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 15, 1904, pg. 464-470

[We have thought it may 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 House. 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: Spanish Exercises.

Group: Drill. -- Class IV. -- Time: 20 minutes.

By Adele Gytha Roffe


I. To make the girls more supple and graceful in their movements.
II. To begin to teach them Spanish exercises.
III. To increase their sense of rhythm.


Step I.--Explain to the girls the uses of these exercises, which is to enable them to bend the body easily and gracefully, and make them more supple.

Step II.--Do the exercise before the girls very slowly and counting.

Kneel on the left knee with the arms stretched above the head, then turn the body from the waist to the right, still keeping the arms up. Bend the body slowly sideways and downwards till the hands touch the floor, carry them across the body to the left, gradually straightening the back as the arms rise.

Repeat the same movement, only beginning from the left. When the arms are again above the head, bend from the waist as far backwards as possible, stretching the arms wide at the same time. From this position bend the body forwards and downwards, until the hands again touch the floor, then bring them up by the left, at the same time rising on both feet and making a pirouette.

Step III.--Repeat the exercise for the girls, this time with the music. Let the girls practice the exercise without the music, and in order to help them, do it with them. When this exercise is known, go on to number two.

Step IV.--The first movement is to raise the right hand above the head, looking up at it, then slowly let it fall, till the fingers touch the toes, at the same time the body bends downwards, but the knees must not be bent. Raise the body and carry the arm up to its former position.

Repeat exercise with the other arm.


II. Subject: Influence of Latin on the English Language.

Group: English -- Class III. -- Time: 20-30 minutes

By Winifred Tibbits


I. To interest the children in the study of their own language.
II. To show them what a great influence history has upon language.
III. To show them how it is that we have so many Latin words in our language, as they are just going to take Latin prefixes.
IV. To connect the past with the present.


Step I.--Ask the children what foreign elements we have in our language and see if they know how they came to us.

We have French, German, Italian, Spanish, Scandinavian, Greek and Latin words, besides many others. To-day we will find out how we came to have so many Latin words in the English language.

These Latin words did not all come at the same time, but at four different periods.

Step II. Latin of the First Period--Question the children as to the events in the year 55 B.C. Romans in Britain over 400 years, and during this time conferred many benefits upon the ignorant Britons. Made good roads, made good laws, built ramparts and forts, and founded colonies. When they left the country in 410 A.D. to defend Rome against the Goths, they left these benefits behind them, and the Roman names remained with the things. Thus we have castra, a camp; fossa, a ditch; strata, a paved road; vallum, a rampart; portus, a harbour.

Ask children for the names of places with the word "castra" in, which in some cases has been altered to "cester" and "chester." Examples--Manchester, Doncaster, Leicester.

Then take "strata" in the same way, telling them about the great Roman road from Richborough into Scotland, which went over a ridge of hills in this district known as the High Street till this day. Such towns as Stratford-on-Avon, Stretton, Stretford, and Stradbrook must have been on or very near this great military road.

Wall is the only word we have from "vallum."

From "fossa" we have Fosbrooke, Fossway, etc.

"Portus" appears in Portsmouth, Portsea, Bridport, etc.

The children are to find out as many words as possible that are derived from each Latin one.

Step III. Latin of the Second Period--Ask the children if they know who came to England in 597, and how they would influence the language. St. Augustine and forty monks sent from Rome to convert Angles and Saxons, and as they were missionaries it is chiefly words relating to church matters which they introduced. Thus we have priest from presbyter, sacrament from sacramentum, sanctify from sanctus, etc.

Christianity always tends to civilize a nation, and renders the people more sociable, and so the English began to have intercourse and to trade with the countries of Europe, and in that way new things were brought into the country, and new names came with them. Ask what word we get from caseus, from tunica, from ficus, from leo, from ostrea, from pondus, from candila.

With regard to those words which have been introduced directly from the Latin, it must be noticed that they are often greatly changed in form. Examples--debitum and debt, poti and poison, traditio and treason.

Step IV. Latin of the Third Period--Question the children as to the events of 1066, and what the Norman Conquest has to do with the Latin in our language.

French is really Latin with many of the inflections lost and the vowel sounds very much altered, and so the words we have taken from the French are really of Latin origin. This Norman French which William and his followers brought into the country became the language of the ruling classes, of the court, lawyers and priests, and even the country people began to speak French. But about the end of the 14th century there came a reaction, and the Frenchman began to learn English from their English wives and children. But by this time many French words had been almost universally adopted, and they have remained in the language til this day.

Get the children to give words derived from the Latin in the following order:--

English -- -- French -- -- Latin
duke -- -- -- -- duc -- -- dux (acc. ducem)
chivalry -- -- cheval -- callabus
fidelity -- -- fidelete -- fidelitas

The names of cattle, etc. were Saxon while the animals lived, but when they were killed they became Norman. Ask children for examples of this.

English -- -- -- -- French -- Latin
(ox) beef -- -- -- boeuf -- -- bos (acc. bovem)
(calf) veal -- -- -- veil -- -- vitellus
(pig) pork -- -- -- porc -- -- porcus
(sheep) mutton -- mouton -- mueto
(hen) pullet -- -- poulet -- -- pulla

Words relating to the church:--

friar -- -- -- -- frere -- -- -- -- frater
ceremony -- ceremonie -- caerimonia
relic -- -- -- reliques -- -- reliquae

Step V. Latin of the Fourth Period.--The Norman French Latin was spoken Latin. It was the every-day speech of the people for many years, and underwent many changes. But the Latin of the 4th period was written. It was brought to England by the powerful movement known as the Revival of Learning. When the Turks took Constantinople in 1453, all the learned men fled with their precious Greek and Latin manuscripts to the different countries of Europe. Many came to England and taught in the Universities, and soon the study of Greek and Latin became quite fashionable, and in this way thousands of Latin words came pouring into the language.

Unlike the Latin of the 3rd period, however, it did not undergo great changes. Thus the Latin opinio simply had "n" added to it, and became opinion, suggestio became suggestion, separatum became separate, notio became notion.

Step VI.--Show how just in the same way that Latin words have crept into our language, so, many of our English words are creeping into the languages with whom we trade. Thus the French use the words tramway, waggon, roast beef, club, speech, pick-pocket, lunch, toast, etc.

Recapitulate, if time, by means of a few questions.


III. Subject: Arithmetic.

Group: Mathematics -- Class: II -- Time: 20 minutes

By Marion Rothera.


I. Introduce least common multiples to P--and H--.
II. To connect the lesson with greatest common measures, which the children have just finished.
III. To increase the children's power of rapid mental work.


Step I.--Draw from the children the difference between the "measure" and a "multiple" of a number. Let them give examples, as, 4 is a measure of 8, 16, 20, etc., and 8, 16 are multiples of 4.

Step II.--Ask the children what numbers are multiples of both 2 and 3; as 6, 12,18. Point out that these are "common" multiples. Give them examples of other common multiples. Then draw from them what the "least" common multiple of 2 and 3 is. Give other examples to be worked mentally.

Step 3.--Draw from the children the definition of the "least common multiple" of two numbers and write it on the board, viz.:

The least common multiple of two numbers is the least number into which each of the numbers will divide without a remainder.

Step IV.--Find the L. C. M. of 4 and 10. Work this on the board thus:--

4 = 2 x 2
10 = 2 x 5 ∴ L.C.M. = 2 x 2 x 5 = 20

ie., the G.C.M. of the two numbers multiplied by all the other prime factors.

Step V.--Give the children similar exercises that they can work mentally, as:--

Find the L.C.M. of 6 and 14, 4 and 6, 6 and 15, etc.

Step VI.--Give the children harder exercises and let them work on them on the board in turn, as:--

Find the L.C.M. of 72 and 108, 24 and 88, etc.


IV. Subject: Narration.

Group: English -- Class: II -- Time: 20 minutes

By K. Loveday.


I. To increase N--'s and J--'s powers of
      a. narration.
      b. imagination.

II. As N-- and J-- have just been moved up into the second class, and have not read the first part of Morte d'Arthur; my object is to increase their interest in King Arthur, by reading to them the tale of how he became king.


Step I.--Ask the children whether they know anything about King Arthur, and who he was. Although we cannot believe all that is told us in the stories about King Arthur, yet we know that he really existed. He was a British chief, and lived in the 6th century. He was slain in a battle against the Angles. The conquered Britons fled to Wales, and carried with them the heroic deeds of Arthur, out of which the legend grew.

Step II.--Show the children on a map the position of Caerleon, the seat of King Arthur in the legend.

Step III.--Ask the children whether they understand the title of their book Morte d'Arthur, and why it is in French. The Britons in North France were of the same race as those in England, and had the same legends.These were for a long time only traditional, and a good deal was added from time to time. Later on they were written down, first in Welsh, then in French, and afterwards in English and other languages. The author of the book we are using got most of his information from the French, and kept the title of one of the versions, Le Morte d'Arthur.

Step IV.--Read once, slowly and distinctly, from The Book of Romance, the tale of Arthur drawing the sword, putting the names on the blackboard and explaining if there are words the children do not understand.

Step V.--Show illustrations of the scene.

Step VI--Let the children narrate in turn what has been read to them.

Typed by Mrs. Erica Wright, August, 2023; Proofread by LNL, August, 2023