Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Daddy's Hands

I found this poem online and decided to let the kids make hand print cards for Chris using the poem.


Daddy Take my hand in yours and you will plainly see
How very much I need you now to love and care for me.
As my little hand growsI will need you even more
Everything I do in lifeI have never done before.
Teach me to be kind and loving sharing and forgiving
Show me through your acts of love the pure joy of living.
The years will pass by quickly and one day I will be grown
I will pass what you have taught me onto children of my own.
Hold me always in your thoughts and remember when we are apart
The special love between a child and a daddy's heart.

Crystina Crystina

Photobucket Photobucket


Charlotte Charlotte

Cheyenne Cheyenne

Courtney Courtney


Halloween Lap Books

I finally got the pictures uploaded of the kids Halloween lap books. I got most of the templates/ideas from this site: http://www.homeschoolhelperonline.com/lapbooks/halloween.htm

Here is the cover to Tina's:

And the cover to Carly's:

I got the cover picture here: http://www.abcteach.com/free/s/signs_halloween.pdf

Here is the inside of Tina's:

And Carly's:

The middle page folds out. On the left is the Origins of Halloween mini-book. It was a graduated book describing who, what, where, when and how Halloween was began. On the right is a Vocabulary mini-book listing different words associated with Halloween. At the bottom on the right is an accordion style mini-book on halloween safety. in the middle is a spider mini-book showing the life cycle of a spider (http://www.kidzone.ws/lw/spiders/ws2.htm). There is a bar graph where they sorted skittles by color and graphed how many there were. Also is a pocket containing the Symbols and Customs of Halloween containing mini-books explaining them.

Now, with the Flap folded out.



In the middle on the top is a world map and they colored in the countries we discussed in this unit. There is also a pumpkin mini-book. Included in this is How Many Kinds of Pumpkins?, Answering questions about them, The Life Cycle of a pumpkin, Pumpkin facts, Emotions Pumpkin Matching Game, and a pumpkin recipe (Tina chose Pumpkin Pie; Carly chose Pumpkin Pudding). On the bottom is Celebrations of the past, life cycle of a bat, and Celebrations of the present.
The pumpkin shape book was found here: http://abcteach.com/MonthtoMonth/October/pumpkin.htm

Here is a picture with Tina's Life Cycle of a Bat opened up:

The life cycle pictures were found here:

The back of the folder:




The big twins. of course, had to do one too. So, they made these:


On the two sides is a pumpkin matching game. The pumpkins on the folder have emotions listed on them and the pumpkins in the pocket have faces to match. In the middle is the Life Cycle of a pumpkin.

Charlotte: CAS

We concluded the unit with mini-pumpkin pies: Photobucket

Crystina: Photobucket

Carolyn: Photobucket

Caitlyn: Photobucket

Charlotte: Photobucket

And, even Cheyenne and Courtney enjoyed this part! Photobucket


Sunday, November 23, 2008


So, here we are in the Virginia/Maryland/Washington DC area, so what should we do?? Well, my list of "have to"s is a mile long and would take every waking moment to complete. Well, maybe not every waking moment, but it will keep us busy for the next 2 weeks we are here. But, on to our lesson for Saturday. We spent one week riding around while Chris was at work. I needed to be familiar with my surroundings, after all. I followed the signs to Mount Vernon, because well honestly, I've always wanted to see it. After locating the property, parking, gift shopsfor my future reference, I continued on the road I was on. I passed park after park after park. Wow, I thought! It would take us days to just explore these parks/picnic areas. I just started turning off the main road just to see what these parks contained. First one was just picnic tables and a port-a-potty. Nope nothing to see there. Turned down the next one. Nothing major. Just picnic area, and real restrooms. Hmmm..... that's good to know for the "I have to go to the bathroom" screams I count on while exploring. Upon further inspection while on one of these "Have to" pit stops, I noticed an information board about Jones Point. It was informative; learned it was the oldest river lighthouse. Could see it from where I was but when taking a picture, it was just a white dot across the river. However, upon further research, I learned there was a way to get to it from the other side. That was my original plan for Saturday; I should know by now to never plan. Earlier in the week, we had turned down yet another "Blah, Blah Park" road. As we entered we saw this "structure" that appeared to be almost like a bomb shelter. I could see information boards in front of it, but could never get to them. We decided to make that one of our future excursions. Long story short, work for Chris got cancelled and he wanted to see the park I took the picture of the lighthouse from (you could see his job site from it). So, I do my "to Mount Vernon" trek. Then we decide to got to Fort Hunt Park (the aforementioned "Blah, Blah Park"). We learned ALOT, even Chris and I. We read each board and visited each battery thoroughly. It was educational in my book. We spent a few hours there, the kids asked questions, I read the information to them, we discussed the things that interested them, came up with ideas for lapbooks on the Fort. The kids climbed, looked around, wondered what it looked like in the old days. We speculated on "PO Box 1142", how they accomplished their missions, how they have been forever a great part of history. We learned about FDR, the Depression, the New Deal, the CCC camps President Roosevelt formed. They were amazed that during the depression while working at one of the CCC camps, $30 a month for work was considered alot of money. Ideas formed on ways to expand the lapbooks to other events that dealt with Camp Hunt history. The kids were cold, tired, and educated. We ended the day with a ride through Washington DC, looking for the places we hope to visit in the coming days.
Like I said, tired kids!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Hello and welcome to the official blog of The Swarmer Academy! We are a private all- girl home school that specializes in independant thinking and learning. We have a staff of 2 and an enrollment of 6; no plans to add any more. Our staff consists of Chris, the "princiPAL" and Crystal, the "teacher". The staff also takes turns as bus driver and it has been known for the "principal" to be outside participating in physical education activities with the girls. Frisbee seems to be the favorite at the moment. He is also our team bowling coach.

Our students are Tina (10; 4/5th grade), Carly (6; 1st grade), Caitie (3; pre-k 3), Charlee (3; pre-k3), Chey-Chey (1) and Court-Court (1). We don't have a set curriculum. We do alot of "crafts" through learning rather than worksheets. We are beginning to start doing lapbooks. I think these are great visual ways of learning rather than looking at a school book and memorizing its contents.

The girls took a vote (with the youngest 2 using smiles as "yays") and our official mascot is the unicorn and school colors are pink, baby blue and purple. The man of the house thinks it's "girly". I asked him what did he expect from a house of girls?? LOL

That's us in a nutshell and this is where all our school progress will be posted.