Alicia L. of Huntsville, Alabama
My husband and I have 3 girls; Abbi, Anna and Ava. We also have 2 dogs,1 cat, a hedgehog and a hamster. My husband is an Electromechanical Technical and I am a stay-at-home mom, homeschool teacher and business owner.
Chantelle of Alabama
Noah 19, Eli 16, Zeke 13, Essie 10, Jonah 4, Micah almost 2, along with Tony (dad) and Chantelle (mom).
Krystal D. of Wicksburg, Alabama
Mom, Dad, JB, Bug, AJ
Pets: Doggy, Kitty
Video Games, Books, Art
Kerry of Alabama
Dad, mom, sister, brother, and Rusty the dog. Dad is a engineer and mom is a full time homeschooling mom. Both kids love to play sports and participate in 4-H. Sister loves arts and brother loves building things.
How do you Timberdoodle?
Alicia: My family was introduced to Timberdoodle 3 years ago. Fours year prior to that we had tried and failed at many other curriculums. It's hard enough find a curriculum that works but it'e even harder when you have multiple children who all learn in different ways. We have one child that relates more with technology. The fact that Timberdoodle offers multiple subjects individually, online and paperback is a plus for us.
Chantelle: We have been buying and using items from Timberdoodle for 10 years! I'm pretty sure I heard of y'all in a homeschool forum. The games are hands-down our favorite items but we have used so many wonderful things! We haven't been disappointed in anything we have ever purchased. For our elementary students games are a regular part of our day, we just schedule them in!
Kerry: I've heard about Timberdoodle for a long time, but I've actually never used your products!
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Alicia: We are late sleepers. So we usually wake up anywhere from 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. We all eat breakfast together and spend about an hour getting ready for the day. Our 2 oldest girls decide what work they want to do that day. As long as they get their work done each week it doesn't matter what order they do things in. Our youngest is six so we allow her a little more free time, but when she's not playing we do some light reading and math. She picks up a lot from the other two girls. All three of the girls like to make their own breakfast and snacks each day. They find recipes online and in come cookbooks we have.
Chantelle: My day currently starts as early as 5:30 with the toddler and no later than 6:30 when we wake up our 10-year-old, who attends public school, to get her on the bus. I'm generally doing Algebra 2 with 16-year-old by 7:30 and our morning time begins at about 8:30 with cnn10, Bible reading and read aloud. I fit in preschool activities amongst all the other things. It's hectic for sure!
Our older kids make their own breakfast and lunch though I prepare the preschoolers. I start dinner prep at 4:00 and we eat at 5:00 so we can handle evening activities. I work 2 nights a week and my husband has church responsibilities and we have kids activities mixed in there, too. The kids help with age-appropriate chores, though we are pretty flexible about when they get done.
Krystal: We start around 7:30 a.m. and cover core subjects before lunch. After lunch, we do art and other activities until supper time.
Kerry: We try to begin our school day between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Most of our chores are left till after our school day is completed. We cover all subjects every day (no kind of alternative schedule there) but we only school 4 days a week and school year round.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Alicia: Well, it's Wednesday and I am finishing up orders while the girls are playing with their animals.
Chantelle: I am usually finishing up with 13-year-old, 16-year-old is at work, 19-year-old is at college. 10-year-old still at school. When baby takes nap I play games and use our Timberdoodle preschool resources (bambinoLUK, Guidecraft Geoboards, Smart Start STEM, Berenstain Bears Book of Science and Nature, My Very First Body Book, My Very First Our World Book) with 4-year-old.
Krystal: One fourth grade student sitting at her desk drawing or painting.
Kerry: Getting ready for church services that night.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Alicia: To the beach at Pensacola.
Chantelle: France or Italy or Egypt or China... we would really love to go anywhere!
Kerry: On a road trip through small towns in New England.
What books have you read over and over?
Alicia: Girl Wash Your Face
Chantelle: Dr Seuss books, classics like Little Britches, Narnia and Harry Potter.
Krystal: Anything R. A. Salvatore
Kerry: Anne of Green Gables series, Little House on the Prairie, Christy
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Alicia: We were vegan but have recently made the switch to Keto. My girls love anything challenging so the change has been easy for them.
Chantelle: None. We try to eat healthfully but have no restrictions or allergies.
Krystal: I am a Type 1 diabetic, so not a lot of sugar in the house. It can cause problems when family members don't understand why it must be that way.
Kerry: Severe food allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, and eggs. We have been dealing with this for 12.5 years (my oldest is 13.5) so it is second nature to us. We read labels everywhere we go and are so cautious and aware but don't let it consume our lives at the same time.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Alicia: Relax. Everything can wait.
Chantelle: Prayer and quiet time for everyone.
Krystal: Coffee breaks.
Kerry: Take a warm bath and light a few candles!
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
Alicia: Drew a picture of what she wanted to be when she grew up. The picture was me working on my computer and homeschooling.
Chantelle: When they share about books they are reading. Light bulb moments of learning after a struggle with a topic.
Krystal: Been compassionate to others.
Kerry: Cleaned the kitchen without being asked!
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Alicia: We choose the restaurant we want on our own birthday and then order anything off the menu. Money will be of worry.
Chantelle: Family dinner out to eat. Fun activity with family or friends.
Krystal: Dinners or cake parties.
Kerry: Usually by doing something special instead of having a big party.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Alicia: Tuna salad, celery and fresh juice.
Chantelle: Leftovers :) or pasta with olives, artichokes, garlic, onions, and tomatoes.
Krystal: Sandwiches with carrots or cucumbers.
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
Alicia: I don't think we could.
Chantelle: I have no idea!!!!!
Krystal: We do not rely much on the internet, so this wouldn't be a big issue.
Kerry: We love books so I could do it!
What tips do you have for other families?
.Take a break from the world. Go outside. Find what works for you.
- Relationship relationship relationship.
- Skills over content.
- Don't worry about what same age kids at public school are doing.
Krystal: Take it slow. Learn to enjoy the little things. Relax.
Kerry: If you are a new to homeschooling family...it will get easier! You don't have to know everything about everything! And have self confidence! You know better than anyone what is best for your child!
What is something you appreciate about each of your kids?
Alicia: They have more patience than I do.
Chantelle: Noah is steady and reliable. Eli keeps us laughing. Zeke keeps us informed about all things history. Essie can find fun anywhere and never stops laughing. Jonah loves us fiercely. Micah is our sweet and cuddly baby.
Krystal: Their personalities
Kerry: My son's heart... he is so sweet loving. My daughter is such a hard worker and will do anything for anyone.
What song is currently in your head?
Alicia: Rise Up Lauren Daigle.
Chantelle: Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Suede because the 13-year-old was playing it on the Alexa Dot!
Krystal: Oceans by Hillsong
Kerry: Whistle While You Work
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Alicia: Any board game will do!
Chantelle: Our favorite game of all time is 10 Days in Europe, purchased from Timberdoodle. We also love Shadows in the Dark, Hiss, Ticket to Ride, Castle Rescue (bought from Timberdoodle), Uno Moo, Zingo, Sleeping Queens. I could go on and on. We love games!
Krystal: Risk, Exploding Kittens, Sorry.
Kerry: Probably Mario games on the Nintendo Switch. Favorite board games is probably Ticket to Ride.
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
Alicia: Kayaking, walking and gardening.
Chantelle: T-Tapp and yoga. I try for 3 days a week.
Krystal: Workout or walk for 30 minutes about 5 times per week.
Kerry: No often enough!
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your homeschool that you called a “science experiment”?
Alicia: Watch food mold.
Chantelle: My kids plucked out their own hairs and tried to bleach them and look at them under microscope.
Kerry: Made homemade ice cream!
What hard thing are you planning to do this year?
Alicia: Expanding my business.
Krystal: Transition to fully homeschooling.
Kerry: Dyslexia therapy.
What did you do just for fun with your kids recently?
Alicia: Take a mini vacation.
Chantelle: We went to Chinese New Year Festival.
Krystal: Watched a movie called Smallfoot
Kerry: Field trip to a new science museum
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
Alicia: Tinkering with electronics.
Krystal: To bake homemade bread or to can food.
What’s the last recipe you looked up?
Alicia: Keto mashed cauliflower.
Chantelle: Mac and cheese for the Instapot.
Kerry: Chocolate frosting.
What apps do you use the most?
Chantelle: Goodreads, Audible, library app, and banking app.
Krystal: Libby (library book app), and my email.
If you could sum up your homeschool style or philosophy in one phrase what would it be?
Alicia: Take each day as it is.
Krystal: Laid back.
What do your kids want to be when they grow up?
- park ranger
- farm owner
- computer programmer
- history scholar
- and the baby is never growing up!
- video game designer
- civil engineer
What extracurricular activities is your family involved in?
Chantelle: Theater and church activities.
Kerry: Church, basketball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, 4H, co-op.
If you have a moment to yourself what do you like to do?
Krystal: Read books.
Kerry: Veg out so my mind can relax.
What’s your favorite school day breakfast?
Alicia: Avocado "toast."
Chantelle: Scrambled eggs with onions, peppers and tomatoes.
Krystal: Eggs, toast, and fruit.
Kerry: Bagel with cream cheese, yogurt, and fruit.
What’s the best homeschool field trip you’ve ever been on?
Chantelle: Pucker powder (candy making facility) or Sloss Furnace to learn about steel making.
Krystal: Art museum.
Kerry: U. S. Space and Rocket Center.
The grocery store cashier asks, “But what about socialization?” What do you say?
Alicia: They get it from church.
Chantelle: Ha! My kids are around other kids through our co-op, church and their own friends.
Krystal: She's talking to you, right?
Kerry: 😂 We are involved in plenty of activities and it's not something we need to worry about.
What do you do for fun as a family?
Chantelle: Play games.
Krystal: Watch movies, go to the park, play board games.
Kerry: We love to travel!
How do you continue to educate yourself?
Alicia: Asking friends, researching.
Chantelle: Reading, podcasts, educator training through Rooted In Language.
Krystal: Reading as many books on different things as possible
Kerry: I do a lot of reading online and watching YouTube videos. I plan to become Orton Gillingham certified this summer.
What are favorite healthy snacks at your house?
Alicia: Fresh veggies!
Chantelle: Fruit, cheese, nuts.
Krystal: Fruit or veggies.
Kerry: Fruit, Sunbutter and crackers, granola bars.
What’s the best museum you’ve ever gone to?
Krystal: Art museum near us.
Kerry: Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in homeschooling?
Chantelle: Teaching my dyslexic and dysgraphic son to read and write.
Krystal: Getting out of the public school mindset.
Kerry: Finding out what works for my highly gifted child with stealth dyslexia and dysgraphia.
What is your favorite thing about having kids?
Alicia: They keep me young.
Chantelle: Keep my focus off myself and looking for ways to have fun!
Krystal: The utter joy inside the chaos.
Kerry: My whole life I wanted to be a mom. I love just being there for every moment, good and bad. When they need me and when they just want to share something exciting.
What’s the best vacation you have ever taken as a family?
Chantelle: Road trip to Mammoth Cave, Creation Museum and Abe Lincoln birthplace.
Kerry: Hard to say. We've taken a lot of great trips...but we are a big Disney family!
List 3 frivolous things you are enjoying right now.
Alicia: Special foods!
Chantelle: 3 cups of coffee per day, a foot spa, and 6 month membership to Starz.
Kerry: New earrings, relax time in the afternoons, and Amazon Prime.
What’s your favorite in-a-pinch dinner option?
Alicia: Veggie "Noodles" spaghetti.
Chantelle: Breakfast - frozen biscuits, bacon, sausage and scrambled eggs or chicken sandwiches - frozen chicken patties on buns.
Krystal: Ordering pizza.
Kerry: Frozen pizza.
What’s the strangest place you’ve done school?
Alicia: Doctor's office.
Kerry: By our lake.
Share a favorite organizational tip.
Alicia: Let the kids decide how they want to organize things into baskets.
Chantelle: Google Drive for digital resources. Little hooks on the inside of my cabinet door for measuring spoons because I can never find them in the drawer.
Krystal: Labels, three ring binders.
Kerry: Dollar Tree bins are a great money saver!
What special gifts or talents to your kids have?
Krystal: Singing and drawing.
Kerry: My daughter is so artistically talented. She has won several awards. My son loves to build things and has been able to understand complicated instructions from a young age. We even got him involved in helping around the house with projects because he was so interested in how machines work. He understood how the washing machine operated and how to take it apart and put it back together.
Tell us something unique or unusual about your family.
Alicia: We are quiet and like to keep to ourselves.
Chantelle: We have 5 biological boys and 1 adopted from China daughter.
Krystal: It is a blended family.
Kerry: We are very tall! My 13-year-old daughter is 6 feet tall and not done growing!
What do you do for P.E. in your homeschool?
Alicia: Gardening, trampoline, bikes, anything outside.
Chantelle: Play outside and older kids lift weights.
Krystal: Workout programs or running around the yard.
Kerry: Rec sports and riding bikes and playing outside in general.
Share a favorite inspirational quote.
What’s your best time of day to homeschool?
Alicia: 1:00 - 2:00.
Kerry: 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Tell us something interesting about your local area.
Alicia: Mountains and the rivers.
Krystal: It is home to a monument to a bug that nearly killed the cotton crop.
Kerry: We have the most varied number of wildlife species in the country!
What dream for your family has come true?
Alicia: Moving to Huntsville and enjoying the outdoors.
Chantelle: Adopting our daughter.
Krystal: Hubby has a better job to be able for me to stay home.
Kerry: Health, safety, blessings from God.