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Old Fashioned Education

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A 19th Century Education For Free! (using 21st Century Technology) Note: Many homeschoolers enjoy incorporating tried-and-true antique readers and children's books into their 21st century homeschooling programs. This page will provide you with free links to antique readers and spellers, and other children's books online.




McGuffey Readers, Primers, etc.
Description Grade Levels Type of Website
Noah Webster's Blueback Speller AKA The American Spelling Book! K to 8
19th Century Schoolbooks This demonstration project at the University of Pittsburgh has placed 30 well-known antique children's schoolbooks online. Among them are the popular Cyr, Salem Towne, and McGuffey Readers; the Hemans Reader for Female Schools, which provided a special reading curriculum deemed suitable for Victorian-era young ladies; Primary Geography; a parsing book; math and history texts; and a health book published by the Women's Christian Temperance Union. Full text and illustrations from all books are provided. K to 12 K to 12
McGuffey's First Eclectic Reader K to 2
1805 New England Primer K to 8
1807 New England Primer K to 8
New England Primer This is a text-only site containing the contents of the New England Primer. K to 8 Individual (Jay Johansen)
Shaping the Values of Youth: Sunday School Books in 19th Century America Part of a research effort to digitize 19th century Sunday School textbooks. Five books are now available online. K to 12 Parents
19th Century American Children and What They Read This historical research site provides both selections and full texts of American 19th century children's books and magazine articles and stories. Many serialized stories from popular children's magazines such as the Youth's Companion and Parley's Magazine are provided in their entirety. There is also a free online set of puzzles that are reprinted from the magazines, and a set of beautiful photographs of 19th century children. For parents, there are short selections from child-rearing articles that appeared in the popular magazines of the day. K to 8 Parents Individual (Pat Pflieger)
19th Century Girls' Series Books This site contains partial and full electronic texts of such famous 19th century girls' series books as Little Prudy, Elsie Dinsmore, and others. 3 to 6 Individual (Deidre Johnson)
Books for Young Readers Electronic Text Center This collection of books for young readers from the 1800s and early 1900s includes electronic text of books by John Abbot, Horatio Alger, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Laura Lee Hope, George McDonald, and many, many others. 3 to 12
Books for Young Readers Electronic Text Center This collection of books for young readers from the 1800s and early 1900s includes electronic text of books by John Abbot, Horatio Alger, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Laura Lee Hope, George McDonald, and many, many others. 3 to 12




Dictionaries & Reference Materials
Description Grade Levels Type of Website
Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary Search the 1828 dictionary online. K to 12 Commercial








Specialty Resources & Materials
Description Grade Levels Type of Website
William Holmes McGuffey at Miami University This site provides interesting information about the life and work of the author of the McGuffey readers. Digitized copies of selected letters from McGuffey to various correspondents, other biographical information; and an online version of his First Eclectic Reader, are available. This site will be of interest to those who want to know more about the history of the McGuffey Readers and their author. (Miami University) Parents First Eclectic Reader: K to 2


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