Homeschooling in Mauritius
South African student, Reine, is age 12 and studying Year 7 Key Stage 3 (Secondary Level) with Wolsey Hall Oxford whilst homeschooling in Mauritius. We recently found out from her mother that Reine is not only a very talented violin player (see her prize winning WH Talent Contest video here), but a horse lover who volunteers to help those on the autism spectrum disorder have fun horse riding! Here’s what her mother Claire has to say:
“When we moved to Mauritius in August 2017 we decided to homeschool Reine via Wolsey Hall Oxford as the distance learning school affords us the freedom to move around whilst still providing a curriculum that will allow Reine to join mainstream schooling at a later point in life if she wishes to do so. We are however only doing three subjects, namely English, Science and Math via the official channels.
Various other subjects are explored based on Reine’s prevailing curiosity. One of her subject choices in August 2017 was ‘Autism Studies’. Although very happy to explore this subject I was worried as to how Reine would gain any kind of practical experience of autism whilst homeschooling in Mauritius. As I taught therapeutic music to autistic and other differently able children in the early 2000’s I was acutely aware that what we learn in theory is absolutely no substitute for real interaction with autistic children and their quirks, personalities, challenges and abilities.
The very first week of learning, Reine was just finishing her weekly horse riding session at Forbach Stables in the North of Mauritius, when to my amazement a school bus arrived from which a whole group of autistic children excitedly emerged to start working with and among the horses.
This immersion into experiencing autism and the various traits first hand was invaluable to Reine. Children from various ends of the spectrum were present. Some able to mount and ride the horses virtually unaided, with others finding even simple tasks challenging. At first Reine was quite trepidatious of the children, in part because they are all French or Creole speaking which makes communication even more challenging than is normally the case with the differently able.
Learning about autism has been a real growth experience for Reine. Most of all she sees how she in fact shares many interests and emotions with these children. The excitement of interacting with horses, cleaning out stables, sitting on horse-back and being one with such a huge and strong animal – all are feelings and actions that Reine too has experienced.
We are grateful that Carla, who runs the stables, allows Reine to volunteer and is ensuring that children on the autism spectrum also have the opportunity to interact with her horses. Usually unaffordable for many of these families the opportunity to spend even the small amount of time that they do is deeply enriching for everyone involved.”
Reine is really making the most of her time homeschooling in Mauritius. We’d really love to hear about how you spend your time and the activities you enjoy- contact us now to let us know!