Magical Moments: Grandparents - SLO Classical Academy
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Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have 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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Magical Moments: Grandparents

{photo by Catherine Pardeilhan}
Grandparents are a blessing and can be a huge influence in our children’s lives. Today we want to share a Magical Moment from the Pardeilhan family about how their son’s grandmother is involved in her grandson’s education. Catherine and Gerard Pardeilhan, with their son Julian (LMS), are in their first year as a SLOCA family, but Catherine is in her second year of teaching middle school art at SLOCA. Catherine’s mother, Andy Hawkins, lives in Seattle but has found a meaningful way to stay connected to her grandson Julian. Here’s what Andy wanted to share with our community:

I live in Seattle and my grandchildren live in San Luis Obispo. I can only visit two or maybe three times a year making it even more important for me to stay involved in their education. To achieve this I have done several things over the years. Because I am a retired librarian I have made sure they have plenty of books. Not just any books but the best I can find, the classics from all times, and a sampling of some of the excellent ones that are coming out now. There is plethora of children’s books at this time and some of them have nothing to commend them at all, so I read the ones I choose first to make sure they are something I want to influence my grandchildren. 

The other thing I am doing, because it is Julian’s first year at SLOCA, is to find quotes from famous people from the historical time he is focusing on this year. I try to find an equal number of men and women, and along with each quote I include a few lines from Wikipedia about who they were and when they lived, as well as a photograph, painting or drawing from Google Images so that Julian can visualize them. When I look for the quotes I try to find ones that are short and relatively easy to understand and have some significance connected to these people’s historical importance. I was a History minor in college so my background is coming in handy. It is wonderful to be able to share my love of books and my skills and training to help educate my grandchildren.

Catherine also wanted to share a few words about how meaningful this has been for her son:

One week Julian was working on copywork for a quote my mother had sent from Helen Keller. He had copied a few sentences without having read the context paragraph; who Helen Keller was, her accomplishments, or her disabilities. Julian asked me what this was about, and I read the context to him – that she was both deaf and blind, and yet had earned a BA, and become a lecturer, activist and author. I explained how she had learned to comprehend language, taught by her teacher, Anne Sullivan. I told Julian to close his eyes, and I took his hand and spelled out “w-a-t-e-r” on his palm (this was the subject of the quote). His eyes shot open, and he was absolutely amazed by the story. He finished his copywork, and got all excited, wanting to research more about her story.

Thank you Andy, for sharing what you are doing for your grandchildren, and thank you Catherine, for writing about what it has meant for your family. We hope other grandparents will be encouraged and inspired! Tomorrow we will look at some other ways to help get grandparents involved.

By the way, the winner of our “Gratitude” drawing is Cheryl McCabe! Congratulations Cheryl – look for a gift certificate to the school store in your family file this week!

Let’s talk: Do you have an involved grandparent or other extended family member who is participating in the home education of your kids? Please tell us about it!

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