Favorite Field Trips Blog Link-Up

 

We’ve been focusing on field trips this month at The Homeschool Post and now we’d like you to share yours! Here is your chance to tell us all about your favorite field trips that you’ve taken. Just link up your homeschool field trip blog posts so we can check out the cool places you’ve gone and what you’ve learned along the way. They don’t have to be exotic or expensive — we like to see local sights that families can afford, too!  Whatever the location, if you called it a field trip, it counts!

We’ll be sharing your posts on Pinterest, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.

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Favorite Field Trips blog linkup at The Homeschool Post

Sara (81 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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Keeping the Fun Factor in Field Trips

 

Field trips should be FUN, right? Of course! But if you’re like me, sometimes the effort to squeeze every bit of educational opportunity out of a field trip also threatens to squeeze out the fun factor for the kids. It hit me years ago when my kids would say things like, “Mom, we’re supposed to be on vacation!” or “Why does everything have to be about school?” and I made some adjustments to my expectations of field trips.

Keeping the FUN Factor in Field Trips

If you need to refocus on the fun in your field trips, try some of these ideas:

  • Do you really need the worksheet or checklist? Or do you need to do it while you’re at the zoo or museum? Personally, I don’t even like juggling the notebook or the brochures while we’re on-site. I don’t want to miss seeing something because I’m looking at a handout to try and check something off the list. If you or your kids feel the same way, leave the papers for later. Chances are good that you can take everything in and remember it well enough to fill out a worksheet or make a journal entry later.
  • Plan ahead and review afterwards. Obviously you want to look at the brochures and the maps and know what you’ll be seeing so that you don’t miss out! Often that info is available on a website so you can check it out ahead of time. If there are brochures and maps that you pick up at your field trip location, skim through them quickly for anything new that you need to know and then stuff them in a purse, pocket or backpack to look at in more detail when you get home. Those will help jog your memories as you write those journal entries too.
  • Pick your educational activities wisely. So many museums, national parks, zoos, historical sites, and other destinations have a “For Teachers” type section on their website that there is an abundance of curriculum tie-ins to choose from. If you have the time to plan ahead, do look through those resources, but choose only what ties in well for what you are studying or is appropriate for your family. Remember, many of those teacher resources are intended for class trips and to accommodate public school curriculum standards, so they may not be relevant to your homeschool. Don’t overthink it and try too hard to make it work.
  • See it today – study it later. This works best when you’re on vacation or summer break. It’s tempting to want to use all the educational value of EPCOT, for example, but if you turn your once-in-a-lifetime family vacation to Disney World into one long science and geography lesson, you might regret it. Take pictures, have fun, and follow the kids’ lead. If they want to discuss it on the spot, go ahead, but let them start the conversation. Then next year when you are studying marine biology or American history, you can say “Remember when we went to SeaWorld and saw the killer whales? Remember when we were in Philadelphia and saw the Liberty Bell?” and you will be able to relate their exciting vacation experience to their schoolwork.
The whole point of a field trip is to have a hands-on experience, so give yourself every opportunity to see, hear, and touch as much as possible. Allowing it to be fun and exciting will make it more memorable, and will encourage interest and engagement. Keep it fun!!

 

 

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Kym (7 Posts)

Kym is in the middle of her 17th year of homeschooling her four kids, two of whom have graduated. She and her husband of 27 years are Canadians transplanted to Maryland. Kym loves coffee, history, and homeschooling, and you can join her for coffee break at her blog, Homeschool Coffee Break.


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Fun Field Trips for the Whole Family

When you have a family of children who range in age over a wide span of years, it’s sometimes difficult to find field trips that the whole family can enjoy. If the trip will appeal to the little ones, the older kids might not find it so interesting. If there are activities geared toward older kids, the littler children can feel a little lost. But there are some field trips that are good for the whole family to enjoy. And there are some trips that, while more appropriate for one age group or the other, can be adapted for the whole family to enjoy.

Fun Field Trips for the Whole Family @hsbapost

The science or nature museum

If you have a local science or nature museum, there are usually activities available for all ages. Older kids will enjoy the exhibits that have more information to read about or instructions to follow. Younger kids may enjoy hands on activities or a small children’s play room that some museums have.  Larger museums usually do a really good job with adapting moving exhibits to have activities for all ages.

 

Farms and orchards

Although visiting the farm for apple picking or hayrides may appeal more to the younger set, older kids often have fun as well. We’ve had success pairing an older child with some younger ones. This provides a guide/helper for the younger children while giving the older ones an excuse to have fun without being self conscious about being “too old” to enjoy the activities.

 

Living history sites

Living history sites, like museums, are also usually really good about providing activities for multiple ages. Many have reenactment days where visitors can see guides “living” like they would have during the time period. Older kids can appreciate the historical events. Younger kids can participate in the hands on activities available.

 

Cultural exhibits

Our family has been to a number of traveling exhibits that came to our local area. A few years ago we had an exhibit about the history of the Bible. These exhibits often try to have something for younger children even though the main part of their exhibit is geared toward older students or adults. In the Bible exhibit there was a scavenger hunt of sorts. So the younger crew had items to look for in each section, meaning they had something to focus on even though they couldn’t read all of the information or understand everything.

 

The zoo or animal habitats

Like the museums, the zoos often do a good job of offering a variety of activities for all ages. As my older kids have grown, they’ve still enjoyed the zoo. They have a different viewpoint now, and they can understand more and learn more from the informational exhibits. Even very young children are always captivated by the zoo, making this an event that can definitely be a whole family field trip.

 

Service projects

Service projects may not be exactly a field trip, but as homeschoolers, we often have the opportunity to go with a group and serve. It’s great to be able to take the whole family along. Even the younger kids can learn to do simple service acts, giving them the chance to learn early  the importance of serving others.

One of the best things about homeschooling, in my opinion, are the opportunities to do things together as a family. I like that we have a more flexible schedule and can plan day trips when it fits our schedules. It’s always nice to find field trips that we can all enjoy together.

 

Do you have a favorite whole family field trip?

 


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Leah (7 Posts)

Leah Courtney is a homeschooling mom of four. Her days are filled with being a mom, homemaker, and teacher. In her (very rare) free time, she enjoys blogging, reading, and reviewing books and curricula. These days she’s learning the joys of being a mom of teens. You can read about her family and homeschooling life at As We Walk Along the Road.


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