Monday, June 2, 2014

When the teachers strike, the learning (and fun) carries on...

Job Action day in Week 1 of the teacher strike for Vancouver. Determined to keep the gas pedal pushed to the metal on the last few weeks of learning for this school year, I dragged the kids out to Fort Langley. We made plans to meet the Warringtons and have another of our famous "Les and Larry" days. Always so much fun and entertaining. This edition of L + L was comprised of nine kids and Larissa and me. So, basically a mini-field trip. 

I have never been to Fort Langley and my first impression was really good. Maybe it's the official National Historic Site designation, but the park is well maintained, well staffed and well appointed. 

Even on a Monday (they didn't seem to have anything special running for strike action), they had lots of people wandering around, dressed in pioneer garb, spouting information about the Fort back in the day.

The kids spent a good long time panning for cold in the freezing cold water (if I could offer one tip...heat the water, slightly!).

There was a small farm in the back corner. This crazy chicken is a girl after my own heart with her lovely feathered afro.

All the living quarters were tour-able and thoughtfully presented with appropriate items to give the kids a great idea of what life might have been like 175 years ago.

I was most impressed with the two guides we saw. The guy pictured below gave a great talk in the coopery (barrel making area). I learned a lot myself and I was pleased to see my kids with their hands up, asking great questions. At the end, Lukey asked if the wood shavings on the ground were "real" or if they just make shavings and threw them on the ground to make it look like that guy did something. I had to laugh. So did the guide. He told Lukey he'd busted them. No real barrels got made and he was right, it was just atmospheric. Ha!

The blacksmith demo was also great. It was a real demonstration...the smithy made a hook in the forge right in front of us, complete with using the bellows and a real coal fire. She took trades for the hooks in the end.

I think Larissa and I are in agreement that the days we spend with all the kids are fantastic. We merge together and end up with more than the sum of our parts. The kids pair off, but also work well together across all the age groups. You are just as likely to see Lukey bugging Sophia as hanging out with Alex. It's great to have a family to hang out with like that. Next strike day is this coming Friday and I think we will try to head somewhere else together.

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