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Scientific Methods As Applied To Child Education In "the Children's Houses"

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120             THE MONTESSORI METHOD
2-3. Manual work. Clay modelling, design, etc.
3-4. Collective gymnastics and songs, if possible in the open air. Exercises to develop forethought: Visit­ing, and caring for, the plants and animals.
As soon as a school is established, the question of schedule arises. This must be considered from two points of view; the length of the school-day and the distribu­tion of study and of the activities of life.
I shall begin by affirming that in the " Children's Houses," as in the school for deficients, the hours may be very long, occupying the entire day. For poor chil­dren, and especially for the " Children's Houses" an­nexed to workingmen's tenements, I should advise that the school-day should be from nine in the morning to five in the evening in winter, and from eight to six in summer. These long hours are necessary, if we are to follow a directed line of action which shall be helpful to the growth of the child. It goes without saying, that in the case of little children such a long school-day should be in­terrupted by at least an hour's rest in bed. And here lies the great practical difficulty. At present we must allow our little ones to sleep in their seats in a wretched position, but I foresee a time, not distant, when we shall be able to have a quiet, darkened room where the children may sleep in low-swung hammocks. I should like still better to have this nap taken in the open air.
In the " Children's Houses " in Rome we send the little ones to their own apartments for the nap, as this can be done without their having to go out into the streets.
It must be observed that these long hours include not only the nap, but the luncheon. This must be considered in such schools as the " Children's Houses," whose aim is
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