Monday, October 03, 2011

Homeschool Diaries: Our First Field Trip

We did it.

Deep breath out.

Our first homeschool field trip.

Add some company for the ride, our good friends Ada, John and Mrs. Laura Beth,and the van was "jumpin' jumpin'." And filled with the most common question a child can ask,

"are we there yet?" times 3 kids times 4 times asked each.

And yes, an hour later, we were, along with our good friends, the Hollinheads and the Means.

And the fun had just begun.

We traveled to a train museum that promised us a train ride. And in our kids' eyes, that's the only reason we drove an hour to the museum. TO RIDE THAT TRAIN.

So, needless to say, upon arriving that famous question, "are we there yet?" quickly changed into "when are we going to ride the train?"

Little did our naive children know that the museum trip also included a train scavenger hunt complete with questions to find answers to. Lots of answers. Apparently our kids are unaware that field trips are educational and require building knowledge into those little brains.

Knowledge about...magnetic trains.

Yes, that's about all I gathered from that scavenger hunt because most of our time was spent corraling 7 little ones and making sure they followed the rules.

Following the rules was important. And, for Hannah, I believe she walked away from that trip knowing less about magnetic trains and more about following the rules.

In the midst of chasing down clues to the scavenger hunt, my 5 year old daughter got chased down by a small, yet VERY FIREY, elderly woman.

She loves rules.

And apparently, after seeing Hannah run a few steps to a train on display, chose to make an example out of her with her passion for rules.

This elderly rule loving/train loving woman proceeded to shake her finger violently (okay  maybe I'm exaggerating a bit) in her face while using her most intimidating elderly raised voice explaining to Hannah how she had BROKEN the rules.

Laura Beth and I sat frozen, mouths dropped as we tried to make sense of this misguided passion being poured out upon poor, unsuspecting Hannah who managed to look at me in a similarly dumbfounded way. All I could squeak out was,

"say yes ma'm" hoping that would suffice.

Apparently it didn't as this woman continued on her tirade.

Hoping two times was a charm I said,

"say yes ma'm," and Hannah, fingers in her mouth, obliged.

And while discussions leaving a field trip should be centered around all the amazing knowledge we gathered from our experience, our discussion centered around this woman, whom Hannah continues to speak about.

Instead of talking about how magnetic trains run and what magnets are, we talked about forgiving those who yell in our faces. Hannah told me several times she never heard this lady tell her to walk. And, while knowing my daughter isn't perfect, I believe her.

Back to the museum. . .

We finally made that train ride.

A train ride that moved 2 miles an hour forward, then 2 miles an hour backwards...stopping, I suppose, for us to look at the deteriorating train metal outside the window.

Grant asked, "Mommy why does the train keep stopping?" and "Mommy, why is the train going backwards?"

To which I can only reply, "I have no idea."

The good news is in the midst of all the craziness...

the kids had fun despite the crazy train lady, the slow moving train, and the plethora of scavenger hunt questions we needed to track down.

And that's what matters.

And while we left with minimal knowledge of magnetic trains we did leave with smiles on our faces and a day spent with friends outside...oh yeah, and a re-inforcement that everyone needs forgiveness...

And thanks to my misguided brain that put me in the wrong direction on 285, we had an hour and A HALF drive home to let that last idea sink in.