Nonreligious 2021 PreK 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.
Faith-Based: No (though some articles have Christian content)
I like the handbook and scheduler! It has extra ideas for using the curriculum pieces and helpful tips if you are overwhelmed and struggling to juggle the children. I especially love the reading list in the back. I order a new group from the library every week and we've found so many new books we love!
The only reason I imagine not needing it is if you're a very experienced homeschooler. New homeschooling parents shouldn't skip it!
Every year I get a curriculum kit and it comes with these books, and every year I learn something new about homeschooling and how to use the materials given. I love how they break down the information, so it is easy to use and find the information you need when you need it. They give you lots of ideas on how to use the curriculum pieces, a great reading list, and even ways of working schooling into your schedule. I couldn't homeschool my kids without these handbooks!
A winner! Some of my favorite parts are the week by week of the science lessons and the reading challenge breakdown. I love science, but I struggle with finding the "right" way to do it. The handbook lays it all out. I can adjust a bit, but no reinventing the wheel. I am very excited about the reading challenge. I am working on getting my 3 year old to pick out her own books at the library and now I can give us some focus.
The tips and notes in the handbook are like having coffee with a friend who has been doing this for years. Practical and sensible, with a side of "you got this."
But my favorite part of all is the weekly checklist. Hands down. I like to get things prepped once and leave them. The checklist allows me to do that. I put a week's worth of lessons in a box and we do them when we have the energy and time. When we checked all our boxes, the week is over. Sometimes that takes 5 days, sometimes it takes 10. But it doesn't matter because I gave myself some room for this. Then, I prep the next week. Easy as that. It has taken the stress out of planning and allows me to do what I love- spend time learning with my kids.