Field trips are fun and rewarding experiences, for you and your students. Not only do you learn something on these outings, but you get a much-needed break from a normal school day. There are lots of ways to make field trips successful, and they vary in length and planning time.
Plan the whole day to go along with your studies. Look at your subjects; where can you go that will expand on a topic?
Are you studying a specific person? Find a museum with an exhibit on that individual. Are you studying astronomy? Visit an observatory. Reading about bees? Visit a honey farm. What about a cave study? Find a cave and go spelunking.
There are so many things to study, and with that, so many things that you can get hands-on experience with. Books and the Internet are great, but learning by going and doing can bring a whole new element to your field of study.
Plan a day of fun. You may just want to take a day off from your normal school routine, and that is okay. Not all field trips have to be for your student to complete research on a topic. Sometimes it is nice to just go explore an area with no real agenda. No matter where you go, there is always learning to be done.
Interested in playing and learning? Visit a children’s museum. There are always hands-on learning activities to do there, and many things to learn and experience. Are you interested in art? Find an art museum and discover the different types of paintings, sculptures, and more. Like learning about animals and seeing them move in a natural way? Visit your local zoo.
Sure, you can have your student write about your experience after visiting or maybe brainstorm what they hope to learn from your field trip prior to going, but you totally don’t have to. That part is up to you. Learning on the go is great for everyone involved, and it should be a fun experience.
Make it a partial day. Field trips don’t always have to be an all-day endeavor. Sometimes our favorite days are when we decide to do our normal school day, but we plan an outing in between it all.
Go for a hike and explore the nature around you. Write about it, draw pictures, and maybe learn about an animal or plant. Find a local music shop and see if you can go and investigate the different types of instruments. Visit a history museum. What were different times like? What kind of things were found from certain time periods?
These partial days allow you to keep to your school schedule for the day, but they give you time to breathe and give a little fun kick to the day. They can also help expand on unit studies or research project ideas.
These are definitely not the only ways of planning a field trip. Part of leading your children in their academic life means you can plan however you desire. You can take your child’s interests in mind and plan away…or even plan something together.
If you have been thinking of a specific trip you would like to take but are drawing a blank on where to go, check out our field trip page.
You can also purchase our Hoosier Homeschoolers Guide to Field Trips. (Don’t forget that IAHE Premium Members get a discount.)