Adding Fun Into Your Homeschool: Field Trips

When we started homeschooling, my oldest son was in first grade and my daughter was four but wanted to ‘do school’ like big brother, so she was doing a mix of preschool and kindergarten materials. I had set up our school schedule and thought I had a great plan. It worked for a week or two but then we found the other homeschoolers in our area and started hearing about all of these wonderful opportunities. A trip to the fire department, a local play, a trip to the nature center. I jumped at the opportunity to be involved in these wonderful trips and saw how much my children were learning.

Adding Fun Field Trips

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There was just one problem, it was putting me behind on my schedule and I felt like I was struggling to keep up with my plans and these trips. By the second year, I realized that I needed to value these opportunities and leave space for them in my plans. I started planning for a four-day school week and allowing a day for field trip, or enrichment, opportunities each week. While it looks a little different now with two middle school students, I still allow for a field trip day each week because I think those opportunities are invaluable. They learn so much for the real-life environments and they have fun. When people ask my 13-year-old why he likes homeschool better than public school, one of the first things he says is that he gets to go on more field trips. Our field trips range from a quick trip to the local library, a day visit at a nearby nature park or aquarium, to incorporating learning opportunities into family vacations out of state. They all provide a variety of learning opportunities.

For young children, field trips provide great exposure to a variety of people and places that they need to be familiar with particularly the group that are often called, “community helpers”. What better way to understand about police officers, postal workers, firemen, and other community workers than to talk to them, see them working, and learn about their jobs. A trip to the fire department most often also includes some great fire safety education to help keep them safe in our homes.

You can talk about flowers, birds, and fish all day long, but if you want to get a child really excited about those things, they need to see them. Hikes in your local park and trips to the aquarium, zoo, or nature center can help students really enjoy learning about the world around them and give them a greater appreciation for God’s creation. Many state and national parks offer free or inexpensive classes and guided programs, and self-guided junior ranger activities to help them learn more about different aspects of nature that are present in that park. We have enjoyed bird walks, tree identification programs, and a nature scavenger hunt at area parks.

I feel saddened every time I hear someone say that history is boring.  Too often people view history as a list of dates and names to memorize. When my children were in preschool we were very blessed to find living history programs geared towards preschoolers at our local historic site. We would attend once a month and they would bring history to life. There were crafts, impersonations, tours, and more that all made them excited to learn about history. Historic interpreters and living history events can really bring history to life and make it so much more fun and exciting. We now actively search out living history events at other historic sites to visit and volunteer our time at our local site to help bring history to life for other families.

I have had people tell me that they don’t have the budget for field trips and I know this is true in some situations. However, please note that trips do not need to be expensive or far away to add in lots of fun and education. Many of the parks and sites are free or only a couple of dollars per person and some offer group rates for homeschool groups. Most of the community services will do free field trips. There are also often homeschool discounts at larger venues such as aquariums and zoos. When we go overnight, we often camp in a state or national park to save money over hotels (most charge around $25 a night) and pack most of our meals.

I would love to hear about how you incorporate field trips into your homeschool. For more information about specific field trips check out our Field Trip Friday posts. Thank you for joining us this week for the blog hop! Don’t forget to check back often for more homeschool encouragement and check out the other posts in the hop today.

CREW @ Homeschool Review Crew2019 Annual Not Back to School Homeschool Blog Hop

Chareen @ Every Bed of RosesABC of Homeschooling

Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag Adding Fun to Your Homeschool Day

Erin @ For Him and My Family Large Family Homeschooling

Lori @ At Home Where Life Happens Learning Life Skills

Monique @ Mountain of Grace HomeschoolingHomeschooling the High School Years

Monique D. @ Early Learning MomHomeschooling With Autism

Yvie @ Homeschool On the Range 5 Days of Upper Grades Homeschooling

Abby @ Making Room 4 One More – Time Management for Homeschool Moms

Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool5 Days of Homeschool Questions

Amy @ the WRITE BalanceYear-Round Schooling

Annette @ A Net in TimeHomeschooling.

Betty @ Lets Get RealHomeschooling High School

Cassandra @ My Blessed MessEclectic Homeschooling
Kimberley @ Vintage Blue SuitcaseRoadschooling with a Teenager

Yvonne @ The Life We Build5 Days of Relaxed Homeschooling

Destiny @ Some Call It DestinyEncouragement for the Homeschooling Mom

Karen @ Tots and Me…Growing Up Together –  A Peek into Our Homeschool

Cassie D @ Deputie TribeHomeschooling 6 Taking Care of YOU

Kristen Heider @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach Theme: A Quest for a Great Homeschool Year

Patti Pierce – Truth and Grace Homeschool AcademyMy Favorite Homeschooling Things

Wendy @ Life on Chickadee Lane5 Days of Nature Study

Jacquelin @ A Stable BeginningHomeschooling my final 4 

Christine @ Life’s Special NecessitiesYes! You Can Homeschool Your Special Needs Child

Sally M – Tell the Next GenerationTips for Homeschooling Struggling Learners

Kim @ Good Sweet LoveLast Year of Elementary

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

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Resource Library 

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Deals and Freebies

Back to School Bundle Sale going on now!! Back to Homeschool Online Course Bundle

SchoolhouseTeachers.com is doing an amazing sale this month! Buy One year get One Year FREE! We use this for several of our courses and one price covers all the students in your home for as many of their over 400 courses and you would like to use.

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

6 thoughts on “Adding Fun Into Your Homeschool: Field Trips

  1. I, too, dislike when people say history is boring. I am so glad my grandpop and mom passed on their love history to me through books and trips. We need to get to some more of the historic sites…

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  2. History should not be boring!! It wasn’t a favorite subject for my kids, but I did my best to make it fun and interesting, and as you say – field trips were a great way to do that! Living history museums are awesome!

    So many businesses do tours that make really neat field trips, so you can make one out of almost anything your students are interested in. We toured the greenhouse my husband works at several times, and also toured places like a chocolate/candy manufacturer, dairy, newspaper office, and a favorite – television/radio studio.

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  3. We were so good at field trips when all my kids were younger, but once my oldest hit high school and had a class there she had to take, it became so much harder. I do need to get back to scheduling them. Kids learn so much from a good field trip.

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