I Was Thinking About History Day… - 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.

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I Was Thinking About History Day…

{Another shot from our Egyptian history day in 2009}

This week, Down Home is all about anticipating history day! Today we have a special guest blogger – Kate Scott is back to inspire and inform us about our upcoming history day, or “Night at the Museum,” in this case. Kate and her husband Mike have 3 boys on track B: Caleb (UMS), Ethan (LMS) and Nicholas (Int). This is their 8th year at SLO Classical Academy, so Kate has participated in many of our history events, and has some valuable thoughts to share with us:

I Was Thinking About History Day…

By Kate Scott

If you are new to SLOCA, you may be wondering what on earth all of the rumblings about this thing called “History Day” are all about.  Well, my friend, it is a very special day… let me tell you a little about it.

First of all, History Day is a time of Celebration.

The whole school comes together to celebrate what you and your family have learned about this year.  We have all poured into these wonderful pieces of literature, getting to know Ranofer and Mara and Gilgamesh.   We have seen the importance of the Nile and learned about the early beginnings of civilizations.  History Day is a time where we put the pieces together and celebrate what we have learned.

Each History Day is a little different, reflecting the interests and gifts of students and families at that time.  This year, a group of volunteer SLOCA moms have worked with the staff and teachers to organize “A Night at the Museum”, which will be our History Day Celebration in just a few weeks.  There will be many different activities, including an archaeological dig in our sandbox, a trip to the underworld in our Upper Middle School classrooms, and performances by our high school students… it will be a great evening!   

History Day is also a time of Community.  

This great big celebration takes many many hours of planning and hands to work and trucks to haul stuff and creative minds to think through the details.   If you are new to the school, you may think this is a bit nutty, but after you see the smiles on the faces of your kids and see the wonder… we think you’ll agree that it’s worth every trip to Michael’s, every venture into the garage to find that random item on the giant sign-up sheet.   The great part about it taking many hands is that we have an excuse to spend time together for a common purpose… to inspire our kids.  What I’ve learned about SLOCA people, is that when I spend time with these people, I get inspired or I’ve had the chance to inspire another.  I come away with a new idea about getting dinner on the table on soccer days, or I get to share a fresh way of teaching that tricky math concept, or maybe someone simply smiled… and it was encouraging… because it’s been a rough day.   

Wherever you are at in this SLOCA adventure, you are valuable.  If you are a veteran, you have wisdom that you can share with those who are new.  If you are new, you can encourage someone who is feeling tired or having a less-than-inspired-sort-of day.   We value everyone’s contribution to History Day, whether large or small, expensive or frugal, behind-the-scenes or up-front.   

As we get closer to History Day, you will see emails from your classroom liaison to help organize the activities.  Generally, each level (Primary, Intermediate, etc) has an activity that they are organizing.   There will also be google docs to sign-up for specific jobs, items, etc.  Please don’t be afraid!   Just get a lovely cup of coffee & spend some quality time with the giant list & know that it will be great when it all comes together.   The reason for the giant list is that we all have ways in which we are gifted/things we love to do… The great thing about the giant list is that you can usually find some way to help that is good for your family.  For some families, bringing an easy-up from the garage is a great way to help.  Other families may want to help organize whole activities.  

History Day is a time of Costumes.

We welcome costumes because there is something special about seeing everyone dressed up.  Please do what works for your family!!   If you don’t want to dress up, it’s really fine.   Costumes can be super simple (a shenti, AKA white sheet tied around your waist) or something more elaborate (handsome Gilgamesh, a very hairy Enkidu, or elegant Queen Hatshepsut).   Parents, babies, everyone is welcome to dress up if they want to.  You can be any person, animal, etc. from the era we have studied thus far.  Have fun!     

During our first year of SLOCA, we were studying the Middle Ages.  We had leftover knight costumes from Halloween & wrapped some cardboard in Aluminum Foil for swords… so great!   As my boys have gotten older, they love to add detail to their costumes and learn more about the characters that they will be.  It adds a personal connection to the people in the time period we are studying.   

Please please read this part!!!  

When we all get together, we bring a whole bunch of vehicles.  So, please try to carpool on the night of the event.  We have tried VERY hard to provide enough space, but alas, we have a teeny tiny lot.  Please don’t double/triple park!!  We need space for emergency vehicles to be able to enter/exit the parking lot.  Imagine if your loved one needed help and we couldn’t get the ambulance into the lot.  

We will have space marked off for the other tenants to be able to pick up their preschoolers from school from 5-5:45.  We want to be considerate neighbors!

We will have overflow parking at a nearby church.  We will provide more info later, but we’re very thankful that the church lets us use the lot, especially since our adjoining streets don’t allow parking.  Also, you could consider parking in the Cal Poly lot just up the street.  There are kiosks in the lot for you to pay.  

We will have lovely people who volunteer to help you find a parking space.  Please be nice to them.  Understand that we are simply trying to help as many as we can and follow the rules and be safe.  If they tell you that the lot is full, it’s not because they are saving a space for a friend… it’s really full.  Consider bringing coffee to the parking people. smile


Also, please remember that we are all really not perfect.  There will be details that are forgotten, lights that break, kids that forget their lines, a shoe that is left at home, parking may be terrible.  It’s okay.  Let’s enjoy being together and celebrating Ancient Civilizations and inspiring our kids. 

I’m looking forward to being with all of you and getting a little closer to Ancient Egypt on a chilly evening in November.  

Thank you so much, Kate, for sharing from your heart these helpful pointers about history day, encouraging us, and getting us excited about this very special evening!

Here’s one of the fun things about being in our third round of the history cycle – you can check out photos from our last Egyptian Night at the Museum four years ago here, here and here, to get you in the mood!

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