The Homeschool Camp at Op-die-Plaas Sandrivier between Laingsburg, Calitzdorp and Ladismith, was a direct result of our receiving a building on the campgrounds… miracle upon miracle made it possible, and the camp venue was completed in November 2015.
The name Sionsrus was decided upon after 3 of us received this Scripture at the same time, from Zephaniah 3:
Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout O Israel;
be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem.
…Fear thou not: and to Zion,
Let not thine hands be slack.
The LORD Thy God in the midst of thee is mighty;
He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy;
He will rest in His love;
He will joy over thee with singing.
At first we didn’t know exactly what we wanted to do there, but the morning the cement dried we walked over the grounds and asked the Lord what He wanted us to do with this place. Before I went back into the house I felt on my heart that we needed to invite homeschooling families here. In January 2016 we hosted the first homeschool camp with 54 people attending. Since then it’s gone from strength to strength, so much so that to date we’ve been able to offer 16 camps - some of them informal without any formal program, where everyone could visit and play together and get to know one another - and others that were very structured with a strict program to keep the kids constantly busy!
Barend Jordaan of Cornerstone Life Adventures is absolutely FANTASTIC with each child, regardless of age! We’ve even had Martie du Plessis of Dynamis Learning here to chat with the homeschoolers about the Karoo and Klein Karoo. She does wonderful work for people that are weighing up whether to homeschool or not and don’t know what curriculum to use.
Although the campground and hall works on solar and gas alone, I’ve got everything I need in the hall - even a TV we can use for presentations (we also used it to catch a rugby match with everyone)!
The 2 large inside braais make wintertime lovely here on the farm. I put beds in the hall and passing motorbike riders offload there - they thoroughly enjoy staying over! We’ve even had the privilege off hosting a tiny wedding with just 30 guests and it was so wonderful to see how our rough farm terrain transformed for the occasion! The next wedding we’ll host is scheduled for March 2021 with 66 guests and we’ll be providing all the food - exciting times!
We must say though that our favourite addition is the new swimming pool! The kids love to play in it and it makes even the hottest days bearable.
Here, the children and young adults learn farm basics such as: where milk comes from and how to milk cows; how to knead bread and make food; and how to work with lambs and sheep and protect them from predators. They also learn much about the vegetation and animal life here and enjoy rides into the fields on the back of a bakkie. Our guests collect the most beautiful rocks here also and even have photos taken of themselves with fossils.
Though we’re in the driest year ever, our guests enjoy it despite this, where the stars shine more brightly and the animals graze contently, where the gravel road meanders so beautifully through the mountains and brings you to places of rest and peace.
Our next Homeschoolers Camp is 7-10 January 2020
The cost is R350 per family and includes 3 nights camping in their own tents
Bookings can now be made to secure your family’s spot.