Home Schooling

Carnival and classroom combine for show circuit kids

Year 2 student Blaze Townsend is more likely to be found between classes running his family’s carnival sideshow than running around a school playground.

The seven-year-old is a ninth-generation carnival kid, and classes have to fit in around life on the road.

Blaze is one of 60 children taught by Kate Jones, an educator with the National School of Travelling Show Children.

The children attend school for as many hours as other students, but at flexible times and places.

Ms Jones said her students were used to the sporadic schooling, and embraced the excitement of nomadic life.

“They have the most incredible spirit in everything they do, and they have cheekiness to go with it, and I personally think cheekiness in children is quite great as long as it is also respectful,” Ms Jones said.

kids studying inside a caravan

A caravan decked out for school lessons travels with the convoy from show to show.(Supplied: Kate Jones)

Ms Jones said she jumped at the chance to work as a travelling teacher two years ago, after 20 years as a school principal.

“If every child could be taught in this way I think it would be incredible,” she said.

“It just works and I think it is largely due to the families.”

She said they were determined for the children to have an excellent education and they did everything they could to get their kids to school.

“It’s certainly an exciting way to teach,” she said.

Four students at a show carnival.

National School of Travelling Show children students gather on campus at the Dalby Show.(Supplied: Kate Jones)

Ms Jones said most issues that cropped up outside her field of knowledge could be solved with the help of top-class internet installed in the carnival’s school trailer.

She said the challenges included the vast distances covered by the entourage as it travelled from show to show.

She said a lack of professional contact with other teachers was also an issue.

Blaze said he loved everything about working the show circuit with his family.

“Setting up, packing down, helping out with the work,” he said.

“Plus I like riding rides too.”

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-11-27/rural-show-kids-homeschooling-work-sideshows/101697386

Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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