Saturday, October 3, 2009

Our First Field Trip

On September 21st, the kids and I took Papa and Gram with us on our first homeschool field trip. We met some other families from our playgroup at the local botanical gardens for Monarch week. We prepared for our visit by reading a book from one of my favorite series, Are You a Butterfly? by Judy Allen. We have not been disappointed by any of the Backyard Books. We also read Becoming Butterflies by Anne Rockwell. We read other books on butterflies, too, but these were my favorites: engaging illustrations and informative text and stories for the young crowd on the Range.

We were pleasantly surprised when the public tagging demonstration including a tagged Monarch for each family. Here is our butterfly (a male):

We can go online in the spring and see if they found him in Mexico. Gram spent some time showing First Son Mexico on our globe and he was impressed. He's been planning trips to Mexico, California, Canada and New York ever since.

In honor of Monarch Week, a butterfly house graces the gardens. We spent a good bit of time there, though the kids weren't anxious to hold any butterflies.

They did find a corner with crayons and butterflies to color. (I was thinking to myself we could do that at home, but I think they enjoyed coloring with their friends.)

Then we spent some time exploring the gardens. It was a little drizzly, but no one seemed to mind. I hadn't been to the gardens before and thought they were wonderful. I know we'll plan on some more trips. I think going with our playgroup was perfect, too, because the kids did a lot of running. At this age, inducing physical exhaustion in the children is an important goal of field trips. I like to think we made a good impression, too, on the volunteers there, even if they didn't know we were a homeschool group.

Originally, we had planned a picnic lunch, but after the party and with my parents in town, I let the rain dissuade me. We ended up eating out with my folks, which is always a treat. The restaurant had United States place mats the kids could keep and they were so excited it was funny. First Son was reading off the state names for us all through lunch. Second Daughter napped for the first half of lunch and then was grumpy until bedtime, but these things happen.

All in all, a successful field trip!


  1. There is a fantastic butterfly house in -- well we go to Niagara on the Lake but it could really be a Niagara Falls address on the Niagra Parkway -- and I highly recommend it. (Should you ever decide to do a trip to Canada.) Actually, the Falls, the boat ride on the Maid of the Mist etc., the whole area -- it's a fantastic place to take all aged children.

  2. We are in a butterfly frenzy here in IL, too. The girls had a couple of caterpillars in their classroom that have emerged as glorious monarchs.

    Funny we both have botanical gardens on the brain. Last week I took L&S to the garden in Peoria so they could see where mom and dad were married. Was an afternoon well spent.

  3. Ann, I've been lucky enough to visit Niagara a couple of times and absolutely love it, especially the Maid of the Mist! I didn't know there was a butterfly house nearby, though. Someday I'd love to take the kids.

    Melissa, someone told me you can order butterflies (well, caterpillars) and I am definitely planning that for some homeschool fun in the future. (Maybe next year, if I can figure out a good place for a terrarium by then.) Your wedding was so lovely! Wouldn't it be fun to take all our kids to the garden in Peoria together? We should really plan an outing like that for the next time I'm home for a chunk of time!


Comments make me happy; thanks for speaking up!