Amy of Brandon, Florida
Mom and Dad (Amy and Nick), teenagers Natalia and Kira, 6-year-old Aria, a surprise babe on the way, plus two dogs and 3 cats make up our household! We work for UPS, are artists, animators, musicians, cosplayers, costume designers, dancers, experimenters, and fitness lovers!
Follow us on on Instagram: timeywimeyamy
Jocelyn of Florida
- Hank - dad, charter boat captain, retired preacher
- Jenni- mom, homemaker, homeschool mom, Airbnb hostess, helps with business side of charter business
- Javier- 8-year-old brother, innovative, creative, adventurous, and kind. Loves to fish and draw.
- Phoebe - doberman.
- Luna- semi wild cat.
- Jocelyn- sister (me), behavioral health nurse.I do not live in the same household but in the same general area.
- Pandora - doberman.
- Dollar- beagle.
Elizabeth of Orlando, Florida
Hi! We are a family of 6 that lives outside of Orlando, Florida. My husband works from home and we have 1 college age son, 2 girls elementary school and one puppy! We have been homeschooling for the last 3 years.
Follow us on Instagram: our_learning_adventure
Karleen of Florida
Dad’s name is Joshua, he is a mental health therapist. Mom's name is Karleen, she is a stay-at-home mom. Sophie and Saraa are four-year-old twins. They love to visit the library. Our dogs name is Buck. He is a golden retriever
How do you Timberdoodle?
Amy: We first heard about Timberdoodle a few years ago while searching for curriculum that was engaging, with wholesome values, and not based online for my then 6th grader. We fell in love and use it as written every day!
Jocelyn: I love the premise behind Timberdoodle. It really is innovative and follows the most recent research in how kids learn. It is engaging in a rare way. The math elements are probably my favorite. I wish they were around or we knew about them when I was in school. I feel like I probably would have enjoyed and done significantly better in math class if I was able to learn with these tools.
Elizabeth: We started with Timberdoodle our first year homeschooling. We started with kindergarten, then took a year off and found our way back for 2nd grade. We love that Timberdoodle is hands-on and fun.
Karleen: We heard of Timberdoodle from a good family friend. She recommended it because of its reading materials. We really enjoy the critical thinking bingo boards.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Amy: Our school day doesn’t necessarily have a set rhyme or reason. First thing in the morning is dedicated to working out for an hour, for Mom and Dad. Sometimes kids will join in and that’s great! It’s important to us to set a good example of taking care of our bodies! The teens wake up around 11:00 normally and do their school when and however they want, as long as everything on their checklist is completed by the end of the week. Our 6-year-old likes to do her harder subjects first, so we will start with math, take a play break, then do some language arts, another play break, and so on through out the day. On her play breaks I clean house or meal prep and sometimes read!
Jocelyn: My mom and brother are flexible and alternate schedules depending on available activities and interest.
This is a semi-typical schedule:
- 6:30 - 6:45. Wake up.
- 7:00. Review nutrition and cooking skills for breakfast.
- 8:00. Bible study.
- 8:30. Outdoor physical activity.
- 9:00. Math and reading.
- 10:00. Art or science.
- 11:00. History.
- 12:00. Lunch.
- 1:00. Writing practice.
- 2:00. Art or science.
Elizabeth: We school Tuesday through Friday. We normally start around 9:00 and and finish around 12:00. We combine science, history and STEAM. Some of our workbooks are worked on in the afternoon independently.
Karleen: A typical homeschooling day starts at 10:00 a.m. We usually go to the library, since we are currently living with family and have better concentration time there. Lunch is around 12:30. We usually have chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, sandwiches, or fish sticks with fruit. Right now we are currently learning alphabet sounds and sight words
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Amy: On a random Wednesday you would find my 15-year-old upstairs in her room with one of her best friends either practicing costume makeup or sewing and designing a costume. Wednesdays she takes the day off from typical school to enjoy her hobby all day, and she chooses to do school on Saturday instead. The other two are probably done with school by around 2:00 p.m. and are playing a game together or enjoying some time on their tablets.
Jocelyn: Probably my brother cracking jokes or creating art. If they finished school early he might be catching fish at the nearby intercoastal.
Elizabeth: Wednesday afternoons are our field trip days with a local co-op. We go to museums, do community service or meet for fun play time at local parks.
Karleen: Lots of coloring books, crafts, crayons, books, etc.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Jocelyn: A cruise to anywhere warm.
Elizabeth: We’d go on a road trip down the west coast of the USA.
Karleen: Cross country road trip where we would visit the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Washington DC, etc.
What books have you read over and over?
Amy: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.
- The Bible
- The Chronicles of Narnia
- Harry Potter
- My younger girls are enjoying My Father's Dragon.
- The Velveteen Rabbit
- All Things Bright and Beautiful
- Curious George
- Clifford the Big Red Dog
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Amy: We are still working on how to eliminate so much sugar from the kids’ diets. It’s hard when grandma likes to spoil them once a week at her house!
Jocelyn: None. We encourage full balanced diets. Javier typically prefers most healthy food.
Elizabeth: We are fortunate that we have no allergies and my kids are good eaters.
Karleen: We are trying to implement higher fiber by incorporating more veggies, and carbs. The toughest part is convincing to toddlers to eat their veggies
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Amy: Taking a deep breath and setting a timer for 30 minutes of down time, no matter how busy the day feels.
Jocelyn: Go to God in prayer. Utilize brain breaks. Offer yourself a little grace.
Elizabeth: Coffee or tea! On days that are really bad it’s either because I’m distracted and not giving my all or the girls are just done. We usually take time to play a game or just cancel school for a nice get-out-of-the-house or snuggle-on-the-couch day.
Karleen: Lots of deep breaths, quiet time, and early bedtime
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
Amy: Learned how to schedule out their lessons and accomplish them without my help!
Jocelyn: A kid on his football team who previously had been mean to him tripped and he was the first to help him up.
Elizabeth: Through homeschooling my girls have found their passions. One loves to perform and the other loves to create. It’s one of the most soul filling experiences to watch your child do what they love.
Karleen: Voluntarily expressed kindness to a stranger. Random acts of kindness with each other as well.
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Amy: We usually take the birthday person somewhere special with mom or dad, like a theme park, or a plane trip to another state!
Jocelyn: Birthday dinners, personalized presents.
Elizabeth: Birthdays are special days in our house. The birthday person gets to pick what activities that we do that day.
Karleen: Birthdays are done intimately, usually with a family dinner and some cake. Then something fun like mini golfing, a trip to the beach, or a fun day at the park.
What have you done recently for the first time?
Amy: Within the past year I’ve started being able to leave my 6 year old home alone with my teens as babysitters and it’s WONDERFUL.
Elizabeth: We went to the mountains and rode a gondola for the first time! For someone with severe anxiety and fear of heights it was crazy!
Karleen: We recently visited Seaworld for New Year’s Eve. It was amazing.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Amy: A nice big salad with grilled chicken.
Jocelyn: Fish tacos with homemade salsa.
Karleen: Favorite school day lunch is pizza! That’s a special treat.
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
Amy: Easy! Library!!
Jocelyn: My mom would excel at this until middle school math.
Karleen: We don’t normally rely on too much Internet for school. We mainly use the library books and physical resources.
What tips do you have for other families?
Amy: Don’t be so uptight about homeschooling and don’t try to make it “school at home.” Enjoy each other!
Jocelyn: Each child learns differently. Do not try to force them all into the same mold or have the same expectations.
Karleen: Time management is critical, however flexibility is crucial when homeschooling. Not every child learns the same, not every approach is effective for everyone.
What is something you appreciate about each of your kids?
- Natalia is independent and does her best.
- Kira laughs loudly and A LOT.
- Aria loves to snuggle.
Jocelyn: My brother is 8 years old and is already one of the most thoughtful, considerate people I know.
- Sara has strong leadership skills. She is inquisitive, and always loves to teach what she learns.
- Sophia is creative, she loves to express her individuality Through arts and crafts.
What song is currently in your head?
Amy: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo.
Jocelyn: Baby Shark.
Karleen: Into the Unknown from the Frozen sequel.
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Amy: Fortnite, Zelda games, Mario- we love the Nintendo Switch.
Jocelyn: Scrabble, Battleship, Chess.
Karleen: We love to play hide and seek and also enjoy playing outdoors.
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
Jocelyn: Javier is all go all the time. He routinely takes the doberman for over a mile walk. He has a play set in the backyard he uses to simulate parkour and a pool he swims laps in.
Karleen: Most mornings we begin the day by lifting weights (only Mom and Dad). We do jumping jacks and sprints as a family. We also do a lot of outdoor activities such as riding bicycles
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your homeschool that you called a “science experiment”?
Jocelyn: Created "flubber" like substance.
Karleen: Created kinetic sand. It was too messy for our taste.
What hard thing are you planning to do this year?
Jocelyn: My mom is doing a gap year to tailor more to my brother's needs. Piecing together curriculum is challenging but rewarding for her.
Karleen: Learning to read.
What did you do just for fun with your kids recently?
Jocelyn: Went to the beach.
Karleen: We went to Sea World!
What would you name your boat if you had one?
Jocelyn: Deep Color.
Karleen: La Borincana.
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
Karleen: Definitely baking and sewing.
What’s the last recipe you looked up?
Jocelyn: Valentine's day treats.
Karleen: Marinara meatballs.
What apps do you use the most?
If you could sum up your homeschool style or philosophy in one phrase what would it be?
Jocelyn: Every day is a new opportunity.
Karleen: Reasonably paced and flexible.
What do your kids want to be when they grow up?
Jocelyn: He doesn't know yet - he has considered being a charter boat captain or marine biologist.
What extracurricular activities is your family involved in?
Karleen: We volunteer at our local church.
If you have a moment to yourself what do you like to do?
Jocelyn: Read or paint.
Karleen: Mom goes to school, too.
What’s your favorite school day breakfast?
Jocelyn: Sausage, eggs, and fresh cut fruit.
Karleen: Eggs and pancakes with strawberries.
What’s the best homeschool field trip you’ve ever been on?
Karleen: Washington D.C.
The grocery store cashier asks, “But what about socialization?” What do you say?
Jocelyn: He's the most social kid I know. Homeschool groups, neighborhood kids, church friends, football team, and all of the adults that he wins over.
Karleen: We are plugged in with local homeschooling groups.
What’s the funniest thing one of your kids ever said?
Jocelyn: My brother is constantly saying things that crack me up.
Karleen: “Eenie meenie minie mo, catch a salad in my toe.” 😂
What do you do for fun as a family?
Jocelyn: Board games, church, beach, park, movies, travel.
Karleen: Park trips, community events.
How do you continue to educate yourself?
Jocelyn: My mom is constantly keeping up on homeschool guides, teacher's materials, and other resources. I keep up to date on recent medical studies, especially related to the behavioral health field.
Karleen: Mom attend school at Colorado Christian university, as well as learns from fellow homeschooling moms.
What are favorite healthy snacks at your house?
Jocelyn: Celery and peanut butter.
Karleen: Lots of fruits as well as coconut clusters, trail mix, Goldfish.
What’s the best museum you’ve ever gone to?
Jocelyn: Children's museum in LA.
Karleen: Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in homeschooling?
Jocelyn: Attention span.
What is your favorite thing about having kids?
Jocelyn: Seeing the world through my little brother's perception.
Karleen: Teaching them about the importance of loving God and loving others and watching that in action.
What’s the best vacation you have ever taken as a family?
Karleen: We have yet to take a family vacation since we live in Orlando, Florida. We have taken them to theme parks such as Disney and Sea World.
What’s your favorite in-a-pinch dinner option?
Jocelyn: Steak and asparagus.
Karleen: White rice, fried eggs, and sausage.
What’s the strangest place you’ve done school?
Karleen: In the car.
What special gifts or talents to your kids have?
Jocelyn: Athletic, innovate, creative.
Karleen: Both of my girls are very gifted at singing. One in particular, likes songwriting.
Tell us something unique or unusual about your family.
Jocelyn: This is state 8 for most of us, the first for Javi.
Karleen: Our family is intentional about devotional time together. We usually eat breakfast while listening to worship music and encouraging one another in scripture.
What’s making you laugh these days?
Karleen: Creative song writing by Sophia and Saraa
What do you do for P.E. in your homeschool?
Jocelyn: Football, parkour, swimming.
Karleen: We ride bikes, and do exercise in the morning
Share a favorite inspirational quote.
Jocelyn: “If not us, who? If not now, when?” – John F. Kennedy
Karleen: Train a child in The way he should go and when he is older he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6
What’s your best time of day to homeschool?
Karleen: Morning times! We are too tired after lunch.
Tell us something interesting about your local area.
Jocelyn: 2.2 miles from the beach.
Karleen: There are countless of educational resources in our city.
What dream for your family has come true?
Jocelyn: For my mom to be able to stay at home to homeschool my brother.