There are 9 of us: Mom, Dad and seven kiddos ages 3-16. We often refer to our kids as A, B, C, D, E, F and G - the alphabet kids. We have a 50 lb Shepherd Mix named Stevie (Stevie Dawg) who is ~ 9 years old. (He is a rescue so we aren't certain of his age.)
How do you Timberdoodle?
I have been blessed to be a part of Timberdoodle's Blog Team for the last 3 years. There are so many Timberdoodle products that we love, too many to name I think. I appreciate that Timberdoodle has so many STEM items and lots of choices that focus on learning and growing curiousity as well as basic core subject choices as well.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
It's hard to say typical in our home because I feel like every day is always a bit different. The subjects that we cover daily are Math, Spelling, Reading, Handwriting (for those 6th and younger), Wordly Wise, Daily Grams, etc. Subjects that work through but maybe not every day include Grammar, Music (Instrument Practice), Science, Writing, Art, Worldview, Literature, Computer Science, Extra Math, Driver's Ed, Spanish, PE, etc.
This is a peek into what we are currently doing. We have breakfast in the morning (sometimes together), sometimes as kids (or Mom) trickle out of bed. We have lunch together around 11:30 a.m., snack at 3:30 p.m. and dinner between 5:30 - 6:00 p.m., except when sports or other activities interfere and we adjust as needed. We try our best to clean up after ourselves and usually do chores throughout the day on a minimum level. Saturday is usually our heavier chore day when we all really work together to "deeper" clean our home.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
You would most likely see kids on a computer (they may be typing up a paper, or doing their computer science or math program, possibly even playing a game like Super Tux). You will probably see at least one kid reading, if not two or more. One of my kids would be missing as she would be a the gym (she's a competitive gymnast). My younger ones would be engaging in imaginary play or possibly watching a "short show" as they call it, like Paw Patrol. We really enjoy games so we may be in the middle of one as well.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Any beach! We love spending time in the sand and on the water when we can and it's been far too long since we have been to a beach.
What books have you read over and over?
We love Mr. Popper's Penguins and Wheel on the School. We are also huge Narnia fans.
What dietary challenges does your family face?
Currently no one in our family has any food allergies and I'm so thankful for that!
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
It's okay if everything didn't go as planned or wasn't perfect, most days aren't going to be. Just take a deep breath and breathe. Remember that you are your kids' biggest cheerleaders. If you can and need to, get outside in the fresh air.
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
My kids love to make things. I really treasure the little notes and encouragements that they give me (especially when it includes Scripture).
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
We go all out. Even though there are a lot of us, we usually have a party for each of our kids every year. My husband makes the cake from scratch. The kids pick a party theme and we try and coordinate food, decorations and sometimes games. We love celebrating each other.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Probably sandwiches, chips and fruit. Another favorite around here is macaroni, meat and cheese crackers and fruit. We try and keep lunches fairly simple and often times the older kids make lunch.
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
It would be tricky right now as we have quite a few online courses and resources that we use but we have built quite a school library over the years so I think if we had to ditch the internet we could...but it is definitely convenient to have.
What tips do you have for other families?
Enjoy each other and care for one another.
What is something you appreciate about each of your kids?
They are unique with individual personalities. I really appreciate that they are helpful. Most of them are really funny. I appreciate that they enjoy spending time together. I like their perspectives and views on the world. They make me think!!
What song is currently in your head?
Oceans by Hillsong.
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
Lots!! We enjoy Monopoly, Scrabble, Bananagrams, Robot Turtles, Forbidden Island, Chess, Checkers, Uno, Go Fish, Apples to Apples, Zimbbos, Jenga, Sword Crafters, Smart Games like Asteroid Escape, Card Games like Hand and Foot and Phase 10 - really too many to name. I should send you a picture of our game shelf! We also enjoy playing games together outside as well - 4 square, basketball, soccer, volleyball, frisbee, etc.
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
Probably walking. My kids like running.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your homeschool that you called a “science experiment”?
Dissected owl pellets and crayfish, grew Sea Monkeys.
What did you do just for fun with your kids recently?
Played Cup Pong.
What would you name your boat if you had one?
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
Actually I would love to be a seamstress. Not just someone who can sew a button but someone who could make anything from fabric. I know that it's not in the cards for me because I've tried and I have zero skill but I wish I could do it. I'd also enjoy learning gymnastics. I am personally not very flexible but I think it would be fun.
What’s the last recipe you looked up?
Poached Eggs with Asparagus.
What apps do you use the most?
Social media apps, YouTube.
If you could sum up your homeschool style or philosophy in one phrase what would it be?
Schedule with flexibility.
What do your kids want to be when they grow up?
Gymnast, Teacher, Doctor, Author, Baseball Player, Artist, Counselor, Astronaut, Dancer, Parent, Comedian - these are just some of their ideas...
What extracurricular activities is your family involved in?
- Band - flute, trumpet, percussion
- PE - homeschool PE program that meets 3 hours/week
- Gymnastics - one of my daughters is a competitive gymnast
- Volleyball - one of my daughters plays volleyball
- Ballet - one of my daughters dances
- Baseball - my oldest son loves it
- We also do various art programs.
- Right now my oldest are completing Python Programming.
If you have a moment to yourself what do you like to do?
- Watch a Show
- Talk to Friends
- Do a Crossword
- Go for a Walk
What’s your favorite school day breakfast?
What’s the best homeschool field trip you’ve ever been on?
Oh my, so many! I'm going to have to pick our road trip to California when we were able to visit Disneyland, the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam, and the Petrified Forest. That was epic.
The grocery store cashier asks, “But what about socialization?” What do you say?
My kids have no problem with socialization. Honestly, I think they relate better to a variety of ages than just their peers.
What’s the funniest thing one of your kids ever said?
There is a lot I could chose but I will pick, "Turkey is better than food." (My youngest, when he was 2, said this at Thanksgiving.)
What do you do for fun as a family?
- Play Games
- Watch Shows
- Play Outside
How do you continue to educate yourself?
Read, ask questions.
What are favorite healthy snacks at your house?
- Ants on a Log
What’s the best museum you’ve ever gone to?
Either the Science Mill in Johnson City or The Children's Museum of Phoenix.
What is your favorite thing about having kids?
They are exciting and fun. I like the way they think and see the world.
What’s the best vacation you have ever taken as a family?
What’s your favorite in-a-pinch dinner option?
What’s the strangest place you’ve done school?
Share a favorite organizational tip.
This year each of my kids have a plastic bin where they keep their school books and supplies. I also have one for me that has Teacher guides and Test Solutions, etc.
What special gifts or talents to your kids have?
Craftsmanship, Sports, Generosity
Tell us something unique or unusual about your family.
There are a lot of us. My kids are loud! (Sorry). We really enjoy spending time together.
What’s making you laugh these days?
My youngest says the funniest things. He makes us all laugh.
What do you do for P.E. in your homeschool?
My oldest six do a once a week PE program that is 3 hrs/week. My kids also play sports - Gymnastics, Volleyball, Dance, Baseball, T-ball, Soccer.
Share a favorite inspirational quote.
What’s your best time of day to homeschool?
Late morning/early afternoon.
Tell us something interesting about your local area.
We live within a few miles of a water park.
What dream for your family has come true?
We live in a bigger house with a bigger kitchen and more space for our family.
What’s the most useless talent you have?
Make up lyrics to old songs.