Homeschool Field Trips

As a home­schooling parent, you have the ability to be more flexible in the education you provide your children. Learning happens best when concepts are reinforced through a variety of ways, from books to hands-on projects.

So, if you are home schooling your children, you know that letting them get out of the house and pursue learning opportunities in the larger world is an important part of their learning process. Home­school field trips allow your children an opportunity to learn about their world and experience life, outside of your home school room. Your children will touch, hold, see, taste and live what they are learning from their books or on the computer. After all, all the things that they learn do not mean much unless they can apply them to the real world.

If you are going over a particular subject with the family and feel that a field trip would be beneficial, then that's what you should do - go for a trip. If you are attached to a support group, you can plan to include other children too.

Here are some guidelines that will help you plan:

  1. Collect the rates
  2. Allowed ages
  3. Special highlights
  4. Size of the group
  5. Timings
  6. Eating facilities

Inform your support group of all these details well in advance so that the necessary circulars may be sent out. On the appointed day, arrange to meet with other parents and children in a particular place. Plan the mode of travel and reach the place at least ten minutes early.

Since home­school field trips are parent planned they meet the interests of the students who will be participating. They are usually more “hands on”, because of the fact that they are much more individualized. Just imagine all of the fun and educational field trips you can take with your young children. Some ideas include trips to local art and historical museums, science centers, aeronautical centers, historic homes in the area, state or city capitol buildings, and zoos and wildlife centers.

There are many field trip opportunities for high school home­schoolers too. There are traditional ones such as museums, amusement parks, art centers and college campuses. Volunteer-related field trips are always a big hit, as well.

If you live in or near a large city, there are countless field trip destinations available to you. There are factory tours and theater trips. Many businesses in food industry offer students the chance to gain hands-on experience in the field. Bakeries, large restaurants and food manufacturing plants are often willing to accommodate students for the day.

There are theme camps all across the country, which offer a wonderful extended field trip opportunity for home­schoolers. Space camp, drama camp, computer camp, sports camp and music camp are just a small sample of what is actually available. Many of these camps offer a need- based scholarship program, if the cost of tuition is an issue.

Field trips are not just fun. So, let your kids bring their writing material. Allow them time to stare and admire. Do not hurry them along. Collect data beforehand so that you can clear doubts. Get help from a guide, if necessary. And most importantly, have fun and enjoy the time you spend with your children.

If you are interested in reading more on this topic, please read: Home­schooling and the Family.