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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Better late that never ... back to school time

Last week Aletha Academy was FINALLY back in swing.  ("Aletha" means "truth" in Greek and is the name of our homeschool.)  Though we had a "soft start" to get used to school again.  This week we will be back to all our regular subjects.

I am following the Ambleside Online (Charlotte Mason) curriculum for "year 3" for Hunter.  I've been homeschooling for 10 years and have been all over the place with different schooling methods and curriculum.  But a few years ago, we gave Ambleside's suggestions a shot and worked out awesome.  I used it the last year that I homeschooled Tabby, and she says that was her best year. 

Solomon will have a mix of Montessori, Charlotte Mason, and whatever else we want to work on.  I don't think you HAVE to have specific sit down learning time with a 4 year old because they are learning by doing things with you, and alone, all day.  But, Solomon LOVES learning and asks to "do school."  Hunter loves learning too, though he prefers doing his own thing.  ;)  Solomon usually listens to anything I read Hunter.  And last week he learned 3 scriptures right along with us.  (I decided to try the memory verse method by Simply Charlotte Mason and it is working wonderfully.  Click here to learn about it and download scripture cards for free.)

finally a use for my strawberry file box!

I am SO THANKFUL that Hunter is a self motivated learner.  I had initially wanted to start our school back by mid-August but that didn't happen.  Tabby was sick so much and sick almost all of September.  So much of my time was researching, caring for her, and taking her to doctors.  (We are eagerly awaiting her lyme disease tests results which should be in on Tuesday.  She is still sick but continues to have an hour to a few hours a day now where she does not have the chest/stomach pain.  Though her joint pain continues and her face is terribly broken out with acne and lumps.  These increased when she began the Plexus so we know her body is detoxing.)
Back to Hunter, he keeps himself busy every day, and usually comes downstairs with a project already in mind.  Last week he built a radio using snap circuits and miscellaneous speakers he had taken out of things.  He likes to listen to the Classical Station because he said the music helps him to feel calm.

He reads every day - from the Thomas the Train original books to electrical and motor technical manuals to other good literature.  (He's been enjoying the original Doctor Dolittle series lately.)  He watches videos on YouTube by Matthias Wandel, a man in Canada that is an engineer/wood worker, and has learned so much. (I often find myself getting drawn into the videos too.  This guy is like a grown up version of Hunter.)  So why am I sharing all this?  I'm not bragging - I'm making myself feel better that we are starting school so late!  ;)

Yes I know the sign is upside down - that's why he's smiling so big
I printed these wonderful Charlotte Mason motto signs, that I downloaded from this blog:

I need to add some quotes to our bulletin board, but for now have up my favorite Beatrix Potter quote:  "Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality."

For our work organization and so Hunter can see what we will be working on each morning, I use the Sue Patrick workbox system:

the boxes on the left were Tabby's, and I use them to store related work or books Hunter won't use that day
When Hunter finishes a subject, he can just flip the card around to show the red checkmark.  For subjects that he will do with me, I've added a "with Mama" card to the outside of the box:

I've printed several books from online that we will be using this year.  I love the idea of doing some beautiful book covers and binding.  But alas, there is that pesky time restraint crippled further by my perfectionistic ideals.  So for binding I decided I would laminate the cover and backpage, hole punch the sides, and use book rings to hold them together.  I can always redo them "more perfectly" one day, but for now I am pleased and they are working nicely.

3 book rings on this Marco Polo book I downloaded and printed
Finally, I'll leave you with some silly Solomon pictures.  He thinks it is so fun to be silly for the camera and asks me to take lots of pictures:

"But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,  and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." - 1 Timothy 3:14-15


  1. First of all, I am SOOOOO impressed with your organization. sigh.... I do not have that skill. (another thing we could trade off maybe??) lol
    I love the pics of Solomon. I posted a series of silly pics of Chloe a few years ago and they popped up in my FB memories and were so fun to flip through. Make a flip book! :)
    And Hunter.... where do I begin? His mind fascinates me.
    Still praying for Tabby and answers soon. Give her a hug from "big sis" Nikki.
    Love you all.

    1. Thank you Nikki! And YES - I'd love to trade off some organizing for meals. ;)


    1. Thank you Mom Jenny! Look forward to visiting in person again one day.