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. 686-691

[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), of some passage in one or other of their school books.--ED.]

I. Subject: Literature.
Group: English. Class IV. Age: 16. Time: 45 minutes.

By E. A. Parish.

Charles Lamb.


I. To give some main principles on the choice of reading.

II. To give a short sketch of the life of Charles Lamb.

III. To show how the writer's character is reflected in The Essays of Elia.

IV. To emphasize the fact that very thoughtful reading is necessary in order to get full pleasure and benefit from it.


Step I.--Decide with the pupils some principles on the choice of reading, such as the following:--

      Never waste time on valueless books.

      Have respect for the books themselves.

      Try to cultivate taste by noticing the best pieces in any book that is being read.

      Time is too short to read much; there is a necessity, therefore, for judicious selection.

      The best literature can only be appreciated by those who have fitted themselves for it.

      It is more important to read well than to read much.

      The gain of reading some of the most beautiful literature while we are young is that we shall then have beautiful thoughts and images to carry with us through life.

      To get at the full significance of a book it is necessary to dig for it.

Thus The Essays of Elia are not only pleasant reading, but they are the reflection of the writer's character. All that Lamb was can be gathered from his works, and to rightly understand these one must know something of the grand though obscure life of Charles Lam.

Step II.--Try to draw from the girls, who are already familiar with some of the essays, what they tell us of Charles Lamb.

Charles Lamb was born 1775. His father was a domestic servant to Mr. Salt, whose portrait is found in The Old Bencher of the Inner Temple. 1782, Charles received a presentation from Mr. Salt to Christ's Hospital (see Essay). The result of his education is summed up in The Schoolmaster. From fifteen to 20 he was a clerk in the South Sea House (Essay).

In 1795 he was transferred to the India House. He lived near Holborn with his parents and his sister Mary. Here took place the sad accident occasioned by Mary's insanity.

Charles' heroic resolution. One learns something of the dream he renounced in Dream Children. His work at the India House was uninteresting, but such as left him leisure for intellectual pursuits. This distribution of occupation was a means of conserving his mental balance. His literary work was all done in the evening: "Candle light" in Popular Fallacies.

The girls will read Talfourd's estimate of Lamb.

Letters to Robert Lloyd show Lamb's persistent cheerfulness. The cheerful tone is also noticeable in many of his essays: Mrs. Battle, All Fools Day, My Relations (portrait of John Lamb), Mackery End (portrait of Mary Lamb), Poor Relations and Captain Jackson. C. Lamb died 1834.

Step III.--Summarize by questions.

II. Subject: Physical Geography.

Group: Science. Class III. Average age: 12 1/2. Time: 30 minutes.

By Hilda M. Fountain.

Sketch of a Lesson on Periodical Winds.


I. To train the pupils' powers of inductive reasoning.

II. To help them to gain a clear idea of the causes of wind in general, and periodical winds in particular.

III. To connect these winds with the geography of South America which they have been studying.


Step I.--To draw from the children that difference in the temperature of air is one cause of wind. Introduce the subject by asking what happens when a handful of snips of paper are thrown into the fire. Do the experiment before them if possible, and get them to infer from their observation that the snips are carried upwards, that the heated air is lighter than the cooler air surrounding the grate. Hence hot air is lighter than cold air.

Step II.--To draw from the children that the difference in degree of moisture is a cause of wind. Ask them if they have noticed what happens when damp clothes are put to dry near a fire, and let them tell that steam rises from them. Get them to draw from this the conclusion that damp air is lighter than dry air.

Step III.--Sum up what we have learnt from these two experiments. A current of air tends to flow from a cold to a hot region, from a dry to a damp. Draw attention to the fact that air is a material substance and has weight.

Step IV.--Draw from the children that there is on the globe always a store of cold air at the Poles ready to rush in and take the place of the heated air near the Equator. Hence in the Atlantic Ocean, where there is no land to interrupt the course of the wind, we might expect the wind to blow due north, north of the Equator, and due south, south of the Equator. Tell them that such is not the case. That sailing vessels find it most convenient to sail with the wind, and when going to the Cape they go first to South America, calling at the Brazilian ports. Draw from the children that the winds must, therefore, blow from the north-east.

Step V.--Hence there must be some other cause which has not been accounted for. Ask the children what are the motions of the earth, and tell them that it is the rotation of the earth that affects the direction of the wind. Help them by questioning to realize that the earth rotates more rapidly at the Equator than elsewhere, owing to the greater distance which it has to turn round in the twenty-four hours. Hence a current of air starting from the north with a slow velocity from west to east does not acquire the rapid velocity of the earth at the Equator by the time it reaches that part of the earth, and the result is that is seems to lag behind, and so, instead of blowing from the north, it seems to come from the north-east. Illustrate by diagram.

Step VI.--Get the children to find out how the wind blows south of the Equator, viz., from the south-east. Give the name of Trade Winds, and give some idea of their importance to navigation before steam power was employed. They blow all the year round in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

III. Subject: Sloyd.

Group: Handicrafts. Class II. Age: 9. Time: 30 minutes.

By H. M. A. Bell


I. To increase manual dexterity, accuracy, neatness and perseverance.

II. To strengthen the habit of attention.

III. To cultivate practical intelligence.

IV. To give exercise to the muscles of the eye and hand.

V. To give mental discipline.

VI. To cut out in cardboard and make as far as possible a box to hold stamps.


Step I.--Show the children a ready-made box. Let them examine it and say what materials are required for making it.

Step II.--Let the children measure the box and its lid, their length, breadth and height.

Step III.--Draw diagrams on the board, while the children do so on their cardboard.

Step IV.--Direct the cutting out, seeing that the knives are held properly, at the same time being careful not to interfere with their work; that they may feel that they are expected to work independently, I shall cut out a box myself. if necessary hold their steel angles while they cut, as not having done much Sloyd their wrists are not steady.

Let one child cut out the box and the other the lid. Let them both persevere with the cutting until they cut a good line.

Step V.--They will have oblong pieces of cardboard: ask them what they must do in order to shape them into box and lid. When they have cut out the corners and cut half through the lines where the sides have to be turned up, let them begin to bind the corners together.

Step VI.--Bind inside and outside if time allows.

Papering the box will occupy another lesson. The children should be allowed to choose the materials required and take measurements for the paper from the ready-made box.

IV. Subject: Old Testament.

Group: History. Class 1. Time: 15 minutes.

By Adele Gytha Roffe.


I. To increase the children's knowledge of the Flood and the building of the Ark.

II. To increase their power of narration.

III. To give a spiritual idea.


Step I.--Read aloud, slowly and distinctly, Genesis chapter vi., verse 13 to end, and chapter vii., omitting verses 2-10. God's instructions to Noah about the building of the Ark, the animals to be preserved, and the account of the Deluge.

Step II.--Describe the scenes, trying to make the children imagine them clearly.

First. Noah and his friends cutting down trees and preparing for the great shipbuilding in a field--a curious place, as there is not water near. Imagine the people coming and laughing at Noah--"this foolish man who has been bothering us with his preachings all these years."

Second. Now the time has come: 120 years have passed. The ark is finished, and all the beasts and birds in pairs are being gathered in, and Noah and his family are busy from morning till night, storing provisions. You can fancy the people laughing louder than ever, to hide feelings of uneasiness beginning to rise. Five days pass thus, then six days; still clear blue sky and still the people mocked him. But at midnight the storm begins the houses rock in the storm, the sky is dark and the wind howls, and torrents of rain pour down, great sheets of water, "the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened." In the morning the water had risen up to their feet, the next day it is worse, and so it continues.

Step III.--Make the children repeat as much as possible in the words of the Bible.

Proofread by LNL, Feb. 2024