Wendy of Arizona
We are a large family of 5 boys! Because of this we love to cook.
Kari of Arizona
Our names are Kari and Kyle. We have two second graders: Charlotte and Finn. Our preschooler is Braylon. We have a Labradoodle named Harvey and a cute bunny named James!
Marguerite of Tempe, Arizona
- Kevin, father, works US Food
- Marguerite homeschooling mom
Adult children we completed homeschooling:
- Stephenie and Jalene, twins, graduated from ASU
- Jeremy, assistant manager, grocery store
- Patrice, dental assistant
- Anthony, construction equipment operator (twin)
- Marguerite, promoter (twin)
New adopted son:
- getting ready for kindergarten
Honey of Payson, Arizona
We live with my awesome father-in-law. My husband Jon, myself (Honey), my son David, and daughters: Amitee, Kealli and Willow. My husband and father-in-law are licensed contractors, and my husband works for a carpet and restoration company. He helps his dad do finish carpentry work in the evenings. My son, 14 years, loves to skateboard and has become quite amazing doing it. My daughters, 12 years, 10 years, and 6 years, love gymnastics, flipping all over the mat. I am a certified veterinary technician, though my employer allowed me to take over the bookkeeping from home so I could homeschool my girls. I am also a lead coach at my daughters' gymnastics studio. Life is fun, full and blessed. We love going bike riding, camping, and hiking as a family. We started a new adventure to visit national parks (staying in them) each year. We currently have two cats, Buttercup and Piper, and a dog named Bailee.
How do you Timberdoodle?
Wendy: We found Timberdoodle while looking for complete curriculum with fun aspects.
Kari: We love Timberdoodle! We stumbled across your website online when looking for curriculum a couple of years ago. We especially love the hands-on products. It fits our learning style!
Marguerite: We learned about Timberdoodle from their beginnings.
Honey: I first heard about Timberdoodle when my first daughter was in preschool, 8 years ago. We went to Arizona’s homeschool convention, and they were there. I have always loved the customer service and quality of the products. I have bought and use various products over the years but not until last year did I purchase a custom curriculum kit from Timberdoodle. In fact I purchased all three kits. It is definitely a lot of money but is still cheaper to buy through Timberdoodle then separately. Timberdoodle already offered the majority of my favorite curriculum I had been using for years. This year I tried some new from Mosdos, and I have fallen in love with them and look forward to the years ahead. The help I received to make custom kits was amazing. I am one who suffers from anxiety and the process was so simple and quick. I emailed the subjects and exact curriculum I was looking for and they made it possible. I received an email back within a few hours ready for me to just click purchase. Thank you!
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Wendy: One of our 5 boys is homeschooled for health reasons. We start slow and work on what we feel we need to each day. More focus on math, usually, seeing as its his difficult subject.
Kari: We do school everyday after breakfast until lunch time. We play games, read books, and use our curriculum.
Marguerite: We start at 7:30 with breakfast. Start with daily science. Reading phonics. Writing skills. Math games. Alphabet hands-on. Character-based stories. Foreign language. Gardening. Animal husbandry. Critical thinking books. Physical Education. Cooking. Puzzles.
Honey: My girls get up at 7:00 a.m., dress, brush hair, brush teeth, eat and are at the school desk by 8:00 a.m. I plan out their school day weeks in advance and each have a planner. We do 5 days of school into 4 days giving us Friday and the weekend to play, etc. They look up the daily assignments and complete them one at a time. I am there to help if they have questions from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. After that time I help them when I can. While the older two are working on school I teach my kindergartener. If they need a mid-morning snack they make it and then go back to school. We have gymnastics Tuesday and Friday so we are out of the house by 12:30 p.m. those days. If the girls are not finished they bring school with, most days they are done. They each have their daily hygiene/chores list. Outside of that we work as a team and just help out where it is needed. Cooking is mostly my husband and I, but the girls are starting to learn.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Wendy: Wednesdays are our co-op days so we'd be just getting home, eating and cooling off in the hotter months.
Kari: You’d probably see us reading Harry Potter or playing with one of our Timberdoodle games!
Marguerite: Finger painting. Sensory toys. Building with duplo. Dinosaur time. Learn to skate board.
Honey: No one but the animals. LOL! The girls have one-on-ones with the gymnastics owner at 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. We usually stay in town, run errands, etc, then are back at the gym by 3:00 p.m. to start coaching classes. We have a junior coaching program where we allow some of our more elite gymnasts to help mentor and coach our beginners and intermediate gymnasts. Two of my girls help there. They love it!
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Wendy: Camping on the rim in Arizona.
Marguerite: Camping in the Arizona mountains.
Honey: Alaskan cruise! So beautiful and a great all around experience.
What books have you read over and over?
- Edgar Allen Poe's complete poems
- Harry Potter
- Charlotte’s Web
- Winnie the Pooh
- Wizard of Oz
Honey: Dr Seuss books are a must and a favorite!
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Wendy: Vegetarian. One member is also gluten and dairy free.
Kari: We are dairy free which is a bit of a learning curve but has been worth it!
Marguerite: Our son has high calorie intake. He watches the cooking shows and eats a very healthy diet. He loves learning in the kitchen , he is only 4-and-a-half.
Honey: We deal with a little bit of lactose intolerance but it is easy to manage. So thankful we do not deal with bigger allergies like some close friends of ours.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Wendy: Allow yourself to rest.
Kari: Take care of yourself, go for a walk or read a good book.
Marguerite: Self care. Keep peace in us and reward the little things.
Honey: Deep breaths! God has this moment and all that are to come. Give yourself a break, you are not perfect and your kids are doing amazing even if you don’t see it in the moment. Don’t be anxious, but pray about everything.
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
Wendy: Discovered a love of books.
Kari: When they show love and care for each other. My daughter was crying once and my son went and got her her favorite blankie. It was so sweet!
Marguerite: Christian has developed great empathy toward all people and pets. He handle the death of his service dog with such grace. He is learning how much a puppy takes to care for. Patience.
Honey: When they share a poem or story, especially when they usually struggle in the subject, and it is amazing and they are so happy!! When they master a new gymnastic skill! Homeschooling has allowed so many great opportunities.
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Wendy: Zoo trips, restaurants, cupcakes with friends.
Kari: We spend the day as a family together. The birthday person gets to pick their favorite restaurant for dinner and open their presents!
Marguerite: Organ Stop Pizza, huge organ, plays movie songs and great theme music.
Honey: Their bed area is decorated as they sleep, they wake up to their favorite breakfast made. Depending on the day of the week (dad working, gymnastics schedule) it is a free adventure pick day! We end it with a family dinner out of their choice.
What have you done recently for the first time?
Wendy: Remodeled a bath room.
Marguerite: Started self care classes. Changed how I homeschooled.
Honey: Prayed out loud. I have always been so anxious but wanted to start working on it to show my kids that it is normal and okay to speak aloud in prayer.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Kari: A turkey wrap!
Marguerite: Chow mein with mixed veggies and two meats. Fortune cookies!
Honey: Tater tots and either chicken nuggets or corn dogs.
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
Wendy: Not well. Math is hard for me too!
Kari: We would go out more to museums and get books from the library. We already do those things even with internet!
Honey: We homeschool without internet all the time. I have not chosen the internet route yet. I might a little more when my kids reach high school but we will see.
What tips do you have for other families?
Wendy: Be easy on yourself. Don't measure yourself against anyone else.
Kari: Let your kids develop at their own pace. If they’re struggling give them a day (or week if you can!) off to pursue their own ideas and interests.
Marguerite: Try outside box for creative ways to teach. Read a lot to your children. Love the outdoors and teach respect. Life skills always being taught.
Honey: Find what works for you! It took me a few years to figure out what worked for my family and each individual. Don’t be afraid to try new things. How yourself a break, and then again as you need it. We are not prefect, we will not break our kids, we will not make them fail. Be honest and true and great results will be seen!
What is something you appreciate about each of your kids?
Wendy: My homeschooler is so inquisitive and determined.
- My daughter, Charlotte, questions everything. She loves to learn! I love her logical mind.
- My middle son, Finn, is thoughtful and so sweet.
- My youngest, Braylon, is energetic and keeps us all active!
Marguerite: Drive, compassion, never give up
- My oldest is her kind heart, her want to help others and be there for her friends. Her dedication to her hobby of art.
- My second oldest is her strength, both physical and mental. She is a fighter and will push through struggles and be a champion. She is a hard worker.
- My youngest girl is a doer. She is not afraid to try new things, is not afraid to fail, is a well rounded free spirited girl.
- My son is a leader, he will come alongside someone and support them and be there for them. He is a doer and tries his hardest every time. He is a little afraid to fail but listens to instructions and concurs most things. He has a heart of gold, especially for his sisters.
What song is currently in your head?
Kari: Jingle Bells.
Marguerite: 9 to 5.
Honey: Thy Will Be Done.
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Kari: We love board games like Sorry and Candyland!
- American jinga card games
- Connect 4
- Marble race games
- Perplex balls
Honey: We love various board games but love playing together on our new Nintendo Switch. Mario Cart tops the chart right now.
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
Kari: We walk and do yoga a few times a week.
Marguerite: Bikes, swimming, skateboarding, trampoline, hiking, learning to roller skate, ice skating, parquay.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your homeschool that you called a “science experiment”?
Kari: Letting the kids invent their own recipes was very interesting!!
Marguerite: Raised miniature tadpoles to frogs that escaped.
What hard thing are you planning to do this year?
Kari: Pay off debt!
Marguerite: 4-H projects. Sewing. Gardening in the desert. Teaching non-writer to like writing.
What did you do just for fun with your kids recently?
Kari: Went to the park to play.
Marguerite: Dinosaur museum.
What would you name your boat if you had one?
Kari: Palm Paradise
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
Marguerite: Sewing, quilting, or leather work.
What’s the last recipe you looked up?
Kari: Coconut yogurt
If you could sum up your homeschool style or philosophy in one phrase what would it be?
Kari: Trust the kids! Follow their interests.
Marguerite: Traditional with dash bohemian.
What do your kids want to be when they grow up?
Kari: An engineer, a mom, and a mechanic.
Marguerite: My adult children are doing what they want. Our 4-year-old wants remodel older homes. Loves fixing things.
What’s your favorite school day breakfast?
Kari: Eggs and turkey bacon.
Marguerite: French toast with maple syrup.
What’s the best homeschool field trip you’ve ever been on?
Kari: The local aquarium! We made a stay-cation out of it and stayed in a hotel the night before. We saw turtles and seals and dolphins and sharks.
The grocery store cashier asks, “But what about socialization?” What do you say?
Kari: That’s what we came here for!
Marguerite: We have too much socialization. We have to decline activities. LOL.
What do you do for fun as a family?
Kari: We love to go to Disneyland whenever we can!
Marguerite: Play dates, learn new ways to teach from other parents
How do you continue to educate yourself?
Kari: I read and listen to podcasts as much as possible.
Marguerite: Morning shows, Dr Oz, EWTN shows, read, read.
What are favorite healthy snacks at your house?
Kari: Fruits and veggies. Rice cake with hummus
Marguerite: Fresh fruit or popcorn
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in homeschooling?
Kari: Keeping everyone motivated (including myself)!
Marguerite: Earning money to buy school books, reading books, science experiments.
What is your favorite thing about having kids?
Kari: Learning who they are, what they like, and loving them!
Marguerite: All stages and ages are a blast.
What’s the best vacation you have ever taken as a family?
Marguerite: Christmas Disneyland.
List 3 frivolous things you are enjoying right now.
- a good show
- ice cream
- puppy sleeps on my feet
What’s your favorite in-a-pinch dinner option?
Kari: Meatballs and rice
What’s the strangest place you’ve done school?
Kari: In the car
Marguerite: Doctor's office
Share a favorite organizational tip.
Kari: Get rid of clutter.
Marguerite: Never stop organizing.
Tell us something unique or unusual about your family.
Kari: We homeschool!
Marguerite: Six bio children. Two sets of twins. Adopted teens, Native American. Adopted now 4-year-old. Life never dull.
Tell us something interesting about your local area.
Kari: We have the Grand Canyon!
Marguerite: Gila monsters, rattlesnakes, cacti (instead of trees). It is wild west.
What dream for your family has come true?
Kari: Moving to Arizona.
Marguerite: Adopting children.