I am very excited to share with you about these four little readers. And the best way I can do that is to just read a selection out for you.
“Nearly a hundred and fifty years ago William Homes McGuffey, gathered his own writings, and clippings, and selections from standard work. and he wrote the first four McGuffey Readers. Covering the areas of family life, farming, science, history, biography, secular and biblical literature, he presented his readers with a wide range of interests, and an even wider range than than which is found in today’s typical reading books. Since 1920 McGuffey readers have continued to sell, and have been used by schools and parents concerned about the content of children’s reading books.”
You might have found as a parent that it’s hard to go into the library or book store and find books that are at the right reading level for your children. What is wonderful about these McGuffey books is that they are very practical, in that they start at lesson one which is literally a sentence per line. The words are big and there’s good spacing between each word, making it comfortable for the beginner reader. Slowly as the stories go on, they start to introduce more complex vocabulary, which takes the reader progressively one small step at a time.
There are fifty to sixty short stories in each book. By the end of the book, the reader is doing multipart stories which are longer, broken into two, three or four parts. With each McGuffey reader the print decreases in size and the stories progress in length and difficulty. New vocal words used in the story are listed at the end of the story, giving the parent opportunity to discuss these new words with the reader. Comprehension questions are also included with the progression. By the time the reader reaches the fourth McGuffey book, they are reading literature at a university level.
I would like to close with a personal testimony about the McGuffey Readers. Each day I would ask my children to read their next story to me from their little McGuffey book. I would then be able to determine where they were struggling and help them along. I would remind them that as soon as they finished reading their McGuffey to me, I would read it back to them. So we made it a very comfortable, enjoyable and special time of bonding and experiencing the whole process of reading. Reading was not something to be afraid of and there were no negative connotations around it. We have been really blessed by these McGuffey books and hope you will be too!
It is important to remember that the Fourth Reader does not mean “a reader for the fourth grade”. In fact, many reading authorities today say that some of the selections found in this volume are equivalent to reading material presented in today’s colleges.
As in the other volumes of the series, all new questions have been written for each lesson. This volume as with the others also includes “Spell-and-Define” lists.
A unique feature of this edition of the Fourth Reader is the note preceding most lessons. Each note helps the reader understand the lesson’s meaning, significance, or historical setting. Information for the notes was researched from many sources. This last volume introduces the advanced student to the best of forensic, descriptive, sacred and poetic literature of the world.