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(14.) Position D. Thrust the right fist forward, horizontally, while counting one. At two, bring the right hand back to position D, and then thrust the left fist forward in the same manner. Count twelve.
(15.) Bring the fists together upon the chest, immediately between the shoulders, at the same time elevating the elbows above the horizontal, and bringing them as far forward as possible. At one, throw the elbows downward and backward with force, and at two, bring the fists and elbows as at first. Count twelve.
(16.) Position D. At one, turn the whole body, including the head, to the right as far as possible, keeping the feet stationary. At two, twist the body toward the left in the same manner. Count eight.
(17.) Place the fists upon the shoulders, with the elbows raised sidewise to a horizontal with them. Throw the right fist outward and upward at an angle of 45°, counting one. At two, bring it back to its former position, at the same time throwing out the left in the same manner. Keep the muscles as rigid as possible. Count twelve.
(18.) Position D. At one, look over the right shoulder, at the same time bending the body backward and twisting sidewise sufficiently to allow a downward glance as at the heels. At two, look over the left shoulder in the same manner. Count eight. This movement calls into exercise more of the muscles of the body than any of the others, and should be thoroughly executed.
(19.) With the left hand upon the hip, whirl the
right hand and arm in as near a vertical plane as the situation of the scholar will allow, first forward, then backward. Then with the right hand upon the hip, whirl the left in the same manner. Let each arm be whirled six times in both directions, counting at ach time.
(20.) Place the fists upon the shoulders, with the elbows raised in front to a level with them. At one, throw the fists suddenly forward, keeping the arms horizontal and opening the hands, palms upward. At two, place the fists as before. Count twelve. (21.) Hold the right palm in front of the eyes,
at the distance of about a foot from them, and the left palm similarly, opposite the lower part of the chest. At one, change positions of the hands ; two, reverse, and so on till twelve is counted.
(22.) Position D. At one, incline the body forward as in a low bow, and at two, incline backward to the same extent. Count eight.
(23.) Inhale slowly. Exhale suddenly and forcibly, with the sound of the letter A. Three times.
In movements 1, 5, 9, 13, 23, the length of time to be occupied by each inhalation should be indicated by some signal, as the raising and lowering of the teacher's hand; the raising of the hand being the signal for the inhalation, and the breath being retained while the hand is kept up, and sent out as the hand is lowered.
Other movements, selected from works on gymastics, or devised by the teacher, or combined from the foregoing, may be introduced, as the taste and
ingenuity of the teacher may direct. The following is given as an example of several movements combined in one exercise :
(24.) Hands hanging at the sides, closed. At one, bend the elbows and describe a curve with the hands, by bringing them up in front of the chest and head, and over outward, so that the arms will come to the horizontal, sidewise; two, bring the fists against the upper and outer portions of the chest; three, throw the right fist forward to the horizontal; four, bring it back against the chest again; five and six, describe the same movements with the left arm; seven and eight, the same with both arms; after which the fists are to be thrust downward to the sides, as at first, with count one. The same movement may be repeated, always giving the same numbers to the same parts of the movement. The second time the fists are brought down to their first position, it should be with count two; the third time, three, and so on. The advantage of this is, that at the close of the repetitions, say nine, the class will all stop at once and there will be no break in the exercise.
(25.) Marching. All the lower divisions should have exercises in marching as often as once or twice a day. By exercising a little ingenuity, the teacher will be able to arrange the files so that all the pupils will commence marching at the same time, and end at the same time. The children should keep together in their time, and this should be regulated by appropriate singing. If the singing can not be se
cured, the pupils may repeat verses in concert, and march to the measure of the poetry.
(26.) Military Movements.-Occasional exercises in marching, counter-marching, facing, dressing, and halting, with military precision, may be profitably introduced. They will not require the use of arms nor any substitute for them. For full directions respecting these movements, teachers are referred to Root's School Amusements, and The Boy Soldier, by the same author.
$ 106. Teachers should guard their pupils against all constrained and unnatural postures. The position “hands behind" induces a stooping posture, and should generally be avoided.* The habit of stooping over desks while engaged in exercises requiring the use of the pen or pencil, is one of the most serious evils now existing in schools, and its deleterious influence upon the health and form of pupils is abundantly manifest.
It is true that many teachers devote special attention to this matter, but in most cases the cure is by no means radical or permanent, and a more efficient and systematic course of treatment is required. There are many schools in which the pupils are required to give special attention to physical movements, at frequent and regular intervals, and yet lose more every day by indulging in this dangerous habit than they gain by the gymnastic exercises.
* See Report of S. W. Seton, Assistant Superintendent of Schools, New York, 1856.
Habit of Stooping.
As a first step toward the correction of this evil, teachers should inform themselves and their pupils of its nature and magnitude. The next step of progress should be a firm resolve to overcome it, whatever may be the effort required.
With most pupils, a frequent admonition from the teacher will be sufficient to establish the habit or sitting erect, and when this habit is once formed, very little attention will be needed to perpetuate it.
But when this measure is found to be ineffectual, a persistent habit of stooping at the desk should be treated as a misdemeanor, affecting the deportment average of the pupil the same as any other example of misconduct.*
* “The training of children in sitting, standing, and walking, and in the use of the organs of respiration and of utterance, are among the first things to be attended to in the physical education at school." —John D. Philbrick, Superintendent of Schools, Boston.