Wednesday, 12 September 2007

A day in Australia

 

I woke up by the sound of a kookaburra, a large Australian kingfisher. The sound is so typical of Australia and is something like the laugh of an excited monkey.Lateron in the afternoon I saw him sitting on a high branch. I couldn't get a close picture of the bird, but this the best I could do.
After breakfast my daughter told the children to start their school work. The children are being homeschooled. Every day they have to finish a certain amount of home work to write. Then they have a conversation on the telephone with their teachers. My eldest grandson, who is almost 11 years old, asked his teacher if he wanted to speak to me and so we did. The other two children of his class asked me some questions. One of them asked if it was very cold in the Netherlands, if there were mountains, how large it was and how many inhabitants it has.I told them that there are no mountains, most of the country is flat. It has 16 million inhabitants and it's half the size of Tasmania, Australia's smallest state. From the very north of the Netherlands to the bottom of the country it's only about 350 km. The teacher was very much interested in my photos of Rotterdam.
In the afternoon we went Cooktown where we had lunch at Cook's Landingplace. We met as usual a lot of friends of my daughter's.
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6 comments:

Libertine said...

Hasn't homeschooling long been a tradition for children living in remote areas of Australia, augmented by phone calls and short wave radio to teachers?

reader Wil said...

Yes it has. When my children were young they watched "Skippy, the bush kangaroo", and later we watched "Flying Doctors". In both series we saw that children were being homeschooled. We are now waiting for a course of Dutch, which I ordered in The Netherlands, but was too late to take it with me. Dutch is going to be the second language of my grandchildren.

LauriesAsylum said...

I applaud your daughter for taking on the task of homeschooling. My children never would have listened to me if I'd chosen to do that!

Libertine said...

I take it that their first language is English?

It's good for them to learn a second language as children, as it's easier to learn then.

reader Wil said...

Yes Laurie,it's a full time job, but my daughter is loving it and she seems strict enough with them. My grandchildren know that when they don't listen to my daughter she will send them to the local school.

reader Wil said...

Yes Will, English is their first language. They also learn their father's language, which is Guugu Yimithir, an Aboriginal language.It's good indeed to learn languages at an early age.I learned Malayan when I was a child, but forgot all about it after the war when we came to live in The Netherlands. So they have to keep speaking and reading the language.