How to Organize a Field Trip

How to Organize a Field Trip

No matter where your child attends school – home, public, or private – field trips are an incredible way to broaden his understanding of a subject and give him an opportunity to add real world knowledge to what he reads in books.

Whether you’re helping in your child’s classroom or organizing a field trip for your local homeschool group, a few simple steps can help to ensure that both the children and the organizer can enjoy the event.

Make sure you know the particulars

Be sure to ask the following questions when speaking to the events coordinator at the venue you’re planning to visit:

  • Are there minimum and maximum numbers for the event?
  • Is there a charge for parking?
  • Is there a charge for younger siblings? If so, what is the charge and for what ages? (The moms with infants and toddlers will want to be able to make appropriate arrangements for their little ones).
  • What ages is the programming geared toward?
  • Is a deposit due?
  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • Are contingencies in place for inclement weather?
  • Is there a discount for teachers, chaperones, or bus drivers?

Keep track of all pertinent information

You should make sure you have the following information written down before you hang up the phone or delete that email message:

  • Your contact person’s name and contact information
  • The date and time of the event, including suggested arrival times and estimated duration of the field trip
  • The cost per student, per adult, and per extra child
  • Directions to the venue
  • Details on parking
  • The web address of the venue

Keep track of payments

One of the easiest ways I’ve found to organize payments for field trips is simply using a business size or small clasp-type envelope to store all payments received. I write all the details of the field trip and my contact person’s information on the front. On the back, I write down the family name, number attending, and amount paid for each check or cash payment that I receive.

Plan ahead

I’ve discovered that my children get the most of out field trips when we plan ahead. Reading or watching videos about where you’ll be going or what you’ll be seeing will prepare your kids for the outing. Another great idea is discussing possible questions that your kids might have about what they’ll be seeing. This helps avoid that awkward moment of silence when your tour guide asks, “Does anyone have any questions?”

You might have your children collaborate to create a KWL (What I Know, What I Want to Know, What I Learned) chart before and after the event or brainstorm questions that they might ask. This makes a great follow-up activity for after the trip.

Have you helped organize field trips for your child’s classroom or your local homeschool group? What tips would you add?

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