an introduction - 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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an introduction

Dear Readers, I’m honored to be able to introduce myself as the new Curator for the Down Home blog. My name is Wei Waterman and our family has been at SLOCA since 2016 when our oldest started in Kindergarten. This year we will have a 5th grader and a 2nd grader and like everyone else I wonder where the time has gone.

Here at Down Home we are gearing up for one of our favorite features, Friday Faces. Each Friday we will showcase different teams from the wonderful community that we call SLOCA. Since I haven’t properly introduced myself yet here, I thought I would do a mini introduction, à la Friday Faces style. See below for the full length feature.


First Day of School in Australia! Apart from the ironing required, I am a fan of uniforms. Photo by Author.

What was your favorite hobby you took up during COVID? 

Well, not so much a hobby, but we adopted a mini Labradoodle named Millie, over Christmas last year. Walking and training the puppy has now become my hobby! Fortunately she slept through the night faster than my human children. Millie is named for Matilda, after Australia’s pseudo national anthem “Waltzing Matilda”, and Roald Dahl’s novel ‘Matilda’. She’s tiny and magic.

 

Who would you invite to dinner from the history period that we are studying this year ~ The Ancients?

Cleopatra. Not because of all the movies, but because I admire any early female’s ability to lead in the male dominated world of history. Also the Egyptians had some of the most spectacular architecture and engineering of its time!

 

What superpower do you wish you had and why?

The ability to see into the future! I’m a planner, yet also a procrastinator.


Come back on Fridays for our feature on all of our staff. For a little more about me, your Down Home curator, please read on.

 

This is our 5th year at SLOCA, and what drew our family to SLOCA was the hybrid program, its classical roots and its rigorous curriculum. I (Wei) also realized that I needed to explore different schooling options after our oldest told me that he didn’t like his traditional preschool and wanted to try a different one! We feel fortunate to have found this community.

 

As for me personally, I am an Australian native and discovered the SLO life while on exchange at Cal Poly many moons ago. My husband convinced me later to move continents, and 2 kids and a mini labradoodle later, here we are! If you read closely and wonder if I am writing ‘tomato’ or ‘tomato’ (Steve Irwin style) you can go where your imagination takes you and chuckle away. Bonus points if you find the ‘Australian’ style grammar and make a note in the comments section!

Photo by Author

Some of you may know that our family recently took a trip across the USA to see all of the early American History sites that we had been studying last year. Ever since we found SLOCA and heard about families taking their school ‘on the road’ I have been wanting to try it. So over Spring Trimester 2021 my husband and I ticked off another thing on our ‘bucket list’ and took our remote work, school and 6 month old puppy on the road. This may be the topic of a longer series – How to School on the Road and Stay Sane – but it was one of the highlights of our educational time together. We made sure to have internet during the week to access grids and math videos, but I found it much easier and simpler to have all of our ‘school’ in 2 packing boxes and have plenty of time for outside activities like hiking, skipping rocks and amassing all of those Junior Ranger badges.

 

The Grand Ole Opry. Photo by Author

We did see all of the places in Virginia and Washington DC, but one of the highlights of our trip was a last minute visit to the Grand Ole Opry, a theater that was the site of a long standing country radio show. It was raining in Nashville, and being Californians we were driving around the city trying to find something to do when it’s wet. I am a self confessed city girl and know nothing about country music so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It ended up being one of the best tours of our whole trip. Two country singers, (I googled Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood later), were part of a 30 minute holographic presentation and described the radio show, how many times the stage had moved (6!) and how the show has continued year after year since 1925. There was a ‘wooden circle’ of the old floor that had been brought from the original stage and installed in each different theater.

 

There were snippets of singers saying how they had watched their idols sing as children, some sitting in the gallery dreaming of their day. The feeling of having made it when they finally stepped on the ‘circle’ and sang in front of the audience. One of them that brought me to tears was a young man who was originally a custodian at the Orpy and who refused to step on to the ‘circle’ until he had been invited to sing as a musician. We were all bawling with him when we saw footage of him singing his heart out onstage. Like all good tourists we had our photo op on the ‘circle’ when we toured the stage, and we brought the overpriced photo back home with us. What made this tour stand out amongst many others was the carefully crafted narrative of why the Opry existed, and what it stood for in the hearts of the musicians and fans.

 

As we start another year together, I like to take the Labor Day weekend to reflect and review what our family’s ‘circle’ is for being at SLOCA and for choosing this way of life. Decades from now, when the family is talking about the time we spent at SLOCA, I hope that we will all be grateful for the time that we took reading on the trampoline, chasing lizards during math, listening to latin in the car, and most importantly, to journey together. Hope you enjoy your long weekend!

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