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Home Schooling Excursions

Home > Melbourne > Kids | Walks
by Neil Follett (subscribe)
I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Published April 15th 2020
A different type of learning
Part of schooling these days, particularly primary school, are excursions, such as visits to zoos, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and parks and gardens.

With homeschooling being almost the norm these days, why should our children miss out on small breaks from formal learning?

home studying
A studious student.

Why not give them an excursion, and yourself as well. Zoos and museums are all closed but your immediate neighbourhood is not.

walkers
Keeping a safe distance.

Have a local excursion by walking around your block. Apart from the fresh air and exercise, it can be educational. Take them on a short walk with you as an educational exercise. You can make them aware of how houses are numbered. Odd numbers on one side of the street and evens on the other. Depending on their age, you may have to explain the difference between odds and evens.

letter box
A letter box with a difference, also showing street number.

Have them take a note book and pencil or pen and note pre-mentioned items as they see them. Simple things like how many different birds, how many different coloured roses they see.

magpies
The kids will love a close avian encounter.

You can carry a small supply of little treats for the first one to see a garden gnome dressed in a football jumper, or the first one to see a bird bath.

letter box
An unusual sight.

I recently took several walks around my block as local exercise. It is amazing at the variety of interesting things seen from the footpaths.


tree bark
Noting the different types of tree barks makes for educational observing..

Home schooling could be around for a while, so why not plan weekly excursions around a particular theme. Apart from the afore mentioned birds and roses.

Bear in tree.
Is this a legendary drop bear ready to drop?

Almost every garden has flowers or flowering bushes at any time of the year. On flowers close to the footpath bees will often be seen buzzing around collecting pollen, birds may be seen engaged in the same activity.

bottle brush
Spot the bee.

That would be a good time for a talk about the birds and the bees. Strictly the flying type and the importance of their role in pollinating flowers, and also how honey is produced.

paperbark tree
The paperbark is an aptly named tree.

With fun education in mind, have your charges note the different types of thoroughfares they pass. You may pass roads, streets, avenues, etc. If you decide on that theme, I suggest you do a little pre-walk research, as one question you will be asked is, "what's the difference between a road and a street?"

There is a difference. A road is a wide way leading from one place to another, while a street is a public road with houses and buildings on one or both sides.

walker pointing
Pointing out an object of interest. Photo by Seb Hayes.

Arriving home from your excursion, give the kids a drink and a biscuit, then ask them to write a short essay on what they learnt. Meanwhile, relax and make yourself a cup of tea, or perhaps a glass of something stronger, but be aware that teachers should not be drinking on the job.

home schooling.
Excursion over and back to work.

At the end of a few local excursions, you may end up better educated on your block than the children.
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Why? It's an unique and educational experience.
When: School hours.
Where: Your street
Cost: Free
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