The differences between field trips here and in his school in Bellevue are immense.
- There's more of them. Kenny spent half the day today, and will also go the next two Fridays, ice skating with his class at a free outdoor ice skating rink, at Park des Bastion.
- There were no permission slips to sign, just a notice to have your child bring warmer clothes with on the day of the field trip.
- No parent volunteers. They had the teacher, and a lady who normally substitutes for the class, and that's it, for about 25 kids.
- The kids walked to the Parc de Bastion, where the ice skating rink was. It's about a half hour walk, through the middle of downtown Geneva, lots of cars and crossing of busy roads. Kenny said that they all walked more or less in groups, got somewhat separated occasionally and the teacher would wait for everyone to catch up. He stayed close to the teacher, because he was worried about getting lost.
I'm really glad he had this experience. It also goes to show that so many things that we take for absolutes (i.e., it would be too dangerous to take a large group of young kids walking through a city) are not at all. I believe that in the USA, we're far too cautious and let our kids do too little, limiting their life experiences. A good book on this topic is Free-Range Kids, Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry
Here's a picture we'd taken previously of the ice skating rink they visited.
Kenny went on another field trip today - unannounced, no permission slips, nothing. He just mentioned at dinner today that they'd gone on a field trip. They walked to the bus stop, took the regular city bus, and then went to a church where they listened to an organ, and were allowed to play it. I can imagine that there would be a LOT more field trips in the US if it were this easy.