My children and I are part of a co-op of homeschoolers that is strictly field trip based. Every Thursday we go on a different field trip. Each mom plans one or two field trips per year. We run our year from September to April with a few breaks in between. We also limit the amount of families who can be a part of the group to encourage the growth of relationships.
This group has been such a huge blessing to my family. We have gone on some amazing field trips so far and we have only been members for less than a year. The families are all Christians and have a love for the Lord and hold the same values as my own. It is wonderful to be part of a group who truly want to teach about Jesus and grow relationships with one another.
Once a month we do take a break from field trips and go to our local “Chapel”. It is just a church but we call it our “Chapel Day”. We have Bible study time, praise and worship, recitation, and recreation. Each mom is in charge of a different part of that day. I, for instance, teach the PreK and Kindergarten Bible class. We have such fun learning about Jesus and all the people in the Bible.
Back to the field trips…I want to share with you some tips on how to make the most out of field trips. Just going on a field trip can be a lot of fun but when we incorporate other things it can be very educational.
1. Check out books from the library.
If you plan a trip to the zoo, check out books about the zoo or animals. If it’s a trip to a farm, check out books about farms. Even if you just plan on going to the park, look for books about leaves, trees, and squirrels. Reading books about the different places you will visit helps children get a better idea of what to expect and gives them a little knowledge about it.
2. Look up videos about the subject matter/place.
We have a subscription to RightNow Media. It is a Christian website with tons of videos about all kinds of things. They even have educational science videos. It is by invitation only, so see if your church or group has a membership first. You can also Google Netflix shows or movies that might go along with your field trip. I like to give my children a visual if possible. Using educational videos can be a great learning tool.
3. Draw pictures.
I have my children draw pictures of what they expect to see or experience on the field trips. Their imaginations run wild with all kinds of ideas. Sometimes their ideas come true and sometimes they have entirely different experiences when on the actual field trip. Drawing uses a different part of the brain than reading and watching something. It can get a child to think a little bit differently about something.
4. Look it up on a map.
My kids love maps. They love looking at them, studying them, and even drawing their own maps. If you plan a field trip, have the kids look it up on a map. Whether it’s down the street or across the state, it gives children a sense of direction and helps them to be able to read a map.
If you don’t go on a lot of field trips, that’s okay. Use these ideas for those few you do go on. If you want to plan more field trips, try to start a group that is strictly for this purpose. Homeschoolers are looking for groups like this. There aren’t many of them where I live and I hear moms all the time talking about it. It is easy to start a group just by talking to other moms you may know.
Have fun on your many adventures!