There are so many wonderful field trip opportunities out there for homeschoolers, and a lot of those are even better with a group. However, that means someone has to do at least a little bit of planning and organizing. If that person is you, here are four things to keep in mind as you get ready to go on a great field trip with your group!
1. Do your homework! Especially if you haven’t previously visited your field trip destination, it pays to get as much information about what to expect ahead of time. Check the website, call ahead, and find out as many details as you can. Will it be better to bring a group or go with just your own kids? For tours of business operations, often it’s necessary to have a group of a certain size in order for them to do the tour. Sometimes going as part of a group, especially an educational group, means a significant savings for places like zoos or museums.
2. Ask if there’s a special discount or program for homeschoolers. Museums, zoos, and historic sites often have a homeschool program, and if they don’t already have one, perhaps you can encourage them to offer it. Some places have specific days or weeks set aside that are geared for homeschoolers.
3. Know the boundaries. If you’re taking a group, you need to know the guidelines or rules of the facility before you start signing people up to go along. Is there a limit to how large the group can be? Are there age guidelines, or rules about how many adult chaperones needed for the group? Are there safety rules you need to be aware of, such as strollers or backpacks not allowed? It’s worth remembering that most of the time these guidelines or rules are in place for practical reasons and for the safety of everyone involved. While it’s fine to ask about the reasons for these kinds of restrictions or to have them clarified, it is not okay to disregard the rules.
4. Communicate clearly with your group. When organizing a field trip for a homeschool group, it’s best to be very clear up front about all the details – date and time, cost, minimum or maximum number of people, any age restrictions or other rules for the trip. Try to anticipate what the questions will be and answer them up front. Save yourself headaches and stress by sticking to a simple sign-up system if you need to limit the number of people, or need to collect money and pay for your group, or if you’re arranging carpooling or other transportation. If there are specific rules about ages or what can be brought into the facility, it’s a good idea to remind people about those as they sign up. For a field trip that has a cost attached, it’s usually best to get payment up front, in full, from your participants.
Do you have any tips to add for a great homeschool field trip? Leave a comment and let us know!