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.
Homeschool Field Trips
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.
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.
Free or low-cost field trips:
- 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
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.)
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.