Written by William Holmes McGuffey, a 19th century teacher and educator, millions of these precious books were used in the education of our children. These Christ-centered books molded the character of our country through the repeated use of these textbooks over several generations. There are very rich lessons in Biblical doctrine (that's right, Biblical doctrine) in these primers, which are introduced beginning in the pre-K book, and then are more fully developed as the series progresses from pre-K up to 4th grade.
As you read through this lesson, you might want to bear this in mind: this was the curriculum of our PUBLIC school system! Compare this lesson to what we know is being taught in public schools today. What a difference!
(Please note that these primers have been reintroduced to a new generation, and are now being reprinted and used by many homeschooling families.)
McGuffey Primer Lesson for the Day:
(taken from Eclectic Second Reader, Lesson XI., Page 19)
The love of Brothers and Sisters
1. Sweet is the song of birds, when the dark days of winter are over and gone. The trees lift up their green heads in the bright light of spring.
2. Sweet is the sport of the lambkins, while their mothers lie down to sleep by the little stream that flows in the cool shade.
3.Sweet is the hum of bees when the work of the day is done, and they fold their wings to rest in the full hive.
4. Sweet is the shout of joy which is heard at the farm when the last load of corn is brought home, and the tables are spread for the harvest feast.
5. But far more sweet than any of these is the love of brothers and sisters for each other. It takes away many a sad tear from grief. And, oh, with what joy is it seen by the fond father and mother.
6. They press their good and kind children to their bosoms, and pray God to bless them, that His tender mercies might be upon them forever.
7. My little readers, have you brothers and sisters? Then love them with all your heart. Do all you can for them. Help them when in need; and do not wait to be asked. Add to their mirth. Share their grief. Do not make them angry. Use no cross words.
8. Touch not what is not your own. Speak the truth at all times. Do no wrong, but do unto them as you would have them do unto you. So shall you make the hearts of your parents rejoice.
Questions. -- 1. What is this lesson about? 2. What is said of the song of birds, and the sport of lambkins? 3. What is far sweeter than these? 4. What should children do for each other?
Words to Perfect. -- green - share - grief - hearts - little - tender - stream - laugh - sight - cross - many - children - lambkins - winter - harvest - tables - father - lesson - blessing - brothers - reader - mercies - other - away - asked - rejoice
Below are sample pages from other primers once in use in American public schools. How different might our youth be today, if they were being taught these lessons, instead of secular humanism, Darwinian evolution and Heather-has-two-mommies.