FAQ: Choosing Curriculum
“How should I pick a curriculum that genuinely meets the needs of my family?”
At Timberdoodle we sell only what we deem the finest. But what is best for our family may be totally unsuitable for yours. We invite you to look beyond the glitter and glimmer, beyond the reviews and recommendations, and consider goals, learning styles, and needs. For more information read How to Pick a Curriculum.
"How do I sort my options?"
We offer our own curriculum kits and do so because we truly believe they help families in a unique way. Yet no curriculum kit is perfect for every family. So is there a simple, practical way to navigate the options, keeping in mind your family’s unique needs? We think so. Here is a simple checklist to use in comparing your options.
"I've decided I definitely want to go with Timberdoodle. How do I know what level to start with?"
Here are some placement tests and guides that might be helpful to you.
"How should I educate a 3- & 5-year-old together?"
What a great question! Have you done our early education placement test with your children yet? Each child is so very different, making it prudent to assess each one's actual skills and find his or her ideal starting point.
But let's say you've done that and have a preschool and kindergarten student by level. The question then becomes whether to teach to the younger, teach to the older, shoot for somewhere in the middle, or have each child do their own curriculum.
It's important to note that there is no one right choice that will work for every situation. All choices are valid options! The idea is to choose the program that best meets the needs of your family. Read Choosing for Multiple Ages to learn more about the pros and cons of each approach.
"Why are learning styles important?"
If you know your children’s learning styles, you’ll be far better equipped to teach them and you’ll be better prepared to choose a homeschooling curriculum. Your learning style naturally has an impact on your teaching style. With a little thought and effort you can adapt your teaching methods to better fit the learning style you see in each of your children. Learn more.
“What’s the difference between Basic, Complete, and Elite curriculum kits?”
The Basic version of our kits contains math, language arts, and thinking skills. It’s the most economical choice and works for families who supplement history and science from the library, borrowing from friends, sharing with a sibling, etc. The Complete version contains everything in Basic, plus science, history, and hands-on learning tools. The Complete kit includes everything you would need for an entire year. The Elite kit contains everything in the Complete version, plus more fun add-ons. Elite is an outstanding option if you want all the bells and whistles!
“Can I make changes to what’s included in a Timberdoodle curriculum kit?”
Yes, you definitely can customize a curriculum kit to best meet your student’s needs. You can add and remove items from the kit using our online customizer. Please note: when removing items that all customized curriculum kits must retain substantial curriculum content in at least three of the five main subject areas to qualify as a kit and still receive the kit discount. (The Tiny Tots kit is the one exception and does not have main subject requirements.) These main subject areas are language arts, math, thinking skills, history, and science.
“I have more than one student in the same grade. What should I order for the second student?”
Our curriculum kits actually include many items your children can share, so you won’t need to order two complete kits. We offer Additional Student Kits which include consumable items that you can add on for the second student.
“How could this work for a large family? Should I buy a kit per child, or can they share some things?”
There are a number of things to consider with a large family. With your family dynamics would each child benefit most from having their own kits? Or would it work well to combine 2 or more of the children for some subjects? Depending on the ages of your children, you may be able to purchase a Complete or Elite kit (containing all subjects) for one child, and Basic kits (containing only math, language arts, and thinking skills) for your other children. Or, you can choose to customize your curriculum kits to plan for several students learning together. If budget is an issue there are several things they definitely could share such as smart games, some art kits, STEM projects, possibly history and science. Language arts and math need to be on grade level.
“Can you send me a sample of the curriculum?”
Handbooks for each grade level are listed on our website. You can click through on whatever grade you’re interested in and download a PDF sample of the handbook. This will give you an idea of what’s included. Many other products in the kits have similar samples. Just click through to the product page and look for a link to sample pages.
“I still can't decide. Can you help me know what to choose?”
We are here to help you year round. You can contact us by email, live chat, phone, or on Facebook. During our summer busy season email is probably going to be the most convenient way for us to answer your questions: email@example.com.
We also have a variety of support material available for you to access for free online at any time:
- Facebook groups for various grade levels (great for getting input and encouragement from both Timberdoodle and other homeschooling parents)
- Our YouTube channel