Aids to History

Aids to History

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Excerpt from Aids to History: Pupils Companion Book to Swinton's Outlines

The following papers are the outgrowth of many years of classwork, during several of which Swinton's Outlines was used as a text book. To save time in assigning and explaining each lesson in advance, the teacher began putting on the bulletin board each day a paper indicating which paragraphs were to be learned, which to be read, &c. She also wrote notes on the margin of her class-book, which the pupils were required to copy in their own books. These papers combine questions, directions, and notes, somewhat expanded; they will save the pupils the work of copying, and be useful for future reference, and aid in teaching.

Having found this plan to work so well in her own classes, and in those of her pupils who have become teachers and used this method, she has thought that other teachers might find it helpful. Inexperienced teachers, especially, find it difficult to decide and to indicate what is important for pupils to learn and what is not. Some teachers require their pupils to learn every paragraph and date, consequently in a few months nearly everything is forgotten. The plan here set forth requires only a few leading dates, associating with them as many names and events as possible. Nearly all important characters and events of history may be grouped around a few prominent dates.

It is hoped that this Companion Book will be found helpful to those who wish to study history without the advantage of class instruction. They will have, in these papers, the help of a teacher of many years' experience. From the suggestions given here they will learn what books to read, and how to read them, in connection with a text book.

The course outlined in these papers will occupy a year, allowing three or four lessons a week. Of course, with the limited time, many things must be omitted which might be dwelt upon with delight and profit. The earnest student, however, will not be content with this brief course, but will go on to a more extensive course of reading for which this has been only a preparation.

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