Samantha from Loganville, Georgia
Family of 5.
- Former military chaplain/veteran dad who works from home helping other veterans.
- Former nurse mom who helps direct a large homeschool classes program in our area now.
- 11-year-old daughter who loves kids and animals.
- 7-year-old son with mild special needs who loves vehicles and music.
- 6-year-old son who loves singing and creating.
- 1 hyper dog
- 2 rats
Rachel W. of Grovetown, Georgia
Jacob is in the military and married to homemaker Rachel. Their daughter, Kadence, is in 9th grade and their son, Jaden, is in his freshman year of college. They have two little fur babies, Daisy & Mickey.
Marlo of Coastal Georgia
Pookie, Bubba, and Bubbette- we love traveling to visit family and friends, all things space, and one of us is obsessed with anything pink. We have one dog named Daisy- she’s a great dog but loves to run away. 🙄😩
Ashley B. of Central Georgia
We have a home filled with people and love. Dad works in IT, and Mom works on the weekends as an ER nurse. We have 6 children from 16-6. Three are biological and three have joined us through foster care. We also have 2 dogs, a geriatric cat, and 30 chickens.
How do you Timberdoodle?
Samantha: My mom used Timberdoodle products when she homeschooled my brother and me back in the '90s. I would buy the entire catalog if I could afford it. We especially love the smart learning games and extras!
Rachel: We've been using Timberdoodle for years now and absolutely love knowing that we're getting the best of the best when it comes to homeschool curriculum.
Marlo: We love all the hands-on aspects of Timberdoodle. We enjoy the STEAM aspect of it all.
Ashley: I first encountered Timberdoodle when we began homeschooling 5 years ago. I was terrified that I'd choose a curriculum that didn't fit our family, but Timberdoodle fit our style perfectly and gave us the confidence to continue. We absolutely love their hands-on learning tools and focus on critical thinking and logic.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Samantha: We are late starters. The kids each have schoolwork and chores to complete each day, and as long as they get them completed, I'm not concerned about set schedules. We have classes we attend once per week with friends, and take advantage of other homeschool opportunities in our area when we can. I like to see imaginative play from my kids, and sometimes that is more important than sitting down with a book. We do math, language arts, chores every day, and throw in the others (like history, science, logic, etc) once per week.
Rachel: Our daughter starts her day around 8:30 a.m. and likes to get things done so doesn't take a lot of breaks. We do all of the main subjects plus home-ec, Bible, Italian, and keyboarding.
Marlo: I’ve always said I love homeschooling but never comprehended the full “feed everyone three times a day” aspect. We start after breakfast and after doing our morning checklist of basic care and chores. Each child has a morning checklist of “make bed, pick up clothes, etc” and then another of independent work. They can earn 15 minutes of iPad time for completing these checklists. I pull kids and work with them as I can one-on-one. We try to do several subjects together but we’ve got pretty large gaps in ages so a lot is individualized still. I’m hoping that will change as we go along.
Ashley: In the morning we take some of the kids to public school (foster children aren't typically permitted to homeschool in our area) and do farm chores. Then the kids relax and read or play games while Mom prepares for the day and completes needed tasks. After lunch, we begin school. We finish up as it is time to get the other kids off the bus and begin chores. Then dinner is cooked and we have family time.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Samantha: Laundry being folded, kids playing together (hopefully semi-nicely!), and me trying to get things done and still recover after a full day yesterday.
Rachel: Finishing up the school day with English, history and biology while Mom works on dinner.
Marlo: A mess-- or me frantically cleaning.
Ashley: Music playing, Mom helping kids individually or reading aloud. Occasionally there are frantic scrambles to clean for caseworker or counseling visits.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Samantha: To a beach on the Gulf of Mexico.
Marlo: On the most scenic road trip.
Ashley: We have been planning an epic summer road trip to Maine (passing through other New England landmarks along the way) and a trip out west to Wyoming.
What books have you read over and over?
Samantha: Anything by Ted Dekker.
Rachel: The Tea Shop books.
Marlo: Sandra Boynton books.
- Little Women
- Iggy Peck, Architect
- I Love You Through and Through
- the Harry Potter series
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Samantha: None, other than kids who like sugar a bit too much.
Rachel: We're vegan but it's not much of a challenge, it's actually quite easy these days.
Marlo: We are super picky eaters- getting enough vegetables is tricky!
Ashley: We deal with trauma-related food behaviors. We keep a yes basket of fruit that is always available and allow specific kids to keep a stash of food to increase their feelings of safety.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Samantha: Don't force yourself to keep going until you break. It's ok to decide you're done for the day.
Rachel: Deep breaths, breaks when needed, something delicious to drink or eat.
Marlo: Creamer (with a dash of coffee), Dr. Pepper, and chocolate - throw in a hot bath at the end of the day with a Hallmark show where you can fall asleep and still know the ending and it’s a good day.
Ashley: I have a group of moms that I meet with regularly to eat Mexican food and dish out our feelings. Community is immensely helpful.
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
Samantha: My 6-year-old regularly holds "church services" using the fireplace hearth as a stage.
Rachel: Doing the right thing when they knew I would never know.
Marlo: I love when they see a sibling in trouble or sad and they just naturally find a way to help them.
Ashley: My teen recently wrote a script that was inspired by a class she took at co-op. She began our journey as a reluctant writer.
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Samantha: Birthday person gets the day off, choice of where to eat for lunch, and what's for dinner and dessert. We normally celebrate just with us, but sometimes have extended family or close friends, too.
Rachel: Special meal and dessert request and a gift or two.
Marlo: We put streamers on the child’s door and then fill it with balloons. We decorate with banners and a birthday wreath. I put out pictures from each year since they were born so we can all see how they have grown.
Ashley: The birthday boy/girl picks a restaurant to eat dinner at and gets gifts. They also choose a special outing with friends or family.
What have you done recently for the first time?
Samantha: Started listening to (and enjoying) audio books rather than reading the written page. I've always preferred the hard copy, but a good narrator makes all the difference!
Marlo: We took the kids to the beach.
Ashley: Rode horses. My daughter rides competitively and I took a lesson with her to share in her passion
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Ashley: Fresh veggies and fruit, hummus, cheese, crackers and meat. Easy and filling.
What tips do you have for other families?
Ashley: The curriculum is not your master, don't be a slave to it. Relationship is more important than completing a checklist.
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Ashley: Ticket to Ride and Tenzi.