The words “field trip” are used by traditional educators to mean a learning experience that occurs outside the classroom (ie- the field). For homeschoolers, the world is our classroom. So, the next time you are thinking about scheduling field trips, try thinking of other ways you can learn incognito.
Most field trips that I have been on include quiet museums or busy factories where you are guided along and most of your time is spent in passive silence. Instead of taking a field trip with your family, try some of these activities instead:
1. Art Excursion
Bring along your pencils, paper, and watercolors and find a quiet place to enjoy nature and create masterpieces. You could create a small bag filled with your favorite mediums and papers so that when the mood hits you can just grab it and go.
A serene lake, a grassy hill, or a walking path are all great places to go. Or, you could get wild and find a public place where you can watch people while you draw and paint.
A day of relaxing art creation is free; all it costs is the gas to get you to your destination.
2. Visit a Nursing Home
Find out from the activities department at your local nursing home which days you can come and volunteer. Elderly people love it when children visit, and your kids will have all the attention they could ever want! Your kids will also be learning about compassion, caring for others, and the history of our country through their amazing stories.
You can share artwork and greeting cards with the residents, attend a function with them, or just sit and chat. In time you may find your children have gained some adopted grandparents.
Geocaching is a real-life adventure game where you hunt for items that have been placed by other geocachers. You can buy a GPS device or use a smartphone with GPS capabilities.
You can learn more about geocaching at the official website: Geocaching.com. From there you can also enter your location and see what treasures there are to find in your area!
4. Go Bowling or Skating
On those cold days when you can't get outside, you can take advantage of early hour deals at the local bowling alley. Bowling together is great fun. It teaches physics and visual-spatial thinking.
If you want a little bigger challenge, try going roller skating. Kids love the thrilling feel of flying on wheels and the cost to skate is often cheaper than a movie ticket.
5. Go Camping
Why go on a day-long field trip when you can spend a couple days in the field? Whether you camp in a tent or an RV, slimming down and doing without will bring your family together and teach survival skills.
Incorporate camping into your other field trip plans. Plan a weekend excursion where you rough it by night and seek out the finest museums by day!
6. Fly Kites
Spend a day building and then flying kites. You can make them as simple or as elaborate as you want.
Kids love to build things, and you can use kites to show geometric shapes and aerodynamics. Here is a site that has several kite-making tutorials.
7. Have a Board Game Night
Pop some popcorn, invite the neighbors, and have an all-out game night! You can ask to swap some new games with friends so you have a fresh selection each month.
Board games like Stratego, Apples to Apples, Family Fluxx, and Boggle teach math and language concepts without effort.
You could start a playing group with other families. Host tournaments with prizes and keep track of your games with an online bracket.
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