Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: Miller's Mind training for children Book 1 - A practical training for successful living; Educational - games that train the senses
Author: Miller, William E.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Miller's Mind training for children Book 1 - A practical training for successful living; Educational - games that train the senses" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



produced from images made available by the HathiTrust
Digital Library.)



  MILLER'S
  MIND TRAINING
  _for_
  CHILDREN

  _A Practical Training
  for Successful
  Living_

  _Educational Games
  That Train
  the Senses_

  WILLIAM E. MILLER
  _AUTHOR AND PUBLISHER_
  Alhambra, California.



  BY
  WILLIAM E. MILLER
  ALHAMBRA, CALIFORNIA

  AUTHOR OF
  _The Natural Method of Memory Training_

  COPYRIGHT 1920
  COPYRIGHT 1921

  WILLIAM E. MILLER

  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
  INCLUDING FOREIGN COPYRIGHTS



  CONTENTS--BOOK ONE


                                         Page

  A First Word to Readers                   7

  Training the Senses                       9

  Game of Hide the Watch                   11

  Results of Sense Training                12

  To Develop the Sense of Touch            16
    The Game of the Button Bag             17
    The Game of Matching Cards             18
    The Game of Insets                     18
    The Game of the Rag Bag                19
    The Game of the Dry Goods Clerk        19
    The Game of Who Is It?                 20
    The Game of Weighing                   20
    Measuring                              21

  Training the Ear                         22
    The Game of Whispering                 23
    The Game of Tapping                    23
    The Game Speak and I'll Name You       23
    The Game of Silence                    24
    The Game of Drop It                    24
    A Musical Exercise                     25
    The Game of Blind Man's Ears           25
    The Game of Telephoning                26
    The Bell Game                          27
    The Game of Stop Thief                 27
    The Table Game                         28
    Care of the Ears                       28

  Training the Sense of Sight              29
    Strive for More Detail                 30
    Training the Eye to Measure            32
    The Game of Measuring                  33

  The Sense of Taste and Smell             37

  Using Two of the Senses                  38
    Exercise for Two Senses                38

  Improvement from Conscious Effort        40

  The Faculty of Visualization             41
    A Visual Test                          41

  Visual Process Natural                   42

  Training the Mind's Eye                  43
    The Picture Test                       43
    Test for Quick Reaction                43
    Test for Color Reaction                44
    Test for Order                         44
    The Letter Game                        45
    The Number Game                        47
    Practice with Geometrical Figures      48
    Out of Door Game                       49
    Immediate Visualization                50

  Training of Younger Children             51

  Developing the Observation               52

  Value of Observation                     55

  The Neglected Faculty                    56
    Picture Cards for Observation          59
    Counting from Mind's Eye Pictures      59
    The Game of Quick Counting             61
    The Game of Visual Counting            62
    Reproducing the Visual Picture         63
    The Game of Color Cards                63
    The Game of Picture Cards              64
    The Seeing Game                        65
    The Game of Detective                  66
    A Game at the Dining Table             66
    The Change About Game                  67
    The Game of Observation                67

  Training the Sense of Location           68
    The Game of Guide                      69
    The Game of Guiding Home               69
    Make Play Profitable                   70

  Attention and Concentration              72
    Exercise for Prolonging Attention      73
    Divided Attention                      75
    The Degree of Attention                77
    Expectant Attention                    77
    Cure for Diverted Attention            78

  Parent Is Child's Interpreter            79

  What Is Concentration?                   80

  Exercise for Concentration               80
    The Construction of a Home             81
    The Farmer and His Farm                82
    The Farmer and His Crop                83
    The Growing Plant                      83

  The Imagination                          85
    Test for Visual Reproduction           86
    A Universally Useful Faculty           87
    Children's Falsehoods                  88
    Reality of Illusions                   89
    Imagination a Curse or Blessing        90
    Dissipating the Imagination            90
    Exercises for the Imagination          91
    The Story Games                        91
    The Game of Creation                   92
    The Picture Gallery                    94

  The Power of Suggestion                  97
    Indirect Suggestion                   101
    Indirect Positive Suggestion          101

  Health Habits                           105
    Deep Breathing                        106
    Drinking Water                        107
    Rest and Sleep                        108
    Thinking Health                       109
    Ambition Pulls                        111



A FIRST WORD TO READERS


Many requests from parents for a simple method of training children to
think and remember have prompted this series of books on "Mind Training
for Children."

Play is the child's great objective and this is capitalized in
the methods used in presenting this subject. There are over fifty
interesting games and as many exercises, all of which are based upon
scientific principles. These will not only interest and amuse the
children, but will result in the development of their senses and
faculties. This will lead naturally to the improvement of the memory.

In the last book all this advancement is applied to the child's studies
and school problems. Parents should read these books and use the ideas
according to the ages of the children. Older children can read and
apply the principles for themselves, but should be encouraged and
guided by the parents.

Here is a great boon to mothers who need assistance in entertaining the
children in the house or out of doors. For rainy days and children's
parties there is a never-ending source of pleasure and continual profit
in these Mind Training Games.

No equipment is required. All games and exercises are so planned that
they are easily made of materials already in the home. The making of
the games will interest the children for hours.

Sense training is fundamental to profitable education.

Memory is the storehouse of all knowledge--see that your child has a
good one.

You can give your children a wonderful advantage by playing these games
with them. They have the indorsement of educators. They are scientific,
but simple and "lots of fun."

                                                           THE AUTHOR.



TRAINING THE SENSES


All through life you are accumulating knowledge, and storing it away
for future usefulness. This knowledge becomes yours through one
process, which is a series of impressions carried to your brain by the
nerves connecting it with the sense organs of your body.

The future value of this knowledge will depend largely upon the
accuracy of the first sense impression. If the sense impression is dim
and indefinite the resulting knowledge will be uncertain and useless.
If the sense impression is inaccurate the resulting knowledge will be
an error and cause a mistake in judgment. The senses are the tools, by
the use of which the mind accumulates the knowledge which it uses in
memory, thought, judgment, imagination, and all the mental operations.

Professor W. Prior says: "The foundation of all mental development is
the activity of the senses."

The first step in mental growth is the making of impressions on the
brain by the senses. The senses are the instruments by the use of which
all knowledge is acquired.

     =Sense training is the logical beginning of all Education.=

You give your child an education to help him to succeed in life. First
give him sharp tools--keen senses--that he may get the best results
from the time spent in study.

An understanding of the proper use of the senses will enable you to
make these impressions lasting--instead of fleeting.

     =Lack of ability to properly use the senses is a handicap in life
     and a subtle foe to success.=

In the beginning all the brain does is to store the simple sense
impressions. The baby sees his mother many times before he recognizes
her. The eye nerve carries to the brain the picture of the mother's
face and stores it there. Soon the brain perceives the similarity and
the child recognizes her. The fact that in some way the brain retains
the first, second, third, etc., impressions becomes the foundation of
recognition.

If the sense nerve failed to carry the image of the face there would be
no comparison and no recognition. Without sense impression there can be
no knowledge. Imperfect sense impressions can only result in imperfect
knowledge.

Each set of sense nerves carries its impressions to a different area of
the brain. Each set has a distinct and localized memory. The ear memory
is the auditory memory. There is the gustatory memory of taste; the
olfactory memory of smell, and the tactual memory of touch.

The visual memory is the most accurate and lasting. The nerves
connecting the eyes with the brain are many times larger than those of
the other sense organs. Psychological tests have also proven the eye to
be the most accurate of all the senses. Next to the eye comes the ear
in both strength and exactness.


Sense Training Games

The training of the senses, important and necessary as it is, can be
accomplished in a most entertaining and pleasant manner. The playing of
games, so necessary in the life of children, can in most cases be used
as the agency to gain this result.


Game of Hide the Watch

You can entertain your children for an hour with this game and at the
same time, even without their knowledge, be training one of their most
important senses.

Go into a quiet room and hide a watch where it will be out of sight but
in a place where the ticking will be plainly audible. If the children
are small it will be well to start with a small clock, or a watch which
ticks loudly. Now let the children come into the room and, standing
perfectly still, try to locate the watch by hearing it tick. Let them
move around, but very quietly, so as not to disturb the others; or let
all move at one time.

When one of them has located the watch allow that child to remain and
assist you in hiding it for the others. A record can be kept to see who
finds the watch the most often. One child must not be allowed to move
noisily, or in any way disturb the efforts of the others. See to it
that they use their ears and not their eyes; it will even be well to
blindfold them.


Results of Sense Training

That the senses can be trained every one will at once admit. The world
is full of examples, as the Indian savage with his keen sight and
hearing. You may think this a natural born ability but there are many
examples to prove the contrary. The American scouts, some of whom have
gone into the Indian country when they were grown men, have become
almost as proficient as the Indians themselves.

This fact of the unusual ability of the Indian is true today as well as
in the story periods of the past. On a recent camping and canoeing trip
through the lakes of Canada, it was a common occurrence for the Indian
guide to say, "Washkeesh," meaning deer. No one in the party could
see the animal, but the Indian would point out the exact spot, and as
the party canoed silently along the shores the deer would soon become
visible to all.

This training of the Indian was brought about largely by necessity.
It was required for the preservation of his life. The same is true of
the white man who has gone into the Indian's country. If we were all
driven by the same necessity we would have the same keenly developed
senses.

Prof. Magnusson says: "There is affecting our senses what may be called
the disease of civilization. Civilized man does not have to use his
senses." Let the realization of the importance of the ability spur you
to conscious effort to secure this result for your children. It can be
done by playing the games which are to follow--it is of great value.

Prof. Gates has demonstrated that by exercising one of the senses we
actually build up brain matter. A child who is helped to cultivate
the sense of sight will not only make more brain cells in the visual
areas but will also make more brain generally; for the sense of sight
correlates with all other areas of the brain. This is a result well
worth striving for.

There are many other examples in the different trades of today. The
Tea and Wine tasters have a very fine sense of taste and smell. The
jeweler has a well developed sense of hearing so that he can detect
irregularities in the ticking of a clock that are imperceptible to most
of us. Makers of telescope lenses complete the smoothing of the surface
by rubbing them with the fingers, being able in this way to detect the
slightest roughness. The blind have a very fine sense of feeling and
hearing. Deaf people often have a keen sense of sight.

     =Necessity and Desire are the parents of all progress and
     development.=

You will notice that in all of these cases there are these two
impelling motives which have caused this great improvement. Create
in the child the desire to be unusual in this regard. Show him that
the highest success of life necessitates this development. Also that
in every case it comes as the result of individual effort. The one
possessing this unusual capacity acquired it only as the result of his
own continued practice. The senses cannot be developed in a day. They
CAN be developed, however, if you will make any reasonable effort.

     =The child will attach most value to that which gives him the
     greatest pleasure.=

This is a fact which you must keep in mind throughout all your efforts
in child training. Whenever possible make the exercises into games
and make them interesting. Do not work so long with one idea that it
becomes tiresome or tedious to the child. Add anything that suggests
itself to you that will give variety. When the child seems to be losing
interest or paying only partial attention, vary the game or change to
some other. In all the exercises it is helpful to note the results and
keep careful watch of the progress made. Have competitive trials and
championship records; always keep some incentive for further effort
before him.


Encourage Individualism

Each child should be a rule unto himself. Do not encourage or strive
for uniformity of desire or result in your children. Let them reveal
those distinctive characteristics with which they are endowed and then
encourage and assist them in their development.

A child will excel in some things and possibly be deficient in others.
He will naturally wish to play most often that game in which he does
best. Do not deny this game, but use it as a reward, when the child
does well the thing he most needs. Use the promise to play it as an
inducement to get him to do the more necessary or difficult exercise
first.

Even in cases where the children are old enough to use these books
themselves, parents should keep an oversight of the games used, to
see that all of their senses, and especially the eye and the ear, are
developed.

An all around development is most necessary. When parents join the game
let it be an opportunity to introduce and encourage the most needed
exercises.

     =Training the senses will result in greater ability in all mental
     operations throughout life.=

     =A few moments' daily use of the games and exercises in these
     books will attain the result.=

There is one principal instruction, that is--MAKE AN EFFORT--TRY.

Then persist, try again, let failure spur you to greater effort. Only
he who continues to try, after others have tried and given up, will win
the prize of success.



TO DEVELOP THE SENSE OF TOUCH


The child should be taught to determine the degree of smoothness, size,
shape, quality (of cloth), and many other things of value by touch. You
can give an experienced dry goods clerk a piece of cloth and he can
tell without looking at it what kind it is, and about what grade. This
is entirely a matter of development upon the part of the clerk. When he
began this work he could not tell muslin from long-cloth.

Parents will get a good idea of what is going on in the child's mind,
and the training he is receiving by watching the little fingers work
in all these exercises for the development of the sense of touch. Try
the exercises yourself and see what is required to do them accurately.
In this way you will be better able to help the child. Washing the
hands in tepid water before the exercises of touch will increase
the sensitiveness of the fingers. Have the child touch lightly with
the pads at the ends of the fingers. Increase the difficulty of the
exercises as he progresses.

=Exercise=--Blindfold the child and hand him articles which are
somewhat familiar and have him tell, by feeling, what they are. Have
him describe them. If a knife, what kind of a knife it is. If a box,
what kind of a box it is--about how long? how wide? how high? If
you ask the child to give these estimates in inches after removing
the blindfold have him make the actual measurements. Have the child
describe the article, giving all the details possible, and find any
peculiarities or irregularities by feeling.

=Exercise=--Give the child an article with which he is not familiar and
have him describe it. See how much he can learn by touch alone. Then
let him see if he can learn any more by sound, by knocking the article
against something to determine what it is made of, whether solid or
hollow, etc.

=Exercise=--Give the child, while blindfolded, a book which he has
recently read and see if he can identify it by the size, shape,
thickness, and quality of paper.


The Game of the Button Bag

From your button bag select a number of different buttons, two of
each kind. Let the child sort out the pairs and thus become somewhat
familiar with the sizes and shapes. Then mix the buttons, blindfold the
child, and let him match the pairs entirely by feeling. Have him lay
them out in pairs as he matches them. Then take off the blindfold and
let him see them just as he has matched them, and count for himself how
many are right and how many wrong.


Game of Matching Cards

Take a piece of cardboard and cut it into many shapes, as suggested by
the illustration below. Make two pieces of each figure exactly alike.
Let the child match them and see that there are two of each kind. Then
mix them, blindfold him and have him pick out the pairs by feeling.
There should be at least 12 sets--more if desired.

[Illustration]


Animal Cookies

A similar game to the one above can be played with a box of animal
cookies. Pour the cookies out on a large plate. Blindfold the children
and let them select pairs of animals or as many of a kind as possible.
Let them name the animals by feeling.


Game of Insets

The expensive Insets used by the Montessori School can be
satisfactorily made out of heavy cardboard and accomplish the desired
result. Take a piece of cardboard of good thickness and draw on it some
of the figures illustrated above. After they are cut out with a sharp
knife, smooth the edges so that they will fit easily into the places
from which they came. The cardboard from which they are cut may be
fastened to another or tacked to a thin board. The game is to blindfold
the child, give him the cutouts and by the sense of touch let him find
the proper hole and fit the piece into it. As the pieces are fitted
into their places they may be left there until the board is filled.
This exercise is a little more difficult than most of the others.
Encourage the child to keep at it.


The Game of the Rag Bag

Cut a number of pieces of different kinds of cloth. Show them to the
child and have him feel of them and become acquainted with the pieces
so as to know them by name. Blindfold him and give him one of the
pieces of cloth and have him tell by feeling what kind it is. Put all
the pieces in the rag bag (any large bag will do). Blindfold the child
again and let him pick out the kind of cloth you name. See how many
he can get correctly. Have him choose velvet, silk, satin, calico,
muslin, broadcloth, etc., using all the common varieties of cloth.
Children need not be blindfolded if the bag is held so they cannot see.
Blindfolding increases the curiosity and thus the interest in the games.


The Game of Dry Goods Clerk

Cut from the scraps in your rag bag two pieces each of all the
different kinds of cloth that can be found there. Make the pieces about
two by four inches and have them all of one size and shape. Let the
child examine them and match them in pairs. Have him feel of them and
see that they all feel different. Do not have more than two pieces of
any one kind of cloth. Pay no attention to color. Now mix the pieces in
a pile on the table, blindfold the child and seat him in front of them.
Have him match the pieces by feeling and lay each aside. When finished,
have the child look at the pairs as matched, counting for himself the
points won.


The Game of--Who Is It?

Blindfold two or three children. Silently select one of the others to
be identified by the blindfolded children by means of touch. Let the
blindfolded ones feel of the child--his hair, face, clothes and shoes.
In this way see which one will first be able to name him. To win this
game depends a great deal on the child's observation of what the other
children are wearing. The game of Blind Man's Buff is similar and good,
but usually has a good deal of sound to assist the one guessing.


The Game of--Weighing

Get a pair of scales and let the child weigh anything he wishes. Let
him learn to accurately judge a pound, then to estimate the weight
of an article before placing it upon the scales. Teach the child
comparative weights by lifting articles and determining which is the
heavier. Encourage him to make a pair of balances with which he can
balance one object against the other after he has compared them by
holding one in each hand. Many variations can be easily made of these
ideas, to help the child to become accurate in estimating weights. All
practice will be more interesting if there is a record made, and the
spirit of competition is introduced.


Measuring

Give the child a measure--quart or pint--and let him learn to estimate
the capacity of the different utensils of the kitchen. He should in
this manner become able to judge accurately the contents of different
containers. The child should learn to estimate in pecks, bushels, etc.
This is good exercise and a valuable ability for later life.

Let the games given here suggest new ones to be used; any factor which
will vary or add to the game is valuable. Keep always in mind the fact
that the highest usefulness of the games is training the senses to be
more accurate.



TRAINING THE EAR


This is a very important sense; consider its relation to memory and how
your decisions and judgments are based upon things you have heard or
thought you heard.

Psychological tests have revealed the fact that the ear of the
average person is mistaken thirty-four per cent of the time. Think
of it--one-third of your ear impressions are mistaken. The resulting
memory, judgment and action must suffer. This is true largely because
of lack of a conscious effort to develop this important sense.


A Test Exercise

Have the child stand across the room and listen for the tick of a
watch which you hold in your hand. If he cannot hear the tick, advance
slowly toward him and keep track of the distance at which the child
first distinguishes the ticking. It will be interesting to test each
ear separately. Any physical defect in the child's hearing can be found
by this test. Encourage him to make a deliberate effort to hear the
watch. Do not be too hasty in moving towards him as he will have to
concentrate his attention before the tick can be heard. This exercise
is a good one for the development of attention. Practice with this
yourself. You will find as your attention wanders that you will lose
the consciousness of the ticking of the watch.


The Game of Whispering

Have the child stand across the room or several feet away. Whisper a
word and see if he can repeat it. Encourage him to try a little more
and to be more quiet; then whisper the same word but no louder. Work
with this exercise, increasing the tone gradually until the child
distinguishes what is said. Then whisper other words and sentences.
This exercise can be lengthened and is excellent for the development of
attention and memory as well as of hearing.


The Game of Tapping

Sit at a table and with a pencil or your finger tap upon it a
certain number of times, during which there are irregular intervals,
for example--four taps--interval--two taps--interval--five
taps--interval--one tap.

Now see if the child can reproduce the correct number of taps and
intervals. This can be varied in innumerable ways. For older children
tap a familiar tune and see who can recognize it. Let the winner tap a
tune for the others to recognize.


The Game--Speak and I'll Name You

Blindfold one child and have the others sit or stand around him in a
circle. Turn the blindfolded one around a few times and let him point
to anyone, saying: "Speak and I'll name you." The child designated, in
a natural voice says, "Yes, sir." The one blindfolded has two chances
to guess from the sound of the voice who the person is. If he guesses
correctly he is released, if not, he must pay a forfeit. The person
pointed out must be blindfolded and take the next turn. Forfeits may be
redeemed in any manner desired. The game "Ruth and Jacob," familiar to
everyone, is a good game of sound.


The Game of Silence

For developing self-control and relaxation, have the children practice
silence. Have them relax and show them that the movement of a foot or
a hand makes a slight noise. Have them listen to their breathing, and
then breathe just as quietly as they can. Drop a pin and have those
who heard it put up their hands. Let them become perfectly quiet again
and drop several pins for them to count. See who is the most accurate.
In all your instructions to them only whisper. Do not allow them to
talk or whisper at all during this exercise. As you use it prolong
the periods of silence and attention to one sound or idea. This is a
wonderful exercise for the development of the power of concentration
and should be played often.


The Game of Drop It

Have the children sit quietly in a room; have several different
articles in your hands and drop them one at a time, on the table. Have
the children sitting with their backs to the table and determine by the
sound what you have dropped. For this exercise you can use a bunch of
keys, coins, pencil, knife, books, ball--anything that is available.

After they have become somewhat acquainted with the articles by sound,
drop the different objects in different places, moving quietly about
so that the children can only determine from the sound what you have
dropped, and where you dropped it. For example, drop the book on the
rug, the keys on the floor, the pencil on the tiles of the hearth,
the coin on the table, the keys on the mantel. After each object is
dropped, see which child can tell what was dropped and where. This will
teach them to recognize the object and its location by sound. Do not
overlook the value of competition--keep a score.


A Musical Exercise

The child should be taught to recognize tones, and the spaces between
tones of the scale. Have him stand with his back to the piano and learn
to tell the difference in the tones that are played. First, use the
octave, then the one-five-eight. Next the one-three-five eight; then
the one-two three, etc. Then introduce the half-tones. This exercise
can be made more difficult according to age and musical ability.


The Game of Blind Man's Ears

Have the child blindfolded and sitting quietly on the porch and tell
all the sounds he hears. The blindfold will add to the interest and
fun, at the same time insure his dependence upon the sense of hearing.
Let him tell what is approaching; if persons are walking, how many? If
a vehicle is coming, how many horses, and what kind of a vehicle? Let
him learn to distinguish automobiles by sound, large cars from small
ones, trucks from pleasure cars.

Strive for recognition of the slightest sound, a distant bird, etc. Try
to estimate the distance from which the sound is coming.

Take the child into the woods, teach him to distinguish the sounds of
the different animals, and if possible to locate the distance and to
estimate the location. On the ground, in a bush, or up a tree?

Anything which stimulates the child to hear keenly and accurately is
of value. Let the exercise be adapted to the time and place. When he
remarks "How quiet it is here," it is a good time for him to realize
how many sounds are actually going on around him.


The Game of Telephoning

Give each child a pencil and paper and have them sit in a row or in
different parts of the room equally distant from the spot selected for
the "operator."

Make a list of words; later on short sentences can be used; have the
operator take these and sit about twelve feet from the children. Let
the operator whisper "Hello," just loud enough for the children to
hear distinctly. The children can raise their hands when they "get the
connection," or hear the "Hello," but should not be allowed to speak
during the game.

The operator will then whisper the words in the list slowly, using the
same volume of sound as in the "Hello," giving time between words for
each child to write them. At the conclusion correct the lists, each
child being scored for the number of words heard correctly. During this
game all instructions should be given in whisper, and perfect quiet
maintained among the children.


The Bell Game

Have all the children sit quietly in one room while some one takes
a small bell and goes to some other room, hall or any other part of
the house and rings the bell softly, just loud enough to be heard in
the room where the children are seated. See which child can tell most
accurately the location where the bell was rung. Allow the child making
the closest guess to go out and ring the bell.


The Game of Stop Thief

Place a table in the center of the room, preferably one with doors on
two sides, or at least more than one door. On the table place a bell,
bunch of keys or other article difficult to pick up without making a
noise.

Have all but one of the children blindfolded and seated at the end of
the room farthest from the doors. The child not blindfolded is the
Thief and leaves the room. When everything is perfectly quiet the Thief
tries to enter the room, get the article from the table and get out
without being heard.

If a child hears the Thief, he calls "Stop Thief," and if he accurately
locates the position of the thief he takes his place.

This game will teach the children to move quietly as well as to improve
their hearing.


The Table Game

After the meal and while enjoying a few minutes around the table have
the children close their eyes while you take a spoon or fork and tap
softly upon some dish or article on the table. See who can tell by
hearing what the article is and where it is. See who is most accurate
in locating the spot where the sound is made.

Other interesting games to be played at the table will be found under
the sense of Sight and faculty of Observation.

Remember it is the effort that counts--just to listen will tend to
sharpen the sense of hearing. Well developed senses are the result of
repeated efforts upon the part of their possessor. Try--keep on trying.


Care of the Ears

Teach the child to respect and value the sense organs as possessions
of great worth and to care for them properly. Do not allow any kind of
abuse, especially of the ears and eyes. Do not try to wash too far into
the ears, the inner ear is fully protected by nature and does not need
cleansing. Wash as far as the child's finger will reach and no farther.



TRAINING THE SENSE OF SIGHT


This sense has been endowed by nature with special ability and
capacity. The nerves connecting the eye with the brain are eighteen
times larger than those of any other sense. Their capacity to impress
the brain is therefore many times greater. At the same time nature
has duplicated the sense of sight and we have the mind's eye, or
the faculty of visualization, by which we can reproduce the visual
impression, or picture, of the thing which we have seen. This faculty
is one of the important foundations of memory development as you will
see in future chapters.

We are probably more conscious of defects in the operation of the sense
of sight because of the many opportunities for comparison with others.
Children may differ considerably in their vision but any unusual
condition should prompt a consultation with a specialist.

Because of the movement possible in this sense organ and the delicate
muscles which control it, there is the possibility of improvement
by muscular exercise which does not exist in the other senses. The
following exercises will strengthen the eye muscles. They should be
practiced by persons of all ages. It has been found during operations
that some of the eye muscles have been exercised so little that they
have become almost incapable of use.

These exercises are simple, and can be practiced at odd moments, that
would otherwise be wasted.

First--Move the eye horizontally as far as you can to the left and then
to the right. Continue this until there is a feeling of fatigue. No
physical exercise should be continued beyond that point.

Second--Move the eyes vertically as far as you can, up and then down,
trying to extend the range of vision. Continue this alternately until
you feel fatigue.

Third--Roll the eyes from right to left and then from left to right in
as large a circle as possible.

These exercises will keep the eye muscles in a healthy condition. See
to it that the child does not abuse his eyes; that he does not strain
them; always has plenty of light and that it falls upon the page, or
work, that he is doing. Do not overlook indications of eye trouble,
eye pains, inflamed lids, continued recurrence of styes, blood-shot
eyeballs, or pain back of the eyes, all should have the attention of a
doctor. "A stitch in time saves nine."


Strive for More Detail

There is the greatest difference in the amount of detail which the eyes
of different persons gather from a glance at an object. Some will only
see a tree; others in the same time will see a tree with spreading
branches, small irregularly shaped leaves, with small black berries and
a rough vertically marked bark. Children should be trained to notice as
much detail as possible. Development along this line becomes a basis
for many other mental operations which will be discussed later on.


Exercise for Detail

Place yourself with the child where you can look out on the landscape.
Pick out some object, tell him what it is, and have him look until he
finds it. Then let the child pick out some object that he thinks will
be difficult for you to find. It may be a bird, a red flower, or a
hoop. As he develops pick objects farther away, smaller or partially
hidden.


Another Good Exercise

Have the child look at a house and give you all the detail that he can
see. Call the child's attention to the things missed so that he sees
the reason for making an additional effort. The same exercise can be
followed with any object, a tree, an automobile, or an animal. When in
the house use a picture on the wall, a table, a book case or a coin.
You will find that the longer the child looks at the object the more
detail he will see. The aim is to get him to notice and mention the
details as quickly as possible. After some practice he will be able
to mention them as rapidly as he can speak. This can be made into a
competitive game when there are several children. Keep score of the
number of the details each can write on a slip of paper in a given
length of time.


Training the Eye to Measure

The ability to accurately measure with the eye is a thing that a great
many people find very difficult, if not almost impossible. You are
continuously finding opportunity to use such an ability. A little
conscious effort will work wonders in this regard and children should
not be allowed to grow up without being trained to intelligently
estimate measurements. In this training begin with larger measurements
and from that work to the finer ones as rapidly as the child can
progress.


First Exercise

Have the child determine which of two trees in the distance is the
closest or use any other objects in the landscape. Walk towards the
trees to prove the matter. Point out things of interest to encourage
the child's observation of nature.


Second Exercise

Give the child a foot rule and let him become acquainted with its
length. Then with his fingers on the table have him indicate the
distance which he believes to equal that of the length of the rule. Lay
it between the child's fingers. Practice until he knows accurately how
long a foot is. At the same time and for variety he can practice with
a half foot and an inch. Have him compare objects with a foot rule and
determine whether they are longer or shorter. Then let him measure the
objects. Allow the child to check the measurements himself, this will
increase his definite conception of the length of a foot.


The Game of Measuring

Let the child with his eye, and without a rule, measure the length of
the table, of the book case, the side of the room, or the height of
a door. Have him do this by eye measurement and not by guess work.
Teach him to start at one end and select a point which he judges to
be one foot from the end and then to advance the eye to a point one
foot from that and so on, counting as he goes, "one, two, three and a
half"--whatever he believes is right. Then have him take the foot rule
and check his measurements accurately.

In the same manner the child should be taught to know and to be able
to measure with the yard stick. With it, of course, measure larger
objects, as the length of the house, the width of the porch, the
distance from the house to the sidewalk, the width of the street, the
height of the shed, etc. Teach the child to recognize the distance of a
block, a half mile or a mile, and the size of an acre.

Unless you have had some practice in work of this kind, you will
find yourself busy keeping ahead of the child. You can get excellent
practice and development which will be of value to you, by entering
into these exercises. Make it a point to become thoroughly interested
in the work yourself, as it will insure continuation and increased
good for the child. Remember the interest increasing value of
competition.

While training the child's eye to measure, excellent practice will be
found in determining comparative length of lines. The illustrations
below will show some of the ways in which the lines can be made
confusing. The child should be given enough drill in this exercise so
that he learns to judge the things as they are, and not as they seem.

Have him look at Figure 1 and decide which is the longer line, a side
of the square B or the diameter of the circle A. Then have him measure
carefully.

In like manner compare the height of the two rectangles in Figure 2.
Which line is longest in Figure 3--AB, CB, or BD? Which vertical lines
are tallest in Figure 4--those between AB or BC?

In Figure 5 which line is longest, A, B or C?

[Illustration]

Good practice can be had in judging the size of boxes by comparing
the length of one box with the width of another, or any similar
measurements. In each case the measurements should actually be made so
that all error can be corrected.

In the same way practice with size and thickness of books. Let the
child estimate them by inches so that he learns to determine accurately
the difference in thickness. The carpenter can readily tell the full
inch board from the seven-eights boards by looking at it or by feeling.
His ability to do this is the result of practice.

The size of type is a good thing to practice with, as the irregular
outlines of the type make it quite confusing. A sample book of type can
be gotten from any printer. From this the child can also be taught to
become familiar with the common type faces. This knowledge he can use
to good advantage in later years.

The child should be taught a definite length of step for the purpose
of measurement. In proportion to his size he can learn to step off two
feet or a yard. He should also know the length in inches of his shoe
for the purpose of checking shorter measurements.

Have the child know his height and estimate the height of trees,
buildings, etc. These estimates can be checked by computing the
proportion of the length of the shadow thrown by the tree and using the
proportion.

=Example=--If the child is five feet tall and his shadow measures three
feet, the shadow is three-fifths of his height. If the shadow of the
tree measures fifteen feet, the height of the tree is twenty-five feet.


Further Development of Sight

There are two important faculties which are dependent upon the
operation of the eye for usefulness and accuracy. They are
Visualization and Perception. The games which are given later for the
improvement of these important mental operations will also develop the
sense of sight.

It will be better to use these later exercises where double results can
be accomplished. Give all the time possible to the games on pages 59 to
69.



THE SENSES OF TASTE AND SMELL


For most of the mental operations the three senses already treated are
the more important ones. There are some trades in which the senses of
taste and smell are also important. These can be cultivated readily by
exercises of any nature that stimulate an effort on the part of the
children. Many ideas will suggest themselves to you from those given
for the other senses.

It is advisable to do a good deal of the practice blindfolded so as to
separate entirely the sense of sight, and force dependence upon the
senses of taste and smell.

These two senses are very closely allied. Try the experiment of
determining the difference in tea, coffee, milk and water while the
eyes are covered and the nose held tightly closed.

The degree to which these two senses can be developed is illustrated by
the proficiency which is shown by experts and testers who grade tea,
coffee and tobacco.

The usefulness of their development is to a large degree only of value
to those engaged in these lines of trade. The opportunity for their
development comes rarely except in connection with work in the trades,
and for that reason will not be dealt with at any length here.


Using Two of the Senses

There are times when the ability to use two of the senses with
reasonable accuracy at the same time will be of value. It is not
possible for either of the senses to produce perfect attention while
working in conjunction with one another. We can attend to only one
thing at a time and do it well, but "Divided Attention" is possible.
Under the chapter on Attention and Concentration, on page 75, you will
find an explanation of "Divided Attention," which should be read before
going farther with these exercises.


Exercises for Two Senses

Combine any of the previous exercises for Eye and Ear, Ear and Feeling,
Eye and Feeling, etc., but do not attempt two exercises of the same
sense or use two of the same order.

At first the attention will alternate between the two exercises, but by
persistence the child can learn to carry on two exercises at the same
time.

Watch an operator in the central phone stations, she listens to the
party calling, watches the board over which other conversations
are passing, and pulls and shifts the plugs, all at the same time.
Operators of many machines in factories learn to carry on two and more
separate operations at one time.

Combine the Insets for the sense of feeling on page 18 with the Number
Game or the Letter Game on page 45, or with the exercises for visual
counting on page 59. Let the Insets be held close to the body so as
not to be easily seen, or have them worked under the table, or covered
by a cloth.

Use a similar combination of any of the sense exercises or games. Try
many variations of the idea given on page 75 under Divided Attention,
using different verses and problems to suit the age of the child.

Have the child write a familiar verse while listening to the reading of
a story and see how much he can tell after the verse is finished. See
that the writing continues during the reading, that is, that he does
not stop writing to listen, then write again.

Take the letter cards of the Letter Game, page 45, and arrange a series
of six, having these covered. Give the child a paper and pencil,
uncover the series of letters and simultaneously read an equal series
of digits. After the reading cover the letters and have him write as
many as possible, first the letters and immediately following the
digits. Next time write the digits first and the letters second.
The result of this test will reveal the comparative quality of the
child's eye and ear memory, as memory must of course enter into this
exercise. If the sounds of the digits are lost before the pictures of
the letters, the eye memory is strongest. This is usually the case, but
some children will retain the sounds easily and lose the picture of the
letters.

The sense which proves most useful should be depended upon for
accuracy, but there should be a continuous effort to develop and
strengthen the weaker one.


Improvement From Conscious Effort

The child may be normal in all his senses and able to gain an average
success in life without much conscious effort given to improving them.
It will require very little effort, however, to greatly develop the
capacity of the different senses and thus increase the success which he
will gain, and greatly reduce the effort necessary to attain it. While
effort and use develop, neglect causes disintegration.

The fact that the eye, for example, needs development is illustrated
by the limited usefulness of this organ in infants. Professor Compayre
tells us that babies see only objects in front of them, not to the
right or to the left, and only objects that are at short range.

Your present capacity in the use of this sense organ, and the accuracy
with which you use it, is the result of the development of past years.
Conscious effort upon the part of your children will lead them to more
rapid development, and to the possibility of far greater power and
usefulness.

The value of this improvement is apparent to you, but not to the
child. The benefits to be derived will be largely dependent upon your
leadership and encouragement in making the effort. While the children
are seeking amusement, see that they combine it with these games and
exercises which will accomplish some improvement that will be permanent
and valuable to them later on.


The Faculty of Visualization

The sense of sight has been wonderfully endowed with a duplicate power
which we have come to call the mind's eye. With this visual faculty we
produce some very important mental operations. We must first become
conscious of this faculty and learn to use it intelligently and then to
broaden its scope and increase its power to deal with details.

     =Visualization is the mind's eye reproduction of an impression
     made by the sense of sight.=

When the name of Abraham Lincoln is mentioned you can see his face in
your mind's eye. Hesitate a moment and become really conscious of this
reproduction of Lincoln's face in your mind. See the details of the
picture, the deep set eyes, the furrowed skin, the sad expression, etc.


Another Visual Test

In the same manner your mind can reproduce an unlimited number of
pictures. Anything which you have once seen with the physical eye can
be reproduced again in the mind's eye.

Make a few tests of this fact, if it is not well known to you. For
example,--

See a pasture with a creek flowing through, willows hanging over the
water, the green grass on the banks, and the stock grazing there. See
several different kinds and sizes of animals, note their color, what
they are doing. Add to the detail of the picture.

To close the eyes and thus to eliminate the more distinct impressions
of the physical eye, will assist you in visualizing any picture.


Visual Process Natural

We are all born with this ability to visualize or see imaginary mental
reproductions of things which we have seen before. By the use of the
imagination we combine parts of these pictures into new ones and thus
are able to construct a mind's eye picture which may never have existed
in fact.

Children possess this faculty in a marked degree; they use it
continuously and unconsciously. They can also see their visual picture
much more clearly than their parents can, unless they have continued
to use the faculty consciously. Many children amuse themselves by the
hour in playing with imaginary playmates, and will talk to them as
interestedly as if they were really present. To the child they are
present, he actually sees them and also visualizes the conditions under
which he is playing.

The child should be given a conscious understanding of the mind's eye
picture and what is meant by visualization. Teach him that when you
ask him to visualize, you mean for him to see clearly the mind's eye
picture of the thing referred to. The first exercises in visualization
are for the purpose of developing a clear visual picture.


Training the Mind's Eye

The following tests and games will reveal the lack of speed and
accuracy in the operation of the visual faculty. The repetition of
the tests will result in an improved ability; vary and continue them
and you can quickly experience improvement in the availability of the
faculty.

Exercises which tend to quicken the action, broaden the range of
vision, and increase the amount of detail retained, are most valuable.


The Picture Test

Select a good sized picture which is strange to the child, in which
there are several persons surrounded by the furniture of a room, or
any similar setting where there are a number of objects. Allow him
to give one quick glance at the picture and then see whether he can
recall definitely just how many persons were in the picture? Whether
they were men, women or children; and locate definitely the position of
each person. The first glance should not exceed one second. Now let him
look at the picture again for not more than five seconds. See how many
objects he can name, check them up to see that he is accurate. Also
notice how many objects are mentioned which are not in the picture.


Test for Quick Reaction

Prepare a strip of cardboard about three inches wide and fourteen
inches long. Get as many colors of paper as possible, cut them into
strips of unequal width and paste them on the cardboard so that each
color will be from one to three inches wide, according to the number
secured.

Stand across the room holding the back of the strip towards the
children, then turn it over so that they get one clear glance. This
glance should not exceed the length of time it takes you to count
rapidly one-half the number of colors. There should not be less than
six colors on the slip, in which case you count from one to three.
After this first quick glance see who can tell accurately HOW MANY
colors there are on the slip. Let each write down the number his mind
registered without checking up to see if he is correct.


A Test for Color Reaction

Now turn the paper over again so that they see the colors about twice
as long as the first test. Then have them write a list of the colors
that are on the paper. After they have written all the colors that they
saw, have them take the following tests, before checking up the lists.


A Test for Order

Allow a third glance at the color strip while you count ten, and have
each begin at the left hand end of the strip, noting the arrangement of
the colors, and see if they can write accurately the order in which the
colors appear on the card.

The first test is for quick reaction of the mind. The amount that
they are able to observe in a given length of time will depend upon
the rapidity with which their minds react. This test is designed to
determine the rapidity of the mental reaction. About thirty-five per
cent of those who take it are able to get the correct number, where the
number of colors is not more than seven.

The second test is designed to determine the ability of the mind to
hold the color impressions. About twenty-five per cent are able to
retain the impression of the seven colors.

The third test combines the power to retain the color impression with
the ability to retain the correct order. Experience shows that not over
ten per cent are able to give the order accurately.

Similar tests repeated will give a great amount of exercise and soon
result in a perceptible increase in the power to accomplish the desired
results.


The Letter Game

Prepare a series of white cards about 2 X 3 inches, larger for larger
groups, on which are painted the letters of the alphabet in large black
type.

For this test select a convenient spot, such as the mantel, window
sill, or table edge, and place six letters upright and side by side,
but do not have the letters spell a word.

Each child should be supplied with paper and pencil. All should hold
the pencil above their heads. Upon a signal allow the children a
five-second glance at the letters. When the five seconds have elapsed
give the command "Write," at which each child will write the letters
in proper sequence. When they have had ten seconds in which to write,
give the command "stop." During the time for writing the letters the
cards should be covered. Now the cover can be removed and each allowed
to check the result.

Begin with the arrangement of about six letters and gradually increase
the number and complexity of arrangement so as always to give the child
something to strive for.

     =Only that which requires effort results in growth. Those things
     for which we strive are of most value to us.=

A few examples for the letter game--

  M D L T R X
  X O M E R S
  E A M N R T V
  T E X R L O S
  A X M E V A L R
  Y A C O P T E L

Later arrange some double line combinations, and increase the
complexity as the ability develops.

  Y--E--O--P      X--O--J--R      M--P--S--Q

  E--M--T--A      B--Z--Y--E      R--E--T--W

                  L--V--D--H

In some combinations use letters which make the semblance of a word
and later some which spell a word. Notice how quickly and easily the
combination is remembered when it conveys sense or something definite
which the mind can grasp. For example--

  T--E--X--O      A--M--I--T      C--O--C--O

  B--R--A--S      C--R--E--P      J--U--B--S

                  F--I--N--O


The Number Game

In the same manner in which you made the cards for the Letter Game
prepare a set on which are numbers instead of letters. Follow the same
rules for the Number Game, using rows of numbers instead of letters.

First use a row of single digits, increasing it until you have used
nine or ten. Then change and arrange a column of two digits, as
illustrated below.

Later for variety you can combine letters and numbers. In some
arrangements leave blank spaces requiring the child to leave the blank
in its proper location when reproducing his mental picture.


A Few Examples for Guidance

  23      50      2 5 1 7 2          906         4
  46      27      9 6 8 1 4 5         27        16
  19      48      3 7 4 6 1 2 0      010       372
  43      14      0 5 1 9 3 5 4 6      9      5680

  X    7   3    7 6 A 9 E X 5 0     T4      AX
  9   E 4  B     A 7 X 6 4 B C 1    6E      96
  1    O B      X T O M 1 4 9 2     10      D7

A series of squares, circles, triangles, etc., can be used. These
exercises can be varied in any manner and made as long and as
complicated as is necessary to keep the child striving to make an
effort to accomplish more. Keep a time limit, remember the value of
competition, championship scores, etc.


The Colors of a Room

Have the child look at one side of the room, then look away and tell
all the colors he saw there in pictures, draperies, etc. Have him look
at a certain picture for about five seconds and turn away and see how
many of the colors in it he can recall.

Use a row of books on the shelf for another test. Have the child tell
how many colors he saw in the row, and, if possible, how many books.


Practice With Geometrical Figures

First secure some geometrical figures. Take for example a five-pointed
star, have the child look at it carefully, then close his eyes and
reproduce its form and size in a clear, visual picture. Let him
look at the drawing and see if he can improve the clearness and
definite proportion of his mind's eye picture. Now have him take a
sheet of paper and draw this picture as he sees it in his mind, and
when complete compare it with the original for accuracy in size and
proportion. Let him close his eyes several times and get just as
definite a mind's eye picture as possible before he attempts the
drawing of the figure. Practice with figures of this kind, gradually
increasing their complexity.


Use Other Simple Objects

Instead of the geometrical figures of the previous exercise, take some
simple object, such as a coin, a key, a watch charm, or a book. Follow
the same plan as above. Have the child make a complete mind's eye
picture, then try to draw it.


Color Practice Valuable

Secure a number of colored objects, such as sheets of paper, or book
covers, or candy boxes, anything which is colored. Let the child study
the color carefully, then reproduce it in his mind's eye. First he must
work with single colors, then combine two or three in a group, and
reproduce them in his mind's eye. In following this exercise he will
develop an accurate color memory.


Out-of-Door Games

Select a certain tree and let the child look at it intently for a few
seconds, then ask him to close his eyes, or look away, and describe the
tree to you. Try to get him to see clearly all the detail in his mind's
eye picture, as you did in the former exercises for the physical eye.


Use Entire Landscape

In the same way have the child visualize the landscape. Let him look at
it intently for a few moments, and then, with his eyes closed, describe
it. The description which the child gives will reveal the amount of
detail in his mind's eye picture. Try again, and see how much he can
add at the second trial.


Immediate Visualization

The rapidity of visualization can be greatly increased by effort and
training. There is great value in this ability, and it can be attained
by shortening the interval during which the object or exercise is
visible to the eye.

After the children have learned to form a definite, accurate picture,
try to shorten the time in which they see the objects. Strive until
they can take in the whole at a glance. The detail will continue to
develop after the eyes are closed. In the Letter and Number Games
gradually shorten the time given until they can reproduce the entire
row at a glance. Such effort will quicken the action of the brain area
of sight.

The story is told of a woman who so developed this ability that she
could secure a picture of the page of a letter in one glance and read
it from the visual image. She became a well-known government agent in a
foreign country, an internationally known spy.

All of the exercise given for the development of the sense of sight
can be used for visualization and later for observation. These two
important faculties are closely related to each other and both
dependent upon the eye. Later on you will see that the most used of all
the faculties--Memory--is in turn largely dependent upon all three.


Training of Younger Children

Up to eight years of age the child should be trained principally in the
use of his senses and in making clear mind's eye pictures. The parent
should have the definite aim in mind of increasing the child's stock of
knowledge, and of the later value of these efforts. Show him everything
you can, and take time to explain. Things are new to the child, even
though they are very common to you. This is the age when he acquires
his knowledge of things without being so much interested in their
relationship to each other.

A great deal which is explained to children is forgotten, because they
did not sense it--that is, they do not impress it upon the mind by many
and varied sense impressions. Simply to hear the answer to the question
is not sufficient. You can tell a child what a rectangle is, but he is
very apt to forget. If, after you have explained a rectangle to the
child, you have him go around the room and find all the rectangles that
he can--such as windows, doors, books, etc., and then draw different
sizes of them, he will never forget.



DEVELOPING THE OBSERVATION


The next step of development, after forming clear visual impressions,
and closely allied to it, is the development of the faculty of
observation. The eyes see, but the brain perceives. The sense organs
bring a sensation to the brain where, by the act of perception, it is
classified or identified as being like certain other objects and filed
away in its proper place.

Recognition goes a step farther and places this object alongside of one
particular mental image, which it resembles.

Standing by the gate in the twilight you see an object coming down
the road. As it approaches you Perceive that it is a cow. As it comes
closer you Recognize it as Neighbor Jones' cow. You Perceive that it
is a cow, but you Recognize her as a certain cow, different from all
others.

It is a fact that the eye may be perfect, and the nerve connecting it
with the brain may be in good working order, and yet no impression
may be received by the brain. Injury to that area of the brain which
receives the impression from the eye may cause total blindness; at
the same time the eye and nerves connecting it with the brain may be
physically perfect.

When the brain is not injured, the same result is brought about by lack
of Attention. The eye can look straight at an object and you do not
perceive it. The brain does not accept any impression of it.

Attention is necessary that the sense impressions may be properly
perceived and recognized; and this completed mental operation is
commonly called Observation. Trained senses that react quickly make
possible quick perception and recognition. The result is quick,
accurate, and complete observation. Observation requires knowledge and
it develops definite knowledge, but most people are poor observers.
Help your children to be definite in their knowledge and to know what
they know. How many can tell the different trees by name? How many legs
has a spider, a fly, a bee, a butterfly?

It is a strange fact that the poorly educated are the best observers.
Do not lose sight of the necessity of helping the child to form the
habit of observation. It is the basis of common sense. Do not let him
grow up ignorant of the common knowledge and experiences.

The faculty of observation is also the basis of science and of the
success of specialists in every line. The story is told of a young
man, who, having made up his mind to become a naturalist, went to a
celebrated teacher in that line of study. The professor set the young
man at work drawing a picture of a fish. The picture was soon finished
and carried to the teacher for inspection, who, without looking up,
said: "Draw it again." This seemed foolish to the young man, but he sat
down and drew a new and better picture, which he again carried to the
teacher for approval. This time the professor told him to go back and
improve it and to wait until he should come to inspect it. The young
scholar returned, did some more work on the picture and then pushed it
back and waited. The professor did not come and so he started wandering
restlessly around the room, thinking he had been forgotten.

Soon he became interested in studying the fish he had been drawing; he
noticed several peculiarities of the eye which he added to his picture.
This led him to a more careful study, and other details were noted and
added. He then decided he could draw a better picture, so started all
over again. After days had passed, the professor came in and glanced at
the picture which the young man then realized was still only partially
complete. For one year this young scholar was kept busy studying and
drawing the fish, then the old professor told him: "You have learned
the greatest lesson of the scientist, observation." This young man was
Agassiz, who became America's foremost naturalist.

Observation usually occurs where there is a motive. Do not ask the
child to develop it, but induce him to play games and to strive to
excel in contests which require observation.


Value of Observation

This is one of the faculties which we use continuously, but have given
very little thought to its conscious improvement. Every judgment
rendered in business life is largely dependent for accuracy upon this
faculty.

You may intend investing money in a piece of real estate. You go out to
look at it. What you see on this trip of inspection is a large factor
in your decision. Your ability to observe all existing conditions will
go a long way towards determining whether or not your judgment in
buying this property is correct. If the surrounding land is higher, and
you do not observe this fact, you will probably discover, when winter
comes, that you have purchased a mud hole.

Two men go to inspect a piece of mining property. Mr. A decides to
invest, while Mr. B decides not to. In talking over the situation later
on A inquires of B why he did not invest, and finds that B saw many
things about the location of the property which he did not see at all.

In every decision of life we depend largely upon our observation; upon
the things we see. A keen observation is of great help to the salesman
in finding a point of contact with the prospective buyer. When he
enters the man's office his eyes are keen and alert. He sees the golf
bag or tennis racquet in the corner, or a book on the man's desk, the
title of which he can read at a glance. These things reveal to him the
things in which this man is interested.

If all faces look alike to you you will of course call them all by the
same name. Your friends are all different in their appearance. It is
your observation which detects this difference. You may have thought
that Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith look very much alike, but when you see
the two side by side you are surprised that you ever thought they
resembled each other. Such cases are not at all rare, and show that the
observation has not been as keen and accurate as it should have been.


The Neglected Faculty

Observation can be improved easily and quickly. This is one of the
faculties which is used so habitually that we have overlooked its
importance and almost entirely neglected its improvement. The following
pages will give some tests by which you can determine the child's
power of observation and which will convince you of the need of its
development, and also suggest some simple games by means of which you
and your children can improve this important mental faculty.

It is a great aid to observation to have the ability to place upon the
brain a physical eye picture which is so clear and distinct that later,
when you reproduce the picture in the mind's eye, you still see the
details accurately. To develop this power of visualization will help
to develop the ability to observe. The exercises in the development
of observation which follow will also improve the visual power of the
mind's eye.


Method of Developing Observation

The story is told how the French magician Houdin trained the
observation of his son. They would go down the street together and stop
in front of a shop window. The father and son would both take a good
look at the contents of the window, and then walk on a little farther
and stop and write on a pad all the objects they could recall. Then
they would go back to the window and compare the lists, and go on to a
second window and do the same thing. This exercise was followed until
the boy had developed an unusual ability to remember what he saw.

When the father was performing his magical feats on the stage of Paris
he would ask people from the audience to come up onto the stage and
deposit any articles which they chose upon the table until there were
forty in all. The boy, blindfolded, was then brought onto the stage,
led up to the table, and, after the blindfold was removed, allowed one
glance. He was then blindfolded again and led to the front of the stage
with his back to the table. He would without hesitation name each of
the forty objects. This was considered magic, mental telepathy, etc. It
_was_ magic--the magic of practice.

Practice will work wonders for you and your children. The method
followed by this magician is one of the best exercises for developing
this faculty. The time you put in walking the streets is mostly wasted
as far as mental development is concerned. As you and the children
pass a store window look closely at the articles in it and as you walk
along see how many each of you can recall definitely. At first you will
not be able to name very many. Practice in this way several times a day
will soon enable you to recall the majority of things that you see.
Continual practice will result in your becoming an adept.

The same kind of practice can be indulged in on streets where there are
no store windows. Look at the front of a house and see how definitely
you can describe it after you are by. How many windows has it? Can you
see the color, trimmings, the style of windows, doors, porches, and
all the details clearly? Practice until all can do this. Then observe
the yard until you can describe the approximate size, the arrangement
of the shrubbery, walks, flower beds and trees. While walking with
the children continuously use these ideas. Call their attention to a
certain house and when you have passed ask questions regarding what
they have observed.

An excellent method of developing observation is to recall the definite
location of the furniture in the different rooms of the home, the
articles that are on the top of the dresser or library table.

In going to the home or office of a friend look around the room once
carefully, then look out of the window or at the floor, and recall the
furniture and other details of the furnishings. How many pictures are
on the walls, where are they and what are they?


Picture Cards for Observation

Secure a group of pictures which have considerable detail and a variety
of objects such as often appear on calendars, large magazine pictures,
and advertisements, etc.

Put a single picture upon the wall for observation for a period of a
few seconds. Let each child write the answers to a series of questions,
each being numbered. They can be answered verbally if the group is
small.

Have the list of questions prepared and numbered. If the picture is of
a house and yard have questions like the following: How many chimneys?
How many windows upstairs, downstairs? How many porches? What color
is the house? the trimmings? How many trees, bushes, flower beds? Is
there a fence? Is the door open or closed? Is there any person in the
picture? Any animal?


Counting From Mind's Eye Pictures

[Illustration: GROUP 1.]

Take a piece of paper, or a child's slate, place a simple group of
small circles, as illustrated in Group One. Let the child look at this
group for five seconds. Turn the slate over and have him count from his
mind's eye picture and tell how many circles are in the group. Then
have the child draw on the other side of the slate or on another piece
of paper the circles as nearly in the same position as possible.

See that he gets the advantage of two tests from this exercise, one
the counting from his mind's eye picture and the other to be able to
reproduce the group in the same positions as shown on the other side of
the slate.

[Illustration: GROUP 2.]

Make another group of mixed crosses and circles as shown in Group Two.
After looking at it for five seconds, have the child tell you how many
circles and how many crosses there are. Have him draw a picture of them.

[Illustration: GROUP 3.]

Use a group of combined circles and squares as illustrated in Groups
Three and Four. As the child becomes able to count and reproduce
accurately, increase the difficulty and complexity of the exercises.
For variety use triangles, rectangles, octagons, stars, etc., as in
Group Four.

[Illustration: GROUP 4.]


For Visual Reproduction

Divide a slate or a sheet of paper into four, six, nine or twelve
sections. Beginning with four and increasing the number as the child
progresses. Draw in each section some picture, number, letter or
object, as illustrated. Let the child look at those which you have
arranged and then close his eyes and look away and tell what is in each
of the squares. If he is old enough, let him take a piece of paper and
reproduce the squares and their contents. For variety the squares can
contain all letters, all numbers, or all objects.

[Illustration]


The Game of Quick Counting

Have a handful of small sticks or matches and lay a number in a row on
the table. Let the children stand with their backs to the table and a
few feet away from it. After you have arranged the sticks go several
feet away from the table and say, "Ready!" The children then go to
the table, count the sticks, run to you and whisper their answer. The
object in your being away from the table is to keep the others from
repeating the answer of the first child when they have not finished the
count for themselves. From a simple beginning of a straight row of a
few sticks, the game can be developed to any degree of complexity, so
that it will tax the powers of the most alert and developed mind. The
children will soon be able to glance at the group of sticks and count
them from their mind's eye picture while they are coming to you and not
have to stand at the table while counting them.

Lay the sticks in groups, make them into figures, into small piles,
double lines of different length, etc. A few different groups are
illustrated below--use matches, tooth picks, or any small articles.

[Illustration]


The Game of Visual Counting

Take the same game described above for Quick Counting and have the
children see the figure or pile of sticks for just a moment, then cover
them and let them count from their visual picture and tell the number,
rather than by the actual count as before. They can also have a handful
of sticks in their hands and each try to arrange a group of sticks
which is the duplicate of the one they have been observing.

The game of dominoes is good for small children in helping them to
count quickly and accurately. Use a row of dominoes instead of sticks
and have the children count the number of spots from their mind's eye
picture.

For variety use any objects, let the child look at a flag and count the
stars. Have him count the number of squares in a colonial window; the
number of books on a shelf; the number of sections in the radiator.
Anything of this kind can be easily used. Give him only a glance, do
not allow time enough for an actual count. In each case let the time
allowed for each exercise be less than required to count the objects.


Reproducing the Visual Picture

Show the child a vase, or the picture of one that is odd in shape, a
water pitcher, or an Egyptian water bottle. Let him have a good look at
the object, then take it away and let him describe it in detail, or,
better still, have him draw it. Drawing is an excellent exercise for
the development of muscular control and will-power.

In the same way let children observe the decorations of a building, the
design of the windows, the design and style of the caps and bases of
the pillars, and then draw them.

Older girls should be taught to observe so as to be able to describe
accurately, and to draw in detail, suits and dresses; draperies and
furnishings. This is also an excellent opportunity for color study.
Boys can observe, describe and draw the outlines of boats, automobiles,
and furniture, and anything that interests them. An excellent book to
help the child in learning to draw is one entitled, "When Mother Lets
Us Draw," by E. R. Lee Thayer.


The Game of Color Cards

To develop Observation and Memory of location, and relation of objects,
get eight cards of any size, from one to three inches square, each of a
different color. Colors of decided contrast are best. Number the cards
on the back from one to eight. While the child is not looking arrange
the cards in a double row, writing the number of each card on a slip
of paper. The numbers should be in two rows and in the exact order in
which the color cards are to be arranged. Call the child and let him
look twenty seconds at these cards. The time can be shortened as the
ability develops. Now mix the cards and let him try to arrange them as
they were.

The one taking the test should do this by making a picture of the
colors as they appear, holding them in mind as he arranges the cards.
This is excellent practice for persons of all ages. Some can do it
accurately at the first trial, others will have a poor record at the
beginning, but as usual _persistence_ will win and the ability will
grow rapidly.

The Score.--The numbers, as you have previously written them on the
slip, will give the original order. After they have been arranged by
the one taking the test, turn the cards and check by the numbers. Each
card in its correct place entitles him to one point. Any number can be
decided upon as a game. The first one reaching that number of points by
correct arrangement wins.

If colored cardboard is not handy the cards can easily be made by
painting one side with a child's water color paints or by using
crayolas.


The Game of Picture Cards

This game will develop observation and location. Make a series of
eight, ten, or twelve cards about 2x3 inches in size, on one side
number them as in the color game, and on the other side draw the
outlines of simple objects, as a hat, tea kettle, shears, box, fan,
book, owl, hen, dog, etc. These pictures can be cut from a paper and
pasted on the cards; small picture cards, or picture postals may be
used.

Arrange the cards in two rows. You can begin with four or six cards
and later, after these have been used with comparative accuracy, add
more. Keep a record of the arrangement by the numbers on the back of
the cards as in the Color Game. Allow about twenty seconds for the
observation of the cards and their positions, then shuffle them and
arrange them in the original position if possible. Score the same as in
the Color Game.


The Seeing Game

Take the child into some room with which he is not familiar, and let
him walk through the room slowly, then go out and make a list of
everything he can remember. Now let him look through again and see what
he can add to the list.

Walk a block down the street and have him make a list or tell you of as
many of the things which he saw as possible. Whenever possible return
for a second look so that the child may see and realize the many things
that he has omitted.

The story of the experience of the magician Houdin and the method which
he used for developing the observation of his son can easily suggest a
number of interesting, and as you have learned, very profitable games.


The Game of Detective

Place a dozen objects on a table and let the child look at the table
from twenty to thirty seconds and then leave the room. While gone
change the position of two objects. Have him return and tell what
changes were made. Where there are two or more children let the one who
first observes the change remain and make the change for the others.
The number of objects changed can be varied. But those out of the room
should know how many changes are being made. At first the objects
changed should be returned to their original positions, before the
second change, so that the mental picture is the same each time. Later
they can remain in the position to which they were changed so that
there is a new relationship to be retained in mind each time.


A Game at the Dining Table

After a meal, while sitting at the table, let the children take a
careful look at what is upon it and then close their eyes. Ask the
location of different things and see how many they can remember
accurately. While their eyes are closed take something off the table
and hide it. See which one can first tell what is removed. Return it
and next remove some other article. Let the child first telling what
was removed be the one to remove the next article, and so on, or take
turns around the table.


The Change About Game

Let all the persons playing the game look over the furnishings of the
room and then all, but one, go out. The person remaining can change
the location of one article but nothing must be removed. When the
alteration is made the others may return. The first one to detect the
change must remain and make the change for the others. At first the
changes should be made of larger articles as the chairs, pictures,
pillows, etc. Later smaller ones can be used as vases, doilies, books,
bric-a-brac.

A time limit can be placed upon the observation of the room and also
upon the time allowed for detecting the change made. A score can be
kept among smaller children rather than to allow them to make the
changes.


The Game of Observation

Gather a group of small articles and place them on a table. Begin with
not less than twenty articles and increase the number as those making
the test become accurate. Have the children gather around the table and
look intently at the objects upon it, striving to make a picture of the
group in their minds. After they have looked at the table for thirty
seconds cover it and have them write a list of all the articles they
can recall from their mental impression. The one writing the longest
list is the winner.

It is well to allow them a second observation of twenty seconds after
they have written the first list and see how many more they can add to
it. After the child has written all that he thinks he can, have him
close his eyes and see the mind's eye picture of the top of the table
and in this way concentrate on the picture. You will find that in most
cases this will recall to mind other objects, they will gradually
become definite in the picture and can be added to the list. Few
people are able to write more than twenty objects from a one minute
observation of a table containing thirty, but there are some who can
do much better at the first trial. These are usually persons who have
been engaged in some line of effort which causes the development of the
faculty.

This is an excellent mental exercise and should be repeated as often
as you can induce the children to play it, adding to the articles and
changing some for variety. Play this at the children's parties. Older
persons enjoy it as well as the younger ones, especially after they see
how difficult it is.


Training the Sense of Location

One valuable application of the habit of attention and observation is
that it develops the memory for places. The keen, observing woodsman is
not easily lost. Some people can be lost a few blocks from home simply
because they do not observe where they go, the objects which they pass,
or the relation of one building or corner to another. Impress the
importance of this application of observation upon the child. Teach
him to pick landmarks. Show him how the Indian or woodsman blazes a
trail as he goes through an unknown country. Teach the child to notice
the roads, fences, trees, houses and buildings as he walks. Teach him
the directions and how to find them.


The Game of Guide

Take the child for a walk. Tell him that the next day you are going
to see if he can take you for the same walk. Have him observe the
different places you go. After you have been home for an hour or so
let the child go over the walk in his mind and review it visually so
that he will be able to take you the next day. Review is necessary for
a permanent memory, and this act will help the child to realize the
importance of forming the review habit.


The Game of Guiding Home

Take the child for a walk and double back over your track and see if
he will recognize the fact that he has been there before. Take him to
the same place by different roads and let him guide you back home. When
you are ready to go home after a walk let the child play the game of
taking you home. He will enjoy this and it will develop independence
and the ability to get home alone if such a necessity should arise.
Occasionally ask him what direction you are traveling and in which
direction his home is located. When the corner is turned have him tell
the new direction.


Make Play Profitable

In your play with the child make it a point to choose some game which
will develop his senses and faculties. You can amuse him as easily
and at the same time be accomplishing a great good. Do not put this
matter off "until you have more time." Use a little time each day, if
only five minutes. You are bound to experience to some extent the same
result as a friend who said: "I started in with this thing for the good
of the kids, but I find the kid who gets the most out of it is dad."

Rudyard Kipling, in his book "Kim," gives an instance of the
Observation Game played by Kim and a trained native youth. Lurgan
Sahib exposes to the sight of the two boys a tray filled with jewels
and gems, allowing them to gaze upon it a few moments before it is
withdrawn from sight. Then the competition begins, as follows: "There
are under that paper five blue stones, one big, one smaller, and three
small," said Kim in all haste. "There are four green stones, and one
with a hole in it; there is one yellow stone that I can see through,
and one like a pipe stem. There are two red stones, and--and--give me
time."

But Kim had reached the limit of his powers. Then came the turn of the
native child.

"First are two flawed sapphires, one of two ruttees and one of four, as
I should judge. The four ruttees sapphire is chipped at the edge. There
is one Turkestan turquoise, plain with green veins, and there are two
inscribed--one with the name of God in gilt and the other being cracked
across, for it came out of an old ring, I cannot read. We have not the
five blue stones; four flamed emeralds there are, but one is drilled in
two places, and one is a little carven."

"Their weight?" said Lurgan Sahib, impassively.

"Three, five, five and four ruttees, as I judge it. There is one piece
of old greenish amber, and a cheap cut topaz from Europe. There is
one ruby of Burma, one of two ruttees, without a flaw. And there is a
Ballas ruby, flawed, of two ruttees. There is a carved ivory from China
representing a rat sucking an egg; and there is last--ah ha! a ball of
crystal as big as a bean set in a gold leaf."

"Kim is mortified at his bad beating, and asks the secret." The answer
is: "By doing it many times over, till it is done perfectly, for it is
worth doing."

     =Conscious and accurate sense impressions are essential for
     definite knowledge.=

     ="He who knows and knows that he knows, he is wise, follow him."=



ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION


There is no greater heritage which you can give your child to aid in
his mental development, character building, and success winning than a
trained ability to control his attention and concentration. In fact, to
the degree in which he is able to do this, will he be able to control
himself and later to control others. The ability to do these two
things is a part of the capacity of every successful man. Every effort
that you will put forth to aid the child in the development of these
faculties will repay you in many ways.

Attention is the application of the senses to the subject in mind.
Attention controlled and prolonged is Concentration.

The opposite, absent-mindedness, is simply involuntary or uncontrolled
attention.

The principal aid you can give the child is to teach him how to
induce and control attention and to know its enemies and how to avoid
them. Attention may be discussed under several different heads, but
we shall confine ourselves to aids in inducing it. It must be led,
not compelled or driven by will force. You may exert all the force
you possess to center your attention upon one object for a prolonged
period, but in spite of all you can do it will soon wander.

It is said that the longest period of time in which a mind will attend,
without rest, to one subject, is a few seconds. At the end of that time
there must come consciously or unconsciously, a period of relaxation.

William James, the psychologist, says that "doing work which requires
concentration is like driving a hungry horse along a road lined on
both sides with green grass. If left to himself the horse will stop to
nibble. It is only by continual jerking and urging that he can be kept
moving forward."

"In the same way the mind is inclined to wander. There must be
conscious ability upon the part of the individual to urge it along and
keep it busy at the task in hand."

The first stimulus to the attention is change. Prof. James says: "No
one can possibly attend consciously to an object that does not change."
A continual and unvarying sound soon makes no impression, you become
used to it so that your mind no longer pays any attention to it. A
picture may be very interesting but if you gaze at one object in it
steadily you will soon go to sleep.


Exercise for Prolonging the Attention

Take a sheet of paper and draw a heavy square upon it. Pin this upon
the wall in front of you. Gaze steadily upon the square and see how
long you can keep your mind upon it. Do this several times and you can
become acquainted with the period of time during which you can hold
your attention without change. The knowledge of the length of this
cycle can be a guide of how rapidly to introduce change as a stimulus.

Now gaze at the square again, introducing a change before your
attention has wandered. Look at the square, then at the different
sides, the corners and the space inside. See it in different colors,
see the square frame of one color and the center of another, change
the combinations. Let the center be formed of irregular shaped discs
of different colors and see them change places, forming new figures.
See the frame as a picture frame and with imaginary pictures in it. See
the pictures change and the objects moving. Let it be a moving picture
screen and imagine the pictures moving there.

Let the square be the fence of a farm, set it all laid out in fields
with the buildings, the stock and all the work that is going on there.
While doing this make a continual change and attend to the different
details of the picture at different times.

Keep up this exercise as long as you can hold your attention without
wandering. Then start again and try to prolong the period in which you
can control the attention. Let the movement of the conscious attention
be more rapid if necessary to hold it fixed upon the picture.

Practice with the pictures on the wall and direct your attention from
one detail to another, always changing before the attention wanders,
keeping it absolutely under your control.

Attention to be perfect must be directed to one thing at a time. It
must be centered and not scattered. Perfect attention is a rifle, not
a shotgun. You can best stimulate attention by use of one sense at a
time. At the same time see to it that the other senses are relaxed and
at rest.


Divided Attention

It is possible to divide the attention but then it can not be of
the highest quality. Try the experiment of doing a simple problem
in arithmetic and at the same time say a familiar verse, as
"Humpty-Dumpty." Again try to write the lines of "Mary had a little
lamb," while you say aloud the lines of "Humpty-Dumpty." While you did
succeed in doing the first you do not succeed in doing the second. This
experiment should be tried by all children to show them the effect of
dividing the attention and of how it may be done when necessary, but
only to a certain degree. The difficulty of the verse and problem can
be accommodated to the age of the child.

The attention may be divided between two objects or acts if they call
for the use of two different senses or are different in their order.
You can not divide your attention between two acts of the same order,
as two arithmetic problems, one mental and the other written, or
between two operations of the same sense. You can not listen to two
quartets singing at the same time, but you can attend to one and smell
some flowers at the same time and do both fairly well. While using one
of the senses for fixed attention train the others to relax.


The Degree of Attention

This will depend upon the strength of the stimulus or force which
excites it. The sense of sight is the strongest of all the senses and
therefore can exert the strongest stimulus, and should be used in all
possible cases. In the exercises with the square the changes are all
visual and they continue the strongest stimulus.

Another strong stimulus can be induced by the feelings of either
pleasure or displeasure. Happy, joyful anticipation or fear, horror, or
disgust will arouse the attention.

Familiarity also aids the attention because of the feelings which it
incites. Visual pictures which contain familiar scenes are better and
all changes introduced should be of familiar ideas in order to take
advantage of this fact.

The more you embrace in the attention the less penetrating it will be.
Do not try to take in the whole picture or object all the time, but
change from one detail to another, centering the attention on one at a
time and thus building the perfect whole.


Arouse Your Interest

Always become interested in the thing to which you are striving
to direct your attention. Boys have no difficulty in paying close
attention and remembering the ball score and the batting average of the
players but to ask them to pay as strict attention to a lecture on an
uninteresting subject is asking the impossible. The compelling element
of interest has been taken away.

This is a great lesson for all parents and teachers; if the results of
fixed attention are to be expected, the interest must be supplied and
maintained, by natural or imaginary means.


Expectant Attention

Prolonged expectancy is a great aid to holding the attention. The
element of curiosity is a great impelling force in the child and
even in adult life. This can be taken advantage of in prolonging the
attention.

The element of expectancy also affects the results of attention. The
thing you expect is the thing most easily found. If you wish to aid a
friend who is searching for a lost article you first learn as nearly
as possible just what it looks like, so that you may know what you are
expected to find.

=Exercise.=--In the following lines count all the 5s.

  5 0 3 4 2 6 5 7 4 6 7 8 9 8 0 7 6 8 7 5 4 3 5 7 6 5 4 3 7
  93758432657374596870234265834985672230986574

Notice how readily the other digits pass before your eyes in more
or less indistinct rows, but the 5s stand out more clearly. This is
caused by your expectancy, your attention is fixed upon this one digit
and cares nothing for others. Count the 9s and note the change of
expectancy. Use any selected letter in this paragraph for additional
practice.


Cure for Diverted Attention

It is not the easiest thing to learn to control and to prolong the
attention, but it is one of the most important. Great results are never
easily accomplished. Easily diverted attention is a contributing cause
of failure in every undertaking and if allowed to continue, will become
habitual absent-mindedness. See to it that your child does not acquire
this unfortunate handicap.

The cure for diverted attention is to enter whole-heartedly and wholly
into everything that you do, no matter how trivial it may be, do not
change or lose your enthusiasm over it until fully completed. If you
discover something more desirable, put it aside for the time being and
attend to the thing started, until you have finished.

Learn to use better judgment about what you start, and when started,
never change. It is the tendency to change which you are striving to
overcome.

When one thing is finished go directly and enthusiastically to the
next, without hesitation or indecision. If uncertain, learn to make a
decision and go through with it to the end, and then do the better
things which may have suggested themselves after starting.


Parent Is Child's Interpreter

These are immensely valuable lessons for children. Younger children,
whose habits are more easily formed can not realize the importance of
it so that the responsibility must rest upon you, the parents. See to
it that right habits are formed and wrong ones avoided or corrected if
they now exist. They will thank you for it many times in later years.
Repeat any of the exercises given for sense training and prolong them
for development of attention and concentration.

An unusually successful physician tells how his mother developed his
conscious attention. Each time she told him to do something or sent him
upon an errand she would require him to repeat to her just what she had
told him to do. If he could not he had to stand and think it over, and
if he had not paid good attention he was punished.

Sometimes he was given instructions and when he had left the house was
called back and required to repeat in detail where he was going and
what he was to do and say. By this method he learned to pay attention
and thereby to remember well. In the practice of his profession he used
this idea, requiring the parent or nurse to repeat his instructions
for the care of the patient and the use of the medicine, in this way
avoiding omissions and improving the result.

Follow this plan and help your children to learn to pay attention and
to remember when told once.


What Is Concentration?

An uninterrupted continuation of the flow of thought and undivided
attention is concentration. It is the result of a well-regulated
and controlled thought process. It is accomplished by patient and
persistent effort. It is a reward of the highest value. There is
no real effort connected with it, but you become so engrossed and
interested in your thought that you are conscious of nothing else.
Everything else is excluded and your whole consciousness is concentered
upon one thought.

One moment's complete concentration will go farther toward the mastery
of a lesson or solution of your problem than much time spent in idle,
disconnected thought.

This is a faculty not easily mastered, but when once harnessed and
under your control has the greatest constructive power.


Exercise for Concentration

The following exercises are valuable for prolonged periods of
concentration, for developing the visual faculty, and exercising the
productive imagination. They will prove of great worth to adults in
helping with the construction and definite visualization of their life
ideals and business problems. By this process you can easily learn to
direct concentrated thought power to the bringing about of your plans
and ideals.


The Construction of a Home

Visualize a forest, into which some lumbermen are coming. See them
cutting the trees, sawing them into mill lengths, and donkey engines
drawing them to the railroad. They are loaded and hauled to the mill,
where they are converted into lumber. See as much detail as you know of
the mill processes.

The lumber is loaded on cars, shipped to the city, unloaded in a lumber
yard, sold and hauled to the spot in the city where a house is to be
erected. Follow the erection of the house, watch all the details of its
construction until fully completed and the occupants have moved in and
established their home. Furnish the house, each room separately, and
arrange and cultivate the grounds.

This exercise can be continued as far as you desire to prolong the
period of concentration. Add all possible detail which will depend upon
the amount of knowledge which you possess along these lines. Some parts
of the work you will be able to follow in detail, others you may know
little about. If there is some other kind of construction that you are
more familiar with you can use it in order to make the visualization
definite.

See to it that your concentration is complete, do not allow your
mind to wander. Keep this picture moving so as to hold the complete
attention, become interested in the development of each process.
Prolong the period of concentration as far as possible.

This and the following exercises may be too complicated for your
children, according to their age, but some of the simpler ones should
be begun as early as eight years. The length and detail increasing with
the ability and knowledge.

Remember that the children should be gathering knowledge by sensations.
Those parts of the former picture, of the Construction of a Home,
with which they are unfamiliar, should be brought to their attention.
Describing the processes to them is good, but far better for them to
get the original sensations for themselves. Take them to the forest, to
the mill and lumber yard. Let them go where a house is being built and
spend as much time there as possible. Parents should be purposefully
adding to their children's stock of knowledge.


The Farmer and His Farm

See a settler going into an unsettled country and beginning the
construction of a farm. Watch him build his cabin, clear the land,
break the virgin soil and put in the crops. See the development
of the home, the well, the fences, barn, sheds, enlargement of
fields, bringing on of stock, the harvesting of crops, building of
greater barns, the new home, settling of the community. Continue the
development of the farm as much in detail and as far as you can.


The Farmer and His Crop

Visualize the first breaking of the field in the spring, the
preparation of the soil for sowing, bringing of the seed corn from
winter storage, the planting, cultivating, and growth of the crop.
Watch the ripening, the cutting, shocking, husking, hauling and storing
into barns.

Now follow the corn to the mill and through the processes of
manufacture until it arrives on the table as corn flakes, syrup or corn
bread.

Do this with the other crops. Follow the wheat until it is bread. The
buckwheat to the steaming hot cakes. The same can be done with the
stock on stock farms. The different kinds of farming can be used for
variety. The great wheat farms present different pictures from the
usual diversified ones.

The fruit orchard presents an interesting picture to work with. The
spraying, the cultivating, irrigating, and all the process from the
blossoming to the picking, sorting, packing, transportation and sale.

This same plan can be followed with all industries and manufacture of
any article. Take the ore from the mine to the steel in the building
or battleship. The oil from the well to gasoline in the auto tank. The
automobile from metal, wood, leather and rubber to the picnic in the
woods.


The Growing Plant

To visualize the growth of a seed or plant is interesting and helpful.
Prepare the soil, plant the seed, see the little hair roots start
out from the seed, the first green sprout, the breaking of the soil,
the gradual growth, the leafing, branching, budding, and flowering.
Hold your mind upon all pictures which you are visualizing. Direct it
consciously, do not let it wander. Use motion, color, vividness of
detail, everything that will aid concentration.

For this exercise younger children can use the making of a kite,
building of a sand castle or doll house; a Hallowe'en party; a trip to
the woods. Let him start with the well-known and familiar and lead him
up to the unknown, which will develop a desire upon his part for more
definite knowledge of the subject.

The chief factor in observation and in acquiring knowledge is Attention
and Concentration. These can be produced by curiosity and the desire to
excel, which is found in the love of competition and the game spirit. A
good example of concentration is found in the juggler or acrobat on the
vaudeville stage or in the circus. The ability to concentrate will grow
with the doing of the exercises and playing games such as are mentioned
here.

Any exercises or games which will result in improved ability to
concentrate and pay attention are valuable. Play the games with the
child, use any method or idea which suggests itself if it gets results.
Give the child a conscious realization of the possession and value of
this power. See to it that he continues to develop it.



THE IMAGINATION


Even in the simple exercises for the development of the senses you
have been continuously required to draw upon the child's imagination.
Most children are blessed with a vivid, active imagination and use it
continuously in their play and self-entertainment. The reason that this
wonderful faculty is so useless to the average adult is largely caused
by a misunderstanding of the faculty on the part of the parent and
perhaps the teacher.

     =Imagination is the reproduction, in mental images, of those
     sensations which have previously been experienced.=

Most children use both reproductive and the productive imagination
easily. There is, however, considerable difference in the amount of use
and benefit which they derive from it.

     =Reproductive imagination is reproducing the literal copy of the
     sensations.=

     =Productive imagination is the forming of a new image made up of
     elements from previous images.=

There is natural individuality in imagination and a difference in
method and in inclination to use the faculty. Some children reproduce
vivid images which are to them real and impressive and by the use of
which they amuse themselves for hours. Others reproduce indistinct
images which have no attractiveness, are dim, uncertain, and of little
value or consequence.

Do not expect the imagination of two children necessarily to operate
in the same way, and above all, do not insist upon the same results.
If you wish to know what the difference is in this faculty of visual
reproduction you can use some definite test, such as the one following.


Test for Visual Reproduction

The Preparation--Take particular care in the arrangement of the
breakfast table in certain known order, so that you will later be able
to know exactly what was on it and where it stood. Put on the table
some article of distinct color. If there is any question of your being
able to check accurately the arrangement leave the table as it is for
an hour or so after the meal.

The Test--Some time after the family have left the table, not less
than an hour and preferably longer, ask each child separately, and
not in the hearing of the others, how the breakfast table looked that
morning. Let the child tell in detail what he can of the appearance of
the table, or if old enough let each write a description. The ease
with which this is done, the amount of definiteness displayed, and the
vividness with which the child reproduces the table will be an accurate
indication of the quality of images used in his imagination.


A Universally Useful Faculty

Some have held the notion that imagination is a faculty useful only to
actors, artists or poets. This is untrue. Some parents have discouraged
and even killed the imaginative faculty in their children, because they
did not wish them to follow either of the above professions.

Your child will be the greatest credit and satisfaction to you if
he becomes that for which his natural endowment and inclination is
strongest. It is a great mistake for parents to drive a child to grow
up according to some previously conceived plan or professional choice
of their own. Parental wisdom and duty are to find out what the child
is especially endowed for and to guide him in taking advantage of these
natural gifts, and at the same time inducing a general development in
other lines.

Because of past misunderstanding or lack of understanding of its
importance in every line of effort, including science, engineering,
and every business development, many parents have discouraged their
children in the use of their imagination. Every leader in commercial
and industrial life is a man who has learned to use this faculty.
Without it he could not make great progress. Other men as brilliant
as he have lagged behind because they have never cultivated their
imagination or allowed themselves to be led by it. You should do
everything possible to encourage and to guide your children in the
conscious use of this faculty.


Children's Falsehoods

Many parents are distressed because of the tendency on the part of
young children to tell untruths, "stories" about what they have seen
or heard. This tendency is more marked in some children and occurs
in the younger years before the senses and faculties are thoroughly
under control. There is nothing dangerous about this, it is more often
than not the result of a vivid imagination in which the visualizations
appear real. The fusion of ideas and illusions sometimes cause the
story to be "so awful."

In most cases the child will outgrow this tendency and if carefully
and wisely watched over nothing detrimental will come of it. It is
an indication of a strong imaginative faculty which, if guided and
trained, will later be of immense value to him. Children who have a
tendency to this "story telling" should not be punished for it. They
should be given to understand that these are imaginary stories and
should not be told as the truth. They will, of course, appear real to
the child, but he will gradually learn to distinguish between the real
and the imaginary.

Two children, both with vivid imaginations, were allowed and
encouraged in telling all kinds of imaginary stories, and playing
imaginary games, but were taught to discriminate between these and the
truth by the use of the word "really." If one began to wonder if the
things the other was telling were true and actually happened, he would
ask, "Was it really, sister?" "Oh, no, not really," was the reply, and
the game or story proceeded. In this way the children developed the
faculty and were taught to respect the truth.


Reality of Illusions

There may be many individual peculiarities about your child's
imagination and his "story telling inclination," but these should not
induce you to be severe or to forbid them unless you have studied the
subject of the imagination carefully, or secured competent advice.

You attend the entertainment of a magician, and during the whole
evening your senses are deceived. The magician uses the inclination
of the mind to illusions in making his tricks possible. He throws a
ball into the air a couple of feet and catches it. Then he throws it
higher and does the same several times, the last time he goes through
the same motion without the ball and nine-tenths of the audience will
swear that they saw it actually disappear in the air. If we with years
of experience in sensation and thought are so easily deceived can you
justly punish a child for yielding to the same mental tendencies?


Imagination a Curse or Blessing

All normal children possess the faculty and its use will bring them
blessing and success if properly guided. The direct opposite is true.
If the child is allowed to form the habit of using his imagination
carelessly and negatively it will be harmful to an extreme degree.

Positive imagination which suggests happy, cheerful and successful
thoughts and actions should be praised and encouraged.

Negative imagination which suggests danger, accident, sickness, loss
and failure, should be discouraged and immediately replaced by thoughts
which are positive in quality. Imagination allowed to dwell upon
morbid, revengeful, ethically forbidden, or immoral ideas is harmful
physically as well as morally. "He who has imagined an action 'has
committed it in his heart.'"

     =There is no greater truth than--"As a man thinketh in his heart
     so is he."=

Imagination is the fountain head of thought and therefore the source of
words, action, personality and character. Help your child to control
the whole trend of his life by carefully governing the operations of
his imagination.


Dissipating the Imagination

Here is a danger point, "Day dreaming, idle flights of imagination,
building air castles are of little value, and dangerous in that they
tend to develop the habit." If indulged in to excess they constitute
a foolish waste of time. Occasional flights of this kind should not
be dealt with harshly, but any tendency to persist in them should be
stopped.

Reading of books which are wild flights of imagination often constitute
a harmless form of recreation for persons who are confined for long
hours at routine work, or engaged in hard physical labor. Children do
not need this extreme class of reading and should not be allowed to
indulge in much of it.


Exercises for the Imagination

First strive for clearness in the reproduction and ability to keep
the images separate. The reproduction of letters and figures in the
exercises for visualization on page 46 will accomplish this result.

Problems in mental arithmetic, if visualized, are of great value in
that the correct solving of them requires vivid and separate images.
Work for fullness of detail, the picture frame suggested on page
74 offers an excellent opportunity to do this while exercising the
constructive imagination. While fixing the attention upon the square
you keep the element of change going by use of the imagination in
picture making. Put into this picture all the detail possible, add
everything you can think of and then strive to create still more.


The Story Games

Read the child a story or description of some well-known object, then
have him tell it as nearly as he can reproduce it. Now have him tell
it again and add every bit of detail, every new circumstance and
condition which he can create for himself.

Read half of a story to the child and have him go on from where you
leave off, making his own imaginary ending for it. Then read the
conclusion to show him how the author's imagination differed from his.

Most of the exercises and games given for the development of
Visualization and Attention call the imagination into action. These
three faculties are so closely related that they can not be treated
entirely separate. Any exercise previously given for the first two will
develop the imagination as well.

These faculties of Visualization, Attention and Imagination combine
in the operation of the great faculty of Memory, which is to be the
subject of the Second Book. Exercises given there will result in
further development of the imagination.


The Game of Creation

Prof. Gates is credited with being the first to use the following idea
for guiding the constructive imagination in producing new ideas. He
has in the past few years used it so effectively that there are more
than one hundred articles now manufactured under the protection of
patents by the United States Government, and scores of others are being
perfected.

Make a list of all the things in the room, then select one object and
combine it with the rest of the list and see how many new ideas will
result. This is using the constructive imagination, creating a new
whole from familiar parts. Example--

Floor, table, ceiling, wall, window, glass, casing, frame, stove, pipe,
damper, oilcloth, cover, rug, boards, paint, plaster, paper, picture,
frame, bench, chair, couch, morris chair, curtain, rod, lace, book,
paper, magazine, Victrola, plant, flag, etc.

Select table, and by combining it with the other objects we will see
how some new combinations have been created, and perhaps we will create
some ourselves.

     Table--wall, suggests a table disappearing into the wall, as used
       in small apartments.

     Table--oilcloth, a common article.

     Table--cover, also common.

     Table--rug, Oriental rugs are often used for table covers.

     Table--boards, the extension dining table.

     Table--chair, the combination used in dairy lunches.

     Table--book, the library table.

     Table--Victrola, a combination manufactured by the Columbia
       Company.

     Table--flag, suggests the flag as a table cover.

The longer the list the greater the possibility of finding some new
and useful idea. Business men use this idea constructively. Woolworth
combined the 5c and store, and made his fortune. Ingersol combined the
Dollar and Watch. A boat, paddles, and a steam engine resulted in the
first steamboat.

There is no limit to the illustration, it is everywhere apparent and in
many things that you use. Every new invention or short-cut in business
will result from a new combination of existing concepts. We are now
manufacturing alcohol from sawdust, rubber from wheat. When shall we
stop?

Play this game with the children. They will enjoy it and learn how
progress has been made and gain new and valuable ideas. An active lad
was confined to the house with a broken leg. His mother started him
playing this game and by its use he has discovered many new games. This
time it suggested kite--window, and soon, with the assistance of a
neighbor boy, he was flying his kite out of a window.


The Picture Gallery

In the great home of the mind there is a room of unusual importance
which can be known as the picture gallery. Here the great artist
Imagination hangs the products of his efforts. Picture after picture
is painted by this wonderful faculty and hung in this gallery. Each of
these pictures becomes a force exerted upon the individual in whose
mind it is hung. Thought and Desire wander in this gallery incessantly,
and gaze upon the pictures there, using them as patterns for their
efforts in future. From these pictures they get their incentive and
inspiration.

The young child's picture gallery is a wonderful room with clean,
white walls waiting for the artist to take up the task of painting and
hanging the pictures. This artist is young and inexperienced and easily
influenced and guided by one older and more accurate.

The parents should realize that this gallery is going to be rapidly
filled with pictures, and that the choice of these pictures can
be almost entirely under their control. You can help your child's
imagination paint clean, wholesome pictures that will result in helpful
and constructive influence upon his life. But remember that these
pictures ARE BEING HUNG, whether YOU take time to help in the work or
not.

If the pictures are negative in influence, or those suggested by wrong
companions and vulgar thoughts, the result will show itself sometime in
the future. The life will sooner or later reproduce these pictures in
personal character and action.

Pictures which are objectionable can be replaced, or covered over by
attractive ones, which will be helpful and lead Thought into right
paths and create Desire that will be a future blessing. Remember, it
is far more difficult to replace a negative picture than to paint
a helpful one before the other has made its impression. It is very
important that you place your picture first.

Imagination is the architect and his plans are hung upon the walls
of this picture gallery, where other faculties use them for building
the character and personality of the child. His future circumstances,
success, or failure, will be the result of this law of nature. The
contents of this picture gallery are great and powerful causes which
help bring about the desired result.

If this truth can be sufficiently impressed upon the mind of parent
and child, both will co-operate in an effort to hang the right kind
of pictures in the gallery and the result will be a finer and more
successful life.

Every parent should make it a duty to hang in this gallery beautiful
pictures of all the ideals which they wish to see fulfilled by
their child. Besides the ideals of growth, character, purity, etc.,
there should be such pictures as a home; a life of useful service;
financial independence, and a happy old age. The details are a matter
of individual choice and should be filled in as the years pass by the
growing understanding and ambition of the child.



THE POWER OF SUGGESTION


Everything that the child experiences exerts an influence upon his
future. It suggests a tendency to thought or action. Once the thought
or act is indulged in, it has started the formation of habit. One act
will not create a habit, but one act will tend to induce the child to
act again in the same manner rather than go contrary to it or to vary
the method. Repeated action forms a habit, for habit is defined as a
tendency of the mind to do again what it has done before.

Habits, of course, vary in their strength, but you must realize the
importance of the fact that the first repetitions are the important
factors, because they are the habit's beginning. If the child's
tendency is wrong do not delay changing it. Tomorrow may be too late.
There is no certain age at which child training should begin. It is
never too soon. The earlier you begin the easier it will be, and the
more pleasure and satisfaction you will derive from your children.

The story is told of an anxious parent who went with a six-year child
to the Bishop. The mother told at great length of the difficulty she
was having with the child and asked what the proper age was to begin
training him. The Bishop's reply was: "My dear woman, you are six years
late."

Parents who procrastinate or delay correcting wrong tendencies and
instilling right ones because "the child is too young to know better,"
or "it's too soon to train him yet," will awaken to find that they have
formed a wrong habit and that the child will soon be trying to train
and rule them.

There is no method of child training as helpful as that of Suggestion.
Inducing the child by directly spoken words to think and believe that
he is, and that he does, what you wish him to be and to do. This is
known as Direct Suggestion. This is the most difficult form to use, as
it may arouse antagonism, in which case no favorable result will be
secured. It is better to postpone the use of Direct Suggestion until
some time when you can sit down quietly and talk to the child, holding
him in your lap and first preparing his mind by story or quiet talk
of positive and constructive nature. Then make the Direct Suggestion
in a clear, definite statement. Do not stop to argue or to impress
the suggestion by moralizing. Prepare the soil of the child's mind,
plant the seed (the Direct Suggestion), cover it over and leave it to
germinate there. You do this by once clearly stating the ideal and then
passing on to some other talk or story. Do not allow the child to argue
the statement of the Suggestion. This is fatal to its germination.
Have him in a passive mood in which he is listening to all that you
say, and after you have given the Direct Suggestion and planted the
seed, pass on to something else before he starts a train of contrary
thoughts in his mind.

If he resists and denies your statement before you can lead his mind
on, the soil was not properly prepared. Do not be discouraged, try
again. Never be discouraged or give up, if you expect to gain results
by the use of Suggestion.

After you have succeeded in planting this seed-thought in the child's
mind, cultivate it. Do not neglect it, but return to it and emphasize
the thought at another time, and gradually induce him to think of it in
a positive manner. Tell an imaginary story which depicts the positive
side of your seed-thought, and let him know it is of him you are
thinking.

Always be positive--never negative. Always state the thing you want
as it =now= is. Make it present tense--not even future. In suggestion
there is no place for don't, can't or any other negative statement. Do
not refer to the negative condition which you are striving to overcome.
Do not say, "Your headache is better." Leave out the headache and say
only, "You are better." A transitory term as--is becoming, or a future
term as--you will be, or a questionable effort as--try to do, should
not be used. Make your statement always positive, present tense, and
completed. As for example: "This is mama's big, strong boy." "My boy
always tells the truth." "My boy is strong and he is always kind."
"John is a gentleman, he is kind to his sister." "Sarah loves her kitty
and is kind and gentle with it."

The story of the Scotch wife will illustrate the effect of making
negative statements. The husband was starting off on Saturday night
to the village. John had a weakness, and knowing this the wife stood
on the doorstep calling after him, "John, don't go near the saloon."
"John, don't go near the saloon." "John, don't go near the saloon."
With the best of intentions she kept repeating this as long as she
could make him hear. John needed help, but if you will stop to think a
moment you will see that the wife had continuously impressed upon his
mind "the saloon," and, true to her fears, John returned home at a very
late hour and in a sad condition.

Suggestion to be of value must get beyond the critical and analytical
activity of the conscious mind and become placed in the sub-conscious.
If the conscious mind denies the statement, either audibly or to
itself, the sub-conscious is not influenced. The most profitable time
to plant these positive seed-thoughts is just before the child "drops
off to sleep."

The sub-conscious mind, which is influenced by the suggestion, never
rests. It is the mind which controls the breathing, heart beat and
other "sub-conscious action" of the body. It is working all the night
through. If you fall asleep thinking in happy anticipation of some
pleasure tomorrow you will awaken in the same happy, buoyant condition
of mind. Often you have to think a moment to ascertain the reason for
your happy mental condition, then you remember, "This is the day of the
picnic." This shows how the sub-conscious has retained all through the
night the thought which was placed there just before the conscious mind
sleeps.

Take advantage of this fact and strive to place a positive,
constructive thought upon the sub-conscious mind of your child just
before sleep. It will be held and built into character and physical
development all through the night.


Indirect Suggestion

This method is usually most effective because it is applied at times
and in a manner which tends to overcome any tendency to negative
influence of the conscious mind. All have seen the pitifully bashful
child whose mother takes every opportunity to tell the visitors, =in
the child's hearing=, how bashful she is. To the child she says: "My,
you are the most bashful child I ever saw." The former statement made
to the visitor, is a negative indirect suggestion; the latter, the
statement to the child, is negative Direct Suggestion. Both of these
tend to increase the child's bashfulness. They will never overcome it.


Indirect Positive Suggestions

Two parents are sitting in a living room talking; the child is playing
in the next room, or even on the floor of this one. Without paying any
attention and with the apparent intention of the child not hearing,
the mother, in an undertone, says to the father: "Have you noticed how
improved Sarah is of late; she is kind and thoughtful of her kitty,
she loves it more and is so kind and gentle with it?" Father replies:
"Isn't that nice; she is a dear, kind, gentle child." The parents go on
talking about other things not noticing the little girl.

If you were where you could observe you would see the child stop her
play at the mention of her name, listening intently, and thinking about
what has been said. Most likely she would find her kitty and come back
loving it and demonstrating the result of mother's suggestion.

This indirect method of sowing seed-thoughts is most effective, and
will correct errors and form right habits and character, much more
rapidly than correction, argument, or punishment. The possibilities
of the use of suggestions in child training are limitless. There are
many cases where miraculous results have been secured by intelligent,
devoted mothers.

In the matter of health and overcoming of detrimental habits there is
no greater power than that of positive Suggestion intelligently used.
Every up-to-date and thoroughly progressive physician realizes the
power of the positive thought over the human body. During the epidemic
of Influenza which swept through the Army Camps where the boys were
being trained for overseas service, all the available ministers were
called into a large hospital to minister to the sick and dying. Before
being allowed to go among the sick soldiers they were gathered together
and given a talk by one of the head surgeons. One of the instructions
was this: In all talking with the sick there must not, under any
circumstances, be any mention or reference to death, the possibility of
death, or of any condition after death. Every thought and word must be
of health, recovery and what they are going to do after recovery. This
must be followed in conversation, letter writing for the sick, and in
prayer with them. This is an example of the modern acceptance of the
value of positive suggestion in cases of sickness.

In matters of Child Training it is of the utmost value. Dr. Stanley
Krebbs, in his book, "The Law of Suggestion," which every parent should
read, tells many interesting examples of its use. "A little girl had
formed the habit of telling lies in order to attract attention. When
this fact was learned it was made the key of her recovery. It was
lodged in her mind that her lies caused people to avoid her, to dislike
her; but that if she were truthful she would make people like her,
would make friends and attract a great deal more attention than in any
other way. Simple! but successful."

Quoting again from Dr. Krebbs, "Take an extreme case, Belford Russell
Lawrence, the boy criminal, testified at twelve years of age, that
among other things, his mother had often said to neighbors, referring
to him: 'That devil will hang yet.'

"As a general rule children are what their elders expect them to be.

"As a general rule we adults are what our fellows expect us to be."

The story is told of a boy who was no student and hated school, he
even disliked to read. One time when there were guests at dinner there
arose a discussion of a certain point of history. The boy had just
studied this fact in school and was able to set the entire group right.
On several occasions later his mother repeated this fact to friends,
in the boy's hearing, always ending with the statement: "You know
Johnny is quite a historian." Up to that time he had had no interest
in the study, but believing that others considered him an authority on
the subject he got busy and studied up on it. He afterward became a
historian and a professor in one of the large universities. He just had
to make good, to keep up with his mother's expectation, and he did.

Take every opportunity to tell others about the good points of your
children and the characteristics that you want them to have. Do this
when the children can hear you. Tell it to others and the child will
not disappoint you.

The subject should be studied by every parent. There is no attempt
made to cover it in these pages, but merely to give a hint of its
possibilities in the hope that the parent will learn to use this power
constructively and wisely.



HEALTH HABITS


Habits are a great part of life. The forming of proper ones should have
more attention than is usually given to them. Habits is a tendency
of mind to do that which it has done before. When considered in this
simple way habit becomes one of the great forces in our lives. It is by
taking advantage of this fact that we are able to develop rapidity and
efficiency in movement. This shows itself in playing games or musical
instruments and in later life in the operation of machines in office
and factory.

Every child begins to form habits with his first actions. He has his
individual way of dressing, which is simply the result of having
repeated this method several times. Each repetition adds to the
strength of the habit.

To correct a habit it will be necessary for you to suggest a new method
and see to it that it is repeated a sufficient number of times to
become the stronger tendency. No habit is or can be formed without the
element of repetition.

Realizing that children are forming habits which will follow them
through life should suggest to the parent the importance of consciously
guiding the child in their formation. Do not allow careless,
inefficient, dawdling methods to become fixed. Of course, these may in
later years be changed to more efficient methods by the child himself,
but it will be at the expense of considerable effort and loss of time.
On the other hand, many children will not correct the habits and will
be handicapped by them all through life.

There are certain simple regulations of health that are of vital
importance to the life success of every one and the parent should
attend to their becoming habits while the child is small.

Mental efficiency and accuracy are quickly influenced by bodily
conditions. Poor health or physical inability are never accompanied
with 100% mental efficiency. You may at once think of some examples
of men of high mental caliber who were deficient and handicapped
by physical disability. This is sometimes the case, but it is an
exception, and an illustration of success won, in spite of difficulty.
Think of what such an indomitable spirit could have accomplished in a
more perfect physical body.


Deep Breathing

One of the strong influences on health is that of purifying the blood
in the lungs. Plenty of fresh air is necessary for this purifying, and
insufficient or impure air supply in the lungs will send the blood back
to the heart only partially cleansed.

Teach the child to stand erect, to consider his position when sitting,
and at all times to demand fresh air. Do not be afraid of an open
window, always have good ventilation, especially in sleeping rooms.
Give the child a simple exercise for deep breathing and help him to
use it until he has formed the habit of taking several deep breaths of
fresh air immediately upon arising in the morning; each time he goes
out of a building into the open air; and many times during the day.
Singing, running, skipping, jumping rope, etc., are all good exercises
to stimulate deep breathing. See to it that the child breathes through
the nose.


Drinking Water

Many chronic troubles result from the simple neglect to supply the body
with sufficient water. An average grown person should have two quarts
of water a day and more in warmer weather. The lack of any habitual
time for drinking this water usually results in not getting it at all.
Continued disregard of the craving of the body for water, because "it
is not convenient to get it" at the time, will result in the cessation
of this natural demand. Many persons have said, "I don't require that
much water; I never drink but a glass or two." Inquiry will reveal the
fact that these persons are usually sufferers from constipation or some
other chronic trouble. Drinking a proper amount of water will cure many
cases of constipation.

To be sure that the child gets sufficient water adopt some systematic
time for drinking. A glass before meals is beneficial to digestion.
It stimulates the flow of the digestive juices. Drinking during meals
is not injurious under one condition, that is that no water is taken
while you have any food in the mouth. Clear the mouth of food and then
drink, do not wash your food down. Be careful not to take cold water
soon after eating hot food, there is danger of cracking the enamel of
the teeth. A habit should be formed of drinking a glass of water when
washing in the morning; wash the stomach as well as the face and hands.

An average meal requires moisture equal to about five glasses. This is
drawn from the system if not supplied with the meal. A glass of water
before and one after each meal is an aid to digestion rather than a
detriment. Make this a habit. It is a convenient time to furnish the
amount of water required by the body, and more than the two glasses is
better than less.

If the child is troubled with constipation or an approach to it see to
it that he gets a copious supply of water and you will find the trouble
relieved.


Rest and Sleep

As long as you can continue the practice do not allow the children to
get "too old" for an afternoon rest. Even if he can not sleep, to lie
down and relax will be of very definite value to health and bodily
resistance of disease. If you are encouraging the cultivation of "the
silence" and periods of constructive thought this can be combined with
the rest period.

Rest and relaxation should be synonymous. To be able to relax
thoroughly is of great value in the strenuous years of later life
and should be cultivated and become habitual when young. In order
that the child's sleep shall be of utmost value teach him to practice
relaxation upon lying down and always doing so before falling asleep.
This, coupled with a positive mental attitude, will make his sleep most
profitable.

Never allow the child to go to sleep in anger or fright. Take time to
change all negative mental conditions to positive ones before you leave
him. Unless unavoidable he should not be punished before retiring. The
mental attitude in which he falls asleep will continue through the
night. Experiments have proven that fear, worry, hate, etc., produce
an actual poison in the blood and it affects the bodily condition, of
course. Blood taken from a man while in a fit of anger and injected
into a rabbit will kill the rabbit almost immediately. These facts are
not new but they need to be taken more into consideration in training
children.


Thinking Health

There is no doubt in anyone's mind in these days that conditions of
mind influence conditions of the body. Positive and constructive
thinking will aid health. Your study of the subject of suggestion
shows this to be true and the results are beyond doubt.

In cases of sickness suggestion will be found of great help. To suggest
that the child will be "better in the morning"; to suggest that he
"is better, he looks better, he acts better," etc. All these positive
thoughts are helpful. This is a deep subject and parents should give it
some careful thought and investigation.

In cases of epidemics do not allow the child to think that he must be
taken by it. Suggest the opposite and induce him to think that he is
not going to be sick, this mixed with a generous amount of common sense
in general health conditions and reasonable caution will prove helpful
to say the least.

All of these subjects together with those of foods and right eating,
which are very important, have been thoroughly covered by many experts
and should have the careful attention of parents. Use the best methods
possible to improve the child's physical condition, which will in turn
increase his mental efficiency.

Unusual conditions of mind or body which are not understood by the
parent should not be allowed to "drift along" or to see if "they may
not be outgrown." Seek the advice of a reputable physician and save the
possibility of regret.

That, "A stitch in time saves nine" is doubly true of a child's health.


Ambition Pulls

From his earliest years your child is shaping his career. What he does
today wields a strong influence on what he will do tomorrow. The sooner
you realize this the better his chances of final success.

Ambition is a great impelling force, encourage its development in your
children. With strong ambition they can get farther than with greater
ability but lacking in ambition.

A boy sat on a fence holding a kite but not watching it as boys usually
do. A gentleman, in passing, was attracted to the boy and noticed that
he was blind. This aroused his curiosity as to what pleasure a blind
boy could get flying a kite, so he asked him: "Do you enjoy flying the
kite?" "Yes, sir," was the prompt reply. "But you cannot see it." "No,
sir; but say, mister, I can feel 'er pull."

So is ambition, you can't see it, but "you can feel 'er pull."



TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES:

  Italicized words are surrounded with underscores: _italics_
  Emboldened words are surrounded with equals signs: =bold=

  There are inconsistencies in the Table of Contents regarding chapters
  and sections. The Table of Contents is presented as it appears in the
  original.

  Obvious spelling and punctuation errors have been standardized.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Miller's Mind training for children Book 1 - A practical training for successful living; Educational - games that train the senses" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home