Just as we draw nearer to our last week in NZ, we get a wonderful invitation to stay with a homeschooling family in the Far North. Nothing is too much for the the Jones’ family as they pick us up and show us around the remote and breathtaking coastlines.
All four girls are unschooled which gives them ample opportunity to enjoy the empty beaches and bushland on their doorstep. But, whilst we are staying the girls attend their weekly session with the Far North Homeschoolers. The group, consisting of about 15 kids aged between 7 and 15, meet at the village hall on coastal Mangonui to study anatomy. Led by 2 scientists, who also unschool, the class impress me with a review of the anatomical muscular terms they learnt last week. The teachers passion enthuses the children and for three hours not one child disrupts anothers learning.
Creative and resourceful the teachers use whatever’s at hand to convey complex processes. The body’s electrical circuits, for instance, are neatly compared to the halls’ heaters which snake their way around the top of the walls to the switch on the wall. Noah quickly settles into the class and without restrictive year groups is able to work at a higher level alongside the older children.
After class one of the families invites us to their home and we spend a wonderful afternoon deep in the remotest part of the northland bush in a home crammed with every imaginable string instrument, including a double bass and several harps (I can’t imagine how they got them up there!). With 360 degree views of uninterrupted subtropical bush it’s paradise to a family from Birmingham.
We would like to thank everyone, especially Jessie, for giving us a glimpse into your beautiful alternative lifestyle.