Alex from Western Massachusetts
Bray is my 6-year-old boy Addie is my 3-year-old girl. We enjoy lots of hands-on activities and being creative. My son also prefers motors and doing mechanical work since Dad is a mechanic. We have an almost-one-year-old cat.
Michelle from Cape Code, Massachusetts
- Mom - stay-at-home mom
- Dad - police officer
- Mason - 3.5
- Maddox - 4 months
- 2 kitties
Heather B. from Pittsfield, Massachusetts
- Jamie, my husband, hard working and so caring!
- Oliver, my first born, is 4. He's so sweet. He loves sports and science projects!
- Lexi is 2-and-a-half. Our little wild flower! That girl has no fear and not shy one bit. She's determined.
- Isaac is our newest creature at 2 months old. All of them were preemies but boy, they are strong! Isaac looks with such wonder in his eyes and so full of smiles.
- I'm Heather! I'm so crafty and dreamed of being a mom.
Olivia of Charlton, Massachusetts
Once upon a time there lived a Mommy and Daddy, who had two beautiful princesses named Ally and Emmy. Their ages were 6 and 3. Of course, we have to mention the beloved castle guard dog named Sadie. She is armed with kisses.
How do you Timberdoodle?
Alex: I heard about Timberdoodle from a friend of mine who raves about it. She showed me the items which caught my attention. My son loves everything and I am planning to order everything for my homeschooled kindergartener and preschooler! My favorite is all the interactive games and hands-on items. Hard to choose just one! Play is such a huge learning item in our house and adding Timberdoodle helps aid that learning experience.
Michelle: I found you on Instagram, I believe, when we were just deciding we wanted to homeschool our boys. We love all the great learning ideas you have, the many educational products (which my son thinks are all toys because they are so fun to him) and all the great books! Timberdoodle is a great resource for any family!
Heather: I heard about you from Facebook on a home school group. I do not have any products yet as we haven't been able to afford it.
Olivia: This is our very first year homeschooling. Endless research always had me coming back to Timberdoodle. I love all of the options and especially the option to customize my curriculum which is a huge money and time saver. All about reading and Math-U-See are my favorites so far. We homeschool 4-5 days a week and is completely based around our Timberdoodle curriculum. The hands-on incorporation with games and such are very helpful for my child. She is a kinesthetic learner, so there’s never a real set spot to teach. The games and hands-on activities help her stay engaged.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Alex: We start at 8:00 in the morning. We take breaks after every two hours to snack or run around outside. We cover the core curriculums of math, English, social studies, and science. We do chores before bed and we eat whenever we are hungry.
Michelle: My son is only 3.5 so we don’t have a strict schedule yet. Right now we wake up, make breakfast together because my son loves to cook! We eat and then sit and read a ton of books together. We then play a lot! Games, crafts, trucks, blocks, counting objects, etc. and then we listen to music and have a dance party! Oh, and then it’s time to clean up. In between it all there’s a lot of nursing the baby which is great for my son's independent play and he loves to help change the baby as well. We also try to get outside for a walk, bike ride, trip to the playground, beach or the woods. Every day is different and I like to mix things up to keep them interesting!
Heather: Wake up, get ready for the day, songs and stories during breakfast, play time while I clean up. Some sort of learning games. We do art every day! Letters and numbers. My 4-year-old is pretty good at math. We try to eat simple during the day. Our day starts around 8:00.
Olivia: Our typical day starts late, around 9:00 most days. Our kindergartener wakes up first, gets ready for the day and we start learning together. Shortly thereafter our little one gets up then the fun really begins. We usually have many breaks in the day due to the fact a toddler is running rampant around the house. I find that the breaks keep the momentum going for the day. Sometimes we even wait for Daddy to get home and do history or STEM as a family. I’m a huge meal planner so I prepare ingredients or even cook the night before to help our days go smoothly.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Alex: My son playing on the floor with his hands. Being creative and learning.
Michelle: A mess! We may or may not be home! Our house is lived in, we clean up, of course, but chances are if it’s in the middle of the day we are playing together on the floor with numerous objects
Heather: Toys all over!
Olivia: Books and toys scattered all over the place. Two sweet girls wrapped up on the couch together watching a movie or blowing bubbles together. A English yellow lab under their feet. Mommy drinking a tea, enjoying every moment.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Alex: Disney cruise.
Heather: We usually go to a lake, but we will be going to the ocean to start a tradition for my daughter's birthday.
Olivia: A quiet lake house would be ideal. Maybe even a boat.
What books have you read over and over?
Alex: Step One books.
Heather: Any by Mary Higgens Clark
Olivia: Charlotte's Web
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Alex: We avoid milk! We cook or bake with nut milks
Heather: Cutting out carbs and sugar. Husband and I do great! Oliver is picky. Lexi isn't, thankfully.
Olivia: Lately we have been eating healthier. The winter keeps us indoors way too much and those endless summer days are full of exercise.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Alex: Take a break and do something fun.
Heather: Coffee! Coffee and snuggles.
Olivia: Coffee. Laughter.
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
Alex: Tell me how much he loves me and thank you for keeping him home
Heather: Oliver is so sweet, he gives me compliments all day. He says I'm his best friend. Lexi tells me good job Mom over little things!
Olivia: Our youngest daughter is three and has a speech delay, so our oldest daughter will go the extra mile and sometimes will speak up for her sister in public or around the house. It melts my heart that my 6-year-old has such a sweet heart.
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Alex: We take the money we would have spent on a party and go on a trip. Like zoo, aquarium, book store, an overnight trip, or museums. We like to then go out to eat and go eat cake with family.
Heather: For Oliver's birthday we go to the same farm every year! We have a party, as well, with friends and family. For Lexi we will be traveling to the ocean as she was born in August, also have a party. Isaac will be one in November so I'm not sure yet
Olivia: Birthdays are always special. We decorate the entire house with decorations and balloons. A special pancake breakfast is tradition. As a family we go do sometimes the kids enjoy.
What have you done recently for the first time?
Alex: Drove across country.
Heather: We're trying to buy our first home.
Olivia: Replaced a carpet. It’s funny, but the past few years my husband and I became huge DIYers. We have painted, fixed things, changed things all over the house. The carpet is a first time for the both of us.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Heather: Homemade chicken nuggets with fruit and veggies.
Olivia: Chicken quesadillas. Salsa and sour cream. Strawberry lemonade.
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
Heather: Same way we do now. Workbooks, reading and games. Free play!
Olivia: We would go to the library a lot more.
What tips do you have for other families?
Alex: You will find the right curriculum just keep searching.
Heather: Be happy and don't stress about the little things
Olivia: This is my first year homeschooling so I can tell my story of being a newbie. I’ve had to conquer the fear of the unknown. I’ve learned to just really enjoy the moments at home with my family. And take one day or even one hours at time, and just roll with it.
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Alex: Smart Cookies
Heather: Monopoly Jr is the new favorite!
Olivia: Snap Circuit is popular right at the moment. Trivial Pursuit Junior is fun for the whole family. If we are feeling silly Pie Face is the one to go to.
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
Alex: Once a day and just hiking or playing at the park.
Heather: We go for walks, pace and dance in the house during yucky days. I use my elliptical when the creatures go to bed.
Olivia: Even though it’s winter we go outside at least 30-60 minutes a day and go for a walk or jump on the trampoline. The kids keep me moving pretty much all day.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your homeschool that you called a “science experiment”?
Olivia: Ivory soap in the microwave. It’s funny.
What hard thing are you planning to do this year?
Alex: Buy a house!
Heather: Buy our first home.
Olivia: Our first family airplane vacation.
What did you do just for fun with your kids recently?
Alex: Go for a hike.
Heather: Took them to their home school co-op classes.
Olivia: Snow tubing.
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
Heather: Sewing children's clothes.
What’s the last recipe you looked up?
Alex: Sweet and sour chicken crockpot.
Heather: Low carb broccoli cheddar soup.
Olivia: Cajun chicken pasta by the Pioneer Woman.
If you could sum up your homeschool style or philosophy in one phrase what would it be?
Heather: Have fun. Learn with play
Olivia: Let’s work hard so we can play hard.
What do your kids want to be when they grow up?
Alex: A mechanic and a teacher.
Heather: Happy and healthy.
Olivia: Veterinarian and engineer.
What’s your favorite school day breakfast?
Heather: Peanut butter toast, yogurt and water. Some strawberries or an apple cut up.
Olivia: Cheese omelette with grilled English muffins.