Thursday, April 1, 2010

McGuffey Eclectic Primer

I found the Eclectic Primer and Pictorial Eclectic Primer at an antique mall today that I purchased for our K graduate at a good price.  Interestingly, they were written by William H. McGuffey who was a professor at Miami University in Oxford, OH, where I grew up and went to college.  I even attended the McGuffey Foundation school in 5th grade!  I had no idea who this man was until I picked the books up and read the publisher's preface.

Rainbow Resource sells two versions of these books. Does anyone know the difference between them?  One version looks just like the ones I bought, pictured above.  Is the content the same?  The copy I bought says that it is presented in a more readable form but the stories, poems, and pictures appear as they did in the first edition.  So, I assume that this is close to the original.  I'm not sure about the others.  I would greatly appreciate any information anyone could provide!

Aside from my questions, I think I'm going to like using these.  I want to collect them all (I think), so I'll definitely be looking for them at used sales, book stores, and flea markets!  I don't know why I'm drawn to these older books; I just love them!


  1. I have heard that the McGuffey's is very similar Primary Language Lessons, but that PLL is a bit easier to work with. I have a friend that has both and uses both with her kids. Sounds like a great find. Sorry I can't answer more of your questions. Just start doing some web searches and I bet you will get the answers you are looking for.

  2. I never realized there was two versions!! I shop at (A local Michigan store), and they only have this version. I do like this version. Sassy doesn't complain either. :) I'm glad you found it. Our copyright date on her book says 1982 by Mott media(which actually is the Homeschooling Books store). So, I'm wondering if they made the newer version and made it eaiser to understand. We don't talk like they did in the olden days. :) We sometimes still laugh at the sentences in these books. So old fashioned, it's funny. :) Good luck!

  3. I forgot to say, that if you can get your hands on the parent-teacher guide, get it. It really helps me. It gives lesson ideas. It's pretty cool.

  4. Jen, So you have the version pictured on this post? It may seem that I'm putting a lot of effort into finding out about these books, but it's fascinating to me and I just want to learn more about them! I found one company on-line that will only sell the version of these books with the orange covers, which say "REVISED EDITION" on the front, although they were revised back in the early 1900's. The reason being that they said some of the content in the original version is "disturbing." They made reference to views of God and said other things that I don't remember.

    On another note, when we come across an old-fashioned writing in Primary Language Lessons, we laugh too! I could see us doing the same thing in the McGuffey books!

    Thanks for your input. It helps to get it from those who have similar teaching styles and desires.