Free Friday: May 29, 2015


{image credit: Neil Howard / CC BY-NC 2.0}


Life without a phone is riskier, lonelier, more vivid.

~ Eloisa James


Take a break from your phone for Free by Five this weekend! What do you think about this quote? Is life lonelier without a phone, or would we be less lonely if we went without electronics more often and connected with people face-to-face instead? Perhaps both.


Many of us would say our busy SLOCA lives leave little room for loneliness – you may even crave a little “lonely” time on occasion! Whether alone or surrounded by your family, aim for some time without phones and gadgets this weekend, and see if life is more vivid.



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


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Categorized: Archive, Home Life

Summer Dollar Movies


{image source: Instaprint}


It’s coming again – take your kids to the movies this summer for only $1! The 2015 Summer Movie Express starts Tuesday, June 16th, and runs every Tuesday and Wednesday morning through August 12. If you have a week where you don’t have much planned and want a simple, inexpensive outing, this is a great option! 


The only participating theater in our area is the Regal Theater located at 1160 W. Branch Street in Arroyo Grande. Tickets are available for purchase at the box office and all movies start at 10:00 am. Both movies play both days. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute. Here’s the schedule:


  • Week 1
    Nut Job


  • Week 2
    Earth to Echo
    The Boxtrolls


  • Week 3


  • Week 4
    Rio 2
    How To Train Your Dragon 2


  • Week 5
    Mr. Peabody & Sherman
    The Book of Life


  • Week 6
    Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
    Penguins of Madagascar


  • Week 7
    Madagascar 3
    Dolphin Tale 2


  • Week 8
    Muppets Most Wanted
    Alexander and the Very Bad Day


  • Week 9
    The Lego Movie
    The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water



Of course, it might be a good idea to check the theater’s listings each week to confirm titles. Enjoy! 


And don’t forget about tonight’s parent meeting, chock-full of announcements about what’s coming up next year and beyond! (Including a few secret, fun plans...) This meeting is optional, but always worth attending! See you at 7:00 in the Multi Purpose Room.



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


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Categorized: Archive, Community

What's for Dinner: Pancetta and Brussels Sprouts Linguini


{image credit: Brian Woodcock for Country Living}


Pancetta and Brussels Sprouts Linguini

By Marian Cooper Cairns for Country Living

Serves 4


I know not everyone is a brussels sprouts fan, but I do love them when prepared certain ways, and this is one of them! This dish is full of flavor and pretty quick to make. I have several go-to pasta recipes like this, so here’s another version of pasta + protein + veggie = complete meal. You can substitute bacon instead of pancetta (I think I actually prefer that), and honestly I usually use 3/4 to 1 lb. of pasta to make the meal stretch a little further for my family. 



1/2 lb. linguini

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

6 oz. pancetta (or 6 slices thick-cut bacon), cut into bite-sized pieces

1 medium sweet onion

1 lb. brussels sprouts

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup dry white wine

3 oz. parmesan



Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions; reserve 1 cup pasta water. Drain.


While pasta is cooking: Sauté pancetta and onion in a large deep skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until pancetta is browned and onions are caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts and garlic and sauté, stirring, until leaves are bright green, 2 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping brown bits from bottom of skillet. Add pasta, grated Parmesan, and 1/2 to 3/4 cup reserved pasta water, and stir until Parmesan is melted and pasta is creamy and well coated. Season with salt and pepper.


Serve immediately sprinkled with pepper and shaved Parmesan.



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

For Kids Who Like to Tinker


{image credit: Tinkerlab}


It’s an E&E (Education and Enrichment) day, which means no classes on campus, which means we just might hear the words “What can I do?” from little mouths on a day like this. (This is also commonly heard during summer, which is just around the corner!) Whether or not you’re having a day like that today, here’s a fabulous resource you can explore and use anytime you’re looking for an engaging activity for the kids:


{image credit: Tinkerlab}


Tinkerlab YouTube channel! Perhaps you’ve visited the Tinkerlab website, full of resources and ideas for kids who like to make, explore, and invent. Now they have a YouTube channel with lots of video tutorials featuring “hands-on activities for kids that encourage creative and critical thinking skills.”  The projects shared here “lie at the intersection of science, art, and technology, and are fun, simple, and use basic materials.” 


Sounds great, right? It is! Check it out, and find something fun to do today to encourage play and learning in your home.



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


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Magical Moments: The Wonder of Recitation


{image credit:}


I hope that my readers will train their children in the art of recitation; in the coming days, more even than in our own will it behoove every educated man and woman to be able to speak effectively in public; and, in learning to recite you learn to speak.

~ Charlotte Mason (1842-1923)


This week's Magical Moment is a little different, in that instead of sharing photos, we have a few thoughts to share about one of the most wonderful elements of our curriculum here at SLO Classical Academy.


Two weeks ago we enjoyed our annual Primary Recitation Nights on Wednesday, May 13 (Track A) and Thursday, May 14 (Track B). GREAT JOB, KIDS!!! And last week our Intermediate students recited poetry at Mission View Health Center on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, bringing joy to the residents there. 


Each year we look forward to these events with great anticipation and excitement. It is a sweet time to hear our young children recite in front of an audience and gain early practice in public speaking. We know it's hard work, and can even be downright scary! But as Charlotte Mason wisely observed in the above quote, this early training in the art of recitation is a valuable learning tool.


We have also heard of the value of memorization and recitation from Andrew Pudewa, founder and director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). In his article, Nurturing Competent Communicators, he states:


“There is perhaps no greater tool than memorization to seal language patterns into a human brain, and there is perhaps nothing more effective than poetry to provide exactly what we want: reliably correct and sophisticated language patterns… A child with a rich repertoire of memorized poetry will inevitably demonstrate superior linguistic skills, both written and spoken, because of those patterns which are so deeply ingrained in the brain.” 


Our students at every level are memorizing poetry all year long, and we applaud their efforts! Even those who aren’t in Primary or Intermediate are reciting in class. The hard work of diligent memorization, and the nervous excitement that comes with recitation are worth it! This method of building language skills is a precious gift that will benefit our children in untold ways. 


An example of the rewards of this discipline can be seen in our middle and high school students' writing skills. Did you attend the Hanging Lantern Review's Spring Reading and Release party last Tuesday night? Several SLOCA middle and high school students entered their own poems and stories in this county-wide writing contest, and the published winners had the chance to read their entries aloud to an audience. It is evident in our older students that the foundation of instilling "reliably correct and sophisticated language patterns" into the brain through poetry memorization can lead to a skill and passion for writing.


We are so very proud of all of our SLOCA kids at every level who are memorizing, reciting, writing, speaking, learning, growing... you are all incredible young people! 



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



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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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