Southern Oregon Classical Conversations

A classical Christian community of parents dedicated to educating our children at home. We support and encourage parents so that they can feel empowered to homeschool through High School. We desire “To know God and to make Him known.”

A homeschool community that meets in Ashland,  Central Medford, Central Point, and Grants Pass weekly during the school year.  During the year, we also offer informational meetings and some free parent equipping events.

official organization website

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Simple Steps to Start the Money Conversation with Kids

A list from WalletHub released earlier this year ranked Oregon the 30th most financially literate state. It’s not something to brag about and our state’s financial literacy standards are far from perfect. A new survey from COUNTRY Financial found that when it comes to financial matters, 60 percent of Oregonians rely on what they learned from mom and dad. Though the survey found that parents preferred to discuss the birds and the bees or go to the dentist, than talk about finances with their kids, it’s no surprise to see the importance of parents’ role in shaping our kids’ money management skills. Not sure how to broach the topic with your kids?

Here are some simple steps to start the money conversation:

 Start young. As soon as kids can count, they can start to learn about money. Early on, use coin banks so they learn how to save, think about money and learn how to share with others. When they are a little older, open a savings account with them. Take them to the bank in person to set up an account and help them set a savings goal.


Use chores or allowances as a teaching tool. When kids are old enough to do chores for an allowance, you can teach them lessons about saving and responsibility. By creating a set dollar amount for chores, kids lean about the relationship between work and money. An allowance can also be a teaching tool, opening up the door to discussions about spending, saving and even investments and donations.

Introduce a budget. Creating a budget is one of the most important financial habits people can learn to develop. And it’s a great thing to teach kids because it puts financial decisions in their hands. With more experience thinking about and practicing budgeting, it can make it easier for kids to learn responsible money practices. Try the “50-40-10 system” for each allowance or birthday dollar received (save 50%, spend 40% and donate 10%). This concept helps kids understand the importance of categorizing money.


These are just a few simple steps to get you started. There are many ways to integrate financial education and skills into daily life. Just remember to make it fun, give them some incentive, and most importantly start early and your kids will be on the right track for an educated, financial future.

Trey Berkey is a financial representative with Country Financial in Medford. He can be reached at [email protected].

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The 4-H Experience

4-H is delivered by Cooperative Extension—a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing.

Kids complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and citizenship, in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles.

Kids experience 4-H in every county and parish in the country—through in school and after-school programs, school and community clubs and 4-H camps.


These 4-H experiences grow young people who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities, two times more likely to make healthy decisions and two times more likely to pursue STEM opportunities outside of school. 4-H empowers young people to be true leaders. True leaders are young people who have confidence; know how to work well with others; can endure through challenges; and will stick to a job until it gets done. 4-H’ers have risen to high points of achievement and leadership in virtually every industry and sector. Including such “true leaders” as Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Jennifer Nettles; Facebook executive and “News Feed” inventor Andrew Bosworth; former U.S. vice president Al Gore; tech guru and founder of Aspera Software Michelle Munson; business leader and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Javier Palomarez; Retired NBA player and
business entrepreneur Earvin “Magic” Johnson; and former NASA Chief Astronaut Peggy Whitson, to name a few.

In 4-H, we believe true leaders aren’t born— they are grown. The 4-H experience is proven to grow true leaders with life skills such as confidence, independence, resilience and compassion. While the educational experience of 4-H is designed for youth, adult involvement is key to a young person’s skill
development. Sharing activities with siblings, parents, grandparents and friends builds strong family relationships. With so many projects to choose from, there is sure to be one that will spark interest in your family.

To learn how you can grow the next generation of leaders, please contact a local 4-H Educator today!
Jackson Co. 541-776-7371
Josephine Co. 541-476-6613
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Medford to open first Hebrew School

Bringing Jewish Life to Medford, Oregon!

Chabad Jewish Center of Southern Oregon will open the first ever Hebrew school in Medford, Oregon beginning this October of 2018 for children ages 3-12. The Hebrew School will be servicing the areas of Medford, Jacksonville, Grants Pass, and suburbs.

“Our Regional Jewish Center is located in Ashland but we saw a great need to branch out to the Medford area to service all those families that need to drive a distance just to participate in any Jewish activities,” Rabbi Avi Zwiebel of the Chabad Jewish Center. “We are really excited to offer this opportunity and have already received a very positive response.”

“The goal of our school is to create a welcoming and dynamic environment where children can explore their Jewish heritage through interactive, hands-on, and innovative lessons,” said Faigy Zwiebel, co-director of the Chabad Jewish Center. “Our curriculum integrates Jewish Heritage, Hebrew reading and Holidays with STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, art and math) keeping the children on the edge of their seats.”

“The underlying approach is that the children thoroughly enjoy their time spent at Hebrew school so that they are left with positive experiences and a greater appreciation for Jewish life,” adds Rabbi Avi Zwiebel.

Chabad of Southern Oregon is known for bringing Judaism to the “streets” giving others, no matter their level of knowledge or observance, the opportunity to experience the beauty and joy of their heritage. Some of their innovative programs include public Menorah lightings, Shofar blowing in the park, Pop up Jewish.Deli and Sukkah on Wheels. And now, bringing Jewish life to Medford!

Hebrew school will be held for children ages 3-12 on Sunday mornings at the Medford library until a more permanent location is found. No membership is required to enroll.

To register or for more information, email  [email protected] or call 541-482-2778 

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Infant Massage:Bonding and Benefits for Parents and Babies

Infant Massage:Bonding and Benefits for Parents and Babies
By JoAnn Lewis, LMT, CEIM, Trainer with the International Assoc. of Infant Massage, Sweden, USA chapter.
Evidence keeps pouring in to show us that loving, nurturing touch between baby and parent is essential to our baby’s best development in all ways. The stimulation, relaxation, relief and interaction of infant massage all play an important part in baby’s emotional, intellectual and physical well-being that lasts a lifetime.
At the Touch Research Institute in Miami’s University Medical Centers, research shows premature babies given daily massages for 15 minutes gain 47% more weight and go home in half the time with savings upwards of $9,000 to the hospital and the parents! This is just one of many studies illustrating the advantages of infant massage in reducing colic, sleeping problems, and stress hormones. It is found to improve nerve coatings, digestion, brain development, muscle tone, immune function and much more…
Touch is the first sense we develop while still inside our mothers and the strongest since birth. And we continue to need touch all of our lives for well-being.
At every class in infant massage the parents and babies learn about each other together with this ancient traditional way of communicating through touch, “dancing” and relaxing in deep harmony with respect to each other. It is the lovely dance of massage! Parents can really relax for the first time with each stroke as their baby responds to their touch, their voice, and their complete, loving attention. This simple and strengthening nourishment of massage builds their confidence, their bodies, their trust in each other; setting a strong foundation for life!
Call the Family Massage Education Center at 77 Manzanita Avenue in  Ashland, Oregon for a schedule of parent/baby classes at 541-482-3567. Or call to become an educator/instructor of infant massage at the next certification USA training in Ashland with JoAnn Lewis, USA Trainer.
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Boot Camp for New Dads

Free Basic Training for First Time Fathers


How did you first learn to change a diaper, burp an infant, console it, or pack a diaper bag? I’m the eldest of five children, so in my case, it was tending siblings during the rare times my parents went on “date-night.” And I did a fair amount of childcare for other families to earn spending money.

It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that today, women have fewer children, they have those children later in life, and according to most data, 41% of those children are going to be raised by a single parent. Often that single parent will juggle both a low-wage job and childrearing. So it won’t surprise you that locally, 85% of children and youth qualify for free or reduced school lunch. 70% of youth in custody did not grow up with both parents. Generally, raising kids falls disproportionately to women. They are, traditionally, culturally, and arguably biologically, the better-suited caregivers. 72.5% of those accused of shaken baby syndrome crimes are men. Yet with more women going to college and graduating from college, women are now often the primary breadwinner. Add these findings together, and there is a need to teach men how to raise children.

Father At Home With Newborn Baby Daughter

As a teacher, I see the effects of kids raised in poverty daily. Many crave even negative attention from adults. They are often hungry, and often unsupervised at night, staying up to morning hours to play video games. 24% of our middle schoolers will miss 10% or more days of school in our state. Often, their reading and math skills and motor skills are behind grade level because from a young age, their caregivers are unable to afford certain toys, books, internet access, sports fees, etc. that wealthier families are.

We can either sigh and lament these statistics, or we can recognize that we are not preparing men well for two realities: 1) they will want to leave a relationship when they find out that they aren’t able to provide their family with the level of financial support that they would like to, and 2) by staying, they can provide their families with far more than financial support.

With a few weeks of my 2015 summer vacation left, I heard an NPR broadcast that taught gang members who never had fathers— how to _be_ fathers. A few phone calls later, I had financial support from AllCare to become a facilitator and establish a chapter of “Boot Camp for New Dads” in Grants Pass and Medford.

Boot Camp’s motto is: “A father for every child, no matter what.” The 3-hr. course uses “veteran dads” who have 2-12 month old babies— to teach “rookie dads”— those who are soon to deliver. It covers fears that fathers have, and how to form a parenting team; how to react when/if the female shuts out the dad as “not competent enough” to care for the child. Rookies change diapers of the veteran dad’s children; learn how to console— and they learn how to nurture their relationship with a newly hormonal, overtired mom. Changing diapers, consoling, taking the child to a park, and reading or singing to it will give her relief rest that she desperately needs.

It’s one thing to have the perfect class available at the perfect time. It’s quite another to have a gender that prides oneself on their independence— _sign up_ for the course. In Grants Pass, there are 25 distribution points where an expectant father would come across our brochures: Women’s Health Center,  Southern Oregon HeadStart, Options, Child Welfare Services, and Pregnancy Care Center, are just a few.

If you know of an expectant (i.e. “rookie”) father, please tell them to register via our website:

Enthusiastic, proud veteran fathers will be ready to impart their wisdom on the 2nd Saturday of every month, at the Women’s Health Center off Ramsey at 1075 Grandview Ave. in Grants Pass, 9-12 am and from 1-4pm at La Clinica Wellness Center, 730 Biddle Road in Medford.

By Bob Bath.

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