Julie in West Virginia
- Dog: Buddy
- Cats: Gracie and Princess
- Rabbit: Molly
Lundy, West Virginia
We are a family of four, plus a cat. I am a graphic design teacher and my wife is a registered nurse. We have an 8-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy. We enjoy being outdoors and serving our community with our church.
Crystal of West Virginia
We are a family of Mom, Dad, 5 kids, 4 dogs, 3 cats, several goldfish and a few hundred thousand honey bees.
Bri of West Virginia
We have a family of four. My husband works full time and I'm a stay-at-home mom. My hobbies include homeschooling and everything that goes with it.
How do you Timberdoodle?
Julie: I found Timberdoodle online when my middle child was starting kindergarten. It seemed like a perfect fit so I ordered it. We loved it.
Lundy: I found Timberdoodle online and fell in love with the STEM options in the curriculmn kits. We use Timberdoodle kits exclusively for our homeschooling. It has been a lifesaver in our first year!
Crystal: A friend told us about Timberdoodle when he was looking for curriculum to start homeschooling his kids. My kids love Turing Tumble and many other interactive items from Timberdoodle. They use them on their own when I have to take care of smaller children and other things.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Julie: We start about 9:00. Sometimes we have evening church and don’t get to bed early. So we normally do math, English, reading, spelling, history and science everyday. Typing and health, 2-3 times a week. The girls take care of the dishes and help with laundry. Also we do a 5 minute clean up where we set a timer and for 5 minutes it’s pick up and put away anything not in it’s correct place.
Lundy: Our school day gets started around 9:00 a.m. We typically cover all the core subjects and Bible, and then add in STEM, art, history, music, anatomy, and some foreign language on different days. We break for lunch and playtime, then finish up by 3:00 on most days. Chores are usually done in the evenings.
Crystal: We don’t have a strict schedule. We do schoolwork mostly during the day before evening extracurricular activities. We usually have weekends off, but have flexibility to change it up if we need to.
Bri: We usually start around 11:00 a.m. We have spelling, reading, math, writing, and handwriting everyday. We have critical thinking and geography one day a week; then we have history and science three days a week. I typically try to do chores after school is finished or after the kids are asleep. We typically take a lunch break in the middle of our school day. Some days we pack lunch before starting school.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Julie: Us sitting at the couch reading, history, science or other books. Dog on the back of the couch and probably one cat being held.
Lundy: On a random Wednesday afternoon, you'd see my wife and daughter in the classroom, usually doing one of the extra subjects. Core subjects are done early. You'd also see my son probably doing something wild!
Crystal: It’s hard to say. We may be working in books, doing hands-on activities, outside tending bees and learning about science or it may be silent because we are on a trip. Yesterday we went to our state capital, toured the building, talked to legislators, learned about lawmaking and went to the culture center and state museum.
Bri: You would see all four of us in the living room spending time together. My husband typically has Wednesdays off from work, so my daughter gets Wednesdays off from school for family time.
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If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Bri: Myrtle Beach, it's on the South Carolina coast.
What books have you read over and over?
- Dick and Jane
- Little Women
- Winnie the Pooh
- Chronicles of Narnia
- Dr. Seuss
- The Murder of Jesus
- The Bible
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Julie: Two of my girls were failure to thrive as little ones. It was all the high fat food you could get in them, adding butter and cream.
Crystal: Just picky eaters. We try to encourage tasting new things and providing lots of variety.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Julie: Realize that I’ve had bad days before and, guess what, I’ve survived 100%of them this far. I’ll make it somehow!
Crystal: Take a break if you or your kids are feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. Start fresh when you are ready.
Bri: A nice hot cup of tea or exercise are two ways that help me survive a hard day.
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
Julie: My oldest daughter stepped up when we started a church. She pretty much taught herself to play the piano!
Crystal: Got excited about learning something new and wanted to tell others.
Bri: When she told me that I was the best teacher in the world and thanked me for always helping her with her school work.
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Julie: We go to the dollar store and buy a balloon and plates and napkins ( they pick) then I make their favorite meal. Then we have the cake of their choice and open gifts.
Crystal: Time with extended family, treats, sometimes trips.
Bri: We spend time together as a family.
What have you done recently for the first time?
Julie: We flew to North Dakota. It was the girls' first plane trip!
Crystal: Took kids to visit our state capitol during the legislative session. Discussed lawmaking, etc.
Bri: I recently gave birth without any pain medicine or epidural.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Julie: Frozen pizza, and canned fruit.
Crystal: Veggie, cheese, fruit and dip tray.
Bri: My favorite school day lunch is a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich, salt and vinegar chips, and water.
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
Julie: Probably spend more time at the library, and buy a good dictionary and encyclopedia set.
Crystal: Pretty well. It’s nice to have for augmentation but we like real books and paper.
Bri: It would be a challenge at first because that's what I use for resources, but I'm sure I could figure it out and be ok; I would just need some phone numbers.
What tips do you have for other families?
Julie: Take it one day at a time. Not every day is going to go the way we want it to go.
Crystal: Don’t give up. There are endless options for education and learning should be fun. You don’t have to do it the same as anyone else does.
Bri: If you have questions about anything homeschool related, don't be afraid to chat with anyone from Timberdoodle. They're all awesome. They're not afraid to give you their honest opinion and they take the time to actually help you, regardless how long it takes.
What is something you appreciate about each of your kids?
Julie: Their willingness to go to school even if they don’t always want to.
Crystal: Willingness to help with chores. Passion for learning about animals, science and nature. Beautiful imagination. Their love for each other.
Bri: I appreciate their uniqueness.
What song is currently in your head?
Julie: I’ll Fly Away
Bri: Smoldering Wicks by Lacey Sturm
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Julie: We love puzzles, The Game of Life, and matching cards.
Crystal: Anything they can build. They also love brain teaser games.
Bri: We love to play UNO.
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
Crystal: I like to go to the gym 3 times a week. My kids go to dance and gymnastics 3 days a week and play outside as much as possible. Swimming in the summertime.
Bri: If cleaning the house and doing the dishes count as exercise, then that's my exercise routine and it's done multiple times on a daily basis.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your homeschool that you called a “science experiment”?
Crystal: We tested the insulating ability of marshmallows on top of hot chocolate!
Bri: We lit a tea bag on fire and watched it float win the air and turn to ashes.
What hard thing are you planning to do this year?
Crystal: Homeschooling 3 kids while caring for a 2-year-old and a newborn.
Bri: Homeschool my six-year-old for the first time and raise a newborn at the same time.
What did you do just for fun with your kids recently?
Crystal: Had an evening with grandparents.
Bri: We pretended to have a picnic indoors because it's still too cold to have one outside. We packed food and sat at a kids picnic table.
What would you name your boat if you had one?
Crystal: We do have one but haven’t settled on a name!
Bri: Memento Mori
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
Crystal: Ballroom dance.
Bri: I would learn to crochet.
What’s the last recipe you looked up?
Crystal: Chicken Tikka Masala
Bri: Thai Coconut Curry Chicken
What apps do you use the most?
If you could sum up your homeschool style or philosophy in one phrase what would it be?
Bri: Laid back, but doing my best to make sure my daughter gets the best education she can get.
What do your kids want to be when they grow up?
Crystal: They don’t know. It changes frequently. Explorer, engineer, doctor, etc.
Bri: A chef and own a restaurant and bakery.
What extracurricular activities is your family involved in?
Crystal: Currently dance, gymnastics, choir and ninja classes.
Bri: Reading the Bible.
If you have a moment to yourself what do you like to do?
Crystal: Read for pleasure.
Bri: Listen to music and exercise.
What’s your favorite school day breakfast?
Crystal: Dad’s homemade pancakes when he’s off work.
Bri: Two sunny-side-up eggs on toast with hot tea.
What’s the best homeschool field trip you’ve ever been on?
Crystal: That’s tough to decide. Maybe our recent trip to our capital during legislative session. It’s really interesting to see the process and everything involved in lawmaking.
Bri: We haven't been on any yet, but have some planned for early spring.
The grocery store cashier asks, “But what about socialization?” What do you say?
Crystal: I wouldn’t have to say anything. They would see that my kids are more “socialized” than most kids.
Bri: She can socialize with family, friends, and people at church. Plus when she gets old enough she can join a club that's outside of school or at church.
What’s the funniest thing one of your kids ever said?
Crystal: Upon trying a new food my 4-year-old grabbed his throat and said, “Must drink water!! Need to neutralize the effect!!”
Bri: "I love my baby brother, but man does he stink all of the time."
What do you do for fun as a family?
Crystal: Lots of boating and pool time in the summer. Exploring in the woods, family gatherings, games and science experiments at home.
Bri: We spend time together and go on vacation.
How do you continue to educate yourself?
Crystal: By raising and educating my kids! Reading, talking with others and exploring new opportunities.
Bri: I'm constantly reading more in-depth on the different subjects that I'm teaching my daughter right now.
What are favorite healthy snacks at your house?
Crystal: Fruits and veggies.
Bri: KIND bars, apples, and strawberries
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in homeschooling?
Crystal: Figuring out how to get started. The fear of failing at it.
Bri: Trying to figure out what curriculum was best and how to manage teaching it while taking care of a newborn.
What is your favorite thing about having kids?
Crystal: It’s something new every day. Seeing them learn and explore our world.
Bri: The unconditional love.
What’s the best vacation you have ever taken as a family?
Crystal: Cruise to Bermuda.
Bri: We went to Disney World and my daughter said that her dreams finally came true.
List 3 frivolous things you are enjoying right now.
- watching Harry Potter series together (not binge watching)
- playing with toys
What’s your favorite in-a-pinch dinner option?
Crystal: Everyone likes pizza
Bri: Pepperoni pizza and French fries
What’s the strangest place you’ve done school?
Crystal: At the lake.
Bri: In the kitchen.
Share a favorite organizational tip.
Crystal: Simple bookshelves, bins and binders.
Bri: Don't overthink trying to stay organized, things don't always go as planned.
What special gifts or talents to your kids have?
Crystal: My daughter is an amazing dancer. My son is the funniest person I know.
Bri: Imagination and hasn't met a Lego set that she can't build on her own.
Tell us something unique or unusual about your family.
Crystal: We keep bees.
Bri: We don't bother anyone.
What do you do for P.E. in your homeschool?
Crystal: Outside play, swimming, dance, gymnastics, etc.
Bri: Exercise and play outside, weather permitting.
Share a favorite inspirational quote.
Crystal: “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
Bri: "If you felt like somebody made you feel worthless, that is a lie. You are valuable precious treasure."
What’s your best time of day to homeschool?
Crystal: Morning/early afternoon.
Bri: Early morning.
Tell us something interesting about your local area.
Crystal: We have amazing opportunities for outdoor activities like rafting, rock climbing, ziplining, boating, etc.
Bri: It's mainly mountains.
What dream for your family has come true?
Crystal: Having a big family and getting to spend a lot of time together.
Bri: For us to know God.