12 Mar 2013

Crazy homeschoolers

You know you've totally lost the plot when you picnic when it's 40°C outside. Phew. Yeah, I know, crazy, but we had been looking forward to it, and so it had to be.

We had a bit of a wander along the river until we found a nice picnic spot where we ate our sandwiches and took a few photos. The dog thought we were half mad!

We saw lots of cockatoos, galahs, a couple of long beaked corellas, and some little corellas. Everything else was wisely keeping out of the sun and we had to identify them by song. Sensible birds.

We didn't stay long. The ants started biting, the vanilla slices started melting and so did we. It is good to be home in the cool. When you describe it, it doesn't sound like we had much fun, but we did. We had a great time!

Today was not intended to be a nature walk, but a child raised with CM's principles will always see something in the outdoors. Observation without direction is our plan. Today we found a wasp's nest and some very fine feathers. We observed the differences between corella species, and we were able to identify cockatoo behaviours from our natural history lesson last week.

We had a bit of a chat about the culls of the flocking birds our Shire Council undertakes to keep them under control.The introduction of European agricultural systems has significantly changed the natural ecological processes that originally kept bird numbers in check.There is grain available for longer periods during the summer and into early autumn and more birds are surviving to reproduce. The cockatoo species do significant damage to the majestic River Red Gums along the river banks where in they roost. Not to mention the noise in the early evening when they return to the river!
Ideas of nature, of life, love, duty, heroism, - these children find and choose for themselves from the authors they read, who do more for their education than any deliberate teaching; just for this reason, that these vital ideas are self-selected and self-appropriated.

Charlotte Mason, School Education p124
Information that a child learns this way, by finding it himself, will always be more easily remembered that reading it in a book or learning it from a lecture in a deliberate fashion. Miss Mason knew this, and I have always found it to be true. Have you?

40°C was possibly a bit hot, but all in all we had a great time. We maybe even learned something, and our mummy-daughter relationship had a boost at the same time. I'm just glad for air-con at home. That is all.


  1. Jeanne, I am always in awe of your Mason-inspired wisdom *and* lifestyle. And you are so right about natural, "unprovoked" (if you'll pardon the term) learning. That photo of Jemimah is wonderful!

  2. Mother/daughter? Where are your mad dog and English man? It looks positively tranquil looking at it here in the cool evening air.

  3. The mad dog came with us. The English man had more sense. He stayed home. Well, at work. In the aircon.

  4. Learning by doing seems to be a key here. And, of course, things that they decide they want to learn. Those are usually successful. Looks like a great day in spite of the heat.

  5. Lovely! I have definitely noticed how my children retain everything when they have chosen to explore themselves. It is wonderful.

  6. So beautiful! A Great learning enviroment to inspire minds!

  7. Gorgeous place for a picnic, especially when it's a bit cooler.


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