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broad shelf before the windows, and added considerably to the cheerful appearance of the room. Plain shelves were arranged for writing materials, drawing materials, scissors, and clay for modeling, as well as for the sewing materials—thimbles, needles, thread, tape, etc A few chairs completed the furnishings of this room.
The next room we furnished as a carpenter's shop. The equipment was very simple, consisting of two benches (one bought, the other made by the college carpenter), saws, hammers, chisel, square, and a brace and bit.
The. third room we set aside as the kitchen. We equipped it with a big coal range, two kitchen tables, a quantity of cooking utensils, and dishes.
On the veranda near the pump we hung our drinking cups, one for each child.
The veranda made an ideal outdoor schoolroom, and there were few times during the winter that we could not spend several hours daily there with comfort.
There was enough ground attached to the house for a large garden, as well as for a generous playground for the children. As part of the garden outfit we had a toolroom in which to keep the garden implements—wheel'hoes ("plows," as the children proudly called them), rakes, hoes, trowels, etc.
From the very beginning the garden was made the center of activity, and has never failed to be a source of enjoyment and instruction for both teacher and pupils.
THE EXPERIMENTAL BEGINNING.
The school was opened in March. As no country children were immediately available, we got our children from a near-by cotton-mill village. A few came from the college campus.
The first thing the teacher did when the children came was to show them the house. She next led the way to the garden. The children were delighted when told that each was to have a garden patch of his own, and they wished to begin work immediately.
A 3-foot walk was made, extending down the middle of the garden, and the individual plats were to be laid off on each side of this. By measuring, it was found to be 40 feet each way from the walk to the fence, and it was agreed to let this determine the length of the garden. The width was the next question. In their zeal the children proposed very large gardens, but the teacher limited the width to 7 feet. A walk 1 foot wide separated the divisions.
We found trouble in getting the sides of our garden straight. One boy suggested that his father used a garden line to make his rows straight. He told us how the line y^s made, and under his direction we each made one, using two sharpened stakes and a piece of twine. After much measuring the gardens were laid off, and each farmer began proudly to dig and rake his soil preparatory to putting in the seed.
The next morning some of the children had forgotten which garden had been assigned them. The teacher had to get the plan that she had made the day before to settle the difficulty. How to prevent this occurring every day was the problem. After talking the matter over, we decided to make wooden stakes and print the owner's name on each. Each child was encouraged to go to the blackboard and with a ruler make a drawing of the way he thought the stake should look. After this the teacher and pupils considered the plans, and each child was allowed to tell why he had made his stake in a certain way. All agreed that it should be in the form of a cross, with the upright piece long enough to be driven firmly into the ground and the crosspiece long enough to contain the owner's name. The width of each piece was considered, and it was decided that the upright piece should be 2 by 18 inches and the crosspiece 3 by 12 inches. An old dry-goods box furnished the lumber. It was broken into pieces, and the work of measuring, sawing, and nailing began.
The children had to do considerable thinking for themselves; for example, in finding the center of the crosspiece, in order to nail it properly to the upright. The younger children were shown how to take a piece of paper the exact length of the piece which they wished to divide and to fold it over end to end. Of course there were some who were curious to know how long each piece of paper really was; they measured it for themselves, and found that each half was 6 inches.
Some drill in printing was necessary before the children co\ild attempt printing the name on the stake. Oblongs the exact size of the crosspiece were drawn on the blackboard and the children practiced printing their names in these, using the teacher's copy as a model. When a child had gained sufficient skill in printing his name on the blackboard he printed it in pencil on his stake, and then went over the pencil marks with black paint.
That night a heavy rain came. Our stakes stood the test bravely, but our paths were all obliterated. Where did each garden begin and end? It was evident that we must have three more stakes and mark all four of the corners. Each child went to work and soon had the additional markers completed and in place. This time only straight stakes were made. Each was 2 by 18 inches.
In all of this work the teacher was pleased to see how eager the older children were to help the younger. With a few suggestions from the teacher, they learned to render real help, instead of doing the work for them
While all of this was frying on in the garden the more formal studies had by no means been neglected. The children had been learning to read and to write and to do various other things. For their first reading and writing lessons they had: " I have a garden. Carrie has a garden," etc.
From the garden the children learned the words soil, rock, clod, loose, hard, etc. Then the names of the tools: Hoe, rake, plow, trowel, line, etc. When they returned to the house they built these words with cut-out letters. Gradually new words were added, such as:
seed tiny cover
drill block plant
In making the stakes they learned these:
board cross nail
piece • long cut
inches name hammer
stake square hatchet
oblong measure rnler
In sewing they also learned a number of words:
thread needle tape
scissors thimble measure
cloth cut stitch
The teacher always put the nouns in one column, the adjectives in another, and the verbs in still another. She said nothing, however, about grammar or the parts of speech. She left this for the child to grow accustomed to.
The older children were encouraged to select books and to read either to themselves or to groups of others. Every day there was a social period on the veranda. The children all brought their chairs and placed them in a circle. The older ones would tell what they had read. The younger children were also expected to take part. Each child told a story, repeated a rhyme, gave a riddle, or did something for the entertainment of all.
The children were encouraged in attempts at dramatizing stories they liked. They had good times playing "Chicken Little,*' "The Three Bears," " Billy Goat's Gruff," etc. The Mother Goose Rhymes were a source of great pleasure at this time, too. The teacher read the rhymes, the children repeating with her those they knew.
The. household duties also formed part of the regular program of the day. On reaching school the children ran to the "blackboard