I taught in public school for ten years and the one thing I looked forward to every year was the field trip. I loved to see the excitement in my students eyes to get outside of the classroom to do some hands on learning. When I went from public school teacher to homeschool mom, I decided that it was my chance to provide as much hands-on learning as possible.
Field trips can be simple days at the zoo or planned-out trips with activities and assignments attached. Studying about Egypt can be exciting but going to a museum and seeing a mummy in a sarcophagus makes a lifelong impression on young learners. In our homeschool, with two learners who struggle, field trips are a must.
Three advantages that I have realized by providing field trips with my children.
1 – Field Trips Connect Learning with Reality
Reading about art in books can give a learner background, but going to a museum and actually seeing a Monet painting sets up a real memory. My daughter still talks about the colors, Monet, and the waterlilies. Now when we see water lilies in other ponds, she can tell me about Monet. I know the learning has been made meaningful and long-term.
2 – Field Trips Make Learning Relevant
Learning about physics in a science book can be exciting, but being able to go to museum and build a car and watch it race other cars allows the learning to become physics in action. When you refer back to the laws that were learned during the field trip lesson, it helps your student apply the concepts.
3 – Field Trips Inspire Learners
Field trips can help your child figure out what school subjects most interested them, or even a lifelong career. You never know when a field trip to the zoo could inspire your child to be a zoologist or a veterinarian. If you talk to museum or zoo staff about your child’s interests, they may even have a way to extend that learning.
We plan field trips every 5 weeks to change up our learning environment. Check into local venues there are ways to get group rates, homeschool days, and maybe even free admission.