Liz L. of Mooresville, Indiana
My husband, Gabe has several businesses he runs. I (Liz) stay home and homeschool our two kids, Sydney (8) and Levi (6).
Elizabeth C. of Mooreland, Indiana
We have 2 kids, Sean and Megan, both 3rd graders. Sean has Down syndrome so he fluctuates between grade levels for math and reading comprehension. We have a Great Dane (Mack) and we love to paint, Pokémon, and just enjoy playing outside in our big farm.
Jen of Indiana
Rodney (dad) works as a correctional officer for a juvenile facility. Jen (mom) is a stay-at-home and small time blogger. Annabelle is a junior in public school and loves all things band. Reece is an eight grader in public school and love all things running. Olivia is a homeschooling second grader. She loves swimming, soccer, and cheerleading. We have a dog, Koda, and two cats, Elsa and Kibble.
How do you Timberdoodle?
Liz: As God was leading me to homeschool I was searching like crazy on the internet to find a program that fit our family, and found Timberdoodle. I knew right away it was for us. We’ve been using Timberdoodle exclusively since day 1! (Kids are 1st and 3rd.)
Elizabeth: I found Timberdoodle through a Facebook group recommendation. I love that you offer secular curriculums and also make your own curriculum as well.
Jen: We love Timberdoodle. I plan on buying my first curriculum sets this year. We normally just piece together a few of the picks. I love coming to Timberdoodle for inspiration. I find so many awesome ideas. We love all the hands-on stuff! We love to do as little book work as possible and add in some hands-on activities.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Liz: We start school at 10:00 a.m. I’ll do reading with one child while having the other do independent work and then flip flop. We do reading and math daily but do topics like history, geography and science in one sitting. Art, STEM, and thinking games are as often as they want. We typically are done with school around 1:00 or 1:30.
Elizabeth: We start after school, so mostly afternoons Monday to Thursday. We will be fully transitioning next school year. We work on math, reading comprehension and handwriting/manuscript every day. I do most of the house chores during the morning time, or while the kids are independently working. We eat a light meal after they come back from school and then dinner at night after all the school work is done and we can relax before bed.
Jen: We have two in public school I (mom) get up with them and get them out the door. Then I work for a couple hours while the homeschooler sleeps. She is not a morning person. Then she gets up about 9:00 or 9:30 and eats breakfast (usually toast or waffle with peanut butter). Then we get our day started with phonics/reading. We work on math, reading, writing, and spelling daily. The rest of the week we rotate vocab, grammar, science, social studies, art, music, health, PE, and computer science. Yes, it's a lot but we make it fun!
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Liz: As our house is under a huge remodel you would see us cuddled up on the couch doing school.
Elizabeth: Kiddos sitting at their desks or dinning table working independently.
Jen: Wednesday is what we call "Wildcard Wednesday". We do as little "book work" as possible on Wednesday. We play math games, reading games, learning on iPad apps, watch science videos, do science experiments, do our work at the library, take nature walks (weather permitting). Sometimes we do social studies "projects"
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Liz: We recently took a vacation to Greece and would love to go back. We are headed to Italy soon.
Elizabeth: On a road trip. West: visiting the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone park, Mount Rushmore, etc! All the iconic places. East: visiting the historical places that founded our country.
Jen: To a beach. My personal favorite is in Duluth, Minnesota but it is never warm. I would love to see Key West, Florida.
What books have you read over and over?
Liz: The Bible.
- Harry Potter saga
- Lord of the Rings
- Stephen King (several)
- The Divine Comedy
- The Iliad and the Odyssey
- love the classics and fiction!
- Harry Potter
- all the Dr. Seuss
- Junie B Jones
- Babysitter Club
- Boxcar Children
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Liz: We try to eat as clean and healthy as possible. My husband loves to cook and the kids always help him.
Elizabeth: No restrictions at all.
Jen: I have a very picky eater. It is so hard. She will go hungry all day until she gets what she wants.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Liz: Switch up the day. Focus on fun activities.
Elizabeth: Coffee, lots of coffee and breaks.
Jen: 10 minutes of alone down time.
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Liz: On birthdays our kids pick out all their meals and they make and decorate their own birthday cake. (They love decorating the cake how they want it.)
Elizabeth: We go out for dinner, presents and of course, cake!
Jen: My older two are born over summer holiday weekends, Memorial Day and Labor Day, so we always had parties on a later day. Usually snacks, cake and ice cream. On the actual birthday they get to choose dinner, a few gifts, and a cake.
What have you done recently for the first time?
Liz: Went to a different country.
Elizabeth: Ride a roller coaster.
Jen: Homeschool roller skate.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Liz: We make quick meals like sandwiches, quesadillas, or eat leftovers.
Elizabeth: Pasta and meatballs!
Jen: Chicken nuggets and fries.
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
Liz: We did homeschool without internet. It wasn’t a big deal. :)
Elizabeth: Public library, like in old times! Bookstores for supplement materials.
Jen: We had this problem the other day, our internet was out. We went to the library. We also have a lot of non-computer school work, so it wouldn't really bother us for a couple days.
What tips do you have for other families?
Liz: Don’t try to recreate public school at home. Do school the way you want to do school. You chose to homeschool for a reason.
Elizabeth: Homeschooling helps your kids by having a 1-on-1 approach, instead of sharing one teacher between 20+ kids. Less time wasted and more knowledge achieved in half the time public school does.
Jen: Take is slow and do what works best for you!
What is something you appreciate about each of your kids?
Liz: My daughter is always caring for people. She doesn’t have to be asked, she will help anyway she can. My son has the sweetest little heart. He loves big.
Elizabeth: How independent they are, from chores to school work. Their kindness and hard work. Even with special needs, they always try their best.
Jen: They are all so sweet to other people.
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Liz: We love all kinds of board games! We probably have close to 50. We love playing Azul, King of Tokyo, Uno, Ghost Fightin’ Treasure Hunters, Catan Jr and so many others.
Elizabeth: Kenya, Monopoly, Uno, Mario Kart.
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
Liz: I just started exercising in the morning before the kids wake up. I do beach body videos on the TV.
Elizabeth: We dance to the Just dance game, ride bikes, and practice sports like soccer.
Jen: Running, biking, cheer routine.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your homeschool that you called a “science experiment”?
Liz: This mom doesn’t like science experiments. 🙈
Elizabeth: Nothing so far.
Jen: Nothing too weird yet. Getting ready to do the "germs on bread" experiment.
What hard thing are you planning to do this year?
Liz: Get through school while doing a massive home remodel and finish by summer.
Elizabeth: Transition from part time homeschooling to full time.
Jen: Work from home full time and homeschool and reluctant learner.
What did you do just for fun with your kids recently?
Elizabeth: We went out to eat and then play video games together. It’s been too cold to go outside and have a nerf gun battle, lol
Jen: Homeschool skate with the homeschooler. With all three, took them to a high school basket ball game.
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
Liz: Sewing or becoming a skilled cook.
Jen: Sewing most definitely.
If you could sum up your homeschool style or philosophy in one phrase what would it be?
Liz: I want to prepare my kids for life which is way more than just their education.
Elizabeth: Relaxed but curriculum guided.
What do your kids want to be when they grow up?
- Levi age 6: a cat trainer
- Sydney age 8: business owner
- Daughter wants to be a vet or a doctor.
- My son wants to be a nurse.
What extracurricular activities is your family involved in?
Liz: We are actively involved in our church.
If you have a moment to yourself what do you like to do?
Liz: Read my Bible or play Two Dots on my phone.
Elizabeth: Take a nap. LOL.
What’s your favorite school day breakfast?
Liz: Quiche or a sausage, egg, hash brown casserole.
Elizabeth: Egg, bacon and toast.
How do you continue to educate yourself?
Elizabeth: Researching about ways to help my son with Down Syndrome with his school and always reading articles to get easier ways to help them master concepts.
What are favorite healthy snacks at your house?
Liz: Bananas, mandarin oranges, apples, grapes and yogurt.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in homeschooling?
Elizabeth: Time management
What is your favorite thing about having kids?
Liz: The cuddles.
Elizabeth: Having fun with them and see them grow into their own person.
What’s your favorite in-a-pinch dinner option?
Liz: Tacos, spaghetti or ordering a pizza. There’s always cereal
Elizabeth: Rotisserie chicken
Share a favorite organizational tip.
Liz: I prefer hidden storage over open shelves or baskets. No visual clutter.
Elizabeth: Cubbies for books and materials.
Tell us something unique or unusual about your family.
Liz: We are unique because we don’t use much technology. I have a laptop I use a couple times a year to buy curriculum and that’s about it. We have cell phones but we just recently got internet at our house. We don’t watch very much tv and prefer to hang out playing board games.
Elizabeth: Well our son was born with Down Syndrome and it was a total surprise, actually we didn’t know for sure until he was 8 months and we tested him. Also, our daughter is a cancer survivor, she was diagnosed with Leukemia when she was 2 1/2 yo, and she will be cancer free for 4 yrs this June. And our family has survived all these together, making us stronger everyday.
What do you do for P.E. in your homeschool?
Liz: We just recently were blessed with a trampoline from a neighbor and the kids are out even in the cold bouncing every day. They also love driving their scooters in the house round and round and round all day long.
Elizabeth: Just Dance aerobic mode, riding bikes in the trail, playing outside (we have 8 acres to roam).