Did you know that many amusement parks offer what they call “Homeschool Days”? Combined with lessons on amusement park physics, this can be a mostly educational family activity. As your children learn the science behind the rides, they may decide to be more adventurous knowing most rides are safer than they appear.
Amusement Park Physics
For some people, the roller coaster is THE reason to visit an amusement park. Did you know that roller coasters travel at the high speeds they do without an engine? After the ride is pulled to the top of the first hill, the rest of the work happens on autopilot – along with various wheel types for the different bumps and turns the coaster must make.
On the carousel, you may have looked at the horses wondering if your eyes are playing tricks on you. Are some of the horses really moving up and down at a faster rate than others? The answer is yes! Since the horses on the outside must cover a father distance, they travel at a faster rate.
Bumper cars offer a unique lesson on body mass. The heavier an object is, the greater the impact when it collides with something else. This also helps explain why adults bumping into children usually have a greater impact than when children bump into adults.
Don’t forget to explore some of the other processes that take place at amusement parks such as cotton candy-making!
Amusement Parks With Homeschool Days
Now that we’ve revved you up for some amusement park fun, you’re probably dying to know where and when you can go for Homeschool Days! Below is a short list of amusement parks that offer Homeschool Days:
- LEGOLAND (FL) – LEGOLAND offers discounted tickets for homeschoolers ($19.99 for students, and $34.99 for adults).
- National Museum of the USAF (OH) – The National Museum of the USAF offers activities for ages 3-18, most of which are FREE!
- Six Flags (TX) – Whether you’re celebrating an end-of-the-year bash or just need to take a field trip, Six Flags over Texas offers thrilling rides and adrenaline-pulsing attractions! Be sure to check the website for the date every school year.
- Hersheypark (PA) – Get some homeschool friends together to get a school group discount on tickets and have fun! They also have 5 education days per year with discounted food/dining options as well.
- Walt Disney World (FL) and Disneyland (CA) – Formerly known as “Homeschool Days at Disney,” Student Seminars have just what homeschooling families are looking for: jam-packed fun with educational undertones! The YES (Youth Education Services) programs at Disney offer various topics for families to explore such as “Designing a Disney Story” and “Discovering the American Spirit.”
This list is certainly not comprehensive, but only includes some of the more well-known amusement parks. Be sure to check your area and local homeschool groups to learn of more fun learning opportunities. If you aren’t part of a local homeschool co-op or group and would like to be, search here for groups in your area.
Homeschool days are a great opportunity for families to combine fun with education. Life is learning, and activities such as these show children that not all learning is dry. Book your reservation today and plan to have the time of your life!
Additional Homeschool Resources
Naomi White graduated with her B.S. in Christian Elementary Education and went on to earn her Early Childhood Education certification. She has taught preschool and elementary school in both Christian and public schools. She loves to read and write, is a pastor’s wife and stay-at-home mom, and is eagerly awaiting the day her son is old enough for them to start their own homeschool journey. Originally a Georgia girl, Naomi currently lives in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina with her family.