Crystal from New Hampshire
B, T, C and B. 2 cats and a bunny. Homeschooling family with a cable tech dad.
Jeanna from Rhode Island
We are a family of 6. We have twins that are 7, a 5.5-year-old and a 3.5-year-old. All girls. I am a certified teacher and Dad is in the military. Crafts are a big deal in our house as well as anything that requires creativity.
Heather from Maine
Husband and 3 kids: Teagan, Tessa and Brooke. 2 pups, a bunny, and a kitty, and the outside animals.
Nicole from Rhode Island
Bill, the dad. Nicole, the mom. Then there’s Grace, the daughter, and Jack, her brother. Don’t forget Shelby, the German Shepherd, and Ron, the betta fish. Dad's a dispatcher and works hard to earn money so Mom can stay home and school her daughter (and sometimes son because he loves Timberdoodle just as much as big sis!).
Sarah of New Hampshire
Baby Boss —4-year-old who loves babies, being the boss, coloring and creating, and her pet bunny.
Gummy Bear— 2-year-old who loves pirates, race cars, PJ Masks, and being adventurous!
Squishy — soon to be born ♥️
We have 2 big dogs and a bunny rabbit! We love reading lots of books, watching movies, going on hikes in the forest, and race cars!
How do you Timberdoodle?
Crystal: Online. Curriculum recommendations. Your kits helped me make good curriculum choices.
Jeanna: I heard about Timberdoodle several years ago but have not bought curriculum as we will just be starting homeschooling next year. What I like about the curriculum is that you have hands-on materials to enhance learning.
Heather: We’ve been using it for a while and very much enjoy making custom kits for our kids.
Nicole: We Timberdoodle in a lot of fun ways! Some times with Nerf Guns, Legos and hide-and-seek games. We laugh, tickle and try to make learning as fun as possible!
Sarah: Very new to Timberdoodle— found it online when researching curriculums. Haven’t purchased yet but plan to in the spring
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Crystal: We start around 9:00. We cover Math and ELA everyday and cycle through science, history, art and music. My boys do hockey. They have chores they do when they can. We eat regular meals at regular times.
Jeanna: I hope to be able to do a centers type of format since I have kids ranging in ages. That way I can help with one individually while the others work on something independently.
Heather: We are pretty free flowing and do things as we like or they present themselves.
Nicole: We try to school around 10:00 a.m. and we like to start with reading - because that can be the trickiest to get through. Grace had zero phonics skills entering her “K” curriculum and we spent a lot of time thinking far outside the box on making it fun. Pleased to say we are on level 2 of All About Reading! And loving it! Then we move on to math and spelling. We sometimes play a few math games and puzzles. But are loving incorporating Osmo into our routine!
Sarah: School is very laid back and play-based since the kids are so young. About 1-2 a week/every other week, we will sit down to work on the alphabet and sounds. Otherwise, we spend most of our day reading, helping around the house and doing activities (library, gym, play dates). We do 1-2 chores each day, and then 1 day a week we have a big cleaning day. Both kids make their own lunches.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Crystal: Books in every room. Probably Legos and projects everywhere.
Jeanna: A mess of toys scattered around the house. 😃
Heather: Well, today we were at the trampoline park but odds are we’d be outside.
Nicole: Lots of playing and self discovery. Imaginations run wild here!
Sarah: Brother and sister running around and climbing over their foam blocks, petting their bunny and asking for a snack
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Crystal: On a road trip, east to west.
Jeanna: On a camping trip in Alaska.
Nicole: My daughter would lose her mind if she ended up at Disney world in Florida. I’m sure her brother would be ecstatic too. Forget them, my husband would lose his mind. He works so hard so we can stay home that Star Wars Land vacation would knock his socks off. Ha.
What books have you read over and over?
Crystal: Pete the Cat, Frog and Toad, Gerald and Piggy
Nicole: Oh! I have never been one for reading a story over. I love to read new stories and imagine a whole new world!!
Sarah: Harry Potter
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Crystal: Food allergies. We don’t go out to eat and I have to call every company to make sure their food is safe for my son.
Heather: Kids desired more processed snacks then I’d like. Try to have lots of fruit and veggie with dip options available
Nicole: My kids are picky eaters. So sometimes we have to have races to see who can take a bite and swallow fastest. Everything’s a game!
Sarah: No dietary challenges in our family, luckily.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Crystal: Always schedule in down time/ independent play time. It’s good for everyone. And coffee.
Jeanna: A Pepsi and a nap in the afternoon.
Heather: Give yourself a time out for meditation or deep breathing.
Nicole: Jesus and coffee. And having grace to say, "Today’s not a great day so we will try again tomorrow." Take a moment to reset and do something fun instead!
Sarah: Have some coffee, BREATHE BREATHE BREATHE, and if needed, take a break by yourself for 5-10 minutes to just calm down
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
Crystal: Wrote a book based on a book series he loved (all on his own).
Jeanna: Learned the Lord's Prayer, the books of the Old and New Testament and Psalm 23 at age 6 and 7.
Heather: Love others and tell them so freely.
Nicole: Cleaned the house! The fact she’s taking a joy in cleaning is all I could ever ask for!
Sarah: Practiced how to take care of a baby so she’s ready for when the new baby arrives.
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Crystal: The birthday person decides what to do for the day from start to finish, cake, presents and sometimes a party.
Jeanna: A special family dinner and I always make a fancy cake.
Heather: Family dinner and cake.
Nicole: We have a birthday sign that’s been in my family for 25 years that every member has to have a picture with! It’s a whole thing. It travels everywhere. Restaurants. Each other’s houses. It’s so outdated but a fun tradition.
Sarah: Birthdays mean yes days! Whatever the birthday person wants to do, we say yes to!! It makes it special to be able to choose your own activities/food/schedule
What have you done recently for the first time?
Crystal: Started teaching a homeschool math class.
Jeanna: Started to downsize our things.
Heather: Trampoline park.
Sarah: Went to Disneyworld.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Crystal: Sandwiches and fruit.
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
Crystal: We don’t use it very much so we’d be fine. The library is our best resource.
Jeanna: Perfectly fine. I try to stay of electronic devices.
Sarah: LOTS of time at the library!
What tips do you have for other families?
Crystal: Don’t stress, change things up when necessary, take mental health days, have heavy work days and light work days as needed.
Sarah: Each child is different— learn what works for your family and don’t be afraid to try something new even if you already started in one direction
What song is currently in your head?
Jeanna: Baby Shark
Sarah: Baby Shark
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Crystal: Dragonwood, Sleeping Queens
Jeanna: All of them. 😃
Sarah: Kerplunk, Guess Who?
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
Crystal: I exercise 6 days a week and it makes me more energetic and happy.
Jeanna: Does chasing kids count?
Sarah: Chasing after kids every day. :) The kids go to gymnastics class twice a week.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your homeschool that you called a “science experiment”?
Crystal: We have meal worms going through metamorphosis right now.
Sarah: Painted flowers with colored baking soda and vinegar.
What hard thing are you planning to do this year?
Crystal: Lose 20 pounds.
Jeanna: Start homeschooling.
Sarah: Begin Kindergarten while having a newborn.
What did you do just for fun with your kids recently?
Sarah: Played with Legos all afternoon.
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
Crystal: Sewing or website development.
Jeanna: Oil painting.
Sarah: Jewelry making.
What’s the last recipe you looked up?
Crystal: Carrot muffins.
Sarah: Beef pho.
If you could sum up your homeschool style or philosophy in one phrase what would it be?
Crystal: Go with the flow.
If you have a moment to yourself what do you like to do?
Crystal: Crochet and read.
Sarah: Read or do a puzzle.
What’s your favorite school day breakfast?
Sarah: Banana pancakes.
The grocery store cashier asks, “But what about socialization?” What do you say?
Crystal: We are constantly with other kids! Sometimes we have to find time to squeeze in school work!
Sarah: My kids are more socialized at this age than I was in public school
What do you do for fun as a family?
Crystal: Play outside and board games.
Sarah: Spend time together— hiking, reading, traveling
How do you continue to educate yourself?
Crystal: Read a lot.
Sarah: Always reading!
What are favorite healthy snacks at your house?
Crystal: Apples, smoothies.
Sarah: Apples with chocolate hummus, peanut butter bananas.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in homeschooling?
Crystal: Making a schedule to keep track of our work each day.
Sarah: Learning to be patient.
What’s your favorite in-a-pinch dinner option?
Crystal: Pancakes and sausages.
Share a favorite organizational tip.
Crystal: Magazine holders for curriculum
Sarah: Label makers!