THE METHOD AND THE MATERIAL 275
movements, and acquire a varied collection of pictures which grow more and more perfect, and of which they are very proud. For I not only 'provoke, but perfect, the writing through the exercises which we call preparatory. The control of the pen is rendered more and more secure, not by repeated exercises in the writing, but by means of these filled-in designs. In this way, my children perfect themselves in writing, without actually writing.
second period: exercises tending to establish the visual-muscular image op the alphabetical signs, and to establish the muscular memory of the movements necessary to writing
Didactic Material. Cards upon which the single letters of the alphabet are mounted in sandpaper; larger cards containing groups of the same letters.
The cards upon which the sandpaper letters are mounted are adapted in size and shape to each letter. The vowels are in light-coloured sandpaper and are mounted upon dark cards, the consonants and the groups of letters are in black sandpaper mounted upon white cards. The grouping is so arranged as to call attention to contrasted, or analogous forms.
The letters are cut in clear script form, the shaded parts being made broader. We have chosen to reproduce the vertical script in use in the elementary schools.
Exercises. In teaching the letters of the alphabet, we begin with the vowels and proceed to the consonants, pronouncing the sound, not the name. In the case of the consonants, we immediately unite the sound with one of the vowel sounds, repeating the syllable according to the usual phonetic method.