Summer is a great time for field trips. Your schedule may be a bit more flexible, making it the perfect time to head out and explore! Field trips are an excellent way to enhance the learning done during the previous school year and inspire future learning.
Planning and enjoying a field trip for a group or for your own family is easy. Here is a list of ideas to make the most of every experience.
Getting the most out of field trips…
1. Plan the specific date and time – Whether you go on a weekend as a family, with fellow homeschoolers during the week, or by yourselves, plan the day (and select a rain date if needed). Choose times that best suit your family’s schedule. If you’re going to be gone over a mealtime, decide whether to bring a picnic from home or buy a meal.
2. Build interest and excitement – Show pictures from your own collection or from online. Read books to build background knowledge and discuss connections to previous learning they have done. Download online information, maps, and pictures to familiarize yourself and your children with the destination.
3. Be reasonable – It’s likely that you won’t be able to see or do everything. Many places and sites have extensive exhibits, talks, and scheduled activities. Generally, there are too many options to do it all. Our family has a rule: you have to leave one thing to see for the next trip. Instead of trying to see it all, decide ahead of time what exhibits to observe and events in which to participate. Then, choose things that would be nice to see, but are not a “must”. Plan your day and movement through the museum or place accordingly. Arming yourself with a map and a schedule of events is extremely helpful!
4. Be flexible-Remember that the field trip is for the kids! While some places will capture everyone’s attention, there may be times that you need to adjust plans because the venue is not as interesting as you hoped, or it does not hold the attention of the children. During these times, try to generate interest by finding items according to the children’s likes or dislikes. If this fails, simply move onto the next exhibit or event!
5. Reserve a tour guide, if possible – Tour guides and museum docents are a great resource. Encourage your children to ask questions and speak with the guides. They are generally trained to give you an insider’s tour and more thorough information about all that you are seeing.
Enjoy your summer explorations!
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