Our Favorite Books for 3rd Grade

“Without confidence and love, there can be no true education. If you want to be loved…you must love yourselves, and make your children feel that you love them.” – St. Don Bosco


See my post The 7 Strands of a Great Religion Curriculum for more religion ideas.



Primary Math 3A and 3B, Standards Ed.  At a minimum, use the textbooks and workbooks. I recommend using the test books and extra practice books as well.

For more info on this program, see Lesson Plans that Simplify Singapore Math

For free lesson plans, see Free Singapore Math Lesson Plans.

Alternatively, you might want to look at Saxon Math 3.

Memorizing the math facts is important at this stage. An easy way to help your child do this is to have him practice on the Math Trainer for about 5-10 minutes each day. If your child gets a fact wrong, the trainer keeps presenting it until the fact is “mastered”. I use this mainly with multiplication. Feisty has to keep practicing them until all the blocks are blue or yellow.

Grammar and Writing

Language of God B or C – This grammar series by Catholic Heritage Curricula is both gentle and thorough. I love how they reinforce the teachings of the church throughout the various exercises.
All Things Fun and Fascinating by the Institute for Excellence in Writing. I cannot recommend this writing program highly enough. The genius behind IEW’s program is that it teaches writing, which can be nebulous and subjective, with concrete and manageable steps. Students are given tools and vocabulary with which they can expand and develop their writing style. Parents are given checklists to help them objectively assess their children’s writing assignments. Here are day-by-day lesson plans for All Things Fun and Fascinating.
Whether or not you use this writing program, I highly recommend listening to these free podcasts by Andrew Pudewa, the founder of the Institute for Excellence in Writing.

Handwriting and Spelling

Cursive Handwriting – This is an excellent workbook by Handwriting Without Tears. My kids have been able to teach themselves cursive with it.  They also finish the book halfway through the year. So, I  give them the grade 4 book from HWOT,  Cursive Success.
If your child tends to have sloppy handwriting, take a look at The Chicken Scratch Solution: How to get Your Kids to Write Neatly.
All About Spelling – If your child is new to All About Spelling, you may want to start at book one so your student will become familiar with the spelling rules. This is an excellent program and well worth the time you will need to spend teaching your children the rules.


Each week my children copy and memorize a new verse. At the end of the week, they recite as much of the poem as they can. This is an excellent way to fill your child’s mind with beautiful language patterns and imagery as well as sharpen his memory.

The Harp and Laurel Wreath  – This is a wonderful collection of poems presented by level.

Favorite Poems Old and New – This anthology has over 700 poems for children categorized by theme.

Gr. 2-3 Poems for Memorization and Copywork – Here is a small book of poems I made for my son to help him memorize and copy poems from Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses.

Reading Comprehension and Story Time

Encourage your child to read children’s literature on his/her own. Beyond the Readers is a good place to start.
Also, continue to read aloud to him. According to this study, reading aloud is the best way to help children develop word mastery and grammatical understanding. Perhaps just as important, reading aloud to your child is a wonderful way to bond with him and to develop his moral compass. It’s our favorite part of school. We usually read historical novels or picture books from our  history book list, saint biographies, and classic children’s literature.

Check out the free Read-Aloud Revival Booklist and the 1000 Good Books list for good recommendations.

History and Geography

For History, see Gr. 3-6 History Lesson Plans. You will find lesson plans for  Ancient History, Early Church and Medieval History, and American history. All lesson plans contain lists of historical novels that you can assign as independent reading or read aloud to your child.
Third grade is a great time for memorizing the states and capitals or world countries and capitals. Here are some fun resources to facilitate this:
The pieces in these puzzles are the same shape as the states, provinces, or countries. Very clever! These puzzles are a great way for children to know the shape of the states/countries and where they belong in relation to the other states/countries.


Exploring God’s World  – This is an easy and straightforward science text. I made these lesson plans for my kids so they could work independently.

Behold and See 3 – This is a wonderful hands-on approach to sciencethat allows children to question, experiment, and discover. If you have the time to do all these experiments with your children, this is a fun, exploratory way to learn science.

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.

Art and Music

Draw Write Now is a wonderful series that teaches your children how to draw step by step. I usually have my children draw the picture on one day, color it the following day, and copy the words on the third day. Books 2 and 3 complement the study of American history very nicely. The  Draw Write Now Notebooks are a perfect place for your child’s drawings and copywork.

Spot the Differences: Art Masterpieces Mysteries

Little by little, build a collection of classical music and play it for your kids.  My children have long enjoyed Classics for Kids and Bernstein’s Favorites: Children’s Classics.

If you can, encourage your children to sing in a choir or learn a musical instrument. It is so enriching and worth the time, money, and effort.

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