One of the major benefits we love about homeschooling is REAL life learning. Field Trips is a great way to take full advantage of the world around us in our homeschooling endeavors. Here are some tips to incorporating field trips into your homeschooling (If you aren’t already).
1. Set aside designated time for field trips – decide now how much time you can give to field trips. We set aside one full day a week for just field trips. I recommend some amount of time at least twice a month. Every circumstance is different though, so decide what will work best for your family.
2. Decide on a field trip budget. Field trips do not have to cost a lot of money, some are even free, but decide ahead of time how much you can spend on field trips (you can determine this by week, month or year). You may save money by buying passes to places you will frequent, like museums.
3. Join a homeschool group that includes field trip activities. We are part of an AMAZING local Facebook homeschool group. The members take turn planning field trips, which gives us lots of opportunity, and huge discounts!
4. Check out Homeschool Days events in your area, there is a list of a few places here that offer Homeschool Days. Check your local amusement parks, museums, aquariums, zoos, National parks and historical sites, etc. This is another way to get great discounts!
6. Check out some FREE options
Factory Tours USA
Nature Studies at local parks or observatories
Tours of local Fire Stations, Police Stations, Post Offices, Grocery Stores
Virtual Field Trips: 10 best virtual field trips
7. Build your curriculum around your field trips OR plan field trips based on your curriculum.
Of course, field trips do not always have to coincide with what you are currently studying, but by combining the two together, the learning greatly increases. Sometimes field trips not related to curriculum spark interest in an area that can be built upon as well. Check out floating exhibits at local museums, these make great unit study activities!
8. Field trips can be just for fun! Even JUST FOR FUN field trips have purpose. Taking time to relax and rest from homeschooling can be just as beneficial as planning trips that coincide with curriculum. Sometimes our field trips consist of a trip to iTrampoline the swimming pool or the park. While not necessarily educational in nature, it’s a great way to relax and get in some exercise!
Being in Hawaii we have had amazing opportunities for field trips, but there are great opportunities everywhere, you just have to know where to look for them! (and sometimes you have to look a little harder).
Here are some examples of field trips and unit study combinations we have done to get your gears churning:
Dolphins: Dolphin Encounter, Dolphin boat tour, visit the dolphins at the aquarium
Sharks: Visit the sharks at the aquarium
Pirates: Pirate boat tour
Mars/Space: Mars exhibit at local museum
Dinosaurs: Dinosaur exhibit at local museum
Monet: Nature art study at Buddhist Temple grounds
Chocolate: Tour a chocolate factory
Bees: Bee Farm
We make a lot of our own unit studies, but we also like using Hand of a Child Lapbooks and Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett.
Now if you blog about your next field trip, be sure to come link it up at FIELD TRIP FRIDAY!! I’d love to see the fun things you are doing!
Jennifer A. currently lives in Hawaii with her husband and 4 children (3 boys and a new baby girl). She has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Her oldest son is 7 years old, and they have always homeschooled. She blogs about her homeschooling ideas and activities at Chestnut Grove Academy