Nothing ruins a great field trip day more than coming home to a disorganized (*not necessary clean) kitchen and no meal ready. One of the biggest things you can do to make your field trip day a success is to have a plan for once you get home!
The “make or break” it reason most moms QUIT home schooling is because they lack a simple and effective system to keep up with laundry and the kitchen. When moms are distracted by these things – then they can’t focus on the school work according to Leila Lawler from Like Mother Like Daughter Blog during an interview on The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast.
— I believe this applies to going on a field trip as well! When the kitchen is overwhelming and it seems like there is too much work left to do at home, then you don’t feel like leaving. But with a simple plan in place, you’ll feel released and have the freedom to go! Leila has some great posts on creating those simple and affordable systems.
Plan for Coming Home
Ask yourself a few key questions:
What time will it be when we arrive home?
How long will I have before supper?
Will any little ones be napping?
How much work will there be in unloading the car?
Will we all need to take a bath?
Is there any evening activities to rush off to?
number one: plan the evening meal
Put in a crock pot meal, marinate meat for the grill, chop up a salad, prep veggies, run the dishwasher – a few simple tasks and supper will be much easier.
A few years back my best friend got me started on monthly meal plans. It’s pretty simple, I spend about 30 minutes at the beginning of each month looking over the calendar and planning out our meals. I always start my planning by looking to see what days we will be gone from home and schedule the easiest meals for those days.
Here are some great blogs with new recipes and ideas from Iowa moms:
Scroll through the yummy Recipe Index from these 5 mama’s at The Gingham Apron
Find fresh recipes on Iowa Girl Eats
Visit Kathy’s Kitchen on Facebook to learn from this homeschooling mom
number two: skip the grocery store
Save yourself the hassle of trying to fit errands into a field trip day. Lots of stores are now offering delivery or at store pickup. Today, I just heard that the Wal-Mart in my town will offer pickup for food items sometime soon. *It takes time to learn each company’s system and understand how their websites work. Make sure to try them out for a while when you can spare the time for an extra trip to the store for mistakes. I have found that ordering a weeks worth of groceries takes about 30 minutes. It’s still time-consuming but does allow me to order from my couch in my pjs!
Sam’s Club has an online ordering system that is easy to use. In my town, you go into the store and they will have all your items ready in a cart in the holding area at the front except for any cold items, which they have to go retrieve from the back of the store from the freezer/fridge. The system works fairly well but it can take several minutes for an employee to retrieve your cold items and the timing for pickup isn’t very clear when placing an order online. You should plan to order at least 24 hours in advance.
I have been ordering my groceries online for about 6 months now from Hy-Vee. There is still areas for improvement, mainly in order accuracy but Hy-Vee has always made any mistakes right and it still saves me time and frustration. In my town, home delivery is FREE if your order is over $100. I am estimating that I spend about $10 more per order then I would at a discount grocer. but for me, that extra cost is worth the time I save. Prices for online shopping at the same as in store and ad prices apply. I also get to use my fuel saver!
number three: prepare for the evening activities
So this is where my addiction to bags and purses comes in to play! Yes, I confess, I have LOTS of bags. I just Love them! 1) they can be so cute and come in so many fun colors. 2) you can never have enough of them (according to me, not my husband) and 3) they hold all my stuff! Which I also have a LOT of!
But really, take a quick 5 minutes before you head out the door to put together a bag that is ready to go when you get home, or better yet, load it in the car so that you don’t forget it later. Maybe your kids have an evening sports practice, there is a business meeting, Awana’s club or dinner with a friend – knowing you are prepared will allow you to relax and enjoy the day!
number four: allow time for clean-up
So…I would say half our field trips require a bath at the end. As a personal goal, I always try to get home about an hour before supper. That gives me enough time to get myself, my children and whatever else needs a scrub, cleaned up. The old joke about how long has it been since mom last showered is only funny for so long!
What Tips to you have for making Field Trip Days careful and fun?
Please share in the comments below!