One of the great advantages to homeschooling is the many opportunities available to experience active hands-on learning through field trips. Field trips are a fun, positive way for us to instill a love and lifestyle of learning in our children.
A homeschool field trip should include socialization, education and life experiences all wrapped into one.
Field trips will increase knowledge and hopefully supplement your child’s curriculum. It has been proven that children not only learn more but retain more through hands-on experiences. You can make your field trips more effective by coordinating lessons plans, adding a scavenger hunt, discussion or having your child journal the experience.
Things to consider when planning a field trip
- Choose field trip activities that are affordable for your entire group.
- Outline the educational purpose of your trip.
- Check on restrictions such as age, clothing, strollers, food, etc.
- Ask yourself:
- How will this trip enhance your curriculum?
- What will the students do on the trip?
- What will they learn?
Fun field trip ideas
- Head to the museum. This is the obvious choice for a field trip but be sure to check all local museums. Smaller, often forgotten city museums can turn out to be the best field trips.
- Visit a farm. Many farms offer seasonal activities, such as fruit picking and baby animal feeding! Find a farm at pickyourown.org.
- Learn about science at a greenhouse. Many greenhouses will put together a science lesson and allow students to plant their own flower or seeds.
- Visit the planetarium. This is our field trip for the month!
- Head to Whole Foods for a free walking tour or call to see if your local grocer will host a tour.
- Go behind the scenes. Take a tour of your local post office or newspaper factory.
- Check your area for visiting educational programs such as slimgoodbody.com.
- Visit a National Park. Find your state’s parks at nationalparks.org or take an online electronic field trip.
- Enjoy nature activities for the whole family. Get ideas from plt.org.
- Visit your local bakery. Some bakeries will allow children to decorate their own mini cake or cupcake!
- Try a learning “service” opportunity such as Habitat for Humanity, serving in a soup kitchen or reading books to the elderly.
- Visit your pet store! Petco offers a Fur, Feathers & Fins guided tour along with online or in-store curriculum that leads children in discussion through six unique lessons.
- Ask about special homeschool days. If you live in an area with an amusement park, contact them to learn about field trips or homeschool days. Disney World offers a fantastic educational program called Disney Homeschool Days.
- Learn about your community through its people… set up a short Q&A with local craftsmen, grandparents, store owners etc.
- Attend a concert or visit your local orchestra.
- Take a photo walk with your blooming photographers.
- Visit your local pizza place for a scheduled tour and pizza making.
Good planning and organization will ensure a fun and successful trip. The world is your classroom! Get creative, fill the year with discoveries and make memories with your children on their next field trip!