Gateway to the Classics: Primary Reading and Literature by
Primary Reading and Literature by 

Front Matter

[Title Page]

[Copyright Information]


The "Reading-Literature Readers" by Free and Treadwell, were not designed to be what is commonly known as "method readers." There were already too many so-called method readers. Most of them have been arranged without reference to child-interest and solely to the end that certain methods might be developed and used.

The "Free and Treadwell Readers" aim first, last, and all of the time to secure and hold the child’s interest. They were compiled, in the schoolroom, from child literature that has held the interest of children through generations that are gone and that will be read with equal interest by millions in the years to come.

In the beginning the publishers had prepared a brief teachers’ manual to accompany the Primer. Beyond that it was then thought and is yet believed that any good method may be successfully used with these books.

Since the books have become very extensively used it has been found that, owing to widely different degrees and kinds of preparation, many need, or think they need, more help than was provided in the original manual.

The book aims to show teachers how simple and natural are the essential principles of teaching young children to read; to outline clearly and definitely simple methods in harmony with the most approved ideas of teaching reading, yet leaving the directions so flexible that teachers may be strengthened by their helpful guidance rather than hampered and weakened by an artificial, daily routine; and to enlarge the conception of the significance of the best literature in the early years of the child’s life.

The manual aims to be suggestive. It is not desired that any teacher follow it slavishly; rather that relatively inexperienced teachers shall find in it helpful guidance. The efficient, progressive teacher is always larger than any method that another can prescribe. Nor is it the purpose here to outline a new and startling plan. The aim is rather to gather and organize the experience of the best primary teachers of recent years, in what may well be called a "combination method."

The methods suggested have been based upon and made to fit the content of the readers—a plan in direct variance with that usually followed, in which the content of the books is prepared to fit a preconceived, artificial method.

The book is offered to teachers, who use and will use the "Free and Treadwell Readers," in the earnest hope that it may serve to make the day’s work more joyous; that, through its organization of material, it may lead to a solution of many difficulties; and, finally, that it may help millions of little learners to find their way more easily and more quickly into the delightful realms of book-land.

The basis of this book was "First-Year Reading," prepared by Anna Morse of the Charleston, Illinois, Normal School. Among those who helped in the enlargement and remaking of the book are Supt. W. R. Siders, Pocatello, Idaho; Miss Mary L. Robinson, Peoria, Illinois; Miss Martha Olson, Evanston, Illinois, and Dr. Harriett Ely Fansler, Columbia University, New York.

The Publishers.

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