Gateway to the Classics: The Look about You Nature Study Books, Book 2 by Thomas W. Hoare
The Look about You Nature Study Books, Book 2 by  Thomas W. Hoare

Front Matter


This little book should be used as a simple guide to the practical study of Nature rather than as a mere reader.

Every lesson herein set down has, during the author's many years' experience in teaching Nature Study, been taught by observation and practice again and again; and each time with satisfactory result. The materials required for most of the lessons—whether they be obtained from the naturalist-dealer or from the nearest hedge, ditch, or pond—are within everybody's reach.

There is nothing that appeals to the heart of the ordinary child like living things,  be they animal or vegetable, and there is no branch of education at the present day that bears, in the young mind, such excellent fruit as the study of the simple, living things around us.

Your child is nothing if not curious. He wants to understand everything that lives and moves and has its being in his bright little world.

Nature Study involves so many ingenious little deductions, that the reasoning powers are almost constantly employed, and intelligence grows proportionately. The child's powers of observation are stimulated, and his memory is cultivated in the way most pleasing to his inquiring nature. By dissecting seeds, bulbs, buds, and flowers, his hand is trained, and methods expeditious and exact are inculcated. By drawing his specimens, no matter how roughly or rapidly, his eye is trained more thoroughly than any amount of enforced copying of stiff, uninteresting models of prisms, cones, etc., ever could train it.

The love of flowers and animals is one of the most commendable traits in the disposition of the wondering child, and ought to be encouraged above all others.

It is the author's fondest and most sanguine hope that the working out of the exercises, of which this booklet is mainly composed, may prove much more of a joy than a task, and that the practical knowledge gained thereby may tempt his little readers to study further the great book of Nature, whose broad pages are ever open to us, and whose silent answers to our manifold questions are never very difficult to read.

T. W. H.

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