Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ballarat homeschooling excursion

We hit Ballarat while it was bucketing down with rain. Actually the rain barely let up while we were there and it chased us back to Melbourne.
But, hey, the more the merrier to break the drought.
Aspie teen totally loved the In Your Face exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ballarat; political cartoons from 1760-2010, some of them far more risque than what our cartoonists get away with today (very chuckle-inducing, though).

The art gallery is the oldest regional art gallery in Australia and oozes history, it certainly appealed to Aspie teen. He seems more comfortable in an older, historic setting rather than post-modern minimalistic (which he says feels cold to him). We could have spent hours and hours there but we were on a tight time-frame so we will be returning to the art gallery at a future date to continue our love affair with its goodies.

Aspie teen's map reading skills are getting quite a work out on these trips; we picked up a travel booklet which included a map of the CBD of Ballarat and he was able to navigate us correctly to each op shop address I'd written (the fact the list was out of date and the op shops no longer at each address is beside the point, he got us there in one try lol).
We were given directions from a kind lady in one op shop we happened to stumble across and we had a great walk around the streets, eyeballing some fabulous architecture, history and beautiful buildings (with the full trimmings) still mostly intact as they were originally built over 150 years ago.

In all it was a highly successful homeschooling excursion like the last; these weekly trips are proving to be good for him in so many ways, not to mention getting him ready to travel out of Melbourne during school hols to avoid the crowds. He's able to navigate us around strange cities without using the GPS (and without a meltdown), his ability to look for street addresses and work out which side of the street or how far down the street the building may be is becoming better and he's enjoying himself, which is the most important thing in all of this.
So long as he's having fun the learning comes naturally in those circumstances and it stays with him as it's associated with a pleasant time.
We were unable to get to Kirrit Barreet, the Aboriginal cultural centre, but Aspie teen wasn't upset as he's keen to learn about his fathers people, the Dja Dja Wurrung, who are from the Bendigo area and part of the Kulin Nation.
Maybe when we go back again soon we'll get to have a visit there.

1 comment:

Adelaide Dupont said...

I hope he does get to the culture centre and learn about the people of the Dja Dja Wurrung.