Kids Imitate Kindness

09/18/14
Kids

 

 

A couple of weeks ago we shared a resource called “100 Ways to Be Kind to Your Child” from creativewithkids.com. While perusing this inspiring blog a bit further I came across a follow-up post to this that I found personally helpful and hopeful when it comes to nurturing kindness in our kids. So I wanted to share a few of my takeaways from it, as well as the link.

 

In the article “They Imitate Kindness,” writer Alissa Marquess shares some highly relatable thoughts about parenting and a few practical ideas for being purposeful in helping our kids choose kindness. Here are my mental notes from her wise words:

 

1. Kids will imitate us, for better or for worse. (I’ve noticed.)

 

2. Rather than let that get me down (because how often do I hear my children repeating words or a tone that I know they got from me?), I can view it as a tool to grow character in both myself and my kids. Alissa uses the phrase “something to do rather than something to stop,” and this is definitely a helpful way to initiate change. She said it of herself and it’s true for me too: I do better with a thing TO do instead of something NOT do to. So…

 

{source}

 

3. I can give them kindness to imitate. It can be as simple as using phrases like the few she shares:

 

I’m reminding the kids that that’s what we’re working on. When they use an exasperated tone with their siblings I hear my own exasperation in their voices and it doubles my determination to be kind.

 

I say, “Hey, remember we’re all working on using a kind voice.  We can speak respectfully.  Do you hear how my voice is calm?”

 

I apologize when I have snapped and say, “I’m sorry, I really snapped.  We’re working on using kind voices.  Let me try that again.”

 

I’m encouraged and motivated to have this same determination and use this kind of language in my home. I know that even if I don’t see immediate results, it will work, because as Alissa writes:

 

 “Those kids crave kindness. They crave the answer to how to deal with their frustration in ways that don’t make them feel worse.”

 

little o photography

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4. I know I’ll still get impatient and lose my cool at times, but she encourages readers to know that we don’t have to handle every situation perfectly, we just need to practice using a kind tone even when we are upset. If that’s what we’re asking our kids to do, we can do our best to show them how it’s done.

 

Read her full article here and I hope you will be encouraged and inspired too! 

 

One final thought – she ends with this quote:

 

I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness.

~ Mother Teresa

 

Words to live by in all areas of life, but I thought I could apply this quote specifically to my SLOCA home days as well: I would rather make homeschooling mistakes in kindness and compassion than get everything done on the grid perfectly (which would be a miracle) in unkindness and hardness. 

 

There have been days when I felt like we finished everything on the grid, but my demeanor was edged with a little hardness. I admit, it feels good to check off all the boxes and get it all done. But when I’m grumpy about all that we need to do, the kids aren’t lining up with my plan, and I’m focused on checking off the boxes, I lose my joy, the ability to connect with my kids, and often kindness. 

 

{source}

 

It’s a difficult balance to keep working diligently on completing home day assignments while also capturing our kids’ hearts and nurturing that love of learning and character growth (like kindness) that we so strongly desire. But if you feel this way, you’re in good company! We are all feeling it, and we aren’t going to do it perfectly, and it’s okay. Let’s make mistakes in kindness, and be a community that reaches out to each other in encouragement and support. This is a special place, and I’m so thankful that each of you are a part of it. 

 

What about you? How does this article resonate with what you’re experiencing at home? Thanks for sharing your comments below…

 

 

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

 

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What's for Dinner: Donatelli's Meat Sauce

09/17/14
What's

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

 

Donatelli’s Meat Sauce

by Trish Appleby, owner at Donatelli's in White Bear Lake, MN

adapted from foodnetwork.com

 

Perhaps many of you already have your tried-and-true pasta sauce recipe (or favorite store brand… let’s be honest!), but if you have been looking for a great meat sauce for awhile, as I had been, give this a try! I do often use store-bought marinara or meat sauce, but sometimes I crave a rich, homemade pasta sauce – as long as it doesn’t take all day to cook! This one fits the bill and we’ve been enjoying it a lot lately. I’ve modified it a bit because the original recipe makes a very large quantity. I also usually cook my meat, onions and garlic all together, then add the rest of the ingredients. (Oh, and I don’t always cook it for the full hour that is recommended… it’s still delicious.)

 

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef

1 tablespoon minced garlic

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup diced onions

1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

1 (15-18 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

½ tablespoon beef base

½ tablespoon chicken base

¼  cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon garlic salt

½  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½  teaspoon dried basil

2  tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

 

Directions:

Brown ground beef with minced garlic and salt and pepper, to taste. Drain ground beef and set aside.

 

Place oil and onions in a saucepan and sauté on high heat until soft. Add all cans of tomato products. Fill the tomato can with hot water and dissolve beef and chicken base in this water. Add this water and base mixture to saucepan. Add all other ingredients and heat through. Once hot, add the browned ground beef and simmer on low heat for approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

 

Serve over your favorite pasta – enjoy!

 

 

Click here for a printable pdf of this recipe.

 

 

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

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Categorized: Archive, Food

Middle Ages Trimester 1 Resource Links

09/16/14
Middle

John William Waterhouse's The Lady of Shalott, 1888

{source}

 

We have one more round of supplemental links to share, and this time it’s all about research and resource sites that may come in handy on your home days. Feel no obligation to use any of this, and there is much more online if you want to search further, but here are some great resources as well as some interesting things to check out for fun:

 

  • Time Maps – If you have a middle schooler you may be familiar with this website, which is linked from Mrs. Frago’s website. These are great interactive maps that show change over time.

 

  • Maps of Europe over time – Here’s another style of map, featuring a map for every 100 years, with links below each map to highlight locations of the different people groups/kingdoms/countries. This site also includes detailed maps of specific regions.

 

 

 

 

  • The Middle Ages for Kids - here’s another site with tons of links for kids all about our time period. If you’re looking for more info on a particular medieval subject, this might be the place to go! 

 

  • Middle Ages Timeline pieces – this appears to be a pdf download and is only 50 cents! If you keep a home timeline, print these for an easy way to add to it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Norse Myths Pronunciation Guide  – this is from a different book than what we are reading this year, but may still come in handy as you tackle some of these tricky names.

 

  • The Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland – in case you were interested, this is the book Lisa Ann Dillon mentioned in her Literature training last week.

 

 

And of course, we have a wonderful list of books on our Supplemental History Resources for 2014/15. Find this document on our password-protected parent resources page - click here!

 

If any of the above links do not work, please send an email to Down Home and let us know.

 

 

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

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Categorized: Archive, Home Schooling

Magical Moments: First Day of School 2014

09/15/14
Magical

{photo by Rachel Neumann}

 

It’s become a tradition here at Down Home to share photos sent in from the first day of school. We definitely consider the first day to be one full of Magical Moments! Included in today’s batch are a few photos from inside classrooms, and a couple of first home day photos as well! (We think this needs to become a tradition too – sent us your first homeschool day photos!) 

 

So here are pics from this year’s first days of school on both tracks, to start off your Monday. Thank you parents, for taking these and sharing them with us:

 

{photo by Rachel Neumann}

 

 

{photo by Rachel Neumann}

 

 

{photo by Rachel Neumann}

 

 

{photo by Rachel Neumann}

 

 

{photo by Rachel Neumann}

 

 

{photo by Erin Haar}

 

 

{photo by Erin Haar}

 

 

{photos by Sarah Root}

 

 

 

{photos by Lisa Ann Dillon}

 

 

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

 

 

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

 

 

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

 

 

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

 

 

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

 

 

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

 

 

{photo by Joy Erb}

 

 

{photo by Jaime Mickey}

 

 

{photo by Jaime Mickey}

 

 

{photo by Jaime Mickey}

 

 

{photo by Jennifer Perneel}

 

 

{photo by Jennifer Perneel}

 

 

{photo by Veronica Womack}

 

 

{photo from SLOCA's Flickr site}

 

 

{photo from SLOCA's Flickr site}

 

 

{photo by Heather Tucker}

 

 

{photo by Lisa Ann Dillon}

 

 

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Friday Faces 2014: The NOLs

09/12/14
Friday

 

Happy Friday and welcome to this year’s additions and updates to Friday Faces! This blog series introduces you to our new-this-year Team SLOCA members. We did this last year and it was a great way to get to know a little about the friendly people working here at our school.

 

We asked each participant for a photo and gave them a few questions to answer. Next time you see one of these faces on campus, you’ll know who they are and can greet them. Links to returning teachers/staff will be posted at the end of each week’s group when applicable, for new families or for those who just want to read them again.

 

We will begin with the ladies you see when you walk through our doors into the main office - our NOLs, or Nice Office Ladies. This year we have a couple of wonderful women filling in for us temporarily while we search for a full-time person to fill this position, so for a little while at least, here’s who will greet you when you come into the office:

 

 

Geri Smith

NOL on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

 

Q: What is your degree in?

A: I have a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Cal Poly SLO.  I planned on transferring to Veterinary School at U.C Davis but having a family and living in SLO became more important. 

 

Q: What was your last job before your SLOCA life?

A: I have loved being a stay at home mom for 12 years.  It has been the best decision of my life.  Before that, I worked for high producing stock brokers in town.  I also designed websites when we had to hand code everything before software was available to design it all for us.

 

Q: What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

A: Brush my teeth and wash my face.

 

Q: What is your favorite local restaurant?

A: Novo in San Luis Obispo

 

Q: What was your favorite book when you were a child?

A: Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski, however, I could never get enough of Winnie the Pooh by Milne. Also, I am a product of Schultz's Charlie Brown cartoons,  SchoolHouse Rock and Dr. Seuss's earlier books… So, books I loved, but TV programs were my mainstay unfortunately. Looney tunes and Bugs Bunny were daily activities after school.  Disney was a favorite with living so close to their studios.

 

Q: What is your favorite piece of literature that we've read at SLOCA? 

A: By far my favorite was Unbroken from the High School reading list.  To be honest, every single piece of literature has been special over the last seven plus years. Even the ones that are not so well liked by someone in our family has lead our family to wonderful discussions.  As a result, we have learned to respect literature choices and views.  Not everyone likes the same genre or subject or opinion.  Within reason, every point of view is kindly  received. 

 

 

 

Debbie Lee

NOL on Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

Q: What is your degree in?

A: I have a BA in Psychology from Pepperdine University.

 

Q: What was your last job before your SLOCA life?

A: I had a medical billing business, which I was able to do from home.  I designed my own business cards and brochures and people started asking me who designed my marketing materials.  When I told them I did the designing, they would ask me to do their marketing materials as well. I soon discovered that I enjoyed doing graphic design, took some classes, bought Adobe Creative Suite, and over the course of about 5 years, DML Medical Billing transitioned into DML Graphic Design. 

 

Q: What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

A: Feed my chickens and my goats because they start hollering for food about 6:00am!  And coffee... I must have coffee.

 

Q: What is your favorite local restaurant?

A: The Range in Santa Margarita... it's a little gem on the Central Coast.  And they're always very good about accommodating Jake's allergies! 

 

Q: What was your favorite book when you were a child?

A: The Black Stallion by Walter Farley... I read this story over and over and over again as a young girl. The story of a young boy marooned on an island with a wild stallion, and the courage and friendship he developed with the horse always pulled at my heartstrings! 

 

Q: What is your favorite piece of literature that we've read at SLOCA? 

A: Hmmmm....so hard to choose...I'm going to have to go with Brave Cloelia by Jane Curry and Jeff Crosby.  I love stories of heroism and bravery.  These are qualities that are important for me to teach my son.  I think my favorite part of the story is when Cloelia gains the respect of the king who was holding her hostage, and he invites her to a feast!

 

 

Thanks for sharing, ladies! And thank you for stepping in to fill this oh-so-important job until we find the right NOL for us. 

 

Come visit Down Home for the next few Fridays to meet more Friday Faces!

 

 

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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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