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From the Boston Recorder. My First School-Book. Although we are not among those who think this generation so much wiser than all those that have gone before it, that every thing must be good because it is new; yet we always rejoice at every attempt to remove what is dry and repulsive in the manner of communicating instruction to the tender mind. So far as we can judge before making the experiment, we should think this little book one of the most successful attempts of this kind which we have seen. The plan is in many respects entirely original. The first lessons to be employed in teaching children io read, consist of words with which children are familiar. This is a great advantage, because it associates ideas with what he is learning, and by its connection with things already understood by him, stimulates inquiry and elicits effort. Another principle is, to teach the word before the letters. This is philosophical—it is exhibiting the object, before attempting the analysis. Another peculiarity of this book is, that the spelling lessons are arranged in families or classes, so as to throw an interest into the study of columns of words, and also to assist the memory by the classification of ideas rather than sounds. These are so arranged as no: only to amuse and excite thought, but often to convey important moral lessons. There is another peculiarity, which has struck us very forcibly, which is, the disposition to economise, if we may be allowed so to term it-making everything about the book teach something, as for instance, the folio is in both figures and letters, so that, by barely looking at the tops of the pages, the scholar may learn his figures to the number of the pages in the books. There are very many other excellencies in this little book, which we have not space to notice. We hope the experiment will be made of introducing it into our primary schools. We also recommend it to those mothers who teach their children at home.

From the Boston Mercantile Journal. My First School-Book. MR. Evitor,- I received last evening an excellent little book, which bears the pleasant and characteristic title of “My First School-Book, to teach me, with the help of my in. structer, to read and spell words, and understand them. By a Friend of mine.”. We learn from the initials at the end of the preface, that this friend is one who has elsewhere proved himself worthy of the title. The book he has just written, we rejoice to believe, will add greatly to his reputation and his usefulness. The author has long been an active member of the Primary-School Committee. Permit me through your columns to recommend the work to the altention of all who take an interest in early education.

My own experience confirms most fully his remarks upon spelling. Unless the child learns to spell upon paper or slate, you can never depend upon his spelling accurately. In fact, to spell as we write, is the only use we make of spelling, and it would seem that to write as we spell would be the proper way to acquire the art. The book will be a favorite with children. Iis tone is pleasant, its spirit excellent.


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" This is evidently a right sort of book for children,- fitted to smooth their passage into our, in some respects, anomalous and uncouth language, where there are a thousand stumbling-blocks in the way of the little speller and reader.”-American Quarterly Register.

From the Neuburyport Watchtower. My First School-Book.-A neat little book with the above title has just been published. Its design of course is to be a first book in reading and spelling. The author in his preface has some rather new and we think good notions about reading and spelling, and has got up his little manual in a very interesting way. We think it will be found to be one of the best things ever published for the object for which it is designed, and we commend it to the consideration of all such as have charge of the early instruction of children. Р

“ This book, small as it is, though it may be too good to find favor at first, is probably destined, ere long, to produce an entire revolution in our schools. Without detracting from the merits of other authors and discoverers, we believe we hazard nothing in saying that no school-book which has appeared within the last twenty-five years, has done so much to bring about a new era in the history of elementary education.”Annals of Education.

For ourselves we want no reading-book or spelling-book, nor indeed any book to put into the hands of very young children. We would prefer a combination of oral and slate lessons, and lessons on objects which supercedes the necessity of books for a time. But if first books must be used as we suppose, taking teachers as they are they must be for many years to come, we would by all means use My First School-Book. It is exactly the thing the world has long wanted, and for which they are deeply indebted to Mr. Bumstead, its worihy and ingenious author.”- Doct. W. A. Alcott.

“ The first printed or written words presented to children should be those with whose meaning they are already acquainted,- words, the articulation of which is already familiar to the organs of speech, the sound of which is familiar to the ear, the meaning of which is familiar to the mind, and with the printed form or tout ensemble of which only are they to establish an acquaintance. And here the course of nature coincides with the dictates of philosophy, in promoting the end of instruction. The acquisition of spoken always precedes that of written language,-the language addressed to the

that of the language addressed to the eye. “ Within the last year or two, books have been prepared by Mr. J. F. Bumstead of Boston, on the same general plan in regard to the words.”

“ Provide books on this plan, and learning to read will cease to be a burden and a mockery. The teacher, in good faith, may invite a group of little children to come around her to think of pleasant things, instead of forcing them to gaze at idiot marks Such lese sons will be like an excursion to the fields of elysium, compared with the old method of plunging children, day after day, for months together in the cold waters of oblivion, and compelling them to say, falsely, that they love the chill and torpor of the immersion.- Lecture on the best mode of preparing and using Spelling.Books, by Horace Mann.






From the Boston Mercantile Journal. Spelling and Thinking: A Spelling. Book has been recently published in this city with the following iille : Spelling and Thinking Combined, or the Spelling-Book made a medium of thought. The sequel to · My First School-Book.'

This is a Spelling-Book on a new plan; or rather, perhaps, the plan of " My First School-Book,by the saine author, carried out in application io the higher classes and older children. The attempt in both, is to combine spelling with thinking, and thinking with spelling:

The inodern theory on this subject is, “ that no word should be taught whose meaning is not understood. The teacher should not count out words faster than ideas." So says the Secretary of the Board of Education. Here is an attempt to realize the idea.

Heretofore the Spelling-Book, generally, has been but a little better than a confused jumble of words, known and unknown; and so unlike in specification and appearance, or so far removed from the common sympathies and apprehension of children, that the lilile learner could seldom get any definite idea of their meaning. In some cases the columns have been arranged on the principle of length of the words, or number of syllables; sometimes, in relation to their accent or pronunciation; and sometimes, again, on that of partial resemblance.

But in this book, while the words, as in other Spellers, are arranged in columns, the principle adopted, is, that of natural association, classifying them throughout, in reference to similarity in their meaning: On the old plan, the words were all dissimilar in this respect, as for instance, " Deity, deviate, diadem, diary, genial, genius,&c. In such a case, the principle of association as to meaning, is out of the question ; and it would appear extremely difficult if an explanation were attempted of these words, for the pupil to remember the application. On the new plan, without much trouble to the teacher, or difficulty with the pupil, every word may be explained by the one, and by the law of association, easily remembered by the other. For instance, if eye is the first word of a column, then see, sight, look, gaze, stare, peep, &-c. foc., in fact all the words in the language connected with this family, are brought into juxtaposition. Or again, if mouth is the first, then tongue, voice, talk, speak, whisper, sing, warble, cry, sob, fc. &c., form another series of columns-and so on, through the whole vocabulary; giving this advantage to the book over all others, of making columns of words, so far as it is practicable, both intelligible and interesting. Sense and not sound, being the principle of their arrangement.

Besides the advantage just noticed, another is, not only to give the radical word in each case, but also its derivatives, its modes and tenses. For instance, if we have depend, we have also depending and depended. If we have neglect, we have also immediately following, neglected, neglectful, negligent and negligence. If we have talk, we have talker, talks, talking, tulked, &c. &c. By this means the eye and mind of the child becoine familiar with every word, not only in one of its forms, as in other Spelling. Books, but in all its various forms; and when, therefore, it aitempts the act of reading, it is not led to hesitate and stammer because the word with which it was familiar in its root, has now assumed a new termination, and of course a different appearance.

This description will convey a general idea of the book; but it has other new and valuable qualities wherewith to aid the pupil in understanding his lessons, and to remove some of the unnecessary thorns in the path way of the juvenile learner, but it is unnecessary for us to point them out.

We understand that the whole series of this author, has been adopted by the Primary School Board of this city, and that the teachers find in the books, much to commend, and but little to censure.

P. " Spelling and Thinking Combined, is an exceedingly interesting book; and if a Spelling-Book of any sort were to be selected for a child of mine, I know not, at present, of a better than this in the English language.”Doct. W. A. Alcott.

From the Boston Recorder. Bumstead's Second and Third Books.—These books are a part of a progressive series of Primary-School books, by Mr. J. F. Bumstead, of this city. They follow My Little Primer, and My First SchoulBook, which commence the series. We have examined the Second and Third Books, with much satisfaction. They appear to be based upon the true principle of instruction—that of informing and culti. vating the mind, and, at the same time, consulting and regulating the natural feelings of youth. While it is one of the most difficult things, in the process of education, to induce children to love study as they love play, it is still very desirable and important, and success may only be expected in proportion as this point is gained. Much of the machinery of some of our systems of instruction is mere machinery—having no soul--and overlooking entirely, the essential principle to which we have alluded, in the haste to drive the youthful mind over a sort of railroad to learning. In the preface to the book now before us, the compiler says, truly :-" The lessons 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 giving utterance to that only which is fresh from his own mind and heart. We think Mr. Bumstead, in the selection and revision of the pieces which compose these volumes, has attained this most desirable end in an eminent

From the Boston Evening Transcript. Reading Books for Children - We have received “ Bumstead's Second and Third Reading-Books,” being two neat volumes of a series arranged expressly for Primary Schools, and adapted for all juvenile instruction. In examining these excellent publications, we have been particularly struck with the nice arrangement and order of the lessons, and their gradually increased adaptation to the progress of the learner. The selections for reading also, are of a character to interest the young mind, in a manner which shall prevent that ennui of instruction which assails the budding comprehension, as well as the more nature intellect. We hope to see this work adopted by our Primary Schools generally, and we are confident


that no publications designed for the same intent, are more capable of being thoroughly effectual. The style in which these little vol. umes are issued, is exceedingly attractive; and they are printed in a manner to save the eyes of the reader; a merit, which we think deserving of special mention.

From the Christian Watchman. Bumstead's Second and Third Reading-Books in the Primary School. These books are made up of easy reading lessons—the language chaste and simple, and the mechanical execution of the first order for books of this class. We should not suppose that the author, who has had so much to do for a long series of years with the Boston schools, in the capacity of Committee man, could compile other than a good book for such a purpose, and in this instance, we are happy to find he has been decidedly successful. School committees who are contemplating a change in schools for which these books are adapted, will do well before making up their minds, to examine them.

From the Boston Evening Gazette. Bumstead's Second and Third Reading-Books in the Primary School. The above are the titles of two of the most valuable little books that we have seen for a long while, so well calculated as they are, for the use of children. The selections have been made with the utmost care.

From the Portsmouth Journal. Bumstead's Second and Third Reading-Books in the Primary School,are what their titles indicate, and are very good books of their kind, deserving a name and a place in the “Jadder of learning,” near the bottom, to be sure, but yet very important steps. None more difficult than first steps,--but the effort here is joined with pleasure.

From the Reflector. Of these books it may be enough, and it is certainly not too much, to say, that they have a neat external appearance and handsome page, and that iheir contents are new, choice an: appropriate. The object of the author, to supply lessons which shall not only be intelligible to the child, but in which he can take a lively interest, appears to us to be most successfully gained. The scenes and language are eminently natural and vivid, and we are persuaded, the selections will be highly approved by School committees and Teachers generally.

From the Report of the Book Committee of the Boston Primary Schools.

“But by far the best books which we have examined are the con cluding numbers of a series of Primary-School Books, prepared by a member of this Board, and whose experience, taste and good judg. ment, well qualify him for the task he has so happily accomplished. They are intended for the use of the first and second classes, and are a continuation of the books sometime since introduced into the third and fourth. The selections are of the most interesting and excellent character. There is a unity and simplicity in the gradations from simple to difficult which is admirable. And it should be especially noticed that the lessons are divided in a proper manner for every-day use. There are no long-drawn-out sentences, to be

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