Guest Author - Alissa Moy
Finding creative field trips can be challenging for homeschoolers. While public and private schools have the advantage of garnishing group discounts and school only programs, there are advantages for homeschoolers also. For example, homeschoolers can attend personalized field studies in small groups, and the experience will be hands on for all children. In addition to this, homeschooled students are often welcome in places that just cannot accomodate large groups of school students. Check out the ideas below for some creative and cool field trips for you and your homeschooler today!
1. Visit a local TV or radio station- contact the program manager of your local television station or radio station and arrange a tour. Better yet, see if your homeschoolers can observe a live broadcast! Often these are free trips, too.
2. See the doctor-older homeschoolers will enjoy shadowing a local doctor, vet, dentist or optician. Many offices are more than happy to speak to mature homeschoolers and share the day to day experience of their career with them. These trips are great for those students studying career choices, too.
3. Check with your bank-Wells Fargo bank here in Central FL offered not only house tours, but also financial literacy classes for homeschoolers- totally free! Visit your local bank and ask who is in charge of their educational outreach program.
4. Get buggy- arrange a trip to visit a local beekeeper, worm farm or nursery center. Pest control companies are also interesting places to visit, and glean knowledge about poisonous pests and safety too.
5. See a shelter- the local ASPCA is a wonderful place to visit, and maybe bring a friend home, too! Have your homeschool group gather supplies to donate to these furry friendly facilities.
6. Factory tours- many folks live near pretzel factories and other cool production plants and never think to arrange a visit. While not all companies can oblige, many of them are happy to arrange for a small group of homeschoolers to visit and get a behind the scenes look. Several years ago we had the opportunity to visit the Coca Cola plant and it was so much fun! I think we are Coke fans because of it!
7. Enjoy the great outdoors- set up a hike, nature walk or letterboxing experience at your local park or recreation center.
8. Create and craft- many craft stores, such as Michael's and Jo Ann's offer free or low cost trips to small homeschool groups. While some of these can be found through the Field Trip Factory website, others can be set up individually too.
9. Culture and the Arts- set up a field trip to a local museum or venue for a performance. Many museums happily oblige small homeschool groups by tailoring a program specifically to the children's needs and current studies. If a ticket to a performance is too costly inquire about getting your group in to watch a rehearsal for a lower charge.
10. Think outside of the box- these places may sound odd, but I know of homeschoolers who have visited locations in their area. Do be sure to call ahead and set up a trip to any of the following should you desire an "out of the box" field study:
- UPS/FED EX
- Butcher/Meat processing plant
- College Campus
- Culinary School
- Amish Village
- Native American Tribal site
- Children's hospital
- Veterinary hospital
- Police Station/Jail
- Newspaper Plant
Let me know if there is a field trip you have done with your homeschooler that I did not mention! I'd love to include your idea!