2019 Preschool Handbook + Scheduler
Please note that our handbooks are not available individually online. If you would like to purchase a handbook, please give us a call at 1-800-478-0672 and speak to a member of our customer service team.
We are often asked about the documentation included in our Curriculum Kits, and with good reason. You know that your curriculum handbook will set the tone for the year and you want to make sure it will be a good fit for your family. With that in mind, we wanted our curriculum handbook to be extremely simple, easy to use, and promote independent study as early as possible. Our guides are designed to get you up and running—today—without being overwhelming, boring, or confusing.
So What Exactly Do You Get And What Does It Look Like?
Each Curriculum Kit comes with its very own Curriculum Handbook; a soft-cover, 8.5" x 8.5" manual, easy for you to reference as needed without being cumbersome or overwhelming. New this year, you'll find a reading challenge in every grade level. It is made to allow you to choose what challenge level will work for you - Light Reader, Avid Reader, Committed Reader, or Obsessed Reader - all of the information is included in the handbook. Handbook length varies depending on the grade. For instance, the PreK Handbook contains a 36-week science course supplement, so it is significantly longer than the 7th Grade Handbook with no supplemental additions.
If You're Purchasing A Guide
This guide comes completely free with its respective curriculum kit. However, at your insistence, we've made them available for purchase as well. Please note that due to the proprietary nature of these books, they are non-returnable. (If you have any questions about the contents, please don't hesitate to contact us to inquire before you purchase this non-returnable item!) Each handbook you purchase comes with access to our custom scheduling site.
Simple Is Better
We really believe that, so your guide is as simple as we could make it. First up are the annual planner and weekly checklists, the absolute backbones of Timberdoodle's Curriculum Kits. More on those in a moment. Next up are short bios of each item in your kit, ideal for refreshing your memory on why each is included or to show Dad exactly what your preschooler will be covering this year. We've also thrown in our tips or tricks to make this year more awesome for all of you. Finally, we'll conclude with favorite articles and tidbits amassed in our 30+ years of homeschool experience.
Annual Schedule Planning
Now back to the most important part: schedules. Included with your handbook purchase will be access to the Timberdoodle Scheduler site, which will allow you to customize your schedule the way you want it. You can do things such as customizing your start date and number of weeks, including building in vacation weeks; add or remove items or alternating courses; adding custom courses; printing recommended checklists; adding lesson numbers; and choosing which courses you want to do on which days. You can also easily add in a second student or teacher. If your schedule changes mid-year, no problem, you can add things in or adjust it when you need to, and can print it in large font for the little ones to see so they can be more involved. Even pre-readers usually love crossing things off their list, and this takes you away from micromanaging your students while encouraging them to be responsible for their own work. In our experience a weekly checklist is the perfect blend of enough structure to finish in a timely fashion and enough freedom that your adventures won't make for stressful catch-up days. You’ll also find a standard paper copy in your handbook.
How We Used Checklists
In our own family we had a family night every Friday, but only those with their lists done were welcome to be a part. I think each child had to have at least one week where the realization would sink in that it is Friday, and no schoolwork has been done yet. After doing math while everyone else was having fun, time-budgeting became a much more relevant concept! And, of course, learning to be an independent learner is an invaluable lesson in itself!
More Manuals Are Included
Of course, you'll also find all the necessary teachers' manuals and program-specific resources you need included in each Homeschool Curriculum Kit. Our curriculum handbook is not meant as a substitute for those manuals, but rather as a helpful summary and planning guide to get you up and running.
View sample pages here
For a sample of the weekly schedule, check out our 8th grade sample charts here
Faith-Based: No (though some articles have Christian content)
As homeschool parents, we have seen countless teaching guides, books, and lesson plans. This curriculum handbook is truly unique. What we really like:
1. Starting the school year with a student interview.
2. Checklists instead of cumbersome schedules and timelines that never go as planned.
3. The Reading Challenge! We are avid readers, and enjoy this open ended list of suggestions over a list of titles any day. It has broadened the scope of our reading even wider. I didn't realize this was part of the curriculum until after I bought it. What a marvelous surprise:) For those who don't like to wonder libraries for fun, there is a list of book suggestions for each challenge, to narrow the search.
4. The walk through pages that show each item in the kit and suggest ways to use it. Although, I hardly ever reference it now, it was a great way to introduce parents to the learning tools they will be using.
5. The general homeschooling tips: 10 reasons to stop doing schoolwork, steps to help overcome challenges with your learner, tips for the gifted learner, and about convergent and divergent thinking. Again, I've only read them once and I don't need to reference them, but I'm glad they were there in an organized quick presentation.
6. We love the Plus Plus Big weekly lesson section at the end of the book. Honestly, it is the only reason we pick up our handbook on a weekly basis. I wish... this part was separate like the Farmland Math book, so it was easier for my 3 year-old to thumb through independently, and so we could store it with our Plus Plus Big building set after we are finished with this level of learning.
Thanks Timberdoodle for helping parents embrace the best parts of homeschooling. We all dream of a learning experience that is playful, meaningful, organic, and fosters the parent-child bond we are all working so hard to create.
As a first time homeschooling mom, I have found this handbook to be such a great resource. It not only helps you with a schedule for the year with great suggestions. It also is a great wealth of information on tips for actually homeschooling your child! I will be for sure ordering this yearly. Thanks timber doodle
We have loved all our handbooks we have received. They are wonderful tools filled with lots of great tips of things to create and how to creatively and effectively use all the items within the kits. We also thoroughly enjoy the sections that allow us to use it as almost a keepsake for our kiddo year to year. It allows you to enter the books they read, have them doodle a picture and answer some questions to see where they are each year. It has been fun for us to do this and look back at it.
As someone who is new to the homeschooling world, this handbook is super simple and easy to follow. It gives great suggestions and lists of activities without over-doing it. It also offers great explanations for why each item was chosen for the curriculum.
I loved The weekly “To Do” list as well as the reading list (my favorite because it doesn’t tell you the specific book to get instead it gives you ideas so you can go to the library and pick out your own books- saving $$$). I also used the supplemental ideas in the back for things like the bananagrams. Very helpful!