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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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What’s Up Weekend?

Happy Friday! It’s that time of year again when the costumes, candies and pumpkin patches reign. I (Wei) feel like there are two types of people. Those who have their costume/s ready in August, as well as 2 alternates just in case, and those who are rummaging through the dress up box the night before. You can guess which camp I belong to! Below is a post from a couple of years ago on educational costumes and also a couple of links for some fun happenings in and around our county leading up to the end of the month. Links courtesy of Enjoy SLO. Hope you enjoy!

These creative ensembles can be used for any themed days whether science-related events or book character festivities. Take a look at some options below from Letise Dennis of Learning Liftoff.

Literary References:

Edgar Allen Poe

Although many of his writings may be too dark for kids, there’s no denying the talent of Edgar Allen Poe as an imaginative writer. To dress up as Poe, you’ll just need a raven and a mustache! Hint: Finding a raven with some type of clip or wire will help fasten it to your child’s shirt.”

Literary Heroine

A lot of little girls have princess dresses and costumes they’ve accumulated over the years. You can easily transition this from princess to literary heroine. There are many strong female characters in literature such as Jane Eyre, Mary Lennox, Jo March, Laura Ingalls, and countless more! You can even have your daughter pick out influential royalty from history to be a real-life princess or another inspiring woman from history like Amelia Earhart or Harriet Tubman. Nobody has to know the fancy dress was first meant for Sleeping Beauty!”

Three Blind Mice

“Even if they don’t want to admit it as they get older, kids can still enjoy the fun associated with their favorite nursery rhymes. For Three Blind Mice, all you would need is a group of three friends or siblings, sunglasses, and mouse ears!”

Dr. Seuss Characters

“For Cat in the Hat, you just need some white ribbon, a red plastic cup, headband, and some red and black clothes. Glue the white ribbon around the cup, glue the cup to the headband, and add some fun whiskers. You have your hat, and that is that! The Lorax can be made with some orange poster board cut out to be glasses. Then, just glue on extra large yellow construction paper eyebrows and a mustache.”

Nancy Drew

“A good mystery isn’t just for grownups! Nancy Drew is a super sleuth who has been a favorite since the 1930s, and more recently rose to popularity again with the release of the movie in 2007. There are many ways to accessorize into Nancy Drew, but basically a dress and sweater could suffice with maybe a magnifying glass or a fun wig. If you want to really make this fun, come up with a “mystery” for your child to solve!”


Jet Packs

One of the best parts of DIY costumes is reusing things you already have around the house. To create these jet packs, paint empty soda liters, glue in cut-out flames from tissue paper or construction paper, glue liters together, and make the straps with ribbon. For those science lovers, this is a great opportunity to discuss the scientific elements of jet propulsion. For others, it’s just a great excuse to “fly” around the house!”

404 Error

“Coding is becoming increasingly popular among both students and educators, so a “404 Error” costume is a fun way to incorporate this into Halloween costumes. If you want to keep it super simple, just create a sign that you can fasten to a shirt. For those kids who are more creative, consider reusing a blank t-shirt and apply fabric paint to design their own shirts.”

Static Electricity

“Finally, a way to make use of all those random single socks we end up with! Going with static electricity as your costume is super easy and can be made last-minute. Simply safety pin socks to pants (or use fabric glue if you don’t care about wearing those pants again). If you want take it a step further, use hairspray to have your child’s hair stand straight up, too!”


“With some plain shirts, black fabric paint, and a stencil cut out of paper, your kids can turn into Minecraft players.”


“Math often gets a bad rap for being boring, but your kid can change all that with a “numberjack” costume! Playing off of the “X and Y axis,” you just need some toy axes, paper X and Y, and some suspenders or a flannel shirt. Glue the X and Y on the axes, and your numberjack will get some chuckles as they explain their intersecting “X and Y axes” (axis).”

Other Ideas:

Work of Art

Some poster board or cardboard boxes can be turned into masterpieces by gluing a poster of your favorite work of art. The Mona Lisa is a perfect painting to use, as you can cut out the face and “wear” it to turn your child into a pièce de résistance.”

Sports Hero

“For the kids who love sports, even their costumes can be educational. Many famous athletes have written books inspiring young sports enthusiasts or teaching about elements of the game. If your child would prefer to just dress up as their favorite athlete, encourage them to do some kind of research either about their team, the history of the sport, or an influential historical sports figure.”

Smarty Pants

“For those kids priding themselves on their “smarts,” a smarty pants costume is definitely a funny play on words. Taking a roll of Smarties, use fabric paint to glue the individual candies to an old pair of pants. Voila—you have “smarty pants!”

{Photos by Learning Liftoff | Letise Dennis}

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

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