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The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."

Notes of Lessons
Volume 17, no. 2, 1906, pg. 139-146.

[page 139]

[usual note from the editor]


Subject: Latin.

Group: Language. Class III. Time: 30 minutes.



I. To increase the girls' interest in Latin.
II. To increase the girls' power of reflection by encouraging them to trace the Latin origin of words in our own language.
III. To improve their Latin pronunciation.
IV. To facilitate their translation.
V. To increase their knowledge of Latin grammar.


Step I.--Give the girls a short exercise on the Latin vowels, consonants, and dipthongs, illustrating their approximate sounds on the blackboard as follows:--

[I have not included the chart; it contains long and short sounds of the five vowels, and examples of three dipthongs, with one Latin word as an example of each]

Step II.--Girls to read the vocabulary, noticing the gender of each word, also those which resemble any of our English words.

[page 140]

Step III.--Girls to read and translate the following Latin sentences:--

Aqualifer tamen non timet. In aquam desilit. Nostri stupent, nam in barbaros aquilam portat. "Vultis-ne," exclamat, "aquilam barbaris prodere?" Tum nostri ex navibus desiliunt. Barbaris vada nota sunt, nostris ignota. Alii equos incitant et cum nostris proclium committunt. Alii in universos tela mittunt. Multi Romani summo in periculo sunt. Caesar id animadvertit. Itaque scaphas armatis complet et nostris auxilium submittit.

[Marks over vowels are not included]

Step IV.--Grammar questions on verbs and prepositions : In, Ex and Cum. Declension of Is, Ea, Id, to be written on the board and learnt.

Step V.-Girls to write Latin sentences on the board, using words learnt during the lesson, as Proverb: "The blind man leads the blind man, and they both fall into the ditch." Our men are in danger. Caesar notices it, and (he) sends help to our men. The barbarians are in boats. The Romans jump out of the ships on to dry land.

(Typist's Note: The book used in the lesson above is First Latin Lessons (Scott and Jones), page 43, lesson 79. Here is the actual text of the lesson. The lesson plan says to refer to the vocabulary, but I don't see any given for this chapter, though there are vocabulary words for earlier chapters.

Aquilifer tamen non timet. In aquam desilit. Nostri
stupent, nam in barbaros aquilam portat, "Vultis-ne "
exclamat " aquilam barbaris prodere ? " Tum nostri ex
navibus desiliunt. Barbaris vada nota sunt, nostris-
ignota. Alii equos incitant et cum nostris proelium
committunt. Alii in uni versos tela mittunt. Multi
Romani summo in periculo sunt. Caesar id animad-
vertit. Itaque scaphas armatis complet et nostris
auxilium submittit. Mox nostri in arido stant. Cum
barbaris proelium committunt et eos in fugam dant.

Proverbum -- Caecus caecum ducit et ambo in foveam cadunt.



Subject: Picture Talk.

Group: Art. Class II Time: 20 minutes.



I. To help the children to appreciate Rembrandt and his works.
II. To increase their power of observation.
III. To show Rembrandt's chief characteristic as an artist. (Wonderful arrangement of light and shade.)


Step I.--Ask the children to narrate what they know of Rembrandt's life. Supplement by further details. Rembrandt was born at Leyden, in Holland, in 1606. (Use map.) His father was a miller. Rembrandt was sent to the University of Leyden when he was fourteen, for one year. Then for three years he was apprenticed to Jacob van Swanenborch. In the following year he entered Pieter Lasman's studio, where he

[page 141]

remained six months. After this he returned home to "study and practise painting alone, and in his own way." His chief models were the members of his own family and himself. In 1634 he married Saskia. Rembrandt was a poor man and led rather a sorrowful life. He was much too liberal for his means, and consequently towards the end of his life he became bankrupt. He died 1669.

Step II.--Give each child a reproduction of "The Syndics of the Drapers." Let them study picture well, then remove.

Step III.--Draw a detailed description of picture from the children. Amplify, with questions as far as possible. The picture represents a company of men (drapers) who come together to discuss the affairs of their trade. Mention the Clothworker's Company of to-day. Notice and account for different expressions on the men's faces. Notice the man with no hat in the background. He is a servant.

Step IV.--Return pictures to children. Ask them what they take to be the chief characteristic of the work (as regards the tones of the painting). The light on the faces, collars and book contrasting with the somewhat dark tones of the rest of the picture. This is so beautifully balanced that not a little piece of light could be taken away without spoiling the whole effect. Help the children to appreciate this quality and ask them if they have noticed this fact in the other Rembrandts they have taken.

Step V.--Let the children draw from memory the leading lines of the picture.



Subject: Literature—Sir Thomas More.

Group: English. Class III. Time: 25 minutes.

By Gertrude Mahony.


I. To increase the girls' knowledge of the life and work of Sir Thomas More.
II. To interest them in the personal life of Sir Thomas More, and so increase their interest in the history of the period.

[page 142]

III. To give them a wider knowledge of the Revival of Learning in England.
IV. To connect the history and literature of the reign of Henry VIII.


Step I.--Ask the girls to give a brief account of Henry VIII.'s reign.

Step II.--Ask them for the names of Henry's chief ministers and let them relate what they know of Sir Thomas More.

Step III.--Supplement their narrative with a short account of More's life. Sir Thomas More was born in Lond, in 1478. His father, Sir John More, was Justice of the Queen's Bench, and was a man of character and talent. More received his early education in Latin. At the age of fifteen, he was placed as a page in the household of Archibishop Morton, who often said of More to the nobles who dined with him: "This child here waiting at the table, whoever shall live to see it, will prove a marvellous man." Morton sent him later to Oxford, where he met Colet and Linacre : the latter taught him Greek. On leaving Oxford, he met Erasmus, who became his life-long friend. More, like his father, was a lawyer by profession. In the reign of Henry VII, he became a Member of Parliament, and fourteen years later (1523) Speaker of the House of Commons. In six years' time he was made Lord Chancellor in Wolsey's place, but much against his will,as he had no desire for public life. On the first opportunity he resigned the chancellorship and retired into public life. In 1534, Henry was declared Head of the English Church, but More, refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy, was imprisoned in the Tower for more than a year for high treason. He and Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, were executed on the same charge in 1535. More was twice married. Of all his chldren he loved his daughter Margaret best. Her devotion to her father was unsurpassed, as one sees when reading The Household of Sir Thomas More. It was she who dared to go by night and steal her father's body from the gallows and have it buried. In his personal character More was the most attractive and lovable of men. From Erasmus's sketch of him we realise all his virtues and attractions. Read the

[page 143]

extract from Erasmus (Life and Letters) page 111, and from Green's Shorter History, page 308, giving a description of his appearance and character. Show the girls the reproduction of More's portrait by Holbein.

Step IV.--Ask the girls what they know of the "new Learning," and show that Sir Thomas More was one of the chief advocates of it in England, with Erasmus and Colet.

Causes of the Revival of Learning

(a) The fall of Constantinople in 1453 scattered Greek scholars abroad in Europe, who taught and spread their literature.
(b) The discovery of America, exploration of the Indian Sea and other places led men to write books of travel and so gave an impulse to literature.
(c) The invention of printing (earlier) facilitated study by the spread of books.
(d) The spread of Reformed Doctrines led men to study the Bible and afterwards other works.

Step V.--Mention Sir Thomas More's works : Life of Richard III. and Utopia. The former may be regarded as the first book written in classical English prose. By his Utopia More was recognised as one of the most accomplished scholars of the Renaissance. It was written in Latin, in 1516, and translated into English, in 1556. Read an account of Utopia from "The Story of the Nations," vol. 63, page 172, and from Green's History, page 32. If time, read the description of Cardinal Morton frm Utopia, page 36, in order to give the girls some idea of the English of the sixteenth century.


Subject: Algebra.

Group: Mathematics. Class IV. Time: 30 minutes.

By J.H. Morris.


I. To introduce simple equations.
II. II. To stimulate interest in algebra by showing how easily many problems may be solved.
III. To encourage accuracy.
IV. To increase the power of reasoning.

[page 144]


Step I.--Explain that an "equation" asserts that two expressions are equal, but that we do not usually employ the word equation in so wide a sense. Thus the statement x + 3 + x + 4 = 2x + 7, which is always true, whatever value x may have, is called an "identical equation" or an "identity."

Step II.--But certain equations are only true for particular values ofo the symbols employed. Thus 3x + 6 is only true when x = 2, and is called an "equation of condition" or simply an "equation."

Step III.--Introduce the solution of an equation in a simple concrete instance. A father is four times as old as his son : in 24 years he will only be twice as old. Find their ages.

Let x years be the son's age.
Then 4x years = the father's age.
In 24 years the son will be x + 24 and the father 4x + 24 years old. Therefore by first supposition:--
4x + 24 = 2(x + 24)
4x + 24 = 2x + 48 (1)

By this equation (1), taken in the abstract , is meant that if x be replaced by a certain number (in this case the age in years of the son) then the left-hand side of (1) can be transformed into the right by means of the laws of arithmetic or algebra. The object, therefore, is to find the value of x which will make (1) an identity. This is called "solving the equation."

Although the value of x, which makes (1) an identity, is not known, we proceed to transform the equation on the hypothesis that x has such a value.

For, 4x + 24 = 2x + 48, and if equals be taken from equals the remainders are equal.

4x + 24 - (2x + 48) = 4x + 24 - (2x + 48)
2x = 24

But if equals be divided by equals the quotients are equal, therefore dividing by 2: x 12
Therefore the "solution" is x = 12, i.e. The boy was 12 years old.
By substituting x = 12 in (1) we may show that 4 x 12 + 24 = 2 x 12 + 28, which is described as verifying the solution.

[page 145]

Step IV.--Explain what conclusions may be deduced from this problem.
(1) That the process of solving an equation consists in finding a value for the unknown quantity, such as will make the equation an actual identity.
(2) That in every transformation of the equation we suppose the unknown quantity to have values such that the equation is an identity.
(3) That in each step of the process of solution we deduce from a previous equation (A) another (B) which has all the solution or solutions of (A).

Step V.--Consider the equation 5x = 10

Dividing both sides by 5 we get x = 2

Similarly if x / 2 = -8
Multiplying both sides by 2 we get
x = -16.

Step VI.--To solve 3x + 15 = x + 25. Here the unknown quantity occurs on both sides of the equation, but show that any term can be transposed from one side to the other by simply changing its sign. For, subtract x from both sides of the equation and
3x + 15 - x = 25
Subtract 15 from each side
3x x = 25 - 15

Thus it is seen that + x has been removed from one side and appears as - x on the othr, and that + 15 has been removed from one side and appears as - 15 on the other. Therefore, we have the rule that any term may be transposed from one side of the equation to the other by changing its sign.

Step VII.--From the last step it follows that we may change the sign of every term in an equation, since this is equivalent to transposing all the terms, and then making the right and left hand memers change places. For:--
-5x + 10 = -3x - 4
Transposing 3x + 4 = 5x - 10
or 5x - 10 = 3x + 4

Step VIII.-- Let the girls work out on the blackboard:--
(1) 2x + 3 = 16 - (2x - 3)
(2) 8(x - 1) + 17(x - 3) = 4 (4x - 9) + 4

[page 146]

Help them to solve

(3) x / 2 - 3 = x / 4 + x / 5

by showing them that it is convenient to clear the equation of fractions by multiplying both sides by the L.C.M. Of the denominators. Thus, multiplying by 20
10x - 60 = 5x + 4x.

Step IX.--Draw from the girls the rules for the solution of an equation. First, if necessary, clear of fractions, secondly, transpose all the terms containing the unknown quantity to one side of the equation and the known quantities to the other. Then collect the terms on each side and finally divide both sides by the co-efficient of the unknown quantity, and value required is obtained.

Step X.--If time let them work two or three easy problems involving simple equations.

(1) One number exceeds another by 5 and their sum is 29; find them.
(2) What two numbers are those whose sum is 58 and difference 28.

Typed by Anne White, April 2015