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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mods...please leave in the hs forum as I think this is a "learning at home" issue. It's an issue that homeschooling families deal with. Thanks.<br><br>
I'm not begrudging any school child the opportunity to go on a fun trip, don't get me wrong. But school field trips, when done on scale, completely take over the place and make it nearly impossible for any of the non-schooling patrons to enjoy themselves. I really feel that they should reserve the museum or place of interest, when it gets to such a scale.<br><br>
Today, we drove 1.5 hours to the Children's Museum, which is a special treat. I thought I had it all timed with school closings so that the place would still be relatively quiet. Instead, there were tons of buses outside and just an insane amount of school kids inside. I wouldn't care, except that entire exhibits were basically closed to the non-schooling kids because the area only holds so many children and the zillions of school children were basically taking it over. I can't very well drive 1.5 hours back home and my kids were really excited about our trip.<br><br>
We tried to start at the end of the museum and move backwards and it did work relatively well. But we had to wait a long time just to gain entry to certain areas. You know the myth about children needing school to learn how to take turns and wait in line? Well, my non-school kids were patiently waiting for their turn while they were totally getting taken advantage of by much larger kids in some situations. I would have said something but there were so many of them running around and shrieking; their chaperones seemed either indifferent or completely overwhelmed. 10 year boys should not knock over 3 year old boys. Kids should not cut ahead and push in front. At one point, my 3 year old voluntarily got off the play tractor and said, "I want to let someone else have a turn." Yeah, my kids are so poorly socialized.<br><br>
I know this is negative. I'm just annoyed, burned out and my ears are still bleeding from all the shrieking. It's just a completely different experience to visiting in the summer, when the massive amounts of kids generally behave and are accompanied by parents. Plus, in the summer, the kids are spread out rather than moving in bus sized blocs. This was pandemonium. My kids still had fun but it just sucks on some level that we drove all that way and couldn't even use all the exhibits.<br><br>
When we recently visited Colonial Jamestown, there were so many school field trips. I mean, there are many tourists in general. We all share. But it seemed like every time we walked inside a recreated building of interest, a teacher and a huge group of students would enter and take over the building with a loud lecture. One of them told me, "Please feel free to stay." as their group took over the building. Yeah, I paid the same amount of money as you to be here; don't freaking give me permission to stay in a building that you have no authority over. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
Ah...........I really just needed to get that out. Vent over. Thank you for listening. Also, I believe schools should reserve the place of interest when massive amounts of children will all be attending at once. Or perhaps the place of interest could designate certain days of the year as "school days". I mean, they might as well reserve the place when it gets to 4+ buses because no one else really gets a chance to get their own money's worth.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I hear ya! We went to the beach a couple weeks ago - you should have SEEN all the buses! There were SO many kids! They kept coming up & taking my kid's sand stuff. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> Not even close to enough teacher's to supervise properly.
 

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I think that some places really count on school trips to generate revenue. I've called places beforehand to ask if they had school trips planned and they have told me that they have school trips every single day. In that case we try to go in the afternoons right around the time school lets out.<br><br>
I don't do well in large crowds and neither do my kids. One time we were on a bus coming home from downtown and two classes of kids got on. The noise from 40 or so kids talking at full volume in such a small space caused my 3yo to go into shutdown, it was the weirdest thing. He sort of slumped over in his seat. When the kids got off, he perked up as if nothing happened.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LeftField</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8193149"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Or perhaps the place of interest could designate certain days of the year as "school days". I mean, they might as well reserve the place when it gets to 4+ buses because no one else really gets a chance to get their own money's worth.</div>
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I love this idea. Their website and outgoing phone message could mention, "With prior reservations we welcome school and day care groups larger than 10 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-2" or something like that. What a help that would be!
 

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Many places (zoos, museums, indoor play parks) have days of the week (ie Wednesday) that are set aside for no group visit days. You can call ahead and find out which days are strictly "family" days.<br><br>
~Tracy
 

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Oh, I totally understand. We had our boys in art classes at the local art center, which is a couple of blocks from the science museum, which we have a membership to. The kids who weren't in a class could just hang out at the science museum...except that Tuesdays are apparently Field Trip Day and the museum was always <i>overran</i> with kids.<br><br>
And I hate to judge. I really do. But most of these kids were just running around and being really noisy. They were knocking into the smaller kids. They were not in the school building and having trouble handling the freedom of being with their friends, it looked like. And the parents? They hung out in parent cliques, seemingly oblivious to what was going on.<br><br>
I know that it isn't representative of all public schooled kids. I know it isn't representative of all public school parents. But man, it was annoying. I'm used to it being a relatively quiet place!
 

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Oh I hear ya!!<br><br>
first we go nowhere this time of year. anything cool will have massive amounts of kids there. this is field trip time. the last 3-4 weeks of school is when everyone does field trips around here.<br><br>
our library has one show for daycares and they are not allowed at any of the other stuff as a group. parks and rec requires daycares and classes to register, pay and reserves the right to refuse. both of these advertise when these times are. we skip those.<br><br>
as for museums and stuff if i was traveling more than a few blocks or had to drop some srrious money to get in I would call first and ask if they are having any field trips and how many kids they were expecting.<br><br>
I too hate arriving somewhere only to have it swarming with groups of school kids. nothing is more frustrating. it is really pointless to be there.
 

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In the spring and fall , when most schools do field trips, I try to always go after lunch. Schools need to have children eat lunch, and on the buses and back to school by a certain time. They can't be still letting the kids look at exhibits at 1 or 2 if they have to feed the kids and school dimisses at 3. The other issue (although rarely) is afterschool programs-- they take kids around 4, after school & snack and including bus travel.<br><br>
I've found 1:30- 4 to be perfect. The mornings are too busy, and if the muesum isn;t full school children, it's full of smaller children who will be leaving at lunch time to eat and then nap. I've also noticed the field trip issue is mostly a problem in May, when kids are antsy and wanting to out in the good weather, but they have to finish out an insane number of school days as determined by government.<br><br>
I understand the vent, but I try to remember that those children have as much right to be there as anyone. I try to work my schedule around theirs and they are more vulnerable to getting squat than my kids are. We really the freeedom to go anytime.<br><br>
I've also gotten into the habit of calling museums to ask what their quiet times are. Most places can give you an excellent idea of their attendance patterns.
 

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We didn't renew one of our museum memberships for the same reason. It was just always such a zoo with the school groups - the exhibits would have been fun otherwise, but it was so stressful and unpleasant as a result.<br><br>
This year my dd is schooled - she went on a field trip last week and was really upset and disappointed after, because of all the horsing around, and not getting to really see or learn much. Agh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I thought you guys were going to flame me. Phew! I understand that the school kids deserve to be there as much as anyone else, especially as a fun treat towards the end of the year. I guess I never realized that the end of the year was a time of fun field trips. I will keep that in mind next year!<br><br>
It also never occurred to me to call the museum, because I wasn't sure if the school field trips notified them in advance. But before we drive all the way down there next time, I will try calling in advance to see if they know of any planned groups.<br><br>
The funny thing is that this museum has one designated day of the month called "Homeschooling Day" and we avoid that day for similar reasons. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> The museum is still open to the public on that day but I guess they designate it so that homeschoolers can have a chance to network with other hsers. Like PumpkinSeeds, we're not really great with crowds. I wonder if they could have certain days as "School Days"? I'm not sure. I'll definitely try calling, however. Thank you!<br><br>
For our local trips, we do the "after 1:30" trick that UUMom mentioned. The zoo, for example, *always* has large, planned groups there. I think I may have only been there once when there was no school or daycare group there. The "after 1:30" trick works brilliantly for that. It's not feasible for this particular museum due to the long commute.<br><br>
Anyway, thank you for listening, commiserating and offering advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mammastar2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8193372"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This year my dd is schooled - she went on a field trip last week and was really upset and disappointed after, because of all the horsing around, and not getting to really see or learn much. Agh.</div>
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Aw, poor thing...I wondered about that with some of the kids. I remember feeling that way as a child. Groups are tricky things to manage.
 

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Leftfield, I completely understand your frustrations. I could have written your post (excpet we don't live that far away from our Children's Museum).
 

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I know how you feel. We have a Children's Museum about 20 minutes from us, and the kids love it, but I cannot handle the crowds thay sometimes get. We have pulled up there before only to see 6 buses full of kids, and no one gets to play with anything. Since its actually close to us, we just head somewhere else when this happens, but the kids are still disappointed.<br>
I know that they do field trips in school, and I'm actually glad of it- they are very good for the kids- but it is frustrating to plan a day and have it invaded by so many kids. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I understand.<br><br>
We went to the zoo and got overwhelmed by the suburban private school kids once. We paid, walked in, and after about ten minutes walked out. I couldn't do it.<br><br>
I went once to the zoo when two schools from the city were there. Kids of all races and personal style. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> We had to wait in lots of lines but those kids were so well behnved and considerate of us and I personally got a kick out of once again another example of how the media is wrong.<br><br>
But kids are gonna be kids, socialized or not <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">, and I have just learned to call ahead.
 

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I completely understand. My nanny kids and I have had to leave places before they were ready many times because the crowds and the noise just got to be too much for me. (I'm sure it was too much for the kids to, but being 1 and 3 they don't know that they are being very overstimulated and will have a headache and meltdown later!) I really like taking them to museums and such when very few people are there, so they can have the freedom to run around and lead me where they want to go. On field trip days, I worry about them getting literally run over by the kids. If you are a morning person like we are, I have found that getting at a museum as soon as they open (at 9 usually) gives you about an hour before the school groups arrive.<br><br>
I do have to share one positive story, because there are so few of them out there. A few weeks ago, I took my nanny kids to the local science museum. When we arrived both the museum and the zoo (right beside the museum) were full with buses and cars. I almost turned around, but we were looking forward to the trip, so we braved it. The field trip kids were incredibly respectful of my small children. They waited patiently for them to climb things, they didn't run into them (not a small feat, with a 1 year old who tends to run into people and things), and aside from ONE kid who tried to grab a ball out of my 3 year old's hand (I was very impressed with her - she didn't let go!), they were never rude or mean to them. THey let them play. I was so impressed with those kids.
 

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I hear you...all of you. My big problem with field trips is that even if the kids are well-behaved and just trying to enjoy the space like we are, their sheer number still disrupts what should be a normal flow of people coming and going.<br><br>
SIGH...I think all of your ideas about how to avoid the field trippers are great. I've certainly had more than one outing ruined by sudden overcrowding!
 

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We, sadly, haven't had a huge problem with this because funding for field trips and insurance issues means most kids around here get very, very few field trips. School here is 10 months long, beginning of September to the very last day of June, and kids will be kept in class even after exams and there is nothing left to do<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Wow!! I guess we are really lucky. We are members of our local children's museum and they actually close to members and the public on Monday and Tuesday mornings for school field trips.<br><br>
Then they have members only Wednesday mornings.
 

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I doubt most of the school kids really enjoy these sorts of field trips. going the museum or zoo with your family is totally different than going with a class where no one really gets to se anything or touch anything or explore anything. where everyone is heerded quickly from one exhibit to the next.<br><br>
Most kids are just happy to be out of school for the day. I think they would enjoy going to a park or just staying home more.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">We, sadly, haven't had a huge problem with this because funding for field trips and insurance issues means most kids around here get very, very few field trips. School here is 10 months long, beginning of September to the very last day of June, and kids will be kept in class even after exams and there is nothing left to do<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"></div>
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Wow. That's just sad. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br>
I really like the idea of closing for certain days only for field trips. That would probably help everyone out.
 
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