Wednesday Wonders


{photo taken from SLOCA's Flickr site}


Welcome to another “new” feature on the blog this year, Wednesday Wonders. Technically, only the name is new – we’ve been posting “Magical Moments” for years, and Wednesday Wonders is just another name for those momentous experiences, both big and small, that cause us to pause and reflect, or smile and appreciate, or jump for joy! 


These can be homeschooling success stories, such as when a breakthrough is made in a difficult subject, or a sudden connection lights up a child’s eyes, or when an imagination is sparked, or when our kids teach US something we didn’t know. It can be a project in class that a student is especially proud of, or a meaningful Socratic discussion that knocks the teacher’s socks off. These also include special times on campus when we all come together and make magical memories as a school community. There are so many possibilities! 


We love Shakespeare’s quote, “You shall see wonders.” It was our theme all last school year, and we want to carry it over in this small way by posting weekly reminders of these "wonders" on the blog. Because we think they happen all the time here at SLOCA, and we want to recognize them and celebrate them! So Wednesdays will be dedicated to sharing these wonder-full moments that happen at home and at school. 


{image by Katie Daisy of thewheatfield, print available on}



We would love, love, love to hear about your Wonders and we invite you to send them in to the blog! Sharing stories like these helps encourage and connect our families. Please email Down Home any time throughout the school year and tell us about the wonders happening in your family! What about first week wonders? Anyone have one to share?



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


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Categorized: Archive, Magical Moments

Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas


{image credit: Good Cheap Eats}


Tuesdays here at Down Home will usually feature topics about homeschooling, home life, chores, parenting, organization, recipes, love of learning, and fun series such as “A Day in the Life.” 


Since we are changing up Wednesdays (more on that tomorrow!), today we’d like to share a few ideas for easy weeknight meals. School just started, we are still getting into routines, and some nights cooking dinner can be super challenging. But feeding our families is a vital part of daily life, and we want to grow strong bodies just like we want to grow strong minds. I (Jenny) enjoy cooking when I have the time. When I don’t have the time, I still try to put real food on the table most nights, but I take help wherever I can get it! This week I am taking advantage of quick and easy dinner ideas like these:


Good Cheap Eats: Quick Supper Ideas


Each of the five dinners presented look delicious and easy to prepare, and there are even options for picky kids! My family recently tried the Chicken Cilantro Rice Bowls (shown in the photo above) on a busy night after we got home from volleyball practice, and they were awesome. Give some of these a try in the next few weeks, or anytime during the school year when you need to feed your family in a hurry. 


If there’s something you’d like to see featured here on the blog, or if you have something to contribute to this category (homeschooling tips, a tutorial, a recipe, a great article or resource, etc.) please email us and let us know! We love to involve our parents and connect with each other in this way.



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


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Categorized: Archive, Food

Down Home Welcome 2015


{image credit: “To Take A Journey” by Daniel Horacio Agostini / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0}


Keep reading. It's one of the most marvelous adventures that anyone can have.

~ Lloyd Alexander


Come on in, new families! So glad to have you back, returning families! Are you ready for new adventures? Welcome to the start of another leg of our lifelong learning journey. We are delighted that you stopped by Down Home, and excited to begin a new school year with you! Especially since THIS year we are celebrating TEN years since SLO Classical Academy first began this journey.


At SLOCA we are all about educating for life and learning together. Much of the work and wonder that goes along with this happens in our homes, and therefore the purpose of our Down Home blog is to enrich, encourage, inspire, and support us as we nurture and learn with our children at home. So whether you’re reading and learning side-by-side with your child on home days, or coaching an older student who is more independent, we hope Down Home will become a useful resource that will strengthen your role as an involved parent in your child’s classical education. 


We also hope to hear from you often! There’s always an opportunity to comment on anything you find here, and we will often ask what you think. We hope our community of parents and readers will interact in this way, to encourage each other and share great ideas. Don’t be shy! 


The easiest way to keep current with the blog is to subscribe to Down Home via email, which allows you to receive a message in your inbox each time there is new content on the blog. If you didn’t get a chance to do this at the Parent Orientation meeting last week, click here to subscribe. (This link is also found in the right column under the search bar.)


For those who don’t already know me, my name is Jenny Bischoff and this will be my fourth year as the Down Home Blog Curator. My husband Paul, our three kids and I are beginning our 10th year at SLOCA. We are on Track A with a son in Intermediate, a daughter in Lower Middle School, and another daughter who is a sophomore here at SLO Classical Academy High School (sloCAHS). Educating this way has been an amazing and beyond-rewarding choice for our family, and I hope you will love learning SLOCA-style as much as we have!


What Can I Expect?

Down Home posts new content five days a week. This week we will be introducing the types of things you will typically see here on the blog. We are changing things up a bit this year, so check in over the next few days to see what you can expect to find here every weekday. 


For instance, Mondays will now most often feature something we call Monday Mix-ins, which are videos, links and resources you can use at home to enrich and expand on what we are currently studying in history and literature. Previously we did one big blog post each trimester with supplemental links and resources, but this year we are trying something different, and will give you a few ideas each week. These are completely optional, of course, but we hope you will find them interesting and helpful from time to time. 


You may occasionally see some of these "Monday Mix-ins" resources on your weekly grid as well, since our teachers sometimes share helpful websites and videos to support you on your home days. Think of it as a happy coincidence and try them out.  


This year we are studying the Renaissance, Reformation, and Age of Exploration. Here are a few samples for this week that you can explore with your kids:


  • Johann Gutenberg Exhibition – this website for kids from the University of Texas is all about Gutenberg. It features fun facts, a video, a coloring activity, and a “be a printer” activity.








  • And finally, an interesting 6-minute video featuring a demonstration of the only working model of a Gutenberg printing press, located at the Crandall Historical Printing Museum in Utah – How a Gutenberg printing press works:




Here’s to another great year of educating for life! Semper discentes - always learning together.


We welcome your feedback! If you have any questions, comments, stories, photos, or suggestions to share, you can contact us at, or leave a comment on any blog post. We’d love to hear from you! 



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


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Categorized: Archive, Home Schooling

Throwback Summer: Unforgettable Teachers


{image credit: opening flower by Liz West / CC BY 2.0}


Today marks our last Throwback Summer blog post of 2015! We start school next week, and are excited to begin another journey together, this time through the Renaissance and Age of Exploration. If you’re new to SLO Classical Academy this year, we are thrilled to have you on board with us! We know there’s a lot of info to take in, but breathe deeply and rest assured…. there are wonders ahead! 


To wrap up these summer blog posts, we want to share this gem about unforgettable teachers. This was written a few years back by Jenna Burns. After teaching History and Language Arts at SLOCA UMS for five years, Jenna is currently taking some time off of teaching to care for her daughter, Julianna. But she is still very involved with the school as our WASC Accreditation Process Coordinator.


Starting soon, you’ll be “meeting” all of our teachers (and the entire Team SLOCA staff) right here on the blog through our “Friday Faces” series. So here’s a little something to get you thinking about the the teachers in your own life that had an impact on you. Then stay tuned on Fridays to learn about the amazing team of people working here with and for your children! 



Tuesday, March 13, 2012



We asked our teachers to tell us about a teacher in their own lives they would never forget. Today we hear from Jenna Burns.  Jenna is in her third year of teaching History and Language Arts for Upper Middle School and High School at SLO Classical Academy.


My first favorite teacher was my Kindergarten teacher.  He was young, handsome, kind, and . . . my first crush.  He would mix one jug of colored water with another jug of a different hue to form a brand new color.  I thought it was magic.  One day on the playground he offered to help me tie my shoe.  I wanted him to think I was grown up so I told him no thanks.  I spent the whole recess trying to tie my shoelaces without any success.


My second favorite teacher was my First Grade teacher, Mrs. Brown.  She would jump up on tables to show off her socks (which always featured different cartoon characters).  She had so much energy!  One day she caught me eating a tootsie roll in class.  I cried because I had broken the rules and disappointed her.


The teacher who really influenced me, though, was my high school AP Literature teacher.  She was loud, and fun, and drove a motorcycle!  She loved literature, and she really cared about us.  Once we had to write an in-class essay on a poem, and I was the only person who saw the deeper meaning of the poem – everyone else had to redo the essay!  The comments she wrote on my paper made me feel special and though I had always known I would be a teacher, it was then that I decided to be an English teacher.


It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.

~ Albert Einstein



See you on Monday/Tuesday! 



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


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Categorized: Archive, Community

Throwback Summer: Pageant of the Masters


From our Pageant of the Masters History Day in 2007

{photo from SLOCA’s Flickr site}


IMPORTANT NOTE: Don't forget about our Mandatory Parent meeting tomorrow night, August 27th, starting at 6:30 pm at Grace Church in SLO, 1350 Osos Sreet. So much good stuff happens at this meeting, you won't want to miss it!


Today we look back at a Magical Moment from our study of the Renaissance 4 (and 8) years ago! Cozy Faber, our Development Director and mom to UMS girls Ava and Sia, wrote this for the blog in 2011, looking back to our first Pageant of the Masters History Day in 2007:



Monday, November 14, 2011

Magical Moment


Today's Magical Moment was written by Cozy Faber at the very beginning of the year. Cozy and Jeff Faber have been involved with SLO Classical Academy for 4 years.  They have two daughters, Ava and Sia who are both in the Intermediate level on track B.  Cozy is also the Development Director of SLO Classical Academy.


Four years ago SLO Classical Academy studied the Renaissance—just as we are this year.  During the Pageant of the Masters History Day—that was our first history day—we wandered about the various classrooms where students froze in the likeness and depiction of a famous painting rendered during this time in history. We enjoyed the evening and we looked at every classroom’s portrayal.  However, we were new to the school, and Ava was in kindergarten—I could not have even begun to imagine the impact this day, this learning, this school would have upon her memory and relation to the world.


Today we are getting ready to start the Renaissance.  We have books about Leonardo (notice my use of the familiar as I refer to Da Vinci!) strewn strategically throughout the house. Ava picked one of them up today and was looking at paintings that he had done.  “WOW!” she shouted with admiration and recognition in her voice.  “I had no idea that Leonardo Da Vinci painted THAT picture—we saw that at our first history day.  That is so cool!” 


At SLO Classical Academy we talk about connections.  We talk about solidifying memory and reference points and the power of history in our students’ minds.  We talk about how this model of education will give everyone that partakes the springboard upon which to jump even higher when their time comes.  Today I witnessed this power of connection, the importance of history days and the lasting impact that will forever be within the very core of my little Ava.  Thank you SLOCA!


{photo from SLOCA’s Flickr site}



Here’s another throwback photo from that first Pageant of the Masters History Day in 2007, along with the painting this class depicted, The School of Athens by Raphael:


{photo from SLOCA’s Flickr site}


{image source: Wikipedia}



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


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Categorized: Archive, Community, On Campus

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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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