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most cheering in the neighborhood, should be sought out for the edifice designed for the accommodation of the young in their primary training. Surely such ought to be the case, when we fix upon the spot, where our children are to pass much of their time, receive many of their first impressions, and form some of their most lasting associations. Instead of this, however, the point suggested is frequently overlooked, and sometimes the very opposite policy has seemed to prevail. The school-house, far oftener than we should naturally expect, is found to stand, if not in the narrow fork of two roads, at least in some out of the way place, which would have otherwise remained unoccupied. As all know, it is not uncommonly located in some gloomy, worthless spot, made choice of simply because unsuited for anything else, and not in view of its natural beauty, by no means on account of its fitness to delight the eye, to educate the mind and heart, and call into gladsome play the tastes, of the growing child.While such is our practice, we need not marvel, if the great majority of our youth evince little sympathy with nature, remain cold and rude in their demeanor, and fail to have a relish for intellectual pursuits.
Again, though an excellent situation be secured, its worth is often impaired, and its advantages are sometimes almost entirely destroyed, because of the scanty grounds secured. The finest locality may be injured, or rendered useless, for an edifice, if its limits be greatly narrowed. School premises are property expected to subserve two main purposes; they should afford sufficient room, as well for necessary buildings, as for the healthful exercise of the pupils. Now, when a suitable location is obtained, it is not unusual for it to be of so small extent, that the school edifice trespasses upon the highway. In this the district by an express act --- which sometimes speaks in louder tones than a recorded vote - sets a bad example, which is almost sure to be followed by individuals in erecting private dwellings. It also seems to indicate that the good
people, wanting all the land for their cattle, begrudge or are unwilling to spare, the little space needful to the safe. ty, comfort and welfare of their children. So too, the
rounds are frequently circumscribed to such an extent, that there is no room for play. It may be said, that exercise enough may be had in going to and returning from school. Such exercise is all well in its place; but in addition to this, every child needs play as play. He requires something more than a tread-mill process, and his powers even of body may be called out genially. Whoever looks back without prejudice to the games and sports, in which he engaged with most heart and animation in childhood and youth, will be likely to refer to them as the source of much of the vivacity and vigor, which are of great worth to him in after years, and which, more than most other benefits, are carried forward as a rich legacy into manhood, and become the condition of hale cheerfulness ia declining years. An educator, who denies this, betrays at once his unacquaintance with the capaci. ties and powers of the human constitution. It may, then, be taken for granted that there should be room for exercise, opportunity afforded for the harmonious development and training of the physical powers — a part of education by no means void of importance— without which, indeed, as a basis, intellectual and moral culture must be greatly hindered, it may be in some instances altogether prevented or thwarted.
Now these things ought not to be. This much all must admit; and it is with pleasure that the friends of education see some changes in these points for the better. There is reason to hope that the night is passing away. In fact we now have, in some respects at least, the dawn of a brighter morning. It is certainly cheering to be able to see indications that the light of a new school day is beginning to gild our horizon. Thanks to the persistont and well-directed efforts of the Secretary of the Board of Education — thanks to the labors and perseverance of such as have co-operated with him—improvements are daily appearing, and from time to time taking the place which they deserve to occupy. No sudden revolution is made ; the work is gradual, as is usually the case, when it is genuine and true. Parents are coming to disapprove of the short-sighted policy which has too extensively provailed in respect to the location of school-houses, and are practically evincing their determination to do better in the future, by selecting, as new edifices are required, nore suitable and ample grounds for these early nurseries of learning. Much, however, still remains to be done. As a help to this the few points already suggested may
be 'ecapitulated, as not unworthy of attention, when choice .s to be made of a locality for the district school-house. Whenever such a work is to be done, reference should be had to the securing of grounds; 1st, ample for buildings and for play ; 2d, pleasant in themselves and in the prospect they afford, and 3d, more or less central for the convenient accommodation of all such as need to enjoy the privileges furnished. While each of these points is deserving of consideration, perhaps their relative importance is indicated by the order, in which they are here enumer. ated; or, we may regard the first and second as cu-ordinate, and generally of more moment to the child than the last. This brief statement is not exhaustive; it is not meant, and does not pretend, to embrace everything. It is only given as suggestive, and thus as an aid to such as have not pondered the subject, as a temporary guide, by which each may be led for himself to take better views of the matter. It is by thoughtful consideration seconded by earnest and prudent effort, that the work, now commenced, is to be advanced. It is, indeed, sincerely hoped that the steps, already taken in some parts of our State, will be regarded as only initiatory, and by no means as sufficient—that the beginning will be carried on from year to year, as light and intelligence increase, and to the end that wisdom and knowledge may come to be more and
more widely diffused through all classes of society.
Would we, then, indeed secure a love of knowledge in the rising generation, we need to bear in mind that it is of no small moment that the school-house be suitably located. If it be situated on a public thoroughfare in a large village, or near a market, which is constantly thronged by crowds of people, not books, but the buzz of business will hold the child entranced. Or, if it be placed in a lovely dismal quarter, where all is cheerless, the pupil as thus removed from what is gladdening and exposed to that which repels, will be occupied, not so much with his lessons, as with his uncomfortable sensations and a desire to be set free from his state of durance. There is here, as in most other relations, a golden mean, which is not to be despised. While that which is harmful and offensive should be avoided on either hand, that which is calculated to encourage, animate and cheer may be employed from every source, if it only be in moderation and with discretion. It has yet to be shown that the ways of wisdom and virtue need of necessity, to be made dreary and forbidding. If the young be sent from a pleasant home, to some loathsome and uncomfortable place, or, if they be Klebarred from the healthful exercise which comes from appropriate sports, we need not be surprised, if they acquire a distaste for study, injure their health, and become rude and ungainly in their manners. Many a one in this way, gets a dislike for school, from which he does not recover for years; indeed, there are some evils thus resulting from which he never wholly recovers ; while there are others, to which he need not have been subjected, and of which he only gets rid as the result and late ripening fruit of a long, sad and painful experience.
In concluding this part of the subject, we may each well enquire, how far we have been heedless in respect to the matter in question. It also becomes us to consider, should we be called to act respecting the location of a school-house, how much depends upon our conscientious discharge of the duty. Aye, we shall do well to remember that in this regard, every child has a claim upon us, and that our faithfulness, or negligence, may be closely connected with his future weal or woe. This is accordingly a point, however it may appear at the first view, which appeals to every citizen, and which each is in duty bound to heed. By all means, then, let us see to it, that the locality chosen in the district in which we live, for the first inspiration of instruction beyond the family circle, be one of the most inviting and attractive portions of the neighborhood that, after home and the house of God, it be the most delightful, that the little ones may be rather allured to school, than filled with dismay in view of the dreariness of a place, which ought in later years to be associated in memory which the most loved and dearly cherished spots of earth.
Randolph, Feb. 20, 1862. MESSRS EDITORS :—It is school time in Randolph. In more than twenty“ temples where science dwells," aspiring and devoted young men and maidens, (the word "young" modifies maidens as well as men) are striving " to rear the tender thought" and like our fathers,“ to plant the tree of life-to plant fair Freedom's tree.” The meaning of this is, our winter schools are in progress. School-wise we are having a mild winter. You know very well that in school affairs we have our mild winters and our hard winters. Sometimes the Educational Boreas blows furiously, night and day. He piles up enormous Irifts about one school and stops all progress in it for the winter. He blows arctic cold on another till the frost stupor overcomes it, and they sleep, teacher and pupils, some of them never to wake mentally again. Some he blows in gales against, and knocks off chimneys, and shat