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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

READING                                    289

also, houses, trees, flocks of sheep, animals made from papier-
mache, ducklings and geese made of cellulose that float on water;
boats with sailors, soldiers, railways which will work, factories,
a country house, stables for horses and cattle within spacious
enclosures, etc. For one House in "Rome an artist made me a
present of splendid fruit in ceramics,1

If writing serves to direct or rather to direct and perfect the
mechanism of spoken language in the child, reading serves to aid
in the development of ideas, thus making a connection with the
development of language. Finally, writing helps physiological
language, and reading, social language.

The beginning is, as I have pointed out, nomenclature, that is^
reading the names of objects known, and, possibly, present.

I do not choose words on the ground of their being easy or
difficult, because the child can already read the word as being com-
posed of sounds. I allow the child to translate slowly into sounds'
the written word, and if his interpretation is exact, I confine myself
to saying, " More quickly." The child, the second time, reads
more readily, often still without understanding. I repeat, " More
quickly, more quickly.'* The child reads still more rapidly, repeat-
ing the same group of sounds and finally he guesses. Then he
puts on a look of recognition and beams with the satisfaction
which so often appears in our children. In this consists the whole
reading exercise, a very speedy exercise and one which presents to
the child, already prepared through writing, very little difficulty.

Truly, all the terrors of the spelling-bock are buried along
with the * strokes' I

When the child has read he rssts the card used against the
object the name of which it bore and the exercise is finished. The
children having been taught in this way, more for the purpose of
understanding thoroughly which exercise attracted them most than
for practice in actual reading, I thought of the following game.

1 The first Children's Houses were rich in toys; but practice had gradually
led to their being forgotten, for the children did not seek them, but even now
there are many objects which can be used for the above-mentioned purpose.

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