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

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MUSCULAR EDUCATION                  147
RESPIRATORY GYMNASTICS
The purpose of these gymnastics is to regulate the res­piratory movements: in other words, to teach the art of breathing. They also help greatly the correct formation of the child's speech habits. The exercises which we use were introduced into school literature by Professor Sala. We have chosen the simple exercises described by him in his treatise, " Cura della Balbuzie." * These include a number of respiratory gymnastic exercises with which are co-ordinated muscular exercises. I give here an example:
Mouth wide open, tongue held flat, hands on hips.
Breathe deeply, lift the shoulders rapidly, lowering the diaphragm.
Expel breath slowly, lowering shoulders slowly, return­ing to normal position.
The directress should select or devise simple breathing exercises, to be accompanied with arm movements, etc.
Exercises for proper use of lips, tongue, and teeth. These exercises teach the movements of the lips and tongue in the pronunciation of certain fundamental consonant sounds, reinforcing the muscles, and making them ready for these movements. These gymnastics prepare the or­gans used in the formation of language.
In presenting such exercises we begin with the entire class, but finish by testing the children individually. We ask the child to pronounce, aloud and with force, the first syllable of a word. When all are intent upon putting the greatest possible force into this, we call each child sepa­rately, and have him repeat the word. If he pronounces
* " Cura della Balbuzie e dei Difetti di Pronunzia." Sala. Ulrico Hoepli, publisher, Milan, Italy.
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