Eclectic Series and the 3Rs
Original McGuffey’s Readers
How would McGuffey teach reading if he were here today? His first concern would be that the content should promote moral growth and excellence of mind in habits, attitudes, and literary tastes. And Bible selections would be at the top of his reading list.
McGuffey also believed in phonics for beginning reading. Methods and timing should be adapted to the individuality of each child. Parents should not send their dearest treasure off to school too early in life, but should proceed at the child’s own pace. This preserves the vigor of his mental action.
McGuffey believed in memorizing as a way to develop habits of attention that promote understanding and mastery of ALL learning, even those studies which are not memorized.
McGuffey believed that an obvious result of a cultivated mind is a wide vocabulary. And the best way to cultivate a wide vocabulary is to learn words in their context, as in studying the important ideas and noble thoughts presented in the Readers.
These principles produce the education that shaped American character, particularly in the West, for over one hundred years. It’s the kind of education the majority of Americans want and need today.
William Holmes McGuffey (1800-1873) was a “born” educator. Beginning by teaching his younger brothers and sisters, William McGuffey accepted his first teaching position at 13 in a one-room school with 48 students. After graduating from Washington College and being ordained as a Presbyterian minister, he taught moral philosophy at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio for almost ten years. It was during this period that McGuffey wrote and compiled the Readers that made him famous. Later McGuffey rose to the rank of university president, serving Cincinnati College and Ohio University. He spent the final third of his life teaching moral philosophy at the University of Virginia.
Ray’s Arithmetics students learn arithmetic, increase their reading comprehension skills, and learn to think rather than plod through page after page of addition or subtraction problems with a one-line direction at the top of each page. A student raised on Ray’s will not even know he should be fearful of “story problems” because from day one every problem is posed in a sentence format.
Most early work is to be done with real objects such as fruit, counting blocks, or marbles. Later it is to be done in the head with mental images of the objects. When children are ready to think symbolically, they gradually drop their use of objects and images and learn to compute quickly with digits. Thus the child is carefully led through three growth states in arithmetic: 1) the manipulative stage, 2) the mental image stage, 3) the abstract stage.
Over 120 million copies were sold in American education’s golden age. Many millions of children used these Arithmetics in the generations that produced Edison, Bell, and Ford. Now it’s your turn.
What Arithmetic Teachers have said about Ray’s …
“Rediscovering Ray’s is the best thing that’s happened to arithmetic in a hundred years.”
“These books produce superior math students.”
“Their use of story problems develops thinking right from the start.”
“They are psychologically right in starting with concrete and mental arithmetic before introducing symbols.”
“Using Ray’s this year has definitely improved the achievement test scores in our schools.”
Please Note: Due to the rising costs of producing hardbound books the publisher is switching the Ray’s Series over to Paperback. This will allow the company to not have to raise their prices. Changing to paperbacks will also affect the sets which will contain both Hardbound and Paperback versions until all volumes have been changed over to Paperback.
We do keep some of the McGuffey Readers as well as the Ray’s Arithmetic in stock. Let us know what you’re looking for and we will get back to you and let you know if it is in stock.