Field trips are a privileged time for children, when they can be autonomous: it is a trip away from their families and their homes, however surrounded by school friends and their usual teacher, that allows to discover a new environment and experience community life. What is the best way to stay in touch during the trip?
Supervision and safety scandals, funding issues… Children trips, including field/school trips, have become less popular in the past few years. What’s causing this habit to decline?
Often, it is due to parents’ reluctance… Although school trips are a great experience for their children!
Discovering community life, why not, but only with close school friends (contrary to summer camps); without their family, but under the supervision of identified and qualified adults, such as the kids’ teacher or an activity leader; in an entirely new environment, okay, but with classes everyday. Change the scenery without feeling uprooted!
The trip usually lasts one to three weeks, and is designed according to an academic project. There is at least two referring adults for each class, and another adult for every group of ten children. As for specific activities during the trip (sports, cultural…), a certified contributor is required, for each class, as well as a second certified contributor for each group of fifteen pupils.
How does the trip roll out?
The schedule is pretty busy! Most of the time, class takes place in the morning. The kids still have a syllabus to follow, even on a school trip. However, classes are adapted according to the academic project. For example, in science class, the teacher will focus on the natural environment of the area.
Afternoons are dedicated to extracurricular activities: skiing and other mountain sports on a ski trip, exploration and outdoor activities for a field trip, or even water activities if it is a school trip to the seaside. Late afternoons are dedicated to quiet times, around shower and dinner time, when children are more open to creative activities. Bedtime depends on the schedule and children are sometimes allowed to stay up a little while before lights are out. Supervisors make sure to give enough resting time by quickly setting up a regular sleeping pattern. They are well aware that sleep doesn’t come right when lights go out in the dorms… For your kids, these moments will most likely be some of the best memories!
Homesickness is inevitable
Of course, your kid has friends and trustworthy adults around, he/she will not feel completely lost! But even a social child can feel a bit down sometimes… Teachers usually don’t encourage direct phone contacts with the parents, which is more and more difficult now that most kids own a cellular phone! Hearing your voice can trigger a certain feeling of emptiness for your kid.
Trip supervisors do their best to give the parents regular updates during the trip: mailing lists, private groups on social networks, secured access blogs… There are many ways to keep track of how the trip is going and satisfy your curiosity! Yes, parents, it’s you that we’re talking about: kids can feel a little homesick at times, but let’s be honest, don’t you miss your children more than they miss you…?
Stay in touch with your children without being physically present or intrusive with the Weenect Kids GPS tracker: it’s not an actual cellular phone, but it allows your kid to reach you in case they need it. Make sure that you give all necessary explanation beforehand: you don’t want your kid to be pushing the alert button every 2 seconds! Describe it as an Ariane’s thread that must only be used in case of extreme blues. And of course, tell your kid’s teacher about the tracker, to make sure that he/she is aware and ok with the idea. And finally, be prepared: between their ski sessions and evenings around the campfire, your kids would rather giggle with their friends than call you!