Une éxpédition d'apprentissage pour l'apprentissage

Shape your school, shape your world

The Free School is the kind of place where you need to spend the time to get to know the students and teachers. The Free school is personal and you need to get personal with it to discover its full potential.

My afternoon visit at the Free School revealed some of the highlights of a free school. It began with a warm welcome from our personal tour guide, a 12 year old senior students, who showed us the in and the outs of the school. One of the central elements of the schools, she highlighted, was the council meetings. She explained that when large conflicts arise any one student can call all the school together to solve it. The most recent council meeting she explained dealt with the issue that people were not closing the outside door. She said that this was resolved by the students voting to turn off the heat and leaving the door open. Every room we went to during our tour felt alive. There was someone doing something in every room from the kitchen where they were making custard, to the classroom where students were quietly working on a project, to the music room where students were playing the piano, to the library where students were playing board games to the outdoor playground where students were playing an imaginary game. Our tour guide also explained that teachers post a schedual of optional classes from which the students can choose from.

The main message that this school revealed to me is that you as a students are autonomous and capable of problem solving. ”It is your life, your mind and your education!” Free to learn documentary. This is true for the students but it is also true for the teachers. Children get to see that teachers are people too with feelings and passions. The school is always changing depending on the interests of students, parents and teachers that are there at that time.


When Humans Fly

Forest school has been an amazing opportunity to witness how brilliant, creative and critical children are. Because of the environment but also because they are encouraged to express themselves we get to see the children flourish and learn to take risks. Here are four beautiful moments that amazed me:

When Humans Fly

  • Child:”Did you know that we are flying?”
  • Adult: ”Oh ya. What do you mean?”
  • Child: ”Well we never really touch the ground. It’s only an illusion because the bubbles that our feet are made up of are continuously repelling the bubbles that the ground is up made of.”

Power of the Mind

  • Child: ”My hands were cold, so I sent heat to my hands with my mind and now my hands actually feel warm.”

Safety Man

  • Adult: ”To me this hill you are climbing looks dangerous. How can we made it safer?”
  • Child (With a clipboard like object in hand): ”Don’t worry I’m the safety man on a mission to make sure everyone is safe. We have agreed to use one path for coming up and one path for sliding down and I am making sure we only slide one at a time.”


  • Child 1: ”Did you know that chipmunks see in slow motion?”
  • Child 2: ”Maybe the chipmunks are seeing at normal speed and we are seeing in fast motion.”

Bird Sacrifice

  • Child A (Upon discovering a dead bird): ”LET THE BIRD BE SACRIFICED!”
  • Child B: ”Let’s bury it and have a funeral.”
  • Child A (At the funeral): ”Thank you bird for sacrificing yourself for the good of all others and putting the life of others before you. Your death has allowed the birth of another. You led an honourable life and we shall remember you.”

A day in the life…

No day is a typical day when you are at forest school because each day depends on its student’s interest and energy levels as well as the environment and its weather conditions. This is to give you an idea of what a day might look like.

8:00- Head out into the forest.

8:30- Arrive at Forest school, set up.

9:00- Children begin to trickle in.

9:30- A wolf howl is called and the group gathers under the tarp. A meeting is held to determine where we should hike to today and what we should do at the chosen location. Once three or so options are heard a vote is held to determine the destination for the day.

10:00- The circle scatters and everyone heads to the cabin to get their backpacks and go to the washroom.

10:30- Everyone is back at the circle and the group heads out for the hike.

11:30- Arrival at destination, the back packs are put down and the children scatter in the bushes nearby. Things are built, adventures are held and explorations are abundant.

12:30- A howl is heard and the group reconvenes. It is time for what is called sit spots. Children lift their veils of silence and are asked to find a spot in the forest alone where they can listen to the messages of the forest.

12:40- A howl is heard and the group gathers to share the messages they received from the forest. Each individual is listened to as they explain what they heard, saw, smelt, did or invented while they were sitting.

13:00- Backpacks are gathered and the pack heads back to the cabin.

13:30- Children are to finish their lunches if they have not already done so and a story is read for all to hear. Children are also free to write or draw in their journals.

14:00- Sometimes the stories inspires an activity (plan a tree house, play with clay, find specific plants mentioned in the story, create your own creation story, build a tool). Activities are suggested and play is reactivated.

14:30- A howl is called and the group gathers to recapitulate the adventures that happened that day and each individual shares their favourite part of the day.

15:00- Children begin to leave.

15:30- I head back through the forest, happy about another fun filled adventure in the forest.





Let’s move away from ”hippietecture”, architectural structures that are often stigmatized like earthships. Valhalla is trying to move away from this and work within our current system to make sustainability accessible and desirable to the common person. Like many other marginal populations these types of projects are often pointed at for all the wrong reasons without an understanding of the context. More than anything Valhalla is about creating a movement and way of life that makes sense at an individual level as well as an environmental level.

Vipassana Children

Apprendre la technique d’Anapana (la technique que les jeunes apprennent lors de leur séjour d’une journée au centre de méditation Vipassana), permet aux jeunes d’observer leur respiration naturel. Cela sème la graine du bonheur à un jeune age qui ne peut que fleurir avec le temps.

Mangeons des mauvais herbes!

Le Festi-Herbes à l’Herbothèque fut une opportunité d’apprendre sur les herbes médicinales dans un atmosphère convivial. Ma mère m’accompagna dans cette magnifique redécouvertes des plantes. On ne voit plus les mauvais herbes de la même façons quand on découvre les propriétés médicinales qu’ils ont. Quelques plantes intéressante….

Pissentlit: Les feuilles et les fleurs ce mangent en salade au printemps.
Wood sorrel: Un goût délicieusement amer et super dans une salade.
Plantain: Soulage les piqûres de maringouins en frottent la feuille sur la peau. Les feuilles ont aussi un bon petit goût de noix.
Achillée millefeuille: En tisane, les fleurs aide à soulager les fièvres et régularisé le cycle menstruel.
Ortie: Se mange en soupe et en smoothie (similaire au épinard).

Welcome Home!

When the earth is ravaged and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people shall come unto the earth from many colors, classes, creeds, and who by their actions and deeds shall make the earth green again. They will be known as the warriors of the Rainbow — Old Native American Prophecy

A Home, Not a Capital Investment

My brief stay at Hameau 18 allowed me to understand this fantastic project only at the surface level. The Eco Hameau is home to a dozen individuals, couples and families and La Coopérative du Cap. They welcome visitors, have homes scatter across the land, gardens and a variety of enterprises including a theatre company and food production companies.

At the center of their belief is that land should not be a commodity. By using an usufruct contract, it permits its members the use and advantages of the fruits of the Coopérative du Cap’s land short of it’s destruction or waste.

It’s a project that has grown over the years and now has a well established structure that continues to improve itself.


Enfants libres, enfants allumés

Imagine…une jeune mère qui corde du bois sont bébé de 18 mois à sont dos, pendant que l’un des jeunes de 3 ans alimente le feux pour éloigner les mouches, le plus vieux de 13 ans prépare un repas pour 15 personnes et les autres enfants jouent dans les arbres. Avec une famille de 7 enfants l’énergie est toujours vibrante. C’est beau l’atmosphère qui règne à St-Louis, même si ce n’est pas toujours calme et que les défis sont gros.

Voici deux éléments qui m’ont particulièrement marqué:

La créativité des jeunes. Les 7 enfants font l’école à la maison. Cela veut dire qu’il passent quelques heures seulement assit à une table à faire des études. Le reste du temps c’est la vie et le jeu qui leur enseigne. Les qualités de chaque jeune sont mis en valeur. Les enfants cessait de me surprendre avec leur créativité et leur sagesse.

Équilibre entre action et politique. Il y a une belle dynamique entre la création d’un mode de vie autosuffisant et l’implication au niveau politique. Ils concrétisent des projets tel un jardin, l’élevage d’animaux et une vie en communauté, mais il se battent et sont impliqué dans les enjeux environnementaux.

J’ai pu toucher à plusieurs projets tel que le désherbages, la cultivation de légumes, le sablage et l’installation des fermes de toit et le jeu avec les enfants.

St-Louis, c’est remplis de projets du CESA, au Germoire à la coopéerative de travaille le Tré Carrée. Le village St-Louis à vécu bien des changement mes des gens comme Maude, Gaspar et la famille vient leur donner une nouvelle vie.

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