Month: August 2016

What Are We Waiting For?

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As promised, I am writing a small update on the School Supplies, and Books, Books, BOOKS! post. We have purchased many of the items on the book list, but there are a few things we still need. Many  of these things are consumable items, such as drawing paper, printing paper, washable markers, water colors, and some more specific pens for handwriting. There are a couple of books in particular I would love to get, and I’ve listed all of these things below. 🙂

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The Harmon Academy would like to thank each of you who has helped us out in various ways over the summer to prepare for this crazy fall. The donations and support has been priceless, during a time of uncertainty and tightening finances.

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Our Go Fund Me goal has dropped a bit, since we found some great deals on things, but there is still a chunk that remains for musical lessons and fees for the two older boys, as well as general supplies. {just in case you were wondering what in the world we needed any of that $$ for!;) } Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 4.04.02 PM

Thank you again, and we look forward to posting all we are working on this year!

Madly painting my bedroom, {9ish days and counting}


Here is the list of remaining books and supplies: {don’t read this if you have recently been forbidden from any shopping of any kind…you know who  you are!} For anyone else, this is just food for thought. We will be chipping away at this list over the next few months, and would love any contributions you may be willing to make, even if its random paper for crafts. 🙂


Strayer-Upton Practical Arithmetic Books 2 & 3 $29 

Great Courses Western Civ $50

Rendering in Pen and Ink $16

Madam How and Lady Why $6

The Story Book of Science $15

Elementary Geography $9

Supplies and materials:

Magnadoodle $17

copy paper $29

Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pens $14

Pilot Hi-tec Maica gel roller pens $11

Ticonderoga Black pencils $5

Pipsqueak markers $19

Penmanship copybooks $15

Total: $235 110  $33 {amazing – thank you! } Yikes! I sometimes can’t believe that half a dozen books and some pens and paper can add up that quickly.


Handwriting is the New Black


In an age of emails, and text messages, we are fighting back with some handwriting intensives this year. Most of what ends up delivered by the mailman to our front porch includes bills, ads for stores we never shop at, credit card offers, and mail for people who don’t live here. I imagine that is what most of your mailboxes look like too…on the rare, bright occasion that a handwritten card arrives, everyone in our house wishes it was for them, and eagerly awaits their own. It is pretty sad that we just don’t bother to write to anyone regularly anymore…and one of our yearly goals is to incorporate weekly letter writing.

Part of writing a letter, is of course, legibility. While beginning handwriting is cute, that only lasts for so long. And there aren’t always 4-year-old interpreters around to translate reversed letters and chicken scratch.

Vegas has been studying Spencerian Penmanship for a few years now. I bought it for him to use in second grade, and it made him weep and gnash his teeth…. given back to him a few grades later, he took off with it independently, and if you have ever gotten a card from him, you will have seen the results.

Not wanting to induce more weeping or gnashing of teeth, we are not starting off with Spencerian Penmanship in the early grades, rather we are using Peterson Directed, which is sort of a broken down, less fancy version of Spencerian. At the same time, it is dramatically different from using the ‘loop group’ type of cursive, which teaches individual letters, as opposed to basic strokes that can be used to build any letter, and can be practiced, mastered, and used in conjunction to form any combination of words.


So, if you want a letter, send us your address! You can email it to us directly at

Buying stamps, Shelley


Plugging along… 5 weeks and counting!

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There are about 5 weeks left before the new baby arrives, and in that time I am frantically trying to remodel the basement, finish summer projects at church, gather all the baby things we need, and plan a school year. Last summer’s Go Fund Me made it possible for us to buy the books we needed for the 2015-2016 school year. I am hopeful that we can reach our goal this summer too, we are well on our way! Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 7.48.51 PMAs always, books are like Millions of Cats, and there will forever be one more “way down in a corner, which (is) too lovely to leave”, and so I have actually purchased a few things not included in the original spreadsheet. One was Art & Science, another was Ethics for Young People, and the third was a Roaring Spring Teacher’s Daily Plan Book. Altogether, that was about $37. It’s all fine and dandy though because we were fortunate to find several deals on other books, in addition to receiving some gifts by mail, and as a result, we have a lower goal!


Now, instead of aiming for $1500, we are aiming for $1330, of which $155 has already come in. Thank you so much for your help! We are down to about $1,175 for books and supplies to carry us through the next school year. Out of that $1,175, more than half {$715} will go towards Vegas’s involvement in PYCO, and the rest, $460 will cover lessons, supplies, materials and our remaining textbooks.  Thank you again, your support means so much to us.

Planning my next trip to Office Depot to get books spiral bound….. Shelley