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 pre-12, which means part-time classroom and part-time home instruction with a 4 day option for middle school and a university model high school. 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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Teaching Stewardship with Literature

“We take care of the future best by taking care of the present now.”

~ Jon Kabat-Ziinn

We’re a day early to share the character trait for June, but it’s a short school month so we’re bringing it to you now! June’s trait is:

Stewardship: The careful and responsible management of things entrusted to one's care, including one's mind, body, time, money, environment, and property, with proper regard to the rights of others.

Catch phrase: Take care of your stuff; take care of their stuff!

Summer provides an excellent opportunity to focus on the careful and responsible management of our things. Think about cleaning out backpacks and bedrooms and homeschool areas, and reusing what is still in good shape. It’s also an ideal time to talk about the stewardship of our minds and bodies over the summer break. Down time and rest are essential, but we can also encourage our kids to keep thinking, stay curious, be active, use their time wisely, read a book, and maybe even practice some math facts…

To highlight Stewardship in June, here is our last character trait book list for the year, folks. We hope you’ve enjoyed this resource each month, and remember that you can always come back to these anytime you want to pick up a few good books that help nurture positive character growth:

How Do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms? by Jane Yolen 

Suggested ages: 3-5

Here’s one from the bestselling dinosaur book series. This playful picture book shows young children how fun and easy it can be to clean their rooms.

The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Suggested ages: 3-8

Speaking of messy rooms, are you a Berenstain Bears fan? Here’s their classic, funny approach to teaching kids to take good care of their things. You might also try The Berenstain Bears' Trouble with Money to help illustrate the importance of being financially responsible.

I Just Forgot (A Little Critter Book) by Mercer Mayer

Suggested ages: 3-8

Here’s another classic and endearing series – the Little Critter books! In this tale, Little Critter is having a very forgetful day. Through all the silliness, hopefully kids catch the message about how important it is to be responsible and take care of your chores.

Brother Eagle, Sister Sky by Susan Jeffers

Suggested ages: 4-8

Beautifully illustrated, this is a Native American tale about respect for the earth and every creature on it.

The Paperboy by Dav Pilkey 

Suggested ages: 4-8

A boy gets up before dawn to deliver newspapers in this peaceful, lovely story about the contentment found in a job well done.

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney 

Suggested ages: 5-8

Many of you are already familiar with this Caldecott winner – it’s a sweet story about a woman who lives by the sea and tries to make the world a more beautiful place, while also passing on this idea to the children around her.

Arthur's Pet Business by Marc Brown

Suggested ages: 5-8

Fans of the Arthur series will enjoy this one about responsibility – Arthur is determined to prove to his parents that he is responsible enough to have a puppy. So he starts a petsitting business and gets more than he bargained for!


The Lorax by Dr. Seuss 

Suggested ages: 6-9

Leave it to Dr. Seuss to deliver a message with “brilliantly whimsical rhymes, delightfully original creatures, and weirdly undulating illustrations.” (Amazon review) Read or re-read this classic cautionary tale about taking care of our planet.

Crunch by Leslie Connor 

Suggested ages: 8-12

A middle-grade novel from an award-winning author that tells the story of a boy who’s in charge of his family’s bike shop when all the gas pumps run dry and everyone wants a bike. It deals with issues such as energy conservation, and handling big responsibilities.

Recycle This Book: 100 Top Children’s Book Authors Tell You How to Go Green Edited by Dan Gutman

Suggested ages: 7-17

Picture-book authors, intermediate authors, and young-adult authors offer essays with ideas for saving energy, reducing waste, and helping the environment. Divided into “Your Home,” “Your School,” and “Your Community,” this book can be used as a discussion starter on what students can do as individuals.

Here's this month’s downloadable mini-poster that you can print – click on the image to the right for the full-size PDF:



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