Traci W. of Northern Nevada
We are a family of five. Dad, Mom, Aiden (8), Connor (4), and Rylee (2). We also have a pug named Sage. We are a very active family and love the outdoors. Fishing, camping, and hiking are some of our favorite hobbies. Aiden is a lover of the outdoors. Most of the time you will find him outside doing something. Connor is our little builder. Legos and train tracks are his favorite. Rylee is our lover of all things. Food, animals, and cooking are just a few of her favorites.
Feli of Nevada State
My husband John and I have three beautiful girls. Our ten year old is Kay and we have twin three-year-olds, Ava and Ari. My husband works in quality assurance. Kay was a struggling reader but after being homeschooled has finally caught up. She is an artist and loves music. She sings beautifully. Ava is our heart baby. She was born with a half of a heart but is thriving and doing well. Ari is our laughter- she is so funny and lovable and truly is a light. Between the girls we have a blast being together homeschooling! I’m lucky enough to own a small woodworking business and I’m also an artist. We also have our dog, cat and some leopard geckos.
How do you Timberdoodle?
Tracie: We first came across Timberdoodle on YouTube. Boy am I glad we did! My favorite Timberdoodle products are Math-U-See, All About Reading, and Spelling You See. Aiden's favorites are the Engino Inventor 50 Model Set, Math-u-See, and the game Tenzi. Connor's favorite are Mad Mattr and the ThinkPlay blocks. He also enjoys his Farmland Math. And Rylee loves Day and Night, Bunny Peek-a-Boo, and the Tactile Matching Maze.
Feli: I found Timberdoodle after searching for a preschool that would work with the two (very different) learning styles of my twins. We love the games and puzzles and the fact that despite the personality differences between Ava and Ari they both love the interaction with learning that Timberdoodle provides. I usually set them up with preschool while I am doing lessons with my ten-year-old, Kay. It’s nice because everything is easy enough to work with while still doing my other lessons.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Tracie: We cover math, spelling, and reading four days a week. Science, history, and geography we cover twice a week. (For example: Science - Monday and Wednesday, History - Tuesday and Thursday, Geography - Monday and Thursday. Not always in that order.) We have breakfast before we start our school day. Our school day typically starts at 8:00 a.m. and we do work till 11:00. From 11:00 to 2:00 we have lunch and free play. Free play consists of an art project, games, outdoor play, or anything the kids feel like doing but no screens. We then resume school work from 2:00 to 4:00 or 4:30. We have dinner between 6:00 and 6:30. Free play till 8:30. (This time the kids can choose to watch a cartoon.) Bath, read a book, and bed. Not every day goes perfectly but this is the schedule we try to stick to for the school week.
Feli: Our school days are pretty casual. I don’t do schedules because between the three homeschoolers I have, we honestly just finish things as we go. 9:00 a.m. is usually when we start and we begin with the alphabet for the twins and vocabulary for Kay. The rest of the day is usually picked as we go. Once they’re done - which is usually around 11:30 - we have lunch. After lunch we play and take a break. I consider it a bit of a recess. Then it’s on to art or music. We love to make it fun. My girls loved the finger-painting set from the preschool so we do that often!
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Tracie: Wednesday afternoons from 11:00 to 2:00 we are having lunch and free time. More than likely we will be outside but if the weather is bad or the kids just want to stay in we do art projects, learn a new recipe, read books, play with toys, or board games.
Feli: Wednesday’s are our free afternoon so if it’s after school, the girls are likely to be reading or playing together. If they’re reading you’d be likely to see books all over the couch or all over the rug in the family room. If they’re playing- stuffed animals..... everywhere.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Tracie: On a camping trip anywhere there is a small creek near by.
Feli: Honestly I’d love to just take off and go explore. There’s so many things to see!
What books have you read over and over?
- Usborne Illustrated Alphabet
- Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day
- I Say Ooh You Say Aah.
- The Scarlet Letter
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond
- Atlas Shrugged
- The Hobbit
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Tracie: My middle guy, Connor, has recurrent pancreatitis and has to be on a lower fat diet. We cook mainly at home and avoid fast food.
Feli: Honestly none; we try to eat healthy and teach our kids to eat well.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Tracie: Grace, patience, and just remember not every day is going to go as planned.
Feli: You don’t have to do it all. The gift of homeschooling is that you can always just take the day off - go to the library, museum, or even a park.
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
Tracie: We made it a point to teach our children kindness. It warms my heart to see them always asking kids to play, be friends, and always helping when someone is hurting.
Feli: We are doing sign language in the home so the kids can pick it up prior to being an adult. My three-year-old can hand sign her name and introduce herself. She also already knows most of the letters by sight.
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Tracie: We have a small birthday party. Mostly family with a couple friends. Birthday cake and their choice of food. We also have recently started to let the kids choose between a birthday party or an experience (movie, aquarium, zoo, ect.).
Feli: We make a choice of having an experience or a party. The kids can choose to celebrate with a party, or we can go do something we haven’t done before. Things like going to a new place, flying on an airplane, riding a train, zip lining as well as feeding giraffes have all been things we’ve picked to do.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Tracie: Turkey and cheese tortilla rolls, strawberries, and a treat.
Feli: Snack trays. We get crackers, cheese, lunch meat, apples and carrots - or celery with peanut butter!
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
Tracie: This school year we did not use the internet and it was pretty easy. We did start using a couple supplemental internet things this last week. We will see how that improves our school days.
Feli: We don’t actually use the internet, but we’d do the library and use the museum as well as local natural places
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Feli: We play Uno with Kay a lot. Boggle is nice for making words. No one plays Monopoly with me even though it’s my favorite. We do a lot of puzzles and we just started teaching the twins Twister.
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
Feli: Yoga every weekday. We also do a lot of dancing. We try to do it in the morning but if not, it’s after school.
Share a favorite organizational tip.
Feli: If you’re like me and don’t have a homeschool room, I highly recommend a teacher's cart! We have all of our books and extras on it and though we normally keep it in the dining room; it’s so nice to be able to move it out of the way when needed.