Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/100

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92
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Let me digress a little, to enter a protest against the use of double-lined paper after the first year of a pupil's school life, and to express my belief that it is altogether unnecessary in the primary school. A child does not need a walking machine after he has learned to walk; neither does he need a guide-line in penmanship to dwarf his eye-training and judgment of distance after he can distinguish the difference between a whole space and a half space. In my opinion, any child of ordinary ability in the primary school distinguishes half an apple from a whole one, or half an inch from a whole inch—not in name, to be sure, but in reality—long before he enters the school. It is an undisputed fact that the longer a pupil uses the double-ruled paper, the more he misses the guide-line when it is taken away. It has been proved that first-year pupils can get along without the second line from the very outset practically as well as with it, and they thereby

PSM V44 D100 Front view of proper and improper writing postures.jpg
Hygienic position. Unhygienic position.
Front View.

avoid learning to write twice, as it really amounts to a second beginning when the single-lined paper is taken up for the first time at the fourth year. In some cities this is the period in the child's school life when much more writing is required, necessitating more rapid work on the part of the pupil. Hence, instead of one difficulty at a time, a long-honored rule of pedagogics, the child loses his guide-line when he has become most accustomed to