bell has been rung to call their attention, it is struck once, to direct them to rise from their seats; or, if they are already standing, one stroke directs them to sit. Two strokes may be a direction to kneel, and other motions may be directed in the same manner. By this mode of giving directions, the superintendent's voice is not so often heard as it otherwise would be; and the attention and the memory of the children are called into exercise. It will be observed, that several subjects are appointed for some of the lessons; and it may be asked, how they are to be attended to in the short space of time allotted to them. But when it is recollected, that the scholars are expected to stay three years in each class, and that those lessons are not all to be attended to at the same time, it will be seen that time enough is given to attend to all. And as all the preceding lessons are occasionally reviewed, it will serve to prevent the scholars, forgetting what they have committed to memory; though, it may be observed, from the manner in which their lessons are learned, they will not be likely very soon to forget them. The manner in which the various exercises are apportioned, may be seen in thcfollowing table of exercises for the different parts of the day.
TABLE OF EXERCISES FOR THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE DAY.
The figures, which in this table are in the place of lessons, refer to the lessons which are numbered on p|>. 280,2!SI. The table, if read horizontally, will show all the lessons of each class; and if read perpendicularly, will show the lessons of all the classes, in each division of time.
15 minutes. |5 m.
l Mentioned on p. 285. a Mentioned on p. 286. 3 These exercises are first attended to in the morning, and reviewed in the afternoon. 4 This exercise is the review of a book (commonly a religious narrative) lent the class the preceding Sunday, mentioned on p. 287. 5 Mentioned on p. 285. 6 Mentioned on p. 286, 1 This exercise is that mentioned on p. 287—the teacher reading a story or anecdote to the class, explaining it, and questioning them upon it.