Thursday, March 17, 2011

Field Trip

Home School Field Trips
Establishments like Busch Gardens and Lowry Park Zoo have done an amazing job of introducing field trips and events targeted to Home Schoolers. It's a chance to meet other families as well as let your child experience a 'class field trip', a highlight for any kid. To find home school field trips at a park or venue near you, simply Google "(place name) home school". Most have a web page specifically designated for Home Schoolers.

What makes a home school field trip different then just visiting?
  • A guided tour.
  • A preset itinerary.
  • A group experience.
  • Relaxed attendance requirements (you don't need a minimum number of students).
  • It's cheaper (We paid $15 for both of us when it normally costs about $50 each)
I took Lorelei on her first field trip this past Monday. Zoo School at Busch Gardens, Tampa. Needless to say, I was thrilled to pieces to take my little princess on her first honest to goodness field trip. So excited was I that I even fudged her age a bit (she can pass for a Kindergartner) what's the harm? Famous...last...words...

  • Serengeti Express
    • A train ride through the animal habitat (antelope, giraffe, rhino, ostrich, zebras)with brief facts on each and some shout-out-your-answer games
  • Conservation Video @ Timbuktu's 4-D Theater
    • The video was a bit obtuse but the baby animals were cute and we got a brief geography lesson traveling from Africa to Australia to Florida (yeah, I didn't think they quite equated either). Afterwards they brought out a few animals (llama, mini-cheetah, monkey), all of which Lorelei wanted to pet. But alas, no petting to be had.
  • Feeding the Meerkats
    • They are so stinking cute! The instructor explained habitats and social structure. The kids threw worms over the fence to feed the meerkats. Overall, good fun.
  • Lunchtime
    • Bring your own or sneak off to the snack stand
  • Turtle Time
    • A little origami activity that gave the kids a time to interact with each other and a few lessons on the structure of a shell
  • Animal Encounter
    • A classroom setting where kids get to meet and discuss a baby alligator, lemur and I think a bird but we had to leave before that.
  • Lions and Hyenas
    • Don't pet the kitty, honey. Hanging out in the "den" with protective glass between us and the animals. Another fact-finding game that was way over Lorelei's head
  • Go Home
    • Thank the Lord I'm free!
Age Ranges
When they say "K-12" they mean "sure, you could bring a 5 year old and an 18 year old." Guess what kids? While little Lo' can read way beyond her peers and has some pretty witty banter, she cannot sit still in a room with a fuzzy animal and listen to an instructor. Ain't happenin'. In fact, doing so may result in a meltdown of cataclysmic proportions and no one to blame but dear old mom who thought, "How different is 4 and 5, really?" Turns out, there is a big difference and even 5 would be pushing it. My rush to try "big kid" activities resulted in both of us in tears. This event was better suited for the 8 - 12 age range.

I don't blame Lorelei for her tantrum although we did have a little chatty about "good girl" vs. "bad girl" on the drive home. This one falls on me. Turns out, at this age, calm and controlled isn't so bad. We would have done better on our own, at our own pace. Next time, I'll take some cues from the established itinerary and tailor it to what is appropriate for Lorelei's age and maturity. Oh wait, that's why I chose Home Schooling in the first place!

Recovering in Bat Country

1 comment:

  1. I like that you are able to put in the bad with the good. You are a good teacher and mom. We all need to take lessons to admit when we are in the wrong.