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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Field Trippin’!

imageFor me, the most really, totally, completely cool part of homeschooling is FIELD TRIPS!  Anytime, anywhere – yay!

When I fired ds16’s elementary school about five years ago, one of the first things I did was look over his “careers” unit (we kept the textbooks!) and plan a couple of field trips.  I don’t remember where else we went, but I do remember the trip to the courthouse – just him and me (ditched the baby, who was Naomi Rivka at the time), in the back of a small claims courtroom, having the time of our lives watching ex-neighbours and ex-contractors bicker about who owed what to whom.

That’s the “lone wolf” field trip:  you decide, you plan, you go.

Then, however, there’s the “pack wolf” field trip, the kind that is designed for a school group, but you can make it work for homeschoolers if you really try.  There are some experiences that can only be had in a group. 

I suppose this is how classroom teachers do it:  pick an activity, book the event, and go.  Except that once I have picked an activity, I then have to find a group. 

Luckily, there’s a fairly active Yahoo group for local homeschoolers, and it seems like there are almost always a few people willing to go along with stuff.  So far this year, we have had two fun trips to the NFB’s downtown Mediatheque animation workshops, plus the Royal Winter Fair. 

Upcoming, I have finalized a trip to a primary-level symphony concert – in a major concert hall downtown – that involved collecting prepayments, booking, etc.  The folks didn’t really know what to do with me, standing in their office with cash in hand, but eventually, they took it happily enough.  I guess school boards usually pay by cheque.  Go figure.

imageTwo new ones that I’m working on are a late-March maple syrup trip to the Humber Arboretum and a fire station visit.  Not that the fire station people are getting back to me.  Drat, and drat again.  Guess I’ll have to follow up one more time…

Today, we had the lowest of all low-key field trips – Allen Gardens, one of my favourite places in the city at this time of year.

I was thinking yesterday that this would be a great thing to put on my résumé – you know, to prove that I haven’t just been sitting home twiddling my thumbs all these years.  Choosing educational events, coordinating programs, parents, kids, payments.  It’s a lot of work, and sometimes, it feels like I’m the only parent doing it – but then I go onto the list and see something cool that someone else is pulling together for their kids plus others and I feel encouraged.

How do you coordinate field trips in your homeschool?  Are you mostly a “lone wolf” or “pack wolf”?

Previous Allen Garden trips (we are there OFTEN at this time of year):

2 comments:

FairyLover said...

We love field trips. Today we went to a place that had slot car racing. The kids loved it.

Kathi Still trying to figure out science for my 3rd grader.

Kathleen said...

We have a homeschool group in our community that gets together for field trips. We have someone (not me) who does most of the organizing. We don't do "lone" field trips too often (I should do more!).
I'm still in limbo on science right now. My 4th grader just finished one set of curriculum and we haven't started anything else and my 1st grader has been studying animals but we need to expand her science lessons.