44 THE MONTESSORI METHOD
ond " Children's House " was opened in the Quarter of San Lorenzo; and on the eighteenth of October, 1908, another was inaugurated by the Humanitarian Society in Milan in the Quarter inhabited by workingmen. The workshops of this same society undertook the manufacture of the materials which we used.
On the fourth of November following, a third " Children's House " was opened in Rome, this time not in the people's Quarter, but in a modern building for the middle classes, situated in Via Famagosta, in that part of the city known as the Prati di Castello; and in January, 1909, Italian Switzerland began to transform its orphan asylums and children's homes in which the Froebel system had been used, into " Children's Houses " adopting our methods and materials.
The " Children's House " has a twofold importance: the social importance which it assumes through its peculiarity of being a school within the house, and its purely pedagogic importance gained through its methods for the education of very young children, of which I now made a trial.
As I have said, Signor Talamo's invitation gave me a wonderful opportunity for applying the methods used with deficients to normal children, not of the elementary school age, but of the age usual in infant asylums.
If a parallel between the deficient and the normal child is possible, this will be during the period of early infancy when the child who has not the force to develop and he who is not yet developed are in some ways alike.
The very young child has not yet acquired a secure coordination of muscular movements, and, therefore, walks imperfectly, and is not able to perform the ordinary acts of life, such as fastening and unfastening its garments.