Friday, October 5, 2012

Fabulous Field Trips and Final Freebie!

Here it is. . . the last in the series of giveaway posts!  Congratulations to Ann Moore,  the winner of the On-The-Go planner.    Read to the end of this post; there's a GREAT giveaway this week as well!

This week's topic: Fabulous Field Trips.

Now I admit, being a homeschooler, you really can take some fabulous field trips! The grocery store, the office supply center, the discount store. . . . . . .

Oh, wait. Not THOSE field trips you say?

Alright, time for a confession. Most field trips organized for homeschoolers leave me, well, like this:
Except my hair's not red. And I rarely wear lipstick. But you get the picture.

I have field trip issues. All too often, the field trips I've been on have featured some, er, problems.

So with that in mind I give you:

Heather's Handy Hints for Happy Homeschool Happenings  
(aka field trips, but I've got the whole alliteration thing going and didn't want to mess it up. Work with me, people.)

1. Be Like Horton the Elephant

"I meant what I said and I said what I meant; an Elephant's faithful, one-hundred percent!"

If you commit to a field trip, attend. If you promise to pay for a field trip, pay. Simple as that. Of course, there are extenuating circumstances - like hospital stays, delivering babies, and death. "My week has been too busy" is NOT, repeat, NOT an extenuating circumstance. It's life.

Scripture tells us to let our yes be yes and our no be no (Matt. 5:37). Let's model that for our kids - and for the watching world - by honoring our commitments.

2. Do NOT be like the White Rabbit

"I'm late, I'm late. . .for a very important date!"

Or as my dear husband says. . ."To be early is to be on time!" Figure out how long it will take you to drive, arrive, park, and walk to the meeting location. Then add 15 minutes. For traffic, diaper blow-outs, and unexpected, "Oh my! How DID that gas gauge get to empty?" moments.

Be respectful of other people's time. Another handy hint: make sure you have a cell phone number for the trip coordinator, so you can let her know if you're running late.

3. Steer Clear of Dr. McPhee from Night at the Museum

"Do you know what 'museum' means? It-- It does not mean, 'Ooh, Daddy, it's a big 
tyrannosaurus thing! Can I touch its leg?' No! Control your young!"

It's 11 o'clock on the field trip. . .do you know where your children are? Are they running through the exhibits? Torturing the tortoises? Driving the docents delirious?  

Like it or not, people who offer field trips will look at our homeschool groups with a critical eye. An out-of-control, undisciplined, disruptive group will likely ruin any potential future trips for other homeschoolers. If your child misbehaves (and face it! they all do at some time or another!), pull them quietly aside and remind them what is expected.

More importantly - for many of us, we represent not only homeschoolers, but the body of Christ. Let's be good ambassadors.

4. Avoid the Ladies' Dance Committee (Music Man)

"Pick a little-talk a little
Pick a little-talk a little
Cheep cheep cheep! 
Talk a lot, pick a little more!"
This one's for me. Yes, mommas, I know we're all excited about seeing our friends. But the field trip is NOT our social outing! Make plans to visit after the field trip at a park or Starbucks, but PLEASE don't visit and chat during a presentation.

Because there's nothing more embarrassing than a docent asking the group to be quiet - and it's the moms who are talking. Ask me how I know.

5. Let your kids be Horshack, not you
"Ooh! Ooh! Mr. Kotter! Mr. Kotter!"
(yes, I know - I'm a child of the 70s. deal with it)

Y'all. I know it's crazy cool that we're learning all this stuff as moms that we'd forgotten. I know you have a million interesting questions, and you actually KNOW the answers because you read the book. But seriously? You already DID 3rd grade science. Let your kids answer and ask the questions.

It's their field trip.

6. Always remember to say. . . . . . .

Want to make a good impression?  Say "Thank you" at the end of the trip. . . not only to the place who hosted your group, but to the homeschool mom who likely coordinated it! Bonus tip: writing a thank you note qualifies as handwriting AND English, so what do you have to lose?

Besides, if you express enough appreciation, follow some basic rules of courtesy, and invite her out to Starbucks - she may even coordinate another Fabulous Field Trip for you!

Alright. You've read to the end, and here's your prize:

Yeah, quit drooling. You know you want it. The fabulous, amazing, Well-Planned Day Planner!  If you don't know about this, you should. If you don't have it, you need it. It's awesome. It's amazing.

And it can be yours if I pick your comment! Simply leave a comment here on the blog, and PLEASE leave a way for me to reach you. If I pick your name via, you WIN! Woo hoo!!!!!

So, what say you? Do you have your OWN hint for making field trips wonderful? Do tell!

And if you want to hear MORE about fabulous field trips, hop on over to some of my friends' blogs. Tell 'em I sent you. Enjoy! And, as always, the fine print: (read in monotone announcer's voice): Due to international sweepstakes laws, this giveaway is for US entrants only. This giveaway is not tied to any social media site. All prizes must be claimed within 8 weeks.


Jen said...

I just had to say I loved this so much. (Don't enter me in the giveaway--I'm not allowed to win, since I'm a HEDUA employee!). THIS WAS AWESOME.

Erin Robbins said...

Great tips! Would love to win the planner. :) My main field trip advice would be to spread out the "big" trips... you know, the ones involving a whole day or a long drive.

mamaeyes1234 said...

Oh I would love to win this planner, this is just what I need. My family loves going on field trips, I just make sure that everyone is well rested and well fed before we leave so we can have a great time.

Sarah said...

Bravo! Well spoken and hilarious at the same time! All very valid reminders.

mamaeyes1234 said...

I would love to win this giveaway, I need a good planner to organize my day. Also I loved your blog post about taking field trips, I love taking field trips with my kids, and we really need to schedule more througout the year.

Sandra Knutson said...

I love all the Field Trips points mentioned!

Another piece of advice would be to really be aware of the desirable age grouping for your field trips. I.e. you can't expect a 5 yo to enjoy or sit through the same type of field trip a 15 year old would. So choose your field trips wisely and make them age appropriate.

The Cains said...

I haven't been on an organized field trip with my kids in 2 1/2 years! Why you ask? Because I come home looking quite like your not-quite-you pic above....only with brownish gray frizzy hair! I LOVE this post!

P.S. I never get enough of your "What say yoy?" and have even inserted it into my everyday convos when possible.

TracyC said...

Great tips...and gosh!...I could apply those to a bunch of other situations like Sunday School and VBS and sports and.....

really.truly said...

Would love to win the planner!
My field trip tip-go with just your family. We have found that when we go in a group we feel more rushed among other things. :)

Carolyn said...

Great post! I like solo field trips more. More time to ask questions, take it in. However, we do participate in groups occasionally.

Pretty planner! Perfect for fall. Let me know I won at

Sommer said...

We only do family field trips (sneakily disguised as outings with daddy) because other peoples kids tend to drive me insane. But then mine tend to make me insane too.

DaBearsHomeSchool said...

We have a mom who is coordinating several homeschool field trips this year. Some are tentative & 1 has already taken place. She has decided to collect a small fee to get a thank you gift to send to the place we visited.

Silver Moon said...

Keep it simple. If other people's kids are involved, don't go for great big, must be highly organized type events. Save those for just you and your homeschooling girlfriend's family.

Patty said...

I agree with your field trip tips. We are excited about our next field trip to Oak Mountain!

Lisa C. said...

Too funny, and great reminders! Thanks!

Lisa C.

Erin Long said...

So amusing, loved it.

Lauren said...

What a great giveaway! Thank you for the field trip tips, too.