Importance of Field Trips

One of the greatest things about being a homeschooler is that we have the flexibility and the where with all to take many field trips throughout the year. Field trips are essential to the learning process because they introduce your children to a variety of wonderful experiences. Not only do these experiences build great memories but they create environments for your children to practice their social skills while learning.
In the last year, we have experienced a mule driven canal ride up the Maumee River, we visited beautiful Botanical gardens, learned archery at the State park, and spent several hours at our local nature center learning about creatures indigenous to Ohio. While every one of these outings was fun and carefree each of my kids learned something and it is a knowledge that they have maintained. For instance while being pulled up the Maumee river the tour guide explained how travelers would use a chamber pot and dump the contents over one side of the boat which is why the cook always took water from the other side to prevent contamination. This is my son’s favorite piece of information and he loves to tell the story about how the travelers had to be careful to remember which side of the river to empty the chamber pot. My kids learned from this field trip how difficult travel on the waterways was long ago. These insights help them understand history and relate to those who lived way back when. 
In order to get the most out of field trips, I urge my kids to ask questions. This serves two purposes it helps them gain more information but it also allows them to practice their people skills. When we first started doing field trips they were timid about asking questions but over the years they have developed an easy confidence and are able to engage in conversation with individuals much older than themselves. I am often complimented on how well behaved and polite my kids are and people are typically shocked when they learn that they are homeschooled.
Field trips are a great way to get out of the house and do something different. Every trip we have done has been a great deal of fun and we have made so many wonderful memories over the years. Most of these field trips were free which is great when you are working on a fixed budget. If you are interested in taking your kids on a field trip check first with your local state and metro parks because they often offer programs for free. Another great resource is your local library sometimes they have free events and they can even connect you with information about things that are going on in the community. Don’t get discouraged if a place appears to offer tours exclusively to schools often if you explain that you homeschool they will allow you the same perks they offer the traditional schools.
Planning several field trips throughout the year is a wonderful way to break up the routine and enjoy new adventures. It is also a great way to help your kids connect with the topics that they are learning about because it allows them to expand their knowledge. Field trips also help to make the learning process fun because let’s face even homeschoolers get burned out and strategically placed field trips can fight burnout. Getting out of the house and doing something unique and different can relieve stress and help motivate you and your kids on your homeschool journey.
Have you taken any field trips? If so I would love to hear where you went because I am always looking for new ideas.

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