Marie-Helene E. of El Dorado Hills, California
I’m a musician. My husband works in the computer field. We have one energetic son who is 7 years old. We like hiking, reading and singing.
Alana of Oceanside, California
Family of 5. Mom, dad, 8th grade girl, 4th grade boy and kinder boy. Blue belts in Kyokushin karate. Love building things and being outside. 8th grader is currently completing her first novel. We have 3 dogs, 3 cats and 2 fish.
Krystal K. of California
We are a family of 5. Mom, Dad, Anaya (7), Jaxson (5), and Ellanise (1). We enjoy learning outdoors and meeting new friends. Both older kids enjoy dance, Spanish class, and PE classes.
Shirrell C. of Rosamond, California
Meet my family. Jeremy, my husband, who works in the computer company; Chris, my second to the oldest, who works at Six Flags; Oliver, my second to my youngest, is a junior in high school and is in the FFA group; Nate, my youngest of 4 boys is my homeschool student. We live on a farm were we have 3 horses, 1 pig, 1 steer, and 8 dogs.
How do you Timberdoodle?
Marie-Helene: I discovered Timberdoodle when I was looking for a math curriculum for kindergarten. One of my friends told me about Timberdoodle and when I visited the website, I fell in love with their kindergarten curriculum. It’s our second year using Timberdoodle material and so far so good! We like the hands-on activities and games.
Krystal: We started Timberdoodle with our oldest in kindergarten that our charter school told us about for an all-in-one curriculum. We really enjoyed it because my daughter is a visual learner and enjoyed the hands-on approach. This was and still is a perfect fit for a first time homeschool mom. We Timberdoodle everywhere we go, it’s easy to grab a book and go!
Shirrell: We heard about Timberdoodle from our homeschool teacher. We were looking for a curriculum that I can use different grade levels for one student who has a few learning disabilities. We love All about Reading and All about Spelling. It is amazing how it has helped my son learn to read and spell. We use them almost every day.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Marie-Helene: I like to start our day with breakfast and Bible devotional. Science is my son’s favorite subject. We like to finish the day at the playground or with our neighborhood friends.
Alana: We start around 10:00 a.m. and work in our office/study room until 2:00 or 3:00. We try to do at least one of each of core: i.e. math, language arts, history. We do chores in the a.m. before school and in p.m. before bed. And we eat whenever we are hungry. 😂
Krystal: We are late starters! We eat breakfast and get light chores done so we start around 9:30. I usually do all subjects with rotating history and science. We are usually done by 12:00 for lunch and I like to read while they are eating. After lunch is quiet time. They can read, draw, or paint. After quiet time is usually a science experiment, craft, or park time.
Shirrell: Our day starts at 8:00 a.m. with breakfast. At 9:00 a.m. we start our school. We cover reading and spelling 5 to 7 days a week. We cover math 3 to 4 days a week. Science and history are covered 3 days a week. We take breaks throughout the day. It depends on how good of a day Nate is having will depend on how many breaks we take.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Marie-Helene: Toys all over the floor and books everywhere.
Alana: Daughter writing on her laptop to finish her book.
Krystal: Books laid out on the kitchen table, craft of science station set up on the kitchen counter, music playing on the t.v!
Shirrell: You would see Nate working on his reading and spelling and or his math, or if he is having a bad afternoon he would be in his room using some of his sensory products to calm down so he can refocus on his school work.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Alana: Ireland or Japan.
Krystal: Library! It’s right across the street from us.
Shirrell: I would start off by driving up to Washington state and then go across to New York and then down the coast line, and then head back across to California hitting all the fun and historical places along the way.
What books have you read over and over?
Alana: anything by James Herriot
Krystal: Our Bible
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Alana: We try to be as vegan as possible.
Krystal: We do cook a lot at home. However, when we are tempted to eat out we go to Grandma's house. She lives 5 minutes and is always cooking good meals for us.
Shirrell: We avoid red dye, gluten, and most dairy. I find things that we can substitute for all of them.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Alana: Coffee and leaving homework for the day, and getting out of the house.
Krystal: Stop what you're doing and cuddle on the couch with your kids and read. It’s a great reminder why we homeschool!
Shirrell: I would have to say first off to just breathe, calmly have your student go into another room and have them do what they need to do to calm down.
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
Alana: They love to draw and I always get the first picture.
Krystal: Vocalizing how much the siblings love and enjoy learning together and experience new adventures together!
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Alana: We do not celebrate.
Krystal: A special birthday breakfast, and a special outing like park, trampoline park, or a movie.
Shirrell: We get together and have a wonderful family dinner.
What have you done recently for the first time?
Alana: The 2 older kids got to try the indoor skydiving as a field trip.
Krystal: Field trip to the grocery store! We got a tour.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Alana: Veggie sandwich with bubbly water and chips.
Krystal: Sandwiches and fruit.
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
Alana: We rarely use the internet as is. With Timberdoodle there is really no need.
Krystal: We don’t use internet that often so we would do just fine getting information at the library.
What tips do you have for other families?
Alana: Stick it out. You will get a routine and it will get easier. Kids will learn so much more than a traditional school.
Krystal: Have fun exploring what your child’s interest are and take breaks to enjoy those moments.
What is something you appreciate about each of your kids?
Alana: My little is not afraid to try anything. My middle boy has the biggest heart and feels for people and my oldest girl doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, she is who she is.
Krystal: My oldest genuinely loves to learn science, I love seeing her excitement when she gets it. My 5 year old son is very encouraging to his oldest sister. He cheers her on!
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Alana: We like Monopoly and Colorku. The kids like any board game.
Krystal: Right now its monopoly the toy story version
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
Krystal: I try to go for walks with the kids in the evenings
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your homeschool that you called a “science experiment”?
Krystal: Mixing milk and vinegar and watching a chemical reaction to it
What extracurricular activities is your family involved in?
Krystal: Lyrical dance, Spanish classes, PE class.