Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ten Homeschool Field Trip Ideas

  1. State, county, or city parks. Bring a picnic and hike the trails. Catch and identify bugs. Study the foliage and fauna. Visit the nature center. Learn survival tactics. Read William Wordsworth while you lie on your back in the grass and study the clouds.
  2. The fire department. Many fire departments allow school groups to tour the facilities if you call ahead. Group other families together for a large crowd.
  3. The police department. My husband’s brother is a police officer (detective now!), and he came to speak to our little homeschool group a few years ago. The children thought the highlight of the morning was to sit in his police car and hear the siren! Your local jail may also have facilities that are available for touring. It may just take a phone call.
  4. The county or state fair. Our children have viewed animal surgeries such as swine necropsy and dog castration; seen Chinese acrobats (and tried to interview them, but they don’t speak much English); petted horses, cows, pigs, and bunnies (but not the chickens or ducks!); learned how cheese is made; studied an Indiana watershed; and many more learning experiences there just aren’t room for in this post. (Watching taffy being made and eating corn dogs is educational also, right?)
  5. A local farm or orchard. We have an apple orchard just a few miles away with u-pick apples, a corn maze with educational tidbits of apple history and varieties, and a pumpkin patch. 
  6. The bank. Perhaps we’re too spontaneous and ask too much of people. But when we were at a local bank a couple of years ago opening a new account and the associate was offering the children pads of paper and balloons and lollipops, we asked him if our children could see the bank a little. After we “signed in”, we were allowed behind the counter and into the vault (but it wasn’t like the movies where piles of hundreds are strewn about L), and our children asked questions about their procedures. Perhaps a call ahead or knowing someone would yield a more formal tour.
  7. The airport. We walked as far as security would allow down the terminal, watching the passengers and crew walk by and the planes take off and land. We also ate lunch in the food court where our large family was noticed by a bored pilot waiting around on stand-by. He talked with our children for a good half hour, and we learned about his education, how he learned to fly, what type of airplane he flies, and what his schedule is like.
  8. Local historical sights. You may be close to your state history museum (ours has free nights occasionally). Or perhaps there are battle reenactments or presidential homes in your area.
  9. The veterinarian’s office. I’m willing to guess that most veterinarians don’t get a request for a school tour. He might be so flattered that you’d get the red carpet treatment!
  10. Zoos, aquariums, and museums. What list of field trip ideas would be complete without this trio of opportunities?











What has been your favorite field trip? What can you add to this list?





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17 comments:

  1. Thank you for the GREAT ideas since I'm currently putting together a calendar of events for the homeschool families of our church! I'm glad I stopped by! Christy

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    1. So glad it was helpful. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. My oldest son just graduated from our homeschool in July and his two siblings are close on his heels. We've had plenty of time for field trips and you could say that we spent a couple years homeschooling on the road so we've managed to hit 10 out of 10 on your list. Our favorite field trip was to a mission training center. It was set up in outdoor modules, intending to look like another country. You traveled by foot to each stop with a guide and while you were there you learned about the needs of the country and how the organization was meeting the physical needs so they could meet the spiritual needs. Wonderful, wonderful field trip! Stopping by from Top Ten Tuesday.

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    1. We love to travel, so homeschooling on the road sounds terrific! The mission training center is a great idea. We spent a year and a half in an inner city church, and I thought of including an inner city ministry center, but I wanted to keep my list to ten. So glad you stopped by today and shared your ideas!

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  3. Great ideas Meghan! This is our first year, we're doing University Style Schooling (half school/half homeschool) but we have parent initiative days and these ideas work great!

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    1. I was just talking with a friend the other day about University Style Schooling, although we didn't know it was called that. I love how there are so many different options now with education. I'm glad these ideas were helpful. Thanks for stopping by, Rachel, and I hope to see you again!

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  4. When my kids were younger we used to take monthly field trips but when they entered high school there just seemed no time. My problem wasn't that there wasn't time, I just needed to plan them into our schedule. That's what we are doing this year. Even though I only have one left to HS, we are planning to do our trips on the days my son has off from college. Thanks for the ideas, Meghan.

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    1. How terrific to include your college-age son in your field trips! Hope you have great trips this year. (It looks like your website has a terrific newsletter. I'm your newest subscriber.) Thanks for your comment!

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  5. Ah...a fellow Hoosier; we LOVE the Indiana State Fair, as well! Springmill State park (in Mitchell IN) is a great place for a field trip. The Gus Grissom space museum is located at the entrance, complete with a space capsule and movie of Gus. Lincoln State Park is another fine place to visit; we usually camp there for a few days.

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    1. I'm beginning to wonder if we are spoiled here in Indiana with the State Fair. I grew up in Illinois, and I just don't remember the Illinois State Fair being as big. One year, we were in Montana and drove by their State Fair; it looked more like a carnival.

      Springmill is an excellent field trip spot, whether it's with an organized group or just on your own. I haven't been to Lincoln State Park. We'll have to look into it.

      Thanks so much for the suggestions!

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  6. stopping by from WLWW linkup. Thanks for the tips! These are great ideas.

    http://abundantjoy04.blogspot.com/

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    1. So glad you stopped by, Tonya. Blessings on your homeschool year!

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  7. I love all these ideas, and I'm following you on Facebook now so we can keep in touch. I haven't decided whether or not to homes school yet, but I'm seriously considering it. I like to find people who are and learn from them about their experiences, so I'm glad to have found you through the Kids Co-op!


    Amy @ Creative Kid Snacks

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    1. Never mind about the FB, following through GFC :)

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    2. I'm glad this was helpful to you, and thanks for the follow. So glad you stopped by!

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I so much appreciate your time and effort in leaving a comment, and I try to respond to as many as time permits. :-)