Katie of Indiana
Two teachers, two toddlers and baby, plus our dog Delta.
Chrysta B. of Indianapolis, Indiana
We are missionaries. We lived in the Middle East for 3 years. Now we are stationed Stateside, and my husband travels around the world 6 months of the year. Our 8 kiddos and I “stay by the stuff.”
Wendy of Bristol, Indiana
- Husband: Matt, Director of Engineering
- Daughter: Lydia, bug loving, chicken loving, sweetest soul
- Cat: Thundercat, fluffiest tortoise cat
Samantha M. of Mitchell, Indiana
- Dad: pastor, musician, works for Navy, writes, sings, and plays music
- Mom: wife, mom, teacher, sings with family
- Caleb: homeschool graduate, Associate degree, HVAC, plays guitar
- Joshua: homeschool graduate, working on his BA in engineering, pilot, building his own airplane, plays cajón
- Rebekah: homeschool graduate, working on her BA in writing, loves to draw, sings
- Chloe: 10th grade, loves music, piano, sings, paints
- Daniel: 7th grade, woodworking, hand carving and using saws, sings
- Joseph: 4th grade, builds things out of cardboard, LEGO builder, piano, sings
- Timothy: 3rd grade, builds things from LEGO and broken electronics, plays violin, sings
- Jordan: kindergarten, big helper, loves to listen to books, loves his hermit crabs, sings
- IndyAnna: pre-school, loves playing in rice, doing puzzles, play dough, bossing her brothers, sings
How do you Timberdoodle?
Katie: A friend uses it.
Chrysta: We have been a Timberdoodle family for 7 years. We love the creative, challenging, fun curriculum that you put together!
Wendy: The Lord set Timberdoodle in our sight, and I can't remember how, because nobody in this area has ever heard about it. Your curriculum is PERFECT for our daughter!! She is 5 years old, extremely bright, and learns so well with Timberdoodle. All of the visuals and hands-on are vital in our learning. From everything feeling like a game to encouraging independence and creativity in such a healthy way. We are using an elite 1st grade kit with her. The Plus-Plus Mini, worksheets make it not feel like learning, but crafting. We also bought the laser games, Wedgits, Dr. Bonyfide and so much more. We follow the scheduler and love how I can make adjustments when we move ahead faster than it schedules.
Samantha: We have been using Timberdoodle for 16-17 years. We still have puzzles and books we bought 15 years ago, back in the old days when there was only a catalog sent out. We trust Timberdoodle because of their teaching philosophy.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
9:00 a.m. reading to the kids
9:30 a.m. short play time
9:45 a.m. workbooks
10:00 a.m. map work
10:15 a.m. snack and letter of the day card, talking, jokes
10:45 a.m. new grammar
11:00 a.m. play time
11:30 a.m. art or crafts
12:00 p.m. lunch
Chrysta: We get started by 8 a.m. We take lots of breaks to get chores done and break the monotony of the school day. I pack lunches the night before to keep us moving.
Wendy: Each day, our daughter is eager to wake at 5:00 a.m. She finishes her breakfast and is starting school by 7:00 a.m. Most days, she is finished before 11:00 a.m., unless we have a field trip or our Bible study class. She eats lunch between 11:00 and 12:00. After lunch she completes her Excel spreadsheet of daily chores. The rest of the day is free to play outside, play games, craft, or anything she can come up with to enjoy her day.
Samantha: We start at 9:00 a.m. End around 3:00 p.m. for older children. We study history together and sometimes science. We use copywork, cursive, and phonics. Charlotte Mason style teaching. Math U See, Life of Fred Math and hands on games. We read a lot of books aloud and individually. We encourage work and service.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Katie: Books everywhere! Bits of paper and crayons on the floor and us outside playing and singing the new memory song
Chrysta: Older kids finishing homework and my 3-year-old watching Peppa Pig.
Wendy: In the afternoons, we complete chores. Wednesdays are for laundry, collecting trash, vacuuming, and since it's cold, our daughter will be all bundled up outside with her chickens and looking for bugs or seeds.
Samantha: Bustle of activity or cleaning, school work or preparing to leave for art class. Meal prep or reading. Always activity!
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Chrysta: We do a tour of monuments, museums and parks on the East Coast.
Wendy: Head west on a road trip!
Samantha: On a camping trip to Yellowstone.
What books have you read over and over?
- Paddington Takes a Day Off
- Ladybug Girl and Bingo
- I Love You, Stinky Face
- The Bear Snores On
- Fancy Nancy
- Beach House
- Llama Llama Red Pajamas
- Scarlet Pimpernel
- Mysterious Benedict Society series
- Chronicles of Narnia
- The Bible
- Eric Carle books
- Amelia Bedelia
- all of our bug/insect books
- silly books
- joke books
- Laura Ingalls Wilder
- C.S. Lewis
- Book of Virtues & Moral Compass by Bill Bennett
- History of the World
- a plethora of children's books
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Katie: None so far. Lots veggies and fruits
Chrysta: Gluten free. I cook homemade meals to offer substitutions.
Wendy: No dietary challenges in our home, just try to eat healthy.
Samantha: None. Mom lost 50 pounds on the Trim Healthy Mama Plan.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Katie: Play music, get outside, sit and read together. Coffee.
Chrysta: Prayer and singing.
Wendy: Surviving a hard day is always solved with diving into God's Word and knowing that He gives us another chance tomorrow. My husband is absolutely my safe place and keeps me heading forward and positive.
Samantha: Pray. Have a Nature Day. Sit down and read a book. Work together on something fun and put away the workbooks.
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
Katie: Prayed for me and told me.
Chrysta: Remembered the history that we learned last year. (At the time, I didn't think he was listening.)
Wendy: Praying for those close to her. She writes "I love you, Mommy" in the snow on her way to check the chickens' food and water and gather eggs.
Samantha: Read his first readers when the doctor said he may never be able to read. Offer to help someone carry their groceries or open the door for them.
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Katie: Balloons! I fill their room with balloons. They pick all the meals, family time, and cake candles and play a game to find their gifts.
Chrysta: Birthday kid picks the meal and cake. We invite family over.
Wendy: My husband takes off work and we usually go somewhere new to us and enjoy a family day together and celebrate each other and the gifts God has provided us.
Samantha: Birthday placemat and a favorite meal for supper or breakfast.
What have you done recently for the first time?
Katie: Started teaching AWANA at church, made cinnamon rolls from scratch.
Chrysta: Sing in Swahili.
Wendy: Used a pottery wheel.
Samantha: Stripped and totally gutted a house and remodeled it with all the children helping.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Katie: Peanut butter and honey sandwiches with carrots and apples.
Chrysta: Italian wraps and fruit
Wendy: Hard boiled eggs, cheese. yogurt, fruit, a veggie, and water. Finger foods that are easy to pack on the go and do something fun.
Samantha: Homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese.
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
Katie: Buy CD or mp3 of songs, but over all just fine.
Chrysta: Happily. With lots of books.
Wendy: We don't use it a whole lot, but I would've never discovered Timberdoodle without it.
Samantha: We do not use the internet for school, only to order books and curriculum.
What tips do you have for other families?
Katie: Less is more. Do things well with love, if you don't get things done that's ok. Relationships are most important.
Chrysta: Every family is different. Do what is best for your own family, without comparing yourself to other families.
Wendy: Love and discipline. Children need structure and grace. Hone in on the things your child loves and help them flourish in their interests. Let them not see your fears in them, and let them decide what they love and desire to learn about.
Samantha: Serve the Lord. Work together as a team. Enjoy each other. Read a whole lot. learn by doing.
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
- All Around Town
- Red Light Green Light
- Ticket to Ride
- Ticket to Ride First Journey
- Memory Match
- Go Fish
- dice games
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
Katie: Trampoline, every day.
Wendy: We work out in the mornings with weights, resistance, treadmill, balance ball, Wii, trampoline, chasing/tag.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your homeschool that you called a “science experiment”?
Katie: Throwing rocks and sticks in the stream
Wendy: Laundry to see if spots come out, mixing spot cleaners.
What did you do just for fun with your kids recently?
Katie: Went to get ice cream after class work
Wendy: Family adventures, parks and pizza an hour and a half away, local business field trips.
What would you name your boat if you had one?
Katie: Spirit of Adventure
Wendy: Adventure Boat
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
Katie: To speak Spanish.
Wendy: Piano and violin.