Homeschool plans for 2016


I get asked a lot what we do for school. Sometime I don’t really know how detailed they want me to get with the answer. I usually just give a summery, then if they ask more questions I will go in to more detail. Well, here is a post if you really want to know.

It is a loaded question. We do a lot of different things for school. And I honestly feel that every part of our life is included in our homeschool.

First our school is done year around. We do school for 6 weeks and break for 1 week, with a longer break in the winter. The benefit of living in Florida. We started this school year in June, we have one more 6 week section then we will take a longer break.

homeschool-2Let’s start with Atreyu’s school work. This year he is 6. He would probably be in 1st grade, maybe 2nd. He was a young reader. When I tell him new things he often remembers them, I often only have to teach it once and he just gets it.

Things that are important for me to teach the kids are math, reading, and writing. That is what we focus on and add other subjects along with it. Often they correlate together, reading with history, math with science and handwriting with Bible time.

For math we use Math-U-See. This curriculum emphasizes mastering concepts before you move on. Which makes it so we can go at our own pace. The workbooks have plenty of practice sheets, and if you need more you can generate your own worksheet from the website. Atreyu is on Beta, and has done really well with each concept. He did need more practice with multi-digit addition. I was glad we were able to print of extra practice sheets until he had mastered it.

We used “Sing, Spell, Read, and Write” to learn to read and continue on for language arts. They have a work book that adds on to their readers. These are worksheets that covers phonics, spelling, reading, comprehension, grammar, manuscript, reference skills and writing.

Handwriting we do copy work and memorization of scripture. I purchased Write through the Bible. It works on memory, handwriting, vocabulary, and dictation. There are worksheets that he uses to write the scripture, I do dictation with him, and he defines certain words from the verse. We are on day 39 of psalms and he has worked through Psalms 1:1-5. It’s available in ESV or KJV and lots of copy work options.

This year we started doing history too. I wanted to do a little more reading comprehension with Atreyu and history has really helped with this. I started “The History of the World” with Atreyu and Ezra. I’m able to read to the boys their history. I have them answer questions, summarize and Atreyu draw’s a picture relating to the story. We can check out books from the library based on what we are covering.  History we do a few times a week and sometime skip it all together, but still make progress.

Weekly we are also involved in Community Bible Study (CBS). Not only do I enjoy a wonderful Bible Study, but the kids have their own lessons too. Atreyu has his own work book that he is able to complete. This year we are covering the life of Moses and have learned so much already.

Ezra is doing Kindergarten this year. Which includes a lot of playing. I really wanted to focus on a few skillshomeschool-4 he needs improvement on. Using our school time to do one on one to learn these things. We are starting with Primer in Math-U-See. Working on counting, block manipulation and other skills.

He is also doing Handwriting Without Tears. Ezra has never really enjoyed coloring. We are really working on those basic skills. We build on his phonics skills with some basic readers, like Bob books. Ezra enjoys reading and I think once we get the basics he will be reading on his own a lot!

Ezra does CBS and history with us. On top of all this we do a few crafts, build lego’s, paint, color, and watch Netflix. Living in Naples also gives us many field trips. We love heading to the zoo, children’s museum, park or even Costco for a chance to learn and play.

I have enjoyed learning with the kids and figuring out what works for our family. I’ve had a learning curve having 2 kids in school now, but we are getting it. I love getting to learn with these kids.


Let me know if you have any questions about what we are doing. And I’m sure to update as time goes on.


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Welcome Back

As we occasionally look over the blog, it’s enjoyable to see little memories of our life. As the kids are growing the blog is a great reminder of those little baby faces.

We want to remember these times. We know it goes fast. How fun will it be to remember these little snippets of our lives.

So here we are again. And this time not because some one is sick or something is wrong. Just the Hannon family, sharing our lives.

If you are new around here, feel free to check out a couple of our kids stories. Up top there are tabs for Ezra, who is living with Spina Bifida, and Esther who died from Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.
We will work on organizing the blog a little better for the other kids as well.

Soon I will update important memories from over the past 2 years.
making pizza

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After Esther passed away they cleared out all the extra equipment, extibated her and swaddled her.

The kids woke up and Dave brought them to see Esther and we explained what happened.

We needed a break, so we went to have breakfast and played a little with the kids. After that, we went up to Esther’s room to gather her  things. We wanted to get out of the hospital, so we packed up all of our things from the hospitality house and booked a hotel in Grand Rapids.

Atreyu had a tough time saying goodbye to Esther and continued to ask questions about her. It was hard to explain over and over again that Esther had died. The questions are less now and it’s a bit easier to explain. He now just says that he misses her and I remind him that we all do. Ezra asks a few questions, but mostly just repeating what Atreyu has said.

We headed back up to Traverse City the next day and found a place to stay. Before we left, we packed up our house and moved out knowing our new rental wouldn’t be ready until the end of August.

Dave took the week off from work so we could spend time together. We caught up on some missed summer by going to the beach and the drive-in. He’s back at work now and we are starting to get back into our routine.

I am thankful to have Dave around. He has been handling things with Esther. We had her cremated and will have a memorial service in a few weeks. I can barely think about it long enough to plan things. But I will let everyone know when we plan to do it. We will probably be able to stream it online since we know there are many friends and family who would like to be there but can’t be.

We are trying to find a new normal and for me it feels like I am just going through the motions. Time just seems to pass without me noticing. I was going to post this a week ago but somehow a week went by without much notice.

I haven’t been looking for grief support but it just seems to find me. While I was looking at some homeschooling blogs I discovered another mother who had lost a child. She had these post and found I related to much of what she was writing about.

Here is her post called How to help a grieving friend

We are able to receive mail at our new house even though we haven’t moved in yet. Our new mailing address is,

Hannon, 777 Fox Hunt LN, Traverse City, MI 49686

We still have our PO Box and have been getting our mail from there and soon it will be forwarded. Thank you for all the thoughtful cards you have sent. I tear up reading them thinking of all the people who care about us and Esther.

I probably won’t be posting much anymore, but thank you for taking the time to follow along in our journey.


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Esther’s last days

It has taken me a while to get myself together to right this post, and it is still hard.

The last few days the doctors were trying to wean Esther off of ECMO. It was her second circuit and it would last long before getting clots. And she needed to adjust her body do she could survive off of ECMO. They tried to lower the flow and then completely clamp it but she only lasted a couple minutes before her heart beat dropped to 30.

The next option was to lower the flow a little each day. Each day they went down a little bit. She wasn’t doing great but she didn’t seem to get much worse. Her lungs still weren’t doing the work they needed for her to get off ECMO. Her blood gasses, which measure how acidic her blood is and ph levels amoung a few other things, were slowly getting worse.

With the flow of ECMO slowing down it was more susceptible to develope clots. There was a clot the went into the dialysis machine but it continued to run for a little bit.

Saturday things continued to get worse but Esther was hanging on. We said goodnight to Esther and tried to get some sleep. At about 2 in the morning the nurse called to say that the dialysis machine quit working but they would replace it in the morning. Then at 5:20 they called and said the ECMO circuit was crashing and Esther wasn’t doing well at all.

I ran to her room to be with her. They were giving her epi for adrenaline but we knew it wouldn’t help. Then they gave her morphine to help her be comfortable. About an hour later she passed away.

They extibated her and took off all that they could. She was a very beautiful baby.


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Hanging on

Esther has recovered from surgery well.

On Monday we meet with the doctors to discuss these final attempts to help her. They talked us through trying to wean off ECMO. And also what would happen if we couldn’t. They kind of gave us a deadline but we let them know that we are fine with giving her a fighting chance and if she passes while fighting we are alright with that.

Each day they are trying to wean her off ECMO. The ECMO circuit is at it’s lowest settings for support. They prep her to clamp off the ECMO so Esther has to support herself. She is on the ventilator and that is giving her O2. Esther’s left lung is practically non existent, and her right lung is really weak and damaged. We need her right lung to support her and the doctors are convinced that it can’t. It’s hard for us because it seems that each day she is getting a tiny bit stronger. We just don’t know if it will be enough.

Tuesday they clamped her off ECMO and she crashed really quick. They were going to try again today with her on the oscillator instead of the vent. Once they switched it, Esther did not like it and they put her back on the vent. They didn’t have a chance to test her off ECMO.

Today Esther has been sleepy. It’s probably a result of her working harder and have carbon dioxide build up in her. Still praying she is strong enough.

It has been a hard week for us.

Esther today after she had her hair washed.



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