McGuffey Primer

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This is just 52 lessons. It includes reading (sight words), pre-handwriting (cutting, tracing, and crafts), and math (shapes, colors, puzzles, and counting to 20). They will be reading McGuffey’s Eclectic Primer, Revised Edition. They will be reading on a first grade level at the end of this course.

Before beginning this course, your child should be able to recognize all of the letters of the alphabet, knowing their names and basic sounds. If your child isn’t getting it, take a break and come back to it. Also, consider trying the phonics section, which begins on Lesson 60 in Kindergarten (Getting Ready 2) if your child isn’t getting sight words and is at least five years old; some children will do better with phonics than with the sight reading. They will always have to know sight words, so this isn’t something to avoid completely. Two of my boys struggled with sight reading, so we moved on to phonics. Then we went back and went through the McGuffey Primer. They both enjoy reading now. I’m using the phonics section to work on their spelling, having them read a section of words, write them, read what they wrote, and then check it against the book.

Please check here for a complete explanation of order and content of the 3 preschool and kindergarten courses.

Note that an asterisk * indicates that there is a something to print on this lesson.

If you prefer to work offline, the daily sight words and reading lessons can be found in our book, Learn to Read with EP. The book doesn’t include the daily math lessons and crafts, though, so you’ll need to go online each day for those. The book also contains all of the reading lessons for Kindergarten (Getting Ready 2).
Learn to Read with EP
Want to go completely offline? Try the Genesis Curriculum version of this course for ages 4 and 5. It’s called Big Step.

Lesson 1

  • Note: Your child should know all of the letter sounds before beginning this page.
  • Now we are going to start reading our first book! You will need to have your child go over the lesson’s words three times a day–maybe after breakfast, after lunch and after dinner. It will only take two minutes. After the third time then your child will read the page for that day. 
  • We have an EP McGuffey Primer App available. It has all of these word practices and stories in one place. It works offline.  Google Play   Apple Store

EP McGuffey Primer - EPMP with Full Logo and Tagline on Green

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 1. The program will show your child each word three times. That means a word may repeat. It changes its appearance slightly to show that you can click it again. A check mark will appear when the practice is over. That’s how you end the lesson. Feel free to end this first lesson before they know all the words perfectly.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 1.
  3. Look at your words. Choose lesson 1. When you are ready, read lesson 1Your child should be able to recognize the words before reading the lesson. You or an older sibling needs to listen to your child read the lesson out loud from the online book each day. The app reading has the same font as the words, a sans-serif font, without the little feet. The linked story has it in a serif font, with the little feet. That has the different kind of a and g. You can try reading it in both fonts. You may also find your child finds one is easier than the other. For instance, if you child doesn’t like capital “I” looking like lowercase “l”, you can use the serif font stories. But you can also use both or mix and match on different days to practice the different ways the letters are written. 
  4. Congratulations on reading your first story!
  5. Your child is learning to read by sight. You are not teaching your child phonics. You don’t have to teach your child to sound out the words. Your child is to learn to identify a word by looking at it. That’s how you are reading this right now. You don’t sound it out. You just know what it says. Your child will learn phonics in Kindergarten. Doing it this way will give your child more speed and fluency.
  6. This is the end of your work for your first day. You are allowed to move at your own pace (this is homeschooling), but it’s intended you complete one lesson a day.
Lesson 2
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 2.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 2.
  3. Put the starting sound on the word. Even though we aren’t learning phonics right now, your child did learn the phonetic sounds of the alphabet. If your child is stuck on a word, the first thing to try is to ask your child what letter does the word start with and what sound does it make. Maybe making that sound will trigger the memory of what the word is.
      • If you are using a mobile device, this activity will send you to their paid app. Set your browser to Desktop to bypass that. Directions here
  4. Look at the lesson 2 words and read lesson II.
  5. Put shapes on the gingerbread man.
Lesson 3
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 3.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 3.
  3. Look at your lesson 3 words and read lesson III.
  4. Mix the colors.
Lesson 4
  • Remember that 1, 2 and 3 need to take place at three different times during the day.   
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 4.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 4.
  3. Put the starting sound on the word.
  4. Look at your lesson 4 words and read lesson IV.
  5. You are learning to read! That’s wonderful!
Lesson 5
  1. Today is review, lesson VDon’t worry about the cursive. Just skip over it.
  2. Listen to a color story.
  3. Paint a picture. Use as many colors as you can! (Turn your ad blocker off.)
      • If you are using a mobile device, this activity will send you to their paid app. Set your browser to Desktop to bypass that. Directions here
Lesson 6
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 6.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 6.
  3. Look at your lesson 6 words and read lesson VI. If your child is stuck on a word, another way to help is to remind your child that the story matches the picture. Maybe the picture has a clue as to what the word is.
  4. Build a snowman.
Lesson 7
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 7.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 7.
  3. Put the starting sound on the word.
  4. Look at your lesson 7 words and read lesson VII.
  5. Play a game.
Lesson 8
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 8.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 8.
  3. Look at your lesson 8 words and read lesson VIII. Another help in reading the right word is to ask your child if what he just read makes sense. If he said a word that doesn’t make sense, then that can’t be the right word. What would make sense?
  4. Count the underwater animals.
Lesson 9
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 9.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 9.
  3. Look at your lesson 9 words and read lesson IX.
  4. Make music. Click on different boxes and then click on the triangle play button. You can also make it play faster and slower.
Lesson 10
  1. Review with lesson 10 and read lesson X. Choose one sentence to read again fast!
  2. Put together this puzzle. First you have to make the pieces right-side up! To turn the pieces, click on them and then click on an arrow key.
  3. Play this counting game. Choose Counting and then “Counting Out” on the right, numbers 1 – 10.
  4. Watch this counting song.
Lesson 11
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 11.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 11.
  3. Look at your lesson 11 words and read lesson XI.
  4. Play Monkey  Jump.
Lesson 12
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 12.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 12.
  3. Look at your level 12 words and read lesson XII.
  4. Make the chickens dance.
Lesson 13
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 13.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 13.
  3. Look at your level 13 words and read lesson XIII.
  4. Can you count underwater?
Lesson 14
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 14.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 14.
  3. Look at your level 14 words and read lesson XIV.
  4. Sort the colors. This activity is on ABCya. It is free access on laptop/desktop. Mobile devices will ask you for a subscription account.
Lesson 15
  1. Review with lesson 15 and read Lesson XV. Choose one sentence to read again fast!
  2. Watch this counting video.
  3. Connect the dots. Click “Tap to Start.”
  4. Make a craft. Note that an asterisk * indicates that there is a something to print on this lesson.
Lesson 16
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 16.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 16.
  3. Put the starting sound on the word.
  4. Look at your lesson 16 words and read lesson XVI.
  5. Watch the alphabet video.
Lesson 17
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 17.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 17.
  3. Look at your lesson 17 words and read lesson XVII.
  4. Play a matching game.
Lesson 18

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 18.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 18.
  3. Look at your lesson 18 words and read lesson XVIII.
  4. This takes a long time to load, but you can create nature art.
Lesson 19

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 19.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 19.
  3. Look at your lesson 19 words and read lesson XIX.
  4. Be a bug catcher.
Lesson 20
  1. Review with lesson 20 and lesson XX. Choose one sentence to read again fast!  (Parent: If you are having to tell your child many words, please consider stopping and going back to the last lesson he can read confidently and start from there. It’s fine to have to point out a wrong word or to have to remind them by asking, “What letter does it start with?” to help them figure it out. You can also encourage your child to use the picture for clues.)
  2. Watch this counting video.
  3. Play this counting game. Choose numbers by clicking on the picture with numbers. Use the triangle button to move the page forward until you have to count the objects and match it to its number.
  4. *Put together this caterpillar. (craft)
Lesson 21

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 21.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 21.
  3. Put the starting sound on the word.
  4. Look at your lesson 21 words and read lesson XXI.
  5. Make music. Click and drag the trees up and down to change their notes.
Lesson 22
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 22.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 22.
  3. Put the starting sound on the word.
  4. Look at your lesson 22 words and read lesson XXII.
  5. Play shape shadows.
Lesson 23
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 23.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 23.
  3. Look at your lesson 23 words and read lesson XXIII.
  4. Count the objects. Choose Numbers. Click the triangle play sign until you see objects to count like pencils, balls, balloons, and cars. Count the objects. Drag the objects to the matching number. When you are done, you can move onto the next page and count to 10.
Lesson 24

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 24.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 24.
  3. Look at your lesson 24 words and read lesson XXIV.
  4. Solve a puzzle. Choose puzzles and then any picture you like.
Lesson 25

  1. Review with with lesson 25 and read lesson XXV.  Choose one sentence to read again fast!
  2. Watch this counting video.
  3. Count the objects. Choose Numbers. Click the triangle play sign until you are past what you’ve done before. This time they are animals to count. When you are done, you can move onto the next page and count to 10.
  4. Watch the animal sounds video.
Lesson 26

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 26.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 26.
  3. Look at your lesson 26 words and read lesson XXVI.
  4. Can you find your way through the maze?
Lesson 27

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 27.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 27.
  3. Look at your lesson 27 words and read lesson XXVII.
  4. Can you match the shapes?  This activity is on ABCya. It is free access on laptop/desktop. Mobile devices will ask you for a subscription account.
Lesson 28

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 28
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 28.
  3. Look at your lesson 28 words and read lesson XXVIII.
  4. Play underwater counting.
Lesson 29

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 29.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 29.
  3. Look at your lesson 29 words and read lesson XXIX.
  4. Sort the colors. This activity is on ABCya. It is free access on laptop/desktop. Mobile devices will ask you for a subscription account.
Lesson 30
  1. Review with lesson 30 and read lesson XXX.  Choose one sentence to read again fast! (Parent: If you are having to tell your child several words, please consider stopping and going back to the last lesson he can read confidently and start from there. It’s fine to have to point out a wrong word or to have to remind them by asking, “What letter does it start with?” to help them figure it out. You can also encourage your child to use the picture for clues.)
  2. Play this bubble counting game.
  3. Put together this puzzle.
  4. Watch this counting video.
Lesson 31

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 31.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 31.
  3. Look at your lesson 31 words and read lesson XXXI.
  4. Can you make matches?
Lesson 32
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 32.
    • At the end of the explanation of the words, it says the last word is “for.” That was removed from the word list when it was added to lesson 29, but I haven’t rerecorded the explanation. It’s hard to get a similar sound when I try to re-record things.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 32.
  3. Look at your lesson 32 words and read lesson XXXII.
  4. Listen to the instruments.
Lesson 33

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 33.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 33.
  3. Look at your lesson 33 words and read lesson XXXIII.
  4. Count the spots. Click on Counting, the first button. Then click on the second button in the right-hand column,Counting Out with Numbers 1 – 10.
Lesson 34

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 34.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 34.
  3. Look at your lesson 34 words and read lesson XXXIV.
  4. Find your way through the maze. You need to get the pick box onto the gray box by clicking the arrows.
Lesson 35

  1. Review with lesson 35 and read lesson XXXV.  Choose one sentence to read again fast!
  2. Listen to the story. Click on the first page.
  3. *Do this counting lapbook. You don’t have to finish today. You can do more tomorrow and the next day.
Lesson 36

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 36.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 36.
  3. Look at your lesson 36 words and read lesson XXXVI.
  4. Prepare a healthy meal by filling your plate with food from every food group. Need to click continue a bunch of times (don’t need to read it all) and fill in the plate puzzle.
Lesson 37

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 37.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 37.
  3. Look at your lesson 37 words and read lesson XXXVII.
  4. Make music.
Lesson 38

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 38.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 38.
  3. Look at your lesson 38 words and read lesson XXXVIII.
  4. Watch the lonely vowel video.
Lesson 39

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 39.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 39.
  3. Look at your lesson 39 words and read lesson XXXIX.
  4. Count the candles. This activity is on ABCya. It is free access on laptop/desktop. Mobile devices will ask you for a subscription account.
Lesson 40

  1. Review with lesson 40 and read lesson XL. Choose a sentence to read again fast!  (Parent: If you are having to tell your child words, please consider stopping and going back to the last lesson he can read perfectly and start from there. It’s fine to have to point out a wrong word or to have to remind them by asking, “What letter does it start with?” as long as they can figure it out eventually. You can also encourage your child to use the picture for clues.)
  2. Do this counting game. Count to 10.
Lesson 41

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 41.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 41.
  3. Look at your lesson 41 words and read lesson XLI.
  4. Do the senses lapbook. (You can still work on this lapbook even though the link within the lapbook no longer works.)
Lesson 42

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 42.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 42.
  3. Look at your lesson 42 words and read lesson XLII.
  4. Do this senses game. This activity is on ABCya. It is free access on laptop/desktop. Mobile devices will ask you for a subscription account.
Lesson 43

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 43.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 43.
  3. Look at your lesson 43 words and read lesson XLIII.
  4. Watch the color song.
Lesson 44

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 44.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 44.
  3. Look at your lesson 44 words and read lesson XLIV.
  4. Play with shapes and colors. When you get it right, you then click on the box to get a new one.
Lesson 45

  1. Review with lesson 45 and read lesson XVLV.
  2. Play this counting game.
  3. Play this word game.
  4. *Can you find your way?
Lesson 46

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 46.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 46.
  3. Look at your lesson 46 words and read lesson XLVI.
  4. Can you count backwards from ten? Color from ten to one and then count it down without help. Try from a bigger number if you like!
Lesson 47

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 47.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 47.
  3. Look at your lesson 47 words and read lesson XLVII.
  4. Can you count backwards from ten?
Lesson 48

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 48.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 48.
  3. Look at your lesson 48 words and read lesson XLVIII.
  4. Click on the coconuts from the smallest number to largest. Choose 1 – 20.
Lesson 49

  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 49.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 49.
  3. Look at your lesson 49 words and read lesson XLIX.
  4. *Color the shapes and count the different shapes.
Lesson 50
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 50.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 50.
  3. Look at your lesson 50 words. read lesson L.
  4. Make music.
Lesson 51
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 51.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 51.
  3. Look at your lesson 51 words and read lesson LI.
  4. Watch the lots of shapes video.
Lesson 52
  1. Look at your words. Choose lesson 52.
  2. Look at your words. Choose lesson 52.
  3. Look at your lesson 52 words (mute the audio and read it to the child) and read lesson LII
  4. Listen to a rhyme.
  5. Congratulations! You read a whole book!

Donate/Say Thanks

Lesson 53 Time to change courses and start Getting Ready 2.