We are a military family that has a strong call to homeschool. We began our homeschooling journey 18 months ago and have enjoyed all the hands on learning that Timberdoodle has to offer. Constantly on the go homeschool made the most sense for our family. We enjoy art, music participating in obstacle course races and geocaching in our free time.
How do you Timberdoodle?
We first heard of Timberdoodle from an online search on homeschool curriculums. A few things drew us in such as the hands on nature, the custom curriculum kits which was huge for us with one child on the Autism spectrum and the customer service. We used a custom kit for preschool/preK and just began Kindergarten. The joy and love for learning that our daughter has had since starting with Timberdoodle products makes it so worth it. We also really appreciate the custom scheduler and how we can set it up both weekly or daily. We try to stick to a schedule but let’s face it, life gets in the way and having the ability to adjust our sails midcourse was huge for us. Timberdoodle’s scheduler allows for this adjustment and we do appreciate that. Our little one particularly loves the Language Arts All About Reading curriculum and has begun reading with ease of sounding out words and not just recognizing sight words. She also loves the art projects, the Happy, Sad, Feeling Glad book and the Smart Games included in the kits we have. Both items allow for a lot of open discussion about what she is making, colors, shapes, and feelings. It’s opened up a world of language for her.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
We try to fit school in wherever it goes that day with our schedule. Sometimes that means early morning, lunch time, or weekends. We homeschool 5 days, although not always Monday thru Friday, and mix the subjects across all days we are schooling that week. We find our little one learns best and doesn’t burn out when there is a variety of subjects and learning methods each day. We homeschool year round allowing ourselves the occasional day or holiday break when needed.
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
If you peeked into our home on a random Wednesday you would see a lot of hands-on learning mixed with some seat work. We color and paint, play music, and sing and dance. Our theory is that learning takes on so many different forms so we foster it in everything we do in our daily schedule.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
We love the Jersey shore. There is so much to do there from the beaches, concerts, boardwalk games and rides the fun is endless.
What books have you read over and over?
Our most read book is Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes and anything Peppa Pig related.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
My advice on a bad day is to be kind to yourself and take it one step at a time. Bad days make us appreciate the good days so much more. I always remind my family that there are lessons to be learned in bad days such as practicing kindness, patience, prioritizing and recognizing emotions.
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
When our daughter who has autism began not only speaking but reading before kindergarten it filled our heart with such joy and pride. She’s worked very hard and come a long way.
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
In our home we celebrate birthdays with a cake a few presents and most importantly together as a family. The birthday person gets to pick out a fun activity for the whole family to do together. It’s a tradition we really look forward to.
What’s your favorite school day lunch?
Our favorite school day lunch is anything that we’ve prepared together. It varies from day to day but turkey and cheese with strawberries is a popular request in our home.
How would you manage if you had to homeschool without the internet?
We homeschool now without the internet so there wouldn’t be much of an adjustment. The only time we use the internet for school related items is Timberdoodle’s scheduler so I guess we’d be doing a lot more planning by hand.
What tips do you have for other families?
Try not to stress. Learning takes place in all settings and all forms and may look different from week to week and that’s okay. Go at your own pace and never compare your child to other peers. Foster their strengths and help build up their weaknesses together.
What is something you appreciate about each of your kids?
I appreciate how my daughter has taught me to find the joy in small things, to slow down once in a while and just be present in the moment and also patience.
What song is currently in your head?
Old McDonald's Farm, one of our daughters favorite songs.
Tell us about your family’s favorite games.
We love anything we can play together so cooperative games are really popular especially the game My First Orchard. We love all the Smart Games for individual game time.
What is your exercise routine and how often do you do it?
We read every night after baths and before bed. It’s nice to have the quiet time and for our little one to look forward to it and ask for it in the rare nights we miss it.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in your homeschool that you called a “science experiment”?
When we played with our food to paint a picture. Our little one has lots of sensory issues so this worked fantastic on fine motor skills, creativity and put a fun spin on foods can be fun. It was an added bonus that she enjoyed eating some of those foods we painted with.
What hard thing are you planning to do this year?
Make some down time. With a family that has so many moving parts on a daily basis we are making it a point to set aside at least 20 minutes every day to do something together relaxing.
What did you do just for fun with your kids recently?
We played outside blowing bubbles and drawing with chalk.
What would you name your boat if you had one?
The SS Overbooked. haha.
If you could learn a new skill, what would it be?
What apps do you use the most?
- Endless Word Academy
- Nick Jr.
- and probably Facebook.
If you could sum up your homeschool style or philosophy in one phrase what would it be?
A mix of a little of this and a little of that.
What do your kids want to be when they grow up?
What extracurricular activities is your family involved in?
If you have a moment to yourself what do you like to do?
Read or do yoga.
What’s your favorite school day breakfast?
What’s the best homeschool field trip you’ve ever been on?
Any of the Smithsonian museums in DC. They are all fantastic and added bonus is they are free.
The grocery store cashier asks, “But what about socialization?” What do you say?
Kids don’t socialize in public school as much as everyone thinks. We practice this daily in extracurricular activities, at grocery stores, at the library, etc.
What do you do for fun as a family?
We enjoy going to the zoo, playing games or geocaching.
How do you continue to educate yourself?
Reading books and researching topics of interest.
What are favorite healthy snacks at your house?
Strawberries, broccoli and tomatoes are our go-to snacks.
What’s the best museum you’ve ever gone to?
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in homeschooling?
Time management. It’s been my biggest struggle between all of our activities and therapy appointments.
What is your favorite thing about having kids?
Watching them learn about the world around them.
What’s the best vacation you have ever taken as a family?
Our trip to Newport, Rhode Island, was fantastic with lots to see and do and plenty of family time.
List 3 frivolous things you are enjoying right now.
- watching Hallmark movies
- taking walks after dinner as a family
What’s your favorite in-a-pinch dinner option?
Chicken rice and a veggie dusted together.
What’s the strangest place you’ve done school?
Share a favorite organizational tip.
Organize by subject. It’s been a huge time saver for us when we need to pull something out for a quick reference.
What special gifts or talents to your kids have?
A talented artist and amazing speller.
Tell us something unique or unusual about your family.
We are a military family and we move on average every 2-3 years.
What’s making you laugh these days?
Our daughter. She loves to laugh and joke around so it’s a good time for everyone around her.
What do you do for P.E. in your homeschool?
Soccer, gymnastics, obstacle course races and taking walks or going to the playground.
Share a favorite inspirational quote.
You never know what someone is going through. Be kind always.
What’s your best time of day to homeschool?
Tell us something interesting about your local area.
All the free Smithsonian museums.
What dream for your family has come true?
The ability to homeschool our daughter.