McGuffey's Eclectic Readers
Over 100 years of educational use and still making a worthwhile contribution to homeschooling! Well-Trained Mind suggests using the McGuffey's as read aloud material for students starting with the Third Reader after completing phonics instruction. And why not? The introductory material in each reader is an elocution course in and of itself. That's "elocution" as in "the skill of clear and expressive speech". To give you an idea of the breadth and scope of the readings in these books, here is a sampling from the Fifth Reader: history - The Battle of Blenheim (Southey), poetry - The Village Blacksmith (Longfellow), character education - Do Not Meddle (unknown), science - The Passenger Pigeon (Audubon), and literature - Squeere's Method (Dickens). There are delightful period illustrations such as The Fish I Didn't Catch throughout (albeit sparsely) the books. Don't be fooled by the "Revised Edition" on the front cover. The revision happened somewhere between the original copyright date of 1879 and the last copyright date of 1920. These hardcover reprints from John Wiley & Sons are authentic.