Timbertown

I have some blogging to catch up on!!

Last year we went on a trip with some other home ed families to Timbertown, a few hours north of where we live. We had heaps of fun exploring an historical village with all the trimmings.

It was fun walking around the streets of the village and imagining ourselves living in a time gone by. Until someone’s mobile phone would jerk us back to the present moment!
It was fun walking around the streets of the village and imagining ourselves living in a time gone by. Until someone’s mobile phone would jerk us back to the present moment!
Molly really enjoyed looking through all the old houses
Molly really enjoyed looking through all the old houses

One of the things that really stood out to me was how many of the people who worked there are incredibly passionate about what they do. It was a great reminder of how the children’s interests, now matter how seemingly abstract, can become a source of income. For instance, when I was walking back to the car to get something, I stopped to chat to the man who was working on the steam train we’d previously ridden on. I ended up standing there for about 20 or 30 minutes while he raved … and raved … and raved about the train, how he cleans it, the work involved, the methods he uses, etc. Even though it’s not something I’m personally interested in, I was enthralled by his level of passion for the train! 🙂

We got to ride on this working steam train
We got to ride on this working steam train

The guy working with the draft horses and carriage was equally passionate about his field of expertise and kept us thoroughly informed and entertained as we did our little trip around the town behind his prized horses. He seemed to have the perfect ability to inform us without talking for too long, which I was relieved about, since we were a captive audience! And…. he had a whip! 🙂  Molly was quite concerned about his use of the whip, being very compassionate towards animals, and he didn’t belittle her or talk down to her about it. He patiently explained his use of the whip, the purpose behind it, and the fact that he wasn’t actually touching the horse with it. Then he went the extra mile, stopping the cart and letting the kids have a turn of the whip!

The horse drawn carriage was a huge hit
The horse drawn carriage was a huge hit
The kids loved the opportunity to pat the horses
The kids loved the opportunity to pat the horses
Declan, Molly and I got our very own turn on the horse drawn carriage, by ourselves.
Declan, Molly and I got our very own turn on the horse drawn carriage, by ourselves.

The kids enjoyed the hands on opportunities!

The working water pump in the front yard of one of the old houses was a HUGE hit!
The working water pump in the front yard of one of the old houses was a HUGE hit!
Declan having a go at whip cracking. He’s done it once before but had forgotten how hard it was!
Declan having a go at whip cracking. He’s done it once before but had forgotten how hard it was!
I’m not sure what Molly liked most – the whip or the goggles!
I’m not sure what Molly liked most – the whip or the goggles!
The after effects of whip cracking! It hurt!
The after effects of whip cracking! It hurt!

All in all it was a really fun day with friends, and we thoroughly enjoyed immersing ourselves in an historical village, and absorbing some of the enthusiasm of the workers there.

After Timbertown we all went back to our accommodation, and then that evening we were treated to a talk at The Observatory, and got to look through the enormous telescope, with the sky clear enough to allow a viewing of the rings of Saturn. Obviously, I was unable to get a photo of that!

Next time we head up to this beautiful part of the world, we’re really hoping that the Bago Maze is operational!

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Karen Lee

FAMILY: Married since 1989 (does that make me old?), a full-time Mum since 1993, and unschooling my kids since 2005. On a journey of learning to live free and fully loved as God intended, following Jesus rather than an institution or "religion". Caring for the world and its people as best as I can.

2 thoughts on “Timbertown”

  1. I UNschool my oldest with spaeicl needs. Un schooling does not mean I am not teaching her in fact its quite the opposite. She is autistic and has ODD, ADD, ADHD, she is for sure no where near what a typical kid is. She was basically tortured while inutero as she is a twin and she was deprived of all prenatal care while also being exposed to drugs, alcohol and tobacco. My husband and I adopted her and her twin from birth, not knowing what God had in store for our futures..but we didnt care. We had two beautiful babies that we got to raise as our own children. A has had learning difficulties from the very beginning. She started school, just shy of 3 yrs old, in a spaeicl needs class she ended up attending this class for two full years. Then we moved out of state due to my husbands job and I had to take her out of that wonderful school. We had no choice but to place her in our districts public school what a mistake. She was placed in a class with 26 other spaeicl needs kids with one teacher and one helper. This was a disaster. A was lost on several occasions they found her in bathrooms, in other classrooms, wandering hallways, in a janitors closet its was insane! Then there were the notes home, how she would be hiding under desks, throwing fits, cutting her hair, cutting her clothing, hitting, and biting. She came home one day with a note saying she bit the teacher. When I sat down and talked to her about what was going on she explained to me (In her spaeicl way) that the teacher gave her a great big bear hug from behind and didnt let go. A got upset and started squriming and screaming and the teacher still didnt let go, so she turned her head around and bit her on the shoulder. I was IRATE. Never again did my child attend that school. I took her out and started working with her with a kindergarten curriculum and found out she knew nothing of what was in this curriculum. She was hardly even past the first few lessons. This class had taught her nothing. The more I attempted to teach her, the more frustrated the both of us became. She couldnt do it. Not at all. She cant focus on the lesson, she cant sit still, she cant even watch a 5 min video lesson. So, I started teaching her my own way. We took a bunch of one dollar bills, quarters, nickles, dimes and pennies, a note book and a calculator and we went to the market and we learned how to add. We learned how to read the price tags, write down the amounts and total it all up. Then she learned how to pay the cashier (thanks to some wonderful local farmers and their wives for putting up with our classes ) We went outside with a camera and a notebook, took pictures of plants, animals, bugs..etc and wrote down their names, sounding out the words as we went learning to write. We would then take those digital pictures in and load them onto the computer, and search online for other wildlife like them and learn all we could using every search engine available and lots of youtube. Another fun thing we do is collect prayer cards from missionaries around the world. Every week we take out another prayer card and learn about that family, the country they live in and how that country is different from out own. We sykpe with the families sometimes and talk to them about their needs and their challenges, and we pray for them and sometimes with them. My daughter is now 6yrs old and has graduated from kindergarten without tears. I also home school her twin now, we love exploring the world and letting the world teach us. I plan on UNschooling my next two kiddos too.I am not a lazy parent who lets their kids watch tv every day. I am a hands on parent who gets dirty with her kids, who goes out in the world and explores. We let the world teach us without text books and workbooks and score cards and tests. I know the ins and outs of each of my kids more than most other parents do. I spend every waking minute with them. I love them. I do have a conventional curriculum that I read through to know what they should be learning but to be honest my disabled kid is more advanced than most neurotypical kids thanks to UNschooling.

  2. I have 5 children. If I had to let ceartin labels stick, then you would find these attached to them: autism high functioning, ADD, ADHD, bi-polar, unidentified learning disability, dislexia, disgraphia, gifted, and low functioning, possibly a few more. After seeing my oldest daughter go through 5 years of public education, with a special ed assistant to barely squeak into 1st grade and then be told she was failing after 3 short months along with the fact she was growing increasingly violent towards her peers, we decided she was better off at home. At the same time her older brother was bored in his class and was slacking off on paperwork but was acing all of the tests. We were continually denied our repeated requests to change his learning environment. It was then that we decided that the public system was leaving our children behind. For the past 8 years we have been what most would consider unschooling. It was not a decision made lightly and continues to cause me some worry. Then again can you can show me a parent who doesn’t worry over some choice they have made regarding their child? It’s when you lose the worry that the trouble comes in. I can say that this form of homeschooling is a viable option for special needs children. It’s my belief like flowers, children are best left to bloom on their own timing. It’s up to us as a parents to provide the nuturing. And the view here is beautiful!One thing I would like to add is unparenting, unstructured, and unschooling don’t automatically go hand in hand.

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