Debbie of Dallas, Georgia
- Mom is Debbie, stay at home mom and teacher.
- Dad is Mike, works for the railroad and Cub Scout Pack Leader.
- Big brother, Aniello is 7 and in 2nd grade. Loves Timberdoodle for all the hands-on activities and fun projects.
- Little sister, Clara will be starting Kindergarten early. Thanks to Timberdoodle she is way ahead of her peers.
- Our puppy, Thor is a 6 month old Cavachon.
Shala B. of Union City, Georgia
Hershal, Shala, and 3 little girls: Hannah, Hailey and Hadley. We are a dance and gymnastics family.
Kellie of Woodstock, Georgia
We have 2 year old "LuLu" and 5 year old "I". They are sisters and dancing princesses most of the day! Their dad works hard out of the house so we can all homeschool together. We also have 2 cats and will get a puppy in a few weeks!
Misty A. of Georgia
- Bug is 11 years old, enjoys STEM and coding projects.
- Mitch is 9 years old, enjoys arts and crafts, using his imagination to make up stories and crafting in Minecraft
- Dad is a soldier in the United States Army.
- Mom stays home and enjoys the role of facilitating a fun learning environment.
How do you Timberdoodle?
Debbie: We only use Timberdoodle and have since my oldest was in kindergarten. After lots of research I had decided to try Timberdoodle after reading reviews in Practical Homeschooling magazine and seeing the company win the People's Choice awards for curriculum. Been loyal to the company since and always recommend. My son loves Story of the World, it's his favorite thing!
Shala: I first heard about Timberdoole last year on one of the homeschooling Facebook pages. It had such good reviews, I had to look into it. So I did research and loved what I found. We started near the end of 2019 since I was looking for a new curriculum. So far we are using the first grade, as well as fourth grade. And we love it. It takes some adjustments but we truly believe we made the best choice for our family. My 3-year-old even loves doing work with her sisters. I will have to get her started with Timberdoole soon. We use it daily. My girls really loves all the hands-on games.
Kellie: We love adding Timberdoodle games, workbooks, and books to our hybrid school curriculum that is already set for us. It adds extra fun to our day and helps us think outside of the box! We currently use your "extras" for Kindergarten, but would love to add more!
Misty: We first heard about Timberdoodle six years ago. We were looking for an all inclusive home curriculum product and Timberdoodle ticked off all of our boxes. Over the years we have enjoyed various learning games such as Tenzi, Q-bitz, and Laser Maze. Math Wrap Ups have made car trips enjoyable and a great learning environment. In addition we have utilized our long car trips to study history by utilizing Story of the World CDs.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Debbie: We are early risers so breakfast is at 6:30 and school starts at 7:00. Core subjects get worked on everyday from 7:00 - 9:00 and then we'll work on other stuff for an hour (typing, art, Rosetta Stone-Mandarin). 10:00 - 12:00 is free time and than lunch is between 12:00 and 12:30. They do their chores and piano practice after lunch and dinner is at 5:15 most days.
Shala: We try to start around 7:00/8:00 a.m. We start with the fourth grader first. And once she gets a couple of lessons in we then start with the first grader. We pretty much do all subjects daily. Except for science and history, which we do once and twice a week. We tend to have most evenings open. So that is when we cook dinner. We also take small breaks for lunch if we still have lessons to do.
Kellie: We try to start Kindergarten by 9:00. We do this 3 days a week, as my 5-year-old is in a hybrid school 2 days. We cover the core subjects, but need help adding science to our curriculum. We have lots of breaks and playtime! We also have meals at home and sometimes go out for a treat. "I" loves cleaning her stuffed animals up and making her bed tidy! She also loves to make a mess, haha!
Misty: We start our day anytime between 0830-0930. We usually begin with some computer based learning such as learning to type. From there our structure is student led. Our core lessons are already planned out and the boys can decide what order they want to do them in. We cover math, language arts, science, writing/spelling, geography/history, and reading. We split up our day with 15 minute wiggle breaks and an hour for lunch. Our life skills (chores) are done throughout the day and weekends. Twice a week meals are planned, shopped for and prepared (with the help of mom) by both boys.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Debbie: You would see both kids practicing piano (lessons are Thursday mornings) or they would be doing chores (cleaning the playroom, cleaning their rooms, the living room, vacuuming or laundry).
Shala: Girls playing games. Us reading and getting dinner ready so we can just have a nice relaxing evening. One of few evenings we don’t have dance or gymnastics practice.
Kellie: Lots of toys everywhere, mostly from my 2-year-old. Lots of books, papers, creative materials on our dining room table!
Misty: Wednesday afternoon would find our household finishing up schoolwork at the dining room table. Getting ready to play/work outside in our yard or if the weather is less than comfortable some indoor art and crafts or the boys snuggled up on the couch reading a book.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Misty: A dream road trip would see us road-schooling for 5-6 months. Starting in south during the colder months so we have warmer weather and do not have to risk driving in rough weather conditions. Hopefully circumnavigating the lower 49 states heading west, then north, traveling east, then south back to our starting position. Visiting many unique locations, history sites, and national parks along the way.
What books have you read over and over?
Debbie: Gone With the Wind and anything by Stephen King
Misty: Our household has read over and over, the complete Harry Potter series, The Last Kids on Earth series, Girl of the Limberlost, Inkheart trilogy, The Candyshop War, The Tuttle Twins, The Magic Treehouse series, The Black Lagoon Adventures.
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Debbie: My daughter has a dairy and nut allergy. We buy baby wipes in bulk and wipe ourselves off every time we eat her allergens because she also has a contact allergy.
Misty: Our kids have no current dietary issues. However, mom is allergic to wheat (actual allergy not celiac). Therefore our household maintains a gluten free diet. We eat at home to maintain allergy free as best we can.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Debbie: A hot bath with a bath bomb and eye mask, or binge watching a show.
Misty: Prayer. Multiple hugs even when you may be feeling angry. Reflection on the little things that make you happy. Accomplish the smallest of tasks so you can have the feeling of victory. Clean up and organize a corner of the house, do the dishes, start the laundry, mow the lawn, anything that gives you a sense of accomplishment. 30 second dance parties are a favorite in our house. Turn on your favorite dance music and just jump around.
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
Debbie: Saved enough allowance to buy a $200 Lego set on his own.
Misty: Giving hearts. Selfless sacrifice. Showing empathy and love even when another child has wronged them.
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Debbie: Birthdays are big because my kids have holiday birthdays (Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve). We do parties with magicians or indoor play areas with friends and any family that can travel to us- we are 1000 miles away from family.
Misty: For our children's birthdays since they are a month a part and in the winter months. We take a weekend and have an indoor water park party for three days.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Debbie: The kids love snack lunch (graham crackers, fruit, veggie sticks, pepperoni, pretzels). I'm a mac n cheese girl.
Misty: Our favorite lunch is chicken, apple slices, carrots, and a drink.
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
Debbie: Easy, we only use the internet for Rosetta Stone.
Misty: I would like to think we would manage just fine. I feel we would utilize the library more than we do now.
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Debbie: We really like Chickapig.
Misty: That is is a tough question there are so many. Current favorites include, 5-minute Dungeon, The Farming Game (similar to Monopoly but takes place in the Yakima Valley and is about farming), Sushi Go, Triominoes, Dragonwood, and Ticket to Ride.
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
Debbie: We play on playgrounds with friends and do Cosmic Kids Yoga on Amazon Prime video.
Misty: My personal exercise routine is walking at least 1-2 miles a day, and some at home strength training, using my body weight. For our kids after play outside we spend 1-2 hours once a week at the local trampoline park. They also participate in Jiu-Jistu twice a week.
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
Debbie: Sewing or knitting.
Misty: How to cut and place tile. I would also like to learn how write computer code.
What’s the last recipe you looked up?
Debbie: Bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers.
Misty: The last recipe I looked up was for Keto Cream Cheese Cookies.
If you could sum up your homeschool style or philosophy in one phrase what would it be?
Debbie: Don't stress the small stuff
Misty: Creative controlled chaos.
What’s your favorite school day breakfast?
Debbie: Cereal or Eggo waffles.
Misty: Either a bowl of cereal or waffles with peanut butter.
What are favorite healthy snacks at your house?
Debbie: Strawberries, blueberries and veggie straws.
Misty: We enjoy, apples, carrots, celery, and peanut butter
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in homeschooling?
Debbie: Space. When we first started homeschooling we were in a small townhouse doing school at the dining room table right by the living room tv. Now we've moved and have dedicated school room!
Misty: Fighting the urge that our homeschooling day and curriculum has to match that of a regular school system.
What’s the best vacation you have ever taken as a family?
Debbie: Canada/Niagara Falls for 10 days. We drove from Albany, New York to Niagara Falls, Ontario. Than we drove across Canada over 10 days in our camper. We visited Toronto, Kingston, Thousand Islands, and Montreal. After Montreal we went back to Albany where we lived at the time.
Misty: Cliche, I am aware, but our family really enjoys the chaos of going to major theme parks. We have enjoyed vacations at Disneyland Paris, Legoland Germany, and Walt Disney World.
What’s your favorite in-a-pinch dinner option?
Debbie: Smoked sausage with rice and beans.
Misty: Chicken and fried cauliflower rice, BBQ Chicken nachos, or homemade build your own burger night.
Tell us something unique or unusual about your family.
Debbie: We have moved a lot! We're experts at it. My 7-year-old has had 7 bedrooms in his life and my 4-year-old has had 4 bedrooms!
Misty: We have lived in two different countries and 4 different states. Homeschooled on two different continents and traveled to 7 different countries. Traveled West to East and East to West of the lower 49 states over 9 times.