Saturday, 17 December 2011

Home-School Camp

View from our tent

We returned yesterday from our first home-school camp. We had a great time and the weather held out dispite a terrible forecast.

We joined two other families at Ocean Beach Holiday Park, Umina. We had plenty to keep us occupied as the site is right on the beach and has its own pool, games room, jumping pillows and playground. The children also spent a considerable amount of time scootering around the park.

On the first evening those who were able to stay awake got the rare opportunity to see a total lunar eclipse.

Luna eclipse

We were also lucky to find that the school holiday entertainment program had started even though the state schools were still in session. Some of the events included tractor rides, disco, colouring competitions, fire dance display, gardening workshop, badge making, live music and Aboriginal dance show.

L works on her entry for the colouring competition

R plants some seeds

L with her green thumb badge

Aboriginal dance group

The kids strutting their stuff at the disco

Fire dance display

On our only rainy day we all took a trip into town to see the film Puss In Boots, and then onto ten pin bowling.

We were also lucky enough to visit real life artist (and Grandmother of one of our party), Jocelyn Maughan at her Bakehouse Gallery in Patonga. The children got to visit the gallery, art studio and painting storage area. We found out lots about how artists make, sell and store their work. L and I also had our portraits done (R was too busy reading a book as usual!).

L by Jocelyn Maughan

Mum by Jocelyn Maughan

We took a day trip to Tree Tops Adventure Park to try the forest assult courses, both adults and children were able to participate. R found this challenging (as did I), especially as he's on the short side (like me!). It was a great opportunity for the children to work as a team to help R across the most tricky parts.

R kitted up ready to go

Safety breifing

R looking pretty terrified on the high wire

Across the balancing poles

Making the scary trip between the trees

Whilst at camp we had plenty of opportunity for wildlife spotting and specimen collecting. All the children enjoyed searching the rock pools and possum spotting at night. Some of the creatures we saw included crabs, fish, eels, jelly fish, starfish, sea slugs, kookaburras, lorikeets, possums, ducks, and lizards.



L collecting plants, cones and feathers

On our last day the children spent several hours working together as a team to build a huge sand castle. Everyone worked together, digging, and filling to make the castle. Other families on the beach came to look at the huge structure and we invited them to join in.

The castle and tide barrier - it got MUCH bigger than this

For me, the best aspect of the holiday was the bonding between the children. Everyone (adults included) got to know each other a lot better and L especially came out of her shell. I think you'll agree these pictures clearly show that, contrary to popular belief,  home educated children DO have friends!

R and his best friend

The younger children play a game together

The children walking through the forest

L and her friend

Friends despite the age gap

On our way back home we stopped at Brisbane Waters National Park. Here we trekked as a family through the forest to various waterfalls and lookouts.

Somersby falls

Today we were all very tired from our trip but the children spent some time washing all their shell specimens.

Cleaning our shell collection

Our nature collection

We hope to make some sketches of these objects in our nature journals and also to paint on some tree bark we collected. Come back soon to see the results.

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