Learning Table has a new home.
Come visit us at learningtablehomeschool.com!
This blog uses affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fabulous Field Trips {and a Giveaway}


  This is the last Not-Back-To-School Blog Hop post, so be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win an awesome resource from Home Educating Family (details below...)

Petting a bunny at the horse stables

   One of our favorite things about homeschooling is the opportunity to go on field trips where we get a chance to explore and discover.  Sometimes we do things as a family, and sometimes we attend activities and events with other homeschoolers.  These excursions have been wonderful memory-makers, and a way for my kids to take a peek behind the scenes of such places as the post office, a working grist mill, and the kitchen of a large restaurant.

Learning about organic gardening
Picking strawberries with Grandma
   Although some activities do cost money, we have found many free opportunities.  You might be surprised at how many places are happy to accommodate field trips--all you have to do is ask.   
Some free or low-cost things we have done:
Art museums
American Legion museum
Baseball museum
U-pick farms (cost of what you pick only)
Post office
Grain mill
Organic farm
Horse stables
Local restaurants (cost of food only, usually w/ a group discount and educational talk/tour included)
Local colleges and universities
Library tours/talks/classes
Fire station
Police station
Grocery store
Manufacturing plant
Free children's concerts given by the local symphony 
Children's theater performances 
State parks
Fish hatchery
Plant nursery
Alpaca farm
Goat farm
Television station
Zoo (membership saves money if you go often or have a large family, and is often reciprocal)
Veterinary clinic
Dental clinic
Historical homes
Historical monuments
Recycling center
Waste-water treatment facility

Art museum exhibit of Edith and Thacher Hurd

   I document our field trips in my record-keeping notebook by writing the place, date, additional resources used, and adding some photos, brochures, business cards, etc. This helps not only in counting up days of school we have completed, but also in planning some additional activities related to the field trip, often creating a mini-unit study for my kids. For example, a field trip to the zoo might also include reading related books, classifying animals for science, and bringing along a scavenger hunt sheet for the kids to fill out (find a gray animal, find an animal with smooth skin, find an animal with spots, find an animal that eats vegetables, find an animal from Asia, etc.)
Learning about geology from the department chairman of a local university
Getting up close at a wildlife refuge

Science at the Mystery House

   We also take advantage of educational opportunities when we go on vacation, checking out local museums, parks, and historical sites.  Free tourism information and maps are available from the Chamber of Commerce and Welcome Centers.  I'd love to hear your ideas--what fabulous field trips have you been on?

Learning about trains at the train museum, and meeting Thomas and his friends
Learning about China, and turning a map into a dragon
Trying new foods

Meeting the goats and learning how the dairy operates

Learning how to forecast the weather
If you click on the Blog Hop button at the top of this post, you can visit the other review team members and enter for more chances to win this fabulous planner:
Since we're celebrating Not-Back-to-School, Home Educating Family has a giveaway for YOU!  Simply leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a Well Planned Day planner.  Winner will be announced next Friday.  

Congratulations to Swinging on Small Hinges  who said:

We are eclectic as well, using a bit of this and some of that to meet our homeschooling goals. Isn't it great? ;) I'd love to win the planner, thanks! 

September 28, 2012 8:11 AM
All prizes must be claimed within eight weeks.
{Due to international sweepstakes laws, this giveaway is for US entrants only.
  This giveaway is not tied to any social media site.}


DaBearsHomeSchool said...

There are many great ideas on here. My son and I have done some of them. We go the the Mississippi River Headwaters every year on vacation. Next year we are planning on doing the paddle boat history tour on Lake Itasca.

6f7deecc-1009-11e2-85b8-000bcdcb471e said...

This is a great list/resource for ideas of making homeschooling come 'alive'....this list brought back many fond memories for our family.....after 13 years of homeschooling....we still talk about many of the fun activities listed here that we did over the years! Have fun, enjoy this age/stage, & relax......

schomemaker said...

Great stuff on free or low cost stuff. Thanks for sharing. I am follower now.

Lisa C. said...

Our family loves the field trips we take! Every one of them is a learning opportunity if we are intentional! Thank you!

Lisa C.

Krizrose said...

I'd love to one day tour the world for our field trips! One day that will happen, but for now I'm okay with more local places and virtual tours. Kids love learning and that's what I want to nurture!!! Eclectic seems to fit our needs best too!

joyfulmom said...

I am so thankful for the many free or low cost resources that are out there for families to make memories while having fun on "field trips." We live in the Ozarks and while the opportunities are different than where we are from (Minnesota) - they are opportunities for adventures nonetheless.
Thank you for posting this giveaway!

Erin Long said...

Thanks for the encouragement and the giveaway.