This post contains affiliate links, which are noted by asterisks. Please see my complete disclosures here. As always, my opinions on awesome stuff for little kids are 100% my own. Keep in mind that all little kids do things in their own time and on their own terms. What one is ready for, another might not be. Please use your best mama judgement when planning activities for your little kids.
It’s Box Day, y’all! Not too long ago I mentioned that we’re gearing up for our first year of Preschool and of course our curriculum is showing up a little at a time. Obviously, I’m using the term curriculum loosely. You’ll see why in a minute.
It’s seriously been all kinds of awesome, though. I love Box Day. And for that matter the little guy does too. Yep, definitely a homeschooler at heart. Any time we get a package these days, he automatically assumes it’s for him. It doesn’t help that most of the time it is. Lol… He sits down on the floor and waits patiently for me to open it.
I can’t even wrap my head around how many hours I’ve spent researching Preschool curriculum. And when it was all said and done, I fell head over heels in love with the idea of using Sonlight* and Timberdoodle. Timberdoodle is known for Critical Thinking/Thinking Skills and Science/STEM. Especially in the early years, a lot of educational puzzles and games are included in their curriculum kits. And Sonlight? Well, Sonlight is a literature-based curriculum, which means books – and lots of them. Because like I’ve always said, there are a few things in life that you can never have too many of and books are definitely on that list.
Curriculum without the feel of curriculum. That’s how we roll around here. There are no textbooks. Not that anyone in their right mind would buy a textbook for a two year old anyhow. And there are only a few workbooks. The ones that we did get definitely feel more like activity books than anything else.
I wanted something that I felt would work well for us based on his personality and temperament right now. Of course, as with everything else in life, that’s subject to change. And that had a sort of Charlotte Mason/Montessori feel to it. I also wanted something that would grow with him and that he could grow into. There are bits and pieces of each that he’s nowhere near ready for and that’s perfectly okay. Like I said, little kids do things in their own time and on their own terms.
My very loose plan is to take a sort of unschooling approach for the time-being. Books on our Expedit. Games on his shelves. I created a weekly checklist of things I’d like to do, but I’m really not in any hurry to get through it all. I’d very much prefer to use this time to encourage a lifelong love of learning. I want to read awesome books, learn through play, and of course spend lots of time being creative.
I’ll more than likely put away the Timberdoodle workbooks for at least six or so months and ease into the Sonlight books as he’s ready, which shouldn’t take too long considering he brings me the Family-Time Bible in Pictures just about every day. Lol… He also seems to really love Montessori Letter Work already. And I’m of course hoping to spread everything out over approximately two years, give or take.
More on how we homeschool:
5 Awesome Reasons Homeschool Mamas Love All About Reading – Pre-Reading for Little Kids
How We’re Using Timberdoodle + Sonlight with Mother Goose Time
5 Big Reasons Why Every Mama of Little Kids Should Homeschool Preschool with Mother Goose Time
I pieced this together on my own and made quite a few substitutions. Some things were bought via Timberdoodle + Sonlight, but the overwhelming majority was bought a little at a time via Amazon. Here’s a list of everything we ended up with organized by subject. If something is a substitution, the item it’s replacing is listed in parentheses.
I added Teach Your Baby to Sign*, Hape Numbers Wooden Puzzle*, Usborne First Illustrated Science Dictionary, Learning Resources Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set*, My Very First Dab and Dot Markers, 100 Bible Stories, 100 Bible Songs*, and Trucky 3*.
Preschool 2-3 Years (Timberdoodle Preschool Curriculum Kit + Sonlight P3/4 Package)
Level Preschool Parent’s Companion
Curriculum Handbook for Preschool
Family-Time Bible in Pictures
100 Bible Stories, 100 Bible Songs*
Teach Your Baby to Sign*
Hape Lowercase Alphabet Wooden Puzzle* (for A to Z Puzzles Upper and Lowercase Puzzles)
Montessori Letter Work
Usborne Picture Puzzle Book
G is for Goat
Usborne Zoo Picture Puzzle Book
Usborne Farm Picture Puzzle Book
Complete Book of Rhymes, Song, Poems, Finger Plays, and Chants w/ CD
20th Century Children’s Book Treasury
A First Book of Fairy Tales
Make Way for McCloskey
The Bee Tree
Eloise Wilkin Stories
Go, Dog, Go.
Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales
Six by Seuss* (for Horton Hatches the Egg)
Ian and the Gigantic Leafy Obstacle
Mike Mulligan and More
Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs
Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm
Poems and Prayers for the Very Young
Richard Scarry’s What Do People Do All Day?
The Tall Book of Nursery Tales
Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Book Classics
Wee Sing Nursery Rhymes and Lullabies
Hape Numbers Wooden Puzzle*
Mathematical Reasoning Beginning 1
Montessori Number Work
Building Thinking Skills – Beginning
Day and Night
MindWare Imagination Patterns* (for Mighty Mind)
Hape Early Explorer Animals Wooden Memory Game* (for Teddy Mix & Match)
Hape Early Explorer Dynamo Wooden Domino Set
Plus Plus Midi
Usborne First Illustrated Science Dictionary
Learning Resources Helping Hands Fine Motor Tool Set* (for Twisty Dropper)
H20 La La
Learning Resources Primary Science Kit
Usborne Flip-Flap Body Book
Big Book of Things to Spot
Montessori Map Work
Animal Doodle Place Mats
Floof – Polar Babies
Kumon Cutting Skills – Let’s Cut Paper, Amazing Animals, More Let’s Cut Paper
Faber Castell My First Scissors
Dot to Dot for Tiny Tots
Glitter Gertie Ball
Haba Magnetic Game Number Maze
Koh-l-Noor Magic FX Pencils
Jumbo Grip Pencils 2-Pack
Kum 4-in-1 Pencil Sharpener
My Very First Dab and Dot Markers
Crayola Color Sticks* (for Colorix Silky Crayons)
It’s definitely going to be an awesome few years and of course the little guy and I can’t wait to get started. If you’re interested in learning more about our experiences with Timberdoodle + Sonlight, definitely follow along with us. I’ll be sharing what we’re up to each month as well as what’s working and what’s not.
If you missed our “Tot School” space post a few weeks ago, you can check it out here.
Looking for more insight & inspiration? Here are my top 10 organizing posts + how to get your free printable workbook from The Keeper of the Memories. You’re definitely not going to want to miss these!
Thanks so much for visiting. See ya next week!