Free Friday: October 31, 2014




O misery, misery, mumble and moan!
Someone invented the telephone,
And interrupted a nation’s slumbers,
Ringing wrong but similar numbers.

~Ogden Nash


Enjoy this Friday night with your loved ones, and try to break away from the phones for some Free by Five time! 



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


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Categorized: Archive, Home Life

The Great Courses




"The best thing for being sad," replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That's the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it.”


We love this quote from The Sword in the Stone, and while we may not have had the extraordinary and magical education that the Wart had, we can nevertheless keep learning! Around here we often talk about instilling a passion for learning in our kids, and being lifelong learners. Whenever we come across a way to encourage this in ourselves or in our kids, we want to share ideas! 


Diving into the rich history and literature with our children here at SLO Classical Academy is certainly one way to continue our own education as adults. If you’re hungry for more though, here’s another way to pursue learning:


The Great Courses offers video and audio courses on just about every subject, designed for lifelong learners – it’s like taking a college class, but without the homework, tests, or rigid schedule. You can download audio/video files or purchase discs, and then learn on your own TV, computer, tablet, or phone. 


Visit their website and click on the red "special sale" tab at the top to see all the the Great Courses currently on sale. They change often, but for example right now you can find:


  • Great Minds of the Medieval World (this is the course Sarah Shotwell mentioned in her history training last month)
  • Turning Points in Medieval HIstory
  • The Great Tours: Experiencing Medieval Europe
  • Late Middle Ages


UPDATE: The Great Courses are also available as audio downloads through If you have an Audible membership, most of these courses are only 1 credit, which is much less than even the sale prices on The Great Courses website! This is definitely a great deal - simply search for the course you are interested in. 





These are just a few of the selections offered at a discount right now, ones that happen to fall into our current year of the history cycle. But you can search for any topic of interest... there's so much to learn! 


The Great Courses also offers free podcasts on a variety of topics, and has mobile apps - see the links at the bottom of their site.


Perhaps this isn’t for everyone, and we certainly understand that some of us are in a phase of life where we don’t have much extra time… not to worry! Just keep this in mind as a future option for further fueling your passion for lifelong learning.



How do you continue to enrich your own learning? Do you have any tips for other lifelong learners out there? Leave a comment.



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



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What's for Dinner: Viking Bread




Viking Bread

Odie’s Food Musings

Makes 4


I occasionally like to post recipes that relate to our history or literature, and this looks fun if you’re in the mood to try a historical recipe with your kids. (Yes, this counts for E&E!) I’m sure the Viking version of this flatbread was coarser and grittier, maybe even contained a few small rocks… but we can enjoy this instead and still make a Viking connection. This would be nice served alongside a hearty stew. 



150g (about 2/3 cup) of barley flour

50g (just over 3T) of wholemeal flour (I used wholegrain spelt flour)

2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds (you can buy this in health food shops)

2 tablespoons of lard or butter 

100-120 ml (about 1/2 cup) of tepid water 

1/4 teaspoon (pinch) of salt



In a bowl mix all of the ingredients together until combined and knead for a few minutes. This will not be a typical soft dough, it will be quite stiff and crack slightly when kneaded. If it seems too dry add a tablespoon of water at a time and keep kneading. If it is too wet, add more flour. You need to leave the dough to rest in a cool place (kitchen counter top is fine) in the mixing bowl covered with a tea towel for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.


Once the dough has rested, divide it into four and shape each quarter into a flat disk of about half a centimeter thick. If they're any thicker they may not cook all the way through, and no one wants to eat raw bread dough! Heat up a dry pan (cast iron would be best) and cook each of the breads for about 4-5 mins a side on a medium heat. They should have quite a nutty smell and get a little charred.





Enjoy your delicious Viking bread with stews, soups or just a little butter. 



Click here for a printable pdf of this recipe.



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




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Categorized: Archive, Food

A Day in the Life: The McCabe Family


{photos by Cheryl McCabe)


It’s time once more for another Day in the Life! This time Cheryl McCabe from Track B shares one of her days with us. She’ll introduce everyone:



Hello everyone! We are the McCabe family. Together, we are: Will and Cheryl plus our 3 boys…Aidan (Intermediate), Owyn (Primary) and Quinlan (the 3-year old). This is our 4th year living the SLOCA life. We feel absolutely blessed and honored to be part of such an incredible school and community! Below is a sample of one of our home days. This particular week, Will is traveling for work so you get a peek into what it is like when I have to fly solo. 


I typically start preparing as soon as the teachers email the grids. So before the weekend starts, I print and read those grids and also take the time to prepare our WorkBoxes. I know that might be shocking to some of you but my family is way better off if mom is fully prepared (I blame the OCD!). This way, I don’t have to think about it over the weekend and all I need to do come Sunday evening is re-read the grid! Also, I try to get to bed at a decent hour, ideally asleep by 10:30, but you and I both know how that goes ;). 


So here is a typical Monday for us…


4:30 am

my alarm goes off 



husband is off to the airport



I’m finally up, and I begin my quiet time to prepare my heart and mind for the day






open up the house, put away any dishes from the night before and get breakfast going



boys are up, help get them and their rooms ready, Quinlan fusses because he wants to eat right away of course



eat breakfast, family prayer time and plan out our day



I clean up while the boys play



school starts for my middle son (he resists at first, so we adjust attitudes then begin with recitation and math); oldest and the littlest work on pegs 





snack break (yes, it’s only been a little over an hour since breakfast)



back to school room with the middle boy (language arts); the other two play with recorders and Legos 






switch boys. oldest starts his recitation and math while middle son plays with littlest





snack break (yep. they’re eating. again!), in the meantime, I get distracted by a phone call



back to school; boys struggle to focus (I shouldn’t have taken that phone call!). I start to stress knowing we have to leave for swim in a few hours. I do my best not to look at the clock!



middle son gets a time-out for mistreating his little brother; I re-direct the tiny one


12:05 pm

back to school (finish-up spelling and grammar); the tiny one is making a fort in the living room using our couch cushions 






prepare boys’ lunch (I eat mine as I prepare theirs); all 3 boys are now playing in the fort and pillows from their rooms have been added to the pile of cushions (my entire living room is in total chaos). again, I try not to stress and instead open up my gratitude journal that sits right on my kitchen counter and force myself to write what I was thankful for from that morning (I feel the stress level go down a bit)



boys eat lunch while I read Beowulf out loud



meal clean-up, boys play then I ask them to fix the cushions so we have a place to sit for more of our read-aloud time



littlest goes down for a nap; I pause to take a few deep breaths and re-read a couple entries from my gratitude journal (this greatly changes my perspective for what else I have left in my day!)



house is way quieter (WOOT!), we finish up literature assignments and start history read-alouds (I can’t stop yawning and struggle to keep awake but we get through Story of the World and start Story of Europe)



get ready for swim lessons at 3. I realize we need to leave Morro Bay a little early 

because the car needs gas 



wake a very sleepy 3-year old and leave house



swim lessons in Grover Beach



weekly visit to Great Grammy in Arroyo Grande, boys recite their poems to her



back to school (finish up Story of Europe and work on my 3rd grader’s first History narrative)



finally done with school (yay!); thankful tonight is ‘leftover’ night and I warm-up dinner



eat dinner while we FaceTime with dad and share about our day



meal clean-up, I prepare backpacks and workboxes for the next home day while the boys get re-energized from dinner so they wrestle and chase each other with lightsabers.



showers and baths



littlest goes down for the night. older two beg to play a board game but I’m tired at this point and tell them no. they keep asking, I say no again and we play this round a couple more times until I finally succumb to the badgering. 



big boys head downstairs for bed, we read The Hobbit for a bit (still finishing this from summer!), talk about our day, pray together and I close the door



a boy (or two) sneak back upstairs because they’re thirsty. we all walk back down and say our goodnights. again. 



I head back upstairs, prepare lunches for the boys and pack what I need for Tuesday since we stay in SLO all day. 



catch-up on emails, I get distracted on the internet



wrap up on the computer realizing I need to get ready for bed soon if I actually want to get up when my alarm goes off



re-check all the doors and windows to make sure they are really locked



finally in bed with Read Aloud Handbook on my lap (still finishing this one too from this summer!) 



lights out



It was a full and long day. The boys resisted doing work a couple of times. And I may or may not have shouted during those times. :) But overall, it was a good day. It ended up being a great week. Grace is always there and we get in our groove even though Dad is gone, attitudes always get re-adjusted, hearts always reconciled and as difficult and challenging as some days are, I can’t help but feel thankful for this life I get to live. I get to be home with my children. I get to learn with them. I get to see the wonder in their eye and that sparkle when they figure something out all on their own. I get to share life and experiences with them. Yes, there have been sacrifices. Yes, it is hard. Yes, I’ve had my doubts on whether or not I can do this. Yes, there have been multiple times when I’ve wondered, “why am I even doing this?!”  And the answer is always the same. It is because it’s what I’ve been called to do. And so I do it. Some days are hard, some days the smiles don’t come easy, but at the end of the day, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Grateful for grace, for my family and for the SLOCA community. Grateful that I am an educator for life. 




Wow, what a day! We love these inside looks into the real nitty gritty of a SLOCA home day. Thank you so much, Cheryl, for taking us on that journey, and for your encouragement and great ideas along the way!



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Categorized: Archive, Home Schooling

Magical Moments: Middle School Athletics


{all photos from SLOCA’s flickr site}


Today we have another update from our Athletics Director, David Hazlebeck. Last month he wrote about our first High School CIF events, and today he has an update for us on our Middle School Athletics teams:



SLOCA had a great fall season in our first year having a full-scale athletics program. This fall we had two middle school girls volleyball teams and a middle school boys cross country team. The girls volleyball team had a lot of coaching help from Trent Lunceford, Karen Goldstein, Danielle Roberts, Morgen Burkhart, and a little bit from Chad Theule as well.


Coach Danielle and Coach Morgen did an awesome job with our Team A girls. Team A was made up of Kate Maddaloni, Lily Ronda, Mia Ritter, Julianne Theule, Hayden Eades, Sierra Cox, and Abby Moore. Lily led Team A with serving by having 31 aces and only 8 missed serves on 71 attempts. Team A finished their season 4-6.







Zoe Peach-Riley, Coco Smith, Raegan Lunceford, Carly Goldstein, Kendra Twist and Dylan Van Rooyen are on Team B, under the leadership of Coach Trent and Coach Karen. Kendra led the team in hitting with 29 kills. Zoe led the team in passing with 46 digs. Team B ended with a record of 2-8, but the girls improved tremendously each game.







Our cross country team is being led by Coach Nick Stavros. He led our high school boys to a great first season as a part of CIF and now is making great progress with our middle school boys as well! The runners on our team include Sam Babb, William Dorman, Cole Dorman, Ross Edmonds, Sammy Rein, Joseph Phelan, Quinn Ferrarini, Anthony Ginn, Caedin Hilton, Nate Theule and Zeke Theule. Honorary members include Eli Newman, Haaken Theule, and Brady Theule. We have had nine top 10 finished in the first four races. We have had two medals – Cole placed third in the Rock and Roar Meet put on by LOMS at Morro Bay on the sand and Brady placed third in the first and second grade event at Paulding. They still have one meet left on Wednesday right after school at Cuesta (put on by OMS).






We are very proud of all our SLOCA girls and boys that have jumped on board with the sports program at our school. Upcoming teams to be on the lookout for include: middle school boys basketball (and girls if we get a few more people signed up), boys volleyball, and co-ed ultimate frisbee!



Thanks David! We enjoy hearing about our thriving athletics program, and look forward to more opportunities for our kids to grow through sports! 



The mission of athletics at SLO Classical Academy is to complement our educational model by developing the habits, minds, bodies and character of students in a nurturing and challenging context for all that desire to commit to our programs. 



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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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