Meet 2 Families from Michigan />

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Meet 2 Families from Michigan

Meet Elizabeth H., Pigeon, Michigan

  • Hubby
  • Son 10
  • Son 6

Hubby is a solid wood furniture sales rep and I like to craft and read in my spare time (which isn't much). No pets - 2 boys is enough!

Meet Kelly Thayer, Southwest Michigan

We all ride and show horses except papa. Raise goats, horses, and chickens. We have several animals, horses, goats, chickens, dog, cats, fish, and pet turtle.

How do you Timberdoodle?

Elizabeth: I heard about you at my state homeschool conference. I love all the fun games and educational toys that you have. I like to have them on hand for free time in the evenings.

Kelly: Online search. Love the variety, and flexibility of the curriculum. Currently do about 1-3 hours of work a day, kindergarten.

Tell us about a typical school day at your house.

Elizabeth: We start whenever we get around in the mornings. Hopefully by 9:00 a.m. We try to cover Math, Language Arts, Science, Bible and History every day with some extras thrown in. We fit in chores whenever we can. We usually eat lunch while I do read alouds and dinner is whenever dad gets home, usually 5:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m.

Kelly: We start about noon, after lunch. We mostly follow the schedule we print off. We have chores morning, and evenings with all the animals.

If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?

Elizabeth: Everyone working at the kitchen table or reading on the couch...and probably lots of laundry baskets in the living room.

Kelly: We would be at our partnership program still, every Wednesday during the regular school year.

If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?

Elizabeth: On a camping trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Kelly: On a camping trip up north in Michigan, preferably the UP (Upper Peninsula).

What books have you read over and over?

Elizabeth: My Father's Dragon series.

Kelly: Anything Dr Seuss.

What dietary challenges does your family face?

Elizabeth: We try to eat as many whole foods as possible.

Kelly: I have to be careful how I eat eggs, fresher the better. We raise chickens, which helps.

What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?

Elizabeth: Coffee and prayer.

Kelly: Get some you time, whatever it may be. I like going out and working horses, or on winter, watching some TV.

What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?

Elizabeth: Written me notes.

Kelly: Being so helpful to my dad, his Papa, after he had major surgery in October.

How does your family celebrate birthdays?

Elizabeth: We usually just have cake with family, but on special years (5, 10, 13, etc.) we have a party with friends.

Kelly: Little get-togethers, cake, maybe presents.

What have you done recently for the first time?

Elizabeth: Joined a book club.

Kelly: Haven't done anything new recently.

What’s your favorite school day lunch?

Elizabeth: Leftovers!

Kelly: Sandwiches, cheese plate.

How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?

Elizabeth: It would be rough. I'm definitely a computer/internet girl. We do have a pretty big home library though.

Kelly: Just fine, we primarily do paper, books, etc, nothing online.

What tips do you have for other families?

Elizabeth: Do what works for your family and don't compare.

Kelly: Let your kids be kids.

What is something you appreciate about each of your kids?

Elizabeth: My oldest is curious and my youngest has a good attitude.

Kelly: We have one son, and he's very helpful with the animals.

What song is currently in your head?

Elizabeth: A TobyMac song my kids kept singing.

Kelly: Green Day.

Tell us about your family’s favorite games.

Elizabeth: Currently it is Go Nuts for Donuts.

Kelly: Card games like War, Go Fish, Uno.

What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?

Elizabeth: Not very often. We need to get one. Kids run around outside. I tried to do videos in the winter (even got a kids one), but they just wanted to sit and watch it.

Kelly: We do barn chores. LOL. No exercises.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your homeschool that you called a “science experiment”?

Elizabeth: Slime.

Kelly: Did a fecal for one of the horses.

What hard thing are you planning to do this year?

Elizabeth: Trying to not let the lesson plan rule, but also not slack off. Balance is hard!

Kelly: Getting my son better at picking up. LOL.

What did you do just for fun with your kids recently?

Elizabeth: Played a card game.

Kelly: Nothing recently.

What would you name your boat if you had one?

Elizabeth: Prich.

Kelly: SS Harm.

If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?

Elizabeth: Using a silhouette machine.

Kelly: Embroidery.

What’s the last recipe you looked up?

Elizabeth: Veggie muffins (they turned out gross and we like veggies).

Kelly: One for chicken breasts.

What apps do you use the most?

Elizabeth: Facebook.

Kelly: Facebook.

If you could sum up your homeschool style or philosophy in one phrase what would it be?

Elizabeth: Organized.

Kelly: Not sure.

What do your kids want to be when they grow up?

Elizabeth: Sales Rep like Daddy.

Kelly: He changes every time we ask. He's only 6, so has plenty of time to get ideas.

What extracurricular activities is your family involved in?


  • T-Ball
  • homeschool group
  • MOPS


  • camping
  • showing horses
  • hiking
  • 4-H

If you have a moment to yourself what do you like to do?

Elizabeth: Crafts.

Kelly: My sewing, watching a movie, or TV, working horses (in good weather).

What’s your favorite school day breakfast?

Elizabeth: Fruit Smoothie.

Kelly: Cereal.

What’s the best homeschool field trip you’ve ever been on?

Elizabeth: Legoland Discovery Center.

Kelly: Haven't done many, but roller skating/laser tag was fun.

The grocery store cashier asks, “But what about socialization?” What do you say?

Elizabeth: We are socializing right now!

Kelly: We do partnership program that meets once a week, and he's involved in 4-H, and shows horses.

What’s the funniest thing one of your kids ever said?

Elizabeth: They love telling corny jokes!

Kelly: When he saw his first double yoke egg from our hens, he said, "Wait, there's something mysterious here!"

What do you do for fun as a family?

Elizabeth: Camping in the summer.

Kelly: Camping, hiking, horse shows, gardening, exploring outside.

How do you continue to educate yourself?

Elizabeth: I use the internet anytime I want to learn something new that I don't know how to do.....or that I forgot.

Kelly: Reading online mostly.

What are favorite healthy snacks at your house?

Elizabeth: Fruit, baby carrots, Larabars.

Kelly: Fruit, of pretty much any kind.

What’s the best museum you’ve ever gone to?

Elizabeth: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kelly: Haven't taken our son yet, but the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in homeschooling?

Elizabeth: The noise! We have to use noise cancelling headphones sometimes....even mom.

Kelly: Getting my son to sit and try to do his school work, especially reading, which I struggle with still. (I'm dyslexic.)

What is your favorite thing about having kids?

Elizabeth: Snuggling.

Kelly: The adventure!

What’s the best vacation you have ever taken as a family?

Elizabeth: Big Ticket Festival.

Kelly: A fall trip to the UP (upper peninsula), up there for a week, driving around to waterfalls, Lake Superior, Copper Harbor, Brockway Mountain. Can't wait to go back.

List 3 frivolous things you are enjoying right now.


  1. hand knitting
  2. Hulu
  3. reading a fluffy biography


  1. Chinese take-out, we live out in the middle of nowhere, 30+ minutess to get it
  2. watching YouTube on our TV
  3. not sure on a 3rd

What’s your favorite in-a-pinch dinner option?

Elizabeth: Spaghetti.

Kelly: My garlic butter chicken breast, with some of our home canned veggies.

What’s the strangest place you’ve done school?

Elizabeth: Doctor's office waiting room.

Kelly: No place yet, he just started this year.

Share a favorite organizational tip.

Elizabeth: Workboxes with labels.

Kelly: I'm not organized. LOL.

What special gifts or talents to your kids have?

Elizabeth: My oldest is great at memorizing things.

Kelly: He's very creative, and good at problem solving.

Tell us something unique or unusual about your family.

Elizabeth: My kids are second generation homeschoolers.

What’s making you laugh these days?

Elizabeth: Mom memes.

Kelly: My son.

What do you do for P.E. in your homeschool?

Elizabeth: Play in the yard.

Kelly: We don't at home, but he does it at the partnership.

Share a favorite inspirational quote.


What’s your best time of day to homeschool?

Elizabeth: Mid-morning.

Kelly: After lunch, he's less grumpy, and more willing to do it.

Tell us something interesting about your local area.

Elizabeth: We have lots and lots of windmills.

Kelly: Lots of farms.

What dream for your family has come true?

Elizabeth: A great camper to enjoy family time in the summers

What’s the most useless talent you have?

Elizabeth: I can set up an ISO quality system.

Kelly: I can pick things up with my toes, and so can our son. My husband thinks it's weird.