Tuesday, November 18, 2008
If you have any questions, contact our Academy Class Coordinator, Kateri, at firstname.lastname@example.org
The November issue and all past issues of Let's Eat, our recipe newsletter for busy Classical Academy families are available here. The November issue features recipes for Orange French Toast, Pulled Pork, Corn Chowder and more yummy stuff. Check it out!
Joy Newman and Jenny Bischoff are the creators of Let's Eat.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
By the way, 2nd trimester Academy Classes enrollment is happening right now and spots are filling quickly.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Suzette Harbour-Novak, one of our Classical Academy parents and a skilled, engaging professional storyteller has launched a fun storytelling blog at storywisdom.blogspot.com
Give it a look and enjoy. Leave a comment and encourage Suzette in this valuable endeavor.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
A month from now many of our Classical Academy students will be reading Esther Forbes' Johnny Tremain. This Friday our Parent Reading Group will be getting a head start as we discuss this fun and engaging book together. Its always a great time with great food and even a little wine. Hope you can join us.
Below is a growing slide show of pics uploaded to our flickr site . . .
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
If you have your own pics to upload, email our flickr mama, Penny Malley at email@example.com.
Our next trimester wrap up will be "An Invention Convention" focused on science learning. Stay tuned for the date. . .
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Here's a lengthy, but "worth it" article entitled, "The Death and Life of American Imagination" . . .
British historian Arnold J. Toynbee said that apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and that enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: “First, an ideal, which takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice.” That kind of imagination is the cognitive fuel that put a man on the moon, and that could help forestall the wreckage of another Katrina. But the fate of the American imagination seems also to be governed by an old adage—one that is tricky for cognitive scientists and brain researchers to prove in context, even though it’s simple enough for any first-grader to grasp: If we don’t use it, we may lose it.
SLO Classical Academy aims to foster and stimulate the imagination of our children. Its hard work!
Hat Tip: Teri Brown, one of our amazing parents!
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
The next meeting of the Classical Academy Parent's Reading Group is coming up quick. . . .this Friday. Still its not too late to read the book we'll be discussing, The Sign of the Beaver, since its a small, quick read.
One of the purposes of the group is to help us all in the important task of literary analysis as we look elements of setting, plot, conflict, theme, etc.
We always have a great time thinking, laughing and snacking together. See you on Friday at 7:00 PM?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
When you post about the joys and struggles of being involved in your kid's education, don't forget to mention the school by name with a link. Some of you have done this already and you are driving traffic to the site. People are clicking to the school site from your blog!
If you know others who blog or social network who might not be reading this blog (what are they thinking?), refer them to this post and encourage them to add links.
Any and all promo helps get the word out about what we're trying to do here. As we seek to make a difference in our community, name recognition is often the first step. Our desire is that folks in our community would be asking, "Who is SLO Classical Academy and what's going on over there?"
Thanks for the help!
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Come prepared to discuss The Witch of Blackbird Pond, one of the books our Intermediate and Middleschool Students are reading this year. The rumor is that our parents can't put it down . . .
The refreshments are always tasty and the conversation is always fun.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Teri Brown is teaching a second Middle School Art class from 1:30-3:30. This time the class is opened up to Intermediate as well as Middle School students.
From 11:30-1:30, Raquel Meinke, a wonderful new art teacher who has taught in the local schools and even for some of our own students, has joined us to teach another Intermediate Art Class. She is happy to include Middle School students as well.
Classes that do not make their minimum, will have to be canceled.
We have decided that it is unlikely we will have enough enrolled in our Kindergarten Classes. We have, therefore, canceled - Kindergarten Explorations, Kindergarten Art and Kindergarten Kindermusik. Kindergarten students may join the Primary Classes instead.
Full Classes/Waiting Lists:
Middle School Elections 2008 is full. Those students on the waiting list are in. Mrs. Hawkins said she is up for 20 students in the class!
Middle School/Intermediate Drums and Percussion is full. Waiting to hear if those on the waiting list have been included in the class. Here is a link to the drums that each child will need:
If anyone wants to look into a group discount on the drums, let me know.
There is one spot left in the Middle School Art from 11:30-1:30 with Teri Brown. Middle School students can also take Raquel Meinke's class at 11:30 or Teri Brown's class at 1:30.
Why are so many classes year-long commitments?
Our teachers want to be able to take our students beyond the beginner stages. They have requested having the students all year in order to provide a deeper learning experience. In our efforts to provide a quality enrichment program, we wanted to have this opportunity for the students as well. If the year commitment is too much to consider, sign-up last if there are still spaces available and give it a try for the first trimester.
In talking with the robotics instructor, he was excited to teach the students more than just robotics, he also includes computers, physics, electricity, etc. He is also hoping the Middle School students can enter a competition in the spring. So yes, he would love a year-long commitment; however, we have contacted him to talk about a trimester commitment option. Email Kateri if this is an option you would prefer. We also recommend that you do this first trimester, if you have an interest in the robotics classes.
What if my child is unhappy in a class?
No one will make anyone stay in a class when they are unhappy. You are committed to pay through the trimester because we still need to pay our teachers, but you are not obligated to pay through the year.
Can my child switch grades in some of the classes?
First priority is given to those in the class grade, but once the sign-ups are initially done and both tracks given a chance to fill any leftover spots, then those in other grades may sign-up with teacher permission.
If having a family discount would allow your family to participate in Academy Classes or would allow your children to take more than one class, please email Kateri. We would like everyone who is interested be able to take Academy Classes.
Between classes volunteers?
We need volunteers to make this happen. There will be a sign-up sheet if you are interested - please include your email address. There is no obligation to do this, but you are responsible for your children between classes.
Sign-ups continue this week through the end of school on Sept 4. On September 5th, spots are opened up to both tracks on a first come first serve basis (i.e. if we have a waiting list for one track, those students will fill the open spots on the other track). If you want to have your child switch grades, email me so that we can talk to the teacher.
Please note - as of Sept 9, if your children are signed up for classes, you are obligated to pay for those classes. We need to have final numbers in order to secure the classes and pay the teachers. Thanks for understanding!
We are always open to questions and feedback. We have made some changes in our program this year because we want to see Academy Classes provide more than just a taste; we want them to be truly enriching.
Please email Kateri at academyclasses@
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Teri Brown will be teaching her Middle School Art class twice - 11:30-1:30 and a second class from 1:30-3:30. This second art class is open to both Intermediate and Middle School students.
Raquel Meinke will be teaching an Intermediate Art Class from 11:30-1:30 -
Intermediate Art - Exploring Media and Artists: This class will be learning about different artists and art styles while dabbling in a wide variety of mediums. We will be using varied approaches and media to improve drawing skills, painting with tempera and watercolor, trying different printmaking techniques, and working in a variety of two dimensional and three dimensional formats. We will be looking for art connections to core history and literature. Students will learn to plan, create and reflect on their artworks.
The website has not yet been updated, but it will be this weekend.
Please use your invitation to sign up.
If you did not receive an invitation, please go to the group to apply for membership. You will be approved within 24 hours and will be able to receive future weekly updates. For those who missed today's it will be posted on the slo classical blog later this week.
google group for weekly update emails:
Just in case you missed it, here's this week's Weekly Update . . .
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to BREATHE, to think, to enjoy, to love. - Marcus Aurelius
Dear Families -
We made it through our first days of school! Congratulations to all of you, and all of us (staff) hope that you and your children had a really wonderful experience. Now, we have all worked hard and taken a ton of information in - and it is time to BREATHE. Breathe in, breathe out, and on this long weekend ahead, make sure to find time to enjoy your life. There is much to be done, for sure. But breathing is going to help, as will some rest and reflection. Go easy on yourself as you gear up - and go easy on others as well (including your kids!). Taking time to adjust, organize, and figure this thing out is as necessary part of the process. Remember - think on what is important (moving towards our common goal of offering these children a rich education that will develop their minds and their hearts) as you need to for inspiration, but don't expect it all to happen by October 1st. Breathe, enjoy and move towards that goal - one small step at a time.
A huge gigantic thank you to all of you who made these first days so rich! The PIE team, the office staff and a few others have put in much love and many hours - I was proud to be alongside of them celebrating the start of the year. THANK YOU! (And now you get some rest as well!)
Okay, here's some business for the week! I will try to keep it short for a change...
Parents at SLO Classical Academy
Forms - thanks to all of you who have handed in your Emergency Care Cards and Directory forms - make sure to hand these in by the end of the week if possible.
Medication Consent forms - if your child has a medical condition (i.e. dangerous allergies) that we should know about, or if you need to arrange for medication dispensing, please see the office for a form to fill out. We have some limitations on what we can provide, but will try to work with you.
Tuition - a reminder tuition is due on the 5th of the month (even if that's a day the office is closed). So plan ahead when necessary, send in the mail (we go by postmark date) or drop off in the drop box in the office. WE ARE GOING TO TRY SENDING STATEMENTS VIA EMAIL THIS YEAR and see how it goes. It saves time and paper, so be looking for that.
Family files - don't forget to check these at least once a week!
escrip - thanks for responding so positively to our request that you take time to sign up for escrip. You can get online and sign up anytime. E-scrip school Id # is 500006538 (when on the site you can also look up the school by name.
You can also sign up for a program with Albertsons - Albertsons Community Partners # is 49001014048 and the site is www.albertsons.com. click the community partners icon to get going.
Volunteering! We got a few more spots filled for playground - keep them coming. I also want to encourage you to sign up for our History Day Committee. It is a super fun and very rewarding group to serve on, and some of the work can be done at home.
Education at SLO Classical Academy
Academy Class Sign ups start today, Wednesday the 23rd. Because this is the first time we are structuring the program like this, we really have had no idea about what to expect - many are concerned with there being too little space - that could be a problem, and if it is, we will try to find more options, but no promises! It is exciting - bear with us as we grow these opportunities for our kids! And if you find yourself moved to offer a class, let Kateri know at academyclasses@
Enrichment classes will commence the 3rd week of school on September 10th. We will keep you posted, but it looks like we will have both CA history and Latin Primer available for intermediate levels at 1:30 on Wednesdays and Thursdays - CA history will be $35/month for 10 months, and Latin will be $30/month for 10 months. If you have some ideas for primary children, let us know (it's Kateri again - see above for email). The best ideas are ones in which you can provide not just the idea, but some help putting it together (like offering to teach, having someone contact Kateri about teaching, etc.). Thanks for working with us!
Events at SLO Classical Academy
PIE night is coming! Earmark the night of Sept. 18th for our first PIE night! Remember, you can get volunteer time for this! 1.5 hours per trimester will count.
Did you know?
We have a blog! There's a bunch of fun stuff on there - find out about our pictures, our yahoo group, great articles, etc. Check it out at http://sloca.blogspot.com/
Thanks to all of you for being in this together and for a great first week!
Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire. - Yeats
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Here's the slideshow from the Flicker site. As more photos are added, this slideshow will automatically update. . . . to go faster (there's almost 170 photos!), rollover the top and adjust the speed slider. Enjoy!
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
Monday, August 25, 2008
To check it out and jump in, go to
Here's a pic of the front page that will give you sense of posts and topics. (Click to enlarge!)
Sunday, August 24, 2008
To get there and browse go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/sloclassical/
Here's a shot from one of last Spring's Academy Classes . . .
Sign ups for this Fall's Academy Classes happens all this week.
Let the 2008/2009 photo posting begin!
Friday, August 22, 2008
If you've got questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fall session Academy Class schedules and descriptions have now been posted on the website at
You've got to click over and check it out. We think you're going to be blown away at the amazing line-up our Academy Class Coordinator, Kateri Rein, has put together. It is undoubtedly the best and broadest Academy Class session ever.
Stay tuned for additional cost and sign-up information.
If you have questions, you can contact Kateri at email@example.com .
Thursday, July 03, 2008
We are working to fill some jobs here at SLO Classical Academy and would love to have your referrals for the following positions:
1. Dean of Families - this person will be working 4 days a week this year, 3 hours a day with the potential for more hours in future years. We are looking for someone to provide a daily presence with our families and who would work toward accomplishing the following: 1. Establishing relationships with parents and students 2. Providing support and encouragement to these families, and 3. In the context of relationship, would serve to establish accountability and discipline within the school's guidelines as we seek for all to experience the school as a place of safety, consistency and success.
2. Playground Monitor - this person will be working 4 days a week for the duration of the school day. He or she will oversee the playground happenings, playground volunteers, playground safety, playground activities, etc. while providing a consistent relationship with the students, upholding consistent playground expectations for them as well.
3. Playground Lunch Support - this person (or persons, as we are willing to have one person for each track) will provide additional supervision on the playground/s during the lunch hour to provide increased safety for our students.
4. Accountant - we are still looking for someone with experience and flexibility to fill Karen Morton's shoes as soon as possible. Work load averages 4-8 hours per week.
5. Substitute teachers - we are working to increase our list of people who can sub for us and are still working on a long-term sub for Mrs. Dillon (primary, track B). If you are interested or know those who might be, please let us know.
We appreciate you keeping us in mind - with all of the contacts and resources our parents provide, we are sure we can successfully fill these positions soon!
In addition, we have need of the following items as we seek to outfit our office and classrooms. If any of you are getting rid of the following items or perhaps your business is, please let us know!
2 round tables - approx. 4-5 feet wide
2 tall file cabinets
1 low file cabinet (locking)
rolling tv carts – 3 or 4
large rolling cart (for chairs, etc.)
Hope you are having a great week...
Education is not the filling of a bucket,
but the lighting of the fire. -Yeats
Monday, June 16, 2008
Warning: Its long and you're not going to feel tempted to skim it or skip it, which will prove the author's point!
San Luis Obispo Classical Academy exists because we believe that reading good books is a necessary prerequisite for deep thinking and deep thinking is a necessary prerequisite for wisdom and wisdom is so desperately needed in our world today.
The pull of the electronic is so, so strong. This summer discipline yourself and your family to sit down and read some good books.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
The audio has finally been uploaded and is available for your listening enjoyment HERE.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Hot off the press, here are the details for our evening with Andrew Pudewa, coming up Thursday, May 1st.
Andrew is a gifted, entertaining and enlightening speaker - well worth the effort of getting out that door. Please join us for a wonderful evening and a bit of dessert at 7:00 p.m. on our campus, 165 Grand Avenue, SLO (the old Pacheco school).
"Mastery Learning, Ability Development, and the Trivium"Hope to see you there, and have a great weekend!
What is "mastery learning" and how does it relate to classical education?
Andrew Pudewa, director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing and
graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan, will
explain the methods, goals, and benefits of the ability development model as
developed by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, and applications to disciplines other than
music, along with potential obstacles to successful implementation. Come
and hear how, as Dr. Suzuki puts it, "Every child can learn."
Listen to other Andrew Pudewa lectures here.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
It will take a while to edit and youtube them all, but as we do, we'll post them here first and then eventually on the website.
Here's the first from Amy Callarman, a relatively new mom to the SLO Classical Academy community, but undeniably excited to be here . . .
Academy families, email the webmaster for the username and password to the flickr site if you're ready to upload your photos. We'd love to see them.
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
This crisis highlights the need for a free market approach to education and the exploration of school vouchers. Wouldn't it be nice and helpful to be able to direct the tax dollars you pay to the school of your choice. . . like SLO Classical Academy? Sadly, it probably won't happen anytime soon.
SACRAMENTO (AP) ― California's public schools are fundamentally flawed and need deep changes—as well as more money—to properly serve the state's 6.3 million students, according to a report released Friday by a panel advising Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The report comes as the state is struggling with a multibillion-dollar budget shortfall and as schools are issuing thousands of layoff notices to teachers to cope with the $4.3 billion education cut Schwarzenegger proposed in next year's budget. Appearing at a news conference in Santa Monica on Friday to announce the long-delayed report, the governor agreed that education needs more money but said any increase would have to wait until the budget was back in balance. "Everyone in this room knows that education, like other state programs, is going to face severe cuts this year," Schwarzenegger said. He later added, "I realize that providing a first-rate education system means having adequate resources." Schwarzenegger had intended the report to begin a yearlong focus on reforming California's K-12 system, which he says is failing the state's students. But his efforts have been derailed by his inability to achieve the health reform goals he set last year, as well as the swelling budget shortfall. Among the high-priced recommendations in the report are universal preschool, full-day kindergarten and more funding to help poor students and those who are still trying to learn English. Half the state's public school students are either poor or struggling with English or both. The report says the state education bureaucracy should be more efficient and accountable, and that schools should have more autonomy. Teachers should get better training and their pay should be linked to their students' performance. And the state should create a statewide data system to track how well students are learning. Michael Kirst, an education professor at Stanford University who was not part of the governor's panel, said the report was thorough and filled with innovative ideas. He said state leaders should keep it handy for when the economy rebounds and declining K-12 enrollments are expected to make more money available for education. "It should be the first place the public should go to understand what is wrong and how to improve the system," Kirst wrote in a critique of the report. "It is clear, compelling and specific. But it advocates coherent, comprehensive state legislation in a year of large deficits and leftover legislative priorities from 2007." Saturday is the deadline for school districts to notify teachers and staff they could be laid off later this year. Teachers and school employee unions expect about 20,000 notices to go out, although they are only preliminary. Districts have until May 15 to tell their employees whether they will have jobs next year.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
The webmaster will have his video camera in hand to shoot some more testimonial video, so start reflecting on what you love about SLO Classical Academy.
Here's a slideshow from last year to get you ready . . .
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
In our attempt to keep up, we just completed lots of website updates, including the following pages . . .
about / who is slo classical academy?
about / how does slo classical academy support families?
about / current leadership
about / typical slo classical academy week
instruction / current teachers
instruction / enrichment classes
instruction / academy classes
instruction / can i do this?
instruction / how it all works?
instruction / parent coaching
resources / slo classical academy audio/video
admissions / enrollment openings
You can listen here, by clicking the headphones . . .
Nice job, gals!
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Because we are still receiving calls daily from those interested in SLO Classical Academy, we've scheduled our next Parent Information Meeting for Tuesday, April 29 at 7:00 PM in Room 1 on campus. Attendance at a Parent Information Meeting is required as part of the registration process.
See you there!
Director Susie Theule, one parent and one student will share the vision for San Luis Obispo Classical Academy and its place here in our Central Coast community.
Not sure exactly which segment, but the show runs from 3:00 to 7:00 PM.
We'll try and capture the audio and post it on the website so you can listen later if you miss it live.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
What's so great about SLO Classical Academy?
Its true that SLO Classical Academy strives to provide an excellent and engaging education for its students through its unique hybrid partnership with parents. But the benefits of SLO Classical Academy extend way, way beyond a book education.
SLO Classical Academy is a community where the sum is greater than the individual parts.
It includes a homeschooling component, but also offers a rich, interactive classroom environment. We can do and are doing more together than we could ever possibly do alone and apart. . . . field trips, academy classes, math celebrations, history days, enrichment opportunities and so much more. This year we've laughed together and cried together and worked together and struggled together . . . and these are signs of authentic community. It's far from perfect, but it's real.
Families considering enrollment at SLO Classical Academy must consider this dimension as they weight the potential costs and benefits.
Do you really want to do this educational journey alone? At SLO Classical Academy, you don't have to . . .
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Friday, February 29, 2008
Does the "stunning ignorance" of history and literature even matter? We at SLO Classical Academy believe it does! "Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it."
Any thoughts or reactions?
By the way, SLO Classical Academy is about so much more than just teaching history. To be sure, we're committed to that as well, but we're also about fostering quality family connection, rich and rigorous classroom discussion, thoughtful integration of learning and life, character formation and so much more.
February 27, 2008
Survey Finds Teenagers Ignorant on Basic History and Literature Questions By SAM DILLON
Fewer than half of American teenagers who were asked basic history and literature questions in a phone survey knew when the Civil War was fought, and one in four said Columbus sailed to the New World some time after 1750, not in 1492.
The survey results, released on Tuesday, demonstrate that a significant proportion of teenagers live in “stunning ignorance” of history and literature, said the group that commissioned it, Common Core.
The organization describes itself as a new research and advocacy organization that will press for more teaching of the liberal arts in public schools.
The group says President Bush’s education law, No Child Left Behind, has impoverished public school curriculums by holding schools accountable for student scores on annual tests in reading and mathematics, but in no other subjects.
Politically, the group’s leaders are strange bedfellows. Its founding board includes Antonia Cortese, executive vice president of the American Federation of Teachers, a union that is a powerful force in the Democratic Party, and Diane Ravitch, an education professor at New York University who was assistant education secretary under the first President George Bush.
“We’re a truly diverse group,” Mrs. Munson said. “We almost certainly vote differently, and we have varying opinions about different aspects of educational reform. But when it comes to concern that all of America’s children receive a comprehensive liberal arts and science education, we all agree.”
In the survey, 1,200 17-year-olds were called in January and asked to answer 33 multiple-choice questions about history and literature that were read aloud to them. The questions were drawn from a test that the federal government administered in 1986.
About a quarter of the teenagers were unable to correctly identify Hitler as Germany’s chancellor in World War II, instead identifying him as a munitions maker, an Austrian premier and the German kaiser.
On literature, the teenagers fared even worse. Four in 10 could pick the name of Ralph Ellison’s novel about a young man’s growing up in the South and moving to Harlem, “Invisible Man,” from a list of titles. About half knew that in the Bible Job is known for his patience in suffering. About as many said he was known for his skill as a builder, his prowess in battle or his prophetic abilities.
The history question that proved easiest asked the respondents to identify the man who declared, “I have a dream.” Ninety-seven percent correctly picked the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
About 8 in 10, a higher percentage than on any other literature question, knew that Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” is about two children affected by the conflict in their community when their father defends a black man in court.
In a joint introduction to their report, Ms. Cortese and Dr. Ravitch did not directly blame the No Child law for the dismal results but said it had led schools to focus too narrowly on reading and math, crowding time out of the school day for history, literature and other subjects.
“The nation’s education system has become obsessed with testing and basic skills because of the requirements of federal law, and that is not healthy,” Ms. Cortese and Dr. Ravitch said.
“You can be supportive of N.C.L.B. and also support strengthening the teaching of history and literature,” a spokeswoman for the Education Department, Samara Yudof, said. “It’s good to talk about expanding the curriculum, but if you can’t read, you can’t read anything at all.”
A string of studies have documented the curriculum’s narrowing since Mr. Bush signed the law in January 2002.
Last week, the Center on Education Policy, a research group in Washington that has studied the law, estimated that based on its own survey 62 percent of school systems had added an average of three hours of math or reading instruction a week at the expense of time for social studies, art and other subjects.
The Bush administration and some business and civil rights groups warn against weakening the law, saying students need reading and math skills to succeed in other subjects.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Our next Parent Reading Group is Friday, April 4 when our discussion will center around George MacDonald's Phantastes.
Grab yourself a copy and start reading and then plan to join us. We'd love to see a few more dads joining us
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
"I can't believe impossible things." said Alice.
Monday, February 25, 2008
- We've added a way for you to subscribe to this blog so that you receive posts by email instead of having to manually check the blog each time you want to check up on what's going on. With an email subscription you are always up to date with the latest happenings at SLO Classical Academy. Why not subscribe right now?
- We've added a new google custom search engine to the SLO Classical Academy website. What is so cool is that it not only searches the website, but also the blog. Why don't you take it for a spin right now and see what happens? We dare you. . .
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
If you're trying to decide if SLO Classical Academy is a fit for your family, maybe this video will put you over the edge and suck you in. SLO Classical Academy is about the whole family learning together. . . . in this case, the Moses family, led by Zak, had the chance to learn all about the Luna Moth . . .
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
WAYS THAT DADS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
At the last Parent Inspiration and Encouragement ( P.I.E.) meeting we discussed ways that fathers can help in their children's education since in most SLO Classical Academy homes, mothers are the primary homeschool teachers. Several suggestions were shared including viewing homeschooling as a lifestyle, being flexible and creative in how to achieve educational outcomes, praising and appreciating your wife for all she is able to do and not worrying about the less important stuff falling to the wayside, making a family reading time a priority, and finding a practical subject that dads enjoy and can teach their kids (like how to build something, how things work, or physical education).
FOCUS ON THE TAPESTRY
One other suggestion for dads that the group wanted to share with parents that weren't at the meeting is setting a few overarching goals for your children's education and then being intentional each day in crafting those into a noteworthy composition. Your child's curricula are like the colorful threads that form a tapestry. But the goals pull the individual threads together and weave them into a beautiful design. Addressing the goals suits fathers' schedules because it doesn't necessitate knowing specifically what their child is learning academically on a particular day. Here is a simple example: one goal we have is for our kids is to become effective communicators. So we have made a point in our family of not saying the word "like" unnecessarily. Every time someone does, we stop him and ask him to rephrase his statement. We keep this lighthearted and the kids are onboard with it. They enjoy "catching" each other when it happens. Another goal we have is to become a complex thinker. So at dinner time I might select some news or an event and ask our daughters to tell me what they think about it, and if they were in charge how they would solve it or prevent it. Work on the tapestry every day, but weave it into your lifestyle. Hopefully you can brainstorm effective methods and provocative questions at work, during lunch, while commuting, or on the spur of the moment when the opportunity arises.
Following are seven educational goals we have for our family that aren't tied to a core academic outcome. We have a few more, but hopefully these are sufficient to help you establish goals for your family. The first six are goals from the high school where I teach. We felt compelled to adopt the seventh in order to gratefully acknowledge and respond to a truth and purpose beyond ourselves. Our family wants each person to become:
* AN EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATOR One who successfully receives and imparts information through speaking, writing, reading, listening, fine arts, and technology.
* A COMPLEX THINKER One who accesses a variety of resources; looks for multiple solutions to a problem; is intellectually curious; uses creative and critical thinking; applies complex problem solving processes and critical thinking to real life.
* A QUALITY PRODUCER One who uses time, resources, and technology to create excellent work.
* A SELF-DIRECTED LEARNER One who makes valid judgments about what to learn, how to learn it, and assesses the result; makes wise choices considering the consequences of those choices; develops significant goals.
* A COLLABORATIVE LEARNER One who uses appropriate social skills to work effectively with people varying in gender, race, attitudes, ability, and cultural background with consideration and mutual respect.
* A RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN One who contributes time, energy, and talents to improve quality of life for himself, his school and his community.
* A SERVANT LEADER One who humbly finds his greatest pleasure in God and making God known by laying down one's life to extend God's justice, mercy, and love to others.
YOU ARE IRREPLACEABLE
Dads play a vital role alongside their wives in their children's education. Your family needs you as a servant leader. Diligently finding ways to support your wife and intentionally helping your children become lifelong learners is well worth the effort. Engage your kids. Enjoy the process. Equip them through your unique strengths to make a positive impact in our world.
--Mark Greenelsh, husband to Rhonda and father to Hannah (11), Grace (5) and Weston (2). This is their first year at SLO Classical Academy; Hannah enjoys being in fifth grade.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Here is a recent piece that Michael wrote for the February issue of the Scoop. . .
Classical Music - New & Old --by Michael Nowak
As Music Director for the San Luis Obispo Symphony, it is not uncommon for me to be approached by a composer who has written a work for orchestra. When the request was made on behalf of composers who had been dead for 200 years, I was more than a little intrigued.
In anticipation of our June 8, 2008 concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles which will feature the music of Cal Poly music professor, Dr. Craig Russell, I asked Craig to write a new work for violin and string orchestra to feature our mutual friend, the extraordinary violinist, Kathleen Lenski.
Dr. Russell said he would be delighted, but offered an alternative concept. "What if I use music that was written for the California Missions 200 years ago - bits and pieces that can be woven together - as the basis for this composition?" Dr. Russell is the world's leading authority on California Mission music. He has spent decades exploring church archives, discovering hidden musical treasures, even realizing entire works from mere fragments.
Craig Russell is very much like an archeologist who finds a lost city or an anthropologist who can reveal human history with a single prehistoric bone. In this instance, Dr. Russell has 'unearthed' music that was extremely popular here in California in the early 1800's at the mission communities of Santa Barbara, San Fernanado, and our nearby San Antonio. Music that was once beloved by the people who founded and grew the communities we now live in. Dr. Russell has taken this exquisite music and interwoven it with his own modern harmonic and melodic structures.
The result: "Ecos Harmonicos" (Harmonic Echoes), a work recently given its world premiere at Mission San Luis Obispo. This is music rich in historical and cultural significance and classically inspired. This is music transcending the boundaries of time, bringing together in joyous celebration, old and new.
Friday, February 01, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
"Think Outside the Box" presentations are held at 11:00 AM every 3 weeks throughout the Spring on the following dates:
Thursday, February 21We would love to have you join us!
Wednesday, March 5
Tuesday, April 1
Wednesday, April 23
Tuesday, May 6
For more information or to RSVP for a Think Out of the Box" presentation, email our community outreach team at firstname.lastname@example.org
After spending some time talking with Edie Overduin I realize the necessity for me to step back and redefine my baseline for busy. Laughing gently this Classical parent welcomes with ease the stresses of daily life. She humbly accepts acknowledgments of respect and proceeds to then softly shrug them off. Her household, filled to brimming with five children, leaves her with little time. She’s focused on getting everyone up, dressed, fed and out the door by 8am!
Edie heard about Classical Academy during its inception. Home schooling her two eldest children, her ear was tuned for discussions about alternative educational options. Last year the Overduin’s son Lance made the transition from 100% home schooling to our integrated system. This year his sister Sara joined him and according to Edie “they just slid right in.” The transition was pretty seamless for the family and the kids “are doing well. “Classical Academy was the first time for them in a group environment” Edie tells me. They are full of smiles, laughing, having fun and loving it.
Edie enjoys personal rewards from SLO Classical Academy as well. She has the opportunity to get to know the other parents, is thoroughly cultivating her love of books and reading by participating in the parent reading group, she’s a member of the History Day Committee, works in the classroom and performs the ever present need of yard duty. Certainly time management is a skill that this woman has perfected! She and another parent carpool to and from school each day—one does the drop off in the morning and the other the pick up in the afternoon. When she’s at full capacity, her twelve passenger van has every seat filled!
Both Lance and Sara are in Middle School and attend the Track B schedule. Edie finds that Classical Academy offers “a perfect balance, interaction with other kids and direction from other teachers.” The Overduins are another proud, happy Classical Academy Family.