We are a typical family of four, one little girl (age 3), one little boy (age 6 months), a mom, and a dad. We have chosen to homeschool both kids for many reasons, but the main one being that we can tailor the curriculum to their needs and wants. We start the school process when they turn a year old, just to get some practice, learn how they learn, and create some one-on-one time, though of course during this process they learn quite a bit as well.
Dad works as a helicopter mechanic on Chinook helicopters that fight forest fires, which means he travels a lot. Going wherever a fire flares up, from California to Chile, South America. But when he is home he doesn't have to work at all, so we like to plan field trips and fun outings especially during the summer. Another great part about homeschooling is that the learning never ends, they learn sitting at the kitchen table or out on a hike with daddy. This allows us more family time.
Mom is a stay-at-home mom and loving every minute of it. She gets to plan all the fun activities and enjoys the one on one bonding time with both kids. When she isn't homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, or playing with the kids she runs a small craft business. She makes hand-sewn board games that she sells at craft fairs and online. Homeschooling gives her the flexibility to make her dreams of owning a business come true as well as help her children achieve all of their dreams for the future.
Our little girl is a ball of energy as most 3-year-olds are. She loves playing with blocks of all shapes and sizes, reading books with Mommy, doing anything outside, and playing with her little brother. She hates weekends when we don't do school time and counts down the minutes every morning till it is time for school work. At her age most of the school work consists of games, art projects, reading, or simple book work. She loves the book work the most, which we find fascinating, because who would have thought that a 3-year-old would love to sit down and work in a book. She is growing every day and learning so much that everyone that meets her can't believe how smart she is and it is all thanks to homeschooling. We can work on the things she wants and wait for the things that she finds too challenging. She is learning at her pace and it is amazing to watch.
Our little boy loves to pull his sister's hair and eat anything he can get his hands on. He is still pretty little, so we haven't started homeschooling him yet, but it won't be long before we start that process with him as well. For now he just learns by watching, playing, and listening. He is already growing into a bright little boy and we can't wait to see where he goes from here.
We are all a proud homeschool family and treat every day as a learning opportunity. We have flexibility to do what we want as a family and to learn how we want to learn. We still have a long road ahead of us, but if we are already this blessed then we can't see why all of our futures won't be bright and shining.
How do you Timberdoodle?
We first heard about Timberdoodle from my mother-in-law. She used it when homeschooling my youngest brother-in-law, who is now passing everyone in high school. She loved everything about it, so we thought we would give it a try.
We bought our first curriculum kit when our daughter was about a year old and fell in love with it instantly. The kits make learning fun, hands-on, and easy for the adults to follow and use as they see fit. Our daughter has flown through the curriculum so fast that she is about a year ahead of her peers and it is just because she loves to learn using Timberdoodle.
Our favorite part of Timberdoodle is that it isn't computer based and doesn't rely on apps or screens to teach. They use hands-on tools that make the world come alive and make learning a fun adventure. It is worth every penny to watch my kids grow out in the world not in front of a screen.
I am a big planner, so we use our Timberdoodle curriculum in a pretty normal school way. We have a time each day that we sit at the table and go through the activities for that day. I have chosen not to use the scheduler, but just use a simple spreadsheet to track what we are doing. I choose a list of activities for each day of the week and then we play with each activity until she is doesn't want to anymore. Our system works great for us, but Timberdoodle can be used however you want, so it is perfect for every family.
Tell us about a typical school day at your house.
With my daughter being so young (age 3) we only need about an hour to an hour-and-a-half each day. We typically do school work at about 1:00 p.m., because that is when her little brother takes a nap, so it is easier for me to give her my full attention. We start with a short workout for both of us and then do a set list of tasks based on the day of the week. The tasks are organized to give her a broad range of subjects and learning styles each day, so she doesn't get board. Usually it includes a hands-on game or toy, some reading, some flash cards, some interactive books, and then some workbooks. All ranging from thinking skills to math to language arts. We do each activity until she says she is done, which usually just depends on her mood that day. This routine will change a lot as she gets older and there is work that we have to do, but for now she is learning and we are getting some one-on-one time each day
If we peeked inside your home on a random Wednesday afternoon, what would we see?
A usual Wednesday afternoon starts with putting Brother down for a nap. Then my daughter and I do a workout and sit down to the kitchen table to do some school work. She jumps up and down with excitement each time I open up the school cabinet to pull out the curriculum for that day. When all of our tasks are completed we take a short break to read or watch a little TV together. This is our one-on-one time and we enjoy every minute of it.
If you could take your family anywhere you wanted for vacation where would you go?
Camping anywhere remote in Montana!
What books have you read over and over?
I tend not to read books more than once, I like hearing and experiencing different stories. My daughter however, will read her Usborne books over and over and over again.
What tips do you have for surviving a hard day?
Don't feel bad for taking a moment to yourself. Sip some tea, do a little work on the computer, do the dishes, or just sit in front of the TV for a little bit. The break on my brain does wonders for the rest of my day.
What’s something your child has done that thrilled your soul?
My daughter's care for others warms my heart each and every time. If Brother is crying she has to try to calm him down. If I am having a bad day she tells me it will be ok and gives me a hug, and if daddy feels bad for having to be gone for work she tells him that he will be back soon.
How does your family celebrate birthdays?
We celebrate birthdays with family, a sweet treat of their choice that I make, and a meal that they choose. Simple, fun, and special.
What have you done recently for the first time?
I joined a book club! I have always wanted to, and finally have found the time and the right club to join. It has been great for the kids to see me reading too!