Monday, January 26, 2015

My First Field Trip

Leah in the Blacksmith House
Today I did something I've never done before ... I was a real field trip chaperone.

It's something I've always wanted to do. And I never could get the time off of work or get my act together quick enough to plan it out.

There have been a lot of field trip opportunities over the years of daycare and school. And they beg me to come along or be that mom at the classroom holiday party, but it's not usually possible, mainly because I hear about it at the very last-minute. Or I just can't get the time off.

But this time Leah's third grade teacher sent the request for chaperones in October! With three months notice, and a January date when I have all my vacation/personal days to spend, I jumped on it. Leah was thrilled!

This Cabin is Older Than ME! 
This field trip was to a park nearby that recreates the experience of the early settlers in the prairies. There was a log cabin, a blacksmith shop, an estate house with a working kitchen and stables. There was also a little cafeteria and cute barn to meet in. And it was utterly and fantastically freezing. And with no central air, the buildings were drafty.

The guides/recreationalists were great about giving the kids plenty of hands-on activities and less on lectures. We were constantly moving around stations and learning by doing. We dipped candles, churned butter and tried to weave. Each chaperone was given six kids to manage, and mine were really tuned-in, so it worked.

Beating a Rug
Not to mention, it was enlightening to see the social dynamics of a third grade class and where my daughter fits into it. I got to meet all the kids I hear about at night around the kitchen table -- putting faces to all the stories. Of course, it was fun to hangout with Leah, too.

Also, I'm so GLAD I don't have boys.



Those boys were in constant motion, touching things, talking, moving, not listening. Chaos. I can't imagine how much more crazy my household would be with little boys.

Lastly, two third-grade classrooms on one bus -- whoa -- that's a lot of energy! Were school buses always so loud? It's been a few decades since I've been on one. The other chaperone and I were exhausted after the trip. And all so glad we didn't become teachers.

But, YES, I was a field trip chaperone! I did it!

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