Friday, 20 February 2009

Forest school

A morning where Squirrel and Tiger run whooping to the cold, bare winter woods with a bunch of wildeyed kids, a couple of smiley instructors and a selection of parents straggling behind, gritted teeth, wellington boots, hands in pockets. (Not Grit, mind. She legs it to the local cafe to talk politics and drink coffee with Michelle.)

In the woods with forest school the little gritlets spend the morning learning how to survive. Useful should they one day find themselves driven to Salcey Forest, frisked for breadcrumbs and kicked out the car.

Actually, they probably wouldn't mind if they were dumped in a forest. This outdoor education brings about such complete and overwhelming joy that when I pick up Tiger she squeals with stars dancing in her eyes that for this type of lesson she would get up at 4 O CLOCK IN THE MORNING. 4am has become something of a benchmark for excellence round here, since Dig took us all on a flight to the Hotel de Londres in San Sebastian and we all fell in love with the strawberries dipped in chocolate and the creaky hotel lift. That's how good 4 in the morning can be.

And with Tiger and Squirrel clearly loving every second of a forest education, I am left to wonder why don't parents of primary age kids stage a mass rebellion? Go on. Take your offspring out of school for a year of home education. Go and muck about in woods and fields, receiving the type of experience a little kid should have. Especially on a day like this when the newspapers are pouring out news we've heard all before. Because didn't we all know this? We're looking at a big reason why we dumped school in the first place.

And you'll notice that Shark's not here. She says she doesn't want to get out of bed early because she is half way through The Railway Children and then needs to start the Harry Potter series. Carry on like this little Shark and it could be time to introduce you to Ezra Pound and James Joyce.


Samurai Beetle said...

Happy at 4am??? Words escape me.

Jaywalker said...

Oh, San Sebastian. Best place in world. I totally agree, worth 4am anyday.

I'm with shark on this one though.

Mud in the City said...

Is 30 too old for forest education? I want to come and hangout with the gritlets!