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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 26

2. Age for Beginning

2. Age for Beginning.

At what age should we begin such a course? This may be guessed from what we have already said. It can be begun from the time that children are able to write down sentences on their slates; certainly when they are in the III. Standard, and even orally and on the board to the II. Standard—that is, from eight to ten. At this age, they are quite capable of doing the work required, and understanding the things spoken of, provided, of course, it is done skilfully and with sparing use of technicalities.

In recommending this to teachers, this question of age has been one of the first inquiries, and the answer has generally called forth astonishment and incredulity—that Grammar, not to speak of Composition, which have been relegated to the higher part of the school, should be begun at that age! I page 34 have frequently, with their permission, taken on the spot a combined II. and III. Standard, and drawn from the children, who did such work for the first time, a series of sentences on the pencil in my hand or other simple subject, which they wrote on their slates, and read out as a little composition ten minutes after. Many teachers have determined to try it; should they do so earnestly and systematically, I have no fear of the result.