History in the Making….

Each Summer As part of our school work I had the Bugs keep a daily journal. They recounted the activities from the day before. These make EXCELLENT memory books.

It not only records their writing and artistic style, it records the games, books and television programs each child was into at the time.

This activity had me thinking about what mom’s across the world could do that was quick and easy now that they are working with their kids at home.

You can use an extra composition or spiral notebook if you have one on hand. Let a Teen start their own blog…Just get those thoughts on paper.

An assignment like this is NOT the time to worry about Spelling, Mechanics, Punctuation, etc… If your child ASKS for help – go ahead. Otherwise, in a Journal, whatever gets written is PERFECT.

Those of you whose school didn’t get closes (AKA homeschoolers from the start) feel free to share this idea with our new school at home friends.

May your journey continue to be Blessed!

  • Mrs. Crabtree

How to choose the perfect homeschool curriculum

There are a million things to consider when homeschooling. But first things first. What are you going to teach them? This is one question I get all the time.

As a classroom teacher, I was required to use the state standards to guide what I taught my students. Standards have their place, but in my state, as a private school (That’s how you homeschool in California, by establishing your own private school) you are not required to use the standards. (But you certainly CAN – they can offer SOMETHING if you are feeling lost. They can offer topics and you can go from there! Topics are a good thing.)

If you homeschool with a Charter, or independent study program the requirements may be different and you will want to work closely with the school in which you have enrolled, as you are still functioning as part of the public school system. These methods of school-at home offer many benefits.

My focus is going to be on choosing curriculum without the overarching  component of required standards.

Be sure you are compliant within your area.

Curriculum is defined as: lessons and academic content. Simply stated, it is the TOPICS you are covering, the LESSONS you are learning.

Where do you get the topics? In our homeschool curriculum is as simple as living life. Life gives us the topics naturally…

If you plan to homeschool and never send your children to school, family time is the best curriculum. The learning just comes naturally. Laundry, chores, and play were a major facet of our curriculum.

If you have removed your children from school spending time together without the pressure of “school” is just what they will need. Be sure you are ready for curriculum…you might want to consider decompressing first.

If you are ready for curriculum, you can think about the “subject areas” that need to be covered:

Reading

English/Grammar

Spelling

Handwriting

Math

Science

History

Fine Arts

Music

PE

Technology/Computers

Religious Studies

Passion Project (what your child is MOST interested in). I also call this Free Choice Learning.

OR… you can think about the TOPICS that are interesting to your children.

I prefer the latter. By having a TOPIC  driven curriculum, I have engaged learners. Each child learns about what they are most interested in, or you learn as a family about the topics and rotate them.

I talk a lot about Topic Based Curriculum in my video Choosing Homeschool Curriculum.

We were a 1 income homeschool family. I had no charter funding for the curriculum.(many families use charter schools because they provide funding for the curriculum- we did not want to homeschool via that route)  My oldest was very into Pirates, and the Magic Tree House books. We decided to use that series as the basis of our entire curriculum and everything we did each week surrounded the theme of the book. There were more books than we could fit into a year, even though we homeschool year round! If you dive into these topics fully This series could easily last 2 years! Each child completed the learning at their level. I read the book first thing Monday. We discussed vocabulary words (I chose them) and then we did activities that I *invented* for each book.

You might not be so inclined to create a curriculum like this on your own, but never fear… Take the first book for example. The topic is Dinosaurs. A quick internet search for dinosaur curriculum and you will be inundated! Over 10 years have passed since I was inventing this stuff on my own. The amount of free resources available is significant.  Go to the local library and check out as many books on the topic as they will let you. Read them, discuss them. The learning from that activity alone is mind boggling each week.

Our next TOPIC based learning isn’t as nicely packaged, but  was based on individual works of literature. We simply used what one considers the classics to guide our learning. Each month one of us chose the book and we went from there. Charlotte’s Web lead to a deeper study of farming and animals. Journey to the Center of the Earth led us down a very scientific study of what the earth is ACTUALLY made of.

If you would like to see the Happy Hive Book list you can find that HERE

We used a great series called Story of the World to explore history. We dove deep into the time periods most interesting to each of the children. We breezed through others.

Pictured here – Story of the World Volume 1 (There are 4 volumes)

As the bugs (my name for my kids) got older, they dove deeper into math concepts beyond paying for toys with their allowance. Mastering their multiplication tables, and beginning to use their first textbooks was exciting. There was no pressure. They continued to learn through experiences of cooking and paying for things themselves. Games were a fundamental element of our math curriculum.

As I have shared before, the inspiration for this website was our year of holiday based curriculum. Everything we did each day was based on the quirky holiday celebration of the day.

If you are interested in subject by subject curriculum, that is fantastic! There is no wrong way to homeschool! Read more about that HERE.

When choosing curriculum be sure to follow your heart. Trust your instincts. If it’s not working, change it. Ultimately, that’s what homeschooling is…the ability to completely customize education for the individual who is receiving it.

Whatever curriculum you decide to use I hope you will consider incorporating some of the easy to use activities we offer! Be sure to check out our Teachers Pay Teachers store as well as Amped Up Learning! Both have our valuable curriculum as well as free printables you can use for everyday learning and holiday learning!

Thank you for choosing to partner with Happy Hive. If you are looking for curriculum coaching or are interested in joining our Homeschool Satellite Program you can find information about what we offer HERE. Be sure to follow our blog for the latest updates, and sign up for our Newsletter! Signing up for the newsletter gets you EXCLUSIVE Homeschool Holiday products, specials  and subscriber only (password protected) content!

May your educational journey be blessed!

  • Mrs. Crabtree

Subject by Subject Curriculum

Choosing a curriculum isn’t easy. When you have multiple children, in multiple grades, you have to choose a LOT of curriculum. Well meaning friends and family are giving you advice. You are reading article after article trying to decide what to do!

First things first. Are you looking for a subject by subject curriculum where each child has their own “grade level” or ability level materials for every subject (reading, Math, History, Science, etc) or can you group similar ages/abilities by subject depending on the number of children? This would be similar to what schools do with a combination class.  Both of these will work for a subject by subject curriculum option.

If you would like to explore using subject by subject curriculum in your homeschool, this article will help you understand more about how to accomplish that.

I also have FREE lesson planning pages for you to use! (there are also Theme based unit pages in the packet if you prefer a Topic Based Curriculum.)

Let me start by saying, even within subject by subject curriculum you can have a topic based subject. Some call this a genius hour. I like to call it free choice learning. During this time, my children were free to explore any topic of their choosing, or further explore one of the subjects they were studying in more detail. So you don’t have to completely abandon the thoughts of using a Topic Based Curriculum.

The first thing you will need to do is decide what subjects you are required or want to teach based on your homeschool regulations.

Using a classroom model the common subjects are:

READING/LITERATURE

ENGLISH

SPELLING

MATH

SCIENCE

SOCIAL STUDIES / HISTORY

MUSIC

ART

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

COMPUTERS/ TECHNOLOGY

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Many homeschoolers add:

NATURE STUDIES

LIFE SKILLS

FREE CHOICE TOPIC/PASSION PROJECT

RELIGION

Each child needs books/activities/goals for each subject that aligns with their age/ability level. This sounds overwhelming but it isn’t. If you are with a Charter School, you will be assigned a credentialed teacher to help with material selection.

If you are sailing your own ship, Happy Hive Homeschool Consulting is here to help.

I have put together my tried and true recommendations for each subject. This is the list I give all my clients! The list can be YOURS too!  The recommendations are for K-6th grades.

Sign up HERE  and you will get access to the password protected page outlining the Tried and True Happy Hive Curriculum! You will also be subscribed to the Happy Hive Newsletter and get exclusive content, notifications of upcoming products and subscriber only offers!

I hope your journey is blessed!

If you are interested in having help with Curriculum and you live in California, check out Happy Hive Homeschool Consulting. – I would be happy to partner with you on this journey!

  • Mrs. Crabtree

Topic Driven Curriculum

Choosing a curriculum often causes the most worry. I understand. Not only am I a homeschool Mom, I was also a classroom teacher for many years. I was lucky enough to work at a school the last 6 years of my career that allowed me to use the standards as my base, but I got to decide exactly what curriculum I used each day to present those standards to my students. I fussed over those choices day and night. Because I was bound to the standards, I used a Subject by Subject Curriculum in my classroom.

My homeschool curriculum was a completely different story. I much prefer a topic based curriculum. I believe it lends itself to engagement so much easier. That’s not to say there is anything wrong with a Subject by Subject Curriculum – we used that too, especially when the bugs were in Middle and High School.

A topic based curriculum is simply where my passion is, hence Homeschool Holiday, where everything revolves around the overarching theme of the holiday of the day 🙂 

If you would like to explore using topic based curriculum in your homeschool, this article will help you understand:

What topic based curriculum is

and

What you need to plan a topic based unit

 What IS Topic Based Curriculum?

Topic based curriculum is also known as a unit study, or a “thematic unit” – you can incorporate every subject in your unit or as many as are reasonable. Your length and depth of study can be easy going or elaborate. My mantra is: There is no wrong way to homeschool! It is far better to go for it than to do nothing because your curriculum doesn’t quite measure up to the latest pinterest board.

Everyone in your homeschool studies the same topic, and the level of study and the depth of the work produced is adapted to the child.

You can also have individual children choose to study their own topics – but when doing this, I encourage my clients to work it into their day as a “free choice learning” subject  vs every child learning a different topic all day long. Think of a family with 5 children learning 5 topics… planning for that might get overwhelming. It’s far easier to fit it into your Subject by Subject Curriculum plan as “genius hour” , “special studies”, or my coined term “free choice learning”.

What do I need to plan a topic based curriculum?

The first thing you need are the topics. How many topics you need will depend on how you want to divide your time. I find the best approach to topic based curriculum is to put the topics into time slots. Decide if you want to do one topic per month, one per week, 2 weeks, etc. If you just work on a topic until you are “done” you may never move onto the next topic:-) Structuring time is okay.

Next gather books relating to your topic. Don’t be afraid to use books for all age levels. Big kids learn from picture books and young ones can be read to from longer fact filled chapter books.

You want to find your books before planning activities.  Use the library, what you have on hand, order from amazon and borrow from others you know. This way you know exactly what facet of each topic you have available. For example, if your topic is pirates, but you don’t have any books on pirate ships, you don’t need to plan any activities about ships and rigging, etc. OR this lets you know to FIND a book where there is a major gap in the theme. Perhaps your young one loves ships and not having a book to fit in this theme is going to put a damper on the learning, you can do your best to find it.

After I had my books, I figured out activities/craftivities to go with the books.I looked for videos, hands on activities, printables and always looked for a possible Field Trip.  

Gathering the books first  also allows you to target your activities to the books. Let’s say for example you are compiling a unit on weather. You happen to have the book Thunder Cake by Patricia Polocco on hand, now you can look for activities that coordinate with THIS book.The Figurative Language element onomatopoeia (words that make sounds)  happens to be one example I have used with this book.

You don’t need to gather books/activities  for every topic all at once. You can do this topic by topic or a few topics at a time. Some gather as much as they can over the summer to be ready for the entire school year, and some gather materials each weekend for the week.

My advice is to plan at least 1 month in advance to allow time to gather materials. That way when you find out you are missing an essential piece, you have time for that Amazon order!

Some families do a year round homeschool schedule that accommodates this type of planning. They school for 4 or 5 weeks, then take a week off. You can work on your next set of plans during that week. You just need to be mindful of major holidays when establishing your year plan.

Some would say you should establish learning goals for each topic…you are indeed welcome to do this, especially if you are working with a charter school or in a state that requires work samples. However, I find pre-established goals set expectations that can be limiting to kids. Kids always far exceed anything I could ever outline for them.

To help with planning your themes I created these FREE planning pages: You can download them  and print one for each theme. (There are also Lesson planning pages for subject by subject curriculum in the pack.)

In our homeschool each topic had a Lapbook – these were the place we stored all the “evidence” of learning.After reading a book, watching a video, etc we put our facts onto an appropriate lapbook template and added it to our lapbook.

Because my topics were 2 week topics we used 2 file folders stapled together for each topic. You can see my lapbook video tutorial HERE.

The Happy Hive is proud to provide Lapbook templates for FREE as well as in our Teachers Pay Teachers store.

You can also search Pinterest & Teachers Pay Teachers to help find other resources that go with your topic. Both have plenty of free resources.

The books went into the BOOK BASKET and were always available for free exploration for the duration of the topic.

I know once you dive in you will get the hang of it. Remember – even studying the Holidays can be your theme!

I hope your journey is blessed!

If you are interested in having help with Curriculum and you live in California, check out Happy Hive Homeschool Consulting. – I would be happy to partner with you on this journey!

  • Mrs. Crabtree

Happy Hive Favorite Books

Reading and being read to give warm fuzzies all around. A key part of our Homeschool life was reading. Both family reading time, and independent reading time.

One of my favorite stories as a working homeschool mom occured when I came home from work one day… I asked each of my three bugs how school had gone (they had independent work to do while I was teaching at a private school). All three looked at me like a deer in the headlights…. sorry mom, we didn’t finish school today.

I was about to lose my mind, this had never happened. How on earth could all three of them have gotten into so much mischief that they didn’t finish school and how on earth didn’t Mr. McNutty (their Uncle that lives with us) discover they were so far off task????

I took a deep breath and told them to explain what had gone wrong….

“We were reading” they said in unison. SERIOUSLY??? Yes, all three had spent the ENTIRE day in their pajamas, reading books…. you see just the day before I had brought home the “scholastic book order” items they each ordered from my classroom fliers!

How could I get upset with that!?!

I am an Amazon Affiliate – but genuinely these books are recommended because they are favorites for home and classroom use. If you make a purchase using these links, I will receive a small commission. I sincerely appreciate that!

I have listed them in general age/grade level  – but many are appropriate across ages, especially as Family Read aloud books!

PreSchool/ Kindergarten

Any and all of the Clifford the Big Red Dog books:

All three of my bugs learned to read using the Clifford Phonics Fun books. There are 6 sets in the series. They can be a bit tricky to find, but worth it!

Bernstein Bears were always a great choice for teaching lessons.

First – Second Grades

As your children become emergent readers, books with repeating patterns that they can read to you are always a hit. Some of our favorites were:

A cozy reading area is always in style.

Third – Fifth Grades

I feel the Thorton Burgess Collection deserves a recommendation of it’s own. These stories are TREASURES beyond measure. They make the perfect Nature Studies, Family Reading Stories, Sick day stories… I can not recommend a book higher than these. We were blessed to receive many of them in the mail from a dear friend, then hunted used book stores for as many as we could find to help add to our collection. It was not long before every squirrel we came across was affectionately named “Chatterer” and Blacky the crow was chased away from the yard. If you make one purchase this should be it!

Sixth – Eight Grades

Books were a staple at the table…often the bugs did not want to stop reading and take time to eat.

I believe the Harry Potter Series also deserves it’s own highlight. All of my children have read the books multiple times, with my middle child topping out at 5 times each book. These books can be the reason a non-reader becomes a reader.
The ultimate fan… we went to a local bookstore that released the book at midnight. She began reading in the car on the way home.

High School

When you are choosing curriculum, do not forget that books play an important part in supplementing every subject! They can be the basis for your curriculum in a topic based curriculum, or they can be the backbone to the literature component in a subject by subject curriculum.

I really could go on and on at every level… but these were our FAVORITES. I hope they become favorites for you as well.

May your journey be blessed!

Mrs. Crabtree

Decompressing- taking time off before beginning to homeschool

Congratulations! You are going to homeschool your children! You are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime!

I have a video about the Decompression process if you prefer. It is not a word for word read along version of this blog post, but the two are very similar. I can’t do anything the same twice. 🙂 I’m sure you will find value in both the video and the Blog.


Something has caused you to withdraw from the public school system. Those reasons are yours, and yours alone. Everything will be okay.

Educational facts you can be sure of:

  1. You are qualified to teach. You have been educating your children since birth and now you’re just going to pick up where you left off.
  2. Everything is learning, EVERYTHING. Your children are in a constant state of learning, so even when you *think* they aren’t, they most certainly are!
  3. Everyone one learns differently, this is a beautiful fact to be celebrated. Not all flowers bloom at the same time, nor do we want them to.
  4. Whatever *the reason* you have withdrawn from the public school, is the reason you need time to decompress.
  5. Decompression time is learning time. See #2.
  6. Do not rush into purchasing curriculum.

So what exactly is decompressing in this context? Decompressing after withdrawing from public or private school (even public charter school) and homeschooling is time for a reset. It’s time to relax, focus on family and get to know each other better. It’s time to re-establish your connections-without the outside pressure of “school”, homework and getting to the bus on time…. “School” and all it entails is a big deal. Those pressures have been stressful on everyone. The decompression phase is a detox of sorts.

Quality time together without the need to raise your hand to ask questions or go to the bathroom is a great place to start. Many families begin this time with a shared devotional first thing in the morning. It can be as simple as a quote of the day (like from a calendar or website) or a scripture based program you can do together.

Reading quality literature as a family comes next. Choose a book and read to your children. Snuggle up on the couch, in bean-bag chairs, pillows on the floor, etc and read, read, read. Begin with 3 days a week if that’s what you can fit it, but aim for daily. You can find the Happy Hive favorite books here, but there are many book lists online as well!

Get the house in order. I don’t mean perfection. Far from perfection. Simplify, organize and begin to think about routines. Remove items from your home you don’t need. Think of it as a Spring Cleaning, regardless of the time of year it is. Get the kids involved. Donate items others can use. The less stuff, the less mess and the more comfortable everyone will be at home in their daily routine. If you haven’t already, establish chores as the first “class”. Running the homeschool efficiently is the number 1 job of everyone involved. Giving my children chores and building their responsibility was one of the greatest lessons I ever gave them. Chore charts are a great tool at any age. Focus on praising efforts.

Bug #1 with her favorite cleaning tool!

The quality time, reading and decluttering should also include “fun school” activities like games, field trips (especially to the library or used book store),  time in nature, art, and dance parties!  You can even make a routine trip to the grocery store a scavenger hunt for the items you need. There is nothing wrong with a good movie and discussion either!

Here is a Movie Discussion Guide I created you can download and use!

Be sure to find a support group. This might be a local park day, a homeschool co-op or even an online group.

Our local homeschool group made t-shirts. When we went on field trips together we wore our shirts!

Slowly explore the topics/curriculum  you want to use within your homeschool, but don’t rush into purchases. The fun activities you are engaging in, especially trips to the library should help generate interest by child or as a family. Curriculum is an important topic all on its own. You can see my post on Curriculum HERE.

Lastly, please give up perfection. There is no wrong way to homeschool. Your way is exactly what YOUR family needs. That’s the beauty of it! Homeschooling is fully customizable. If something isn’t working, make a change. Even if that means going through another decompression stage.

One way we customized our homeschool experience at the Happy Hive was with a teacher name for me. I didn’t want them to call me Mom all day. My name  was something we chose as a family because I didn’t want to lose my identity as Mom. I did separate school from parenting, but you certainly don’t have to. When we were done with school for the day, Mrs. Crabtree said goodbye, left the room, and Mom walked back in. When they were really little they would run up and give Mom a hug telling me they missed me. It was precious! You can check out that video below:

Thank you for choosing to partner with Happy Hive. If you are looking for curriculum coaching or are interested in joining our Homeschool Satellite program you can find information about what we offer HERE. Be sure to follow our blog (Subscribe in sidebar to the left) for the latest updates, and sign up for our Newsletter! Signing up for the newsletter gets you EXCLUSIVE Homeschool Holiday products, specials  and subscriber only (password protected) content!

When you are ready for curriculum, I hope you will consider incorporating some of the easy to use activities we offer! Be sure to check out our Teachers Pay Teachers store as well as Amped Up Learning! Both have our valuable curriculum as well as free printables you can use for everyday learning and holiday learning!

May your educational journey be blessed!

  • Mrs. Crabtree

Ash Wednesday

You may be familiar with what Christians observe as the season of Lent. It begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts for 40 days…. Well it’s actually a little longer if you examine the details.

Let’s take a factual look at Ash Wednesday and the Season of Lent – the time before Easter.

Ash Wednesday itself is 46 days before Easter. It is always on a Wednesday, and is primarily observed by Catholics, however other Christian denominations may recognize the day as well. Lent is said to be “40” days because the Sundays don’t count. (There are 6 Sundays, not counting Easter Sunday)  Sundays are always considered Feast days in a Christian calendar so they do not count in the 40 days of Lent.

Ash Wednesday is rooted in the ancient Jewish tradition of penance (voluntary self-punishment inflicted as an outward expression of repentance for having done wrong. – I’ll add more about penance in a bit, it’s not a “punish” as it sounds) and fasting (abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink, especially as a religious observance.)

The ashes that are placed on the foreheads are a symbol of the dust from which God made us. They are made from blessed palm branches, from the previous year’s palm Sunday Mass.  As the priest or extraordinary minister applies the ashes they say: “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  or “ Repent and believe in the Gospel.”

Photo by Myriams-Fotos

Ashes can also be a symbol of death and grief. In this way, our grief over the division from God we cause when we sin. They help develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice. (This is also where penance comes in.)

After receiving ashes you don’t have to wear them all day, however many people do as they are a good opportunity to share about God and be reminded about the journey of lent that is beginning.

You could wear your ashes and this T-Shirt to help explain things!

Many, during the time of lent, for their offering of penance (the voluntary offering of self punishment) “give something up” like coffee, sweets, soda, etc. It can also be a time for DOING something extra. Perhaps making an effort to pray every day, or even a random act of kindness for 40 (46) days.

I have a FREE Random Acts of Kindness Printable for you – you can use the pre-filled activities, or one of the “blanks” and write on your own.  I have also included a Religious version called My Lenten Journey. Use this to countdown the days before Easter. Record your Lenten sacrifice, or record your Random Acts of kindness.

Ash Wednesday and  Good Friday during Lent are days in which Catholics (and some other Christians) abstain (do not eat) from meat as well as fast. Fasting means eating only 1 main meal.

Also on Fridays during lent  Catholics 14 years and older abstain from eating meat in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday.

If you are looking to grow during Lent you may also consider Journaling. It happens to be one of my favorite things to do. They have Devotionals designed specifically for Lent:

Whatever you choose to do over the next 46 days, may your journey be blessed! Thank you for joining us here at Homeschool Holiday. I hope you will follow our blog, Subscribe to our newsletter and come back again – because there is always something to celebrate!

With love,

Mrs. Crabtree

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.

For my full DISCLOSURE go HERE.

Lapbooking

Do you use lapbooking in your homeschool or classroom? You might think – been there done that…or lap – what? Well, today at the Happy Hive we are going to visit the much blogged about topic of lapbooks.

If you want the short version, check out my video:

Lapbooking isn’t a new concept. I used it from day 1 when I began homeschooling in 2006. I’m sure it existed before that. I have no idea to whom to give proper credit for “inventing” lapbooking, but I praise whomever it is mightily.

In a nutshell, lapbooking is a cut-and paste of information onto file folders or notebooks. It’s interactive and engaging for most (but arguably not all) learners. Remember everyone learns different. If you have a learner who isn’t into the creative mumbo jombo- they may not enjoy this type of expression at all.

You can create your own lapbook, purchase them, or do a combination. There is no wrong way! Here is a sample of a lapbook I created many moons ago (and am currently updating)

We used colored cardstock as our “cover” each of my children had their own color, and every lapbook or notebook was always that color.

All the interactive elements are then compiled over the course of the unit study and added inside the file. This was actually a year long project. We completed the assembly, then continued to add to the elements as we went.

This lapbook also holds information you can’t “see” – notice how the dated entries (in the second picture) stop in July of 2010. The untold story is That I returned to the classroom full time in August 2010, so our homeschool dynamics shifted (Topic for another post! YES you can work full time and homeschool). We put this calendar lapbook in our 2010 time capsule and the memories came flooding back! You can read about setting up the time capsule HERE and about the big reveal HERE

The Happy Hive creates lapbook curriculum for both Holidays and general curriculum needs. Be sure to check out our Lapbook Template Pack as well as what we have to offer in out Teachers Pay Teachers store!

Be sure to follow us for more great Homeschool tips and of course visit the Holiday of the Day section for great ideas for celebrating something out of the ordinary every day!

Enjoy the Journey!

Mrs. Crabtree

We all have a different reason for choosing to homeschool

We all have a different reason for choosing to homeschool. Unfortunately for homeschool families WE get asked about our reasons, unlike our public and private school counterparts. Identifying your CORE reason for homeschooling can help your answer sound less defensive.

Listen to Christy talk about this subject, and share her CORE reason for homeschooling in this video.

This post also discusses the topic, but is not a transcript of the video 🙂 

Perhaps you have several reasons for homeschooling.  You might come up with a list:

Avoid cliques and bullying

Provide a better education

Give my children the power of choice

Avoid state testing

Religious reasons

Differently abilities (IEP or Gifted)

Ultimately, you know your kids best of all. What are your instincts telling you?

One thing to remember when answering this question from well meaning friends and family is that – there is no WRONG way to go to school. We need ALL SYSTEMS. Every family is making the right choice for them. Answer their inquiries with love and kindness and most of all patience. Own your reasons without making them doubt their own choices. Invite them to a park day or event held on a traditional school holiday. Share your successes on social media. Celebrate the success of other-schooled friends. 

When you do get questions, after answering, ask questions back – keep it positive and non threatening. Ask your family and friends what they love most about their school,  and let them share! Tell them you would love to come to so-and so’s next (insert event here…. Play, awards ceremony, festival, fundraiser, etc). 

If you’d like help discovering your core reason for homeschooling – whether you’re new to homeschooling or you’ve been homeschooling for a while,  grab these free guided journaling pages to help you decide what your core reason is for homeschooling. The packet also contains a page where you can compare the top three homeschool choices in California the PSA the ISP / Charter or enrolling with a PSP like the Happy Hive. 

You can find a little bit of background information about the 4 legal options for homeschooling in California on our: 4 Legal options to Homeschool in California Page. 

Feel free to share your core reason for homeschooling in the comments section and be sure to CONTACT US with any questions or concerns about homeschooling! 

  • enjoy the journey!

Christy “Mrs. Crabtree”

How much does it cost to Homeschool? The answer might surprise you!

How much does Homeschooling cost?

My answer might surprise you… then again, it might not.

I’m not going to discuss the cost in terms of finances, I’m going to discuss the cost in terms of actual life cost required now or in the long run… as stated by Thoreau….

If the actual financial cost is what is worrying you, we will cover that another time. There are plenty of free resources out there, it doesn’t have to cost a thing financially to homeschool!


Kids spend 6.5 hours a day, 180 days a year in school. Do the math. It’s staggering. Their entire childhood is traded away sitting at a desk. That’s pricey.

As a former classroom teacher, I’m sorry to say that’s not all spent learning. A lot of those hours are recess, lunch and wasted time. Jane and Johnny have to be allowed to go to the bathroom whenever they ask after all. I had a file full of doctors notes that said so.

Not to mention how much time is wasted quieting a class or transitioning from subject to subject? What about the interruption when students arrive late or leave early.

In a class of 30 students, this is a DAILY occurrence. These are just a few of the external “costs” involved in sending your child to school. I didn’t even mention behavior disturbances or phone calls from the office….

If they are struggling with schoolwork for ANY reason. That’s pricey.

Bullying – I actually don’t like that term. I think kids need to learn how to deal with kids, but seriously – I watched teacher after teacher ignore issue after issue. Kids should feel safe and loved, end of discussion. I spent the last 5 years of my career in charge of “discipline”. I took a different approach, called my self the student support coordinator. It was beautiful how open the lines of communication were. Not all schools are war-zones.

Another common “cost” is to the students who are excelling and have to sit and wait while the teacher explains things for the 10th time. As a teacher I could just hand them another worksheet, or the iPad…or I could use them as peer tutors (which was what I actually did! – valuable, but not ideal!)


As a homeschool family, by the time my children were in late elementary, middle school… We finished our lessons before lunch and had all afternoon for what I called free choice learning. Talk about the price being right! We jam packed more learning into one day as a homeschool family than I did in a week as a classroom teacher. (Well, I might be exaggerating a bit to make my point, but we did finish a full day in AT LEAST half the time!)

We didn’t have “homework”, but instead we had family time for “hidden” learning in puzzles, games, reading and educational television. Cooking dinner together is quite an education.

A little round of Star Wars Monopoly – great homeschool lessons here!

As a classroom teacher, each year I received a new class of students. I invested countless hours getting to know each of them, forming personal connections to foster a positive learning environment. Just as things were going smoothly, my 180 days were up and I was forced to turn the class over to the next teacher in line whether the students were ready or not. Whether the teacher was competent or not. Summer passes, and I did it all over again.

With homeschooling I already HAVE the connection with my children and we moved along naturally when ready, and never before. No calendar or testing agenda dictated progression. (I homeschooled by filing my own PSA – Private School Affidavit. Results with a charter may vary, but are still similar) I grew WITH them 365 days a year because learning never stops. We didn’t take summers “off” but instead shifted our learning with the seasons.

Summer time Volleyball in the back yard

From this perspective, the cost of homeschooling is priceless! I am trading my days, nights and holidays for the complete education of my family.

The only cost of homeschooling is your time! Investing in my children has been worth every minute. You don’t have to do it alone!

Enrolling in the Happy Hive Private School Satellite Program (PSP) frees you up to worry about all the GREAT things involved in homeschooling and we will take care of the paperwork and legalities! You will be operating your school- your way, with the guidance of a fully credentialed teacher.

Our services include taking care of requesting cumulative files…official letters of withdrawal as well as help selecting curriculum and transitioning through what we call de-schooling. (or un-schooling).

Check out our information page : Happy Hive Education Consulting

Feel free to contact us with any questions and take a look at the video where Mrs. Crabtree talks about the “Cost of Homeschooling” for more great information!

Leave a comment below and share with us your thoughts on the cost of homeschooling.

Would you like find out how you can easily fit homeschooling into your day? In this video, Christy discusses how!