At left: Megan Stewart up close and personal with a female cricket. Right

At left: Megan Stewart up close and personal with a female cricket. Right

The biggest school of all

The biggest school of all is right outside your door.

Julie Brannigan

The biggest school of all is right outside your door.

For B.C. public school parents, filling the void left by the teacher’s strike is a complicated mess of daycare issues, squabbling siblings and fear the kids will fall behind.

Schooling our kids is completely foreign to most of us but it’s also intuitive, and I’ve seen parents deliver some great lessons this summer in nature’s classroom.

This weekend on a family walk near the airport the trails were crawling with female crickets intent on laying their eggs in the ground.

The kids quickly learned the females use the long spiky ovipositor protruding from their back ends to deposit eggs deep into the dirt.  Fascinating stuff!

Whenever we go rafting the kids learn about the importance of planning ahead and being prepared.  You never know when a massive storm will chase us down the St. Mary’s and win.

Even when your kids are in school, the great outdoors is an awesome science lab.  It’s no replacement for formal education, but it’s only a step away.

Julie Brannigan of Cranbrook writes at riverscrossing.ca/blog