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February 4, 2010

Field Trip: Natural History Museum

Yesterday after a self induce imaginary scared we settled down to have breakfast, do some book work, and chores. We wanted to be done so we could have time with daddy.

We also had plans to go the local Natural History Museum. The kids favorite thing is to see Jane (the focal point of a one hour documentary that was published by the discovery channel and has been seen on discovery's science channel: The Mystery Dinosaur and the subject of the book The Discovery and Mystery of a Dinosaur Named Jane) and examine the progress made on Homer in the lab.

We were not able to go down to the lab due to the construction, but we were able to see Jane and a new dinosaur skull. I forget the name of the dinosaur but the skull looked bird-ish. We are looking forward to what the construction and expansion will bring. We are looking forward to seeing homer completely on display. Right now we have only being able to see his head a few other choice bones.

Then we went up to the 2nd floor and examine the rocks. This is when every thing that Superstar has been learning from his geology class (via our co-op) spilled out. Every time I turn around it was Momma, this Momma that.

We then went up to the 3rd floor where they have a native American display and local wildlife display. We knew when we were visiting Jane there was a school group there. One of the museum educators was doing a presentation on Jane.

Down stairs it was a small group of about 10 kids, but stairs it was a lot larger. They must have broken the group up for smaller tours and using the 3rd floor as the holding ground for the rest of the troops.

The noise level was much higher as we climbed the stairs, kids were running and shouting, teachers were shouting to stop running and to use inside voices. They were lining the them up and trying to get them in order so they could go to lunch. Or at least that's the impression I got because I heard one of the teachers mention going to lunch. Oh the joys!

As we got to the top DH said I'm just going to sit here and you can take the kids around. I said okay, but I want you to visit that area over there with us. He agreed and said when we were ready for that to let him know. The kids and I worked our way around the room and within a short while the noise level was gone. The other kids had moved out. We enjoyed the one area and invited daddy to enjoy the rest with us.

On the way home I said it was the school group that made you want to sit wasn't it? He said yes! I know my husband. He doesn't like large group of kids, period! He doesn't like the noise level, he doesn't like the disrespect he sees, and how the kids treat each other: the pushing and shoving. He especially is angered when he see little boys push and shove little girls.

It doesn't matter that these were public school kids. I've seen homeschool kids at our local co-op push and shove each other. It's just something that happens when you have a large group of kids together. I think it happens more when the child to adult ratio is higher.

Kids take advantage of situations, MINE included. They tend to act out more when they feel they can get way with it more. What better place then in a museum with 20-30 other 8 to 9 year olds and 2 adults? Clearly the adults where out numbered and the kids knew it!  I feel bad for the adults to have such a large child to adult ratio. (about 10-15 kids per adult) Granted I know some of my readers have large families with up to 10 kids, but that's not 10 children the same age.

There are the older ones and the younger ones, and generally you can rely on the older ones to HELP with the younger ones. Not that they are responsible for the younger ones, but a 14 year old most likely isn't going to touch something they aren't suppose. In a way that 14 year old is an other pair of eyes and can say "Mom.....".

I know it's good for the kids to go on field trips, but I think if you are going to have 20-30 some children the same age range then you should have an 5 to 1 ratio. 10 to 1 or even 15 to 1 is just insane when they all are the same YOUNG age!


  1. I completely agree - it is sad that more parents can't or don't volunteer to go on the fieldtrips to help..

    Love to you

  2. Yep! It is sad that they can't get more parents to volunteer. I know many work and many can't help it. However with 30 kids and already 2 teachers (I'm sure one was a aid), I'm sure that there has to be at least 2-3 parents that stay home.

    I know if they have younger kids that is harder, but I just find it hard to believe that there wasn't at least 1 parent that could have joined this class. I know just having the one more adult would have really help these teachers out.

  3. I just wanted to say they weren't the worst I've seen. I've seen worst behavior, but clearly these teachers need more help and I found it sad that they couldn't get at least 1 parent to volunteer.

  4. I think it's worth noting that it's not necessarily the parents who don't want to volunteer to chaperone trips that's the reason for the large child to adult ratio. In many cases, it's the school that places the limit on the number or chaperones. Our local public school limits parent chaperones to one parent (randomly selected from the group of those who wish to go on the trip) per class. This year my daughter is in a class of 26 and I thin it's absurd that the school is only willing to have two adults to supervise 26 children. That's a bit scary when you consider that we have 5 third grade classes all comparable in size going to the same place at once. 10 adults to 125 kids doesn't seem like enough. It amazes me because we have at least 3-5 parents helping the teacher out when we do a class party (and even that seem chaotic), but field trips, where there's the potential to lose kids, only get one extra adult to help out. And, it's not like this is a cost issue. Parents who volunteer to chaperone the trips have to pay their own way.

  5. Thanks Karen for giving your input on this! WOW, I will tell you it never crossed my mind that the school would actually in a way banned a parent from participating! That's so absurd that they would limit the parental help to 1 parent per class! That's just as nuts! I'm in shock that there are school districts that would do that.

    Anyway, I'm glad you came today Karen and give your input! I was totally clueless that there were school districts (or schools) that act that way!


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