28 April 2006

Camping with homeschoolers

This week has been a busy week. I've been away at clients, we have had another homeschooling family stay with us and we have visited the annual Fitzroy Falls Catholic Homeschooling Camp. The camp is held every year just after Easter and is typically booked out about 30 seconds after bookings open in the prior November. As we live about 40 minutes away so we pop in as day visitors.

Dads directing sports traffic.
Tuesday was ANZAC day (similar to Memorial day for our US visitors) and as it was a public holiday there were an extra 25 or so visitors in addition to the resident 150 or so guests. The average family size was about 6 to 8 people, with children of all ages from newborns to 20 year olds.
Each day started with early breakfast, then Mass and morning tea with family/spiritual talk. Lunch, then free time followed by another talk, then dinner and a different event each night. Families were involved in everything - none of this silly segregation of Mums and Dads.
On the day we were there the free time was taken up with sports. Each age group from 4 year olds and up had a race, then the Mums and Dads raced, followed with relays and three legged races.
The talk we attended addressed the roles of the husband and wife and headship in the family. It was an excellent talk.
It was at a camp like this when Ariel was three that we were convinced homeschooling was possible. I was convinced it should work but Lana needed some real life examples. After all, we hadn't met any older homeschooled children. Were they normal?

The dads really took the races very seriously
We spent our free time with the teenagers and older children, playing Risk and other games. We observed the interplay of families and children and were very impressed. At one point in a game of Risk one of the players - a 20 year old homeschooled lad - was about to attack Lana's country. Lana yelled, "No!" in a "Mum" voice. Although Lana was only 24 at the time, the lad stopped and looked to me to confirm whether he should. Naturally I nodded and told him to attack. However it impressed us that a "Mum" voice worked even on older children, even though Lana was only a few years senior. Lana was sold!

1 comment:

ChristineMM said...

Would you share what the financial arrangement was for this event? I just found out about a place that runs family camps, you basically go as a guest and they do the cooking and give you a place to stay (a lean to, I think) and it is camping, but with games and other organized events. They wanted $300 per person in the family for a week of camp. I thought that was a lot of money.

A group of homeschoolers in my state used to meet annually to go camping at a state park. Each family made their own reservation and they picked a part of the park so they would all be near each other. That was not place or an organized thing but it was dirt cheap.