On a Field Trip with My Son

My son’s kindergarten class went on a field trip to a farm recently, and I had the chance to chaperone the trip.

First of all, it was really interesting being a chaperone for another school, another group of kids. With kindergarten field trips, the ratios are something around 5 kids to each chaperone. With that kind of split, we didn’t have a specific group of kids to monitor. Instead, we kept the entire class together and all the chaperones stayed close by.

Overall, it was really nice getting to spend the day with my son as he experienced something really unique. We sang songs on the hay ride, fed some goats, milked a cow, and even chased down and held chickens (more on that below).

The trip definitely confirmed that I could never teach kindergarten. The kids are so tiny! I love my son completely, but the other little ones his age? Meh. I mean, they were sweet and all, but so needy!

His teacher was wonderful though. She was attentive the whole trip, sweet in the way that would get her eaten alive in a high school class, and aware of where all her kids were the whole time. I got the chance to discuss my surprise at the parent who was shocked that she spent her own money on student supplies (see this post), and she agreed with me that parents should know that at this point.

Not surprisingly though, the best part of the trip was watching my son. Field trips like this are truly experiential learning and it was amazing to sit back and see him do it. From figuring out the best way to feed a goat, to telling me that milking the cow “felt like touching pee pee”, there were some cool moments.

Chief among them was watching him catch a chicken. The tour guide explained to them before we went in the coup that you needed to grab them from above. Z wasted no time chasing one down and doing that. He did not, however, get an appropriate grip on the chicken. I was able to catch an amazing video of him during this true learning process. The video starts right as the chicken flies out of his precarious grip. Z looks to the tour guide, frustrated, and the tour guide explains that Z needs to grab the chicken from above and make sure he wraps around its wings so it can’t wiggle free, and pantomimes the hand gesture. In the video, you can see Z watching the instructor and matching his hands as demonstrated. After listening, and clearly learning what he’s been shown, he looks down at the chicken, plucks it off the perch, and then looks to me with the biggest smile ever.

I am so glad I joined in on this trip. These are the kind of memories I will hold onto forever. And how many parents can say they have an actual recording of their child learning something?