Crappy Field Trips


Today I signed up the Girl for her first field trip of the year.  This year the organizers decided to go with a normal field trip:  a children's play.  What a novel idea.  True, I had to chip in $11.15 to make it happen, but I was happy to do it if it spares me a trip to a free tour of the DMV.  "These are the forms we fill out in triplicate when you get a new license."

It made me think of a post I wrote back in March about a field trip the preschool took last year.  To Home Depot.  Enjoy!

Crappy Field Trip Planners.  OK, so today was the first day of school after a week of Spring Break.  I checked my email late last night only to be reminded that Monday was the first day back AND a special field trip for the preschoolers.  We were going to...(wait for it)...Home Depot!  Yup, you read it right.  Home fucking Depot!  WTF??

My poor kid.  She's the baby and she's sat back for a number of years and watched the Boy go on some cool field trips.  He went to the pumpkin patch, bowling, a cool, interactive children's museum, and an apple orchard to name a few.  The Girl gets to go to Home Depot.  Sad thing is, she's not even sure what she's missing.

Last month we had a field trip to the local grocery store.  I kid you not, the manager asked 3-5 year olds: "Does anyone have any questions for the produce manager?"  Are you kidding me with that?  The highlight of that trip was the bakery because they each got a cookie.  The grocery store probably ranks higher since HD didn't give out a snack.

Today, Home Depot was just bizarre.  We had a tour of the store with a perky "associate" who showed us a giant saw, stacks of wood, bags of mulch and pointed out a few specials.  We couldn't even build a bird house?  The kids got antsy and whiny after an hour (the mothers only lasted 15 minutes).  I will say though, I think we wiped them out of pink and purple paint samples - the girls went a little crazy and we didn't stop them, it was the least HD could do for them.


As we're driving home, I asked the Girl, "Did you enjoy your special field trip today?"  She said, "Yes, but I think the pumpkin patch is better.  The bus ride was fun though."

I get that schools are cutting back and there isn't much funding, but come on!  I will chip in my six bucks so my kid can at least make a bird house or go to a museum.  These corporations invite the schools to come and "visit" for free and the tours just suck.  The kids are bored and have no clue what's going on and the people giving the tours have no idea how to teach kids.  The moms want to stick forks in their eyes, but manage to spend $25 before they leave (did you know there are special light bulbs for dimming??).  Not to mention, I paid for today as a "school" day and let me tell you, my kid learned jack today:  "This is carpet.  Does it feel soft or rough?  Do you have carpet in your house?"  Side note to the moms:  "We're offering free installation through the end of the month!"

I just got a note home today from the Boy's teacher about his upcoming field trip.  I don't have the heart to tell the Girl.  The Boy is going to see the play "Goldilocks and the Three Bears".  Now THAT'S worth missing school for!

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

LAME. Indoctrinating your kids to accept The Orange Apron after that humanities degree doesn't quite pay off.

aswnola said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K said...

Yuck, what a crappy field trip. The least they could have done is gone to Lowe's and done one of their "Build & Grow" projects...

Christie said...

One of the many reasons I decided to homeschool my kids. We'll have field trips whenever we damn well please and I have complete control over where we go.

Jen Giroux said...

I always cringed at the preschool field trip to the mall play area. If I wanted my kids to get sick or break an appendage, I'd take them there on my own time.

Bev said...

I was in 5th grade during a bad budget moment back in the 80's, and all field trips were to places where we could walk. There's not much in Burkettsville, OH, but there is this: www.werlingandsons.com. Yes, they took us to a slaughterhouse, and we watched as they brought the steer in, killed it, and hung it to drain. Because we were all farm kids, we didn't think anything of it, but I look back in horror. Only one kid refused to watch, and she got made fun of.

Hilary said...

My daughter's class was studying Japan and for a special field trip, they went to a Japanese steakhouse for lunch. You know, the places where they do the hibachi in front of you with the big giant flames that reach the ceiling? Yeah, 40 first graders, open flames, whirling knives and the hardest thing on tap for the adult chaperones? Green tea. Each kid had paid $8.50 for a lunch that included miso soup, teriyaki chicken, veggies, fried rice and a drink. They all turned up their noses or made retching sounds when they saw the soup. When it came time to eat the chicken, veg, and rice, I would say 78% percent said one of three thigns: "I only want chicken", "I only want rice", or "I'll only eat the vegetables if they're fried it in that crispy stuff." If I ever even think of volunteering to chaperone a field trip again, punch me in the throat with both hands.

lupinssupins said...

Wow, I had no idea it has come to this! My kids are grown [tho still in the nest:-], so I'm out of that loop. I was in kindergarten 50 yrs ago, and we got to go to a dairy farm as our one field trip. Went to a Catholic grade school, so went all through elementary without a single field trip! Junior & senior high saw trips to nature reserves, the Cahokia Mounds in Ill., zoo, symphony, art museum, a Shakespeare movie... good stuff. My kids, like your son, got to go to a pumpkin farm, apple orchard, zoo, several plays, science center, children's museum... Not once did we ever get taken to a store as a "field trip"! The closest we got to such commercialism was the annual "educational" cooking session/product placement opp. with a Milnot rep, in home ec.

kaptnkarl said...

We hada small class of kids come into a Pizza Hut I worked at. We showed them around and then let them each make their own mini pizza. Now that's a cool field trip!

Jeanette said...

Ok that is frighteningly HILARIOUS!! What a trip. I remember going to a dairy farm in the 70's while in elementary school. We got to see how the machines milked the cows!!!

JenF said...

Our field trips are usually to great museums and in PreK they walk to the paint store which they all love. I realized that next week we have a field trip to some where ridiculous on Thursday, no school on Friday or Monday sooooo.... Aspen, Colorado here we come! Not going to the Enchanted Castle, not with my 4th grade twins!

Anonymous said...

That's awesome!

Jilly F. said...

In 8th grade, in a geology segment, we "got to" ride a bus for 2 hours to a rock pit where we were supposed to dig for different types of ore, carbonite, etc. Wtf? As 8th graders, we were already "meh" on anything science-y but that trip in the blazing heat was TORTURE!!!! You could tell even the teachers didn't want to be there, they just stood together in the shade and made sure we didn't lose a finger hammering at our rocks. Suckville, USA.

Anne Kimball said...

Omg, this brought back some very vivid memories I was hoping (with the help of a good therapist) to forget. My dd decided to "surprise" me by signing me up as chaperone and paying my fees out of her own money. Result: I didn't know about it till the morning of. Yeah. You can read it here if you want a chuckle: http://bringingboryahome.blogspot.com/2012/02/chaperone.html

Krysti said...

I guess I'm lucky I live where I do then...I grew up/still live in Colorado Springs, and that meant a lot of field trips to Garden of the Gods, Cave of the Winds, Manitou Cliff Dwellings, and fun stuff like that; we even got to go to the capitol in Denver in fourth and fifth grade. And despite the money issue, kids here still go places like that now! I don't see how field trips to places like Home Depot get by though...from what I've seen, you have to prove that the field trip connects to whatever you are teaching in the classroom. So...the preschoolers were learning about carpet installation and proper plumbing procedures? Ridiculous!

Mama Moo said...

My preschooler did the pizza hut thing last year. They made them sit at the table coloring for an hour, didn't explain anything to the kids, they got to put toppings on their own pizza, wait a bunch more, then eat it. Oh, and they gave them caffeinated drinks. I was kind of hoping they would get to see the kitchen where the pizza was cooked, see them shape the dough. Something mildly educational. I imagine managers at some locations may do better, but I was definitely disappointed.

mrskdawley said...

Right!!!

TracyLynn said...

Lesson for that day...Stay in school or you'll be making $9.00/hour at the Home Depot...(not that there's anything wrong with that...)

The Chilson's said...

When I lived in Japan, my kids had field trips to the local food court and claimed it was so they could learn to count out money while they were paying for their food. Talk about low budget ways to waste the day away.

CLP said...

That's nothing! I have you all beat! The backwoods country county school system I was forced to student teach in was doing a "life cycle" unit and the genius teachers planned the following field trip ( for 3rd graders):
First Stop: Local Funeral Home, where the highlights were seeing a bed where the dead bodies can be laid & letting the children see the the mini kiddy coffins. Second Stop: Local Cemetery, where the children, if not already disturbed from our first stop, mostly ran around gravestone and cried. Last and final stop of the day: Local Sewage Treatment Plant, "This is what happens when you flush the toilet children" The highlight for the kids was seeing the fecal matter removed from the water source and sent up a conveyer belt. I WISH I was kidding, you can't make stuff like this up!

Anonymous said...

When we lived in the backwoods of GA our kids had kind of crappy field trips. The best one she ever went on there was one that I could only imagine would be like going on a nut and berry retreat. They got to eat soaked acorns or something....and it was like 20 degrees out and an outdoor field trip in the woods. Most of the others were a trip to McDonalds or something. Here in FL, she definitely goes on better filed trips. Last year in 4th grade was an entire day in St. Augustine (on a freakin' Lynx bus), today they are at a play and at the end of this year in 5th grade they get to go on a 3 day camping trip (of course paid for by the parents or if you participate in certain fundraisers....however, schools in the less fortunate areas of our county usually opt out on such big trips :/

Unknown said...

I have to say we went on some pretty boring field trips as kids. Well, now that we look back some are very educational and I appreciate them now, but as kids they were blah. I Live and grew up in Montana. I remember going to Makoeshika State park and climbing around on rocks. It was hotter than heck and boring, the bus ride was way more fun. We also visit Custer's Battlefield, oh wait the renamed it Battle of the little big horn". Boring to kids. We had a teacher who took us and stopped at every little historical marker along the road and gave a story about it. We are a Coal Mining power plant town and do you think we toured a mine or a power plant. Nope. This was just middle school we didn't do a any field trips in high school. We did go on one class ski trip and i think that was probably the best out of all them.

Gwen @ The Bold Abode said...

They didn't even pull out the leftover projects from their monthly Kids thingy...what losers!

Anne Kimball said...

Lol!

Anne Kimball said...

Are you for real? Oh my God, you win. Hands down.

momto2 said...

That stinks! So far we've only had 1 field trip, which was a pretty good one. There is a smaller theater a block from the school, so the kids got to walk over, eat popcorn, watch an short whinnie the pooh movie, and see the projector room. Growing up, I went to a small Catholic school and only remember 1 trip in 8th grade.

imbogus1 said...

That is definitely NOT a field trip! When I want to torture my boy I tell him he has to come along with me to Home Depot. It's more of a punishment so he doesn't get to do his thing (PS3, FB, etc.)!!

jjacksonjayhawkfan said...

Our schools do no field trips at all anymore. Not even the state capital--my girls might enjoy that field trip except for the fact that we are there so often they already know where everything is!

Julie said...

That is pretty pathetic, but at least she did get to on a field trip. Our school district eliminated field trips due to funding. My 9 year old hasn't been a field trip at all since she started school. "What's a field trip, Mom?"

Anonymous said...

The Brownies went on a field trip to a "spring lambing" at our local creamery. First off, while the kids were watching a video on how cheese is made, a lamb was born. I know this because when we went over to look at the newborns, the mother was still delivering the afterbirth. Then we went to another area where they could hold the lambs. We noticed that some of them had blood on their butts and hind legs. I asked the farmer why they were all bloody and he matter of factly told us, "Why, that's because they had their tails snipped this morning!" FML

Dani said...

I remeber in kindergarten we went to te zoo. We went by te gorillas and some of them were mating, the teacher was watching while the mamas were trying to pull the kids away. I never liked that teacher.

Melda said...

My kids have taken numerous "walking" field trips which I think is insane.....

When we lived in San Diego - they walked to the public library - it's hot - the traffic is crazy (and your kid is breathing pollution) You have 20 first graders that you are trying to cross a street with.... and of course, the obvious is that the school already has a library. How about we just read the books there and not get hot and sweaty and grouchy.....and that goes for the kids too.

Melda said...

My question for this one is:
How many parents signed the consent form for this one?
If my kid came home with that listed as the field trip I would check the box that said:
NOPE - Little Johnny can stay at school on that day and I'll pack his lunch to eat in the conference room while his teacher is gone.

evilgurl said...

i was just thinking the same thing. my kids are older too but they had good field trips & i remember some awesome field trips as a kid (had the advantage of living near DC)

Diane said...

Next time she has a crappy field trip come up, just pull her out of school for the day and hang out at a park and McDonald's. Way more fun. And you can just teach her stuff if you both feel up for it ;)

Heather said...

My kids only get one field trip a year each. Last year in second grade my sons teacher's decided to do and "In House Field Trip" WTF, the term field trip shouldn't be used unless a bus is involved. It totally sucked, they brought some lame animals (5 of them) for the kids to pet. It lasted and hour and that was it. The kids were disappointed and the parents were pissed. When some of the parents questioned the PTA about it they told us it was the teacher's idea and they were not happy about it either. The teachers told the PTA VP that they didn't feel like dealing with leaving the school. WTF, there were no problem kids in the grade or maybe I could have understood that. So many parents complained to the Principal that In House field trips are no longer allowed!

CLP said...

All the parents did, except for a little boy's mom, because the little boys father had recently passed away. And I kid you not, one of the teachers remarked that they were being overly sensitive! I felt like I had more sense than any of them and I was the student teacher!

Faithe said...

Wow! I am a teacher. I think we have always done good field trips. Fun and educational. Stinks money is tight. That is a lot for a play where we live. But we also try to go the "scholarship" route so it is really cheap for our parents. Last play was $3/kid.

aljorczak said...

Haha! Totally!!!!

aljorczak said...

Hilarious!!!!!

Cat York said...

Home Depot is not a field trip. It's an errand. This reminds me of some field trips my kids went on when we lived in LA. Once - they went to Trader Joes, and once they went to Starbucks. I saw red on the second one. Like we need to teach them about coffee and corporate branding in first grade. This was all done under the guise of "getting to know our neighborhood." Meanwhile, plenty of mom and pop businesses that could have made the trip more memorable.

Unknown said...

My son is in 5th grade and recently his class took a field trip to a local river to help throw buckets of dead fish carcass's back into the river. o.O The next field trip was up to the mtns to plant trees (in November) they all came back a big muddy mess.

Lilliana said...

What a completely shit idea. Take the kids to the park instead. At least they'd have fun and tire themselves out enough for an extended nap time!

Unknown said...

wow are my comments seriously being deleted or not published for a reason?

Tracy Long said...

I live on Florida near Destin and my now 3rd grader's end of 2nd grade field trip was a dolphin cruise! Best field trip EVER!

Unknown said...

i can't figure out my my name is coming up unknown.

sfabry said...

WHAT!!!! OMG, that has to go in the Guiness Book of Records as worst field trip ever....I bet that class will graduate the most vegetarians!!

sfabry said...

LOL, disturbing!! May even beat the slaughterhouse lady earlier. Better yet....do the slaughterhouse first & then the funeral home. Why not complete the circle of life theme by watching a live birth.....if nothing else therapists everywhere will thank those teachers!!!

Teacher Amee said...

I went on such a field trip as a sophomore in high school and remember it vividly. The funeral home really creeped me out. Got to see the embalming room and everything. After returning to school, we all got to write our own eulogies. Sad.

Susan W. said...

Field trips are the days of the
past :( Visiting from Alexa - MVM. Make it a great day!

Currywag said...

When my oldest son's was in Pre-K, they went to Lowe's. It wasn't that bad they got build something and were given little aprons and some other things to bring home. Now my youngest son is in the Pre-K and they have only gone to the pumpkin patch so far. My oldest is in 1st grade now and they have only gone to the same pumpkin patch. I guess this school district doesn't do many field trips.

jenderella said...

these all make me feel so much better about my kid's field trips. the worst one she had was one I planned for her scout troop to the local top 40 station. wasn't terribly exciting but they got to meet their favorite dj and get some swag...

vudean said...

I also had the pleasure of visiting the local sewage treatment plant... it was definitely the worst field trip ever and I have never smelled such horrible smells (but I didn't get the opportunity to go to a funeral home). At least our sewage treatment plant looks cool: https://encrypted-tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQXhtxlQUwzgl3khwAfCS8yI7iNYkfzQLlLt3TC3prS0VZlvR9S

Sara said...

I think if it came to that for our daughter I would have her just take a sick day and take her somewhere myself. Granted she's only 4 months old, but I can do a lot better than Home Depot!

Sparkle said...

We did a school trip like that when I was in Year 2. We went to a local pizza restaurant and made our own pizzas. it was awesome.

Anonymous said...

CLP, I'd really love to talk to you for a story I'm doing about kids and grieving. It certainly sounds new to me that kids go on field trips to funeral homes. Got time for an interview before August 14, 2012? I write for the NYTimes and can be reached at stlouis at nytimes dot com. Hope you get in touch.

My clips are here : http://nyti.ms/gKjCTt
Best, Catherine

Anonymous said...

My girls all attend a private school, and so far all of their field trips have been awesome.
The elementary students go to a nature park every year, they take swimming lessons, curling lessons, or skiing, in third grade they go to a pioneer village, and every year a shakespeare company comes and performs a kid friendly version. Thank God my kids never had a trip to home depot.

Danielle said...

Last year I chaperoned a field trip on boat. The point of the boat ride was to go up the river, and through a lock. We get to the lock and most of the kids are not even paying attention ... but what I find truly amazing (disgusting) is that 98% didn't know what a lock was or how it worked. WTF? Why are we on a field trip that the teachers didn't even take 5 min to tell the kids how this amazing invention works?!?! Thankfully though, there was tons of souvenir crap for them to buy on the boat. So sorry that the PTA wasted that money on them.

Elizabeth Catalano said...

Well, not an altogether bad idea if the mom chaperones get to pick the stores. They can call it Errand Day and have all the kids pick up the dry-cleaning and re-stock the pantry. Using coupons to make it more education-y. Two birds with one stone and Bam! more free time on the weekends.

Why My Children Have No Right to Privacy

My friend Kim at Let Me Start By Saying wrote an essay that was featured on the Huffington Post . It was about reading her five-year-old...