Tiffany from Nashville
Principal, Mrs. Mommy, Jay, Sky, and kitty Paisley.
Kristen of Tennessee
We are a family of 4. I'm a stay-at-home mom with 2 kids: Katie and Ms C. Daddy works in IT. We have 1 dog and 2 cats. We love electronics and games.
Kimberly of Covington, Tennessee
I'm the homeschooling mom to seven children. I've homeschooled for 25 years and have graduated 5, soon to be 6! Next year, I will be down to my last student, which will be very strange! My husband is a nurse anesthetist. Our adult children include an English major who has taught, coached teachers, and now oversees all ELA testing for the state of Florida; a traveling registered nurse who alternates working with having crazy adventures, like canoeing the Mississippi River source-to-sea and hiking on every continent (except Antartica); an art teacher and potter and hostess extraordinaire; a chef who loves fitness and helping people eat healthy; and a massage therapist who hopes to specialize in maternity care. They are all musicians and love sports. We have one King Charles Cavalier Spaniel now, although we have had a wide variety of pets over the years.
Brittney of Lyles, Tennessee
We have two boys: 9 and 8. One wants to be a fireman the other a police man. We have two cats and a dog as well as a salt water fish tank. Daddy is in telecommunications and mommy is a full time homeschool mommy.
How do you Timberdoodle?
Tiffany: Timberdoodle is a fun, hands-on curriculum! My daughter loves science. The math blocks help me and her visually understand math problems.
Kristen: Google first told me about Timberdoodle. I love the art products and Bugzzle. I love the fact Timberdoodle lets me create a daily or weekly schedule.
Kimberly: A friend shared a catalog with me when we first started homeschooling, many years ago. I fell in love with everything! I like to purchase the "extras"...things that make learning fun.
Brittney: We first heard about Timberdoodle from a homeschooling friend at church before we started homeschooling. This is our first year so we are truly looking into all of the curriculums out there. Didn't know about this one until after we ordered our current curriculum.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Tiffany: We usually start at 9:00 a.m. Mrs. Mommy works on chores with the little ones. If it's sunny we take our school work and snacks outside!
Kristen: We start school at 7:30 a.m. We try to get the boring subjects done early. Spelling, handwriting, and math. Then we move to science and history. Break for lunch do chores. Recess then reading.
Kimberly: It changes every year, but right now, my children get started about 8:30 a.m. Since they are 10th and 12th grade, they work mostly independently, and are responsible for many of the household chores. We take piano lessons and choir lessons, and one class outside the home through a church tutorial (health occupations class). They usually finish their school work early afternoon.
Brittney: We get started either 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning. We covered the most important subject first: Bible. Then we move onto our other subjects as the day goes on. No rush, just moving at our own pace. We also do chores as we see them needing to be done. Meals happen at 8:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. like clock work all because I have boys and it's like their stomachs know when it's time to eat.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Tiffany: Lots of playing, laughing, and learning.
Kristen: Wednesday is science day!
Kimberly: Reading, piano playing and singing, housework, supper prep, computer time, getting ready for evening activities.
Brittney: Well, in the morning, Bible and our other subjects before we have lunch. After lunch, at 2:00, we are off to our wonderful co-op friends. At about 5:00 we leave and head straight home to eat, then off to church at 6:30. We are Royal Ambassadors. Home at 8:00. Showers and a Bible reading bedtime story and to sleep we go.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Kristen: On a Disney cruise!
Brittney: To a beach. We've never been to a beach, but we do go to a little lake down the road.
What books have you read over and over?
Kristen: Harry Potter books
- Gone with the Wind
- Little Women
- Jane Eyre
- the Anne of Green Gables series
- Little House series
- Betsy-Tacy series
- and MANY others
Brittney: With my boys: Goonie Bird Green. Myself: the Bible.
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Tiffany: Too much sugar consumption.
Kristen: Katie doesn't eat meat well. We try to stick to basics and sneak chicken into some dishes.
Kimberly: Just try to eat healthy, low carb/low glycemic index for some...we use Trim Healthy Mama.
Brittney: We are working on not eating so much sugar so we try to make better healthy choices and not eat out at places much.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Tiffany: Taking a walk outside, going out for coffee.
Kristen: Mandatory quiet time. 1 hour play or read quietly in your room.
Kimberly: Pray! Talk to a friend, change of scenery, like go outside, go shopping, etc. Take a long hot bath.
Brittney: For me sweet tea is a must, and prayer. We take breaks during the day if we ever get frustrated beyond what we can get through and after the break we take time to encourage each other.
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
Tiffany: I taught her to read with Timberdoodle.
Kristen: Help a stranger by holding the door for them.
Kimberly: Become a Christian. Become an avid reader.
Brittney: Wanting and loving to learn more about the Lord, as well as has done a 180 from when they were in public school.
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Tiffany: We go all out.
Kristen: Pick your favorite dinner. Small family party.
Kimberly: Birthday child gets to pick foods for each meal of the day, usually beginning with donuts ;). Then some years they can have a party, some years they have a friend or two over to go somewhere special and sleep over, some years it's a special outing with just family.
Brittney: We have a very small party get a gift and we help to make our birthday cakes.
What have you done recently for the first time?
Tiffany: Taught myself how to do my own acrylic nails.
Brittney: Homeschooling and taking a step out and beginning to talk to people more.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Kristen: PB&J sandwich with pretzels.
Brittney: We have found that days where we throw random things together and have fun making it as a group is so much better.
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
Tiffany: I would feel lost.
Kristen: Just fine. Most of our stuff is offline
Kimberly: It would be hard going back. We'd go to the library more.
Brittney: I do believe we could make it as long as we have the library and books to tell us the things we Google every now and again.
What tips do you have for other families?
Tiffany: Keep pushing. You're doing better than you think.
Kristen: Take your time and make learning fun
Kimberly: Enjoy you're time with your children! Relationships > Academics! If something isn't working, dump it and find something new. Relax! Find a like-minded group for fun and support. Don't let fear and pressure to conform to tradition and the world's standards squeeze out the most important things. Keep your marriage/mate the priority (after God).
Brittney: Truly pay attention to your children, they do guide you in teaching them. They will begin to open up and truly ask questions that even have you learning at times. Don't ever give up on the hard days, just take a break and encourage each other it makes for such a heart warming experience and the day will begin running better. If not then maybe call it a day and just go play.
What is something you appreciate about each of your kids?
Tiffany: Their precious and innocent hearts.
- Katie is always ready to help.
- Ms C shows love to everyone
- Her loyalty, responsiblity, and amazing giftedness with the English language.
- His love for family, communication skills, and ability to make things fun.
- How she uses her many talents, organization, and productivity.
- Her work ethic and maturity.
- Her outgoing and friendly personality.
- Her loyalty and strong will.
- Her sweet disposition and thoughtfulness of others.
Brittney: Both are amazing boys and they both have such different learning styles. But my oldest has an amazing way of asking questions that make you truly dig into your imagination or dig deeper into the study. My youngest has a heart of gold that honestly is pure. He will also help you get through a subject in a way that is faster but efficient.
What song is currently in your head?
Kristen: Baby Shark
Kimberly: None, which is unusual for me.
Brittney: The song my boys have been playing nonstop... Night Begins to Shine
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Tiffany: Life and Uno
Kimberly: We are not big game players, but do like Farkle, Risk, Mexican Train Dominoes, volleyball and soccer in the backyard.
Brittney: We truly love Hungry Hippo or Tiles.
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
Kimberly: Water aerobics 3-4 x/week, sometimes TTapp and yoga.
Brittney: We use out door time when its warmer. We also do sports most of the year. Our church offers our gym in the winter months so we go run around in there. But we dance every day.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your homeschool that you called a “science experiment”?
Kristen: Redo the flower beds. Gardening.
Kimberly: Nothing too crazy...cleaning fish, etc
Brittney: Accidentally burning pasta and turning it almost into a paste.
What hard thing are you planning to do this year?
Kristen: Prepare for testing
Brittney: Figuring out a different curriculum as well as trying to see how we can make learning more fun. This is our first year.
What did you do just for fun with your kids recently?
Kristen: Went to zoo.
Brittney: Dance and play games as well as just run around the house.
What would you name your boat if you had one?
Kristen: Death Star
Brittney: The Lockniss Monster
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
Kimberly: How to can (food preservation).
Brittney: Sewing or crocheting.
What’s the last recipe you looked up?
Kristen: Pepper popper pizza
Kimberly: Low carb fruit pizza
Brittney: Mrs. Kay's goulash
What apps do you use the most?
Kimberly: Facebook, Instragram, Pinterest
Brittney: Pinterest or the internet to search things.
If you could sum up your homeschool style or philosophy in one phrase what would it be?
Kristen: Group effort
Kimberly: Relaxed, eclectic, Spirit-led
Brittney: Finding our way through the dark.
What do your kids want to be when they grow up?
Kristen: Police officer. Vet.
Kimberly: They are all grown except two...one doesn't know yet and one is thinking dental hygiene.
Brittney: Oldest a police officer. Youngest a fireman.
What extracurricular activities is your family involved in?
Kimberly: Piano, choir, soccer, volleyball.
Brittney: Art as well as learning American sign language.
If you have a moment to yourself what do you like to do?
Kimberly: Read, binge watch something with my hubby, work in the yard, cook.
Brittney: Read and do my studies.
What’s your favorite school day breakfast?
Kristen: Cream cheese bagel.
Kimberly: I don't like breakfast.
What’s the best homeschool field trip you’ve ever been on?
Kristen: Epcot in WDW.
Kimberly: One year I used Notgrass American History with three of my high schoolers (NINE credits for one effort...score!) and also did American History with my elementary and middle schooler and read alouds with my littles. At the end of the year, we all went to Jamestown and Williamsburg and Monticello.
Brittney: So far Skyhigh, the trampoline park. We had a blast getting our energy out.
The grocery store cashier asks, “But what about socialization?” What do you say?
Kristen: I'm homeschooling not raising them in a cave.
Kimberly: We are so busy socializing it's hard to squeeze in academics!
Brittney: We have plenty of friends and groups we are apart of. Our group has become our very big family that truly enjoys each other's company. Thank you for your truly honest concern.
What’s the funniest thing one of your kids ever said?
Kristen: "I'm not big, I'm medium."
Kimberly: My 3 year old sweetly said, "I can't wait till I grow up and get to be a mommy!" I responded, "Awww, that is so sweet!" and she replied, "Yeah, then *I* can be in charge!!"
Brittney: "No worries, Mama. We have this like 2 beans in a cake." 🤦♀️🤷♀️
What do you do for fun as a family?
Kristen: Mini golf.
Kimberly: Take lots of vacations. (My husband loves to plan trips.)
Brittney: We go to the park as well as play Minecraft. Our days vary.
How do you continue to educate yourself?
Kimberly: By homeschooling my children ;)!
Brittney: By reading and doing extra study's that I find online.
What are favorite healthy snacks at your house?
Brittney: Our red delicious apples or apple sauce.
What’s the best museum you’ve ever gone to?
Kristen: The Muse.
Brittney: The one in Nashville is huge and has a beautiful huge running area.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in homeschooling?
Kristen: Relaxing and enjoying the experience together
Kimberly: Trying to meet the needs of many children, different ages, and personalities.
Brittney: Just getting started. I questioned myself for 3 years until I finally said I give and began.
What is your favorite thing about having kids?
Kristen: Seeing them become their own person.
Kimberly: Children, in and of themselves, are such a blessing, so sweet, and so fun. Also, the way the Lord uses them to keep me dependent on Him, and how He transforms me through raising them.
Brittney: The love you get to pour out over them. As well as just watching their personalities grow and seeing them become their own little people.
What’s the best vacation you have ever taken as a family?
Brittney: So far it would have to be going to the lake for a day and just spending time together. We haven't been on a vacation yet.
List 3 frivolous things you are enjoying right now.
Kristen: Eating out. Pedicures. Puzzles
Kimberly: TV, games on my phone, getting a manicure every once in awhile.
Brittney: Our favorite thing right now is just making our own books and trying to make our books flow instead of being random words put together.
What’s your favorite in-a-pinch dinner option?
Kristen: Mac and cheese.
Kimberly: Breakfast for dinner.
Brittney: We throw together spaghetti.
What’s the strangest place you’ve done school?
Brittney: In our blow up tent. It was pretty cool but a little silly.
Share a favorite organizational tip.
Kimberly: Keep lists on your phone so you never lose them.
Brittney: Our book shelves and binders save our lives right now.
What special gifts or talents to your kids have?
Kimberly: Music, art, hospitality.
Brittney: Oldest can draw very well. Youngest has an eye for figuring out how things work.
What do you do for P.E. in your homeschool?
Kristen: Swimming. Running.
Kimberly: Play Parks and Rec sports.
Brittney: Dance, sports, running around the house.
Share a favorite inspirational quote.
Kimberly: "The mystery which has been hidden from the ages... but now has been manifested to His saints; To whom God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
~ Colossians 1:27
If God leads you to walk in a way that you know, it will not benefit you as much as if He would lead you to take the way that you do not know. This forces you to have hundreds and thousands of conversations with Him, resulting in a journey that is an everlasting memorial between you and Him." ~Watchman Nee
Children are like flowers--how could you ever have too many of them? ~Mother Theresa
How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No. A woman’s function is laborious, because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness. ~G. K. Chesterton
Brittney: Never give up, they are a treasure.