Catholic National Readers: New Primer and Book One

Lepanto Press
Sewn Hardcover
Number of pages: 
130 pages
Grade / Age level: 

I found this volume very useful for early reading practice with my first-grade daughter. We were able to move into this after she finished the Bob Books. The advantage I saw to this particular primer in contrast with the later series (Cardinal or Faith and Freedom) was that it was much harder for her to guess the words because of either the pictures or the heavy repetition so common in other early readers. The passages are very short, although not particularly story like. Some of the phraseology was rather archaic, such as "Has a boy the jug? A boy has not the jug." (p. 15) We didn't find this to be a big problem. There were also some stories where the perspective is so different that it's almost shocking to our modern ears. For example, a story about seals on pg. 60 indicates that children of that time might have been more familiar with seals from their skin used as clothing than being "acquainted" with the animals themselves.

Since we used this volume just for reading practice, we skipped the segments on vocabulary, word recognition and introductory cursive.

Additional review: This is actually two books in one binding - the Primer and Book One. My daughter dove into the Primer right away and is working her way through it. Each lesson begins with the new words listed with phonetic notations. Most of the lessons have some of the text reproduced in cursive writing. The pictures are beautiful and the stories are wonderful and steeped in Catholic culture. The stories in these two are very short and not really full stories. (N.H., 1999)

Additional notes: 

Primer: 32 pages + Book One: 98 pages

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