We are a loving family with two boys, another boy due in June, plus Dada and Mama. Our 6-year-old is homeschooled with the Timberdoodle Kindergarten kit, and loves it! Our 3-year-old is excited to start Timberdoodle soon too! Dada is a construction supervisor and Mama is an RN. We don’t have any pets, but that is at the top of our wish list for Santa for next year (or maybe the year after says Mama!).
How do you Timberdoodle?
We are all major fans of Timberdoodle! I was wanting to homeschool, but I am not a teacher by trade, and felt overwhelmed with the many options out there! I heard about Timberdoodle through my cousin, who is a teacher by trade, and homeschools 3 out of her 4 kids. I fell in love with the emphasis on hands-on, phonics, STEM, Christian perspective, and they take the work out of choosing! We did pre-K last year with the pre-K curriculum kit, and this year we’re enjoying the elite kindergarten kit. We utilized the Timberdoodle scheduler, and check off all those boxes while little brother is napping, every afternoon. My 6-year-old loves to build anything, and building and science experiments are his favorite by far. His reading and spelling progress have been a blessing to see as well!!! Homeschooling has brought us closer like never before with all the one-on-one time too.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
Daily homeschool routines are always flexible, which I love, but usually it looks like the following. I do my chores in the morning until lunch, while the boys play outside. After lunch, I put my 3-year-old down for his daily nap (which he will drop soon), and we use the Timberdoodle scheduler to “do school.” According to the scheduler, we do a few things daily (reading lesson, math worksheet, spelling worksheet, a selection from “What your kindergartner needs to know”), and have science and other subjects alternating throughout the week. We are usually done with school by snack time, and I start prepping dinner! We love it!
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
On a random Wednesday afternoon, you would see me and my son sitting at the kitchen table across from each other. We would be alternating the various worksheets with floor time to build, and couch time for reading a story! I don’t check my phone during this time, and it is a really sweet time for us.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
What books have you read over and over?
- any Bible study by Jen Wilkin
- Redeeming Love
- Jane Austen stories
- parenting books!
What dietary challenges does your family face?
My 3-year-old cannot have plain milk or “unprocessed” milk ingredients, such as heavy cream (no more creamy soups!). He can still have cheese, butter, and dairy-free ice cream, so I’m not complaining too much! He uses soy milk in his cereal, and I use coconut milk or other alternatives for cooking. It’s not too big of a deal!
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
I choose to breathe in small moments. For example, a crazy day at Chick Fil-A has me stressed, I mentally choose to delight in the flowers and their beauty that are on every table. It’s like a breath of fresh air for my mind. Also, I try to be willing to reset. It’s never too late in the day to “start over.” Everyone goes to their corners to reset and Mama prays, then we regroup and tackle our day renewed.
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
My 6-year-old went from hating tracing and drawing letters, and being embarrassed of sounding out words, to spelling and reading things on his own for pleasure! He gets so much satisfaction out of being able to read some store signs while we’re driving, and reading Dr. Seuss books to his little brother. My heart sings! He brought home a valentines card for me from Sunday School with words he had spelled himself!!
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
We always reserve the actual birthday as a low-key family day to truly celebrate the child. The birthday boy gets special cinnamon rolls for breakfast with candles, and we sing Happy Birthday. They open their present from just our little family, then proceed to go do and eat anything the child wants to do for the rest of the day (within reason). With little kids, they want to go out to ice cream, go to the children’s museum, go to the park, and chicken soup for dinner! Birthday parties happen the weekend before or after their birthday, to include extended family and friends.
What have you done recently for the first time?
Allowed my boys to play in our fenced-in backyard every day, while I do chores inside the house. I put a baby monitor out there, make sure all gates are locked, and give them instructions to call me if any people or weird animals
show up. It ensures they get to be outside daily, instead of only when I didn’t have chores and could join them (never). And they are just old enough to handle
the freedom of it, and can play to their hearts content, plus vitamin D!
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
We call them “cracker sandwiches.” They are just glorified Lunchables, with healthier options. There is Triscuit squares, slices of cheese, slices of deli meat, slices of a fruit, a couple raw veggies, and a small sweet thing as well. I love it because it’s quick and easy!
What tips do you have for other families?
Always be evaluating the efficiency of your homeschool, don’t get stuck in a rut. If a subject isn’t working, try it from a different angle, or put it away until a better time. Cancel homeschool for the day if you need to, but not too often. Be flexible. Buy new festive pencils for the holidays!
Also, make sure your child has a community of kids he belongs to somewhere, that he goes to at least weekly. Social skills are just as important as school! We are part of a Wild+Free homeschool group that takes nature hikes every Tuesday, and a local homeschool P.E. group that meets twice a week. We also do a sport every fall and sometimes spring.
What song is currently in your head?
Lauren Daigle songs!
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
I bought the 80s version of Candy Land that I grew up with on ebay, and we use that to review our phonogram sounds and word cards during reading. Both of my boys love it, although my 3-year-old has a pretty short attention span still!