Children are eager to learn

July 27, 2017

Austin Rudd, 9, taking a closer look at a chicken feather he collected as part of his homeschooling curriculum.

Jacob Dedman, 12, holds a pin cushion he made during sewing class in Kyabram where the children take regular lessons.

Elliot Waterman, 10, Jasmine Rudd, 12, Austin Rudd, 9, Cooper Rudd, 6, Jacob Dedman, 12, and Paige Rudd, 13, with their work on display at the Shepparton library.

A group of Goulburn Valley-based children will display their work at the Shepparton library for the rest of this month, showcasing the Inspired Carers Homeschooling Network.

Network member Cheryl Dedman said the group was established as a homeschooling network for children with disabilities.

‘‘Inspired Carers is funded by the Department of Education and Training in order to deliver the Strengthening Parent Support Program,’’ she said.

‘‘SPP aims to provide parents with information, support and education opportunities, both individually and in group settings.’’

Ms Dedman said the group was a branch of Inspired Carers and met regularly throughout the Goulburn region to swap ideas, share resources and offer much-needed support.

‘‘We have four regular families within the network,’’ Ms Dedman said.

Ms Dedman said the display showcased a small selection of the children’s work to dispel some of the stigmas attached to homeschooling and show it was a viable form of education.

‘‘We work with a program to suit our children’s needs,’’ she said.

Parents within the network said some of the different programs their children followed were more focused on outdoor environmental learning.

‘‘For example today we learnt about the science around cleaning products,’’ Ms Dedman said.

‘‘We investigated toxic and non-toxic chemicals and looked at the chemistry involved.

‘‘It’s about using any situation as a learning opportunity.’’

Mother Kristy Rudd said she used a multi-sensory approach with her children.

‘‘We also connect with lots of community groups; we really tap into those resources and draw on that to enrich the children’s learning,’’ she said.

Ms Rudd said her children attended activities such as Girl Guides, Cub Scouts and Horses for Hope, which also provided a good social outlet.

Mother Tanja Waterman said studying to become a secondary school teacher had actually prompted her to want to homeschool her children.

‘‘(My children’s) needs are so diverse so I need to be flexible in what they do and what works for them,’’ she said.

Ms Waterman said they enjoyed learning from nature and their lessons included things like hatching butterflies.

‘‘Our families employ a wide range of educational methods and techniques, which means that our children benefit from learning programs that are specifically designed to help them learn, grow and thrive,’’ Ms Dedman said.

The display is in the picture storybook section at Shepparton library, 41-42 Marungi St, Shepparton.

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