Homeschool Field Trips - Ideas and Checklist

Homeschool field trips can help break up the monotony of a season and can really ignite some great learning. Do you remember the field trips you took when you were in school?  I think those are the ONLY things I remember about school! 

Field Trip Ideas:

field trip checklist

We have used the various Zoo and Science Museum memberships for rather cheap excursions. One year we participated in a home school bowling day once a month at a local bowling alley.  

Here is a list of places you can go with your children for a homeschool field trip in case you are stuck for ideas:

- Candy Factory

- Vineyard

- Horse Ranch

- Dairy Farm

- Airplane hangar

- Doughnut Factory

- Courthouse

- TV Studios

- Radio Stations

- Newspapers

- Auto Body Shop

- Recycling Plant

- Native American Villages

- Pioneer Towns

- Revolutionary or Civil War Reenactments

- Zoo

- Bowling

- Roller Skating

- Farmer's Market

- Post Office

- Visit a Beekeeper

This list should give you a good place to start to see where you can go for a homeschool field trip.  Let me know if you have any ideas to add to this list and I'll post them.

Virtual Field Trips - Tour Museums and Factories with your children right from your own computer. Here is a list of trips you can view on the computer - Virtual Tours

Field Trip Checklist:

Now that you know where to go, here are a few tips on what to bring and what to do while you're on a homeschool field trip.

What to bring - Not too much.  You certainly don't want to be bogged down by carrying a whole bunch of things you don't need. Yet you want to make sure you have what your children will need while you are there.

Some suggestions for what to bring: 

Camera - Of all the things to forget, this is the one item that I forget the most.  Take lots of pictures and make lots of memories while you are out.

Water - You can bring a backpack of water bottles or a container with cups.  The ideal would be for everyone to carry their own water bottle, but that is not always possible. Almost nothing ruins a good field trip than a thirsty child.

Walking shoes - Most field trips require some walking. Make sure your children have the proper shoes for the type of field trip you will be taking.

What to do while you are there - You want to take advantage of teachable moments, but you don't want to sound like a school teacher barking educational jargon at your children all day either.  I suggest you just be observant and point out what you see.  "Look at the way they print that newspaper on each side.  Isn't it amazing how someone came up with that idea?"

If you were out with your own friends you would probably just talk about what you see and observe.  Demonstrate a sense of wonder about the world around you and your children will follow your lead.  

What to do afterwards - On the way home you may want to ask your children their favorite or least favorite part about the trip.  As they talk about what they saw, just enjoy their company and encourage them.  If they don't want to talk about what they saw you might want to ask some open ended questions like, "How do you think that bird knew to build his nest that way? How long do you think it took him to build it?"

You can also have them write a paper or fill out a field trip page to put into a notebook if you like. Some children like these and others would rather not take a field trip if they have to fill out a paper afterwards.  For those children you might just want to have them tell you the answers orally or maybe have another family member, like a grandparent, talk to them later in the day and ask them to tell them about their trip.