Northern Family Experiments With Bush Schooling

Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 13:09



A northern woman who’s decided to give her kids their education through living off the land is glad she pulled them out of school.


Elizabeth Gardiner is a teacher who has grown disillusioned with the mainstream education system.


She and her husband Larry have been living with their three children in cabins in the Ile-a-la-Crosse and Patuanak areas for the last year.


Their kids, who are aged 10 to 12, aren’t home-schooled with textbooks or a formal curriculum. Instead, they’re taught concepts like math skills through traditional land uses like fishing, hunting, trapping and life in a cabin.


Gardiner says she and her husband feel this is not only a better learning environment, but also the best way to pass on their culture to their children.


She says they encourage their kids to do a lot of reading by constantly buying them newspapers and magazines.


The Gardiners also own technology like a laptop computer and a blackberry to keep their kids in tune with the world around them.


As well, the kids occasionally stay with relatives in nearby communities to allow for interaction with their peers.