Homeschooling – Australian Convict History.

Living in Tasmania, there is a lot of real life history around us that dates back to the convict era. That is why we decided in early December, that we would research and look at Australian Convict History, and in particular Tasmanian convict life and settlements.

One of our field trips so far has involved visiting Richmond Gaol, in the Town of Richmond, around 20 or so kilometres out of Hobart. This field trip proved to be so educational that I have started to really explore the history of the Tasmanian convict era in order to ensure that our homeschooling experience in one of fun, learning and opportunities to see first hand real life convict settlements within Tasmania.

In 2009, we will be delving deeper into the theme of Australian Convicts and will be visiting a number of historic convict places in Tasmania to help us gain a greater understanding of how they lived, what they endured and why may people where sent to Australia as convicts.

According to www.tourismtasmania.com.au tasmania has the following convict sites:

Sarah Island The ruins of the once notorious Sarah Island penal settlement (1822-1833) can be experienced by cruise from the fishing port of Strahan on Macquarie Harbour. The island is a part of a vast tract of Tasmanian wilderness protected under World Heritage status.

Port Arthur Historic Site – The Port Arthur Historic Site (on 125 hectares/309 acres) today is a world-class tourist attraction, with an interactive visitor centre and more than 30 historic buildings and ruins, set within beautiful gardens and native surroundings.

Tasman Peninsula Convict Trail – takes in seven locations in an area where Tasmania’s convict history is most concentrated. They include: Eaglehawk Neck, site of the famed Dog Line; the Coal Mines; Saltwater River and Wedge Bay. The Trail includes spectacular land formations along the coastline of the Tasman National Park. Read about the Tasman Peninsula’s convict past.

The Female Factory, Hobart – considered the female equivalent to Port Arthur: hundreds of women and children were gaoled there from 1828-1877, with many dying from poor hygiene, inadequate nutrition and backbreaking work. Female Factory Website.

Richmond – the majority of this historic town appears much as it would have done in the mid-nineteenth century, when convict labour was derigetour. The gaol, built in 1825, housed prisoners, including bushranger Martin Cash. Although tiny compared with Port Arthur’s immense scale, the gaol at Richmond is unique as the buildings and cells are intact and eerily reminiscent of their torturous past. Richmond has Australia’s oldest road bridge, built by convict labour in 1823.

Therefore these are the ones that we will be including into our learning and Field Trip experiences over the next 12 months.

Other Interesting Articles

Home Educational Resources – Books about Australian Convict History

Homeschool Happenings – Australian Early Settlers and Convict History

Homeschooling / Home Education Books

I have been borrowing some books from the local library on Home education and have been busy reading them.

Some I have read and really enjoyed and would recommend include –

The Homeschooling Handbook

Discover
-When, why, and how to homeschool
-Detailed learning ideas for the primary, middle, and teen years
-How to navigate the local regulations
-Strategies to avoid burnout and strengthen family relationships
-Resources in the community and the homeschooling network
-And more!

The Unschooling Handbook: How to Use the Whole World as Your Child's Classroom

Learning Is As Natural As Breathing
The unschooling movement is founded on the principle that children learn best when they pursue their own natural curiosities and interests. Learning is a natural, inborn impulse, and the world is rich with lessons to be learned and puzzles to be solved.

Beyond Survival: A Guide to Abundant-Life Homeschooling

From The Publisher:

This book gives parents the preparation and working plan for a successful homeschooling experience. With confidence and compassionate humor, Diana Waring leads veterans and beginners on a joy-filled educational journey. “Beyond Survival offers practical help with the real questions of homeschooling and provides an extensive list of proven resources.

The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook

This low-stress, low-cost program shows you how to build a curriculum around your child’s needs and interests – and around a realistic family schedule. Instead of a cut-and-dried approach, you’ll discover the freedom of a flexible program that encourages creativity and initiative.

HOMESCHOOLING:A PATCHWORK OF DAYS -Share A Day With 30 Homeschooling Families -by Nancy Lande

I am always on the look out for more great books and will add them on the website as I read them.