McGuffey's Readers - 1836

Hardback Cover - 7 books

The original 1836 version of the fabled reading instruction books which for three-quarters of a century were used by four-fifths of all American school children. Some 120 million sets were sold. No other books ever had so much influence over so many children over such a long period.

McGuffey's educational course begins, in the Primer, by presenting the letters of the alphabet to be memorized, in sequence. Children are then taught, step by step, to use the building blocks of their language to form and pronounce words. Each lesson begins with a study of words used in the reading exercise - the words presented with markings to show correct pronunciation and syllabification.

Stories in the First and Second Readers picture children in their relationship with family, teacher, friends, and animals. The Third Reader expands this world. In a story entitled "The Widow and the Merchant," a merchant befriends a widow in need. Later, when the widow proves herself to be honest, the merchant gives her a handsome gift.

The child is not, however, encouraged to believe that charity is expected only of the wealthy; it is a virtue to be cultivated by the young, practiced by all. Here are some of the titles of reading material in the Second, Third and Fourth Readers: "The Greedy Girl"; "The Kind Little Girl"; "The Honest Boy and the Thief"; "The Lord's Prayer"; "The Effects of Rashness"; "On Speaking the Truth"; "Consequences of Bad Spelling"; "Happy Consequences of American Independence"; and "Decisive Integrity."

Assuming that a child's brain reacts to what is fed into it, and that his entire life is thereby influenced, educators of the McGuffey era provided the most wholesome fare available. Material in the readers is taken from writings which extol, explain, and illustrate such virtues as honesty, charity, thrift, hard work, courage, patriotism, reverence for God, and respect for parents.

McGuffey's teaching technique and the quality of reading material used are superlative, appropriate for any era - desperately needed in our own. (The New American - September 29, 1986, with appreciation.)

Samuel Blumenfeld is still using the McGuffey Readers in his tutoring work. Excellent to use as extra reading to compliment Alpha Phonics and How to Tutor by Sam.

McGuffey's Eclectic Readers 1836 version: 7 book hardcover set in shelf storage box, 1,408 pages: 1) Primer; 2) Pictorial Primer; 3) Progressive Speller; 4) First Reader; 5) Second Reader; 6) Third Reader; 7) Fourth Reader

Parent - Teacher Guide by Dr. Ruth Bechick, 1985, 111 pages in matching hard cover. Optional Guide for the use of the 7 volume 1836 McGuffey Reader set.

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1836 edition to 1879 edition

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Ordering Information

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McGuffey's original 1836 Readers:
7 book hard cover set in shelf storage box, 1,408 pages:
$105.00. Shipping; $14.00; Total: $119.00.
Parent -Teacher Guide by Dr. Ruth Bechick, 1985,
111 pages in matching hard cover: $12.95; shipping $5.00; total $17.95.
Complete McGuffey Readers set including Parent-Teacher Guide:
$117.95; Shipping $16.00; Total $133.95

McGuffey's Readers 1879 version:
8 book soft cover set.
$65.00 Shipping; $14.00; Total: $79.00.


For Summer 2008 122 yr. old Colorado
one-room School open again!
Uses McGuffey's Readers & Ray's Arithmetic

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Includes Samuel Blumenfeld and Alpha-Phonics.