Timberdoodle vs Sonlight: It’s Box Day & Why We Chose Timberdoodle + Sonlight

collage of hands-on homeschool curriculum with text overlay: It's Box Day & Why We Chose Timberdoodle + Sonlight
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.

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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.

toddler opening large box of homeschool curriculum
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.

Timberdoodle vs. Sonlight

Are you interested in literature-based or STEAM-based learning? While both companies include the most essential curriculum elements – math, language arts, history and even science, their overall approach is totally different.

Timberdoodle is a lot more STEAM-based. When we purchased a Timberdoodle curriculum kit, we received our choice of math and language arts from what was available and then quite a few items that fell into the STEAM category including art supplies and projects, engineering activities, and even science experiment kits.

And then there’s Sonlight Box Day! It for sure felt like the book store exploded in the studio. We received a huge box full of books! Don’t get me wrong, there were a few other things included as well.

You know, the infamous Instructor’s Guide that everyone talks about. It’s wonderful! But for a book lover like myself, I couldn’t be more thrilled with all the books.

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.

toddler looking at large box filled with homeschool curriculum
If you’re interested, you can of course check out the Timberdoodle Preschool Curriculum Kit for details about everything that’s included and ditto with the Sonlight P3/4 Package.

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)

Instructor’s Guides

Level Preschool Parent’s Companion
Curriculum Handbook for Preschool


Family-Time Bible in Pictures
100 Bible Stories, 100 Bible Songs*

Language Arts

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
Jumbo Bananagrams
Usborne Farm Picture Puzzle Book
Complete Book of Rhymes, Song, Poems, Finger Plays, and Chants w/ CD

Read Alouds

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
Noah’s Ark
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

toddler opening box filled with brand new homeschool curriculum

Hape Numbers Wooden Puzzle*
Mathematical Reasoning Beginning 1
Montessori Number Work
Farmland Math

Thinking Skills

Building Thinking Skills – Beginning
Day and Night
Bunny Peek-A-Boo
Trucky 3*
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

toddler looking inside large box filled with hands-on homeschool curriculum

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

Motor Skills

Dot to Dot for Tiny Tots
Glitter Gertie Ball
Haba Magnetic Game Number Maze
Koh-l-Noor Magic FX Pencils

Learning Tools

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.

toddler reaching for something in homeschool curriculum box
Don’t forget to stop by next week if you’re interested in seeing what we’re up to with preschool homeschool!


  1. Hey, I found this post of yours and it sounds like we have similar styles for our similarly aged kids. Can’t wait to see what else you post on combining timberdoodle with a little based curriculum!

  2. That’s awesome, Chelsea! So nice to “meet ya!” I’d definitely be interested in hearing what you’re up to too. Keep in touch and have an awesome week!

  3. You’re doing what I wish I’d done from the start! We’ve been using SL since my oldest was a toddler. I love their 2 preschool book sets. We’ve added a couple fun things from Timberdoodle over the years, but now we have another toddler, we have been doing some of the fun baby items from them, and have just begun their preK along with Sonlight p 3/4. The two programs pair together perfectly, and we intend to add in Timberdoodles full sets through K. We’re picking and choosing from their elementary programs now too. The best part is that we’re having loads of fun as a family with the science kits and toys. It doesn’t feel like school. Have fun!!

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