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The Standard First Reader, Part Two, with Spelling and Defining Lessons

Standard Series
Sargent, Epes. Sargent's Standard Series. The Standard First Reader, Part Two, with Spelling and Defining Lessons. Boston: John L. Shory, 1866. p. 16

In keeping with the new emphasis on meaning in reading, Sargent's primary readers introduced simple word meanings along with whole words. In introducing his reader to the teacher, Sargent recommended that the teaching of reading "should follow the mother’s plan in teaching the child to spell." That is, to introduce words and sentences before introducing the alphabet on the grounds that this was the natural manner in which the language was taught to children in the home. In this period, the syllabarium was rapidly disappearing from general use in the classroom. Educators like Sargent preferred instead, "...the system of teaching children familiar words in little stories at the outset, before drilling them in meaningless syllables...."


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