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.