There are an abundance of ideas out there for homeschool field trips and they don’t have to be expensive or all day affairs. Something as simple as a trip to the nearest duck pond to observe fish, turtles, ducks, and vegetation while taking a few notes can be considered a field trip (and free I might add). Use a little creativity to come up with simple and free or inexpensive ideas to supplement your homeschool studies. I have come up with a few to get you started.
Library – Especially if you have younger children who are not familiar with the library. This is a great opportunity to apply for their first library card. Create a treasure map of sorts of your library identifying all the different areas: checkout counter, fiction, non-fiction, reference, etc. Either by yourselves or with the help of the librarian, visit each section and cross them off. Libraries also offer many free resources that you may no know about. Did you know that many have telescopes, microscopes, skeletons, art, and even toys available to lend? Make use of this great free service for your homeschool.
Fire Station – One of the services that most fire stations offer, beyond saving lives, is to open the station for tour. Call ahead to schedule an appointment where they will give you the tour, and often have coloring books, and plastic fire hats to take home. I like to go in with a plate of homemade cookies and my thanks. I want the kids to understand that these kind of people are heroes.
Pet Store – If you are learning about pets or your child is just interested in getting a pet, this makes for a great practical life, handwriting, and math lesson. Choose a pet, go to the pet store and decide on all the things you would need to care for your pet, list prices and add up the total. Observe other pets while you are there as well and what they need for food, shelter, etc. If you have a young one, point out colors, or letters on bags for them to identify. Sometimes getting out of the house and breaking up the monotony cans stimulate learning. Petco has a special program just for this, see details HERE.
Factories – Look for local opportunities to learn about assembly lines, production and more. Find a candy, toy, food, or other factory in your area, call ahead, let them know you are a homeschooler, perhaps even gather a group. While some areas will be off limits for safety reasons, your child can get a great idea of a working factory.
Grocery Stores – A lot of grocery stores in our area will do a behind the scenes tour with a small group of kids (maybe other kids in your homeschooling co-op would like to go to). When my daughter got to go on a tour, they were taken to each department (deli, produce, bakery) and shown how each department works, plus they got to try bread from the bakery, some cheese from the deli & fruit from the produce department. The kids loved it!
Pick your own – Visit a farm and pick your own produce: Strawberries, blueberries, pumpkins, peas, whatever. This goes great with a farm or food groups unit study. Children can learn where, and how food is grown. Use whatever you picked in a recipe with your child to extend the learning.