Page images




1. MY LITTLE PRIMER, This small book presents to the eye of the child, for his first lessons, whole words instead of single letters ; the words being such as are already familiar to his ear and tongue. To these his attention may be exclusively directed for some time; or, having been taught to read but a few words, the next step may be taken—that of teaching him the names and powers of the letters which compose them. In this way, in the course of the earlier les. sons, he will learn the whole alphabet. While the new method is in form but a slight variation from the old, in character it is essentially different; for by it the rudiments of reading become intelligible and interesting.

Follow the order of nature in teaching, whenever it can be discovered. This is only admitting that God is wiser than man, and that all our processes may be im. proved by a study of his works. The method of learning to read by words first instead of letters, is suggested by this rule."The School master, by G. B. Emerson.

2. MY FIRST SCHOOL-BOOK. Its plan is, in many respects, entirely original. The columns of words are so composed as to awaken pleasurable thought. The words are grouped according to their natural affinities ; such as the members of the body, articles of dress, furniture, &c. The reading lessons are pleasing, and peculiarly well adapted to the infant mind.

3. SECOND READING-BOOK in the Primary School, designed to follow the Reading Lessons of " My First School-Book.”

4. THIRD READING-BOOK in the Primary School.

An indispensable quality of a Primary schwol reading book is its adjustment to the power of the learner-to his ability not merely to pronounce the words, but also to give them vitality and beauty, by expressing the thoughts and feelings which they are intended to convey. The lessons therefore, should be those which can be made intelligible to the child, and in which he can take a lively interest. Their scenes and language should be so natural and vivid, so identified with his own knowledge, conceptions, and feelings, that while reading from the book, he shall seem to himself, and to others also, to be yiving utterance to that only which is fresh from his own mind and heart. In addition to this, in selecting and preparing the materials for the present books, the aim has been to have them furnish a suitable variety of exercises in every department of juvenile elocution; and thus to aid the young learner, as well as the printed page can do it, in becoming an accomplished young reader.

5. SPELLING AND THINKING COMBINED; or, the SpellingBook made a Medium of Thought.

“How do you teach spelling? Cannot the NonsENSE COLUMNS in Spelling-books be dispensed with ? * In every stage we should avoid, as the bane of good habits of thought, the common use of the nonsense columns of a spelling book. Nothing more pernicious could be contrived. The use of them prevents thinking, without teaching to spell."- The Schoolmaster, by G. B. Emerson.

6. TABLE FOR USE IN TRAINING THE ORGANS OF SPEECH IN ARTICULATION. A large sheet, about five feet square, intended to be attached to the wall of a school-room. The Table is so constructed that, with only a small number of words, every combination of elementary sounds is represented.

17. THE BLACK-BOARD IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOL. A Manual for Teachers, to illustrate some valuable Methods of interesting and instructing young children.

“Perhaps ingenuity has seldom, if ever, rendered a greater service to mankind, than when it turned a few feet of deal board and a little black paint, into one of the most effective of all instruments for the rapid and vivid communication of knowledge."-Horace Mann.

* 不




The following remarks are taken from various reports, and other communications, made by Primary School Teachers of Boston.

By a Teacher in District No. 1. " My First School-Book contains such a collection of familiar words, enabling a child to associate the object itself with its name, that spelling is rendered more attractive than it was wont to be. In Spelling and Thinking Combined, the classification of the derivatives with their primitives conduces to make spelling and pronunciation correct, by fixing the variations more firmly in the mind. The natural and attractive arrangement of useful and valuable items contained in this book, together with the plans proposed to awaken thought, and incite interest, make it an efficient helper in the pathway to knowledge. The reading lessons are all that could be desired to interest and instruct."

By a Teacher in District 6. 6. Mr. Bumstead's books are in my opinion better adapted for our primary schools, than any others now in use within my knowledge. The mode of instruction recommended in them is practicable and well suited to the capacities of small children, and the books are well calculated to interest them.”

By a Teacher in District 1. • The books My Little Primer, My First School-Book, and Spelling and Thinking Combined, are, I think, such as will receive the approbation of every teacher. I can say that I have never had a book the method of which has been so successful as that contained in these books. Having been a teacher in private schools I have had an opportunity of knowing the plans of other books, particularly that of teaching the letters without any connection with words. This is not only very tedious for the teacher, but also for the scholar. The new plan I have found to be a great relief to both instructer and children, and the author of these books I must consider as А friend of mine."

By a Teacher in District 13. " In my own school, and in others so far as my knowledge extends, these school books have been introduced with perfect success. We find them in every respect adapted to the age and wants of those for whom they are designed."

By a Teacher in District “ I know of no books so well adapted to the wants of children in their first lessons, as My Little Primer and My First School-Book. The columns are composed of easy, familiar words, so that the child becomes inaster of the alphabet before he is aware that it is dull A B C."

By a Teacher in District 12. “ I highly approve My First School-Book, and, also, Spelling and Thinking Combined. I think the way in which they are prepared is calculated to teach the children to spell more readily, and to give them a better idea of spelling, than any other books with which I am acquainted. The words being undivided assist the children in learning to read.”

By a Teacher in District 11. “Of the various books I have ever used, these I consider as the most interesting and useful. The scholars are interested because while learning to read the words they understand their meaning."

By a Teacher in District 16. “I think them perfectly adapted to the wants of the schools for which they are designed; and I feel assured that in my school the children have much improved in spelling since their introduction. The reading lessons are so simple and interesting that the scholars instead of being wearied with the exercises, are usually anxious to proceed.”

By a Teacher in District 13. “ I think that the books prepared by Mr. Bumstead are peculiarly adapted to the successful teaching of young children. With them I have been enabled to advance children much more rapidly, and with far less labor, than with any other series of books which I have used.”

By a Teucher in District 17. “ I am pleased with these books, and I think that with them the children of my school have improved more rapidly than they did under the old system of teaching the elements of reading.”

By a Teacher in District 8. "I would express my approbation of these school books, for I have used them with great success, and I feel highly indebted to their author for his judgment and care in preparing them. All teachers of the young, I think, cannot fail of finding in these books invaluable assistants in their arduous, yet not unpleasant, labors.”

By a Teacher in District 14. "I am happy in expressing my conviction of the superiority of these books over any which I have heretofore used or seen. I admire the method by which the pupils are to learn from them, for I think it is calculated to interest as well as to instruct."

By a Teacher in District 8. “ I regard these as the best books I have ever used. The selection of words is of the most intelligible and useful character. The interest which my scholars manifest in their spelling lessons, and the facility with which they acquire the reading lessons, is very gratifying."

By a Teacher in District 1. " These books have been used with success in the school under my care ; and were I at liberty to select for myself a set of books for the instruction of my pupils, those now in use would be my choice."

By a Teacher in District 7. " I consider them peculiarly adapted to the class of learners for which they were designed, and that they possess excellencies which I have never met with in any other works of the kind.”

By a Teacher in District 5. " My First School-Book is, I think, well adapted to childhood. The classification of the words having a relation to similar objects, is, I think, an excellent plan. This relation is much more fully impressed upon the mind of the pupil than it could possibly be were the words arranged according to their number of syllables.

By a Teacher in District 12. “ The books, My Little Primer, My First School-Book and Spelling and Thinking Combined are, I think, well adapted to the capacity of children, relieving the teachers of much labor, and therefore calculated to be peculiarly useful in primary schools.”

By a Teacher in District 16. “When I commenced teaching with My First School-Book, I thought I should not like it, but as it was required I persevered in using it, and soon had occasion to alter my opinion. I now like the book more and more. My scholars do not pass over a page until it is thoroughly learned; the words are explained to them,- many of them, however, need no explanation, being the names of objects with which they are familiar,-they are interested in their lessons, and seldom fail of learning them correctly. How different is this from a collection of words which to the scholars have no meaning, and which, as to any benefit to be derived from them, might as well be so many columns of Latin,”

By a Teacher in District 7. “In regard to the Spelling-Book which has recently been introduced into the school, I would say that I feel indebted to the author for the aid it affords me in my work of instruction, and had I time I would point out what I conceive to be some of its merits.”

By a Teacher in District 8. “I am much pleased with the new Spelling-Book, and think it is a great acquisition to our schools, and that we ought to be much obliged to the author. My Little Primer is likewise a great favorite. From the experience I have had with it I should say that children will learn to read short sentences in half the time which was for. merly required.”

By a Teacher in District 11. " In using the new Spelling-Book I am surprised to see with what facility the children will spell even the most difficult words. The great variety in it renders it pleasing to the scholars.”

By a Teacher in District 10. " The change that has been made in the Spelling-Books appears to be for the best. The scholars study their lessons more readily, and spell more accurately than they did before.”

By a Teacher in District 3. * Since the introduction of Bumstead's Readers the children have manifested quite an interest in their reading. These books are highly esteeined and their introduction is considered a benefit to the scholars and an aid to the teacher.”

By a Teacher in District 8. “ The new Readers are in high favor. The author appears to understand exactly the wants of children, and what will prove beneficial to them. He is entitled to their gratitude for the pains he has taken to smooth, and even beautify, the ungainly and rugged pathway to the hill of science. The teacher is likewise under much obligation to him, for his books have taken half the burden from her shoulders."

By a Teacher in District 11. “ The children of the first, second and third classes appear to be quite interested in their new Readers, and the teacher hopes they will derive much benefit from them. They are, in her humble opinion, very much superior to any and all before introduced into our schools."

By a Teacher in District 2. “ The scholars, as well as myself, are much pleased with the new Readers. Though I consider the reading in them more difficult than that of those recently in use, still it is much more interesting, and the style is better adapted to modulate and render flexible the voices of the children, especially those of foreign parentage.”

By a Teacher in District 17. " We like these books much better than the old ones. They are well adapted to the understanding of the children, and possess a fine moral tendency.”

By a Teacher in District 10. “ I cannot but feel grateful to the author of these books, for his endeavors to lighten the teacher's burdens and to smooth the path of learning, by throwing around it such pleasant associations and so cheerful an aspect. It would seem that the children could not learn to read from these books without imbibing that love of truth and goodness which is so greatly to be desired."

By a Teacher in District 17. “ I cannot forbear to say a word about the new Reading-Books. I am much pleased with them not only for the opportunity they afford for a full development of the different intonations of the voice; but also for that high tone of moral excellence which should never be lost sight of in preparing books for children.”

“I wish for nothing better than Mr. J. F. Bumstead's books to teach children to read. -- Extract of a letter from a teacher of a primary school in Hartford, Ct.

« PreviousContinue »