Practical Application
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On the Appropriate Use of Manipulatives, Projects and Other Hands-on Learning Methods in a Mason Context

 

In many educational programs today there is a lot of use of “hands-on,” “project based,” or “problem solving” instruction (I refer to these as “physical” instructional practices). In this blog I want to share with you my initial, yet incomplete thoughts on the appropriate use, within a Mason context, of these “physical” instructional methods. Please know this is a beginning discussion whose conversation will need to be finished later, perhaps in the CM Educational Review

 

Across educational settings of public, private, and home schools, there is a prevalence of these “physical” practices.  In some schools long and extended projects are assigned as a means for students to learn content in a more active and participatory way.  Current research indicates that manipulatives in mathematics help children conceptualise hard-to-understand concepts.  Handwriting is certainly active learning. There is Dinah Zike’s system of folding a sheet of paper into a graphic organizer called Foldables.  This system provides a means for children from elementary through high school to organise content in social studies.  It can be applied to most any content area (By content area I mean Music, Science, History, Mathematics, etc.).   With such a widespread use of “physical” methods across the content areas, we must ask, “What would fit in a Mason context?” 

 

Mason had these “physical” types of learning in her disciplinary subjects (such as science, math, handwriting) by using nature walks, nature study in science, rulers and weights in math, etc. We see Mason doing “physical” learning with the term “field studies” and we know she treated her disciplinary subjects somewhat differently than the subjects of “letters.”  

 

What about other subjects such as art, handwriting, and dance that require the use of skills?  These seemingly need to be taught from a “do it” perspective so that students’ learning is more than theoretical, and gives them the skills and thought processes necessary to perform certain tasks well. We have this sense in us that it is useful to have a more hands-on, project-based “field study” approach to some learning.  What can confuse us as Mason educators is knowing when a use of these “physical” instructional methods is appropriate.

 

Since the use of project-based education has become such a main staple in many educational systems, it is helpful to trace the philosophical idea that led to its use in current day practice. The concept of “inquiry” or project-based or problem-based education goes back to Enlightenment thinking when concepts of the spiritual began to erode and be replaced by science.  When the concept of spiritual was lost, then all of education became a matter of understanding the world through the individual’s physical exploration of it.

 

It seems to me that this wide spread use of “hands-on” instruction in all subject areas has roots that go back at least as far as the Enlightenment, if not further back even to John Locke’s requirement for empirical knowledge.  After Darwin’s work in science exploded on the scene with his book, Origin of the Species, in 1859, a group of followers such as Darwin’s fellow Englishman, Herbert Spencer, began to apply the principles of evolution to education and many other areas of thinking.  Spencer coined the phrase “survival of the fittest.”  One of the greatest educational thinkers impacted by Darwin’s evolutionary teachings was John Dewey.  Along with William James they founded the only uniquely American school of philosophy called Pragmatism.

 

What I want you to understand is that our fundamental thinking about life impacts our views of education.  As Mason says every teacher of reading has a philosophy of education whether she realises it or not.  The point is that when we use any educational method we are practicing a particular philosophy of education whether we realise it or not.  In this case, the Pragmatists had shifted in their thinking from viewing children as “spiritual” beings to “behavioural” beings.  This is a major shift in thinking.  If we view life as matterial only (remember my use of the word matterial meaning a view of life that all is only matter vs. materialism meaning someone who likes to shop, consume and possess many things) then there is no room for spirituality.  Spirituality comes from the fact that we bear the image of God.  If we developed only matterialistically then there is no place for the spiritual.  With this shift in thinking came a shift in educational views.  Ozmon and Craver in their Philosophical Foundations of Education,7th Ed. (2003) say it this way,

 

According to Alven Neiman, premodern philosophers lived in a relatively stable world where views of the eternal prevailed and where all living things (like Aristotle’s acorn) would become what they inherently were supposed to become.  This was a philosophical Garden of Eden where God brought order out of chaos through creation and where true reality existed prior to human action.  Modernism brought a fall from this garden because it rejected the view that nature unfolded according to some transcendent design; instead, nature worked only by natural selection, contingency, and brute force.  Pragmatic philosophers looked on the new possibilities with cheerful hope, even though they were acutely aware of the chaotic aspects of the modern world.  Dewey, for example, argued that because the old stability was gone, humans must now see themselves as the meaning-makers—the ones to bring order and meaning to the world.  Humans might be no more than biological organisms, but they are organisms that must understand their own individual and collective experience, cope with the contingencies of life, and solve the problems of society. (pp. 146-7) (Emphasis mine)

 

This nonspiritual, biological organism then becomes his own problem-solver, his own meaning-maker (This is different from Mason’s idea of the learner growing from within.), and somehow this biological organism must be “the ones to bring order and meaning to the world.”  It was Dewey’s belief that to accomplish this task, students had to learn to do their own inquiry, their own problem solving and make their own meaning of life.  In fact, because of this belief, Dewey believed that education was life.  As Ozmon and Craver say, “Dewey saw growth as the central educational aim because if humanity is left to its own devices, then it should grow to meet the challenge” (p. 147).  Hence we have the reason for inquiry from a problem-solving basis.  There is no final truth so man must seek truth (growth) through his own inquiry, his own problem solving abilities, and his own discovery of the physical world.  He is in it alone.  There are no transcendent ideas given by God that are passed from mind to mind as Mason proposed.  There is only the physical world and humankind’s ability to make sense of it.  Therefore, this matterial view promotes the idea that the more practical, hands-on, project-based educational methods we can develop, the better for the student.

 

Summary: The reason I have brought this topic to your attention is that in many educational settings today I am seeing a lot of efforts towards projects, manipulatives and other types of “physical” instruction, which are being used in all subject areas as the basis for learning. I think some of this practice has come about because of a matterialistic view of life in which humankind is to discover truth through our own abilities to bring order out of chaos.  For those of us interested in Mason, we need to think carefully to avoid a misuse of “physical” instruction in a Mason setting.  I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas and I will certainly try to continue this discussion through an article or another blog entry at a later date where I hope to discuss when “field study” or “hands-on” instructional methods are appropriate.

 

This entry was posted in: Practical Application

by

Carroll Smith has spoken on various topics related to Charlotte Mason. Currently he teaches at Gardner-Webb University and enjoys working with children, teachers, college students, and Charlotte Mason Institute. He was a teacher and a principal for 21 years before coming to Gardner-Webb University where he has been for six years. Having grown up in eastern North Carolina, he attended East Carolina University for his undergraduate degree and his master's in school administration. He completed his terminal degree and wrote his dissertation on Charlotte Mason at Virginia Tech. Carroll enjoys reading, gardening, and discussing ideas with friends. He and his wife, Andra, and their two young adult college-age children, Corban and Anna, enjoy living, working and playing in North Carolina.

12 Comments

  1. Thank you for starting this blog! I found the link on the ChildLightUSA site. I’ll be happy to spread the word and will learn a lot from you, I’m sure.

    Lori Seaborg (homeschooler)

  2. willowspring says

    It’s quite alarming, really, how gullible mankind is and how prone to hopping onto the latest bandwagon. Dewey proclaims to an eagerly listening world that we humans — admittedly, according to him, mere biological organisms — are the meaning-makers, those who must seek truth (presumably “only”) through our own inquiry because we are so important and capable and intelligent that we are the ones who bring meaning to life. Yet, as you said, everyone’s fundamental thinking about life affects their views on education (on everything, really) — including, of course, Dewey’s. So why in the world would any one human, fraught with biases and opinions which were carved out by that individual’s life experiences, be considered worthy of that high position (meaning-maker)? And what logic can anyone possibly use to defend the premise that we humans should be the meaning makers? According to the pragmatists’ own logic, we are merely biological organisms! Pardon me for being one of those faith-filled, God-fearing types, but I prefer to take my chances with the God who was, is, and always will be rather than putting my faith in a philosophy that will almost certainly fade to nothing in a hundred or so more years.

    Charlotte Mason’s tenets are based on biblical truths that transcend time, but I believe we will look down from Heaven (if such a thing were possible) in a couple of hundred years to find education majors asking of their college professors in “historical trends in education” class, “Who was Dewey again?” It just seems to me that right thinking needs to be applied here and that we should suspect any teaching method that elevates man above his maker.

    I know the topic at hand is whether or how much we should use hands-on teaching, but the bigger question of why we do has been elucidated here so very nicely. I really never gave it much thought — just assigned projects because that’s what teachers do. The idea that this method of learning came about “through a materialistic view of life in which humankind is to discover truth through our own abilities to bring order out of chaos” is new to me. Thanks for sharing, Carroll!

  3. recnepsrefinnej says

    Ouch! Carroll, sometimes I think refining what I know about Mason is like leg-waxing–although it makes things smoother, it is a painful process! All of us who have been in a teacher-education program have been taught these behavioristic methods as “best practice”. I’ve spent the past six years trying to un-learn what it only took me four years to learn in the first place, and just when I think I have a handle on it, something like this reminds me of just how far I have to go. I can’t wait to read the rest of this.

  4. his is a very timely topic for me for TWO reasons!

    1) In our town, they sent some teachers from the elementary school to the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta. When I read about their curriculum, all I saw was travel, field trips, and projects. No mention of the kind of books they read or what they did with books!

    2) The RDI (autism therapy) people started a school in Los Angeles. It is basically project based, inquiry learning. NO MENTION of books they read! NONE!

    So, twice, in the past couple of months, I have wrestled with this project-oriented, hands-on learning craze. I still think you cannot be rightly educated without living books that touch your heart, soul, and mind.

    I think going too far (as I believe is happening) in the schools listed above shortchanges children because they can always travel to exotic places and learn about interesting projects in books (ala Swiss Family Robinson).

    About the idea of going back to the origins of these educational practices, you are going to love one of my slides! I am about half way through the one of my conference presentations. I will explain what behaviorism means in the following way:

    *Presuppositions*
    Material world only
    No thought, mind, soul
    No free will, choice, dignity

    *Beliefs*
    Man is a physical machine.
    Sinners, heroes do not exist.
    Environment shapes behavior.
    Ideas are purely chemical.

    I completely agree that, to better understand an educational practice, you MUST expose the presuppositions and beliefs undergirding it. That is why I have so much
    confidence in Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. She accepted a spiritual world and a supernatural teacher assisting our children.

    I pulled two quotes from Skinner, a pioneer in behaviorism. I think it will be a form of shock therapy to anyone toying with behaviorism, instead of Charlotte Mason:

    “Mind is a myth, with all the power of myths.”

    “If I am right about human behavior, I have written the autobiography of a nonperson.”

    Tammy

  5. lauriebestvater says

    I am so interested in this idea, “the shock therapy” if you will. What is it that causes people to really examine what they believe and how the act on that belief. What we say we believe is not always what the core of our action springs from. Surely it is only the Holy Spirit that can convict in these matters and yet…we have the desire to lead in this direction “for the children’s sake.” I am struggling with that age-old question…do we act as “salt and light” in these Dewey infested teacher trainer academies or must we have a new thing altogether?

  6. prayinma says

    Great point! It is a blessing to have somebody that can provide the function that Charlotte Mason did herself, in her time. So many of us are busy trying to create our curriculum, hunt down resources, implement it, form relationships with our students, etc. that we don’t have the necessary time to thoroughly research the ideas and methods that blow on each new wind. Thank you for doing the legwork and giving us direction that we can pursue when something sparks in us.

    As far as the physical educational methods go- I have to also look at the fruit. These methods are being implemented more and more, yet I am not seeing greater and greater educations being produced. So it just isn’t adding up for me.

    I do wonder if there isn’t a genuine need for more hands on experience in our age though. Now that we don’t chop down trees to make fires for warmth, cook from scratch foods that we grew, make our clothes and soaps, etc. I think there has to be a deficit for children raised in an institutional setting with all artificial experiences from two days of life, as I was. A Charlotte Mason education does provide a counter-balance with the afternoons spent in nature, music, and handicrafts, but for those utilizing other philosophies there is a real gap that they are trying to fill. I think that is an interesting element to explore…

  7. tedatrainor says

    I am grateful for the reminder about having each learning activity grounded in our philosophy and having specific purpose. While the blog topic reminds me of Outcome Based (portfolio) education of the early 1990’s, I also gravitate toward grafting in projects specifically as a means for developing gross and fine motor skill development and as a means for furthering scientific exploration. Each of these goals for our students (as well developed children and creation explorers) are components of education which can be accomplished in the outdoor or indoor classroom experience. While my comment may sound as pragmatic and disconnected as Dewey, I believe that the physical maturation of the Imago Dei is as critical to the Spiritual development. As we continue the recovery of authentic Christian education, we may talk about these things categorically while at the same time maintaining the essential unity, the psychosomatic (spirit/body) unity of man. Unfortunately, in all reality (and much to my chagrin), much education is accomplished inside a building. As I draw my comment to a close, I am reminded of the over arching purpose for any learning activity project or otherwise- enjoyment of God, His grace, and His creation.

  8. lisacadora says

    It is difficult to achieve and maintain the proper tension between mind and matter, spirit and body, theory and practice–all the various dualisms we in the west have inherited from at least as far back as the Greeks. I can see that Dewey, et. al. were possibly trying to balance things out by slinging themselves way to the other side of the tilting vessel in an attemp to restore attention to our material world and physical natures in an educational climate in which the purpose of education was perhaps understood to be to indoctrinate the young with traditional beliefs and understandings. The trick is to access the deepest human epistemological structures where spirit and body are one, where knowing results in transformation evidenced through action, countenance, affections and relationships. It may be that learning is the collaborative life-long refining of idiosyncratic individual encounters with a universally objective reality. I think this is what CM believed herself to be doing when she set forth a literary education supplemented with nature walks, picture study, handwork, etc.

  9. recnepsrefinnej says

    I think one of the biggest problems I face in trying to implement Mason’s philosophy on a daily basis is that all those humanistic/behavioristic ideas put forth by others have so permeated every aspect of my life. Until I found Mason, I never stopped to think logically and objectively about grades, rewards and punishments, etc. I had been raised with spelling lists, standardized tests, and basal readers, and while I didn’t particularly find any of those things enjoyable, I just took for granted that this was “education”. Then, as a wide-eyed nineteen-year-old kid, I took what my university professors said as gospel, partly because I admired them and partly because I had not been taught to really think things through in order to assess thier validity. It was not until going to work at the Village School that I realized just how poorly educated I had been. The Mason curriculum was so rich! After fumbling around in the beginning, I have tried to hone my understanding of Mason’s philosophy and practices over the past few years, but I am sad to say that the closer I get to her model, the more often I am met with resistance from parents. They, too, have grown up to accept the ideas of humanism and behaviorism, though they would certainly, as Christians, not put those names to their beliefs.

  10. bethpinckney says

    You all have my wheels turning. I am thinking about the idea of bringing order out of chaos. If we are God-centered in our thinking we know that we are not the authors of order, we do not create meaning out of nothing. But being made in the image of God and having been given the command to fill the earth and subdue it, we have a God-given bent to order our surroundings. Is the lack of meaningful ways for children to order their surroundings in these modern days one of the reasons that educators find “hands on” activities so compelling and useful. Do children learn and mature in a way through the use of manipulatives and hands-on projects that they might have grown by, say useful work around the home in an earlier, more home-centered day? Or creating beautiful nature notebooks? Or handwork?

    I am very grateful for this blog and the thoughtful comments. You all stretch me. Thank you very much.

  11. Leslie says

    Having a seemingly contained sort of question about the use of manipulatives in a CM setting nestled away in the history of modern man’s move away from a spiritually based existence was so compelling to me that I wrote a long post on the subject – much longer than could reasonably be a comment here.

    I think that the move away from a spiritually based worldview not only gave rise to the deep need to impose order on a world that can no longer really make sense without God at the heart of it but also in turn became the ground for the industrial commercialization of society and the culture of “experts” of modern day capitalism in which few people any longer engage in the primary labor of life, i.e. the activities necessary for life. It is the materials that are an intrinsic part of primary labor which are the original “manipulatives”, if you will, and I would argue that they are irreplaceable. The place of “cows and rocks and money and needles and thread” and our developmental response to these age old necessities of life is embedded in our hardwiring. Once we step away from the Original Design, we enter into thorny areas at every turn. This certainly includes the use of manufactured manipulatives and man-made problem-based learning.

    I am delighted that this blog has been started and am inspired by the very first post.

    With warm regards,
    Leslie

  12. rainetta says

    So well said! Most of us moms missed these truths, at least, in the terms which you provide – so those truths were not quite at our finger tips until now. Thank you!

    Children are to discover some things for themselves in a Charlotte Mason education – but not because they are to develop meaning for life….

    Some of the educationese ideas you expressed actually sound quite a bit like Charlotte Mason’s own ideas – though of course, those ideas are out of balance in most educational practices today.

    Since there is a time and place for manipulatives and explorations, the question becomes this, “Where does one draw the line? and, What litmus test might there be to guide us in our lesson planning? When is it….. ?safe? to use manipulatives?”

    What are the purposes behind manipulatives? When might the use of manipulatives, or explorations, or real life experiences …… be …. errr…. well….. When might they negatively impact a student’s …… ‘world view’?

    Your admonition that the choice expresses a philosophy, a world view as it were, is a significant challenge, and points the parent to ponder anew and with greater care what methods are used and why.

    Can each choice to either use or not use a manipulative possibly help to form my child’s ‘philosophy of life’?

    Perhaps, though that isn’t your point exactly – and it doesn’t need to be our fear.

    However, our methodological choices do matter. They do impact our children, not as much because it was what we do, but because it is an expression of what we think.

    What we do, and what we have our children do, is an example we provide to our children. An example that can indeed affect how they think.

    We cannot merely be Pragmatic about these matters.

    Education is a life. Pragmatics does not promote the ability to ‘get a life’. It actually interposes a lot of unnecessary verbage between the pragmatist and life itself. This in essence actually distances one’s self from real life in order to accomplish a specific goal.

    The Pragmatist might actually be studying ‘life’ in some way, but in a way distanced by the ‘philosophy’ of pragmatism itself.

    Miss Mason was never about distancing the child from life, but bringing the child, as a whole person, to that which is most alive.

    A living plant. A living creature. A life giving tool. A living idea. A living love. A living God.

    ………..

    Using ‘styles’ of learning as a guide can be misleading:
    Physical. (jumping geometrical shapes)
    Active. (walking while reciting – or etc., etc.,)
    Participatory. (various)
    Hands on. (e.g. – rulers, weights and measures, etc.)

    Using ‘types’ of learning as a guide can be misleading:
    Conceptual. (e.g.- math concepts)
    Physical. (e.g. – nature study)
    Inquisitive. (e.g. – nature study, basic physics, math, etc.)

    Recognizing types of ‘output’ as a guide and being too overly swayed by the motor/physical issues can be misleading:
    Handwriting
    Art
    Dance
    Swimming

    Relying too heavily on organization of ideas, such as the use of ‘graphic organizers’ can inadvertently throw out a smoke screen (not that organizers are bad…):
    Folded papers. (e.g. – Dinah Zike’s foldables)
    Posters.
    Notebooks.
    etc.

    ……..

    In your discussion, you mentioned the ‘do it’ perspective.

    Once that becomes the end goal, then the child’s having attempted to ‘do it’ becomes the goal, and once that is achieved, what is left for the child to do? What outcome is left?

    Nanci Bell, whose work heartily recognizes educational law, knows that simply trying to ‘just do it’ doesn’t carry enough weight.

    Bell knows that the student needs to recognize (see and hear – those senses are imperative prior to the ‘just do it’ experience…), anyway, Nanci Bell knows that there is a standard to which Johnny can aspire. He can value each attempt towards that goal, yet still value the need to learn HOW to ‘self-correct’ along the way.

    When one becomes the center of meaning (the determiner of meaning), then what standard must one acknowledge? What ‘self-corrections’ are actually important? Any of them?

    Over time, such a philosophy devolves any system of education until there is no ‘standard’ left with which to challenge ourselves – with which to be challenged to raise ourselves up. There is no perceived need to meet that standard as fully as possible.

    ……….

    On the other hand, those students who *naturally* notice the standard and learn to care about that standard typically rise to the standard with relative ease no matter how the subject matter is presented, and thus they learn to do well in life (in whatever areas they recognized and valued the standards, that is).

    Those students who do not *naturally* notice as many details of the standard struggle to rise to the challenge, or in some cases, they might not have any idea that there is even a specific challenge which they could take specific steps to try to meet.

    (these students may know they are failing, but they might not be fully aware of specific standards which are within their grasp – the application of ‘object teaching’ here – as in the PRArticle by that name – is empowering to the teacher – helping the student identify the various parts of the standard, so that the student can aspire to one bit at a time if need be – and manipulatives can be used to develop that awareness…….)

    Those students who notice the standard and do not care about the standard, initially fare worse than those who missed the specifics of the standard. However, that unequal result is only temporary. – – These two scenarios are much like the man who neglects the upkeep of his home vs. the man who abuses his home. Both men’s homes will deteriorate; however, depending on the specific neglect and abuse, the abuse typically creates more obvious and painful results much more quickly.

    The benefit to the one who abuses educational standards is that he may more readily recognize what he can do to change his circumstances.

    The one who was unaware of specific standards, and who thus neglected to aspire to them, is less aware of what he can do to change his circumstances.

    The verse which tells us that God would rather that we were hot or cold comes to mind here……..

    …………

    Thus, any subject matter, whether it employs a manipulative or it does not, should illustrate to the child several things:

    –the value, merit, and often the beauty of the subject
    –the challenge to the child
    –the pieces of the challenge to that child
    –the responsibility of the child to do what he should to try to rise to the challenge (and in Miss Mason’s economy, this typically should be within the range of the child’s ability, perhaps with a little stretch, but not a stretch which would strain the heart, soul, or spirit of the child)

    Also, Miss Mason knew that any subject worth learning should help the whole person of the child develop:

    –the heart (concern for a great many things)
    –the mind (cause and affect, science of relations, logic)
    –the spirit (faith, hope, love for self and others, reverence for God, reverence for life, etc.)
    –the will (such as the will to attend, or the will to do)
    –the conscience (to rise to the standard in various areas)
    –the attention (actually tying various types of attention together, such as visual attention in general, visual discrimination, and that ‘impression’ on the mind of which Miss Mason so eloquently speaks – as well as auditory attention, auditory discrimination, and that ‘impression’ on the mind – then tying those data streams together; in addition to knowing how the hand moves to make a letter’s stroke, etc.)
    –etc.

    So the choice of when/if to use manipulatives revolves around so much more than the subject matter at hand, or the ‘biological processing of the child-mind’.

    This mis-philosophy may very well have much to do with the sense of meaningless that so many people grow to experience in life.

    The choice of when to use manipulatives certainly does not have to do with the child’s alleged need to be about the task of developing meaning for life.

    Children have a wisdom within them, but they also have foolishness bound up in them. They are not up to the challenge of developing meaning for life. Only a god could do such a thing.

    Yet a child can recognize the meaning that God has for him.

    Sometimes he simply needs his attention brought to this realm of truth – with a simple question here or there.

    Allowing the child to see in Christ ‘the holiest child’s heart’, and to see in Christ ‘the highest holiest manhood’ is the greatest part.

    Certainly we need to make the principles seen therein real to the child as much as it is within us to do so – by being honest, respectful, etc. ourselves. But nothing we can do will make Jesus truly palpable to the child.

    In spite of the fact that this knowledge is not tangible, is not palpable, cannot be seen for itself in nature, it is the most pragmatic thing *&* the most living thing a child can ever know.

    ………..

    This knowledge is something which the child, upon hearing the living truth, can visualize, internalize, and *then* put into practice.

    The living truth is thus the germ, the seed that can germinate and produce participation with life, hands on activity in life that bears fruit.

    Interestingly, such knowledge was alive in the child before he could ever act upon it physically, participate in it in any hands on way, etc.

    As abstract as this living truth is, this knowledge gave meaning to life before the child could act upon it.

    ………….

    However abstract an idea is, once it is made alive to the child, it will take hold.

    If a sense of meaning, a sense of value, a sense of life, a living idea is presented to the child, that is all he needs.

    If a manipulative helps to express that living idea, then the living idea expresses much of its own meaning to the child itself.

    If the manipulative encourages within the child-mind an inquisitive spirit, and explorative investigation, all the better.

    The manipulative then becomes a conduit to help the teacher to reach the child-mind to help him value a living idea.

    The manipulative then becomes the tool by which the child finds a way to begin exploring the useful meaning of a a life empowering tool, a living idea, or a living truth.

    Associate ‘k’ with ‘kitty’, the idea comes alive.

    Associate the cross with forgiveness for a child’s very real sense of guilt, and the idea comes alive.

    If petting that kitty and holding a plastic or ivory ‘k’ helps, wonderful. If comparing and contrasting a plastic ‘k’ with the sign language alphabet handsign for ‘k’ helps the child-mind ‘make an impression’ upon itself, how lovely.

    Helping the child bring his senses to see, hear, and thus name (usually informally at first) living things, living ideas, and living truths, helps the child to care about a great many things.

    If a manipulative can be used to awaken such meaning in a child’s heart, mind, soul, and spirit, then it is definitively a manipulative effectively employed……

    ………..for the child’s sake.

    ………..for God’s sake.

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