If you think of homeschool field trips as elaborate and costly excursions requiring enormous planning and being more for celebration than for genuine scholastic value, think again. Homeschool field trips are simply educational experiences that take place somewhere other than in your home, for whatever good and sufficient reason leads you there. Take control of the field trips in your homeschool experience with tips from this article.
Purposes of Homeschool Field Trips
Homeschool field trips can accomplish a number of different tasks, including the following:
- Homeschool field trips can give everyone a break from the one-room schoolhouse feel that homeschool sometimes has.
- Homeschool field trips can quickly make an abstract textbook example real. For example, you can turn a math lesson about dozens into a real-life experience at the grocery store, bagel store, doughnut shop, or office supply store.
- Homeschool field trips can bring pictures to life. For example, looking at different types of architecture in a book can be replaced by finding real life examples around your town.
- Homeschool field trips can allow you to have educational experiences with other people. Depending on your purpose, you could interview neighbors or workers, “trail,” someone to see what his or her workday is like, etc.
- Homeschool field trips can bring history to life. Visiting the places where historic events took place can lead to new understandings.
- Homeschool field trips can also be how-to expeditions during which children learn or practice skills such as map reading, compass reading, asking for and following directions, counting change from purchases, comparison shopping, etc.
Subject Area Field Trips
Here are some ideas for homeschool field trips that tie to specific content areas:
- Map your neighborhood.
- By examining maps and the neighborhood, try to determine why your state capital was located where it is.
- Visit a museum or historical society.
- Visit your state or national legislature to see government in action.
- Visit a representative’s or senator’s office to talk about their work.
- Visit a courtroom.
- Take children along for household tasks: shopping, real estate transactions, post office, etc.
- Visit an art museum.
- Attend a musical performance.
- Draw some part of your town.
- Attend a ballet or modern dance performance.
- Study town statuary and architecture
- Spend some time in an art galleries
- Visit art studios where artists blow glass, weave, paint, make pottery, make stained glass, bead, weld.
- Join a local gym to play tennis or swim.
- Participate in a community square dance.
- Ice skate or roller skate at a local rink.
- Go bowling.
- Visit a batting cage or a shooting range.
- Attend live spectator sports, such as soccer, baseball, basketball, football, hockey, lacrosse, from the grade school level up
- Attend a local agricultural fair.
- Go to a judging for dogs, cats, horses, sheep, or any other animal.
- Spend some time in airplane observation booths.
- Visit lakes and seashores
- Examine parks, forests, deserts, wetlands, and other environments
- See animals at zoos, animal refuges, wildlife parks.
- Observe operations at a garbage dump and/or recycling center
- Tour a hydroelectric plant.
- Visit a farm or orchard.
- Spend a day at an aquarium or planetarium.
- View a natural history museum.
- Spend time at an arboretum, botanical garden, flower garden, and/or vegetable garden.
- Go tidepooling.
Visits to these types of facilities will require permission and advance notice.
- Visit a pharmacy.
- Visit doctor’s offices.
- Visit a hospital.
- Visit a nursing home.
- Visit a senior center.
- Visit a physical therapy location.
- Visit or sign up at a local gym.
- Visit or participate in cultural fairs.
- Dine at restaurants of the country whose language you’re studying.
- Near or far, try to go to places where the language being learned is used.
- Visit the embassy of the country(ies) whose language you’re learning.