What's for Breakfast: Vanilla Crunch Granola


{photo by Jenny Bischoff}


Vanilla Crunch Granola

about 8 servings


A quick, simple, nutritious breakfast is every bit as important as lunch or dinner. I happen to be one of those people who makes her own granola, and I love having a jar of it around for an easy morning meal or a hurried handful of something sweet. Here’s my latest favorite – I stole this recipe from a friend who received a jar of this from one of her friends for Christmas. This other friend had attached the recipe to the jar (so sensible of her!), and after tasting one bite, I promptly snapped a photo of the recipe. I’ve altered it somewhat and probably make it a little differently each time depending on which nuts I have on hand, but I do make this regularly and often! The magic ingredient is the very large amount of vanilla – no, it’s not a typo. Yum! I hope you’ll try a batch of this and enjoy it for breakfast, or a snack, or even for dinner on a crazy night when there’s no time and you’d reach for boxed cereal anyway…



2 cup rolled oats

1 cup walnut or pecan pieces

1 cup sliced almonds

½ cup raw sunflower seeds 

½ cup raw pumpkin seeds

½ tsp sea salt

cup coconut oil

cup maple syrup 

2 T vanilla 



Mix oats, nuts, seeds and salt in a large bowl. Melt coconut oil, then add maple syrup and vanilla to it. Pour all the wet ingredients over the dry and mix thoroughly. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 min until golden brown, stirring every 10-15 min. 



Click here for a printable pdf of this recipe.




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Categorized: Archive, Food

Whatever Your Weakness Is...


{photos by Robin Lee}


Today we are excited to share some encouragement from SLOCA mom Robin Lee. Robin and her husband Carl are in their 4th year at SLOCA and have two daughters here: Reagan (freshman at sloCAHS) and Ryan (Primary, Track A). 



My name is Robin, and I am a messy.


When I say that, let me assure you that I am not one of those annoying people who apologize for the mess when there's no mess to be found.


I am one of those people who, at times, profoundly struggles to keep up. 




I am much better than I used to be, but victories in the area of organization are still things I celebrate, not things that are routine. 


I hear people encouraging others to let the laundry go, to enjoy the kids while they are this age, and for some those words have tremendous wisdom. But for others, like me, that advice misses a reality than should not be overlooked.


Sometimes the most valuable thing I can do for my family is to create some peace and order.


I am all about flexibility, but it is difficult to homeschool if there is not a single flat surface available. Am I all alone in this struggle?


The truth is there are always two sides to every coin. Yes, I struggle with order. But, yes, it is also true that I encourage my kids to be creative.






There are times when the successes and failures of my life are so tightly layered one upon the other that I can't tell them apart. 


My girls made brownies together. Awesome.




My girls don't quite clean up after themselves when they make brownies. Not so awesome.


I love to let my kids experiment. Great.




I don't always clean up right away. Not so great.


Years into this educational process called SLOCA I am getting settled into the rhythm, learning the balance of what to let go of--perfection, condemnation and discouragement--and realizing that sometimes that means acknowledging who I am, not who I wish I were. There are times when taking a deep breath (and using a school day to get things organized) can be just what I need to facilitate the many magic moments this way of educating has to offer; when the willingness to face my own weaknesses, with courage and not criticism, makes way for my children's strengths to flourish.


I don't know what your weaknesses are specifically, but I do know two things:

  1. You have weaknesses.
  2. Whatever they are, you are not alone in them. Someone else struggles with that very same thing, too.


Let's be a community of growth and solutions! Let's cheer each other on in our weaknesses so that our strengths can be enjoyed together… humbly, honestly, transparently. Our children learn so much from watching us. Mine are learning that Pinterest makes for great moments fueled by new ideas, but that the mundane takes up much more time than we often want it to, and even more time if it is fueled by neglect.


In case you were wondering, the laundry will start to smell if you leave it in the washer for too long. Ask me how I know...



Wonderful words to pass on – thank you, Robin! We can all relate, and now we have a great conversation starter when we see you in the hallways… :) If you'd like to be brave and share your weakness, some encouragement, or an idea that has helped you find balance, please comment below!



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Magical Moments: Sensational Science


Experimenting with surface tension - how many drops of water can you fit on top of a penny? (Her class record was 52!)

{photo by Lisa Wallace}


This Thursday night we celebrate all the hard work that students (and parents!) have put into their science projects, and in honor of the great and wonderful world of science, today we have several fun photos (and even a few videos!) to share with you from various science classes on campus. Our science teachers are passionate and amazing, and they bring this subject to life for our students in so many fun and engaging ways. Here's just a small sample of what's been happening in our science classrooms this year (thank you teachers, for sending in these photos!):


Here are Mrs. Stowell’s Track A Primary kids learning about bubbles:


{photo by Ronelle Stowell}


{photo by Ronelle Stowell}


{photo by Ronelle Stowell}


{photo by Ronelle Stowell}


{photo by Ronelle Stowell}


{photo by Ronelle Stowell}



And Mrs. Wallace’s Track A Intermediate class played around with bubbles too:


{photo by Lisa Wallace}


{photo by Lisa Wallace}


{photo by Lisa Wallace}


{photo by Lisa Wallace}


{photo by Lisa Wallace}



Mrs. Breese’s Track B Primary kids experimented with non-Newtonian matter… Oobleck!


{photo by Heidi Breese}


{photo by Heidi Breese}


{photo by Heidi Breese}


{photo by Heidi Breese}


{photo by Heidi Breese}



A few moments from Mrs. Wallace’s Track B Intermediate class - a simulation of clouds and rain:


{photo by Lisa Wallace}


{photo by Lisa Wallace}


...students documenting data in their science journals:


{photo by Lisa Wallace}


...and students creating individual atoms, using the periodic table of elements:




The Lower Middle School students on Track A had fun with dry ice:


{photo by Pamela Gerhardt}


{photo by Pamela Gerhardt}


{photo by Pamela Gerhardt}


{photo by Pamela Gerhardt}


{photo by Pamela Gerhardt}



And we even have a few videos, sent in by Mrs. Wallace!


This is Newton's first law - an object at rest wants to stay at rest, and an object in motion wants to stay in motion:




Barfing pumpkin:




The rag that doesn't burn:




So cool! We are very thankful for our team of science teachers who inspire our kids every week.



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Free Friday: February 27, 2015


{image credit: “a gate in the woods” by Brian J. Matis /  CC BY-NC-SA 2.0}


In wildness I sense the miracle of life, and beside it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.

~ Charles A. Lindbergh


The weekend lies ahead, and we hope you can get out and enjoy some of the outdoors – the wildness. Perhaps for your family that means hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, a visit to the tide pools, or just exploring and playing in the yard. Whatever it is, maybe you’ll want to aim for some “wildness” Free by Five time and enjoy some form of nature together this weekend! 


Here’s another outdoor opportunity for kids and families:


Kids Wild Water – Saturday, February 28th, from 1-2:30 pm at the SLO Botanical Garden. Learn, play, explore and craft at the Garden with the Watershed Stewards program. (Need a little more E&E this trimester? This is a great option!)



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



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Categorized: Archive, Community

Learn to Shoot Like Robin Hood


{image credit: Perfect Shot by DeargRuadher}


…well perhaps not quite like Robin Hood, but it’s a worthy goal! 


Did you know that we have a local indoor archery range, where kids through adults can learn the sport and practice their archery skills? Central Coast Archery opened recently, and is located at 12334 Los Osos Valley Road in San Luis Obispo. A few of our SLOCA families have tried it already! 


Individuals, families, groups, birthday parties… they host it all. Sounds like a fabulous idea for our SLOCA students, who are so enthralled with Robin Hood! They welcome school groups, if anyone would like to organize a field trip for their class…? (What a fun way to get E&E hours!) They also offer kids classes, private lessons, or take the family – this would make a super Family Night activity.


You can visit their website to learn more, or call them at 805-439-1570 to see about scheduling a group or family visit. Huzzah!


Have you been to Central Coast Archery? Or, have you discovered other local places that help bring a bit of our history or literature to life? Please tell us about your experience in the comments!



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


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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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