Taking a field trip is the icing on the educational cake! Field trips give you and your students a chance to have a hands-on experience with whatever you’re studying. But then again, they could have absolutely nothing to do with what you’re studying and just be for fun. Whatever your take on field trips is, we think you’ll enjoy these insights:
Field Trip Checklist:
Arriving at your destination just in time to realize you totally forgot something at home is no fun. Before you pack your bags, you’ll want to be sure you don’t leave anything behind! Use our FREE Field Trip Checklist as you pack!
Where Do We Go?
This is probably the easiest and yet the hardest question to answer. On the one hand, you probably have several places you’ve been wanting to visit for years now. On the other hand, actually choosing a destination and making it all a possibility might be more than you’re prepared for.
Choose a location that has something to offer for the majority of your family members. It’s always a good idea to choose a venue that offers a wide variety of interests. Also, consider the help you’ll have and whether you could turn this into a family vacation.
For homeschoolers, field trips often become vacations and there’s nothing wrong with that! It just makes more financial sense to take a family vacation instead of taking one or two family members somewhere. Don’t forget that if you can’t make it to a location in person, there are always virtual field trips you can take instead.
Field Trip Tips for Homeschoolers
Regardless of where you decide to go, there are some key things you may want to keep in mind:
- Plan ahead. This may go without saying but for people who aren’t naturally planners, it’s a good thing to point out. Furthermore, you should plan WAY ahead, way in advance. If you wait until close to the time when you’d like to visit a venue, you may be out of luck.
- “Check in” in advance. Call the venue the day before (or the week before) and check in, make sure everything is all set, etc. This is especially important if this field trip is going to turn into a family vacation.
- Choose your mode of transportation and plan for pit stops. Will you be flying to your destination? Perhaps a train trip would make more sense. Of course, you could always just drive! But you need to figure these things out in advance so you know what to expect on your trip.
- Check the weather! The weather can totally dampen your plans, so check ahead of time and plan accordingly.
FREE Homeschool Field Trip Ideas:
For some families, budgets prohibit taking elaborate vacations to exquisite places for a field trip. If you’re looking for something free of charge you can do, consider some of the following:
- Take a trip downtown and look at some of your city’s oldest buildings. Compare the architecture of the older buildings to the newer ones. Also, visit any free historical museums your town may have.
- Tour your local church (or maybe the oldest church in town).
- Visit a war memorial cemetery and discuss why the people there died (in battle most likely).
- Go geocaching! This is especially fun if you don’t mind traveling up and down many streets in your city.
- Take a nature walk. Find an area with a good path you can explore and go for it!
- Plan a trip to a local farm. Some farms have tourist-friendly things set up that you can do as well.
- Visit a bird sanctuary or an open garden. You can also feed the ducks at a local pond!
- Visit an art gallery when they have a free exhibit. You can also visit an art studio or enjoy a street performance depending on where you live.
- Take a trip to some of the local businesses such as the post office, the fire station, an art store, the library, or a pet store!
Field trips add an extra “something” to the homeschooling experience. In addition to reading about historic places and scientific species, your children can explore those things in a hands-on way. If money is an object, consider doing one of the free options above. All in all, you’ll create lasting memories your children will remember far longer than textbook pages!
Tasha is a homeschooling mom to 5 and has been homeschooling for 14 years. Currently, her children's ages span from toddler to young adult. Tasha has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Social Sciences from Florida State University and is working on her MBA through SNHU/Berklee School of Music.