Sarah G. of Slinger, Wisconsin
- Sam, our provider and Dad, is a nursing professor. He works hard do mom can stay home and teach the kids.
- Sarah, mom and teacher, is in charge of the kids and house.
- Katie is a freshman at Evangel University.
- Josh is a junior and loves to play basketball.
- Micah is a sophomore and has a wealth of information regarding animals.
- David is in 7th grade and is learning how to cook. He wants to be a chef.
- We have 2 cats and 4 geckos.
Melissa B. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I am the mom and I have a lot of passions, but mostly I love serving my church and going to the library. My husband works for a bank. We have two boys, ages 7 and 5, who love science and animals.
Michele T. of El Paso, Wisconsin
We are a large family, 10 kids, 8 still at home, all homeschooled.
We have 4 dogs, 4 goats, 4 cows, 12 sheep and 24 chickens.
April of Burlington, Wisconsin
We are a family of six: Dad, Mom, 8G, 6G, 3B and 6mo boy.
How do you Timberdoodle?
Sarah: I heard about Timberdoodle about 4 years ago. I love how they bring different curriculums together to help you have a well rounded approach for your schooling. I was introduced to Teaching Textbooks and this has saved me hours of grading time.
Melissa: I've been using Timberdoodle curriculum kits since my oldest was in pre-k. He's currently in 2nd grade.
Michele: I have been using timberdoodle since we started homeschooling in 2004.
April: I’ve always admired all of the fun Timberdoodle products but have yet to order a kit.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Sarah: We typically start school about 9:30. Each of the boys have their appointed tasks regarding school which thankfully they are able to do much of on their own. We are now to the point where my older kids are self teaching themselves. The evenings are often filled with either basketball practice or basketball games during the winter season. One of my sons will have play practice during the afternoon. Most household chores will be done after dinner so that the house is clean and ready to start the next day.
Melissa: We are kind of in a flexible rotational schedule. We start whenever we are done with our morning routine, which includes things like breakfast, getting dressed, etc. Then we start on school. We rotate like this - my oldest son does some school, then my youngest, then I take a small break for myself. Rinse, wash, repeat. Our subjects vary by day because we go in a rhythm - it works better for us than checklists!
Michele: We have a list of order not time to do things. We get up, eat, take care of animals, morning chores. Then oldest 4 work independently till afternoon chores. Youngest 4 work together in History and science. After lunch and afternoon chores the youngest 2 play/nap/watch movies. The oldest finish their work/go to their jobs, whatever they need. The oldest of the younger 4 do math and English.
April: We seek to fully blend learning into our daily lives. The only thing we do every day is study the Bible and read a devotional. Otherwise, we play games, read books, listen to podcasts, watch educational videos, do worksheets, play educational apps, listen to audiobooks, cook and clean together and explore our intellectual curiosities, wherever they may lead. Every day is a bit different.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Sarah: The boys doing their school work in random areas of the house, laundry on the floor waiting to be folded and put away and food prep in the kitchen for the evening meal.
Melissa: Random schoolwork! It's never the same.
Michele: Teens not here, most at work, teens without jobs would be in the barn, younger kids doing worksheets, art, watching movies or playing in the snow.
April: Probably my 8-year-old playing a game with me or the girl next door, my 6-year-old building spectacular buildings with Magnatiles and my 3-year-old playing with a flashlight, while I am available to help with the baby on my hip.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Michele: We have not had a camping trip that wasn't good. Last was to the upper peninsula of Michigan. Before that we were in West Virginia. We have been out to Arizona. I would love to go camping in Alaska or Montana
What books have you read over and over?
Melissa: Harry Potter series.
Michele: Animal Farm.
April: The Hiding Place, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia.
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Melissa: We are really blessed not to face any dietary challenges.
Michele: Vegan, one child has milk allergy and my husband has cancer. Being vegan while running a farm is not normal.
April: My kids eat like hobbits. We just try to keep a balance and supply healthy food.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Melissa: Community is so helpful for me! Having other homeschool moms I can text who get it, helps to encourage me to get through the hard days.
Michele: Support, husband, friend, anyone to be there and knows when you need to vent.
April: Coffee and Jesus.
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Melissa: The birthday person gets to pick where they would like to go on their birthday and we go out - to the zoo or the museum or wherever!
Michele: Cake, homemade. Birthday kid picks lunch and dinner. They also pick a movie to watch. Get a birthday outfit and gifts.
April: A family party and homemade cake that they choose and help decorate.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
April: Homemade yogurt mixed with peanut butter or applesauce
What tips do you have for other families?
Melissa: Find what works for you! That's the beauty of homeschooling!
April: Provide a rich environment with lots of resources and lots of love and watch them blossom.
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Melissa: We love Mario Party as a video game. As far as board games, we love Codenames, Call to Adventure, and Tiny Polka Dot.
April: Dragonwood is the hands-down favorite around here.
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
Melissa: I try to do yoga and to bike on the exercise bike 4-5 times a week.
April: We have an indoor trampoline and lots of outside time for the kids. Until my babe starts sleeping longer my exercise routine will have to be lugging him around the house. :)
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your homeschool that you called a “science experiment”?
Melissa: We launched chickens into space! (aka, eggs on water rockets).
April: Mixed a bunch of random leftover drink stuff to see what would happen.
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
Melissa: American Sign Language
April: Hand sewing
If you could sum up your homeschool style or philosophy in one phrase what would it be?
Melissa: A little bit of this, a little bit of that, poof!
April: Child-led, rabbit-hole diving, everyday living, God-centered homeschool
What’s your favorite school day breakfast?
Melissa: Breakfast burritos
April: Egg sandwiches
What’s the best vacation you have ever taken as a family?
Melissa: To Canada!
April: Canada on a fishing trip.