Mc Guffey’s Eclectic Readers

Many Homeschoolers are familiar with the McGuffey’s series. Used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the McGuffey’s were used in many schoolhouses for teaching phonics, reading, writing, and grammar. Written by the Reverend McGuffey during the 1830’s early educators recognized and highly valued the McGuffey’s series. During the pioneer days, the McGuffey series were used to teach a host of subjects, including: Science, Bible, Literature, History, and focused on Christian Ethics and Morality.

The books have been updated and still hold a strong appeal to many Homeschoolers. Not only are they available for purchase in their modern form, but the early learning books (the books begin at primer level (pre-reading and continue to early college level) also contain teacher’s guides. You can successfully use the books to teach reading to a child just beginning to make the transition to phonics.

Of course, there is no substitute for having your own classic set of McGuffey’s readers, but there are a few ways to browse them (or even use them) from the Internet. This is perfect if you have a low homeschooling budget, or if you would just like to browse them before deciding on purchasing them. You can even see how your child likes them, before making any curriculum decisions. However, even if you don’t use McGuffey’s for primary phonics, you will still find them to be an incredible asset to your homeschooling library.

You can read and download them here from Project Gutenberg in various formats:

Mc Guffey’s Eclectic Primer

Mc Guffey’s First Reader

Mc Guffey’s Second Reader

Mc Guffey’s Third Reader

Mc Guffey’s Fourth Reader

Mc Guffey’s Fifth Reader

Mc Guffey’s Sixth Reader

Now if you like free Bible software, this one will bless you, but it takes a bit of patience to figure out. The link is here: and the site is called, “The Online Bible.” Click the link and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Then slowly scroll back up and you will see the “Starter Pack” this is your basic Bible downlaod, you may see “order here”, but trust me, the software is free. (This link is for the windows version, if you prefer a Macintosh version, you can click on the homepage and start from there.) Once you have downloaded your basic Online Bible program, you can continue to add other “free” books. These free books include different translations of the Bible, Commentaries, and you guessed it- the McGuffey Readers. after you have installed your program, click this link:
And you will be taken to their download page, under “Educational Materials”, you will find the McGuffey Readers (the entire set) as well as many other wonderful resources.

There is one more link that I would like to post in reference to the McGuffey Readers. These texts will take you to downloadable files that also include the prictures from the books as well. It is here: