|Budi at bushschool|
One of the nicest things about being briefly at home again (other than white goods) is being able to go to bush school again. My friends and I have been running a little non-commercial bushschool for just over two years now, taking the kids out of school every Tuesday in term time.
I park the car at the beach, the kids spill out and run down to our ‘classroom’ a shady spot under a pandanus tree. Sylvie and Budi usually go straight up the nearest she-oak but sometimes they’ll come for a wander down the beach with me to look for evidence of Foxy.
Sand is the perfect medium to learn animal tracking on, not just because the prints are so easy to see, but because the timing of the animal’s passage over the beach is easy to work out: if you know that high tide was three hours ago, and there’s fox tracks below the tide line, you know the fox was there in the last three hours. I’ve only ever seen the fox in the flesh once (he/she was running away) but there are fresh tracks every morning.
Once everyone has arrived and we’ve all said hello, we form a big circle on the sand and do yoga. This ain’t no ordinary yoga. Each person takes it in turns to go into the middle and demonstrate their pose, which they have made up after choosing a local animal or plant to mimic. Sea star poses are popular but messy. White faced heron poses are hard.
|A flock of white faced herons|
After yoga we do gratitude, with everyone offering up something they feel grateful for that day.
|Ocky is grateful to be at bushschool today|
A game of Bats and Moths is next, to teach about echolocation and to encourage listening skills.
|One moth about to be eaten by one bat, and one tree|
We usually do a sitspot at some point, where the kids wander off and find somewhere to sit in silence by themselves for 10-20 minutes. The shared morning tea is a highlight.
Today we focused on 'ageing' tracks. The kids set up a tracking box each and fenced it off. If the tracks are left undisturbed, we’ll be able to see what a week old track looks like next Tuesday.
|Making a tracking box|
|Budi's footprint, fresh|
|Bushies en masse|