The field trip is a staple of any school experience. No matter your age, you likely remember the excitement of finding your seat on the bus with your bag of sandwiches in hand. School didn’t get much better than that. And, because those days out were so memorable, you can likely still bring to mind the lessons you learnt to this day.
With that in mind, any homeschool parent should aim to make the most of field trip opportunities. This is where you could make a real impact on your child. And, you have the benefit of being able to go out and about as often as you like. You won’t even need to wait for permission slips or insurance quotes. In fact, nothing will stop you from waking up on a beautiful day and deciding to take your lessons on the road. This freedom is one of the many fantastic benefits of homeschooling your children. And, it’s hard to deny that this can also go a long way towards ensuring your kids get the best lessons of all.
There is, of course, one small issue. Schools generally stick to the same trips year in and year out. Any parent with two kids in the school system will know that those trips come around the same time in the same year. And, the activities embarked upon are likely the same, too. As such, schools can limit themselves to trips with proven educational benefits. You, however, don’t have that experience to fall back on. As such, you may be left wondering where would be best to take your kids. You might have freedom in the field, but that doesn’t help you make these decisions.
Referring to your curriculum will go some way towards helping here. You want to consider trips which will be in keeping with your current lessons. If in doubt, it’s also worth considering the following three trip categories.
A vast number of field trips relate to history in some way. Many schools take trips to local museums or head further afield to those who specialise in their current topics. And, your teaching is sure to benefit from your doing the same. What’s more, this is a fantastic option because most museums are free. As such, there’s no real limit on how often you could head to locations like these. Ruins of old monuments and castles are also relevant here, and again, there’s rarely an entrance fee.
While trips further afield are kept to an understandable minimum, most children get at least one or two chances for a trip aboard. It’s not unusual for a teacher to take kids to countries like Germany during studies on World War 2. Some even arrange school trips to Krakow and other Polish locations for the same reason. Bear in mind that it’s easy to forget learning when you land on foreign shores. To ensure you stick to your schedule, plan your rota, and only allow for fun once the school day is over. That way, you can still enjoy yourselves while resting easy you’re up to date with work.
The natural world
Many field trips also relate back to nature in some way. Learning about the bees, birds, and plant life is essential for any child. And, the chances are you take learning into the garden often to get these points across. But, there are limits when only teaching about local wildlife. If your kids are learning about nature in different countries, trips in this area could be your best bet. A day at the zoo, for instance, can show your children non-native animals up close and personal. Equally, a trip to a butterfly house or any other tropical greenhouse project could serve well. This way, your kids will gain a good idea of plants and insects which thrive in tropical locations. And, you wouldn’t get the chance to teach that in your garden back home.
A team bonding experience
Some trips also focus on team bonding. Obviously, that could be a little tricky when you’re homeschooling. Hence why you might want to make time for group trips. You could work in collaboration with other homeschool parents to plan a teamwork-based day out. Or, you could sign your little one up for group activity days which could take care of this for you. Given that your child won’t always have the chance to work with others during their learning, it’s especially crucial you get on top with this.