256 THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD
filled with enthusiasm. I understood at once that the letters being
in the case formed a precious aid to teaching; there was offered to
the child's eye the possibility of comparing all the letters and
choosing the one designated.
In this way there originated the method and the material which
I will now describe.
Here it is enough to point out that at the time of Christmas-
holidays in the following December, or less than a month and a
half after, when the children of the elementary schools were labour-
ing to forget the strokes and angles learnt with so much trouble in
order to prepare themselves for the curves of o's and the other
vowels, two of my little ones of four years old were writing in
good style without corrections or smudges—writing which was
later considered comparable with the handwriting which is common
in the third elementary class.