McGuffey Phonics

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  • Reviewed on Tuesday, November 16, 2010
  • Grades Used: pre K - K
  • Dates used: 1998
We used the McGuffey Phonics program to start off our schooling of our little children. We ended up using the entire set of the McGuffey program through the early elementary years.

We give high praise for this system.


  • Reviewed on Wednesday, April 29, 2009
  • Grades Used: K-2
  • Dates used: 2006-2009
I used McGuffey's Eclectic Primer to teach my son to read. I have gotten amazing results.

The first lesson in the primer has these words listed: a, and, cat, rat. Then it has two sentences that use those words. The next lesson has the words at, the, ran, has and Ann listed. Then there are some sentences that use words from lesson 1 and 2. Each lesson has a word list and some sentences, a poem, or a story that uses words from that word list plus previous lessons. There is a black and white picture with every lesson except review lessons. Every fifth lesson is review, and has no new words or picture. There are 52 lessons in the book, and by the end, the material is challenging, 2nd or 3rd grade level.

After my son knew the letter sounds, I taught him to read the words listed in the lesson. I'd say, "This word is 'big.' The B says /B/. The I says /I/, The G says /G/. Big." Then he would read the word. After he read all the words in the word list, he read the story or poem. It was very easy.

He got bored with McGuffey after a few months. We were on lesson 20. I got him some very easy to read books, like the first grade Pathway Readers. He did not progress as fast with Pathway readers, but he enjoyed them a lot, and so I am a fan of them too.

After a few months break from McGuffey, I used the it to get spelling words from. Now I use it for him to take dictation from once a week.


  • Reviewed on Monday, February 9, 2009
  • Grades Used: n/a
  • Dates used: n/a
Please note that McGuffey and McRuffy are different programs. The review below this one is for McRuffy which is written recently, but this section is for McGuffey which was written in the 1800s.


  • Reviewed on Sunday, April 15, 2007
  • Grades Used: K & 2nd
  • Dates used: 2005-2006
I would like to thank Brian for creating the McRuffy Phonics program. Having been a private school teacher, a public school teacher, and now a home school mom for the past ten years I appreciate such a well organized and laid our curriculum.

With seven children, I have tried many different phonics programs over the years. I believe I have looked at or used about everything available. Each program has its strengths and weaknesses. Some programs were too time intensive. With other children to educate, I did not have the extra time to prepare all that was necessary to implement their program, or the program was so shallow that I did not feel like it gave adequate practice to prepare the student to be a good reader. I have also found many of the curriculum choices move either too fast or too slow.

When I found McRuffy, I knew I had finally found the phonics curriculum I needed to prepare my children to be good readers. It is the perfect balance for the home school mom of many.

Brian has done a terrific job at laying out the material in a concise easy to understand manner. It is not overwhelming for the child or the home school mom. You can open the teacher’s book glance through the lesson and be ready to go. I have found the pace to be a perfect balance for my children, not too fast or too slow. The readers are not dry and boring, which is a big plus for motivating the children to read the story.

McRuffy is very affordable. The price includes your children’s workbooks, readers, teacher manuals, and all charts and word lists needed. Everything you need is in one neatly organized box.

Thank you again Brian and McRuffy Press for a great phonics program.