Taking a Field Trip Day

I’m currently sitting in the field museum basement by the narwhals writing this on a Wednesday morning.  My son is in class here today.  About 2 weeks ago I saw something pop up on Facebook that I thought my son would enjoy.  It was a guided tour of the Egyptian display at the Field museum designed for 10-14 years old.  Then the following happened:

I show Braden a field trip opportunity to Field Museum to learn about Egypt.

“No thanks” he says

“What? Why not? You love Egypt?”

“Yeah, but I don’t want to go review a bunch of stuff I already know”

“It’s the Field museum, they’re world experts on Egypt. Surely you’ll learn something”

“Then they should have a pre-test to see what you know and then divide you into groups so you don’t have to hear stuff you already know”

And then I laughed because how do you argue that?

After looking at the dates and realizing that it was on a Wednesday and not a Saturday I told him that he would miss school that day.

He was on board.

This program is really designed for kids who are home schooled. Specifically, it’s for gifted kids.  I didn’t think twice about pulling him from his public school to do this.  How often does he get to be with a group of like minded kids discussing a topic that he has a high interest in?

I’m sure his school might feel differently.  I know they discourage taking your child out for vacations, though that happens all the time.

I’ve come to a point in his education that I realize traditional school is somewhat limited in topics. Also, for him to really explore various topics to the depth he enjoys, outside experiences like this must take place.

Having a child who has a high thirst for information sometimes means doing things a bit differently.  I’m already looking into other programs like this that he can participate in.

I feel as though the experience today will be something he remembers years from now.  Maybe it will inspire him (even more).  Maybe challenge his mind to information he didn’t know before.

Maybe make him realize that he actually doesn’t know everything about everything.


I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

17 thoughts on “Taking a Field Trip Day

  1. HA! You rock. And it’s always good to remind them they aren’t all knowing about everything. Then they get all sassy and think they’re smarter than us.

    • Yes. He enjoyed the experience. As far as the content, he did say that there was a lot of information that he already knew. He was able to confirm a few things that he had read and seemed to enjoy that as well. I noticed that not all the kids seemed to be in the 10-14 age and that Braden was one of the 3 oldest (and he\’s 10) I\’m not sure if not enough of the older kids signed up so they opened it up to younger kids as well, but that could have made a difference in both content coming from guide and discussion coming from group. Still glad we did it though and am looking for more.

  2. I would do the same thing. I once took my daughter out of school because we had an ice storm. Power lines where down everywhere and thousands of people had no electricity. One of those storms where returning power take days, sometimes weeks depending on your location. Anyway, she played ‘hooky’ for the day so we could go around door to door handing out flyers with information on where to get firewood, water and other supplies. We also handed out home made cookies, just because. Eleven years later she still remembers this day and helping her community. Totally worth it!

    Keep up the awesome parenting Jen!

  3. As a teacher, I *hate* when kids are pulled out for vacation – it undervalues education and sends the message that school isn’t important.

    But this? This is something different, and I LOVE when kids miss class for real life experiences of value – especially for an opportunity for intensive study in something they are interested in. THAT fosters a love for learning, and reinforces that education in something to strive for. Love it!

  4. My daughter is gifted and we found that public school was boring her to tears. No challenges there except trying to eat lunch in less than 20 minutes plus fit in a bathroom break in that time.

    We’ve gone back to homeschooling this year and using a private school on-line for her learning. Plus we get to go on all the educational field trips possible and she can spend whole days in the library researching subjects that interest her.

  5. Love that he ended up deciding to go, even though it took telling him that he would miss school for it. :) I hope he has a fantastic experience and you get a little “I told you so” in there. :) (Just a little one.)

  6. You’re awesome. I’ve found that as they get older, it gets harder to take them out of school–or maybe those are my own mental blocks. That said. once my oldest hit high school, I realized junior high wasn’t a big deal and wish I’d taken it less seriously (he should have been homeschooled, I say in hindsight). (Hey, the principal told me that too. If only I’d listened or could have the school cover tuition at a gifted private school…but gifted kids in IL lack the right to a free, appropriate education–but that’s a different rant.

    Steve Speilberg’s mom used to take him out of school to go film in the desert, according to something I read. That turned out pretty well.

    An on your last point, one day the teacher stopped science class to have a discussion with the kids about the fact that my younger son does not know everything. Not just cuz he thinks he does, but because he peers tend to think so (which is what caused the conversation. Now he’s only allowed to answer one or two questions per class. Maybe he should have been homeschooled, too.

    You are awesome.

    • True. My son is in 5th grade but I have already decided that it it works out we will do this more. Neither of us care for boxes too much. ;)

  7. I love what you are doing and thinking about education. You are spot on. Trust your gut because more and more research is coming out to support exactly what you are feeling. Kids who are left to learn deeply and explore interests they are passionate about truly excel. If you can, try to see that doc “Race to Nowhere” and here’s an article that just came out – supports your idea completely. I’m so proud to be your completely absentee anonymous non-blogging tweeting fan club president. (but I do still send those 4G’s your way) http://www.wired.com/business/2013/10/free-thinke

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