It’s that time of year again when we can take advantage of outdoor field trips!
Anything from nature study in your own back yard, to taking a trip to the zoo. Take advantage of the weather and get out to do some real life, hands-on learning.
Our family goes about these field trips in a more relaxed, unschooling type of way and it works so well! The kids constantly talk about all they learned from visits to old Forts and riding a real steam engine, visiting a zoo, to visiting beehives and learning how bees make honey!
We don’t make our kids carry clipboards and take notes on everything they see. We do, however, get involved in every trip we take and “get our hands dirty” right along side of the kids. Taking the time to really get in on the action with your children will enhance any learning experience…for both of you!
- Decide on a great place to go. What have you been learning about, what have the kids been talking about? Try to arrange a trip around their interests.
- Go on-line or call your selected destination to determine the costs. Sometimes they will have discounts for homeschoolers. They may also be extra activities you want to take part in which require an additional fee.
- Pack your backpack. Don’t forget things like sunscreen, insect repellent, a small first aid kit, sunglasses/hats, water bottles, snacks, and a camera. Maybe even a small coil bound pad of paper and pencil, just in case someone really needs to write something down. (Usually this would be me, as my kids seem to have a better memory than I ;_))
- Wear comfortable and appropriate clothing. Have everyone wear shoes they will be comfortable walking in for the entire day. Take light sweaters or jackets packed as well in case your beautiful day takes a turn for the worse. Also keep in mind trudging around a pond collecting frogs requires much different gear than going to the zoo or museum.
- Get a map &/or an itinerary of what is happening. Plan your “must see” exhibits or events, then you can fit in everything else around that. Also plan some extra time at the end of your day to stay and wander around. There may be a special point of interest for each of your children, let them go back and take it all in.
- Keep a memory book or journal. Once you are home you can print off some notebooking or journal pages for the kids to paste pictures, or brochures into. Is there something your kids would like to recreate at home? Perhaps you can have a craft day to make a model or paint a picture about what they saw.
- Get the kids to plan. Having the kids help you plan your trip will not only have them involved, but will also teach them some valuable life skills. Perhaps each of them can pick out 1 point of interest and can assist in deciding what snacks or extra clothing they might want to pack. I also like my kids to help plan what kind of safety issues we will need to keep in mind for our various trips. It is also good idea to review appropriate behaviour for where you are going.
- Don’t forget a meeting place. Once you arrive at your chosen destination, don’t forget to make an emergency meeting place in case anyone should get separated.
- Have fun! Think about your field trip through the eyes of your child. This is a time of discovery and excitement for them. When everyone is excited and having fun real learning just happens.
Let’s encourage one another in our homeschooling journey and share…