Andrea W. of Minnesota
Ben, Andrea, Scott, Zoe, and Mittens
Laurel of Minnesota
Dad, works with electronics.
Mom, stay at home caregiver.
The kids aged 7, 4, 3, and 9 months.
Alicia of Burnsville, Minnesota
We are a family of six. Dad, Mom, Evy, Leo, Max and Addy. Dad is the only one paid for his work but we all have job. Some to teach and some to learn! We, as a family, love to read and play board games!
Katherine C. of Euclid, Minnesota
Clay and Katherine have been married for 31 years and have 7 children ages 6 - 28. One boy and six girls have all used Timberdoodle products from time to time over the years.
We have 2 parakeets. Fudge is white and Beans is Blue. We enjoy gardening on our 7 acres. We also spend spare time and spare change fixing up our converted barn house.
How do you Timberdoodle?
Andrea: I'm not sure when I first found about Timberdoodle. It has been about 3-4 years when we discovered them.
Laurel: I learned of Timberdoodle while searching for secular curriculum online. I love All About Reading and all of the fun logic games! We use Timberdoodle for every grade and almost every subject. So a better question might be what part of our day doesn't include Timberdoodle items.
Alicia: We learned about Timberdoodle when we first started homeschooling, when the oldest was in preschool. We use Timberdoodle to make learning fun. Our favorite Timberdoodle products are the Smart Games! We us them weekly for fun and entertaining ways to make learning fun!
Katherine: We first heard about Timberdoodle in the late 1990s back when we had to send a check in the mail and then just wait! I'm currently using All About Reading with my 6-year-old. She giggles over the stories and the pace of learning is easy to customize to her days. The variety of switching between flashcard drill, magnetic tile word drill, worksheet drill and reading stories gives plenty of ways to interact with the material. A is For Angry is a charming book to have on our shelf. As she continues learning the letters and their sounds the book is a useful and non threatening way to review that material. My older daughter has been challenged by Laser Maze. We have both enjoyed the stories in Mosdos as she has studied literature.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Andrea: Every day is different! That is one of the benefits of homeschooling! We love the flexibility.
Laurel: We wake up and have breakfast. After breakfast everyone gets all of their morning stuff done, such as making beds and brushing teeth. Then we jump into school normally around nine and work until lunch. After lunch the preschooler and Pre-K kids are done. The first grader finishes up and we are done with school for the day. Free time until dad gets home at 4:00 p.m. Extracurriculars or family time depending on the day. Dinner time. Chores. And bed.
Alicia: We don't really have a typically day. If we had a perfect day we would start by 8:00 a.m. with our breakfast and daily reading! We cover spelling, phonics, reading and math on a daily basis. Everything else is 2-3 times a week. Chores are usually done after meals. Splitting it into smaller chunks makes for less complaining. Meals are always eaten together, but place and time vary.
Katherine: We are not bound by the confines of a clock. The adults with day jobs are up and leaving the home by 7:15 and 7:30, then Mom drinks her coffee and has some quiet time and checks on the laundry. Anytime from 8:00 to 9:30 the two students cheerfully greet me and begin their breakfast. After the table is cleaned off the kindergarten supplies are brought out and we do spelling, All About Reading and the other books from the kindergarten kit. We still use Qbitz Junior and Day and Night occasionally. She enjoys the manipulatives from the Math U See kit and the logical part of her brain is slowly developing. Chores happen right away in the morning by my middle schooler. She puts on headphones and empties the dishwasher as soon as she finishes breakfast. The 6-year-old is awesome when she is part of a team.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Andrea: We might not be home! We might be at a park or somewhere outside exploring.
Laurel: Kids playing.
Alicia: You would not see us. We have Bible study in the morning and lunch and playdate in the afternoon with friends.
Katherine: Probably nothing. We ice skate on Wednesday afternoon with the homeschool group. If we are home someone is probably not feeling well.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Andrea: On a camping trip to any state park.
Alicia: A 10-day cruise to Hawaii from California and back!
Katherine: On a cruise. Either the Mississippi River or the Great Lakes or the Danube River.
What books have you read over and over?
Andrea: The Wild Robot
Laurel: The Light On Snow
Alicia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Katherine: The Hobbit, my Bible (Esther and Daniel)
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Andrea: Get outside in nature! Go for a walk.
Laurel: Take a deep breath and let go of the unessential things for the day.
Alicia: Take the day off! They happen and relationships mean more than accomplished tasks.
Katherine: Take a time out, pray, nap if needed and keep going.
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Andrea: Birthday kid gets to pick out the whole day's menu and someplace special to go (within reason).
Laurel: A cake and special dinner with the family.
Alicia: We take little mini-vacations. We spend the day together or two as a family and focus on loving each other and growing memories!
Katherine: Special person chooses dinner. Small gift.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Andrea: Second breakfast!
Laurel: Sandwiches and fruit.
Alicia: Chicken nuggets and french fries!
Katherine: Tuna sandwich with zucchini relish.
What tips do you have for other families?
Andrea: Remember your "why."
Laurel: Take it one day at a time.
Alicia: Teaching your children can be a very hard and thankless job. But the time you get to spend with them and memories you make is so worth it! If you can, do it! You will not regret it!
Katherine: Relax and enjoy the journey. No one assignment is worth damaging a relationship over. Look at trends, not specifics, when thinking over progress. Character development will mean more in the long run.
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Laurel: We love all types of board games from Monopoly to Alphabet Bingo. And everything in between.
Alicia: This week: Uno Attack! It will be something different next.
Katherine: Ticket to Ride. Spyro, Minecraft
What would you name your boat if you had one?
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
Alicia: I am currently attempting to play the piano. So, I have to pick piano!
Katherine: Garment alteration or coding.
What apps do you use the most?
Laurel: Netflix. ABC mouse. Audible.
Alicia: Hoopla, it is audiobook app. Great for car rides!
Katherine: Yahoo. I don't do much on the computer.
What do your kids want to be when they grow up?
- a doctor and all the kinds of scientists
- a firefighter
- a mom
- "nothing" (he is only two years old.)
- plant pathologist
What’s your favorite school day breakfast?
Katherine: Bagel or oatmeal.
What do you do for fun as a family?
Laurel: Board game night and movie night.
Alicia: We pretend play, make forts, read, explore, eat, arts and crafts!
Katherine: Popcorn and a movie, make up games using the white board.
What are favorite healthy snacks at your house?
Laurel: Fruit. String cheese. Nuts.
Katherine: Grapes, apples, salad.
What’s the best vacation you have ever taken as a family?
Laurel: A trip to Maine to see the ocean.
Alicia: Road trip to Colorado! Stuck in the car for four days together you learn a lot and make great memories!
Katherine: Atlantic Ocean.
What’s your favorite in-a-pinch dinner option?
Alicia: Baked Ravioli.
Tell us something interesting about your local area.
Laurel: People ride snowmobiles to the doctor and other places.
Alicia: We have lot of parks in our area but also only ten minutes from most big shopping stores.