Field trips are a great way to add interest to your homeschool studies. Wrap up your Ancient Egyptian unit study with a trip to a museum’s exhibit on mummies. Allow your children to get closer to the snakes you’ve been studying by visiting the reptile house at a zoo in your area. Help jumpstart your upcoming unit on reusable resources by taking a tour of the local recycling facility.
No matter what you’re studying, a field trip can enhance your child’s educational experience. A field can be lots of fun, but in order to make the most of the day and to help keep stress at bay, it’s important to do a bit of advanced planning.
Today’s post includes a list of four action items for successful field trip planning and a free printable to help your children make educational connections while on a field trip. There’s much in your area to see and do! Plan ahead and then head out to enjoy the day!
Research the location first. Before you load up the minivan and zoom away, do your research at home first. Be sure you know how to get the location and make sure you know the admission costs, parking options, and the hours of operation. Take time to look at an online map of the facility and familiarize yourself with the locations of the bathrooms and find out what the site’s food policy is. Can you pack lunch for the family or must you purchase food there?
Give children something to do while there. I always like to make sure my children stay focused and actively engaged during family field trips, so I sometimes give them something written to do while there. Most of the time it’s a simple ABC Field Trip Sheet. The girlies love to carry their clipboards around and take notes as they tour, look, and listen.
Download your free ABC Field Trip Sheet by clicking the graphic below:
Take plenty of pictures. You’ll see and do lots of interesting and amazing things on your field trip. Document the day’s events by taking lots of pictures. You can share your photos with friends, include them in your homeschool portfolio, or use them to create a memorable collage of the day’s events.
Follow up with a fun activity. The day after the field trip, I have the children complete follow up activity. My favorite activity is to have the girlies make a tri-fold brochure using an 8½ x 11 piece of construction paper. The girlies use the ABC Field Trip List to write about what they learned and saw during the trip. The brochure also includes room for the girlies to tell what they enjoyed about the field trip.
Field trips are a fun part of the homeschool experience! By planning in advance, using time wisely while visiting, and following up when you return home, field trips can easily become a regular part of your homeschool routine.
© 2014, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.