Gracie of Anchorage, Alaska
Our family consists of:
- Gracie, 28 forever!
- Joshua, 35
- Maddie, 14
- Caeli, 13
- Dustin, 12
- Lulu, 10
- Brie, 6
- Eli, 3
Our kiddos are so vast in personality! Our oldest son wants to be an electrophysiologist and our oldest daughter wants to be a doctor and/or possibly an attorney. Our daughter Lulu wants to be a professional chef, while our daughter Caeli wants to be a fashion designer. She also has hopes of developing affordable clothing for the homeless. She wishes for them to be warm during harsh/cold Alaska winters. Our youngest daughter wants to be a ballet dancer. Our youngest son, Elias, hasn’t decided what he wishes to be when he grows up, but I happen to think that he will be the leader of a small country. LOL
GrandFam of Alaska
- Big Bro C, 11,loves all things with a motor
- Big Sis O, 9, loves all things with a screen and music
- Middle Sis L, 7, loves all things Fancy
- Little Sis E, 5, loves all things in the kitchen and her little brother
- Little Bro J,2, loves all things his older siblings love
- Aslan, the huge cat, who lives outside in the Alaskan winter and really thinks he is a dog.
How do you Timberdoodle?
Gracie: I first heard about Timberdoodle from my [homeschool] teacher. She helped guide me towards a curriculum that would best fit our large family. We love that there are bright colors, engaging content, and hands-on activities for all ages. Our favorite [extra] items in our curriculum this year were the games and various puzzles.
GrandFam: We have allowed our children to pick one Timberdoodle item from their grade level as their choice to add to their school year. Usually they pick an art project or game. We really enjoyed Edison last year!
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Gracie: We are pretty late to start our day in the winter time. It is still dark and very cold where we live. Our typical day will begin at 9:00. We will get our beds made, teeth brushed, breakfast eaten, and the chores done by 10:00. We start school by 10:15 and finish by 3:00. Some days will end a little earlier or later; depending on the tasks at hand. We do our Literature, Writing, and Math every day. We then do History, Science, and Foreign Languages every other day. Physical Fitness varies by the week, but we attempt to do it as a family 2-3x per week. Our oldest daughter also plays on the JV basketball team at our neighborhood high school.
GrandFam: We hope to start around 8:30, but... We try to tackle some table subjects all together each morning and then work through independent and individual lessons for the rest of the day. With a very busy toddler, we don’t seem to stay as organized as I’d like. The beat part of the day is read aloud time.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Gracie: We would be preparing for a basketball game that night. We would also be finishing up whatever school work that had not been completed that morning. We typically do our PE classes on Wednesday mornings, so the afternoons are filled with school work. You will often find us watching a documentary about various subjects we are studying. It helps to reinforce our studies.
GrandFam: A messy floor, some kids napping, some kids reading, a mom deciding what to tackle next. But the good news is, we have salmon every Wednesday evening so I know what we will be eating for supper.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Gracie: We have a couple of sets of grandparents. My husband’s family lives in Southern California and my family resides in Middle Tennessee. We love visiting family! It is very challenging to get away due to where we live. Traveling from Alaska is very expensive; large family problems for sure!
GrandFam: We would like to go explore Hawaii.
What books have you read over and over?
- The Great Gatsby
- Number the Stars
- Anne of Green Gables
- Laura Ingalls Wilder (all of them)
- The Diary of Anne Frank
- Chronicles of Narnia
- Little House
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Gracie: Gluten intolerance. Peanut allergy. We choose to avoid it due to the painful reactions for our oldest daughter. I am allergic to peanuts. We do not have them or other products with them in it in our home. They are dangerous to me, so we do not risk exposure.
GrandFam: No restrictions, but groceries are very expensive here so we buy in bulk and have a subsistence lifestyle of harvesting and eating wild game, gardening and picking berries
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Gracie: I enjoy a hot bath and a movie with my honey. Spending time with him is just the thing needed to remedy a challenging day. I always say that I can’t take care of others if I don’t take care of myself first. Making sure that I take time for me is very important for our family’s success.
GrandFam: Go outside. Loud fun music. Go outside.
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
Gracie: We have adopted a couple of our babies and my heart bursts when I see them [all 6 littles] wanting to bring more and more into “our tribe.” They love so deeply and it is something I adore about them. They all have a heart for others and it humbles and blesses me daily!
GrandFam: Drew a coloring book for a sibling and younger friend as gifts
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Gracie: My husband and I take the birthday kiddo out on a date. They choose the restaurant, activity, and happenings once we get home. We will typically celebrate as a family with a yummy cake!
GrandFam: Fun cake and friends.
What have you done recently for the first time?
Gracie: My husband and I began taking drives on various days. The alone time has been incredible and so relaxing!
GrandFam: Cooked popcorn with coconut oil.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Gracie: Baked potato stuffed with cheese, sour cream, butter, green onions, and a little bit of Cajun seasoning. So gooooood!
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
Gracie: We would read a lot!
What tips do you have for other families?
Gracie: Don’t give up. There are good days, bad days, and days where you slay! We all have to stick together and encourage one another. Homeschooling is hard, but oh so worth it!
GrandFam: Give grace, accept grace and keep going! Everything can look different in 20 minutes
What is something you appreciate about each of your kids?
Gracie: I love how unique they all are. With 6 littles, we have lots of differences.
- Maddie is our sports guru and musician. She blows my mind! Did I mention that she is gorgeous?!
- Caeli is our tenderhearted beauty. She is always looking out for others and making sure that others are taken care of.
- Dustin is our brainiac. He loves to learn and is so incredibly gifted with electronics and all things Science and/or Math.
- Lily Jane is our spunky, beautiful, and dimpled beauty. She makes my heart burst! She loves all things hamster!
- Brie is our miracle peanut. She has our hearts and makes us burst with pride.
- Elias is our comedic relief. All of us are in constant stitches from laughter due to his silly ways.
GrandFam: Giving spirit.
What song is currently in your head?
Gracie: Ode to Joy. I have littles playing it on the piano.
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Gracie: We love our new board game Chickapig!
GrandFam: Catan Jr, Dutch Blitz.
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
Gracie: I like rowing. The rowing machine makes me happy!
GrandFam: Routine? I wish!
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your homeschool that you called a “science experiment”?
Gracie: We grew mold on a pumpkin pie (totally on purpose; cough, cough) and explored the results. Yuck!
GrandFam: Measured my daughter's legs after a surgery and compared them to each other through recovery
What hard thing are you planning to do this year?
Gracie: Homeschool all 6 littles.
What did you do just for fun with your kids recently?
Gracie: We went to a basketball game as a family.
GrandFam: Ice skating.
What would you name your boat if you had one?
Gracie: Life Boat.
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
Gracie: I would like to learn how to be a better meal planner. If that doesn’t count, then I’d like to learn how to sew.