Shannon C. of Powhatan, Virginia
I’m a grandma...aka Mimi to the peeps around here, Skylare (5th grade), Camden (2nd grade) and Troy (preschool). We live on a farm and have all kinds of animals. There’s cows, donkeys, chickens, ducks, cats and dogs! The kids really do a lot to care for all the animals. We’ve been homeschooling for 5 years and have used Timberdoodle curriculum all of those years.
Becky of Norfolk, Virginia
We are a family of 8. Our children are:
- Toby - 2 months
- Zeke - 2 years
- Zoe - 4 years
- Vega - 6 years
- Scarlett - 9 years
- Mackenzie - 13 years
Mom stays home and Dad works as a civilian for the Navy. We have a dog named Skeelos, an Axolotl named Baltizahar and 5 chickens. Scarlett would like to start a business selling homemade dog treats but we aren't sure how to get started.
Katelyn E. of Brookneal, Virginia
We are the Evans family. My husband and I own and operate a masonry business and we homeschool our two children, Isabella and Tripp. We have lots of hunting dogs, lots of cats and a black lab named Dexter.
Mary T. of Timberdoodle, Virginia
Mom (public, private, and homeschool co-op teacher)
Dad (military engineer and musician)
Brother (Lego building, piano playing, and always reading)
Big Sister (always piano playing and reading)
Little Sister (always playing and wanting to do school too)
Nature of Virginia
Mom, Dad, Emma and Kyle like to go hiking in the mountains and playing with our ducks!
Andrea T. of Amherst, Virginia
Kevin, Andrea, Joshua, and Seth
Pets: Daisy and Miss Kitty
How do you Timberdoodle?
Shannon: I discovered Timberdoodle when my granddaughter was attending kindergarten at our church. We knew we were going to homeschool after that year and I was planning and exploring all of the options out there. Timberdoodle seemed to have the best of the best. I loved how they were homeschoolers themselves. I haven’t been disappointed with any of the products we’ve received. The best items are the ones that we would’ve never been purchased such as art. They have the best art projects! And their curriculum, in my opinion, isn’t watered down. It really challenges their little brains.
Becky: We started our homeschooling journey with Timberdoodle in 2016. I read about Timberdoodle being hands-on when googling how to homeschool. We love the bambinoLuk and Q-bitz we use them to warm up our brains in the morning. We also love using the Geo-Puzzles for geography.
Katelyn: I found Timberdoodle online years ago. We have used the awesome curriculum kits with both of our children from kindergarten on to, now, the 2nd and 5th grades! Absolutely have fallen in love with the products they offer and I know can trust that we are getting quality items. Customer service is always 100% wonderful!
Mary: We heard about Timberdoodle through another homeschooling family. We greatly benefit from many aspects of the curriculum but most especially the STEM and Thinking Skills areas. My globally traveling husband is delighted to know that his kids are provided with exciting ways to systematically develop their skills in a technologically competitive world. As a homeschooling Mom, in a classical weekly co op, I greatly appreciate the natural incentive and excitement these products provide to help get the, not so exciting, but necessary schoolwork done first:)!
Nature: We have used the full kit for Emma, what a fun school year!
Andrea: I first heard about Timberdoodle 3 years ago. We really enjoy all the hands-on activities.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Shannon: We get started with our school day after all the animals have been fed and watered. The oldest works at a desk in her oversized closet. She’s learning to work on her own, and Timberdoodle's schedule generator was perfect for this. Her weekly schedule keeps her on task. The younger two work in our schoolroom with my help. We work on the main subjects and then in their free time they can do art and other extras.
Becky: We like to start our day early, usually before 7:30 a.m. After breakfast we do our calendar together, singing the days of the week song, doing the macarena dance for the months of the year, reciting the Lord's prayer and a quick puzzle, then we open our math books. We are using 3 different math curriculums right now because my children each learn differently. The younger kids go play while I work on reading with my 9-year-old and I rotate playing and reading until everyone is done. Then my 9-year-old does history and we finish up by reading the Usborne Children's Encyclopedia and scanning the QR code and casting it on the TV. We are finished no later than noon. We eat lunch, go to the playground, do some chores and play until Dad gets home.
Katelyn: Our day at school sometimes changes day to day!! But that's why we love it.
Mary: We start our school day around 9:30 and usually end around 6:30 as we have somewhere to be every day, whether it is piano, scouts, homeschool p.e. class, etc. We cover language arts and math every day but the other subject areas are covered some time during the week, either through our Timberdoodle curriculum or Classical Co op. Chores are inconsistent but are usually done while I’m preparing meals. Meal times are 9:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 7 p.m.
Nature: Up about 8:00,eat breakfast. School starts around 9:00 and we work until 11:30. Break for lunch and chores. We finish whatever is left for school in the afternoon. Sometimes we break to play a game. We cover history, science and language arts most days. Electives 3-4 days a week.
Andrea: We usually start our day around 9:00 a.m. We cover most subjects everyday, but we do not adhere to a schedule.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
Shannon: This Wednesday afternoon we worked on history. I read from The Story of the World while a page from the workbook was colored. Unfortunately, every now and then, school might have to be interrupted or cut short to wrangle wayward animals!
Becky: Wednesday afternoon you would see an empty house with a huge homeschool mess. We drive to the local University for speech therapy on Wednesday and don't clean up from school until we get back.
Katelyn: School books on the kitchen table and breakfast bar. And probably popcorn or some other snack!
Mary: Well, let’s see. Wednesday is our homeschooling chapel and P.E. class day. So, we would be rolling back into our house after P.E. class on our nearby military base. Then I would be turning on the oven for lunch to bake some fish sticks while we begin our homeschooling chapel time with, “What’s in the Bible with Buck Denver?” After lunch, piano practice, independent reading time and Latin we would sit down to get into our daily homeschooling day.
Nature: A kitchen table with an open book or two and a cat working really hard to get as much attention as possible.
Andrea: You would see my son practicing guitar.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Shannon: We live on the east coast and would love to travel west. It would be great to take about a month and just drive to Colorado. We have family there. Then head towards the coast. And on the way home we would just wing it!
Becky: We have never been camping but would love to go camping near a cave to explore.
What books have you read over and over?
- The Bible!
- Left Behind series
- Pete The Cat
- Sarah Plain and Tall
Becky: As a child I loved reading Huckleberry Finn. As an adult I love Pitchin' a Fit and Education: Does God Have an Opinion? I don't read very many fiction books but I really enjoyed The Trials of Apollo.
Katelyn: Twilight and the Left Behind series.
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Katelyn: Getting more vegetables, we like try new recipes and change things up.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Shannon: We almost always have a rest time after lunch. Everyone goes to a different room. They can read, etc. but have to do something quiet and be away from each other for a while. This really helps to keep squabbles to a minimum.
Becky: Pray! Never give up homeschooling on a "bad" day. Get some outside time.
Katelyn: Take one thing at a time.. some days maybe only 15 minutes at a time!
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
Becky: My daughter prayed with the girls at Girl Scout camp that were crying and homesick.
Katelyn: Both accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
Shannon: To celebrate birthdays we always put up a birthday banner. I fix the party person's favorite meal. And then we end the day with birthday cake!
Becky: We have cake! We do something different for each child and year. My daughter's last birthday she went to see monster trucks with a friend. We have gone to water parks and trampoline parks. We have had parties/sleepovers at our house. We even had a laser tag party for one of our children.
Katelyn: Family dinners with cake and gifts!
What have you done recently for the first time?
Becky: Played a board game called Chickapig.
Katelyn: Cave diving.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Shannon: Leftover pizza. :)
Becky: Grilled cheese and tomato soup.
Katelyn: Sandwich, any kind! Yumm, a good BLT may be my favorite.
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
Shannon: We, in fact, have very limited internet. We rarely use it for school. We get our information from our textbooks and the library.
Becky: We don't use the internet for school much. It wouldn't be a big deal.
Katelyn: We do, with the exception of my cell phone.
What tips do you have for other families?
Becky: Don't compare yourself to other families.
Katelyn: Love each other, be patient with each other. Savor every moment with each other.
What is something you appreciate about each of your kids?
Becky: Toby is only 2 months but his smile lights the room, Ezekiel loves to read books, Zoe is very...
Katelyn: Their love for each other.
What song is currently in your head?
Shannon: Power by We Are Messengers
Becky: Ugh, my daughters keep trying to get their brother to potty train so they play a potty song on their tablet. The lyrics "I'm going to the potty, I'm going to the potty, I'm going to the potty on my own" are completely stuck in my head. I used to be cool, now I hum the potty song.
Katelyn: What the World Needs Now! Ha.
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Katelyn: Right now, Brawl Stars. And Minecraft. And Rummy.
What hard thing are you planning to do this year?
Shannon: Lose weight.
What did you do just for fun with your kids recently?
Shannon: We went to our homeschooling friends house and had a paint day, ate lunch and played for hours.
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
What’s the last recipe you looked up?
Shannon: Chicken soup.
What apps do you use the most?
- Walmart grocery pickup
If you have a moment to yourself what do you like to do?
Shannon: I love to make things with my Cricut, sew or crochet.
What’s your favorite school day breakfast?
Shannon: Fruit and scrambled eggs (from our own chickens).
What’s the best homeschool field trip you’ve ever been on?
Shannon: We just recently went to Washington DC. We visited The Museum of the Bible, the Washington Monument and walked around that area for hours.
What do you do for fun as a family?
Shannon: In the summer we swim in our pool. We have pizza night about once a week and watch a movie. We go to the craft stores.
What are favorite healthy snacks at your house?
Shannon: Fruit! We love all types of it.
What’s the best museum you’ve ever gone to?
Shannon: The Museum of the Bible
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in homeschooling?
Shannon: I think the biggest challenge I’ve overcome is the fact that I was trying to do homeschool the public school way. It was all I’d ever known and I finally realized that that’s the reason we homeschool. To be outside of that box.
List 3 frivolous things you are enjoying right now.
- new houseplants
- a Cricut machine
- new living room furniture
What’s your favorite in-a-pinch dinner option?
Tell us something unique or unusual about your family.
Shannon: Grandma is homeschooling the kids
Share a favorite inspirational quote.
Shannon: "On the darkest days when I feel inadequate, unloved and unworthy, I remember whose daughter I am and I straighten my crown."
Tell us something interesting about your local area.
Shannon: Our town was named for Chief Powhatan, father of the Indian Princess Pocahontas.
What dream for your family has come true?
Shannon: Selling our home in the city and moving to the country with 27 acres of land with lots of animals.