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by Beverley Paine
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Since 1989 Beverley Paine has steadfastly promoted and supported home education as an educational choice for Australia families. Her books and websites aim to demystify education, gently deschooling families so that they may meet their children's individual and unique educational and developmental needs. Her honesty, insights and wealth of experience continues to bring hope, reassurance and confidence to families.
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.
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Done anything interesting or exciting lately? Have you been featured in an article in the local newspaper? We'd love to hear about it. See the submission guidelines on the Index to find out how to have your article published in our Kids Pages.
Home School Family Attend
7th World Solar Challenge in Adelaide
Luke and Toby with Mark OIsthoom the Dutch crew member
of "Nuna II", the race winner, who drove the car into Adelaide.
Naturally home educated boys, Luke and Toby (with Mum & Dad - Jenny and Peter) have been following the 7th World Solar Challenge since it started on Sunday 19th October 2003 where Darwin residents saw 22 solar cars and 6 environmentally friendly cars leave for Adelaide.
The boys were able to be involved right from the start as Peter's brother Dean (who lives in Darwin) had taken photos of the cars as they left (at the boys request)."Uncle Dean" sent the photos by email for us all to see. The boys went online daily to find out where the cars were, with the plan to be in Adelaide for the first cars arrival.
The Dutch, Nuon Solar Team's car "Nuna II" arrived late Wednesday afternoon, having travelled 3010 km in an official time of 30 hours and 54 minutes, breaking their previous world solar record by one hour and forty minutes. The boys travelled down daily to see all the cars come in.
On Sunday the boys were very busy watching not only the World Solar Car Challenge but also the Australian International Model Solar Car Challenge (with cars and boats) and the arrival of the World Solar Cycle Challenge entrants and the Environment friendly cars, Bennie the Bio Bus (STA), Truck and 4 wheel drive vehicles.
The final day of the event, last Tuesday had great excitement, as the last solar car to arrive was a man nicknamed "The Suitcase Man" from Germany, Detlef Schmitz.
The excitement was because Detlef has been in all seven world solar challenges, and this is the first time he has made it past Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. Detlef runs on a 'shoestring budget' and to make things worse has had some very bad luck in previous attempts, with one trip ruined by his batteries being stolen and another ruined by a whirly wind flipping his vehicle and smashing his solar panels. Even this year he did it the hard way with high winds, rain and cloudy days all causing him to run slow and 'only just' making the deadline time of close at each control point. He was treated to a hero's welcome by all those who competed, the media and spectators.
During the week Luke and Toby talked to many people from different countries, taken hundreds of photos, received souvenirs from some of the crews and sat in the Taiwanese solar car "Formosun II" (the only non crew to do so after the event) and they were even given the privilege of waving the "SA Great - Sensational Adelaide" to flag to welcome in some of the solar cars as they arrived in Adelaide (Mum was lucky enough to do so too).
You can find more information about the World Solar Challenge at http://www.wsc.org.au and what Luke and Toby are doing at http://www.websouth.com.au/luke
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Welcome to the world of home education - learning without school! We officially began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were each 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. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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