As I mentioned last fall, I had the privilege of teaching five of my grandkids two days a week this school year, along with my youngest four children who are still at home. Since several of these kids are close to the same age and grade level, I decided to try Timberdoodle’s 3rd grade boxed curriculum to help keep them on track.
Our Timberdoodle Experience
Timberdoodle graciously provided the curriculum in exchange for my posting several updates throughout the school year to let my readers know how things were going and highlight some of our favorite components of the 3rd grade kit.
My family has been using Timberdoodle products for enrichment since our very earliest days of homeschooling, but this was my first time to try their complete, grade level curriculum.
Now that we’re wrapping things up for summer, I want to share my thoughts:
Things I love about Timberdoodle’s 3rd grade kit:
Makes learning fun
This has always been Timberdoodle’s strong suit. Many of the products contained in the 3rd grade kit are so enjoyable that my kids don’t think of them as being “educational,” as well.
Suits a wide range of ages
Some of the books — particularly those used for science (Scientific Revolution set) and history (the Story of the World set) — can be taught to several different grade levels at once. There’s no need to use a different curriculum for each child in those departments. And, of course, the thinking games and craft kits appeal to more than just 3rd graders, too!
The 3rd grade kit includes the Paint-by-Number Museum Series, Zentangle for Kids, a digital, print-as-needed copy of Complete-a-Sketch, and a quirky book called Doodle Adventures: Search for the Slimy Space Slugs. It was fun watching my kids expand in this area through the year. By doing some creative activities they’d never tried before, they not only gained new skills, but also became braver about tackling other creative challenges.
Teaches deeper level thinking skills
The high caliber thinking skill puzzles and books were what first attracted us to Timberdoodle some thirty years ago, so I was especially happy to see items from this category included in the 3rd grade kit. We’d done a different volume of Critical & Creative Thinking Skills before, but the Circuit Maze was new to us and quickly became one of our children’s favorite components.
Lots of variety
One thing’s certain: your kids will never get bored with Timberdoodle. The 3rd grade kit includes curriculum for language arts, math, thinking skills, history & social studies, and science, plus lots of art and STEM activities, as well. Get out of your homeschooling rut! As long you follow the lesson plans provided with this kit, your kids will never feel like they’re doing the same-old-same-old every day.
Things I didn’t like about this kit:
A lot of it is consumable
There were several work-book type products in the 3rd grade kit, a fact that admittedly bothers me more than my children. Having homeschooled so many for so many years, I usually try to pick curriculum I can reuse from one student to the next. I will have to replace several components in the 3rd grade kit before I can use it again.
Some went unused (for now)
There were SO MANY components — especially in the Elite kit — that we simply couldn’t get to them all. However, they are great products, so I’m scheduling time this summer to go through a couple of the ones that didn’t get enough attention during the school year, such as Typing Instructor, Beginning Word Roots, and Scratch Coding Cards.
It’s short on “Living Books”
I felt a little overwhelmed by the Mosdos Literature program and ended up defaulting to reading an eclectic assortment of the “living books” we’d enjoyed when our older children were growing up (and counting that for our literature studies). If you are a mom who worries about educational gaps or obsesses about crossing all your Ts, then Mosdos Literature may be a great fit for your family. It just didn’t suit mine very well.
Things that surprised me:
How much my kids liked the math games
They were as likely to reach for Mobi Max as for Monopoly. It’s just as fun (and doesn’t take near as long to finish the game). And they enjoyed using the multiplication wrap-ups so much that I ordered wrap-ups for all the other operations, as well, so they could all review their math facts at the same time.
How careful they were with the thinking putty
We didn’t do the Mixed-by-Me Thinking Putty activity until the very end of the year. That’s because I’d put large tins of putty in my kids’ stockings fifteen years ago and had to cut it out of one child’s pocket when he stored it there, minus the tin. They love the stuff, but I didn’t want a repeat of last time! The kids promised to be careful (and to always and only store the putty inside the tin when not in use), and — so far — they’ve kept their word, so we’ve had no further mishaps.
How beautiful their paintings turned out
The Museum Series painting kit contains four canvases. We did them last fall, and several of the kids won ribbons for their work in the Creative Arts competition at the fair. (As did their older siblings when we did the same painting kit several years ago, as seen in the photos below.)
How much my kids enjoyed cursive
Lots of schools have stopped even teaching cursive, but studies have shown how good it is for our brains. When we take notes in longhand instead of typing them on a keyboard, we not only retain the information longer, but also understand it better. It also helps with reversals and with reluctant readers. So I’m glad Timberdoodle still includes A Reason for Writing: Transition with their 3rd grade boxed curriculum, and glad, too, that my kids have been gung-ho to learn it.
How helpful the handbook was
The 3rd grade handbook that accompanies the 3rd grade is a life-saver. It contains a detailed description of each component and how to use it, plus a weekly checklist to keep you on track, and even suggestions for steps to take if you start to feel overwhelmed.
Give Timberdoodle a Try
If you’re interested in a complete boxed curriculum, by all means, check out the ones Timberdoodle offers. Although I’ve only tried the 3rd grade kit, we own and have used and enjoyed many of the components of the kits for other grade levels, too.
If you’re not ready to jump in feet first, then you may want to invest in a couple of the stand-alone products to enrich your children’s education (whether you homeschool or not). You’ll find a list of all the books and games I’ve reviewed for Timberdoodle over the years below.
More great Timberdoodle products:
- Junior Rainbow Pebbles (Timberdoodle Review)
- Fun with Fischertechnik Mechanic & Static Set
- Wile E. Coyote Physical Science Genius
- Timberdoodle: My End-of-Year Post
- Circuit Maze: Such a Bright Idea for a Logic Game
- Little Red Riding Hood: Another Smart Game for Little Ones
- Our Little Bitties Love Three Little Piggies
- Djeco Sweet Nature Felt Art Set
- Coloring with Clay (Timberdoodle Review)
- Timberdoodle Review: Q-Bitz
- Timberdoodle 3rd Grade Curriculum: Math
- Training Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence
- Timberdoodle 3rd Grade Curriculum: Unboxing
- Exploring the Bible: Training Kids to Dig Deeper
- Everyone a Child Should Know (Book Review)
- Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible (Timberdoodle Review)
- Indescribable: 100 Devotions about God and Science
- Say & Pray Devotions for Young Children
- Knot So Fast: Another Fun Thinking Game from Timberdoodle
- God’s Very Good Idea (Timberdoodle Review)
- Biggest Story ABC (Timberdoodle Review)
- Found: A New Look at an Old Favorite
- Anti-Virus Mutation (Timberdoodle Review)
- Rhetoric Companion: Timberdoodle Review & Giveaway
- Building Vocabulary with Word Roots
- James Madison Critical Thinking Course
- Easy Grammar Ultimate (Timberdoodle Review)
- Bestiary of Adorable Fallacies (Review & Giveaway)
- America the Beautiful (Timberdoodle Review)
- Doodle Your Day (Timberdoodle Review)
- Extreme Dot-to-Dot (Timberdoodle Review)
- Building Thinking Skills (Timberdoodle Review)
- Developing the Early Learner (Timberdoodle Review)
- Timberdoodle Review: Physics 101 is Family Friendly
- Mathematical Reasoning (Timberdoodle Review)
- Create Your Own Watercolor Masterpieces (Timberdoodle Review)
- Tiggly Words (Timberdoodle Review)
- Beginning Geography (Timberdoodle Review)
- Famous Figures of History (Timberdoodle Review)
- Economics for Everybody (Review & Giveaway)
- Timberdoodle Review: Tiggly Math
- Not Your Parents’ Paint-by-Number
- Draw Patterns (Timberdoodle Review)
- Timberdoodle Review & GIVEAWAY: Wordsmithy
- How to Draw Almost Everything (Timberdoodle Review)
- Creative & Critical Thinking (Timberdoodle Review)
- Marie’s Words: A Fast, Fun Way to Build Vocabulary
- It’s a Small World! (Timberdoodle Review)
- We Think TENZI’s Tons of Funzi (Timberdoodle Review)
- Timberdoodle Review: Pajaggle
- Making Physics Fun (a Timberdoodle Review)