One of the things we consider essential to the success of our homeschool is field trips. I remember so looking forward to field trips as a kid. Field trip day was awesome. But as a homeschooler, we feel that field trips aren’t just a treat but an essential.
There are several types of field trips that we take and many outings can be considered a field trip if you put the right spin on it.
Educational Field Trips to go with Current Studies
Of course the first type of field trip we take is one that is educational. We may take a trip to coincide with something we are studying or planning to study that year. For instance, we may go on a field trip to a historical site to correspond with a history period we are studying or just studies. For instance, we went to see the Nutcracker after we studied ballet in our music/art study.
Education Field Trips in General
Another type of field trip is also education but maybe not something we are currently studying. However, the educational gain is always nice regardless of whether it’s something being studied. For instance, last year we were to visit an old rotating jail in a near-by community that is now a museum. Though we were not studying that time period, it was a valuable experience to learn about the mechanics of the jail, the historical value of the jail, how jails functioned during that time period, and a little bit of history of our state.
Educational Fun Field Trips
Field trips are almost ALWAYS educational on some level but sometimes they are just fun. For instance, we live near a top rated Children’s Museum and a great Zoo. These are fun but education field trips that we take from time to time. We also live near an interactive history museum that holds homeschool programs that we like to attend as well. Other fun field trips that tend to be educational regardless of whether you are “studying” the theme or not are apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and water treatment plants. Yes, I said water treatment plants. We went to one this year and it was very interesting for the kids to learn how the water is treated and get some understanding on how water flows through a city system.
There are, of course, fun field trips that may not be educational overall but are needed to make our school successful. For instance, it maybe be a playdate type trip to a local play place. Though this isn’t educational, it can be great for exercise or energy expenditure, especially in the winter months when it’s difficult to get out of the house and get some exercise, something every kid needs. We go to parks, playgrounds, indoor play places, inflatable jump zones, beaches, pools, and bowling.
Field Trip Vacation
Have you ever had a field trip vacation? We have and it was great. A great way to spend valuable family time and have some great, enriching learning time. We took a trip to Washington DC in the summer following our Classical Conversations cycle 3 year when we focused on US History and learning our states and capitals. It was a great vacation of learning, seeing first-hand things we studied in books and videos during the year. We, of course, weaved in some fun trips to the beach and American Girl store, educational fun field trips to the Natural History Museum (aka Dinosaur Museum), and some time physical education at the hotel pool.
Overall, we find that field trips are very productive and a homeschooling essential for us. Whether it a museum visit or a trip to the zoo, we are sure to learn something valuable as well as get some exercise and spend some quality time outside the house learning and enjoying time together.
Do you take regular field trips? What is your favorite?
Check out what other TOS Crew Members consider their homeschooling essentials and be sure to read the rest of the series of our 5 Homeschooling Essentials including:
- Mary @ Winecup Christian Homeschool
- Jenni @ Conversaving
- Meghan @ Quiet in the Chaos
- Karen @ Tots and Me
- Beth @ Weavings
- Karen @ My Harbor Lights
- Amy @ Wildflower Ramblings
- Kristi @ The Potter’s Hand Academy
- Tara @ This Sweet Life