Nonreligious 2020 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)
My son really flourished with this kit! It was also easy to follow for me as it was my first year homeschooling. There was just enough to keep him interested but not so much that it felt like we weren’t still able to focus the majority of our time on learning through play and just being a preschoooler! I also love that so much of the curriculum is just that, learning through play. The games were so fun and really have just made learning ‘click’ in our family! The curriculum was so well suited for the age range and I really can’t recommend it enough. It was such a great introduction for my son to school and for me to teaching. Now that our next preschooler is ready to start school we’ll be buying the second student materials and reusing this great kit!
When we started my son was 2.5 years old and knew his letters and some of the sounds but that's about it. Now he is reading. Read his first sentence actually yesterday. He couldn't hold scissors now he's cutting independently. He can count to 20 and do basic addition and subtraction. I'm happy with his curriculum.
My 3 year old tested between the Preschool and Pre-K Kit. I didn't want her first year to be overwhelming, so I chose the Preschool kit. Next year I plan on customizing a kit between the Pre-K and Kindergarten Kit, because she is doing well in certain subjects and needs to move slower in others. After four months of teaching her, I feel I have a much clearer idea of how to best move her forward.
My 3 year old loves the Foam Alphabet puzzles and the Illustrated Alphabet book is really perfect. She requests to do Mathematical Reasoning (her favorite) and Farmland Math. We also chose to add Singapore Math to her curriculum. The Gakken workbooks are also awesome. We read a "What Do People Do All Day" chapter once a week.
Mad Mattr and Plus Plus blocks are a great investment! Both our three and five year old love them. The thinking games are a lot of fun as well.
The only item we don't use is the tactile maze. The maze itself is a great product, but her current skill set is beyond it and she finds it boring.
We are really enjoying this curriculum kit and are so happy we went with Timberdoodle!
The kit is great. I purchased the complete kit with supplements. I loved the easy-to-follow guide book and activities in it. My son was 4, but because of his birthday (August) it was two years before starting kindergarten, so I purchased this over the Pre-K Kit. So, for him, I think it would have been better to pick and choose, but I was not savvy enough to know that ahead of time. For example, the science activities, cutting guides, and mad matter were just perfect for him. He was not into writing or drawing, so the silly putty letters were just right too. He did not like the drawing faces activities, art activities, or anything to do with coloring (that's just him), so we needed to work on that. I think he was beyond the math, logic, and build picture activities, so he refused to do them or playfully gave incorrect answers and laugh uncontrollably (until I would up the ante in bribery or consequence, when we could get through it in minutes). So, great all around....I think I needed more guidance and patience as a teacher (for example, what to do if your child refuses it or does not find the activities engaging).
I was not planning on buying a preschool curriculum for my 2 year old and I'm so happy I did. I've put away some of the items until she is older. There are some that are age appropriate for her. She loves all the books. It's a great mix of materials for her. We have fun just playing through everything. Once she is closer to 3 we will implement a schedule, just to make sure she does everything. For now we are really enjoying reading and coloring together.