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By Bertha Johnston
Brooklyn, N. Y.
3. THE MOTHER BLISSFULLY CONTEMPLAT
ING HER CHILD
(Translated from the German of Friedrich Froebel.) BY BERTHA JOHNSTON
Who can interpret the mother's prattlings,
When she her baby fondles, caresses? Through them doth stream the joy of Heaven, Sense of Light divine in him, her blesses. Therefore the mother, devoted and mild, Faithfully fosters the life of her child.
Baby, my baby, come let me hear,
In dandling and fondling and playing like this?
Your every look, your every glance,
As in joyous abundance glows each pretty posy,
As pure in the flower the sun paints himself,
Doth the tender heart-bond that unites us, complete.
In my baby entire, so sweet and so mild,
SUGGESTIONS INTRODUCTORY TO THE
(Translated from the German of Friedrich Froebel.) BY BERTHA JOHNSTON
Lost in contemplation of your child, and glowing with the feeling that he, given to you by the Father
of all beings, (as a revelation of His nature) is a unity and therefore in himself a single essence, given to you for your thoughtful observation and solicitous nurture, rest your glance, happy mother, upon him, as on a gracious gift of God.
Presentiments which fill you with bliss, stream through your mind, that this nature will unfold in richest diversity, originality and individuality, like a mirror, reflecting, to your own joy, your own es
As you now, in this manifoldness of the phenomena of your child's nature and precisely because of this, sce more and more differences and contradictions proceed, yet your heart, mother, feels an unspeakable joy in the presentiment that they wil all resolve themselves as Life, into harmonious forms. They will, you are certain, in the tranquility and purity of life (whose unity is firmly established in itself) resolve themselves into calm and harmony, as in a luminous sea of peace, just as the most heterogenous phenomena of the external world so resolve themselves in the clear sea of your eyes.
In the soul of your child, mother, you will find clearly revealed to you, the balancing of all differences and contradictions in his life, as also the unity of his essence. You see how the movements of his body, the exercise of his limbs, the activity of his senses, all lead up to and have reference to this: to the effort to perceive, comprehend, experience life in itself as a unity in diversity, through all its varieties and contrasts of phenomena; to the effort to feel in himself the particular Self, and to represent it externally, as also to take up into himself the external world, to view it as a whole, and to recreate it again as a healthy tree takes up into itself the manifold elements of nature and earthy matter, works it over, true to its nature and law, and gives it forth, out of itself again, in the form of foliage, blossoms and fruit.
In this presentiment of the harmony, yes, the inner unity, as one whole, of all that exists, which in all the utterances of your child is expressed in such positive joy, the essence of his nature, as a spirit, is revealed to you.
One Essence, Life, Soul, Spirit, rising through Instinct, Feeling, Perception to Consciousness! What is it, reflective and contemplative mother, that fills you with such joy in your child? It is, that by the right understanding and handling of your child, you can at last, bring this diversity, yes, the contradictions even, of life's most opposing manifestations, in and among themselves, into unified balance, yes, into beautiful harmony. This it is which so fills you with joy in your child, being at the same time a clear reflection of your own life, your own being.
So there comes to you in the contemplation of your child, in observing and nurturing him, in his increasing strength and development, in his manifestations of life as a whole, step by step, this clear conviction: the child not only presages that unity
n every object which he undoubtedly feels in himelf, but there unfolds in him also the presentiment nd brings itself actively into feeling, that, as he erceives in himself a single source of all life, so all hings have their foundation in the same Unity; as ou, pious, believing mother, so clearly recognize for ourself, and which expresses itself in your supreme appiness, so your child's essence also is a spark rom God, is divine, as is all that exists, and life is ut a revelation of the indwelling God.
To educate your child conformably to this, loving hother, as you feel yourself one with your babe and rith God, to educate him as a unity in himself, a omplete whole, in complete living relationship to he external world, Humanity and Nature, above all 1 unity with God, the primal Cause and Father of 11, to train him as a child of God (thus to become a hild of God) this is for you, mother, your supreme ask and problem, as it is your supreme joy.
But how, you ask, in what way may this be rought about? The answer, mother, lies written n your heart, and speaks artlessly and unconsciously a all your simple, motherly doings. Through them ou speak to yourself, thus:
"How and in what way," you herewith reply, other than through the in itself harmonious maniFoldness and integrity of his body, limbs and senses, is observation and attention, his movements and truggles? How other than through his just-upvard pressing, just stirring feelings of his own selftood? Yes, through his growing discrimination beween his own personal relations to me and to others vho intimately touch his life? How other than through the revelation of his (even if it be but just e lawning) spirit?"
And you are right, thoughtfully observing and atsentive mother, for your child must be apprehended, urtured and educated in relation to the coherency of all life, and yet true to his own peculiar nature ind to the laws of both. His body links him with he dust of the earth; his limbs connect him with his nvironment that out of himself he ever creates new; as his senses connect him with the whole timulating world of sense.
To comprehend your child, faithful mother, his naure and its phenomena (corresponding to this tie, his original and indestructable unity), to undertand him in his self-dependence and self-activity, ind then, conformably to all these controlling laws and demands, to tend, to nurture, to develop, to culivate this, mother, is the problem of the education
of your child.
(To be Concluded.)
HINTS AND SUGGESTIONS
By Bertha Johnston Brooklyn, N. Y.
To the new as well as old subscribers, kindergartners and grade teachers we wish to say a few words concerning the translation from Froebel in this number of the Kindergarten Primary- Magazine,
For several years we have published in each number one or more of the so-called Froebelian Mother Plays (43 in number) and their accompanying Commentaries concluding the last one in the Spring of 1917. There remained the Commentary on the Title Page which we gave in a somewhat free translation and the Introduction to the Commentaries. We give in this number a translation of the first part of this and will conclude it in the October number. There are also in the original volume seven poems expressing the sentiments of the mother, as she contemplates her babe. We give the third one this month, the remaining four will appear successively.
Our own volume is the third German edition, with a preface by Friedrich Seidel. (1883).
Froebel's Mother Play Book should be in the possession of every mother. We recommend with especial pleasure the two volume translation by Susan E. Blow, published by Appleton & Co. The poetic renderings by Mrs. Eliot of Froebel's often unpoetic mottoes (even tho replete with suggestive inspiring thought) are particularly beautiful and rich in suggestion,
The book is so important because it gives poems, pictures and songs suitable for the little child yet with a content that grows in suggestion as the child grows in experience; while the accompanying commentaries are a mine of inspiration to the consecrated mother and teacher. At the same time, the highest idealism is companioned by ideas of the utmost practical value in helping the little one to better understand himself, and his environment and to express his growing self-consciousness in ways suitable to his development. Thus character and responsibility increase as the child increases in intelligence and physical capacity.
As suggested by Froebel, both in the poem and in the Introduction to the Mother Plays, when the average mother recognizes in her child and in all children an emanation from the Most High, and rears her child in this conviction, then we may expect a new civilization to appear upon our earth. Up till the present time, few parents have educated their children as beings with possibilities that linked them with God and at the same time as beings with obligations and duties to humanity-all humanity. Few have continually sought, as did he, for the connection of opposites, the reconciliation of contrasts. When all children are trained to seek for such, as the knights of old were inspired to seek for the Holy Grail, when faith in such possibility is wrought into the very fibre of the children's being, then, surely, another kind of arbitration will succeed
the arbitrament of arms, when nations cannot agree. Unity was one of Froebel's great passwords. All the instinctive activities of childhood can be directed and disciplined in almost any desired direction. We can conceive of life as a unity as an army is a unity, with no self-direction, or we can think of life as unity as a republic is a unity, in which each unit is a self-directing spirit, working consciously and deliberately in harmony with other self-directing spirits toward a common goal.
Let us at the beginning of the new school year, as true Americans, recognize and respect the individuality of each pupil while realizing and helping him to realize and his parents as well, that he can be best developed only as he learns to respect the individuality and rights of each companion, and his own duties and obligations at home, school and elsewhere.
In Mothers' Meetings dicuss the child's rights and obligations, the contradictions in his nature and how to help him to reconcile them to balance them, so as to gain the equilibrium, the peace that passeth all understanding.
THE FIRST GIFT BALLS
Froebel's First Gift (so-called) to the child is a set of six balls crocheted of soft wool, stuffed (preferably with wool) but often made around a rubber ball. Each ball is dyed in one of the six elementary colors, red, orange, yellow, blue, green and violet. To the infant still in arms he would present the red ball, suspending it over the bed, swinging it, pulling it, placing it where the child can see, reach for it, touch, grasp, squeeze it. The others follow in turn. Froebel chose the red, assuming from experience that red was most attractive to the babe; other educators disagree, believing that yellow is more pleasing to the little one. Young mothers and teachers have here an opportunity to observe for themselves.
Let us see how the ball expresses unity in diversity in accordance with Froebel's introductory remarks to the Mother Play as given on another page. There is certainly unity in the form of the ball; one rounded surface, equidistant in all parts from a common center.
Simple as is its form, its movements are various. It can rest on a level surface, whether this surface itself be at rest or moving. It can roll, bounce, be tossed, pulled, pushed, swung, whirled, lifted, lowered.
Through play with it various directions and relationships in space are suggested, such as up-down, back-forth, near-far, right-left, here-there, over-under, behind-in front, slow-quick.
For older children, the material of which the ball is made suggests a variety of occupations and substances; the wool comes from the sheep, must be sheared, washed, dyed, spun, woven; the color suggests the madder for older children, indigo, wood, cochineal, logwood, weld and coal tar from which
dyes are made. See dictionary for colors derive from these plants and coal tar. Children who haw been to the shore will be interested to talk of the wonderful purple hues the ancient Tyrians derive from a kind of shell-fish, a color so rich and so e pensive that it came to be associated with royalty as expressed in the phrase "born to the purple." The ball is not only one of the first playthings the child as seen in the ordinary ball, marbles, balan and elastic, cup and ball, but the early races, the Egyptains, Greeks, and Romans all played with, balls and we know the hold it has on our adult pop ulation as seen from the daily reports in the pape of game scores, for foot ball, base ball, tennis, gu and the like.
The First Gift Ball gives the babe physical ex cises, first for the muscles of his eyes, as he follow its movements when pulled or swung. He learns measure distances as he reaches for it and finds tha sometimes he can touch it and sometimes not. H fus it yield to him when he squeezes it and expe iences the joy of overcoming resistance; when bounds from him he has the experience union, separation and reunion as he regains it. An with these physical exercises his baby mind is de veloping and also the germ of self-control.
When the children reach kindergarten they ar already familiar with the sight of balls of variou materials and colors although they may not know their names, and the kindergartner invents variou little plays to help the children differentiate the colors, and motions, directions and call them b name and otherwise express them.
We give a few plays for children of different ages: FIRST GIFT BALL GAMES
With the Second Gift boxes form a barricade a one end of table. Place a red ball for a target with in this, thus:
Give several children each a red ball and let the roll them towards the target to see which come nearest it. When all have done this it will be dif cult to decide which ball belonged to which child all are of the same color. This will lead them to se desirability of having balls of different colors, so th complementary green may be given one child and red one and green one now being rolled a decision be tween two can be reached. The winner may not compete with another playmate, and so on, until eac have had a turn, two competing at a time, one with red, one with a green ball. Other colors may be use as children learn to know them.
USE OF COLORS AS SIGNALS Tell the children you are going to play a Trai Game. Explain that at night colored lamps a used to indicate direction of train, and trainme must be careful to put right lights in and travele must be careful to read the signals right. Tell the two red lights (balls) will mean train going north (Continued on page 24).
The Kindergarten as an Organic Part place before the child a clear image of the story he of Every Elementary School
ANNA L. FORCE,
Principal Lincoln School, Denver.
A new conception of method has changed the spirit of the elementary school. On the old basis little was asked of the child. The teacher did the work and the child was passive. According to the new order the "child makes his contribution of self-activity and effort before the teacher can furnish interpretation and guidance." The kindergarten demonstrates that activity based upon the stage of the child's development forms the basis of education.
Such a method calls for more than sympathetic insight. The teacher seeks to secure from the children original expression upon which she may exercise the function of guidance for the purpose of leading them thru the higher levels of insight and power. Froebel has said that "the plays of childhood are the germinal leaves of all later life. Let us learn from children. Give heed to the gentle admonition of their life, to the silent demands of their minds, then will the life of our children bring us peace and joy. Then shall we begin to grow wise, to be wise."
The habits formed in activities such as self-expression, observation, imagination, judgment, thinking and initiative carry over to the first grade and the child has increased power to take up the work in reading, spelling and numbers. He already has learned to concentrate and keep at hard work until he has mastered it. His power to attack new problems has been developed and he makes rapid progress. He presents a more alert, ready and responsive attitude toward the new requirements of the first grade than the child who has not had previous training. His vocabulary is increased by his work in oral expression, dramatization, and story-telling. The foreign child needs this preparation especially.
The educational value of toys cannot be overestimated. "The tearing down of the constructive toy is followed by building up a re-creation of the toy. This process of destruction and construction leads the child to understand man-made things in the world about him."
The best toys are made of wood cut in simple design and put together with bolts. Three questions should be asked before a toy is given to the child: 1. What is it made of?
2. What will the child do with it?
3. What will it do for the child?
The toys should be strong and durable. The thing to be guarded against in securing constructive toys is fragility. Toys bring children together in a group and help them to imitate the social life about them. Such toys as Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Bears, The Three Goats Gruff, The Three Little Pigs,
is telling causing him to forget his selfconsciousness and in no way hindering his imagination. They help him to picture more clearly in his mind the stories and to reproduce them in words and play more intelligently. These toys are used for self-expression. An audience is not needed. The child is constantly experimenting.
The work reflects the activities of the outside world in imagination thru toy and story. The creative power developed in the kindergarten is the foundation for constructive imagination, a quality so rare when formal work is emphasized.
Gug guggle, gug guggle it goes.
All, run, out! And she's not there at all!
(Continued from page 22.)
two green, train going south; two yellow, train going East; one red and one green, train going west. Place four children, one in each corner of room for locomotives and another child as dispatcher standing on a chair in middle of room. Choose other children to be trainmen for each train. The four train
men faster side by side on breast of locomotives, the pairs of colors called for. One after another the locomotives approach the middle and as they approach the dispatcher holds up the pairs of balls to indicate which train is coming, two red, two green, two yellow or one red and one green. Other children may represent passengers awaiting a particular train As each locomotive reaches the opposite end of the room the trainman must change the signals for the return trip.
A BALL PARTY
Have the children place the balls in a circle on the table as if having a game at a party. Tell them some of the company are cold and shy and serious (green, blue, violet) and others are jolly, warmhearted, sociable (red, yellow, orange). See if the children themselves feel this difference, asking them which are the cold, which the warm. Tell them a warmhearted one, red, is going to invite a shy friend to dance or skip with her, and let the two balls dance round the ring together. Lead them to feel that red and green are companionable; yellow and blue, orange and violet. Older children may be able to tell more about the complementary colors. Don't force your own view upon the children, how
Let the children whirl a ball in a circle the string at full length; then swing it with string at half length or less, singing
The baby carriage wheels go round and round,
Over and over they roll on the ground,
One child carries a set of the balls crying
For children who all of the colors can tell. Each child has another one for a play mother whom she asks to buy her a balloon. The mother says, "Yes, you have been very good today, but choose one that goes well with your dress." Each child chooses then a ball that harmonizes with or matches suit, dress, tie or the like.
After her tail the kitten runs round,
The finest plaything that ever was found. (Roll ball on table with string.)
If she sees Rover she climbs up a tree,
"You cannot follow me here," says she. (Wind around arm.)
He leaps up and down, for this is good play,
And very good playmates indeed, are they. (Another child lets his ball represent Rover.)
Swing, swing, swing,
Hear the church bells ring. There's a wedding there today, Lovely is the bride, they say. Swing, swing, swing,
Hear the church bells ring.
Dong, dong, ding,
Hear the fire bell ring.
The loud wild fire bells ring.
The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us, and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them whem they are gone.-George Elliot.
Here swings little Nellie in her dress of red;
Here swings little Tommy, in a suit of blue;
Here swings little Leslie, her dress of violet hue; Each one's had a swing in turn; I think that's fair, don't you?
The teacher sees that each child has a ball, and then asks the one holding the red ball to swing it. The teacher then says the first stanza. Then the orange ball is to be swung, and the next stanza recited by the teacher. Any child who does not know that he has the right color misses his turn that time. Other names can be substituted for those given. The play can be varied as occasions suggest or as the children learn the words.
This is a modification of the Little Travelers Circle Game. The balls are concealed in the hands. The teacher nods to any one child who imitates with his ball a hopping, jumping or other motion. The children sing, "welcome little traveler, tell us from which land you come." The child responds, "I have come from sparrow land where people all are hopping" or squirrel land (making the ball wind up and around the arm as if climbing) or kitten land (making it jump over the hand) or mouse land (drawing it slowly along as if creeping) or swallow land (as if flying) or gymnast land (hold the ball by the string, with the thumb and first finger of each hand held about two inches apart; then deftly make the ball turn over the string several times like a gymnast tumbling over a trapeze. This winds the string up tightly, when the movement may be reversed.)
Each child has a turn to let his ball imitate any movement he chooses.