Throwback Summer: Captivate Your Kids - 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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Throwback Summer: Captivate Your Kids

{photo by Carol Dichman}

NOTE: This Thursday evening, July 30th at 5 pm, we are hosting a parent book club to discuss Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. All SLOCA parents are invited to attend this workshop-style book discussion led by Jenna Burns and Jenny Bischoff. Come explore ways to inspire imagination in your children! This leads nicely into today's topic…

Today’s throwback is a 2-for-1 special! Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you think about your home days for the upcoming school year. We hope you'll enjoy these tips for nurturing a positive home learning environment! We found this first gem back in March, 2011:

A little something to spice up your school day

By Lisa Wallace, Intermediate Teacher 

When homeschooling my boys, I would occasionally try to add some fun into the school day. This only takes a few minutes of your time, but works wonders on lifting a sluggish spirit from the drudgery of routine. The night before, try hiding your child's literature book, math book, history book, etc. Then leave a short note in the spot where the book is normally kept, describing where to find the absent book. “Your book might be taking a nap where Fido finds his food.” or “If I were Genghis Kahn, I would be hungry by now. Maybe he's looking for some oats” You can be creative and try some poetry or some multi-level clues. Bottom line, anything out of the ordinary adds excitement to our day.

Thanks, Lisa – this is such a great idea to tuck away and use on a day when you just need to infuse a little adventure into your home day. And here’s another inspiring post along the same lines:

Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer 2013: Prepare – Captivate your Kids

As we have said before, in many ways the heart of what happens at SLO Classical happens at home. So our Prepare tip for today is to spend a little time thinking about how to Captivate your Kids, which will help you create a warm, inviting, engaging atmosphere for home learning. There is so much to be said on this subject, and Down Home will post articles and tips throughout the year about it. For now, here are three ideas to get you started:

1. Pay attention to what your child likes. Do you have a super active child? An avid reader? A kid who loves to draw, act, or put things to music? Do they like to follow specific directions or prefer to be a little creative? Do they have a vivid imagination? Do they listen better if they have something to keep their hands busy? Do they like to build or take things apart?

This is similar to knowing their learning styles, but maybe not as formal. Knowing a few key interests for each child can help you work with them at home in a way that is well suited for each one. For example, if one child comes alive when they can make a puppet show out of a narration, go for it! And if you have one who struggles in a particular area, you can use what they love to help them practice the skills they need to work on. 

{image credit: Plum Pudding}

If you’d like to know more about learning styles – here’s a basic overview and here’s another site with additional learning styles. Or you can pick up one of many books on the subject, such as The Way They Learn.

It also helps to understand how your own learning style differs from your child’s. We can’t expect them to learn things in the same way we do! 

2. Be aware of your child’s daily rhythms. Is he/she a morning person or do they need to ease into subjects that require more brain power? For instance, maybe math first thing in the morning isn’t ideal for every child. I (Jenny) have one child who needs to start the day with easier subjects, and does best with math right after lunch. Or perhaps morning is their most alert time, and afternoons are more suited for snuggling and reading together. 

Think about practical needs throughout the day: does your child need a protein-packed snack right before tackling a challenging assignment? Do they need activity or outside time to refresh the brain? Would your student work best in a quiet room or do they need background noise? 

{photo by Jenny Bischoff}

Thinking through some of these options ahead of time may help you get a better start on your home days. 

3. Have fun with your kids! Go on dates with each of them, get silly with them, laugh at your mistakes together, and enjoy the unique person each child is. Fostering a close relationship with your children will enhance your home education experience as you learn and grow together (and vice versa!).

{image credit: Practica Program}

Do you have any other tips about knowing and captivating your kids? Please share a comment and encourage other parents as we begin the school year! 

SLO Classical Academy is not affiliated with any of the above mentioned websites or businesses.

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