Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Field trip report

Fiona returned home happy. She was glad she went on the field trip.

The bus ride was long and noisy. She talked with the kids she shared seats with and made some new friends.

She loved looking at the fish anatomy. They cut open a recently deceased salmon and she got to see the heart and intestines and everything. "That was epic!" she said. Besides that, though, she didn't find the trip particularly educational. The information shared was mostly pretty basic and there wasn't much. She expected that there would be more to learn and was a little disappointed, I think. They stopped at a playground for some physical play and it was "a total swarm." The kids were loud and crazy, exploding with pent-up energy. She didn't like that much.

Fiona would be such an amazing school student if there was a school of eager precocious students like her. She does well with structured learning, loves group-based experiences, produces "output" easily, enjoys working with teachers. She has expressed a lot of interest in school over the past couple of years, but has accepted what I've said, which is that a regular school wouldn't be a good fit for her due to where her interests and abilities lie. She would thrive in a college-like situation aimed at 7-year-olds who have interests and abilities that are more typically seen in 11-year-olds, and an equally precocious level of maturity and motivation. But that's not typically what school is like, of course.

Yesterday confirmed for her what I'd been saying. She could tell that she was not a good fit with the group-based dynamic on the trip. The other kids weren't interested the same way she was. There was a lot of time spent directing and redirecting. The physical and social entropy didn't sit well with her.

She would like to go on other field trips if they seem likely to be interesting. (Meaning, I suppose, if they involve fish guts or similar.) But the take-home message for Fiona was "that was a pretty okay day, but going to school with these kids would not be for me."

So I guess it was a pretty okay day.

1 comment:

  1. Glad she had fun, but...we have had the same experience. My 7 year old loves the 'idea' of being with kids in a group, but any time he has been in a field trip of sorts or a summer class where they have had learning followed by free play, he has had issues. The kids are too loud/rough/rowdy/crazy. The kids won't sit still and have a conversation with him. The instructor only briefly covers the subject and with an almost condescending tone, dumbing it down for the group. And the instructor won't go into more details when he asks questions because 'they don't have time'. He always wishes he could have just been in a group of older kids who learned MORE and longer.

    Good to have them see that first hand, though, I guess, and understand how home/life/self directed learning really does allow them MORE education than being in school.

    So you get to go back to the fishery soon and get into the nitty gritty more as a family? ;)


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