Month: August 2014

School Supplies List


School Supplies List for 2014-2015

Basic Supplies:

Giant American Flag

Educational posters

Vintage Maps

Large Sketchbooks {x2, $10 each}

Composition Notebooks, or other medium sized notebook for note taking.

Elmer’s Glue

Watercolor Paper

Several small-medium sized paintbrushes

Ink Cartriges for calligraphy pens

Micron Pens

Large washable markers

Spiral Bound perforated notebooks, for assignments {college rule and wide rule}

Embroidery Hoop

Embroidery thread

Pink Erasers

Large Kraft paper Hang Tags for Timeline

Fancy string for timeline

Fancy notebook for Elvis

Class Fees:

Fencing class for Vegas, about $50/mo

Gymnastics class for Elvis, about $50/mo

Book List:

Science Textbooks for Vegas and Elvis

History Textbooks for Vegas and Elvis

Math Textbooks for Vegas and Elvis

Seaside and Wayside Nature readers for Elvis

How to be an Explorer of the World, by Keri Smith

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, by Nancy Farmer

The Art of Manlieness, by Brett and Kate McKay

Rules of Civility, by George Washington

Wicked Plants, by Amy Stewart

Wicked Bugs, by Amy Stewart

Supplimental Items:

Head Boy and House Captain pins, $2.50/ea

Brain Pop subscription, about $100/year

ABC mouse for Axel and America $8/mo


Building a Better Classroom

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Our classroom has desks! The library at Western was getting rid of some long tables, so I picked up two. Vegas suggested putting them into rows, so that both he and Elvis could each have a desk of their own. The setup looks very ‘classroom-y’, and while the tables are on the utilitarian side, we can scoot them together, throw a table cloth on and seat like ten people!

Next, we just need a chalk/white board of some kind, or a projector and we are ready to go. I have found that the more the environment seems like an academic one, the more my kids take their work seriously. Having pjs on, attempting studies on the couch, or in bed doesn’t really cut it. Why not, right? If for one year of our life we have the room to have an actual classroom at the Harmon Academy, it seems silly to waste the opportunity.

Secondly, out school pennant is getting closer to completion. There are still two more stencils to make, and a second coat of paint on the monogram, but I really like the direction it’s taking. Soon, it will fit in with all the other vintage pennants in the window.

Building a better classroom is equal parts style and substance for me. There needs to be a solid structure of useful materials and space to work. {There should definitely be a wall mounted pencil sharpener somewhere!} But isn’t learning supposed to be fun? Exciting? So, the mood is being shifted from just dining room, to a room with a view. Maps, galaxies, timelines, books, flags, and art are just a few of the things that are being put in place this weekend. Oh, and a good friend just found us some additional chairs for $1 each!

Printing schedules and researching sampler patterns, Shelley


Right Around the Corner

We have exactly two weeks left of summer. Two weeks to gather the rest of our school supplies, to decide on books and courses, to prepare uniforms and get haircuts. Two weeks to enjoy the sweltering Portland heat. Fourteen days isn’t really a long time, especially when you factor in weekend visits, family activities, church meetings, bedtimes, dinners, laundry foldings, and regular life that happens. It’s not much time to find a new computer, or finish cleaning out the basement. Its not enough at all, 4

Somehow, whether or not I get each thing done, the days will slip by me and September third will greet me with that amazing smell in the morning air. The smell of back-to-school, of shopping at the Gap for sweaters, and of new notebooks. Fall and everything it includes can be bitter sweet. There are promises of a new start, new things to learn, new things to experience, as well as promises of dark and dreary days where it seems that time has stopped, and everything in the world is 2

This fall we are setting out into the unknown, much like so many men and women before us who have begun new adventures. Our family actually has no idea where we will be six months from now, or where life will take us. It’s an adventure, right? My husband is done with his degrees here in Portland around Christmastime, and after that? We will wait to see with anticipation, and probably sometimes dread, but regardless, history is being made at the Harmon Academy. The history of us, and we will have stories to tell!

The Harmon Academy is growing, from two students to four this year! We are excited to welcome a satellite school in East Portland, with one student, as well as moving our youngest up into a pre-K program this year, we will have four officially in books.

  • So far,  our class catalog for fall includes:
  • US History
  • Algebra 1
  • Math 2
  • Matter and Motion Science
  • Entomology
  • Biology
  • Art History and Artist Studies
  • Art Fundamentals
  • Grammar
  • Handwriting/cursive
  • Geography and Cartography
  • Independent studies on Shorthand and Linguistics
  • Sewing and Home Economics
  • Woodshop
  • PE
  • We will also be going through a book on prayer, as well as the Operation World calendar, which will serve as a wonderful overview of the countries of the world, in addition to working out what we learn practically in the prayer book.
  • Book lists are still being compiled!
  • The Pre-K program will include:
  • Pre-reading
  • Math Manipulatives
  • Art Fundamentals
  • Biology and Entomology
  • PE
  • Sewing and Home Economics
  • The East Portland school will also be including:
  • World History

As the summer comes to a close, our classroom is slowly taking shape. Maps of the eastern US, whole country maps, maps of Asia and Europe, timelines, hopefully a giant flag, and possibly individual student desks will be included in what has been our dining room. We usually end up eating in the kitchen, and when guests come, they spread out around the house. The wood paneling in the dining room makes me feel like we are attending Charles Xavier’s School for the Gifted.

You can expect posts from some of the students this year as well!

Sincerely Yours,


***The Harmon Academy will gladly accept donations of school supplies, books, navy blue sweaters, stickers, fruit snacks, fun letters in the mail, or anything else you may feel like helping out with! This will be a skin of the teeth year for us, as we will be living on an extremely restricted income. For more information, you can email me here: