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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Lessons for mind and heart

We can't help it; if we love and fear God, we love His story. It is an account of peace, then conflict in which paradise is lost, then the Prince comes and paradise is restored.
An illustration of the tale Cinderella

This is reflected in the good myths that have survived. It is in the tale of Cinderella, of which 354 versions have been found. It is even found in pagan stories once told around ancient fires.

Modern literature, by and far, has purposely eschewed God's story. Therefore, most contemporary literature is stuck in the "conflict" portion of the narrative.

Man is in a wretched state, at odds with his environment. Sometimes he acts heroically, nevertheless, but often his very existence seems absurd to the non-believer. 
This explains why some literature seems depressing to Christians, who, while they know that man is fallen and in a state of sin, live with the hope of regaining paradise. If you and your children choose not to wallow around in the mood portrayed by writers who are stuck in the middle part of man's story, there is no reason why you should, even if one of these selections is in your literature book, and even if the author is a "great" writer. Ruth Beechick, You CAN Teach Your Child Successfully
With this in mind, the McGuffey readers are such a sweet breath of fresh air! They delight both the mind and the heart. Here is an example from McGuffey's third reader (revised),

I often enjoy reading these stories before bed to myself--catching up on the wonderful education I never received!



  1. my daughter is going into 11th grade and a really good reader what reader should i look at to put her in. adjusting up or down as i see fit of course.

    1. Do you have copies of the readers? The rule of thumb is to have her read aloud to you from different reader levels. If she is having trouble either in reading unfamiliar words or in comprehension, then it is best to go a little lower, if she is breezing through, then she needs to go a little higher.

      Keep in mind that, not only the vocabulary is advanced, but the sentence structure as well. At your daughter's age, comprehension is very important for these books. Also, if she is weak in spelling or other writing skills, you may want to start her on a level that is lower than she reads so that she can develop these skills through the exercises for each lesson, such as written narration, sentence creation with the vocabulary words listed, and copywork.

  2. no i dont have the readers. I thought i read on one of your blogs that you can print them off of a website that has older books for free. If not i was going to look for one to buy closest to what she would possibly be using.i am understanding them as the reader does not mean grade level. looks like i have more research to do. thank you for helping.i read the story you put on the blog and thought that is the kind of stories i want my children to read. I have 8 kids 6 are in school. well one is in kindergarten even though she dont have to be until august i just didnt see a reason to not teach her if she wanted to learn. right now i was looking for good reading books for my 16 yr old daughter. Looks like i just need to look at all of the books because i would like to have books like that for all of them to read.thanks again