Grade One Curriculum Picks

Note: These Grade One Picks can be purchased from Homeschool Canada (order using the HCOS Curriculum Order Form). Some options may also be available to borrow from the Learning Commons Search Portal and/or via the OverDrive virtual eBook library.

Vendor websites are pick-and-choose and some optional or alternate suggestions may be listed, so select your items with care.

Overview Of Grade 1 Curriculum Picks

Phonics/Reading/Writing/Printing Skills

  • All About Reading Level 1 with Interactive Kit (teacher manual, student packet, 3 readers, and reading interactive kit - if not already purchased); Handwriting Without Tears My Printing book


  • The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading; Fun With Letters Magnetic Activity Set; Explode the Code 1 and 2

Note, the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading is also recommended as a Kindergarten Pick. Some students may just be starting to read in grade one, and many parents who may have started this resource in Kindergarten may be quite satisfied to continue using it for grade one.

Note from Curriculum Consultant: Write About Me & Write About My World with Teacher's Guide is noted as an optional resoure below. There are writing activities in Come Sit By Me, but some students may benefit from extra writing prompts and practice.


  • Math Lessons for a Living Education 1


  • Singapore Math Standards Edition Textbook, Workbook, and Home Instructor Guide


  • Jump Math New Canadian Edition Grade 1 (Parts 1 and 2) 


  • Come Sit By Me Volume Two (unit study based on 36 Candian picture books) addresses standards in ADST, Art, Bible, English, Health, Science, and Social Studies 

Science (for standards not well covered In Come Sit By Me)

  • Science Wiz Light Kit
  • Sunshine Makes The Seasons

Optional Resources (not detailed below)

  • Write About Me & Write About My World with Teacher's Guide (English Language Arts)
  • Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids Gr. 1-2 by Teacher Created Resources (Health Education)
  • Me in My Community by Apple Press
  • A Walk on the Tundra (for First Peoples content standards)

Detailed Information - Grade 1 Curriculum Picks

Phonics/Reading/Printing Skills

Option 1: All About Reading Level 1 with Interactive Kit; Handwriting Without Tears My Printing Book (or Canadian Handwriting Book A)
Option 2: The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading; Fun With Letters Magnetic   Activity Set; Explode the Code 1 and 2 (teacher's guide is only required for a few activities and is considered optional)


Option 1a: All About Reading Level 1 with Interactive Kit

Important Note: Level numbers on these books don’t refer to grade levels. Lessons are mastery-based, not grade-level-based. This means that students are placed where they are at ability-wise, not according to age or grade level. The Interactive Kit only needs to be purchased once and then can be used for all subsequent levels of All About Reading.

Description of Level 1: Students will be actively involved in the learning process. This is a multisensory program; your student will learn through sight, sound, and touch. Everything is taught in context, and your student will apply what he has learned right away. Your student will be engaged in thinking, processing, comparing, and learning. There are five key components of reading—and this program teaches all of them thoroughly:

    1. Phonological Awareness
    2. Phonics and Decoding
    3. Fluency
    4. Vocabulary
    5. Comprehension


Level 1 Placement Test: 


Supplementary Resources: 

Table of Contents(download):

Scope and Sequence (download): 

PDF Samples:  


Option 1b: Handwriting Without Tears My Printing Book

Description: offers developmentally appropriate, multisensory strategies for early writing. The program follows research of how children learn best and includes materials that address all styles of learning. Innovative letter order and style are developmentally appropriate and promote easy learning for every letter. This student edition is for first-grade students or those working at that level. 

  • New! Expanded room for writing
  • New! Now offers digital instruction opportunities
  • Lessons emphasize the correct use of lowercase letters in words and sentences
  • Activity pages combine handwriting instruction with other language arts lessons
  • Practice pages teach writing on different styles of lines



Other Optional or Supplementary Resources: My Printing Book Teacher's Guide

PDF Samples:


Option 2a: The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading

Description: A plain-English guide to teaching phonics. Every parent can teach reading; no experts need to apply! 231 lessons; 369 pages. The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading cuts through the confusion, giving parents a simple, direct, scripted guide to teaching reading and is user-friendly, affordable, and easy to follow — supplying you with everything you need to teach reading in one book.



Supplementary Resource (highly recommended): Fun With Letters Magnet Activity Set

Table of Contents and Sample Pages: click here


Option 2b: Explode the Code 1 and 2

Note: These books are not required, but they are a good companion resource to use with Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading because they enable students the opportunity to practise what they are learning and practise printing letters. Some families may choose to use My Printing Book (Handwriting Without Tears) for more direct printing instructions instead, or in addition to this resource.

Description: based on the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading, which supports multisensory, structured, sequential, cumulative, and flexible instruction. Explode The Code® is a research-based, multisensory program geared to improving literacy with direct, systematic, phonics instruction. Build the essential literacy skills needed for reading success: phonological awareness, decoding, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, and spelling with the Explode The Code series.


Placement Tests:


Other Optional or Supplementary Resources: Teacher's Guide; the program is also available online

Table of Contents for Book 1: 

Scope and Sequence (download):

Program Overview:



Math U See is not mentioned here simply because it is not available from our Curriculum Pick provider(s), although it is a strong option, especially in the primary grades. Math-U-See can be ordered directly from the Canadian Distributor, Math Canda. Place an order by Phone: 250-590-6761 or Toll-Free: 1-888-854-6284.

Option 1: Math Lessons for a Living Education 1
Option 2: Singapore Math Standards Edition Textbook, Workbook, and Home Instructor Guide 1A and 1B
Option 3: Jump Math New Canadian Edition Grade1 (Parts 1 and 2) 

Option 1: Math Lessons for a Living Education

Description: teaches math through engaging, real-life stories and practical application because math is all around us! This story-based approach invites students to participate in the story, make mathematical connections, explore the world around them with Charlie & Charlotte, and realize the value of math in their own lives. It is an instructional blend of stories, copywork, oral narration, and hands-on experience to bring concepts to life.

Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 1 teaches through:

  • Short, story-based lessons
  • Real-life application
  • Hands-on activities
  • Engaging, full-colour worksheets

Video Overview of Series: 


Readiness Tests: 


Other Optional or Supplementary Resources:

Preview (includes Scope & Sequence, Daily Schedule and more: 


Option 2: Singapore Math Standards Edition

Note: This program is advanced, making placement tests more important than perhaps other programs. The long term goal would be to complete book 6B by the end of Grade 7. Books should be completed at the student's pace, which means the grade level on the cover may not correspond with the student's actual grade level.

All three elements of the program (textbook, workbook, and home instructor guide) are recommended for success in this program as it progresses from concrete learning (often with manipulatives, especially at the lower levels), to pictorial (emphasized in the textbook), to abstract (workbook). Instructor-led lessons with suggestions for using manipulatives and workbook solutions are found in the Home Instructor Guide

Description: uses the Singapore math approach, including the CPA (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract) progression, number bonds, bar modelling, and a strong focus on mental math. It is a rigorous program that balances supervised learning and independent practice while encouraging communication. 


Placement Tests: Primary Mathematics 1APrimary Mathematics 1B


Other Optional Resources: Laminated Hundred Board, MathLink Cubes, Bucket Balance, 1A Tests, 1B Tests

Scope and Sequence:

PDF Samples:

Additional Support: Singapore Math Live offers instruction, encouragement, and support for parents and students


Option 3: Jump Math New Canadian Edition Student Assessment & Practice (AP) Book 1 (Parts 1 and 2) 

Description:  This program accommodates diverse student needs and abilities with embedded review, scaffolding of concepts, careful use of language, and opportunities for continuous assessment and practice. The New Canadian edition of AP Book 1 is printed in two parts, Book 1.1 and Book 1.2. In order to cover the full curriculum, students will need both parts. In conjunction with the New Canadian Edition of JUMP Math's Teacher Resources, Student Assessment & Practice (AP) Book 1 is designed to cover the curriculum for Grade 1 mathematics, with units on:

  • Number Sense
  • Patterns and Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Measurement
  • Probability and Data Management

Note from Curriculum Consultant: The multi-modal approaches to solving math problems presented in this resource can be a benefit to some students, but other students may find this approach confusing and would be better served with a program that presents a consistent approach to solving problems.


Teacher Resource and Lesson Plans: free when you register online:

Other Supplementary Resources (must register for an online account for access): 

Table of Contents:

Sample Pages: 



Come Sit By Me Volume 2

Note: addresses standards in ADST, Art, Bible, English, Health, Science, and Social Studies; additional math and phonics instruction required. Come Sit by Me literature packs are available via the HCOS Learning Commons Search Portal. 

Description: A Canadian picture book unit study. You and your student spend one week on each book, reading the book each day, followed by your choice of the dozen or more activities. Units cover themes such as snow, poetry, grandparents, bugs and more. The suggested activities are listed for all subject areas, from math to music, science to social studies and many in between! Each book study has one or more connected Bible stories and a related memory verse. Also suits multi-level teaching. 

The following books are recommended to use with this volume (not included) to address BC’s Big Ideas in Science and Social Studies. As this would only provide 9 weeks of study, it is recommended that the other books be borrowed from the library or purchased separately. Here are a few books that align with the content areas of BC's curriculum which you may choose to purchase and have on hand in case you experience a delay in borrowing some of the 36 books used in this unit study :

  1. A Northern Alphabet
  2. A Prairie Alphabet
  3. A Seaside Alphabet
  4. Emma's Eggs
  5. Franklin is Lost
  6. Have You Seen Birds?
  7. Mr Belinksy's Bagels
  8. No Dragons for Tea
  9. Something to Remember Me By



Other Children's Picture Books Used: the other books used in this book are, Big Sarah’s Little Boots (Bourgeois), Franklin and the Tooth Fairy (Bourgeois), Katie’s Hand-Me-Down Day (Wark), Prairie Fire (Reynolds), To the Post Office with Mama (Farrell), Pettranella (Blades), Emma and the Silk Train (Lawson), Just Like New (Manson), Bear on the Train (Lawson), Alfie’s Long Winter (McEvoy), Pedrito’s Day (Garay), Don’t Dig So Deep, Nicholas (Harrison), Weighing the Elephant (Ye), The Name of the Tree (Barker), Sing a Song of Mother Goose (Reid), Hiding (Collins), I Went to the Bay (Miller), Eenie Meenie Manitoba (Heidbreder), Emma’s Eggs (Ruurs), Simon Finds a Feather (Tibo), Where Does a Tiger-Heron Spend the Night (Carney), A Mountain Alphabet (Ruurs), A Prairie Alphabet (Bannatyne-Cugnet), The City ABC Book (Milich), Have You Seen Bugs (Oppenheim), Effie (Alinson), and The Night the Stars Flew (Bogart)



Science Wiz Light Kit

Description: Learn about the fundamentals of light: lenses, reflection, refraction, microscopes, telescopes, cameras, and the speed limit of the universe. Contains a 40-page science book with materials. 25 activities which include: Split light into a cascade of rainbows; make a kaleidoscope; mold lenses; make a microscope and telescope; capture a shadow; construct a pinhole camera; bounce, bend and blend light; play the “I Spy” game with mirrors; solve filter puzzles.



Sunshine Makes The Seasons

Description: Filled with colourful, full-page illustrations and clear, concise text, this long-running series remains a benchmark for early reader nonfiction. This book explains how the sun and the Earth's rotation cause our seasons.