Not Just for Dads - SLO Classical Academy
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San Luis Obispo Classical Academy San Luis Obispo Classical Academy

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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Not Just for Dads

{image credit: Lambie and Me}

Tomorrow and Thursday we are once again hosting our “Not Just for Dads Days” here on campus. In honor of all the dads, moms and other non-homeschooling but supportive friends and family members out there who are helping make SLOCA work for our families, today we are sharing a (slightly updated) post that we ran a few years ago. Although this was written by a dad for other dads, we feel this message still rings true and is encouraging for all of our families, no matter who does the bulk of the homeschooling. We hope you will share this with dads and others who want to be involved in your family’s educational journey.

Cade Newman and his wife Joy have four children: Eli (LMS), Abraham (Intermediate), Esther (Primary), and Ezra (Preschool). This is their 7th year at SLO Classical Academy. Cade also serves on our Board of Directors.

Each week our wives diligently read the grid, prepare and teach each lesson to our (numerous?) kids, and at the end of their long day, we come home, a knight in shining armor, and get to be the “fun” parent.  Dad.  The one who hasn’t had to set and enforce boundaries all day.  The one who gets to play catch in the front yard, help out with the model airplane, or paint fingernails and toenails her favorite shade of pink.  Not red, but pink. We get to help with the home projects, building axes and shields, take them to baseball or ballet, read great stories before bedtime – any number of “fun” dad activities. 

Many of us probably feel as if we don’t contribute much to the schooling of our children.  We want to do more, but aren’t sure how to get involved, or simply don’t have the time to teach formally.  But spending time with our kids, the informal, daily “lessons,” is teaching.  While we’re playing catch or playing house, we also get a chance to model manhood, including a curiosity about learning. We can also model the integrity being taught by their teachers, our wives, and the great historical and fictional characters they find in literature.

In addition to projects and play, there are more practical ways we can be involved.  Below is a list. I’m not suggesting you do all of these; I certainly don’t.  Pick two and go from there. 

  • Take on home projects, such as science fair projects, or math night games
  • Journal with your children
  • Do an art project once a week
  • Read the updates and stay informed
  • Demonstrate how the math concept learned during the day is used in your job
  • Read the history and literature to know what they’re learning and be able to engage
  • Volunteer at school when possible
  • Build something together (be sure to measure, work with fractions, use right angles, etc.)
  • Drop off or pick up
  • Dress up for History Day
  • Coach or co-coach a SLOCA sports team
  • Read progress reports and look at work samples from time to time, and comment to your child
  • Read the literature books and lead dinner table conversation about the choices characters make
  • Tell mom she is a fabulous teacher!
  • Familiarize yourself with the grid and the basics of how school usually works in your house so you can step in if necessary

Each of us needs to find our place in this endeavor. It will look different in every household, but regardless of your approach, it will allow you to come closer as a family as you learn together. 

The Newman family

Thank you for sharing these suggestions Cade – they are every bit as useful today as when you originally shared them with our readers three years ago. How about our other families? What are some ways the non-homeschool parent gets involved in your home? We can all benefit from sharing what works, so please leave a comment! 

SLO Classical Academy is not affiliated with the above mentioned website.

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