Level 1

( Grade 1 – Age 6-8 )

Build Your Library: Level 1 - The Ancient WorldEnter the world of Ancient history – where pharaohs ruled Egypt and built great pyramids, Spartan warriors fought against the might of Persia and Roman gladiators fought for their lives in the arena. You and your child will begin an epic adventure through world history using The Story of the World as your travel guide. (NOTE: This level will be updated to use History Quest in place of Story of the World) You will also learn about the vast mythology that ancient civilizations created to explain their world.

Snuggle up on the couch and enjoy great literature that your whole family will enjoy. Follow the adventures of a heroic mouse in The Tale of Despereaux, explore an extraordinary chocolate factory in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and find out what true friendship really means in Charlotte’s Web. Along with great literature, you and your child will also enjoy weekly poetry readings from the National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry.

The science focus this year is nature study, using The Nature Connection and Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature as your spines. You and your child will become keen observers as you keep a nature journal and study the wonderful world of nature that exists in your own backyard.

Using The Art Book for Children series your child will learn about a wide range of artists and art techniques as well as how to really look at and understand a piece of art.

My lesson plans guide you through the school year effortlessly. Your planning is done for you so that you can spend your time on important things, like teaching your children.

The 262 page PDF lesson plans  include:

  • a daily and weekly schedule for 36 weeks of study
  • a reading list
  • a set of 6 – 8 narration cards
  • vocabulary words, discussion questions and copywork passages all tied to the literature readings
  • poetry memorization
  • timeline figures
  • research projects
  • 22 activity pages (including map work and research activities)
  • science lessons
  • art lessons

You can see a sample week here:

Download Level1_The_Ancient_World_sample-week PDF

Purchase Level 1 – The Ancient World – $39.95


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See the full booklist here (now powered by Bookshop.org):


The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: Volume 1: Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor, Revised Edition (Spine)
The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History (Spine)
Archaeologists Dig for Clues (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)
The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle: Solving a Mystery of Ancient Egypt
What’s Your Angle, Pythagoras? 
Pompeii…Buried Alive! (Step into Reading)
The Great Wall Of China (Aladdin Picture Books)


World Mythology for Children (spine)


National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry (Spine)


The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread
26 Fairmount Avenue 
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Egyptian Diary: The Journal of Nakht (Diary Histories)
Poppy (The Poppy Stories)
Tales from the Odyssey, Part 1 
Tales from the Odyssey, Part 2
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles 
The House at Pooh Corner
Charlotte’s Web 
Nim’s Island
The Thieves of Ostia (The Roman Mysteries) OR Roman Diary: The Journal of Iliona, A Young Slave


The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms (Spine)
Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature (Spine)
Heroes of the Environment: True Stories of People Who Are Helping to Protect Our Planet (Spine)
One Small Square: Backyard
One Small Square: Woods
The Peregrine’s Journey: A Story of Migration
The Tarantula in My Purse: and 172 Other Wild Pets
One Small Square: Pond
Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya
One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin


Note: these are scheduled in the current version of the lesson plans, but are  now out-of-print:

The Art Book for Children (White)
The Art Book for Children (Yellow) (Spines) 

I recommend these as a replacement:

13 Artists Children Should Know
13 Art Techniques Children Should Know


As a reminder, if you are going to purchase books we would greatly appreciate the use of our provided Bookshop Links! Thanks!

Disclosure: This list contains affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.

New to Build Your Library or looking for some more information about our curriculum and lesson plans? Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.

See Also:
Websites to Explore when studying The Ancient World

Customer Testimonials:

I just wanted to say we are on our fourth week of the first grade curriculum and we have enjoyed it so much (I so wish I would have known about your curriculum at the beginning of this year). The books are so great. I haven’t had a chance to read a book of my own in a few years but these books are just as intriguing to me as they are for my kids. I already bought the second grade curriculum and will be collecting the books slowly but surely. Thanks so much! ~ Robbi (from the Build Your Library Facebook page)

I just wanted to say, Emily, that your book suggestions are phenomenal. We just received our last shipment from Better World Books and Amazon today and I can’t wait to get started! I am so excited to get reading with my kids and can’t wait to see their excitement and growth as they learn from such beautiful living books! Thank you for setting this program up!!!!!! ~ ChristinaC (from the Build Your Library forums)

Have you already purchased Level 1 – The Ancient World? We would love to hear what you think and share your experience with others – Please feel free to leave a product review on the Contact Us page! Thanks for your support!

Current Full Grade Level Products Available for Purchase:
Level 0 – Level 1 – Level 2Level 3Level 4 – Level 5 – Level 6Level 7Level 8Level 9Level 10 – Level 11 – Level 12

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About Build Your Library

Have you been looking for a literature based homeschool curriculum that is secular? How about a way to incorporate narration, copywork, dictation and memory work into your child’s education? Or art study that ties into history?

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