How field trips aren’t as bad as you think they are


This post was originally posted on my old
website iamzoewatson.com which no longer is active.


Running off after Boogie’s preschool drop off to volunteer at Bootsie’s school and rushing to pick Boogie up after Bootsie gets out has left me with barely any connection with the other moms at the preschool this year.

Most of our friends with kids have come from Bootsie’s two years of preschool classes.  Those pick ups and drops offs were casual and calm which lead to park play dates and birthday parties.  This year I’ve felt really disconnected from the other families we go to school with.  A few I chat with now and then, but really I don’t know anyone there knows me as well as the other group did.

To me, this field trip to the local firehouse and grocery store where Boogie had to bring me with him gave me a little better chance at getting to know everyone and for this I feel like field trips aren’t as bad as you think.

Above and beyond what I got out of the field trip, chatting with a few moms and getting a chance to use the Paparazzi camera to share pictures with the other parents, I think the kids get a lot too.  I know from previous years that the kids learn fire safety and make fireman art projects, but I think the biggest impact of this unit of learning is when a real fireman tells them how things work.  Somehow they are in awe of them and it seems to stick together when they say it versus a teacher or a parent.

A recent article on this subject Why the Demise of Field Trips Is Bad News that I read spoke about how most schools now a days are so focused on testing and standards that they have forgotten how much fieldtrips really do make an impact on a child’s learning.

But what if those field trips actually had a proven, tangible benefit to student learning? That’s the premise set out in a new study by Jay Greene, a professor of education reform at the University of Arkansas.

Greene evaluated 670 students, who were divided into two groups. The first group of students was chosen at random to see a live theater performance of either Hamlet or A Christmas Carol. The second group either read the texts of the plays or watched film versions.

When compared with their peers in the second group, the students who attended live theater scored significantly higher on a vocabulary test that incorporated language from plays, and they were also better able to answer questions about the plot and characters, according to Greene’s findings.

“These kinds of enriching experiences actually connect students and the school to the community in very meaningful ways…”

So the next time your kid brings home a permission slip and you have to do that extra work to make a different lunch that day or adjust your pick up or drop off, remember, the experience that your child has on that trip are far more valuable than your inconvenience on that particular day.

What field trips do your kids go on? 

And now for some pictures of our trip to the Tracy Fire Department (now called South County Fire) …

Published by Patty Gordon

I’m Patty Gordon, a 40+ year old school lunch lady married to a crane mechanic. Our days are anything but normal as he works “construction worker hours” and I take care of our two elementary school aged kids, Chihuahua Mr Biggs, Pitbull Cali, and French Bulldog MooMoo. I blogged a few years ago under different names but have landed with the 365MomMe name this time around. The term 365MomMe comes from the idea that I’m a mom and I’m me 365 days a year. Kids call me Mommy but I see myself as MomMe.

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