Why I don’t Organize Homeschool Field Trips

Last month my local library asked me for help.

They offer Databases that not too many people know about.  What is Databases?  So glad you asked.  🙂    A Databases is a collection of data.  Information on anything.  Mostly electronic resources.

From the Library website:  The following describes the different types of databases that you may encounter:

  • Indexes and abstracts, used to index articles in journals, magazines and newspapers), books, conferences proceedings, etc. Some include an abstract which will include a summary of the cited article. 
    General Science AbstractsINSPECGeoRef.
  • Full-text databases which give access to the entire text of articles and documents, for example electronic dictionaries and encyclopedias, but also journals, conferences, market research reports, directories, laws, etc.
  • Combinations of the above, for example an index including both citations to articles and their complete text. Example: EBSCO’s Academic Search Premier.

This is all FREE! The library wanted me to spread the word about the Databases to my homeschooling buddies.  It seems budget cuts are coming soon. Very soon. If the library does not get enough people accessing the Databases, they will  loose all.of.it. Every article, every photo, every video, every book. That’s right folks, they have entire books on there. Books they cannot afford to purchase. They also have newspapers, primary sources, and a bunch of other goodies. A gold-mine for homeschoolers, right?  I suggested a class, since it is a little confusing navigating around the Databases.  The librarians were all over that idea!

I sent out an invitation to four homeschooling co-ops (over 100 families).  I’m thinking we would get at least four or five families attending.

This is what showed up. My family and another family.   A total of eight people. We had an excellent class and learned so much.  So many people  missed out on a great opportunity.

Now you know why I don’t organize homeschool field trips for large groups.  Next to no one shows up, even if they say they will attend.

Now go to your library and ask if they have  Databases available to their members.  Did you know you can get major and local newspapers on there?

And it is all free.

And it will go away if you don’t use it.


15 responses to “Why I don’t Organize Homeschool Field Trips

  1. Oh Applie! I feel your pain…so sorry for your big disappointment. At least your kids and your friends kids got the benefit. And I for one am going to check it out. Sounds awesome! P.S. Love your dock photo awesome lines! 🙂

  2. As someone who organizes many field trips, I feel your pain. Their loss!

  3. I hear ya!!!! I think that as homeschoolers, we tend to be so focused on our freedoms, that we stop thinking of others. I know that it’s an issue that happens in many arenas, but seems to be very common in the homeschool arena. In fact, recently, I took my kids to a day conference which required an RSVP. When we arrived, we were surprised at how few chairs had been set out for such an amazing (and free!) event! There were probably only 100 chairs set out. The organizers said that they put out chairs for all the RSVPers and a few extra. The organizers also provided homemade snacks for all of the attendees. In actuality, close to 300 people showed up! :O We had chosen a back row… which turned out to be the front third of the room once everyone else had come in and other chairs had to be brought in. It wound up being standing room only, all because people didn’t RSVP! I felt badly for the ladies who prepared all the lovely homemade treats, and then felt the need to cut them into fourths so that there would be enough for everyone to have a bite! How inconsiderate!!!!

    In fact, our homeschool association has instituted a 3-strikes, you’re-out system for no-shows. If you RSVP for events/field trips and are a no-show 3 times, you are banned from participating in any more events for the remainder of the year! So sad that we even need a rule for this!

    So, I definitely feel your pain and think that we (as homeschoolers in general) need a lot more work in the courtesy department!

  4. I have never organized an event.
    The most I do is have a class of 4 kids. I’m pretty sure I would not be good at organizing an event, seeing as it’s hard for me to keep details straight for 4 kids! (I literally write everything down.)
    So sorry for the disappointment. 😦 I’ve seen things like this happen, and I know it’s very discouraging for the person who is planning.
    Glad y’all enjoyed the class though. And now you are spreading the word through your post! 🙂 I’ll have to call my library and see what they have…

  5. Yep, I hear ya! There is nothing more aggravating to organizers than the lack of participation from group members. A few years ago I organized a Homeschool Talent Show. It was a LOT of work…reserving a theater, organizing snacks, organizing volunteers (ticket takers, ushers, stagehands, etc), auditioning acts, rehearsals, etc. etc. And from our group of 100 families, we had less than 10 families participate. It was so aggravating. I have never done that again.

  6. I’ve been thinking about this very same thing a lot lately. I organize field trips on a regular basis and lately I’ve been more than a little disappointed and disgusted. People that RSVP don’t show and people that don’t RSVP do. What’s up with that? Our support group now charges a flat $5- $10 per event to sign up, even if it’s free. If you show up you get the money back, if you don’t show, you loose it. So far it’s helped a little bit but in all honesty, I don’t think people mind loosing a few bucks if they wake up and decide they “just don’t feel like going”. I understand exactly how you feel.

  7. Ditto on the feelings of frustration and disappointment! You have my sincere empathy, Applie. This bad habit is not limited to homeschoolers, I think. I am our church’s administrator; this past weekend we held a retreat. Because of so many people decided at the last minute NOT to attend after all, our church ended up eating about $1200 because we didn’t meet our committed numbers. *sigh* That money could have been used for so many more worthwhile ministries or people in need! Not to mention how many more people could have been refreshed, re-envisioned and encouraged by attending.

  8. I know exactly what you mean after having served on our local homeschool field trip committee for the past 3 years. I am really serious when I say this. I think you should email your blog entry & the comments to The Old Schoolhouse magazine. I think this topic needs to be addressed in a wider audience format so more people really get a clue!

  9. I’ve seen this problem in every homeschool groups I’ve been involved with, too. Its embarrassing when you say “30” and you end up with “5” – two of which are your own. Pay In Advance is the only effective means for a field trip organizer. Is it no wonder that this is the last job to be filled??

    Thanks for the info, though Michelle. I think TOS is a great idea….you need to be published!

  10. The worst months of my life were when I was the field trip coordinator of our homeschool support group. People would request field trips, I’d set them up, get 10 families to commit, and then nobody would show – not even the family that requested the stupid field trip in the first place. It was embarrassing.

  11. Yep. It is awful. I agree that this isn’t just with homschoolers. It is so sad to see someone go to so much work and then have no one show up. Frustrating!

  12. Bummer that not many showed. =\

  13. We definitely would have been a family to show up for that! I hate organizing things too, because too many times my family ends up being half the headcount. And I organized a field trip for the end of April. Eek.

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