The Schoolbooks Our Forefathers Used

Well, the weather has started to turn towards fall and with that my thoughts also tend to turn to the beginning of a new school year. I am no longer in school, but that has not stopped me from learning and continuing to study subjects that I love! For fun, I thought it would be neat to take a look back at the school books our early American forefathers used. I am sure alot of you are familiar with the McGuffey readers, but along with the readers, a student in the very early days of this nation would have also possibly used Ray’s arithmetic and Harvey’s grammar.

There are six McGuffey readers not including the Primer.

Here is a problem from Ray’s Practical Arithmetic. See if you  can figure it out!
“I have five apple trees: the first bears 157 apples; the second, 264; the third, 305;
the fourth, 97; the fifth, 123: I sell 428, and 186 are stolen: how many
apples are left?”

Harvey’s grammar

Along with these, penmanship was very important and usually the Spencerian
form of handwriting was taught.

Students in the 1700s and 1800s were also taught spelling, history, geography, formal music lessons if you were in the upper class, and a skill to make a living with if you were not. Because books were scarce in those days, the Bible was used as well as any other books your family or relatives might have had on hand to learn and teach from. Not bad for the three R’s! Have a wonderful fall everyone and remember to never stop learning! (Ans. to math problem: 332)

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