View Full Version : What counts?

05-02-2004, 12:55 PM
During the summer months we will have more time to go on field trips. What does or does not count as a field trip? We've been to the potato chip factory, a dairy farm, aquarium, farm store to see chicks and ducklings, the factory in Hershey, and the Strasburg railroad. Does the farm store count, since we studied chickens during our farm animals unit? We knew more than the store people!
We're also going to do a unit on different pets sometime, and I know from The Field Trip Factory that Petco or Petsmart or 'Somebody' has a tour and info they give you if you sign up for it. Would the pet store count?

Remember- I am the reason for the word 'unorganized' so I want to have all these issues down pat before I really have to be accountable for what we do! Thanks for any advice.

05-02-2004, 03:09 PM

I'm not sure how your state counts *hours* and such but...I will tell you that not all ps field trips are what you would consider *greater education*.

When I was in school we mostly went to the San Pedro Tide Pools in So. CA. When my brother was in school in AZ they went to McDonalds and saw the training area, pizza places, grocery stores, etc...

My guess would be as far as counting your field trips it's all in how you sizzle & sell it. :D

Every trip to anyplace....can be a learning experience. I once had a woman behind me in line comment to the cashier about how she wish all mom's took the time to teach their children how to count money like I had just displayed with my. I didn't think anything of it but...looking back it really is a huge deal for him to be able to figure out if he has enough money to purchase the item and then if he gets cash back. Now...he's only 5 so...we don't get real detailed but....my long story short is...a trip to Wal-Mart to buy groceries & him to purchase his toy was a learning experience.

Seems to me that every field trip to mentioned counts! Don't sell yourself short.

Hope that helps.

Sandy K
05-02-2004, 06:14 PM
I don't know homeschooling rules, but as a teacher I would say almost anything can be a field trip. In my former school we had to tie our field trips to our objectives or standards, but that was pretty easy to do.

Since everything you do is a learning experience for your kids, I would say they all would count.

If you need to show how it fits with curriculum, I would take some pictures, (or save receipts, etc) and add it to your kid's portfolios for the the theme unit covered. Or, have them write about it in their journals.
The grocery store could be health/nutrition or math depending what you talked about that day :).

Sounds like a fun way to learn to me!

05-02-2004, 06:40 PM
Hi, Becky! My vote is to avoid Petsmart or Petco if you want your kids to learn something. Instead, visit a veterinary clinic! We gave tours all the time. Most vets get a kick out of kids coming in to marvel at all the "insider" secrets of the surgery room and of course the patients! My boss loved teaching the kids about pet care and showing them some "interesting" stuff from his box of, ummm, shall we say "goodies" :p

Even if the vet is unavailable due to emergencies or whatnot, the technicians should be able to show the kids around and answer most questions. We even gave handouts and coloring books to each child. Pretty fun for all involved! :cool:

Hope this sparks some ideas for you!

05-02-2004, 08:05 PM
Animal Care & Control does a nice presentation around here. We have a turtle rescue center which was terrific also. Local zoo, science museum, nature center, even a grocery store can be a field trip. You can tour the fire station, visit city hall or the county commission chambers. Invite a local notable to come read to a group of kids.

05-03-2004, 01:21 AM
I like the vet office idea!
In most schools I know of here we too have to justify our field trip by linking it to a Prescribed Learning Outcome. Depends on how sticky the Principal is. It's easy to justify most anything. Any time I take the kids to rollerskating, ice skating, parks, etc.. I say it's to enhance my Physical Education curriculum.
I also don't know any Home school "rules".

Kim R
05-03-2004, 07:01 AM
I personally consider anything we do outside our home a field trip:). We went to Wal Mart awhile ago, ran into another hs family, the mom said to me, oh I see you're taking the day off. I said, oh no, today we're learning how to find the best date on milk, and the best bargain for our money. By the time I got home, another neighbor had already found out that "Kim was teaching dd in Walmart how to find the date on milk."
I thought it was cute yesterday, when I stopped by the supermarket for storebought cresent rolls,(I know it's not the best choice, but we get them once in a while for a treat) and dd picked out the package she wanted(small ones) and then put them back and picked up the next package (large ones). I said why are you changing, you usually like the small ones. She replied mom the little ones are only 9 ozs and the big ones are 10 ozs for the same price. I hadn't even noticed. Learning is everywhere.
Of course we do "usual" field trips as well -- Science Museum, Zoo, Explore Park (a historical area where people dress up in all kinds of costumes and teach about their historical period) the dairy farm, planetarium, etc. I don't have to keep records of them though. When dd was in public school they went to Sesame Street Live, to the playground, and bowling for field trips. If those are educational, then you should have no problem :). Sometimes just having fun is educational. Good luck and enjoy.:D
Kim R

05-03-2004, 04:22 PM
So...I didn't realize there was another kind of cresent roll besides store bought. What other kind of cresent rolls are there? ROFL

Sounds like you live in a small town if the neighbors are all talking about your trip to Wal-Mart.

Today ps had the day off. It was very nice at the Children's Museum because normally, in the morning they will have a school group there. :D

Maybe I mentioned this already but...the end of May our hs group is going to a pizza place to get a tour and then we will have a little party to *end the school year*. I do think most of us school year round. I figure it's easier to stay in a routine and take off for vacation when we want rather than only during the hottest parts of the year. So...does a pizza place tour count as a field trip. Does in my book. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

05-03-2004, 05:26 PM
ANYPLACE you TOUR is considered a field trip in my book! As far as Wal-mart or the grocery, it would depend on you. I sure as heck am not going to tell you it ISN'T a field trip! When you go to the grocery, you can also give a child the list to cross off. My youngest loves doing this. "OK, here's onions. It starts with an "o". Can you find the word that starts with "o" for me and mark it off?" (Unfortunataely, listed right below the onions was "olive oil"!!!) We also do math. "I got three ears of corn in this bag. Let's put three more in this other bag? How many do you think we have? Let's count...6!!! So Three in here and three in here is SIX! HEY!!! Let's take one from this bag and put it in the other bag. Now we have four here, and two here. How many do you think we have all together? One, Two.....SIX AGAIN!!! So four and two are six, too!!!" (This is much easier when it's just the two of us; no big sisters!) Or with the older ones, we will estimate how much three bananas weigh. Then we weigh them, and use that to guess five or six bananas, etc.

This summer, we went to New England for our summer vacation. I counted pretty much the whole trip as a BIG field trip, and wrote it up. I do like the suggestion to take pictures, etc.

05-03-2004, 05:55 PM
A trip to Wal Mart can be educational in many ways. My oldest learned about weight by guessing the weights on fruits and veggies and weighing them. My youngest sorts boxes, cans, etc. (categorizing) (This also makes checkout go fatser due to bagging.) I love the idea of having a younger one mark items off the list. I will have to add this to our trips. My oldest keeps track of how much we are spending. (addition) He has also learned how much food costs. He tries not to ask for so much. He also reminds his sister if she tries to waste food. LOL

We did a study on pets and went to the animal shelter. It was a learning experience for both kids. They loved it. It even helped them get over the death of our old dog. They realized that at least she had had a long, happy life. (And they came home with a new one.)

I am always trying to think of ways to get out and learn. It makes it more fun for the kids and keeps them from getting "cabin fever". Does anyone else have any ideas?


05-03-2004, 07:09 PM
I had an estimating activity backfire. DH gives me cash for groceries, so I need to be careful not to spend more than I actually have with me. Usually I bring along more than I think I need and not worry about it. But one time, I felt it was going to be close, so I decided to have my oldest daughter estimate the cost. We had done estimating in math. Started off OK; I would tell her it was $3.77, so that was almost $4. But then I just started giving her the exact price, and instead of adding on the estimated amount, she was trying to add the actual and there were too many prices coming at her too quickly! Well, we'll try it again later!

05-03-2004, 07:38 PM
I have always thought any educational experience, especially field trips are counted as time. I have heard even playgroups or sports could be considered "social science."
Field trips count at public schools- I would think that would apply for home schoolers..we just have lots more of them! And like some of the others said, anything outdoors can be a field trip if you take time to teach while you are there...Home schoolers have a way of life that finds educational experiences in everything.

05-04-2004, 12:18 PM
Thanks for all the good ideas and advice. I just figured there would be some 'requirement' for lack of a better word. I guess I'm making this homeschooling harder than it has to be. Everything is cool now, because Jeannie isn't school age yet. It's my nature to worry ahead of time;)

05-04-2004, 01:11 PM
If you really want to get educated at Wal-Mart, watch my hubby bust a shoplifter! :eek:

Kim R
05-04-2004, 01:32 PM
Hi Shiela,
I suppose someone somewhere must make homemade cresent rolls:D ;) dd says you can buy them in a can and make them (that's our version of homemade cresent rolls):D. You are right, I live in a small neighbor hood, out in the country, pretty much everyone knows everyone else. I got a chuckle out of that when I got the call from the neighbor that already found out where I had been and what I was doing there.

Don't worry about field trips and such. I can say that, but am also a big worrier when it comes to everything, especially school:eek: I was a nutcase the first year, and got through it, and was totally laid back this year. Next year I look for a happy medium;). Will I stress all year? YES. Did I toss and turn after reading the social studies portion of TWTM last night? YES Why? who knows--that's just how my brain works. I was tweaking it(our friend Tina TX's term;) in my sleep for some reason. I hate it and can't help it, but that's how I work:(, but I got the notebook part how I want it in my head. Of course it is all laid out in that book how it should be done, but I have something else going on in my brain that won't let well enough alone:D :D. You will do a great job!

I need to go to Wal Mart now-- need to put some of these other suggestions to use. DD already writes the list for me and crosses it off. She's been writing the list since she was 5. Of course it was spelled how only she could read it for the most part then:). Having them read the list is good also. Take care and have wonderful day!

05-04-2004, 02:25 PM
Becky, one thing I've done in the past that I found useful was to keep an Activities Log. Get a notebook, and label the first page with the month. Then along the left margin, write the dates, and list the different "extra-curricular" activities your chldren do for the day. I would include any field trips, sports (both games and practice...I would note who actually played and who was attending), plays, AWANAS, dance and piano lessons (again noting who took part in a recital and who attended), swimming, visiting a rest home, etc. It's amazing how much kids do!

05-05-2004, 01:09 PM
ANYTHING involving pizza is a trip to me !!! LOL


05-05-2004, 01:25 PM
Oh man!! If I counted field trips, and I don't, then every time I take this tribe out the door would be a field trip.

The other day we waited in the hospital clinic for an hour for dd's new cast to be put on. Thought I was going to have to sedate the boys.

While it's a drag to sit there with them all, and mediate the fist fights and petty squabbles, I think the entire experience is a lesson in how fortunate they are to NOT have to NEED hospital services. While it brings a tear to my eye to see the struggle of many sick ones, I also feel a tug at my heart ... in thanks for the healthy yet rowdy bunch I have. And, of course, there's always the chance to explain to them that "special" means many things, including the man who speaks with a device in his throat who can talk ... just differently; and the lady in the wheelchair with the breathing apparatus, who is special because she breathes and lives like we do ... only differently. She's special because her husband who pushes her chair loves her enough to care for her, just like we all do (and should) for one another. There's also the little girl they saw, body jerking with what appeared to be CP, who made me think twice about complaining about my struggles. She'll struggle her whole life, but she had a smile on her face.

Learning like THAT makes me want to throw away the books sometimes, honestly.

Kathe (one grateful Mom who has spent way too much time at hospitals lately)