How Do you Choose the Perfect Kindergarten Curriculum for Homeschooling?
As a daycare owner and someone who has taught daycare for the last 15 years, I assumed that finding a homeschooling curriculum for my child this year would be a breeze. Hahahaha….. no. It was an overwhelming adventure.
You want to choose the perfect curriculum right off the bat because you don’t want to be bouncing around and being inconsistent. Also, curricula is not cheap and who wants to invest in something that wont be used?
But how do you choose?
If you’re like me, you read a tone of reviews to help you decide if a certain curriculum will work for your family. Then you spend hours looking at samples and texting every homeschool parent you know to find out what they use. And don’t forget about getting input from the homeschool Facebook groups that you have joined! Lol 😊
I want to help you simplify your task of choosing a kindergarten curriculum for homeschooling your kiddo. I will give you the rundown of what we chose to use this year and why.
I want to keep things simple for my daughter this year as she will be in kindergarten, but I also want her to develop her creativity, curiosity, and social skills. I also want her to stay ahead in math, as that is part of the reason we have chosen to homeschool.
At this age kids still learn an incredible amount through play and exploration, which is why when I found Timberdoodle I fell in love.
We are still awaiting our Timberdoodle kit, but I want to explain to you why we choose Timberdoodle, what is in the Kindergarten kit, and what Timberdoodle is.
Timberdoodle’s Elite Kindergarten curriculum comes packed with amazing games, art kits, workbooks, and learning tools that cover almost every aspect of learning (if not all for at least some homeschooling families).
We are also planning on buying a customized Tiny Tot and Preschool curriculum kit from Timberdoodle for our 13-month-old son, but I will put that in a second blog post, as this one is already quite long.
Please know that this post is in no way sponsored by Timberdoodle or any other company. We purchased this kit ourselves and are providing our opinion to try and help others make the best decisions for themselves and their families.
When I found Timberdoodle I fell in love with their hands-on, engaging, and multi-sensory materials. We went with the Elite kit because I love giving my child so many additional ways to learn and more ways to keep learning fun for her. However, if the Elite kit seems like more then your family needs, there are also Basic, Complete, and Custom kits that offer you core materials and more flexibility in choices. We technically chose a Custom kit as I needed first grade math for my daughter and I also couldn’t wait for some of the items, so I purchased them ahead of time on Amazon lol
What is Timberdoodle?
Timberdoodle is a family owned company that offers both individual educational materials and homeschool curriculum kits for children birth through 12th grade.
They have an electric approach, meaning you will find traditional, Charlotte Mason (literature based), multi-sensory, classical, and hands-on learning styles provided. Their kits cover everything from the basic subjects to elite level (all the extra bells and whistles) and everything in between.
I love that they do all the work for me. They go out every year and look at what is available for secular and religion homeschoolers and they compile what they believe to be the best options into kits for us (homeschool families) to purchase. Not only that, but they provide a handbook and online scheduler to keep us on track throughout the school year.
So not only do they do all the work of finding the best options for me, but they then take the time to go through and break each item down into a weekly (or daily if you prefer) schedule. Which means I don’t need to go find out how many chapters are in every book and what goes with what, they have done it for me. That is a WIN in my book 😊
The Kindergarten language arts is packed with learning to read and form letters. The elite kit comes with
- All About Reading Level 1 Deluxe
- Channie’s Easy Peasy Alphabet
- Spelling You See, Level A
- What Your Kindergarten Needs to Know
- My Epic Life Word Book
I personally bought the What Your Kindergarten Needs to Know book off of Amazon a few months ago (one of those, I couldn’t wait things). I found the book super helpful in my daycare and love having the stories to read to my children and my daycare children.
I also switched out the Spelling You See, Level A for All about Spelling Level 1. I believe both programs to be great. Spelling You See the student can do a little more independently and All About Spelling requires a lot more hands on approach from the teacher/parent.
Math-U-See is the default (currently) in the curriculum kits. Math-U-See is a manipulative based approach that includes a DVD with lessons, student book, and instructor’s guide. If you chose a custom kit, you can swap for a different program or a different level of Math-U-See. This is the option we took, the kit comes with Math-U-See Primer Universal and we bumped up a grade and went with Math-U-See Alpha Universal based on our daughters placement tests.
Since we went up to 1st grade math, I also purchased the addition and subtraction wrap ups and the Mobi Kids tile game (which I bought from Amazon).
Timberdoodle’s focus on STEM and thinking skills are my favorite parts of Timberdoodle kits. The games are so interactive and promote learning in a fun an engaging way. The best part is, most of the games grow with your child as they have age ranges for instance from 3-7 years old.
I also enjoy how they have a good mix of workbook and play to help facilitate growth of thinking skills in young children.
- Can you Find Me? Kindergarten (workbook)
- Visual Perceptual Skill Building 1 (workbook)
- Smart Farmer (game)
- Gobblet Gobblers (game)
- Story Time Chess (game) – my husband is the most excited for this one 😊
- Little Red Riding Hood (game)
- Kumon Kindergarten Logic (workbook)
History and Social Studies
History is the only part of the Kindergarten kit will differ between the secular and religious kits. The Religion kit comes with Bede’s History of Me in addition to This Is How We Do It. As we are secular homeschools we will not be getting Bede’s History of Me.
- This is How We Do It (in Secular and Religious Kits)
- Bede’s History of Me (in Religious Kit)
As like the other subjects, Timberdoodle does a great job providing items for all types of learners. The Geography comes with hands-on puzzles, visual and tactile maze book, and a colorful workbook.
- Skill Sharpeners Geography K
- Six-In-One Geopuzzle Collection
- Around the World Mazes
- This is a book that Timberdoodle actually suggests that you allow your child to physically write in to do the mazes.
First, I LOVE that Timberdoodle provides science for Kindergarten. I have found so many curriculums (sometimes even public schools) that don’t add science into Kindergarten. My daughter is so excited for science this year! The Elite kit comes with an amazing body book, a coloring and activity workbook, and an experiment kit.
- Show Me Science: Slime, Crystals & More Kit
- Building Blocks of Science K
- Look Inside Your Body
As I mentioned above, the addition of STEM and Thinking Skills in the curriculum are part of what makes me love Timberdoodle so much. The amazing hands-on materials help a child learn what and how something works.
- ThinkPlay Gears & Chains Extreme (with pulleys)
These fantastic resources help a child be aware of their feelings and understand their feelings more. Kids are learning what is socially appropriate and how to decode other people’s feelings. This helps them in social settings later in life and will help them build meaningful lasting relationships later on.
- Happy, Sad, Feeling Glad (doodle book)
- What’s Going On Here? Conversation Cards
My daughter adores art. It makes her so happy and that alone makes it worth the money to provide art in her curriculum.
- I can Doodle Rhymes
- Push, Pull, Empty, Full
- Djeco Bugs
- Aquarellum Animal Postcards Painting Kit
Handbook and Learning Tools
Timberdoodle provides a physical handbook with every kit that is purchased. This is 100% a win in my book. The handbook takes you through the kit, comes with a reading challenge, a suggested reading list, and a sample daily schedule. It also comes with an online scheduler so you can customize your schedule to your family’s needs.
As for the learning tools, I originally though they were unneeded and silly. Then I really got looking at them and was impressed at the level of detail Timberdoodle took to ensure every kit came with the items they thought are best. The Write-Size pencils are designed with little hands in mind and the Eco-Pencils with the dot grips and triangle shape make it so easy for little learners to hold.
- Faber-Castell Grip Colored Eco-Pencils
- Write-Size Pencils
- Grip Trio Sharpener (for the unique shaped pencils)
- Deep Sea Pencil Case
- Mad Mattr Craftsman Kit (I would almost personally put this under art, but Timberdoodle as it as a fidget item)
I’ll be providing a more in depth of each item as we use them. I can’t wait to get started with school this year. I really feel this kit will help my daughter, my young son, and I to keep up our excitement throughout the new school year.