© Debbie Dunn
In November 2003 a bunch of us went down to Camp Coorong www.ngarrindjeri.net . People came from all around : Gawler, Mannum, Hackham & Yankalilla to name a few. Camp Coorong was an excellent location for a home schooling camp as there was no-one else around, no busy roads to worry about or water nearby.
All this meant that the children had total freedom to use and explore the space without the adults having to be constantly alert. The children used this to full advantage, developing some very innovative and complex scenarios in their play - mainly revolving around "guns" as there was a plethora of toy guns and boys on the camp! We also saw the hall turned into a " chair roadway" and when this got boring, into a "chair maze". The older children demonstrated a great deal of sensitivity to the younger children and made sure everyone had a fair go and that the game stayed safe.
Stephanie & David very kindly brought down canoes for us all to use. As it turned out, only David was brave enough (or energetic enough) to go out but he took all the children who wanted a go for a paddle around Lake Albert while the rest of us soaked up the sun and watched the children play and swim. He was nominated "Dad of the Day"!
On the Friday night, the adults gathered for an informative discussion with Matt Rigney about Aboriginal History since the arrival of the European Settlers. I for one experienced a major paradigm shift as a result of listening to his views and the views of others at the camp. It became very clear to me how interconnected land and religion is for the aboriginal people. You can take a Buddhist from the top of the Himalayas and put him on Uluru and he would still be able to perform his religious rites but if you took an Aboriginal man from this region and did the reverse, he would be unable to continue his religious practices. So, the whole mission system established for indigenous people when settlers arrived, really destroyed tribal identity and religions by taking people from their traditional lands and mixing everything up. I know this is not a political forum but I thought I'd mention this as I have found home schooling has led to as many learning opportunities for me as it has my children.
The next morning we all gathered for a guided walk through the Coorong bush. We chomped leaves that where hotter than chilli and others that tasted like salted snow peas. A blue tongued lizard ventured across our path and was scooped up by our guide. The children enjoyed touching it while we discovered that Aboriginal tribes keep these lizards as pets because they kill snakes.
The children also discovered a smaller lizard while off exploring. Many tried to get this little guy to climb on their hand but only one succeeded. He was very proud to pose for a number of photos before the lizard was set on its merry way.
All through the weekend there was so lots of opportunity to share ideas about home schooling but the other topics covered ranged far and wide. A few of us noted that despite the diversity among us in many ways, we had a lot of ideas in common and a respect for each others ideas when they differed.
But the thing that made the camp so very special for me was the sense of community and shared experience that we all carried back with us to our various locations. We all know each other at a much deeper, more real level - both adults and children and good friendships have been forged.
Please visit www.ngarrindjeri.net for more information about Camp Coorong.
Was this article helpful? Was it worth $1.00 to you?
Your gift of $1 or more helps to keep this site operating
and reassurance to families
better outcomes for their children.
Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
"You've been an inspiration to me, I love the way
you really listen to people." Vanessa
"Whenever I read your writing I always come away
with increased confidence in my ability to provide and
share a wonderful learning journey with my family!" Davina
"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others." Lesley
"Thank you once again for your prompt and friendly service.
I am convinced that your books are going to add
quality and peace of mind to my journey of teaching my kids
at home! Just from studying your website, until almost
in the morning, I 've been encouraged!" Louisa
"Thank you for all your many,many reassuring words
over many, many years. You probably don't know exactly how
valuable you are to the Australian Home Education community.
I've been reading your stuff for maybe 8 years or more now.
And I'm very grateful." Gythaa
Want to learn how to write your own education plans to suit
your unique children's
individual learning needs?
Looking for quality curriculum and teaching tips ?
Over 1000 reassuring and
informative articles to help
build your confidence as an Educating Parent
Access 33 fantastic live online homeschooling workshops, plus downloads - an amazing bundle of homeschooling resources to help you get started!
Start Homeschooling Bundle
Zero to Homeschool
"I went from freaked-out to confident in a few weeks. EVERY new homeschooler should do this course!" Alex
Your mindset can make or break your homeschool, so ditch the school mind and start homeschooling the right way for your family.
Begin Homeschool with Confidence
Welcome to the
World of Home Education and
Learning without School!
We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
The information on this website is of
a general nature only and is not intended
as personal or professional advice.
This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.
"Your guidance, understanding, support & words of wisdom changed our lives." Leslie
"I feel specially inspired by Beverley's words and, the more I read her comments, the more inspired I feel, since
my need for support, respect for different parenting styles, and information are fully met." Marijo
Advertise with The Educating Parent
||DIY Getting Started with Home Schooling Pack
Beverley Paine's best selling comprehensive common sense manual detailing how to write your own curriculum tailored to your children's educational needs
PLUS 9 of Beverley's popular practical home educating series booklets!
Great value $60
and Unschooling Pack
Each Pack contains a copy of the following:
Natural Learning Answers
A5 or A4
Learning Naturally Diary
Learning Maths Naturally
A Sample Approved Natural Learning Program and Review
Only $29 or $33
Home education is a legal alternative
to school education in Australia.
State and Territory governments are responsible
for regulating home education and have different
requirements, however home educating families
are able to develop curriculum and learning programs
to suit the individual needs of their children.
Without revenue from advertising
by educational suppliers and Google Ads
we could not continue to provide information
to home educators. Please support us by letting
our advertisers know that you found them on
The Educating Parent. Thanks!