Field trips -long, sorry
How often do you kids take field trips and do think they are good ones?
I'm not happy with the trips my kids' schools are scheduling. This is a long story, sorry, so I guess I'll just start at the beginning.
Last spring, DS's 3rd grade class took an all day trip to the Space & Rocket Museum in Alabama. Yes, out of state. They took chartered buses, left at 7am and returned at 6pm. I followed (didn't count as a chaperone b/c the siblings were with me). It was a disaster! Communication from the school was bad going into the trip, I didn't have all the details til the day before. I think it was pricey for a field trip ($20 a child and they brought sack lunches, and paid another $5 for matching t-shirts to wear that day). The place was packed, the school hadn't arranged a guided tour or anything, so the kids just wandered around in small groups with a chaperone. It was all the chaperone could do to keep them togehter, there was certainly no instruction or probing questions. To me, it just looked like a day out of school. The kids' were talking more about the tv/vcr and bathrooms on the bus than about the rockets and space exhibits. One of the buses broke down on the highway, sat there with kids on it until another bus came. Parents followed in cars, not allowed on the bus, and they didn't give anyone directions. Several got separated and lost when the bus broke down. Parents weren't included in the group rate, but the teacher didn't know how much general admission was. I looked that up on line. Which is where I saw that a part of the site on the school's agenda was closed for security reasons after 9/11. When I told the teacher, she acted like I was the goofy one. It was just a lot of little things, one after another, that screamed "lack of planning." That was my first field trip experience with this school. Didn't win any points with me!
So when they sent home info this year about a 2 day trip to St. Louis in the spring, I said NOT HAPPENING! Sorry to be the mean mom.
In October, they took the 4th grade to brunch at Shoney's then roller skating. This was supposedly in place of a class party. DS went, but I didn't like it.
Now, the permission/money is due this week for my 4th grader to go to lunch at Rainforest Cafe and for my K-er to go to a movie (for crying out loud - to see Santa Claus 2!).
Enough is enough! The information letter says these trips are in place of a class holiday party. Who decided this?
I'm not doing the movie. He's just not going. These are only kindergarteners! I'm still undecided about Rainforest Cafe for the 4th grader. Am I being a mean mom, or do you think these trips are pointless, too? They are taking a risk with the safety of my children every time they take them off school property and into a public place. It should only be done with careful consideration and for education gain.
I'm gonna have to talk to someone at the school about this. I just will. I can't let it go. First question: How does lunch out or a movie fit into your lesson plans? What is your objective? I just want to hear other perspectives before I go in and spout off. Someone calm me down. ;o) I'm fine with field trips -love them, I'll go and chaperone- if they have a point! A day out of school is not a good reason! I can keep my kids home from school for a day and take them to the movies and out to lunch myself- but it would be an unexcused absense! So I also don't want my kids counted absent on the day of the trip when I refuse to allow them to go. It's the principle!
Am I the mean mom to veto frivolous field trips? Or is this school really taking too much liberty with the kids?