Timberdoodle Curriculum Kits

Timberdoodle Curriculum Kits: First Grade Package

Timberdoodle is one of the oldest distributors for the homeschool market, but they have always filled a unique niche with their emphasis on experiential learning with hands-on activities and games. Rather than publishing their own resources they select their favorites from hundreds of publishers. While they do carry some traditional resources like math and grammar workbooks, they have tended towards “fun” resources more than others. Consequently, when Timberdoodle decided to assemble grade level programs for preschool through high school, they included puzzles, science kits, and other hands-on learning materials along with a number of resources that have been among my Top Picks.

For example, the elite kit for first grade includes Phonics Pathways, Math-U-See, Story of the World, A Reason for Handwriting, and Apologia’s Exploring Creation with Astronomy, all of which are or have been in my Top Picks. Along with them you get two readers and other worktexts: First Language Lessons, Daily Geography, Daily 6-Trait Writing, and Spectrum Test Prep. Hands-on resources include Plus Plus 1200; Robotis PLAY 600 Pets; and DIY Electro-Dough Kit;  a MinkLuk board and workbooks (primarily for critical thinking skills); World Map Scrunch; Aquarellum - Cosmos Set; Outdoor Adventure Doodles; A Little Adventure In The Woods (lacing kit with buttons and cards); Doodle and Draw Spots, Stripes and Squiggles; Thinking Putty; a Smencil; and Learning Wrap-Ups for addition and subtraction. Purchasing items as kits gives you significant savings over purchasing items individually.

Examples of some of the other resources include in various levels of the Timberdoodle kits are: Teaching Textbooks, Easy Grammar, Wordsmith Craftsman, Building Thinking Skills, America the Beautiful, Uncle Sam and You, The Mystery of History, The Story of the World, Apologia's Exploring Creation series, and Illuminating Literature. Kits also include STEM resources for both book learning and activities in science, technology, engineering, and math. For instance, the sixth grade kit includes a programmable robot, and the tenth grade kit includes a Build Your Own V8 Engine kit.

Preschool packages, offered at three levels—Tiny Tots, Preschool and PreK, are heavily laden with hands-on and experiential learning resources. In my opinion, these Timberdoodle preschool kits are more developmentally appropriate for young children than formal academic curricula.

Timberdoodle offers three options for each of the standard kits: basic, complete, and elite. Basic includes only the bare essentials, while complete adds more, and the elite kit has all that you need plus extras such as hands-on resources. Complete and elite kits for grades one through eleven even include a Test Prep book.

Each kit comes with a Timberdoodle's Curriculum Handbook written particularly for that level. Timberdoodle's Curriculum Handbooks for the regular kits include reproducible record keeping charts listing resources that come with each level, while secular kits include only one chart since there is only one kit option for each level. While you can photocopy these for each week, you can also use Timberdoodle's free online Custom Schedule Generator to create charts that include everything you need to keep track. The format of the charts is easy enough for students about third grade and above to check off on their own. The bulk of each Timberdoodle's Curriculum Handbook consists of an explanation for how to use each item in your kit. Some Handbooks include extra pages that are used with some of your kit resources such as in the third grade Handbook which includes pictures of 36 building projects to be completed with IO Blocks as well "7 Essential Lessons" for the Ozobot Bit that will teach them basic coding. Most items in each kit are self-contained and don't need any further instructions in the Handbook.

Even with the elite kits, you might want to add a Bible curriculum. For teens, you probably need to add foreign language. Timberdoodle recommends the free online DuoLingo or Rosetta Stone for foreign language, but these aren't included in the kits. You also might want to add lab activity to some of the high school kits for college-bound students. While twelfth grade includes Friendly Chemistry (which has easy-to-do labs) and a robotics kit, other high school levels have minimal lab activity or only videos of lab activity which might not be sufficient.

In the standard kits, many resources are written from a Christian worldview perspective and some are specifically Protestant. Timberdoodle has now developed secular kits for kindergarten through eighth grade by removing or replacing any religious materials in the standard kits. (Standard kits for preschool have no Christian content, so there is no need to create secular versions.) In addition, Timberdoodle will help you put together a custom kit for any level.

Most of the resources Timberdoodle has selected are easy to use and make it simple for inexperienced homeschoolers to just jump into the lessons without having to do hardly any advance planning or preparation. The amount of "teaching" time required will vary by level. While younger children need more interaction and instruction, once children are able to read independently they can complete many lessons on their own. At high school level, the instructions are written directly to the student, assuming that they are completing their work independently.

The assortment of resources in the Timberdoodle kits is almost certainly going to prove more engaging for most children than would a single publisher’s complete line of traditional curricula. Interesting resources coupled with easy of use make Timberdoodle’s curriculum kits a great option for busy families that should appeal to both parents and children.

Pricing Information

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Instant Key

  • Suitable For: one-on-one or independent study
  • Audience: grades PreK-12
  • Need For Parent/Teacher Instruction: varies
  • Prep Time Needed: minimal
  • Teacher's Manual: Planning Folders provide scheduling
  • Educational Approach: multi-sensory
  • Religious Perspective: Protestant or secular options

Publisher's Info

Note: Publishers, authors, and service providers never pay to be reviewed. They do provide free review copies or online access to programs for review purposes.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guidelines Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."