A study poem from Cousin Hatty


No, Robbie! go away;
For I am not ready to go out and  play;
 I must learn these words to spell,**
So that I may say my lesson well.
How sad my dear mamma would look,
To find that I had left my book!
And if I disobeyed her so,
My play would not be gay, I know.
I’ll learn my lesson very soon,
And then I’ll run with you till noon;
So, Robbie, go away,
And very soon, I’ll come and play.
Substitute here what you or your child need to study more…The words “say my lesson” are in the poem because traditionally, students had to recite their work to the whole class, not just turn in papers privately to the teacher.  This was so that everyone would benefit from each mistakes and also start the child on learning how to address people in public speaking.  The Library of Congress has some general pointers on how to read aloud.  See here.
Growing up I saw some of that still in the public schools of Brooklyn, but by the time I hit 5th grade many teachers were stopping that in the non-honour classes as they were being filled more and more with ESL students whose English was poor or in some cases, nonexistent and the teachers did not want to “embarrass them”.  I personally think that is a poor excuse for not wanting to do their job, but to be honest not many people knew what was going on, so there was no outcry.  Another example of how the elites keep their cherished immigrants down.
When I hit junior high, I started to run into more and more Communist teachers who were totally against such a recital, and standardisation.  Mr Arlen at Pershing Junior High was a memorable case, as he ran his class more as a free for all, with no structure, no homework, no assignments at all.  I got into a lot of trouble with him when he started to teach the class that the Bible was wrong.  I made the comment, and I was thrown out of a honours English class for this, that had nothing to do with English grammar.  I was suspended from his class and my father had to intervene.  Needless to say that was a rough year.