About Happy Hive

Christy (AKA “Mrs. Crabtree”) is a former classroom teacher and homeschool mom living in California with her husband, 3 “almost grown” children she calls her bugs and Captain Jack, Princess Stripes, Penny and Percy. She also feeds a variety of backyard friends. 

She didn’t send her 3 “bugs” to school because she knew no one would be a better teacher than she is. (Christy tends to be a bit over the top) She was also terrified, quite frankly.

Christy didn’t want her kids to call her “mom” all day, and it was really awkward to have them call her “Mrs. Gandara” – so during their first week of school the kids and Daddy brainstormed together and came up with a special teacher name just for the Happy Hive (then the Gandara Bug Academy). – Mrs. Crabtree… the name comes from the teacher in the Little Rascals television show. You can learn more in our video, HOMESCHOOL TEACHER NAMES:

The Bugs “walking” to school

Due to financial limitations, the Happy Hive used off the cuff curriculum vs. textbooks as her teacher training had taught her to do. The best “curriculum” the Happy Hive Homeschool ever used was the year they based everything they did on the “Holiday of the Day”. It was an amazing year full of learning and memories. 

After a bankruptcy during the housing bubble burst in 2010 led Christy back into the classroom she took her crazy holidays and homeschool theories back with her. The bugs continued to homeschool independently, nights, weekends and because of the philosophy that everything was learning on every vacation Christy had, including Summer.

Classroom teaching was GREAT, but soon Christy became a member of the school Leadership Team for a private school of approximately 250 students.  She worked diligently to develop a school wide behavior system focusing on positive reinforcement for students in PreK – 8th grade. Christy was a mentor teacher for new hires, the student support coordinator in charge of discipline, acting administrator in the absence of the principal and full time 4th grade teacher. Her colleagues affectionately called Christy “Wonder Woman”. 

After 7 years of dedicated service, Christy asked to be granted the official title of Vice-Principal and be given a raise. Instead, Christy’s contract was not renewed on the premise terms could not be agreed upon. Basically, the school fired Christy, without firing her. (Private schools do not have unions and such, so that was that.) 

While on a family camping trip Summer of 2019, Christy told her children she was going to start a blog and make videos to help people homeschool using holidays. They laughed. Being a lifelong learner, Christy found a course on making YouTube videos and Homeschool Holiday was born!

In November 2019 this website, and the Homeschool Holiday Teachers Pay Teachers shop opened.

Homeschool Holiday is dedicated to helping you use Holiday of the Day learning in your educational endeavors. It is for ALL areas of education: Homeschoolers, Classroom Teachers and Parents!

Thank you for buzzing by the hive and taking the time to learn about Mrs. Crabtree and her passion for educating through Holidays!

There is only so much time in the day for learning right? Why spend any of that valuable time on the quirky off the wall holidays someone invented for each day of the year? Join Mrs. Crabtree as she explores the reason SHE feels holiday curriculum belongs in home schools and classrooms. Check out the video below

Dress Your Pet Day – January 14th

What People Say

My child didn’t like school for many reasons but the one reason that made me decide to pull my child from publicly funded school was the fact that my child wasn’t interested in the academics of school.  I felt that I could instill in my child the desire to answer the questions that my child kept asking me. Why? What? Who? When? Where? My child would ask a question based on these five Ws multiple times a day.  With my collaboration with Christy Gandara I was able to create a structure to my child’s day that allowed them to seek the answers to those questions they kept asking. I was able to see the spark of interest return to my child’s academics that had been lost in the public school.

I know I could do this on my own but I sought out Mrs. Gandara’s help because she provided me with the knowledge that only a seasoned school teacher who has homeschool experience  could give. This is the special magic that she uses, the combination of the two worlds. How would what I try on him work? She would provide antidotes on how those processes might work for other kids in her classroom or her own homeschooled children.   This allowed me to change my approach faster and correct for things in a timely fashion without always having to wait for the results from my child.  I felt more confident with Mrs. Gandara on my side.  

I also benefited from Mrs. Gandara in two more ways:  she cheered me on consistently and even when I thought I didn’t need cheering on. She knew my child.  She got to know my child so that I knew she was also cheering my child on as well. She had both of our interests in her heart and her actions.  She knew me so that she could support the work I was doing as a facilitator of my own child’s learning and she supported my child in understanding how to have a new teacher, their own mother, and to have a positive attitude of gratitude through it all.

I know that when Mrs. Gandara works with a family in a homeschooling setting she is able to look at the big picture and synthesize her work with them as a whole.  Everyone benefits.

  • Emily N, California

Christy helped me take the fear out of starting to homeschool my boys. When the thought of homeschooling came up, I was terrified I would ‘mess up’ my boys since I did not feel qualified enough. In my heart I knew that traditional school was not the right option for them at that time. I approached Christy about her experience in homeschooling. Not only did she help calm my fears, she set me on the right path to succeeding as a homeschooler! And she was there for me as a sounding board and coach through it all. I am forever grateful!

  • Diana M, Georgia

Coming from a family that all went to a traditional school, I was far from ever thinking that one day I would home school my child.  Well the day came when my husband and I decided that a traditional school was not for our child. Not knowing how or what to do, a family member recommended that we talk to Christy Gandara.  It was the best decision we ever made. Christy guided us through the whole process. From taking our son out of public school, to filing the paperwork with the state to start our own homeschool. That was just the beginning.  Christy also customized our curriculum to fit our sons needs. She spent countless hours guiding me and reassuring me that I could teach my son.  She was right, I did teach my son!!! We successfully homeschooled our son for five years. We will be forever grateful for all of the advice and knowledge she helped us with!!!

Ana W – California

Let’s Homeschool together.