Sunday, October 30, 2011

Field Trip #2 - Heaven Scent Farm



This field trip to Heaven Scent Farm did not go as I had expected.

I'll start with the description for the class that we attended...

Wild and Wooly! Goats and Sheep Friday, October 28th
"Gentle as a lamb," "the black sheep of the family" and "what's got your goat?"
are familiar expressions. This farm visit teaches participants about the many
breeds of sheep and goats, what's involved in caring for them, and the variety
of products that come from sheep and goats. This is a fun and unique program
where participants get to spend time with our small flock, as well as visit with
our other barnyard buddies. Open to all grade levels.

We went on this trip with our homeschool group again, it was $7 per child, 3 and under, as well as parents, were free.
Getting there was fairly easy for us.  The farm is a residence, so parking was limited to their driveway (though it's a good size driveway).  According to the woman running the program, it was the largest group they've ever had, so the parking was pretty crammed.

After checking in, the kids had the chance to play on a swingset/playhouse, which Cody loved.  We were then taken into a room, where everyone was seated and the program began.

I'll say now that talk about God and the Bible does not bother me.  I'm not one that thinks it shouldn't be discussed, and we're opening to learning.  In fact, Cody normally goes to a local church for Bible class every Friday, and missed Bible class for this program.

I do believe that there's a time and a place for everything though, and this wasn't it.

The woman running the program proceeded to talk about God, the Bible, sacrificing lambs and sheep, among other Biblical things, for the next hour and 10 minutes.

HOUR AND 10 MINUTES.

With a roomful of young children, ranging in age from approximately 2-15, the majority of which fell toward the lower end of the age range.

At times she became irritated with the young children that couldn't sit still and be quiet through the talk.

By the 45 minute mark I couldn't sit still.  It was uncomfortable sitting on hay bales for that long, and we were all there expecting to learn about lambs and sheep.  I don't think anyone expected to be sitting for that long. 

There was a lot mentioned that I don't think was suitable for the age level there.  Slaughter, sacrifice, blood flowing, graphic description of Jesus' death, and a story about a grandmother that burned her hand with a knitting knitting needle that had been put in a fire because her grandson wouldn't stop stealing are just examples of what was said.

At some point she did discuss sheep's wool, and how it can be turned into yarn, and how it's fire retardant.  That was pretty much the extent of the sheep talk.

The goat talk was limited to her talking about how they raise goats for slaughter, and how expensive it is, but we could purchase some if we wanted.  No pressure of course (this was mentioned several times).

One mom asked questions about how lambs and sheep are raised.  If she hadn't asked those questions, I don't think they would have been addressed.

We were finally taken outside to the barn, after a few snippy remarks from the owner about how the kids couldn't sit still.  The outside portion of the day included the kids having a chance to milk a goat, and then pet several animals (goats, sheep, chickens, a horse and a pot-bellied pig).

At this point I was anxious to leave, and once Cody had a chance with each kind of animal, I talked him into hitting the road.  My goal was to get out of the driveway before everyone tried to leave at once.

So, no, I wouldn't go back here.  I was extremely disappointed in how much of the lecture was spent on religion, considering that wasn't mentioned in the description at all.  And to be honest, if you're having a program that includes small children, any kind of lecture probably wouldn't go over too well.  The kids were excited to learn about lambs and sheep.  Several times kids asked her when they were going to get to see them.  I have a feeling there were quite a few kids that were disappointed over how little was spent talk about and seeing the animals.

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