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Away We Go! Ten Awesome Field Trips

Away We Go! Ten Awesome Field Trips

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“Field trips can be an exciting, if not essential, component of your family’s curriculum. They spark an interest in children of all ages and can be valuable resources to enhance lessons being taught in the home.”
“Field trips can be an exciting, if not essential, component of your family’s curriculum. They spark an interest in children of all ages and can be valuable resources to enhance lessons being taught in the home.”

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Published by: The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine on Jun 10, 2013
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01/28/2014

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Away We Go!
 
Ten Awesome Field Trips
 
Kelly Vittoria
As any homeschooling family knows, much of our children’s learning actually takes place
outside of the home. Field trips can be an exciting, if not essential, component of your
family’s curriculum. They spark an interest in children of all ages and can be
valuableresources to enhance lessons being taught in the home.Following is a list of ten free or low-cost field trips that can boost learning and in some
cases help nourish your child’s soul:
1. Pizzeria/Bakery
Major Educational Themes: Nutrition, Science
 
How to Schedule: Start by calling around to your favorite spots, explaining that you andyour group would like to request an educational tour. There may be a nominal fee forsupplies.
 
Bonus: Children may be able to make an edible treat to take home.
 
2. Music Store
 
Major Educational Theme: Music
 
How to Schedule: Again, calling a local business to inquire about a tour is the way to go.This tour should be free.
 
Bonus: This is an opportunity for parents to ask about instrument rentals and lessonsoffered, if their children are not already studying a musical instrument. Children may beinvited to handle and play different instruments, getting a feel for which one(s) they mightbe interested in.
 
3. Police Station
 
Major Educational Themes: Social Studies, Personal/Public Safety, Science (forensics forolder children), Problem Solving/Critical Thinking, Public Policy/Law Enforcement
How to Schedule: Research your community’s police station
non-emergency 
phonenumber. Do not call 911 to schedule a tour. This tour should be free.
 
Bonus: Police stations often offer parents public safety materials such as childidentification kits, which help law enforcement officers safely locate children in the eventthat they are missing. Some police departments work in cooperation with the area school
system and/or children’s hospital to provide public relations programs such as Safety City, a
miniature model of a city where elementary-aged children drive mini-cars and learn safetyrelated to bicycles, pedestrians, vehicle traffic, stranger danger, and school buses. Sponsorsoften offer a take-home workbook curriculum as well.
 
4. Firehouse/Ambulance Station
 
Major Educational Themes: Fire Safety, Health (basic first aid), ScienceHow to Schedule: As with those listed above, be sure to use the non-emergency line whencalling about a tour. Since firehouse tours can be popular with public schools, Girl Scout andBoy Scout troops, and other organizations, unless you have a particularly largehomeschooling group, be prepared for the possibility of having to share a tour. This tourshould be free, but donations may be accepted or expected if your town relies on avolunteer fire department.
 
 
 
Bonus: Children may get the chance to try on a fireman’s suit and/or helmet. T
ake yourcamera.
 
5. Farm
 
Major Educational Themes: Science, Math & Economics/Industry, Local HistoryHow to Schedule: Look up the phone number of a farm near you, and when you call, askto speak to the owner or manager. You may have a better chance in the off-season, beforeharvest, when staff members may be more readily available to give a tour.Bonus: Many farms will offer free or low-cost samples of their products. Farms that raiseseasonal products, such as apples, strawberries, and pumpkins, may allow your children topick their own produce to take home.
 
6. Play or Concert
 
Major Educational Themes: Music/Performing Arts, Literature
 
How to Schedule: To save money, keep your eye out for performances that are being heldat churches, colleges, and toward the end of the traditional school year, at public highschools. If your community has a local theater for the performing arts, you may have theluxuries of more choices and more professional performances. Depending on which venueyou opt for, there will be a varying fee.
 
Bonus: You may get a discount on tickets if you have enough homeschoolers in yourgroup.
 
7. Hospital/Medical Center
 Major Educational Theme: Health, ScienceHow to Schedule: Call the main phone number of your local hospital(s) and ask to bedirected to their public relations or similar department. Tours can vary in nature from anadministrator walking your group through the main hallways explaining the mission of thehospital to a nurse educator explaining how germs are spread and offering health tips. Thistour should be free, though you may have to pay for parking.Note: For security reasons, the newborn nursery may be off limits, but be sure toask! Seeing new life is exciting for children and parents of all ages.Bonus: Some facilities offer surprisingly peaceful and inspiring chapels or generalprayer/worship areas, which offer a nice break from the overall coldness and possible chaosthat may be found in a hospital. Children may be given some souvenirs to take home, suchas a paper surgical cap. Also, being familiar with the facility may help reduce
children’s
potential fears should they or a family member ever require hospitalization.
8. Art Studio
 
Major Educational Themes: Art, Art Appreciation
 
How to Schedule: Call a nearby studio and ask if they can offer a special tour for yourhomeschooling group. If not, consider attending an open house, which is usually offeredfree of charge. The studio may also offer an introductory painting, drawing, or sculptingclass to interested students, for a nominal fee.
 
Bonus: Children will be able not only to see completed works of art, but they also mayhave the opportunity to watch an artist create a piece. Many artists are more than happy toanswer questions about their work, including questions about style, method, andinspiration.
 
9. Recycling Plant
 
Major Educational Themes: Environmental Preservation, Science

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