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Psalm 78
. . . we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. .
so the next generation would know them . . . and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blab School?

The d'Aulaire's put it this way:
There they [Abe and his schoolmates] sat together, big and small, reading and writing and reckoning aloud, all at one time together. There was such a chatter that it could be heard a long way off. But when Abe was six years old he had learned both to read and write.
And the biographer Carl Sandburg said it this way:
In a log schoolhouse with a dirt floor and one door, seated on puncheon benches with no backs, they learned the alphabet A to Z and numbers one to ten. It was called a "blab school": the pupils before reciting read their lessons out loud to themselves to show they were busy studying.
This does not describe our method, but it seems to describe our outcome. I'm walking Lane through a literature worksheet, Sydney's reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear to Toby aloud, and Hope is mumbling about the grammar sentences she's working on. Whenever this happens, I always remember these lines from the two best Lincoln biographies I know of: Abraham Lincoln by Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire and Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years by Carl Sandburg, the first a picture book for children and the second a single-volume version of Sandburg's original multi-volume biography.


Anonymous said...

I love the quiet hum of pupils concentrating and studying. :)

Sharon said...

I was reading more Anne of Green Gables to the kids this evening, and came across these quotes:

"I'll try to be a model pupil," agreed Anne dolefully. "There won't be much fun in it, I expect. Mr Phillips said Minnie Andrews was a model pupil and there isn't a spark of imagination or life in her." ...
Mr Phillips might not be a very good teacher; but a pupil so inflexibly determined on learning as Anne was could hardly escape making progress under any kind of a teacher.

There are some fascinating insights into one room schoolhouse teaching in Anne.

I'm not sure how much of the innuendo about Mr Phillips courting of one of the students is being understood by the kids and how much is going over their heads, though. You sure wouldn't get a book for children printed with a scenario like that in it these days. Or at least, not if it were written about in such a fashion, where the problem is not the relationship being inappropriate, but rather that the teacher is distracted from his other duties!

~ Sharon

Mrs. Edwards said...

A friend of mine was disappointed that Anne of Green Gables is on the Tapestry of Grace literature list for dialectic kids--because her dialectic kids are boys. She's concerned they will balk at reading a "girl" book. I suppose it has a special appeal to girls, but it seems to me that a good story like Anne's would catch the attention of any kid. It seems that the success of your family read-aloud is evidence!

I've read the book countless times but never really considered the potential scandal of Mr. Phillips and what's-her-name. As you said, it isn't something that would occur to kids.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like our school.... I just hope our outcome is the same. :-)


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