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Paperback Webster's Blue-Backed Speller and New England Primer Book

ISBN: 157558042X

ISBN13: 9781575580425

Webster's Blue-Backed Speller and New England Primer

Both "Webster's Blue-Backed Spelling Book" and the "New England Primer" were basic, foundational textbooks used in the schools of our republic in the 18th and 19th centuries. These two testbooks will... This description may be from another edition of this product.


Format: Paperback

Condition: Acceptable


2 Available

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

5 stars for historic interest - 1 star for usefulness.

As a collector of 19th century text books, I was interested to find that this book and others, are being reprinted for use by homeschoolers.This book, while a fascinating historical reprint, really serves to demonstrate what was WRONG with schools 2 centuries ago, and to dispute the belief that modern schools are bad and old fashioned schools were good.When the blue backed speller was first used, students were expected to simply memorize columns of spelling words, and recite them, orally, for the teacher. That was pretty much the sole curriculum for the first several years of schooling. (After which they moved on to actual reading books.)Can a modern family use this book? Sure, in combination with other texts, and with more modern teaching methods. Is this book the secret to literacy? No. And anyone familiar with history would know that functional illiteracy is not a modern problem. Students a century or two ago were just as likely to leave school barely able to read or write. The only difference was that, at that time, it was possible to get through life fairly easily with minimal or no literacy. Children who really struggled in school during the 19th century simply LEFT. With no compulsary attendance laws, the poor student would leave school after a couple of years and go to work on the parents' farm, or in the factory, or be apprenticed out to learn a trade.I'm sure this book would be of some use to a homeschooling family. But the reason homeschooled children tend to learn more rapidly than their public schooled peers has nothing to do with the books being used. It has to do with the amount of time and attention paid to the needs of the students. There are far better books available for families who want to home school; books that take into account modern knowlege about how children learn. (Webster believed that it was not necessary for children to know the meaning of the words they learned to spell. He believed that rote memorization was the best way for children to learn.)

Good heavens, stop reading this review and buy this book!

This is a reprint of a book that America used for 150 years to teach school children how to read. It is an excellent resource for homeschooled kids and for any parent who wants to teach their own child how to read. I taught my five year old daughter how to read, using this book and McGuffey's Readers. When we finished Noah Webster's Blue Backed Speller, she could read anything - from the KJV Bible to the local newspaper with extraordinary comprehension, accuracy and speed. Quite frankly, I was amazed at how easy it was to teach my little girl how to read. And it became a real precious time - spending 45-60 minutes each day with her for about 6 weeks, reviewing the lessons in this book.After our incredible success, I ordered extra copies of this book and gave them away to friends who were frustrated with public schools and teachers explaining why kids weren't reading by 2nd grade. My friends also had good results with this book and they bought their own copies to give away to more friends.My little girl is now a rising 8th grader and she is a voracious reader and an excellent student. Her favorite subject is English. I can't recommend this book enough. I bristle when I hear tales of the rampant illiteracy in our schools. Teaching our little ones to read does not require massive federal spending or enormous budgets. It requires love, patience, parental involvement and Noah Webster's Blue Backed Speller.It really is just that simple.
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