Magical Moments: Viking Quest History Day

12/15/14
Magical

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

 

To start off our jolly holiday break, we thought you might enjoy a few photos from last trimester's Viking Quest History Day.  The weather was amazing, the venue was perfect, and the entire event truly celebrated all we've learned together over the past several weeks. Wasn't it fun to see all ages dressed in costume and participating in the activities? It was great being Vikings with you!

 

{photo by Chuck Smith}

 

 

{photo by Jaime Mickey}

 

 

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

 

 

{photo by Michelle Dorman}

 

 

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

 

 

{photo by Chuck Smith}

 

 

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

 

 

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

 

 

{photo by Jaime Mickey}

 

 

{photo by Chuck Smith}

 

 

{photo by Michelle Dorman}

 

 

{photos by Chuck Smith}

 

 

{photos by Chuck Smith}

 

 

{photos by Chuck Smith}

 

 

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

 

 

{photo by Jaime Mickey}

 

 

{photo by Chuck Smith}

 

 

{photo by Chuck Smith}

 

 

{photo by Chuck Smith}

 

 

{photo by Chuck Smith}

 

 

{photo by Chuck Smith}

 

 

{photo by Jaime Mickey}

 

 

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

 

 

{photo by Michelle Dorman}

 

 

{photo by Chuck Smith}

 

 

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Free Friday: December 12, 2014

12/12/14
Free

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I am in love with the world… It is a blessing to find the time to do the things, to read the books, to listen to the music.

~ Maurice Sendak

 

Happy Friday! As we head into our long and eagerly awaited break, Down Home would like to wish all of our readers a cozy, wonderful holiday season with family and good friends. Along with the shopping, the activities, the food, the gatherings, and the celebrations, may you find time to do the things, to read the books, and to listen to the music that will recharge and refresh your soul. 

 

We will leave you with a fun gift idea one of our teachers discovered: t-shirts, posters, and totes created entirely from the text of your favorite books! So perfect for book lovers! (Unfortunately, we found this too late to be able to order in time for Christmas, but it's still something cool to keep in mind...). Check out Litographs.com to see all the options, such as this 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea shirt:

 

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Enjoy your break - Down Home will be posting once a week on Mondays during the holidays. May your days be merry and bright! 

 

 

SLO Classical Academy is not affiliated with the above mentioned website.

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Categorized: Archive, Community

Middle Ages Trimester 2 Craft and Activity Links

12/11/14
Middle

House of Wisdom Library

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Today we share a few more ideas for games, online activities, and fun things to make and do this trimester – all totally optional, as always. Maybe you’ll be inspired to try some of these over the three-week break, or feel free to come back to this at any time. You can also refer back to our crafts and activities from Trimester 1, which can be used all year long. Enjoy!

 

Games and Activities:

 

  • The Bayeux Tapestry – Here’s a great explanation of the different sections of the tapestry, scene by scene. Then:

 

 

  • Make Your Own Bayeux Tapestry – interactive activity where you can complete the missing final stages of the tapestry or recreate your favorite scenes.

 

 

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  • Kids Riddles (riddles occur extensively in Anglo-Saxon literature)

 

 

 

Printables, Puzzles, and Coloring:

 

 

 

 

  • Arabian Nights Coloring Book – this isn’t a printable version, but a link to purchase this detailed coloring book for older students. 

 

{source}

 

 

 

 

Things to Make and Do:

  • Feudalism Activity – see what one homeschooler did with her kids to explain feudalism in the Middle Ages.

 

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  • Make a Robin Hood Hat – a YouTube tutorial video that uses a sewing machine for one simple straight stitch, otherwise kids can make most of this on their own.

 

  • Medieval Crown here’s an impressive crafty crown that older kids can make.

 

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If you've found a great website that complements what we are doing at SLOCA this year, please share it in the comments below. If any of the above links don’t work, please email Down Home and tell us. 

 

 

SLO Classical Academy is not affiliated with any of the above mentioned websites or businesses.

 

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Categorized: Archive, Home Schooling

What’s for Dessert: Candy Cookie Cones

12/10/14
What’s

{source}

 

What’s for Dessert: Candy Cookie Cones

Coupon Clipping Cook

makes 12

 

Here’s a spruced-up version of a holiday tradition we always make in the Bischoff house. We call them Candy Cone Christmas Trees, she calls them Candy Cookie Cones. Her ideas are awesome, so I’ve included her entire process here and I recommend you visit her website, Coupon Clipping Cook, for lots of photos! But I’ll be honest with you and tell you that we do a much simpler version of these… we simply decorate sugar cones with frosting (I don’t make candy coating - regular frosting in any color works wonderfully!) and different candy toppings. No cookie inside, no sticks, no baking, and ours are never as beautiful as these, but my kids find them magical somehow, and look forward to making them every year. Maybe this year we’ll try adding the cookie inside. Sounds fun! 

 

Ingredients:

Cookie Cones:
12 sugar cones
12 long lollipop sticks
3 pieces of foil (each one about 10 inches long)

Filling:
12 tablespoons of cookie dough
12 tablespoons of chocolate chips

Topping:
8 ounces of Vanilla Candy Coating (4 squares of Almond Bark)
8 ounces of Chocolate Candy Coating (4 squares of Almond Bark)
½ cup of shredded coconut
½ cup of mini M&M candies
¼ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup white morsels
colored candy sprinkles

 

Directions:

If needed, lower the top rack in the oven so that the sugar cones won’t be too close to the top of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the sugar cones from the package and put them in an upright dish for easy handling. A sundae dish or tall mug works well for this. Add about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough into the bottom of each sugar cone.

 

The dough should fill about ½ of each sugar cone. The empty space that's left at the top of the sugar cone should be enough room for the dough to rise (if there is too much dough in the sugar cone it will run over the sides in the oven). Set the cones aside while you prep the foil.

 

Squeeze each piece of foil into a tight donut-type shape with a small inner circle so that the tip of the sugar cone will fit tightly in the middle of the foil. Lay each piece of crumbled up foil at the bottom of a bread loaf pan. Add the sugar cones bottom side down (with the pointy side down) into the foil. Squeeze the foil tightly around the cones so they stand up straight. Add more crumbled up pieces of foil in the bottom of the pan if needed to prop up the cones securely.

 

{source}

 

If you’re baking a few of the sugar cones at a time, a bread loaf pan works well; or if you’re baking all of the sugar cones at one time, a large pan with similar depth such as a roaster pan works well. Bake in a preheated oven for about 18 minutes or until the cookie dough is cooked. Keep a close eye on the sugar cones to make sure the tops don’t burn. When the cookie cones are done, remove them from the oven. Leave them in the baking pan and while they are still hot, add chocolate chips in the middle of the cone all the way to the top of the cone.

 

Then add a lollipop stick in the middle of each cone poking it through the chocolate chips and the soft cookie. Let the cookie cones cool completely in the baking pan. Add the candy coating to a small bowl and heat it in the microwave for 25 seconds. Then give it a stir if possible. Then heat it for another 25 seconds and give it another stir. If it still needs more time heat it for another 10 seconds.

 

Hold the cookie cone by the stick in one hand and with the other hand dip the back of a small spoon in the candy coating and spread it on to the sides of the cookie cone. Spread it on a bit thick so that there is enough area for the candies to stick. Then immediately add the toppings to the candy coating so they will stick. Let the candy coated cookie cones completely cool. Some options for storing the cookie cones while they cool are to put them stick side down in a tall mug, medium size glass, sundae dish, or in between the holes on a cooling rack stand.

 

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What are your favorite traditional holiday treats to make with kids? Please share yours in the comments below!

 

 

SLO Classical Academy is not affiliated with the above mentioned website.

 

 

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Categorized: Archive, Food

Book Reviews for The Middle Ages

12/09/14
Book

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Our school librarian and 4th year SLOCA parent Emily Ferrarini has a few enticing book reviews to share with us today! And although we won’t have them in stock before the holiday break, our school store should have copies of these books when we return in January, leaving plenty of time this trimester to try out these awesome reading suggestions! 

 

The Middle Ages is certainly an enchanting time period – there are so many wonderful books that have been inspired by medieval history and literature. In fact, it can be overwhelming to choose! So here are just a few to get you started, and of course you can always find many more on our Supplemental Literature list for Year 2 - The Middle Ages, which can be found on the parent resources page of our website. 

 

 

 

{source}

The Door in the Wall, by Marguerite de Angeli

This sweet story about courage and triumph in adversity would make a great read aloud. Young Robin has been told his whole life that one day he, like his father, will learn the ways of knighthood. Then, Robin is struck by an illness that leaves him unable to use his legs. Left alone in plague-ridden London, Robin is taken to the monastery of St. Mark's by a kind monk named Brother Luke. Robin despairs, realizing that, as a cripple, he can never become a knight like his father. "Thou has only to follow the wall far enough," Brother Luke tells Robin, "and there will be a door in it." While recovering at the monastery, Robin discovers that door. He becomes skilled at woodcarving and swimming, and is taught to use his mind as well as his hands. Brother Luke shows Robin that with patience and strength, everyone has a place and a purpose.

 

 

{source}

Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter, by Astrid Lindgren

I love finding a children’s author that my whole family loves, and Astrid Lindgren is one of our absolute favorites. Many people are familiar with Pippi Longstocking, but she has written so many other fabulous tales, as well. In Ronia, two kids from rival clans become close friends, much to the frustration of their powerful families. (I wonder if your students will notice a parallel here with another famous story?)  Ronia is a headstrong girl with strong beliefs and emotions who must learn some very difficult lessons about loyalty and forgiveness. Even though this book is about strife between families, it is a lot of adventurous fun. Lindgren’s characters always have a bit of a wild streak, but there’s a lot of tenderness infused in her stories as well. Don’t miss her other books: The Children of Noisy Village, The Brothers Lionheart, and the Pippi books.

 

 

{source}

The Chronicles of Prydain, by Lloyd Alexander

This wonderful fantasy series, beginning with The Book of Three, revolves around Taran, a young orphan. Taran lives with his guardian Coll and the enchanter Dallben in a sleepy homestead. Frustrated by farm life, and forced to make horseshoes instead of swords, Taran sulks and whines until Coll bestows a title on him, though it is not the one young Taran had hoped for. Instead of Taran the Knight or, even better, Prince Taran, he becomes Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper. I love the characters in this series, particularly the young boy who aches to grow up… yet fears it a little bit at the same time. For this fantasy story, the author drew heavily from the Mabinogion, a collection of medieval Welsh myths. This is a wonderful series to dive into with your children, and be sure to discuss the parallels between Taran’s story and some of the other works of literature we have read together at SLOCA. Here we have an unlikely hero accepting a quest despite great odds against him, and as the story continues he learns that perhaps he is stronger, and more important, than originally thought. In the end, of course, he triumphs, and returns home with a very different perspective.

 

 

Once again, thank you Emily! These sound like excellent suggestions and we appreciate your time in reading and reviewing them for us! 

 

In addition to the books reviewed above, Emily also thoroughly enjoyed the following books and recommends them as well. Links are provided so you can read more about them, but we do encourage you to purchase from our school store if you can:

 

 

  • Tristan and Iseult by Rosemary Sutcliff
    (classic love story which inspired Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet)

 

  • Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray
    (son of a traveling minstrel goes on a journey, 13th century England)

 

 

  • Girl in a Cage by Jane Yolen
    (author of Letting Swift River Go / awesome story about Robert the Bruce, Medieval Scotland)

 

 

SLO Classical Academy is not affiliated with any of the above mentioned websites or businesses.

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About Down Home

Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy's blog! We are a classical school offering options to make education work for families. We have a full hybrid program for grades K-8, which means two days at school with three days of home education, all days following the classical model and curricula carefully laid out by the school. We also have a four day program available for grades 5-8. Our high school students attend school three days each week. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home. Semper discentes - always learning together.

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