FREE Simplified Lesson Sheet for McGuffey’s Readers

This post will explore a FREE simplified lesson sheet for McGuffey’s Readers.

Do you have a child who can read better than they can write? We do.

This little girl not only reads at a college level, but considers talking her favorite form of expression. In fact, she was caught in the womb (on the ultra sound) exercising her jaw in preparation for a life of oral alacrity.

So, when I sit her down to a long writing lesson, she slumps. Instead of being able to rattle off her thoughts at the speed of a thousand words per minute, she is hampered by her not-so-coordinated hands.

This has been disappointing because I have developed an entire system of McGuffey “lesson books” to make it easier. While the first two levels of these were essential and she thrived on them, the next few levels have made her feel stultified.

I have tried just about everything. Encouragement, negative reinforcement, etc., all to no avail. While she really does try to comply, she becomes derailed by her own discouragement.

Do I believe this will last forever–of course not. At some point, her hands will catch up to her mouth. Until then, there must be a way I can turn her McGuffey’s lessons into ice cream instead of liver.

And there is!

“Why so much fuss over the McGuffey readers?” you may be asking.

I love the McGuffey readers! I had been homeschooling a number of years when I discovered them, and when I did they answered so many questions and alleviated so many problems for me.

First of all, they gave form and substance to our homeschooling without putting us into a boxed-curriculum strangle hold. In just a few moments a day I could cover many areas of instruction.

At the beginning I was lost. How could I possibly take advantage of all the proven richness of the McGuffey readers in this modern age? However, after some research, and my familiarity with Charlotte Mason’s methods (who was McGuffey’s British contemporary), I was able to put together a system that would make it easy for any mom to use these books with their children.

I called the results The Lesson Book series and you can learn all about them in this post:

The Lesson Books

Now back to the solution for the struggling child…

What I did was to create a brand new lesson sheet. This one is simplified down to its basic elements of copywork and narration, with a place for vocabulary and a drawing (or two).

Also, I numbered each portion of the page so she would know what to do first, second, third, and so on.

And…I used color! Shocking, I know.

The result: She loves it! Here was something she could tackle and vanquish in a single day. No more dread of multiple pages that loomed over her like a threatening avalanche.

Dictations will be done in a separate, dedicated notebook. This way, we can dictate all sorts of things, not just the McG’s.

Here is a sample:

Since I was creating these for her, I thought I’d offer these to you, too. I have put together a PDF package that includes an inside cover page and a smattering of different types of pages that you can choose from and print yourself. Here is the link:

FREE McGuffey’s Readers Lesson Page

Here is also a video that you may enjoy:

Here is a play list of videos on the McGuffey readers:


18 thoughts on “FREE Simplified Lesson Sheet for McGuffey’s Readers”

  1. Thank you! For a few of my kiddos this template will be a game changer. For the past year you have inspired our homeschool and given me hope that it will all be okay.

  2. All I can say is PRAISE THE LORD! I have had a struggling reader who is 9 and has a lisp so I am working with his speech also. For the first time he said THINK yesterday instead of STINK. Sherry, this is an answer to prayer! God bless you for taking your own experience… lemons in homeschooling and making homeschooling lemonade for us to drink!
    Lord, you did it again!
    Thank you for Sherry Hayes.

  3. Hi there! Thank you very much for putting this together as well as everything else! The top of this sample sheet says Fifth reader. Is this the older fifth reader or the more updated version? Also i see the title ofr each one on the top. Is that the title of each story in the mcguffy reader? Thank you!

    • You are so welcome 🙂 Yes, our daughter is currently in the fifth reader of the revised McG’s. I put the title of each lesson of the reader at the top of the page, so you could write the title on whichever of the pages you choose to print.

  4. We are loving these blank pages, Sherry! We also have The Lesson Book Level 3. We are using both alongside the Eclectic Reader as you advise (not at the same time.)

    Have you considered selling these sheets as a book like you do the Lesson Books? I’d certainly buy one!

    • That’s a great idea Blessed! I just changed softwares, from Microsoft Publisher to Affinity Publisher, which is more like Adobe InDesign, so the plan I believe God has given me is to concentrate more on printables and books that will help other moms. Thank you!

  5. I love love these pages. But I know there is a different version that’s in this format that asks what the children liked or disliked about the reading and gives room for their opinion and I’m looking for that page. I know I saved it somewhere and can’t find it in my computer or on your website. It’s colored just like these pages. I like to mix it in with these pages. But I can’t remember the file name or what blog it came from. It’s exactly like these pages in its format and color. Please help direct me to where I can find it. My teens do better if given room for some opinions . So I like to add a few opinion pages into a weekly booklet for them along with these pages. Thank you.

    • I’d love to do that for you, Kristin, but I don’t remember which one that was 🙁 Do you remember what the blog post was about?

      • I found it. It’s called colorful notebooking pages. Thank you for creating these pages. We use your resources all the time and we appreciate you so much. I think my oldest daughter will enjoy your colorful notebooking pages and your mcguffeys 5th reader pages too. They look similar but have different sections. At first I couldn’t remember which blog had which pages but I got them all printed today. I specifically wanted to give my oldest the option to include her opinion in her writing and the notebooking pages gives her the option to say if she liked or disliked her reading. With teens giving them room to say I didn’t like the poem or short story is helpful. Has space for opinions but still has room to narrate too. This I think will help her focus on the narration if she first gets to say her peace. I think more moms would like these pages too if you can add both of them to your freebies page. Thank you again.

        • Thanks for the reminder, Kristin, as I am behind on putting the freebies on the freebies page–something that would be very helpful to moms like you who only have a few minutes free to gather resources. I’m glad you and your children are taking advantage of what we offer here–God bless you on your journey 🙂

  6. How do you balance using Mcguffey’s readers and lesson pages, Gentle Grammar, and Splendid Spelling? These programs have been so helpful for my almost 12 year old son and almost 8 year old daughter. I was thinking of doing a Mcguffey’s one day (they are each reading literature selections daily), one day of grammar, and 2 days of spelling over 1 lesson. It seems like a lot but I know my son could use the practice. Thank you for blessing us with your creativity! I just discovered your Middle Ages unit and it was just what we needed. The Lord’s timing is perfect!


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