Encouragement and Inspiration Family Organization Homeschooling Large Family Life raising children raising good children

Free Lesson Sheets Printables

During my 27 years of homeschooling, nothing has contributed more to our stability and success than the McGuffey Readers.

Charlotte Mason-Style McGuffey Lesson Sheets Free Printables Pin

I am a great promoter of delight-directed learning and I believe it is the only way to allow the God-given genius in each child flourish and take flight. I try and make certain my children have ample time and opportunities to develop the passions which have been placed within there hearts.

However, there has to be a balance. Children need to have tools in their hands in order to read and find information. They also need to be able to communicate what they are learning in order to apply it and share it for the benefit of others.

The McGuffey’s make this process all so easy. They are graduated and systematic. They are interesting and engaging. They are excellent and challenging.

They are especially helpful for struggling readers and work wonderfully with an intense phonics training program.

As a learner progresses, the complexity of sentence structure, excellent vocabulary, and exceptional subject matter make these readers the perfect tool for preparation for college and life-long learning.

There are so many ways these can be used, since they are open-ended and adaptable to almost any learning style or situation.

Personally, I have had great success using these readers with the approaches suggested by Charlotte Mason:

  • Copywork

  • Narration

  • Dictation

One of the cheapest ways I found to do this has been to grab a 50 cent composition book for each child. For beginning readers, I have plotted out specific places for each category, using a highlighter to help them with penmanship. For the middle-range readers, I have numbered and made spaces for each requirement. Older children who are learning mostly on their own have been given a list of requirements that they have been responsible for completing on their own.

While this method has been affordable and effective, it has also been time-consuming and labor-intensive, especially considering all of the other demands on my time.

This is why it occurred to me to create a series of notebooking pages which would streamline the process and make prep time shorter. Of course, after I had gone to all the trouble creating everything for my own family, I just knew I had to share it with others.

mcguffey lesson sheets third grade example

So, here are the pages I created so you can use them for your own children! I am including pages for each stage in the McGuffey learning process. There are areas on these pages for copywork, narration, and dictation.

In keeping with Mason’s ideas that younger learners should not be frustrated with written narration, I have included spaces for drawings instead. A learner can either draw directly on the page in the space provided, or can draw on a separate index card (either standard or large) and glue it in the proper place.

mcguffey lessons printable first pages sample picture

These are not meant to be workbook pages where there is only one “correct” answer and the learner becomes a slave to “fill in the blanks.” While children need structure, they also need to have the room to express the ideas and skills they are gathering as they see fit.

This encourages individual expression and creative thinking. It also helps keep children engaged and enthused as they make each lesson their own.

Don’t use McGuffey’s?

These pages could easily work with almost any reader, or with any novel, short story, or poetry  selection, for that matter.

Keeping Track

I actually currently have five children using the McGuffey’s, all at different levels. This means I needed to have some system in place so in order to minimize confusion and streamline my preparation process.

First of all, I printed and copied multiple pages for each level and placed them behind dividers in a two-inch, three-ring binder.

Then I put these sheets together in lessons and placed them in the individual binders which I keep for each child. In this way I don’t have to try and search and assemble pages every time.

Here is a video that explains this further:

It is my prayer you will find these a great blessing!

Please note:

I created these pages with ink conservation in mind. That is why the colors are primarily pink and blue, since the yellow color is the one that is used the most and runs out first. I have also included pages in grayscale to make it easier to print them out using only black ink, which is usually the larger cartridge in a typical printer.

One could conceivably print out a set of sheets and then take them to an office store and have them copied to make it easier on the budget.

Click here for your free download.

23 Comment

  1. Fantastic!! These will save so much time! And they look wonderful-I am just thrilled! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this for us all -you’re the best (along with our beloved McGuffeys) I love posts on these since we love them over here, it’s fun to get new ideas without wasting my time online. You are a one stop shop for me 🙂

      1. Just so you know, my 11 year old particularly loves these! She really enjoys doing them. She really loved Faith’s “doodles” on your examples and examined them to death! She was really really wishing you had more “Faith drawings” on there! She was dying to see more ☺ She’s a talented little thing 🙂

        1. Faith will really, really be blessed to hear that! She and the other girls draw for hours each day. Thank you for taking the time to share that with us.

  2. We use Mcguffeys in our homeschool, and we enjoy them. Thank you for these worksheets, I can not wait to get them printed! Your website is such a blessing 🙂

  3. Love love love these. Thank you so much. I am very grateful! I echo the comments – love when you blog about McGuffey’s. Keep up the great work!

  4. These are awesome. Thanks so much for sharing them. I’ve had my dd using the sheets the last two days along with her Mc Guffey reading. The next thing is to introduce my son to them too – he will enjoy the big drawing space. Thanks again.

    1. I love it! Thanks for sharing how you are using them, it really means a lot when someone takes the time to comment :).

  5. Thank you so much for your generosity in sharing these with other moms for free. I recently purchased the McGuffey’s Readers, but have been struggling with exactly how to use them to their fullest with my children. Your videos have been very helpful for me to watch, and I believe these worksheets will also be of great help to us. Thank you again! What a blessing you are.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to leave such a sweet comment! Helping other moms like myself is what keeps me going on this blog.

  6. Thanks for sharing these, they are great! I’m going to share the link to these with all my home school friends.

    By the way, the chiring in the background made me think our smoke detector needed new batteries. But my family thought I was crazy when I asked if they heard it, because they weren’t hearing our detector chirp.

    1. Funny! We have tried everything to fix those things–replaced the batteries a million times, etc. We don’t even notice it any more, so I didn’t even notice it in the video 🙂

  7. I can not get these to open up.. Is there some way I can get them emailed to me??
    I really love these.. Thank you so much for sharing these

  8. Hi Sherry,
    Thank you so much for the pintables! I have been using the McGuffey readers with my 6 kids since reading about them on your blog a few years back. This is going to be such a blessing for our family . Could you please expand on how you spread the work out? You do homeschooling for four days a week with one lesson from the McGuffey readers per week. So do they read the story out loud to you on all four days? Copy work is on days 1,2,3 and dictation on day 4? What about the narration? What day do they do it on? Is it each day? If so, wouldn’t they just write the same narration each day since they are reading the same story?
    It would be so helpful if you could answer my questions. Thank you in advance,
    Tatyana

    1. I’d love to answer your questions, Tatyana! I like to have the child read aloud to me on the first day. We begin by reading through any words lists included in the lesson. This is when I explain how words work, talk about syllables (we call them “claps”), compound words, long and short vowels, contractions, etc. Then the child reads the actual lesson aloud. The child then copies the words on the sheet (or in a composition book). The next day I assign a section of the lesson for copywork, usually a paragraph for an older child or a simple sentence for a younger child. The other things I assign are narrative drawings and/or writings and dictation. It is up to you how this will work best. Sometimes I assign other types of reading on the other days to supplement their McGuffey work, such as the Reading-Literature readers by Treadwell and Free (you can find them for free online).

      I hope this helps give you a clearer picture–thanks for the great comment.

    1. That’s a great question, Tatyana. I have actually never, ever used spelling tests, not in the entire 28 years I have been homeschooling. The simple repetition of reading, copying, and writing, with some basic phonemic coaching, has been enough. The McGuffey readers have been my greatest tool in accomplishing this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *