Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Junior Kindergarten!

This coming fall, along with the start of the new school year, SLO Classical Academy is opening a Junior Kindergarten! In accordance with our rich program, this level will be an extension of and preparation for our current Kindergarten program. These classes will be open to kids who turn 4 by September 1, 2011. Exciting Stuff!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Citizenship-- Mrs. V's word of the month

Citizenship - “No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts off from its youth severs its lifeline.” Kofi Annan

Friday, October 22, 2010


Why we do Recitation

By Mrs. Dillon’s Primary Class

· It makes you smart because you can memorize lots of things.

· You can learn how to get in front of lots of people like meetings at work.

· It gets you to feel like what an actor feels like in a play in front of an audience.

· Poems teach you the words of the great thinkers.

· Work out for your brain.

· Helps you to overcome stage fright.

· It’s FUN!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Message to "the Dads"

From one of our SLOCA teachers:

I have been thinking about all of you dads in the past two weeks and the important role you play in your child's education. Each of you participate at different levels in the formal schooling, but all of you are have signed up to be the dad of a homeschooling family. That is a huge job!
I realized you are not receiving encouragement letters each week saying, "Good job going to work everyday and making a living so that your wife can homeschool your children." or "Thank you for showing patience to your wife when she needs to buy "just one" more thing that she is convinced will make all the difference in teaching math, grammar, spelling (you fill in the blank!)." I'm sure you wonder.... How many grammar books, workbooks, paper and multiplication drills can there be? Trust me..... as a former homeschool mom and a teacher.... there is always a new and better way out there.... and we are convinced our life will be so much easier if we could only try it!
It's very similar to my husband's never-satisfied need for yet another foldable, swiss- army knife/tool/ flashlight and if- it- had- a- GPS- all- the- better- gadget!
But in all seriousness, I want to thank you dads who are faithfully doing what needs to be done to allow your children this education. I know many of you travel, sacrifice your wants for those of your family, and then come home to help with computers, printers, bedtime and readings. So thank you, Dads, for all you are doing! I hope there are moments of great laughter, sharing, and "lighting of your own educational fire" throughout the year.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Excerpt from Scientific American Magazine
October 2010 issue

"Against Homework
A child who has been boxed up six hours in school might spend the next four hours in study, but it is impossible to develop the child's intellect in this way. The laws of nature are inexorable. By dint of great and painful labor, the child may succeed in repeating a lot of words, like a parrot, but, with the power of its brain all exhausted, it is out of the question for it to really master and comprehend its lessons. The effect of the system is to enfeeble the intellect even more than the body..."

SLOCA = No homework
SLOCA = Mastery
SLOCA = Comprehension
SLOCA = Love of learning

Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Power of one individual to change the course of history!

What we did this past week in the classroom
An excerpt from an Intermediate teacher's weekly parent letter

Topic: Justinian and Theodora.
The power of one individual to change the course of history! Justinian, born a farm boy, rises to lead one of the biggest empires. Theodora, a circus performer ends up becoming the Empress of the Eastern Roman Empire! They accomplish many things. Not all good, but certainly many things were highly impressive. I also enjoyed this week the celebration of a strong woman in history. Would the Byzantine Empire have lasted another 900 years without her strength of character? Did Justinian's mom think that when she taught him organization that he would grow up to organize the laws of the empire? Did Theodora's mom know her daughter's drama skills would come in handy in the political arena? Do you ever wonder what skills you are teaching your child that will come in handy in their future?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Teachers!

By: Cozy Faber Parent of two students and Development Director of SLO Classical Academy

Today I want to talk about our teachers.

Every single teacher that we have on our campus absolutely loves to learn! This willingness to learn about new topics, to learn new techniques (not many primary schools are literature based and use socratic questioning) and the flexibility and willingness to step outside of their comfort zones are a foundational requirement for any grade level at SLO Classical Academy.

We have teachers who have a natural ability to see the connections between things— to cross topics and make each lesson meaningful. Our children are learning from teachers who have a holistic mindset and approach to teaching. In fact, they do more than just teach.

The teachers of SLO CLassical Academy carry a great mantle of responsibility— they must be able to see the full spectrum of their kids and be an expert on their classrooms. They must work closely with the parents of every single student, be sensitive to their needs and be comfortable with their role as partner.

Every staff teacher at SLO Classical Academy has a valid California Teaching credential or is more extensively trained in their area of expertise. We have three Doctors teaching at the high school level for example and our Latin teacher is well recognized throughout the country for her work in the field.

We are extremely proud of the caliber of people that make up the staff here at SLO Classical Academy and we work diligently to keep our school a place they are proud to work!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Embracing Curiosity at SLO Classical Academy

Written by Cozy Faber

Development Director and parent of two attending SLO Classical Academy

Over the summer I read a book called Tribes by Seth Godin. As many of you probably know, Seth is a pop-marketing guru with multiple best sellers in print. Purportedly his is the most read blog in the United States and any motivational speaker, radio talk show host or self-help column will at some point reference his body of work. Anyhow, this book Tribes kept popping up and I decided to read it.

First of all I highly recommend it. Easy read, simple observations that apply to probably everyone in some way. Godin succinctly outlines various real-life obstacles and follows them up with realistic solutions. This book has absolutely nothing to do with education, schools, home-school, teachers, or classical books. And yet as I read I experienced one of my most inspired moments remembering why SLO Classical Academy is such a gift to the children that attend.

Godin works by laying out a few social norms that everyone agrees with as he sets them up. As I read I could not help but nod my head and say “Yep, you got that one right Seth!” If he'd been sitting next to me I'd have slapped him on the back in enthusiastic agreement. Godin then guides the reader through each accepted situation, he gives a couple of real-time examples to support his claim and then: whammo! He reveals the truth and along with it a way to turn the tables and make this seemingly difficult situation into one where the reader becomes the winner. It’s real feel-good stuff.

I was taken off guard though while following the this next line of thought. Now, remember, Godin is carrying the reader down the path, telling the reader what we all know to be true, using accepted norms and situations to lure the reader into a sense of comfort so that his next revelation will be trusted and taken as valid. Here is the quote:

“It’s easy to underestimate how difficult it is for someone to become curious. For seven, ten or even fifteen years of school, you are required to not be curious. Over and over and over again, the curious are punished.”

It struck me as tragic that the stifling of a child’s natural curiosity has become more than just an acknowledged fact of our society. This reality is so accepted that a pop-culture phenomenon uses it as a general common experience to get the “mmm, hmm” out of readers and lead them to his next point.

This factoid baffled me. I wondered why, when we as a society can flippantly refer to our educational experience as being a squelching of curiosity, do we continue the cycle and put our children back into the very same system? Is it some sort of initiation that every American is expected to endure before being allowed to become curious?

My personal answer is NO! I remain ever steadfast with the decision my husband and I have made to educate our girls through SLO Classical Academy. This is a place where their detours of curiosity are not only embraced, but explored deeply, thoroughly and completely.