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summer to work. Nate and Johnnie could help at night and in the morning. The boys had all been trained to habits of obedience. They were affectionate, and she knew that she could depend upon their love.
One evening, alone in her bed-room, she overheard some part of a conversation as the children were sitting together around the open fire-place.
“I don't mind the work,” said Theodore," if I only could be learning, too. Father used to say he wanted me to be a civil engineer.”
“If father was here," said eleven-year-old Nate, “ you could study evenings and recite to him. I wish mother could help; but, then, I guess mother's—
“Help-how ?" she heard Jerry ask sharply, before Nate could finish his sentence, and she knew the boy was jealous at once for her. “Isn't she the best mother in the world ?"
“Yes, she is, and she likes stories, too; but I was just thinking, now that you can't go to school, if she only knew a lot about everything, why, she could tell you.”
“Well,” replied Jerry, with all the gravity of a man,” we must take hold and help all we can. It's going to be hard enough for mother. I just hate to give up school and pitch into work. Thede, you shall go next winter, anyway.”
“Shan't we be lonesome next winter ?" said little Johnnie, who had taken no part in the talk until now; “won't mother be afraid ? I want my father back," and with. out a word of warning he burst into tears.
Dead silence for a few minutes. The outburst was so sudden, she knew they were all weeping. It was Jerry who spoke first : “ Don't let mother see us crying. Come, Johnnie, let's take Bone and all go down to the trap.” Then she heard them pass out of the house.
Desolation fell upon that poor mother for the next hour. Like a knife Nate's remark had passed through her heart. “Father could have helped !" Couldn't she help her boys, for whom she was ready to die? Was she only “mother,” who prepared their meals and took care of their clothes ? She wanted a part in the very best of their lives. She thought it all over, sitting up far into the night. If she could only create an interest in some study that should bind them all together, and in which she could lead! Was she too old to begin ? Never had the desire to become the very centre of interest to them taken such a hold upon her.
A few weeks after, she said, one morning at the breakfast table : "Boys, I've been thinking that we might begin geology this summer, and study it, all of us together. Your father and I meant to do it sometime. I've found a text book; by and by, perhaps, Thede can draw us a chart. Jerry will take hold, I know, and Nate and Johnnie can hunt for specimens. We'll have an hour or two every night.”
The children's interest awoke in a flash, and that very evening the question discussed was one brought in by Nate : “What is the difference between limestone and granite?” A simple one, but it opened the way for her, and their first meeting proved a success. She had to study each day to be ready and wide awake for her class. They lived in a limestone region. Different forms of coral abounded and other fossils were plenty. An old cupboard in the shed was turned into a cabinet. One day, Nate, who had wandered off two or three miles, brought home a piece of rock, where curious, long, finger-shaped creatures were imbedded. Great was the delight of all to find them described as ortho-ceratities, and an expedition to the spot was planned for some half-holiday. Question led back to the origin of the earth. She found the
nebular hypothesis, and hardly slept one night trying to comprehend it clearly enough to put it before others in a simple fashion. Her book was always at hand. By and by they classified each specimen, and the best of their kind were taken to shelves in the sitting room. Her own enthusiasm in study was aroused, and, far from a hardship, it now became a delight. Her spirit was contagious. The boys, always fond of “mother,” wondered what new life possessed her, but they accepted the change all the same. She found that she could teach, and also could inspire her pupils. They heard of a gully, five or six miles away, where crystals had been found. Making a holiday, for which the boys worked like Trojans, they took their lunch in the farm wagon and rode to the spot; and if their search was not altogether successful, it left them the memory of a happy time.
In the meanwhile the farm prospered. She did all the work in the house, and all the sewing; going out, too, in the garden, where she raised a few flowers, and helping to gather vegetables. Daniel and the boys were bitterly opposed to her helping them. “Mother," said Jerry, “ if you won't ever think you must go out, I'll do any. thing to make up. I don't want you to look like those women we see sometimes in the fields.” Generally she yielded; her work was enough for one pair of hands. Through it all now ran the thought that her children were growing up; they would become educated men; she would not let them get ahead, not so as to pass her en. tirely.
Winter came. Now Daniel could see to the work; but these habits of study were not to be broken. “ Boys, let us form a history club," was the proposition; “it shan't interfere with your lessons at school.” They took the history of the United States, which the two younger children were studying. Beginning with the New England settlements, and being six in number, they called each other, for the time, after the six States, persuading old Daniel to take his native Rhode Island. “ That woman beats all creation,” he was heard to exclaim," " the way she works all day and goes on at night over her books.” The mother used to say she hardly knew if she were any older than her boys when they were trying to trip each other with questions. The teacher of the district school came over one Saturday afternoon. “I never had such pupils,” said he, "as your sons, in history; and, indeed, they want to look into everything.” Afterwards he heard with delight the story of their evening's work. The deep snow often shut them in, but the red light shone clearly and bright from that sitting-room window, and a merry group were gathered around the table. Every two weeks an evening was given to some journey. It was laid out in advance, and faithfully studied. Once, Theodore remembers, a shout of laughter was raised when nine o'clock came, by Jerry's exclamation, “Oh, mother, don't go home now; we are having such a good time!" Five years they lived in this way, and almost entirely by themselves. They studied botany. She knew the name of every tree and shrub for miles around. The little boys made a collection of birds' eggs, and began to watch closely the habits of the birds. It was a pure, simple life. It would have been too wild and lonely but for the charm of this devoted mother. Her hours of loneliness were hidden from them, but she learned in an unusual degree to throw every energy into the day's work of study, and create, as it were, a fresh enthusiasm for the present hour. Her loving sacrifice was rewarded. Each child made her his peculiar confidante. She became the inspiration of his life.
English history opened a wide field to this family. One afternoon she brought in
Shakespeare to prove some historical question. It was a rainy day, and the boys were all at home. Jerry began to read “Hamlet” aloud; it proved a treasure that brought them into a new world of delight. Sometimes they took different characters for representation, and the evening ended in a frolic, for good-natured mirth was never repressed.
First of all, a preparation had been made for the Sabbath. There was a church in this town, but at a distance of several miles, and during many days the roads were not passable. She had leaned upon Infinite strength, gathering wisdom through all the experiences. The secret of many a promise had been revealed to her understanding, and, above everything, she desired that the Scriptures should become precious to her children. She took up Bible characters, bringing to bear the same vivid interests, the same power of making them realities.
These lessons were varied by little sketches or reports of one Sunday to be read aloud the next. Of this Nate took hold with a special zest. None of this family could sing. She thought of a substitute. They learned the Psalms, much of Isaiah, and many hyinns, repeating them in concert, learning to count upon this hour around the fire as others do upon their music. How many of these times came to her in after life-a vision of the bright faces of her boys, as they clustered affectionately around her.
Time rolled by. The railroad passed through. A village sprang up, and the land was ready to sell. She could keep enough for her own use, and the boys could prepare for college. Thede and Nate went away to school. The old home was kept bright and pleasant; friends, new settlers, came in, and now there was visiting and social life.
Jerry stayed on the farm; Thede became an engineer; Nate a minister; Johnnie went into business. Theodore used to say, “ Mother, as I travel about, all the stones and the flowers make me think of you. I catch sight of some rock, and stop to laugh over those blessed times.” Nate said, “ Mother, when I am reading a psalm in the pulpit, there always comes to me a picture of those old evenings with you in the rocking-chair, by the firelight, and I hear all your voices again.” When Jerry, who remained faithful always, had listened to his brothers, he put his arm about her, saying tenderly, “ There will never be anybody like mother to me."
She died at the age of sixty-five, very suddenly. Only a few hours before she had exclaimed, as her children all came home together : “ There never were such boys as mine. You have paid me a thousand fold. God grant you all happy homes.” They bore her coffin to the grave themselves. They would not let any other person touch it. In the evening they gathered around the old hearthstone in the sitting room and drew their chairs together. No one spoke until Nate said, “ Boys, let us pray;" and then, kneeling around her vacant chair, prayed that the mantle of their mother might fall upon them. They could ask nothing beyond that.— Penn. Sch. Journal.
How to GAIN AND HOLD THE ATTENTION OF Pupils. In the first place the teacher should be morally, mentally, and physically well qualified for his own work. He should be a model man if he would be a true teacher. Children unconsciously imbibe the moral and mental atmosphere which the teacher carries about him. And to gain and hold the attention of his pupils, he must have their entire confidence in
his ability to handle his subject. For his abilities or inabilities to his pupils will shine through any mask he may attempt to wear. Children are natural mind-readers, and, while the teacher may think he is deceiving them, their conduct on recitation and in the school room will bear out the assertion that what attention or inattention they may exhibit, is, in a great measure, but a reflection of the real character of him who acts as their teacher. The teacher must be frank and unsuspicious. While a certain degree of supervision must be exercised over children and youth, it should be remembed that the teacher must appeal to a certain sense of honor, which all possess in some degree, if he would gain entire control of all their actions. He should not make show of watching his pupils, but be ever on his guard. He should be kind and polite. There are many occasions where the teacher may show a kind disposition and gain a power over his pupils which force would never gain. He should be conscientious and agreeable. These qualities control, in reality, all others. He should leave nothing undone which his conscience tells him to do and which is in his power to do for the advancement of those under his care. He cannot instruct unless he is agreeable to his pupils. The teacher who is careless and slovenly in appear. ance cannot have much influence with his pupils, and he who cannot place work on the blackboard or elsewhere neatly and accurately, cannot expect his pupils to do so.
To arouse an interest in study and to stimulate the pupils to greater efforts are two of the main objects of a recitation, and it is not easy to tell how this should be done. It is by judicious use of questions, by the proper selection of topics for study, by assigning lessons of proper length, by the teacher's explaining power, by proper words of encouragement and commendation, by the teacher's general manner and bearing toward his pupils, that he will succeed best in gaining and holding the attention of his pupils. And that teacher is most successful who is most familiar with his subject and with the best methods of illustration.— Prof. J. M. Weatherby, in N. C. Teacher.
Motives.—You must give the child a motive for work, and your true success depends upon what motive you furnish, and the permanency you give it on his character. Better the pupil work for fear of punishment than not to work, or from too much pride to be left behind by his mates, or from fear of your sarcastic tongue if he blunders; but your work is a failure if he studies only from negative motives. The lowest honorable motive is hope of reward. Rewards of merit, in some inviting form, are infinitely above fear and pride. It has its weaknesses, and may be sharply ridiculed, but it has its virtues also. It is a healthy inspiration to any toiler with hand or brain to anticipate a satisfactory reward; indeed, it may be argued, with much show of reason, that with the average man no work is best done that is not toned up under the stimulant of a reward. Burns would never have died as a dissipated lad had he been balanced by a discriminating appreciation of the value of the reward due his genius. Goldsmith would never have thrown his life away had he properly estimated the reward due his genius. Phillips, with all his brilliancy, fascinated as he was with the oratorical art, would never have sustained himself at such height but for his financial estimate of its worth, and he would have served the world even more than he did had he appreciated other rewards due him. Carl Schurz would not approach his present power did he not set a high financial estimate upon his political speeches, and try to make them worth it. Walt
Whitman might be an American genius of renown did he but appreciate the worth of literary rewards. Teach, therefore, your pupils to value the rewards of their study, but make the special school-day motive the mental reward, the self-culture, the power of thought and influence which results from it. Give more and more time to the cultivation of high motive of work in the school. The American Teacher.
Studies in Connection.
1. Combine reading with spelling.
5. Combine natural philosophy with physiology, as it relates to the laws of health and life.
6. Depend upon repetition and practice to insure success. 7. Teach principles before rules, and things before names. 8. Teach the logical connection of every subject studied.
METHODS OF TEACHING ARITHMETIC.
1. Remember that the ideas of numbers are among the first and easiest of appre. hension. Therefore commence early, and while learning to read drill in connecting simple combination of numbers.
2. When ready to take up the subject regularly by the text-books, let mental arithmetic come first in order.
3. Teach the combination of numbers in all forms before passing to the solution of questions.
4. When this is accomplished, take up mental and written arithmetic in connection.
5. Recite mental arithmetic without the use of the book, and have the pupils reproduce every question solved.
6. Let the analysis of the questions be methodical, and reason logical without holding the pupils invariably to a prescribed form.
7. Teach both mental and written arithmetic upon the same principle, namely, analysis.
8. Sometimes analyze first, and then give and teach the rule, and again the rule first, and finally analyze.
9. Give much practice upon the slate and blackboard, using many practical questions not found in the text-books used.
10. Give clear analysis yourself of difficult points, and require the pupils to repro. duce them as if they were yours.— The Normal Teacher.
How to AWAKEN THE INTEREST OF PUPILS IN THE WORK OF THE SCHOOL.1. By encouraging parents to visit the school-room. Least necessary, but by no means unimportant.
2. By making the school and its exercises pleasant and attractive. By kind de