How to Take a Homeschool Field Trip with Less Stress and More Fun

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Homeschool Field Trips

Is it just me or does it seem like kids can learn more in a one day field trip than they can in three weeks worth of formal bookwork?

This has been my experience. We’ll spend weeks talking a certain subject and they never seem to fully grasp it until I figure out some sort of field trip where they can see, touch and hear the concepts themselves. Something about these kinesthetic learners I have.

Recently, we’ve been learning about taxonomy and animal classifications. Both of my daughters knew key definitions and such, but I didn’t feel like they could really apply the knowledge they had. Until we visited the NC Natural Science Museum yesterday. After spending a short amount of time there, it suddenly clicked and it all made sense to them. They were so excited to be able to put what they had learned into action.

It was there, while seeing the passion in their eyes, that reaffirmed why I do this everyday.

My daughters genuinely love to learn and I’ve been blessed with the time and ability to teach them and to watch them grow not only physically, but intellectually and spiritually too.

I know as a homeschool mom that there have been many times when I’ve been tempted to pass up the opportunity to go on a field trip. It’s too expensive. We’re so far behind. It’s so much work to take them by myself when my husband is at work. It’s too far to drive. Yep, I know all of the excuses because I’ve used them all. It’s part of that lazy homeschool mom mentality that I’m trying hard to conquer.

But, let me encourage you. Go on that field trip. It is worth the work. Nothing can compare to hands-on learning experiences.

Here are 5 tips to make your homeschool field trip less stressful and more meaningful:

  1. See the experience through your child’s eyes. You may have been to the science museum ten times, but see it as your child is seeing it for the first time. It will change your perspective. It’s not, “oh here we are at the science museum again”. It’s “Thank you, God, for letting me be the one to share this experience with my child.”
  2. Research where you are going before you get there! Know prices, directions, hours, where the restrooms are, food options, etc. You will be so glad that you did! If they don’t have a website that answers your questions, call them. Anything to make it less stressful, right?
  3. Take lots of pictures! You’ll want to save these precious memories {and add them to your homeschool yearbook!}
  4. Get excited with your children.Be silly. Enjoy the day. You might even learn a few things yourself!

    Having fun being silly!

  5. Talk about the field trip when you get home. What did they like? What did they learn? What do they want to know more about? I’ve created this Field Trip Report sheet that we use after field trips. It’s a great way to let the kids record their memories. I add the sheets to our yearly binders.  Click here to download your own Field Trip Report Printable Sheets.
    Homeschool Field Trip Report Printable

 

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Heather Bowen

Heather is the founder and owner of Upside Down Homeschooling. She is a homeschooling mom of two little girls. Heather and her husband, Andrew- author and founder of Project Conversion, have been married for nine years. They reside in southeastern NC and have recently joined the Catholic Church. Heather is a nurse by trade, but left her nursing scrubs behind in October 2012, to become a full-time work at home mom. She is a professional blogger and speaker. You can also find her blogging at FrugalHomeschoolFamily.com. She and her husband will also be launching CatholicFamilyResources.com later this year.

Comments

  1. says

    I am a big fan of field trips even though they can be stressful! I however had not thought about doing a year book….interesting idea, I will have to think more about it!

  2. says

    It is so true, they do learn volumes more! We’re fortunate enough to be living in Europe for the next few years and our trips to the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay have been amazing even though my kids are 6 and under. Traveling is definitely part of our homeschool plan and your tips are right on, it is so much more meaningful when planned in advance.

  3. Tonia says

    I just wanted to say thank you for your inspiring blog & all that you do with a “Loving the Lord” attitude!! I am so glad I stumbled upon you & that I read this particular post. I loved what you said about “take lots of pictures to add them to your homeschool yearbook.” My husband & I went to a traditional public school & there are some things that “bum me out” (if you will), that my boys will miss from traditional schooling. It had NEVER occurred to me to create a yearbook!!! Genius!! Thank you! :)

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