The thing about field trips…

My kids seem to miss two things about ‘real’ school: the playground and field trips. But here’s the deal with homeschool field trips. We take them all the time; my kids just don’t realize it. Grocery store. Post Office. The hardware store. The nursery (plant, not baby). When we go to those places, we talk about how they work, why they’re important, and sometimes even things like supply and demand, marketing, and such. But my kids don’t think of these as field trips. Their friends in ‘real’ school go to places like the aquarium and to the strawberry patch and the pizza place. Luckily, Georgia Cyber Academy offers some really great ‘real’ field trips that we love! We’ve been to see the Atlanta Symphony, the Museum of Arts and Sciences, several local historical sites, the Children’s Museum, and more. (Next week we’re going to The Rock Ranch! But…there are still things that they hear friends talk about and wish they could do. And if it’s something that I can make happen, I try to do it! We know the people who own our local Mellow Mushroom and with one quick message, we had that ball rolling. We were to be at the store at 10:45, enough time to get our cook on before the lunch crowd got there. The first thing we did was tour the whole store. The owner took us through the whole store, showing us where they store all the food and how they prep and how they clean. I must say I was very impressed with how many fresh ingredients they use and how few pre-packaged items. The only things that I saw that weren’t cut fresh on site were olives and pineapple. Mr. David told us all about how one person types the order in on one computer and it prints out a ticket for the kitchen. We even got to see him change out one of the bags on the soda machine.
But the best part was making their very own Mellow Mushroom pizza. He taught them how to press out the dough, stretch it, and shape it. They put on gloves and put on the sauce and toppings just like a real employee. After a few minutes in the oven, they learned about how to butter the crust and add some cheese for that special MM touch. We all had such a great time. Thanks, Mr. David!
After we finished up with lunch, we took a break at our favorite playground before heading to Kroger. There we met Mr. Gladden, who took us all through the store. We even got to peek behind the counter of Starbucks! We saw the meat slicer at work in the deli, learned about how produce gets to the store and where it comes from, the difference between organic and regular foods, and more. The kids loved looking at the live lobsters, but my favorite part of the whole tour came at the end.
Did you know that when you walk into a Kroger store there is a heat sensor that counts how many people are coming in. Based on that count and a fancy formula that someone really smart designed, the computers can calculate how many check out lanes need to be open. On the screens you can see 3 circles. The first circle shows how many lanes should be open right now. The second circle shows how many lanes are currently active. And the last circle tells the employees how many lanes need to be open in the next 30 minutes. (I’m pretty sure I throw those numbers off because I tend to be a lingerer in the grocery store if I don’t have the kids with me. If I have them, we fly through like a speeding bullet.)

Big thanks to both Kroger and Mellow Mushroom for making arrangements for us to come visit!


4 Responses to The thing about field trips…
  1. Nichole
    April 4, 2013 | 12:12 pm

    What?!? The Kroger check-out thing just blew my mind.

    I’m very, very bad about field trips. The Mellow Mushroom one is a great idea! One of the dads from our homeschool co-op is the manager at our local MM. I’m going to have a chat with him about that!

    • Bridget
      April 4, 2013 | 11:38 pm

      It really was a fun experience for the kids *and* me!

  2. Lorie
    April 4, 2013 | 4:30 pm

    Free field trips are the BEST!!! We’ve planned them for a friend’s farm, the fire department, grocery store, ice cream shop (Maggie Moos-pay for ice cream), pizza place, local library (behind the scenes), horse farm, & lots of local factories will let you tour in small groups if they don’t have safety rules that prohibit it. I know some friends that have done vet office, butcher shop, local sewing or quilting guilds. The possibilities are endless!

    • Bridget
      April 4, 2013 | 11:37 pm

      Ice cream shop. That’s one I haven’t thought about!