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Friday, February 15, 2013

Class in the caravan

As some of you know my daughter is home schooled purely for geographical reasons. 

For the last two years school has drifted somewhere between our home office, the kitchen table and the satellite computer that connects my daughter to her teacher.  While this has been adequate it has not always been a perfect learning environment.

Some of you will also know that last year I bought a little old caravan with a vague plan  to restore it at some point in time.  Right at the end of the school holidays my mum suggested moving our classroom into the caravan and the next day we did.


The school year has commenced with lessons in the cosy, burnt orange surrounds of my little Millard van.   So far, so good and if we feel like a change of scenery we can simply hook up and move to a different spot.   We can see our chook pen through the  slightly temperamental louvre windows and a cool morning breeze floats through the flyscreen door.  Occasionally a curious sheep dog wanders by to say hello while we are reading in the shade.  We take regular short breaks and the kids run down to our creek and back.  




It may sound rather idyllic and sometimes it is.  Other times it is just like any other classroom complete with frustrations and inattention.  Reading is our favourite subject and a book always restores order and frayed nerves. 

We may not have classes in the caravan forever but at the moment it feels like an adventure and this is helping us through our home schooling journey.

Are you on a journey or an adventure? 
Do you sometimes do whatever it takes to get through the school year?
I hope the school year is treating you well if you are on that path.

52 comments :

  1. Oh wow, I can imagine your daughter as an adult telling her friends about these adventures and being grateful for the life lessons and time you dedicated. How lovely. (p.s. a scanner and camera have been great for taking digital mementos of school awards, drawings etc that I threw out. Do you have a scanner? I love your approach to it, it would be so much stuff if we kept everything.) x

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    1. Thank you Lucent and the scanner idea is a good one!

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  2. It looks idyllic Jane - like the best classroom in the world. I wouldn't mind swapping my dreary office life for homeschooking in a caravan!

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    1. Please join us one day Miss Piggy...I am sure you would be able to teach my children some valuable lessons!

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  3. That looks like one wonderful classroom! What fun, I'm sure she will look back on these days with such joy.

    xox Lilly

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    1. Thanks Lilly, I hope you are right! x

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  4. What a little oasis it's not usually such a nice place the classroom with it's beige brick interiors I much prefer this.

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    1. Thank you Mumma Fox, it does feel a bit special and unique!

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  5. Oh I love it! What fun adventures you are having and what cool stories she will be able to tell when she's older! Does your caravan have a name??

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    1. Thanks Jess, yes the caravan is named Pat. We named her after the lovely elderly lady we purchased her from!

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  6. What a lovely old caravan.
    A perfect spot for your school room indeed.
    x

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  7. I wondered if it had a name too! What a great way to use it for the moment Jane. Learning is an adventure (albeit a tough one some days!).

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    1. Thanks Kate, yes I know you understand from both sides of the equation re: learning! The van is named Pat after the lovely elderly lady we bought her from.

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  8. oh shes a beauty!...thanks for the trip down memory lane. we had the exact same van as kids, but with a blue stripe. so glad you listened to your mums great idea!!
    Allison x

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    1. Thanks Allison, our mums do still have some good ideas don't they? :)

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  9. A roaming school room - what a good idea and thought provoking environment for learning. I'm full of admiration for home schoolers and imagine it's pretty tough some days.

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    1. Thanks Anne, my aunt educated her 5 children from home and her advise is always: some days are diamonds...

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  10. Oh, how I love this! Wonderful stuff, Jane. Enjoy.

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  11. We have a fixer upperer outside the front door but we can't decide what she's to become.
    A farm office? A lunch room? A cubby? A studio? A retreat?
    We'll see.
    I hope your school year is a happy one Jane, I think we'll be joining you with the home schooling thing before too long. x

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    1. Thanks Kate..yes we are the same. Mobile sourdough market shop? Cosy getaway van? A school room for the moment seems to be working!

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  12. Hi Jane, I lived in a Millard (purple where yours is orange, and much rougher round the edges) when I was a governess who for a family who ran a sheep station in Mount Magnet (mid-west WA). I had a proper classroom to teach in, thank goodness, because the Millard was like an oven on wheels in Summer, and an ice box in Winter. We tuned in daily to the School of the Air - I remember it took me ages to get the hang of saying over after every sentence. Such a wonderful experience for a city girl like me.

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    1. Thanks Kylie, your governess stories are always interesting. The Millard with the purple trim would have been very special! Yes, I agree they are not particularly comfy in the extreme weather, we might have to relocate in mid-winter :)

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  13. What a novel classroom! I love that you can move it when you tire of the view :-)
    Hope your weekend is going well!
    Sarah xx

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    1. Thanks Sarah, the 'novelty' factor of school in the van is keeping it interesting so far x

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  14. That's such an awesome idea - just love it!

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  15. That looks great and a clever way to use your caravan in the mean time.

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  16. When I first started working from home I spent a couple of years in our early 60s girl, I loved it! Looks like a lovely spot for you and your girl for now. Thanks for the sourdough encouragement, I'm enjoying the learning curve. And yes, I'd love a ricotta tutorial! Alison xxx

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    1. Thanks Alison, I will email you the ricotta recipe. I made it again just yesterday and it is delicious and easy!

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  17. Cool, I wish I got to go to school in a caravan. I could keep an eye on my chickens when every my eyes drifted from my school work. I hope the move to the caravan brings a new excitement for learning.

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    1. Thanks Lizzie, it is nice to hear the chickens in the background!

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  18. Ok, I may be romanticising it a bit but I'm in love with your little caravan!!! What a huge undertaking to homeschool, glad you have a dedicated little space now :)

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    1. Thanks JJ, the van is a little rough around the edges if you look closely but it has got potential for a snazzy renovation one day!

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  19. The caravan is such a cool learning environment, I love that you can move it around your property. I'm sure the children love going there every day to do their school work. Big high five to you Jane, I'm sure home schooling has it's challenges..you're doing an awesome job!!!

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    1. Thanks Catherine, just like anything we have our highs and lows but generally it is rewarding!

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  20. A fantastic post. Love your caravan classroom and i'm sure your children will look back on it with much happiness - despite the current bouts of frayed nerves and inattention! Good luck on your home-school journey.

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  21. what a wonderful solution for you and your daughter. i love that you can move for change of scenery (though you shouldn't be looking out the window during class, should you?!). i admire people who home school. thank you for another lovely post about your life.

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    1. Indeed e, no looking out the windows during class!?

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  22. You have set up a lovely space Jane. I love the pretty touches and it must make a positive difference having a dedicated space to study in?

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  23. Oh this is such a cute caravan and classroom! Well done for thinking of this option... great post :)

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  24. Sounds like a perfect set-up! Anything to encourage a love of learning x

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  25. Jane, it looks like a wonderful location for learning! That's definitely the greatest adventure there is! :)

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  26. Thank you for the wonderful blog. It is indeed informative and useful We are into the same business. For know more about us, please visit Hiring a Caravan today.

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  27. Your schoolroom is quaint and beautiful! I have a hardcore ex mine donga which resembles the chaos that is Distance Ed, however boy oh boy as I have discovered it is a great way to get an education. Who better than a family to teach their own children, those that have a vested interest in the outcome, regardless of grades. I have been told about your blog from a good friend, and now that I have shut the door on my own schoolroom for another year I am having some me time catching up on some things and your blog is one of them. Despite the frustration and anguish of teaching your own children, I am reflecting on the finishing of one of my children all I can think is we made it and he is OK! Relief! Your blog is fantastic and as a very amatuer bread maker myself I am hoping to find your tips on baking bread as little more successfully. Regards

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Hello and welcome. I will try to reply to all comments eventually because I love the conversation! Jane