Andrea S. of Spartanburg, South Carolina
Our family consists of Jody and Andrea and 5 of their 7 children.
- Lexi, age 17
- Hallie, age 13
- Cheyann, age 10
- Jack, age 6
- Lani age 4
We have three dogs- Minnie, Remus and Laika, and two cats- Graham Cracker and Runt. We like fishing and gaming, tumbling and ballet.
Michelle R. of Riverside, California
Our family consists of Mom, Dad, and 3 kids.
- Port is 7
- Iz is 5
- Ro is 6 months
We have 2 dogs, 2 cats and 3 fish. We like going to the zoo, Sea World and Legoland. Kids love martial arts and dance. Art and science are our favorite subjects.
How do you Timberdoodle?
Andrea: We haven’t had the opportunity to be a Timberdoodle family yet, but we are extremely interested!! I found you through a web search for the best creative homeschooling programs.
Michelle: We have seen it on Facebook and would love to try Timberdoodle in the near future.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Andrea: I currently only have my littlest at home. We get up in the morning and she helps me cook breakfast. After we eat, we do a few sheets in our preschool book and make a craft related to what we learned that day. Then we read a story together and have a “dance party” to get the wiggles out. Then lunch together. After lunch we go to the library or the park. Once we are back home we do more work in our workbook and an art activity. We are done at about 2:30 just in time to go pick up our other kids. She doesn’t do chores yet. We start chores at 5 years old.
Michelle: We have breakfast at 9:00 and clean up. School starts at 10:00. Lunch at noon. Finish school. Go for a walk around the neighborhood at 3:00. Clean up the house, then have dinner around 6:00. Kids go to bed at 9:30. Chores are done throughout the day and on weekends.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Andrea: You may find Lani and I dancing or working on writing. Or possibly eating lunch.
Michelle: Us gone to dance.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Andrea: We would love to go to Disney World!
Michelle: To Grandma's house. She lives 800 miles away. We live in Southern California and she lives in Idaho. We like to go see her for a change in the weather. The kids love the snow.
What books have you read over and over?
- The Giver
- The Book with No Pictures
- The House That Jack Built
- Llama Llama books
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Michelle: The kids like reading the Magic Treehouse books. I usually don’t read a book more than once, but I love finding new book series to read.
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Andrea: None really. I have had bariatric surgery so I can’t eat the same as the rest of the family, but it isn’t an issue.
Michelle: We have no dietary issues. Just Mom finding the motivation and inspiration to cook.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Andrea: Just breathe. When in doubt, dance it out. A lot of times frustration comes from boredom.
Michelle: Taking a day off and just play, go to the movies or take a trip to the beach. School work and chores will always be there for you when your spirits are rejuvenated.
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
Andrea: My 5-year-old son comforted the class bully at school after he threw up all over him. Jack rubbed the boy’s back telling him it would be ok and walked him to the nurse. Best phone call I ever got. She just wanted me to know what an amazing little boy I was raising.
Michelle: Helping others
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Andrea: Friends and family, usually at a park with cake and ice cream and presents!
Michelle: Pizzas, cake, and friends.
What have you done recently for the first time?
Andrea: Not the very first time, but I went skating for the first time in about 15 years!!
Michelle: Taken a field trip to a local citrus farm.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Andrea: Not my favorite, but my daughter’s favorite is definitely PB&J, chocolate milk, and string cheese.
Michelle: Ham and cheese croissant.
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
Andrea: Perfectly fine. We are not a very technology driven family.
Michelle: We could make it work, but it would be a lot harder.
What tips do you have for other families?
Andrea: Your best will always be THE BEST to your child. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Michelle: Find the schedule that works best for your family and keep it flexible. There are 365 days in a year and only need to have 180 days of school. Take a day off and go get donuts if you need.
What is something you appreciate about each of your kids?Andrea:
- Lexi helps me so much with the younger children.
- Hallie makes me laugh everyday.
- Cheyann is so kind and inclusive with everyone she meets.
- Jack is the most well mannered gentleman you’ll ever meet.
- Lani teaches me something new all the time.
- My oldest is a rule follower and it is so nice.
- My second is brave beyond measure.
- My third has taught me to slow down.
What song is currently in your head?
Andrea: I’ll Wait For You by Andy Grammer.
Michelle: Frozen 2: All is Found.
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Andrea: We are video gamers. We like:
- Call of Duty
- Mortal Combat
- Five Crowns Junior
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
Andrea: I chase kids everyday. Does that count? LOL.
Michelle: We try to go for a walk every afternoon. The kids either walk with me, scooter, or ride their bikes.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your homeschool that you called a “science experiment”?
Andrea: Sucking an egg into a bottle.
Michelle: Playing with dry ice.
What hard thing are you planning to do this year?
Andrea: Go back to school.
Michelle: Homeschool with an infant.
What did you do just for fun with your kids recently?
Andrea: Played in the rain.
Michelle: Jumped on the trampoline with them.
What would you name your boat if you had one?
Andrea: Brendalyn Riley.
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
Andrea: Crochet. I’ve always wanted to learn.
Michelle: Play the piano.
What’s the last recipe you looked up?
Andrea: Bacon wrapped brown sugar chicken thighs. It was delicious. 😋
Michelle: Banana cookies.
What apps do you use the most?
- Hay Day
If you could sum up your homeschool style or philosophy in one phrase what would it be?
Andrea: Love lives here.
What do your kids want to be when they grow up?Andrea:
- Lexi: veterinarian
- Hallie and Cheyann: YouTubers 🤦🏻♀️
- Jack: OBGYN or math teacher
- Lani: a cat 😂
- vet in a zoo
- a hair stylist
What extracurricular activities is your family involved in?
- Lexi works
If you have a moment to yourself what do you like to do?
Andrea: Sleep! Seriously. I nap... a lot. 😂
What’s your favorite school day breakfast?
Andrea: Blueberry waffles with milk and yogurt.
Michelle: Toast and jam.
What’s the best homeschool field trip you’ve ever been on?
Andrea: Science Center! It was so much fun for all our ages.
The grocery store cashier asks, “But what about socialization?” What do you say?
Andrea: There are 7 of them. They socialize with each other. 😂
Michelle: Surprisingly never been asked. It would say they are very involved in extra curricular activities with other kids.
What’s the funniest thing one of your kids ever said?
Andrea: Oh, there have been way too many of those moments to pick just one.
What do you do for fun as a family?
Andrea: We go to playgrounds or hiking. Museums and video games. Pillow fights and dance offs.
Michelle: Play games, go on short day trips.
How do you continue to educate yourself?
Andrea: I’ve been back to school twice, but I also research anything my kids are learning to make sure I am well versed to be able to help them.
What are favorite healthy snacks at your house?
- string cheese
- peanut butter
What’s the best museum you’ve ever gone to?
Andrea: San Diego Science Museum
Michelle: LA Natural History Museum
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in homeschooling?
Andrea: Scheduling and days where she’s just not feeling it. LOL.
Michelle: Homeschooling multiple kids.
What is your favorite thing about having kids?
Andrea: They make me want to be the best version of myself.
Michelle: Watching them explore the world.
What’s the best vacation you have ever taken as a family?
Andrea: Beach trip with the whole extended family! We stayed in a house on the beach and got to spend everyday with family in the sand.
Michelle: Camping in the sawtooth mountains in Idaho.
List 3 frivolous things you are enjoying right now.
- My phone.
- Old seasons of America's Next Top Model 🤦🏻♀️.
- Silly made up songs
- James Patterson novels
- bubble baths
- Disney Plus
What’s your favorite in-a-pinch dinner option?
Andrea: Hamburgers and chips.
Michelle: Corn dogs and mac'n'cheese.
What’s the strangest place you’ve done school?
Andrea: In the bathtub. 😂
Michelle: Hospital waiting room.
Share a favorite organizational tip.
Andrea: Expanding file folders are fantastic.
Michelle: The less you have the easier it is to organize.
What special gifts or talents to your kids have?
Andrea: None really. LOL. Not a super talented bunch, but they try. A for effort. 😂
Michelle: Both are artistic.
Tell us something unique or unusual about your family.
Andrea: We have 3 brunettes, 2 blondes and 2 red heads.
Michelle: We lived in a travel trailer for 6 years before buying our house.
What’s making you laugh these days?
Andrea: My kids!! Every single day!
Michelle: Our baby just started laughing and watching my big kids make him laugh makes me laugh.
What do you do for P.E. in your homeschool?
Andrea: Go to the park or do yoga at home.
Michelle: Jump on the trampoline, ride bikes, ride scooters, and go for walks at home. The kids also have taekwondo, juijitsu, gymnastics, and dance.
Share a favorite inspirational quote.
What’s your best time of day to homeschool?
Andrea: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Michelle: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Tell us something interesting about your local area.
Andrea: Umm... not much. Pretty boring in Spartanburg. We have lightbulb sculptures all over the place.
Michelle: Our weather is nice year round so we can be outside most days of the week.
What dream for your family has come true?
Andrea: Owning our own home.
Michelle: Happily settled and thankful for what we have.
What’s the most useless talent you have?
Andrea: Singing. I do it well. But I won’t sing in front of anyone so it’s useless 😂
Michelle: Good at video games.