Our Favorite Books for 1st Grade

Let us be faithful teachers. No matter what the pace, children need to know they can accomplish the tasks set before them. Meeting grade-level requirements in the early years is not as important as steadfast effort. –K. Andreola, A Charlotte Mason Companion


New Catholic Picture Bible and DK’s Children’s Bible Sticker Collection

St. Joseph First Communion Catechism

Leading the Little Ones to Mary

Art 1 For Young Catholics

Once Upon a Time Saints and In the Footsteps of the Saints  books


Primary Math 1A and Primary Math 1 B with workbooks, test books and extra practice book. Here are  Free Singapore Math Lesson Plans for Primary Math 1-6, Standard Ed.

If Primary Math seems a little too much, you might want to look at MCP Mathematics or Saxon Math 1.


My Printing Book (Gr. 1) and/or Printing Power (Gr. 2)

You can print these out to provide extra practice and review: HWOT Gr. 1 practice paper and HWOT Gr. 2 practice paper.

Handwriting 1 for Young Catholics provides ample practice. However, do not assign all the letters on one page in one day. This is too much repetition and you will probably notice that as your child works his way down the page, his handwriting will become increasingly sloppy. Instead, have him do one row of the A page, one row of the B page, and one row of the C page. The next day, have him write the same letters inbetween the ones he traced. Essentially, mix it up so he practices and reviews a variety of letters each day.


Teach me to Read Duets – also free here. See our Resources for the rest of the books.

Little Angel Readers

Faith and Freedom Readers Set 1 and  What Can You Do?

Faith and Freedom Readers Set 2 if your child is ready for it.

All About Reading 1 – Use this instead of the Little Angel Readers if you child is really struggling.

If your child is having a hard time remembering all the different word families and phonics rules, try using this super cute Phonetic Word Farm. Each time a new word family is introduced, add the appropriate sticker to the farm and review daily or weekly.

If you can get to it, supplement with real books. See this post for level-appropriate books: Beyond the Readers.

For help on teaching your child to read, see these posts:

The Three Keys to Teaching Your Child to Read – Part 1

The Three Keys to Teaching Your Child to Read – Part 2

The Three Keys to Teaching Your Child to Read – Part 3

Phonics and Spelling

Explode the Code and/or The Little Angel Reader Workbooks

All About Spelling – Start at level 1 and work at your child’s pace. My natural spellers easily completed 2 levels in one year. Some of my other children needed more time.

Grammar and Writing

Language of God A – I usually begin this in the second semester if my child is already reading fluently and writing his letters easily. Otherwise, I put off grammar until the 2nd grade.

Or Voyages in English 1 – Use this is your student is reading and writing fluently at the beginning of grade one. This will take a whole year to complete.

For writing, we do narration and copywork. We read a story together and then the child narrates it back. I write down the story while he narrates, and then he copies it. This simple activity sharpens listening and memory skills, and helps children to absorb the rules of grammar. They have to pay attention to punctuation, capitalization, and the correct formation of sentences as they do the copy work.

Story Time and Poetry

Following Laura Berquist’s recommendation, we start copying and memorizing poety in first grade. This collection of poems,  A Child’s Garden of Verses, has beautiful illustrations by Tasha Tudor.

For Story Time, my children have enjoyed:

My Book House Vol. 3

Children’s Book of VirtuesChildren’s Book of FaithChildren’s Book of Heroes

Our Favorite Books for Little Ones

Gr. 1-2 Books to Read Aloud

See the 1000 Good Books list for more recommendations.

Reading, Writing, and Math are foundational skills. Focus on them. During the early years, history and science are simply subjects that we use to sharpen these skills. 


Story of the World Vol. 1: Ancient Times and Activity Book. Do not feel obliged to do all 40 weeks of this course. Remember, the process of what you are doing: reading,  narrating, and copy work is more important than the subject matter.

Or Gr. 1 -2 American History I Lesson Plans

Or Gr. 1-2 Middle Ages in Literature.


Discovering God’s World is a very straightforward science text. If you have a house full of kids and you can not spend a lot of time on grade one science, this is a great choice.

If you want a science book that is more hands-on and has simple experiments, take a look at Behold and See 1.

If you have a child that is really into science, this wonderful series of books covers a variety of topics: Let’s Read and Find Out Science 1. They are usually available in the public libraries.

The Usborne Complete First Book of Nature is a wonderful resource, especially on those lovely spring days when you and your kids need a change of routine. Read one of the two-page lessons and then go on a nature walk to find what you have read about. Nature Study opens a child’s eyes to the beauty of God’s creation and soothes the soul.

Insect Flash Cards – I’m only including this because being able to identify bugs is something many boys at this age like to do. It is also a very handy skill. The day after All-Star memorized what a black widow spider looks like, he discovered one near our house. I was glad he realized what it was and that he didn’t step on it with his bare feet!

Art and Music

Draw Write Now Book 1 – This book combines drawing and printing. You may need to guide your child at first, but if you stick with it, eventually he/she will be drawing these pictures on their own. The Draw Write Now Notebooks are especially designed for this series.

Child-Sized Masterpieces – These post-card sized prints allow for matching and sorting by painter or style.

Classical Kids Collection Volume 1 – This is a set of four CDs. Each tells the story of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart,  and Vivaldi respectively. Beautifully performed, these are an easy and entertaining way to foster an appreciation for classical music.