Creating Magical Moments - 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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Creating Magical Moments

Nature Journaling field trip

{source: SLOCA'S Flickr site}

Today’s magical moment is something to help us create those special memories, rather than a parent testimonial about one. I (Jenny) receive weekly emails from the Thomas Jefferson Education blog, and earlier this month this excerpt caught my eye:

What if your weekly planning had just a teeny-weeny bit less to do with the what you were going to cover, and more to do with how you wanted them to feel, and what memories you hoped to create? Do you think learning would suffer? Would retention perhaps increase? Would interest and relevance lead to a greater love of learning, a deeper passion for self-education? What’s the downside?

My interest was piqued, so I read the entire article and by the end I was highly encouraged and inspired! Oliver DeMille, author of A Thomas Jefferson Education and The Weekly Mentor blog, talks about planning experiences for your children as an essential part of home education, often overlooked when we focus on everything that “needs” to get done. He says:

What experiences does Tommy (insert the name of your student) need, even though he’s only 9 years old? Has he ever gone to the library and just perused books for a long time and thought about what he’d love to read? Has he ever used the phone book? This sounds silly, but has he? Has he ever taken a bubble test and learned how it works? There are fun tests he could take that would teach him this skill. Has he ever been to a huge concert or professional sporting event? If so, have you talked to him about watching the crowd and learning about people from the experience?

The sky is the limit in what experiences he might need. As his parent and/or mentor, it’s time to ask this question—and then take action.

(You can find the full article here.)

This simple yet profound suggestion is exactly what I needed right now. This inspires me as a mentor, and reminds me to consider each child when planning my homeschool days and our week’s activities. It’s so easy to get bogged down in “the grid” and feel like life is one big to-do list. Although I am immensely grateful to have those grids, and teachers who painstakingly plan engaging assignments and keep us on track for the year, I am also so thankful to be part of a school that encourages real life educational experiences and creates space to foster that love of learning. 

I encourage you to think about each of your children and plan some “off the grid” experiences that will create special memories (magical moments), and a deeper passion for self-learning. 

When you do, please tell us about them – we love to hear your stories! Or post a comment below and let’s share ideas on how to create some of these experiences for our kids.

Don't forget tonight's Family Business Meeting and Potluck Dinner – 6 pm at Grace Church. See you there!

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