268 THE MONTESSORI METHOD
proudly showed us that they knew how to make an O on the blackboard.
Finally, many of the mothers came to beg us as a favour to teach the children to write, saying, " Here in the ' Children's Houses' the children are awakened, and learn so many things easily that if you only teach reading and writing they will soon learn, and will then be spared the great fatigue this always means in the elementary school." This faith of the mothers, that their little ones would, from us, be able to learn to read and write without fatigue, made a great impression upon me. Thinking upon the results I had obtained in the school for deficients, I decided during the August vacation to make a trial upon the reopening of the school in September. Upon second thought I decided that it would be better to take up the interrupted work in September, and not to approach reading and writing until October, when the elementary schools opened. This presented the added advantage of permitting us to compare the progress of the children of the first elementary with that made by ours, who would have begun the same branch of instruction at the same time.
In September, therefore, I began a search for someone who could manufacture didactic materials, but found no one willing to undertake it. I wished to have a splendid alphabet made, like the one used with the deficients. Giving this up, I was willing to content myself with the ordinary enamelled letters used upon shop windows, but I could find them in script form nowhere. My disappointments were many.
So passed the whole month of October. The children in the first elementary had already filled pages of vertical strokes, and mine were still waiting. I then decided to