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 14, 1903, pgs. 226-230

Notes of Lessons. [We have thought that it might be of use to our readers (in their own families) to publish from month to month during the current year, Notes of Lessons prepared by students of the House of Education for the pupils of the Practising School. We should like to say, however, that such a Lesson is never given as a tour de force, but is always an illustration or an expansion of some part of the children's regular studies (in the Parents' Review School), some passage in one or other of their school books.--ED.]

I. Subject: Leatherwork (Embossed).

Group: Handicrafts. Class IV. Age: 16 1/2. Time: 30-40 minutes.

By L. Eleanor Clendinnen.


I. To cultivate the artistic feeling in the pupils.

II. To train them in neatness and in manual dexterity.

III. To give training to the eye.

IV. To introduce them to a new handicraft.

V. To work, as far as possible in the time, to top of a penwiper.


Step I.--Show the pupils a shaded drawing of the design, also a partly finished penwiper top, with the same design on it. When they have compared the two, they will see that the effect of light and shade is obtained in the leather by raising the light parts and pressing back the dark ones.

Step II.--Let the pupils trace the design on the leather with a pointer. Remove the tracing paper and accentuate the lines with a pointer. (This is best done with a wheel in a large design.)

Step III.--Damp the leather and with a moulder press the background away from the outline of the design, also the dark parts under the folds at the top of the petals and round the centre. From behind raise up the light parts with a moulder, and fill the holes thus made with a mixture of sawdust and meal, wet enough to make a kind of rough thick paste. Press away the dark parts again, and make any ornamental lines, etc., while the stuffing is wet, as it soon dries very hard. For this reason a very little must be stuffed at once, in this design about one petal at a time.

Step IV.--Let the pupils punch their background or not as they prefer.

Work on my own half-finished piece of leather to avoid touching the pupils' work.

II. Subject: Advanced French (Gouin).

Group: Languages. Class III. Age: 13 and 14. Time: 30 minutes.

By C. N. Heath.


I. To teach the children a new poem in a foreign language.

II. To increase their French vocabulary and enable them to have a more ready command over the words already acquired.

III. To establish relations with the past of a foreign country, by arousing their interest in Christophe Plantin.

IV. To give them a good pronunciation in French.


Step I.--Tell the children about Christophe Plantin, who was born at St. Avertin, near Tours, in 1514, and settled at Antwerp in 1549, where a few years later he started his work of printing and publishing, his greatest work being the Biblia Polyglotta. He died in 1589, the work being, however, carried on by the firm which consisted chiefly of his sons-in-law.

Show the children the postcards illustrating the house, which has been preserved to this day exactly as it was in Plantin's time.

Step II.--Put the title of the poem on blackboard, and make a word-picture of the poem, to fix the subject clearly in the minds of the children.

Step III.--Describe the verbs in the first verse in such a manner that the children can supply their French equivalents, and have them written on the blackboard by one of the pupils.

Step IV.--Treat the remaining words in the poem in the same manner, speaking as much as possible in French.

Step V.--Repeat the verse two or three times clearly and distinctly, and then ask the children to say it themselves. When they know it, show them the copy of the poem printed exactly as in the author's time, and with the actual type used in his day.

Treatment of the Verbs.

Avoir: verbe auxiliaire qui signifie de posséder à l'Infiniti.
Tapissé: verbe employé pour expliquer que le plancher est couvert d'une étoffe en laine.
Posséder: verbe pour exprimer qu'une chose vous appartient.

       Le Bonheur de ce Monde.

       Avoir une maison commode propre et belle,
       Un jardin tapissé d'espaliers odorans,
       Des fruits, d'excellent vin, peu de train peu d'enfant,
       Posséder seul sans bruit une femme fidèle.

III. A Talk about Original Illustrations.

Group: Art. Age: 9 to 11. Time: 25 to 30 minutes.

By Lillian Lees.


I. To give to the children some idea of composition, based on the work of the artist Jean Francois Millet.

II. To inspire them with a desire to study the works of other artists, with a similar object in view.

III. To help them with their original illustrations, by giving them ideas, carried out in Millet's work, as to simplicity of treatment, breadth of tone and use of lines.

Materials Needed.

See that the children are provided with paint boxes, brushed, water, pencils, rulers, india-rubber and paper.

Photographs of Millet's pictures.

A picture-book by R. Caldecott.


Step I.--Introduce the subject by talking with the children about their original illustrations. Tell them how our great artists have drawn ideas and inspiration from the work of other artists; have studied their pictures, copied them and tried to get at the spirit of them.

Tell them that to-day we are going to study some of the pictures of the great French artist, Millet, some of whose works Mr. Yates has drawn for us on the walls of our Millet room; considering them to be models of true art.

Step II.--Tell the children a little about the life of Millet (giving them one or two pictures to look at meanwhile), give only a brief sketch, so that they will feel that he is not a stranger to them.

Just talk to them a little about his early childhood; how he worked in the fields; how he had two great books--the Book of Nature and the Bible, from which he drew much inspiration; how later on he went to Paris and studied the pictures of great artists, Michael Angelo among them.

Step III.--Show the pictures to the children, let them look well at them, and then draw from them their ideas as to the beauty and simplicity of the composition, the breadth of tone, and the dignity of the lines. Help them sketching when necessary, to reduce a picture to its most simple form; half-closing their eyes to shut out detail, help them to get an idea of the masses of tone, &c. Tell them that a picture is a design on a large scale.

Step IV.--Let the children reproduce one of the pictures, working in water-colour with monochrome and making their washes simple and flat, reducing the tones to two or three.

Step V.--Suggest to them to study the works of other artists in a similar way, and show them how the books of R. Caldecott will help them in making their figures look as if they are moving.

IV. Subject: Scripture.

Group: History. Class 1b. Average age of children: 8 Time: 20 minutes.

By May E. Moule.


I. To increase in the child the love and knowledge of God.

II. To give her a spiritual thought from the passage taken.

III. To teach the story of Josiah and the Finding of the Law.


Step I.--Tell the story to the child, only giving necessary explanations.

Step II.--Read the story in the words of the Bible carefully and slowly with expression.

Step III.--Let the child narrate the account of the Finding of the Law, keeping as far as possible to the words of Scripture. Try to make her feel the lesson without stating it actually, i.e., due reverence for the Word of God and repentance for sin.

Proofread by LNL, Feb. 2024