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Homeschoolers Out and About Socialising Naturally


Homeschoolers were well represented at the Adelaide Fringe "What's Your Alternative - Reclaim the Moment" Festival on February 26th by a very large dinosaur constructed of recycled materials. An enthusiastic bunch of homeschooling kids spent the afternoon building the dinosaur from cardboard tubes and boxes and decorating it with spent sales dockets and other 'garbage' - recycled materials courtesy of "That's Not Garbage" and Yankalilla Foodland.

Individuals and families checking out the nearby home education information stall looked on in amazement and interest as the creature took shape and some children joined in with the fun. The 'funshop' was organised by Patti Hutton from the Homeschooling Expo 2000 planning team and sponsored by "That's Not Garbage" and a similar activity for children will be repeated at the Expo in July.

But the fun didn't stop with completion of Junkasaurus. The Festival culminated in an evening performance, telling the tale of the birth of the universe, our planet and all the plants and creatures - focussing on the role that cooperation plays in survival. Terri and Roger donned Junkasaurus, which had a starring role, parading around the tiny island in the middle of the lake. Samantha played the part of a baby dinosaur highlighting the development of families and further need and proof of cooperative, rather than competitive, behaviours in the quest for survival. The audience were an integral part of the performance, following the play around Rymill Park. A great time was had by all.

No one knows what happened to Junkasaurus. It was last seen lurking in the dark, close to the Cirkidz trailer, but it is believed to have slipped into the dark, murky waters of the lake. If anyone is down by the lake, enjoying the great shady trees and peaceful surrounds and happens to hear a strange noise, or sees a long shopping docket floating on the surface - look carefully. Perhaps you will find Junkasaurus!


Patti and I organised an Information Stall at the recent Adelaide Fringe "What's Your Alternative - Reclaim the Moment" Festival. We were kept very busy talking to people with a wide variety of interests in home education all afternoon - so much so that lunch and tea were almost forgotten!

During the afternoon we had four student teachers, three of them in their final years of study, stop by to investigate this alternative in education - all of them looking favourably on the idea and one very keen to take up the option for his young daughter! Several other families with babes in prams took sets of leaflets home. It is very encouraging to see people taking such an interest in education when their children are only babies. Three homeschooling families stopped by to chat and it was lovely catching up with them, in one case finally meeting up with them!

Our display wasn't the most impressive and the wind which picked up in the late afternoon did its best to destroy it, but it drew a lot of interest. Especially Patti's scrapbook of her family's first year of homeschooling. Several school teachers were very impressed with the level and quality of work displayed by Patti's children. With the amazing construction of the Junkasaurus in the background catching everyone's eyes it wasn't hard to be impressed by our homeschooled children!

At the end of the day, nursing very sore feet and equally sore jaws, Patti and I were happy to just follow the play around the Park. Mark, our knight in shining armour, came to our rescue many times - I know I can't thank him enough for the time and effort he put in, especially as he gave up a day of work with very little notice to help. David dropped by with more homeschooling Junkasaurus builders whose efforts and company were greatly appreciated and enjoyed.

Organising the information stall wasn't a great deal of effort - thanks to the existing displays from last year's Expo and the availability of the Information Kits I send out to people inquiring about home education. It was great to be promoting home education to people already interested in alternative pathways in their life and the response to our stall was encouraging. Getting out into the community and promoting home education in such a direct way is really needed - not by the homeschooling community, but by all those people who were so glad to be introduced to the idea!

Patti and I would like to thank Louise from Cirkidz for inviting us to take part in the Festival.

by Beverley Paine

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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.

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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


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