For students of all ages, field trips provide a relaxing yet educational break from the mundane and the tedious. Homeschoolers, as well as public schoolers, benefit greatly from a fun little excursion every once in a while. The question is, what kind of field trips are out there for Homeschooled kids to do?
The nice thing about being homeschooled is that you can go to certain places at certain times when public schoolers might not be able to go. There is a fairly wide range of activities to do and places to go that will benefit children/students of all ages. Here are a few favorite options you might consider trying!
Visiting a farm can prove both fun and educational in more ways than one. All the kids in your group can learn about agriculture, livestock, the production of eggs and milk, and everything else that happens on a farm. Plus, if you’re lucky enough to go at a time in the spring, there might even be a few baby animals everyone could hold and play with!
The nice thing about visiting museums is that the variety is huge and there’s an area of interest for just about everybody. At museums, you can teach your kids/students about the arts, science, natural history, geography, and whatever else you can think of. Children’s discovery museums are also a great option if you’ve got little ones in your group.
3. The Zoo
The zoo isn’t an unusual field trip for people to make, whether they’re homeschooled or public schooled. The nice thing is, when you’re homeschooled you can go just about any time of day and any day of the week whereas public schoolers might not be able to do so. The zoo can be a fun place for your younger kids as well as your older ones!
4. Visit the Aquarium
The aquarium is the same way! You can visit it whenever you’d like for as long as you’d like. Some aquariums offer additional attractions such as feeding the fish and touching stingrays and coral. This, too, can prove educational for your students no matter their age. Spend a couple of hours at the aquarium and then ask your students what they learned.
5. Parent’s Work
If you or the parents of another child in your group has a unique job that might not always be open to the public, get a little group together and ask that parent for a tour. You can have them walk the kids around their place of employment and teach the students a little about what they do.
6. State Capitol Trip
This may not always be convenient if the state capitol isn’t close by, but if you’re a homeschooling family, the chances are that you have a bit more time for field trips on your hands. Take a day and drive your kids up to the capitol building for a nice long tour. This is a great way to teach them about how bills are passed and how congress works.
7. Parks and Simulations
This one might sound a little unusual, but trust me when I say it’s a lot of fun. When I was growing up, my homeschooling group went to a park with a large field and had an airsoft gun battle to reenact the battle of Gettysburg. You don’t have to do anything like that if you don’t want to, but host a simulation of some kind that reenacts an important historical event. This can help teach the kids in your group about that historical period and why it’s important. Plus it’s just a lot of fun!
This could technically fall under the category of a museum, but a planetarium is a fantastic option, especially if you have a lot of kids with an interest in science and space. While some museums might not be as interactive, planetariums often have a lot of kid-friendly activities that will help them to have a more hands-on experience.
9. Historical Sites
Historical sites are a fun field trip option for homeschoolers. Utilize the historical sites near where you live, or you could even consider taking a short trip to one that’s a little farther away. In Utah, for example, you could visit This Is the Place Pioneer park to learn about the pioneers who settled Utah.
10. The Courthouse
If you know where the closest courthouse is, you might consider taking your homeschool group there. Now, it’s probably not an ideal choice if most of your kids are on the younger side (they might get bored and might not understand). However, if you have older kids and teens in your group, then this is an ideal opportunity to increase their understanding of the law and how it works.
11. Diverse Religions
You could also consider exploring different religions. This is something that most public schoolers truly don’t have the opportunity to do. You could take your group and explore a few different churches in your area. This will help the students gain an understanding of different religions and why freedom of religion is an important principle to uphold and respect.
12. National Parks
Round up your kids and students and take a day to visit one of the country’s national parks (a state park would work too if that’s easier). You can hike, do some birdwatching, go for a nature walk and collect plants, or do whatever else you’d like. This is not only a great way to get exercise but also a fun adventure.
13. Fire Station
First responders are generally held in high esteem by a lot of people, especially children. Taking your students to the fire station can help them to understand how it works. Seeing the fire engines and firefighting gear can be pretty exciting for young boys especially.
14. Police Department
Likewise, the police department can be fascinating for kids to visit. Not only will it be fun to see the police officers in their uniforms, but it will also give them an inside look at the law and why law enforcement is an important part of that. Schedule a quick little tour and have the kids take notes on what they learn.
15. Concerts and Symphonies
There’s something about a live performance that is very impactful. Little kids may not enjoy it as much as older kids, but if you pick a symphony or concert of some kind to attend, it’s a fantastic way to expose those kids to the arts, music specifically. There are plenty of opportunities out there. Take advantage of them!
16. Factories and Plants
Kids often ask questions about where clothes and food and other things come from that are a daily part of life. If you’re able, you might take them to a water treatment plant or a food-processing plant. You could even just arrange for a tour of the grocery store where they can see all the behind-the-scenes work that gets regularly done.
You might be wondering, what? Why a restaurant? Just as with going to a plant or grocery store, seeing behind-the-scenes work and all that might be particularly interesting for your kids to see. Plus, they’ll get to see where restaurants get their food supplies from as well. After the tour is done, take a break and have a bite to eat!
18. Plays and Shows
Plays are a fantastic way to engage your kids and students and immerse them in the arts. It’s like going to a movie but even better! Plays cater to all kinds of ages, so you could probably easily find one that every kid in your group will get something out of. It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon!
19. Renaissance Festivals
These don’t happen year-round ann they don’t happen in every area either, but if you hear of a renaissance festival happening relatively close by, you should take full advantage and go! A lot of it is just game booths and souvenirs sure, but some attractions teach about things like medieval weaponry and clothing and all sorts of things. If you want something a little different but that’s still fun and educational, a renaissance festival is probably one of your best options!
20. The Library
It might be difficult to think of a trip to the library as a field trip, but it could turn out to be great. Your older kids can learn how to find and check out books on their own and you can take the younger kids in the group to listen to storytime. Utilizing a library is an important skill for kids to have and taking a field trip there could be the best way to teach them that skill.
21. National Monuments/Landmarks
Many of these monuments and landmarks can be found on historical sites or in national parks. However, there are a few that can be found on their own, depending on where you live. For example, you could take your group to see the Washington Monument in Washington D.C. and give them a quick history lesson.
Why would you visit a cemetery on a field trip? Host a project where the kids in the group research online using Ancestry or Family Search and have them look for an ancestor. Then you could potentially see graves of ancestors when you visit the cemetery. If you’re so fortunate as to live near a historical cemetery, you could also teach them about any famous people that might be buried there.
23. The Post Office
The postal service is a part of everybody’s lives. Call and schedule a tour of your local post office so the kids in your group can witness firsthand how it works. If you have a small enough group, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get in and arrange a tour.
24. Camping Trips
A homeschool group, because their schedule is a bit more flexible, might be able to afford to take a field trip that lasts even longer than a day. Get some parents and their homeschool kids together and head out to the mountains for an overnight trip. Here you can spend time observing nature, learning first aid certifications, and plenty more.
25. Ghost Towns
Ghost towns are easier to find in more rural areas so you might need to take an entire day for this one. If there is a ghost town anywhere near you, round up your homeschool group and drop in for a visit. Not only are ghost towns fascinating on their own, but most of them have fascinating historical significance.
26. Biking Trip
A biking trip might be a big undertaking, especially if you’ve got a lot of younger kids in your group. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take a bicycle tour of your hometown. You can stop at a few parks, see some fun sights, and maybe even drop by any nearby historical landmarks. Take full advantage of the day!
27. Temple Square
If you’re a Utahn, you can’t go without making at least one trip to Temple Square. There are plenty of sights to see there including old architecture, museums, and of course, the famous Temple Square Christmas lights. Take a trip to the square and take it all in. You won’t regret it!
28. Water Parks
Sometimes it’s important to take a field trip simply for the sake of fun. A good way to do this is to have an incentivized field trip now and then. Have your kids/the other students in the group work on a project and see if they can complete it by a certain deadline. If they do, reward them with a trip to a waterpark, swimming pool, arcade, or another fun venue.
29. Science Labs
If there are any scientific labs (including testing labs) that are close by, try taking a trip there for a day. The kids in your group who are interested in science will have the time of their lives and it will be a life-changing experience for everybody. Make sure you take some notes and some pictures (unless, of course, that’s not allowed).